In Parts One and Two, I explored the parameters laid out in the book.  Now comes the application to me – or to you.  I have been eating a Ketogenic diet for several years.  Yes – every now and then – I will have some carbs – usually at a special event, dinner or party.  However – I mainly toe the line.  Looking over the foods that he recommends and those that he wants us to avoid  – I am really very close.  Do I need to go the extra mile?  Do you?

At the beginning of the book, he has a True or False self-assessment.  If your answer is “sometimes” then you should answer True.

1. I eat bread (any kind). TRUE/ FALSE {I will have a Low Carb Joseph’s wrap once a week}
2. I drink fruit juice (any kind). TRUE/ FALSE
3. I have more than one serving of fruit a day. TRUE/ FALSE
4. I choose agave over sugar. TRUE/ FALSE
5. I get out of breath on my daily walk. TRUE/ FALSE
6. My cholesterol is below 150. TRUE/ FALSE
7. I have diabetes. TRUE/ FALSE
8. I am overweight. TRUE/ FALSE
9. I eat rice or pasta (any kind). TRUE/ FALSE
10. I drink milk. TRUE/ FALSE
11. I don’t exercise regularly. TRUE/ FALSE
12. Neurological conditions run in my family. TRUE/ FALSE
13. I don’t take a vitamin D supplement. TRUE/ FALSE
14. I eat a low-fat diet. TRUE/ FALSE
15. I take a statin. TRUE/ FALSE
16. I avoid high-cholesterol foods. TRUE/ FALSE
17. I drink soda (diet or regular). TRUE/ FALSE {I have started to limit my level of diet soda.}
18. I don’t drink wine. TRUE/ FALSE
19. I drink beer. TRUE/ FALSE {Low Carb Beer – maybe once a month.}
20. I eat cereal (any kind). TRUE/ FALSE

A perfect score on this test would be a whopping zero “true” answers. If you answered true to one question, your brain— and your entire nervous system— is at greater risk for disease and disorder than if you scored a zero. And the more trues you tallied up, the higher your risk. If you scored more than a ten, you’re putting yourself into the hazard zone for serious neurological ailments that can be prevented but cannot necessarily be cured once you are diagnosed.

Perlmutter, David (2013-09-17). Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers (pp. 16-17). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

So the question is:  Should I eliminate wrong foods?  Maybe the real question is: Do I need to eliminate these foods?

  • Low Carb Bread products such as Joseph’s Pita and the like.  Aside from containing gluten, they contain soy isolate protein – another no-no.
  • Light Beer – once a month
  • Blue Cheese – I like blue cheese salad dressing
  • bouillons/ broths (commercially prepared) – need to take another look at those little packets that get me through the winter
  • cold cuts – again every now and then
  • diet soda and sugar substitutes other than natural stevia – this is a big problem
  • energy bars – I stay away – because of the Carbs – but now and then an Atkins bar grabs my attention.
  • flavored coffees and teas – not a big deal – just a break from the norm
  • hot dogs – once a month
  • bacon – sigh
  • ketchup – I use the sugar free – but that is going to be a problem
  • mayonnaise – this is a major problem – I use the Canola Mayo – I believe the limitation is because of omega 6/3 issue not carbs or gluten
  • non-dairy creamer – at the office – when no real cream is around
  • roasted nuts – shouldn’t the ingredients tell the story?
  • salad dressings – only eat full fat ones with minimal carbs – problem is at restaurants where there is a lack of control.
  • sausage – this is a sadness but I need to check the ingredients.
  • soy sauce and teriyaki sauces – a flavoring – every now and then
  • veggie burgers – this is going to be a problem since it includes veggie sausage and bacon which my wife likes for breakfast.  Again the soy isolate protein and the gluten.
  • vodka – I could switch to potato or corn based vodka

Many people have applied the famous 80/ 20 principle to diet— eat well 80 percent of the time and save that last 20 percent for splurges. … But see if you can stick to a 90/ 10 rule. For 90 percent of the time, eat within these guidelines and let the last 10 percent take care of itself, as it inevitably does in life.

Perlmutter, David (2013-09-17). Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs,  and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers (p. 242). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

I have already pulled back substantially from the new highly processed low carb products, most of which conflict with his list mainly because of the soy isolate protein – or for me – too much sugar alcohol.  Some of the other foods on this list are going to be more difficult. Then we get to the recommendation that the meats come from grass fed animals and the other products be organic.  It would be nice.

Perlmutter’s thesis as stated above is that “your brain— and your entire nervous system— is at greater risk for disease and disorder than if you” don’t eat these foods.  He does NOT limit his position to only those who are gluten sensitive, after all he posited that a high carb diet is just as dangerous to the brain.  Is the food prohibited because of the Carbs or the gluten?  If it is low carb but contains gluten, can I eat it if I am not gluten sensitive?  Where do we draw the line?

Every time I read another one of these books, I tighten up my eating just a bit more.  I will do the same here.

What about YOU – my suggestion – buy the book – read the book – and – make up your own mind.