A friend mentioned in a comment that he read David Perlmutter's Grain Brain, and is especially interested in the studies that "show a strong relationship between high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and cognitive / neurological problems." I, too, am very interested in all of these ideas, so I decided to check out Grain Brain. Just a few pages into the book, I was thinking, "My gosh. This is some scary shit." Part of me wanted to think Perlmutter is fear-mongering and working for some big business of some kind, and that eventually I was going to get to the chapter where Perlmutter was going to try and sell me something. Granted, I'm not that far into the book yet, so I haven't come across the selling chapter if there is one, but what I've read so far has been extremely interesting, making me want to continue reading.
A month or so ago, I read Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck, and one chapter in her book that really got me thinking focused on cholesterol, specifically the push in the medical community to have everyone with a low cholesterol level. I had my own cholesterol levels checked a couple of years ago. At that time, I was considered "borderline" so my doc didn't prescribe a medication for me. I most likely wouldn't have taken the medication if she had as I'm of the mind I need to help myself and this happens through what I consume. Hubby totally disagrees with me (he's a pharma rep--go figure). He has stated several times that I need to be on a statin or I'm going to develop heart disease. We've had numerous back-and-forths about this matter the last two years, but I have continued to eat my eggs, bacon, liver, and shrimp. After reading her book, and now, seeing Perlmutter echo much the same about cholesterol in his book, I'm glad I didn't make any changes to my diet simply to try and bring down my cholesterol levels.
But I am left with a question: what is one to believe about cholesterol? On one hand, there are studies that suggest high cholesterol leads to heart disease. On the other hand, there are studies that suggest low cholesterol is directly linked to diseases of the brain. The camp for low cholesterol pushes for a diet of veggies, beans, and limited meats, eggs, and seafood. The camp for protecting brain function pushes for a diet of meats, eggs, seafood, butter, and lard while limiting grains and refined sugar. How is a person supposed to know what the truth is?
My approach to eating has become one of eating real food: grass-fed meats, free-range eggs from a local farmer, raw milk from a local farmer, veggies, and fruits (though limited). Grains and sugars have been placed on the "Limit Consumption" list. I feel like my body has responded well to this approach. Since I really buckled down seven weeks ago and have taken more care to avoid the grains and sugar, I'm 13 pounds down, having lost another pound this past week. Lovely Beautiful Daughter commented last week that my jeans were getting a bit saggy; I prefer to think of them as extremely comfortable. So while I may not know what the "truth" is about diet/cholesterol and their effects on the heart/brain, I know how I'm feeling. I'm feeling pretty darn good.