Monthly Archives: April 2014

Dairy: Dangerous or Delightful❓

By: Austin Perlmutter, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

I’ve seen a lot of chatter here about the role of dairy in a Grain Brain lifestyle. Is it okay? How much can we have? What about Product X?

Certainly, there is a role for dairy in the Grain Brain diet. However, that said, it is not a dairy-heavy lifestyle. Want a splash of whole milk or cream in your coffee? Go for it! A piece of organic goat cheese? That’s a-okay as well. Dairy can be enjoyed in moderation.

What you want to avoid is low-fat and skim milk/dairy products. The reason for this is that, obviously, low-fat milk has less fat in it, and more lactose sugar. It should come as no surprise to learn that sugar is a dangerous carbohydrate, now entering the body instead of healthier fats.

So, enjoy your dairy, but keep it fatty, and look for organic whenever possible.

So, remember. Dairy is great! Full fat!




By: Austin Perlmutter, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine


Five Ways to Fight Depression (Without Drugs!)
By: Austin Perlmutter, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine

Depression is the leading cause of disability in young Americans, a significant burden for those affected and those around them. With so many suffering from this condition, the market has created a slew of treatments designed to fix the problem. Like any other medical issue, there are science-based therapies and unsubstantiated attempts to profit from others’ misfortune. Though drugs are the standard evidence based treatment, new data now sheds light on ways to fight depression without medications. Here are five evidence-based ways to counter depression without drugs:

Exercise: Multiple studies show the beneficial effects of exercise on everything from cardiovascular status to emotional state. The latest review of available evidence shows that exercise may be as good as drugs in treating depression. What’s even better, data shows that there are significant benefits in emotional state with as little as two weeks of exercise. Considering that we give antidepressant medications 6 to 8 weeks before we see full effects, this is huge.
Sunlight: If you’re familiar with seasonal affective disorder, you may already know how important sunlight is to mood. Research shows that serotonin production by the brain is directly related to the exposure to bright sunlight, so that more sunlight means more serotonin. Understanding that our most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and are thought to work by increasing brain serotonin, this data is all the more interesting.
Sleep: Though most of us agree that a good night’s sleep helps mood, the data suggests that not getting enough sleep may predict future depression. More research shows that getting 5 or less hours of sleep a night may boost our risk of getting depression to 53%, up from 27% when we get the normal 7 to 8.9 hours a night.
Coffee: While many harbor a fear of this beverage, research on more than 50,000 women found that caffeinated coffee consumption decreases risk of developing depression. A Finnish study found similar results in men, with coffee consumption decreasing risk of depression in several thousand subjects.
Diet: The role of diet on emotional state is an evolving and fascinating field. Following a Mediterranean diet may lower chances of depression, with higher adherence leading to better preventative effects. Research shows that high glycemic index diets are associated with depression in the elderly. In addition, consider that fast food consumption is also linked with depression.
Take home points:

Getting 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week benefits many aspects of your health, but may also be one of our best antidepressant therapies.
Spending some time in the sun may be a good way to boost serotonin, which is a key factor in treating depression.
Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night will make you feel great, and may also make you a happier person.
A cup or two of coffee will wake you up, and may also keep your spirits up.
Following a Mediterranean diet, a low glycemic index diet, and a diet low in fast food could be making you a happier (and healthier) person.

Keto Recipe: Kale Chips

I’ve always loved potato chips. 😢 I miss them.

But! I found a recipe for kale chips! They don’t taste the same. Yet, they are crunch, salty and greasy. 😊

We like em!

Here’s the recipe. It’s easy.

Buy a bunch of kale. It’s green leaves on a very strong thick stem with curly leaves, almost like a very tightly weaved lace.

Wash the leaves. Dry the leaves very well.
Pull or cut the leaves off of the stems. It’s better to tear or cut into bite size pieces for better crunchiness.

Lay the leaves in a single layer over a baking sheet. Pour a couple or 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the kale leaves.Turn the kale leaves over so each leaf is coated with the olive oil. Salt as you might for french fries. (MMMMM! That’s another recipe I need to try-french fries that are not made from potatoes!)

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking sheet with the kale in the middle rack for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and turn the kale leaves over. You’ll notice that they are just getting crispy.
Then replace the baking sheet of kale for another 10 minutes.

Remove them. Place in a basket or bowl lined with a paper towel.


From Wikopedia

From Wikipedia



Ketogenic Diet and Cancer

From Ketogenic Diet Resource

Does Ketosis Beat Cancer?

Does Ketosis Beat Cancer?

It isn’t always successful, but as the newest research is showing, ketosis can be beneficial for many cancer cases. And as an added benefit, using ketogenic diets in cancer treatments doesn’t kill the patient.
An article titled “Can A High Fat Diet Beat Cancer?” published in Time Magazine explores the concept.

In the Times Magazine article, the author gives information about the results of the research, writing:

“The good news is that for five patients who were able to endure three months of carb-free eating, the results were positive: the patients stayed alive, their physical condition stabilized or improved and their tumors slowed or stopped growing, or shrunk.”

And in this paper titled “Targeting energy metabolism in brain cancer with calorically restricted ketogenic diets” the authors conclude:

“The CRKD (calorie restricted ketogenic diet) is effective in managing brain tumor growth in animal models and in patients, and appears to act through antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and proapoptotic mechanisms.”

Translation: Calorie restricted ketogenic diets were effective in stopping the growth of brain tumor in both animals and humans, and they seem to work by stopping the tumor from creating new arteries for supplying itself with blood, reducing inflammation, and restoring the normal cell death mechanisms. (Cancer cells are known to have the ability to avoid the normal mechanisms by which damaged cells die).

Just recently, an article in the Treatment Strategies in Oncology discussed using a Restricted Ketogenic Diet (R-KD) to successfully treat brain cancers. Dr Robert Su mentions and links to the article from this post.

And in this paper, Dr. Eugene Fine of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine hypothesizes that ketone bodies stop cancers by changing the availability of energy processes in cancer cells. His team is in the process of testing cancer treatments using ketosis to stop the progression of certain types of cancer. The team is working with cancer patients in the RECHARGE Study.

The diet guidelines used in this study are here.

A preliminary paper from Dr. Fine’s team was just published and the summary of results states

“Preliminary data demonstrate that an insulin-inhibiting diet is safe and feasible in selected patients with advanced cancer. The extent of ketosis, but not calorie deficit or weight loss, correlated with stable disease or partial remission.”


There has not been a large amount of research on ketogenic diet and cancer. The diet has been effective in controlling epilepsy in children and has become an accepted treatment.

Why hasn’t there been much research? There’s not much information on that except a little common sense. The mega drug companies could lose money on diet success. Cancer drugs are huge revenue makers. 

So, peruse the links to the real studies and research on the ketogenic diet. There’s much out there on ‘how to’. And don’t let the research scare you. The diet is really pretty easy to stay on. We’ve been on it for almost 6 months and it’s a great diet. It’s food we love and we don’t get hungry much between meals.

I’ve also included recipes in this blog for this diet. The chronometer I linked to in a previous blog post helps to keep track of the amount of fat, protein and carbs you eat, as well as show you where you are lacking in minerals and vitamins. We keep those up by using supplements.

This is our new life style. We do have sweets on holidays and birthdays but the desire for them has really decreased. And the sweets taste a little too sweet now. We are converts!