Grain Brain Book Summary By David Perlmutter

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Grain Brain, the popular 2013 book by Dr.

David Perlmutter, dives into how our diet plays a critical role in our mental health and can either be the source of or contribute to various brain disorders like depression, ADHD and anxiety.

It offers clear and concise advice on how to make dietary modifications that will boost your brain's functioning so you can feel better both physically and mentally.

The book outlines why it is so important to eat a balanced diet that consists of good fats and grains in order to maintain good brain health - something that many people struggle with in our society today.

Grain Brain aims to educate readers on the power of nutrition on their cognitive performance so they can lead a healthier life.

Grain Brain Book

Book Name: Grain Brain (The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers)

Author(s): David Perlmutter

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 21 Minutes

Categories: Health & Nutrition

Author Bio

David Perlmutter is an acclaimed neurologist, writer and the president of the Perlmutter Health Center.

He has generated a significant following in his field through his contributions to multiple media sources, including the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast and Mind Body Green.

His works have become well-known in several circles and his first book - Grain Brain - was a New York Times bestseller.

A notable figure in his industry, David Perlmutter's contributions to neurology are both accomplished and impactful.

The Dangers Of Eating Too Many Carbohydrates: From Celiac Disease To Brain Damage

Brain Damage

Grain Brain, a book by Dr.

David Perlmutter, reveals the truth about how important it is to reduce our intake of carbohydrates in order to improve our health.

According to the book, eating too many carbohydrates can have serious effects on our bodies and brains.

Eating refined carbs could cause diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses.

The book explains that we should be reverting back to what our ancestors once ate – whole grains and vegetables which are full of nutrition but still low in carbs.

By reducing our carb intake and replacing them with other healthier foods such as vegetables, we will not only be able to maintain or lose weight, but will also have the potential to live longer and healthier lives.

How Inflammation And Oxidative Stress May Be Linked To Various Chronic Diseases

Inflammation is closely linked to our diet, and it can have serious consequences if left unchecked.

When our bodies undergo stress – either physical or otherwise – they react by defending themselves with toxic chemicals.

These chemicals travel in the bloodstream, damaging healthy cells and leading to chronic diseases like arterial diseases and Alzheimer’s, known as oxidative stress.

The same process of inflammation leading to a variety of chronic illnesses applies for people with diabetes too.

Most often caused by consuming too much sugar and carbohydrates, insulin becomes desensitized due to over-production; resulting in needing more insulin just to get the sugar delivered to the cells.

This forms a cycle that leads to Type 2 Diabetes.

High levels of both inflammation and oxidation are key players in the development of brain damage as well, thus research is increasingly being done on the relationship between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes; Dubbed “Type 3 Diabetes” by some researchers.

It is clear how important it is for us all to watch our diets in order to avoid any issues related to inflammation and ultimately multiple diseases associated with it.

The Hidden Danger Of Gluten: Realizing The Addictive And Destructive Effects Of Carbohydrates And Wheat Products

Wheat products contain a dangerous protein called gluten that can harm the nervous system.

Gluten sensitivity, celiac disease and gluten addiction are all issues caused by the consumption of wheat and grain products.

Celiac disease is an extreme form of gluten sensitivity that causes inflammation in the small intestine.

It was first considered serious in the 1940s when a Dutch pediatrician noticed that deaths among children with celiac had dropped to zero due to a lack of wheat flour during a famine.

It’s important to know that even those who don’t have celiac disease may still be sensitive to gluten – even neurologically.

This is partially because it connects with morphine receptors in our brains, giving us addictive sensations which we enjoy.

But this highlights much more – wheat products can be just as damaging as smoking cigarettes, and no one knows it!

Therefore, if we want to balance blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and protect our nervous systems, then ditching breads, muffins and other “healthy” whole grain products is essential for wellbeing.

Wheat products are full of inflammatory ingredients that can really take a toll on your body and brain if consumed regularly.

It’s Time To Rethink The Way We View Fats And Cholesterol In Our Diet

Our Diet

Despite the prevailing myths, fat — and especially cholesterol — is the healthiest thing for your brain.

In fact, a study published in 2012 showed that elderly people who regularly consumed carbs were four times more likely to develop issues related to mild cognitive impairment than those whose diets were high in healthy fats.

What’s more, research has shown that our evolution was heavily reliant on fat intake — as far back as 75 percent of our ancestors’ diets!

Even today, some experts still recommend a diet composition of 60 percent carbohydrates.

Cholesterol-based foods don’t actually have any impact on cholesterol levels and aren’t correlated with cardiac issues.

One study even found that out of 724 elderly people monitored over 10 years, the highest cholesterol levels were associated with lower rates of death from cancer and infections than those with the lowest cholesterol intakes.

The takeaway here? The body fundamentally needs a low-carb, high-fat diet, and regular consumption of safe forms of cholesterol is essential for optimal cognitive health.

So forget all the bad rap you heard about fats and go ahead and enjoy them for optimal brain health!

The Dangers Of Eating Too Much Sugar: From Weight Gain To Impairing Cognitive Functions

It’s no secret that consuming lots of sugar can have an adverse effect on your waistline.

But what many people may not be aware of is how dangerous all sugar can be, not just for our external bodies, but also our internal organs and brains.

Take fructose, for example – the sweetest of all sugars – which is known to biochemists as the fattening carbohydrate.

We unfortunately consume large amounts of fructose in manufactured products which our bodies find it difficult to process effectively.

The bad news doesn’t end there.

Eating too much fructose will lead to the body producing a type of fat called visceral fat.

Visceral fat wraps around internal organs and is incredibly harmful to our health; it also stimulates insulin resistance and produces inflammatory chemicals that damage the brain as well as impairing your cognitive functions.

This was highlighted in a 2005 study which examined correlations between the waist-to-hip ratios of over 100 participants and the structural changes in their brains: Those with bigger bellies were linked with smaller hippocampuses – the part of the brain responsible for memory functions – causing deficient memory processing overall.

From this we learn how vital it is to consider our diets now; eating well today can prevent severe health implications tomorrow, including shrinking our brains and decreasing cognition abilities!

How Sugar And Gluten Are Damaging Your Brain Both Short- And Long-Term

It’s well known that a healthy diet can improve your body’s performance, but did you know it has a positive impact on the brain too? Research shows that what we put into our bodies can actually help us create more neurons in the brain, resulting in higher cognitive functioning.

It all stems from something called neurogenesis – the process of growing new brain neurons – and a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein (BDNF).

BDNF helps to protect existing neurons as well as promote connection between them which is key for thinking, learning and other complex mental processes.

Scientists conducted an experiment on elderly individuals in 2009 where one group was asked to reduce their daily caloric intake by 30%, while the second group could eat whatever they wanted.

What they found was that the first group had increased memory functioning whereas the second group declined.

The main culprit for poor cognitive health? Sugar!

A number of calories we consume come from sugars and gluten found in all sorts of food like whole grains and bread, which slowly damage the long-term health of our brains.

That’s why if you want a healthier brain, it’s important to reduce your sugar intake.

These results point towards improved cognitive functioning as a result of reduced sugar consumption.

So remember – feed your body right and you’ll give your mind just what it needs to flourish!

Cutting Gluten From Your Diet Can Help Reduce Anxiety, Adhd And Other Neurological Conditions

Neurological Conditions

It’s truly amazing to see how much sugar and gluten can affect common behavioral and psychological disorders.


David Perlmutter, the author of Grain Brain book, finds that carbohydrates are actually so inflammatory that they can increase someone’s risk of developing dementia and even neurological conditions such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and autism!

To illustrate this point, he shares the story of a colleague who ran a simple test for gluten-sensitivity on a four-year-old victim of ADHD.

The results showed that the child was 300 percent more sensitive than normal.

After switching to a gluten-free diet and introducing additional omega-3 fat DHA supplements, his hyperactivity greatly decreased!

Gluten sensitivity has even been found to be affecting our mental state – it increases the production of cytokine proteins which not only cause inflammation but also block our happiness by blocking production of serotonin – an essential neurotransmitter responsible for feeling joyful and happy.

As an example, Dr.

Permutter shares the story of one patient who was hospitalized multiple times while in college due her extreme anxiety levels that were triggered by eating excessive amounts of gluten foods.

After going on gluten free diet she was able to maintain her stable mood and overcome her desire to self harm – all thanks to simple dietary change!

It’s important to note that psychiatric practice has led to increased prescription of anti-anxiety drugs for children under 19 between 2001 and 2010 which shows just how much sugar and glucose is influencing our behaviors — so make sure you are mindful about what you’re consuming if you want your mind (and body) to stay healthy!

The Human Brain’S Unique Ability To Access Alternative Energy Sources During Deprivation And The Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet

Fasting is an effective means of detoxification, helping to reduce inflammation in the body and increase the production of healthy antioxidants.

Studies have indicated that fasting stimulates the body to produce ketones, a type of fat that is essential for proper brain functioning.

Fasting has been used for centuries as a spiritual tool for many religions including Ramadan, Lent and Yom Kippur.

The ketogenic diet is another way to get your body to utilize ketones as a fuel source.

It involves eating a lot of healthy fats such as coconut oil while avoiding sugars and carbohydrates.

Research studies on the ketogenic diet have revealed its positive effects such as improved mental functioning, increased energy levels and even weight loss in some Parkinson’s patients after 28 days on the diet.

The heart and brain both run more efficiently when fueled by ketones in comparison to glucose.

Moreover, brain cells thrive when they are nourished with this type of fuel source.

Besides taking advantage of fasting benefits if done correctly, you can also incorporate more ketogenic fats into your daily intake through food or supplements like DHA, resveratrol, turmeric, probiotics, coconut oil, alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin D for greater cognitive benefit.

The Power Of Exercise: Fitter Bodies Mean Healthier Brains

When it comes to taking care of your brain, physical activity is just as important as any other task.

Even simple tasks like taking a walk are not only great for your physical fitness but can have an extremely positive effect on your brain health.

A group of researchers found this out after studying two groups of elderly men and women.

After one year, the walkers had larger hippocampi and higher levels of BDNF (a key protein for long-term memory) in their bloodstreams compared to those who did stretching exercises only.

Exercise offers far more than just a good workout for your heart; it helps to minimize and control inflammation, aids insulin in delivering sugar to cells, improves memories, and boosts BDNF levels.

These effects help explain why research shows that animals with the most physical endurance tend to have the highest brain volumes.

Ultimately, you don’t need to set huge goals or become overly ambitious when it comes to exercise – even a daily stroll around the block provides enough benefit to improve your brain power.

So consider lacing up those walking shoes and giving your mind an extra boost!

The Best Nutrition Tip: Get More Sleep For Improved Health And Well-Being


Sleep is absolutely essential for avoiding brain decay and keeping our minds and bodies healthy.

This isn’t something to take lightly–sleep plays a major role in determining our dietary needs, our metabolism, and even how quickly we gain or lose weight.

Not only that, but it also influences many of the physical processes of the body, such as our immune system’s ability to protect us from illness and disorder.

Furthermore, sleep can also boost creativity and help us process information more quickly and efficiently.

In 2013 a group of scientists found that a week of sleep deprivation altered the function of 711 genes!

One important hormone that changes as a result is leptin; its production is strongly affected by sleep patterns.

Leptin helps regulate hunger response, so if you don’t get enough good quality sleep your leptin levels drop.

This can lead to increased cravings for calorie-dense foods like carbs—essentially a primitive survival strategy that humans aren’t necessarily designed for anymore.

There’s no drug to replace proper sleep, so if you want to avoid brain decay it’s critical to make sure you’re getting enough quality rest each night!

Sleep is an integral part of keeping both your mind and body healthy; without it life just won’t be as vibrant as it could be.

So make sure you get those 7 hours every night—you’ll feel much better for it!

Wrap Up

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter is a powerful book that provides an insightful look into how our diet can directly affect our mental health.

In this book, he argues that fats like cholesterol and dietary supplements are essential to promoting brain health while carbohydrates can do serious damage to our bodies and minds.

Additionally, Perlmutter emphasizes the importance of sleeping more, exercising regularly, and maintaining a low-carb/high-fat diet in order to maximize cognitive function and overall well-being.

In conclusion, the key takeaway from Grain Brain is simple: The food you put in your body influences both your physical and mental health.

While medications may prove beneficial for some conditions, it’s worth considering alternative methods, such as cutting out gluten or eliminating certain kinds of carbs from your diet.

Taking the time to test for gluten sensitivity remains an important step towards ensuring a healthy mind – and life.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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