Fruc Fructose

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Fructose is a kind of sugar. There are many kinds of sugars: sucrose, lactose, galactose, maltose, dextrose, raffinose, glucose, and bunches more. Fructose is just one type. Fructose is famous for being the type of sugar found in fruit. Because of this association with fruit, considered to be a very nutritious and overall healthy food to be included in the daily diet of every man, woman, and child, fructose has been given unfair judgment. We might want to take a moment to investigate fructose a little further though, because there’s a legitimate possibility that it is the biggest single contributor to chronic disease. For realsies.

As those who have done their homework have discovered, there is a striking correlation between the availability of refined sugar and the widespread onset of disease. Weston A. Price, who observed this phenomenon more exhaustively than anyone else, jumped to the conclusion, like many old-schoolers, that the removal of vitamins during the refining process of any food substance was responsible for the gross physiological changes that predictably took place in every ethnic group examined. He then went on a tangent to fill everyone to the gills with cod liver oil, butter, and bone-marrow beef n’ carrot stew to make up for deficiencies. Not a panacea by any means, but it was a good start.

But vitamin and mineral content alone isn’t the whole story. Still, the observable, irrefutable fact, from a historical/anthropological perspective, is that refined foods, particularly refined sugar, drastically lower the level of human health below that which can be considered par. They are the prime suspects to say the least. Like His Holiness Gary Taubes states,

If cavities are caused primarily by eating sugar and white flour, and cavities appear first in a population no longer eating its traditional diet, followed by obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, then the assumption, until proved otherwise, should be that the other diseases were also caused by these carbohydrates.”

So the question is why does white sugar and refined grain trigger the downward spiral?

First of all, let’s try to narrow it down. As I was reading Robert McCarrison’s work, I stumbled across something that can further hone in on the potential ring leader. McCarrison studied Indians that were malnourished, obtaining over 90% of their calories from white rice. In other words, they weren’t getting any of the much-needed nutrients that Price postulated were required for excellent dental and bone health. They had full-blown malnutrition, with symptoms of pellagra and beri beri and what not. Yet, no dental caries were found. This is perhaps wildly significant. Tooth decay is considered the canary in the coal mine in relation to the entire degenerative process so widespread today.

This would also explain why the healthiest citizens of any country that I’ve encountered in my travels were those of Thailand, despite the fact that they eat refined grain with every meal almost every day of their lives – just like the French and Japanese who are also far healthier than Americans with fewer signs of metabolic syndrome (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.). Thai people look awesome – at least in Thailand they do. Their skin is clear, their bodies are neither too thin nor too fat. Everybody looks like a million bhat. They look as healthy as these Filipino prisoners reenacting Thriller (trying to find a fat one is harder than finding Waldo).

Potentially, even though refined grains (which are starches, not sugars) aren’t ideal foods because of lack of vitamins, they may not be playing a leading role in the Diabesity epidemic. Only eating them to excess combined with an otherwise high-caloric diet leads to trouble, but again, only sugar will stimulate overeating of starch, and this might have to do with malabsorption of sugar – which leads me to the next bit of evidence I’ve encountered, HFI.

HFI (Hereditary Fructose Intolerance), is a rare disorder (or gift from the heavens depending on how you look at it), in which some people do not produce the necessary enzyme to metabolize fructose properly. The result is severe hypoglycemia like that of a diabetic. Therefore, those with HFI must avoid all fructose-containing foods. One article that I read put a small aside in about how HFI sufferers are known for their magnificently healthy teeth. This too is possibly very significant. HFI sufferers can eat other sugars and any starches they desire, which metabolize into glucose. But it’s the fructose-avoidance that keeps their teeth in perfect shape – suggesting that fructose may act alone as the culprit. I’d love to know if any HFI people have ever become significantly overweight or Diabetic, what their cancer rates are, etc. Don’t think anyone’s followed this though.

Before going any further, it’s important that you know that sucrose, known commonly as white table sugar and labeled “sugar” in any ingredient list, is 50% fructose. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), suspected by many of being the perpetrator of all that’s unholy, is 55% fructose. Natural fruits and juices from those fruits vary in their sugar ratios, but fructose is typically predominant. Honey is 40% fructose, and most syrups and other common caloric sweeteners contain fructose (and are on the avoid list for people with HFI, as is sorbitol, often used in gum and toothpaste because it DOESN’T CONTAIN FRUCTOSE, but in the liver converts, in part, to fructose after ingestion). The most concentrated form of fructose is found in Agave nectar (90% fructose), recommended by Dr. Oz. (Oprah’s official boy genius on the topic of health), which is sufficient reason to avoid it based on Oprah’s health-guru track record – this and the fact that she’s got a goiter and is weighing in at about two-fiddy right now. She’s probably using agave nectar like it’s going out of style.

Although full-blown HFI is a rare disorder, it is estimated that 2 of 3 children and 1 of 3 adults do not absorb fructose properly. This data is obtained from breath tests that somehow show absorption, or lack thereof, of the fructose ingested. Malabsorption is probably due to a malfunction or a lack of a fructose-digesting enzyme found in the liver called Fructose 1-Phosphate Aldolase, the same enzyme lacking in those with genetic HFI.

But I don’t want to go too deep into the science yet because I hardly understand it myself at this point. There is practically no firm data or research out there convicting fructose outside of a few speculative mentions by Gary Taubes and a few others. Suffice it to say that, from the little research that has been done and my own independent investigation, fructose is a prime suspect — especially paired with rapidly-absorbed, insulin-spiking glucose like it is with white sugar and HFCS. There may be little inherently wrong with it as a substance, but consuming the absurd amount that we do could certainly damage the liver’s ability to metabolize it properly, burn out the enzymes required to digest it, or something along those lines. Keep in mind that all types of cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins (as in LDL and HDL) in which they are carried are synthesized in the liver from sugars, particularly the kind that goes straight from mouth to liver (and cannot be absorbed directly into the blood), which is our buddy fructose.

Also I must reiterate the bogus-ness of the Glycemic Index one more time. Since fructose does not cause an immediate rise of blood sugar due to the fact that it must be synthesized by the liver first (which takes time), foods that contain fructose are low on the glycemic index and are thus considered “good” carbs or “slow” carbs. That’s what’s led agave to the top of Dr. Oz’s class. And all other things that contain fructose look awfully healthy on the Glycemic index. It’s gotten refined sugar out of jail, made high-fructose corn syrup look like an even healthier type of sugar than say, honey or table sugar (despite it being worse).

It’s also made fruit look like an excellent carbohydrate source, but it is not. It is a hypoglycemia-triggering carbohydrate, a candida-feeding carbohydrate, impairs digestion of other foods, causes skin breakouts and dry skin, destroys teeth, and is an overeating-trigger. It undeniably affects me that way, and I am not alone. The raw vegan scene in Maui is a constant reminder of this, as the North shore is teeming with ravenous, tragically-misguided people with off-colored teeth and faces that “look they caught on fire and somebody tried to put out the flames with track shoes (anonymous).” Got fruit? Got agave? Mmmm, dates. Little do they know they’d be far healthier on a steady diet of DQPC’s.

Too much fruit causes over emotionality because it causes low blood-protein and blood-fat levels, disrupts the sugar levels, irritates tissue, and leeches fats from the nervous system, causing lesions in the myelin. Some people should not eat fruit except on rare occasions…I have met 8 people of 2,300 who were able to maintain health and eat a high-carbohydrate fruit diet without ill symptoms.”
– Aajonus Vonderplanitz; The Recipe for Living Without Disease

America is obsessed with fruit. Words can’t describe how hard it is to get through to people that fruit might be a problematic component in a person’s diet. Remove it from your diet completely for months (which is in sync with nature anyway), along with all other fructose-containing sugars before formulating your own unwavering opinion. You too may find yourself saying, “fruc fructose.”

Lessons from Nature

The only way I’ve been able to make sense out of this is by looking at the role of fructose in nature. Fructose is concentrated in fruit. Fruit has its own agenda – get eaten to spread seeds and achieve successful procreation. So, just like the food corporations, fruit would be best served by developing a mechanism that causes its eater to love its taste yet be woefully unsatisfied, have a huge appetite, and keep coming back for more, and more, and more, and more. That’s how fruit affects me, and this is perhaps not a fault on my part, but a great success on the part of the fruit for developing a sweet-tasting and addictive substance. It’s at least a thought-provoking hypothesis.

Fruit only emerges in bursts, where creatures devour it over a period of a few weeks, months at most, until fruiting season is over. Even in the tropics there is fruit seasonality. Those who did eat fruit ate it for a few months at a time and then had virtually no fruit in the diet for over half the year. That’s one reason I recommend fruit consumption only in binge format in the form of a cleanse for a period of a few days followed by extended fruit abstinence to get blood sugar and hormones back under control. I do recommend fruit on occasion for constipation relief.

Fruit didn’t comprise a significant portion of any diet analyzed by Weston A. Price.

In monkeys, our most biologically identical cousins, fruit, and therefore high amounts of dietary sugar, is the trigger to reproduction. Sugar abundance simultaneously triggers fat storage and reproductive hormones and signals to the body that it is adequately nourished in order to reproduce. Monkeys will not reproduce without the presence of sugar. The enormous amount of sugar consumed in the modern world (something that is only derived from fruits for a few months of the year in nature) could be a very significant factor, as mentioned in the last post, in the early development of secondary sex characteristics. Average age of first menstruation has mysteriously declined from 17 a century ago to less than 12 today. Sugar, particularly fructose, is a prime suspect.

In closing we go back to Reverend Taubes, from Good Calories, Bad Calories:

Regarding the potential dangers of sugar in the diet, it is important to keep in mind that fructose is converted more efficienctly into glycerol phosphate (a molecule associated with the storage of body fat) than is glucose. This is another reason why fructose stimulates the liver so readily to convert it to triglycerides, and why fructose is considered the most lipogenic carbohydrate.”

Lipogenesis is the conversion of carbohydrate to fat that takes place in the liver, responsible for high triglyceride levels and thus fatty blood, altered cholesterol ratios, the storage of fatty acids into the adipose tissue, and other abnormalities associated with obesity, heart disease, and other related degenerative disorders of abnormal fatty acid metabolism.

34 Comments

  1. Oh, man, does this bum me out.

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  2. I came across your article and suggest you conduct more research before posting articles with GROSSLY wrong information. My wife ans HFI, and through the internet, we know a few other people.

    First, someone with HFI may DIE if they get too much sugar-they can enter into a coma, or sugar builds up in their liver which can cause long term health problems. People with HFI can NOT digest sugar-it has to leave their bodies-they either throw it up, or have other issues.

    Managing weight is not as easy as you may thing-since they are so limited in what they can eat–no fruits and almost no veggies.

    Eating out at restaurants in very difficult for people with HFI-and they often get sick

    Second, my wife’s father and uncle are both dentists and I can tell you that people with HFI will not have superb teeth as you write-my wife has thrown up so many times in her life-it was weekly as a child before she was diagnosed-that she has worn the enamel from her teeth. People with HFI also crave dextose-the one sugar they can eat (except for lactose)-which is bad for teeth.

    Third, it is not just fructose they can’t eat, but sucrose, sorbital, and all sugars except for dextrose (glucose) and lactose-that incluse cane sugar, honey, and many more. Have you ever read ingredients in food-sugar is in everything-pizza dough, bagels, almost all breads requrire sugar to activate the yeast, most meats are cured with sugar.

    Fructose malabsorbition and HFI are two different disorders.
    Here is a site where HFI is discussed.

    http://hfiinfo.proboards42.com/index.cgi

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  3. I’m a huge fan of negative commentary, truly, so thanks for having the cajones to speak up. It’s about time.

    Unfortunately your comment shows blatant misunderstanding for the point of this article.

    I’ve read about HFI for a total of about 8 minutes on the internet. This article is not about HFI. I was merely pointing out, since in another website, HFI-sufferers were mentioned as being known for lack of dental decay, which could be a significant clue to a much bigger picture.

    Believe it or not, I do actually know that sucrose, honey, sorbitol, etc. are not on the list for HFI. If you are looking for evidence that I’m aware of this, you might consider noticing where I mention that honey, sucrose, sorbitol, and other sugars that contain or are converted in any way to fructose are not digestible by those with a phosphate 1 Aldolase deficiency, i.e. HFI.

    That is a real shocker that sugar is added to processed meats, breads, and pretty much everything else. I’ll call CNN right away to tell them of this breaking newsflash.

    I have no doubt that when a person with HFI ingests sugar that contains fructose, that it really sucks. And yes, I know that they can DIE from it — just like a Diabetic can die from hypoglycemia, which is why I mentioned “like that of a diabetic” in reference to it.

    Lactose is not bad for teeth. The Masai of Africa who drink 7 quarts a day have perhaps the best teeth, as a group, of any humans currently living on the face of the earth at this point in time. The true traditional ones don’t eat sugar, fruit, vegetables, or any other type of sugar, period.

    I didn’t say weight management was easy for HFI sufferers. I said I’d be curious to find out if it was. The fact that they can’t eat fruit or vegetables has no bearing on weight management.

    It’s also just horrific that eating at restaurants is hard, that you can’t eat sugar or anything that contains it, that you can’t eat fruits or vegetables. That’s really rough. It reminds me of this person I know, oh yeah, ME.

    The only reason I eat at restaurants is either for experimental reasons, or to maintain the bare minimum of social normalcy. I am not eating any fruits or vegetables right now, no sugar of any kind (except to appear non-freakish in the company of friends when I take a rare break from my social isolation) — especially not fructose. I don’t die when I eat those things, but I do break out, lose control of my emotions, get uncontrollably hungry, wheeze, my nasal passages close up, and my skin develops a dry, flaky crust.

    I know that fructose malabsorption and HFI are different maladies. If it sounds like I was equating the two, it was for simplicity’s sake. This is written for the 6.5 billion other people on earth that don’t have HFI but are still being negatively impacted by sugar ingestion — just not to the same extreme degree as your wife.

    This edition was in no way a source of information for HFI sufferers, just a hypothetical analysis of something that modern science might want to consider investigating a bit more closely.

    Thanks for at least being man enough to try to rip me a new one though. Kindness is for wimps, and this kind of feedback is a great service to someone like myself, who is not doing this to exalt myself over others, but to achieve mastery over the understanding and communication of achieving health.

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  4. Hi Matt,

    Did you say you’re not eating any fruits or vegetables? What about sauerkraut? Did you give up on that?

    I’m kinda curious about your diet, actually. Is it mainly raw meat and raw butter these day?

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  5. I’m not eating any fruits or vegetables as part of my current experiment, a no fiber diet as recommended for digestive healing by several clinical professionals (not because I need it but just curious as to how my body responds to such a regimen).

    I’ve got nothing against vegetables, just avoiding them for now. All in all they are definitely overhyped. Eating veggies is more like extra credit, as is eating a significant portion of your food raw. I eat over half of my meat cooked, or partially cooked (like the Eskimos!)

    So, for the next few weeks, I’m eating only white rice with meat/fish and plenty of added fat from raw butter, avocado, and coconut and olive oils. I am having a little bit of sea vegetables.

    I feel great. It’s incredible from a digestive standpoint.

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  6. Hi Matt,

    Ah I see, thank you.

    Uh, correct me if I misread you, but didn’t you post something about the dangers of eating raw butter with a quick absorbing carbohydrate (Like white rice)? And why not brown rice?

    So did Aajonus’s raw meat diet not work out for you after all? I was almost convinced you were an advocate of his diet (Seeing how most of your posts hold him in a positive light).

    P.S. Sorry for posting these questions here.

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  7. This is the best possible place for you to ask these questions, as others may have the same ones, and I’m obviously not shy about discussing these kinds of things with an audience.

    McCarrison noticed that a deficient diet (lacking a nutrient, or protein, or some other essential food constituent) was made worse with the addition of butter. As long as you compensate nutritionally for a deficiency, you’ll be fine. This is why Asians can eat a diet of up to 80% white rice without having health problems as severe as that of the U.S.

    Fiber is an intestinal irritant. It is a digestive workout. Whenever it can be removed, humans remove it instinctually, either through vegetable peeling or otherwise. The result is better taste and smoother digestion. The idea that fiber is some kind of digestive aid is nonsense. Brown rice is obviously more nutritious, but white rice will not kill you if you need to take advantage of its ease of digestibility. It is also a slowly-absorbed carbohydrate, not a fast one. It absorbs much more slowly than whole grain bread for example.

    I’ve never followed Aajonus’s diet because his dietary principles make absolutely no logical sense. No human beings have ever been documented eating a 100% raw foods diet. Vondie likes to say that the Eskimos ate their food raw and ate no carbohydrates, but there were dozens of other indigenous cultures on dozens of other diets with equally robust health. The Eskimo were an exception. No humans in history ever had access to carbohydrates and refrained from eating them, and contrary to common belief, Stefannson estimated that Americans at the time (early-mid 20th century) ate more raw food than the Eskimos (fruits, vegetables, raw dairy, and rare meats — more popular then than now, before people irrationally developed a phobia about undercooked meat).

    Plus, switching to a starch-free diet is virtually impossible for some. I’ve never made it more than 48 hours on all raw meat diet because of intense sugar cravings. Every time I try, I end up plowing Butterfingers and what not — not as healthy as my normal diet, which creates a keen disinterest in such foods.

    Aajonus also mentions that some people need starch, and recommends french bread — a very rapidly absorbed carb, not whole wheat. Aajonus understands, having gone through a time of the poorest digetive abilities imaginable, that whole grains are too irritating for many.

    Still, I hold Aajonus in a positve light because his diet is very therapeutic for many people. His understanding of the immune system and the human’s need to interact with naturally-occuring bacteria and parasites for optimal health is one of the most important health concepts circulating in the world today, period. I too believe that raw meats of any kind can and should be ingested on a regular basis, and that there is nothing to fear from doing so. But none of our ancestors needed to eat raw meats exclusively to have great health. I don’t believe we do either.

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  8. Everything in moderation, save some eh?

    Thank you kindly for taking the time to address my concerns.

    Best regards,

    serogane

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  9. Oh uh just one last concern to address if you don’t mind:

    How do you tell if whole-grains are too irritating for your body? Is it the frequent bowel movements (3+ times a day)? Lack of energy (Frequently tired) due to indigestibility?

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  10. Gas, bloating, sinus blockage, poorer skin quality, etc. are some of the most common effects of habitually eating a food that is maldigested.

    The only way to truly find out is to follow the common recommendations of avoiding “x” food for several weeks, and then reintroduce it to see if it produces any kind of reaction, irritation, congestion, fatigue, or otherwise.

    And yes, everything in moderation — especially high fructose corn syrup!. My general rule is that if you are eating a diet that is totally unprecedented in recent human history, i.e. 100% raw or vegan for example, then you are doing something that is risky to say the least.

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  11. Thanks again Matt!

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  12. What about unheated honey? I notice your mention of Aajonus, and he’s a big proponent of that. He tells his diabetic clients to take “unheated” honey freely. Most honey is heated, even the stuff falsely labeled raw. Therefore, it lacks the enzymes and nutrients we need to metabolize the sugars. Most fruits are also picked unripe, and therefore toxic and bad foods. (Fresh local seasonal fruits are probably best. Or frozen ones.)

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  13. Also, what do you think of the Wai Says diet? She’s big on fruit, but combines it with raw fish, raw egg yolk, raw nuts shelled by hand, or EV olive oil to balance the sugar. She is a model and claims her diet can cure acne 100%, so maybe fruit isn’t the cause of acne, dry skin, and so forth. Of course, her diet also eliminates wheat, milk, and a lot of other foods. I don’t buy a lot of her ideas, but it certainly seems to work for her. I’ve talked with several people who developed serious problems problems from her diet, but I like her article about the toxins in vegetables, entitled “We don’t need to eat plants.”

    http://www.13.waisays.com/plants.htm

    Here is a more general description of her diet, which is deficient in my view, but may help some.

    http://www.waisays.com/AcneSampleDiet.htm

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  14. Bruce,

    I cannot eat raw honey. I tried dozens of times. It is extremely addictive. Sugar is my nemesis. It I eat no carbs at all, I do not fall into hypoglycemia. If I eat a spoonful of honey with meals, I become an absolute mad man. It is superior to other sugars because it does contain a higher percentage of glucose to fructose, allowing it to be digested better. Enzymes help, but they are not some kind of panacea. In fact, raw milk and raw fruit are the two greatest triggers of malabsorption for me personally. They are healthy foods, but if you’re not digesting them properly, they are bad news.

    Starch behaves totally differently than simple sugars. Substituting a small amount of starch instead of a small amount of fruit is far more stabilizing.

    Note again, we’re not discussing what is and is not a healthy food. All foods that have been human staples for millenia are, in and of themselves healthy. This is looking at a collective health problem (fructose malabsorption, carbohydrate addiction, hyperinsulinemia, tooth decay, digestive problems, and the hundreds of related disorders), and deciphering what is the most useful and efficient strategy for addressing those problems.

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  15. Have you tried comb honey? A lot of the raw honeys are false, including some of those labeled as unheated. I don’t have any problems with it. I eat an unheated honey with raw cheeses, or occasionally brie. I have no cravings for raw honey. Are there any tribes who ate diets with lots of raw bee products?

    I also eat some organic white rice. Not the enriched kind. Non-organic are more likely to be enriched, even if they say nothing about it. I eat peeled potatoes and Berlin Sourdough Spelt bread, every now and then, not daily though. Most of the breads are full of garbage. Berlin is fermented for 24 hours, too. I store it in the freezer and take out a piece, maybe once or twice a week.

    I think sourdough white breads would be better, but it’s hard to find any which don’t have yeast, PUFA oils, sugars, or other dubious additives. Berlin is just flour, water, and sea salt. They grind the grains fresh, which is another huge problem. Most breads are rancid, esp if they contain whole grain flour. Most of the whole grain flour in stores is just rancid with no vitamins.

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  16. I’ve tried plenty of comb honey but no-can-do. I even have a close friend who cannot handle the addictiveness of stevia, despite having no sugar whatsoever. I think it’s more a matter of beta-endorphin receptors and the release of opioids in the brain that fuels my compulsive sweet-eating, regardless of the source of the sweetness. White rice and sourdough breads are most likely totally acceptable food staples if they play a minor role in the diet.

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  17. I think you have more of the puzzle than most of the Weston Price crowd. They’re all obsessed with raw milk and sprouting grains, to quote someone. Also they are into kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc. They condemn white rice and things like that, but I think it would be perfectly safe if you ate meat or eggs or cheese or shellfish or something else with it, in decent proportions. (not as a garnish) I think we’ve reached pretty much the same conclusions on diet. White rice is best among the grains. Things like potatoes, yams, sweet potato, and so forth is probably a little better.

    If only we could get the media and the medical establishment to listen…

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  18. “White rice and sourdough breads are most likely totally acceptable food staples if they play a minor role in the diet.”

    What about a whole grain sourdough bread like Berlin Sourdough Spelt? I find it’s much better than most breads. I can just eat it by itself and it tastes good. The other breads and potatose nad rice taste bland. I see them as a “butter-delivery” system, as someone said. What do you see as a minor role? Couldn’t you compensate for the deficiencies in white rice fully just by eating it with liver, for ex? It was the total reliance on refined sugars and starches that caused disease IMO.

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  19. Refined grains can be compensated for by other nutritious foods. Sugar; however, is uniquely capable of destroying the human machine. It doesn’t matter what you eat with it or how nutritious it is, it will start to destroy you and your future progeny whether you can feel it or not.

    Whole grain breads and whole grains in general are preferable assuming they don’t cause digestive distress. For many people, they do however, and gluten of course, when not digested properly is very detrimental to the body and mind.

    I’d give it an “eat with caution,” knowing the potential dangers of eating it with a screwed-up digestive tract.

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  20. “Refined grains can be compensated for by other nutritious foods. Sugar; however, is uniquely capable of destroying the human machine. It doesn’t matter what you eat with it or how nutritious it is, it will start to destroy you and your future progeny whether you can feel it or not.”

    It would take studies to prove this IMO. There’s no empirical evidence that I’ve seen. The people that Price studied ate refined sugar, flour, and vegetable fat to the exclusion of almost all else. It seems the Eskimo deviated least from a traditional diet, but they still ate an excess of refined carbs vs. protein. It seems there must be an equivalence. The sucrose molecule is not inherently bad. It’s not bad in a cooked carrot. Why is it bad in molasses-marinated pork? Some foods have excess nutrients, which make up for deficiencies in others. Compared to animal foods, ALL plants are totally deficient, in that no healthy tribe has been found eating a vegan diet.

    Like JD said, the threshold for diseases of civilizations occuring was 70 pounds of sugar a year. That’s about 87g a day. That also assumes that people are eating less nutritious foods in general. People usu. don’t eat organs, bone broths, raw dairy, or other traditional foods. So it is unclear that sugar will ruin anyone’s health independently of whatever else is in their diet or lifestyle. Intermittent fasting reduces the need for B vitamins, as do various other strategies.

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  21. Lack of nutritious foods is certainly a component, but I don’t feel the quota that must be met to avoid problems is quite as high as the W.A.P. crowd thinks. And the focus on what’s in your diet, instead of keeping harmful foods out I think is a big mistake.

    Just going to a WAPF conference was all the proof I needed of that. If I had been dropped there I would have assumed I was at some kind of Arby’s convention or something. Even some of the presenters, Michael Cowan for instance, had a high cortisol/insulin belly.

    I don’t think a nutritious diet can save anyone form refined sugar, which I think has a unique, druglike quality. Just as if a meth addict losing teeth and having health problems would be best advised to drop the meth – not eat more nutritious foods. Nutritious food cannot save one from the harm of methamphetamine.

    That’s the only explanation I can come up with. I think only a substance that is very harmful, not just devoid of nutrients, can cause the drastic changes in facial and skeletel formation in the subsequent generation in such a short amount of time after its induction. Not to mention allergies, osteo, and so on that Price and others witnessed.

    Even Dog Chow is not harmful enough to produce offspring like that.

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  22. But I’ve heard that meth creates massive sugar cravings and the addicts eat large amounts of soft drinks and sugary foods.

    How do you know the WAPF people eat lots of sugar? Most do eat a lot of processed fish oil, rancid whole grains, and nuts. Here’s a page with food diaries from the WAP board members. Maybe they lied about what they ate, but I don’t see a lot of people eating refined sugar. They eat a lot of fermented foods, like beet kvass, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Sally eats one of those foods at every meal.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/boarddiets.html

    I have seen pictures of Sally Fallon and Geoffrey Morell where they had age/liver spots – caused by eating too much PUFAs, IMO. They also don’t seem to care if the cod liver oil is processed. Sally Fallon only recently switched to eating the raw fermented cod liver oil, which is what I would use exclusively.

    I’ve seen lots of old dogs and cats that got diabetes or kidney disease and their muscles and joints degenerated to where they had arthritis or other disorders by eating processed chow diets. The people Price studied didn’t fall apart like the modern dogs and cats, IMO. They died of old age or infection or accidents, while modern animals seem to live on past the time where their bodies can function. So do most modern people.

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  23. Because while at the WAPF conference I watched every single person at every single table I ever sat at, each time with a different group of people — raid the dessert table. They may not eat much sugar, but I feel the same as Charles in that most degenerative disease conditions stem from chronically-elevated levels of insulin. Overcoming that requires taking specific action to lower insulin and rebalance major hormone levels. There are probably several means of addressing hyperinsulinemia, as I’ve known people to have reversed type II diabetes through a raw vegan diet, low carb diets, no sugar diets, and even through supplements.

    All I’m saying is that I was trying to figure out why my health was better than that of the WAPF followers while at the conference (it is even better now), and the conclusion I came up with was that I had overcome hyperinsulinemia through sugar abstinence, was no longer addicted to sugar, etc.

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  24. Sally Fallon’s book promotes eating many sweeteners like maple syrup and agave, I think. Aajonus doesn’t eat those things, and he doesn’t have beer belly AFAIK. So maybe the problem is that the WAPF crowd eats cooked and processed sweeteners, as well as grains, PUFAs, nuts, etc.

    People have reversed diabetes using many diets, even milk and honey. Ray Peat has said his father overcame his diabetes by eating nutritional yeast. I’ve heard Ray Peat eats around 50% carbs, 25% fat, and 25% protein. He restricts PUFAs severely to like 1% of calories.

    Here is a picture of Aajonus without his shirt and a smaller one with a shirt on. He doesn’t have a beer belly as far as I can tell, so maybe the WAPF problems are from following Sally’s advice. Sally and Mary Enig wrote a weight loss book after Nourishing Traditions. This tells me the advice That speaks volumes lot about their eating advice..

    http://www.bodytemplebootcamp.com/images/Aajonus-JohnWood-0811.jpg
    http://www.wewant2live.com/members/811618/uploaded/Potluck_2003_4_(3).jpg

    You have good genes, Matt. Not everybody would look like you by eating your diet. I’ve seen pictures of people eating raw paleo diets with no carbs and only wild or grass-fed meats who dn’t look as good as you, because they have bad genes IMO. Diet can only do so much. If you put say Woody Allen on your diet, I doubt he is going to look like you in his life time. Certain people respond better to various diets than others. And let me reiterate that there are lots of body-builders and athletes eating low-fat high-carb diets, who look healthier than you or Charles. So, looks don’t mean much.

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  25. Also, I don’t agree that a low-carb diet will reverse diabetes. Eliminating carbs (like Bernstein) just hides the symptoms IMO. The proof of reversal is being able to eat carbs with normal blood sugar and insulin response. Removing the carbs and saying you have “reversed” diabetes is a crock. Unless you can eat natural carbs, without sugar cravings, hypoglycemia, or other problems, you’re not cured. So the only cure is to attack the problem in a direct way, like you said, and like many diets actually do (Aajonus and Ray Peat, in particular). The low-carb diet is not going to “cure” diabetes, any more than avoiding heights will cure acrophobia. I don’t believe in any diet approach that can’t reverse disease outright. Avoiding carbs reinforces the disease. Carbs are not the problem. As you’ve said time and time again, the diseases of civilization aren’t caused by eating carbs. Avoiding carbs doesn’t cure the disease, it just hides the fact that you’re body is still deficient, toxic, and unbalanced.

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  26. My heredity is superior to many, although I “died” many times before I reached the age of 7, so they can’t be that great. Much of my healthy look does come, like an athlete on a low-fat high-carb diet, from a lifetime of extreme amounts of exercise – which masks what’s going on under the surface, although I do look noticeably healthier than I did even in my late teens.

    What I meant by looks was that the WAPF crowd were very overweight and many had very poor skin and other easily-reversible problems.

    And by the same logic one could say that no one is “healed” until they can eat a half-loaf of fresh-ground wheat bread per day without having health problems from it. I could say you haven’t healed because you cannot eat fiber like Kitavans can without negative consequences.

    You know just as well as I do that avoidance of problematic substances is sometimes mandatory and a life sentence no matter what ideals we have about healing.

    And Bernstein’s followers rarely heal because of the endorsement of artificial sweeteners if you ask me, and I’m sure you would agree. Obviously a guy who recommends making a low-carb sandwich out of microwaved American cheese singles has some serious room for improvement.

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  27. I can eat more fiber now without having as many negative effects, after severely limiting it for a while. So, I think the body adapts if you give it the chance. I ate brown rice the other day (I usually ate white rice) and had no reactionI do avoid foods with stimulants like coffee, chocolate, tea, etc. I avoid artificial sweeteners, stevia, sugar alcohols, and other low-carb junk foods. And I do not eat PUFA oils or foods that contain lots of PUFAs (like most nuts). The body can adapt and heal if you give it the right nutrients and opportunity.

    Most in the Weston A. Price eating very artificially, IMO. Sally eats fatty fish almost every day, and at every meal (on average) eats sauerkraut, beet kvass, or kombucha. She is addicted to those foods whilereas I’m not addicted to any thing. I rotate foods around so I never eat the same thing every day. One day I eat the rice, the next day potato, the next day no starch, the next day sourdough bread, the next day honey or orange juice, etc.

    I could probably eat a loaf of the spelt sourdough bread every day, provide it is fresh. But it’s kind of expensive, and I don’t crave any food, and I rotate foods around frequently. I do believe that low fiber diets provide better nutrition, if nutrient content is equal.

    I checked out Bernstein’s book from the library a while ago and quickly realized it was even worse than Atkins in telling people to eat processed low-carb foods. Why don’t people see that the body isn’t stupid? If you eat artificial sweetener, the body will soon realize there are no calories or nutrients in there and send the message (hunger) that you need more real food. People are only fooling them- selves, if they think those frankenfoods will reduce their weight, let alone make them healthier. Most of them are known, or believed to cause cancer and various other diseass. I wish more doctors would investigate the healing abilities of raw food, juice fasting, and other methods of short-term detoxification.

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  28. Perfect commentary Bruce. There are so many ways of getting relief. I too like the cleansing and fasting, assuming it’s not done for weight loss. I’d even say that what I’m doing right now has such a property, even if it is totally unsustainable.

    Our diets are very similar. Fiber doesn’t effect me that negatively, but I really like keeping the density low. Everything feels better – probably less inflammation stemming from the digestive tract.

    I too have extreme reservations about all non-caloric sweeteners, artificial, herbal, alcohol, or otherwise.

    And when I”m eating that “right” diet that works for me, I have absolutely no cravings for any type of food. It’s quite an indicator of dietary success I think.

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  29. Another reason I avoid fiber is to limit PUFAs. White rice is about 84% lower in PUFAs than brown rice (0.4% of calories vs. 2.5%). That’s why Ray Peat suggests avoiding grains, esp whole grains. He is more in favor of potatoes, tubers, root vegetables, fruits, and honey, since the PUFAs are virtually non-existent. White rice is about as low in PUFAs as a white potato. He thinks white rice is OK if it isn’t enriched (particularly with iron). I’m trying to limit PUFAs in all way: by calories, total amount, and by fat. That seems to provide many benefits like not being vulnerable to sunburn, pollution, chemicals, and other things.

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  30. How bad do you think cornstarch or pearl tapioca would be, as a source of starch? Say 50-100g a day? I think low-fiber and low-PUFA is the best diet and those have virtually no fat at all. 100g of tapioca has .003g of PUFA and 100g of cornstarch has .025g of PUFA. Even potato and white rice has more by calories and weight. In my opinion, a lot fo the problems blamed on grains are due to the rancid fat they contain. Fresh grain is a different food than rancid grain, like you said. (Price and McCarrison also confirmed this.)

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  31. I tried cornstarch once, as Francine Kauffman of the American Diabetes Association used it clinically to prevent hypoglycemia in diabetics (it’s of course of high glycemic carb, devoid of other sugars that are more likely to induce hypoglycemia). But it was too nasty to just chug.

    I will try tapioca when I return to carbs as a staple starch and see how she goes. It does have potential, you’re right.

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  32. Arrowroot flour might also be good. It’s very low in fiber and PUFAs, as are most tubers. My current starches are: organic un-enriched white rice, peeled potatoes, sweet potatoes, and the Berlin Sourdough Spelt bread (whole grain). Pearl tapioca is ridiculously low in PUFAs, even lower than cornstarch, which has like 99% less fat than corn on the cob. Cornstarch has some potential. It is good as a sauce on meat. I’ve used it a few times, and it’s not bad at all. I react to grains unless they’re very fresh. My eyes feel cruddy, for like an hour, esp with oatmeal, so I don’t eat oats at all. They’re very high in PUFAs (even higher than corn). I want the benefits of starch without the risks of too much PUFAs and fiber, so I do not eat much whole grain starch (at most two pieces of Berlin Sourdough Spelt Bread). No bread with yeast, PUFA oils, sugar of any kind, or additives.

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  33. Don't these two quotes contradict each other?

    "Keep in mind that all types of cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins (as in LDL and HDL) in which they are carried are synthesized in the liver from sugars, particularly the kind that goes straight from mouth to liver (and cannot be absorbed directly into the blood), which is our buddy fructose.."

    “Too much fruit causes over emotionality because it causes low blood-protein and blood-fat levels, disrupts the sugar levels, irritates tissue, and leeches fats from the nervous system, causing lesions in the myelin. Some people should not eat fruit except on rare occasions…I have met 8 people of 2,300 who were able to maintain health and eat a high-carbohydrate fruit diet without ill symptoms.”
    – Aajonus Vonderplanitz; The Recipe for Living Without Disease

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  34. Yeah, they do Kirk. Just noticed that myself. Aajonus is wrong on that. Fructose raises blood fats, potentially interfering with insulin's function and causing temporary insulin resistance – perhaps why fructose is so much more fattening than glucose.

    Reply

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