Starch Lowers Insulin

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“It is of interest that diets high in fibre-rich cereals and tuberous vegetables tend to result in an improvement in basal blood glucoses.”

p. 281
Burkitt, Denis, Hugh Trowell, and Kenneth Heaton.  Dietary Fibre, Fibre-Depleted Foods and Disease.  Academic Press:  London, 1985.

It is a common belief that starch, or any type of carbohydrate – particularly high-glycemic starches like potatoes, raises insulin.  In the low-carb circles you see the idea floating around that carbohydrate ingestion raises glucose, which in turn raises insulin.  Insulin increases fat storage, therefore carbohydrates make you fat and are the cause of the obesity epidemic.

Gross oversimplifications that the human mind can easily grasp are always popular – regardless of the what the oversimplifications are intended to explain.  In the health sphere, they are prevalent.  The carbs = insulin = fat myth is one of the greatest and most easily refutable.  It’s up there with the great fat = cholesterol = clogged arteries = heart attack theory that is simple, easy to follow, makes sense to those who don’t study it, and is completely silly and a total misrepresentation of the etiology of heart disease.

As always, it depends on context.  In my program designed to, among other things, restore insulin sensitivity (which it has in every case I’m aware of – shown by increased glucose clearance out of the blood after eating), I do not say “eat starch and you will live happily ever after.”

Instead, I say something like… “Eat plenty of food, don’t overexert yourself physically or mentally, get plenty of sleep, eat only saturated fats and keep omega 6 polyunsaturated fat ingestion to a minimum, get sufficient but not excessive amounts of quality protein, and eat plenty of high-glycemic starch at every meal.”

This generally lowers the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, increases thyroid activity, improves glycogen storage, and starts shuttling glucose from ingested food into muscle cells where it creates muscle growth and the generation of heat and energy.  This reduces insulin resistance.  If you are insulin resistant and have high fasting insulin levels as a result of this insulin resistance, then insulin levels will fall dramatically on this program.  For example, below is an email sent to me by someone who has followed 180DegreeHealth for over a year now.

A traumatic childhood stress caused this person to suddenly become insulin resistant (as chronic stress hormone secretion is the primary root cause of insulin resistance) and gain something like 60 pounds in a year if I recall correctly from our email exchanges.  She has had blood sugar regulation and thyroid problems ever since, which she tried to medicate with a low-carbohydrate diet to varying degress of restriction.

She has spent the last four years on a low-carbohdyrate diet, and her fasting insulin levels have varied between a VERY high 14 and 33 IU/m.  But after just four months of loosely following my program to increase metabolism with special attention to eating high-starch and low-PUFA, her insulin has fallen all the way down to a perfect 4.7 IU/m.  Her fasting glucose has fallen nearly in half to a level that probably scared the doc into thinking (mistakenly) that she was about to fall into a hypoglycemic coma (yet she no longer experiences high-adrenaline states indicative of crashing glucose levels like she did on a carbohydrate-restricted diet).
If I am not mistaken she did not lose a single pound of body weight during this time, so any drop in insulin cannot be attributed to weight loss or calorie restriction.  Her calorie intake has not dropped at all.  Following is the email she sent me…

“Just got some labs back and thought I’d share them with you.

I am still low in iron, which is surprising to me considering I eat red meat, but I think the high RT3 and celiac disease all play a part in this.

On the other hand I am quite pleased with my blood sugars and insulin levels.
For reference here are my PRIOR glucose and insulin labs:
October 2009:

Glucose 90 (60-110)
Insulin 17.9 (3-22)


March 2010:

Glucose: 87 (60-110)
Insulin 14.6 (3-22)

May 2010:

Glucose random sampling: 97.2 (50-140)

August 2010:

Glucose 95 (60-110)
Insulin: 33 (3-22)

December 2010:

Glucose random sampling 94 (50-140)

May 2011 (Four months of eating a high starch low PUFA diet – about 250 carbs daily)

Glucose: 49 (65-100) *
Adiponectin: 2.3 (>2.7)
Insulin: 4.7 (functional range <5.4 IU/m; normal lab range 3-22)
Pro-insulin: <5 (<42)
HBA1C: 5.9 (4-6)**
HOMA-IR: 0.6 (<2.8) ***
C-Peptide: 1.9 (<2.2)
*I have no idea why my glucose is so low. I did not feel even slightly hypoglycaemic. I generally feel fantastic in terms of hunger and cravings so am slightly puzzled. Still, if the test was performed using a normal lab range of 50-110; I would only be slightly under it. Still, I think a FBG of 49 is a HECK of a lot better than a FBG of 97!

**Not quite sure why my HBA1C isn’t in the optimal <5.4 range if glucose and insulin are so excellent. HBA1C is an average of blood sugars over a three month period though, so the HBA1C may be lagging behind in terms of including blood sugars from the first few months of RRARF when my blood sugars were a lot higher than they are now.

*** My previous HOMA-IR was 4.1. HOMA-IR is a marker of insulin resistance and diabetes risk, so I was clearly extremely insulin resistant and now appear to have an extremely LOW level of insulin resistance.”

If you are still under the influence of low-carb dogma, and believe that eating carbohydrates will raise your insulin levels, snap out of it. In the right context, carbs are your best metabolic friend, and what passes as science and physiology in the low-carb realm is a complete scientific fairy tale.

239 Comments

  1. My mom, who is severely afflicted with the overeager advice-giving we discussed in the last post, put some butter on her potato last night and made a speech about how it was good because it slowed down the high GI-ness of the starch. And I didn't know how to respond – because if I say anything, even some wishy-washy stuff like "Well, it might, but that might not be a completely good thing," then she'd just end up thinking that I hate butter and think everyone should eat potatoes plain. It's very hard to discuss nutrition with people, because the actual "answers" are rarely as clear as the misconceptions such as "carb => insulin => fat."

    Reply
  2. Props to her.

    Did I read that right, a fasting blood sugar of 49?! If she says she feels fine then you can't really argue but that seems to be at coma levels!

    Reply
  3. "Still, I think a FBG of 49 is a HECK of a lot better than a FBG of 97!"

    I think 97 is pretty much in the optimal range. I think anything less than 70 is not good. Officially, anthything below 65 is considered to be hypoglycemic.

    Reply
  4. I got a random low FBG level at the doc once. It was an anomaly and did not signify any kind of trend. I sometimes check my FBG every morning for days or weeks on end and it's always in the 90s.

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  5. "Gross oversimplifications that the human mind can easily grasp are always popular – regardless of what the oversimplifications are intended to explain."

    This is so true and well said. Should be up on the wall in plain view for anyone who's studying nutrition, or anything else.

    I haven't measured my blood sugar or anything like that, but the awful blood sugar problems I was having as a carbophobe have absolutely vanished eating high starch and now fruit–I seem to be executing my personal 180 back to high-fruit land!

    I hadn't heard that T3 was implicated in leptin resistance, but I guess it makes sense…

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  6. there is some lipophobic activity going on at Primal Wisdom. Don is arguing that a high fat diet increases blood clotting and reduces the normal flow of blood through vessels etc. I wonder what your thoughts are on his ideas. This whole 'saturated fat is harmless' mantra, pushed by so many low-carb fanatics, is becoming a little dogmatic.

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    • Saturated fat in your blood is not harmless, that causes CVD. Eating a moderate amount of saturated fat is generally (it’s not 1 size fits all) good in the absence of dietary carbohydrates. Firstly, if you are using betahydroxybuterate as your primary fuel then the majority of the fat is turned into these ketones ( not quite that simple but anyways). The process that enables the liver to turn the excess blood lipids back into stored fat needs glucose in order to do so. So in this environment your limited to what you can produce with gluconeogenesis.

      In a carbohydrate rich environment you don’t have those limitations as you have lots of glucose available to you, so you will store more of the blood lipids as fat.

      The take away is that you have to pick your fuel, either carbohydrates or fats. If you have lots of one, make sure you don’t have lots of the other.

      If your body responds to carbohydrates correctly and it works for you then more power to you. However there are many people for whom it doesn’t and in that case it could be that a very low carbohydrate diet works much better for them.

      Reply
      • Andrew,

        That’s not true- healthy people have no trouble fueling themselves with carbs or fats. Long term carb restriction sidesteps the problem of poor glucose tolerance, while making the underlying dysfunction worse.

        We’re not locked in to a carb or fat only diet. We can improve our metabolism of all nutrients. That’s what the site focuses on.

        Poke around with an open mind- you might be surprised by what you find. Many people came here with the same ideas but saw the sorts of improvements I mention. Chances are, you can too.

        Reply
  7. I don't follow the 180 degree eating plan, but I agree with your comments on low carb, I never tried low carb, 7 years ago I was diagnoses with type 2 diabetes and already had hypertension, I started using the dash diet, stopped eating anything made with white flour, stopped eating white rice and rarely used sugar, I was off all medications in 4 months. I lost 150 lbs in a year and half and maintained that weight loss for 6 years. When I was diagnosed my a1c was 10.5 after three months on the dash diet It dropped to 4.8 and has been a constant 4.2 for 6 years. My hdl was 40 when is was diagnosed, now 68, triglycerides was 387 now 61. Total cholesterol is 164 ldl is 84. I occasionally
    use a website to gauge my calorie intake, it is roughly 20 % protein 60 % carbs and 20 % fat, and usually eat 300 to 400 grams per day.and 60 to 70 grams of fiber per day. I never have spikes in my blood glucose levels. My carb intake is a mixture of fruits vegetables and whole grains, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa , brown rice, etc. I've visited couple diabetes forum and it seems a large majority of type 2 diabetics are following low carb
    and I'm definitely a minority when it comes to a eating a large amount of complex carbs.

    Reply
  8. Hi Anonymous
    Yes, I think the much maligned macrobiotic diet (whole grains and vegetables), tricked up and supplemented with some lean chicken, fish, shellfish, beef, is a good option, especially for diabetes, weight loss/ normalisation and some binge eating situations triggered by highly 'pleasurable' foods (as far as neuro-chemical responses go anyway)
    The above eating plan is scant on exceptionally sweet, salty or fatty tastes.

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  9. Hello all. It's me of the 49 FG fame. I still think that HAD to be a lab error as my home tests are 75-85 in the mornings and I did not feel hypoglycemic when my blood was taken. I used to experience hypos on low carb, so I know how lovely they feel and I didn't feel like that.

    I have read Peat's writings and know his views on blood sugar. However, I have also read the literature on diabetes and pre diabetes and I do not think a fasting blood sugar of 97 is optimal. No way.

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  10. J.R.-

    Yeah, "tricking" out a diet built around starch and vegetables with a little fruit, meat, seafood, and dairy is pretty much exactly what you see in Joel Fuhrman's stuff, who is right in line with the diabetic who commented above on the "dash" diet (including the provision to eat 60-70 grams of fiber daily). I can't really disagree with any of that when it comes to solid general dietary recommendations. Of course, different situations and different lifestyles call for any number of tweaks and tailorings to that.

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  11. Anonymous (the first one),

    Agree completely about the "Saturated fat is harmless" thing. Saturated fat MAY be harmless for all people at all times in all amounts, but we certainly don't KNOW that – if we believe that, it's because we WANT to believe it.

    We don't like to talk about it much, but obviously most of us at least start out researching the diet we want to be the best. I'm sympathetic to animal welfare, so I want to eat as few animal products as possible, and for a long time I only read stuff that promoted this as the healthiest diet. On the other hand, if I thought broccoli was gross and girly and an agent of the nanny state, then I could find a guru who told me it was also unhealthy.

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  12. Hi, Anonymous again, I believe that each person has to find a eating plan that fits their lifestyle. I would never say that the dash diet is the only way to lose weight or control type 2 diabetes.

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  13. Excellent point Jim.

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  14. Jim,
    sure, there is always some guru that supports your own bias.
    some of these pro sat fat folks who claim that saturated fat doesn't 'cause' heart disease (or degenerative disease in general) are so insistent they'll never change their mind no matter what. they oftenly resort to flawed logic, like: saturated fat MUST be harmless, because masai warriors don't drop dead from their 30% sat fat diet,
    or: cavemen must have loved to explore all the fat tissue and organs of landanimals,
    or: at the beginning of 20th century americans were eating generous amounts of butter and myocardial infarction was rare. now, all the sudden, MI is rampant,
    or: butter is a great source of vitamin A and selenium (yeah sure, so is grandma's tampon tunnel. sorry, not eating it)
    And I'm sure butter is relatively benign compared to processed vegetable oils+trans fat and I highly appreciate that WAPF (for example) is making people aware of the dangers of these foods. but heck, WAPF is just as extreme in pushing their dogmas on saturated fat as vegans are in condemning animal food. And of course, you have ‘science’ journalist Gary Taubes and doctor Malcolm Kendrick. But really, they come across as badass rebellions who see an opportunity to make a little cash out of controversies.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous,

    People are insistent on both sides. The point is to find out who's right [or what's right]–if anyone wants to blindly follow a guru, too bad. The bottom line is that, with all the current evidence, the pro sat fat people are right; pro-vegan "gurus" are wrong; it's not a matter of opinion.

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  16. john,

    Forget about which people are right – which specific claims are justifiable and to what degree? The idea that you should eat as little saturated fat as possible – and that you should replace it with PUFA oils – seems like a terrible idea at this point. But there are lots of other possibilities remaining besides "Saturated fat is never bad." Maybe there's a point at which it becomes unhelpful. Maybe it depends on what else you're eating. Maybe it's fine, but some other foods are even better.

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  17. Let me add:

    I haven't even read the Primal Wisdom post yet, and I have no information at all that indicts saturated fat. It's not about that. It's about believing things for good reasons. And "The other guys believe the opposite, and they're wrong" ISN'T a good reason when there are more than two choices. When you say "on both sides" you are severely limiting yourself. There are more than two sides.

    There are at least three:

    1) Saturated fat is always harmful

    2) Saturated fat is not always harmful

    3) Saturated fat is never harmful

    We would all agree that 1 is false, but 1's falseness doesn't mean that 3 is true. It means that 2 is true, and it leaves 3 up in the air.

    Reply
  18. HI Matt,

    I've been trying to get a summation of your diet plan and I'm finding it hard. I downloaded and read your eBook, but blog posts since then indicate that you've changed your mind on some things. COuld you give a brief (but more involved than the "Eat plenty of food, don't overexert yourself physically or mentally, get plenty of sleep, eat only saturated fats and keep omega 6 polyunsaturated fat ingestion to a minimum, get sufficient but not excessive amounts of quality protein, and eat plenty of high-glycemic starch at every meal." I'm confused about white flour and sugar in particular.

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  19. I think I have a high enough metabolism already. I can literally melt frozen meat in my own hand :) No joke either.

    I like your whole balanced approach to eating in this article, Matt. I hope you stay that way :)

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  20. john,

    forget about vegan gurus, they're not the issue here. The question is: do we know the long-term effect of a high sat fat diet? for instance, there are studies poppin' up all over the place that nut consumption is associated with a decrease in mortality. Still, research consistently shows that large quantities of PUFAs in the human diet plays a huge role in almost every disease known to mankind. the fact that we can't establish an association between sat fat consumption and heart disease and cancer, does that automatically mean sat fat is harmless??

    Reply
  21. Very interesting. I'm type 2 or close to it. I mostly do low carb and then treat myself to something high carb occasionally. And it always results in awful BG levels both pp and fbg. I'm really too nervous to try upping carbs. Any time I eat them I get inflammation in my hands and arms.

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  22. Saponaria-

    You get inflammation in your hands and arms and awful BG numbers just like all of us here did (have problems of various kinds) anytime we ate carbs after being on a low-carb diet for a while. Low-carb dieting makes your body's ability to use glucose properly even worse. It is not a solution, and makes the root problem worse. The sooner you phase out of your low-carb diet the better, if you indeed have insulin resistant diabetes and still make adequate amounts of insulin.

    Jim-

    You also have to remember that there are 34 kinds of saturated fat. Saturated fat is not just one thing, which complicates making general rules even further.

    My first impression of Peat when I read him was that he really liked ice cream, and because he noticed that it could be used as medicine against his migraine headaches he did his nutrition research with a subconcious pro-saturated fat, pro-sugar bias. Look hard enough, and you will find benefits to any and every food you are looking to "prove" is healthy.

    Every food can be harmful in some circumstances, and in some quantities, and "saturated fat" is no exception.

    Anonymous summation-

    If I was pressed to come up with a summary to date that applies to the RRARF program specifically, I would say:

    1) Probably better to eat more frequently, or at least have snacks between meals during recovery

    2) Probably no need to fear juice and even less reason to fear fruit. Experiment to see whether you find sugar or starch or a combination of the two to be superior. I still prefer, for eating beyond appetite specifically, to eat starch.

    3) Overfeeding with refined carbohdyrates, particularly highly stimulating foods like cookies, cake, doughnuts, and ice cream if probably a horrendous idea unless you are underweight and have no addictive eating tendencies.

    4) Need for meat, dairy, fish, eggs, and other animal-source protein is really small during overfeeding. Carbohydrates should be strongly emphasized, especially if you are coming from a low-carb background. For a recovering vegan, lots of animal protein would be better for a while.

    The idea should be counterbalancing the imbalance your other diets created.

    No major changes really. RRARF basically states all these things, just not quite as directly.

    Reply
    • Ok, I am surprised reading this. I thought I’d read here that refined starch is really good for re-feeding. That’s what I’ve been doing and I was certainly not underweight and do have addictive tendencies!!! I’ve even asked qu.s about whole foods and been told they’re not as good to re-feed on as refined starch!!! So no.3 is a shock to me. Now I have to try to cut those foods out again. And where does that leave sugar??????????????????????????????????????

      Reply
  23. Actually, no. I was on a higher carb diet for years with a ton of pain in my hands and arms. I had no idea my BG was high until I got a random blood draw and my BG was 199. After a couple of months low carb all my pain went away for about 10 mo. It didn't return till I started regularly cheating and eating higher carbs periodically. It goes away the lower carb I eat.

    I don't know about my current insulin sensitivity. After 3 mo low carb I got some blood work done and my fasting insulin was 4. So either the low carb diet lowered it. Or my pancreas is sort of shot already. I have no idea, the joys of being uninsured. Either way I had a problem before low carb. But I'm finding I have a harder time now lowering my BG with low carb. I have to eat lower and lower carb.

    I suspect there might be a cortisol issue because I was also sleeping very well when my BG was lower and under better control. I have not slept well in about a year now while my BG has also been more erratic..with diet cheats. I took some pregnenelone at one point and it lowered my BG dramatically. I know I have adrenal fatigue…though again my adrenals were shot and I had a serious health crisis all before going low carb. I'd LOVE to not spend my life on a low carb diet though. But my health was in the crapper before a low carb diet. I'm guessing it had something to do with poorly treated hypothyroidism in part.

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    • You sound a lot like me. Numbness from hands sometiems all the way to my shoulders. back pain. Lower carb took it all away. But I was really plateuing on weight loss. What got me was trying that silly potato fast. BOOM my insulin sensitivity was awesome. My sugar went down to normal so fast I felt woozy and had to eat a little protein the first day. After that it was smooth sailing. I had fasting glucose a in the 85-90 range where they never could get below 100 before! This is what got me trying the carbs again, and still it’s the potatoes the help keeps thing low the best. I eat them every day now. Now if I could just lose that last ten-15 lbs low carb couldn’t help me with… Btw I did lose four lbs in six days eating those potatoes.

      Reply
  24. Yes, there is always a physiological reason why you became insulin resistant, and it's not, like low-carb zealots suggest, because of the "carbs" in your diet.

    Typically low metabolic rate is at the root of it, which can be caused by any form of physical or psychological stress, inflammation, infection, allergy, true glandular dysfunction, you name it.

    But if I've learned anything, it's that you can run from carbs but you can't hide. Eventually you'll have high blood sugar on a zero carb diet and won't have anywhere to go from there. Not to mention many new health issues will probably arise for you the longer you continue eating a very carb-restricted diet. Autoimmune disease is one I see very often at the end of the low-carb line.

    I don't have any explicit answers for you other than to be open to eating lots of carbohydrates once again but with overfeeding (to raise metabolism, pregnenalone, progesterone, etc.), strong favortism for saturated over unsaturated fats, and resting, relaxing, and sleeping all day.

    This is how insulin sensitivity and thyroid function is best restored in those that haven't been irreparably damaged – as far as I know.

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  25. "You can run from carbs but you can't hide"

    I kind of want to tattoo this on my forehead.

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  26. I kind of want you to also. It would be awesome. Especially when you go to Mark Sisson's Paleo talks n' stuff.

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  27. Yay Matt!

    I'm amazed at the number of otherwise intelligent folks, faced with the cold hard scientific "facts" (IOW to the best of our knowledge) that carbs enhance insulin sensitivity, continue to repeat that carbs -> insulin -> IR, and so forth. SIGH

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    • @CarbSane,

      I asked Matt to share some of those “cold hard scientific facts”, but in the week since asking, he hasn’t. The only way to know that something is a fact is to have trustworthy data demonstrating them, so I assume you’ve seen this data since you’re so confident in the facts. Perhaps you could point me to the data that backs these facts.

      Thank you. =)

      ~Laurie

      Reply
  28. There at least need to be t-shirts made that we can wear to the Ancestral Health Symposium…

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  29. With a graphic of a huge banana chasing Grok.

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  30. I'm sure it's not carbs that caused my insulin resistance too. I know a lot of people who eat a lot more carbs in the form of white flour and sugar and they aren't borderline diabetic from eating it. If eating carbs or being overweight caused diabetes then all our ancestors would have been diabetic.

    I'm not sure how to fix my problem however since I do not know what caused me to become insulin resistant. I'd like to treat the root of the problem. I've been reading some of your posts on body temp with interest. Back in elementary school my temp was normally 97.6. So I've had a low metabolism for some time.

    However I'm already fat. I just can't fathom over feeding and not becoming morbidly obese doing it. I have to stay on a diet at all times just to not gain more weight as it is. I was very thin till my early 20's when I got some sort of virus and I became horribly tired and fatigued all the time and put on 40 lbs in 6 weeks. So I read with interest but I just can't imagine actually doing that.

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  31. Thanks a lot for sharing this nice information about this diet. I like to follow it. if your diet is perfect then almost all the over the health will be good . So Really this kind of article will help to all the person who do not have idea about perfect diet.

    Thanks a lot for this nice information. keep posting variety of articles.

    Smith Alan
    http://www.raymeds.com

    Reply
  32. Saponaria,

    I think there is usually a trigger associated with sudden weight gain. I had a back injury (fracture) that lead to a 25 pound weight gain for me. I also think I had the beginnings of adrenal fatigue at the time of my injury and I was dieting so I had a very low metabolism. Getting injured was the thing that pushed me over the edge.

    I gained 14 pounds on RRARF and it did eventually come off, but I haven't lost any more than what I gained. Good reads on this "When the Body Says No" and "Waking the Tiger".

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  33. @Matt:
    "You also have to remember that there are 34 kinds of saturated fat." I'm hair splitting here, but not all saturated fats are present in food, right? for example, very long chain fatty acids (more than 24 carbon-atoms, if i remember it correctly)are not in any items of food, which reduces the list.

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  34. Hi Matt and the 180 degree crowd, what is your take on physiogical insulin resistance and muscle gains? Aparently on low carb the muscles can become insulin resistant in order to save glucose for the brain.

    I have had this effect myself when going VLC as observed from having high blood sugar readings in the morning despite "zeroing the carbs"

    Anyway since this is a natural response this should probably be ok, but how could this effect muscle gains when training, if the muscles are resistant to insulin, what effect will this have on their nutrient uptake?

    Or is there other pathways that are utilized for nutrient partitioning besides insulin?

    I realize most folks here are anti-paleo but it would nontheless apreaciate your take on this issue

    Best regards Albert

    Reply
  35. Hey Matt,

    New reader here. I read fast though;). I am wondering what on earth "overfeeding" means to you?

    Thanks dude,
    Chelsie

    Reply
  36. Chelsie-

    The mainstream would define overfeeding as eating beyond maintenance calories.

    I don't define it like that at all. I define it as eating beyond appetite.

    Or eating slightly more than what one would eat if eating ad libitum.

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  37. Do you feel overfeeding is helpful in some situations? If I was keeping up at all in some of the comments you made, I could have sworn you were saying that. If so, when and why?

    And by the way, I seriously feel famous that you answered my question. Thank you.

    Chelsie

    Reply
  38. Yes Chelsie-

    I feel that overfeeding as I define it is good for those with long histories of restricted eating and the emotional issues surrounding food that revolve around that.

    More than anything, it's great to increase body temperature in those with a body temperature lower than 98 degrees F first thing upon waking in the morning. this is incredibly common and a sign of a reduced metabolic rate. Reduced metabolic rate is the ROOT cause of many health problems – from constipation and the many digestive problems that stem from it (diverticulosis, hemorroids, varicose veins, etc.) to cancer (which is caused by a departure from a high intensity oxidative metabolism) to heart disease/metabolic syndrome and so forth.

    "Overfeeding" as I define it is very useful for anyone with a low metabolic rate seeing to overcome that. To me, this is one of the first things that should be analyzed and combatted when any health problem is discovered. But again, this should be done on wholesome, unrefined, low-stimulation foods like simple meats, vegetables, whole fruits, starches, etc.

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    • Matt, is this new??? I though you totally recommended refined foods, starches and ice-cream etc. Please help, I am totes confused now.

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      • Yes, refined foods are fine. Sometimes preferable. Especially for someone trying to rehabilitate metabolic rate.

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        • To recommend that people eat ice cream and other refined sugars as part of the diet to “rehabilitate” a damaged metabolism caused by undereating is absolutely nuts sorry to say.

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  39. Matt,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

    Chelsie

    Reply
  40. I found this site from your guest post on the natuallyknockedup blog.
    I haven’t been doing low-carb. I have been decreasing sugar (especially refined sugar), increasing fat (saturated), and increasing protein over the last decade (I ate low fat in my late teens-mid twenties)
    I’ve had low progesterone since I was 27 (that was when I starting noticing it). But my temps (I don’t take them every day) have actually increased a little (I’m 34 now), it may be due to the increase in fat in my diet…
    I’ve had some things come up over the last several (hair falling out, rosacea/redness on face, gallstones and even shingles), definitely stress related-but the physical manifestation and what to do about it is in question. I’ve cut out gluten about 9 months ago and that helped a bit. Enemas helped get rid of eczema.
    I’m confused because other than the saturated fat recommendation, a lot of the advice here seems so different than GAPS, etc.
    Thanks for reading :)

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    • Yes, very different from GAPS.

      Reply
  41. I have also been low carbing it and experiencing that over-sensitivity to starches but starches have always made me experience fatigue my whole life. I don’t have crashes anymore after eating on low carb-I can’t imagine going back to eating plenty of starch as I did all my life and going back to having after meal crashes that last all afternoon-how could I go back to that? It’s not like I haven’t tried eating plenty of starch-I did it all my life. I feel better on low carb and that just might be what’s right for me/my ancestry too.(which I think is extremely relavent and I haven’t heard brought up here. My family by marriage is partly Asian and they are shocked by the way I eat and feel like they’d die if they ate like I do, whereas I feel exhausted if I try to eat an Asian diet. I am Northern European/Eastern European) I’m not going to go back to eating how I already ate my whole life which wasn’t working for me-plenty of starch and feeling crashed out all afternoon. I’m just wondering if you think there are long term health effects from eating low carb-how could there be? What about all the cultures who’s diets are almost totally meat-based and they are very healthy-I’m having a hard time beleiving that the majority of our evolution we ate wrong-that the traditional people who eat that way today are wrong-I can’t buy this-especially if our ancestry is one which for most of it’s existence didn’t eat lots of carbs. Are you going to tell someone who’s from a circumpolar tribe that actually they NEED to eat bread and rice everyday? In the context of traditional diets this makes sense for some people and not others. I think culture/race and how people evolved to eat plays a huge part. But my only question is if you can exlain what negative effects you thing low-carb will have a little more. For example-I do have an autoimmune diease-RA and have had since a teenager but my symptoms are more manageable on, essentially, paleo so it’s pretty hard to think I should give it up and eat more stuff that makes me feel crappy. BTW, I do fine with fruit but not with grains. What do people think is the difference in how the sugars are metabolized? I could eat fruit, drink juice all day but a bowl of oats will do me in for the next 6 hours. Some insights please? It would take alot of convincing for me to start eating grains again when they have always-all my life made me feel exhausted but I ate them anyway and now feel better w/out them. Only if I understood how this might really be hurting me ultimately would I be convinced. And how other humans are thriving on these diets in other cultures-how could that be wrong. Once again I must say-I think low-carb is not for everyone but it works great for some people and there’s plenty of evidence in other cultures to support that.

    Reply
    • You are thinking WAY too much about what you are eating and not thinking about how your body works. There are plenty of ways to change how your body responds to starch. Of course people crash when they eat carbs when their glucose metabolism sucks. But that is correctable.

      As for your low-carb ancestry case, your Northern European/Eastern European ancestors were carb-based agriculturalists. The last 3-4 generations determines a lot more about our gene activation and dietary needs than what happened 100,000 years ago. Switching an Asian to an Eskimo diet would bring about rapid deterioration of health. As would probably switching an Eskimo to an Asian diet. The human gene activation system (epigenetics) has a phenomenal way of adapting to any number of different diets.

      You feel better on low-carb because your adrenaline is running higher. And you are staying in a sympathetic dominant state. This is fine but it does age you faster and is anti-thyroid (perhaps why Eskimos aged so much more rapidly than what is considered normal).

      Take your body temperature. It is probably low. It has probably been low your whole life. But these variables are important. Change something like your metabolic rate and you will change how you respond to just about everything.

      At least keep it up with the fruit!

      Sugars may in some ways be superior to starches.

      Reply
      • “The last 3-4 generations determines a lot more about our gene activation and dietary needs than what happened 100,000 years ago.”

        Really? And the evidence that supports this statement is found where?

        Reply
        • It’s not found in paper on pubmed, but is an entire field of study known as epigenetics.

          Reply
  42. I would love to review the scientific data on this. Would you point me to the most relevant (in your option) studies that demonstrate this improvement?

    Thanks so much!

    ~Laurie

    Reply
    • Not really many studies designed to put together several factors together as I have. Context changes everything. Like if someone was restricting calories or doing endurance exercise or eating corn oil you probably wouldn’t see results like this AT ALL. Opposite results perhaps.

      But the basic premise is that high cortisol/low thyroid is the root cause of the development of insulin resistance. Reverse that (high thyroid, low cortisol) and things change dramatically. What’s hard is that there are literally hundreds of things that can increase cortisol and in turn lower thyroid. Ray Peat at http://www.raypeat.com provides some really interesting discussion on some of these topics, if you are up for going down that rabbit hole and seeing how he pieces the puzzle together by reading each one of his articles several times until things start to sink in.

      But it is well known that the best diabetes reversal cases taking place today are done with a high-carb diet (thinking guys like Joel Fuhrman here), and that increasing carbohydrates does some important things in improving some of the root causes or biomarkers of insulin resistance, such as reduced glycogen synthase, reduced glycogen storage, decreased carbohdyrate oxidation, poor insulin response to meals (the more insulin resistant you become, the less your insulin rises above baseline after eating a meal, generally speaking), and so on.

      But take it to extremes of fat and protein restriction and you go right back where you started – low thyroid, high cortisol.

      Reply
      • Hi Matt,

        I’m a fan of Ray Peat and read his work several times a week (he shows up on my Facebook wall) – he is a primitive diet advocate (though he calls it evolutionary dieting/fitness). His ideology has “sunk in” pretty well and I don’t come away with the same conclusion you do. You say it is well known that the best diabetes cases are being done with high carb diets, and though I allow for the possibility that I’m ignorant of this, the studies done most recently show low carb diets outperform moderate (Mediterranean style) to high carb diets in all areas, and can completely reverse diabetes, even without weight loss. Even Ayurvedic guru Dr. Gabriel Cousens has reversed diabetes with a low carb, high fat diet- and this is a vegan diet (I’m not vegan). He believes the reason so many vegan diets fail is because they are far too high in carbohydrate.

        Could you share an actual citation rather than pointing me to an entire body of evidence? I’ve explored the Fuhrman diet as well, and again, I didn’t come to the same conclusion. Would you share the specific citations to the data that convinced you? I imagine you have hundreds of supporting citations stashed away, I know I do. (we research whores can’t seem to help ourselves, right? lol, it’s like a compulsion!)

        You must be familiar with the way glycemic index is determined. The people participating have healthy glucose tolerance and insulin response. They eat a food that contains 100 grams of carbohydrate and then their blood glucose is measured several times over the next couple of hours. This is then compared to a second set of readings from their response to glucose or white bread. We actually KNOW from these readings that foods like potatoes raise blood glucose significantly. If insulin didn’t rise to manage this glucose, our tissues would break down and we’d eventually die. The idea that starch doesn’t raise insulin is an intriguing one, but all available data says it absolutely must.

        Reply
        • Probably because all the ‘glycemic’ diets are only done in the short term. Likely most subjects were still eating PUFAs and other so-called low glycemic carbs. But as I and many others have learned to our cost, following low-carb/low-glycemic for any length of time actually makes insulin resistance worse. It gets to a point where you can’t go any lower in carbs but are still resistant. Where do you go from there?

          No studies, as far as I am aware have actually been done to find out how high starch affects insulin sensitivity, yet the many responses on here from this who have seen this happen in their own bodies suggests it can happen. What do we have to lose by trying, especially if you are diabetic and even your injected insulin isn’t working any more???

          Maybe the advice to ‘eat plenty of starchy carbs’ wasn’t that far off the wall after all…as long as the starch isn’t wheat……

          Reply
      • “But it is well known that the best diabetes reversal cases taking place today are done with a high-carb diet…”

        This statement is completely false Matt. Totally untrue. Nothing works as well for diabetes reversal than a low carb diet. Show me a single study that supports your argument.

        Remember that diets like Furhman’s REDUCE total carbohydrate intake in the diabetics diet – as well as calories and refined junk carbs.

        Reply
        • Low-carb diets do not, in any way lead to diabetes reversal. Where are all these diabetics that, after a few years on low-carb, can now go out for pizza and root beer without suffering from postprandial hyperglycemia?

          Not saying that programs like Furhman’s do that either, but they are a step in the right direction, at least trying to fix some of the mechanisms that are faulty in diabetes.

          Now if they really upped carbs significantly (total carbs) without restricting calories people like Fuhrman might actually get somewhere with their approaches, and have a high rate of adherence because people wouldn’t have to indefinitely starve themselves on a rabbit diet.

          There are several studies that show this, such as the old studies by JW Anderson on the HCF diet.

          More importantly is what looking closely into the physiology of the disease reveals, which is faulty mitochondrial energy production, excess lactic acid, low respiratory quotients, and so forth. For all those things, increasing carbohydrates is the most sensible approach for fixing a system gone awry.

          Reply
  43. lol OPINION, not option… thank you.

    Reply
  44. good article. note about being anemic. she might be vitamin B deficient anemic. and the route cause of that is usually a lack of healthy gut flora. which is also the route of celiac disease. you may have noted that, I didn’t finish the article.
    Also, about GAPS – it is for people with a serious gut dysbiosis. And Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride says after a couple of years of healing the patient should try to introduce such things as new potatoes and fermented grains (sourdough), and a variety of other nutritious foods enjoyed around the world. But a person with something such as Colitis for example – may not be able to just eat sweet potatoes without having a flare up – until healing has taken place. The goal of SCD/GAPS is to heal people enough to be able to tolerate/enjoy such starches as you suggest.

    Reply
    • Most people will never make it that long on GAPS due to severe health problems incurred between the 6 and 12 month mark – mostly related to a decline in metabolism. Many diet authors have goals, but that doesn’t mean they can fulfill those promises.

      Reply
  45. How does the 180 tatey fit into RBTI? I mean I know you’re not strictly following the protocol anymore, but do white potatoes really mess up your numbers? And a pizza and spaghetti buffet, that’s all white flour I feel sure.
    I haven’t been around for a while because I spent 3 weeks (!) in the hospital trying to get rid of all the yuckiness in my abdomen caused by a burst appendix. Loads of fun, let me tell ya. On the bright side, I feel much better than I have in a couple of years, hopefully due to getting a major source of inflammation out of my body. That’s what I’m going with, anyway.

    Reply
    • No. There’s no need to worry about taters or anything like that in the context of how I’m eating now. They cause wild fluctuations perhaps in those in a really weakened condition, but I still have witnessed many people with severe glucose dyregulation still climb their way out of that with lots of potatoes and white flour, even though their initial response to it was negative.

      That sucks about the appendix. I have lived without mine for 27 years and still going strong. Were you constipated leading up to that? Any insights on what could have caused that?

      Reply
  46. Really don’t know what caused it. Constipated, but only for about 2 weeks leading up to the exploding – before that I was completely regular, everyday. The doctors felt like it had been ruptured for several days before they took it out. I would feel really lousy, feverish, all that for a few hours and then just fine for a day or two, then back to lousy until I couldn’t stand it anymore and was running a temp of 103 – went to the hospital and they said “well there’s your problem right there…”
    I had been trying to do my own lemonade/water schedule based on what I could gather from RBTI’ers on Facebook etc. Looking back, probably not the best idea, but it seems so innocent? I haven’t really convinced myself if that affected my appendix, but sometimes I wonder. I also think back to the previous months of being so happy that my armpit temperature was so high, and wonder if I wasn’t running a low-grade temperature for several months. A low fever would make more sense to me, sense I have still not lost the weight I’ve been trying to get off for 1.5 years now, RRARRFing and all. I must not be doing it right.
    Anyway, the hospital stay snapped me right out of my orthorexia. Losing weight and being “healthy” kind of fade into the background. Which means I’m still interested in what you have to say, but a little less likely to take it as gospel now.

    Reply
  47. Another thing – as I said I’ve been eating to/beyond appetite of good whole foods, not always super crunchy granola, but also not SAD, somewhere in between, with plenty of veggies, some fruit, no macronutrient restriction, etc for a year and a half. No weight loss. No OTHER health problems either, so that’s nice, but still, sick of being 50 or so lbs overweight. My sister started calorie restricting about 6 months ago, lost about 50 lbs and looks great. Of course she can’t sleep or poop, but she’s willing to trade that off for now. Here’s the question – how can I have it all? How can I both look and feel great? Because what I’m doing, I feel great. But what sister’s doing, she looks great. And how am I supposed to tell her how bad she’s ruining her health and setting herself up for fat city when I ‘m sitting over here, Tina the lardass?

    Reply
    • There is literally nothing in all of the medical literature suggesting that there is a way to lose weight reliably without negatively impacting metabolism. Of course, every personal trainer and health guru claims to have the secret answer, but I’m skeptical. I’ve seen about everyone from every method end up here in need of overcoming the health problems they developed trying so hard to be and look healthy. I have managed to lose weight following RBTI with some moderate exercise without any adverse metabolic consequences. Body temperature still high and no health problems. But few others have had the same result. It’s tricky I tell ya. But I continue to encourage people, just like Health at Every Size, that you can totally have fantastic health regardless of your weight, and that you are more likely to f up your health trying to lose weight than you are to improve it.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the honest answer and encouragement.

        I really think exercise is what I’ve been missing. Before Christmas I felt like moving around, so I bought a Just Dance video game. I’m supremely un-coordinated, so exercise videos feel like a lot of pressure to “do it right,” and besides, they’re not nearly as much fun as jumping up and down, pretending to be Blondie singing “Call Me.” Sister that lost 50 lbs is really into kettle bells, but man that looks boring. Oh, and for strength training I’ve been doing the hundredpushups.com program. It’s strange, but I can feel it in my stomach muscles the next day.

        Reply
        • Stuff like kettlebells may look boring, but I think you’ll find dynamic exercises like that to actually be fun. I was really shocked at how much I enjoyed Scott Abel’s circuits. I really thought they were gonna suck something awful, but were totally invigorating.

          Reply
          • Invigorating and dangerous. There is no need to engage in high force, joint damaging practices to build muscle and endurance.

          • That we agree on :)

      • “…you are more likely to f up your health trying to lose weight than you are to improve it.”

        Yes! “Trying” being the key word. So powerful. And yet so simple.

        Reply
          • I am sure that if anyone is having problems getting this to work, the best thing is to dump grains out of your diet. You might get away with oats, but as I and many others have found, modern highly-hybridised grains (barley and rye, and especially wheat) seem to cause many people more harm than good. There are plenty of other foods without needing to resort to grains. The high level of gluten in modern wheat damages the gut and prevents nutrient absorption. Ancient wheat contained about 5% gluten (Latin for glue), modern wheat about 50%. There are links between gluten and virtually any health condition.

  48. May I ask if anyone here had success with lowering blood sugar levels by following HED without giving up coffee? I have been following low carb for six months after discovering BS levels in the pre-diabetes range. I would like to start adding carbs back by following HED. I drink three cups of reg. coffee a day and would LOVE not to have to change that:) Also, the exercise that I’ve done for years has been walking 3 miles in 40 minutes 5 times a week. Must I give that up during the recovery “month”? Thanks for any thoughts on these matters.

    Reply
    • The exercise probably isn’t helping. Nor is the coffee. I find that for many, especially once the transition mental cloudiness and lethargy passes, that carbohdyrate intake almost directly parallels the desire for caffeine.

      You probably would do better if you spent a little time on the phone with me on this one. There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes. I’m guessing you are more the type to have high stress hormones and high fasting blood glucose in the morning. Take a 1-hour postprandial reading. Is it lower an hour after a big meal than before it? If so, you don’t have prediabetes per se. You just need to eat more carbs more regularly, take it easy, get better sleep, and do whatever else you need to do to minimize stress hormones (like get a refractometer and avoid crashes – and respond to crashes appropriately). Coffee is one of the almighty sugar crashers by the way.

      Reply
  49. Thank you for your response. I appreciate your input.

    I have been pretty obsessive, as my husband will attest to, about taking my 1 and 2 hour postprandial blood sugar readings for six low-carb months. I definitely have had times when the readings were high if I had not eaten for awhile and they have sometimes been lower after eating. I have no doubt that stress hormones also have an impact on my glucose readings. My morning glucose has been in the 90’s more days than not as of late, even while on low carb, and usually increase a bit more once I start moving around. I am definitely a morning person who awakens early and is ready to go!

    After downloading and reading your book on Diabetes, I began to reintroduce higher carb counts into my meals, for about eight days now. I am presently having higher glucose readings after these meals, compared to the lower carb meals I had been eating, especially if I eat white potatoes. (Brown rice and oatmeal are kinder.) I expected this, though, during this initial stage. I also find that my glucose readings are better after I drink coffee, but maybe that is the “crash” you are talking about.

    I will revisit the coffee issue, and see about cutting back even more. ( I did start drinking more coffee while on low-carb, I must admit…up to 5 cups on some days.) I’ll also opt for strolling right now and leave my faster walk off for awhile, too.

    Thank you, again, for taking the time to respond.

    Where does one get a refractometer, by the way?

    Reply
    • You can get a refractometer from http://www.repairrecoverrestore.com

      It would add valuable information for sure. I want you to spike your blood sugar though. That’s how you improve your “glucose metabolism fitness.” It should actually increase your storage depot for carbohydrates, lead to improved glucose clearance, and improve your initial insulin response to food (all go hand in hand).

      Your adrenals are driving the high blood sugar in the morning, which is why it goes up once you start moving around (going from relaxed to active). If I were you I would eat tons of carbs right away, to shut those down and get you back in a parasympathetic-driven state (which should make you feel much more calm and relaxed in the morning). And start paying attention to how what, and when, you eat the night before affects your morning reading. Some people need to eat a very light dinner to wake up with lower adrenal activity. Others need to eat more, even eating dessert close to bedtime. I personally can’t eat heavy desserts late at night or my morning blood sugar is considerably higher.

      Reply
      • How should one spike the blood sugar to improve “glucose metabolism fitness” and how often? I’ve recently been trying to get my fasting levels down following your advise. A few weeks ago I wanted to see what would happen if I ate half a chocolate bar. My levels went up to 300! I was terrified to repeat the experiment but also wondered if I should do this periodically to train my system to cope with a high sugar snack.

        Reply
        • I would eat carbohydrates frequently throughout the day unless you aren’t making enough insulin, such as that seen with MODY or LADA. Real glucose metabolism fitness tests are eating lots of fat and carbs together without big blood glucose spikes. If you are going that high it’s probably best to lay off of those and first be able to eat a normal, carbohydrate-based diet without having high fasting or postprandial readings.

          Reply
  50. Thanks for the advice. I never eat right away in the morning, except for the coffee, but will start. I think your advice about the lighter evening meal is also wise to try. In your book you state to always try to do a mixed meal and the starch should be unrefined, eaten with lots of fat. Is this still the best way to procede, in your opinion? Should I ever just grab a bowl of oatmeal or a sweet potato with butter between meals without adding a protien and vegetable to go along with it?

    My blood sugars have definitely spiked! Yesterday they were 155 after lunch and 147 after dinner….scary! I will continue on, though, and try not to get too freaked out and pray that all will be good in the end.

    Thanks, again, Matt, for your helpful suggestions!

    Reply
    • I went up to 173, then came back down quickly until my postprandial was only 75! Up from a fasting of 67! So there’s hope for you yet!

      Eating a light dinner is only a good idea when you eat a huge breakfast and lunch. I don’t recommend a light dinner, but a heavy breakfast and lunch – particularly morning carbs in the fasted state (the best time to have them). This often leads to automatically eating a lighter dinner.

      I no longer worship fat. I think it’s fine to eat carby foods by themselves (fruit, sweet potatoes, breads). But my primary warning about fat restriction is that when you eat a real meal like you might get at a restaurant, it will kick yo butt if you are not “in shape” for it. So it’s best not to be overly restrictive of any one macronutrient.

      Those aren’t that high for just starting out. Those definitely aren’t diabetic postmeal sugars. I think you’ll find that you can eat the most carbs in…

      a) the fasted state (breakfast)
      b) after hard exercise

      …without seeing much of a rise in blood glucose.

      Lunch is the best time to eat more meat, fat, and starch. Whereas breakfast is usually superior if it is mostly sugars and starches. Protein and vegetables at dinner. Eating with that rhythm can be helpful if you get all the pieces together properly. Undereat and this meal schedule will crash you out in the middle of the night.

      Reply
      • Your own journey with this is encouraging. Thank you! I’ll heed your advice and see how I do.
        Have a wonderful rest of you day!

        Reply
        • “your” day, that is….

          Reply
          • Which refractometer do you recommend….the 0-32% or the 0-10%?

            Also, what is your stance on chocolate?

            Thanks, Matt!

  51. We are told that optimum normal blood sugar levels should be between 3.5mm/ol and 5.5mm/ol (63mm/dl – 99mm/dl), however, because the control subjects are almost certainly going to be eating a typical Western diet, it is likely that their blood sugar readings are going to be on the high side to start with.

    Many non-diabetics have a degree of insulin resistance. So it is possible that people who are more sensitive to insulin may well show a lower reading than ‘normal’.

    When I was very insulin resistant I only needed to get down to around 5 (90) before I started getting hypo symptoms. But as I became less resistant my hypo threshold lowered to around 3.2 (57). I would not be at all surprised that this lady’s FBG was able to reduce to 2.7 (49) without triggering a hypo due to her vastly improved insulin sensitivity.

    I have been pretty low carb for the last 5 years (digestion all but collapsed after being given Byetta, and could digest virtually no carbs for quite some time) and have become more resistant again. Now I am better able to cope with carbs (starch) I am interested to see where my FBG is in 4 months time…..

    Reply
  52. For anyone who disrespects starch, I have this very special song for them!

    http://youtu.be/KEUFLwl-Ac8

    P.S. MATT- I think this would be funny to use on your you tube page! An anti-paleo/low carb anti-anthem?

    Bon Appetite!

    Reply
  53. Argumentative and anecdotal. This is not science.

    Reply
    • These results can be repeated consistently.

      Reply
  54. Matt –

    Measurments are highly dependant on when you take them . Insulin is time-dependent so whatever you finds may be true for a moment in time.

    Your article is essentialy one patient record which may or not be true with no reliable data.

    Take your BG after you arise before a meal. Eat a bowl of pasta with no butter. Take your BG 30 minutes later. Your BG will skyrocket. What do you think will happen to your inulin levels after that in order to clear your blood of all the excess glucose?

    Reply
    • My blood glucose does not skyrocket no matter what I eat. At any time. That is achievable when glucose clearance reaches the point of excellence.

      Also, insulin spiking to high levels after a meal is a marker of excellent health. It’s when the insulin no longer rises after meals that you see high blood sugar that doesn’t clear and return to normal quickly. Here are some blood sugar readings many months later from this same person…

      I thought you might be interested in my numbers a year into a high carb diet… I got my fasting and post meal glucose numbers done sporadically. Here is the breakdown:
      Monday fasting a.m.: 84
      Monday two hours after lunch: 84
      Tuesday two hours after breakfast: 84
      Wednesday fasting a.m.: 79
      Wednesday three hours after breakfast: 75
      Clearly, my insulin sensitivity is fully restored. I no longer get hypos, cravings or hunger. I eat three well balanced meals a day and feel good. It is also important to note to the carb phobics that I have not gained any weight by switching to a high carb diet.”

      How this works baffles low-carb zealots because this does not fit in with the version of science that they spoonfeed to others and have been spoonfed themselves. But there is plenty of science, and plenty of mechanisms for why this is possible. That’s how I came up with the tactics I have devised over the years. And they do work. This is not just one isolated case, but one particularly well-documented example of the typical results.

      Reply
      • Have to agree. Believe it or not your body can adapt to things…

        Not long ago any starchy carbs would slay me, now I can eat white rice with no fat (shock horror) and BG levels are fine, no crash and burn. Far more factors involved in BG levels than what food you eat.

        Reply
        • “Have to agree. Believe it or not your body can adapt to things…”

          ****Yes it can and in ways that seem good when they are not. The first time you smoke a cigarette you cough your lungs out. After a month you no longer cough. You’ve adapted, but not in a good way. If you force your pancreas to make lots of insulin to clear lots of blood glucose, you give the false impression that you’ve improved your BG levels allowing them to be normal but such is not the case as you are asking too much of your beta cells. Love to see what your fasting triglyceride levels are.

          “Not long ago any starchy carbs would slay me, now I can eat white rice with no fat (shock horror) and BG levels are fine, no crash and burn. Far more factors involved in BG levels than what food you eat.”

          ****This is pure anecdote. What do you mean “slay?” Be specific.

          Reply
      • “My blood glucose does not skyrocket no matter what I eat. At any time. That is achievable when glucose clearance reaches the point of excellence.”

        ***So you say. I’d like to see some hard evidence of this. This is NOT the case for any of the people I have worked with nor is it true for me now or when I ate a high carb diet. If it’s true for YOU, all this means is that you have a very responsive pancreas and plenty of healthy beta cells that clear your blood of glucose quickly – for now. It does NOT mean that flooding your blood with toxic levels of sugar is healthy.

        “Also, insulin spiking to high levels after a meal is a marker of excellent health.”

        ***That is patently ridiculous. Your beta cells do not last forever. All it is is a marker of a currently healthy pancreas.

        “It’s when the insulin no longer rises after meals that you see high blood sugar that doesn’t clear and return to normal quickly.”

        ****Think about what you are saying here.Matt. If your body does not make enough insulin to clear high levels of blood sugar you’re diabetic. It means you have a damaged pancreas.

        “Here are some blood sugar readings many months later from this same person….I thought you might be interested in my numbers a year into a high carb diet… I got my fasting and post meal glucose numbers done sporadically. Here is the breakdown:
        Monday fasting a.m.: 84
        Monday two hours after lunch: 84
        Tuesday two hours after breakfast: 84
        Wednesday fasting a.m.: 79
        Wednesday three hours after breakfast: 75
        Clearly, my insulin sensitivity is fully restored. I no longer get hypos, cravings or hunger. I eat three well balanced meals a day and feel good. It is also important to note to the carb phobics that I have not gained any weight by switching to a high carb diet.”

        ****First, this is an n=1 anecdotal report. I have no idea what this person ate, how much they ate, etc. More importantly, testing 2 hours after a meal is not the correct time to measure BG. Levels will be back to normal by then. You shopuld test 45 minutes to one hour after.

        “How this works baffles low-carb zealots because this does not fit in with the version of science that they spoonfeed to others and have been spoonfed themselves.”

        ****Matt this baffles no one. It’s not baffling in the least.

        “But there is plenty of science, and plenty of mechanisms for why this is possible. That’s how I came up with the tactics I have devised over the years. And they do work. This is not just one isolated case, but one particularly well-documented example of the typical results.”

        ****Actually, the mechanisms are clear as a bell and the so called “LC zealot” scientists and doctors you mention know exactly what is going on and you’d know that if you read their works. Eat a lot of carbohydrate and you raise blood sugar levels. If you have a healthy pancreas, you’ll be fine until the continued abuse kills it. Read Dr. Bernstein’s book and then see if you hold your same viewpoint afterward.

        Reply
        • I’ve read all their books. They are wrong. I’ve read your book (which I recommend to many beginners with no gym membership), Dr. Bernstein’s, Eades, Gedgaudas, Groves, Atkins, Sears, Schwarzbein, Lutz, Sisson, Wolf, and countless others.

          If a diabetic’s pancreas is damaged, why do they produce so much more insulin than a normal person in a 24-hour period? But just not right after meals? While a non-diabetic, healthy person produces more insulin after meals and less the rest of the time? The carb theory is not nearly as neat as it’s made out to be, nor is there any evidence that “spiking” insulin wears out beta cells. That’s just a story. One not rooted in reality.

          Reply
          • “nor is there any evidence that “spiking” insulin wears out beta cells. That’s just a story. One not rooted in reality.”

            PRECISELY :)

            A neat little story akin to the one recounted over and over by the raw foodists who claim we have a limited supply of enzymes.

            But, the science is crystal clear on this topic: High demand on the beta cells does not exhaust beta cells, even in people with traditionally super high carb diets…

          • The “beta cells wear out so don’t stress your pancreas” story is akin to the old “don’t exercise because it wears out your heart” story. It’s more of a “use ‘em or lose ‘em” kind of scenario.

          • Don’t have so much sex, Matt – you’ll run out of semen!!

          • No Matt. Your analogy is wrong.

            From this paper:

            http://www.bashaar.org.il/files/21408200682610.pdf

            “GLUCOSE AND THE INTERLEUKIN-1–FAS–FLICE
            INHIBITORY PROTEIN PATHWAY: FROM ADAPTATION
            TO FAILURE
            Glucose is the key physiological regulator of insulin secretion; therefore, it appears logical that it also regulates the
            long-term adaptation of insulin production by regulating
            beta cell turnover. Indeed, in all species, short-term exposure
            of  beta cells to increasing glucose concentrations induces
            proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner.
            However, in Psammomys obesus and humans, the proliferative capacity of these cells is suppressed after a prolonged exposure to increased glucose concentrations.

            SUMMARY AND PROPOSED INTEGRATED VIEW OF
             BETA CELL DEMISE IN TYPE 2 DIABETES
            We have presented evidence in support of numerous
            factors that are potentially deleterious to  beta cells. Additionally, some individuals may have limited beta cell mass early in life because of genetic factors predisposing them to
            diabetes. However, the demise of insulin-producing cells
            can be compensated for to a certain degree by regeneration. We propose that glucose plays a central role among
            those factors contributing to  beta cell “burnout.” While transient postprandial hyperglycemic excursions may predominantly induce beta cell proliferation in insulin-resistant
            individuals, this adaptive mechanism may fail in the long
            term and be overridden by beta cell apoptosis.”

            So while in the short term Matt (who knows how long) you seem to be able to handle all those carbs by eating more of them, you are speeding towards the death of your pancreas and T2D.

          • I like that the study uses words and phrases like “appears logical” and “propose.”

            Making something logical is easy, but that doesn’t make it right. Why don’t you look at some of the connections between free fatty acids and beta cell burnout and discover for yourself what the true culprit is.

          • “I like that the study uses words and phrases like “appears logical” and “propose.”

            ****What is wrong with the language? In science you are always leaving room open for being wrong. You don’t say “proves” you say indicates or suggests.

            “Making something logical is easy, but that doesn’t make it right. Why don’t you look at some of the connections between free fatty acids and beta cell burnout and discover for yourself what the true culprit is.”

            ****Matt, high triglyceride levels (blood fats) are only seen when diet is high in carbohydrate. Low carb, high fat diets result in very low triglyceride levels. Do you not know this?

            Seems to me you’re in denial of the actual facts RE: high carb diets. You don’t address the issues I bring up directly with specifics. You just make emotional and off the cuff comments. Do you have anything of substance to say in response to the study I cited?

          • “But, the science is crystal clear on this topic: High demand on the beta cells does not exhaust beta cells, even in people with traditionally super high carb diets…”

            Really?

            http://www.bashaar.org.il/files/21408200682610.pdf

            SUMMARY AND PROPOSED INTEGRATED VIEW OF
            -CELL DEMISE IN TYPE 2 DIABETES
            We have presented evidence in support of numerous
            factors that are potentially deleterious to b-cells. Additionally, some individuals may have limited b-cell mass early
            in life because of genetic factors predisposing them to
            diabetes. However, the demise of insulin-producing cells
            can be compensated for to a certain degree by regeneration. We propose that glucose plays a central role among
            those factors contributing to b-cell “burnout.” While transient postprandial hyperglycemic excursions may predominantly induce -cell proliferation in insulin-resistant
            individuals, this adaptive mechanism may fail in the long
            term and be overridden by b-cell apoptosis.”

          • Sorry, I hadn’t seen this until then…

            From the link itself… [CAPS ARE MINE, FOR EMPHASIS...]

            “However, the demise of insulin-producing cells
            CAN BE COMPENSATED FOR BY REGENERATION. We propose that glucose plays a central role among those factors contributing to -cell “burnout.” [...] However, iT IS UNLIKELY THAT GLUCOTOXICITY ACTS ALONE, AND THE NEGATIVE CONTRIBUTION OF FATTY ACIDS, LIPOPROTEINS, LEPTIN, AND CIRCULATING AND LOCALLY PRODUCED CYTOKINES WILL FURTHER BURN OUT THE -CELLS.”

            So, Fred, let me get this straight. The very study you posted to start this “Pubmed war” I referred to in my initial comment (by that I mean that you post studies in attempt to support your biased point of view, while evidently not having even considered the conclusions of the researchers) does, in fact, point to my comment above about the science not being very clear at all on this topic.

            I mean, if you read the above concluding remarks, it appears as if the researchers recognize (and rightly so) that fatty acids, certain hormones (leptin, among others) and lipoproteins could be just a much a culprit.

            Additionally, they acknowledge the very real notion of beta cell regeneration.

            Yet, you continue to insist that low-carb is the solution to all this, and that people who crave carbs are addicts…

            Keep on keeping on my man, keep on keeping on…

          • You need to read the study again. And the caps are for my emphasis:

            “We propose that glucose plays a central role among
            those factors contributing to  beta cell “burnout.” While transient postprandial hyperglycemic excursions may predominantly induce beta cell proliferation in insulin-resistant individuals, this adaptive mechanism may FAIL in the long term and be overridden by BETA CELL APOPTOSIS.”

            You convieniently left out the most important part. Ignore it all you want.

            Show me a counter study to this.

          • Didn’t “leave it out” Fred. That’s your argument. I don’t need to point out to you what you are already biased towards.

            Why, however, do YOU insist on neglecting the last parts where the authors *clearly* point out that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that glucotoxicity acts alone!?!?!

            Or the first part pertaining to b-cell regeneration, which you insist ons saying does not happen…

            Also, did you not pay attention to the choice of words used by the authors? Words such as “we propose” and “may” are not what one should base a whole dietary foundation on, I hope you at least, if nothing else, understand that…

          • “I’ve read all their books. They are wrong.”

            ****I see. Wow.

            “I’ve read your book (which I recommend to many beginners with no gym membership),”

            ****Thanks.

            “Dr. Bernstein’s, Eades, Gedgaudas, Groves, Atkins, Sears, Schwarzbein, Lutz, Sisson, Wolf, and countless others.”

            *****Excellent.

            “If a diabetic’s pancreas is damaged, why do they produce so much more insulin than a normal person in a 24-hour period?”

            ****The T1D cannot produce insulin as you know. So is it “damaged?” I’d say yes. In the case of the T2D, the pancreas is healthy, but the cells are resistant. It’s called insulin resistance.

            “But just not right after meals? While a non-diabetic, healthy person produces more insulin after meals and less the rest of the time? The carb theory is not nearly as neat as it’s made out to be, nor is there any evidence that “spiking” insulin wears out beta cells. That’s just a story. One not rooted in reality.”

            ***FWIW, you may need to re-read the books you read Matt. Not wanting to commit a logical fallacy, but do you really think you understand the issue better than Dr. Richard Feinman, Dr. Eades, Dr. Bernstein, Dr. Volek, Dr. Westman, etc? Could you teach biochem at a university level? Would you sit and engage in a debate with them in a public forum? Do you consider yourself an expert who knows more than them? Be honest now.

            FYI…http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1215740?utm_content=bufferfbeee&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer&amp;

          • Yes, no, yes, and yes. Those are my honest answers to those questions. Digging down the wrong hole for 40 years doesn’t make someone an expert in something. None of the people you mention have any experience with strategies to improve glucose clearance and insulin sensitivity. They just remove carbs for a short-term improvement in a number on a glucose meter. It’s one thing to starve someone with high blood sugar of sugar and get glucose numbers down. It’s something else entirely to take someone with high blood sugar and bring that blood sugar without removing the sugar. I would love to show these guys an example of a former type 2 diabetic eating a half a pizza and a soft drink without blood glucose going over 120. That’s a real accomplishment, and one that can and has happened.

          • “Yes, no, yes, and yes. Those are my honest answers to those questions. Digging down the wrong hole for 40 years doesn’t make someone an expert in something.”

            ****Nor does your n=1 experiment make you an expert. However, their collective experience and education make them the experts not you.

            “None of the people you mention have any experience with strategies to improve glucose clearance and insulin sensitivity. They just remove carbs for a short-term improvement in a number on a glucose meter. It’s one thing to starve someone with high blood sugar of sugar and get glucose numbers down. It’s something else entirely to take someone with high blood sugar and bring that blood sugar without removing the sugar. I would love to show these guys an example of a former type 2 diabetic eating a half a pizza and a soft drink without blood glucose going over 120. That’s a real accomplishment, and one that can and has happened.”

            ****Matt, what you are saying is ridiculous, sorry to say. And ou didn’t address my point above. You cannot test BG 2hours after a meal and say the meal didn’t raise blood sugar. You have to test 45 minutes to one hour after the first bite of a meal. At the two hour mark most people will have normal blood sugars regardless of what they eat.

  55. I love it when Fred talks of Science™ like that :/ Like he “sorta kinda” knows what he’s talking about. Of course, if you get into an discussion with him, as I have on more occasions than I care to recall, he doesn’t even stoop so low as to get into a Pubmed war with you. Oh no. Fred actually manages to go lower than that: “Go talk to Richard Feinman” will usually be his response…

    Reply
    • Eric you’re being rude. Being snarky doesn’t make you right.

      Reply
      • Just stating the facts Fred.

        Reply
  56. Fred, your example would have made much more sense if you had added a few specifics [text in bracket is mine]:

    “[If you are a long-time low-carber or diabetic, among other conditions], [t]ake your BG after you arise before a meal. Eat a bowl of pasta with no butter. Take your BG 30 minutes later. Your BG will skyrocket.”

    See, Fred, there is such a thing called “context” :)

    Also, if you don’t mind me asking: Who the FAAAAWK eats NOTHING but a plain bowl of pasta for breakfast? Is that what you low-carb zealots imagine “normal” people eat?!?!?!

    Reply
      • Not at all. Context is important.

        Reply
        • The point is – mainly – that eating large amounts of carbohydrate increase BG levles higher than normal where large amounts of insulin must be released. This increases beta cell production of insulin – but only for a short time. After this time (a year, 5 years, who knows), B-cell apoptosis begins and the process of T2 and even T1 diabetes can begin – all without getting fatter.

          Reply
          • But that’s just an acute release of insulin. As this post shows, acute increases in insulin aside, fasting insulin levels dropped by more than half. So total insulin production is lower, muddying up your argument even if the idea that beta cell apoptosis is brought on by high insulin and blood sugar (far from the whole story).

          • “But that’s just an acute release of insulin.”

            ***JUST an acute release? What does that mean?

            “As this post shows, acute increases in insulin aside, fasting insulin levels dropped by more than half. So total insulin production is lower, muddying up your argument even if the idea that beta cell apoptosis is brought on by high insulin and blood sugar (far from the whole story).

            ****You’re missing the overall message Matt. Why do you think fasting insulin drops so low? Any ideas? Must I spell it out for you?
            B-cell apoptosis is no laughing matter. You shrug it off lightly which is odd indeed. What more information do you need when you say “far from the whole story.” You sound like a carb addict grasping at any info that will allow you to keep getting your fix.

          • So I’m addicted to something I don’t even particularly enjoy eating. Good to know.

            You think fasting insulin was lowered in this case because of lost beta cell function? Bitch please. Do you even know what a HOMA-IR test is, and how impressive scoring a .6 on it is?

          • “So I’m addicted to something I don’t even particularly enjoy eating. Good to know.”

            ****Addiction doesn’t require enjoyment Matt. And you (and others here) keep refusing to address the points I bring up directly. Instead, you make off the cuff remarks that don’t advance the discussion.

            “You think fasting insulin was lowered in this case because of lost beta cell function? Bitch please. Do you even know what a HOMA-IR test is, and how impressive scoring a .6 on it is?”

            ****Yes I know what a HOMA test is – FG x FI. And mine is .2 on a LC diet. My fasting triglycerdies are 45. What are yours? I’m 52 years old as well.

            Ask yourself this question – what would a T1D fasting insulin level be?

          • What does T1D fasting insulin level have to do with healthy populations’ or even T2D fasting insulin levels Fred? What? Refer to one of my earlier posts pertaining to “context”. Please!

          • Fred, if we need to explain to you the difference between “acute response” and “chronic adaptation” then, clearly, you have more work to do before you entertain the notion of discussing these issues on here.

            On the more specific topic of diabetes…

            Do you realize, Fred, that even the most diabetic patients ingesting zero carbs still pass “sugar” in their urine?

            So, is it “sugar’s” fault, or is it an assimilation problem?

            Did you ever wonder why diabetics typically have a RQ of just above 0.7, irrespective of their macronutrient ratio which, again, indicates that they have issues with the assimilation of “sugar”.

            Given just these simple facts (and, there are many others to consider), should we not, instead of blaming “sugar” (just like we should not be blaming high serum cholesterol on the cholesterol content of foods), be trying to figure out what factors could be interfering with the metabolism of sugar?

            Should we not try to figure out which other factors in the modern diet could be considered diabetogenic?

            How about the various stressors that might cause capillary leakage allowing, in the first place, albumin and other blood components to enter extracellular space or to be lost in the urine?

            How about the enzyme system that controls oxidation of pyruvic acid (and thus, sugar) by the mitochondria, given how crucially defective these enzymes are in the presence of diabetes?

            Would it then not be more appropriate to consider (instead of blaming sugar) and acknowledge the fact that diabetes involves a cellular energy deficiency, resulting from an inability to metabolize sugar?

          • “Fred, if we need to explain to you the difference between “acute response” and “chronic adaptation” then, clearly, you have more work to do before you entertain the notion of discussing these issues on here.”

            ****That is an argumentative response not scientific.

            “On the more specific topic of diabetes…Do you realize, Fred, that even the most diabetic patients ingesting zero carbs still pass “sugar” in their urine?”

            ****Yes. They are probably on a LC/LF diet.

            “So, is it “sugar’s” fault, or is it an assimilation problem?”

            *****Diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate intolerance.

            “Did you ever wonder why diabetics typically have a RQ of just above 0.7, irrespective of their macronutrient ratio which, again, indicates that they have issues with the assimilation of “sugar”.”

            *****See my response above. If you have diabetes, you are intolerant to carbohydrate. Pretending that eating lots of carbs will solve that problem is akin to feeding a child who has a peanut allergy lots of peanuts.

            “Given just these simple facts (and, there are many others to consider), should we not, instead of blaming “sugar” (just like we should not be blaming high serum cholesterol on the cholesterol content of foods),”

            *****You err in your analogy. If someone WAS in fact, cholesterol intolerant, or fat intolerant like someone with gall bladder issues, feeding them lots of fat will harm them, not heal them.

            “be trying to figure out what factors could be interfering with the metabolism of sugar? Should we not try to figure out which other factors in the modern diet could be considered diabetogenic?”

            *****We have – excess carbohydrate.

            “How about the various stressors that might cause capillary leakage allowing, in the first place, albumin and other blood components to enter extracellular space or to be lost in the urine?”

            *****Go on…please explain.

            How about the enzyme system that controls oxidation of pyruvic acid (and thus, sugar) by the mitochondria, given how crucially defective these enzymes are in the presence of diabetes?

            Would it then not be more appropriate to consider (instead of blaming sugar) and acknowledge the fact that diabetes involves a cellular energy deficiency, resulting from an inability to metabolize sugar?

          • “How about the enzyme system that controls oxidation of pyruvic acid (and thus, sugar) by the mitochondria, given how crucially defective these enzymes are in the presence of diabetes?”

            ****What about it? Again do you mean to correct this by feeding more sugar to the individual? See my peanut allergy analogy.

            “Would it then not be more appropriate to consider (instead of blaming sugar) and acknowledge the fact that diabetes involves a cellular energy deficiency, resulting from an inability to metabolize sugar?”

            ****No one is blaming sugar. Diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate intolerance. As the study I cited indicated, short term b-cell “improvement” by increasing the requirement for insulin is short lived and very dangerous leading to b-cell apoptosis. This is known. Don’t ignore it.

            http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/low-carbohydrate-diet-to-manage-diabetes/4880362

          • The Kitavans lifespan is ~45 years too you know (infant mortality included which is high). And all their food is real. Just becasue 60% of their food is carbhohydrate does NOT mean they would live better on less. The Kitavans prove nothing.

            The reason why IS is improved with high carbohydrate is becasue you are forcing increased b-cell activity. Much in the same way you increase liver enzyme activity if you drink a lot of alcohol. It is a short lived “improvement” that masks a potentially serious problem later in life. I posted a link to a study showing this to be true above.

            Enjoying a high carb diets will result in chronically high triglyceride levels which is unhealthful.

          • “Enjoying a high carb diets will result in chronically high triglyceride levels which is unhealthful.”

            False. I know people personally who enjoy high carb diets and have VERY low trigs.

          • “False. I know people personally who enjoy high carb diets and have VERY low trigs.”

            Are they endurance athletes? Because if your carb intake is high, then blood fats will not be used as the primary source of fuel and the result is high trigs.

          • No. But they are active people. The point is you made a blanket statement that, “Enjoying a high carb diets will result in chronically high triglyceride levels which is unhealthful.” It is not for everyone. Don’t generalize like that.

          • Their life expectancy at birth is estimated at 45 years (includes infant mortality), and life expectancy at age 50 is an additional 25 years. This is remarkable for a culture with limited access to modern medicine.

            Overall, Kitavans possess a resistance to degenerative diseases that is baffling to industrialized societies.

            http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2008/08/kitavans-wisdom-from-pacific-islands.html

          • Living to 75 is nothing special. The average LE of the typical American is 77 years.

            As for degenerative diseases, they eat real food. REAL plant matter is good stuff. The point is you don’t need a lot of it.

            You do realize that the NORMAL amount of blood glucose for the typical adult is about a teasoon full, right? That’s a mere 4 grams. That is what your body considers normal at any given point in time.

            When you eat more than this, your body MUST clear it. So the excess is either:

            1. Used by activity
            2. Stored in the muscle and liver
            3. Converted to body fat

            2 & 3 require insulin. The more carbohydrate you eat, the more insulin you need to produce. The beta cells in your pancrease ARE FINITE. The can experience apoptosis (cell death) if they are asked to chronically produce insulin. I posted the research on this several times on this thread. It’s not a joke.

            Matt doesn’t present ANY research in support of his position stand on high carb feeding.

          • No

  57. I would just like to say that as I am reading this, I am currently eating baked potato w/ cheese, number 2. My dog is envious…..

    Reply
    • Don’t feed your pooch potatoes. You could seriously harm it. Dogs are essentially obligate carnivores.

      Reply
  58. When I began experiencing extreme panic attacks two years ago I began the most horrific rollercoaster ride I could ever imagine. I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency and prediabetes as well as hypothyroidism and put on the GAPS diet first and then due to severe histamine intolerance an extremely low carb ketogenic paleo diet. As the months went by my food intolerances got worse and worse as did my overall health to the point that I became bedridden and anaphylactic to nearly everything I ate. Then in a last desperate attempt I came across Matt’s work and decided to give his method a try since I had nothing left to lose. The first food my body accepted again was the incredible potato and I have not looked back since! Its been 3 months and I am healing at an incredible speed…out of bed and back to almost human again :) I eat about 15-20 pounds of potatoes a week and I feel great! And my blood sugar is better than its been in years. After so much suffering I am so thankful to have found 180degree health. Matt you’re my hero!!

    Reply
    • Shannon – what were you eating before?

      Reply
      • Fred,

        I was eating a ketogenic paleo diet. Chicken, lots of green veggies, coconut, macadamia nuts. Butter, olive oil, water. No fruit, no starches, no grains, absolutely no sugar whatsoever. I felt like I was dying even though I was eating 4-5 full meals a day.

        Reply
        • Not enough bone marrow and gizzards Shannon. Clearly.

          Reply
  59. I also did horribly on low carb diets of any sorts, including Paleo. Excessive weight loss, amenorrhea, more frequent panic attack episodes, insomnia and tachycardia, to name a few. If the SAD diet is so bad for everyone, how come so many see their health decline, whilst switching to raw/vegan/paleo/GAPS, etc? Why not focus, simply on displacing junk food for whole foods, which is doable for everyone and safer, as it does not require a PHD in nutrition to stay healthy? I am one who has dramatically improved mood and weight stability, eliminated binging episodes and cravings, re-gained my menstrual cycle and reduced kidney problems by sticking to a re-feeding protocol. I eat homemade bread and organic ice cream EVERY single day, have stable weight and healthy blood sugar. :)

    Reply
  60. Feck sake! I’ve done it all and low carb was pure misery…just eat good food and plenty of it! Life without carbs is pure shite. ‘Nuff said

    Reply
    • Pure misery. I love these anecdotal reports. How long were you low carb? Did you eat a low carb/low fat diet?

      Reply
      • Well after a year of vlc “paleo” I spiraled into severe anxiety/insomnia. I just love when people grill me about “not doing it right”. You didn’t eat enough fat. You didn’t eat enough protein. I say if a diet requires a doctor’s intervention to make sure you don’t get sick … it’s not safe. And FTR I ate a 60-70% fat diet. As soon as I got sick I was wishing I’d listened to Matt earlier. I’ve met lots of people who all ended up sick so don’t tell me it’s anecdotal. It’s also no coincidence we all have the same issues/symptoms.

        Reply
        • As with all the low carb “advocates” your comments shows the power of a beloved theory to survive contrary empirical evidence. Also a lack of understanding of biology.

          Reply
          • How is it that you think I don’t understand biology? I admit I am not a biologist. Are you? Please explain what it is I am misunderstanding.

          • To steal a quote from someone else, “Biology is complex, none of us have all the answers, and a lifetime is too short to acquire all the answers.”

      • All these “anecdotes” cease to be meaningless when you realize that how people feel about their diet and their own bodies is meaningful, Fred. There have been more than enough trials of the LC lifestyle to realize it was a valiant but failed attempt to fix T2D. The rational mind delights to think cutting out carbs can fix T2D and all its side effects, but it doesn’t work any more than refusing to put fuel in your gas tank. Sure there will be no wear and tear on your engine, because you aren’t driving.

        Reply
    • No one is saying no carbs Jax. You sound like just another carb addict who hasn’t read the relevant literature.

      Reply
      • Lol … so now you’ll just throw insults. Why are you here exactly? Slow day for ya?

        Reply
        • Carb addiction is real. Make no mistake. No insult intended. To call someone who drinks a lot an alcoholic is not an insult. People have to face thier addictions and sometimes they need to hear it said flat out.

          Reply
          • So pathetic. To compare a poison (alcohol) to a food (sugar). Really, this doesn’t even deserve a response… You clearly do not understand much about addictions Fred.

          • Too much sugar is toxic just like too much alcohol. Here it is again:

            http://www.bashaar.org.il/files/21408200682610.pdf

            Healthy populations are only so for a time on high carb diets. You can only overwork your pancreas for so long. Those who do not have T2D are asking for it. Those who eat a high carb diet and are never adversely affected, lucky for them,

          • You realize the person discussed in this post was “overworking their pancreas” on a low-carb diet, and then reduced insulin by adding carbs right?

          • Matt – think about that. How can you possible overwork youer pancreas on a LC diet. Explian the mechanisms to me please because you got me on that one champ.

          • I am a T2 diabetic, have been for 20 years. I have spent months on low carb. After an initial lowering of insulin need, my blood sugars rise and start requiring more insulin just as on a mixed diet. With high carbs bg spikes, but comes doen quickly with insulin. With low carb bg ruses kore slowly but stsys high for hours, despite multiple injections if insulin. My experience is that the same amount if insulin is requirrd in both cases. The claim that a very low carb diet does not need insulin is false because protein also uses insulin.

          • Sorry for all the typos.

          • Too much water is toxic. Too many carrots is toxic. Too many lobster tails are toxic, but none of these things in moderation are overwhelmingly bad for you. Thankfully we have systems to help us regulate their over-consumption. A big part of 180 Degree Health is listening to your body to tell you what it needs, rather than listening to some quack on a blog tell you what he thinks you need and helping you start your obsessive-compulsive eating disorder, or sorry… “Lifestyle change.”

          • You are attacking his values, so you are definitely being insulting. Just like calling someone who enjoys alcohol an alcoholic, you are being insulting. It doesn’t matter your opinion of their behavior, attacking someone’s values with no thought as to how they will feel makes you self-centered.

  61. My husband will never support me eating a low carb diet ever again. The last time I ate low carb, his Trader Joe’s sprouted bagels were the first thing I ditched. Then went anything with gluten in it. Then I got rid of anything with grains. Then fruit (I only really ever ate blueberries and green apples because they were the most Dr Mercola approved fruit I could think of eating…) I ate lots of fat (viva la coconut oil!), meat, and veggies. And nuts. And coconut-flour-baked-good concoctions with butter slathered all over them.

    After a few years of low carb eating, I developed a fear of fruit. Then I developed a fear of “impure” foods. Then I developed a fear of most foods. Then I was diagnosed with dysphagia (although my endoscopy came up with nothing). But just about every freaking time I ate, my food got stuck in my esophagus. Drinking water wouldn’t help (it would actually get pushed out from my esophagus!), so I’d have to thump my chest really hard or tickle the back of my throat to gag it out. Dinnertime with the family was fun!

    My dysphagia miraculously disappeared when I started refeeding with carbs.

    Other things that went away were anxiety, insomnia (still working on that one, but much, much better), twitching eyelids, twitching muscles all over, cramping, extreme fatigue, “food allergies”, all my candida “symptoms”, no libido at all, constipation ALL THE TIME, headaches, migraines (I only have migraines once every month or two now), lightheadedness, dizzyness, and a lot more.

    I also gained weight while eating low carb, my cholesterol shot up to numbers I’d never seen before (esp my triglycerides), my menstrual cycle was crazy (now it’s normal), I had no testosterone at all, my vitamin D levels were at 16 ng/ml, I was depressed and cranky, and more!

    After refeeding, my cholesterol numbers are slowly getting better, and my thyroid numbers are awesome. When I was eating low carb, my free t4 and free t3 numbers were super low…my tsh was high-ish. Now my tsh is low-ish and my free t3 and t4 numbers are higher.

    I gained more weight while I refed and now I have edema. But I have eaten low carb for years and I’m sure that the weight gain and bloating is helping me to heal. My son has some bloating too…he had to eat the same low carb crap I did. I’m not getting enough sleep and I’m sure that’s a factor, as well as some stress.

    I am slowly losing weight (I’m not actively trying to lose weight). I’m walking more. After the kids return to school on Monday, I’ll go on more hikes and sleep more during the day. I eat about 3,000 to 4,000 calories a day, lots of it carbs and some meat and fat.

    For my first breakfast, I usually eat two pieces of toast with butter, cinnamon and some sugar on it. Or toast with butter and jam. I try to eat eggs and drink milk with it. Sometimes I have ice cream for breakfast too, with pizza. I almost have at least 1 serving of ice cream a day. I just made some yummy shepherd’s pie topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes last week. We have sandwiches and veggies/fruit with milk for lunch. I eat veggies only when I feel like it and eat 3-4 servings of fruit a day.

    I will never, ever eat low carb (or low calorie) again. In fact, I think the reason many people lose weight on a low carb diet is because they are also eating low calorie and at a calorie deficit (but then most end up gaining weight again no matter how little they eat…) –> It’s really difficult for many people to eat enough calories worth of meat, fat and veggies a day.

    ###

    Reply
    • If what you say is true Beth about your health, there is no way you were eating a well formulated LC diet.

      I’d love to see what you ate on a typical day. You were probably not eating enough fat, organ meats and vegetables. EVERY client I have gotten to adopt a well formulated LC diet has had their health improve markedly. None have had health problems.

      Reply
      • “Yes Beth, it’s your fault, or your lack of knowledge, or your incompetence, or your lack of fat/organs, etc., ultimately, that made you fail on this highly sustainable diet that requires unspeakable amounts of well-thought out meal plans” said (like, NEVER) not one of the billions of people that have gone or go on to live perfectly healthy lives on high to very high carbs.

        This argument is getting so old and tired…

        Reply
        • The argument is only old to those addicted to carbohydrate (sugar).

          Reply
          • Hahaha… Another old tired argument… “Addicted to carbs”!?!?!?!? I was actually waiting and hoping for you to write that one Fred, as it’s probably the most non-sensical low-carber belief to have ever seen the light. Addicted to carbs… Geeeewhiz!?!!?!?

            Who comes up with that crap anyways?

          • People addicted to bacon and cheeseburgers come up with that Eric.

          • Precisely Matt…

            Fred, I also happen to have some insider info that tells me you actually believe that everyone’s heart is endowed with a limited number of heartbeats, and that we will all inevitably suffer from articular damage, since we also appear to have limited ability to regenerate articular tissue. If that is true, then it would explain how your “knowledge” of biology also leads you to believe that beta cells have a limited capacity to regenerate…

            Three cheers for mechanistic/reductionist biology!!!!

          • “Fred, I also happen to have some insider info that tells me you actually believe that everyone’s heart is endowed with a limited number of heartbeats..”

            ****Of course there is a limit. But that was said by Neil Armstrong, not me:

            “I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.”
            – Neil Armstrong

            “…and that we will all inevitably suffer from articular damage, since we also appear to have limited ability to regenerate articular tissue.”

            ****Yes. If you engage in chronic aerobic activity you will wear down your joints faster than if you didn’t.

            “If that is true, then it would explain how your “knowledge” of biology also leads you to believe that beta cells have a limited capacity to regenerate…”

            ****Eric, I’ll try again:

            http://www.bashaar.org.il/files/21408200682610.pdf

            SUMMARY AND PROPOSED INTEGRATED VIEW OF
            BETA-CELL DEMISE IN TYPE 2 DIABETES
            We have presented evidence in support of numerous
            factors that are potentially deleterious to b-cells. Additionally, some individuals may have limited b-cell mass early in life because of genetic factors predisposing them to
            diabetes. However, the demise of insulin-producing cells
            can be compensated for to a certain degree by regeneration. We propose that glucose plays a central role among those factors contributing to b-cell “burnout.” While transient postprandial hyperglycemic excursions may predominantly induce -cell proliferation in insulin-resistant
            individuals, this adaptive mechanism may fail in the long
            term and be overridden by b-cell apoptosis.”

            “Three cheers for mechanistic/reductionist biology!!!!”

            ****Rather, three cheers for well done scientific research and woe to those who don’t pay attention to it.

          • Matt – please. Are you seriously suggesting that there is no such thing as sugar addiction? Really?

          • I want to know what you define addiction as. Because by some definitions, I’m addicted to air. When I try to resist the urge for air by holding my breath, I can never seem to hold out very long and I always crave more because it feels so good. When I’m stressed out I sometimes go to the gym and workout, and in the process I consume more air because it feels good and helps me release happy chemicals in my brain. After I workout I sometimes stretch while I consume air because it feels good and helps me relax. Then I go home and eat a nice low-carb kale salad with olive oil because it tastes good (oh wait… no one said that ever). I guess I just don’t get where the “sugar addiction” comes in. Sometimes I choose to eat sugar because I feel like it, and sometimes I choose not to because I don’t. Maybe you’re just addicted to fats and are deflecting the blame at us to take the attention away from your own addiction… ‘Cause ya know, that is something addicts also do.

          • “Who comes up with that crap anyways?”

            *****Experts who have studied the issue. Read Wheat Belly and the research Dr. Davis cites in the book. Educate yourself. You sound like an alcoholic friend of mine who denied that alcoholism was a real condition. For years he joked and made fun – until his hepatitis led him to AA.

          • Your reasoning and deduction capacities will never cease to amaze me Fred. Comparing alcohol consumption in alcoholics, then peanut consumption in individuals with peanut allergies, then fat consumption in people with already established gallbladder problems to the topic at hand here namely, carb and sugar consumption in healthy populations, is beyond comprehensible. And, please tell me you didn’t SERIOUSLY just tell me to go read Wheat Belly to “educate myself”. Please tell me it ain’t so!!!!

          • Eric, I was just thinking the same thing (re:Wheat Belly). Wow …

          • “Your reasoning and deduction capacities will never cease to amaze me Fred. Comparing alcohol consumption in alcoholics, then peanut consumption in individuals with peanut allergies, then fat consumption in people with already established gallbladder problems to the topic at hand here namely, carb and sugar consumption in healthy populations, is beyond comprehensible.”

            ****Really? You can’t comprehend that too much of a toxic substance can cause ill-health? Oh well.

            “And, please tell me you didn’t SERIOUSLY just tell me to go read Wheat Belly to “educate myself”. Please tell me it ain’t so!!!!”

            ****I read everything – good and bad. I’ve read Dean Ornish’s books, Dr. Gerger’s book Carbphobia, and many more. It’s good to read as much as you can and learn. Making fun of people and their work won’t boost your brain power much Eric.

          • Fred, you can word it any way you wish to and, as is typical also of how you like to twist these discussions, make yourself be pitied by implying you are being “made fun of”…

            The fact is–and this is irrespective of the fact that you do in fact read the “good” and the “bad” books (I do as well, always have, but it’s not just about quantity, right)–you are unable to distinguish between “good” and “bad”, as evidenced by the fact that you kindly suggested I go “educate myself” by reading Wheat Belly… [It's not quality, it's quantity. Oh, you meant it's not quantity, but quality lol (1:30 please: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqrt0k_i-heart-huckabees-clip-quantity-not-quality_shortfilms)]

            The premise of your whole argument doesn’t stand and, you will never be able to see it any other way until you stop with that silly effin’ bullshit of spewing such nonsense as “sugar is toxic”!!!! This has zero substance and zero context. It’s as nonsensical as it gets, and so full of the bullshit propaganda alarmist thinking typical of low carbers…

          • Fred, educate YOURself. Wheat Belly is a work of science fiction.

          • Hi Evelyn –

            Science fiction eh? OK, how so?

          • Again, the fact that you need someone to point that out to you makes your contribution here–already quite funny–downright hilarious.

            I’ll go educate myself now…

          • More empty statements Eric.

          • How does my stating the obvious make my statement “empty” Fred? I really fail to understand this. You claim that I need to go educate myself by reading, of all things, Wheat Belly!?! Then ask how this might not be such an appropriate recommendation… That in itself shows that you do not have the capacity to distinguish between pseudoscience/science-fiction/Science™ (however you wish to call it), so it really makes your incompetencies blatantly evident…

          • I also think Yoni Freedhoff did a good review.

            “So before my review, here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and criticize the science or lack thereof. Not because there’s nothing to explore, but rather because others have already done so, and they’ve done so well.”

            “The kindest way for me to describe Wheat Belly is as the Atkins diet wrapped in one physician’s broad sweeping, yet not particularly well backed up by evidence theory, that wheat’s modern genetic modifications are responsible for the majority of society’s ills. The harshest would be that Dr. Davis has eschewed his medical responsibility to ensure that the information he conveys to the public while wearing his MD hat is firmly supported by and grounded in science (or at the very least point out when a view is highly preliminary and theoretical), and instead, uses his MD platform to push his own personal theory onto a trusting, vulnerable, and desperate public, as nearly irrefutably factual and scientific”

          • “How does my stating the obvious make my statement “empty” Fred?”

            ****Because its argumentative and derogatory.

            “I really fail to understand this. You claim that I need to go educate myself by reading, of all things, Wheat Belly!?! Then ask how this might not be such an appropriate recommendation… That in itself shows that you do not have the capacity to distinguish between pseudoscience/science-fiction/Science™ (however you wish to call it), so it really makes your incompetencies blatantly evident…”

            *****I read the book and the citations within. You didn’t. So calling the book pseudoscience when you know nothing about it is, as I said, an empty statement.

            You prefer NOT to address the scientific issues directly. Instead, you cling to opinion and the anecdotal statements of random people.

            I have shown you, via the study I posted here, why it SEEMS as if a high carb diet reverses diabetes. You play with fire by chronically elevating BG levels and forcing the pancreas to deal.

            I’ll look at the links shortly. Thanks for them.

          • Ah … Fred, you know Yoni is a doctor and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute right? I hardly consider him a “random” person.

            And FTR, since you brought him up, it was Dr. Davis’ assertions like this, “Carbohydrate intake of 100-150 grams per day virtually guarantees (with only occasional exceptions, such as 20-year old premenopausal long-distance athletes) expression of excessive glycemic phenomena along with small LDL particles. … With rare exceptions, most of us can tolerate 15 grams “net” carbohydrates per meal or per 6 hour digestive “window” before we start to express these abnormal patterns.” that I followed which led to my unfortunate hormonal disaster that has taken me SIX months to try and correct.

            I’ve since been told that statements like this are SILLY (people have actually said worse) and not backed by medical studies. Very IRRESPONSIBLE for someone to talk like that and use their MD status. VERY dangerous.

            On top of that, his recommendation to keep BG from rising after a meal (or never going above 100) is also nonfactual and DANGEROUS. Never once does he tell you that trying to accomplish this puts you in a state of constant ketosis.

            From DR Kurt Harris, “I am pretty sure you have me confused with Dr. WIlliam Davis. We both are MDs but otherwise have very little in common in terms of dietary outlook.

            I have never said such a thing and would not as it is patently ridiculous.

            Elevating your blood sugar after a CHO rich meal is totally normal and I think once you have determined you are not diabetic, obsessively testing your pp glucose levels just leads to orthorexia.

            The idea that one must have zero BG rise after a meal is also not supported by any of the literature I’ve read.”

          • The article by Julie Jones is argumentaive and clearly biased. It is not a scientific paper. She grasps at straws, shifts goal posts, makes up her own facts and makes conclusions based on her own opinions.

            The paper does not allow me to cut and paste or I’d list several examples. But if you have an unbiased eye, after reading this paper it it clear that it is an attack, not a scientific review.

          • Argumentative and biased. As in “presenting an argument specifically against a biased unscientific opinion”. Well, yes…

            Nowhere does Julie claim or pretend that her paper is a scientific paper. Unlike what Dr. Davis would like his readers to believe when trying to pass off his “theory” as such…

            Fred, you wrote: “But if you have an unbiased eye [...] ” LOOOOOOOL

          • I’ll take Fred’s sugar! I’ll use it to BUILD MOAR ABZ.

          • Nah … Give it to Jimmy Moore. His goal is to see his abs!

          • Is that because they go well with Kerry Gold butter?

          • Love ‘em. Good for you too! Slathered in butter.

      • Again, if we get sick it’s our own fault for not implementing (the perfect human) diet correctly? Then average people should not be trying to implement it. Tons of people do have problems with it. I often see (women particularly) complaining on the Wheat Belly FB page (I’ve seen these comments on Cate Shanahans blog too) that their hair is falling out and they have no energy. The answer is most always “eat more fat”. Eating more fat didn’t work for me. I feel sorry for these women as I know they are heading to the same place as I did. Stress hormones through the roof. What I think is completely irresponsible are these low carb advocates (particularly doctors who should know better) encouraging people via the Internet to continue down a path that obviously is not working for them. As the joke goes … “if it’s not working for you then do it harder”. People are getting sick and it’s wildly irresponsible. It’s taken me 6 months (with the help of Paul Jaminet) to turn this mess around. As soon as Paul heard my symptoms he told me I needed to eat more carbs (not more fat) and guess what … six months later I’m starting to get my life back.

        Reply
        • Would you mind giving us a days worth if what you were eating typically when you were low carb? I’ll bet you were deficient in many nutrients for no good reason other than it was not well formulated.

          Reply
          • Fred, why don’t you give it up already and realize that low carb diets aren’t for everybody? They actually work well for very few over the long haul or are you blindfolded while you shovel lobster tails in on those low carb cruises?

      • Oh yeah…I was eating enough fat, organ meats and vegetables for sure. Just like the people in your food-niche recommend. I am a bit OCD and made SURE I was eating everything I was “supposed to” for “optimal health.” Don’t try to suggest I was trying to do otherwise.

        I don’t believe that “it’s your fault…you didn’t do the LC diet right” BS anymore.

        Reply
        • You see, a well formulated LCD will be rife with nutrients. You don’t get sick due to lack of blood glucose. Carbs in and of themselves are not required to live well but micronutrients are. Even Paul Jaminet doesn’t seem to get this 100%.

          Lack of sugar is NEVER EVER a problem on a well formulated LCD. Rather than get emotional about it, think about what I said. There is no magic in eating sugar. It’s what the source of sugar contains that we need that matters.

          Reply
          • “Similar patterns of reduced T3 and elevated cortisol excretion were recently seen in a clinical trial of a 10% carb weight maintainance diet. [4] This trial shows that even in the absence of calorie restriction, carb restriction is sufficient to reproduce much of the “athlete triad”/starvation hormonal pattern.
            This pattern reaches its most extreme form in anorexia:”
            – See more at: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/10/very-low-carb-dieting-are-the-hormonal-changes-risk-free/#sthash.AN9zYmsK.dpuf

          • Exactly Trina…

            Which points to one of my favorite tidbit of relevant info here…

            One shouldn’t be concerned with ingesting as little carbs as possible, but with doing as much activity as fits their current situation/health/goals to allow maximum carb intake…

            This silly notion that pervades in the LC world, that carbs aren’t “essential” because the body can produce its own (we can also produce a host of amino and fatty acids; that doesn’t mean we should strive to completely avoid them!!!), only takes into account “survival” or, if you will, the “practical minimum value” but, in fact, says very little about what is needed for living an optimal active life or for athletes engaged in activities of almost any intensity/duration except the very extremes of the spectrum.

            Not to mention, as you pointed out above, the stress response the adrenals, thyroid, pituitary and thymus glands have to deal with when having to chronically rely on gluconeogenesis…

          • Well the low carb proponents either refuse to acknowledge this fact or they (in Rosedale’s case) think it’s a good thing. This is a direct quote from Dr. Davis, “The notion of “thyroid dysfunction” with limited carbohydrate intake is a transient phenomenon that relates to the drop in metabolic rate in response to weight loss, but the free T3 level and/or TSH correct over time, provided there are no other superimposed confounding factors.” ???

          • While Atkins, arguably the biggest and longest-time promoter of LC diets, warned:

            “remember that prolonged dieting tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually not a problem with the thyroid gland but with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active thyroid principle, T3. The diagnosis is made on clinical grounds with the presence of fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin, coarse or falling hair, an elevation in cholesterol, or a low body temperature.”

            So, assuming EVERYTHING is perfectly in place (meaning, the liver is able to do its job of detoxifying, replenishing itself with glycogen (which necessary implies LIMITED ACTIVITY!!!!) AND activate enough T4 into the necessary T3–among other important roles the liver is asked to play) then, yes, one *might* be able to get away with LC… For a while… :/

          • But Dr. Davis’ assertion that it’s a “transient phenomenon” is completely wrong … correct? It’s a down regulation of production of thyroid hormone and it’s not going to correct over time unless you correct the “starvation” or lack of glucose.

          • Correct…

            One has to consider the whole organism and how cellular energy is obtained. You can’t make ATPs out of thin air and, for each mole of ATP one gets out of gluconeogenesis, 6 moles of ATP are required… From somewhere!!!!

            Continually relying on gluconeogenesis via epineprhine (adrenaline) and the glucocorticoids (namely, cortisol, whose role in this kind of situation is to main function is to provide glucose at the expense of protein) also degrades leanmass (and, in turn, this further depresses thyroid function and metabolism), and then glycogenolysis, via epinephrine, continually depletes liver glycogen stores, which basically means one ends up in a constant “flight-or-fight” response. Unless maybe one is 100% sedentary and still!!!

            This, among other issues, invariably leads to thymus involution, the mother gland of immune function, and something that old age already accentuates. Why someone would submit themselves to such daily chronic stresses is beyond me…

          • So one can be a cardiologist and have NO clue what one is saying but freely pass out this kind of information via the Internet for people to completely mess themselves up with. Do they not take an oath to “first do no harm”?!

          • You guys are both misunderstanding the issue. Atkins meant poorly formulated diets. He was not including his diet in the mix. If thyroid problems arise, this is due to a lack of nutrients in the diet, NOT a lack of carbohydrate. How can you not see this? How can scores of people be on LCKD and have no health problems whatsoever? If what you say is true Matt, NO ONE could be healthy on a LC diet. All it takes, for example, is a tiny lack of copper – an infestismal amount – to cause joint pain.

          • Sure sounds like he was including his.

            “Remember that prolonged dieting (including this one) tends to shut down thyroid function. This is usually… a problem…with the liver, which fails to convert T4 into the more active principle, T3. Dr Robert Atkins, The Atkins Diet Revolution”

          • Here we go with the thryorid again…

            The speed of the conversion of T4 to T3 is a controlled process. If you have a lower T3 now than you had before on a low carb diet, it’s because your body demands less T3 and the conversion consequently slows down.

            In actual thyroid disease it starts with changes in T4, not T3. The latter is secondary. Even with large changes in T4 (i:e. people eating great amounts of thyroid hormone (T4) or thyroiditis) the T3 will usually stay normal and thus, the person will be non-toxic because the conversion of T4 to T3 is inhibited.

            It’s the same with a GTT on a low carb diet. You fail it miserably because you’re body is not used to having to produce so much insulin. But this is a good thing.

          • No

  62. My lowcarb story:
    I have always been skinny, have never exercised in my entire life, and had never been on a diet. I had gained about 20 pounds overweight in my early 30’s and got interested in low-carb-high-fat as a possible way to lose weight. My mother was hooked on weightwatchers when I was growing up so I had always eaten low fat alternatives in everything, all the time, and vegetable fat instead of butter of course.

    I went on a zero carb and zero alcohol diet and had about 2500 calories a day while registering everything I ate with a pc software that added up both micro and macro nutrients. Every nutrition except carbs was way over the daily recommendations and I lost about 2 pounds a week for ten weeks.

    Besides the weight loss I (temporarily) got rid of my Seborrhoeic dermatitis and my Irritable bowel syndrome. I also felt my ADD got a little bit better. After ten weeks I reintroduced carbs and alcohol but stayed on a high fat diet, and has ever since.

    Today, five years later, I consume about 25% each of fat, protein, carbs and alcohol every day, about 2000-3000 kcal, and I am still at the exact same weight as when I came of the diet. I eat mostly whole foods when I cook, but a lot of junk when I eat out. I am amazed that I can eat and drink pretty much whatever I want now without gaining weight, the only difference to when I got my 20 pound overweight is that i eat more saturated fats and with slightly more variation in general. Maybe the high fat diet/lifestyle just makes me add more fatty sauce to my pasta and that’s what does the trick, I don’t know.

    After reading Matt’s book I tried binge-eating warming foods just for fun. Even french toast with bacon and ice cream for breakfast everyday for two weeks does nothing to my weight, I think it’s pretty amazing.

    Reply
  63. I first did low carb for 2 years as a vegetarian, eating lots of eggs and milk. Biggest problem was no menstrual cycle for most of it and dangerously low cholesterol. Then, I tried low carb paleo for just over an year, with lots of meat – 2 thick slices of bacon and eggs for breakfast, lamb or chicken roast for lunch and fish soup for dinner, most days, with a few berries or full fat raw cheese for dessert or snack, plus a few vegetables (carrots, brussels sprouts, spinach). This is when the “magic” happened. And don’t get me started with arguments akin to “you did veganism/raw/paleo/LC/etc wrong. If it takes sooo much effort to get it right, it ain`t right in my book. Maybe for some people with very serious health conditions, but even then, who knows? I don`t see what is wrong with anecdotal, if said anecdote is my own life (that`s all the evidence I need, every body works their own way).

    Reply
  64. Those of us that have had disasterous outcomes from vlc, well surely we must have been doing something wrong, maybe if we spend lots of money and become clients, and have them making sure every single thing is in perfect place we would not have had are hair falling out, our energy taken away, our sleep ruined, our thyroid numbers screwed up, and more. Crock of shit, don’t believe them, in fact why would they be wasting time here, because they want to find more clients and maybe if they keep saying that they do it the RIGHT way, one of us, in a weak moment, will doubt ourselves and forget the hell that happened to us on vlc and become sheep once again and open our wallets. Very low carb is dangerous!

    Reply
    • I am convinced that ultra low carb is very dangerous. I was on something called the Carb Nite Solution (30 g or less with weekly refeeds). After decades of fasting blood glucose in the low 80s, my FBG shot up to 96 after one month on the diet. Post prandial would get as high as 162. I am convinced that ULC has made me insulin resistant, and I despite the fact I am off the diet for 3 months, my numbers are still high. I only hope I can repair the damage I unwittingly did to my body with this nonsense.

      Reply
      • From Dr. Kurt Harris:
        “That’s the main fallacy of the LC crowd’s belief that eating low carb means lower average blood glucose levels – it doesn’t for most people.”

        “It’s actually the VLC eaters that have higher physiologic IR and higher fasting BG to compensate for less reliable dietary glucose delivery. The body’s compensation for VLC that is attempting to make BG more stable in a glucose-scarce dietary regime means higher fasting BG and lower BG rises with the typical VLC meal.

        When going back to moderate carbs, the post meal BG may rise more, but the fasting and inter-meal BG falls due to reduced physiologic IR.”

        Reply
        • “That’s the main fallacy of the LC crowd’s belief that eating low carb means lower average blood glucose levels – it doesn’t for most people.”

          ****Dr. Harris, like many other well-meaning MD’s doesn’t get it on this point. BG is tighly regulated. But that does not mean that when you eat a lot of carbohydrate you are not overworking the b-cells to a large degree to keep BG levels normal.

          “It’s actually the VLC eaters that have higher physiologic IR and higher fasting BG to compensate for less reliable dietary glucose delivery. The body’s compensation for VLC that is attempting to make BG more stable in a glucose-scarce dietary regime means higher fasting BG and lower BG rises with the typical VLC meal.”

          *****Again he isn’t seeing the issue clearly. It’s not IR as is seen in obese T2 diabetics. When you eat a VLC diet, there is no need for the body to produce much insulin. There is always insulin (except in T1D). So when someone on a VLCD takes a GTT, it seems as if they have IR. But its just that their bodies have not has to produce so much insulin.

          It’s akin to vegans eating meat again. They feel ill when they do. This is not because meat is bad for them, they just are not used to creating the enzymes required for digesting meats. After a time, they can and do. Same for the VLC dieter. After a time on more carbohydrate, their GTT normalizes. But this does not mean there was anything wrong before.

          “When going back to moderate carbs, the post meal BG may rise more, but the fasting and inter-meal BG falls due to reduced physiologic IR.”

          *****See above. As long as fasting BG is within normal limits, it’s fine. FE, my FBG is between 90-100. My fasting insulin is <1. So my HOMA score is fantastic as is my HBA1c.

          Reply
          • I’m pretty sure Dr. Harris DOES get it.

          • The question is, how long does it take to normalize? I’ve been off VLC for 3 months (after 5 months on) and my fasting glucose is still in the 90s when it used to be low 80s.

          • “I’m pretty sure Dr. Harris DOES get it.”

            ****He’s a doctor, not a scientist. And given what you quoted, he doesn’t.

          • No he doesn’t agree with your OPINION. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t “get it”. Big difference.

    • “Those of us that have had disasterous outcomes from vlc, well surely we must have been doing something wrong,”

      ****Yes. Many do. They do not meet their RDA of micronutrients. I see this often.

      “maybe if we spend lots of money and become clients, and have them making sure every single thing is in perfect place we would not have had are hair falling out, our energy taken away, our sleep ruined, our thyroid numbers screwed up,”

      ****No need to spend lots of money. Get a free app like Lose It! Type in what you eat and then check out the total nutrient content. It’s pretty easy. Just think about it…how could reducing the total carbs/sugar in your diet make your hair fall out and cause hormonal issues? This only happens when a person is deficient in micronutrients.

      “Crock of shit, don’t believe them, in fact why would they be wasting time here, because they want to find more clients and maybe if they keep saying that they do it the RIGHT way, one of us, in a weak moment, will doubt ourselves and forget the hell that happened to us on vlc and become sheep once again and open our wallets. Very low carb is dangerous!”

      ****How you formulate ANY diet has do be done correctly. It’s not LC that is dangerous, it’s how the diet is formulated. Most LC dieters eat far too much protein, far too little fat and not nearly enough organ meats and varied plant matter. Low energy is typical until fat beceomes the main source of fuel. Doesn’t last too long for most. But hair falling out? No way. You were severely deficient in some important micronutrients for that to have happened.

      Reply
  65. Fred…

    You like going in circles, don’t you?

    My questioning why my statement was empty had nothing to do with anything but your implying I should “educate myself” by reading Wheat Belly. How, then, my replying to your “kind suggestion” might not be of an “argumentative” nature is a little beyond me… (Tell me Fred, do you understand the meaning of some of those “big” words you use?)

    You further add to the insult, stating that I can’t comment on it, since I haven’t read it–which I have, thank you–and then further insisting that I “know nothing about it”?!!?

    If that’s not *empty*, I’m not sure what is…

    I “prefer not to address the scientific issues directly” you say? FRED, you’ve got to be kidding me. You inevitably always go down the same line in these online discussions. Do you have a list of copy/paste comments you just like to use at complete random in these types of discussions? Are you just a professional troll maybe?

    You have kept on posting ONE study in this whole thread to support your argument for glucose being the culprit in beta-cell death, which I addressed above with many points.

    Then you mention Wheat Belly and, rather than me reinventing the wheel, I linked you to some peers of mine who have already done a good job of exposing Davis’s work for what it is: dishonest pseudoscience propaganda.

    I can’t believe too I had forgotten to link to Dr. Freedhoff’s review (thank you Trina!), since I have continually done research and translation work for the Ottawa Bariatric Medical Institute. (Here’s the link to the review: http://www.weightymatters.ca/2013/02/diet-book-review-wheat-belly.html)

    Oh, and Fred, before I go: you can’t “SHOW” anything with ONE study! Not even many studies really… The presence of but one black swan (and, there are MANY more than one here) to contradict your assumptions is grounds for having to reconsider some of those assumptions. Assuming you are being honest of course. And not imbued with cognitive dissonance, as you evidently are.

    Arguably the only relevant words you have written in this whole thread were as follows:

    “No one is blaming sugar.”

    Glad you recognized that…

    Reply
    • “You like going in circles, don’t you?”

      ****No actually. It’s a pain to have to same the same thing thrice.

      “My questioning why my statement was empty had nothing to do with anything but your implying I should “educate myself” by reading Wheat Belly. How, then, my replying to your “kind suggestion” might not be of an “argumentative” nature is a little beyond me… (Tell me Fred, do you understand the meaning of some of those “big” words you use?)”

      ****Yes I do.

      “You further add to the insult, stating that I can’t comment on it, since I haven’t read it–which I have, thank you–and then further insisting that I “know nothing about it”?!!?”

      ****You read it did you? OK my apologies. The way you spoke about it made it seem as if you hadn’t read it.

      “If that’s not *empty*, I’m not sure what is…I “prefer not to address the scientific issues directly” you say? FRED, you’ve got to be kidding me. You inevitably always go down the same line in these online discussions. Do you have a list of copy/paste comments you just like to use at complete random in these types of discussions? Are you just a professional troll maybe?”

      ****You’re being argumentative gain.

      “You have kept on posting ONE study in this whole thread to support your argument for glucose being the culprit in beta-cell death, which I addressed above with many points.”

      ****I have not see the post. I’ll look.

      “Then you mention Wheat Belly and, rather than me reinventing the wheel, I linked you to some peers of mine who have already done a good job of exposing Davis’s work for what it is: dishonest pseudoscience propaganda.”

      ****They were argumentative and biased. Not very scientific.

      “I can’t believe too I had forgotten to link to Dr. Freedhoff’s review (thank you Trina!), since I have continually done research and translation work for the Ottawa Bariatric Medical Institute. (Here’s the link to the review: http://www.weightymatters.ca/2013/02/diet-book-review-wheat-belly.html) Oh, and Fred, before I go: you can’t “SHOW” anything with ONE study! Not even many studies really… The presence of but one black swan (and, there are MANY more than one here) to contradict your assumptions is grounds for having to reconsider some of those assumptions. Assuming you are being honest of course. And not imbued with cognitive dissonance, as you evidently are.”

      ****Show me some good evidence that supports a high carb diet to combat obesity. Rather than talk and act like as you are, present the evidence.

      “Arguably the only relevant words you have written in this whole thread were as follows: “No one is blaming sugar.” Glad you recognized that…”

      ****OK.

      Reply
  66. “Ah … Fred, you know Yoni is a doctor and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute right? I hardly consider him a “random” person.”

    ****That’s nice. I never said a thing about him.

    “And FTR, since you brought him up, it was Dr. Davis’ assertions like this, “Carbohydrate intake of 100-150 grams per day virtually guarantees (with only occasional exceptions, such as 20-year old premenopausal long-distance athletes) expression of excessive glycemic phenomena along with small LDL particles. … With rare exceptions, most of us can tolerate 15 grams “net” carbohydrates per meal or per 6 hour digestive “window” before we start to express these abnormal patterns.” that I followed which led to my unfortunate hormonal disaster that has taken me SIX months to try and correct.”

    ***I am sorry to hear about your problem. Again, a low carbohydrate intake in and of itself cannot cause or be the reason why you had hormonal problems. It was a lack of the micronutrients found within those carbohydrates that allowed for the hormonal disruption. Glucose in and of itself is not the issue as gluconeogenesis takes care of that on a low carb diet. I put to you that you were not on a well formulated low carb diet.

    “I’ve since been told that statements like this are SILLY (people have actually said worse) and not backed by medical studies. Very IRRESPONSIBLE for someone to talk like that and use their MD status. VERY dangerous.”

    ****He is stating what he has found in his clinical practice. He is not just making stuff up.

    “On top of that, his recommendation to keep BG from rising after a meal (or never going above 100) is also nonfactual and DANGEROUS. Never once does he tell you that trying to accomplish this puts you in a state of constant ketosis.”

    ****What is wrong with being in constant ketosis? The Inuit and doezens of other peoples lived like this for genrations.

    “From DR Kurt Harris, “I am pretty sure you have me confused with Dr. WIlliam Davis. We both are MDs but otherwise have very little in common in terms of dietary outlook.”

    *****OK

    “I have never said such a thing and would not as it is patently ridiculous. Elevating your blood sugar after a CHO rich meal is totally normal and I think once you have determined you are not diabetic, obsessively testing your pp glucose levels just leads to orthorexia.”

    ****No one is saying to do it “obsessively.” If you understand the reasons why you must test and test frequently for a time at least, it will not lead to such a condition. The idea is NOT to eat so much sugar at one time. We only have ~2-4 grams of BG at any one time.

    “The idea that one must have zero BG rise after a meal is also not supported by any of the literature I’ve read.”

    *****I don’t know what you’ve read but if you read more you’ll see that many LC docs recommend that you do not exceed an amount of carbs that will raise your blood sugar much ablove normal.

    Reply
    • The Kitivans prove nothing but the Inuit do? That’s hypocritical.

      Reply
      • The point is that the Inuit lived eating a VLCD for generations. They did not experience any of the negative health issues many here claim to have experienced. The reason why? It was well formulated. They ate plenty of organ meats (most LC folks here in America NEVER eat organ meats), fermented foods and fat. Most LC advocates I know do not formulate their diets properly. I know because used to be one.

        Reply
        • The Inuit were reported to have aged much more quickly, looking 10-20 years older than people of comparable age in Europe at the time of Stefannsson’s travels, and typically dying of old age in their 60’s.

          Reply
          • “The Inuit were reported to have aged much more quickly, looking 10-20 years older than people of comparable age in Europe at the time of Stefannsson’s travels, and typically dying of old age in their 60′s.”

            ***Looking older? Matt, Jesus H. Can you say freezing cold weather? And you misrepresent their age. They had no antibiotics. What is your point really? You dodge EVERY point I make WRT the study I posted and toss out anecdotal evidence as if its fact. You tread on very thin nutritional ground Matt. Be careful. You are making patently false statements.

    • “Again, a low carbohydrate intake in and of itself cannot cause or be the reason why you had hormonal problems.”

      Did you not read this?

      “Similar patterns of reduced T3 and elevated cortisol excretion were recently seen in a clinical trial of a 10% carb weight maintainance diet. [4] This trial shows that even in the absence of calorie restriction, carb restriction is sufficient to reproduce much of the “athlete triad”/starvation hormonal pattern.
      This pattern reaches its most extreme form in anorexia:”
      – See more at: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2012/10/very-low-carb-dieting-are-the-hormonal-changes-risk-free/#sthash.AN9zYmsK.dpuf

      CARB RESTRICTION ALONE is sufficient to reproduce starvation.

      Reply
      • The question is, did YOU read the entire article and the citation?

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22735432?dopt=AbstractPlus

        Among overweight and obese young adults compared with pre-weight-loss energy expenditure, isocaloric feeding following 10% to 15% weight loss resulted in decreases in REE and TEE that were greatest with the low-fat diet, intermediate with the low-glycemic index diet, and least with the very low-carbohydrate diet.

        And as I said, very often low carb diets are NOT properly formulated.

        Reply
        • Fixating on “weight loss/fat loss” and/or “acute blood sugar readings” and/or “fat burning”, as I’ve alluded to on a more than few occasions above, should be understood within the very narrow context they are being (wrongly, I would add) prescribed for.

          Coincidentally, our good friend Danny has just today addressed (wonderfully too!) some of the many concepts I wished people like Fred would actually consider, just once.

          What does a RQ of 7.0 and a constant overemphasized reliance on fatty acids REALLY imply, at the cellular level, and in the longer term…

          http://www.dannyroddy.com/main/2013/8/19/a-bioenergetic-view-of-high-fat-diets-part-ii-metabolic-stress

          Reply
    • Trina – Did you read the study? Obese people have higher BMD than thin people. And the so-called Eskimos did not have deficient BMD.

      Reply
  67. Wow – can we please stop the “my dick is bigger than your dick” posturing. We have two opposing philosophies and no amount of ‘science’ from either side is likely to change each other’s minds. Just agree to disagree and get back to something that science cannot refute – our own individual experience. The main difference I see is not whether carbs are good or bad, but that Matt offers choice. He gives his opinions, he gives supporting data and he gives us metabolic markers to follow but always seems to go back to ‘now just play with it and see how it affects your body using your own metabolism as a marker.’ This is very different to the ‘one size fits all’ approach. Fred, you may be a biologist but when it comes to my body I am the expert because I live in it 24/7. Theories may be fine but only if they work with my individual physiology. You’ve made your point – although I don’t think it was the most intelligent forum to do it on – now go away.

    Reply
    • Jen – You miss the point entirely. Matt is completely misinterpreting the data and offering dangerous solutions to diabetics. The science is clear. I suggest you read it.

      Reply
  68. All arguments aside, the proof is, as they say, in the puddin’…no not a stevia sweetened protein pudding, but a big bowl of delicious, creamy, sugary pudding.

    I’ve been low carbing since the mid 90’s. Initially I felt great, but it didn’t last. So in 2001, I went to a more balanced diet for about a year. Then with further research, I concluded I wasn’t fully committed to a truly low carb diet. So, in 2002 I jumped back on the low carb horse, but this time I was determined to follow every esoteric finding ‘to the letter’. And boy did I go for it. My fridge was stocked with raw grass-fed butter,pasture meat/liver/kidney/brain/heart, pasture tallow/schmaltz/lard, Amish eggs, a plethora of organic veggies (but hold the carrots and potatoes…and go easy on the turnips), homemade sauerkraut, homemade bone soup (adding chicken feet! lol) and abstinence from fruit and anything sweet. (Okay, I did occasionally indulge in a piece of 88% chocolate…GUILTY!…but for eleven years I did a great job at staying committed.

    I didn’t do it to lose weight – I was trim enough. I did it to achieve optimal health. In the end, I lost a ton of weight and lost my health. Years of what seemed like consuming the most intelligent food on earth ending in complete failure. Low energy, terrible stamina, freezing hands and feet, etc…not to mention the 1000’s of hours I wasted PREPARING the food, and all my friends and family members who thought I lost my damn mind. Fail, fail, fail.

    Low carb eating may work for some. Hell, there’s plenty of studies to suggest so. But, as many of you all know, in the long run it has failed thousands of people.

    I no longer read the research. (Except for here.) Starch and sugar has saved my life. No, it didn’t happen overnight. And the first couple of weeks were rough as my pancreas woke up from years of neglect. But, since January of this year, I’ve managed to gain some much needed weight, warm my body, end back pain and get my life back. For that, I thank you Matt, and everyone else on here that’s recovering from listening to the “experts” from the bottom of my heart. …Now I’m going to go eat some puddin’!

    Reply
    • “All arguments aside, the proof is, as they say, in the puddin’…no not a stevia sweetened protein pudding, but a big bowl of delicious, creamy, sugary pudding.
      I’ve been low carbing since the mid 90′s. Initially I felt great, but it didn’t last. So in 2001, I went to a more balanced diet for about a year. Then with further research, I concluded I wasn’t fully committed to a truly low carb diet. So, in 2002 I jumped back on the low carb horse, but this time I was determined to follow every esoteric finding ‘to the letter’. And boy did I go for it. My fridge was stocked with raw grass-fed butter,pasture meat/liver/kidney/brain/heart, pasture tallow/schmaltz/lard, Amish eggs, a plethora of organic veggies (but hold the carrots and potatoes…and go easy on the turnips), homemade sauerkraut, homemade bone soup (adding chicken feet! lol) and abstinence from fruit and anything sweet. (Okay, I did occasionally indulge in a piece of 88% chocolate…GUILTY!…but for eleven years I did a great job at staying committed.”

      ****Right there your showing that you don’t know what a WELL CONSTRUCTED PALEO DIET is. No one is saying you can’t eat fruit and vegetables.

      “I didn’t do it to lose weight – I was trim enough. I did it to achieve optimal health. In the end, I lost a ton of weight and lost my health. Years of what seemed like consuming the most intelligent food on earth ending in complete failure.”

      *****Let me get this straight – you allowed your health to suffer for years?

      “Low energy, terrible stamina, freezing hands and feet, etc…not to mention the 1000′s of hours I wasted PREPARING the food, and all my friends and family members who thought I lost my damn mind. Fail, fail, fail.”

      ****If this really happened, you were then deficient in micronutrients. You were not preparing your food correctly and not eating enough vegetalbes.

      “Low carb eating may work for some. Hell, there’s plenty of studies to suggest so. But, as many of you all know, in the long run it has failed thousands of people.
      I no longer read the research. (Except for here.) Starch and sugar has saved my life. No, it didn’t happen overnight. And the first couple of weeks were rough as my pancreas woke up from years of neglect. But, since January of this year, I’ve managed to gain some much needed weight, warm my body, end back pain and get my life back. For that, I thank you Matt, and everyone else on here that’s recovering from listening to the “experts” from the bottom of my heart. …Now I’m going to go eat some puddin’!”

      ****Explain how sugar and starch – in and of themselves – help to make a person healthy?

      Reply
  69. I haven’t taken the time to read every one of these comments, but I base my diet on what makes me feel good. I was eating the SAD until my daughter was born with severe allergies. I went on GAPS with her and ate very low carb with very little fruit or honey. I was trying to starve my candida out. I kept feeling worse, so I would go lower and lower carb. After 6 months, I quit because I saw no improvements and I was starting to put on unneeded weight, feel depressed and lethargic, and have sleep issues. My hypoglycemia was terrible. I got pregnant soon after going off and had my first miscarriage. Thank goodness I found this blog and got over my carbophobia. I feel so much better with more carbs – I’m still healing, but when I get enough carbs and a good night’s sleep, I feel almost normal.

    Reply
    • “I haven’t taken the time to read every one of these comments, but I base my diet on what makes me feel good.”

      ***That’s not always a great idea.

      “I was eating the SAD until my daughter was born with severe allergies. I went on GAPS with her and ate very low carb with very little fruit or honey. I was trying to starve my candida out. I kept feeling worse, so I would go lower and lower carb. After 6 months, I quit because I saw no improvements and I was starting to put on unneeded weight,”

      ****If this is true, then you were not eating a well formulated low carb diet.

      “feel depressed and lethargic, and have sleep issues. My hypoglycemia was terrible. I got pregnant soon after going off and had my first miscarriage. Thank goodness I found this blog and got over my carbophobia. I feel so much better with more carbs – I’m still healing, but when I get enough carbs and a good night’s sleep, I feel almost normal.”

      ****It’s not the carbs that make you feel better. It is the micronutrients in the carbs that can be obtained on a LC diet as well. Q: How did you overcome your candida?

      Reply
  70. Oh my, am I confused! I think I have been refeeding my entire 60 years. I have always eaten lots of food, most of it “wholesome” (sorry about the quotations, everything seems to be in question.) I read Adele Davis in high school and have been eating organic, whole grain, no junk, no partially hydro oils, for 25 years. I have been 20 to 40 pounds overweight forever, except when breastfeeding, could never lose weight, never restricted calories or food groups for more than a few days (hours?) Never had an eating disorder except for overeating. An active life but with no “training” of any sort. No pharmaceuticals, alcohol or coffee. I love to eat and cook, it is my greatest joy, I used to be the queen of bakers, so why am I not the picture of health? Low body temperature, many other signs of poor thyroid, high cortisol, poor sleep, hot flashes, HSV1, high fasting BS. 15 years ago I started reacting to grains, a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast? Someone might as well have slipped me a Mickey. Even now, sugar free, organic, homemade applesauce on my morning “paleo” pancakes, just a few tablespoons, back to bed. I can tolerate some low sugar fruit (with plenty of fat) in the evening but then if I’m tired it doesn’t really matter. All I can eat in the morning and feel good are bacon and eggs and I feel best when I eat nothing til about 11 or 12. Lowish carb ( lots of sat fat, fermented raw dairy, moderate meat, vegies and fruit, including some sweet and white potatoes, nuts (I love nuts, too many PUFAs???) and intermittent fasting is the only way I seem to be able to not feel lousy and not gain weight. Who can I trust? I don’t have much of a scientific background. I have been following the Chrises Kesser and Masterjohn, as well as WAPF, but the info on this site seems to contradict much that they say. Well, that was probably more than anyone is interested in but I’d love suggestions, comments. Thanks

    Reply

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