Resistant Starch

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Not trying to promote resistant starch as the next Acai berry or something like that, but the studies done on resistant starch show that, like fiber – and perhaps to an ever greater degree, resistant starch is something that sets refined carbohydrates apart from unrefined carbohydrates – and that sets starch apart from sugar, particularly refined sugar.

For losing weight, there’s no question that the studies on it reveal a rise in metabolism and a spontaneous decrease in food consumption that is patterned by drops in triglycerides, insulin resistance, and other facets of metabolic syndrome as would be expected with big improvements in insulin sensitivity.  This is most likely due to the increase in production of butyric and propionic acids in the digestive tract, known to exert tremendous metabolic enhancement.

For more on butyric acid, the importance of a healthy metabolism, and a lengthy discussion on the difference between refined and unrefined carbohydrates in terms of how they influence weight, appetite, digestion, insulin sensitivty, and so on – Diet Recovery is a good read.

Side tangent, sharing some local culture, and attempt at humor:

Resistant starch, the ultimate “prebiotic” also likely plays a role in the microbial environment of the GI tract as well, changing the microbial environment towards one that fosters colonization by the very type of bacteria associated with leanness, heightened immunity, protection from colon cancer, and so on.

If I had to choose between taking probiotics or consuming more resistant starch for improving gut flora, I’d go all in on resistant starch as being a more effective route.

A good analogy might be that of trying to attract white people to an area, something I’m very familiar with as I live near Aspen, CO where virtually all marketing and business efforts are geared up towards attracting affluent white people and their money to the area.

Taking probiotics is akin to kidnapping affluent white people and bringing them in by bus to an Aspen filled with Pawn shops, tattoo parlors, Swap meets, discount liquor stores, a Bass pro shop, and an RV Superstore – all things a truly offensively-wealthy white person is terribly fearful of, or being associated with.

Consuming resistant starch is like building golf courses, constructing massive timeshare developments adorned with the name Ritz Carlton, building ski areas, hosting a Classical Music Festival, a Food and Wine Festival, and most genius of all – a Jazz Festival with no Jazz (affluent white people think Jazz is really cool, but don’t want to admit that they don’t actually like it and would rather see Wilco, the Black Crowes, Skynard, the Dixie Chicks, and Glenn Frey).

Get that going and you won’t need to kidnap any rich white people.  The skies will darken with private planes within minutes, and you will be surrounded by popped collars, sweatered chihuahas, George Hamilton, and rumors of Johnny Depp building a house up Castle Creek.

“If you build it, they will come.”

Read more about resistant starch at http://www.resistantstarch.com/

 

129 Comments

  1. Well there you go. I mean, what's left to say. You've said what you wanted to say, and of course you've said it. If I weren't any less of a sayer myself, I might just say something of the sort, but as I've already said, you've already said it.

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  2. Looks like the people in that video could use some more resistant starch in their diets. Good analogies. A jazz festival with no jazz? Love it!

    Scott

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  3. I clicked in that jazz link. Ouch. You were right. Maybe they can get Slayer or Metallica to play next year.

    Scott

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  4. Matt, what sources of carbs/starch satisfy your appetite best (per gram of carb)? Personally, it's

    oats
    lentils
    potatoes/yams
    rice
    bananas*

    …so for me it looks like protein, fiber (including RS), and even fat content are influential.

    *I've never attempted to eat lots of unripe bananas as opposed to ripe ones. I wonder how much of a difference it would make…

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  5. Swede-

    Yes, that's what it would take to get me to go to that "Jazz" Festival. The Black Eyed Peas came last year. How's that for some Jazz? Hoping for DJ "Jazzy" Jeff next year.

    John-

    Yes, fair assessment. I don't find bananas quite as satiating, but there's no doubt that in the fruit department they are definitely the most satiating. A little unfair though – they are just about the most calorie-dense fruit. Something starchier, like a plaintain, I'm willing to be would be much more satiating for most people though.

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  6. Oh, yea, sorry I wasn't that specific. I put bananas at the bottom to indicate they're not satiating to me at all. Other fruits are difficult to include/compare because they have so much water. Plantains would be somewhere in middle for me–ha, I decided not to list every possible food!

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  7. I can't keep up with all this reading! LOL. (but keep it coming!)

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  8. I don't think resistant starch is the next acai berry, but Hi-Maize most certainly is.

    Hi-Maize!?! You got to be kidding!

    BTW, I've been keeping up with this blog for the last year. I come from a LC/VLC/NC background and I've made tremedous improvements in health and energy ever since I started RRARFing last November. I've made periodic adjustments over the last 9 months and I do think you're on to something. I look forward to engaging more in the nutritional fray going on here.

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  9. Is brown rice higher in resistant starch than white rice? Aren't the bran and germ mostly fiber and nutrients while the starch is in the endo-sperm?

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  10. Ivan-

    Glad to hear it. You can call it nutritional fray if you like, but I'm calling it the health Mastur Debate.

    Greensmu-

    There's better information out there about what resistant starch does than where you can find it. From what I've gathered, brown rice has more, however, high-amylose varieties of rice like basmati has more than high-amylopectin rice like sushi rice. So who knows whether you'd be better off with white basmati or brown, short-grain? I have been eating a lot of white basmati lately, and am still alive.

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  11. I almost always eat my rice at room temperature because I like it better that way. I noticed in asia it was like that a lot too. Maybe there is a slight benefit in doing it that way because of the resistant starch.

    The popularity of resistant starch seemed to peak a couple of years ago, but haven't heard much about it lately. Maybe the low carbers thought they could eat carbs without digesting any and it didn't work out.

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  12. Matt,
    How is everything going with the diet? I am especially interested in your strength, energy, muscle/fat mass, and mood. How much protein and animal foods are you consuming now?

    You mentioned how your sleep has improved. Do you think this is due to lower fat or protein? Can you give a little more info on how your diet changes have effected your sleep?

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  13. Matt, you should start a rap group called Hi-Maize and play at next year's non-jazz festival.

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  14. Great video! That was really interesting as always. Good to know that we're all so on the right track. It make so much sense that eating whole grains, beans and starches would be good for us.

    I can say from my personal experience that eating loads of potatoes did WONDERS for my digestion. I lived through 20 years of chronic diarrhea, and it disappeared completely within a few days of potato heavy RRARF!!! I had tried every pro biotic on the market before that. Now I take none cause I don't need it….

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  15. Who's the tool in the shades? Or is it some random picture you found on the internet?

    I love local humor. But then again, I'm from Portland, Oregon… so it's quite the easy target. I didn't realize how hilarious Aspen was though.

    Thanks for the uppity, refurbished "Laguna Beach" knock off. I think I lost 10 IQ points in that 3 minute and 54 second span of time. Now I know why I don't watch TV.

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  16. For the RS that needs to be chilled, can you reheat it and get the same benefit or do you have to eat it cold?

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  17. JT-

    I have been consuming very little meat and fat the last 10 days or so actually. Had ribs once a few days ago, but other than that mostly rice, beans, potatoes, greens, chicken broth, salsa, and nutritional yeast.

    Muscle mass up. Stength up. Body fat still decreasing. Although, to be honest, it seems like white rice is better for mass gains but stalled fat loss a little.

    My sleep is very deep and I have dream recall consistently for the first time in my life. It's pretty wild. Other interesting changes include not needing to drink much water and not having to urinate much at all.

    Body odor is decreased.

    I feel really good. My only complaint would be that my skin has been better. It actually feels quite soft, smooth, moist, and clean – but I've had a few blemishes that seemed to sort of come out of nowhere.

    I had some low back pain at first also, but this has really passed the last few days.

    Kirk-

    I think something happens to the starch molecules when they cool. I think you'd probably have to eat it cold, or at least not hot, for resistant starch to be present.

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  18. Hi-Maize. Yeah. I could be the front man. Willy Maize.

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  19. Matt, when I went to high carb, low fat I experienced some breakouts as well as some joint pain. It has gotten better, but I wonder what caused it. Could it be that grains cause inflammation? Or could it just be a sluggish metabolism from going low carb in the past and as body temperature and metabolism rise the skin/joint pain will diminish? Paleo followers and raw foodists will argue grains cause inflammtion, whether it be because they are high in carbs or because of their affect on insulin, but we all know from experience going low carb or mainly raw food has terrible consequences after a month or two. So a couple questions. 1) Why does introducing grains cause inflammation? 2) Do you experience any body odor if you consume dairy? 3) Do you think digestion is part mental? It seems if I go into a meal knowing it won't cause problems I digest it fine. But if I am hesitant or have anxiety about it and just sit around waiting for the gas to come it always does. Also the more carbs/fiber a meal has the better it digests. Gastrin/pepsin from the amount of carbs or just saying "screw it" seem to help digestion immensely. Finally 4) Do you have any knowledge of the parasympathetic/sympathetic nervous systems. There is a lot of metabolic typing out there so what do you think of it. In my opinion, humans are all carb type because we are sympathetic dominant and our bodies want foods/activities that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Exercise, stress, lack of sleep, too much fat/protein, caffiene will all stimulate your sympathetic nervous system. So wouldn't it make sense to go high carb/low fat, exercise a little but take cold showers and rest after to help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. I've thouroughly read all your books/posts and it seems most people suffer from sympathetic dominance which will cause the adrenal/thyroid fatigue. This is why the Paleo diet eventually fails. It keeps your body in fight or flight mode. When I went Paleo all I wanted to do was exercise. I would eat a huge steak with more fat and some veggies and I could never sit still. I always wanted to walk or run or just lift something. Since I've gone high carb/low fat about 6 months ago I am much more social, care more about my appearance, have better hair growth and skin tone, have the desire to read more and just simply relax. Do you think everyone would benefit from parasympathesizing (starch/some fruit and veggies/relaxtion/going low fat/protein) for longevity? I know it's a long post, but I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks Matt.

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  20. Matt, step aside, I want to answer RyanL:
    HELL YES!

    That is all.
    I am loving my lower fat, high starch/carbs, moderate to low protein deal.
    And I do love to read.
    xo

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  21. "Other interesting changes include not needing to drink much water and not having to urinate much at all."

    Any thyroid book will tell you that this is a clear sign of hypo- thyroidism.

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  22. Matt. your video was fabulous….I need to get my clients to view it. Yes you have a way with words!
    On the other hand the Aspen video …well it was a very good reminder. Of why i live the life I do. I avoid the mainland as much as I can and have not watched TV for 9 years. Although I am dying for some Jazz here on Maui, I must have been dreamin' that it was on the mainland…good God- if that link is what Jazz has been reduced to I'll stick with da kine!

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  23. Hi Matt. Very interesting blog, made be challenge my paleo assumptions (did starch-free paleo over 1 year). Anyway I was wondering if you ever get lab tests for hormones done? I get them every 3-6 months for thyroid, testosterone, and vitamin D mostly. After being on starch and more carbs the past few months I plan on getting tested next month to see if my hypothyroid problems have resolved. My gut feeling is that they have improved given my higher waking temperature (from low 96 to mid 97, higher sex drive, and other remission of hypo symptoms. I wonder how much the summer heat has to do with the higher temperature though; when I run the AC I wake up 0.5f or so lower.

    I also have a question about temperature reading. You seem to advocate underarm as the best gauge but I find that it can be unreliable for me. For months I would just track oral because it was more consistent, now I am tracking oral, rectal, and underarm each day and seeing how they vary.

    Definitely rectal is the most stable and the highest (98.3-98.8 for me). Do you have any idea what the ideal temps may be for non-underarm ? Oral usually runs 0.2-0.8f higher than arm and rectal 0.5-1.2f higher.

    Great Blog, Thanks!

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  24. Resistant starch–is this the silver bullet that is finally going to kick my UTIs?

    RyanL–
    There was an article in Wise Traditons (Weston Price Foundation's journal) a while ago about how vegetables in the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) can cause or exacerbate joint pain or inflammation in some people. I don't remember the details but might be worth looking into. I have been noticing more pain in knees and hips in the last month or so. I've been eating more potatoes, but I've also been walking the dog in flip-flops so who knows what it's from. Joint pain is also supposed to be a symptom of low adrenal function, so it could be that too, in my case.

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  25. @kirk, you stole my question, LOL! I was thinking the same thing.

    @RyanL, what you were saying about thinking a meal is going to bother you, and it will…my son has tons of health problems, one of which includes persistent stomach aches. His GI said that there are kids that have eaten things that gave them a bad reaction, like eating something that they are allergic to, then they think that every time they eat, the same thing is going to happen. This causes their colons to spasm every time they eat and they have to be treated with an anti-spasmotic. Unfortunately that didn't help my son. Just relating to what you said.

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  26. "My sleep is very deep and I have dream recall consistently for the first time in my life. It's pretty wild.

    I feel really good. My only complaint would be that my skin has been better. It actually feels quite soft, smooth, moist, and clean – but I've had a few blemishes that seemed to sort of come out of nowhere.
    "

    I can relate to those two. The dram recall thing is kinda cool. I thought it only came from actively trying to remember my dreams. (I am looking into lucid dreaming right now, just for the fun of it) I never thought about whether my diet changes could have anything to do with it, but I guess they did.

    About the skin thing. I also have some skin blemishes, almost exclusively on my hands/fingers and I actually got a theory about this and would love to hear your opinion on it:

    To me it actually seems a bit like something is leaving my body. Perhaps some fungal/bacterial organisms that have stayed in my skin for some time now. I noticed that those blemishes drastically increase after weight lifting and washing the dishes. So they appear whenever my skin is either roughed up or made soft through hot water. Ergo those blemishes seem to appear whenevery my skin gets a bit more opened up or permeable. In my opinion this could mean that either there is getting something (bacteria/fungi) into my body or something going out of it. However I think that the latter is what is going on, because a few weeks ago someone commented how it is nearly impossible to get candida/fungal infections on high-carb/low-fat and also the way those blemished develop seem to indicate something leaving my body as well. They start out small, get a little bigger, open up and then seem to vanish again.

    So that's basically my theory. I know I'm kinda weird for thinking about that in such great detail, but I actually didn't consciously think too much about that, it just kinda all came together for me.

    Your take on that issue, Matt?

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  27. Ryan-

    Great questions. A few of us were discussing this recently, and how low-carb seemed to make carbohydrate foods trigger physical pain. For me, it didn't matter whether it was bananas, potatoes, wheat, or rice – increasing carbs dramatically increased physical pain dramatically. Actually, bananas were probably the worst, which leads me to believe that it may have something to do with uric acid.

    High potassium foods supposedly trigger the greatest release of uric acid from the body, and it would make sense that this pain would be very acute at first and then fade away. This is exactly my experience, and Betsy who is the uric acid nerd of the 180 bunch has noticed the identical reaction. So there may be a link there.

    Interesting thoughts on the parasympathetic/sympathetic as well. I don't have much thought to share on it, but I will keep it on my radar screen.

    Rachelle-

    Nightshades, or any plant really, can cause various symptoms due to any number of phytochemicals that can be found in any plant foods. This shouldn't be ignored or discredited, but I'd like to think that the body being in a hyperinflammatory/overreactive state is the core reason for this reaction and not these measly little plant poisons themselves.

    And, it seems like those who go to the greatest lengths to steer clear of these often become the most hypersensitive.

    Madmuhhh-

    Yeah, I'm being patient with it as well, and it may very well be some kind of fungal exodus. Who knows.

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  28. Yeah, I'm always a bit wary of any wholesale condemnation of a natural whole food.

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  29. I've been playing around for a couple of years between lowish carb paleo and a diet like this.
    For me,nightshades definitely cause joint pain and gut irritation if eaten on a regular basis.

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  30. I don't think nightshades or carbohydrates are the main cause of joint pain. It has to be inflammtion already present in the body. Adding some fish oil and a multivitamin will help, as well as some strength training to get the hormones pumping. Don't avoid potatoes because then you're left with only grains. I'm still convinced fruit is overrated and starch is way better than fat/protein. So choose you're evils. Accept that every food will have a downside and at least one thing will always be wrong with your body. Just focus on the positive things. Doing overfeeds, especially on starch, has helped my digestion and body temp immensely. Sundays I'll knock down close to 4 pounds of potatoes each meal and I've never felt warmer in my life. Then come monday, my normal meals digest with ease. I think a healthy metabolism will be able to handle ALMOST any food, so if a food causes problems for someone it's usually not the food that is the problem.

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  31. In another forum someone posted two very interesting studies. A hypocaloric low/no carb-diet will drop your metabolic rate quite a lot. What´s the solution? Sucrose!

    "In four obese women, a hypocaloric sucrose diet was given at the outset for 15 days. The fall in both resting metabolic rate and triiodothyronine concentration was markedly reduced as compared with values during the carbohydrate-free diet."

    http://www.amjmed.com/article/0002-9343(86)90264-0/abstract

    "Our research has shown that 800 kcal/day sucrose diets, unlike pure protein diets, maintained resting metabolic rate (RMR) and triiodothyronine (T3) levels."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2276854

    Would be starch even better? Who knows…

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  32. When I was pounding the potatoes during full on RRARF with lots of butter and tallow, I didn't have any noticeable joint pain. However, when I decreased the fat content of my diet and kept eating those potatoes, I noticed considerable soreness/clicking/popping in my knees. It didn't matter if those taters were peeled or not. I've been incorporating more yams into my diet recently and my knee issues have improved. It could just be my messed up body, but I wonder.

    I know the Weston Price aricle on nightshades talks about how having proper levels of Vitamin D, K2, and magnesium in your body can mitigate the problems associated with eating nightshades.

    I'm just gonna keep eating the food and see what happens.

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  33. Ok, this pain thing is interesting.
    For about 2 weeks I've been experimenting with a high starch, low fat, moderate protein diet after a predominantly fruit and meat diet for a couple of months, which was btw hard to maintain, specially after a few beers ha!
    Anyway, a few days ago I started getting all kinds of pain – headaches, joint pain and worst of all lower back/pelvis pain which was so, so bad I couldn't move. Only just starting to ease up today.
    I was thinking that perhaps tissues becoming turgid from the sudden increase in carbs may have caused pressure on the nerves and that the usual negative feedback mechanisms would eventually adapt to the extra water in the tissues etc.
    The release of uric acid from the system theory is interesting, as is madMUHHH's feeling that the body is purging itself somehow. I too have experienced blemishes during this high starch phase which would indicate something along those lines.
    I'm gonna stick with this as I'm very interested to see how it all pans out and like I said, the pain is starting to subside now.

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  34. resistant starch…. people hype it due to the assimilation of buytrate acid in the intestine… it turns to SCFA, but still accounts for 9 calories a gram

    just eat some pats of butter, you get the same effect. it isnt he resistant starc thats all so mighty, its the acid formed from it which is already amply formed in butter use…

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  35. Mat@ said:
    "Actually, bananas were probably the worst, which leads me to believe that it may have something to do with uric acid."

    What???

    First of all:
    uric acid is the final oxidation product of purine metabolism…bananas have very little purine…so how can bananas cause elevation of uric acid?

    there's very little connection of bananas with uric acid production in the human body.
    they don't contain very much purines
    whole grain barley grains contain nearly twice the purine content as bananas

    Matt@
    "potassium foods supposedly trigger the greatest release of uric acid"?

    humans don't store uric acid…and "release" it
    uric acid is an end product of a particular metabolic step….

    potassium actually helps solubilizes urates and allow them to be excreted by the kidneys
    that's why diruetics can trigger gout…they lower sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium

    potassium supplements are sometimes used for individuals with gout…high uric acid

    dr john

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  36. @malpaz: Butter contains about 3-4% butyric acid. That does not seem like much to me. Of course I don't know any numbers, but I would guess that let's say 500cals of a resistant starch source like potatoes combined with a healthy gut flora would create much more butyric acid than 500cals of butter. Do you know anything more specific about this, Matt?

    Also, just ingesting butyric acid most likely won't help build up the microflora that usually creates the butyric acid out of resistant starch and I think that just "possessing" that microflora will have benefits on its own.

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  37. Malpaz,
    I see that you find the argument of Mike Eades convincing. I am interested to hear Matt's rebuttal of Eades and post against resistant starch.

    There is more to it than just the butyric acid. Does butter really have that much? I know my health, energy, physique, and physical performance are MUCH better eating high amounts of starch than it was eating high amounts of butter and other animal fats. Matt and others have also noticed similar positive benefits.

    Don't be deceived by low carb and paleo ideologues! It can be dangerous to your health.

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  38. Thanks Madmuhhh, that was the point I was going to make. It's not just about the butyrate but where it is produced (causing immediate uptake by the cells of the digestive tract that use it as energy), and by what bacteria.

    JT-

    Eades makes no case but to say that resistant starch comes along with carbohydrate which raises insulin and makes you fat. I've heard that one before. If you want to avoid carbs, listen to Eades. If you want to improve glucose metabolism, resistant starch may very well indeed have a very powerful impact.

    Dr. John-

    Precisely. I'm talking about bananas increasing the excretion of uric acid, not increasing uric acid. Alexander Haig, who commenter Betsy has brought to everyone's attention at 180, noted increases in pain, headaches, acne, etc. when urate was excreted.

    I took note of this interesting experience as eating very high-carb in the past never increased pain when I was coming off of a long-term low-meat diet. Only after years of a high-meat diet did starches and sugars (particularly high potassium citrus, bananas, and potatoes) invoke such a reaction.

    Fortunately now my back pain is gone, but it took a while to kick it. I was surprised, as I had used a high-carb diet in the past to overcome a decade of chronic back pain and was definitely scratching my head as to why it would now have the opposite impact.

    Having built up excessive uric acid on years of eating a pound of meat a day seemed like one of I'm sure several pretty reasonable explanations.

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  39. I loved your Aspen/white people analogy. I watched the entire trailer for Aspen Secrets. I think I threw up in my mouth more than once.
    To be fair, there are two jazz artists out of the twelve signed up for the festival. That is two more than the last "Jazz fest" I attended.

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  40. Hey Matt,
    Really liking the material that has come out of the last couple of weeks. I have not been overfeeding recently but just eating to satiety. It's been a lot of starch, some meat, little fat, little fruit. I feel great, my strength is great (just got back and already close to hitting numbers that I hit in high school when I was working out a lot), and my muscle size vs low carb is much better.
    Anyways, given that I am not consciously overfeeding, how much protein do you think I need? I kind of want to subscribe to Johnny at the Lean Saloon's thoughts that weight bearing exercises determine muscle size and growth as opposed to protein intake. I'm starting to believe this as my lifts get better but just wanted to get your thoughts.
    On a side note, in all honesty I didn't read all of the uric acid comments but I'm thinking I might be going through that (headaches mostly).

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  41. subscribing

    Reply
  42. Mark-

    I still think that very little protein is needed to build muscle. The minimum is probably 1 g per kg of bodyweight and the maximum before you start to run into serious negatives of too high protein consumption is 1g per pound of bodyweight.

    Here's a good video on high protein diets from Abel:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=150e7XzwJ_A&playnext=1&videos=Jvfaz3ZwhEs

    The video also explains, via chronic dehydration, why I was feeling thirsty and passing a lot of urine, had muscle cramps, urine with lots of odor, etc. on a high-meat diet and why that would have all disappeared when transitioning to a starch-based diet.

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  43. Matt,
    Yeah, I have seen that video. Hopefully some of the low carbers will see it before they hurt themselves. Carbs really have been a super supplement, making me stronger, bigger, and faster. It is also a great brain supplement as well, making me smarter, happier, and a lot nicer.

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  44. Matt,
    I think we should quit making fun of the paleo guys since the diet you are following now is the real paleo diet. High carb plant based diet diet with the occasional meat 1 or 2 times a week when you have had a successful hunt. It is kind of funny that you end up doing the real thing on accident just by trying to listen to your body and find what works.

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  45. Matt,
    I was wondering how eating this way would affect Neurotransmitters? I've been more or less Paleo for 5 years and after losing my sex drive completely and desperately wondering why, I'm willing to consider it may be diet.

    Doctor's tested me for everything( including Total and Free T) and everything is normal.
    Though my new doctor after seeing some hormone test results says I may have a neurotransmitter deficiency; wants to test further.

    I've been eating starch along with a Leangains style cycling, for a few weeks now and my strength seems to be improving as well as developing muscle mass..

    anyway, what is your recommendation for replenishing neurotransmitters?

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  46. JT,
    Sure, there is no doubt that Low Carb people will be converted to a high starch diet by a beefcake coach….

    What he says about protein isn't true anyway. It might be dehydrating if you eat almost nothing but ridiculous amounts of protein and no carbs. But otherwise it has nothing to do with reality.

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  47. Jannis,

    What are you talking about? You must have completely misunderstood his reccomendations

    He doesn't say to only eat starch, he likes fruit sugars too. But, you need starchy carbs too if you want to train hard and reach certain physique goals.

    He is not against protein either, his general recommendations are usually around 1 gram per pound of lean body mass. Peat doesn't recommend more than this. What he is criticizing about is the high protein low fat and low carb diets that are so prevalent with the fitness competitors and has caused so much metabolic damage. How can you say this has nothing to do with reality? This is very common, especially with fitness girls.

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  48. Yeah, JT, Kitavan Paleo wi'out the fish.

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  49. So what are the best sources of resistant starch. I don't tolerate taters, but I can do other root veg, beans, corn tortillas. Will these work, and do I have to eat them cold?

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  50. Just a small point, Matt, on the Abel youtube piece mentioned above.

    They were commenting on High Protein, LOW CARB eating. The point was point was that when glycogen stores are not being replenished (by carbs) having emptied the glycogen stores by high energy work loads, then even the high protein diet is not enough to build muscle, since much of it is used via gluco-neo-genesis (as per the white board)to make BG and glycogen to power the muscles. The term in older Sports Physiology texts, such as McArdle, Katch, Katch is "protein sparing". Muscle protein is "spared" by carb replacing the used glycogen, in particular,from a muscle that has not been used.

    You gotta carb re-load, particularly with sugar or HFCS as
    i) the fructose can go immediately to the liver, without needing insulin, and be converted to liver glycogen, and,

    ii) the glucose portion, having raised BG, is pushed into muscle, to replenish muscle glygogen.

    I think someone edited down this clip, leaving out the full explanation, 'cos I can't believe they don't know this.

    The DNL Study, http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/48/2/240, discussed in Joel Marion comments, was designed to find out how large an athlete's glycogen store could be made by sugar over-feeding. It was only when no more could be forced in that DNL took place.

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  51. Leon,
    Yeah, but there are plenty of other non coastal groups that wouldn't have access to fish. These groups would have to hunt and not have as regular a source of animal protein.

    I don't think you don't need to use sugar or HFCS to replenish carb stores. Most bodybuilders use starch because they feel it is better cosmetically. But, I usually have a big sucrose drink while I train and it gives me good energy and I don't feel drained after.

    Reply
  52. Now my temps are up, I thought I'd start thinking about whats next on the list. And thats loose skin. I have loose skin all over my body like an old person. So I did a net search, expecting to find lots of info, must be a common problem, and all I found was body brushing and general health advice. There was one(!)article. The Myth of Loose Skin by Ron Brown. What he said about skin resiliancy gave me hope. He a LA salesman type but his ideas are close to 180s ones. If anyone would take the time to look at this article and give me feed back I would appreciate it. I don't intend to buy this guy's book or follow his diet, its more his ideas about the skin I would like feed back about.
    Anyhow I've had 'overnight' success in reducing my loose skin! I've only discovered this this morning and I'm so happy to have someone to share this with! This is from skin brushing in a herbal bath two nights ago. I hadn't looked at my body since, not expecting visible, immediate results (tried skin brushing for cellulose in the past with no results) but this morning I did while dressing, and I couldn't believe my eyes-in fact I fetched my reading glasses and turned on my strong light! Definate results you can see.
    The herbal mixture was Paracelsus's 14thc formula rediscovered by 18thc Swedish physician Dr Claus Samst and popularised in the 1950s by the Austrian herbalist Maria Treben. We are disappearing down the epistomological blackhole of synergenic effects- the herbs work together and the brushing probably is synergenic as well. Treben used the bitter herbs as a poltice to heal wounds and burns to great effect. So I thought it might work as a skin application. I made a strong tea which I steeped then and allowed to sit for 24hrs and added to the bathwater.
    Matt you quote Keyes "indirect evidence that blood flow through the skin had been decreased during semi-starvation". Losing about a quarter of your body weight, if you start with a normal body weight, as I did, must count as 'semi-starvation'. So maybe its not so surprising that increasing the blood flow to the skin would have dramatic effects-especially as I have been following a supernutritional diet for a long time and now have a normal body weight.
    The human body is awesome!
    PS For conosueirs of absurd trivia, check Ron Brown's chart of star's body fat ratios based on statistics given by the stars to The National Enquirer(!).

    Reply
  53. Another reason to eat less meat, more veg, esp for us Cancer Cowpokes:
    Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health E-Zine
    August 15, 2010

    Methionine Restriction to Prolong Life?

    Humans live longer when they exercise, eat lots of fruits
    and vegetables, keep body fat low, and restrict excess calories,
    meat and protein. The latest research show that restricting a
    certain protein building block called methionine may be more
    effective in prolonging life than restricting calories or
    proteins.

    Caloric restriction with adequate intake of nutrients
    prolongs life in fruit flies, roundworms, and mice by increasing
    insulin sensitivity and heart function, and decreasing inflammation
    and the muscle wasting of aging. In humans, calorie restriction
    helps to prevent diabetes, heart disease and cancer. However,
    getting all of the nutrients you need while restricting calories is
    very difficult.

    Anything that increases cell growth and increases
    production of new cells in your body appears to shorten lifespan.
    Your cells are programmed so that when food is scarce, cells lie
    dormant in an attempt to conserve energy to help you survive.
    However, when food is plentiful, extra calories stimulate new cell
    growth which ultimately shortens lifespan. Researchers have
    identified a protein in cells called TOR (Target Of Rapamycin)
    which promotes cell growth. Blocking TOR increases lifespan in
    yeast, worms, flies and mice (Aging Cell, September 2010).
    Caloric restriction and a drug called rapamycin block TOR to
    decrease cell growth and prolong life (Nature, July 8, 2009).
    However, rapamycin is not safe because it suppresses immunity
    to increase infections and it also markedly increases blood levels
    of triglycerides to increase risk of heart attacks.

    The most potent dietary activators of TOR are amino
    acids, the building blocks of protein. Restricting protein lowers
    TOR and another major promoter of cell growth called Insulin-like
    Growth Factor-1 (Rejuvenation Research, October 2007).

    Restricting just one amino acid, methionine, extends the
    life of flies and mice as much as caloric restriction does (Medical
    Hypotheses, February 2009). Methionine is found primarily in
    animal products, and is very low in foods that come from plants.
    Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in meat and
    dairy products markedly restricts intake of methionine.
    Furthermore, this diet is much easier to follow than one that
    restricts calories.

    ***********************************************

    Reply
  54. Not to change the subject or anything, but what do you all think of Max Gerson's cancer therapy which allows FRUIT and small amounts of SUGAR, but no SALT or FAT!!!!

    Actually, Debbie already changed the subject to those lines, so give the credit to her!

    Debbie, it was funny to read your message because I was thinking along those lines this morning before I came here. The Gerson Therapy has lots of testimonials by real people that have been cured of cancer.

    Sydney, that's interesting about the tea in your bath water + dry brushing tightening up your skin so quickly. I have body soaks by DNR, inc., for that, but I haven't been keeping up with it this summer. Sounds as if your skin disappearing down the blackhole of the bathtub drain. The body is amazing, isn't it?

    Sheesh, I just about kill myself doing low carb (several times), the milk diet(several times), raw vegan(several times), and several other very unsuccessful diets, but there is always hope because the body can recuperate from all those things. You can actually even end up better than when you started.

    Reply
  55. @Christian:

    If you're interested in correcting neurotransmitter deficiencies, check out Julia Ross's books. She talks a lot about temporary amino acid therapy (in conjunction with a good diet) for balancing brain chemicals. I've used it with great success in the past. Don't need it much anymore. (On a side note, I would stay away from 5-htp. I've had some bad experiences with accidentally taking too much.)

    I wrote about a few of the beneficial aminos on my blog recently:

    http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2010/08/4-amino-acids-that-improve-energy-and.html

    @sidney – That herbal bath sounds interesting. I do dry skin brushing with mixed results, so that sounds like a good therapy to add in. I have a big jar of liquid Swedish bitters in my kitchen–do you think I could add that to my bath?

    Reply
  56. Re: pain – I have been having lots of headaches, as well. Will this eventually subside?

    A little of topic, but I am hoping for some insight. A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly jumped up five pounds. I thought water weight, but it has not come off. Since then, I have been incredibly bloated – like I look 6-7 months pregnant, most days. As soon as I eat or drink anything, my stomach bloats up. I doesn't matter what or how much. Any ideas what this could be?

    Reply
  57. Also, to add to above, digestion has been regular, but I always feel like I am not empty.

    Reply
  58. Anonymous,

    I just found a book online called "Permanent Good Health a Possibility" that may or may not have the reason to both of your problems. I have to go or I would take the time to explain it, but if you want to take a look at it, it's at the oldandsold website.

    Reply
  59. Very interesting conversation about "tea" baths and skin/healing. My wife, 3 days ago had a home birth with midwifes. Part of the recovery process is to take "tea" baths, both for healing and also for skin tone and recovery.

    Reply
  60. @ Nathan

    Hey! Congrats on the home birth! Awesome. I always wanted to do a home birth but it wasn't really in the cards for me. Well, really I wasn't mentally ready to do it at the time. Now I would jump all over it!

    Reply
  61. Betsy: I am a total subject changer, what a trouble maker I can be!
    Gerson is for sure a fat/salt hater, but funny enough, he advocated raw liver to be juiced as well as veggies and fruits.. but that was revoked in later years, probably due to a lack of grass fed non factory beef.. can you imagine the toxic load of a juiced factory cow liver? YIKES.
    Coming off raw vegan, adding in raw dairy and small bits of bison/fish, raw cheese and butter, my White count (from chronic leukemia) actually went down.. but then it went up again.. along with my weight. Insert Sad Face Here…
    So, yeah, like the article I posted stated, I am of the opinion that fruits, veg, low dairy/meat and lots of exercise is the best deal for me. That Pesky blood cancer can kiss my starchy white ass:)!

    Reply
  62. been following the posts and discussions here for a while and am interested in this new direction in terms of higher carb diet for several reasons. been following a Weston Price style diet (high fat, higher protein, whole grains, whole foods, etc) for the past 7 years or so after SAD diet up until that point. have been relatively healthy ever since, BUT, would love to have more energy, better moods, and fewer colds (still get about 2 a year). Plus, i am becoming more averse to eating animals and animal foods ironically after beginning to raise my own. we have chickens and milking goats. plus, i pay a small fortune for all of these animal products! plus it just seem like healthy traditional cultures would not have access to that much meat like the amount my family has been consuming–3 meals per day.

    i have a few questions that hopefully a few of you out there could help me with:

    1. what the heck is wrong w/ caffeine? at the risk of sounding like a peatard, is this just a bunch of hooey: raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml
    and alcohol too. is this all related to dopamine?

    2. i seem to like my grains w/ sugar. ie oatmeal w/ maple syrup. whole grain rice/buckwheat pancakes w/ maple syrup. should i forgo the maple syrup?

    3. i have children and they love bread and pasta. we eat rice pasta and rice food for life english muffins to appease them. also sprouted corn tortillas no PUFAs but obviously refined. should we be avoiding these?

    4. matt, when you suggest avoiding fructose, do you mean all forms including whole fruits? and what about my OJ? avoided it for years until the last few months when we moved to CA and i started reading ray peat. but i do feel like a junkie every morning. it's the first thing i want.

    5. any recs for healthy exercise? haven't exercised since having kids almost 6 years ago, but i would love to be stronger and feel more fit. i have almost no muscle tone at this point. what about super slow? a CHEK trainer? i probably need to start w/ a class or trainer or video since i am super unmotivated to do any type of weight program on my own.

    6. so no fat along w/ starches??? i can't imagine eating white rice w/out coconut milk or butter. or potatoes w/ out cheese, butter, etc. what about just scaling back on the fats? what about the fat soluble vitamins?

    thanks everyone. am really enjoying these discussions and your blog, matt!

    Reply
  63. been following the posts and discussions here for a while and am interested in this new direction in terms of higher carb diet for several reasons. been following a Weston Price style diet (high fat, higher protein, whole grains, whole foods, etc) for the past 7 years or so after SAD diet up until that point. have been relatively healthy ever since, BUT, would love to have more energy, better moods, and fewer colds (still get about 2 a year). Plus, i am becoming more averse to eating animals and animal foods ironically after beginning to raise my own. we have chickens and milking goats. plus, i pay a small fortune for all of these animal products! plus it just seem like healthy traditional cultures would not have access to that much meat like the amount my family has been consuming–3 meals per day.

    i have a few questions that hopefully a few of you out there could help me with:

    1. what the heck is wrong w/ caffeine? at the risk of sounding like a peatard, is this just a bunch of hooey: raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

    2. i seem to like my grains w/ sugar. ie oatmeal w/ maple syrup. whole grain rice/buckwheat pancakes w/ maple syrup. should i forgo the maple syrup?

    3. i have children and they love bread and pasta. we eat rice pasta and rice food for life english muffins to appease them. also sprouted corn tortillas no PUFAs but obviously refined. should we be avoiding these?

    4. matt, when you suggest avoiding fructose, do you mean all forms including whole fruits? and what about my OJ? avoided it for years until the last few months when we moved to CA and i started reading ray peat. but i do feel like a junkie every morning. it's the first thing i want.

    5. any recs for healthy exercise? haven't exercised since having kids almost 6 years ago, but i would love to be stronger and feel more fit. i have almost no muscle tone at this point. what about super slow? a CHEK trainer? i probably need to start w/ a class or trainer or video since i am super unmotivated to do any type of weight program on my own.

    6. so no fat along w/ starches??? i can't imagine eating white rice w/out coconut milk or butter. or potatoes w/ out cheese, butter, etc. what about just scaling back on the fats? what about the fat soluble vitamins?

    thanks everyone. am really enjoying these discussions and your blog, matt!

    Reply
  64. been following the posts and discussions here for a while and am interested in this new direction in terms of higher carb diet for several reasons. been following a Weston Price style diet (high fat, higher protein, whole grains, whole foods, etc) for the past 7 years or so after SAD diet up until that point. have been relatively healthy ever since, BUT, would love to have more energy, better moods, and fewer colds (still get about 2 a year). Plus, i am becoming more averse to eating animals and animal foods ironically after beginning to raise my own. we have chickens and milking goats. plus, i pay a small fortune for all of these animal products! plus it just seem like healthy traditional cultures would not have access to that much meat like the amount my family has been consuming–3 meals per day.

    i have a few questions that hopefully a few of you out there could help me with:

    1. what the heck is wrong w/ caffeine? at the risk of sounding like a peatard, is this just a bunch of hooey: raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

    2. i seem to like my grains w/ sugar. ie oatmeal w/ maple syrup. whole grain rice/buckwheat pancakes w/ maple syrup. should i forgo the maple syrup?

    3. i have children and they love bread and pasta. we eat rice pasta and rice food for life english muffins to appease them. also sprouted corn tortillas no PUFAs but obviously refined. should we be avoiding these?

    Reply
  65. 4. matt, when you suggest avoiding fructose, do you mean all forms including whole fruits? and what about my OJ? avoided it for years until the last few months when we moved to CA and i started reading ray peat. but i do feel like a junkie every morning. it's the first thing i want.

    5. any recs for healthy exercise? haven't exercised since having kids almost 6 years ago, but i would love to be stronger and feel more fit. i have almost no muscle tone at this point. what about super slow? a CHEK trainer? i probably need to start w/ a class or trainer or video since i am super unmotivated to do any type of weight program on my own.

    6. so no fat along w/ starches??? i can't imagine eating white rice w/out coconut milk or butter. or potatoes w/ out cheese, butter, etc. what about just scaling back on the fats? what about the fat soluble vitamins?

    thanks everyone. am really enjoying these discussions and your blog, matt!

    Reply
  66. Debbie, I'm sorry to hear that you have leukemia.

    I was vegan for many years, and the first summer that I ate milk and meat with hardly any vegetables, I showed a great improvement. My sister-in-law said "Wow, you look so much better. What did you do, start eating lots of vegetables?" No, I had been eating tons of vegetables for years. Very ironic. But something happenned along the way and now it seems as though the milk and meat have done something to me that isn't good. My heart is much stronger than before, but the uric acid problems are every where I turn. I can't figure out what is right. I am just doing one day at a time.

    Has your doctor told you about the relationship of leukemia to uric acid? I don't know a lot about it, but the relationship is really strong.

    Reply
  67. PLEASE HELP!

    Anyone who has CURED themselves of adrenal fatigue? Anyone know how to HEAL adrenal fatigue?

    I think I have adrenal fatigue.

    Here are a few of my symptoms:
    ——
    I'm tired all the time, fatigue, feel like I'm hungover all the time. At the same time, I'm restless and slightly hyperactive.

    I get fatigued, lose weight, and my moods crashes if I eat a lot of fruits/fruits juices (natural sugars).

    Whenever I drink coffee or eat low carb fatty meals I get a temporary high but then followed by a crash

    Exercise leaves me feeling depressed, drained

    I can't focus on anything, have obsessive thoughts..

    Cortisol morning blood test was OK, been on thyroid meds for a few months. Diet is good, balanced, I eat frequent meals through day. Fruits only once in a while. Can't tolerate milk (bloats me) but do well on cheese and butter.

    Suggestions?

    What's the fastest way out of this? Do I have to resort to adrenal meds or supplements like isocort? Specific foods that help?

    Have tried overfeeding but doesn't seem to help.

    Reply
  68. Matt,

    Two questions:

    First, what effect might such a high carb, low fat diet have on one's lipid panel? I'm sure if youre eating whole foods you'd be fine.

    Second, where does fruit fit into your current nutrition standpoint? SHould one minimize fruit consumption or avoid fruit entirely when eating high starch?

    THanks for your time,
    JK

    Reply
  69. JK,

    You'd probably see "negative" effects: decrease in HDL, increase in triglycerides, decrease in LDL partical size.

    But, I think you're right: If you're eating whole foods, you'll most likely be fine…

    Reply
  70. Lisa,
    Don't be scared by all of of the caffeine and sugar phobes. It is fine in moderation as long as you aren't having any bad reactions.

    the starches and carbs you eat are fine as long as you are keeping your fats low. you don't need to add a ton of fats to the starches, your tastes have just been perverted by all of the years eating a high fat diet, but you will adapt. i was the same way in the past, and now I have lost my taste for high fat meals. I eat plain rice everyday and i don't ever get tired of it, and my little neices and nephews love it too. but my rice tastes much better than what most people eat and I think it is because I use a rice cooker.

    regarding exercise, I have mentioned it before, but I definitely think Abel's Metabolic Enhancement Training is the best. You can get the dvd and follow it. I have done many different types of training but nothing changed me as fast as this.

    Reply
  71. Matt,

    Regarding your "attract white people" analogy, which is a great point, I think the same could be said for micronutrients in general. People have all sorts of deficiencies, yet supplement trials are rarely successful. Bottom line–ugly neighborhoods make people leave.

    Reply
  72. Adrenal fatigue,

    You don't even know for sure what your problem is, and if you try to self medicate before even knowing you could create worse problems. Find a doc in your area that specializes in this and get the right tests to see if that is really your problem.

    Your symptoms could actually be the opposite of adrenal insufficiency. If you are restless and hyperactive you could have too much cortisol. If you really do have a problem there is no fast way out. It will take time to heal.

    Reply
  73. Leon-

    It is generally agreed that starch is the best for repleting muscle glycogen – a fructose/glucose blend ideal for liver glycogen.

    Sugar before and during exercise is probably the best. Kind of like what Franco Columbo practiced – pounding grapes before and during workouts.

    Sydney-

    Interesting. I tried dry brushing for a while years ago, but am way too lazy to ever practice something like that religiously for more than a couple of weeks.

    Lisa-

    Fruit/juice first thing in the morning is probably the ideal time to have it – on an empty stomach. But I couldn't drink it ritually or I would become a junkie for sure. I do often eat a lot of fruit, but usually just in one day – not every day. I would eat it daily if I got tired of not having any tooth pain.

    Caffeine isn't the worst thing in the world by any means. I don't drink it very often because I don't like having a stomachache, being moody, feeling dehydrated, and feeling tired. I drink it every now and then for short-term fun. I do enjoy the taste sometimes. I was actually drinking a little when I first transitioned to much higher carb because I felt hungover in the mornings at first.

    My main problem with caffeine is that it exacerbates the symptoms of insulin resistance, it overworks the adrenals which is the last thing most modern humans need, and induces insulin resistance in large amounts.

    I don't eat maple syrup with grains or anything like that.

    When I say no fructose as part of RRARF, I mean no fructose at all except what you might find in trace amounts in vegetables. That's obviously too restrictive and unecessary for just your regular diet though. If you don't have any issues with it, I don't see too much of a point in strictly avoiding it.

    On exercise, it's hard to know where to begin. JT's advice to do Abel's MET might be a little overwhelming for an exercise newbie. I would steer you more towards fast-paced walking and simple exercises around your home like lunges, jump squats, pushups, and dumbell stuff for arms. It doesn't have to be rocket science, but making exercise habitual and daily is the ticket on a long-term basis.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over any of the grain products you mentioned either.

    JK-

    It's hard to say for sure. I know that McDougall and Fuhrman keep very close tabs on lab numbers and consistently see big rises in HDL, massive drops in LDL and total cholesterol, and drops in trigs almost always into the double digits.

    When looking at straight up research comparing usually refined starch vs. sugar the results are often the opposite.

    Sugar raises trigs, VLDL, increases atherogenic profile concerning particle size pattern, and lowers HDL while starch has the mirrored effect.

    But there's no question that a starch-based diet decreases arteriosclerosis, which, all things considered, is a good thing (although it's certainly not the be all end all when it comes to stroke and cardiovascular disease).

    Reply
  74. Nathan Thats interesting about herbal baths for your wife's birth recovery and of her skin.
    Elisabeth the swedish bitters in your fridge, if they are the ones used for mixed drinks are the same or very nearly. But its a very expensive way to go. If you buy a pack of the dry herbs from a herbalist (rather than a ready made tonic, which is also available) you can get the exact herbs that were in the original formula and will be much cheaper than the tonic. You can also avoid the alcohol which is in most tonics eg make teas. Or you can make a tonic with the alcohol of your choice. Which can be nice if you get into taking them internally. Also poltices and stuff if you got that deep into it. I'm just learning about it myself.
    Liz I collect pro coffee info and am not convinced that coffee is so bad, at least for everyone. Making sure your kids get lots to eat is the most important thing IMO. Sounds like you're doing a good job and I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. I too like maple surup on my oatmeal but I measure it just to make sure it doen't creep up. Also at least half the time I don't have maple surup because I want to be able to enjoy the taste of the grain in its simple state and think super sweet foods blunt the taste buds over time. I don't think theres anything wrong with OJ, as long as its not made from concentrate, but it sounds like you are needing a sugar kick to get you goin in the morning and that can't be good. Also of people here are eating a medium amount of fats, only some are going lowish in fat. Personally I wouldn't touch a low fat diet with a barge pole, think fats are too important nutritionally, and make a bland diet a lot more tasty. Maybe Matt will talk more about why he is recommending lowish fat. When I have pancakes and maple surup about once a month or so, I always go mad with the surup. I think Matts into something when he talks about having a high calorie blow out now and again just to give the body a little surprise. I think I understand where Matts coming from on the fruit but its a nuanced view and is confusing to alot of people from reading the comments. The bottom line, I think, is that in the long run we should be able to eat any wholefood we like, including fruit of course, but starch is better for raising the metabolism and some people are worried about getting too fat on the high carb diet before they reach their turn around. So hes tweeked the HED to accommodate their concerns. I guess he will speak for himself.
    It doesn't sound like your ready for exercise yet. Remember everyday is spa day. I like the ideas vs exercise on the veganmaster site. I too am a bit flabby and out of shape and think I should rush out and do something. But I'm telling myself to be sensible and chill!

    Reply
  75. Nathan Thats interesting about herbal baths for your wife's birth recovery and of her skin.
    Elisabeth the swedish bitters in your fridge, if they are the ones used for mixed drinks are the same or very nearly. But its a very expensive way to go. If you buy a pack of the dry herbs from a herbalist (rather than a ready made tonic, which is also available) you can get the exact herbs that were in the original formula and will be much cheaper than the tonic. You can also avoid the alcohol which is in most tonics eg make teas. Or you can make a tonic with the alcohol of your choice. Which can be nice if you get into taking them internally. Also poltices and stuff if you got that deep into it. I'm just learning about it myself.
    Liz I collect pro coffee info and am not convinced that coffee is so bad, at least for everyone. Making sure your kids get lots to eat is the most important thing IMO. Sounds like you're doing a good job and I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. I too like maple surup on my oatmeal but I measure it just to make sure it doen't creep up. Also at least half the time I don't have maple surup because I want to be able to enjoy the taste of the grain in its simple state and think super sweet foods blunt the taste buds over time. I don't think theres anything wrong with OJ, as long as its not made from concentrate, but it sounds like you are needing a sugar kick to get you goin in the morning and that can't be good. Also of people here are eating a medium amount of fats, only some are going lowish in fat. Personally I wouldn't touch a low fat diet with a barge pole, think fats are too important nutritionally, and make a bland diet a lot more tasty. Maybe Matt will talk more about why he is recommending lowish fat. When I have pancakes and maple surup about once a month or so, I always go mad with the surup. I think Matts into something when he talks about having a high calorie blow out now and again just to give the body a little surprise. I think I understand where Matts coming from on the fruit but its a nuanced view and is confusing to alot of people from reading the comments. The bottom line, I think, is that in the long run we should be able to eat any wholefood we like, including fruit of course, but starch is better for raising the metabolism and some people are worried about getting too fat on the high carb diet before they reach their turn around. So hes tweeked the HED to accommodate their concerns. I guess he will speak for himself.
    It doesn't sound like your ready for exercise yet. Remember everyday is spa day. I like the ideas vs exercise on the veganmaster site. I too am a bit flabby and out of shape and think I should rush out and do something. But I'm telling myself to be sensible and chill!

    Reply
  76. Nathan Thats interesting about herbal baths for your wife's birth recovery and of her skin.
    Elisabeth the swedish bitters in your fridge, if they are the ones used for mixed drinks are the same or very nearly. But its a very expensive way to go. If you buy a pack of the dry herbs from a herbalist (rather than a ready made tonic, which is also available) you can get the exact herbs that were in the original formula and will be much cheaper than the tonic. You can also avoid the alcohol which is in most tonics eg make teas. Or you can make a tonic with the alcohol of your choice. Which can be nice if you get into taking them internally. Also poltices and stuff if you got that deep into it. I'm just learning about it myself.
    Liz I collect pro coffee info and am not convinced that coffee is so bad, at least for everyone. Making sure your kids get lots to eat is the most important thing IMO. Sounds like you're doing a good job and I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. I too like maple surup on my oatmeal but I measure it just to make sure it doen't creep up. Also at least half the time I don't have maple surup because I want to be able to enjoy the taste of the grain in its simple state and think super sweet foods blunt the taste buds over time. I don't think theres anything wrong with OJ, as long as its not made from concentrate, but it sounds like you are needing a sugar kick to get you goin in the morning and that can't be good. Also of people here are eating a medium amount of fats, only some are going lowish in fat. Personally I wouldn't touch a low fat diet with a barge pole, think fats are too important nutritionally, and make a bland diet a lot more tasty. Maybe Matt will talk more about why he is recommending lowish fat. When I have pancakes and maple surup about once a month or so, I always go mad with the surup. I think Matts into something when he talks about having a high calorie blow out now and again just to give the body a little surprise. I think I understand where Matts coming from on the fruit but its a nuanced view and is confusing to alot of people from reading the comments. The bottom line, I think, is that in the long run we should be able to eat any wholefood we like, including fruit of course, but starch is better for raising the metabolism and some people are worried about getting too fat on the high carb diet before they reach their turn around. So hes tweeked the HED to accommodate their concerns. I guess he will speak for himself.
    It doesn't sound like your ready for exercise yet. Remember everyday is spa day. I like the ideas vs exercise on the veganmaster site. I too am a bit flabby and out of shape and think I should rush out and do something. But I'm telling myself to be sensible and chill!

    Reply
  77. omg sydney that Great Wall of Text might be the 8th wonder of the world

    Reply
  78. I think one thing we have to remember is the difference between a temporary healing diet (low fructose or low fat) and an everyday diet. And which diet you follow depends on where you are. If you've been SAD low-fat for while, you need those good fats! If you've been vegan, you better get meat!

    After SAD I was raw, high fat, high fructose (fruit and honey), low starch. Lots of animal protein (raw milk, cheese, raw fish and eggs, etc). I felt good. I was thin, some major health problems went away. But my temps were low, thyroid off, menstrual issues. So I added the cooked starch and promptly, and rapidly gained 20lbs, mostly in the belly. Two months of low-ish fat later, it's still there. Plus the eczema which originally caused me to become orthorexic is back. And I'm still exhausted. Am I healing? I don't know. Temps are up and more stable, and I feel like my adrenals are more stable, but that's the only improvement at the moment.

    So if we're just talking about weight, fructose was better for me than starch. I don't know about long-term health, though.

    If you're worried about caffeine, I pound the Kombucha tea when I feel like I might just fall over dead. Supposedly the fementation process eats up the caffeine. All I know is it keeps me going, but I have never consumed coke/tea/coffee before, so maybe it just works for me.

    The kids got me a Potato Cookbook at a library book sale last week. Pretty funny.

    Remember those PUFAs? Kids are definitely burning less this summer.

    Reply
  79. About eating grains with sweeteners, it will inhibit the amylase production in the mouth and therefore might cause problems with digestion.

    Coffeine is definitely bad for somebody who has problems with his or her adrenals. Its effect is similar to that of refined sugar and cigarettes. If you're healthy it might be ok but if you have problems in those areas, I think it's best to stay away from it as much as possible.

    Reply
  80. Does anyone eat coconut flour? It seems as though that would contain a lot of resistant starch.

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  81. Matt,I don't think many people will have much success trying to do a few lunges and pushups around the house. 99% of people will not maintain this in the long term because they will see no results or get hurt and they will not be self motivated. I would get nothing from this and I have a very extensive training background, someone who is less experienced would be even worse off. A properly designed program is ESSENTIAL for long term success, especially for a newbie. Even something like P90X would be better than trying to wing it because it is a structured program. Group classes are great too, especially for women because they like the social aspect. An experienced coach to work with you personally is the best option, but it is almost impossible to find a good one in most places. All of the trainers in my gym do mostly circus tricks with their clients. and they are very expensive compared to a good dvd.

    I like the MET dvds because it is important for a person to see how to do the movements properly with the right intensity. You can work up to the full program over a period of time, 1 set of each exercise the first week and then over a period of a month or 2 you will be doing the full program.

    Your advice on walking is good and this is something that everyone should be doing if possible, even if you are doing other training.

    If you have any blood sugar issues having fruit or juice first thing in the morning is the worst time. After a workout or later in the day is the best time. I think it is important not to mix it with any other type of food.

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  82. @Betsy: I just started cooking with coconut flour. You have to have good recipes, but so far we love it! Definitely has a lot of fiber.

    Reply
  83. JT,
    what makes you think that sugar is a bad idea when you have blood sugar issues?

    Reply
  84. Elizabeth, do your recipes partially replace other flours?
    Are they finished products difficult to digest?

    Reply
  85. Jannis,
    Where did I write that sugar is a bad idea if you have blood sugar issues?

    Reply
  86. JT,
    What makes you think that eating fruit with other food is bad if you have blood sugar issues? Is it because the vitamin C in fruit increases the absorption of iron, and iron decreases insulin sensitivity?

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  87. Luming,
    I think eating fruit in the morning can cause problems for people with blood sugar/ adrenal issues.

    I first learned in Ayurveda to not mix fruit with other foods, but many other systems teach this as well. I have experimented with myself and realized it is better to eat it alone. It is because of digestion. Some people seem to tolerate it fine mixed with other foods, and I have found that tropical fruits like papaya are OK for me to eat with other foods.

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  88. thanks for your input, everyone. i think i will try to decrease my fats a bit and maybe even try some plain rice! my temps are definitely low so i will work on getting those up. i don't really love fruit anyhow, but do seem to want to combine them w/ fats. apples and cheese, berries and cream, milk based fruit smoothies. will check out those Met Dvds and walking is a great idea for a first step. thanks!

    Reply
  89. Lumimg and JT and Janni'

    Never forget YMMV.

    In fact I got the following on my refrigerator in very large letters – MMMV – My Mileage May Differ.

    Reply
  90. I noticed that eating more carbs, (like potatoes, rice) give a puffy face look, even though my weight is116 pounds at 5,6 (male), Im really having a hard time putting on weight..but it seems that if I increase the carbs the only part of my body to gain is my face..its pathetic.
    I think I will stick to LC, that seems to deal with my puffy face issues

    Reply
  91. I finished my starch binge weekend and can also vouch for the face puff. I guess carb-face is a reality after all, lol. Anyway I'm just astonished at how much food can be packed away, and I never felt like stopping until the end when I really just felt grouchy and awful, not necessarily satiated. My satiety signals really are that screwed, however hopefully the old body got the message.

    Brain just caught a wave… As far as I know, the Leangains method can involve taking BCAA's, fasted, before an anabolic workout. Could this be exerting some kind of super shangri-la effect?

    Reply
  92. Jaime,
    What you have sounds like classic carb intolerance due to carb restriction. When you go to low carb you are altering your bodies normal osmotic balance. The longer you avoid carbs the more havoc they will have when reintroducing them.

    Reply
  93. @Betsy: I've found recipes that cater to coconut flour (Annette's suggestion was good), and these seem to work the best rather than trying to substitute coconut flour in a "normal" recipe. Honestly I was surprised that it didn't cause any digestive upsets with all that fiber. You can easily take in 10+ grams of fiber in one coconut flour muffin, but eating a couple of those doesn't cause me any GI problems whereas a cup of soaked & slow-cooked beans will.

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  94. @jaime:

    I hate to sound narrow, but there is case after case of low carb being quite harmful in the long run. The puffiness induced by higher carb intake is not a problem of the extra carbs, it's how your body handles them. Right now I'm sure there are other benefits to low carb for you, especially as you're used to it, but they are only temporary and short lived. Problems eventually do add up.

    Perhaps with the extra carbs you've also been having more salt? It's a good thing to have more salt, but if your body is not quite right that could account for the puffiness in the face.

    I've had all sorts of weird things happen to me through different diets, even 180. Sometimes you just have to keep going at it and things will go away, even if you don't like the short term results.

    Remember that the key goals of 180 are to make you more tolerant of all food and truly healthy, vs accepting those tolerances and never working with them. Consequently, 180 is not a good quick fix for much and is a startling change. It is completely worth it though, you just have to give it time for the changes to help and make minor adjustments along the way.

    Just my two cents,
    Teran

    PS: On another note about the fruit topic for other people, sugars seem to be much better handled with certain things, probably vitamin C and potassium. It may also have to do with glucose/fructose ratio. Mixing fruits in with the diet does make them less tolerable, but I still think think it's a reasonable long term goal (at least in moderation, which I rarely vouch for). Really though, my blood sugar is quite sensitive and I can feel minute changes in it. I am perfectly fine with orange juice, even first thing upon waking up with a meal, so I advocate it a good bit now. I've not noticed any health issues adding it in, but I'm more leary of other fruit juices like grape juice and apple juice (both of which can raise my blood sugar under certain circumstances, especially apple juice). If you can't handle a decent orange juice that isn't from concentrate, I'd be really surprised.

    It's really nice to see so many new, active 180 members that I've never seen before. The community is growing :-).

    Reply
  95. @ Riles: I dont think its related to carb restriction, I used to be vegetarian eating rice, quinoa, beans, etc(no wheat & sugar), so my body didnt know carb restriction, going paleo (or lc) really make a difference regarding my face puffiness.
    I know that without carbs, muscle growth is extremely difficult (at least for me)..Im really lost in here.

    About face puffiness, I noticed asian people tend to have quite fatty faces even though they are pretty skinny, is their fat storage different in them?

    Reply
  96. @ Teran: Thanks for your input, I intuitively know lc is not the answer in the long run, but I just cant ignore the benefits of it. My digestive issues have improved, sleep better, etc..but the thing that really keeps me avoiding grains is that I dont have mucus on my stools anymore (sorry for being so explicit, but stools are essential when talking about health. Maybe I will give tubers a chance and hope my body start loving them.

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  97. Hey Lisa: I personally am not a big fan of weight lifting. I've really been enjoying and seeing results from Callenetics. The tape is hilariously out of date, but then there's a reason it's stayed in print this long. It works. The exercises are all laid out carefully and I think they are designed to be low impact and for people who are not exercise experts. I also like how stretched out and relaxed I feel afterward. It is similar to pilates in some ways, but I think it's way more effective and there's less garbage in it. (One of my pilates dvd has 20 minutes of lifting a 1 pound barbell which isn't going to do anything what so ever).

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  98. Jaime,
    Do you have an eating disorder? At your height and weight you must be extremely emaciated, but you are worried that your face might look a little puffy?

    Reply
  99. @ JT: Not at all, I just try to eat as clean as possible and find the right way(we all do). The funny thing is that I am not an anorexic skinny, I am really ripped with aprox 6 to 7% bf. About the puffiness issue…I think the face is an excelent way to tell if something is going ok or not, thats why I mention it.
    Besides its not just "a little puffy", it almost get to the point I dont recognized myself in trhe mirror…

    Reply
  100. Jaime,
    It sounds like you are suffering edema. I agree with JT that you sound emaciated by those stats. How many calories were you eating when you were vegetarian as well as how much are you eating now? Edema is very common in starvation type incidences.

    Reply
  101. Jamie,
    Riles is right, You are probably dealing with starvation symptoms and your body is reacting by holding onto some water whenever it has the opportunity. You are probably suffering from body dysmorphia, and should seek professional help before you injure yourself.

    Reply
  102. No man should weigh 115lb, especially when half of it is in the face apparently. You're a walking bobblehead doll. Get help

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  103. @ Riles & JT: I really dont think I suffering from either starvation (aprox. 2k cal daily)or body dysmorphia. I just see there´s a link between carb intake & the way my face puff..thats all (I try going no salt, but it didnt made any difference).
    Thanks anyway for your concern

    Reply
  104. Jaime,
    Not trying to put you down man, but my wife is your height and weighs 20 pounds more than you, and she is still lean with good musculature. You as a male should not weigh 20 pounds less than a fit female at your same height. the fact that you think that it is OK to be this skinny leads me to think you are suffering from body dismorphia. I hope you seek professional help. More severe low carb dieting is probably just going to make your condition worse.

    Reply
  105. @ kirk & JT: I totally know that my weight looks scarry but I really dont look emanciated. In fact my friends usually think I weight more than my current weight. I think I have "light bones" and a really really high metabolism, I eat butter, goat cheese, meat, veggies in humongous amounts…starvation is really out of question, eating more than 4 k cal is nearly impossible for me or healthy. Anyway I will follow your advice and give starch a chance.(although starch without fat is probably the most boring thing in the universe)

    Reply
  106. Jaime,
    It would be interesting to see what a strong 115 looks like. I just can't imagine it. Just because you eat that much doesn't mean your body is utilizing it. maybe you are not digesting it properly. It is also possible that you have a hormonal disorder. I would get tested to rule all these things out. Maybe your issues are just due to severe carb restriction, I don't know.

    How old are you? A lot of young guys think that having abs means they are in good shape. But, you could also stunt your growth by having too low of calorie restriction.

    Reply
  107. JT: Give me an email, I´ll send you a pic. Dont know about hormonal disorders since I havent check that out.
    I have to mention that I once tried a macrobiotic diet for about 8 months (were talking high carb-low fat-mod protein).. it almost fuck my thyroid, I was constantly hungry..tons of brown (or white)rice,oats & beans didnt seem to be enough, also I crave sweets.
    Thats why I rather be inclined to the paleo way (no VLC way).
    Im 28 but could pass for an 18 easily (runs in the family).
    I dont think 2.000 cal falls into calorie restriction.

    Reply
  108. hi jenny, thanks for the tip. just watched a hilarious youtube video! which tape do you have? i see several on amazon. probably doesn't matter much, but thought i would check. thanks again.

    Reply
  109. @jaime

    I used to be unable to gain significant weight without eating lots of junk and consequentially feeling like crap. I ate vegetarian, vegan, Macrobiotic, WAP, Primal Diet (weight gain but intolerance of dairy made me stop), raw paleo (feeling MUCH better but weight gain impossible and the benefits began to fade after a little).

    Only overfeeding high fat high starch with 4,000 kcal made it possible for me to finally get past 165lbs, now I'm at 185lbs at 6' and quite content. Right now I'm doing a banana fast at 3,000-4,000 kcal, yeah that's a lot of bananas, hoping I can fix my digestion somewhat.

    I'm quite sure my gut is messed up and that not "fast metabolism" is the reason why I have to eat so much to gain. Not sure why my digestion is fucked, I'm looking into gluten being a possible cause.

    Reply
  110. I felt great when I discovered I had abs. If only I knew it was just one of the signs of starvation. I can no longer see them, and the fat that is covering them now is most likely the most stubborn fat ever to exist. Probably never see them again. I am grateful, however, for I now have a properly functioning, important healthful endocrine organ ;)

    Reply
  111. @ Hans: So do you think I should feast on starch (taters, white rice)with pounds of butter in order to start gaining?
    (I dont eat fruit, it fcks me up)
    I appreciate your input.

    Reply
  112. Just a quick anecdote…one of the moms from my kids' school was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Her doctors gave her a high calorie drink to keep up with her metabolism. I'm thinking that would be like taking your car to the mechanic and telling him that you are getting 2 miles to the gallon and his solution is to give you a bigger gas tank. It's funny what we put up with from doctors.

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  113. @ jaime

    Yeah I think that would be a good idea. Really weigh stuff and count the calories to make sure you get to the 4,000 kcal finally. This tool comes in handy: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/
    I know it's a pain in the ass, but only that way you can be sure how much you're actually eating.

    If overeating that way makes you gain more fat than you want you might up carbs and lower fat, but I'd try the high-carb high-fat way first. It's A LOT easier to do. I gained on it but mostly muscle.

    It seems that a lot of people who have digestive issues don't do well on gluten and dairy even butter. Sub-clinical celiac may be a reason why one can't gain weight… Not so sure about the gluten in my case but very sure about the dairy – it totally fucks up my digestion after I eat it for a while, so I avoid both.

    About fruit, I don't tolerate it well either and I'm hoping that the banana fast (or rather feast) will resolve that as well as my remaining blood sugar problems… I will continue it for 1-2 weeks and see if my stools improve, if they don't, I will give it up and avoid fruit henceforth.

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  114. Hans
    Thanks for your input!, highly appreciate it. My only concern is that my father & my grandfather were both diabetic, I hope that the real culprit was wheat & refined sugar not taters..or else Im in trouble.
    You mention that you also turn into macrobiotics…why is it then that so many people failed at this when carb intake in a macrobiotic diet is almost 60 to 70%??
    It certainly falls into a high carb low fat diet…

    Reply
  115. Kirk Yeah I am embarassed and will try to use my punctuation in future posts. I'm an older person and not very computer literate. Or thats my excuse!

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  116. Matt, I recently started sprouting my brown rice to reduce the phytic acid content. Do you know whether sprouting it would have any effect on the resistant starch? (BTW, I find that sprouting short grain brown rice is easy- it takes 36-48 hours and I use the instructions from sproutpeople.com. I like the cooked consistency of sprouted much better than when I just soak it overnight before cooking. It takes some forethought but not much effort!)

    Reply
  117. Jaime,

    I also have diabetics in my family… I'm not really worried about the potatoes, in fact I hope that they will help me overcome my own blood sugar issues. It seems that they have helped a lot so far.

    Macrobiotics… There are a lot of problems with it. First it advocates unsoaked grains as the staple which means high phytates and could hinder nutrient absorption. Eating potatoes is strongly discouraged as they are seen as extremely yin, other tubers are allowed but only in small amounts, and I guess most macrobiotics don't eat them at all.

    Second animal products are severely limited, red meat is totally discouraged and veganism is touted as being superior, which will lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long run.

    Third the only fat that is allowed really is high in omega-6: sesame or sunflower oil. This and the brown rice consumtion will obviously lead to a severe imbalance in fatty acid intake.

    Fourth I think a lot of macrobiotics undereat. Ohsawa wrote that a cup of rice (with no additional food!) is enough food for one person for one day. In general it's rather hard to eat enough calories on a macrobiotic diet, because your feeling will tell you it's too much. To make macrobiotics eat enough, they would have to be actively encouraged, and that's not happening afaik.

    Fifth I could imagine low potassium intake could be a problem as potassium rich foods are seen as too yin.

    Anyway, macrobiotics is not a good guidance for choosing your diet. You could make an acceptable diet from macro guidelines or you could make an absolutely horrible one.

    Reply
  118. Hans,
    Thanks for clearing this up, by the way, Ive notice an increase of urination since upping my carbs (mainly potatoes)and also feeling a little dizzy after high carb meals, should I worried?…too much glucose in my blood?

    Reply
  119. Matt, when you chill down the starches, do you then have to eat them cold, or can you reheat them after they've been chilled down? Will "that good stuff" still be in there if it's reheated?

    Reply
  120. @jaime

    I can only speak from my own experience here – give it some time. Dietary changes almost always cause some complications in the beginning. Like my banana fast, I had horrible smelly farts and was bloated like a balloon in he beginning, going to the bathroom was a nightmare, but that has improved a lot – flatulence but no smell and only a little bloating, stools are a lot better too now.

    If your problems persist however over some weeks, then maybe you should up fat a little or something. Definitely give it time before that, though.

    Reply
  121. Lived in Aspen in 1982-4; Loved your analogy!

    Reply
    • Class of 96′ baby! Go Skiers!

      Reply

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