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Jude Capper On Brain Food

Jude Capper On Brain Food

“Nothing moved us into bigger brains faster than the consumption of animal products. Yet, it’s clearly documented that fats from animal products improves brain function. Let’s put the low-fat craze behind us and move forward by embracing the right portions of real food and real food only,” says Trent Loos, on a recent episode of Loos Tales. Loos interviewed Jude Capper of Washington State University on the importance of protein and fats in the diet for optimal brain function.

On this topic, my most-recent column in BEEF, “Diets Push Beef’s Healthy Role,” [3] also highlights the importance of animal proteins in the diet, featuring the work of authors Gary Taubes and Loren Cordain.

Here are a few highlights from the podcast. Click here to listen to the entire segment. [4]

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently indicated the third-leading disease by 2020 will be depression. I continue to see affluent individuals who read a bunch of stuff -- I didn’t say credible stuff -- but stuff, and they are consuming less milk, meat and eggs and the foods that attribute to mental health. How do we change the perceptions out there?” Loos asked Capper.

“Ultimately, it’s all about balance. Some of the fatty acids we find in fish, grass-fed beef and dairy have a major impact on vision, brain function, depression and mental illnesses. If we end up deficient on these fatty acids, we are going to have serious issues. We need to get over the perception that fat is bad, particularly that fats found in dairy and meat are worse than fats found in olive oil. Oleic acid, which is prevalent in olive oil, is also found in grain-fed beef. This offers us protection against heart disease and diabetes. Overall, it’s important to have a balanced, healthy diet that also tastes great, too,” said Capper.

“Every time I turn around, I hear of some doctor who talks about eliminating fat from the diet, not understanding how this all works,” replied Loos.

“The danger is there is so much misinformation out there, so you pick up something on the Internet or the newspapers, and it filters into our brains as this insidious idea that milk and meats are bad. What we need to do is to make a more concerted effort to help get the messages to the medical community.”

“Do not be misguided about fat. The University of North Carolina stated that pregnant mothers who eat eggs and bacon for breakfast have smarter kids. Obviously, your mom ate a good breakfast when she was pregnant with you, Jude,” concluded Loos.

For me, I always jump-start my mornings with high-quality proteins and fats, and it helps me to feel full and focused through the rest of my day. For dieters, I think a quality breakfast helps eliminate snacking on junk through the day. And, for hard-working ranchers in the high-stress time of calving season, it’s the perfect fuel!

Conventional wisdom warns us against too much fat and protein in the diet. What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Capper that animal proteins and fats are brain food? Do you try to spread the good-nutrition message of animal protein? What’s your favorite breakfast to start off your day?