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On this week's episode of the Open Sky Fitness Podcast, we're very excited to have Dr. David Perlmutter on the show! Dr. Perlmutter is a Board-Certified Neurologist and four-time New York Times bestselling author including Grain Brain and The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan.
With his career, Dr. Perlmutter has created a great notion in preventive medicine that relates back to the brain. With the goal to research and better understand neurological diseases, he has been able to learn what's underlying them and create programs to target the mechanisms that cause these diseases in the first place.
We had such a great discussion about how Dr. Perlmutter first discovered how important it was that we recognize the significance between the brain and gut connection, how foods like wheat, carbs, and sugar negatively impact our brain, and how we can take charge to live a healthy life.
"Basically what you're looking for to be healthy, is to try to avoid inflammation. Inflammation is what causes cardiovascular disease. Reduce processed foods, sugar, and carbohydrates. Eat healthy fats like grass-fed butter and grass-fed beef as well as coconut oil." - Dr. David Perlmutter
Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance to talk to Dr. Perlmutter about the latest degrading article from USA Today about coconut oil, Coconut Oil Isn't Healthy. It's Never Been Healthy. However, Devon and I did discuss our own view of the benefits of coconut oil plus Dr. Perlmutter's from his article, Coconut Oil Unhealthy? Behind the Headlines, at the beginning of this episode. You definitely won't want to miss out on that!
"The gut controls inflammation and inflammation is what we have to control as it relates to the brain and the brain's destiny." - Dr. David Perlmutter
Inflammation is caused by what happens in the gut. When various bacteria gets through a leaky gut, they can stimulate various immune cells to secrete chemicals which leads to inflammation. Because of poor gut health and inflammation, it can greatly harm the brain.
Besides food, there are many other factors that affect the gut and brain including:
All of these play an important role in the gut's health and it can explain a lot of different factors such as:
Before we became farmers, we never ate wheat, carbs, or refined sugar. But then 10,000 years ago, we started to cultivate grain and it's just been a couple of hundred of years since we began to refine sugar.
These have been part of the most dramatic events that have affected the human body in the course of mankind thus far.
Since we've introduced processed foods and sugary drinks into our diets, we've noticeably become much sicker. There was never a noted case of dementia until the early 1900s and Inuits who lived on fat such as whale blubber never had a case of cardiovascular disease until carbohydrates were introduced to them.
Even people who have slightly elevated blood sugar can experience higher levels inflammatory chemicals in the body which could lead to a person developing a disease should they eat foods with gluten or excess amounts of sugar.
"Fat is your friend. Fat can turn off various enzymes that would otherwise make your body think that it's starving and store fat. That's what carbohydrates do by activating insulin. Insulin tells your body that winter is coming so it should make fat by increasing its intake of carbs and sugar. This, more than anything, is why so many Americans are obese." - Dr. David Perlmutter
Fat is a powerful and efficient fuel source. How? The brain alone is 60% fat and needs fatty foods to survive. Therefore, the more healthy fats we eat like coconut oil, salmon, and avocados, the healthier the brain, gut, and rest of our bodies will be.
To live healthy and ward of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's, we should lower our carbohydrate intake, eat healthy fats, and exercise. When it comes down to it, chronic neurological diseases are actually quite preventable with the right actions.
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00:00 Open Sky Fitness Introduction
1:15 Opening comments with Rob and Devon
1:45 Recap on last week's episode OSF 155 - All You Need to Know About Sugar Substitutes
2:05 This week's guest: Dr. David Perlmutter
2:40 The benefits of coconut oil according to Dr. Perlmutter, Rob, and Devon's thoughts
11:15 Introduction to Dr. David Perlmutter
16:20 The moment Dr. Perlmutter realized that he needed to start researching the connection between food and the brain.
19:00 Where the idea behind Grain Brain came from and Dr. Perlmutter's inspiration
20:50 How our evolved diet has affected the human brain and body
23:00 For how many years back do we have data that humans have been declining because of more cases of Alzheimer's and dementia?
26:00 Taking charge and living a healthy lifestyle to help avoid diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
27:50 How do you communicate with other physicians about your views?
31:20 Why is it so important to understand how inflammation and gut health affect our overall health?
34:50 Why a child receives good bacteria and gut health from its mother when it is delivered through the birth canal rather than with a C-Section.
39:00 Can mother's do something to pass on healthy bacteria to their babies when they have to have a C-Section and a Vaginal birth isn't an option?
41:00 What should we be doing to eat better? Why should we be eating more fat?
45:20 Where we're going now as far as our nutrition intake compared to the 1900s.
48:00 How we can turn and turn off certain genetics via food as demonstrated by epigenetics.
49:00 The media's influence on health and nutrition information.
51:20 Is the food industry making it difficult for people who are promoting high fat diets like the Ketogenic Diet or the Paleo Diet?
56:20 What initially causes leaky gut? What are some of the symptoms that you might have from it? How can you get tested for it and how can you fix it?
1:02:00 About Dr. Perlmutter's latest book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan.
1:06:00 Closing comments with Rob and Devon
1:08:15 Open Sky Fitness Closing
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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 156 - Dr. David Perlmutter: The Inflammation Connection- Brain and Gut Health! We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be a healthier you.