5 White, ‘Brain Damaging’ Foods
By Janet Rich Pittman,
SCALA, CDP, Brain Health Specialist (Concentrating in dementia prevention and dementia reversal)
They kill your brain cells, point blank. Over time, brain fog, lack of memory, and additional cognitive impairment leading to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
What are “they”? The 5 white brain damaging foods. These include:
1) white wheat flour
2) white rice
3) white corn (yes it is white when processed, when the skin is removed)
4) white potato and
5) white sugar
All of the above damage, stop or even kill the neurotransmitter communication between your gut brain (the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract) and your head brain (the Central Nervous System). With no communication, the cells in both brains die.
Here’s how the killing spree begins:
It starts with gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
Some perspective. Did you know that we humans have nearly 23,000 genes in our bodies? Guess how many wheat gluten has? The answer: around 150,000.
So, in a nutshell, we can’t digest gluten, which essentially eats us, not the reverse.
According to Alessio Fasano, M.D., the father of ‘no gluten’, Harvard scientist and author of book, Gluten Freedom, whether you are a celiac disease victim or not, gluten dissolves the lining of every consumer’s small intestine allowing partially digested foods to seep out of the intestine into gut tissues, eventually ending up in your blood. Your immune system is called in to attack these invading, partially digested food particles.
Think of it this way, your immune system is constantly in attack mode whenever you eat:
- cereal for breakfast
- a donut for morning snack
- a sandwich for lunch
- crackers and pretzels for an afternoon snack
- a roll with dinner or
- a cookie for a midnight snack
Do this every day, 365 days a year, for all of your life (but hopefully not beyond this reading) …and your immune system never rests. It just sort of goes mad, crazy.
As your immune system eats up all the invading chemicals, it eats up the good healthy cells too. This is called chronic inflammation or hyper inflammation.
Gluten eventually gets into your blood, eats the lining of the blood vessels and breaks the blood head brain barrier where these undigested particles seep out into your brain, depositing toxins and other invading chemicals.
The head brain’s own separate immune system (the glyphatic system) is then called into action to flush out these foreign invaders. BUT, it too goes mad, resulting in hyper inflammation and killing more head brain cells, the good and the bad.
Additionally, the blood bowel barrier is also broken where foreign invaders run rampant and hyper inflammation ensues (no one ever talks about that—hello IBS, hemorrhoids, constant diarrhea or other elimination troubles!)
The solution and the near instant reversal of such problems?
Give up the gluten!
AND say bye bye to white foods that turn into sugar, like white potatoes, rice and corn — all simple carbohydrates which turn immediately into sugar.
Did you know that consumption of excess sugar creates insulin resistance? Let’s take a look at this.
Insulin is needed to get nutrients into our cells. It’s also a major switching station for many processes in the body. We all know the pancreas produces insulin. Well, our head brain also produces insulin and head brain insulin is specifically used to get nutrients into our head brain cells.
The more sugar we eat, the more insulin is needed to get the nutrients up in the head brain cells, until finally our head brain just gets worn out and quits producing insulin, and becomes insulin resistant.
And really, can you blame it? It is over worked with trying to get rid of the sugar plus it has better things to do like ensure the heart keeps beating and the lungs get enough oxygen.
Kim and Feldman from the neurology department at the University of Michigan published a study reviewing insulin resistance at the core of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Interestingly, another name for some types of dementia and varying stages of Alzheimer’s is “Diabetes III”.
Here, the insulin resistant brain cells are starving, our head brain immune system then goes mad, and all this results in hyper inflammation…all due to our MAD diet (Modern American Diet).
Yes, we are doing this to ourselves. The top caloric intake foods in the United States as per the US Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee: grains/dessert breads, breaded chicken, soda, pizza, alcoholic beverages and pasta. Look at how the 5 White Damaging Brain Foods make up the top of the MAD diet and perhaps the daily diet for many of us.
To make sure we keep our memory and full cognizance as well as overall good health, we’ve got to treat and feed both our head brain and our gut brain with all natural, no processed foods, specifically staying away from the 5 White Brain Damaging Foods…I’ll say it again….white wheat flour, white rice, white corn, white potatoes and white sugar.
What you eat affects your brain.
So, now that we’ve discussed what foods are bad for the brain, let’s talk about foods that are good for it. Though it is an entirely different discussion, let me briefly say that I generally recommend the keto diet, which is known to help maintain and even improve memory among other benefits.
It can be a lot of work to prepare meals in the Keto diet though. If you don’t have time, energy or interest, then perhaps consider these meals and treats from Healthy Meals Supreme. I have tasted all of them and can, with certainty, recommend them as a healthy option for you to try.
* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Kim and Feldman, Neurology Department at the University of Michigan, Insulin resistance is at the core of developing Alzheimer’s disease.