Dr David Perlmutter is a neurologist, widely known as one of the foremost experts on neurodegenerative disorders of the brain such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. He wrote the book Grain Brain, and has appeared on Dr. Ozs’ show and lectured extensively. I attended a recent seminar here in Scottsdale a few weeks ago and learned a lot of information (quite astonishing) concerning diet and the above disorders. Let me preface the information by reminding you that I’m not really into nor have I ever been a fan of diets. I’ve seen many come and go and come back again during the past 40 years, and most don’t work-people wouldn’t be fat anymore if they did. That being said, Dr. Perlmutter presented some compelling evidence on how food intake affects the brain. One study he participated in looked at brain and other metabolic changes in 300 obese non-diabetic women. The subjects were placed in four different dietary regimens: Adkins’, Zone, Ornish, and the FDA food pyramid. The Adkins’ diet consists of high-fat, low carbohydrate foods, Ornish is low-fat, high fiber foods, Zone is 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbohydrate, and the food pyramid is 25% whole grains, 25% protein, 20% fruits, and 30% vegetables. Metabolic parameters studied were blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)LDL and HDL cholesterol, blood glucose, body fat and body mass index (BMI) changes, and beta amyloid plaque in the brain (beta amyloid plaque is elevated in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia). And, the winner by a landslide is ADKINS’! The low-carbohydrate high-fat diet had at least double the beneficial effects on ALL of these metabolic parameters: Lower LDL and higher HDL, lower BMI, lower blood pressure, improved fasting blood glucose, lower body fat, and no increase in beta amyloid plaque in the brain. Adkins’ diet is more closely associated with the ‘Paleo” or “cave man” diets: little or no grains, only good fats including saturated fats, avoiding polyunsaturated fats (PUFA’s), nuts and seeds, lots of vegetables, easy on fruits, white and red meats (except processed), fish, and dairy are good. PUFA’s are not good for you, and include most vegetable oils , snacks, cookies, crackers, breakfast cereals and grains, and fast foods. One of the amazing things about a high-fat diet is that it does not make one fat! That fact was a bit hard to digest until I realized the reason. Fat raises ketone levels in the body, and a ketogenic diet is extremely beneficial for health. Most diets that restrict calories attempt to get you into a ketogenic diet. Good fats do not make you fat! Personally, my eating regimen closely resembles Adkins’; I really didn’t realize it until I attended this seminar. If you want to lose body fat and improve overall health, check out Adkins’ diet on google.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.