Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers
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Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,893 ratings  ·  269 reviews
A #1 New York Times bestseller--the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 4-week plan to achieve optimum health.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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Why We Get Fat by Gary TaubesGood Calories, Bad Calories by Gary TaubesWheat Belly by William  DavisDr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution by Robert C. AtkinsThe Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek
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25th out of 66 books — 46 voters
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Community Reviews

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Brian Gordon
I received this book as an advanced copy from Good Reads. In this book Dr. Pearlmutter makes the case that many healthy problems currently endemic in our society are directly related to our over consumption of carbohydrates, particularly those from grain. He lays out the claim for how such a diet is counter to our evolutionary needs and then proceeds to make links between gluten insensitivity, neurological inflammation, and neurological disorders.

I actually have a PhD and regularly study aging...more
Jenni
This was a really informative book that definitely blew my mind in terms of the argument - fat and cholesterol are good? Really? But he's got the research to back up the claims, and it's very compelling. As a person who has followed a strict gluten-free diet for over 2 years I found the research and case studies on gluten sensitivity especially interesting, although it did wake me up that I need to rethink my gluten-free lifestyle in terms of also limiting the things that I have always allowed m...more
Susanhayeshotmail.com
I received this advance readers copy from Goodreads First Reads. Yay for free books and thank you!

Perhaps I should apologize in advance, this is long and probably a bit of a tirade. Here's the good parts version: If you are concerned about gluten intolerance (not celiacs), your blood sugar levels, neurological issues or just think you are hooked on sugar and worry about bad for you carbs read this book.

So.

They say that when the student is ready the teacher will come and I found it almost amusin...more
Patrick Visniewski
Unfortunately, this book is more dogmatic than it is educational. The author might be right overall. No one in this day and age can know for sure due to the sheer complexity of human physiology and the lack of studies adequate to really provide us the knowledge we need.

The author has a case he wants to make and he does so by providing only the information that supports his case and he leaves out pretty much everything else including any established facts that might contradict his arguments, or t...more
Miriam
I have been obsessed with this book for months now. I can't stop talking about it. It's all about how you can take control of the health of your brain (and your body) by removing gluten from your diet. I thought it would be hard, but it's actually the best thing I've ever done. I highly, highly recommend this fascinating book. It is both informational and practical.
Nilesh
Grain Brain makes some important points, but in the style of a partisan propagandist aka politician. There is no balance to the arguments made and that's the reason why the readers have to be as mindful of the conclusions as readers of any books on ideology, religion or any occult sciences.

On the negative side, the author has pre-decided that he has hit on the eternal truth about the right eating and all else are wrong. While he provides proofs behind his theories in plenty (some definitely over...more
Adrian Peck
Oct 01, 2013 Adrian Peck rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This book is one that I will not stop talking about for the rest of my life. I'm sure it is in my best interest to re-read this book to make sure my facts are straight before trying to convince family and friends to read this book; lets get one fact straight.....I am absolutely astonished. This book was exactly what I was looking for, and as the I'm sure the brilliant author knows, most people feel that they need this drastic change in their lives. ITS CARBS! It is slowing down everyone...from b...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Are you experiencing any of the following signs:

Being overweight?

Being unable to change how your body looks, no matter how much you exercise?

Being unable to lose weight or keep weight off?

Constantly craving "comfort foods"?

Fatigue after meals?

Feeling consistently anxious or stressed-out?

Feeling hungry all the time or at odd hours of the night?

Having a tendency to snack after meals?

Having high fasting triglycerides, over 100 mg/dL - particularly when equal to or exceeding cholesterol levels?

Havi...more
Jose
Dr. Perlmutter is a board certified neurologist and in this book he presents a thesis that food affects our brain health. He's a big proponent of the low carb ketogenic diet--high in fat--good fats--moderate protein, and low carb. However, my biggest takeaway are his prescriptions for improving brain health. He recommends increasing aerobic exercise, which has a strong correlation of maintaining brain health, even at a great efficacy than working the brain directly via mental works such reading...more
Grace Jensen
As with any diet book, and especially with this one, follow your doctors orders, listen to your body, and use common sense.

I have had gluten issues in the past, and several of the medical issues mentioned run in my family. I try to eat gluten free as much as possible, which really just translates into non-processed foods and whole fruits and vegetables.

That being said, this book is really a hate campaign against gluten. Carbs are not the devil. And the language used in this book is generalizing...more
Linore
Grain Brain is a good book as far as re-educating people regarding food myths that have taken root in our culture, such as that grains are good for you, or necessary for fiber, or that eggs and cholesterol are evil. I applaud the author for the many studies he cites and for bringing these misconceptions to light.
There is a deep flaw in the book, however, and it is ludicrous: the author bends over backwards to prove his dietary recommendations but includes assertions based on the THEORY of evolu...more
Dana_kendall
Can you live life without grain and sugar? The author will show you how and why. He provides much medical research evidence linking grain and sugar to Parkinsons, Alzheimers, dementia, and even mental illnesses like bi-polar. I was already familiar with much of the info. presented, but the cool thing about this book is that he has referenced all the original sources. So readers can investigate the claims for themselves.

The author explains that if you want to keep a sound mind and body into your...more
Mary DeKok Blowers
Grain Brain, by Dr. David Perlmutter, is a breath of fresh air. Great detail is given about how gluten, sugar, and other carbs cause inflammation, wreaking havoc on your hormones, blood sugar, brain, and waistline. Numerous examples are given of patients he treated with this program and they lost weight, or improved their labs dramatically, or overcame diagnoses like ADHD. Sleep habits and exercise are also covered as they have an effect on the brain and how it functions. I was not aware that le...more
William Nist
This is one of a new wave of books that challenges our eating habits. Dr Perlmutter is an advocate of the Low carb, high fat school of nutrition (ala Atkins, Jaminet, Taubes, Moore, et al). He is a neurologist though, and he details how a certain carb, Wheat, not only effects our endocrine and digestion systems, but most importantly our brains. Neuro diseases appear, to the author, to be influenced negatively by the consumption of carbs, especially wheat. He details this extensively. We are talk...more
Ron
If you value your brain, its health and its proper functioning READ THIS BOOK! From Amazon: The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 30-day plan to achieve optimum health.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headache...more
Graham Mumm
Absolutely astonishing. From type 3 diabetes (alzheimer's) to virtually every chronic disease and ailment of modernity (cancer, adhd, dementia,...), David Perlmutter presents a startling, well documented case about the dangers of grains, sugars, and starches in our modern diet. From doctors to mothers, this book should be read by everyone--your life could very well be saved by what you learn.

Natali
An important book in the current state of our food economy. This book will give you enough data to make you want to change your food purchases and enough help to get started on a new way of nutrition. This book scared me just enough and it will scare you too. Read it! It's for your noggin!
Melanie
tl;dr: quack sensationalist quack data-mining quack

Author claims that the source of almost all neurological illnesses/dementia is *not* due to genetics, but to diet. Author's father is 96 and demented off his gourd, so author obviously wants to assure self he's not doomed to the same fate.

This book is horseshit. He says that paleo-type ancestors never had alzheimers/dementia, though as far as I know, no one has ever found viable brain samples of paleo-era ancestors. He also seems to believe in...more
Elizabeth
I was already one of the converted; I follow the Paleo diet and thrive on it, after years of battle with candidiasis and other ills. The difference it makes in quality of life and the amount of energy I have is incalculable. To an outsider, it looks like a fad.

The basis contention of this book is that most of the medical ills of our age - from rashes and headaches to obesity, diabetes, and cancer - are caused by eating glutinous grains. For generations now we have believed cholesterol and fat to...more
Emma Lowrey
Lots of research cited, but it seemed like he may have just found all the studies to back up his points, without addressing possible evidence to the contrary.
Don Gillette
I finished Grain Brain around 2AM this morning (although just skimming the recipes) and I offer this review not just as a loud-mouthed know-it-all, but as a guy who has read damn near every diet book on the planet searching for a way out of my tendency toward being a sideshow freak fat man who, if he doesn't watch himself quite a bit, has the tendency to look just like Comic-book guy on the Simpson's.
This book is Dr. Atkins's Diet Revolution with the addition of the new "superfat tropical oil",...more
Mark
An excellent book that uses the most recent research to debunk much of what we have all been told over the last fifty years about our diet. I had read about all of this in several other books and publications. But what is nice about this book is firstly that it's all in one place. But it also has a unique viewpoint in the diet's link to brain health - not just the usual connection to obesity.

There is a lot of science in the book but it is written for a popular audience (as you can tell by the ti...more
Cindy Wiley
My husband received an advanced reader's copy of this book and gave it to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learned a lot more about the dangers of grain and carbs. I gave up wheat and sugar almost two years ago, but reading this book and learning about the dangers of carbs and how it affects the brain has made me see my need to go low carb. Several other reviewers mentioned this book is not for you if you do not understand Chemistry. I would disagree. I never took chemistry and understood...more
Megan
Jan 23, 2014 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Bronson, Heather, B.J. Janessa
Recommended to Megan by: James
Do you or does someone you know suffer from ADHD, anxiety and chronic stress, depression, chronic headaches and migraines, diabetes, focus and concentration problems, inflammatory conditions including arthritis, insomnia, mood disorders, overweight and obesity, tourette's syndrome? Or perhaps you have more extreme issues--schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, ALS, Chrones, dementia, etc.?
Did you know that you actually have the power to avoid dementia and alzheimers later in life?
It all comes down...more
Carol
If I could rate this book higher, I would. Perlmutter tops the charts by coupling his medical work with understanding that what we eat replenishes our cells and that we are responsible to take care of our bodies if we expect to live a healthy life.
Erica
In my case Dr. Perlmutter is preaching to the choir, and I did really appreciate the novelty of his approach, i.e., the effect of food (gluten/sugar/carbohydrates as a class) on brain deterioration and disease, rather than on our other organs and overall physical well-being.

The disappointments, which have been well-chronicled in other Goodreads reviews, include:
(1) an onslaught of cited studies which overwhelm the reader, and which may all not be sufficiently robust to pass scientific muster;
(2...more
Bernardino Font
I recommend this book to anyone interested in being healthy

I don't know much about nutrition and its effects on health, but reading this book you become convinced that we are doing something wrong. If what Dr Perlmutter says is true, then doctors all over the world should read it and start treating their patients differently.
Our ancestors were able to form large communities and societies thanks to the domestication of plants and animals, so not all members had to dedicate themselves to hunt and...more
Jennifer Ochoa
It worked for me before I even heard of this book!

I went on a ketogenic diet (low-carb, high-fat) last year to lose weight and next thing I know, my chronic life-long depression and anxiety disappeared, I had more focus, more energy, more positivity in general. I had NO IDEA that a ketogenic diet would do this, but it did. I started to enjoy exercise for a change, which helped even more. My life was changed forever. (Note that I have tried so many "diets" to lose weight before keto and nothing w...more
Vita
I like his ideas and I enjoy the book that looks into how food affects brain activity and health. However it lacks information, some of the points are only half covered and explained. The book is too scientific to be a main source to base a diet change on. The information might be useful for someone who already knows the ins and outs of low carb and/or paleo way of eating. However it makes the 4 weeks plan unnecessary for someone who is already educated on this topic. Also, the recipes in a sort...more
Toni
I was interested in reading this book to see if it told me anything I didn't already know. (I am allergic to gluten but do not have celiac disease.) For the most part, Perlmutter discusses scientific aspects in a fairly accessible way, but if a reader had not taken chemistry and was unfamiliar with the areas of the brain, it might be pretty hard going in parts. I learned a few (what seemed like) new things about the brain and how its affected by various foodstuffs, and I'm going to try the autho...more
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David Perlmutter, MD, is a board-certified neurologist, the president of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida, cofounder and president of the Perlmutter Brain Foundation, and a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the American College of Nutrition and the Linus Pauling Award. He serves on t...more
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“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office. —GEORGE BERNARD SHAW” 2 likes
“Researchers have known for some time now that the cornerstone of all degenerative conditions, including brain disorders, is inflammation. But what they didn’t have documented until now are the instigators of that inflammation—the first missteps that prompt this deadly reaction. And what they are finding is that gluten, and a high-carbohydrate diet for that matter, are among the most prominent stimulators of inflammatory pathways that reach the brain.” 2 likes
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