I would strongly suggest everyone who is living in a culture where the "modern western diet" is prevalent (and this includes more and more people in more and more countries around the world, as traditional diets are systematically eradicated in what almost appears to be a coordinated campaign of conquest) take the time to become familiar with the research and analysis offered by David Perlmutter, MD, a board-certified neurologist -- as well as investigating the research of other doctors who have arrived at some similar conclusions as those reached by Dr. Perlmutter.
Dr. Perlmutter's 2013 book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar -- Your Brain's Silent Killers is one which had been sitting on my bookshelf for a few years without actually being read, but after hearing a recent interview on The Higherside Chats with Dr. Stephen Hussey (posted on May 19 of this year, but one which I only just recently got around to playing -- you can find that interview here on the THC website) and hearing Dr. Hussey's arguments that many serious cardiovascular problems are caused not by consumption of fat and cholesterol but rather by inflammation which is caused by consumption of sugars and carbohydrates (carbohydrates themselves being long chains of sugar), an argument I had heard elsewhere over the years but had not given enough attention, I remembered Dr. Perlmutter's book and decided to crack it open.
I will now repeat what I said above: I would strongly recommend that everyone read Dr. Perlmutter's book from start to finish, and carefully consider the evidence, arguments and analysis presented in that book. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not is up to you to decide for yourself, of course, but his arguments and the evidence he presents to back up his conclusions are extremely compelling.
If you cannot or don't want to take the time to read through his arguments in the book itself (which again, I would very strongly recommend), you can also listen to some of his many interviews or watch them on YouTube, such as the interview embedded above (and you can easily find many more interviews simply by searching any podcast service for his name). However, I would argue for reading the book (I have absolutely no connection to Dr. Perlmutter or his publishing company and receive no compensation of any sort for saying so -- I am publishing this recommendation as a sort of "public service announcement" because this subject is vitally important to everyone faced with the food choices prevalent in the "modern western diet," which is to say just about everyone within range of this blog post).
In his book, Dr. Perlmutter explains that in the united states, the typical diet has changed drastically since the beginning of the 20th century -- and that in the years following World War II these changes accelerated dramatically, particularly with the widespread proliferation of the so-called "lipid hypothesis" (blaming cardiovascular disease on the consumption of animal fat) and the initiation in 1956 of a campaign by the American Heart Association to push what they called the "prudent diet,"
which called for replacing butter, lard, eggs and beef with margarine, corn oil, chicken, and cold cereal. By the 1970s, the lipid hypothesis had become well established. At the heart of this hypothesis was the unyielding claim that cholesterol caused coronary artery disease. 83.
Dr. Perlmutter points out that despite numerous studies contradicting this dogma, it continues to be taught. He writes that,
Even though the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has since converted its food guide from a pyramid to a plate, it still communicates the idea that "fat is bad" and "carbs are good." In fact, the new "My Plate" doesn't feature fats at all, making it very confusing for consumers to know how fats fit into a healthy diet, and which kind. 83.
As you will see if you read his book, there is overwhelming evidence which argues that sugars and carbohydrates can cause the body to initiate immune responses leading to inflammation, and that subjecting the body to inflammation can eventually cause horrific damage to organs including the brain. Gluten in particular receives a chapter of its own in which Dr. Perlmutter explains that consumption of gluten can trigger elevated levels of antibodies even in individuals who do not think that they are "gluten intolerant" -- resulting in the body's production of "inflammatory cytokine chemicals" which "are highly antagonistic to the brain" (52) and can be causing damage even though the individual experiences no negative physical reactions in the gut the way that others who are "gluten intolerant" do experience when they consume foods containing gluten.
Dr. Perlmutter explains that:
[. . .] we may all be sensitive to gluten from a neurological standpoint. We just don't know it yet because there are no outward signs or clues to a problem happening deep within the quiet confines of our nervous system and brain. Remember, at the heart of virtually every disorder and disease is inflammation. When we introduce anything to the body that triggers and inflammatory response, we set ourselves up for taking on much greater risk for a medley of health challenges, from chronic daily nuisances like headaches and brain fog to serious ailments such as depression and Alzheimer's. We can even make a case for linking gluten sensitivity with some of the most mysterious brain disorders that have eluded doctors for millennia, such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, bipolar disorder, and, more recently, autism and ADHD. 61.
He also explains that because gluten has properties that make it useful in creating processed foods ,and also has the effect of stimulating pleasure receptors in the brain, grains have been deliberately altered in the decades since World War II in order to produce new types of gluten -- and that these types of gluten appear to be far more likely to produce harmful immune response than the foods of previous centuries. He writes, "Modern food manufacturing, including bio-engineering and specifically hybridization, have allowed us to grow structurally-modified grains that contain gluten that's less tolerable than the gluten that's found in grains cultivated just a few decades ago" (63).
While at first glance, this subject may seem to have little to do with the primary focus of this blog, the issues to which Dr. Perlmutter is trying to alert the world clearly involve a disconnection from traditional knowledge and indeed from nature itself, a theme which is also central to the systematic overthrow of our connection to the ancient wisdom given to every culture on the planet in the form of the ancient myths and sacred traditions contained in what Dr. Peter Kingsley refers to as the "original instructions" which have been eradicated in much the same way.
This disconnection (in both cases) is a disconnection from the source of life itself -- and my research and writings are aimed at fostering a reconnection with the wisdom given to us in those original instructions, in part through greater understanding of the language which the ancient myths use to convey their message, which is a metaphorical language based on the constellations and heavenly cycles (deliberately denied and suppressed by literalism and especially by literalist Christianity).
This post is not intended to suggest in any way that Dr. Perlmutter knows of or would agree with my writings and conclusions. However, in the interview linked and embedded above, beginning at about the 0:16:36 mark in the video, he makes the following statement, which is also worthy of careful consideration:
We need to reconnect with ourselves, our neighbors, our communities, other countries and reconnect with the planet -- so, on multiple levels we're suffering from "disconnection syndrome" [. . .]. Our ancestors were deeplyconnected to the signals of the planet, to the signals of their body, to the signals of the seasonality of their lifestyle choices. And modern life is really very much disconnected. And it's not just because it's figurative. It's really quite literal that these reconnections are salubrious, meaning: when we reconnect to the diurnal cycle of the day, and go to sleep when it's dark, and darken our rooms, and get restorative sleep. When we reconnect to seasonality in terms of our food choices: these are all important reconnections to chronobiology -- the way our bodies are designed to respond to the rising of the moon, the setting of the sun, and the seasons as well. So a lot of what we're recognizing is the importance of that. You know, it's beyond poetic.
Note that in this passage, you have just heard a modern board-certified neurologist confirm for you, in case you had any doubt, that our bodies are connected to the rhythms of the heavenly cycles, including the rising of the moon.
Today marks a New Moon, a fact of which I hope you were already aware, if you have been paying attention to the heavenly cycles including the cycle of the moon (and if you haven't been thus far, you just heard a well-respected doctor and a leader in his field confirm to you that you should be!).
I strongly recommend reading the arguments presented by Dr. Perlmutter in his book, which go far beyond the very limited summary introduction I've provided above, and considering them very carefully, along with the arguments of other doctors and researchers who have arrived at similar conclusions. Our diet is only a part of the "disconnection syndrome" that Dr. Perlmutter describes in the passage cited above -- but it is an extremely important part of it, and one which obviously carries with it tremendous consequences, and one in which the "conventional wisdom" continues to push a very dubious and perhaps extremely harmful paradigm, in spite of the overwhelming evidence suggesting that that paradigm is dangerously flawed.