CARBS: Toxic or Necessary? A Top 10 Episode with Dr. David Perlmutter

Eliminate carb confusion and find out how your food choices are affecting your gut and your brain.

Welcome to Your Upgraded Summer!

This new series revisits the Top 10 Bulletproof Radio episodes of all time. The topics cover essentials like nutrition, energy, hormones, sleep and autophagy, as well as gut, brain, autoimmune and women’s health.

You’ll get the main points in a shortened version so you can get the good stuff and get on with your summer plans. And if you want to listen to more, tune in to the original episode.

First up is Dr. David Perlmutter with the No. 1 show: Why You Desperately Need Carbs – Dr. David Perlmutter #553.

Dr. Perlmutter focuses critical attention on brain health, lifestyle, and nutrition that maintains health and prevents diseases. He’s a board-certified neurologist and five-time New York Times bestselling author. No. 1 was “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers.” This landmark book made the connection between grains and brain health.

Here’s what Dr. Perlmutter says:

  • “This is very important. It is carbohydrate confusion because we desperately, desperately need carbs. So many people adopt a ketogenic program and totally abandon their carbohydrate intake and what happens? They feel crappy, they become constipated, they get brain fog, they don’t sleep well, they’re agitated and it’s all because they fail to understand that we have to be quite specific when we talk about carbohydrates.”
  • “We are desperately in need of fiber in the diet, which is by definition a complex carbohydrate that we don’t metabolize, but is yet metabolized by our gut bacteria.”
  • “When we throw that baby out with the bathwater, we set the stage for not nurturing the 100 billion organisms that live within us that really depend on your food choices, 100 trillion, depend on your food choices to nurture them to allow you to not just be healthy, but be healthier, to be able to combat risk of illness moving forward.”

His other bestsellers include “Brain Maker,” “The Grain Brain Cookbook“, “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan,” and “Brain Wash,” co-written with Austin Perlmutter, M.D.

Enjoy! And get more resources at Dave.Asprey/podcasts.
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Follow Along with the Transcript

CARBS- Toxic or Necessary? A Top 10 Episode with Dr. David Perlmutter

Links/Resources DavidPerlmutter

Bulletproof Radio:
Why You Need a COVID-19 Brain Wash – Dr. David Perlmutter – #680
Connecting Your Gut And Your Brain With David Perlmutter – #359
Dr. David Perlmutter: Autism, Alzheimer’s & The Gut Microbiome – #250

Key Notes

  • Your book, Grain Brain, really helped people see that it’s not just a bunch of cavemen or hippies saying don’t eat grain. – 1:02
  • Life expectancy for men and women in the United States has not only plateaued, but has now begun to decline. We certainly have changed the epigenetic signaling that we are now engaged with.  – 3:33
  • Because fiber is a carb. Is there some carbohydrate confusion?  – 4:16
  • If you do the work, you can get yourself to where you’re actually younger than you were before, which is kind of cool.  – 8:01
  • We know that higher A1Cs, for example, are correlated to cognitive decline. But we’ve been talking for years about keeping not just your blood sugar low, but actually your insulin level low.  – 10:51
  • We want to know about you. What’s your pedigree? What is your microbiome look like? What do your current biometrics look like? And from that, we’ll develop a program that is best for you.  – 12:31
  • The main premise of Grain Brain, and now with the revision, has always been to appeal to the larger audience it’s the broad strokes that I believe everyone can do.  – 14:33
  • I think we have to look at not just ketones… And we’ll get there in just a moment, but in the context of also your fasting blood sugar.  – 17:27
  • I’d like to see people getting their beta hydroxybutyrate as a specific ketone that is measured, which does require a fingerprint, to be at least 0.5, 0.7, 0.8 in that range.  – 17:57
  • And we say basically above ground vegetables. Above ground. Because these are vegetables that, by and large… Aside from their seeds that we’ll get to in a moment, by and large don’t store carbohydrate in the form of starch.  – 23:19
  • We talked five years ago about movement disorders, about ADHD, other issues with cognition, headache for example, possibly being related to gluten sensitivity because science supported that. Yeah, there was pushback, but now my goodness now it’s really becoming much more accepted. – 25:59

If you like today’s episode, check us out on Apple Podcasts at and leave us a (hopefully) 5-star rating and a creative review.

Go check out my new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever and also “Game Changers“, “Headstrong” and “The Bulletproof Diet” on Amazon and consider leaving a review!

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