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

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  7,768 ratings  ·  761 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
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
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Practical Paleo by Diane SanfilippoIt Starts with Food by Dallas HartwigThe Primal Blueprint by Mark SissonWell Fed by Melissa JoulwanThe Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
Best Paleo/Primal Books
15th out of 92 books — 122 voters
Why We Get Fat by Gary TaubesGood Calories, Bad Calories by Gary TaubesWheat Belly by William  DavisThe Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. VolekDr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins
Best of Low Carb Books
12th out of 69 books — 66 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
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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
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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
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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
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
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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
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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
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.
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
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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
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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
Roya
DNF at p.17.

A Letter From Present Me to Past Me-When-I-Was-Book-Shopping-a-Year-Ago


Dear Past Roya,

Over the past twelve months, I've noticed some new things. I've noticed that people are far more irritating than they were last year. That's fine, you'll get over it. I've noticed that I relate to Anxiety Cat memes a lot more than I'm comfortable with. This isn't okay, but it's not the worst thing ever. You are what you are (unless what you are is an axe-wielding psycho, in which case I strongly adv
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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
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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",
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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
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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
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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
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David Schwan
I'm giving this two stars because this big is quite dishonest in places. There is a great deal of good useful information, and this a significant amount of speculation presented in the guise of factual information.

I agree with the ideas that fat is good and carbs are maybe not so good.

The authors views on gluten are where the author fails to make a scientifically sustainable case. For example the author claims that in the 20th and now 21st centuries we have a plague of mental diseases due to glu
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Bradley Ferguson
My mom, sister, and brother, all have a neurological disease called dystonia. It involves their muscles (calf for sister, arm for brother, fingers and toes for my mom) tightening up involuntarily from time to time. It isn't life threatening but has definitely been a nuisance to all three of them. Each of their symptoms manifested when they turned 30 - which is two years for me. So I am trying to prepare myself for that possibility (although my other older sister is 32 and has no symptoms).

My mo
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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
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Mary 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!
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.
Mary Kay
First, let me tell you I am NOT a Dr. Oz fan, and the fact that this book was written by someone on his panel sort of left me skeptical about reading it. Seems there's a little too much sensationalism there. Also, a little background on me: I'm diabetic, diagnosed in January 2014, and was put on Paleo lifestyle (notice I didn't call it a "diet"?) to help combat issues with my A1C numbers.

So, there's that. Some people will tell you Paleo is extreme (and to be fair, some Paleo followers are extr
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Autumn♥♥
I finished it this morning and it was helpful and everything I believed for years is now gone. He says that fasting is good and my parents used to fast but then a group of women where I was working discovered that fasting lowers your metabolism. He says this idea is NOT true. So I may try it again.

Statins drugs are super bad for you and I had already read that but he makes it much more clear how really bad they are. Too bad some doctors don't read this. They love to push statins.

All us baby boo
...more
Noor Saadeh
One in a line of must read or must watch books/movies including Mark Hyman's Sugar Detox, Fed Up, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dear, Omnivores Dilemma. As one says in a trailer, a few years we will wondering how we could be so duped about the food industry. We are sick and becoming sicker yet putting exhorbitants amounts of sugar in our bodies. Enough in one day to equal what we need in a year. Food companies and restaurants are putting sugar in everything they make and sell and it's scarily addictive. ...more
David Schaafsma
So, we are clearly in a health crisis and a lot of smart people are trying to figure it out from a variety of angles. We have epidemic obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimers, sexual dysfunction, depression, ADHD, etc. So Frankenfoods we know are bad, additives are bad, but don't you wonder if there might be a single theory that points to the main thing that is causing it all, something right in front of us, staring us in the face? Perlmutter thinks he has it, or the heart of it. And his theory flies ...more
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Has anyone read this book Grain Brain? 9 39 Feb 21, 2015 06:38AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine 2 14 Dec 03, 2014 07:34AM  
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  • The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine
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  • The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More and Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better
  • Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
  • Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression, Schizophrenia
  • Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat
  • The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet: Activate Your Body's Natural Ability to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Fast
  • The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health
  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
  • Digestive Wellness: How to Strengthen the Immune System and Prevent Disease Through Healthy Digestion
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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
More about David Perlmutter...
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment The Better Brain Book Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten: Raise IQ points by up to 30 points and turn on your child's smart genes Points The Grain Brain Cookbook: More Than 150 Life-Changing Gluten-Free Recipes to Transform Your Health

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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” 7 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.” 3 likes
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