The Low-Carb Oops

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For quite some time now I’ve been bashing the very simple idea that low-carbohydrate proponents get repeatedly tripped up on. Everyone from Barry Sears to Gary Taubes lives under the false idea that:

1) Insulin is bad.
2) Carbohydrates are bad because they cause temporary spikes in insulin levels.
3) Eating too many carbohydrates over many years causes insulin to not work very well anymore, “wearing out the mechanism,” known as insulin resistance.

Trouble is, there are some major illogical glitches in this nonsense. The first and foremost glitch is that many, if not most human beings throughout history have been found to eat lots of carbohydrates and have excellent health. In no shape or form did any of the groups that Weston A. Price observed eating loads of carbohydrates exemplify any of the telltale signs of being insulin resistant. T.L. Cleave echoes this perfectly in his books, which is ironic seeing that his work is often used to support low-carb lunacy. He supported the idea that “truckloads” of unrefined carbohydrates can do the body “nothing but good.” His primary conclusion had nothing to do with the carbohydrate itself, but refined sugar – something totally different. He said simply:

“The chief problem in the present diet, however, concerns how to avoid eating ordinary sugar, and all the sweet things containing it.”

Insulin is certainly not “bad” either. It is just as essential and beneficial as any other hormone in the human body. Yes, there is an epidemic of excessive insulin levels in the modern world, but that doesn’t make insulin bad. That just makes excessive insulin bad. Excessive anything is bad when it comes to any biochemical. There’s no such thing as a “more the better” when it comes to any physiological component. The human organism depends on a synergistic balance.

So carbohydrates raise insulin levels temporarily to store away glucose into cells. Is that a bad thing? Of course it’s not. The rise and fall of insulin is no different than the rise and fall of your chest as your breathe.

The biggest flaw; however, is the idea that repeatedly raising insulin levels will somehow trigger insulin resistance over time. This is nonsense. The rural Zulu’s and modern day Kitavans, who both eat insulin-raising carbohydrates at every meal never went on to show signs of insulin resistance. They didn’t show signs of it because THEY WEREN’T INSULIN RESISTANT! Insulin resistance is something that appears to be triggered only in a reduced metabolic state – something I’ve reasonably concluded by following the work of Broda Barnes and Mark Starr – two men who reported never seeing a case of type II diabetes (severe insulin resistance) occur in someone with a closely monitored metabolism.

Since the only known substance that can reliably trigger insulin resistance in humans and animal subjects – something that was also introduced at the onset of modern disease – and something that has been associated with insulin resistance syndromes such as hypoglycemia, poor glucose tolerance testing, cavities and so on for going on a century is sugar. Not just any sugar, as straight glucose from starchy foods absolutely cannot induce insulin resistance – but fructose. Not surprisingly, the consumption of fructose is one of the two largest dietary changes to take place during mankind’s “ascent” to modernism.

Now it’s understood that fructose is uniquely capable of exhausting cellular ATP. Looking for a pathway that fructose could slow down someone’s metabolism? Look no further. Maybe this is why the endless list of health problems associated with a low basal metabolism didn’t emerge en masse until the abuse of fructose-laden refined sugars, devoid of elements that counteract many of the metabolic harms that fructose inflicts, became widespread in the late 1800’s. Are these all just coincidences? Ha.

The only problem is that it’s just too simple for most people to believe – that modern diseases that are on the rise are almost 100% attributable, at the core, to sugar consumption. Well, um, sorry that it’s not more complicated and that you don’t need a couple of advanced degrees to understand it.

William Dufty put it best in 1975 health legend-that-everybody-ignored, Sugar Blues, when he said:

“The mind truly boggles when one glances over what passes for medical history. Through the centuries, troubled souls have been barbecued for bewitchment, exorcised for possession, locked up for insanity, tortured for masturbatory madness, psychiatrized for psychoses, lobotomized for schizophrenia. How many patients would have listened if the local healer had told them that the only thing ailing them was sugar blues?”

Anyway, before I get too carried away with this tangent, here is my collection of quotes from the recently-released The Sugar Fix, by Richard Johnson. But first, in a recent book review that I wrote, I had this to say:

“Overall, this book is a complete disgrace to anyone of intellect. At the same time, it contains some of the most important information on human health that is circulating in the world today. Go figure. I’ll have to make some amendments and come out with something far better someday. Can I get an amen?!”

So maybe some of these cliff notes will save you the trouble of reading about low-calorie diets and “low fat dairy products” and “artery-clogging saturated fat.”

But pay close attention to them indeed, particularly in terms of what’s written above. It obliterates one of the key fundamentals of low-carb science dogma:

Johnson, Richard J. The Sugar Fix. Pocket Books: New York, NY, 2008.

p. xiv
“As it became increasingly clear that eating too much fructose could make you gain weight and get sick, some people involved in our project began to experiment with their diets by cutting back on sugar, HFCS, and other sources of fructose. All of them lost a significant amount of weight.”

p. xix
“…fructose has unusual metabolic qualities that truly set it apart from other types of sugar, rarely for the better.”

p. 8
“…animals gain weight very quickly and develop other unhealthy symptoms when they eat too much fructose. Yet the same thing does not occur when animals are fed equal amounts of other sugars. In fact, eating fructose causes far more accumulation of abdominal fat – the most dangerous kind – than other forms of sugar, even if the same number of calories is consumed.”

p. 33
“…the typical American drinks 56 gallons of soft drinks per year. That’s an increase of 70 percent since 1977.”

p. 37
“The case against sugar – and against fructose in particular – as a major health threat has been building for years. Much of the preliminary evidence comes from the field of epidemiology, the branch of medicine that examines the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations, with an eye toward ferreting out potential causes.”

p. 42
“Many parents continue to believe that it’s better to give their children fruit juice instead of soda, even though compelling evidence suggests that consuming too much fructose from any source expands waistlines. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 32 percent of preschool children who drank more than 12 ounces of fruit juice per day were obese. Among children who drank less fruit juice just 9 percent were dramatically overweight.”

p. 55
“…we have powerful direct evidence to show that consuming too much fructose-rich sugar and HFCS causes the toxic brew of conditions known as metabolic syndrome. Moreover, this same body of research suggests that starchy foods do not induce metabolic syndrome.”

p. 62
“This much is not open to debate: Consuming sugar can trigger all of the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome. And the element in sugar that contributes to weight gain, raises blood pressure, elevates blood fats, and causes other dangerous symptoms appear to be fructose… Studies directly comparing fructose and glucose show that fructose produces symptoms of metabolic syndrome, while glucose generally does not.”

p. 72
“A number of other studies have shown that eating a high-fructose diet makes cells resist insulin. For example, Dr. Yudkin found that about one-third of his study subjects who consumed high-sugar diets became insulin resistant. In another especially interesting study, Danish researchers asked seven men to eat their normal diets for 1 week, with an additional 1,000 calories of pure glucose each day. The result? Nothing. Their insulin worked fine. A high intake of glucose had no effect on cells and their ability to use insulin. When the men switched from glucose to 1,000 calories of extra fructose every day, however, the results were much different: Special blood tests showed that the participants’ insulin became 25 percent less effective over the course of 1 week.”

p. 108
“Consuming highly palatable food such as fructose appears to cause many of the same behaviors and neurochemical changes in the brain that occur in the brains of people who use addictive drugs. For example, in a study from researchers at Princeton University, laboratory rats that had grown accustomed to consuming sugar-laced water and chow became anxious and developed withdrawal-like symptoms such as chattering teeth and tremors – when deprived of sweets for an extended period. When these foods were returned to the rats’ diets, they ate and drank nonstop, greedily filling themselves. The Princeton group also found that during these sugar binges, the rats produced high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in a region of the brain believed to govern pleasure – the same thing that happens in the brains of people who use amphetamines and cocaine. In addition, sugar bingeing seems to produce brain changes similar to those caused by opiate drugs, such as heroin and morphine.”

p. 120
“It’s worth noting here that the glucose in starchy foods may cause blood glucose levels to rise, which stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. But this is normal and healthy. Dietary glucose does not cause insulin resistance; fructose does.”

p. 137
“If you struggle with gastrointestinal problems, adopting a low-fructose diet may help. A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 74 percent of IBS patients who cut back on their fructose consumption experienced a significant drop in gastrointestinal symptoms.”

p. 160
“And so begins a vicious cycle caused by eating high-GI foods, which overstimulate the pancreas. It’s an interesting theory, but it is not well supported by the metabolic facts. Stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin is not the problem. Your body is supposed to produce insulin when blood glucose levels rise, so that’s normal and healthy. It is insulin resistance that is closely linked to metabolic syndrome and weight gain. Glucose does not cause insulin resistance. Fructose does. Glucose does not trick your body into persistent hunger. Fructose does.”

148 Comments

  1. Interesting hypothesis. I have two questions for you:

    Do you think eating fruits is good for the health? Why (not)?

    Can you give references to some convincing studies linking fructose to morbidity or mortality?

    Reply
  2. I have two questions as well :D

    I think you may really be on the right track, and I applaud you for showing how the low-carb emperor isn't wearing any clothes. I can see for myself, thyroid and metabolic issues are definitely more important than insulin.

    I am wondering, though–why do you think Ray Peat likes sugar (OJ, etc.) so much for raising thyroid? I usually have a lot of respect for his views, which are pretty heretical as well.

    Where does lactose sugar (galactose) fit in? Is it also best avoided or is it quite different from fructose?

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  3. My question is along the lines of the previous questions. Where is the line drawn? How much sugar (fructose) must one consume and how often for it to cause damage? Drinking some fruit juice or eating some fruit every day or unheated honey hasn't seemed to cause any problems for me, but then again Im not eating mass quantities nor has it been long term. But it seems to me that refined sugar/fructose would be different than fruit/honey fructose, or perhaps something in the fruit/honey would keep the fructose from being a problem.

    -Drew

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  4. Ray Peat doesn't seem to talk too much about fructose – he believes glucose raises blood sugar faster than a fructose/glucose ratio (aka, fruit). Then he goes on to say that a steady blood sugar is important for proper thyroid function.

    The thing about that is, if blood sugar were to be steadier on glucose than he imagined, then his hypothesis on that wouldn't pan out. At least he explains what the goal is – and no one should want extremities in blood sugar.

    It's funny to read about two different people who have a ton in common – but have important things not in common. I mean, Ray Peat said he used to cure his migraines with ice cream (the kind with sugar). He attributes sugar (the white stuff, and fruit) to many things and absolutely seems to repent starches (other than occasional corn and potatoes). Now, Matt, you're pretty much a leaner towards the starch. But if you've ever read Ray Peat, he's totally about root causes — being thyroid mainly. I mean, he is focused on hormones (with quite a background on them), and against any bullshit article or flawed test that says saturated fats or what not are evil. He seems to agree about the tongue being the dictator, and focuses on what's natural for us as people.

    But he's got sketchiness like anyone who believes strongly in something does. It's not bad, just, it's tougher to contact Ray Peat is all.

    These are two completely different approaches, really, with the same basic principle, to repair the root cause and actually fix yourself. Regarding that, I think so much is related to each individual's history with health and food. It's not really what's right for so and so, but, what's right for the situation, and how to build up to being completely repaired.

    The thing about taste – we like fruit, right? Some fruits don't have unavoidable seeds (like stone fruit) and don't need you to spread their goods. We can out play those fruit trees n bushes by removing fiber if we don't want it (like monkeys (especially sick ones) will do). But damn there is so much behind that fructose controversy it seems. I just believe from reading both Ray Peat articles and Matt's stuff that there must be a middle ground where both starches and sugars could just be tolerated in whatever fashion that someone wants them. And..more information and experiments/experience from different people.
    I'm doing a little test since, well, I really wanted some fruit after I ditched it for a while. Not really sugar, but, just fruit. It sounds weird to have a craving for fruit only, but, when I added it in it was kind of cool to witness that my cravings didn't get worse but better, and I fill up just as long and just as much on fruit as on starches. Digestion is always weird for me so I can't really judge that yet. I can't really attribute or dismiss anything yet, just that those cravings didn't worsen. It's only been like a few weeks, so, I'm going to see how that turns out.

    oh yeah and AMEN!

    Reply
  5. I think the "middle ground" is illustrated in the Kitavans. They do the starch thing year around but the fructose thing in binges, i.e. only when the fruit is available.

    Reply
  6. I have always strongly disagreed with Peat on sugar vs. starch. I've still never been able to figure out how someone could come to the conclusion that white sugar in ice cream is better than staples of countless healthy humans from past generations. It makes no sense, and one should be wary of refined sugar just based on its parallel with the onset of so many diseases that seem irrefutably related to sugar (such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and cavities).

    There is no question at all that fructose is much more apt to cause low blood sugar episodes than starch. That much is completely unquestionable. The work of Melvin Page and super old-schoolers like E.M. Abrahamson showed that conclusively in extensive glucose tolerance tests.

    By the same token, having a high metabolism will prevent hypoglycemic episodes upon the ingestion of sugar in any form. That doesn't mean it's not whipping the adrenals to pull that off though.

    Some sugar is fine. A lifetime of impossible amounts of it in drug form (refined) is not. It's this massive exposure that causes metabolic changes, beginning with prior generations, that warrants some counterbalancing efforts.

    Fruit is a healthy food, but avoiding it entirely for extended periods of time is excellent advice. Fruit has never played a dominant role in any human diet – not just because it wasn't always available, but because our ancestors probably weren't hardcore sugar addicts. Same goes for honey and other unrefined sweeteners.

    As for an everyday kind of diet, a little fruit here and there – of course. There's no problem with that whatsoever. 56 gallons per year of HFCS-sweetened soda has proved to be somewhat of a problem (average American annual intake).

    But everyone has a different sensitivity level depending on their background/heredity. A Pima Indian probably can get away with far less sugarwise than a lean young Caucasian man or woman. Same could be said of someone with morbidly obese parents. Speaking of Pima's, they ate the crap out of corn, beans, potatoes, and grains prior to the epidemic of diabesity that struck them post-famine era/refined sugar introduction (late 1800's).

    Peat is incorrect about glucose absorbing faster as well. Johnson talks at length toward the end of his book about studies showing that glucose is absorbed much more quickly in the presence of fructose.

    And as far as studies go, most are animal studies. The animal studies with fructose are endless because they use it TO INDUCE INSULIN RESISTANCE, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, OBESITY, AND MORE. Without the fructose, they have a hell of a time pulling that off.

    Do google searches for anything beginning with "fructose-induced…" and you will find more than your share of studies. Try "fructose-induced hypertension" for starters, a well-known facet of the metabolic syndrome pushing America over the edge of the obesity cliff.

    Reply
  7. That's how I throw down too Michael. I still like a good "fruit cleanse" for a few days every few months.

    Reply
  8. I eat everything still, fruits, starches, and lots of saturated fat… i know its the refined sugar, and veggie oils that have destroyed the human DNA… I do try to stay away from the seedless varieties of fruits though.

    I have cut out Gluten completely again, and i am even more optimistic than usual…. gluten seemed to make me emotional sometimes… very weird. I also dropped 4 or 5 pounds of water weight in like two days… i leaned out very quickly…. keeping my potato and rice intake pretty high also.

    I went into the no gluten phase with your three day free for all veggie, fresh veggie juice, whole fruit cleanse… it was fun eating as much fruit and veggies as i wanted!

    Also since i ditched the gluten again, i have way more flexibility, and i am way more limber and can jump really high again.

    I don't think i am gluten intolerant or have celiac or anything like that, but giving up gluten feels really good. I will indulge in gluten here and there again i am sure… who can resist sourdough bread topped with brie or butter….mmm….

    i went and bought the Sugar Blues at Barnes and NOble for 6 bucks… gonna blast through this book this evening…

    troy

    Reply
  9. One reason Peat might be pumped up about OJ is that simple sugars do temporarily raise the metabolism. This is the cellular ATP exhaustion that I mentioned in the post. It gives you an energy buzz and a high in the short-term, which may have misled Peat into thinking that it had some long-term positive metabolic effect. I think he's been duped by this when it comes to caffeine as well. Everyone knows that any stimulant boosts the metabolism in the short run, but at a cost. It exhausts the very glands one hopes to preserve so that hormonal strength can be maintained into old age.

    I think Peat has fallen for that "head fake."

    Reply
  10. Ah, Sugar Blues. Now that's some poetry…

    Dufty, William. Sugar Blues. Warner Books: New York, NY, 1975.

    “After all, heroin is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the poppy and they refine it into opium and then they refine it to morphine and finally to heroin. Sugar is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the cane or the beet and they refine it to molasses and then they refine it to brown sugar and finally to strange white crystals.”

    “To make a long, happy story short, I dropped from 205 pounds to a neat 135 in five months and ended up with a new body, a new head, a new life. One day I burned my Blue Cross card… That was in the 1960’s. Since then I have been sugar-free. I haven’t been near a doctor, a hospital, a pill, or a shot in all that time. I haven’t even touched so much as an aspirin.”

    “Appeals for self-regulation to control sugar diseases are drowned out by the clamor for more millions of federal funds to find a potion, a pill, a shot, perhaps a magical Medicare atomic pancreas pacemaker – which can one day magically conquer disease. We want to have our health and eat our sugarcake too.”

    “The mind truly boggles when one glances over what passes for medical history. Through the centuries, troubled souls have been barbecued for bewitchment, exorcised for possession, locked up for insanity, tortured for masturbatory madness, psychiatrized for psychoses, lobotomized for schizophrenia. How many patients would have listened if the local healer had told them that the only thing ailing them was sugar blues?”

    “Perhaps the sugar pushers are our predators, leading us into temptation, peddling a kind of sweet, sweet, human pesticide which lures greedy seekers after La Dolce Vita into self-destruction, weeding the human garden, naturally selecting the fittest for survival while the rest go down in another biblical flood – not water this time, but Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper – purifying the human race for a new age.”

    Reply
  11. I'm glad someone in bloggerdom is speaking about Sugar Blues. I have been singing the praises of this book for a good two decades, ever since I discovered it in my late teens. It literally changed my life.

    Reply
  12. Where do you come up with all these pigs heads?

    Reply
  13. Hi Matt, just reading your Zine right now. Very interesting, as usual. I have a question about your general strategy, one month as little fructose as possible. I understand that one would of course eschew fruits and refined sugars, but you make no mention of vegetables. Tomatoes, which are of course a fruit, have about half of their calories in the form of fructose, but even Celery gets about 20% of it's calories from fructose. You say that "that there is a huge difference between a tiny bit of fructose and no
    fructose at all" does this mean that the vegetable fruits, true vegetables and even some starches such as sweet potatoes (~1% fructose) should be avoided while following this cleanse?

    Reply
  14. I do believe that fructose is worse than glucose or starch, but if fructose were the only big problem with diets, we would see in it human observational studies.

    Just a random pick from PubMed:

    Obes Rev. 2009 Mar;10 Suppl 1:24-33.

    Diabetes, insulin resistance and sugars.

    Insulin resistance is associated with type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and the dietary factors involved in these metabolic disorders are still misunderstood. In animal studies, sugars, particularly sucrose and fructose, have been shown to decrease insulin sensitivity, with potential association with an induced hypertriglyceridemia. But in humans, the effects of sugars on insulin sensitivity are still debated. The present work first gives an overview of the metabolic pathways that could be implicated in the development of insulin resistance by sugars. Then, a review of the studies (intervention, prospective and cross-sectional) on the relationship between sugars, insulin resistance and diabetes is made in order to determine the level of proof concerning the association of sugars consumption and diabetes. All these studies failed to demonstrate an obvious relationship between the intake of total simple carbohydrates and glycaemic control or risk to develop a type 2 diabetes and particularly specific evidence is missing in terms of sucrose effect on diabetes. Concerning fructose, there are still discrepancies between studies' conclusions about the long-term deleterious effect on diabetes development. But its effect on lipogenesis and triglyceridemia has to be taken into account, considering the growing use of fructose in food industry and sugar-sweetened drinks.
    PMID: 19207533

    Reply
  15. Hi Matt,
    I've just started on Johnson's Sugar Fix but you already have my amen to your book review! In addition to the egregious low fat nonsense, there is some seriously insane crap about avoiding purine rich foods. I am mostly just relying on some basic evolutionary logic here, and what I know of the work of Weston Price, but I did note that Stephan Guyenet said earlier this year on his blog that "the only controlled trial I found suggests that a diet high in purines from animal protein has no effect on the uric acid concentration in the blood, because the body simply excretes any excess":
    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/tokelau-island-migrant-study-gout.html

    Would really like to hear your thoughts on this. Johnson's book unfortunately seems to be something of a double edged sword – if taken at face value you've got to wonder if it won't almost do as much harm as good!

    Reply
  16. P.S. Just read the full Sugar Fix review in your eZine Matt – and of course you nailed it! Taubes accused him of having an overly narrow focus in a letter published on Jimmy Moore's low carb blog site:
    http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/?p=2513

    Myopia is one thing, but as you so perspicaciously observe in your review, rather than simply delivering to us the invaluable fruit of his fructose-focused myopia, he seriously undermines the value of his work by cobbling together a half-arsed politically correct dietary prescription on non-fructose matters. You do everyone a favour by cataloguing what he has to say of importance on fructose. You also thereby do a great favour to those who have a limited book budget and/or no desire to rend their raiments in fustration while wading through the other nonsense in the book.

    Reply
  17. It's not just sugar the low-carbers go on about though. Lots of people have really, really bad reactions to gluten. Stuff you'd never expect, like autism and schizophrenia and MS, are cured or improved by removing all forms of gluten from the diet (primarily wheat). Perhaps it's only the white flour version of gluten that causes the problem, but that hasn't been shown one way or the other.

    Reply
  18. Brock,

    Gluten intolerance as well as other allergies and intolerances generally stems from harms done by refined sugars. Of course removing casein and gluten from a person's diet who does not have the enzymes to break it down is miraculously healing. What's not understood or asked is why the heck would they be damaged by these totally benign proteins? William Dufty's Sugar Blues, which I'm currently re-reading has a brief excerpt on it – bascially stating that without sugar, there are no allergies.

    Lisa,

    Thanks for the kudos. As aggravating as Johnson's book was, I couldn't let the important slice of information on fructose get lost in the lowfat poo-poo. As for purines, I'm sure many people do have trouble excreting them and metabolizing them correctly. In some cases there may be a need to cut down on them, just like there is a need for Autistic children to get gluten and casein out of their diets. But sugar, once again, is the mechanism that screws up the metabolic pathways for uric acid excretion. I guess someone with really high uric acid levels might consider cutting back slightly, but a normal person need not worry about this in the slightest.

    Jari,

    I intentionally try not to follow clinical studies because they can be so dramatically misleading. It's already fully been proven that sugar is the cause of metabolic syndrome, specifically the fructose element. Researchers should not be asking what causes metabolic syndrome, but "why does sugar cause metabolic syndrome?"

    Real life examples like that of the Pima Indians who lived off of starchy staples such as corn, potatoes, beans, and grains with no health problems then later became the most diabetes and obesity-ridden people on earth is a great example. The only change was with their diets, which included the typical fare that ruined the health of every other race of human being ever investigated – namely those observed by Weston A. Price and T.L. Cleave.

    And to keep fructose low enough to undergo healing, it's probably not necessary to get too carried away excluding vegetables with trace amounts, but I do prefer straight starches such as rice, beans, and potatoes over beets, carrots, tomatoes, and other sugary-sweet carbohydrate staples.

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  19. Matt… Do you think, if one excludes fructose completely for some time, will that be enough to let metabolism heal? (without worrying too much about ratios of starch:fat:protein)?

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  20. I don't get it – Why do raw vegans seem to NOT get insulin resistant?

    Some raw foodist have even CURED insulin resistance by switching to a mostly fruit diet.

    Look at all the raw vegans who are even athlethes for example http://www.runningraw.com – Yes they may not be overall healthy since they are underweight, but they are sure as hell not insulin resistant!

    I am NOT convinced it's fructose. Not at all. My grandfather drinks 1 quart of orange juice per day and has done so for as long as I can remember. He especially takes a big glass of the pasteurized kind at his eggs and bacon breakfast. He is still alive, healthy and NOT-OBESE, NON diabetic, at 89.

    Even the Kitavans you give example of ate fruit and plenty other tribes eat bananas like crazy.

    Ray Peat is a molecular biologist and you are a reporter. Ray Peat has read all the papers from Broda Barnes etc. so he knows about metabolism. All those expert condemning sugar think it "leeches" vitamins and minerals are not necessarily right. According to Ray Peat, sugars speed up metabolism, so of course you need MORE nurtients if you are burning through them faster. For example a person with a 2x metabolism needs 2x the amounts of the same nutrients. That's why the SAD diet fails: it is devoid of nutrients but plenty of sugar: sugar causes high metabolism but only as long as the body has enough nutrients to support that high metabolism. If the nutrients are not present, then, of course the metabolism dies. Read some more ray peat lol

    I personally drink 1 pint or 1 quart of OJ per day and am in excellent health.

    Maybe its the COMBINATION of fructose with other foods such as a lot of fat that is bad? But I still don't think so.

    Reply
  21. No healthy person can ruin their health eating natural foods. Fruit and fruit juice has nothing directly to do with disease. The generation before ours can get away with a lot that the children of today cannot. What now, are you going to point out that grandpa also ate gluten for every meal and that autistic kids should be able to live healthy lives to age 89 chowing down on gluten? Our collective health is incomparable to that of prior generations. They had the glandular health to withstand all kinds of torture.

    They obviously screwed up big time though. Take a look around at the generations they have created. We're a disaster. 67% overweight in the U.S.?!

    But simple sugars, fructose being the worst, cause radical fluctuations in blood sugar levels in those who do not have the glandular health to prevent such crashes. Starches, on the other hand, prevent such dives, making them superior.

    And people don't have high metabolisms. They have pitifully low metabolisms. That's the epidemic. Go to Mississipi and tell all the people slugging Pepsi that sugar raises the metabolism. They'll laugh their fat asses off.

    Since it is protein-deficient, a raw vegan diet is too catabolic to induce insulin resistance. They hardly produce insulin or anything other than adrenaline until they eventually collapse.

    Also, running and exercise counters the negative effects of fructose, but in the words of T.L. Cleave on that subject: "two wrongs don't make a right."

    Refined sugar, which is a drug not a food, is totally different, but even a starving person (vegan) can't get fat on sugar alone very effectively.

    And yes, ratios of starch, protein, etc. are more or less insignificant in comparison to going sugarfree for an extended period of time. Being relatively consistent with them helps provide blood sugar stability though, which most people need to give up sugar. Otherwise the cravings win out.

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  22. Also Jari – it's hard to find correlations with humans and sugar studies because all humans consume refined sugar. Their predecessors did too. Find a tribe somewhere with no exposure to it and voila – no health problems. It's always been that way. That's a more reliable way to come up with conclusion on it if you ask me.

    Oh yes, and read LESS Ray Peat, lol. Read more Melvin Page, John Yudkin, T.L. Cleave, etc.

    Reply
  23. Hi Matt,

    you have written in one past article as a comment that your progress stopped because of to high protein intake. How much protein was to much for you? And which amount of protein do you eat actually?

    Reply
  24. Matt, can you give us a list of what books by Page, Yudkin, Cleave, etc. you recommend us reading, and in order of importance, or at least what you would call important?
    Thanks

    -Drew

    Reply
  25. Sweet and Dangerous by Yudkin is a classic. It's a great read with T.L. Cleave's book:

    Cleave, T.L. and G.D. Campbell. Diabetes, Coronary Thrombosis, and the Saccharine
    Disease. John Wright & Sons LTD.: Bristol, UK, 1969

    As Cleave directly challenges Yudkin's quasi-Paleo theory.

    E.M. Abrahamson's Mind, Body, and Sugar is a must read.

    Page is probably the most outstanding overall in terms comprehensive understanding of the human organism – especially when it comes to healing and reversing disease, not just simply identifying that sugar is the prime cause. Health vs. Disease and Your Body is Your Best Doctor are his most accessible works.

    Fred,

    I don't think that protein was necessarily the cause of my health problems slowly creeping back. It could have just been the strain of being on a diet too low in carbohydrates for too long. The reintroduction of a higher carbohydrate diet at the expense of a few protein and fat calories seemed to work wonders – especially for digestion, dental health, skin health, and body odor. The transition took a few weeks though.

    Reply
  26. Oh yeah, and the pig's head…

    It's the same pig's head in all the photos I've got. Picked it up in a grocery store in Hawaii. Had some laughs with that thing – and gelatinous broth so thick I could bounce it off the wall after it cooled.

    Reply
  27. Is sugar itself bad, or is it blamed because it has replaced more nutritious foods in the diet? Let's not forget the previous entries and comments sessions where we were careful not to judge too quickly in situations where more than one variable was changed. Example: I was just camping with a very overweight couple, their daily breakfast was Lucky Charms or Honey Nut Cheerios with non-fat milk, a cup of applesauce and a coke or root beer. Too much sugar or not enough fat and/or protein?

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  28. Yeah, it's like, if you add in just sugar to an already nutrient rich diet – is it going to cause problems, and how much is required to do that? And are there exceptions. Do different people react differently? I think it's safe to say that no one would want to eat plain old white sugar or corn syrup (like you would want to eat fruit). The fact that both seem to be paired with tons of other nutrient deprived starches and sugars is what becomes questionable. Like the tribes mentioned – did they all out switch to staples without any value with sugar included? Ray Peat just interprets any old sugar as a fructose/glucose balance (I'm just guessing he has an opinion about other factors) – and he's listed a study they he had done where glucose (from corn starch) was absorbed quicker in mice than a glucose and fructose combination. I mean, that's a weak scientific argument if it's his only one, but how in depth do the other guys go about their studies? Is it just 'this happened' and 'this happened' without taken too in depth in the study? At the same time, Peat just wrote a new article saying corn products are good. So he's focused on the goods of sugars, mostly, and continues to branch out from there. He's got an article coming out about fructose..that I'm curious to read.
    What's interesting is that he wrote a whole article about how vegetable oils plainly, basically, suck for the thyroid and metabolism. How much they slow it down. So what do sugars really do – if they're so often paired with vegetable oils? It's like the butter+rice scenario, no? The butter made the mice die quicker..but that doesn't make it bad, it's in a situation that's, I guess you could say "out of context". If someone is not working to improve their "sugar metabolism" how do we know it might be just them, and not the sugar? Not trying to diss any books I haven't read.
    Just thinking there might be more to this sugar thing..

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  29. That reminds me of a chapter in William Dufty's Sugar Blues entitled – "How to Complicate Simplicity."

    I still maintain that it's more apt to consider refined sugar as a drug with druglike properties.

    The poorest health I've experienced in my lifetime was eating a very nutritious diet with sugar added. I liken it to eating a nutritious diet with one hand and ruining your metabolism with the other. A person with poor glucose tolerance just can't handle refined sugar. Yes it depends on a person's health, but refined sugars are inherently destructive. Only the healthiest of people can withstand repeated use of it over the course of a lifetime.

    Why do obese people eat that way? Do you really think that eating bacon and eggs with a coke and lucky charms would have prevented obesity? I don't.

    They eat that way because the food they eat is siphoned off into fat cells. They are left starving, particularly for glucose. 4 ounces of Coke should give a person a stomachache, yet people can now routinely down 44 ounces. The only fat kid I went to high school with always sat down to eat with a 2-liter bottle of Coke. I was amazed he could drink that much. I always had trouble finishing a 12-ounce can.

    Why do people who drink Diet sodas typically overweight? They aren't displacing nutritious calories elsewhere. Is it because artificial sweeteners have the same druglike properties as refined sugar? That's been my guess.

    Plus, most obese people eat plenty of protein and fat. The more of it they eat the fatter they get.

    In terms of isolating variables, I've yet to see an overweight person go on a zero sugar diet without losing weight unless they went too low in carbs. Ever.

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  30. What about UNrefined sugars?
    I have yet to see any evidence that fruit or honey is harmful.
    Perhaps even unrefined cane sugar may give us all the protection we need.

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  31. Despite the evidence against unrefined sugars, such as that brought forward by Melvin Page, Terry Shintani (showing that fruit/honey/etc. cause greater blood sugar fluctuations), and Richard Johnson (fruit juice's connection with childhood obesity) – I still don't believe that unrefined sugars are inherently harmful. This I believe despite my relatively poor response to them as an individual.

    My question is whether or not, once refined sugar has rendered your sugar tolerance very poor whether natural, unrefined sugars are an acceptable or preferable choice. Acceptable maybe. Preferable – highly doubtful.

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  32. Ha! When I played ball I could eat anything and everything I wanted in whatever amount I wanted without any noticeable effect (other than being very sleepy after a huge meal).

    The prodigious amounts of food I and my teammates put away several times a day would put any competitive eater to shame. You can't imagine until you have actually been involved. Just like it is difficult to understand how athletically gifted these guys are until you are either watching up close and personal or playing alongside them.

    It's the metabolism but, IMO, its almost wholly exercised induced and has little to do with diet. Many team athletes when they finish actively competing blow up weight wise, and some even while they are still playing. And almost all of them get thicker and heavier despite the exercise as the years go by while they are still competing.

    The one's who watch their sugar intake and otherwise try to eat healthy as they understand it have noticeably longer careers because they tend to stay slimmer as the years go by and are less susceptible to injury.

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  33. Hi Matt,

    If you do not mind me asking, what is your blood type? Have you ever looked at the theories regarding blood type and diet and if so, what is your opinion on them.

    Thank you very much in adavance. You blog is very fun to read.

    Jennifer

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  34. Ahhhhh yessss, looking at the Lamar Odom video reminded me of my ball playing days. :-) I thought nothing of a box of powdered donuts, hostess fruit pies, fig newtons, cinnamon buns, foot long hotdogs (not the good kind but the kind you buy from 7-11 loaded with the worst ingredients under the sun), pop-tarts, almond joy candy bars, chicken fried in rancid vegetable oils, milkshakes, and so on. And of course I washed it all down with a quart of orange juice. Yes, those were the days!

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  35. Matt, can you elaborate on this (or direct me to some more reading on it): "I've yet to see an overweight person go on a zero sugar diet without losing weight unless they went too low in carbs. Ever." This is me! I've tried fairly low-carb (60gms/day) but if i for under 90gms/day my metabolism slows right down within a week, i freeze, and have to spend several days gorging on carbs to warm up. It isn't a phase that passes either; it just keeps getting worse with my temperature sinking into the hypothermia range. Thanks so much. Really enjoying this site.

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  36. Unquestionably, fructose is evil. I've been avoiding it for years, except within occasional berries (I almost never eat non-berry fruits). Here's more on fructose:
    http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/10/4/294.pdf

    I also agree that starchy foods are fine in moderation. But, grains are a unique category of starchy foods that should be avoided, because they contain four things that overall put grains in the net-negative column: gluten, lectins, phytic acid, phyto-estrogen.

    Gluten and lectins, especially, are inflammtory agents that through chronic consumption lead to heart disease, cancer, and other inflammtory conditions. LP(a), for example, is a very dangerous type of LDL that is strongly elevated when consuming grains — people can look healthy and fit on the outside, but be developing plaque internally.

    While most doctors are clueless to the grains-CVD connection, they can easily measure your risk to inflammation via grains, via C-reactive protein (request the "high-resolution" test, which is far more reliable).

    You want your CRP level to be as low as possible.

    If your level is higher than you want, simply stop eating grains, and get your test re-taken in six weeks. This should convince you that grains are a seriously unhealthy and unwarranted risk to your diet.

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  37. Scott,

    It's true that many people develop problems with grains. The same could be said of fats. Some people are negatively affected by ingesting them because their bodies are in a state that cannot process them properly. Again, this is not a problem with the fats, but the person.

    I feel the same way about grains. Some of the greatest nutrition and health minds of the 20th century touted grains as one of the ultimate forms of food for a reason. Weston A. Price found plenty of people eating whole grains with excellent health and no heart disease or chronic inflammation. The same could be said of the Hunzas and Sikhs that Robert McCarrison practically worshipped for their fantastic health.

    Common observation tells us that grains simply aren't the chief villians – they're not at the root of the problem.

    Jennifer – I'm proud to say I have no idea what my blood type is. The theories on blood type may appear to make some sense, but in actuality they are pretty nonsensical. A healthy diet can be suitable for not only different races of humans, but even a wide range of species. Robert McCarrison fed grains and milk to monkeys and they achieved perfect health – something they certainly didn't evolve eating. Humans, even moreso than other species, are highly adaptable to different diets.

    Chris,

    I was just speaking about personal observation. When carbs are too low, weight loss is often stalled as ketosis is so counter-metabolic. Even just eating excessive protein was thought to counter the metabolism according to Broda Barnes. I think it's simply a matter of a low-carb diet preventing the metabolic rise that normally would occur when dropping refined sugar and other drugs from the daily diet. You can go somewhat low, which can help keep sugar cravings at bay, but always be cautious of dropping too low. It's a dead end.

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  38. In an earlier post (I believe about your friend's excellent teeth) you stated that a poor diet without sugar is better than an excellent diet with sugar on top. What a powerful (and easy to remember statement that is). I've been gradually reducing my fructose. I go days where my only fructose is from veggies like tomatoes or carrots and it has helped a ton.

    I'm the person who just quit Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle due to allergy problems. You recommended to me to up my calories and replace a chunk of the protein I was eating with saturated fats.

    Not only are my allergies gone, (Almost two months without a single allergy pil or tylenol which I took daily for headaches) at the height of the pollen season, but I haven't gained any weight either. To quit a diet and not gain weight? What the? The last time I quit this diet I packed on 15 pounds in six months. I checked my body fat this morning and no change there.

    I pretty much quit exercising altogether, I'm eating saturated fat for the first time in my life (my dad had heart disease and I don't ever remember eating butter and eggs were looked on with suspicion) and if anything I worry that I'm not getting enough calories some days. (The bad habit of dieting is hard to break.)

    Another bonus: my teeth are better than they've been since I was little. I have always had periodontitis since I was a teen-ager, and my dentist solution has been to badger me about getting braces every few years and recommending I floss and brush three times a day. Since giving up sugar (and tea, I should also note) I've noted a marked improvement. I went a week-end without flossing, something which normally would equal pain and bleeding, with no real effects. In fact my teeth are a wonderful barometer for when I've gotten too much sugar because, I notice after a day of indulgence, a couple days later I'll go back to being bleeding gums Jenny again.

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  39. I have a theory on the artificial sweetners thing. I think most of the people I know who are obese and drink diet soda (which is quite a lot) are still getting a lot of fructose in other ways. They tend to live off processed foods which are loaded with fructose in everything from bread, to salad dressing to ketchup, etc. Also people who drink diet soda tend to be, well dieters. They've broken their metabolism with dieting. Plus many of them were hard core regular soda drinkers before they switched to diet, which is probably what made them fat in the first place. I can trace my own struggle with my weight back to the time in my life when I had to have at least one coke a day.

    Also perhaps its a Weston Price style nutritional deficit issue. All the things which we consume which don't add to the nutrient bank (including diet soda) take energy and nutrients away from that bank.

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  40. Whee! This health improvement thing is easy!

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  41. Floss and brush 3X a day. That's funny. I haven't flossed 3 times this year yet (twice so far) and I brush my teeth 3 times a week – and that's eating a high-carb diet. They are white and pain free. When I eat too much sugar specifically they hurt and get fuzzy.

    I'm glad you've taken some of my ramblings to heart Jenny. Your results are in line with mine perfectly. Allergies, body fat, dental health, and so on.

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  42. One weird thing though. When I first started eating more saturated fat, I had some terrible zit breakouts. Like really scary bad zits like I haven't had since I was 15. They seem to have subsided for now. I wonder if my body has adjusted to having more saturated fat, or if it was to do with my hormones regulating themselves. (One positive effect of being on the pill for a decade was that zits were really rare). I've tried to replace about half the butter, I've been using with coconut oil, in order to gain it's infection fighting properties.

    I know you've mentioned skin issues before, Matt, wondering what dietary things have helped you?

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  43. The skin problems could be due excess omega-6 being released into the body as a result of cellular turn-over. When I eliminated omega-6 vegetable oils from my diet and replaced them with butter and coconut oil, there was an initial worsening of the skin followed by a dramatic improvement. With a long history of eating low saturated fat diets, it is possible that a lot of cells in the body are filled with omega-6 fats. As your metabolism improves, they are released into the bloodstream at a greater rate from increased cellular turnover as a result of a better metabolism.

    My skin is better than I can ever remember since increasing my saturated fats dramatically. I don't even have to use lotion anymore after taking a shower (and of course, using a gentle soap without any sodium-laurel sulfate).

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  44. >>> Some of the greatest nutrition and health minds of the 20th century touted grains as one of the ultimate forms of food for a reason. <<<

    This argument can't buy a cup of cold coffee. The same can be said on mainstream issues of saturated fats being unhealthy, or the cholesterol hypothesis, both widely believed by bright minds, yet both utterly wrong.

    >>> Common observation tells us that grains simply aren't the chief villians – they're not at the root of the problem. <<<

    Grain consumption, like fructose consumption, has only gone up in the last 30 years. Both correlate with the obesity epidemic. And both are at fault.

    Everyone I've advised to stop eating grains has lost significant bodyfat as if effortlessly — over 100 people in the last two years. Gluten grains, in particular (and wheat being the highest in gluten), have a systemic inflammatory effect on ALL humans. (And most mammals, too, including dogs and cats, which should NOT eat foods containing grains.) Chronic systemic inflammation leads to a long list of "diseases," like heart disease, many cancers, neurodegenerative conditions, arthritis, and others.

    As a life extensionist, I come from the longevity community where we use every possible method to live a long, healthy life. This effort embraces healthy non-industrial food, supplements, high-intensity/short-duration training, hormone supplementation, and so on–all geared toward avoiding disease and living long enough to live forever. In the last ten years it's become very clear that grains are a net-negative and are not part of a healthy diet.

    It's a shame that you're advising differently.

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  45. @Scott: I believe I've experienced health benefits from grain elimination, as have family members who've tried it too, especially in joint health and general mobility. Personally I'm pretty sure it will take some very substantial evidence to get me eating gluten again.

    However, I'd like to try to keep an open mind. A NZ TV story, linked from the site of New Zealand blogger, Dr Dan (At Darwin's Table), was another good dose of disconbobulation for my sense of inerrancy on the question of gluten grains, but comfortingly reassuring about saturated fat. At the end of the story there's a case introduced of a young boy, Liam, who apparently overcame severe gluten intolerance while on the high sat fat and preservative and additive free diet advocated by one Rachel Tomkinson, whose ideas are the focus of the piece:
    http://darwinstable.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/healthy-saturated-fats-on-tv-news/

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  46. Lisa, I don't know of anyone who hasn't claimed a benefit from grain elimination. Grains offer a low number of nutrients versus other carb choices, like colorful vegetables, and they contain the least useful protein (gluten) — a protein so poorly digested (humans lack the enzymes to reduce gluten 100% to aminos, and many of the unbroken peptides are toxic, and in fact many have been classified as opioids which may explain the addiction people have to gluten grains). You'll never see gluten used as a pure bodybuilding protein — while bodybuilders may not understand that gluten is unhealthy, they at least know from experience that it can't build muscle very well.

    Many of the nutrients that people like to believe they're getting from grains are not readily bio-available. And the phytic acid in grains is a radically strong mineral chelator, locking up not only with the minerals in the grain, but some portion of minerals in the healthy foods being eaten with the grains.

    As soon as grains entered the food supply humans have suffered individually. BUT, grains may be the single most important step to the formation of cities and civilization by dramatically increasing the caloric food output of a plot of land. As a super cheap food source, it allowed for cities larger than half-a-million people in size. So, while grains hurt us individually, it helped us grow as a species.

    I'm willing to let grains feed other people to my benefit, while I merrily avoid them and stick to healthy foods. I suspect it'll be decades before grains are widely accepted as an unhealthy food choice, meanwhile us who are enlightened get a free ride within the system.

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  47. I'm not advising that people run out and begin eating grains, or saying that they are essential or preferable to other foods, but to ignore that those with the longest lifespan ever discovered ate unfermented whole wheat with every meal would be pretty foolish.

    A parallel would be my recommendation to avoid fruits as a healing strategy. Do I run around calling fruits villainous masters of disease? Of course not. Just as Robert McCarrison knew and understood, or perhaps Natasha Campbell-McBride, who is a proponent of a gluten/casein free diet knows – there can be physical conditions within a human being that make otherwise healthy foods harmful.

    McBride once said that what Weston A. Price found primitive tribes eating were "healthy foods for a healthy person." That includes grains, fruits, dairy fats and many other foods that have come into question recently. What she recommended were "specific foods for specific disorders."

    She claims also that after following her protocol that people can reintroduce gluten and casein back into the diet without negative recourse. This is the ultimate goal – not abstinence and a restricted diet for life. Just like pollen and cat fur do not cause allergies (they trigger allergic reactions in unhealthy people), nor are grains the root of all evil either. Grains never caused heart disease, inflammation, obesity, or arthritis in past centuries. They do so now because, stealing a quote from Tommy Lee Jones in "Natural Born Killers," the human race is:

    "The most depraved [bunch] of shit fucks I've ever had the displeasure to lay my god damn eyes on."

    Robert McCarrison on grains:

    “Any ill effect which [whole grains] may exercise is due to the failure suitably to combine them with other food materials which compensate for their defects [notably vitamin D rich foods]. They are not to be condemned nor to be displaced from their prominent place in the dietaries of mankind for this reason. As well might we condemn the perfectly good fuel, petrol, for the overheating of the engines of our cars when we fail to supply them with sufficient oil, as condemn the excellent wheat and oats when we fail to consume them with sufficient quantities of milk or other vitamin-rich foods, which are required by the human machine for it smooth an efficient running.”

    McCarrison, noting that any food type could be harmful under certain circumstances:

    “…in the absence of vitamins or in their inadequate supply, neither proteins nor fats nor carbohydrates nor [minerals] are properly utilized; some are largely wasted, while others yield products harmful to the organism.”

    McCarrison, noting that dietary fat can also be harmful if the conditions are right. I agree completely:

    “It would seem that, in the presence of deficiency of Vitamin B fats are incompletely oxidized and yield products which are harmful to the organism and to certain organs in particular.”

    McCarrison noted also that his animal subjects that were fed deficient diets, ironically, could no longer tolerate the diet that would have prevented them from getting ill in the first place (a diet of fresh-ground whole wheat, fresh raw milk, and fresh vegetables).

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  48. yes!

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  49. >>> but to ignore that those with the longest lifespan ever discovered ate unfermented whole wheat with every meal would be pretty foolish. <<<

    First I've head of this — what group of people?

    >>> McBride once said that what Weston A. Price found primitive tribes eating were "healthy foods for a healthy person." That includes grains, fruits, dairy fats and many other foods that have come into question recently. <<<

    Price was a brilliant researcher, but in his time there was significantly less known than even now about foods. He didn't know about gluten, for example. Also, the type of grain really matters — there's quite a gray scale, with wheat being the worst (highest in gluten content), and rice likely being the least-worst.

    >>> Grains never caused heart disease, inflammation, obesity, or arthritis in past centuries. <<<

    Actually, it's well understood that they did. Especially diseases of inflammation, which includes heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis and bone issues–all seen in the fossil evidence. Along with a shortening of human skeletons and a dramatic rise in tooth decay.

    >>> McCarrison, noting that any food type could be harmful under certain circumstances: <<<

    I largely agree with this, but under no circumstance is wheat healthy for humans. Again, in EVERY person I've advised to stop eating grains, numerous key markers of health improved, including CRP, homocysteine, and a dramatic reduction in LP(a). Have you had these measured? Most people haven't, and yet they're among the most telling health stats currently available, far more telling that total cholesterol, for example.

    Have you read the Heart Scan blog, by practicing cardiologist, Dr. Davis? His had dramatic results over the years, in part, by getting his patients off wheat. This is part of his very simply protocol to REVERSE heart disease (which most cardiologist do not even believe is possible).
    http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/

    Here's the problem: Most people eat grains (including whole grains) and do not notice anything wrong. But, the same can be said for people consuming high-polyunsaturated fat vegetable oils or trans fats — both are quite unhealthy, yet our body will function quite reasonably for decades with these unhealthy foods. Gluten grains are in that same boat — the price to be paid comes much later in life.

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  50. Scott Miller: Price was a brilliant researcher, but in his time there was significantly less known than even now about foods. He didn't know about gluten, for example. Also, the type of grain really matters — there's quite a gray scale, with wheat being the worst (highest in gluten content), and rice likely being the least-worst.
    _________

    He didn't know about gluten but he did know about groups that ate gluten grains, and he recorded his observations about them. The Swiss of the Loetschental Valley immediately come to mind.

    There were also certain African groups who not only ate grain, but refined grain at that.

    The upshot is that these grain eating cultures that Price observed were quite healthy, until and if they began to partake of what he called "the displacing foods of modern commerce" of which refined sugar is a charter member.

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  51. The current debate seems to be over whether grains are healthy or not. I completely agree with the statement that generally healthy things can be unhealthy if your body is not up for it. I think that for a healthy person, grains can be fine if prepared properly. Sorry, it's late and I'm writing this, so if it doesn't make sense there is an additional reason.

    I've lately been noticing the benefits of an increased metabolism, but haven't devoured quantities of straight gluten or phytic acid. I'm still trying my best to follow my own definition of a healthy diet, but my changes have been eating with better portions as Matt understands so well (and a few more carbs). Maybe I would be totally fine with regular white or whole wheat bread, but I'm not so sure just yet. I still think my metabolism could get a little higher.

    Grains are notorious for phytic acid, gluten, and lots of different substances that can (often) inhibit health. I can't really blame the grains, seeing as they are seeds and probably don't want to be eaten. Weston A. Price found people who had whole grains (and if the comments earlier are correct, refined grains) without problems. They weren't having baked, untouched whole wheat kernels though. My understanding is that they generally had grains that had been soaked properly, and maybe even fermented. Fermentation and proper soaking can make even gluten intolerants acceptable of bread with gluten. My understanding is that it also ferments the fiber, giving your intestinal bacteria less to ferment on when consumed. Whole grains aren't as hearty as conventional wisdom might lead you to believe on their own, but when treated properly, seem to be just fine. I soak a grain each night (for breakfast) in water with some lemon juice, and warm it slightly to neutralize some of the phytic acid, among other things. I can't advise regular yeasted wheat bread for anyone (except maybe that someone with a really high metabolism would be fine, but I'm not sure), but bread that is properly soured as has been done for years and years, is totally fine in my book.

    I am curious though for some suggestions regarding potato skins. Do you guys usually skin potatos, just cook it in the skin and take it off, or eat it whole? I'm really not sure what the best thing to do is, getting more vitamins is nice, but getting unfermented fiber might not be the best. Also, what about brown or white rice? White rice is probably easier to digest, and suitable for fructose malabsorbants. Brown rice has more nutrients though, so I'm guessing it depends.

    Anyways, Matt's suggestions have been working really well for me. After having severe hypothyroidism, my metabolism has finally kicked up and I feel like all of my health research before was insignificant in comparision to this. WAPF and so many others claim to answer what to eat, just usually not how much. I'm still not totally sure what the differences are between people who eat a lot and have a slow metabolism, and people who eat a lot and have a fast metabolsim are, but this is making a lot of sense so far.

    Many thanks to all of you for the comments, and especially to Matt for his blog and site. I don't know if *everything* is spot on, but it has definitely made a difference in my life. I just need to find a way to mix oils in with other things (cooked grains, meats) without turning it into a swamp.

    –Teran

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  52. Scott, I think eliminating wheat is a sure fire part of the cure for the damaged metabolisms that modern industrial food and lifestyles produce, although it seems clear that it is fructose overconsumption that is at the very core of our woes.

    Matt doesn't dispute any of that obviously, but he presumably bases his ultimate health goals on the empirical data showing some agricultural populations susbsisting robustly on diets incorporating gluten grains, e.g. the soaked and sprouted grain eating Hunza that McCarrison studied, to whose famed longevity he was presumably referring, and the sourdough rye-bread eating Swiss villagers in the Loestschental valley studied by Weston Price. And we can't simply dismiss stories of apparent metabolic recovery allowing a return to some level of ostensibly trouble-free grain consumption, such as that NZ news story of a child on a whole foods diet reversing a gluten allergy, or Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride that Matt cites (her own son has overcome autism through dietary therapy).

    However, I'm a very cautious creature by nature, and since, as you say, Scott, only time will tell, my instinct is to stay gluten free pretty much for the duration, barring the odd break out, because I don't think we can yet know for sure that individual metabolic cures will allow those individuals to as live long and vigorously consuming gluten grains regularly as they might have on gluten free diets. And going by the principle of "do no harm", I think advising people to do the same is definitely what I'd be doing in your position.

    Anyway, since it's feasible for the world's affluent folks to go gluten free and still have access to a wide range of nutrient-dense non-grain foods, we are indeed in the boat Jack, as you suggest, Scott. Trouble is, modern societies are built on an increasingly industrialized agricultural base that is destroying the health of their citizens at a cracking pace. You've got to wonder how long before something akin to the social dislocation caused by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa begins to beset the societies of which we are a part. And so much of it could be avoided if we just faced up to, and acted on, a few simple dietary propositions – first of which is "eating too much sugar can kill you"!

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  53. >>> And so much of it could be avoided if we just faced up to, and acted on, a few simple dietary propositions – first of which is "eating too much sugar can kill you"! <<<

    You're preaching to the leader of the choir! ;-)

    I have been strongly anti-sugar (really, anti-fructose) for 10 years, back when EVERYONE thought fructose was the healthiest of sugar molecules (because it's low-GI). It's funny, agave is the new natural sugar of choice at "healthy" restaurants, yet agave is 80% fructose–it's actually less healthy that high-fructose corn syrup! But, people are eating it up as the savior among sugars.

    This too shall pass. It's encouraging that a good percentage of people finally realize how destructive to health fructose is — in large part due to its glycation properties, roughly 50 times greater than normal glucose. Glycation is one of the leading reasons we age, and experience a decline in tissue and organ function throughout our body. Few people know about the formation of advanced glycation end-products. In the longevity community, we pay special attention to this and takes measures to both reduce it, and even reverse it (just as arterial plaque can be reversed).

    Another key area most people do not know about, that's a leading cause of aging:
    http://www.imminst.org/archive/articles/laser-research-grant

    (I'm a Director at the Immortality Inst., btw.)

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  54. I think people on this blog have a tendency to get a bit hysterical about whatever it is that doesn't agree with their particular physiology. (See my "Supermarket milk is the devil" comments some time ago.)

    On the grain question, the difficulty is isolating variables. Is it the phytic acid, the gluten, the fiber or the processing that is bothering my system. First I eliminated white flour from my diet almost completely. I maybe have a serving of pasta once a month now. But still I have the same digestion patterns I've always had which aren't ideal. I tried eating only sprouted grains or soaked grains for a while. I still the same. Lately the only grains I've been eating are bread made from freshly ground whole wheat, thinking that maybe rancidity was the issue. Nope, same problems. I'm going to try to go gluten free for three to four weeks and see if gluten is the culprit.

    I think everyone is different and it's all about the self-experiment.

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  55. PALEORD said

    "The skin problems could be due excess omega-6 being released into the body as a result of cellular turn-over. When I eliminated omega-6 vegetable oils from my diet and replaced them with butter and coconut oil, there was an initial worsening of the skin followed by a dramatic improvement. With a long history of eating low saturated fat diets, it is possible that a lot of cells in the body are filled with omega-6 fats. As your metabolism improves, they are released into the bloodstream at a greater rate from increased cellular turnover as a result of a better metabolism."

    Thanks for your response. Gosh I hope you're right that my zits are a temporary side-effect to increased metabolism and flushing omega-6s. That would be good news.

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  56. >>>>>>Weston A. Price found people who had whole grains (and if the comments earlier are correct, refined grains) without problems. They weren't having baked, untouched whole wheat kernels though.<<<<<<

    No they were not. The Swiss fermented their grains for two weeks. As far as I know, no one does that today and you certainly won't find that recommended on any Weston Price oriented/related sites.

    There is no question that some of the African tribes refined their grains. They did so after soaking them. They weren't refined in the modern style (which is really similar to the ancient Egyptian style) but they were refined. In fact I don't recall any glutenous grains just being soaked and then considered ready to eat among the groups Price studied. Non glutenous grains yes, but gluten grains, no.

    In my opinion the idea that soaking alone is sufficient for some grains is a gross oversimplification.

    The refining of rice goes back to ancient times as well. The modern Thai still continue the practice and routinely feed the bran/hulls to their animals because they do not believe they are fit for human consumption!

    >>>>>>My understanding is that they generally had grains that had been soaked properly, and maybe even fermented.<<<<<<

    See above

    >>>>>>Fermentation and proper soaking can make even gluten intolerants acceptable of bread with gluten.<<<<<<

    A proper sourdough fermentation transforms the gluten and allows people with gluten issues to consume such bread. I don't know of any soaking process that makes this possible.

    While I think the advice for soaking and/or sprouting is simplistic on its own without further explanation, it would appear that most traditional groups who ate grain altered it in some way before consuming it. That would include refining the grains, which most proponents of soaking/sprouting/fermenting become apoplectic about when it is suggested, despite the evidence.

    I'm open to the idea that folks with optimal metabolisms can eat gluten grains untreated. Weston Price actually used untreated grains in his practice, but they were absolutely fresh.

    I also believe that for some folks eliminating all grains (though certainly not all carbohydrates) might be necessary for healing to take place. In the end you have to find out what works for you.

    Reply
  57. Matt Stone said…
    That reminds me of a chapter in William Dufty's Sugar Blues entitled – "How to Complicate Simplicity."
    ________

    I just have to say my favorite chapter in Sugar Blues (probably because it causes the most controversy) is "Reach for a Lucky rather than a Sweet." :-)

    I don't reach for a Lucky but there is nothing quite like knocking back one of my favorite Romeo & Julieta's – from Cuba no less – enjoyed with friends over a nice glass of port.

    Thanks Matt for the Sugar Blues review in your ezine.

    Reply
  58. "A proper sourdough fermentation transforms the gluten and allows people with gluten issues to consume such bread. I don't know of any soaking process that makes this possible."

    Well this is an example based on rice, not wheat, so it isn't a gluten issue. But "simple soaking" can be the same thing as "proper fermentation."

    About a year ago I became interested in Japanese cooking. Since I wasn't eating white rice any more, I looked around for short grain brown rice that you could use for sushi. I found that the instructions for cooking always included a long soaking period. On a Japanese cooking blog, the instructions were, "be careful not to let the heat in your kitchen cause the rice to ferment. Soak your rice someplace cool." I guess their purpose in soaking the rice was to make sure it cooked completely in the time allowed in rice cookers, etc.

    But I found that unless I soaked my rice in the fridge, it always fermented a bit. My nose could tell me that. And then I got nourishing traditions and I realized, where's the harm in letting it ferment?

    If I leave it longer to soak, 24-36 hours, depending on how hot my kitchen is, I get a liquid that I've used as a starter culture for kimchee. So simple soaking can lead to fermentation. My understanding is that the point of doing it is to partially break down the bran of the rice so that you can absorb it. I then wash the rice thoroughly to get rid of the lactic acid smell and cook it.

    As for your example of people in Thailand feeding rice bran to the hogs, in Japan they use rice bran to make a bran bed, into which vegetables are placed for pickling, since the rice bran fermenting medium. These bran beds are kind of hard-core, even trickier supposedly than keeping a sourdough culture going. People describe it like having a pet. You have to take care of it.

    A big part of the whole Weston Price literature is consuming at least 50% of your foods raw or fermented. Partly to get the proper enzymes into the gut to help break things down and partly to use the fermentation process to start the breaking down. It's a dual effect, I believe.

    Anyway my point is that there are many nourishing traditions, some of them contradict one another in practice. I think its a matter of isolating parts of cultures to make them work for you. My own personal preference is English culture since that's were the majority of my ancestors are from.

    Reply
  59. >>>>>>Well this is an example based on rice, not wheat, so it isn't a gluten issue. But "simple soaking" can be the same thing as "proper fermentation."<<<<<<

    Right, which I acknowledged in my comments by saying that non-gluten grains can be soaked, but gluten grains generally need something more.

    "In fact I don't recall any glutenous grains just being soaked and then considered ready to eat among the groups Price studied. Non glutenous grains yes, but gluten grains, no."

    >>>>>>As for your example of people in Thailand feeding rice bran to the hogs, in Japan they use rice bran to make a bran bed, into which vegetables are placed for pickling, since the rice bran fermenting medium. These bran beds are kind of hard-core, even trickier supposedly than keeping a sourdough culture going. People describe it like having a pet. You have to take care of it.<<<<<<

    Actually I had the feeding of chickens in mind but I understand your point. :-)

    I am perfectly willing to believe that some group somewhere has found a way to mitigate the problems of rice without removing the bran. Stephen over at Whole Health Source Blog has shared a way that he has discovered which apparently mitigates the problem of the rice bran. But I have seen little in the literature concerning this. Do you have any research sources or cites regarding the Japanese and the impact of whole fermented rice in their diet?

    Nonetheless, the original point was that traditional eating seems to always alter the grain, and when it comes to gluten grain, soaking isn't enough.

    >>>>>>A big part of the whole Weston Price literature is consuming at least 50% of your foods raw or fermented. Partly to get the proper enzymes into the gut to help break things down and partly to use the fermentation process to start the breaking down. It's a dual effect, I believe.<<<<<<

    Such a regimen doesn't overcome the various issues with grains. Nor does the research from Price seem to support this. Price's recommendations for eating some animal foods raw (I don't recall Price himself giving a particular percentage) came from observing groups that also consumed altered grains.

    >>>>>>Anyway my point is that there are many nourishing traditions, some of them contradict one another in practice. I think its a matter of isolating parts of cultures to make them work for you. My own personal preference is English culture since that's were the majority of my ancestors are from.<<<<<<

    Yes but regarding gluten grains at least, I don't see any contradiction. Nor would I describe the Thai/Japan practices as necessarily a contradiction regarding non-gluten grains. It would appear at first glance one group has developed the knowledge to overcome the bran issue while the other has not. But in both cases neither eat untreated bran.

    Reply
  60. ehi matt
    what do u think abuot the leangains appoach ist possible to compare that with ur fat loss ebook ?http://www.leangains.blogspot.com/ here the blog is a 16 huor fasting with an 8 huor window where u eat.
    he says short fasting improves metabolism ..
    what u think about that?
    thx let me know

    Reply
  61. @Scott Miller
    >>>Scott Miller said…
    >>> And so much of it could be avoided if we just faced up to, and acted on, a few simple dietary propositions – first of which is "eating too much sugar can kill you"! <<<

    You're preaching to the leader of the choir! ;-)<<<<

    Hi Scott, that did come off as preachy, didn't it, although I really intended it as a general comment on the irony of the situation – gigantic problem with a relatively simply root cause …

    Thanks to iconoclastic reseachers and bloggers and the community of commenters like your good self that they gather, trailblazing through the swamp of nutrition research and pseudo-research, I'm no longer waddling about clueless, and what's much worse, inflicting my ignorance on my nearest and dearest.

    @Jennythenipper
    >>>>As for your example of people in Thailand feeding rice bran to the hogs, in Japan they use rice bran to make a bran bed, into which vegetables are placed for pickling, since the rice bran fermenting medium. These bran beds are kind of hard-core, even trickier supposedly than keeping a sourdough culture going. People describe it like having a pet. You have to take care of it.<<<<

    I've lived in Japan for 20 years and I can attest to this! An enormous amount of mystique surrounds the production of "nukazuke" (rice bran pickles), undisputed queen of the "tsukemono" (pickles, preserves) genre and a valued traditional food.

    >>>On a Japanese cooking blog, the instructions were, "be careful not to let the heat in your kitchen cause the rice to ferment. Soak your rice someplace cool." I guess their purpose in soaking the rice was to make sure it cooked completely in the time allowed in rice cookers, etc.<<<

    Yes, one of the principal justifications for soaking brown rice seems to simply be speeding up of cooking time. I was just reading a short discussion on brown rice in a rice and noodle volume of a popular series of cookbooks by the publisher Shufunotomosha, published in 1987 and still in print. Quickly translated, its says of brown rice that "while it retains many nutrients [lost in the milling process] it is difficult for the body to digest and absorb, and is therefore of limited value [literally, "amari kitai dekimasen", 'not much can be expected of it']." It then goes on to say that it has been reevaluated for its high fibre content in recent years, and "seems to be worth reconsidering for that reason". This is, I think, a fair indication of the heretofore generally low estimation of the brown rice's desirability over white, outside of the followers of the macrobiotic movement of course. This particular book then recommends simply cooking it in a pressure cooker without any pre-soaking.

    Sprouted brown rice has emerged in the past decade or so here as a commonly touted health food, and the combination of superior nutrient profile and better digestibilty compared to the ordinary unsprouted stuff is one of the big selling points, but this is not a traditional food as such, to the best of my knowledge.

    The Japanese wikipedia article on brown rice traces the roots of the macrobiotic movement back to the Meiji period and an army doctor, Ishizuka Sagen (石塚 左玄), who had the ear of the Meiji Emperor, and founded a nutritional society in 1907 dedicated to dissemination of a food philosophy based on the slogan "玄米菜食を基本とした食養", 'a diet based on brown rice and vegetables'. Ishizuka apparently had overcome health problems on such a diet, and I'm guessing was an example of the historical tendency for the white rice-eating elite of Japan to suffer from beriberi, unlike the general populace who ate brown rice, usually mixed with other cereals. The military had a keen interest in alleviating beriberi which came increasingly prevalent as white rice became more readily available in the 1910s and 1920s, because of course it also plagued its troops.

    Reply
  62. Yes what about the leangains approach, that short fasting improves metabolism?

    If you would fast for like 18 hours everyday but would eat the same amount of calories that you normally would. Will this slow metabolism or is it the total calories at the end of the day that counts?

    Anyone has some experience on this one?

    Reply
  63. On the health scale, rice is less unhealthy than wheat by a long shot. It's unfortunate that wheat took root as the most popular gluten grain worldwide, AFAIK, because it is the least healthy–or really, most unhealthy. Even when properly soaked and fermented, as has been the method of preparation during most of of 12,000 year neolithic period. It's really only been during the industrialized food revolution of the last 150 years that the most healthy preparation of grains has been abandoned in order to mass produce grain products.

    Still, even with proper soaking and sprouting, gluten grains should not be considered a healthy source of calories. Grains are cheap filler calories. Between the gluten, lectins, and phytic acid — not to mention rapid elevation of insulin, itself a life shortening event — the precautionary principle should guide us to avoid grains altogether, ESPECIALLY since in our era we can do so quite easily, and alternative healthy foods are abundant thanks to nationwide and worldwide distribution of foods.

    Reply
  64. no one is ansewering my above question lol

    Reply
  65. no one is answering my above question lol

    Reply
  66. Scott,

    I was reading the SALADS document linked from your organization's website, and it seems to recommed that one increase whole grains and decrease saturated fats. How do you rationalize this with your own thoughts on gluten?

    Thanks for your posts! Thanks to Matt as well for the blog!

    Julie

    Reply
  67. Can anyone give me an example of a diet, please?

    Avoiding grains because of phytic acid, gluten, potatoes because of insulin, meat because of excess protein, fruits because of fructose… what is there left to eat?

    Can someone please post a full list of their daily meals for 1 day? I'm really curious, cos I have no idea how to star this thing.

    Oh and please don't tell me to go make veggie/meat broths every day, that takes 5 hours … I'm in college and very busy

    Reply
  68. Can anyone give me an example of a diet, please?

    Avoiding grains because of phytic acid, gluten, potatoes because of insulin, meat because of excess protein, fruits because of fructose… what is there left to eat?

    Can someone please post a full list of their daily meals for 1 day? I'm really curious, cos I have no idea how to star this thing.

    Oh and please don't tell me to go make veggie/meat broths every day, that takes 5 hours … I'm in college and very busy

    Reply
  69. david I would not recommend avoiding all grains, just avoid grains that contain gluten
    i eat
    potatoes
    plantain chips
    spouted food for life corn tortillas are good-in freezer section of health food stores
    white rice-quick cooking
    brown rice can soak overnight and save some of soaking water to add to next batch of rice that you soak
    all vegetables-whatever ones you like
    oatmeal and legumes

    meat has much as i want few ounces per meal
    butter coconut oil

    occasional fruits are fine like a few a weeks

    bone broths can be cooked in pressure cooker for 30mins to 1 hour- use broth to cook the rice

    cook bigger portions to save for next meal

    the only thing i hardly eat are nuts refined sugar white flour and alcohol

    Reply
  70. To David,
    "lives under the false idea that:

    1) Insulin is bad."

    Just to clear up the potatoes..insulin..thing. As for the rest, no one is suggesting to not do those things (eat this or that) -well, except maybe the dude above. I think we should be suggesting to experiment with yourself..um with food. If you think gluten is intolerable, than cut it out until you think you can handle it. Same with fruits and whatever amount of protein. I think fructose is just as natural as something like gluten, but, if you personally eat fruit and think it causes problems for you than don't eat it until you think can deal with it, or if you feel like trying to incorporate it into your life. I bet white sugar itself is probably bad because of the refining and most likely added things in it. It's just like dairy- you can cause a ton of allergies to seem provoked by the dairy itself just by adding something like carrageenan or guar gums. Now I don't know much about sugar refinement and if the tricky bastards producing it add anything to it, but I figure it's like comparing table salt to celtic sea salt.
    Annyyway..if it's one thing I've learned, no one's going to tell you straight up what you have to eat. You have to really focus on how you feel with what foods. I think most of us will be pleased with the idea eating fats, proteins, and carbohydrates together in meals (as Schwarzbein witnessed with her patients) can do a lot for someone's ability to recover from whatever problems they may have with hormonal imbalance. That goes along with reducing stress..stress perhaps including eating meals spaced too far apart, falling asleep really late, exercising..etc. – you know, lifestyle things as well.

    I guess tap into your symptoms and get down with the research – trying to incorporate the lovely endocrine research done here with the researched theories you've seen and how they both may tie together with your history. That's just how I approach it anyway..in hopes of my own repairing.

    Boil it all down and it's not the [natural] food, it's the person. I don't think that the debate on grains will go anywhere, not until someone speaks up and says they've got completely awesome working organs, thyroid hormones, the lot and some how eating gluten has destroyed all of or some of those functions people need to feel great, not to just live mediocre. There are simply too many factors to decide what food is bad, and for this, I say, trust yourself, and also, whatever else sounds pretty smart – while remembering that it could all possibly be wrong. Good plan I guess.

    Reply
  71. chloe is right…. experiment, experiment, and keep experimenting.

    I seem to do fine with alittle gluten here and there, but when i start eating it with every meal, or go out and drink too many beers with my friends, it takes it toll on me, so i keep gluten to the minimal again. Other than that my metabolism is still on fire… i eat all the butter, ghee, fatty meat, potatoes, veggies, fruit, white rice, nuts, almond butter, cashew butter, i want and haven't gained a pound. I eat when i don't feel like it, and over eat when i want to too. Its really awesome though, when i over eat sometimes, i just eliminate what ever my body doesn't need, like right after i eat, its like it doesn't get stored as fat.

    As far as best carb source is concerned to me… its gotta be potatoes and squash. Best fat source is butter, ghee, tallow, lard,…. coconut fat seems to have some problems for me and alot of people i have been talking to… i cut out coconut oil, and milk and feel less naucious… who knows what chemical it is thats in there that causes people problems.

    keep listening to matt, he is giving some of the best advice on the web, as is stephen at the whole health source.

    troy

    Reply
  72. whi nobody is talking about short fasting and his impact on gh in this beautiful blog??

    Reply
  73. whi nobody is talking about short fasting and his impact on gh in this beautiful blog??

    Reply
  74. >>> I was reading the SALADS document linked from your organization's website, and it seems to recommed that one increase whole grains and decrease saturated fats. How do you rationalize this with your own thoughts on gluten? <<<

    Julie, I'm don't know which doc you're referring to…have a link?

    >>> Can anyone give me an example of a diet, please?

    Avoiding grains because of phytic acid, gluten, potatoes because of insulin, meat because of excess protein, fruits because of fructose… what is there left to eat? <<<

    I hear this panicked worry a lot. But, it's not nearly as bad as it may first seem. I recommend this blog for a great list of foods to eat:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

    A typical day for me includes one shake (including two scoops whey protein, several tablespoons olive oil, several tablespoons MCT oil, creatine powder, and several other specialized powders I won't go into here), a 3-4 egg meat and cheese omelet almost daily, my special guac mix (includes whey protein, olive oil, real bacon bits) eaten with gluten-free seed crackers, a dinner of a meat and salad. And throughout the day I can snack on a 50/50 mixture of coconut oil and whey powder, by putting a big scoop onto extra dark chocolate.

    >>> david I would not recommend avoiding all grains, just avoid grains that contain gluten <<<

    This is a very reasonable compromise. And I, too, will sometimes cheat by eating a little rice, for example.

    >>> Just to clear up the potatoes..insulin..thing. <<<

    Keep in mind, that the single thing that all centenarians have in common is very low fasting insulin levels. Insulin is pro-aging, The more your body must excrete to take care of blood sugar, the more likely you will not live as long. Diabetics represent an extreme example — untreated their organs harden (via glycation) and age rapidly. Both high blood sugar and insulin are responsible — elevated insulin is extremely inflammatory to blood vessels, for example.

    >>> keep listening to matt, he is giving some of the best advice on the web, as is stephen at the whole health source. <<<

    Interesting statement, because Stephen and I are basically in the same camp. Matt is in a different camp.

    >>> whi nobody is talking about short fasting <<<

    I'm a big fan of 24-hr fasting (dinner to dinner), and it's longevity health benefits.

    Reply
  75. Hi Scott,

    Just one question – how long have you been eating like this?

    Reply
  76. However..do all people who make it to 100 eat no carbs? And does no carbs automatically mean that your insulin will be low? I beg to differ. (Diabetes would be a lot easier to figure out if this were the case). There is a difference between having normal amounts of functioning insulin, and organs that deal with insulin, than having straight up resistance to it. I think the point of living is homeostasis, not attempting to force the body's habits to do this or that for the sake of living longer. Which, not to say that isn't possible eating 'normally'.

    Reply
  77. Scott Miller!

    Thanks so much. I haven't laughed like that in quite a while. Whey powder? Creatine powder? Other miscellaneous special powders? Dark chocolate?

    Oh but the gluten-free crackers. That's the ticket. That makes sense.

    Seriously man, that was hilarious. Sounds soooo tasty. I wouldn't want to have longevity like that for a day, much less more than a century.

    And to think that I was going on and on trying to come up with some kind of respectable argument that would appeal to someone of intelligence – and the whole time I was talking to Powdered Food Man (PFM).

    Thanks for all the kind endorsements of the blog everyone. I appreciate it.

    As far as Lean Gains goes, I think that's a great way to do some serious damage. For starters, being that lean is harmful. Secondly, even if you ate the same number of calories, the damage that you do to the adrenals during the time that you are fasting and forcing your body to operate in panic mode would put more strain on the metabolism long-term. A little fast every once in a while is fine, barring that you do counter it with hearty nourishment when you're not fasting.

    P.S. – Everyone with a healthy metabolism has relatively low fasting insulin levels, regardless of how many calories, carbs, proteins that they eat.

    David De –

    Eat whatever you want except for refined sugar, and hopefully substitute butter and meat-fats for vegetable-based oils. That is enough to typically make a huge difference, barring that you don't substitute fake sugars, caffeine, and alcohol for the sugar you cut out. Nitpicking the rest of your diet and lifestyle to achieve better health are "small bites" compared to the above advice.

    Reply
  78. Chloe, you've been nailing it in the comments section. Totally nailing it.

    Reply
  79. So Scott Miller's comment was a joke? Or do you guys think he is serious?

    Reply
  80. mmm, for what its worth…

    I know several folk who dine on various powders and supplements. Then theres another crew who eat 100 percent raw. Then more, that will not touch this or touch that – not for any direct health response – but just some vague fear initiated by some food guru or scientist somewhere. In the end food fanatasicm creates fragile specimens. None of them are robust, there may well be an exception, but I haven't encountered him or her.
    Then, there all the life extension hoopla: try to eat minimally because of inherant fear which manifests into thinking this will result in living longer and healthier. Trouble is, more often than not, the strain on the immune system negates and/or is comprimised.
    Plus in order to cope with the minimal feeding the meatabolism slows down and can open a whole new pandoras box of allergies, intolerances and associated phobias.
    Whatever, each to their own, but it is fear, that dictates many eating practices.
    So be it.

    ahem.

    Reply
  81. So insulin is the latest punching bag in the world of nutrition. It used to be cholesterol, then saturated fat, then eating too much, then carbs, etc…Is protein next?

    Matt you are hilarious with your responses. Don't take no bullshit from no one!

    Reply
  82. >>>>>>I hear this panicked worry a lot. But, it's not nearly as bad as it may first seem. I recommend this blog for a great list of foods to eat:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/<<<<<&lt;

    Mark is good, but like most paleo folks I have run into, he is a little carb-phobic.

    >>>>>>A typical day for me includes one shake (including two scoops whey protein, several tablespoons olive oil, several tablespoons MCT oil, creatine powder, and several other specialized powders I won't go into here), a 3-4 egg meat and cheese omelet almost daily, my special guac mix (includes whey protein, olive oil, real bacon bits) eaten with gluten-free seed crackers, a dinner of a meat and salad. And throughout the day I can snack on a 50/50 mixture of coconut oil and whey powder, by putting a big scoop onto extra dark chocolate.<<<<<<

    Holy gluten free lentil burgers Batman! I was digging this interaction until I saw that food list. What is up with all the specialized food powders? Or even the MCT for that matter? Are you training for some kind of athletic event?

    >>>>>>Keep in mind, that the single thing that all centenarians have in common is very low fasting insulin levels. Insulin is pro-aging, The more your body must excrete to take care of blood sugar, the more likely you will not live as long. Diabetics represent an extreme example — untreated their organs harden (via glycation) and age rapidly. Both high blood sugar and insulin are responsible — elevated insulin is extremely inflammatory to blood vessels, for example.<<<<<<

    Elevated insulin per se is not responsible for any such thing as accelerated aging. As for advanced glycation end products, Aajonus Vonderplanitz has been telling us for years they are the product of cooking and therefore that is one reason why we should eat 100% raw.

    >>>>>>Interesting statement, because Stephen and I are basically in the same camp. Matt is in a different camp.<<<<<<

    Unless we are talking about a different Stephen, I'm not sure about that.

    First of all the man has done yeoman work bringing to public attention some of the various healthy high carbohydrate eating groups that are out there. The Kitavans, The African Buntu, and others. Those groups do not fit anywhere within the paleo continuum as it is commonly espoused.

    Second, unless I missed it he has not chucked gluten grains per se. He does believe they should be treated and he has even begrudgingly acknowledged that there is an argument for refined grains.

    Those two things alone seen to put him in a camp different from you.

    Reply
  83. I think the whole fear thing is overplayed. Is it fear or prudence that causes people not to eat certain things? Are people like Matt avoiding fructose out of fear or out of prudence? Do you stop at a red light out of fear or out of prudence? Do you lock your door at night out of fear or out of prudence?

    No one, not even the most extreme advocates of HED eat any and everything all the time. The whole "I'm fearless and you are fearful" thing has played out in my opinion.

    It may stroke some folks ego by framing the discussion that way, but it doesn't really advance the conversation with people who disagree based on their current understanding of nutrition but might be open if someone explained things rationally rather than accusing them of being fearful.

    All of us at one time were eating in a different manner, and evolved to where we are today. Which means at one time we were wrong in how we eat based on our current understanding. Some of us even aggressively promoted "old ways" that we now think are wrong.

    I like intensity, passion, commitment, and a whole lot of research, but sometimes a little humility is in order. No one has a 100% corner on the truth. And anyone who has evolved in their dietary approach has by definition been wrong in the past.

    I think telling people their way of eating is guided by fear just antagonizes rather than helping them move forward, and suggests, whether true or not, that God himself has thundered these dietary prescriptions from Mount Sinai.

    Reply
  84. heres my super smoothie shake recipe, you have to use a kitchen aid mixer…

    one dozen raw egg yolks, 5 scoops of whey protein, 8oz of raw sheep milk yogurt, a bag of goji berries, 10 scoops of raw maca powder, raw green powder alot, lots of flax oil, put some more in there… an ass end of a rhino, a cup of psyllium husks, put some more of that in there, you need the fiber, one jar of really raw honey, no make that agave syrup, some fresh baby brains, a loaf of 16 grain bread, mineral water from the mountain tops of peru, anything else someone on t.v. says you need for health and longevity,… try to get is kosher certified if you can…

    after your done blending it together, set on a toilet and consume for the next few hours, mediate, breathe through your nose, release when needed… its safe, your on the toilet already. Consume three times a day.. and if you dont feel better consume more raw super berries from some other part of the earth…

    sorry if you lose your job, friends, and life while on this diet…

    troy

    Reply
  85. Troy,

    The Peruvian mountaintop water is too alkaline. Recent research has shown that excessive alkalinity in water can increase insulin resistance and cause accelerated aging. Try Arctic glacier water instead, it's lower on the glycemic index. Other than that, I'm mixing up one of those super smoothies myself. I'll never eat anything else again.

    Reply
  86. Hi Scott,

    Here is the link for the SALADS document off the FAQ off your Immortality Institute website.

    http://www.maxlife.org/ownersmanual.pdf

    I was reading the "diet" section".

    Julie

    Reply
  87. Ehi Matt thanks for ur answer on fasting :)
    anyway im 16 and i weight 200 puonds for 6"3 feet tall im like 16% bf i play basketball and come from italy i need to drop that fat XD
    i have serious troble avoiding sweets do u suggest me to follow ur fat loss ebook or high everything exepet sugar veggie olis ecc ?
    thx let me know and sorry for my english im italian :)

    Reply
  88. @Jennythenipper
    >>>>As for your example of people in Thailand feeding rice bran to the hogs, in Japan they use rice bran to make a bran bed, into which vegetables are placed for pickling, since the rice bran fermenting medium. These bran beds are kind of hard-core, even trickier supposedly than keeping a sourdough culture going. People describe it like having a pet. You have to take care of it.<<<<

    Lisa wrote:
    I've lived in Japan for 20 years and I can attest to this! An enormous amount of mystique surrounds the production of "nukazuke" (rice bran pickles), undisputed queen of the "tsukemono" (pickles, preserves) genre and a valued traditional food."

    Sadly, I think those pickles are kind of dying out because the bran beds are hard to do at home. Or maybe not. Maybe boutique pickles are all the rage. If not, you should open a nukazuke boutique and clean up.

    I've been wondering about the huge amounts of sugar added to savory foods in Japanese recipes. I know this is a recent post-War trend. I've just been wondering what the traditional flavors were that the sugar is replacing (my guess is lacto fermented foods, since that's what sugar has replaced in the west in savory foods.)

    >>>On a Japanese cooking blog, the instructions were, "be careful not to let the heat in your kitchen cause the rice to ferment. Soak your rice someplace cool." I guess their purpose in soaking the rice was to make sure it cooked completely in the time allowed in rice cookers, etc.<<<

    Lisa wrote:
    "Yes, one of the principal justifications for soaking brown rice seems to simply be speeding up of cooking time. I was just reading a short discussion on brown rice in a rice and noodle volume of a popular series of cookbooks by the publisher Shufunotomosha, published in 1987 and still in print. Quickly translated, its says of brown rice that "while it retains many nutrients [lost in the milling process] it is difficult for the body to digest and absorb, and is therefore of limited value [literally, "amari kitai dekimasen", 'not much can be expected of it']." It then goes on to say that it has been reevaluated for its high fibre content in recent years, and "seems to be worth reconsidering for that reason". This is, I think, a fair indication of the heretofore generally low estimation of the brown rice's desirability over white, outside of the followers of the macrobiotic movement of course. "

    I kind of suspected that given that most rice cookers don't even have a brown rice setting…
    Thanks for confirming this and replying to my comments. This is really interesting to me.

    As for the macrobiotic movement, their program was a healthier alternative to what many people were living on which was primarily white rice. By adding a variety of grains and brown rice, they probably did many people a favor. And of course they are generally on the right side of the food heals, don't eat sugar wars. I'm sure a big part of the so-called success of many macrobiotic dieters is just getting rid of sugar and processed food.

    "This particular book then recommends simply cooking it in a pressure cooker without any pre-soaking."

    Advice to send any died in the grassfed wool Weston Pricer screaming off into the pastures of plenty.

    "Sprouted brown rice has emerged in the past decade or so here as a commonly touted health food, and the combination of superior nutrient profile and better digestibilty compared to the ordinary unsprouted stuff is one of the big selling points, but this is not a traditional food as such, to the best of my knowledge."

    Makes sense, although as I said, it's easier to sprout brown rice than not, when soaking.

    OMG! We tested the kimchee I made the other day with the culture from the rice bran and it was awesome. Best. Kraut. Ever. Soooo easy to do! Lisa, I'm ready to open up that pickle boutique with you!

    Reply
  89. Jenny said:
    ">>>>>>A big part of the whole Weston Price literature is consuming at least 50% of your foods raw or fermented. Partly to get the proper enzymes into the gut to help break things down and partly to use the fermentation process to start the breaking down. It's a dual effect, I believe.<<<<<<

    Michael said:
    "Such a regimen doesn't overcome the various issues with grains. Nor does the research from Price seem to support this. Price's recommendations for eating some animal foods raw (I don't recall Price himself giving a particular percentage) came from observing groups that also consumed altered grains."

    Well the 50% thing comes from nourishing traditions, which is only based on Price's research. So take it with a grain of sea salt harvested from Britanny. By Hand. With a rake.

    But seriously the Raw thing includes raw milk, of course, and all the lacto-fermented foods you are supposed to eat which they believe aid digestion as well as elimination of harmful things such as the toxins in preserved/smoked/bbq meats.

    To me it makes sense. Back in the day people always ate lacto fermented foods with preserved or bbqed meats. Now we use sugar and vinegar to make all those condiments which is a double loss to our bodies.

    The raw milk flora are supposed to help your ability to digest lactose.

    Ohter lacto-fermented foods, in theory, should be aiding the digestion of grains (and Weston Pricers do sprout wheat, soak grains as well. Nourishing traditions recommends soaking white flour in buttermilk. Don't know if it helps my digestion but it tastes nice.)

    Reply
  90. >>> And to think that I was going on and on trying to come up with some kind of respectable argument that would appeal to someone of intelligence – and the whole time I was talking to Powdered Food Man (PFM). <<<

    Matt, you've painted yourself as a complete idiot.

    I have one meal shake a day and the best comeback you can muster is this?

    I now realize you're not worth my time.

    If you ever want to compare blood work — the one true objective test — let me know. Otherwise, you're all talk.

    Reply
  91. Troy and PaleoRD,

    Thanks for the laugh, I needed that.

    Scott Miller challenges Matt:

    "If you ever want to compare blood work — the one true objective test — let me know. Otherwise, you're all talk."

    Scott, you really don't know what you're talking about do you? First you assert that phytic acid in wheat not only blocks the minerals in the wheat itself but in the other foods one is consuming also. This is simply not true for the most part, go read up on phytic acid.

    Now you challenge Matt to compare blood work and proclaim it to be the "one true objective test" despite the fact that anyone who has objectively studied nutrition- as you are trying to portray yourself- realizes that comparison of blood work amongst individuals
    is often a dubious practice at best, and meaningless at worst. (There are exceptions, of course.)

    A good example are the Kitavan islanders. If memory serves, they had blood lipid markers that would have had modern cardiologists throwing fits and predicting death from heart disease. However, despite this fact, the Kitavan's had excellent cardiovascular health; it would appear, as Stephan once observed, that the blood lipid markers are only relevant to those eating SAD. In short, blood work is not as universally objective as you are trying to pretend it to be- like everything else it is contextual.

    Reply
  92. Hey,

    I can't seem to stop reading this blog and the comments. I've added Whole Health Source and Hyperlipid to my list, too (this is definitely the best one though :-) ).

    I've noticed a few personal things. It seems like since I've ran out of coconut oil (this has happened twice), even with the same amount of caloric intake (I'm fairly sure, but not positive), my metabolism drops quite a bit. It's not as bad as it was the first time I stopped though. I'll try to get some more today. I forgot when I ran out exactly, but my metabolism seemed great this last Friday, then seemed possibly slower Saturday, but definitely slower Sunday. When the metabolism/thyroid is properly healed, I'm guessing this shouldn't happen without coconut oil?

    Also, yesterday after lunch I was more hungry than usual. My diet seems to be about the same as when it was fine. From what I've understood from this blog, I figured it would be best to eat since I was hungry. I probably had 400-500 calories worth of pumpernickel bread (the slices are quite dense) and butter as a snack after lunch. I intentionally had a lower fiber dinner with (probably) as many calories as usual, but was hungry again and had some shreded coconut and butter later.

    Right now, after breakfast which was larger than normal, I'm just slightly hungry. I don't think it's misintrepreted thirst, but any ideas of why extra hunger would suddenly onset? I'm usually not nearly this hungry. I have a slight hint in my mind that maybe my body knows I'm going travelling on the 16th and won't have as much access to food; I just hope it's not adding fat in preparation. I think I've gained another pound; think I might want to cut back on the starch for now :-(. Or maybe I should do all starches for a few days to get my body more adapted to them, just that it would be difficult seeing as I'm travelling in two days. Still getting bloated at times, but think it could be water retention, too. Guessing it might be both. My lower legs are noticably thick at times, but seem to be fine now. I'd like to think that the thicker portions on my back are water retention and not fat, but at least either way it can get better.

    One thing to note. When my metabolism is high, I can get quite gassy. Guessing my digestive system is finally doing something, so it's a good thing. Maybe I need less unfermented fiber though to prevent that.

    Oh, and any more recommendations with refined or unrefined coconut oil? I've read mixed reports saying that refined is best, just not sure what your (as in everyone/anyone's) experiences are. I'm really amazed at how much my metabolism seems to drop when I don't have coconut oil.

    I'm curious as to how/when the body burns fat with an excess of calories. If you are eating 3,000 calories a day and your metabolism is set there, would going to 2,500 calories cause your body to take 500 calories from fat per day? Not sure how that all works, just thinking that fewer calories every once in a while might be beneficial that way as long as you don't harm the metabolism.

    Comment length hit, continuing below.

    Reply
  93. Continuing.

    Especially when my metabolism is working, Matt seems to be totally spot on. It's not even mildly fanatical once you've felt your metabolism high. On friday I think I had a sticks worth of butter along with 1/4c of raw cream and was completley fine. I was making a desert for my girlfriend's graduation with some sugars (dates, cherries, carob, blackberries), and noticed only a mild rush of blood sugar. Sometimes I've easily gone from hypoglycemic to noticably high blood sugar levels over a single piece of fruit. This seems to be getting *much* better.

    A final question. I've seen no sugar recommended as much as possible. I know that refined sugar and straight fructose are the most frowned upon here, I believe rightfully so. How bad are unrefined sugars (not extracted) from dates, bananas, berries, beets, carrots, and such? I notice that I'm usually sensitive to too many sugars (all unrefined), but lately I seem to be doing a bit better. Not sure if I should have beets at the most and avoid the higher sugar things, or if it would really be okay. Sweet potatoes would be nice, but are definitely sugary. Also, Konstantin Monastyrsky says (or, I think he says) that insulin is controlled by sweetness detected in the mouth (not sure how true that is), and thus any non-caloric sweetener can cause excess insulin to be released. If that is true, would it mean it is best to avoid stevia? It does seem a little illogical to me though at first glance.

    Many thanks,
    Teran

    Reply
  94. Teran,

    It's normal when the metabolism first starts to rise that hunger rages. That's okay. After several weeks to a couple months hunger will start to be controlled if you can eat well with persistence.

    Hypoglycemia begins to subside as the metabolism improves, as does insulin resistance. This makes natural sugars more tolerable. There is nothing inherently wrong with natural sugars, but a hypoglycemic needs to avoid them as well until they have overcome their condition.

    Coconut fat is the most metabolically-stimulating fat. Many people do quite well with that, noticing an instant rise in body temperature, energy, and so on.

    Konstantin's mention that insulin is triggered by sweetness in the mouth has some merit. That is one of the only ways to explain why artificial sweetners are so strongly associated with obesity. Stevia can actually be habit forming just like any other sweetener. Sure, it's a better choice than say, aspartame, but the stevia habit is one to avoid if you ask me.

    Troy, that shake sounds killer man!

    Scott Miller,

    We appreciate having you around and hope you will continue to join our conversations here. Don't be too put off by our teasing. Just having some fun. Don't let our immaturity fool you. We are interested to hear some of the results that those whom you advise have experienced. This blog is not a front to uphold the almighty rightness of Matt Stone. We all have much to learn, and I'm sure your contributions can, and will help many, myself included. Please stick around.

    Dexter…

    Insulin has been the "new punching bag" since Atkins. It's what spawned the low-carb movement. The primary punching bag here is a low metabolism, which is the unifying link. A low metabolism causes high cholesterol, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, causes the body to favor fat storage over fat utilization, low energy levels, digestive problems, low sex drive and infertility, and so many other common characteristics of an unhealthy modern human.

    Reply
  95. >>Jennythenipper wrote:
    Sadly, I think those pickles are kind of dying out because the bran beds are hard to do at home. Or maybe not. Maybe boutique pickles are all the rage. If not, you should open a nukazuke boutique and clean up.
    I've been wondering about the huge amounts of sugar added to savory foods in Japanese recipes. I know this is a recent post-War trend. I've just been wondering what the traditional flavors were that the sugar is replacing (my guess is lacto fermented foods, since that's what sugar has replaced in the west in savory foods.) <<

    Yes, sadly home-made nukazuke is increasingly uncommon, but I suspect that even a lot of urbanites have a go at DIY nukazuke here and there although they may not keep it going long term, and demand for the ready made variety is certainly still strong. You know, the boutique idea probably isn’t half a bad idea, Jenny. There seems to be more widespread hankering after tradition in the air these days. Something to do with hard times, too, I guess. If only I could claim some expertise, but I’ve none at all in the hands on area! ;D

    Interestingly, on the topic of white versus brown rice and berri berri, the Japanese nukazuke article in Wikipedia states that although records indicating use of the lacto-fermentation process date back to the Nara period (8th century) when stone-ground grain and soy bean were used for the fermenting bed, the use of rice bran left over from milling white rice dates from the early Edo period (17th to mid 19th centuries) and eating the nukazuke vegetables which had absorbed B1 from the rice bran is thought to have helped prevent even more widespread suffering from berri berri (B1 deficiency disease), which was so prevalent at the time.

    And about traditional flavourings and sugar … I took some books out of the library this morning and my gleanings are: although it has been a luxury item since its importation from China in the 8th century, sugar consumption really took off after the Meiji period (1968-1912), and according to one essay I read, demand was driven by the army on the one hand, which adopted the use of “modern” military rations such as sweetened hard tack (the very same military authorities battling berri berri – connections I wonder ??) and the wave of westernization in eating habits on the other. Some of the Meiji generation of students of Western learning that flocked to Tokyo are also famous as the creators of the heavily sweetened sukiyaki style beef and other hotpot dishes people tend to think of as traditionally Japanese. Pre-Meiji, it seems what little sweetness there was in flavourings came from nukazuke as you suggested Jenny, and from miso and shoyu and what was probably their common culinary ancestor, a fermented soy product called hishio. With improvements in domestic sugar production technology in the Edo period though, in Edo (Tokyo) at least, even in the late Edo period soba, tempura and unagi (eel) restaurants also began to use sugar extensively apparently.

    Reply
  96. continuing on from above…
    >>Jennythenipper wrote:
    I kind of suspected that given that most rice cookers don't even have a brown rice setting…
    Thanks for confirming this and replying to my comments. This is really interesting to me.
    As for the macrobiotic movement, their program was a healthier alternative to what many people were living on which was primarily white rice. By adding a variety of grains and brown rice, they probably did many people a favor. And of course they are generally on the right side of the food heals, don't eat sugar wars. I'm sure a big part of the so-called success of many macrobiotic dieters is just getting rid of sugar and processed food.<<

    Actually, the rice cookers sold here for the domestic market have buttons for every thing these days – some even have sprouted brown rice settings, and (deep breath Weston Pricers) those that use a pressure cooking mode are the latest thing it seems. Just how many folks make use of the brown rice button I don’t really know (like most electrickery most of the capacity goes unused).

    I think you’re spot on about the “macrobi” people Jenny – whole foods and ditching sugar has got to be the key to the therapeutic effects it can have. And I was thinking about the traditional methods of the common folk to eek out their limited supply of rice by mixing with various other grains, turnips, daikon, etc. One of the most popular combos, then (and now as a health kick) is mugimeshi, a mixture of rice and barley. Assuming the barley wasn’t heat treated back then, I guess it contributed some phytase to help break down any phytic acid left in the probably only partially milled rice?

    Getting back to the original gist of Matt’s post, I’m guessing one simple but important factor in helping the Japanese maintain a better level of health than other industrialized countries (slipping nonetheless with rising rates of metabolic syndrome) is that they don’t drink anywhere near as much sugar. Unsweetened tea (green and oolong) and the ubiquitous barley tea in summer are perennially popular and take a very substantial share of the bottled drink market here. Children are also encouraged to acquire a taste for them from infancy. And there’s no easier way to ingest sugar than to drink it, is there. I’ve been reading fellow Australian, David Gillespie’s book on fructose, Sweet Poison, and his presentation of the US stats really brought this home. The supersizing of drinks which cheap HFCS made possible has been the last nail in the coffin it seems.

    Reply
  97. Lisa wrote:

    "Yes, sadly home-made nukazuke is increasingly uncommon, but I suspect that even a lot of urbanites have a go at DIY nukazuke here and there although they may not keep it going long term, and demand for the ready made variety is certainly still strong. You know, the boutique idea probably isn’t half a bad idea, Jenny. There seems to be more widespread hankering after tradition in the air these days. Something to do with hard times, too, I guess. If only I could claim some expertise, but I’ve none at all in the hands on area! ;D"

    Yet another of my great business ideas that I would fund in a heart beat if I had the dough. I've just been making my first batches
    of lacto-fermented veggies and they are really nice. I was at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant and they have a dish they call "special rice" which is a bunch of preserved, fermented veggies stir-fried with little bits of pork spread over rice. I wonder if the lacto-fermentation in the veggies offsets some of the issues of eating pork? Anyway its delicious.

    "And about traditional flavourings and sugar … I took some books out of the library this morning and my gleanings are: although it has been a luxury item since its importation from China in the 8th century, sugar consumption really took off after the Meiji period (1968-1912), and according to one essay I read, demand was driven by the army on the one hand, which adopted the use of “modern” military rations such as sweetened hard tack (the very same military authorities battling berri berri – connections I wonder ??) and the wave of westernization in eating habits on the other. Some of the Meiji generation of students of Western learning that flocked to Tokyo are also famous as the creators of the heavily sweetened sukiyaki style beef and other hotpot dishes people tend to think of as traditionally Japanese. Pre-Meiji, it seems what little sweetness there was in flavourings came from nukazuke as you suggested Jenny, and from miso and shoyu and what was probably their common culinary ancestor, a fermented soy product called hishio. With improvements in domestic sugar production technology in the Edo period though, in Edo (Tokyo) at least, even in the late Edo period soba, tempura and unagi (eel) restaurants also began to use sugar extensively apparently."

    It's interesting that's pretty much the same arc that sugar had in England, though a bit different dates. It first appeared in the middle ages, brought from India. It became a common luxury good in the 18th century with the rise of tea and slave labor in the new world to produce the sugar. Sugar consumption tripled in Jane Austen's brief lifetime. Then it sort of plateaued until the end of the 19th century when the taxes on it were repealed and it flooded in mass into the population.

    In this country the dates for sugar sink up with the end of the first world war. Personally, I think prohibition had a hand, all those beer facilities were turned over to soda, which is where we got our sweet drink addiction.

    Speaking of which, since giving up sugar, I've been living on Barley Tea. It's very satisfying for summer. I've been trying to get my kid to drink it too. So far, not much luck, but just wait till I reduce his fructose to a piece of fruit every other day! He'll be drinking it, too. I know it has a small amount of gluten, and I was worried that it might effect me. When I get done with isolating other variables, I'll do a self-experiment with mugicha.

    Reply
  98. ehi matt im the italian guy can u answer my above question shuold i make ur fat loss ebook or eating hig carb and fat modarate protein and low sugar???

    Reply
  99. >>Jennythenipper wrote:
    Sugar consumption tripled in Jane Austen's brief lifetime. … In this country the dates for sugar sink up with the end of the first world war. Personally, I think prohibition had a hand, all those beer facilities were turned over to soda, which is where we got our sweet drink addiction.<<

    The three-fold jump in sugar consumption during Jane Austen's lifetime is an amazing figure, Jenny! The soda and prohibition thing is really interesting, too. David Gillespie joins those dots as well in his book Sweet Poison. A parched market looking for a cold, fizzy hit with mood altering properties … No wonder the US has had such a head start in soda addiction.

    >>Speaking of which, since giving up sugar, I've been living on Barley Tea.<<

    Mugicha is a great thirst quencher isn't it, and it's got to be an improvement on juice, soda, etc, but the gluten issue is a hard one. I've decided to steer clear till further notice, because I feel so much better being gluten free – I get creaky in the joints as soon as I go near the stuff. Goodness knows if the trace amounts of barley gluten in mugicha are really a problem though if you're otherwise in good health. No doubt the best way to find out is with some self experimentation, like you say.

    Reply
  100. "The three-fold jump in sugar consumption during Jane Austen's lifetime is an amazing figure, Jenny!"

    Amazing, but I did some double checking and that was actually not quite right. Austen was born in 1775 and sugar consumption tripled between 1700 and 1780, so just prior to her lifetime, but definitely within the span of anaverage person's life. I should also not that their overall consumption was still tiny compared to ours (11 pounds versus the whooping 66 plus that americans get) and that most of the population had zero access to this drug. It's interesting though that around this time it become a big thing among the "quality" to worry about the condition of your teeth. Prostitutes were ranked by tooth quality, had access to sugar because eating with their clients was a big bonus to their jobs. Also this was an era for a big rise in gout also among the quality. Since presumably these people had been eating meat like crazy for hundreds of years, sugar may be the culprit again. People quit preserving by lacto fermentation and began using, you guessed it, sugar to preserve their condiments.

    Reply
  101. ehi matt when is ur ebook on digestion comin out ?? ist supposed too be out like a month ago what happened?

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  102. Hey Italian guy! Sorry I forgot to address your question. 180 Degree Metabolism is a good guideline for getting started on losing weight. The only major amendment I would make would be to begin increasing carbohydrates after no longer than a month with carbs in the 25-30grams per meal area. This will keep weight gain at a minimum as metabolism rises. If you jump right in to high carb, high-calorie – the metabolism will most likely correct itself a little faster, but sugar cravings will be higher and weight gain typically follows until your metabolism catches up. Although neither is better than the other, gaining weight initially is not something most people seeking to lsoe weight are comfortable with.

    Eat well, obey your appetite, have a long-term goal, be persistent and patient, and you'll have great long-term success, hopefully ending the weight loss battle for a lifetime and becoming the type of person who can eat to satisfaction without thinking about anything and not store food as excess body fat. Good luck and keep in touch.

    The digestion book comes out tomorrow. Be on the lookout.

    Reply
  103. >> Jennythenipper wrote:
    Austen was born in 1775 and sugar consumption tripled between 1700 and 1780, so just prior to her lifetime, but definitely within the span of anaverage person's life. I should also not that their overall consumption was still tiny compared to ours (11 pounds versus the whooping 66 plus that americans get) and that most of the population had zero access to this drug. It's interesting though that around this time it become a big thing among the "quality" to worry about the condition of your teeth. Prostitutes were ranked by tooth quality, had access to sugar because eating with their clients was a big bonus to their jobs.<<

    Fascinating info Jenny, thank you! Ironic that the perks of the trade for professional ladies were also the means of their dental and, ultimately, their professional ruin. I’m sure there’s some kind of metaphorical object lesson in there for us latter day folks, feeding at the trough of modern convenience foods …

    Here’s a few more gleanings from my library reading on sugar in the Japanese diet, from a 1998 essay on its historical role. Apparently, although sugar was imported from China from the 8th century, for many centuries it was so rare and precious it was not actually used to flavour food as such!. It’s only from the mid-14th century that there are sporadic references to its culinary use, and larger scale importation dates from around the late 16th century, but of course it was restricted to the “quality” here too. Surely a testament to its addictive powers though, sugar importation was the lone exception to the ban on imported food stuffs instituted under the shogunate’s draconian “sakoku” policy from the 1630s that restricted all trade and contact with the outside world, and imports even continued to increase during this period!

    To give some point of comparison with your Austen era data: at the beginning of the 17th century annual imports ran to 2,100 metric tonnes, to give a teeny tiny average annual per capita consumption of 87.5 g or 3 oz, but with a large jump in supply from increased domestic production in the late Edo period, the average per capita consumption rose to 454 g or 1 lb by the early 18th century. Still miniscule compared to contemporary English consumption, though. As of 2007, annual Japanese demand for sweeteners (sugar and HFCS) was running at just a smidgen over 3 million tonnes apparently (2.197 million tonnes of table sugar and 0.824 tonnes of HFCS), which works out, using the 2007 population figure, to an average annual per capita demand of 23.7 kg or 52 lb. If my math is correct, that’s an increase of more than 50 fold in 200 years or so, and a lot of it in the lifetime of persons still living. Mind boggling that the human metabolism can stand such abuse at all.

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  104. >>PaleoRD said…
    I was just re-reading some of Stephan's posts on Kitavans. Its funny to read the comments and see how hard people are trying to turn the Kitavan diet into a low-carb diet!<<

    The arguments get really strained on the Kitavan issue, don't they! I've come across low-carb/paleo partisans asserting that the Japanese/Chinese/Koreans don't really eat all that much rice several times lately, too. Yeah, right … When the evidence gets confronting the confirmation bias gets going!

    I came across a transcript earlier today of a very interesting interview on Australia's ABC Radio National health program, The Health Report, with Robert Lustig (Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco) from back in 2007. Lustig's take on the curly question of thin, refined starch-scarfing Asians was interesting:

    Norman Swan: I've often wondered, I've heard of some processed stuff and the evil of the food industry etc. but explain to me a conundrum — why Asians are thin, or have been traditionally thin and for centuries they've eaten processed rice, they've eaten white rice, they don't like brown rice and I don't blame them.

    Robert Lustig: Not a problem, I can explain it very simply. If you look at the Atkins diet, the Atkins diet was no-carb, high-fat, no-carb and it worked. We look at the Japanese diet, high-carb, no-fat, it also worked. When you put them together you get something called McDonalds and clearly that doesn't work. So the question is what is it about the Japanese diet, even though they eat all of this white rice, that still allows this phenomenon to be OK? And the answer is very simple — it's called fructose, because fructose is really not a carbohydrate. If you look at the metabolism, the liver metabolism of fructose it is just like a fat, it doesn't stimulate insulin, just like fat. It causes all this de novo lipogenesis.

    And here are Lustig's thoughts on the culpability of Food, Inc:

    Robert Lustig: I've heard those same concerns you know, why, if we have so many calories why aren't we fatter. Well there are a few reasons why that might be. I do want to mention that the American food industry produces 3,900 calories per capita per day. We can only eat 1,800 calories per capita per day. In other words the American food industry makes double the amount of food that we can actually use. Who eats the rest? We do, through this mechanism, they actually know that by putting fructose into the foods that we eat, for instance pretzels — why do you need fructose in pretzels, why do we need fructose in hamburger buns?

    Norman Swan: Are you postulating here a fructose conspiracy, the way the tobacco industry had a nicotine conspiracy?

    Robert Lustig: Well I can't call it a conspiracy per se. I certainly know, and they certainly know that they sell more of it when they add the fructose to it. That's why it's in there, otherwise why would it be in there? Do they know that this is actually harmful? That's what I don't know. There's no smoking gun, ultimately we found the smoking gun for smoking, you know we found the documents. I'm not prepared to say that about the food companies. I do not know that they know that they are hurting us. However, they definitely know they sell more, and it temporarily coincides with the advent of fructose being added to our diet.

    Source:
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/stories/2007/1969924.htm

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  105. im the italian guy lol
    anyway thx :)i will let u know
    last question can i drink fresh whole milk if his in the carb range or not? cause i know is a simple sugar but i love milk XD

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  106. Lisa thanks for posting that transcript. I've been wondering that myself. I'm beyond baffled why people don't see sugar as the real culprit in all this. You can switch macro nutrient ratios around all day and all night and it doesn't matter, really. When it fails is when you throw sugar into the works.

    As for the question as to whether these huge corporations know they are poisoning the population. Someday someone will discover the smoking gun and someday someone will Edward R. Murrow their a$$es to account for what they've done. The thing I hope is that by the time my son is my age, people look at eating sugar like we look at smoking. Eat sugar and pay higher insurance premiums. Eat sugar pay extra taxes to account for your burden on the healthcare system.

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  107. Amen, Jenny. Although there very well may be optimal macronutrient ratios — and I must say I had a really eerie moment today seeing the match between the ratios for western lowland gorillas and other herbivores in a paper recently discussed by Barry Groves and the ratios for Jan Kwasniewski's Opitmal Diet — nonetheless, good, even excellent health, has obviously been achieved by human populations subsisting on a range of ratios. Unless of course, as you say, you add preternatural quantities of fructose to the mix, in which case, it's very clearly curtain time, metabolically.

    The Barry Groves post is here btw:
    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/should-all-animals-eat-a-high-fat-low-carb-diet.html

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  108. how does everyone feel about sweet potatoes occasionally and rice as a staple? Favourite foods for general health?

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  109. >>>>>>Well the 50% thing comes from nourishing traditions, which is only based on Price's research. So take it with a grain of sea salt harvested from Britanny. By Hand. With a rake.<<<<<<

    Indeed. But I wouldn't take it with a grain of salt because it is only based on the work of Weston Price. I would take it with a grain of salt because not everything over there at the Weston A. Price Foundation headed by Sally Fallon is necessarily reflective of the work of Dr. Weston Price.

    That isn't to discount the great work the WAPF is doing, but it is to say that on a few issues over there something else reigns other than science. Or as I like to say, sometimes there is too much Sally and not enough Weston.

    So as I was saying, I don't recall anywhere in the works of Weston Price a mention of a particular percentage of raw food in the diet. Maybe there is but I will need to look at NT and see if she cites any reference.

    >>>>>>But seriously the Raw thing includes raw milk, of course, and all the lacto-fermented foods you are supposed to eat which they believe aid digestion as well as elimination of harmful things such as the toxins in preserved/smoked/bbq meats.<<<<<<

    Yes I am aware that the raw thing includes raw milk, but you just said raw foods in your original statement without any qualification. Price himself put an emphasis on raw animal foods in general, however in no way did he emphasize raw dairy to the extent the WAPF does. Not even close.

    >>>>>>Ohter lacto-fermented foods, in theory, should be aiding the digestion of grains (and Weston Pricers do sprout wheat, soak grains as well. Nourishing traditions recommends soaking white flour in buttermilk. Don't know if it helps my digestion but it tastes nice.) <<<<<<

    Yes I am aware that the WAPF recommends soaking and sprouting, but as I noted, if gluten is an issue, only soaking a gluten grain is, IMO, simplistic advice.

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  110. I don't see why starchy root vegetables have to take a back seat to rice. I eat yams all the time without any problem.

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  111. On the topic of both milk and macronutrient ratios, I was reminded of an exchange between Matt, Stan (Heretic) and others on Stephan Guyenet’s blog relating to a dairy farmer Matt buys milk from who at 59 “had a heart attack – LDL over 200 and HDL was like 25 (he also ate no refined sugar). Raw milk comprised nearly 50% of his caloric intake”:
    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/tokelau-island-migrant-study-dental.html

    I found Stan’s reply very interesting (and Matt seemed to pretty much concede the point), and I’d really like to know more about this issue of potentially dangerous ratios. Stan said:

    “If they cows weren't grass fed they would be lacking K2 and since milk may have 50% of calories as sugar would make such a diet within Dr.Kwasniewski's "forbidden zone". A diet with a comparable proportions by calories of fat and carbohydrate (say F:C=40%:40%) is highly atherosclerotic according to him, even if you consume all natural unprocessed produce. Even if you consumed 50% fat and 30% carbs I would still be worried. The safe region on a high fat diet is below 1g carbs a day per 1kg of ideal body weight. On a 2000kcal/day diet that would be 15% of carbs max (in calories). Anything above that would be dicey for middle aged or older adults.”

    How might metabolic damage from fructose, etc, enter into this equation I wonder. Is Kwasniewski’s injunction against “combining fuels” something worth considering, even if you have an ostensibly healthy metabolism? Personally this comes down to a question of whether or not I'm doing my family any favours by upping the fat and dropping the carbs of morning and evening meals when their midday meals are pretty much unavoidably medium to high carb (Japanese school lunches, etc).

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  112. Yeah, but what does Kwasniewski say about indigenous cultures eating well above 1g of carbs per kg of body weight without any heart problems? Remember the comment DML made about Kitavans with the "bad" blood lipid markers but good cardiovascular health?
    Also, if every child in America in the 1900s had heart problems, then I would be unsure about carbohydrates combination with other foods. But obesity, heart problems, and insulin resistance all have climbed through out the years for children, probably from crappy food effecting the rate of metabolism – such as high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oils replacement of saturated fats..these changes effecting the mother as well, therefore the child before it's even born.
    Not to forget also that Broda Barnes cured people of heart disease with Armour. Just more clues saying heart health has way more relation to thyroid and endocrine function than what any natural food does directly to a most likely broken person.

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  113. @chlOe
    I haven't read Kwasniewski's work, but from what I've picked up, I think he might approve of the Kitavan diet, as he apparently does the traditionally high carb, low fat Japanese diet. At least, I believe he concedes they do work nutritionally although he doesn't think high carb diets make for optimal human beings, or something along those lines … his theoretical interpretations of relative carb ratios have strong philosophical overtones apparently. By all accounts, what he doesn't think works are diets that have equivalent levels of carbs and fat.

    What I'd like to know is what evidence there is, observational, clinical or whatever, that helps disentangle the issue of putatively good or bad ratios from the issue of metabolic damage induced by fructose, etc. I do know of recent work by Jeff Volek and others, for example, that suggests high carb and low fat (%carbohydrate:fat:protein = 56:24:20) are atherogenic in subjects who are already metabolically messed up:
    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/Meeting2/CommentAttachments/Feinman-Volek2009-170.pdf

    But then, of course, as you say, even higher carb, lower fat (%carbohydrate:fat:protein = 69:21:17) work awfully well for the Kitavans:
    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/08/kitavans-wisdom-from-pacific-islands.html

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  114. Kwasneiwski states in his book optimal nutrition, one can eat 100 to 150g of carbs a day if it comes from starches. He even says you can go over that sometimes, but it is not wise to do it all the time. His 50g carb limit is if your consuming fruits, sugar, or other garbage. He is kinda weird, he says not to consume white sugar or fruits, but in his recipes section alot of his dishes have those in it.

    Just got done reading your digestion ebook last night… really good, well rounded info.

    matt, i am helping friend of mine get into this… if she makes oatmeal in the morning, and puts a alot of butter in there, do you think some slices of banana in it would be a bad idea? Would it be better than honey, or should she just not even bother with either…. i am trying to break her sweet tooth…

    also, i was wondering what kind of coconut oil you use? I am going to add it back into my diet again soon, to see how i react with it. I have also been off gluten for a month now and am going to start testing myself with it again! I am not going to go crazy with it like last time… just eat some here and there.

    thanks
    troy

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  115. Is Jungle Coconut oil good?

    Or is Nativa better?

    Do any of them "hide" soy oil, or other PUFA oils in there in the mix, such as it has been shown that some Italian producers do with Olive Oil?

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  116. Some questions…

    - Studies that claim to incriminate fructose – do they really apply to the fructose naturally occuring in fruit, or just the ultra-refined HFCS type of fructose?

    - I have had major insulin resistance for years, blood sugar swings, hormonal imbalance, excess weight etc since I can remember. I thought from everything I read that carbs must be the issue, but never could bring myself to cut them out (yet I still ate a 100% unprocessed diet as per the recommendations of the Weston A Price Foundation – none of whom look outstandingly healthy by the way…). Just recently I decided to go the opposite way and try a McDougall (gasp) style diet of mostly starch and vegetables, a little fruit, ZERO added fat: and ALL of the health conditions linked to insulin issues have improved, or vanished altogether. So this is my theory: both advocates of low carb, high fat diets (Jan Kwasniewski) and advocates of low fat, high carb diets (McDougall) are correct. Neither fat nor carb is inherently bad for us. It's when you try to mix BOTH in large quantities that you run into trouble. Has anyone else thought this???

    (((Sorry if this has already been covered, I don't have time to read all the comments just now)))

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  117. whats the ideal the ideal tuongue temparature in the morning? please let me know

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  118. Please help guys!

    I'm a Matt Stone follower. Been reading around. Done some pretty extreme diets, since "SAD" failed out.

    Right now I have 1 major problem (started when I was eating huge quantities of SAD items, such as wheat, went away on raw vegan, but has now returned even though I only eat whole organic foods and no wheat). The problem is: bad taste in mouth and bad breath.

    I can't really describe the taste in my mouth, but this is not only a bad breath sort of thing, where I can't smell it but every body else can. It's a vinegarish taste of fermentaion, and I smell it if I lick the back of my hand. It's horrible. I brush my teeth, the mint smell lasts only 1 hour.

    The bad breath is particularly strong in the morning, and if I go longer time without eating (like juts after eating something, it's not that bad).

    Is something fermenting in my intestines? Am I doing something wrong? Combinations? My tongue also has a slim layer of white/yellow on it, especially in the back.

    Please, tell me what I should do. Eating HED doesn't seem to cure it, it only makes it go away temporarily, like after a huge meal, I don't have that taste in my mouth.

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  119. James brings to discussion a thing that relates to the question I almost asked yesterday. Effect of starvation or bad diet to the intestine and intestine microflora in particular.

    Pima indians had a period of starvation before they were forced to change their diet; could this period of starvation have had an effect that made them and their offspring (epigenetics) so extremely vulnerable to the new "western" diet? Starvation may have quite big effect for example in the intestine (bacterial overgrowth and translocation, increased permeability) and liver (insulin resistance, fat accumulation).

    Increased flow of endotoxin (LPS) from the gut leads to metabolic endotoxemia which is closely related to exhausted adrenals.

    Swedish Per Björntorp (R.I.P) wrote a lot about the connection between cortisol and metabolic syndrome. Changes in intestinal microbiota and the condition of intestine could explain his findings because endotoxin increases cortisol excretion. Metabolic endotoxemia will also start low grade inflammation which is very closely related to metabolic syndrome, T2DM and CHD.

    Fructose may also be very closely related to this issue:

    "Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Humans Is Associated with Increased Plasma Endotoxin and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 Concentrations and with Fructose Intake"

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18641190

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  120. I think westie is right, epigenetic changes can have a big influence on metabolism:

    http://www.huli.group.shef.ac.uk/Rickard_and_Lummaa_TEM_2007.pdf
    http://www.wesleyan.edu/bio/sultan/SES_Nature.pdf

    Throwing this into equation complicates things quite a bit. We could simply be "programmed" to require a less nutritious diet compared to our ancestors, not to mention HGs such as Eskimos and Kitavans. And just like westie said about the Pima Indians, they could be so bad off on their new diet just because of the starvation period they had to go through before. It's impossible to say their old diet of corn and potatoes wouldn't have harmed them as well. Nutrition really is infinitely complex! What is definitely the case is that undernourishment contributed a lot to our bad health/ruined metabolisms, like dr. Price observed correctly. And I think tons of calories containing few nutrients is a situation nature just wasn't well prepared for…

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  121. Hi Matt,

    Great book and ezines by the way.

    Question: My girlfriend make very delicious Vietnamese food, being from there. However, I suspect there is very little fat in these meals as for all that I can tell Vietnamese cooking uses little and even no oil in preparation. As I eat with her often and I could see this becoming a live in situation soon, what might I be able to do to do to optimize my metabolism with the Vietnamese Diet? Add concunut oil to stuff?

    Also,
    Your material inspired me to look into thyroid/adrenal stuff and I will be seeing someone about that in Aug. I strongly suspect adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid issues(actually more than "suspect", I'd say I "know" these are issues). I'm looking into getting on natural thyroid gland. However, I recently read Dr. Wilson's ebook about "WTS-Wilson's Temperature Syndrome" and it is a completely different and very promising method to not only treat but *cure* low body temperature(mine is 96.5-97.5) problems and all that is connected to them(thyroid, hypoglicemia, metabolic issues, ect). I'm wondering what your take is on this Dr. Wilson material since you seem to know alot about this area.

    here is the link if you have not already looked at it.

    http://www.wilsonssyndrome.com/eBook/

    This definitly has complicated getting thyroid treated….more options…but more confusing as well…..

    Aaron

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  122. Does anyone else get frontal headache by coconut oil? That stuff is nasty IMO

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  123. As a general comment here, I think I have a hint as to why the study conducted with fructose and glucose read that fructose made insulin resistance worse. And it could have explained this in the book with the study, but, I didn't know this..and for anyone who didn't..

    Being that the amount of fructose a person eats when eating copious amounts of fast food, processed food, and soft drinks is incomparable to eating fructose in fruit; I'm not sure if it's safe to say fructose naturally is bad even for supposed people who do not absorb fructose. Perhaps they malabsorb it because they're completely overloaded with it, and any overload will not be absorbed, but a normal amount perhaps could. And there's people who say fructose in fruit (levulose) is different than the kind that is refined. So when speaking of fructose malabsorption..is it refined or natural fructose that's being malabsorbed..or both? If there is even a difference.

    Anyway, why there was more of a negative impact on insulin with pure fructose..
    Fructose does not get used right away, like glucose – which goes directly into the bloodstream, and then on to replenish glycogen stores and/or used as energy. Fructose goes into the bloodstream and then into the liver, where it must be processed first. It has to be turned into glycogen and then released as needed by the body. So if the liver is completely overloaded with fructose, and liver glycogen gets maxed out..it's a little easier to become insulin resistant with an overloaded and weak liver, no?

    I haven't met everyone in the world, and I don't want to assume no one truly could malabsorb fructose in natural amounts – or they can't because of damage already done. But I also don't want to assume it isn't possible that there's a huge set of other variables to be considered.

    It seems as if the hit on fructose is like saying saturated fat is bad..in this situation but good in that situation. Or red meat, or whatever socially rejected but actually healthy food.

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  124. Matt, how are you making a living now if your membership is free?

    -Drew

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  125. Oh and where is access to previous podcasts? Perhaps Im blind but I dont see a link!

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  126. Is red meat healthy? But what about those studies showing that if you eat more than 500 grams of red meat per week you have a 150 % increased risk of intestinal cancer, and other cancers such as prostate and pancreatic, as well?

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  127. I know that my allergies are worse when I eat any kind of fructose, be it from fruit, raw honey or HFCS. The near collapse I suffered after a month on a diet where I ate no refined sugar might have triggered this because I started eating so much more fruit and honey to make up for the lack of processed sugar in my diet. I started making fruit compote to sweeten things, etc. so I was eating a ton of fructose. Does my liver really care if it comes from a corn cob or an apricot? I don't think so.

    I have been going almost cold turkey on fructose and can feel the effects of tiny, tiny amounts–like a single bite of very sweet melon.

    Half Navajo said:
    "matt, i am helping friend of mine get into this… if she makes oatmeal in the morning, and puts a alot of butter in there, do you think some slices of banana in it would be a bad idea? Would it be better than honey, or should she just not even bother with either…. i am trying to break her sweet tooth…"

    Half Navajo, please don't! Oatmeal was how I got into this frutose panic in the first place. The stupid diet I was on was all about eating oatmeal everyday. I find it completely inedible without quite a lot of sweetener. I tried everything from maple syrup to honey to fruit compotes, etc. It's all sugar. If you want to get your friend to quit eating sugar get her off of cereal! Get her eating eggs, bacon and hasbrowns and her a.m. sugar cravings will go away. (Just don't let her put ketchup on her eggs!)

    One possibility for eating oatmeal that I'm going to try is the way that the people in the outer hebrides ate it (they were studied by Price), which is made with a meat broth. Oatmeal was a savory dish, flavored with salt and meat. In England it was eaten with beef, (groaty pudding) in scotland, eaten with sheep bits (haggis) and in Ireland it was always made with milk or preferably cream (porridge). The oatcakes that were the daily bread of the outer hebrides were always made with dripping or butter. They are quite high in fat but have no sugar.

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  128. How can you say fructose is the problem when there are so many other factors? I know just from my experience that there's always so many things to consider and I'm always being updated with stumps that I previously thought I could blame for any suspicious problem.

    If you were eating oatmeal and tons of sugars for one meal, you might feel bad because you're eating no other proteins or fats with it. This must be considered, as well as the effects the oatmeal and whatever sugars ingested have on the hormones, especially without any other macronutrient in good proportion to them.

    I find any starch intolerable by itself, so it's a little unfair to call out oatmeal for that.

    Let's keep in mind that thyroid and basic functions (hormones..metabolism) is the main cause of a host of maladies. I strongly believe that vegetable oils, something that's not been consumed for long, nor very probable to occur naturally (and when it does, for example, polyunsaturated fats are consumed by squirrels in the winter in order to slow their metabolic rate for hibernation), has the greatest effect on health.

    The science behind polyunsaturated fats effects on thyroid suppressing seems strong.
    I think yes, liver has to do a lot with hormone production, but there's no guarantee that fructose such as from fruits, rather than refined, is causing this for everyone. Sugar is a huge spectrum – I don't think saying all sugars have problems, like lumping in natural ones with refined ones.

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  129. @Jennythenipper: Interesting, thanks for sharing that. I find it rather worrying that people (and I was one of these) who are attempting to shift to paleo/primal diets are apt to just switch to honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, etc., to compensate for the elimination of refined sugars, going by the kinds of recipes that tend to get people excited (I've got the forum of Mark's Daily Apple in mind here). Going cold turkey on all concentrated forms of fructose for a while seems to hold out much better hope of normalising a fructose disturbed metabolism, as Johnson and co's research indicates, although as Matt says, two weeks is probably a bit optimistic. From a study by Segal, Gollub and Johnson (2007):

    Americans are currently eating 70–100 g fructose per day, and this contrasts with levels of 15–40 g per day that comprised the average diet in the early 19th century [168].We hypothesize that the key to break this cycle is the initiation of a diet that begins with a 2 week period in which fructose intake is severely restricted to less than 5 g a day. In rats, complete cessation of fructose can result in normalized fructokinase levels after 1 week [137]. In addition, studies in humans have also shown that reducing fructose intake for 2 weeks can result in a reduced uric acid response to a fructose load [39]. The concept here is to reduce fructokinase and Glut5 levels back to baseline before returning to the historic 15–40 g of fructose per day diet. Since if fructokinase levels remain high even low doses of fructose (15–40 g) may continue to engage the pathway, causing insulin resistance and continued obesity. One might hypothesize that this may be one reason obese individuals have so much trouble losing weight; small amounts of fructose (in the form of HFCS) are in many foods so even a small amount ingested will continue to lead to acute increases in uric acid leading to insulin resistance. In this regard, the development of a F.I. or F.L. for foods based on the percentage of calories derived from fructose might be a useful way to alert individuals who are trying to lose weight. (p. 411)

    Segal, M. S., Gollub, E., & Johnson, R. J. (2007). Is the fructose index more relevant with regards to cardiovascular disease than the glycemic index? European Journal of Nutrition, 46(7), 406-417.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17763967?ordinalpos=14&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    I'm currently reading "Sweet Poison" by David Gillespie. His background as a former ("recovering" as he says) corportate lawyer is in evidence in the way he traces the commercial factors involved in the massive rise in fructose consumption and he is great at presenting the statistical and medical data he has amassed on the topic. Highly recommended – has a nice light, humorous touch. His blog, Raisin Hell, is very good, too.

    I've found the chapter on the evidence that tracks cancer and increased sugar consumption to be particularly effective avoidance therapy. For instance, given the particularly deadly nature of pancreatic cancer, the strong association between high fructose diets and pancreatic cancer in longitudinal studies is very sobering, e.g. these two that Gillespie quotes:
    Michaud et al. (2002) "Dietary sugar, glycemic load, and pancreatic cancer risk in a prospective study":
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12208894

    Larsson, Bergkvist and Wolk (2006) " Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study” (full text):
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/84/5/1171

    And here's another 2009 study I just turned up, Chan, Wang and Holly (2009) "Sweets, sweetened beverages, and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large population-based case-control study" that provides an overview of the previous literature as well (full text):
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=19277880

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  130. I FINALLY just read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration for the first time. Price seems to provide good answers for why wheat and sugar are problematic for people.

    Wheat is never used fresh anymore. He shows an experiment where mice are raised on fresh ground wheat, white flour or a bran/millet mixture. The fresh wheat mouse has superior health. He theorizes that the grinding of wheat exposes the food to oxidation which greatly reduces the nutrition of the food if not eaten within a reasonable time (what that is, I do not know). Who ever gets fresh ground wheat anymore? I would assume that most modern bakers simply receive a batch of flour and then make their bread. Who knows how old that flour is. This might explain why there is a growing problem of gluten intolerance, celiac disease and other grain maladies.

    This problem does not occur with brown rice, potatoes or things such as quinoa because the protective outer layer of the plant remains intact usually up until it is cooked for consumption, which prevents most of the nutritious elements from oxidative damage.

    Sugar, when refined, probably encounters the same problem. Price mentions that many groups ate fruits, but he does not detail to what extent those fruits were a major contributor either caloricaly or for micronutrients.

    There could also be a syngerstic effect when white flour and refined sugar are combined with vegetable oil. It might be that a high consumption of any of those by itself is somewhat harmful, but when combining them in lesser amounts the overall effect is greater just the high consumption of one alone.

    Personally, I've noticed that my puffy face look from years ago has gone away. Paleo diet followers like to blame that look on insulin and high carb intake. I still eat a lot of carbs, but NO more veg oil, sugar, or flour. Just rice and starchy vegetables (potatoes, beans, corn…).

    Basically it is a justification for a whole foods diet with a minimum of quality animal foods for the fat soluble vitamins. Any refined food is exposed to too much oxygen and quickly loses any nutritional value. This could explain why flour, sugar and veg oil are the "triple threat" in our current day.

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  131. To Lisa,
    I think there are plenty of ways to hurt a metabolism. But it's not what foods do directly to it, rather, what effect they have on you (endocrine system) to slow it down. I'm assuming that a fructose overload (which doesn't seem at all possible through natural foods) has an effect on insulin, and specifically the liver, which is a major controller of a lot of other hormones. Because of this, any hormones disturbed will effect in one way or another how the metabolism deals with it. The same could be said for polyunsaturated fats or an all muscle meat diet. Polyunsaturated fats I'm completely unsure about in high amounts in any food, where as with meats, they just become the antagonist if eaten strictly alone – most likely because of the high amount of tryptophan and cysteine, which can disturb thyroid in high amounts.

    I just felt the need to reply because I think while it is very modest to give up something that is addicting, there is a line that should be drawn as to what sugars are worse than others, and what sugars should maybe not be avoided forever. I just want there to be no blind spots, and I get that vibe when someone says directly that fructose slows metabolism. I haven't heard a full explanation why, other than my own thoughts of it, which is it's effect on insulin in large (large large) amounts, and perhaps what it can do to absorption. But again, this is not anything natural, this is refined processed things found pumped in bread, ketchup, and what have you, that cause this.
    But it's going back to that whole thing..if you can't eat a certain food that's natural, there could just be something off balance in you. Something like insulin, or damage done elsewhere. I think there are endless studies of what food does what, but if you get down into the science of it (while still keeping good real world examples in mind – animals and people alike), I think we'll all get farther.

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  132. Hi ChlOe, I’m sure you’re quite right about it not being possible to induce leptin and insulin resistance with fructose in the sorts of quantities in which it occurs naturally. Well, at least if you had to find it yourself at any rate, as do hunter gatherers. However, excessive fructose intake, mostly from the sucrose and HFCS so pervasive in the modern diet, is posited as a cause of this metabolic damage by Johnson and others. The mechanism is described in Segal, Gollub & Johnson as follows:

    Besides causing transient ischemia, fructose-induced ATP depletion leads to local AMP accumulation with activation of AMP deaminase and the generation of uric acid [101]. Uric acid levels rise rapidly in the blood and are a direct reflection of intracellular ATP depletion [42, 101, 112]. Doses as low as 0.5 g fructose/kg body mass can activate this pathway, especially in children [39, 112, 145]. While initially the increase in uric acid is observed primarily following ingestion of fructose, diets high in fructose or sucrose also result in an increase in fasting uric acid within weeks [62, 121], and chronic intake of sugars and sugar-sweetened drinks is correlated with uric acid levels [47]. In contrast, glucose (or starch) does not cause ATP depletion [14], nor does it cause either acute or chronic elevations in uric acid [62, 121]. (p. 408)

    Segal, M. S., Gollub, E., & Johnson, R. J. (2007). Is the fructose index more relevant with regards to cardiovascular disease than the glycemic index? European Journal of Nutrition, 46(7), 406-417

    Johnson proposes that a period of fructose elimination may be necessary to restore the metabolism. However, none of the fructose researchers I’ve come across, Johnson included, seem to be suggesting that anyone permanently eliminate fruit from their diet, and I’m certainly not advocating anyone do that (perhaps I inadvertently gave that impression, in which case, my apologies).

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  133. He's got a strange love going on with eliminating uric acid. No less, ATP can be effected by many things, and so I'm very iffy about this explanation. It's funny that it's specifically mentioned in this quote I've pulled (below) that in diabetics..ATP production is worse. Naturally you think insulin when you mention diabetes, and like I said before, an overload on the liver with too much fructose (through refined sources) has the ability to do this – if it specifically overloads liver, and messes with insulin levels.

    Here,
    " In diabetes, a characteristic feature is that the blood supply is relatively remote from cells in muscle and skin, so the oxygen and nutrients have to diffuse farther than in normal individuals, and the ATP level of cells is characteristically lower than normal. In blood cells, both red (Garnier, et al.) and white cells are probably more rigid in diabetes, because of lower ATP production, and higher intracellular calcium and sodium.

    Magnesium in the cell is largely associated with ATP, as the complex Mg-ATP. When ATP is "used" or converted to ADP, this lower-energy substance associates with calcium, as Ca-ADP. In a hypothyroid state, the energy charge can be depleted by stress, causing cells to lose magnesium. ATP is less stable when it isn't complexed with magnesium, so the stress-induced loss of magnesium makes the cell more susceptible to stress, by acting as a chronic background stimulation, forcing the cell to replace the ATP which is lost because of its instability. In this state, the cell takes up an excess of calcium."

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/diabetes.shtml

    There are also different suggestions by Peat that say uric acid and purines are actually a good thing, an antioxidant and protector in fact. Just saying, there are conflicting ideas going on here. It is very possible either of them is wrong, but, at least one guy actually studies thyroid and hormones for a living, know what I mean?

    Also, it's kind of funny that Johnson is suggesting ways to restore metabolism when he suggests things that are very offensive to it in general (low calorie, low fat, aerobic exercise)..at least to thyroid. I really would like to see the studies that suggest fructose directly effects ATP production like that. Too bad these things usually cost money to really read in depth on a website or something.
    This fructose he speaks of in this study of ATP could be highly refined. It's not like he said anything like "we fed an apple to a mouse, and the fructose in it lowered ATP".

    I recognize sugar could be a problem for different people, but it could also be an entirely different problem with the person themselves. It's like the whole..oh you can't digest meat because we're meant to be vegetarian!
    So far I'm not sure, but personally, I don't seem to be effected by no sugar (after about 5 months with none). Because of this, I just want to share that I think the root cause is not entirely fructose centered, less about ATP and uric acid, and more about how to generally achieve the right hormonal balance.

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  134. @ChlOe: Whether or not you buy Johnson’s argument about the causal role of uric acid in metabolic syndrome is of course up to you. The sugar-uric acid link is not new though – it was actually Yudkin I believe who was the first to observe that sugar raises uric acid levels (according to Gillespie in “Sweet Poison”). Anyway, FWIW here are links to three papers (full text available) co-authored by Johnson that will provide more detail on the proposed mechanism:
    “A causal role for uric acid in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome” (2005):
    http://ajprenal.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/290/3/F625?ck=nck#R13

    “Uric Acid, the Metabolic Syndrome, and Renal Disease” (2006):
    http://jasn.asnjournals.org/cgi/content/full/17/12_suppl_3/S165#R38

    “Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease” (2007):
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/86/4/899

    On the ATP depletion issue, the first paper in that list, “A causal role for uric acid in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome” (2005) contends that “fructose enters hepatocytes, where it is rapidly phosphorylated by fructokinase to fructose-1-phosphate (13). During this reaction, ATP donates the phosphate, resulting in the generation of ADP, which is further metabolized to uric acid” and cites the following paper (full text pdf also available) in support:
    Hallfrisch (1990) “Metabolic effects of dietary fructose”:
    http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/4/9/2652?ijkey=cdab0d8ec418deb692c07bcc63c3733da789b32e&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    I’ve no training in biochemistry, so personally, I’m just taking their word on this until I hear that someone has falsified the hypothesis. In any case, for me the precise mechanism is not the crucial issue, because I think it’s pretty clear (as you would probably agree) that refined sucrose and HFCS are leading suspects in the diseases of civilization. And for me it’s not a big leap from there to taking a bet on Johnson’s fructose/uric acid hypothesis and trying a limited period of fructose restriction, but I can, of course, only speak for myself. As for the rest of Johnson’s dietary fixes (restricting purine-rich foods, sat fat), my reaction to his book was pretty much identical to Matt’s review in the newsletter:
    Problem is, Johnson, once he was done spouting off about his incredibly important and revolutionary insights on the fructose molecule, didn’t know when to shut the hell up. Johnson, after delivering some great information on fructose, goes on to undermine absolutely everything that he worked to build in his book by parroting a vast array of mainstream health dogma that he knows precisely squat about.

    I can quite understand the skepticism that his disturbingly blinkered approach might produce. I guess we just have to await further work in the area.

    Reply
  135. In these studies, they are all conducted with fructose that is refined. 60% of the diet? Does anyone even eat that much refined fructose everyday? That's what I don't understand. This study doesn't seem applicable to the real world.

    It's like saying raw egg whites cause biotin deficiency..in order to do that you'd have to eat 20 or so raw egg whites a day for weeks. There's science, sure, but there's no common sense.

    Of course there are probably people effected (in a large or extremely small way) when they remove refined sugars and fructose, which is the biggest clue as to why the stuff is bad. The fact that insulin resistance(which, he refers to as metabolic syndrome..which is only a part of it) is obviously in direct relation to causing fat to accumulate. If for whatever reason uric acid or any other acid helps insulin with resistance (therefore allowing weight loss), it's still only one way to do it. It doesn't prove anything about uric acid or fructose. Even he(whoever conducted the study) said that uric acid didn't have much effect on triglyceride levels.

    This would mean there's a deeper root, if uric acid depletion only had effect on one thing: insulin that is jolted by a 60% refined fructose diet.

    As well, there's tons of people who write studies that appear bright. Just read China Study, another example of something that goes off subject of metabolism and every hormonal connection as a whole and focuses on extremities of tests in animals to prove veganism is the right diet for people.

    So to be clear, I think the only good reason for eliminating refined sugar products I've noticed so far is because of the results that actual people experience. I think that anyone's problem with any and all sugars is probably insulin related, and approachable through many ways, the best of which being the one that ultimately creates the correct homeostasis inside the body – along with the best metabolism rate for fighting 'diseases of aging'.

    Reply
  136. Lots of people have probably come across (Whole Health Source) Stephan's post on the recent paper by Stanhope et al., "Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans":
    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

    I've been wondering about the connection between fructose's reported effect of raising triglycerides, confirmed yet again in the Stanhope et al. study and Johnson's and others' work demonstrating its ability to raise uric acid levels chronically. I came across a recent piece on Medscape CME by Michael Miller of the University of Maryland Medical Center, "Is there a relationship between hypertriglyceridemia and high uric acid levels?", discussing this very issue:
    http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/703290

    From his conclusion:
    That levels of both uric acid and triglycerides have increased in recent years mimics the increased prevalence of obesity which, beginning in childhood, has now reached epidemic proportions.[10,11]

    Thus, although there is no direct relationship between hypertriglyceridemia and high uric acid levels, they are linked by a common denominator: a diet enriched in fructose. Fructose not only increases endogenous production of uric acid but also induces de novo lipid synthesis, thereby resulting in enhanced hepatic output of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.[12,13] High uric acid levels raise the likelihood of a person having elevated triglyceride levels, visceral obesity (increased waist circumference), insulin resistance, hypertension, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, all of which represent features of the metabolic syndrome.[4]

    @ChlOe: Stanhope et al. at least can probably put the real world applicability question to rest. They note the following:
    The amount of sugar consumed by the subjects in this study, 25% of energy requirements, is considerably higher than 15.8%, the current estimate for the mean intake of added sugars by Americans (58). However, recent reports (59–63) suggest that the sugar intake from beverages alone approaches or exceeds 15% of energy in adolescents and adults up to 40 years of age. The large SDs in several of these reports suggest that at least 16% of the studied populations was consuming over 25% of daily energy requirements from sugar-sweetened beverages (59, 62, 63).

    Reply
  137. These are already overweight and obese people, already with insulin problems (and probably a ton of others), and eating 25% refined fructose as a part of their current diet. The fact that these people already handle foods differently than a healthy person is something to be aware of – it's like trying to prove red meat causes colon cancer, or rather, increases risks. If a person already has a poor functioning digestive system, that isn't something to blame on the food. Sure it may be wise to remove a risk at the time if that's the persons problem. If someone already has poor insulin and hormone balance in general, obviously feeding that much (refined) fructose ONto these problems is going to cause a reaction.

    There are going to be differences with fructose and glucose if they are processed differently inside the body (fructose to liver to be converted, glucose straight to the blood stream). So when comparing the two, shouldn't that be considered? I think they are trying to make it seem as if fructose directly causes these problems (visceral fat increase, insulin resistance) when it could be simply indirect and treatable through other ways than to simply lower every single trace of fructose (refined or not). Eliminating refined fructose is obviously the smart idea if insulin resistance is present, because then the liver won't have to work so hard.. same with someone with incredibly poor digestion, they might not want to eat a ton of red meat.

    Still, there is nothing here that explains why people are overweight – just what can worsen an already bad situation: 25% of your diet as refined fructose.

    Reply
  138. @ChlOe
    >>>These are already overweight and obese people, already with insulin problems (and probably a ton of others), and eating 25% refined fructose as a part of their current diet. The fact that these people already handle foods differently than a healthy person is something to be aware of – it's like trying to prove red meat causes colon cancer, or rather, increases risks. If a person already has a poor functioning digestive system, that isn't something to blame on the food. Sure it may be wise to remove a risk at the time if that's the persons problem. If someone already has poor insulin and hormone balance in general, obviously feeding that much (refined) fructose ONto these problems is going to cause a reaction.

    Still, there is nothing here that explains why people are overweight – just what can worsen an already bad situation: 25% of your diet as refined fructose.<<<

    The evidence that fructose lowers HDL and elevates triglycerides and has other negative metabolic effects in healthy men and women as well seems fairly substantial, beginning with work by Yudkin on sugar and HDL (this is described in Johnson’s “The Sugar Fix”, and in the following recent studies:

    Bantle et al. (2000) “Effects of dietary fructose on plasma lipids in healthy subjects”
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/72/5/1128

    Parks et al. (2008) “Dietary Sugars Stimulate Fatty Acid Synthesis in Adults”
    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/138/6/1039#SEC4

    Teff et al. (2004) “Dietary Fructose Reduces Circulating Insulin and Leptin, Attenuates Postprandial Suppression of Ghrelin, and Increases Triglycerides in Women”
    http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/6/2963?ijkey=0922966636bf6f7b36bcefe0af7ed6f26139d7e4&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

    Lê et al. (2009) “Fructose overconsumption causes dyslipidemia and ectopic lipid deposition in healthy subjects with and without a family history of type 2 diabetes”
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/6/1760

    Reply
  139. I find it so hard and confusing to make a decision on whether or not to eat something because of scientific studies (and what their main focus is directed at – like if X falls into a 'normal' range). You can look for days and find studies on any food. On the first one, (with "healthy" people) they barely came to any conclusion with what fructose does. In the second one, they claimed their subjects had whole food diets – and when they gave an example, some guy had..
    "turkey sandwich: whole wheat bread (60 g), turkey (60 g), Miracle Whip (15 g), lettuce (10 g), and tomato (50 g); Fritos (50 g); 2% milk (240 g); canned pineapple (51 g); grape juice (100 g); and Oreos (32 g)"

    I think it's silly to avoid fructose in nature because of these studies. All of them add refined fructose to some made up diet they believe to be healthy, to some people they believe to be healthy. What matters to them are blood tests that show you have good cholesterol and HDL and BMI whatever else, but it's all just science talk about averages that are acceptable as healthy. Where are the people saying how they felt? What were the effects on hormones and thyroid – things that have a huge impact on how well organs function?

    So thanks for taking time to find some studies, but, I really have no interest in trying to decipher them all..I just simply have no faith in them because of the amount of things assumed. This or that supposedly indicates lipogenesis, or fructose separated and refined is the same as any fructose. Every time I read them, these guys just complicate health that much more.
    I don't understand how anyone could know that the blood tests for Kitavans showed very bad results for potential heart problems, and then see these studies and think that it's easier to believe something.

    Reply
  140. @ChlOe
    >>I think it's silly to avoid fructose in nature because of these studies<<

    Just for the record ChlOe, once again, my interest in following the scientific research on this topic is not to find a reason to avoid “fructose in nature”. Quite the opposite really, I’m interested to know how it contributes to an understanding of the big historical picture of what role refined, industrial foods such as sugar and HFCS may have played in the genesis of the so-called diseases of civilization and the current epidemic of obesity. On a personal level I want to know how I can best remedy and protect my family against these problems, too. I think the published scientific literature (and I’m old enough to find instantaneous access to this via the internet nothing short of magical) is a pretty indispensable port of call on the journey of discovery. I would agree that it’s not the only one, however.

    Reply
  141. ChlOe said:
    >>So thanks for taking time to find some studies, but, I really have no interest in trying to decipher them all..I just simply have no faith in them because of the amount of things assumed. This or that supposedly indicates lipogenesis, or fructose separated and refined is the same as any fructose. Every time I read them, these guys just complicate health that much more.
    I don't understand how anyone could know that the blood tests for Kitavans showed very bad results for potential heart problems, and then see these studies and think that it's easier to believe something.<<

    First, just to be clear, I'm addressing ChlOe's comments here because I think she makes an interesting point about blood lipid patterns, and I would like to respond to it for the benefit of any others who might follow this thread sometime (although given its prodigious length, that's increasingly unlikely!). Likewise with my previous responses.

    Getting back to blood lipid patterns, Stephan at Whole Health Source hypothesised some time back that they may not be a great deal more than markers of diet (high carb/low fat vs. low carb/high fat diets) and lifestyle factors, hence the very healthy Kitavans and less healthy Swedes sharing similar lipid patterns. Stephan has since changed his thinking a little he said in a reply to a comment of mine today and is currently in the middle of a series of posts relating to this issue. At any rate, looking again at the findings of the Stanhope et al. article, "Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans": http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

    While the big picture on CVD and lipids is still far from clear, I think Stanhope et al.'s findings of an increase in sdLDL and oxidized LDL in the high fructose group, both factors that strongly associate with the risk of heart attack, are important and not to be dismissed lightly.

    Reply
  142. But don't you find those studies are out of context in relation to real food? I do not believe that someone should have to eliminate every form of fructose because a study that defines refined fructose (as 25% of a "healthy diet") as dangerous to heart health.

    Of course, any refined food doesn't seem great to be fed in any great amount. Assuming one part of the diet is all right and introducing a ton of potentially toxic refined stuff, and blaming problems simply on it doesn't seem entirely fair. They pick and choose the results they want to see, as well – how fructose effects -this- number specifically.
    Could we really say glucose is bad from seeing what white flour as a main component of carbohydrate intake does?
    Like, refined glucose may be less offensive than refined fructose..but that doesn't mean white flour is good or better than all sugars. And again, they aren't searching for glucose's problems (which could differ from fructose problems – something I brought up earlier, how fructose must be converted instead of going directly into the bloodstream, and naturally, because of this, Triglycerides would more easily elevate if the liver is overloaded and overworked).

    I probably shouldn't have even mentioned the observation on blood lipids – that's not the point I was trying to make. Basically, I was trying to say that blood lipids aren't the only thing involved with health and can be treasured too highly above other things (like fixing..thyroid). I think that study may say something about eating tons of refined fructose with potentially already unwell individuals (that fit mainstream health ideals). But honestly, that's all it seems to do.

    Everyone should trust their instinct. If someone feels addicted to something natural, they can either overcome it or choose to avoid it. There's always the option something else could be pulling them to that addiction, a deeper problem. It's not so much my debate that refined fructose is wonderful, just that I don't think it's at all necessary to eliminate the natural sources – the things that have not been proved to be detrimental – just because of this study on refined fructose.

    Reply
  143. I couldn't agree more with this post. My last three years of nutritional decisions can sadly be summed up in the headline of this blog post: "The Low Carb Oops"…

    In fact I got really upset this spring when I finally sat down to read Weston A. Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, cause I had been told over and over online that his work proved beyond any doubt that primitive people ate only animal protein and basically nothing else, just perhaps some veggies around summer….

    The only thing Weston A Price said was the same as T.L Cleave, that refined foods are bad. He never said "eat low carb like all native people of supereme health"

    Then I start reading and the first chapter is all about the Swiss people with perfect health and immunity to caries, and they ate animal meat once a week, the rest of the time they ate rye bread and raw dairy products!!! And on and on, tribe after tribe ate all sorts of foods, only the Eskimo, and the North Canada Indians ate something close to no carbs, however the Eskimos ate some nuts and fruits too, so that's not even true for them, but ok low carb. But still, I definitely have been directly lied to. And when calling people on it, they still claim that low carb is the only truth, partly because they think that the Masai also only ate meats, but in fact they ate lots and lots of raw milk. It's crazy-making cause this is really important, and the facts are right there, black on white, page after page in Weston A Price's book, and still people just make things up…

    I guess, that's what I get for not going directly to the source myself, and instead trusting the perceptions and "interpretations" of others. All I can say is that I read really slowly cause I'm dyslexic, but that's not really an excuse….I sure wish I had read the book earlier….

    Thanks as alway Matt for staying on top of the real literature and helping us realize that low carb is not the way to long term health. It wasn't until I found your website that I understood how to get out of my low carb mess. I can eat potatoes, carrots, beets, and blueberries already without too much digestive distress.

    On another note, Dr Buteyko determined that any kind of eating was negative for the breathing, and especially animal protein. However, I think it's possible that his test results have been used to draw a similar faulty conclusion (just as the low carbers in the case of interpreting insulin spikes after eating as bad). A similar drop in CP that is always seen after eating, may not be inherently bad, it might just be what it is, a normal reaction. I'm not sure though. But for example if the CP is over 60 seconds, a temporary drop wouldn't effect anything at all for that person. But it just becomes more dramatic for a person with a CP of 10 seconds to have any kind of drop in breath holding capacity, obviously. However, a person still has to eat in order to heal. That's for sure. Hm, I wonder if sugar/fructose consumption also causes chronic hyperventilation syndrome?

    Reply
  144. I couldn't agree more with this post. My last three years of nutritional decisions can sadly be summed up in the headline of this blog post: "The Low Carb Oops"…

    In fact I got really upset this spring when I finally sat down to read Weston A. Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, cause I had been told over and over online that his work proved beyond any doubt that primitive people ate only animal protein and basically nothing else, just perhaps some veggies around summer….

    The only thing Weston A Price said was the same as T.L Cleave, that refined foods are bad. He never said "eat low carb like all native people of supereme health"

    Then I start reading and the first chapter is all about the Swiss people with perfect health and immunity to caries, and they ate animal meat once a week, the rest of the time they ate rye bread and raw dairy products!!! And on and on, tribe after tribe ate all sorts of foods, only the Eskimo, and the North Canada Indians ate something close to no carbs, however the Eskimos ate some nuts and fruits too, so that's not even true for them, but ok low carb. But still, I definitely have been directly lied to. And when calling people on it, they still claim that low carb is the only truth, partly because they think that the Masai also only ate meats, but in fact they ate lots and lots of raw milk. It's crazy-making cause this is really important, and the facts are right there, black on white, page after page in Weston A Price's book, and still people just make things up…

    I guess, that's what I get for not going directly to the source myself, and instead trusting the perceptions and "interpretations" of others. All I can say is that I read really slowly cause I'm dyslexic, but that's not really an excuse….I sure wish I had read the book earlier….

    Thanks as alway Matt for staying on top of the real literature and helping us realize that low carb is not the way to long term health. It wasn't until I found your website that I understood how to get out of my low carb mess. I can eat potatoes, carrots, beets, and blueberries already without too much digestive distress.

    On another note, Dr Buteyko determined that any kind of eating was negative for the breathing, and especially animal protein. However, I think it's possible that his test results have been used to draw a similar faulty conclusion (just as the low carbers in the case of interpreting insulin spikes after eating as bad). A similar drop in CP that is always seen after eating, may not be inherently bad, it might just be what it is, a normal reaction. I'm not sure though. But for example if the CP is over 60 seconds, a temporary drop wouldn't effect anything at all for that person. But it just becomes more dramatic for a person with a CP of 10 seconds to have any kind of drop in breath holding capacity, obviously. However, a person still has to eat in order to heal. That's for sure. Hm, I wonder if sugar/fructose consumption also causes chronic hyperventilation syndrome?

    Reply

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