Dr. Perlmutter Discusses The Benefits of Higher Fat Diets
There are so many new and wonderful books, videos and blogs being produced on the virtues of changing one’s metabolism from focusing on carbs to one that allows the body to burn fat as a primary fuel source – and with good reason. We know that when metabolism makes this shift and the body enters a low grade of ketosis, some really great things happen.
First, using fat as a primary fuel source in place of reliance on carbohydrates to power your cells creates a situation of increased efficiency. That means the cellular powerhouses called mitochondria are able to use fat to create the currency of energy (moleculescalled ATP) much more efficiently,and with significantly less production of damaging free radicals, in comparison to burning sugar. Less free radicals means less damage to tissues like fat, protein and even our sacred genetic code held in DNA.
But there’s another aspect of the ketogenic program that’s coming to light that may provide an even more powerful mechanism supporting the adoption of a lower carb, higher fat diet that’s supplemented with coconut or MCT oil. It turns out that a ketogenic diet powerfully reduces inflammation, a fundamental mechanism involved in virtually every chronic degenerative condition, as well as diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer’s disease.
In a new study coming from Yale School of Medicine, scientists revealed how a ketogenic diet works mechanistically to reduce the activation of the inflammasome, a term given to the collection of components of the cell that are involved in turning on inflammation.
While the study is highly technical, the take home message again reinforces the incredibly powerful role of a more ketogenic diet in terms of the down stream effects on things like inflammation and free radical mediated damage.
So we are now filling in the gaps in terms of our understanding exactly how diets higher in fat and lower in carbs are associated with lowered risk for dementia. And again, please keep in mind that these mechanisms, inflammation and the action of free radicals, are operative well beyond brain disorders.
About Dr. Perlmutter: David Perlmutter, M.D., is an expert in the human microbiome, a board-certified neurologist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, America’s brain-health expert and #1 New York Times best-selling author.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.