"Gluten is our generation's tobacco," argues Perlmutter (Power Up Your Brain, 2012, etc.), whose credentials as a board-certified neurologist and American College of Nutrition Fellow make him a uniquely qualified voice in the debate about which foods are best for the brain and body.
Gluten, most commonly found in wheat products, plays a significant role in pernicious health issues relating to the brain. Bucking the mainstream notion that fat and cholesterol lead to poor health, the author proposes that the carbohydrate-laden foods that form the staple of many diets may cause brain problems as diverse as migraines, ADHD, Parkinson's, depression, anxiety and more. In addition, he provides ample evidence to suggest that diabetes, a disease already linked to the high sugar content of carbs, doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Gluten, not cholesterol, activates damaging chemical chain reactions which can result in inflammation and leave the brain and heart vulnerable to dysfunction and disease—even if an individual has no gastrointestinal sensitivity to gluten. Importantly, Perlmutter stresses that brain damage need not be permanent. A few simple lifestyle changes, he argues, can dramatically reduce the risk for debilitating brain diseases in the future, without the need for any kind of prescription medication. This "genetic reprogramming" is possible at any age, and its side effects include weight loss and increased energy levels in addition to brain health. Alongside numerous professional anecdotes detailing the successes of a diet without carbs but with omega-3 fats, the author provides abundant lists of "good" and "bad" foods, a 30-day plan of action that includes suggested meals, and a slate of gluten-free recipes.
A galvanizing call to arms against a gluten-heavy diet.