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Summary

The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 30-day plan to achieve optimum health.

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, blows the lid off a topic that's been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters common ingredients in your daily bread and fruit bowls, why your brain thrives on fat and cholesterol, and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.

He offers an in-depth look at how we can take control of our "smart genes" through specific dietary choices and lifestyle habits, demonstrating how to remedy our most feared maladies without drugs. With a revolutionary 30-day plan, Grain Brain teaches us how we can reprogram our genetic destiny for the better.

Please note that there are many references in this audiobook to information discussed in Chapter 10. Chapter 10 has been recorded in its entirety on this audiobook and all information contained in this chapter can be listened to in the recording.

©2013 David Perlmutter (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Dr. Perlmutter provides sound advice, supported by the latest and most well respected medical research." (Russell. B. Roth, MD, Past President, American Medical Association)
"Dr. Perlmutter is the leading integrative medicine neurologist in North America today. His ability to fully integrate conventional medicine diagnosis and treatment with the latest innovations in nutritional and environmental medicine is phenomenal. As a teacher and clinician, he has fundamentally changed how physicians and patients think about neurological degeneration and, happily, regeneration." (Joseph Pizzorno, MD, coauthor of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine)
"A provocative, eye-opening scientific account of how diet profoundly influences nerve health and brain function. Grain Brain explains how the American diet rich in gluten and inflammatory foods is linked to neurological conditions. Dr. Perlmutter outlines a blueprint for optimal health and a more resilient brain through proper nutrition and lifestyle. Grain Brain is a must-read!" (Gerard E. Mullin, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • liz
  • BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
  • 02-06-15

very protracted

I found this book to be somewhat repetitive and therefore dull. interesting information if completely new to low carb diets, but nothing unique. could have pulled same info off the internet in a short session and saved a few hours of my life!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gently illuminating, but somewhat waffly at points

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, because I am a nutritional therapy student and it illuminates the impact of inflammation (caused by gluten and certain carbohydrates) upon the brain, as well as the body. However, it does repeat some of the softer information too much - I would have preferred this in the areas relating to more complex scientific information so that I could come away from the listening experience with more than a basic outline of the content, and instead, with more substantial scientific connections which I could explain to others. Instead, I will need to buy the book itself and re-read it so I can focus on and absorb that information more.

If you’ve listened to books by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg before, how does this one compare?

I haven't listened to others before.

Which character – as performed by Peter Ganim – was your favourite?

There was only one character, but the narrator was excellent - he managed to keep full, clear energy even in the most dry of topics.

Was Grain Brain worth the listening time?

Yes, it was. But I do feel I need to buy the book as well now.

Any additional comments?

I think this is perhaps better in a paper book rather than audible, given the content and that the recipes etc will always be to hand in the book, whereas those sent in PDF form via audible cannot be downloaded and saved to the computer for future reference.

The book however, the content of it, is most certainly worth listening to and I would recommend it to all carbohydrate and gluten lovers, and those who want to improve their health - it sounds generic, as everyone would like that, but I do believe the recommendations given in this book, would do just that.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Kings Lynn, United Kingdom
  • 11-05-14

If Bread is Your Passion - Do Not Read!

I doubt Mr Warburton is going to read this (for non-UK readers Warburton's is the name of a bread producer in the UK) as their profit is derived from feeding the nation crap - badged up as "Healthy Whole Grains". Cheap to produce, easy to market and highly addictive this modern manufactured "food" makes up part of the average diet and is one of the reasons heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's & dementia is all too prevalent in our world today.

Dr Perlmutter will take you through the details in a compelling argument and you'll be going back over some of the information as you attempt to clear your kitchen cupboards of the things that are killing you!

Sill doubtful? Then read Wheat Belly afterwards.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding Book - I've listened twice

This book made so much sense, it was uncomplicated and easy to understand despite the medical/scientific elements.

For anyone that wants to live a healthier, happier life, this book is a must. It's not a fad diet book, it's based on scientific research and an understanding of who we are and where we have come from, giving a comprehensive view on how we are designed to exist.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone that will listen. I already feel fantastic myself for adopting Dr Perlmutters recommendations for a healthier way of life. I am a Personal Trainer and will be recommending this to all my clients.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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interesting!!

authors ambition was admirable. difficult to create a one size fit all book, but he does a great job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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re-affirmed the horror stories about grains

I got this book after the Whole 30. Just to keep me on track and help me kick the wheat habit. This book really helped reaffirm why I was doing it. I was shocked by the increased levels of gluten in our food, and by some of the well ingrained (no pun intended!) myths about eating fat and cholesterol. Yes, some of the technical names /terms are difficult to assimilated when you are just listening, but for people with busy lives, the audible version is a great way to digest the ideas.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Both a fascinating & disturbing book! A must read!

I love listening and re listening to this book. So good I even bought the hard copy!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Flies in the face of current NHS thinking in England

Currently the NHS is still on the saturated fat bandwagon. I am sure it won't be long before it turns full- circle but that four or five years will be a long wait for doctors who do not necessarily think that we have the management of health issues correct when giving advice about diet . Everything points towards carbohydrates being the problem and our evolution has not been able to accommodate such intakes of carbohydrates no wonder we have a problem.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Unconvincing

Despite approaching this with an open mind, I'm not convinced by the extravagant claims made. I'd be interested to know the physiological costs of such a diet and why, if so effective, it's not adopted more widely in medical/health arenas. Yes, food affects brain function, mood, concentration etc but to these extents? Really?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great information

I am already aware of some gluten problems, but I didn't know just how far it reached. This is a must listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-09-13

Family history of Alzheimers? Read this!

This book shares much information with "Wheat Belly" by Wm. Davis and "What Makes us Fat" and "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taub, but Dr. Perlmutter focuses more on the effects of a high carb, low fat diet on the brain. Conditions like diabetes are discussed thoroughly but in the context of explaining how these diseases impact the brain.

This book was timely for me. I adopted a wheat free/ low carb eating plan in April of 2012 after reading "Wheat Belly" and my "set point" weight dropped by 16 lbs in just a few weeks. This was despite the fact that I already had what most would consider a healthy diet. But, because I cook for family members who have not adopted these eating habits, I became lazy about preparing separate foods and saw my weight creep up a few pounds and some of the other health improvements falter in the last few weeks. This book was an excellent refresher course for grain free and low carb eating as well as a jarring wakeup call about the ways eating habits change our brains. Alzheimer's has a frighteningly high frequency among women in my family, so I am encouraged to learn that I have at least some control about the future health of my brain. Dr. Perlmutter's advice differs in a few ways from Dr. Davis. Dr. Perlmutter recommends fasting and recognizes a correlation between low calorie consumption with greater brain health. This book also says it's okay to cheat now and then. Most of the other books caution readers against cheating, likening carb consumption to dependence on addictive drugs. This is the case I have found to be true. Cold turkey for "carbaholics" is easer than relying on will power and moderation.

I like that this audio book is accompanied by a PDF featuring some the statistics, recipes, etc.

If you have read other books on this topic, I recommend reading this book as well because it focuses heavily on the neurological impact of gluten and carbs. On the other hand, if you have not read "Wheat Belly" and "What Makes us Fat", I recommend these in addition to "Grain Brain" as these books go into more detail about the evolution of the grains we eat today and the illogical processes that resulted in much of the dangerous "conventional wisdom" that many health professionals view as holy writ today.

Narrator does a nice job.

151 of 160 people found this review helpful

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  • guerillaw
  • 29-01-14

Please ignore those who have not read the book!

Any additional comments?

This is an important work. Please ignore those who say "skeptical" without reading it. For example one reviewer claims he is confused as to why Dairy is not recommended. Well, it is. He also cites a book about cholesterol being healthy, which is a fact the book concurs with. I would not be surprised if that review was someone just working for the competing "diet book."
As someone who read the book and followed the food recommendations I can attest they are life altering. I am below my high school weight and my mind is sharper than it has been in years.
The book explains, with medical research to back it, why common foods are harmful not only for your body generally but to your brain specifically. The sad truth is there are monied interests wanting us to keep eating grains, carbs and "low fat" processed goods and that is the only reason these harmful foods are even around.
Can't live without "carbs," Wrong. I can barely live with the fact I have been eating carbs all this time.
If you are scanning reviews, please read this book and listen to the science. You will be convinced and if you follow the food ideas you will be transformed.
The more people that do the sooner the carb industry can become extinct.

133 of 146 people found this review helpful

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  • nelson
  • 20-02-15

Eye Opening

An incredible book based on a lifestyle change unlike any other out there. It goes against traditional dietary concepts that once applied to your daily living, your health,body and brain take on a whole new positive outcome. I've been in this program for quit a while and I got rid of all my neuro medication and other pills for physical pains. I am at the healthiest I've ever been. And my waist line went down 3 sizes. I'm a slim 31 men's waist at 49. My abs are beginning to show. That's the bonus. But the best of all is the brain. My days now are with a take-charge attitude. I'm at my best most of the time. And the energy is crazy. I highly recommend and dare you to make the change. It's worth it for your health.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara
  • 23-11-15

A Must Read Book For Brain Health

This book is the perfect companion to Dr Perlmutter's book Brain Maker, one of my favorite recent health titles. Grain Brain carefully and clearly presents the reasons why everyone needs to make drastic and life altering changes to the way we view food and illness. The cause and effect link that Dr Perlmutter proposes undoes long held beliefs in the health care world about the relationship between diet and disease. Important life altering information is presented which will propel most readers into permanent dietary change. If you are looking for a way to change the way you eat and feel Grain Brain is the perfect place to start. Excellent and fantastic information.

48 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara J. Anderson
  • 18-10-13

Do you love your Brain or your Bread?

My Mother and her sisters all had Alzheimer's. We thought it was just "those crazy Italians". It was that side of the family that loved the pastas, breads, and pastry. There is also a great deal of depression "on that side of the family". Now I see why. This book has changed my kitchen, my breakfast, lunch and dinner plates. I have dropped 12 pounds so far and feel so much better. Depression and Alzheimer's takes your loved ones away bit by bit, and day by day, there is no cure AFTER you get it, but it is PREVENTABLE. Thank you Dr. Perlmutter for giving us hope and tools to avoid these slow and pervasive thieves called sugar and carbohydrates.

66 of 78 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana
  • 01-10-13

As more people know this, less people will be sick

What did you love best about Grain Brain?

The first half was heavy on medical tests and studies and biological information. Such as what certain foods affect what in the body. That laid out the problem, with enough real life cases the doctor had helped to make it all relevant.

The second half was What To Do About It. What to eat, what not to eat, more about why.

What did you like best about this story?

Problem . . . Solution

Which character – as performed by Peter Ganim – was your favorite?

This is a non-fiction medical/nutritional health book. I enjoy books read by the author, and Peter Ganim has a nice voice, but there were a few places where it was a little over-the-top with the gravelly paternalistic authoritarian tone. Maybe a little more friendly tone would be nice. Listen to William Shatner or Tom Campbell for built-in friendliness.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I'm going to buy this book as a hardcopy for easier reference to go back to find certain points made. And, this will be a great gift for people I care about. Especially for anyone I may end up putting a diaper on in their old age. Better that they eat right now and save us all from that fate!

43 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 27-10-13

I am glad that I read this

I am impressed that Dr Perlmutter is a medical doctor who appreciates and is erudite in matters of nutrition. He is a member of several nutrition associations. His book is very pithy and offers actionable protocols. The main thrust is about blood sugar levels as a result of eating gluten, sugars and carbs. I am interested in health and nutrition, tolerate gluten fine and am able to eat whatever I want and stay thin. However, after reading this book and out of respect for Dr Perlmutter's body of work and experiences that he relates, I have decided to have as little gluten in my diet as possible. I don't eat much sugar or carbs to begin with however, I am not buying gluten free bread, crackers etc. It has been an easy transition. I've also cut back on fruit and fruit juice dramatically, preferring vegetables. I try to have about 1 serving of fruit each day. I am also adjusting my supplements according to his recommendations. I am going to add turmeric and resveratrol. Dr Perlmutter explains why statins are not good for you, the link between gluten and some brain diseases and why patients on a low-fat diet are at especially high risk. I found this to be a very interesting and compelling read.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Jenn
  • 13-03-14

Gamechanger....I am telling everyone to read!

Any additional comments?

Americans are in great need of a book like this! We are digging graves eating the amount of carbs and gluten an average person comsumes day to day. It really makes sense once you read this book why americans are so over weight and the simple change (I guess not simple, but worth it) that can give you better heath and a better life!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Simone
  • 19-05-15

Too Good to be True?

I tend to take all of these things with a grain of salt (salt - is that healthy this week? Probably not)

I completely believe that “you are what you eat” but there are SO MANY different theories out there about doing it “the right way” that who do you ultimately believe? This doctor says A, another doctor swears by B, and yet another says C is the key to health and long life… so who’s the liar? (and are they all doctors?) Do you just go with whoever sounds the most credible and who presented their hypothesis in the most factual way? and if so, did you fact-check their research? How can you REALLY be sure it’s all correct? And of course… who funded them? Am I really getting both sides of the argument?

Regarding this book in particular, I can’t help but feel that he is selling fear and the miracle pill to solve everything. “Even if you have no symptoms, you can be at high risk… unless you do as I say” “Do you suffer from any of these symptoms? ____________ (insert endless list of ailments), well read on because I have the cure!” – there is an element of false hope in there somewhere. I’m not saying he is lying, or wrong, or anything like that – it’s just that the tone of his book seems a little foreboding and ominous. Perhaps he is just trying to express how serious the issue is, but to me it just left me feeling doomed.

Personally, I really believe that no one method will have the same impact or work in the same way in different people’s bodies. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle where the zillions of nutrition theories intersect; I don’t think there is such a thing as a “universal answer” aside from: put the fork down and go for a walk!

In conclusion I would say it’s an informative book, it’s all very interesting … but pass the salt.

72 of 88 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosiefields
  • 17-01-18

Good content

I wanted to like this book more. It seemed well researched and was informative. The narration was terrible. It sounded synthetic. What made it worse was the style it was too infomercial and - but wait there's more. It's challenging when the narrator is putting down the listener while at the same time using a literary style that wouldn't pass a high school English class. Again the actual information seemed sound, and was enlightening I wish I could recommend a simular book so you could avoid having to get your information this way. Maybe read this book instead?

23 of 28 people found this review helpful