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Turmeric and Honey Roast Turkey Recipe

Recipe by Jennafer Ashley from PaleoHacks

Roast turkey has been a major focal point of holiday celebrations, most especially in the U.S. According to the University of Illinois Extension, Americans consume roughly 46 million turkeys annually during Thanksgiving, 22 million during Christmas and 19 million during Easter.

While there are many tried-and-tested ways of preparing turkey, why not try something new and healthy the next time you plan to roast it? Created by Jennafer Ashley of PaleoHacks, this turmeric and roast honey turkey  recipe will be the star of your dining table, whether during holiday gatherings or relaxed get-togethers. The honey and turmeric combination may be new for some people, but it’s sure to satisfy the taste buds of anyone who tries it.

Turmeric and Roast Honey Turkey

Ingredients:

For the turkey:
1 whole organic cage free turkey (ideal weight is 11 pounds)
4 cups organic turkey broth
4 tablespoons grass fed butter, cut into slices
4 rosemary sprigs
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Honey Turmeric Glaze:
4 tablespoons grass fed butter
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt

Procedure:

  • Begin by thawing the turkey according to package directions.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees F and move oven rack to the bottom. Remove giblets and rinse entire turkey with cool water. Pat dry with paper towel. Place turkey into roasting pan on rack. Neatly position wings behind turkey.
  • Place sprigs of rosemary in cavity of turkey. Mix together sage, thyme, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Use fingers to lift the skin of the turkey near the thighs and rub grass fed butter underneath as well as on top. Next, rub dry seasoning under the skin and all over the top of turkey. Pour turkey broth into pan.
  • Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone. Place turkey in oven and roast for one hour, uncovered.
  • Carefully remove turkey from oven. Baste turkey with broth. If you find that the broth has evaporated, add 2 cups of broth to the pan, allow it to mix with the drippings, and then baste as normal.
  • Place the lid on the roasting pan and return to the oven.  
  • Continue to cook the turkey, basting every 45 minutes until the thermometer reaches 165 degrees F. Cooking time will vary with the size of turkey (the rule of thumb is 13 minutes per pound).
  • Melt grass fed butter for glaze over medium/low heat, stir in honey, turmeric, garlic and sea salt until smooth. Use a basting brush to cover turkey with glaze. Return turkey to oven for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  • Allow turkey to rest 20 minutes before carving.

 

This recipe makes 1 pound of meat
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 50 minutes

Health Benefits of Top-Notch Turkey

While cooking a whole turkey takes a lot of time, seeing your finished product being enjoyed by family and friends is definitely worth the effort. However, not all roast turkey is created equal, since some birds may be marinated or cooked with potentially harmful trans fats, or the bird itself may harbor unwanted substances or pathogens.

If you’re looking for more reasons to eat turkey outside the holidays, look at its nutrition content. Turkey is a very high-protein food that’s rich in B vitamins (particularly B3, B6 and B12) and selenium, which may serve as a potent antioxidant and help reduce your risk for chronic diseases. It also has been shown to possess other nutrients like:

Folate

Potassium

Iron

Zinc

Copper

Phosphorus

Magnesium

Fatty acids

One compound in turkey that stands out is an amino acid called tryptophan. Although it’s present in low quantities in turkey, you can still benefit from it since tryptophan is needed to produce niacin that’s essential for serotonin production. Serotonin is important because it can assist with boosting mood and alertness, and may work with melatonin to regulate sleeping patterns.

However, to reap tryptophan’s benefits, you need to regularly consume turkey and other foods containing this amino acid such as pumpkin seeds, nuts and free-range organic eggs. The body doesn’t produce essential amino acids like tryptophan, so you must replenish your body’s stores of them through your diet.

When buying turkey, the World’s Healthiest Foods suggests looking for organic, pasture-raised birds that were sourced from a local farmer. This way, you ensure that the turkeys are more nutrient-rich since they were allowed to forage and look for food, and not fed contaminated or unhealthy substances.

Avoid processed turkey products because these may contain excessive amounts of sodium that may cause adverse effects. MedicalNewsToday notes that processed turkey meats are often smoked or made using sodium nitrites. These may combine with amines (another compound naturally present in the meat) to create N-nitroso compounds that are known carcinogens.

Why Is Raw Honey Good for You?

In this recipe, raw honey provides just the right amount of sweetness to complement the turkey’s savory meat. It has much more to offer, though, compared to the ultra-processed and excessively sweet varieties found in most commercial stores. Royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen, all of which are found in raw honey, contain good amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Raw honey has also been linked to benefits such as:

  • Enhancing gut bacteria — A 2006 BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine animal study revealed that when honey was used in place of sugars in processed food, harmful and genotoxic effects of mycotoxins were prevented and gut microflora was improved.
  • Possessing antibacterial capabilities — A 2011 Biotechnology Research International article noted that raw and processed honey was found to have antibacterial properties against gram-positive and gram-negative strains.
  • Increasing your body’s ability to ward off allergies According to WebMD, raising the body’s immunity against pesky allergies may be achieved by consuming more locally produced raw honey.

 

If you’re interested in purchasing raw honey, contact a trustworthy source like a local organic beekeeper who may be residing in your area. Ensure that the final product is unfiltered, local and 100 percent pure.

Terrific Turmeric: Why You Should Keep This Spice at Hand
Although this recipe calls for a very small amount of turmeric, this bright-colored spice can make a big impact. Turmeric, which has a warm and bitter taste, is mainly added to curries and other Asian dishes. It may not be a common ingredient in typical roast turkey, but once you realize what its health-boosting capabilities are, you may just find yourself using it for your dishes more often.

Curcumin, a polyphenol in turmeric, is mainly responsible for some of the spice’s health benefits. Some studies have suggested that curcumin may play a role in combating:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Neurologic and psychiatric disorders
  • Chronic illnesses targeting your eyes, lung, liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems

 

Other research conducted on curcumin has highlighted its potential to reduce your risk for various cancers. , , , A 2012 Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews article also showed that curcumin may help in the remission of ulcerative colitis (UC). Curcumin’s other digestive system-related benefits don’t stop here, as this compound’s ability to promote bile production in your gallbladder may be useful for targeting digestive disorders, enhancing digestion and alleviating bloating and gas.

 

About PaleoHacks

PaleoHacks is a top source for amazing Paleo recipes, fitness tips and wellness advice to help you live life to the fullest. If you have questions regarding the Paleo diet in general, PaleoHacks may provide you with the answers that you may need.

How to Get Rid of Moles Safely and Naturally

You’ve probably come across a few brown, black or blue moles around your body. In fact, you probably have between 10 and 40 moles in random areas of your skin. This number varies from person to person and is influenced by race and age. People with fairer skin normally have more moles than people with darker skin.1 If you think you have more moles than the average person, there’s nothing to worry about, as long as they’re not growing or changing in any way.

What Is a Mole?

Moles, or nevi, are common growths on the skin caused by the concentration of pigment cells or melanocytes in a specific spot. There are different kinds of moles that can be found on the body, depending on the period when they appeared, their distinct characteristics and their location. Some of the types are:2

  • Common — Common moles are typically 5 to 6 millimeters in diameter, and have distinct edges and a solid color. They are commonly found in areas exposed to sunlight.
  • Atypical — Atypical moles have blurry edges and a varying color distribution. These moles have the same appearance as precancerous and cancerous moles, but most atypical moles are benign. However, having more atypical moles may heighten your risk of developing skin cancer in later life.
  • Congenital — This refers to moles that were present during birth and are usually called birthmarks. These are at high risk of becoming malignant when someone enters adolescence or adulthood.
  • Acquired — Acquired moles appear during childhood or adulthood and develop due to sun exposure.

People usually develop moles in the first years of their life up until the age of 20.3 However, in older individuals, the risk of moles being indicative of melanoma, or cancer of the skin, becomes significantly higher. This is one of the reasons why you should always be aware if they’re changing in any way or if new ones are starting to emerge.

Surgical Interventions for Mole Removal

While moles are normal and sometimes are actually seen as beauty marks, some people choose to have them removed. There are numerous products that claim to remove unwanted moles effectively; however, there may be some doubts about their safety and effectiveness.

Some of the creams that people may buy require you to scrape off the upper layer of the mole to be effective. This will then target the pigmentation underneath the skin, allowing a scab to form. They claim that the mole will fall off together with the scab as it heals.4

If there is any chance that the mole is cancerous, dermatologists or skin experts may require a mole removal to contain the condition. Some of the procedures that you may undergo include the following:5

  • Excision surgery — An excision surgery entails cutting out the mole and the surrounding skin. The skin is then stitched together to close the wound.
  • Shave removal — Some moles may be shaved off using a scalpel, which usually leaves only a distinct pink area.
  • Freezing — Noncancerous moles may be surgically removed using liquid nitrogen. After the procedure, you’ll be left with a small blister that will heal after a few days or weeks.
  • Laser removal — Flat moles may be removed from the skin using bursts of light, destroying the pigmentation and letting it be reabsorbed by the skin.

Before you undergo any of these procedures, understand that they expose you to various possible complications. Together with the usual possible side effects of surgery — infection, suture reactions and delayed healing — you may also be at high risk of scarring.6

Here Are Natural Ways to Remove Moles

There are numerous ways to help you lighten and eventually make your moles less noticeable. Some of the natural options you can try include:7

Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar contains both malic and tartaric acid, which may help dissolve the mole. Dip a clean cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the mole, securing it with a bandage. Leave it on for five to six hours. Do this every day until the mole starts to scab over.8

GarlicGarlic contains sulfuric components that may help get rid of your unwanted moles. Mince a garlic clove. Apply it on the mole and secure with a bandage. Leave the garlic on for 12 hours if possible. Repeat the process until your mole starts to disappear.

Grapefruit juice — The high acid levels in grapefruit juice may help lighten the mole. Squeeze the juice of a fresh grapefruit and apply it directly on the mole. You can dab the juice on your mole up to three times a day, as long as your skin does not get irritated.

Lemon juiceLemon juice is famous for its skin-lightening properties as it contains the same acidic properties of both grapefruit juice and apple cider vinegar. Dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and place it on the mole. Keep it in place using a bandage and leave it on for 20 minutes. You can do this once or twice a day until the mole lightens.9

Pineapples — Fresh pineapples contain high amounts of citric acid, which may function as a bleaching agent on the mole.

Cut out a small piece of pineapple, approximately the size of the mole you’d want to remove. Put the pineapple piece on the mole and secure with a bandage. Be careful not to apply pineapple juice on the surrounding skin. Replace the pineapple piece every time it dries up. Repeat these steps until your mole lightens enough to be unnoticeable.10

Iodine — Applying an iodine solution on a mole may help lighten and completely remove a mole. This is especially useful for people who have sensitive skin. Dab iodine solution on the mole with a cotton swab three times a day. Repeat every day until you see positive results.

The ABCDEs of Moles

The risk of developing melanoma is dependent on numerous factors, including race, family history and exposure to extreme sunlight. In addition, the abundance of moles on someone’s skin may be one of the clear indications of a person’s risk as well, with people who have 50 or more moles being two to four times more at risk. To determine whether a mole may be cancerous, you can use the ABCDEs of moles. This stands for:11

  • Asymmetry — A noncancerous mole’s appearance has to be consistent.
  • Border — The border of a benign mole should be clear, not ragged, blurred or irregular.
  • Color — In normal instances, noncancerous moles should have a consistent shade without any hint of other colors.
  • Diameter — A mole’s risk of being cancerous is directly proportional to its size. Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser are more susceptible to becoming cancerous.
  • Elevation/evolution — If a mole appears elevated, raised or starts changing over time, it may be cancerous.

Is Your Mole a Melanoma? Mobile Apps May Help

Melanoma is one of the most aggressive types of cancer, and the sudden appearance of moles around your body may be the first indication of this disease. This type of cancer is usually caused by frequent and intense exposure to UV, causing damage to the DNA in the skin cells and thus triggering the rapid production of your melanocytes.

While rare, melanomas may develop from preexisting moles or appear on their own. In fact, melanomas may appear identical to moles, making it hard for patients to pinpoint, especially if they don’t pay close attention to the changes in their skin. Unfortunately, while melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it causes the most deaths. The high-risk of cancer spread that accompanies this condition makes early diagnosis absolutely necessary.12

The good news is that mobile applications are now available to the public, which may help make detection easier for patients. One example of this is SkinVision, an app that assesses the risk of melanomas through a machine-learning technology. It categorizes skin spots as low-, medium- or high-risk in just 30 seconds, which may significantly minimize the cost and time spent on diagnosis.13

However, note that the mobile diagnosis of melanoma is an emerging science, with the accuracy and quality of the diagnoses still in development. If you suspect that a skin spot may be cancerous, it would still be best to consult a dermatologist for a much more accurate assessment.

Don’t Worry About Your Moles Too Much

While the melanoma risk is grounded on some solid statistics, the increasing fear of moles may be due to conventional doctors’ recommendation of surgical mole removal. Before considering getting your moles surgically removed, make sure that your doctor uses a dermatoscope to inspect your moles, because examinations with the naked eye may not be as clear.14

However, if you’re planning on removing moles for aesthetic purposes, consider going for more natural and safer options to minimize your risk of complications, including scarring and the other side effects of surgery. Remember that having moles is normal, and there is no reason for you to be embarrassed about their presence.

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers

Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition, recently released the fully revised edition of his incredibly successful book, “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers.”

Having sold over 1 million copies, it has achieved a landmark rarely reached by books about natural medicine. Two fundamental points made in his book are that, a) sugar is toxic to the brain; and b) nonceliac gluten sensitivity is real. And, with this fifth edition, Perlmutter has been able to update the book with even more supporting scientific evidence.

Newer Evidence Fully Supports Lifestyle-Based Alzheimer’s Prevention

As noted by Perlmutter, even though there’s no conventional treatment for Alzheimer’s, research shows this devastating degenerative neurological disease can be effectively prevented by lowering sugar exposure, increasing exercise and improving the quality of your sleep.

“The science is now completely lined up behind us, showing that our dietary choices are having a huge influence on the decay of the human brain … We’re really hammering away at this profound relationship between even mild elevations of blood sugar and risk for dementia.

And certainly, the ideas that we put forward about becoming Type 2 diabetic and quadrupling your risk for Alzheimer’s have been validated. The data that we did not have [five years ago] that we have now, with reference to what’s causing diabetes, I think is really very intriguing, and is cause for us to take a step back and take a breath.

Because what we’re now looking at is powerful data that connects statin use in both males and females with development of diabetes. In males, it’s about a 41 percent increased risk of diabetes in statin users [and] … a 71 percent increased risk of developing diabetes in women who are put on a statin medication.

They become diabetic and their risk for Alzheimer’s goes up dramatically — as much as three- or fourfold. Do I wish I would have had that information five years ago? Well, it wasn’t published, so I didn’t have it. But it’s really hugely important that we, as physicians, try to practice under the notion of ‘Above all, do no harm.’

We are making men and women diabetic and magnifying their risk for Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. I mean women have a three to four times increased risk of coronary artery disease if they become diabetic. For men, it’s a two- to threefold increase, which is huge … That’s new information.

The dietary information … now lines up [with] the idea that fat is actually good for us and that the real relationship that’s damaging to us is our relationship with sugar and carbs.

That was our original message that was accepted by most, but certainly experienced a bit of pushback from mainstream medicine that wanted us to believe that we should all be low-fat and no-fat. We now know with great confirmation that [low-fat] is absolutely the wrong approach.”

Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Among the studies published in more recent years that support diet-based disease prevention is Dr. Jason Fung’s case series paper1,2 published in BMJ Case Reports, which details how fasting can be used as a therapeutic alternative for Type 2 diabetes. This exciting report actually made the front page of CNN online.3

Of the three patients, two did alternating-day 24-hour fasts, while one fasted for 24 hours three times a week over a period of several months. On fasting days, they were allowed to drink unlimited amounts of low-calorie fluids such as water, coffee, tea and bone broth, and to eat a low-calorie, low-carb dinner.

On nonfasting days, they were allowed both lunch and dinner, but all meals were low in sugar and refined carbohydrates throughout. (The complete manual of the fasting regimen used is described in Fung’s book, “The Complete Guide to Fasting.”4)

Two of the patients were able to discontinue all of their diabetes medications while the third was able to discontinue three of his four drugs. All three also lost between 10 and 18 percent of their body weight. All of these patients had been taking insulin for up to 20 years, yet were able to completely reverse their diabetes through this dietary change alone. Fung is not the only one who has demonstrated this.

“Dr. Sarah Hallberg of Virta Health published a report last year in a study of 100 individuals with Type 2 diabetes … Just putting them on a ketogenic diet reversed diabetes in many, and across the board, dramatically reduced their [need for] medications.

One class of drugs that’s commonly used in Type 2 diabetics are sulfonylureas. In [Hallberg’s] study, she was able to get 100 percent of the people taking sulfonylureas off of that class of medication. Who knew? Well, we suspected it. Many of us knew. I use that sort of rhetorically. But diet is key.

A ketogenic diet has also been implemented in individuals with early-stage cognitive decline and has been demonstrated to reverse their cognitive decline. Dr. Dale Bredesen certainly uses a higher fat ketogenic diet in his protocol for Alzheimer’s disease. I think it really gets to the notion of why a diet that’s higher in sugar, higher in carbs, is so detrimental for the brain.

I mean that was our contention with the original ‘Grain Brain’ five years ago. Mechanistically, when you have elevated blood sugar, you’re doing a lot of things, one of which is to compromise the insulin receptor. [Your insulin receptors] become resistant to the effects of insulin. We now know that insulin is far more important than simply helping your body deal with blood sugar.

The insulin receptor has dramatic effects in terms of its activity in the brain … to keep our brain cells healthy. As we start to compromise the ability of our brain to be receptive to insulin, by virtue of our elevated blood sugar, we see the powerful relationship that that has now with developing dementia,” Perlmutter says.

Direct Relationship Between Elevated Blood Sugar and Dementia Has Been Proven

Another study cited in Perlmutter’s book is a study5,6 published in 2013, which demonstrated a direct relationship between even subtle elevations of blood sugar and risk for developing dementia.

Other research7 published that same year also showed that sugar and other carbohydrates disrupt your brain function even if you have no symptoms of diabetes, primarily by shrinking your hippocampus, a brain region involved with the formation, organization and storage of memories.

A number of other studies support these findings, including a study8 published in the journal Diabetologia in January 2018, which found that the higher an individual’s blood sugar, the faster their rate of cognitive decline. Perlmutter also cites a study in The Lancet, published in 2017, which found that an elevated A1C in average blood sugar is dramatically associated with shrinkage of the brain and risk for cognitive decline.

“We now get the fact that having elevated blood sugar increases inflammation,” Perlmutter says. “As I’m sure your viewers well know, chronic inflammation is the cornerstone of about every degenerative condition you don’t want to get, whether it’s coronary artery disease, cancer or Alzheimer’s. These are inflammatory conditions.

One study we have in the new book is from 2017, in the journal Neurology. It’s a study that I think is profound. It took a group of individuals who were around their mid-50s, 1,600 of them, and measured the inflammation markers in their blood.

It followed these individuals for an incredible 24 years. What they found was there was a perfect linear relationship between those who had higher levels of inflammation 24 years ago and risk for developing dementia …

The implication is that people in their 40s and 50s who are overweight and have elevated blood sugar, both of which cause inflammation, are putting themselves at risk for an untreatable condition called Alzheimer’s or dementia later in their lives …

Once that happens, there’s very little that can be done, at least from a pharmaceutical perspective. So, the lifestyle choices that people make earlier in life are very, very relevant in terms of charting their brain’s density as they get older.”

Finding the Sweet Spot for Your Insulin Level

While the recommendation to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels low is a sound one, if you’re doing this through nutritional ketosis, it’s important not to go overboard. Many believe the best course of action is to stay in ketosis indefinitely and continuously.

However, this can actually lead to unnecessary complications, which is why my metabolic mitochondrial therapy program, detailed in “Fat for Fuel,” focuses on cyclical ketosis. Perlmutter agrees, pointing out there’s a “sweet spot” for insulin.

“There is a tendency amongst some of us to say, ‘If something’s good, more is better.’ I am personally guilty of overdoing things,” he says. “But with respect to insulin, a study was recently published looking at 1,200 women followed for 34 years in Sweden, demonstrating that when you stratify these women in terms of their insulin level, there was a sweet spot, no pun intended.

Women at the high range of insulin had an increased risk for dementia, and women at the very, very low range of insulin as well had about a 2.68fold increased risk of developing dementia.

It’s about the important role of insulin in the brain. It is a U-shaped curve. There are ideal levels for everything, whether it’s alcohol consumption, exercise, sleep, et cetera. We know that too low blood sugar isn’t good for you. With respect to the ketogenic diet, I think most people who are doing it are in and out of ketosis. I think that’s reasonable.”

Ketones and Your Brain

Nutritional ketosis benefits your brain in several different ways, but one of them is directly associated with the production of a ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate. Not only is it a “superfuel” for your brain cells, beta-hydroxybutyrate also:

  • Directly improves insulin sensitivity
  • Changes gene expression for the better
  • Reduces chronic inflammation
  • Increases autophagy, the process by which your body rids itself of damaged cells
  • Enhances mitophagy, the process by which your body rids itself of defective mitochondria

A lot of this is newer data that was unavailable when “Grain Brain” first came out. The latest update does contain more details on this important ketone, including findings showing you can mildly increase beta-hydroxybutyrate simply by taking medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, even if you’re not restricting calories or cutting carbs.

“[MCT oil] paves the way for your liver to make beta-hydroxybutyrate,” Perlmutter says, “so, you don’t necessarily have to stress your body with calorie restriction or going deep in terms of lowering your blood sugar.

That said, [through a ketogenic diet] you’ll gain the benefits of the beta-hydroxybutyrate, [and] … a little stress for your body, whether it’s calorie restriction, fasting, lowering your blood sugar, diving into cold water [or] hot water … these are low levels of stress that turn out to activate gene pathways that are really good for you.”

Exercise — The Only ‘Drug’ Worth Taking

Exercise is another really important factor that appears to play an enormous role in the development or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. One recent study9 demonstrated that aerobic exercise can actually offset the genetic risk associated with having the genetic markers for Alzheimer’s.10

Other studies have shown exercise triggers a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,11 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s, and increases levels of the protein PGC-1 alpha, thereby inhibiting production of toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s.

In one recent study,12 women with the highest cardiovascular fitness had a whopping 88 percent lower risk of dementia than those with moderate fitness. Even maintaining average fitness is worthwhile, as women with the lowest fitness had a 41 percent greater risk of dementia than those of average fitness.

Another fascinating study13,14 cited by Perlmutter was published December 2017 in the journal Neurology:

“The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) puts up practice guidelines for us neurologists. … The question that was raised, ‘What should a neurologist do when dealing with a patient who has mild cognitive impairment (MCI)? [MCI] is really the first step toward developing Alzheimer’s disease. They don’t have Alzheimer’s yet, but they’re on their way.

It went through a list of 14 different drugs and all of the studies … and the quality of that research … What drug should we use? The conclusion from AAN, in their practice guidelines, was that the only thing we should recommend to patients is a drug called physical exercise.

This is breathtaking to me for a number of reasons: a) we’ve been saying that for a long time, and b) that a journal supported by [drug] advertising … would have the courage to publish that … under the level of scientific scrutiny, the only thing that can help slow the brain from declining is telling your patient to exercise — not writing them a prescription for aricept, memantine or other medications —is bold and heroic … and very positive.”

Why Even Nongluten Grains Are Problematic

As implied by the name of Perlmutter’s book, “Grain Brain,” grains are problematic, courtesy of their ability to raise your insulin level, and this includes both gluten-containing and nongluten grains. Perlmutter explains:

“As it turns out, even the nongluten-containing grains are worrisome because of their carbohydrate load. Foods based upon corn, whatever it may be — processed corn, tortillas, you name it — are dramatic insults to your ability to regulate your blood sugar, and as such, pose a threat to your brain, immune system, risk for diabetes and, certainly, weight gain.

Beyond that, we have rice, which is also a seed grass, which defines it as a grain. Does it mean you shouldn’t eat rice? No. Could you have a serving of rice? Absolutely. It should be wild, organic rice. There’s some concern about rice in general being higher in arsenic — I’m aware of that.

Corn, by and large, is genetically modified. We need to avoid that. But if you have access to organic rice or corn and can limit the amount that you consume, based upon being concerned about the carbohydrate event, then you could have some on your plate.”

Consider the Timing of Your Meals

The timing of your food intake is another factor that can have a significant impact on your health. As noted by Perlmutter, “This takes us to the area of what we call chronobiology. That is, [we need to try] to reconnect with the cycles of nature daily, seasonally and yearly, in terms of what we do to our bodies.”

One important strategy is to eat dinner on the early side; definitely at least three hours before bedtime. “We don’t want to be eating just before we go to sleep because of the blood sugar and insulin issue, and how that affects quality of sleep,” Perlmutter says. Then, consider fasting for the remainder of the evening and night, until noon or 2 p.m. the following day.

“As you get more and more facile from a physiologic perspective, with respect to mobilizing fatty acids and using them as fuel, then protracting your breakfast to noon or 1 or 2 in the afternoon will get easier and easier,” he says, adding:

“I think there’s a lot said about doing that and also eating within an eight-hour window … and during the other 16 hours … you’re not eating. That seems to have some really salubrious qualities about it as well …

I think the notion of getting into ketosis is important, done the right way. It doesn’t mean abandoning all carbohydrates. One of the biggest issues I see is that individuals jump on this no-carb approach, eat more fat and protein, and they feel crappy. They feel constipated.

The reason is because they’ve abandoned a very important carbohydrate called dietary fiber. We don’t want to do that. We want to make sure that this is a diet that’s rich in dietary fiber and that we’re getting adequate amounts of minerals, like magnesium, potassium and sodium …

We still want to emphasize that a variety of different-colored vegetables are good for you. Some people think that a ketogenic diet is basically Atkins redox. We’re eating pork rinds, cheese and eggs all day. That’s not what this is about.

You can be fully vegetarian and engage in a ketogenic diet easily by paying attention to fiber, minerals [and] adequate resources for B12, vitamin D and other B vitamins, just to make sure that you’ve covered the bases.”

More Information

In the interview, Perlmutter also addresses some of the genetic factors and the influence of both exercise and nutrition on genetic expression, so for additional information, listen to the interview in its entirety, or read through the transcript. For the most in-depth coverage, be sure to pick up the revised and updated copy of “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers.”

“I had the opportunity a few months ago to deliver a lecture at the World Bank, an international monetary fund, about the global impacts of Alzheimer’s and other chronic degenerative conditions being based upon the Westernization of the global diet and why we need to really pay attention to this,” Perlmutter says.

“I’m also looking forward to visiting the largest purveyor of food on planet Earth to give a lecture, and hope we can be influential in making some changes. What I’m saying is, the work continues. I think that it’s work that has to be done even if it’s a small percentage change in the destiny of global health. Because, boy, it sure is worth it.”