At the end of this article, you'll find links to learn more about these recent studies and what you can do to feed your brain what it needs for optimum health. But first, in light of these reports on the dangers of a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet, it’s time to look at what may be a healthier alternative for you: a low-carbohydrate diet with plenty of healthy fats.
Low-carb diet fundamentals
Low-carb Recipes with healthy fats
Ric's low-carb green smoothie for breakfast and lunch
If you don't have time to make two smoothies a day, these portions are enough to fill a large blender, creating enough for two large smoothies (one for breakfast, one for lunch) or three small smoothies (for a healthy mid-morning snack too). To make just one serving, cut the portions in half.
- Kale or spinach – 2 to 3 big handfuls (depending on the size of your hand)
- Celery – just one or two stalks
- Healthy oils – a couple tablespoons of Udo’s oil or virgin cold pressed olive oil, and a tablespoon of coconut oil
- A half cup berries (any fruit ending in the word "berries," such as blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, will be low in carbohydrates as long as you do no more than a half cup)
- Avocado – 1/3 to 1/2 of one, depending on size.
- A quarter cup of raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans (not only for healthy oils, but makes the smoothie more filling)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, adjusted according to your tastes. Lime juice makes a good substitute or alternative.
- A healthy artificial sweetener to taste. Healthier and low carbohydrate alternatives include stevia or xylitol (I use some of each)
- A dash of salt (counteracts any bitterness from the vegetables)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- A few drops of vanilla
- 4-6 ice cubes – optional (maybe it's just me, but it seems to taste much better when it's cold)
- Water, enough to let everything blend and reach the desired consistency (the "desired" consistency is a matter of personal choice – start with just a half cup and then add more as needed).
This smoothie is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, as well as a generous dose of healthy fats. To make it a little more filling, optionally add a couple tablespoons of whey powder, plain Greek yogurt, or hemp seed. For variety and to add extra health benefits, also consider experimenting with a dash of ginger root or mint leaves.
Lunch or dinner low carbohydrate recipesSome winners, especially if you want healthy fats with your low carbs:
- Low-carb sushi (substitutes cauliflower for the rice)
- Low-Carb Chicken Tacos
- Low-Carb Meatballs
- Low Carb Curry Shrimp on Cauliflower Rice
Research on carbohydrates and brain
- An interview with David Perlmutter, M.D., researcher and book author (Grain Brain: the Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brains Silent Killers, in which he explains why "carbohydrates are toxic to the brain.")
- Results of a 2012 study on how deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in cognition.
- Article: Low-Carb Diet May Slow Alzheimer's Disease
- Half-hour audio interview: Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Perlmutter About Alzheimer's Disease Prevention
- Article: High-Fat, High-Sugar Diet May Raise Alzheimer's Risk