NEW ORLEANS -- A doctor, who is a brain expert, wants us to rethink some of the traditional dishes we serve on Thanksgiving, especially things like the stuffing and the candied yams.
He said there's much more at stake than your waistline.
Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter is not trying to dampen your holiday and family celebrations this season. He said he is literally trying to change your life and save your brain.
"This is changing your brain's destiny. It's also how you're finally going to lose weight and will improve your mood as well," said Dr. Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist who is also a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.
In his new book, 'The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan,' he explains the science and the how too of getting gluten, those proteins in wheat and some other grains, out of your diet.
"All humans increase their leakiness of the gut when they are exposed to gluten and so that means that everyone needs to consider that he or she is gluten sensitive," he explained.
He added sugary foods and simple carbs in all forms, even natural and organic, are damaging our health. He also said science shows artificial sweeteners are even worse.
"Once that happened (low fat, high sugar diets) rates of Alzheimer's and diabetes and heart disease exploded. So we know that diet plays a huge role in health," said Dr. Perlmutter.
He stresses that our diets need to be higher in healthful fats.
"Burning fat is like an oil lamp. It's a constant flame, constant energy," he said.
He suggested diets high in fiber, saying breakfast is not the most important meal and there should be longer breaks between meals, even skipping some.
"That actually changes your gene expression, turns on the genes that codes for longevity, reduce inflammation, and increase our antioxidant production within our bodies," he explained.
He said science shows aerobic exercise not only builds new brain cells, but can protect against a brain disease that there is no cure for.
"People who generally exercise have a 50 percent reduction in their risk of Alzheimer's.
That helps the scale move in the right direction too.
The doctor also said overuse of antibiotics is fueling obesity, especially in Louisiana.
Examples of non-gluten grains are:
amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice (brown, white, wild), sorghum, teff, parsnips. Make sure that the oats are gluten-free. Some come from plants that process wheat products, causing contamination.
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