Rice vs. Potatoes (RVP)

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It is time for an official squaring off between two of the world’s most popular starches.  But before we go any further, I give full credit for this post to two tater lovers out there.  The first is Kasper, who snapped this photo at home just last night.  We could officially call this the 180 Tatey, the mascot of the incurable starch fiend.

But the real meat to go with that tater comes from Toni, who sent me this awesome video about the exceptional health of the people in Yuzuri Hara, Japan – a place where, unlike the rest of Japan, the people eat fresh, local taters instead of white rice – and their health, because of eating an unrefined, fresh-outta-the ground tater instead of a refined starch as their staple, is noticeably superior.

Not to bash rice too hard, as it is clearly not the devil incarnate in the same way, say, high-fructose corn syrup is.  In fact, it is probably a perfectly healthy staple as long as the rest of your diet is excellent and well-rounded from a nutritional standpoint.  But in a head to head comparison, I think this video says it all.  Hyaluronic Schmyaluronic.  This is one of the only places in any developed country where the diet is built around unrefined starches. Check out the eBook DIET RECOVERY for more information.  Live-long on taters and long-live the 180 Tatey!!!


  1. This is so awsome. Long live the 180-tatey!

    Hey Matt, why not get someone to photoshop-merge your logo and the 180 tatey together?

    – Kasper

  2. If it was just the potatoes, then the Irish would have similar longevity. Other aspects of the diet must also factor in.

  3. As the times goes by I think I don't have a clear understanding of how the 180 diet is now working.
    Could You friends please clarify me the actual rules.
    Which is the difference with the (previously unsuccesfull) FUDA diet.
    Is it know a high statch/carb low fat low protein diet (like McDougall and Ornish)?
    Thanks to all

  4. Every time I hear that video, in my mind I hear "highly-ironic acid"

    I think Matt knows my take on the almighty spud.

    Here are some great quotes I have secured while researching the white potato:

    "The chairmen, porters, and coalheavers in London, and those unfortunate women who live by prostitution, the strongest men and the most beautiful women perhaps in the British dominions, are said to be the greater part of them from the lowest rank of people in Ireland, who are generally fed with this root. No food can afford a more decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution."

    "what the Board of Agriculture mentions as a fact of the greatest importance, that potatoes and water alone, with common salt, can nourish men completely"

    "The potato, which in some points of view, may justly be regarded as one of the greatest blessings to our species, is capable of operating the greatest calamities, when it exclusively furnishes the food on which a community is content to exist"

    "The small farmers live on potatoes and milk. It is considered that he is a very fortunate man if he has milk for his family. He sells his butter and never uses oatmeal in his house."

  5. I agree with Carl, if it was something magical about the potato then the mono diet Irish would have grown wings, and the Peruvian Indians who have access to hundreds of different types of potatoes would have been giants that crushed the tiny spanish conquistadors.

    Maybe it is the soil or water that is special there.

    The japanese eat white rice everyday and they are still the longest lived industrialized country.

    There is no optimal food, only optimal for the individual.

  6. I didn't see any cows in the video. Do you think they don't eat dairy fat? Before reading at WAPF several years ago, I hadn't eaten any dairy for a long time. After reading at WAPF, I am almost afraid to NOT eat any dairy fat. But I have a feeling that it causes me some sort of digestive problem.

    Riles, in your second to last quote, it says that the potato is capable of operating the greatest calamities when it exclusively furnishes the food on which a community is content to exit. Do you know what sort of calamity it is referring to? I suppose that means that you have to eat a good variety of other foods in order to stay healthy, but it would be good to know exactly what to look for when they are eaten in excess.

    You could certainly see that the people of that village eat other vegetation. I agree with Carl that there must be other factors in their diet, and it would be interesting to find out what they are. I didn't see any sugary or high fat foods in the video, either. The video also emphasises that they have a calm, peaceful lifestyle, and they all seem to do gentle type exercise. You can learn a lot from that video. Thanks for sharing it, Matt.

    Their skin looks just incredible, doesn't it? And the fact that they can smoke without getting cancer reminds of something I read somewhere else that said that it's not actually the cigarettes that cause the cancer, but something about the condition of your body. Although their cigarettes might be different than the type sold in the USA; our contain thousands of bad chemicals.

    The King Institute sells a type of tea, Rhus tea, that was found in a community where people who drank it could smoke without having to worry about cancer.

    One theory that I will put out there is that since their diet is low in animal protein, they don't get the buildup of uric acid that is so common here.

  7. Betsy, here is the entire quote. You will see what the "calamity" us referred to

    J. C. Curwen, The Rural Economy of Ireland, 1818

    "The first and most important object in the rural economics of Ireland is the crop of potatoes, for on these exclusively depends the existence of all the lower orders not resident in towns. The potato, which in some points of view, may justly be regarded as one of the greatest blessings to our species, is capable of operating the greatest calamities, when it exclusively furnishes the food on which a community is content to exist, for as the cultivation of a single statute acre may successfully and easily be attended by one individual and as its produce on an average would give food for at least ten persons the year round, at 7 lb. each day, which may be considered as an abundant allowance, what chance is there for manual exertion in such a society among whom a patrimonial aversion to labor and an habitual attachment to idleness are paramount to every other consideration."

  8. Riles, does that mean that the calamity is that the lazy people won't have to do much and their laziness will be their downfall?

    By the way, Matt, I love that heart shaped potato!!! Where on earth did you find that picture?

  9. Did I hear anyone asking for a person with mad Photoshop-skills?

    Anyways, long live the tater! Before low-carb, I thought that taters tasted kinda bland. But now, I could honestly eat huge amounts of taters by themselves and probably still would like it.

    Everyone who hasn't done already, apologize to the potato! I'm so happy I did.

    Oh, and even though I have posted this a few times already, it would be a sin to not link to this. You can't watch it often enough anyways.

  10. The calamity referred to is the potato famine. Because the poor in ireland were entirely dependent on one crop for their food, when it failed, they died by the millions. This smart observer predicted that calamity by 30 years (probably there had been small local failures that caused localized starvation.)

    It is an amazing food because what other food can one subsist on without getting nutritional deficiencies?

    The peruvian Indians were defeated by disease not by the conquistadors. The diets of Native Americans was supremely healthy and they were in excellent health but it could not save them from lack of plague experience.

    Indeed the Spanish were amazed by the health and beauty of the potato eating natives.

  11. Word, Madmuh. A million Hobbits can't be wrong. Po-TAY-toes Roo-el!

  12. @Betsy
    I took the picture in my kitchen yesterday and thought it would be perfect for the tater-lovin' 180 crowd. I still got the thing in my fridge, and I'm considering getting a professional photographer to portrait it :D

    Irish vs. Japanese debate:
    It seems from the video that the Japanese have a more complete diet than just the potatoes alone, so maybe it is the cause of their sublime health?
    Potatoes and water? Sounds kinda bland to me!

    – Kasper

  13. Beth – Japanese people don't really like milk, it hasn't been a part of their diet until recently, I remember when I lived there people thought I was crazy for liking it, and my host mother only drank it because her doctor told her she needed calcium.

    As other people have said, there is no way it's JUST the potatoes that are keeping these people alive, I think it has to do with the fact that an average Japanese meal looks like the one the reporter had in front of her, lots of little dishes. So I personally think it's along the lines of the fact that they have so many different foods in one meal that they get all the needed vitamins and minerals to absorb the vitamins and minerals that they need. Anyone who has read anything on say Vitamin B-12 knows you need iron to absorb it. I'm pretty sure there has to be good stuff in every piece of food she had on the table in front of her. I mean she even had fermented food. Variety.

  14. I agree that potatoes are healthy foods and would make an excellent staple. But, I just don't believe it is any better or worse than many other starchy staples. Also, many people have negative reactions to potatoes. Potatoes flare up arthritic symptoms in many people and some people find them harder to digest than other starch sources. Again, it all comes down to the individual.

    Didn't you guys learn your lesson with the whole raw milk as the perfect miracle food for everyone craze?

  15. When I think about all the potatoes I ate, growing up… I could have been unstoppable – an Amazon woman – had I not been HEAPING THEM WITH MARGARINE! Shit! Total missed opportunity for Amazoniosity.

  16. JT, thank you for the balance you always add. Also, I think the people in the video eat rice products, too. I saw a lady eating noodles, and I don't think you can make noodles out of potatoes.

    And on the side of rice, I just tried the most exceptional rice…an aged Indian white basmati packaged by Village Harvest.

  17. "When I think about all the potatoes I ate, growing up… I could have been unstoppable – an Amazon woman – had I not been HEAPING THEM WITH MARGARINE! Shit! Total missed opportunity for Amazoniosity."

    Yeah, me too. I shudder to think of the tons of margarine I ate in two decades.

    Speaking of the beauty of potatoes, I have a little story for you. Last year, we went to a wedding in Poland in a rural area. The brides mother had not been home in more than a decade. We went to a really nice restaurant and they served plain, boiled, local potatoes. She literally burst into tears because those potatoes tasted so good to her. To me they were nothing too special. Just potatoes. But to her, they were home.

    I do think getting local potatoes makes a difference. I notice the quality difference. If I can't get potatoes from here or an adjacent state to Minnesota, I try to just eat other root vegetables. The ones from Idaho or California are never as good.

    Maybe it is something to do with the local aspect of the potato growing that makes it so healthy for this village in Japan?

  18. Cool post. I've been trying out more starch and a little less protein (still around 1g/lb bdwt) the last couple of days. Yesterday for my first meal around 3pm, I IF daily, I had about 10 oz of chicken with some greens, 1.5 cups of cottage cheese, and 1 cup of strawberries. About an hour later I was having a hard time staying awake and I had to sleep on the train ride home from work.
    have the same amount of chicken and some potatoes to try out today instead. I'm excited to see if I get tired from this meal. Maybe it was the dairy from the cottage cheese. Not sure.

  19. "JT, thank you for the balance you always add. Also, I think the people in the video eat rice products, too. I saw a lady eating noodles, and I don't think you can make noodles out of potatoes. "

    Not to be argumentative, but yes, you can. We just had a whole discussion on this yesterday. Japanese cellophane noodles are often made from potato starch. The Korean ones are made from sweet potato starch.

  20. The abudnance of HA in Cox Combs is interesting. There's an old, old school recipe that I have for Ragout of Coxcombs. After seeing that video I might just give it a try if I can find a bunch somewhere. (Maybe an Asian market?)

  21. Betsy-

    Damn, I was gonna put a line below the video that said, "but where is the butter, cream, organ meats, and bone marrow? Don't they know that those are the secrets to health?"

    Or something along those lines.

    Yes, you're not necessarily going to become deficient from eating a diet that is mostly root vegetables, starchy tubers, vegetables, and fermented soy.

    In fact, these diets are associated with longevity and good health pretty much everywhere. Both the rice and the potato-eating Japanese have good longevity, and they have good longevity most likely due to a low-fructose, low-fat, dairy-free, low-protein diet that is built more around starches. This results in very low insulin levels and small stature. Generally, the smaller you are, the longer you live.


    There are no rules per se. I have added an addendum to the RRARF eBook at http://180degreehealth.com which I will post here in a blog post this weekend.

    The FUDA diet was built around Furhman's diet, which emphasizes greens, vegetables, and fruit over more calorie-dense starches and is a vegan diet. That is what caused muscle wasting and rebound. I have none of those feelings or symptoms now at all, but I also eat dairy, red meat, pork ribs on occasion and much more starch. I'm also not coming off of a summer of excessive exercise in which my body is craving 4,000 calories per day like last year.

  22. Jenny, whoops, I missed that! I didn't think potato starch would hold together. How on earth do they do that?

    Matt, thanks, I am thinking that I will try some tamari with my rice/potatoes and vegetables. Tamari may be a good source of amino acids….we'll see.

    Oh, and I just reread the blog and I missed that that's Kasper's potato! Nice potato, Kasper!
    I have something wrong with my brain that makes me not able to read things thoroughly. I ate some wheat for the past three days and it's now much worse.

  23. @Matt

    Teach me to sit on a video for awhile. Got is scheduled for an upcoming post.

    By the way, this was in my tweet stream, yet you discovered it elsewhere. Caught you not reading my tweets ;-)

    @ others

    The Irish were forced to live on potatoes by their English colonizers. It wasn't a choice they actually made to eschew most everything else.


    Where/when was the milk as the single wonderfood phase? I seemed to have missed that one.

  24. Matt,
    a picture comes to mind of Dr. Mike Eades holding up a potato, and talking about how it breaks up into a cup of sugar in the blood or some such thing (Fat head movie). Wouldn't this cause high levels of insulin? the low carbers sure seem to think so. I just don't get it, could you explain what's going on? Is Eades right or wrong? or is it an insulin-sensitive or insulin -resistant thing?

  25. Michael said,

    "@ others

    The Irish were forced to live on potatoes by their English colonizers. It wasn't a choice they actually made to eschew most everything else."

    Thank you, Michael! I was about to point the same thing out myself. It's nice to see there are people out there who know something about history!

  26. I find it nice to have some variety in my starch, but white rice and potatoes are both great. If I eat only one of them at every meal I get sick of it.

    But as mentioned above, there are many factors in good health aside from your primary starch source.

  27. Michael said:

    "The Irish were forced to live on potatoes by their English colonizers. It wasn't a choice they actually made to eschew most everything else."

    Yeah, I don't think the Irish are the best example of the benefits that can be had from living off potatoes. The potato-eating Irish most people picture are starving. Not because of the potatoes but because of the lack of them during frequent famine. Many of us here know about the damage that can be done on a high carbohydrate, low-calorie diet, which a lot of the poor Irish were probably on during times of lack. And the average Irishman had a hard time growing anything but potatoes because other crops (and animals for meat and dairy) were heavily taxed.

    @JT: Did anyone here ever buy into the "raw milk the perfect food" thing? Because I'd have to be one of the biggest raw milk fans on here, and I still don't go around telling everyone they should drink it to cure all their ills. I personally have experienced healing from it and can tell when I've gone without it for too long. But obviously that doesn't mean everyone should be drinking it the way I do.

  28. "I do think getting local potatoes makes a difference."

    Most definitely. There is nothing like a fresh locally-grown potato. Especially the new potatoes – they're so creamy and dense and lovely. The same can be said for local/seasonal everything, actually.

    Just as a side note, this whole situation of poor diet makes me so sad. My Dad, who is from Scotland and was born in the 30's, ate a diet that consisted primarily of potatoes, meat, meat pies (made with lard), bread, root veg, oats and dairy for most of his life. His mother made everything from scratch, of course. He has a ridiculously large appetite, (which I inherited). He is a bread head. He still regularly eats an entire loaf of bread with his meals. Only now it's commercial bread, instead of homemade.

    He was absolutely RIPPED, as a young man. I have photos of him and it's ridiculous. He's like a bulkier, balding, Scottish version of Bruce Lee. Cut. To. Shreds. He never worked out, in fact, he wouldn't even know what it meant to 'work out', but he was active. He did a lot of traditional highland dancing, got into a lot of fights and he was a bit famous in his town for performing feats of strength in local pubs, like ripping phone books in half, doing one-armed pushups with a couple of girls sitting on his back, or balancing a chair (with someone sitting in it) in the air by holding one of the chair legs in his teeth.

    He moved to Canada and went from awesome, ripped, ass-kicking, caber-tossing Scotsman to doughy, pot-bellied Canadian within, like, two years.

  29. Dan said,

    a picture comes to mind of Dr. Mike Eades holding up a potato, and talking about how it breaks up into a cup of sugar in the blood or some such thing (Fat head movie). Wouldn't this cause high levels of insulin? the low carbers sure seem to think so. I just don't get it, could you explain what's going on? Is Eades right or wrong? or is it an insulin-sensitive or insulin -resistant thing?"

    I'm going to leave the explanation as to why this is oh-so-wrong to Matt, who will do a thousand times better than I ever would.

    I am going to say something, though. I have wanted to say this for a long time, and the opportunity has now presented itself. Perhaps it is in bad taste, and maybe I shouldn't say it at all, but here goes: EADES IS A NARROW-MINDED QUACK! HE IS A MISINFORMED IDIOT! There, I said it, and I actually feel better, although I probably look l jerk for having done so. Oh, well.

    Anthony Colpo caught on to Eades a long time ago:
    "Anthony Colpo Explains "Why Dr Michael Eades is the Biggest Prat in the Diet Industry"
    url: http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=41

  30. Jenny,

    "I do think getting local potatoes makes a difference. I notice the quality difference. If I can't get potatoes from here or an adjacent state to Minnesota, I try to just eat other root vegetables. The ones from Idaho or California are never as good."

    As an Idahoan I take offense to that! Nah, I'm just kidding, I actually agree with you. The fresher the tator, the better.

    Potatoes are interesting. When they are cooking, one can actually tell, to some extent at least, how they were grown. For instance, tators grown with inorganic fertilizers have only a very subtle scent when they are cooking: faintly earthy with a slightly acidic undertone, at least according to my nose.

    On the other hand, potatoes grown in soil that had lots of compost added to it will often subtly smell of the type of compost they were grown when they are cooking. If one has enough experience, one can tell if the potatoes were grown in sheep, cattle, goat, chicken, etc, compost based on the scent. I won't try to describe it, other than to say the scents, while unique, are all pleasant and very earthy. (Mature compost doesn't actually smell bad, by the way, earthy and "rich" –not at all like raw manure).

  31. Michael,
    Are you joking? What I am referring to was the phase a few months back when people were doing the milk diet as a hoped for cure all. I am not saying this is a bad thing. I don't see anything wrong with giving it a try, I did the same thing, but my ear exploded.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with raw milk, and I think it could be a great healing food for a lot of people. But, to other people it is poison, just like potatoes and probably every other type of food. My whole point is that we need to be careful of taking 1 food and praising it as a miracle for everyone all the time. The whole diet, environment, and lifestyle needs to be taken into consideration.

  32. Annabelle: You could be describing many of the Celtic god types I saw running around in rural Ireland in the early 90s. Also they drank 4-8 pints of Guiness a day as well, and smoked, so the whole food diet must have been protecting them.

    I realize the Irish potato famine was caused by English colonizers. There was loads of other food in Ireland during the famine. (Do you think I've not listened to a Sinead O'Connor record?) It was protected by armed troops and relief efforts from American and the continent were repulsed by the British Navy. Like every famine, ever there were extenuating "political" circumstances to it.

    The English peasants at the time, by the way were mostly subsistence farmers as well. They were living off wheat and tended to be much less robust and healthy than their Irish equivalents. When there were bread shortages there were riots. Troops were called in and things got ugly. They never had a full-on famine in England though because the gentry classes tended to be marginally more generous with charity at home than abroad.

    I think the bottom line is subsistence on a single crop is a dangerous plan and generally a bad idea. Something which Michael Pollan –Mr. FUMP, himself, rightly points out that we have become almost completely and ridiculously dependent on corn for everything. If corn suddenly failed, our whole economy and food system would be in ruin.

  33. Ok, just came across Matt's comment:

    "Damn, I was gonna put a line below the video that said, "but where is the butter, cream, organ meats, and bone marrow? Don't they know that those are the secrets to health?""

    And before I get any further through the comments, I want to share an idea I've been having and get feedback.

    Weston Price singled out these foods as containing some of our essential nutrients, basically vitamins A, D, and K2.

    We know from Chris Masterjohn's magnum opus of an article these vitamins work synergistically.

    Now, rapidly growing green plants are rich in K1. Animals (ruminants) convert K1 to K2, which is what we need. So yes, butter from cows on rapidly growing grass should be a good source.

    But Dr. Mercola informs us the source of K2 is bacterial fermentation. Fast forward to 2:30. And you don't need butter or organ meats to get it. All you need are (surprise) fermented foods (and apparently soy is the highest source).

    So I wonder if the K2 in animals is due to bacterial fermentation (presumably in the rumen) or if they are actually manufacturing it.

    I also wonder if a person could get complete nutrition without animal products if their diet included properly fermented foods. Perhaps Weston Price didn't come across any cultures that were doing this.

  34. I don't think it is wise to conclude that a high starch diet is the best just because those people eat such a diet. The world's oldest woman eats a high fat diet and people in Georgia who eat nothing but cheese, yoghurt and chicken often become older than 100 years. I think Price mentioned that he found some very old massai chiefs that were in excellent shape.
    The beneficial effect of their diet might have something to do with the fact that they eat very little PUFA and get a lot of high quality protein from their potatos.

    The massai are very tall people and often become very old too. I dont think that it is the height itself which determines how long you life but the hormonal conditions which are responsible for how tall you become.

  35. "Annabelle: You could be describing many of the Celtic god types I saw running around in rural Ireland in the early 90s. Also they drank 4-8 pints of Guiness a day as well, and smoked, so the whole food diet must have been protecting them."

    Yeah, my Dad smoked from the age of 10 (quit at age 37, after moving here) and drank (and still drinks) like his life depended on it.

  36. I don't know how credible (or complete) this source is, but it actually lists Japanese sweet potatoes, not regular potatoes, as one of the major food sources of HA. Interestingly, it looks as though every other food on the list could be obtained in East Asia, as well. My wild guess, as JT suggested above, is that it's probably not any one food, but their soil and/or water which is special.


  37. Ok so my rice steamer/slow cooker (I went with the vita clay) just arrived today! Maybe it would be "Highly ironic" to make potatoes and a buffalo roast?

    Also maybe it's the combination of potatoes plus miso that is the golden ticket here. A quick look in highly ironic acid online shows that some research suggests that estrogen ups the production of HA. A little miso, everyday, a little usable isoflavens =estrogen.

  38. Mike Jones,
    This is a concern I've had since reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Michael Miles and Stephen Guyenet have both stressed the point in their blogs. If it comes down to soil quality, which it may very well do, then most food in the US probably just isn't going to meet that standard. Best to just go local/sustainable with farms that do practice good soil fertility.

  39. Haven't read through all the comments yet, but several of you expressed skepticism that it's those taters keeping them healthy, but did you not catch the fact, that those are not typical spuds?

    Though I would agree that all these "blue zones" have more than one "magic substance" in their diet contributing to their health and longevity.

    Illness tends to be multifactorial in nature, and so does wellness.

    How about that "upside down death pyramid"? Parents outliving their kids?

    With today's epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes, I suspect we will eventually see a similar scenario play out here.

    Big Pharma and Big Medicine can only do so much to artificially prop up our society's crappy diet and lifestyle.

  40. Oh! I love that heart potato in the picture! lol.

    That's such an interesting video. I always think of Japan as a hardcore rice eating nation. Cool to see that some stick to potatoes. I love potatoes and miss them so much. I managed to develop a sensitivity to them during my low carb disaster…..

    Lots of healing required still after low carb….and I thought I was helping myself….

    Notice the wide upper palate of the elders in the intro of the video too….They know what they're doing….And how beautiful the environment is too….I wish Iived there…
    How depressing that junk food has reached that lovely place….

    It seems strange that here people are recommended to avoid potatoes if they have arthritis….?

    "Can you get the same benefits from a pill?"
    I just love that question….lol…

    I love that Japanese doctor that says "It's not too late!" that's great for me to hear…..

  41. DML that was awesome, just awesome. Describing the smell of cooking potatoes similar to how one would describe a fine wine. Its all in the soil.

    Yep growing lots of potatoes in cow compost. My neighbors cows. I guess you can't get more local than that.

    One thing I want to bring up for people who get "tired" of eating potatoes. There are a shit ton of varieties out there. Seek them out. In the sweet potato family as well. By the way unlike potatoes, sweet potatoes are not a night shade but belong to the morning glory family. Some folks plant them in flower beds to enjoy the flowers during the summer and then harvest the roots to eat in the fall.

    I figured everyone else was geekin out about potatoes.

    JT you crack me up every time you say your ear "exploded" from drinking milk. I get this image of someone chugging a gallon of milk right of the frig and BOOM!!!

  42. Hi Everyone, New reader and poster to the blog. I think the truth is in the middle than the extreme right (all meat) or extreme left (all veggies). Plus, how does DNA and genes play into all of these? Although the tater is the staple of their diet, do the results happen because of their generational genetics or because of the tater? Ah, the beautiful of thought experiments. :)

  43. Hi Matt etc,

    As far as I can tell from the press releases, those people aren't eating actual potatoes as we think of them. They're eating various non-potato tubers. For example, "satoimo" (sticky white potato) is actually taro. I'm not sure what "imoji" (potato root) is. Konnyaku is a tuber that's used for its soluble fiber, which is used to make noodles and things like that. They also eat sweet potato like the traditional Okinawans and Taiwanese.

  44. FWIW, I read a monograph about this village a few years ago and the longevity is definitely attributed to the HA, and the HA was found in the special potatoes they eat. The monograph said that the closest relative we have in the U.S. is the purple potato.

  45. @Lisa, I had developed a very severe potato sensitivity, too. The more I get the uric acid out of my body, the less sensitive I am to them. They dissolve uric acid deposits, and the uric acid floods your blood stream and makes you feel sick. You can try small amounts as you go along to see if they don't bother you as much.

    It's amazing, too, that noone is overweight. And everyone is mobile.

    Several months ago I went to a church with a very high percentage of elderly people. You would not believe how many people had to use walkers!

  46. Great discussion as always, I have been pounded the brown rice lately, but even when I soak it for 24hrs, still having trouble digesting it fully, seems to be the only food my body can't break down. Wondering if a fruit fast like Matt did would improve upon this…

    Also what is the difference between nutritional yeast flakes and brewers yeast. I have both kinds, both say there are made using beets. Neither are fortified. Now to the bigger question, I have been making rice with the flakes/yeast added during cooking. Is that ok? or better to add it when cold.

    Lastly I will add, that even though I have gone back up to 4 large meals per day (I eat beyond appetite at every meal), with more emphasis on unrefined tubers and lower fat, I have been losing weight, down to 188 from 196 (about 8 weeks). I just wouldn't think it possible to lose weight with the amount of food I am eating. Seems weird since the basal temp has been stuck at 97.2 for months now.

    I think this will be inline with JT, that it is very hard to over consume calories on whole foods, when going low fat. Losing weight while stuffing yourself, can't complain about that.

  47. undertow,

    Why don't you just eat white rice? I don't like brown rice. Actually can't stand the stuff. So I just decided to stop eating brown rice.

    Actually I should say the only way I enjoy brown rice is in a pilaf. Roasting the grain really gives it a nice nutty flavor.

  48. Yeah for Potatoes!
    I am a huge fan of purple potatoes, they are wonderful tasting and with all the purple, it's got to be good for ya!
    I am watching the evolution of thinking here.. just really interesting stuff!
    Good job on UW podcast too Matt "you get mad love"! is right :)

  49. Purple potatoes contain 100% of your RDA of purple!

  50. From Stephan's comment, these guys eat multiple roots, and these are similar to those eaten by the Kitavans and some communities in Central Papua New Guinea.

    In addition to the excellent health, I find it intriguing they all have HEAVY SMOKING habits, but they are long-lived, and without associated heart or lung diseases.

    There is some co-factor missing in Kitvava, Central PNG and Yuzuri Hara which prevents this habit being damaging.

    I wonder what it is, cos it is present in US and here in Europe.

  51. Even though they may eat several different types of roots, i am beginning to have the same skin-smoothness (and I guess also other benefits) as they talk about in the video, and I'm just eating regular potatoes, not some special kind.
    Has anyone else noticed this?

    I don't know if it's because I have eaten more of them in some months than the average person does in several years.

    Also i think – as important the things that are in their diet might be – it's just as important what is not in their diet. So instead of saying that the roots they eat is the one and only factor for their immense health, it is probably also caused by the lack of any refined foods, as several has pointed out through the debate.

  52. Thanks Matt.

    One of my concern is from some of Peat's articles for example

    "According to Gerhard Volkheimer, whole starch grains can be "persorbed" from the intestine directly into the blood stream where they may block arterioles, causing widely distributed nests of cell-death"

    Any tought on this possible starch drawback??



  53. Hooray for purple potatoes. I can pick those up across the street from my work place. I've been eating them hear and there, but preferring the red and gold potatoes. I've been picking up sweet potatoes as well, but I've noticed I prefer regular potatoes or rice.

    I was able to pick up some sweet potato noodles (glass noodles) as well. It suddenly occurred to me, after reading the discussion earlier, that I'd had them at this Korean restaurant. Well, there's this Korean grocery next door, and sure enough, I found them. It's hard to shop there if you don't read Korean, don't speak Korean, and don't know anything about Korean cuisine though.

    I think I'm going to explore my ethnic cuisines. It seems the best way to break out of a rut and I'll be less inclined to eat junk here and there if I'm exploring different flavors. I'm also going to print out and read through 180 kitchen so I have a wider array of simple fallbacks.

    Enjoying the discussion as always.

  54. From what I have seen, from Peat's quote, the experiment was done using raw starch and it was performed with rodents. Not exactly the most compelling thing seeing as no humans every eat raw starch except for tiny amounts in maybe bananas and uncooked veggies.

  55. Nathan said:

    "Why don't you just eat white rice? I don't like brown rice. Actually can't stand the stuff. So I just decided to stop eating brown rice."

    Just echoing your thoughts here, Nathan. I hate brown rice. So does my whole family. After I switched to brown rice, we stopped eating rice altogether because it just wasn't fun anymore. Now that I'm not so rigid in my ideas (and the fact that white rice seems basically harmless in the bigger picture), we get to enjoy some rice again!

  56. Good thing they were all a carb type or they would all be fat and sick.

  57. Nathan/Elizabeth, we do eat lots and lots of white rice at home as well, mainly Basmati. Just curious if I could get my digestion to shred through some brown rice. It seems to be the only food that I can't digest even with proper soaking…

  58. I ate brown rice for years and years, til I got to the point that I didn't even like white rice, if you can imagine that. That plus beans and lots of goitrogenic vegetables got me to the point where I hardly weighed anything and could hardly eat anything. It was as if I ate myself into a pit.

    There is a book about diet, and right now I can't remember the author's name, but in it he says that white rice is better for you than brown rice because the nutty smell that brown rice gives off while it's cooking is actually the smell of the oil being transformed into transfats(I forget exactly how he explained, but you get the point.) Then later I spent time talking to a Chinese lady who explained to me that brown rice isn't good for you because it's too hard to digest.

    Adam, that's a good point about potatoes being a nightshade. I can't eat potatoes without keeping that in mind. When I was eatin mucho potatoes a week or two ago, I was noticing that my teeth were looking more transparent, and was wondering if it was the displacement of calcium. Still wondering, and not knowing what to think. Obviously, some people aren't so easily affected by the nightshades.

  59. Haven't seen the Haiga rice anywhere here that JT mentioned. I am going to try and find a store that carries it.

  60. Jennythenipper, let us know how the claypot cooker does. I want to order one soon, so I'm curious what you think.

  61. In doing my research for buying a rice cooker I read about a hundred reviews where people said, "I used to hate brown rice until I got this cooker." Just something to throw out there.

    "Purple potatoes contain 100% of your RDA of purple!"

    I used to get that from Smurf Berry Crunch, but I suppose potatoes are healthier.

    One way to use a whole bunch of different kinds of potatoes would be to grill or roast them with some onions and then cut them up and toss them together as a hash, ala Matt's grilled hash recipe from the new book.

    Another good way to eat a variety of starchy veggies is a Finnish salad called Rosolli:


    We usually put a little turnip in there. It's a combination of starch and fermented vegetables and pickled herring doused in cream. The Finns up in Northern MN and the UP call it "Christmas salad" (I guess because of the red and green), but it's good anytime of the year.

  62. Betsy, that is a good point regarding the brown rice. It is harder to digest. In Ayurveda, the white rice is viewed as better for this reason, especially if someone has any type of digestive issues.

    Undertow, if you are wanting to try the haiga rice you should check out your local asian market. That is where I get mine. This is my new favorite rice because I love the taste, but most people eat it because it is not completely refined and they view it as healthier.

  63. Yeah Samuel, I find it ferments really quickly. In my overly warm kitchen it starts to smell "boozy" with just an overnight soak.

    The results add an interesting flavor to the rice. It might not work if the rice is meant to be totally neutral and absorb other flavors. It could could wind up funky. But if you are eating it with preserved vegetables or something, I'd think it would actually enhance that.

  64. My rice cooker has a GABA mode that will actually sprout the brown rice and then cook it. All I have to do is drop in the rice and press the button. This is supposed to increase the nutrient value, and may increase the digestibility for some that have problems.

  65. Betsy –

    Intersting thoughts on uric acid again, and why people become so damn sensitive to so many foods after a stint of low-carb.


    Thank God! They dodged a bullet there!

    Eades vs. the Potato-

    Eades has an oversimplified view of carbohydrates (the understatement of the year). A starch-based diet lowers insulin and glucose levels pretty damn consistently when in unrefined form, and does so primarily because it eliminates insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the cause of pathologically high levels of insulin.

    Are Undertow's insulin levels going up while he stuffs his face 4 times per day which as much starch as he can tolerate? Of course not. They are going lower, which is why he is losing weight.

    Furhman still has the best quote on the tragic oversimplification of the carb = sugar = insulin = fat = diabetic theory, which is handily refuted in real life observation.

    “So, it is certainly true – as the advocates of animal-food-rich diets, such as Atkins, Heller, Sears, and other proclaim – carbohydrates drive up insulin levels temporarily. These writers, however, have not presented the data in accurate fashion. A diet revolving around unrefined carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) will not raise blood sugars or insulin levels. Studies have shown that such a diet can reduce fasting insulin levels 30-40 percent in just three weeks. Obviously, a low-fat diet that is high in refined sugars and refined carbohydrates and low in fiber is not a healthy diet. To lump refined and unrefined carbohydrates together is inaccurate and misleading.”

  66. I just watched the video. Their diet is based on taro and sweet potatoes, like many Pacific islanders. It's a good combination.

    I didn't see any actual potato plants in their gardens.

  67. undertow
    I also can't digest brown rice at all, also after soaking them for 24 hours in acidic medium. They simply don't digest and it's kind of crazy, I feel like "what's with my digestion?" I recently added a powder of rice bran to my white rice in the hopes that my digestive system might "learn" that rice bran is it's friend and it CAN be digested! I actually like the taste of brown rice, especially with lots of lemon juice on it, and butter. It's also a complete whole food, whereas white rice is somewhat refined.

    You are so full of knowledge! That's so interesting about the brown rice!

    Transparent teeth! That's something I've been noticing too since I got on low carb 3 years ago. I guess that's the loss of calcium. I would have thought that eating potatoes would help stop calcium loss though?

  68. Betsy wrote:
    @Lisa, I had developed a very severe potato sensitivity, too. The more I get the uric acid out of my body, the less sensitive I am to them.

    Betsy! That's so interesting to hear. What is uric acid? Will it leave my body by just eating a high starch diet or is there anything else I could adjust?

    Does other grains like buckwheat also cause the uric acid to dissolve? Will there come a point where all uric acid is dissolved and potatoes will be totally fine to eat again?

    Why did the uric acid build up? Is it from the animal protein and too little carbs on the low card diet?

    I've cut out all potatoes for 2 weeks now but I still have arthritis symptoms. I'm wondering if the buckwheat I eat might also be a problem? Or is it possible that it's ok to be experiencing the arthritis and that over time it will go away once the uric acid levels sink? Like, perhaps even eating white rice makes the uric acid dissolve, and that's a good thing? So, instead of avoiding potatoes, I might want to add some and just tolerate the arthritis stiffness/pain?

  69. Hi Lisa, thanks, I went to the school of hardknocks! Uric acid is the end result of the digestion of purines. Foods highest in purines are meat, fish, beans, whole grains including corn, and a few vegetables. Also, when you're under stress your adrenals will somehow cause a rise in uric acid. So the low carb diet can really cause uric acid problems, which consist of much more than gout, which is what most people think of when they think of uric acid. But another source of uric acid is not eating enough, because your body uses your own tissue, and your tissues contain uric acid.
    I didn't realize what was going on til I started to get muscle and joint pains a little over a year ago. I had to cut out all foods with any appreciable purines, and also all foods that would cause too quick of a release of purines. I used dairy for protein, and some times dairy was the only thing I could eat. It was scary because I had believed for so many years that a diet of mostly white foods would cause terrible mineral and vitamin deficiencies. But I've gotten a lot better since then. I went off the diet 4 or 5 times and tried to eat meat or eggs, but each time the joint and muscle pains returned. If you stop eating foods that contain purines, the pH of your body will rise, and the uric acid will slowly leave your body. At first you might feel worse, and the author of the book I read even recommends not going cold turkey. I have, though, several times, and experienced severe headaches, fatigue, and a feeling of oppression in my heart. Whenever I discontinue the purines, I can't eat potatoes or fruit again for awhile without them causing problems. White rice is a more gradual and safer way of getting it out, but after awhile you can try small amounts of potatoes and see how it goes. A high starch diet is the best thing for the problem, and I did start reducing fat and found that helps, too. I don't know about buckwheat, though. You can google it and see where it falls on the purine charts. I was eating high fat dairy, and now I actually think the fat, even though it doesn't contain purines, stiffles the removal of uric acid, maybe by jamming up the liver. So in hind sight, I would not have used too much dairy fat. But of course, you do need to take in enough calories, so whatever it takes to do that without taking in too many purines is what you have to do. Are you eating meat or beans? You don't drink coffee or tea, do you?

  70. Thanks Betsy. That's particularly interesting about how adrenal activity increases uric acid as well. That's good news seeing that RRARF makes adrenal activity plummet. It also makes sense in that light why caffeine would raise uric acid.

    Didn't know beans and corn contained purines. Thought that was just a meat and seafood thing.

  71. @JT

    Michael, are you joking?

    No, actually, I wasn't.

    What I am referring to was the phase a few months back when people were doing the milk diet as a hoped for cure all.

    Sure I know what you were referring to, and I'm suggesting that you mis-characterized it, since it was certainly never presented that way, certainly not by Matt and definitely not by me. Doesn't mean some weren't hoping for that, and that's okay. That is what all this experimentation is about.

    I am not saying this is a bad thing. I don't see anything wrong with giving it a try, I did the same thing, but my ear exploded.

    Yeah, and I was grimacing from day one when you started it because, well, you were doing it wrong, and then you went too long once you realized problems were afoot.. :-)

    It was good for me as I took lots of notes and will be referring to a few experiences here when I finally get my milk site launched.

    I'm nervous about people fasting on their own without any in-person guidance, or any real experience fasting at all, and therefore not knowing what to expect, even though its milk fasting, which is generally safer and easier than your typical liquid fast. Always have been and I think I expressed that at some point during the thread.

    I'm nervous about self-reporting on the web. My in person experience over the years is that invariably many, though not all, don't get it right, despite what they tell you. Something is usually missing somewhere, even if they don't realize it. It is probably worse over the internet.

    It is very difficult to imitate before you innovate, because we think we know and add other data to the process, yet in something like the Milk Fast, that is precisely (imitate) what you need to do.

    Didn't you guys learn your lesson with the whole raw milk as the perfect miracle food for everyone craze?

    Except it was ever presented that way.

    I think Elizabeth pretty much hit it on the head:

    Did anyone here ever buy into the "raw milk the perfect food" thing? Because I'd have to be one of the biggest raw milk fans on here, and I still don't go around telling everyone they should drink it to cure all their ills. I personally have experienced healing from it and can tell when I've gone without it for too long. But obviously that doesn't mean everyone should be drinking it the way I do.

  72. @Jenny

    If corn suddenly failed, our whole economy and food system would be in ruin.

    Actually I think that would be a good thing for the economy, since the ubiquity of corn throughout our food supply is because of government subsidies, not any genuine market demand.

    You could be describing many of the Celtic god types I saw running around in rural Ireland in the early 90s. Also they drank 4-8 pints of Guiness a day as well, and smoked, so the whole food diet must have been protecting them.

    Being protected by a Whole Food diet? Heh, those things were helping extend their lifespan!

    The day you hear I have given up my cigars and drink, you can rest assured of one thing, I'm dead. =P


    Perhaps Weston Price didn't come across any cultures that were doing this.

    He found cultures that were fermenting foods, but he didn't find any thriving cultures that were vegan. No one has ever discovered such a group.

    Best to just go local/sustainable with farms that do practice good soil fertility.

    Very hard to find without a trusty refractometer.


    DML that was awesome, just awesome. Describing the smell of cooking potatoes similar to how one would describe a fine wine. Its all in the soil.

    Indeed! Its the terroir that matters, of which soil fertility plays a very large role.

    What Makes Beef Tasty

  73. @Leon Rover

    In addition to the excellent health, I find it intriguing they all have HEAVY SMOKING habits, but they are long-lived, and without associated heart or lung diseases.

    There is some co-factor missing in Kitvava, Central PNG and Yuzuri Hara which prevents this habit being damaging.

    Don't know if you ever saw this:

    Reach For A Lucky Rather Than A Sweet


    Haven't seen the Haiga rice anywhere here that JT mentioned. I am going to try and find a store that carries it.

    You can buy it at Amazon. Click through from Matt's site and give him some commission love. =)


    My rice cooker has a GABA mode that will actually sprout the brown rice and then cook it. All I have to do is drop in the rice and press the button. This is supposed to increase the nutrient value, and may increase the digestibility for some that have problems.

    Whoa! That's hot (sorry, love technology that makes my life easier). What is the brand?

  74. My blood uric acid levels on zero carb were 609 umol/L (range 202 – 417).

    The uploaded materials show the strong inverse association between the consumption of dairy products, specially low-fat dairy products, and the incidence of gout. Higher levels of meat and seafood consumption are associated with higher levels of serum uric acid while purine-rich vegetables are not.


  75. Matt, yeah, not only corn and beans, but also mushrooms, cauliflower, chocolate, and asparagus. And baker's YEAST!

    When I quit the big ones, but wasn't real familiar with the list, I would unwittingly be drawn to another source. Purines are very addictive, and your body knows where to find them without seeing any list.

    I'm not entirely sure what the relationship between estrogen and uric acid is, but the two are very co-reactive.

    GF, Wow! 609! Did you have any symptoms? Was it difficult to clear it out? Do you eat low fat dairy? Do you eat the high purine vegetables? I can't yet eat them. I've read what you said about them not causing raised uric acid levels, but I haven't found that to be true.

  76. GF-

    Nice! I think that's pretty typical of low-carb. In fact, back in my low-carb biased days I suggested a friend of mine who had had a heart attack to go on a reduced carbohydrate diet for a while – ya know, to get his insulin down. He quickly developed gout and I realized what an amateur douchebag I was.

    My last advice to him was to eat a mostly whole foods plant-based diet with raw milk. That was about a year and a half ago. Hopefully he's doing better.


    Can't accept any Amazon love my brother. I'm a Colorado resident. CO passed legislation that had Amazon cut CO out of the affiliate loop. That's cool though. I ain't no pusher. I'm going all agro on Clickbank soon anyway which should take care of any financial shortcomings I'm hoping.

  77. OMG, I can't believe what a hole I've dug myself into! I'm so mad at myself and so bitter that I fell for the low carb propaganda.

    Well, I guess there is only one way to go: forward…..

    Betsy, I really appreciate your helping me out! I'm so sorry you had to go to the school of hardknocks! It makes me feel anger for everyone else that has also struggled to find a way in nutrition. How lucky we are to have found each other here on 180 Degree Health. I hope that our collective knowledge will be sure to heal us and help prevent others from these terrible nutritional pitfalls so many of us have had to suffer through….

    Into specifics:
    I don't drink tea or coffee anymore. I do eat plenty of animal meats though with every meal. Haven't had beans in 3 years but I just bought some today. I seem to be stable in my symptoms where I'm at right now, (way improved once I cut out potatoes). My symptoms are just not totally gone yet. Waking up each morning I still can't bend the fingers on my right hand and it stays like that for a few hours.

    I can't tolerate dairy (which I could before low carb…btw) Could it be that I don't tolerate dairy because of the uric acid levels being so high?

    Would it be an option to just continue eating like I am now with lots of white rice, and just ride it out, hoping that over time the uric acid will leave my body? I'm not feeling very into the idea of cutting out any foods right now since I feel that's what got me deep into things in the first place.

    The question is: Can I continue eating like I am now and expect symptoms to slowly improve as uric acid slowly leaves my body, OR do I have to take drastic matters and cut out everything that is high in purine in order for the uric acid to effectively and quickly leave my system? In other words will uric acid leave my body despite me eating foods containing purines?

    Thank you GF and Betsy for sharing! It helps so much to know I'm not alone….

    Thank you Matt Stone as always for offering us this forum that allows crucial information like this to be exchanged!

  78. Lisa, I fell for low carb, too. Twice! I tried it again last December. I was looking into the Metabolic Syndrome and thought that maybe the carbs I was eating were ruining my metabolism, so if I just cut down on carbs I could add in some meat. I did that for a month and it wasn't working, so I thought maybe low carb would work!!! It didn't take very long for me to realize it was not a good idea. It took awhile to get back to where I had been, what a waste!

    I don't know if the diet your on will work; I'm watching you though, because I really do wonder if I'll be able to go back to eating purines. I experimented with it last fall, but couldn't get away with it.

    Maybe kombucha tea would help enough for you to continue eating meat. There are quite a few testimonies from people saying that it helped with gout, and it doesn't sound as though they had to completely cut out the purines. The only problem is most of it is pulled off the shelves, at least here in PA, because someone said it contains more alcohol than what is stated on the label. Some people have had good results with apple cider vinegar. I guess it is a combined problem of kidney and liver congestion and acidic pH of the body.

    Maybe you could just cut your serving size in half or not have meat with every meal. Every little bit that you can cut out will make a difference. Egg whites are safe. I don't know why the dairy bothers you, unless when you're in this situation, meat and dairy are mutually exclusive???

    I feel so thankful, too, for this forum and knowing I'm not alone. It really does help to learn from what other people have learned along the way. Thanks, Matt.

  79. Betsy

    I had exactly the same symptoms that you mentioned, namely weak muscles, stiffness, low back and knee pain.

    Buckwheat/starch and milk is certainly the way top go. Low purine muscle beef here and there should be OK as well.

    I have been through a very traumatic zero carb experience in 2008. Back then I was eating CORRECT and HEALTHY ZC with lots of raw glands, organ meats, bone marrow etc. I developed uric acid kidney stones which created ureteral obstruction.

    When I was tortured by 10 out of 10 pain in the hospital there was a phrase going round in my head “no one has developed kidney stones on my Primal Diet because uric acids do not excessively form nor collect when eating raw meat [Aajonus].”

    In addition to the excessive purine intake I was on a ketogenic [ZC] diet. Little did I know that ketones and uric acid compete for the same transport mechanism in the kidneys. Thus when the kidneys remove excess ketone bodies from the bloodstream, the removal of uric acid decreases and a buildup occurs.

    High levels of uric acid in the bloodstream can be caused by either an over-production of uric acid by the body or the under-elimination of uric acid by the kidneys. I wonder if those successful on low/no carb diets are also those whose bodies deal effectively with the excess of purines.

  80. Thanks GF-

    Heartwarming story indeed. Amazing to hear and some good insights.


    Have you ever tried any fruit fasting or anything like that to expedite the process of cleaing the pipes? I know for me doing that kind of thing eliminates all inflammation in a matter of days and leaves me permanently feeling better afterward as long as I eat hearty.

  81. GF: What a nightmare! I really feel for what you've been through. It reminds me of hearing an interview with a man who ate only raw meat. He ended up having to have surgery for kidney stones but he was convinced he had developed them from the foods he had eaten previously in life, so he still continued the all raw meat diet.
    I curse myself when I think of how I forced myself to eat liver and hearts, foods that I totally loathe…..but it was all WAPF correct to eat organ meats….

    Question for GF:
    How did you lower your uric acid levels and how long did it take you? You just quit eating all purines and then what? Can you eat purines now?

    Betsy: I hear you, I know exactly the situation. I guess I should have some more compassion for myself. All we try to do is to figure out things about metabolism that are REALLY difficult. We just try and error and hope and do our best with the very best intentions. Matt has helped us so tremendously, it's unbelievable. If it wasn't for Matt, I know for sure I'd still be on low carb continuing to get more and more uric acid stuck in my system.

    I think you are saying that so long as the body does not get rid of uric acid fast enough it's a bad idea to keep eating lots of meat and other purine rich food? It's a tricky situation for me since I can't eat yoghurt. I'm allergic to soy too so I'm not sure if it's enough to eat meat only like once a day or so? I'll have to reduce meats now I think as an emergency action to try to stop things from getting even worse…
    I've started taking apple cider vinegar now, that's a great idea. Hope it will help. I'm hesitating with Kombucha Tea cause I have so much candida, I haven't had any mushroom or yeast in 3 years and I'm not sure it would go over well for my body. Does the apple cider vinegar help because it lowers uric acid levels?

    I'm like 100% freaked out now though. Terrible cause I know stress will be bad for the adrenals and actually could increase uric acid. Oh the irony….I just don't think I could handle doing surgery for kidney stones right now!!! (Not to mention how expensive that would be, my health insurance is a joke….)

    Matt, do you think a fruit fast would be something that might help me too? You mention that it helps take care of inflammation, ie lowering the symptoms of gout, but does it help the liver and kidneys get rid of excess uric acid (which seems to be the underlying cause of the inflammation)?

    I'm less concerned with the symptoms of gout/arthritis, and really only concerned to get rid of the uric acid. What is the best way to lower uric acid levels FAST? And if I quit purines, then will my body be able to get rid of the excess uric acid more easily and faster than if I continue eating purines? Won't I just push the issue ahead of me when I finally start trying to add back purines again?

    It sounds to me like a kidney and/or live detox would be the best remedy to quickly lower the uric acid. Any ideas on this?

  82. I was unable to download the file from GF, but found this info online at wikipedia:

    All in all, uric acid reduction diet should be low in proteins and purines and high in potassium and complex carbohydrates.

    Low Purines EAT:
    potatoes, avocados, dried peaches, orange juice, apples, bananas, skimmed milk and yogurt, kidney beans, yam, etc. It is usually advised, that the diet for reduction of uric acid should contain foods rich in complex protein like tofu, berries, bananas, tea, celery, parsley, cabbage and tomatoes. Foods like eggs, butter, cheese, corn, gelatin, peanut butter, tart cherries, vinegar, rice, pasta, whole wheat breads and cereals should be regularly consumed. Foods rich in bromelain and vitamin C like pineapples, red cabbage and red bell peppers can also be very effective in reducing uric acid. Soy products, lemon juice and fibrous foods, Fatty acids found in salmon, olive oil, flax, nuts,
    Plenty of water should be consumed to ensure elimination of uric acid through urine.

    High Purines DON'T EAT:
    Yeast, pork, lamb, shrimps, anchovies, hearts, mussels, sardines, organ meats such as kidneys, liver and sweetbreads,
    mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, dried beans, peas, asparagus, turkey, goose, chicken, oatmeal, chicken, bacon, alcohol.

    Do for me personally, my list would be limited by other issues, such as milk intollerance, soy allergies, Omega 6 restricted diet due to inflammation. Could I really sustain myself on this food remaining below:
    Dried peaches, apples, bananas, kidney beans, berries, bananas, tea, water, celery, parsley, cabbage. Foods like eggs, butter, vinegar, rice, whole wheat breads, pineapples, red cabbage and red bell peppers, lemon juice, salmon.

    It seems a little spartan…..I think I've been here before, on an exclusion diet…..not sure what to do…..

  83. I don't know. I personally really find fruit fasting to be therapeutic. I was thinking that uric acid might somehow be involved in the reasons behind why that is. Digestion is another.

    I don't think it would have to be that extreme either. You could eat fruit all day and then have a cooked dinner with lots of rice, fat, and cooked vegetables.

    That might be a good compromise, as, coming form a long diet history and tending towards the side of being underweight fruit and veggies only can be draining and exhuasting. If you do try something like that, the key is to get sufficient calories by eating just about as many bananas as you can stand.

  84. Hey Lisa E,


    How do you know that you have high levels of uric acid in the first place? And even if it was so it doesn’t guarantee you the kidney stones.

    As for the preventive measures it is generally recommended to introduce more alkaline forming foods in your diet. So enjoy the veggies, including tubers.

    I don’t know if my blood uric acid is lower or not now. I kind of leery of organ meats but I eat regular muscle beef no problem. By the way, beef has lowest purine content of all meat/fish.

    I personally know that man who ate only raw meat and ended up having to have surgery for kidney stones. But some people don’t want to admit their own mistakes and shortcomings of the most perfect diets. It reminds me of the Bear blaming his health problems on some broccoli he ate when he was a kid.

    And I’d like to ask you how does it feel when you can’t tolerate dairy?

  85. Thanks both Matt and GF. I so totally appreciate your support!

    I fear a fruit fast since I tend to get migraines from even doing one fruit meal per day (as an addition meal to my 3 main meals). I also feel that what got me into this was an extreme diet, so I doubt that my solution will be trying another one that feels like an extreme diet to me. I think my body can't take much more changes right now. First low carb, then RRARF.

    Reducing meat will have to be the best I can do for now. Hopefully that will improve my symptoms and that will tell me the uric acid is being reduced. I have absolutely no idea though how in the world I'm going to get enough calories now?

    I sure wish I could eat potatoes but they made my arthritis very acute. Perhaps I'll be able to tolerate them now though if I quit meats temporarily.

    My symptoms of dairy intolerance: depression.

    I know it's odd, but any day I eat as much as a small little yoghurt I get very, very depressed a few hours later. Every time I'm dairy free, I'm totally myself with no signs of depression at all. It bums me out cause I used to be able to do yoghurt, before low carb….I also felt so hydrated on raw milk when I drank it in early RRAFR, and my digestion seems to agree very well with milk, yoghurt, and cheese. But the depression is just unacceptable to me, I can't put up with it.

  86. I have never checked my uric acid levels so I have no idea if that is my problem or not. I'm just assuming it cause I developed really severe gout/arthritis when I ate lots of potatoes on RRARF. I am purely guessing that it's caused by high levels of uric acid that were originally caused by my low carb diet. Then once I began eating potatoes the uric acid might have begun entering my blood stream in my body's attempt to rid itself of all this uric acid, and then it also entered my joints.

    But it's all just speculation. I have no real clue why I got this gout thingy?

  87. Whatever works Lisa. Сut and try method within the RRARF guidelines might be your safest bet.

  88. Lisa, it can be very difficult to get your body back in balance when you have uric acid poisoning, but it's not impossible. It's just so tricky that most people can't even do it. But I can tell by what I've read of your posts that you will be able to do it. It just takes time. One thing, though, wiki info is not correct! There is more than one error on their lists of do's and don't's.
    Whole wheat is very bad, and so is salmon. Salmon is high purine. And you're right, don't do the PUFA thing, it's not necessary. KIdney beans and tea should be on the no list, too.
    When you are just beginning to get the uric acid out, fruit is too strong and will cause a lot of pain. Migraines can be a symptom of high uric acid. When it's in your blood you experience migraines, depression, anxiety, and possibly even heart symptoms. When it's in your tissues and joints, it's the gout and arthritis. Of course it's in the liver and kidneys, but you don't feel the pain there until stones are formed. I'm much older than you are and have been able to get better, I know you can, too. But every time I repoisoned myself by going back to purine foods, when getting it back out I had to go throught the migraine, depression, anxiety, heart oppression thing. I don't know for sure if the dairy causes depression for you because it begins the removal of the acid or not, but if you can't handle it, that's okay.
    Yogurt may be too acidic; yes, it's lactic not uric acid, but it's still acid. Yogurt bothers me even more than ice cream. If you do want to eat some dairy when you have a meat free meal, plain raw milk would be better than yogurt.
    When I read the book Uric Acid as a factor in the causation of disease,(it's free online) I found a lot of answers to a lot of strange symptoms that I had been having for years. I didn't need to get any blood tests. It contains an outline for a diet and answers your questions about whether it's better to continue eating meat or not. I've been doing this for over a year now, and feel as though I still have things to experiment with as far as diet goes, though.
    There's a cookbook by some ladies who got better from the diet back when the book was written, The Apsley cookbook, or something like that, and it has a good variety of dishes.
    There are some teas that seem to be good for both the liver and the kidneys, chanca piedra and cat's claw, are two that you could try. Chanca piedra can give me a headache if I drink too much. Olive leaf extract is good, too, and never causes any problems. Ashwaghanda is good for the adrenals, which are also involved.
    Just eat as much of the stuff that you can, relax, and you will be okay. It's important if you are beginning at getting the uric acid out during the summer to try to stay cool. The heat melts out the uric acid by raising your pH, so only take as much heat as you can stand without getting migraines or depressed.
    Take care,

  89. Lisa, I just wanted to add that one of the first things that I found that didn't bother me was coconut water. It is said to clean out the kidneys. It's high in potassium and the sugar is, (I hope I remember this correctly) 100% glucose. It's like an IV.

  90. Betsy,

    Thanks so much. This is all quite overwhelming for me right now. Would you mind posting a link to where I could get a hold of that ebook?

  91. Sorry, I just found the ebook. I just feel so overwhelmed by the thought of having to yet again change my diet. Less meat, that's so radical for me right now, having spent the last three years eating basically only meat. Wow, this is not a walk in the park….

    Had my first meat free meal today (in like over 4 years) and I was dizzy and felt dreadful until I made another meal with some meat. But I think reducing the meat to minimal, like three tablespoons of meat per meal or so, might help. We'll see.

    Why don't everyone on low carb get this problem? Is it just if you have weak kidneys, or is it how strict low carb you are?

    Also, is herbal tea ok? I guess it's in the ebook, but until I get through reading it, does anyone know?

    On the plus side the word "uric" is pronounced the same way as the Swedish word for animal, "djur"so it's "animalic acid" to me (I'm Swedish). lol.

  92. It should be noted that Peruvian Indians, in appearance at least, seem to be among the most malnourished people I have ever come across in my research.

    And before anyone says 'Have you been to Peru?' well no I have not but most people have not either.

    The Peruvian rain forest people look healthier than the highland people, and the rain forest people refine their starches (they have to, manioc must be heavily refined to be edible).

    Refining can be accomplished in many ways. I believe starchy tubers and grains have been selectively bred over the millenia to require less refining. The closer a plant is to its natural, wild state, the more refining it requires, until we end up back at plants that are poisonous in high amounts, UNLESS they are refined heavily.

    So a potato requires less refining than manioc, sure. But that is because it is a domesticated plant that has had the anti-nutrient factors lowered through selective breeding.

    I guess the question is begged then, are modern, domesticated potatoes improved upon through ANY refining at all beyond simply cooking them?

    I would like to know how the Kitavans prepare their yams. I would venture to guess that they refine them heavily.

    Certainly some starch sources need less refining than others. Some are perfectly digestible after simply cooking them, some require a days worth of work (manioc, yam varieties, foods poisonous without refining).

  93. The gist of what I am saying is that ALL plant foods are refined somehow. Cooking is refining, pounding and winnowing is refining, selective breeding is refining.

    So to demonize refining at all seems like a misdirected criticism. Humans have always refined their plant foods. Whether the cellulose is fermented, removed to leave the starch, cooked for extended periods, or simply bred to be minimal (an example being certain potato varieties with very thin skins, in the wild, this plant would not last long).

    Refining is a slew of different processes. Rather than creating a dichotomy between refined/unrefined, I think maybe a discussion on the pros and cons of different methods of refining might be in order.

    The bottom line is that our guts can not handle unrefined plant foods. Cooking IS refining. It changes the structure of the starch.

  94. Very intelligent comment Gabriel. There are many forms of refinement, some that increase the nutritional quality and absorption for example, and others that remove all remnants of nutritive material necessary for the proper assimilation of the food energy – like in the case of white sugar.

    So there are clearly cases in which refinement is beneficial, and other cases in which refinement is a net negative – making the food unnaturally appealing while at the same time unsustainably devoid of nutrients.

    But simply making a food as palatable and digestible as possible is no guarantee that the food is not inherently harmful. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

    There is a fine line, and I think one could classify the obesigenic foods of today as being "over-refined."

  95. True, but if you look at some of the most primitive hunter gatherers, such as the ones that eat Manioc, you see some of the most post-harvest refined starches there are. They are so refined that in their natural state they are poisonous, but after refining they are edible in abundant quantities.

    What this implies is that refining is not a bad process, that the more digestible a starch is, the more good it does for the human body.

    Again, as an example I would point out fufu. Fufu is so refined that it is swallowed without chewing. It is so refined that masticating it with amylase is not necessary for its digestion. Yet I would venture to guess that this African diet of fufu with a rich meat stew is among the healthiest in the world. I could be wrong.

  96. Seriously, Betsy, this book is totally crushing me "Uric Acid as a factor in the causation of disease". It's a nightmare. I'm getting more and more and more depressed. It basically states in like 900 pages of detail how I'd have to become a vegetarian for life eating only milk and cheese as my protein. I can't tolerate either, I'm allergic to soy and haven't had beans in years. What am I supposed to eat? I'm having to become a vegan and I am crashing from this. It's too much……

    It's also not at all what Weston A Price saw the traditional people eat, and thrive on. Why could they eat meats and eliminate the uric acid? This is a nightmare for me. I don't know what to eat anymore. Apparently all food is poison. I'm stuck with white rice and vegetables now! I'm hungry and desperate and loosing it….

  97. Wow. I just went back and read all the uric acid posts.

    All I can say is that I am right there with y'all. Eating low carb and high meat in my diet left me with joint pains, among a host of other problems.

    Since lowering drastically the amount of purine rich food I eat, my joints feel better, but I also noticed that I am urinating less and that it seems like my body is maintaining a healthier water level, like my kidneys function better now.

    Meat and fat in high amounts are difficult to digest, no doubt about that. Puts strain on the body. Iron rich foods in excess cause oxidative stress, as to copper and zinc in excessive amounts.

  98. Lisa, you may not have to cut out all meat. Gabriel can eat meat. The book can be viewed just as a primer. When I found it I was having such bad headaches and joint pain, I didn't even care if I ever ate meat again. The information helped me so much to understand what was going on. Maybe there is a way that the author didn't know about to get your digestion and metabolism improved enough to eat purine foods, just never in a quantity that destroys your health all over again.

    Some things that I have found, besides low carb diet that may be involved are estrogen dominance, lack of digestive bacteria in the gut, and overabundance of microbes. Maybe if those are dealt with, along with kidney and liver cleanup, purines will no longer get stuck in your body.

    So for now you can just try to cut back meat to small portions if you want, maybe such as small amounts in a stir fry over rice. Or after a few days of low purines you could try some cheese grated over your rice and vegetables. If you can find coconut water, blending it with a banana, peach, and/or some berries or cherries will make you happy. Once you start to find yourself going around the house whistling, having extra energy for the chores you have to do, and realize that your IQ has gone up, you can start to find ways to creatively deal with diet. But please don't be surprised if getting the stuff out makes you feel terrible! It's not easy.
    One day at a time!

  99. Yeah Lisa, I don't think it has to be such an extreme thing. And, to help put things into better perspective, it might help to realize one key fundamental truth about food….


    There is not a single food in the world that doesn't have both a positive and a negative impact on our physiology.

    Most health religions out there serve up polarized beliefs about certain foods, focusing exclusively on the positive (like Joel Fuhrman's infatuations with fruit and vegetables) or only the negatives (like the low-carb condemnation of starch, or the Paleo condemnation of grains).

    But in reality no food is purely good or purely bad, something that gets even more convuluted and confusing when you start getting down to individuality, and diet-induced imbalances – such as what you, Gabriel, Betsy, and I have experienced from eating a primarily meat and fat based diet for several years.

    Another curious thing I'll point out in our little uric acid side tanagent is that when I first started doing low-fat vegan "cleanses" for 5-7 days at a time, all my physical aches and pains would disappear. However, I was coming off of a primarily grain and legume-based vegetarian diet with little meat or fish.

    Now, every time I cut meat and seafood out of my diet completely for a few days I start to get major aches and pains. By the end of my stint with Furhman's diet last year I couldn't even sit at the computer by the end of it due to back pain.

    Fast forward to right now and it seems like it takes about 1 week of being meat-free to get rid of the pain increase – days 2 and 3 being the peak of the physical pain. Interesting.


    Ditto everything you said. On low-carb, both Aurora and I had a lot of muscle cramping. At one point I had to stop doing yoga because I would get severe cramps in just about every pose.

    I also was thirsty a lot, drank a lot of water, and urinated a lot.

    Now water seems kinda unappealing. I drink far less, but never get dehydrated, don't have any kind of muscle cramping or anything like that.

    At one point the cramping was definitely severe though. Even just reaching across my body would give me acute cramps in my pectoral muscles. Bad news.

  100. Betsy, thanks for being so understanding, and supportive! I was just absolutely not myself yesterday, trying to cut out meat by 60% in one day and then just feeling like I'm spiraling into some diet-research-neurosis where there is no way out. Also, having lots of cheese yesterday made me super depressed, and then it's difficult to put things in perspective. I think I wasn't able to express myself very well, so sorry about that.

    I also believe in the estrogen connection. I know I have issues with that. Also the kidneys and liver. I think it may be the way I'll have to go, trying to clean up the kidneys or something, somehow, while just lowering my meat intake. I've heard that watermelon is good for the kidneys.

    My joint pain was way worse today too so I think I'll do best with some kind of middle way. Last week eating meats, I was stable both in my mood and in my joint issues.

    Matt, yes, it's so true, I think it's difficult for me to be in "reality" because of my health issues. I tend to want to believe that there is one solution that I can follow and all will be well. But life is not that simple, is it. So, nutrition is not that simple either. One thing I think I've learned though through all my dieting, is that the middle road is best for me. It's too easy to become completely neurotic around foods otherwise.

    Gabriel, sorry first of all that you also have had this painful experience of low carb damage to the joints/kidneys/uric acid poisoning or whatever it is. Would you mind typing out how you've lowered your purine rich foods? Do you still eat meats just less amounts or did you have to go vegetarian too? If you can eat meats, how much do you eat and what kinds?

    Thank you all so much for being there for me, this is otherwise such a lonely place to be.

  101. And yes, I also have seen some kind of connection with liquid intake and such. I developed edema once I went low carb and struggled with dehydration the entire time. The dehydration went away as soon as I got on RRARF, but the edema remains. I also drink not water but water with salt in it but I'm not sure if that might be hard on the kidneys?

  102. Matt, I didn't realize you also had some aches and pains as a result of low carb. So sorry about that. I just think of you as immune to all that stuff.

    Anyways, I'm thinking all those aches mostly are gone for you now? Are you able to eat meat without getting too high uric acid. What do you think is the best way to cleanse the kidneys and liver?

    Also, it baffles my mind that so many traditional people consume high purine foods and still don't get a problem with uric acid. There must be something about them having superior elimination of it. Weston A Price also noticed many traditional people developing severe arthritis once they got in contact with modern foods.

  103. Thanks everyone.

    Matt- definitely. I also am having tooth problems. My teeth are not rotting, but they are just disappearing. I asked the dentist if this could be due to salival ph balance being acidic from excess uric acid in my system. He brushed that off and said I was just grinding. He even asked me if I was binging and purging! My teeth have gotten that bad! I almost laughed because I would never do that.

    Lisa- I still eat meat but I am trying to cut down. I work out a lot and lift weights so I am kind of paranoid (perhaps brainwashed by bodybuilding propaganda) that I need protein to build muscles.

    But I do go into some restaurants and I try and order foods with little meat. A Thai curry for instance will have a lot of veggies and coconut milk and a little meat. Combined with a plate of jasmine rice and it is the perfect meal in my opinion.

    Sometimes I just eat a plate of rice, plain, no seasoning no meat.

    I'm just trying to cut down on meat drastically. I feel better but actually got sick at first. Not sure if it is related to uric acid excretion. BUt I am certainly sleeping better, not peeing at night as much.

    I am having trouble believing that primitive populations were healthy on a high animal protein diet, long term. I have no doubt that for growing children lots of animal products in the diet will make a healthy adult, but once fully grown I think lower in protein is much more sustainable and causes less oxidative stress on the body.

  104. I agree, Gabriel and everyone else. I think those Japanese people from Yuzuri Hara in the video nailed it. They eat loads of different veggies, lots of starches, they know how to prepare it correctly (I wish I did…) and then they eat "very little animal meat". I think that's the way to go. How little, I'd love to know, but for now I'll start with just "less than I've eaten until now".

    I'm feeling so good today. I've had super small portions of meat with each big starch, veggies and butter meal, and also some fruits and I've felt very good and stable all day. Physically and mentally. No depression cause I didn't have any dairy. I feel like I can pretty much do anything so long as I'm not depressed. I'll hope to stabilize myself like this for a few weeks. The thing is that I used to be vegan and vegetarian in different attempts at healing before I did the low carb insanity, and I never felt ok on it, so to imagine going back to veganism felt like being back to square one and knowing that square one is not a solution for me. So really running out of solutions. Now I hope my new solution will be to try to follow the middle road of the healthy people of Yuzuri Hara. Here I come! Leroy Jenkins!!!!!

    Btw, does anyone here sleep on the floor? Is it helpful? I'm thinking of going thin Futon bed to improve my breathing.

    Gabriel: bummer with the teeth, I have similar problems. Since going low carb they have become almost see through at the edges, very opaque, also painful, I also got lots and lots of black spots, like cavities before I started eating egg shells. Still opaque though.

  105. Lisa, it's great to hear that you're feeling so good today! It would be great if you would be able to continue to eat some meat. Lisa, when you were vegan did you eat beans? I was vegan for a long time and ate lots of beans. I don't want to be vegan either.

    Gabriel, sleeping better and not peeing so often at night are two benefits that I've had with cutting way back on uric acid. Especially when I cut out milk, for some reason which I can't figure out.

    I was going to tell you both that I had read about gout of the teeth, so I thought I would regoogle. I thought I remembered it as cavities forming near the gums, but wasn't sure. It's so strange that the first site I went to was about curing rheumatism and gout(I think you could include arthritis) by antisepticizing the sinuses and I think the teeth, too. I have to go back and read it. I'll get the link. Isn't that wild. Also, last night I was googling about teeth trying to figure out how on earth to correct the problem with diet, and ended up at a youtube video about oil pulling. I don't know if you've ever tried that or read about it, but I've read alot of testimonials about it helping people with all types of symptoms. I tried it for awhile, but didn't stick with it. I did it last night and this morning, and can't wait to see where it can take me. But if you google teeth plus gout plus haig, you will find in his book that he says there is definitely a relationship between uric acid and teeth. Most of the stuff about uric acid that they were starting to find out back then has all been swept under the carpet. It's unfortunate that noone took what haig found out to the next level.

  106. Interesting. Thanks Betsy and everyone. It's so nice to have people to discuss this with.

  107. Yes, I did eat beans when I was vegan, but not soybeans as I'm allergic to all soy.
    I didn't have any joint problems back then though cause it was previous to my low carb diet. I just felt dreadful in all other kinds of ways. lol.

    I'm glad to have you on our team trying to figure out what to do with diet and for example the tooth issues. It's worth noting that before low carb, I had never had a cavity in my life (part from one on a milk tooth that I naturally later dropped) so I was chocked to see my teeth start to deteriorate like that.

    It is very interesting what you came across about antisepticizing the sinuses. Isn't that what the whole salt water nose rinse Ayurvedic medicine recommend. I've done that too in periods, perhaps I should pick it up again for a while.

    I tried oil pulling about 2 years ago, and didn't notice anything at all, but I was on full low carb at the time though. Gave it up after only a few days though. Please keep us posed on your progress.

    It's really wild how important discoveries can be totally ignored and all but forgotten. I don't get it.

    I'm still stable today and will continue to slowly reduce meats to a minimum. Thanks again Betsy!

  108. I've had a terrible sinus headache since yesterday, and I'm not sure if it's because of the oil pulling or the tamari that I've been cooking with. Lisa, I used to do the salt water rinse, too, but didn't stick with that either. This morning my face and eyes are hurting so much that I did that once so far and it seems to have helped. I am having the whole solvent uric acid problem with my legs aching when I walk up the stairs and my arms aching with the least amount of use. I would say that if anyone wanted to try oil pulling, only do it once a day and slowly work your way up to 20 minutes. I am also thinking that if dairy causes any congestion, stay away from it. Maybe except for ghee.
    In that online book about antisepticizing your sinuses, it says that in order to be healthy you must be able to inhale adequate air, and in order to do that your nasal passages must be open.
    Lisa and Gabriel, I'm glad to hear that you're both doing okay.
    Thank God for internet, eh?

  109. Betsy – I remember the first time I tried oil pulling. I got a pretty pumpin' sinus headache – but only the first time.
    Apparently it's very common.

  110. Rocket, did you continue to do it? Do you think it's helped you in any way?

  111. Betsy, sorry you had such a strong reaction to the oil pulling. Hope the headache and other body ache won't be too long lasting.

    That's also so interesting about the air issue cause I've got a lot of issues with my breathing. I hyperventilate causing my oxygenation to be very poor.

    I have a question: since I can't eat any dairy (except for butter), and beans, eggs, and meat is high in uric acid, and I 'm allergic also to any soy including tamari etc. how can I assure I get enough protein on a low purine diet? Any ideas?

  112. Lisa, thank you. I'm starting to feel better. The nausea and pain in my face wasn't clearing up, so I went to earthclinic.com to see what they recommend for sinus infections, and found a few ideas. There were a lot of testimonies saying that using apple cider vinegar in water as a nasal rinse clears is very effective. I tried doing that with kombucha vinegar because I don't have any apple cider vinegar, and it seems to be working. I do hyperventilate, too, especially when I'm in pain or having a hard time sleeping. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the online book Permanent Good Health a Possibility? about the relationship between the vagus nerve, toxins in the sinus cavities, and respiration. It's a totally different way of looking at so many different things.

    I've been wishing for an answer to the very same question about protein. I just don't know what to do. It's like an unsolvable problem. I could never eat enough rice or potatoes to get enough protein from them. I am allergic to soy, too, and I feel like I'm really taking a chance with the tamari. I think it goes right to my thyroid, and may even be high purine. I was going to see if I could find out anything about it today, but didn't feel good enough. I started drinking kombucha again, because even though tea is not good, a lot of people say it helps with gout, arthritis, and headaches, and I found one site (Gaia) that explains that the kombucha scoby processes the purines and makes them easier to be excreted. The third thing I'm doing is adding honey to my kombucha for it's amino acids. Can you imagine what a small amount of protein is to be gotten from those three things? But my nails are growing faster and my hair looks healthier. Do eggs make you sick? The whites are supposed to be low in purines. I may try them again once things settle down.

    For the hyperventilation, have you tried breathing into a brown bag? When I wake up during the night or when I have a headache, I do that. It's no solution, just helps with the symptom, for sure.
    More often than not, though, I find that my breathing is very shallow.

    Are you still drinking the apple cider vinegar? Vinegar mixed with honey is supposed to be good for sinus congestion, too.

  113. Betsy – Yeah, I did it for a few months. I still do it every now and then. The main benefit of oil pulling was a lighter clearer feeling in my head, particularly the frontal sinus which has always been problematic for me.
    The nasal rinse is a good idea. I use the Neilmed squeezy bottle with a sea salt and xylitol solution and have found great benefit from it.

  114. Betsy,

    Glad to hear you've figured out a way to deal with your sinus problem.

    I tried to take apple cider vinegar but my joints immediately got worse so I stopped it. It makes no sense, but I won't argue with my joints. lol. Or it's a good thing that they get worse, but I have to be able to use my hands. lol.

    I've noticed in reducing protein that I struggle to keep the calorie intake up. This is a tough nut to crack, isn't it…..

    Matt suggested buckwheat as a possible solution since it's 15% protein. I like the sound of that, cause I just love buckwheat. lol.

    I am not sure if I can tolerate eggs or not. I use some in my buckwheat bread but I'm so new to this I have no real clue as to what symptoms are good and what are bad? So, I'm a bad judge on what I can tolerate and not. (Good to know that egg whites are in the clear).

    Please correct me here cause I'm confused, but I guess a headache and depression is kind of good cause it means the uric acid is free in the blood, so the chances of it being eliminated is greater. So, it's kind of a good thing. When it's in the joints that's worse cause it means it's not been eliminated well and has now decided to stick in the joints and other cell areas?

    When I was on low carb eating lots of meat al day long, I had no symptoms of high uric acid. I think that was a really bad thing. I think that the symptoms themselves indicate improvements. Like the joint pain began because the potatoes got the uric acid out of where it was "hiding", starting the elimination process perhaps?

    I have had lots of depression lately. I've tried to eat fruit for breakfast to help the kidneys and also tried to drink more water. But when I drink plain water without sea salt I seem to feel more thirsty and dehydrated than when I use sea salt in it. It sucks to be depressed but at least I know why.

    My long term goal now is to be vegan 3 days and eat animal protein on day 4. But I have a long way to go to get there. I'll do a super slow transition. For now I still eat meat with every meal, just a very small amount.

    For sinuses I have noticed since I began chewing on raw ginger again (to try to help my teeth) that the fumes from the ginger are so strong they seem to make my nose rinny. So, I'm thinking that might be a good sign somehow.

  115. That is so incredibly interesting that you also have breathing issues. I'm convinced there is a connection here. You see anyone that breathes through the mouth will hyperventilate to some extent. Weston A Price noted several times that the sick people he ran into were mouth breathers, ie surely hyperventilated. Also, too little nutrients will cause hyperventilation, so the connections are plenty.

    Hyperventilation apparently rises the uric acid levels in the body too I read the other day. Fascinating I think!

    I don't have acute hyperventilation but something called "chronic hyperventilation syndrome". This means I hyperventilate a little bit 24/7. It's nothing that anyone would be able to notice (unless they're into Buteyko breathing themselves). I hyperventilated it for years without knowing it myself. I think nasal allergies made me start to mouth breathe as a kid. As a result I breathe in my chest only, not using my diaphragm. It takes a long time to re-teache the brain to start using/relaxing the diaphragm again. I have to teach my body to relax the respiratory muscles, and that's not an easy task. I do breathing exercises 4 times per day following the work of Dr Buteyko. He figured out a way to help people with this condition. But it's very slow and pretty much feels like just another uphill battle. But I'm doing the work, so over time I hope it will help me. I've improved some. (Can easily hold my breath for 20 seconds now, I was at only 10 seconds when I started last year).

    Eating meat also makes hyperventilation way worse, so it's been a nightmare for me trying to eat meat on my then low carb diet, and improve my breathing. So, going vegan for a few days a week might really help improve my breathing. But I just need to figure out the whole protein situation. I wish I could at least do cheese or something….

    Wow, this is such a detective job, Betsy I'm so glad you're trying to figure it out with me. Also, so sorry we both are….lol…..

  116. Hi Lisa, I never thought to try buckwheat. I wish I would have read this before I went to the store. Where did you find a recipe for buckwheat bread? That's great that you like it.

    Keeping calories up is difficult for me, too. I try to eat a lot of rice or potatoes, but I don't like to get to the point of feeling sick. Yesterday I ate as much butter as I wanted with my potatoes figuring that at least I would get more calories, but my headache/neck/shoulder ache got worse, which I am assuming is a liver problem.

    That's interesting that the vinegar made your joints worse. How long after you drink it do they feel worse, like maybe that night or the next morning? If the ginger makes your nose runny, that may be enough for now for clearing out your sinuses. I'm inhaling vinegar, but wow does it sting. It makes my knees buckle and I feel like I'm going to collapse. I only did it once today because I feel better. I might definitely save that for when I have a headache or nausea. I'm also using salt water spray. I might try colloidal silver, too.

    You're right that it's much better that the uric acid is in your blood than in your joints. As you said, it's one step closer to coming out of your body. Depression really hurts, though. It can be more difficult to deal with than pain; sometimes, anyway.
    I can't think of anything to do about that right now. Depression is usually worse during the summer because of the heat.

    When I first started on the uric acid free diet I realized I was dehydrated and started drinking coconut water. The first day of drinking it I drank 2 liters. Maybe if you add some salt to that you will get a good balance of sodium/potassium, along with some glucose.

    I didn't have joint pain the first time I did low carb, either, but I did have muscle cramps.

    Don't you thank God that you are intelligent enough to understand what is going on and wise enough to do something about it?

  117. Lisa, were you only kidding when you said you love buckwheat? I've had buckwheat pancakes, and I have to say it's a very strong tasting ungrain.

    I've read about Buteyko at Ray Peat's site, and did look up the site about his information, but I didn't read very much of it. I have tried breathing into a brown bag, as Peat suggests, and sometimes it really helps. I have tried to consciously improve my breathing, but the moment I stop, it goes back to the abnormal that my body considers normal. But I have to say that there are times, and I don't know what triggers it,
    that all of a sudden my body relaxes and I start to breathe.
    I think that if it is a uric acid thing that when the levels come down breathing right will just come naturally. Imagine…. being able to breathe correctly naturally! The site where I was reading about the sinuses says how important it is to have enough oxygen in your brain. A Chinese lady used to always tell me that if your blood is dirty it won't carry enough oxygen. I wonder if the true dirt is uric acid. Over the years with sometimes eating meat and sometimes not, I started to notice that when I eat meat my posture gets very poor. I have such a hard time keeping my shoulders back and standing straight. But when I don't eat meat, and maybe this was true for beans, too, my posture improves all by itself. I can feel myself coming out of the poor posture as my headache is clearing up. It must have been the tamari, or maybe the kombucha. One more experiment to see if kombucha has too many purines, too.

    Haig says that potatoes are better than fruit in the morning The pH of the body shifts throughout the day, and in the morning it's better to eat alkaline potatoes. That might help a little. I just was thinking that I suggested coconut water, but I have to say that it was cold out when I was drinking a lot of it, but I don't feel like drinking so much now that it's hot out. So if you drink it, you would have to see if the pH of it is correct for this time of year.

    So hyperventilation raises uric acid levels, too, which makes it like a vicious circle!

    That's a good idea of eating vegan for 3 days and eating meat on the fourth day. I bought some eggs and had one two days ago. I thought I would have one a day, but yesterday I was sick again, so maybe I'll try for one every three or four days. That's not enough protein, but for now, one day at a time. It is good to have someone else to brainstorm with, and there has to be some solution.

    I don't know if you're interested in herbs, but there are two ayurvedic herbs, boswellia and tulsi, that are good for getting uric acid out. Boswellia is specifically for getting it out of the joints. I'm trying the tulsi tea and it seems to be helping.

    I feel like we're Left Behind here in the potato blog!

  118. Yes, I do feel like we got left behind, lol. But what if we do find the solution and crack both the uric acid and hyperventilation problem in one throw, then this would officially be the most amazing comments thread in history! lol!

    In reality, we're both kind of stuck here right now, so it just reflects what we're living.

    I had the tiniest little potato yesterday night and this morning I could only bend the fingers on my right hand about 10 degrees. It's a bit scary but the good news is that only about 4 hours later I can bend them fully again.

    I'm so sorry you didn't like buckwheat. It never crossed my mind that anyone could find it not yummy. lol. So sorry. It was the only cheat I did during my low carb years. I wasn't allowed any grains and I used to be a bread junkie, so I think about 4 times during 3 years I made one tiny little buckwheat pancake and of course it tasted like something I imagine really food oriented angels would make. lol :)

    I do like herbs, or the idea of them. I've tried so many of them through the years and never really felt any change/improvements from them, but I still believe in them and I certainly take them over any prescription drug. They are the original medicines after all, lol. I am also missing drinking a warm drink so if I can drink a tea made out of them I will. I got the cat's claw the other day but didn't yet get around to making it. Doesn't smell great, but beggars can't be choosers. lol.

    I just overheard our neighbors going "do you want tea for breakfast?" and I'm like "wow to be able to just drink tea"…that's what is so amazing to me, my body can't even handle a simple cup of tea….? It makes no sense to me in a way. Tea seems like such a healthy thing. But perhaps in a few years after I got rid of the uric acid deposits and don't hyperventilate anymore I too can have tea for breakfast again….

    I am convinced too that the hyperventilation issues are closely tied to nutrition and uric acid. At least I hope so cause I'm so fed up doing these boring breathing exercises for 2 hours every day and getting absolutely nowhere…..

    Interesting that the Chinese lady said that dirty blood doesn't carry oxygen and that the dirt might well be the uric acid. It would make a lot of sense.

    Hope we can figure it out. I do feel lucky that I have a regular functioning brain and that I'm not afraid to take in difficult information, even though it sometimes can be very painful to admit that one has made severe mistakes…(low carb). But at least I'm willing to explore and try to find a solution. I also am happy that I'm such an optimist. I totally think we can find a solution to this. :) Am I having illusions of grandeur or what?! lol…

  119. The buckwheat bread recipe I use, and modify, is from Sally Fallon's classic cookbook "Nourishing Traditions". It can also be used for pancakes, but that requires one more cup of water in the recipe.

    I get the whole buckwheat and grind it in my hand cranked stone mill. It's kind of fun actually and feels very old fashioned. :) Now that my life is spent in the kitchen I might as well try to have some fun in there….lol…

    3 cups freshly ground spelt, kamut or whole wheat flour (I exchange that for buckwheat)
    2 cups buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt (I exchange that for 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon)
    3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup (I don't use this at all)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 cup melted butter (I skip this in an attempt to reduce my fat intake)
    2 ripe bananas (I hate banana breads so I use 2 small boiled zuccinis instead)
    1/2 cup chopped crispy pecans (I am allergic to all nuts so I don't add this either)

    Soak flour in buttermilk, kefir, or yoghurt in a warm place for 12 – 24 hours – bread will rise better if soaked for 24 hours. Blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into a well-buttered and floured loaf pan (preferably stoneware) Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean (for my buckwheat bread an hour is enough).

    page 483 Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

  120. What a Christmas list: be able to breathe, be able to drink tea for breakfast, be able to bend my fingers when I wake up in the morning! My original list was:
    be able to sleep, be able to eat, not have to pee every 10 minutes.

    I was thinking this morning that you're in a very difficult place right now because you have the joint problems and the depression. I was like that last summer, and come to think of it, I still have both issues. It's very discouraging. But in time both will clear up.

    I actually like cat's claw tea. Drinking a cup of Pau D'arco would make the pain go away really quickly. I should really drink it every day, but I don't like the taste enough. The tulsi tea doesn't bother me, and hopefully it will help in some way.

    Last night I gave in and ate some ground beef. My daughter makes a delicious shepard's pie, and I just couldn't resist. I drank some vinegar and honey afterwards figuring that maybe it will make my body alkaline enough for the meat to not bother me. I did wake up with some pain in the bones in my foot, but it went away fairly quickly by drinking some kombucha tea.

    You have a blog, don't you? If we could get a program that would help both sides of the uric acid problem and all the symptoms that go with it, you could help a lot of people through your blog. Then you would be able to say, "For such a time as this I suffered through all that crap! Now I can help others." Is Buteyko still alive? Imagine if you could email him and tell him that in conjunction with his breathing exercises, if he puts his patients on such-and-such diet they will get better so much more quickly and easily.

    and @ ROCKET, I bought some nasal spray with xylitol in it today, and it works really well. Thanks for the recommendation.

    and @ ANYONE interested: Read Permanent Good Health a Possibility? to find
    the connection between your sinuses, swollen abdomen, racing heart, and many other issues.

  121. Wow, I was just reading about Mouth Breathing at Permanent good health, and it says that in children that breathe through their mouth you will see stooping shoulder and protruding shoulder blades. After a few sinus treatments, the shoulders begin to go back and square off. I have thought for some time that good posture, just as breathing, should not be so difficult. This book is just so encouraging. But of course there are no doctors who would know how to help with this method.

  122. Christmas list for sure! lol. Yes, that's too funny. I'd certainly add sleeping through one night without having to go up and pee too…. lol

    And yes depression is extremely difficult to handle, for sure. It's worse than any physical pain. Glad to hear the issues will clear up over time. Sorry you also had to go through it….sorry that it lingers….we've got to find a solution here…

    Pau D'Arco! I used to drink for years, I didn't realize it helped against uric acid. I still have some at home. But it's a diarrhetic, isn't that bad for the kidneys?

    I do have a blog and it's so nice to have a place where I can just vent. Yes, for sure we should blog all about this when we're super healthy and can bend all joints and are happy always and sleep super well. lol….

    Dr Buteyko died somewhat recently. He made his discovery in the 50s, and the majority of his research work in the 80s. He does recommend vegansim, and even fasting to improve breathing. They did a lot of studies on that. It's just that I'm stubborn. I have not been able to feel ok on a vegan diet ever so I couldn't imagine it, but now I may have to change my old ways, being vegan just a few days a week might really help me a lot and still allow me to feel ok cause I can have meats a few days a week.

    Wow, so sinus treatments might be a key. I know that Dr Buteyko recommended taking out polyps surgically for the patients who's breathing didn't improve. I wouldn't do that though since they can grow back. But the connection seems strong. I'm going to have to get on that.

    Also, it seems beans are at least lower in purines than meats, so perhaps it's an option for me going from meats to vegan. Over time perhaps I could drop the beans on vegan days too. Perhaps by then I could handle dairy.

  123. This is what Dr Buteyko said about foods:

    "Doctor Buteyko also found that meals rich in proteins (especially when they are quick absorbing animal proteins) and, to a lesser degree, fats considerably intensify breathing, while fresh fruits and vegetables produce the least impact on ventilation."

    "An old study by Haselbalch (1912) revealed that after following a vegetarian meal, blood levels of CO2 decreased to 43.3 mm Hg (the initial value was about 45 mm Hg); while a meal with meat resulted in 38.9 mm Hg. "

    "Professor Haldane suggested, that "a meat diet, which causes an increase of sulphuric and phosphoric acids in blood, is acid-forming as compared to a vegetable diet, which contains less protein and relative abundance of salts yielding carbonates"(p.183, Haldane, 1922). Thus, the breathing centre compensates for the additional acids (amino acids) in the blood and the resulting blood acidification (low pH of the blood) by reducing carbonic acid and CO2 stores. While with the vegetarian meal, the presence of additional alkaline salts in the blood requires extra acids for blood pH preservation. Among all acids in the blood, carbonic acid is the main component and its concentration can be changed by respiration."

    ""In addition to the immediate effects on respiration, a lack of normally occurring food substances in the diet such as vitamins and minerals can gradually cause chronic hyperventilation. "

    "Therefore, the typical western diets, which are often full of refined products and lack fresh fruits and vegetables, has negative effects on breathing. Most of all, overeating, so prevalent nowadays, is one of the major causes of chronic hyperventilation."


    Small negative impact on breathing:
    Fresh fruits, berries and spices
    vegetables and greens

    Moderate negative impact:

    Large negative impact:
    Oils and fats

    Very Large Negative impact:

    (So dairy products aren't great for breathing apparently…)

  124. Hey, Cat's Claw Tea not too shabby tasting. :) What's more important though is that it seems to be helping with the depression symptoms. I know I'll take a severe migraine and super stiff joints any day over depression! lol.

    Also, I forgot to answer about the apple cider vinegar. I seem to remember that the increased joint stiffness occurred only an hour or so after taking the vinegar.

    Am considering getting some of Julia Changs kidney cleansing tea too, I remember it tasting ok and perhaps now I'm well enough that it might work better for me.

  125. Lisa, that's great about the cat's claw tea helping your depression! Depression is much worse than physical pain. If it helps with depression and doesn't cause in increase in joint pain, it must be helping to get the uric acid out. Haig says that where ever there is uric acid there will be microbes, so that might be why the Pau D'arco tea works so well, it deals with the pathogens.

    It's good you stopped the vinegar if it was causing joint stiffness that soon after taking it. You can always use it as a rinse for your hair.

    That's so funny that you know Julia Chang! She's such a nice lady, isn't she? She would spend so much time on the phone with me explaining things according to Chinese Medicine. Everytime I talked to her she would ask me if I exercise every morning before eating breakfast. I don't think she's missed even one day of exercising in the AM. Her tinctures and the kidney tea helped me for awhile, but back then, since I didn't realize about the uric acid, nothing ever helped a whole lot. If you get the tea, let me know if it helps. A couple of things on your blog almost made me cry, like when you rediscovered oranges and it made you so happy. I can totally relate to being able to block out almost all delicious natural foods such as fruit, too. Oh happy day! when you drink a glass of orange juice! Today I tried some tea blend that I had bought from mountainroseherbs because yes, I would like to drink a good tasting tea in the morning too! I bought it almost a year ago, and even by the time it arrived in the mail I was afraid to drink it for one reason or another.

    Last night and today the bones in my foot were hurting pretty badly. I stopped drinking the vinegar; I just can't do that for any length of time. I bought some milk and cheese today, too, because it seems as though I can only go so long without some animal protein. It made me feel better, but that may just be for today. The protein thing is the real challenge.

  126. I'm having a real rough time. I keep getting depressed. It's all so overwhelming. Stiff joints, aches, migraines and depression. This is a nightmare. Since you've been working on this for over a year and still suffer, it makes me feel like this is just going to be a long prolonged situation and it's totally crushing me.

    I woke up the other night with some ache in my shoulder. That's new and very disconcerting to me. Is this going to be my new life? Not sure how to proceed.

    I totally agree, the protein is such a challenge.

    Today I have a migraine and I was so depressed this morning I could hardly get out of bed. I'll drink some more of the cat's claw/Pau D'arco combo that seemed to work last time.

    At least tonight I had a full night's sleep without waking up for the first time in…..many years……I slept from 11 pm to 6 am no stop without as much as a pee break. So good, but I still couldn't enjoy it much due to the depression symptoms.

    It's so rough. And yes, thank you for the blog comment. It is deeply sad that so many of us are in such difficult situations we feel that we have to go to such extremes as to cutting wonderful whole foods our of our consciousness….

    And yes, Julia Chang is sweet, but as soon as it's evident her program isn't working for someone, she just blames that person saying they "probably didn't do it right". I did everything right, no phytoestrogens, water in the morning, Y-Dan every morning for years, took all the herbs, all the teas, no prescription drugs. And nothing….no change. It totally makes me bitter.

    Glad you could finally have your tea. It's not much to ask for is it…a warm cup of tea….

  127. Lisa, I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. And yes, I've been doing this for 1 year 3 months now, and I still have a hard time. But I went off the uric acid free diet 4 or 5 times, and each time I went off it I had to go through the bad times again. Not only did I go off it by eating meat, fish, and/or eggs, but my body would sabotage me by drawing me to some unknown source of purines, such as corn, cauliflower, organic raw chocolate powder, maybe even kombucha tea. Purines are addictive, not only purines in tea and coffee, but other purines, too. They give you a kick, and when you cut them out your body misses that kick.
    Also, for a long time I ate bread, as that's what Haig recommended. I didn't think that would be good, but in the beginning it at least got me by. Bread and butter. But as time went by, I could tell that it wasn't good, and then I read that yeast contains and produces a lot of purines, and sourdough, which is mostly what I used, is even worse. So it was a long learning experience with no help except what I could find online.
    So I went back to drinking raw milk and eating raw cheese a few days ago and it's helping. I cut out the rice and am adding in raw fruit. I eat a potato or two once a day, but that's all. It seems to be working, and it provides all the macronutrients. I know you said milk and cheese bother you, but they are the only protein source that is low uric acid. I think that if you cut out the meat you might be able to handle the dairy, as long as it's raw. I don't understand this, but I think there are some things that are dietarily mutually exclusive. Also, I don't know how much improvement can be made with eating some meat every day. I am much stronger than I was when I was eating meat, and some people can live on fruit, potatoes, rice and vegetables for years on end. I think I mentioned before that when I started this I could hardly eat any fruit, but now I can. When you first start you have to keep your diet very neutral with rice, potatoes, and milk, and just let the uric acid come out slowly. But even too much milk or cheese can cause uric acid build up, so you have to include enough of the potatoes, rice, fruit, and vegetables to fill out your diet.

  128. Depression is bad, but depression with a migraine is almost unbearable. I actually get scared when I start to feel a migraine coming on. If you're not waking up at night to pee, your kidneys must be doing better. I'm making slow progress in that area.

    That's ashame about not getting anywhere at all with Julia Chang's stuff. She doesn't take uric acid into consideration, so she's missing something. You are very good at sticking to a program! You have much more will power than most people, so I know you will make it.

    I found a few homeopathic remedies that helped with all the different pains over the past year. It can be difficult to find the right one, though. Especially if you don't feel good, because it takes a lot of searching. Besides that, stinging nettles tea is supposed to help get uric acid out of the body. I used the homeopathic of it, urtica urens, frequently last year, especially when I got the pain that goes from my neck to my shoulder; the homeopathic materia medica calls it the uric acid deltoid.

    Well, time for bed, but I'll be praying for you. May tomorrow be aa little better.

  129. Betsy, do you know how rinsing the nose helps lower uric acid btw? I got myself a new nose rinse yesterday.

    I used to live with chronic migraine for 12 years, and clinical depression for 20 years. It was needless to say, a total nightmare. There is nothing worse. Wait actually, there is, endo pain is way worse, and I'm sure lots of other things, but it's definitely up there in the suffering…. lol…

    Are there purines in cat's claw's tea and in Pau d'Aroc too?

    Wow, I'm so chocked that sourdough contains the most purines…that's so crazy. It makes me so tired cause all this stuff that we're told is super good for us, turns out I can't tolerate it….I think in the end the solution must be found in strengthening the kidneys enough to be able to take in purine rich foods without getting issues from it, like other people can. I use baking soda for my bread, but I do let it soak for 24 hours so I'm sure some yeast growth happens….

    I'm so lucky to have your help Betsy. I don't know what I'd do without your assistance!

    Yesterday I actually threw out my raw cheese cause it makes me so, so depressed. I can't tolerate the depression. I'll have to do this some other way. But I do love cheese….

    I'm doing lima beans right now for protein cause it's at least lower in purines than animal meats…..

    That night when I slept, was just a one off. I'm back to waking up 4 times a night again…but it was great to have that one night experience. lol..

    It's funny cause on the one hand I do have a lot of will power, but it's totally driven from suffering. The more pain and suffering I experience the more motivated I am to get better. I always think "If I can just follow this perfectly then I'll get better." The big bummer is that a lot of the time the programs don't work….Actually almost all the time they don't work…..but I have limited options so I stick with what I've got at that moment, until I find something that seems better…..

    Thanks for the tip on nettle tea. I'll totally go for that! I'm all about teas!

    Thank you so much again for being here for me. It's definitely a lonely place that few understand.

    I can only imagine what a psychologist would think if I said "I'm feeling depressed cause I think I've got uric acid poisoning, so I avoid dairy"…lol….that would be a note of "delusional, food issues" in their not pads for sure….

    When I stay away from cheese and drink lots of my cat's claw/Pau d'Arco tea I do much better overall.

  130. Hi Lisa,

    First let me say that I'm basically driven by pain, too. Amazing what pain can do. Although my husband goes through pain for his various reasons, and he doesn't have the same reaction as we do.

    I know that a lot of uric acid gets deposited in the sinuses because cold makes uric acid precipitate into the tissue. And you just can't avoid breathing in cold air in the winter. But the site that I found that talks about antisepticizing your sinuses doesn't really tie in the uric acid. They just say that cleaning out your sinuses will help other things going on elsewhere in your body heal. I'll have to go back and look for more clues to a direct tie in.

    As far as I know, there are no purines in cat's claw and pau d'arco. I really should get me some.

    I'm sorry you can't eat cheese. Let me know how the lima beans go. If I could eat lima beans I would be so happy. I used to make really good baked beans and soup with lima beans.

    If you're using baking soda in your bread, at least your not getting the purines from the yeast or sourdough. It is really strange that probably when I would try my hardest, such as making sure I ate whole grain sourdough bread, I would feel the worst. If you put a little bit of salt in with the buckwheat while it's soaking, (I mean unles you're trying to sprout it, I don't know if salt stops the sprouting process) but even if you rinse it before you bake with it, I don't think you'll get the amount of yeast that you get with yeast or sourdough starter. Those two just multiply like crazy, which is why the bread rises.

    The first diet I tried for getting better was just an ancient hypoglycemia diet, and I forget how long I was on that, but that' when I started to eat wholegrain breads. I noticed that they hurt my digestion, but I stuck with it anyway. Then my sister told me about macrobiotics. It seemed to help at first, but I was always going through lots of pain, which my sister told me was either detoxing or me not doing something correctly. I stuck with that a really long time, and after that I never stuck with anything again for so long. Also, now when I'm trying a diet I try to read all over the place to see how other people are doing on it…are their teeth falling out, can they sleep, stuff like that. The problem with the uric acid free diet is that there aren't too many people around that are interested. There is an Idia website that seems to recommend Haig's type diet, but there isn't really anyone there to talk to. Yeah, you sure wouldn't want to talk to a psychologist about your uric acid making you depressed!

    I'm going to send this message and start another one incase this one gets too long.

  131. Wow, Lisa, migraines for 12 years and depression for 20 years! Depression for 20 years! I can't imagine. And you're so young. Well, I hope this uric acid thing helps. I do believe it will, but you just can never know.

    I probably wake up 4 times during the night, too. When I was really bad, though, I would have to go 3 or 4 times before I would even fall asleep.

    I read at your blogsite that you've been able to eat a lot of fruit for breakfast. That's good! If you can do that already, your body is moving in the right direction.

    Since you're starting the lima beans, does that mean you've cut out meat altogether? You're young and strong, I think you will do really well with this. If you can soak your buckwheat, grind it, and then make your own bread! That's great.

    Might I whine for a minute? This afternoon I ate a cucumber tomato salad with some olive oil and almost immediately got the pain that goes from the right side of my neck to my shoulder. I can't figure out what that means.

    I am glad that we found each other. Can you imagine what the chances are of that happenning? It must be diving providence!

    Take care

  132. Thank you so much Betsy, I really needed that. I was beginning to panic about all this cause I didn't have any dairy today, I had my cat's claw and Pau d'Arco tea and STILL I feel depressed. It makes me just feel like "what if I never get a handle on this?" "What if for the rest of my life I'll have uric acid poisoning with daily depression and migraines and joint issues, and never, never heal….." It's a very scary thought.

    Hearing that positive thing about my body moving in the right direction cause I am able to eat lots of fruits means the world to me. Perhaps there is hope for me after all, as I am sure there is for you!

    I can totally relate to what you write about the macrobiotic diet and the hypoglycemia diet. How you felt all these negative symptoms from the body and then still kept going. That's what we do cause we're so used to putting up with lots of unexplained, difficult symptoms. I'm glad you did leave those diets and made your way here! :)

    The days I eat lima beans I don't have any meat at all. No problems involved, I don't feel like I need meat per se, just protein. Then I have 3 days with meat. This is my plan to switch it around like that, every third day. Some vegan days, some meat days. But I wish I could do vegetarian days with no beans but dairy instead, to give my system a real rest from uric acid…and oh how yummy it would be….

    It was strange, my clinical depression was cured in a week about 15 years ago by my then psychologist. (I know she's a genius. They should sell her in a bottle….lol…) Then I was free from it all that time until this summer when I got off low carb….it's horrible to have it back, but it's only about 1/5 as bad as it was before.

    Migraines disappeared with the depression 16 years ago. I knew then there was a connection between the two. They did return when I went low carb though, but not too often.

    So sorry about the cucumber tomato salad. That's so horrible. The worst is that there is none that can explain it and people don't even believe it half the time. It's so torturous….

    And yes, I'm so amazingly lucky and happy to have found you!!!! :) It feels so amazing to know I'm not alone. Also, you were the one that explained this stuff to me. If it wasn't for you, I'd just be depressed and have no clue what's going on with me. Wow, that's a terrifying thought…..

  133. This feels impossible to me again. I don't know what my plan really is? If I eat a vegan diet three times a week and meats the rest, then I'll be adding uric acid four days a week. Can I ever expect to get rid of the uric acid that way? Won't I have to be totally vegan, with no beans for like a year or two until the uric acid is totally out of my body?

    But in my previous experience with it, veganism isn't good for me in any longer run. I think we/I need some animal protein. Perhaps it's just enough with animal protein like once a week? If I could only eat dairy I'd be able to eat much like the Swiss Alps people Weston A Price wrote about….

    I was in the store again yesterday wanting to buy stuff and then going "oh no, that's not going to work because of the uric acid". And that made me so sad. I'm again at a place where things are cut off from me. It's so frustrating….

    My joints on the right hand are as stiff as ever. I feel mild depression despite eating no dairy. I don't know what to do anymore.

    Lima beans are not working for me very well at all.

    What do you think of this list? It's talking about acid and alkaline foods, not purine rich I think. Did Haig talk about that too? Or is it not so important?


    Today while googling around I found an interesting link between gout, uric acid and edema. I got edema once I went low carb and it always baffled me. Now I see the connection and it's beginning to make sense….This is definitely like detective work.

  134. @Lisa, Before you go down the road to a restrictive anti-uric acid diet, you should get tested (if that is possible). What if you don't have a uric acid problem?

  135. Lisa, I know how you feel. It can be so hard. It feels like you are pounding your head against a brick wall in trying to figure out what to eat, because you already know that being vegan isn't good. That's why I went off the diet so many times over the past 1 1/3 year. Not to mention that the change of seasons make things so much more difficult. I have been having my share of difficulties this week, too, and this morning I realized that around the middle of August the change of seasons starts, and that always makes things so much more difficult for me. There were several autumns before I found out what was going on that I thought I was going to die because I couldn't eat anything without feeling terrible. One time I even asked my daughter if she would take care of my dog if anything happenned to me.

    I really don't know if it's possible to be able to eat meat by following the acid/alkaline diet principle. You're right, Haig does talk about acid and alkaline, but he still says that it's necessary to stay away from the purines. I do think, though, that beans may be more acid producing than small amounts of meat. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose meat, probably beef. I would make stirfries or stews and add small amounts of lean beef. I don't know if you ever read at the waisays website, but there's a bunch of people who eat either 2 egg yolks or two ounces of sashimi a day and they are fine.(Some eat a little more than that if they can get away with it) It can be very comforting to see very active men living for years on that amount of protein. So if you cut out all the other sources of uric acid you might be okay on small amounts of beef or chicken. Even Haig says that he would rather see people cut out coffee than meat, because at least with the meat you're getting nutrition. I think there are herbs that can help, probably the most mild but effective being ayurvedic herbs. Boswellia actually does work for the joints, and ashwaghanda is good because it helps your kidneys and adrenals, which can be important because the adrenals can cause hyperuricemia. Have you ever heard of arnica gel? I was surprised to find out that it helps with pain caused by uric acid. I have an extra one, and if you want to try it on your hands, I will send it to you. The arnica gel and the ayurvedic herbs don't take away the pain because they are pain killers, but because they must help the uric acid get out of your body, or maybe they neutralize it. I've had to use a lot of different homeopathic remedies over the past year, too. Things would change and I would need different ones. It's a long hard process for sure.
    How are you with potatoes and white rice? I ate a lot of white pasta and bread last summer and I did much better than when I ate all the various vegetables and whole grains. It might be that it's more important what you don't put in. But if I were as young as you I would try eating small amounts of meat, but not much salt, try to flavor it with other things such as tomatoes or curry. Do you have fresh cream? If you can't tolerate the cheese or milk, maybe fresh cream would be okay for the good fat.
    I better go, it's getting late. I actually cleaned out my garage today! I haven't taken on a project like that in years! It's a good sign, even though I got a headache from working in the heat and humidity.
    Try to not worry. Easier said than done, right?

  136. undertow: I totally agree with you. I should get tested. I'm just scared that 1, the doctor would think I'm a hypochondriac, 2, the test would not be accurate and perhaps tell me I don't have too much uric acid, and then what? Plus, 3, if I do and the test says I don't I'll forever be confused about my symptoms…. Also, 4, I'd be much more likely to do it if I still lived in Sweden where things like this are free and also don't get used against you when you apply for future health insurance.

    So, yes I know it's the sensible thing to do, to get tested, but I very much hesitate to do so. Have also had my fair share of negative experiences with doctors so it's not the most fun activity I can think of. I feel that doctors have nothing they can do to help me and I get really upset from what I know they'll say, cause they always do "if you have this symptom there is this and that prescription medication for you that you MUST take or else insert random terrible threat." That kind of stuff stresses me out so much it may or may not be worth going through it. Not sure though.

    I'm also never going on a restrictive diet again, I've decided. So, I'll eat meat every week no matter what. But still, leaning towards vegan a few days a week may be necessary for a short while.

    Yes, I think that the key may be to eat a lot less protein. Perhaps not with every meal etc. If I just eat meat for lunch perhaps that could be a kind of compromise/solution.

    I have not been able to find any of those ayurvedic herbs in my local health store, but I'll keep looking for them, perhaps online. I did get nettle tea yesterday. I'm just a little concerned with too much diuretics, since that might deplete the body somewhat of potassium, and I feel it may make me more dehydrated.

    Thanks for offering me the arnica gel. I think I'm still kind of in denial about this whole situation. I don't want to have a joint issue at all, so getting a gel and applying it to the joints would not be helpful to me at this time, but I definitely appreciate the offer.

    I eat basmati and white jasmin rice as my staple. I try to add small amounts of potatoes but it never goes well.

    I like to add some sea salt to my drinks or else I tend to get dehydrated. Haven't tried cream yet.

    Congrats on the garage project! That's super! I hear you about the headache though. We've got a heat wave here right now and I'm not loving it at all….it's really hard on my breathing, I loose my appetite and get a headache.

    Did you ever test for uric acid? I read somewhere that they can only test the uric acid that's in the blood – when it's in the blood (not sure what hours of the day are best to test on), and not the uric acid that's in the joints.

  137. Betsy, the whole Wai thing I think it's from this page:

    They seem to be into eating meat every day but saying that so long as it's raw it's fine. Do you know if raw meats are lower in purines? Or that the body doesn't need to create uric acid while digesting it? Cause in that case all our protein problems are solved easily by sashimi, right?

  138. Hi Lisa, I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get back here, but I've been so busy that I couldn't make myself sit down to do a message. I hope you're feeling okay. Yeah, the people at waisays eat only raw protein, and although after reading all their information, I do believe that raw protein is much better than cooked. I had tried their diet several times before I came down with the severe joint pain, but I always ran into trouble. I tried it again this past march or february, but it didn't work. Just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean that it wouldn't work for you. How have you been feeling these last couple of days?

  139. Not a problem Betsy. I think I'm in this for the long run so no rush. lol.

    I've been feeling stable. No migraines, no depression cause I've not had dairy, and the right hand is stable. It's bad, but stable. Each morning I can only bend the fingers 10% but so long as I'm not depressed I feel lucky. I eat minimal amounts of animal protein. That seems to keep me in a stable place for now. Perhaps over time the uric acid will slowly go down. I've also been drinking the nettle tea and I love it. Getting a bit dehydrated though from all the diuretics teas. So, soon I'll have to reduce my teas.

    I may have figured out a solution to the milk issues btw. If I eat a little dairy in the evening I get the protein but I sleep through the depression symptoms. This may really work. I only tried it once but I'll try it again to see if I can make it into a regular system.

  140. Hi Lisa,

    Good idea about eating the dairy at night! I wonder if it will help your hand. If it makes you depressed because of keeping the uric acid in your blood instead of in your joints, maybe during the night which is when precipitation is at it's height, your hand won't stiffen up as much.
    If you can keep eating small amounts of meat, that would be great. Maybe the nettle tea will keep the uric acid moving out and you won't have any buildup. I started drinking dandelion root tea, and it seems to be helping. I think I'll start drinking nettle tea, too. Are you waking up less during the night? Dairy does make me wake up more often during the night, for some reason.

  141. Hi Betsy,

    It didn't work out for me to eat dairy at night only. It would spill over into the following day. I don't seem to be able to have a normal mood when I have any amount of dairy in my diet. I thought for a while that cream worked, but it didn't. I'm stable. I'm able to eat minimal amounts of meat with each meal. I seem to sustain myself and my body temperature. I still wake up with stiff joints on the right hand. I can't say that I'm seeing any positive progress, but I'm at least very happy to be stable. I also had to reduce my fruit intake due to it causing too bad skin.

    I still wake up at 4 am every morning so it's hard to feel exhausted all day. But if I nap in the day I'll sleep even worse in the night.

    Health is a huge struggle for sure. Not sure how to eat. For now this is what I'm doing. Dairy seems to be out for sure though….

  142. lol, I get it! Potatoes. Actually I do have kind of good news on that front. I can now eat some potatoes with my white rice and my fingers don't seem to get a lot worse. So, that's a good trend.

    I am also starting Julia Chang's kidney cleanse program today. It involves a terribly disgusting herb tincture to take in the morning, and then a diurrhetic tea that isn't that disgusting tasting but it makes the whole house smell like wet dog to my boyfriends great annoyance….lol…. I'm only going to do it for a month though to see if I get better at all. I don't like to take diurrhetics long term so one month will have to do. Wish me luck!

    I have not been able to reintroduce dairy yet since my system actually responds with depression from only one ml of it. This leads me to think it's a milk allergy and not so much a digestive problem with casein. Not sure if that's better or worse though.

  143. I think I'm going to try to drink some decaf coffee for a while to see if it can help my joints.

    "The results of the study showed a direct link between increased coffee consumption and lower uric acid levels."


    Also, Matt, look at this interesting relationship:

    "there is a strong relationship between insulin resistance and elevated uric acid levels"


  144. Nope coffee is out. Even decaf coffee, one single cup triggered my fingers to get stiff within the hour….doesn't matter what that study says….

  145. @Lisa and Betsy,

    I don't know if either of you are still subscribed to this thread, or if you are still having these issues, but I found this quote interesting. It is from Henry Bieler, and I found it in Matt's 180 ebook primer.

    “The physical energy of the adrenal type is seemingly inexhaustible, as is the nervous response
    of the sympathetic system, a result of perfect oxidation of phosphorous in the nerve tissue.
    Oxidation of carbon in the muscular system gives the adrenal type his great warmth. Thus, the
    temperature of his body is scarcely ever below 98.8, with hands and feet always pleasantly
    warm. As digestion and detoxication of food poisons depend greatly upon oxidation in the liver
    and intestines, it follows that the typical adrenal type, with his perfect oxidation, has thorough
    digestion. In fact, he may and often does boast that he can eat any and all kinds of food without
    discomfort. The exogenous uric acid products as well as the indoxyl compounds are completely
    detoxicated in the liver, do not accumulate in the blood, nor are they found in the urine.”

    Coming off of low carb, you are probably low-thyroid/low-adrenal/low-temp. It might be unpleasant at first, but you might want to try forging ahead with as few restrictions as possible (sensibly, of course, without eating tons of protein or fat until your temperature/metabolism/digestion improve).

    About a decade ago, after I was coming off an extremely low calorie diet (borderline anorexia, although I was not skin and bones, probably about 120 lbs.), it took me about a year for my body to reach equilibrium after eating "normally") to appetite. But it did happen. I peaked at about 160 and after–I'm sort of guessing here based on memory–about six months, I started feeling much, much better and losing without any effort at all. I stabilized at a muscular 135-140. And then for years after that, while I never lost any weight, it is also extremely difficult for me to gain weight, no matter what I eat. So, no complaints from me. I know it is difficult to be patient, though.

    Even if for you it is not about weight at all, you can still have low adrenal function from restrictive dieting, especially low-carb.

  146. @Lisa and Betsy,

    I don't know if either of you are still subscribed to this thread, or if you are still having these issues, but I found this quote interesting. It is from Henry Bieler, and I found it in Matt's 180 ebook primer.

    “The physical energy of the adrenal type is seemingly inexhaustible, as is the nervous response
    of the sympathetic system, a result of perfect oxidation of phosphorous in the nerve tissue.
    Oxidation of carbon in the muscular system gives the adrenal type his great warmth. Thus, the
    temperature of his body is scarcely ever below 98.8, with hands and feet always pleasantly
    warm. As digestion and detoxication of food poisons depend greatly upon oxidation in the liver
    and intestines, it follows that the typical adrenal type, with his perfect oxidation, has thorough
    digestion. In fact, he may and often does boast that he can eat any and all kinds of food without
    discomfort. The exogenous uric acid products as well as the indoxyl compounds are completely
    detoxicated in the liver, do not accumulate in the blood, nor are they found in the urine.”

    Coming off of low carb, you could very well have low-thyroid/low-adrenal/low-temp. It might be unpleasant at first, but you might want to try forging ahead with as few restrictions as possible (sensibly, of course, without eating tons of protein or fat until your temperature/metabolism/digestion improve).


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