Based on many of the comments made on the most recent post, many people seemed to still be confused – or they are at least confusing the message that has been constructed here over the past 2 1/2 years.
For starters, I believe that a high-calorie, high-fat, high-starch, high-protein (i.e. – “High-Everything”) diet that contains significant amounts of refined sugar is probably the most devastating and harmful diet one could pursue. This is especially true considering that the median level of health has declined tremendously due to ever-poorer heredity.
Refined sugar appears to screw up the metabolism and screw up the digestion, making the rest of the diet get mismanaged and thefefore become harmful. Take, for example, fats – which will accumulate in the blood as high-triglycerides and cholesterol if the metabolism is low – but be burned off if the metabolism is high. Or, a person with a low metabolism may develop allergies to foods they are ingesting while someone with an optimal metabolism would not develop such strange, illogical, and disadvantageous hindrances. It’s not what you eat, but what your body does with what you eat, and refined sugar appears to be able to alter what your body does with what you eat like no other common component in the modern diet.
Diets that exclude sugar seem to be the most healing to fundamental cumulative problems, especially when they exclude other aggravating factors such as vegetable oils, food additives, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and so on. However, many diets that do not contain refined sugar are often extreme, which can actually create new problems of their own after the initial benefits of sugar removal have been realized. These include extremely low-carb diets, high-protein diets, vegan diets, raw food diets, and more. The best diet for fixing core disorders and providing the best nourishment long-term is a diet that does not exclude any fundamental component of the traditional human diet – either carbohydrates, fats, or animal protein, and is high enough in calories to be metabolically-stimulating (a High-Everything Except Sugar Diet).
Anyway, here are the comments I left on the last post as a current summary of the viewpoints of this blog…
I’m surprised people are still making the mistake that eating a high-calorie diet with lots of fats, starch, and ample protein means that:
1) This is a recommendation to eat doughnuts, ice cream, white bread, french fries, and Mountain Dew all day long.
2) That one must force-feed themselves as much food as they can every day for the rest of their lives.
No! Not even close!
Here’s a more accurate summary of where this blog stands to date, in order of importance:
1) Every bit of historical research that one could ever scrutinize points to refined sugar as being the root cause of 90% of the most common diseases known to man. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is remove that from your diet. Even a little bit, as a daily habit, is unsafe.
2) Human beings are far less healthy than they were in the past. We now have allergies, have become allergic to foods, have asthma, have psychological problems (50% increase during 1996-2006), have crooked teeth, have cavities, have misshapen bodies, have thin bones/low bone mass, have heart disease, have diabetes, get cancer, are overweight, have more physical pain, and so on.
3) Since this all came about at the dawn of refined foods, one can assume that there may be a single root cause in the development of all these problems (although, as we know, there are hundreds of aggravating factors – which are precisely what get the most focus by modern health advisors).
4) If the root cause is refined carbohydrates, primarily white sugar and the now worse – artificial sweeteners, HFCS, and crystalline fructose, then it would make sense to look for the physiological disturbance that they cause.
5) Because of Broda Barnes’s work, and the multiple manifestations of having a “damaged metabolism” – to steal more accurate verbage from Diana Schwarzbein, it seems likely that the problem is metabolic in origin – and surfaces most frequently in the form of a reduced metabolic rate (although there are plenty of other telltale signs, this is only one of them, but, when corrected, can make a big difference).
6) So, pursuing strategies that heal and optimize the metabolism are in order, and current recommendations that are counterproductive, such as reducing calories, overexercising, or eating high-protein diets should be avoided at all costs.
7) Eating an unrefined diet with ample amounts of all the human body desires, in large quantity, paired with light physical activity and plenty of rest – continued until the metabolism has been corrected, appears to be ideal. That includes at least 50 grams of protein, 100 grams of carbohydrates (and probably much more for optimal results), and enough fat to satisfy the appetite – all derived from wholesome, nutritious foods that don’t appear to be overtly problematic. Eating more than is desired, i.e. – force-feeding for a month or two, shows some signs of expediting this process. I also believe that this is far more effective when all of these food components are combined together in somewhat consistent proportion to one another.
I just want a metabolism like Chuck Norris has. The mustache appears to burn off all the extra calories he eats and it also kicks ass in between meals.
Great summarizing; this is by far the most clear-headed thinking in diet that I’ve ever come across. It couldn’t make more sense at this point. People should definitely take time to loook at and understand the differences. Ain’t no SAD thang
And PaleoRD, try the total gym, duh.
I knew a guy who had a total gym and the cables broke quickly. Something tells me that Chuckie was paid to endorse that product.
But Matt, you make a great point here. Refined sugar is a likely culprit because it has the most one sided hormonal effect of all macronutrients. I like to think of sugar along the lines of alcohol. Alcohol provides 7 kcal per gram, but no one considers it a food because it carries so many deleterious side effects. Should sugar be considered any different? Until recently, the only way to consume concentrated sugar was to squeeze fruit juice out and drink it. This reminds me of drugs like cocaine and heroin. The leaves and flowers of the source plants are certainly (like sugarcane), nice to chew on and smoke, but the real magic happens when the active ingredients are isolated and concentrated to create a pharmacological dose. The difference of course is that sugar does offer something: calories that the body can use as energy.
I personally have never had a sweet tooth, but I have witnessed many a child go into a euphoric state in anticipation of a sweet treat. Have not witnessed the same for a hamburger or a nice breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast and hash browns.
i am glad you finally posted something about the whole stuffing your face issue…. I think people got the wrong idea about everything, and started cramming too much food down there throats.
I think if your young and have fooled around with dieting or low carbing, veganism, or whatever for not too long, then all you need is like a couple of weeks or a month of surplus calories from every macronutrient, then when you have cranked your metabolism up, slowly drop your calories, till you find a nice deficit, that your not hungry in and can function in. Lose the fat nice and slow, and go into a calorie surplus every once in awhile. Create three nice balanced meals throughout the day, keep active, and your good.
I find i am in a much better mood in a calorie deficit with the added starch. I try not to overload everything with too much fat, and i don’t worry about he protein that naturally comes with the food. My three meals are around 500 calories a piece… and i never get hungry…. and if i do my next meal i eat till if am fully satisfied.
My sis has a total gym… that thing sucks! But i am glad she is doing something… I heard chuck norris is like 70 years old.. he looks pretty damn good if he is.
I have never had a sweet tooth also… it seems like almost every woman i have known has one though.
Matt, have you read that book the no sugar, no white flour diet?
Half Navajo, no wonder you’re not gaining weight, you’re only eating 1500 calories! I thought HED was about eating a crazy number of calories.
I go alot higher in calories when i feel like it, but i am running on about that many calories with no complaints! When i first started eating starch after the low carb stint, i was probably eating around 3000 calories or more for 3 weeks, and my weight went up to 165-167, then i dropped back down to 161… i started at around 155-157. I got tired of eating that much, so i naturally just stopped eating that much. And i am not exact on that… they are around 500 calores a meal now… after i do something like heavy lifting, beach sprints, 3 hour surf sessions, swimming, long hikes, rock climbing, then i eat till i am satisfied. Ever since i stopped excluding food groups i just don’t care about food that much. I still eat very high nutrient meals… when i can. A 500 calorie meal is full of butter, coconut oil, 2 eggs, potatoes, and a glass of raw milk…. Thats one hell of a meal if you ask me… i am only 5’9 and 161…. and i hate feeling stuffed… it slows me down. I eat big when i want and when i know i get to relax afterwards. Ever since i added back the starch with my usual fat, my energy needs are met, my depressed, low energy, obsessive mood is gone. I still go out with my friends and get beers when i want also.
I think alot of people who are overweight would be best off keeping the carbs low at first, not zero of course, then as you lose weight slowly up your carbs… and when most people start losing weight and feeling better, they increase there activity levels which is another boost to the metabolism.
Everyones calorie needs are different, and it also depends on where you calories are coming from! If your hungry eat, if your not don’t try stuffing yourself like a maniac. I have also stopped eating cheat meals as often… i just don’t want to. Anything that is a whole food, is all game to me… and those things satisfy me, fuel me, and make me feel better with a less amount of overall food. Eat some eggs, bacon, potatoes, and wash it back with some cream… that is one filling meal to me.
Good summary Troy.
The one-month surplus time period helps to do healing work to the metabolism. It is important to actually eat more than you care to – not count calories, just eat a meal before you get hungry at least three times per day.
For some it may take longer than one month. The body will decide how long this needs to be carried on. When you’re ready to stop eating so much you will know it. At first, weight gain will stop and plateau. Then, all of the sudden, food becomes somewhat revolting. That’s a sign of having finally nourished yourself properly.
I’ve been eating over 4,000 calories per day for one month now. Is my metabolism running smoothly now? Absolutely. Am I losing my appetite – extremely so. Doing a cheat day right now sounds like the most painful thing I’ve ever heard of. The last thing I want is ice cream. Junky, calorie-dense foods sound revolting to me right now.
What’s with Chuck today? My brother just texted me a picture of Jesus and the apostles with Chuck superimposed into the picture. At the bottom it said…
“The 13th Apostle?”
“The 1st Apostle.”
Chuck does look good for an old dude. He must not be an ejaculator. Yeah right. Chuck Norris doesn’t have orgasms. He has AVALANCHES!
I still think you should do an article on masturbation, ejaculation and health.
If you are that great of a researcher, prove it. Research something that is extremely biased like masturbation/ejaculation and health. There is only contradicting information on this and the information available on it is not dense. (Remember how some scientists believe that all women have a G-spot, other scientists believe there is no such thing, and still, other scientists believe that SOME women have a g-spot while others don’t, and still some scientists believe the g-spot is just a sensitive area and not to be labeled a specific spot).
My point is, you can’t prove that the healthy primitive tribes Dr. Weston A price visited masturbated. I bet they DIDN’T. And I think it’s part of why they were so healthy.
When the unhealthy modernized tribes’ health degenerated, it might have been entirely due to moral corruption of living with the “white man’s” goods and lack of morals (porn magazines and movies imported from the west, encouragement of liberal sexuality and self-discovery, lack of sexual restraint).
Studies have shown people in celibacy to live longer lives. I think no one should masturbate more than 2 times week, considering they are not having any sex at all. If you have sex, it can be more frequent, though. But watch out, it causes too much serotonin release, which is excitotoxic.
I think it’s pointless and ignorant to blame refined sugar or refined wheat. People have been known to eat those and be healthy, as long as they didn’t masturbate. The question should be, do sugar and refined foods cause the moral corruption and willingness and desire to masturbate frequently (excessive hornyness) by acting on neurotransmitters?.
SHOW ME a study of HUMANS fed refined sugar or refined wheat where masturbation was a controlled variable. I bet all the studies done where people ate sugar, they all masturbated too often, and masturbation might indeed have been the true cause for the degeneration of body and mind.
Take some people with the best unrefined diet like a primitive tribe from an unpolluted environment, and make them masturbate 3x daily. Watch their health decline, teeth cavities develop, mental abilities go down, IQ lower, obsessiveness develop.
With no due respect, I believe that to be one of the most retarded theories I’ve ever heard.
No, I can’t prove that the tribes Weston A. Price discovered did or did not wank it more or less than those who had access to modern foods. I’m sure porn was a huge industry back then (before 1939), and that every package of cracker Jack’s that was imported back then contained dildos or pictures of women using them.
If you are so focused on serotonin release (and it should be beta-endorphin as more of an emphasis, not serotonin), then why not focus on drug use, which occurs more frequently than masturbation (coffee, refined sugar, cigarettes, chocolate, harder drugs, diet pills, prescription meds, over-the-counter meds).
Those are new. Masturbation and ejaculation is not. To blame something like that on the epidemics of modern man, go on tangents about what you probably assume is some genius theory that you’ve come up with, and interrupt otherwise intelligent discourse on a blog of predominantly sound thinkers is embarrassing. The body is equipped to withstand and recover from natural physiological actions, even if they are stressful and depleting.
You know what I would do if I were you?
To quote Wesley Snipes in the movie Passenger 57, perhaps the greatest quote of all time…
“I’d kill myself.”
Thanks for playing. I’ll be sure to not look into that for you.
“2) Human beings are far less healthy than they were in the past… 3) Since this all came about at the dawn of refined foods…”
My understanding is that many if not most of the problems you describe in us less healthy humans crept into the archeological record not at the time when refining food became common (within the last few hundred years) but 10,000 years ago at the dawn of agriculture. Weak bones, misshapen teeth and bodies, populations suddenly losing about 6 inches in height, dental caries, new diseases, etc.
I don’t think that we can ascribe these problems to an increased refined sugar consumption amongst our neolithic ancestors. If I’m correct about the data then something else must have been going on. Do you have any thoughts on what that was? It seems to me that if the problems at the dawn of agriculture were similar to the problems being experienced today then they might share some of the causes as well. Refined sugar might be an aggravating factor, maybe even a major player in causing modern woes but I am not yet convinced that it is the be all end all.
Hey Sen –
I think it might have been the discovery and overconsumption of alcohol that contributed to some of those things you mention. Just a thought…I just know that alcohol was around way before refined sugar.
LOL @ anti-masturbation anonymous. most hilarious thing ive read in a long time – almost made me cry
Matt Stone I think the anti-masturbation anon was joking. Your response seems waaay too serious
I mean; someone has way too much time on their hands to write a [rather extremely poorly researched] theory on why masturbation is a worse epidemic than sugar. I am so seriously you guys.
Sen; what tribes are you talking about? Was it all tribes that partook in agriculture or only some? I always wonder about that, because if one group got into agricultural farming without ill effects, and others experienced epidemics or deformities – there must have been other factors.
The masturbation guy is just Bruce K jerking us around.
This ejaculation theory is hard to swallow.
I tend to believe that most of the information linking the dawn of agriculture to disease is extrapolated to fit Paleo theories. Sure, some early agriculturalists had small stature, weak bones, signs of tooth decay, and other inferiorities – but that was not found across the board amongst agriculturalists. Only some fit that description.
The tribes that Weston A. Price examined didn’t fit that description, nor did he come to any such conclusion – that agriculture is the cause of modern health problems. Many of them were agriculturalists with carbohydrate staples such as taro, rye, oats, etc. You could hardly say the Polynesians fit the bill of small, weak, and feeble.
I suspect that the agriculturalists that did suffer health problems did so because grains, fruits, and vegetables were more or less their only source of food – and the supplies were very low. Failure to grow properly and development of these diseases, like I’ve been proposing here of late, has more to do with a poor metabolism.
McCarrison studied this extensively. He found agriculturalists not eating white sugar that fit the feeble and sick description that you give. He also found agriculturalists that were large, physically dominant, robust, and impeccably healthy by all accounts. The difference was simply that the healthy ones had a greater food supply and an abundance of animal products to accompany their diet of mostly fresh-ground whole grains.
Sugar, and potentially caffeine and alcohol as well, seem to lower metabolism – although it’s different as the food supply is very abundant. But still, if the root cause is poor metabolism, then sure, being raised on basically a low-calorie vegan diet as some more unfortunate early agriculturalists undoubtedly were, could certainly induce many of the same diseases.
I’ll be out backpacking for the next 3 days, but I’ll be back Sunday night. Till then…
Matt Stone is full of SHIT. He claims he is not responsible for anyone taking any advice or acting on anything he says or allows to be said on his blog. Yet he charges for memberships and ebooks. There have been posts by people who appear to have real problems and instead of having one ounce of sympathy he joins the heard of assholes in making fun and belittling them. Anyone who continues to read his blogs is just as much of a pathetic loser as Matt Stone.
Matt or anyone else,
I just stumbled across this blog and have only read the most recent posts. I want to know why white rice is recommended over brown as most recommendations state that brown is better.
I’m a passive long time reader… I have to say Matt, there is some truth to the pissed off anon’s comments above.
Not that you are full of shit, but you do seem to be joking a lot and not realize that many people have BIG problems with this HED thing. And yes, some people will litterarily follow everything you write down to the dot. Maybe you need to be more careful in recommendations or at least more specific. People are willing to risk their lives because a handsome guy like yourself recommended something on a blog. You are a very believable guy. Please don’t take advantage of that or forget it.
Wait, who’s having big problems?
No one can blame or hold a person responsible for their own choices in food. There’s nothing wrong with Matt being nonchalant about this whole thing. I suppose he just assumes people have brains. The diet world needs to get all that sand out of it’s vagina anyway. Even a few of the anonymous posters giving that a go would suffice.
Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
When it doubt, shout it out!
Here is proof that masturbation is bad…
Michael Pollan on The Colbert Report:
Eat food mostly plants”
Sounds like you need to get the sand out of your vagina. You strike me as the typical arrogant self absorbed crybaby that populates many blogs and forums. You have that if it isn’t you it isn’t happening mentality. Everyone on here is here for a reason and that reason is that there is something they don’t like about their body. I say that because if they were happy with themselves they would not feel the need to search out dieting and health blogs. If they were merely interested in the subject they would be seeking more mainstream sources not self experimentation.
I was just trying to make a statement against unfair accusations by anonymous posters, while trying to lighten things up just a tit bit. You sound like the kind of person who likes to judge people you dont know while remaining contradictive without a notice. Yay..
Anonymous who keeps attacking people.
Uncool man. We are all adults on this forum, can we please act like them!
Absolutely no need to make nasty comments about people. If you have a criticism please just state what it is without the need to call peope names.
Re: the demise of agriculturalists …
I agree with Matt. Agriculturalists with plenty of consistent food and adequate animal foods seem to do just fine throughout history. Maybe these groups would be healthier and more robust eating more of a Paleo-oriented diet, but as far as immunity to disease and proper facial structure, they do quite well.
Those tribes/cultures of antiquity that overpopulated and depleted their animal resources suffered from ill health and some developed wacky cannibalistic rituals. Some cultures, such as the ancient Aztecs, I believe, actually held prisoners of war in captivity, fattened them on corn mush much like modern cattle, then they were “sacrificed” — after which the priests and upper class citizens consumed the flesh. The peasant class ate corn and beans and squash. These dudes didn’t have the best health track record according to archaelogical findings. Check out author Marvin Harris for more on this.
So I, too, believe it is a lack of food — animal foods specifically — that led to ancient agriculturalists health demise. Sugar, however, is a whole other ballgame — this is where diabetes and degerative disease truly kicked in…
Ryan I got this from wikepedia,
“The Aztecs practiced ritualistic cannibalism. Victims, usually prisoners of war, were sacrificed in public on top of temples and pyramids by cutting out their hearts. The bodies were then thrown down to the ground where they were dismembered. The pieces were then distributed to the elite, which were mostly warriors and priests. The meat was consumed in the form of stews flavored only with salt and eaten with maize tortillas, but without the otherwise ubiquitous chili. In the late 1970s the anthropologist Michael Harner suggested that the Aztecs had resorted to large-scale, organized cannibalism to make up for an assumed protein deficiency in the diet. This idea gained some support from some scholars, but has been shown to be based on unfounded assumptions about eating habits, agriculture and demographics, making it a highly unlikely scenario.”
Nice, Scott — thanks for that quote.
I’m curious about the last sentence regarding large-scale cannabalism:
“This idea gained some support from some scholars, but has been shown to be based on unfounded assumptions about eating habits, agriculture and demographics, making it a highly unlikely scenario.”
I wonder how this theory has been “shown” to be based on unfounded assumptions. What kind of assumptions? That human beings crave protein so much that if animals aren’t available, they might turn to eating other people? This seems like a logical assumption to me, at least in terms of the stuff I’ve read by Marvin Harris. His books are somewhat outdated, so I’m not aware of recent, perhaps more logical arguments.
I’ll have to research this a bit more …
Okay here’s a few counter arguments:
“Another argument against this is in Tenochtitlan … only the limbs of the victim were consumed and only the upper class (approximately 25 percent of the population) was allowed to partake in it(arens1979). If there really had been a protein deficiency then the whole population would have partook in the consumption of victims. It is also very doubtful that their diet was fat and protein deficient, in the Florentine codex alone Sahagun mentions 32 types of fowl as being edible, along with a large variety of fish and wild game.
Another explanation to disprove the protein deficiency theory, is the fact that the torsos of the sacrificed were fed to the carnivores in the royal zoo. And they were also given domesticated dogs thus competing with the people for a common source of protein.( Diaz del Castillo 1956)”That’s fair enough, but I think that there is a middle ground theory that can be put forth: It was not protein deficiency that led to cannibalism, but simply a desire for animal flesh — a more optimal and assimilable form of nutrition than plant foods — when not many animal resources were available due to over-hunting.
Humans can live on little protein, preventing deficiency, but that doesn’t mean that cravings for more protein/fat would not exist. The elite were fortunate in this situation in that they could somewhat meet those desires for more meat through cannabalism, while the lower class had to make do with what was available to them — mainly small game.
I don’t buy the “sacrifice to the gods” angle one bit. It seems to be a justification to eat more flesh to me. Sure, maybe it became more about sacrifice to the gods as time went on and the roots of cannabalism were forgotten, but I think that in the beginning it was simply human rationalization at its best in order to meet cravings for better nutrition.
Hmm, corn, beans, squash, and human flesh. Now that’s a high-everything diet. :-)
“Hmm, corn, beans, squash, and human flesh. Now that’s a high-everything diet. :-)”
This some interetsing stuff, I am going have to do some more reading. The reason I buy into the “sacrifice to the gods” line is, I had read a book from a women who was captured by the Siuox in the 1800s and lived with them for months. She said that they would kill a favorite Dog every so often and make stew that the whole tribe would share. They had plenty of buffalo, so I don’t think it was for the meat.
Michael Pollan on The Colbert Report:
Eat food mostly plants”
This was hilarious.I finally got around to reading In Defence of Food. Great Book
“…they would kill a favorite Dog every so often and make stew that the whole tribe would share. They had plenty of buffalo, so I don’t think it was for the meat.”
Yeah, the Sioux definitely had plenty of buffalo, but if this woman who you speak of was living with the tribe in the 1800s, much of the buffalo population may have already been decimated by ol’ whitey. I don’t know, maybe not for that particular tribe in that particular area.
I certainly agree that cultures all over the world have — and still do — sacrifice animals for the gods or some other ritual/ceremony. The question I’m raising is, “What is the root of this?” In more recent times, it definitely can’t be for simply attaining a little more animal protein, as you indicated. But in ancient times, maybe this was the case; maybe the ecological conditions of the time (dwindling animal foods) inspired food taboos and ritual sacrifice — especially to serve the elite. That’s Marvin Harris’ theory, which I feel is pretty interesting food for thought.
In other words, taboos, rituals, and ceremony began as a result of ecological conditions — i.e. the overuse and subsequent depletion of animal resources. Harris writes some fascinating explanations of the “sacred cow” in India, for example.
Let me know if you find out anything, Scott!
I wanted to thank you again for the tip with the vinegar, it has helped me with my fingers.
chlOe maybe you should stop masturbating so much then your fingers wouldn’t smell like fish? Get a man.
Matt why the hell do you say that Low Thyroid makes a FAST PULSE?
It’s the opposite. I think YOU Have hypothyroidism Matt. A low Pulse, such as yours (in its 40s) is a great indicator of HYPOthyroidism:
“n his studies he found patients that even though their thyroid blood test and physical examination of the thyroid was within normal limits, still exhibited clear-cut hypothyroid symptoms. He concluded that the most accurate assessment of thyroid function is obtained by evaluating ones metabolic rate, as exhibited in the basal temperature and pulse. A temperature and pulse that consistently runs low, may suggest that there is a need to place the patient on thyroid therapy. Generally a pulse running 65 or below may suggest lower thyroid function. The normal basal temperature runs between 97.8F and 98.2 F. A temperature running below 97.6 indicates the possibility of low thyroid function. The most accurate way of checking the body’s metabolic rate is with the axillary (meaning under the arm) temperature.”
What’s your morning temperature?
I know… I know….. High pulse while on low thyroid may indicate that the adrenals are overworking.
But why does Broda Barnes say that a high pulse is good and shows good function of Thyroid and that low pulse might indicate hypothyroid?
Maybe it depends on how it is coupled with low/high temperature?
Hi Matt and everyone else. I’m Dave,
I have read almost you entire blog and it’s truly a blessing what you are doing. It made me realize that I am heading the wrong way with listening to all these gurus and changing my diet from one extreme to another…it is an endless process that only makes me more and more obsessive.. It seems like I can’t enjoy life anymore, because I always worry about what causes “cancer”, aging, autoimmune diseases, heart attack, stress….
It would make it so easy if I could just get my focus on a few factors that I have to avoid to be healthy and live a long happy life. Can you recommend any? People are obviously doing something wrong since most are obese and have health problems
The problem is I always compare myself with other people… and when I see how obese people are, how many health problems they have,despite trying to eat “healthy”, I get extremely discouraged… I go to the extremes and cut out food groups, just because some unhealthy person I know is eating something from that food group.
Anyway, rambling aside, I can’t deny that I have had serious health issue through my life, such as IBS and some stress/anxiety issues. I’ve begun to try and eliminate variables to find out what’s causing the problems and have found that fiber is very bad and that sugars, even if natural, cause me anxiety attacks and restlessness. So this leads me to some questions. Would HED be fine with white rice? I feel better with white rice than potatoes since potatoes mess up my digestion and also cause a very interesting phenomenon: numb limbs! If I eat potatoes during the day, it’s like my circulation goes way down during night and one of my arms or legs goes completely numb… Like it’s freaking DEAD! It scares the shit out of me in the morning when I am just awaking, it’s like there’s no pulse in one of my legs. And it’s not because I’m putting any pressure on it or in an awkward position. I don’t get that pricking feeling in it either after the circulation resumes after I have awaken. I know this sounds weird but does anyone know what this could be? I experienced similar numb limbs during sleep when I tried raw vegan and was very low in calories and cold all the time. I don’t usually get this feeling when I low carb but as soon as I eat 1/2-1 pound of potatoes for dinner, that night the circulation to my arms and legs is really bad. It’s like my body is dying and the circulation is extremely slow. Once I open my eyes and awaken it goes away though… Could it be blood being diverted away from most of my body to the intestines to work all the fiber through? I don’t get numb like this when I eat low carb with lots of meat and when I eat lot of protein and fat and no fiber my pulse also seems a lot more rapid and my sleep seems more “active” rather than the “dead” sleep I get if I eat high carb with lots of potatoes and eggs, cream, coconut oil
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I think my metabolism is really bad because of what I just mentioned and I also get really cold during the night. When I first lie in bed I can lie without a blanket but as I become more tired I become more and more cold and need the blanket. In the immediate morning I really need the blanket. I’m not overweight I’m actually skinny weighing in at 165 pounds and am 6 feet tall (am male). I’ve always had digestion problems my entire life.. I’ve always been very constipated and only when I eat a lot of fat I go more regularly (I started eating more fat some months ago thanks to this blog), but even then my stool is of yellowish color so I don’t think foods are being assimilated and digested well. I often have a terrible taste in my mouth like something is fermenting and that doesn’t go away with brushing.
Can I use your HED to heal? Any suggestions for my condition from anyone who has been on a similar path? I tried recently drinking 4 small glasses of orange juice in 1 hour, after which I ate some protein and fat- I had an anxiety attack some hours later, feeling extremely vulnerable and out of context. Is it the fructose that is malabsorbing.. Do I have to avoid fruit for the rest of my life? What should I do to heal? Is pasteurized milk, cream or butter ok and in what amounts? or will they also cause malabsorption of lactose and mental problems? Is salicylates of issue??? Should I avoid coconut oil? Or is there a way that I can train my metabolism to take these things?
Please help I am at the end of my rope.. I would appreciate any advice
Hey Dave, the numb limbs thing sounds like what I got when I went to a low-protein/low-fat raw vegan diet (of fruit mostly) – I figure it was a B vitamin deficiency, because it went away completely when I added in fat and protein (not right away, maybe a week or a few weeks later). So I don’t know if you could say that the potatoes are causing it, or that if that’s all you’re eating, perhaps you are deficient in something like B12, which has to do with nerves. I believe thyroid has to do with circulation. Have you tried the basal temperature thing?
Thanks for all the comments. Interesting, and of course the video.
I agree with Pollan as it pertains to Dave’s question. Everyone’s best bet is to primarily cook their own food and don’t eat refined sugar – probably in the reverse order.
That’s quite an interesting tangent. White rice is a good option for someone with digestive problems.
Most IBS stems from bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (SIBO), or at least that’s what Mark Pimentel who appears to treat it fairly successfully has concluded.
If you have SIBO, then sugars such as fructose, as well as fiber, oligosaccarides from legumes, and so on can be nothing but problematic. I do believe that SIBO occurs in the first place due to intestinal stasis as a result of a slow-moving metabolism (slow transit time). To test your overall metabolism, simply take your armpit temperature first thing in the morning. Everyone should try this. It’s totally free. 97.8 to 98.2 is normal. Anything below is a very strong indicator of a low metabolism, which probably shouldn’t be categorized as “hypothyroidism” as people think that something is wrong with their thyroid gland. That’s like a type II diabetic thinking something is wrong with his pancreas, which would be totally false.
My basal temp is 97.8 to 98, and is very consistent. If low thyroid/high pulse rate means adrenal overactivity, then perhaps normal thyroid/low pulse means adrenal underactivity. This would make sense as my predominant health problems have always been allergy-related. The instant cure for all allergies… epinephrine.
And to clarify…
This site is precisely dedicated to the intellectual pursuit of health. It’s is not a “follow my advice and magically cure yourself” of all things shy of color blindness. It is merely a pool of ideas and logic, of inquiry and scrutiny, etc. There is no such thing as a cure all. That’s a fantasy. But it’s a good place to come if looking for ideas on where to go if some attempt at better health has come up short.
Everyone is the CEO of their own personal health. I like to think this is a good place to roam around in to become more adept at doing just that. That’s all.
If someone follows an idea that they got from reading my stuff and it doesn’t work, great. That’s another avenue they can scratch off the list, and a step closer to solving their own personal riddle.
Does anyone know what happened to Bruce K? I’ve been MIA for a while but remember he was posting replys on almost every blog here. I’ve been on the HED for a while and it is going fantastic.
Bruce K is dead LOL
not funny! Everyone gets excited about stuff, don’t be a jerk and make fun of Bruce.
(This is not Bruce btw)
“not funny! Everyone gets excited about stuff, don’t be a jerk and make fun of Bruce.
(This is not Bruce btw)”
“not funny! Everyone gets excited about stuff, don’t be a jerk and make fun of Bruce.
(This is not Bruce btw)”
Aren’t we a mature bunch. Joking about people dying. I hope he is ok, but if he is not I hope that a similar fate befalls all that are joking about him.
“My basal temp is 97.8 to 98, and is very consistent. If low thyroid/high pulse rate means adrenal overactivity, then perhaps normal thyroid/low pulse means adrenal underactivity. This would make sense as my predominant health problems have always been allergy-related. The instant cure for all allergies… epinephrine.”
Have your allergies gone away, matt? If so, when? Once you started more along the HED way of eating or before? Why do you think they went away? I have light allergies and have for a long time. One nostril or the other is stopped up about 80% of the time, but thats about the extent of it. No runny nose, only occassional sneezes, max of a couple times a day maybe. Thanks
I am SO tired on HED. I jawn 20 times per day and my skin has broken out numerous times. Dandruff and muscle aches/fatigue are all part of the game of HED?
I had the same issues when I first started – skin breakouts and back pain. I also had increased allergenicity. Those are gone now, and I’m in better shape than I was before I decided to add in more carbs and more calories. I feel great and weighed in yesterday at 174 – back down to my normal weight.
Lunch yesterday was 1/2 rack of ribs, baked potato with butter, cole slaw, 7″ veggie pizza, and 1 pint of beer – my super high-calorie meal of the week. Otherwise I’ve been having things like homemade chicken soup with sweet potatoes and butter or homemade Jambalaya, some fresh veggie juices, and an occasional slice of early season watermelon. Things have been going great, despite the rough transition.
My allergies sort of come and go, but the general trend is steady improvement. Allergies have been greatly reduced, animal dander-induced asthma still lingers a little bit stronger.
Initial improvements came when I began eating lots of raw foods and drinking massive amounts of fresh-squeezed fruit and veggies juices, doing “cleanses,” and doing no refined-sugar diets such as Donna Gates’s Body Ecology Diet.
Schwarzbein-style eating gave me the biggest improvements, although, over time, it seemed like too much protein and too little carbohdrate started to undo some of my progress.
HED had my asthma erupt, but now it is coming back down under control. Still very little allergies, despite living in an area where I used to be a wreck.
Lightening my exercise intensity and living in Hawaii for 2 years helped me recover too. Best air on earth!
Matt you have contradicted yourself.
You say your allergies are due to low adrenal output? (you mention your basal temperature is normal but your pulse is low, which might be due to low adrenal output, which could also be the explanation for your allergies).
Well, then, why do zero/low carbers have allergies even after very little time on the diet? You say zero carb causes adrenals to “compensate” for the thyroid, right? So how can these zero/low carbers develop so many allergies if their adrenals are overworking (and not underworking, like yours) and zero carbers/low carbers furthermore commonly have a very fast pulse, again proving high adrenal output;… but why the allergies then, Dr. Matt?
I also wanted to ask since my mom has Type 2 Diabetes, will overeating carbs help in any way? I’m a little skeptic about recommending High Everything at this point since I think High Everything might make it worse. What do you guys think?
Adrenal output isn’t unlimited. Eventually you can wear out the adrenals until they don’t produce enough. It’s called adrenal burnout, and many think that ketogenic diets can take you there. The body also shuts down receptor sites to adrenal hormones just like any other. So even with high adrenal hormones, you can compensate to have the experience of low adrenal hormones. It’s just not that simple. Low carbers can accumulate allergies just like anyone else, but it happens over the long term due, perhaps, to these changes.
Diabetes is a serious condition. It’s an example of digging yourself into a hole that’s too deep to get out of. I assume that the most efficient way of returning to eating a normal diet without special restrictions is to raise the metabolism with endocrine support. Otherwise, diabetics are destined to eat extremely low fat or extremely high-fat/low carb.
But I suspect that just dropping all refined sugar and providing glandular support is probably sufficient to overcome most cases of type II diabetes over time.
So you are saying a type 2 Diabetic should take synthetic endocrine?
And now you agree with the notion of Schwarzbein and others, that high saturated fat and high carb are bad for health? I thought you said that high fat and high carb together does not induce insulin resistance, so why is it necessary to separate those two in a diabetic condition? Why won’t High Everything work in that situation?
And how possibly might a low fat diet work in helping with diabetes? It just doesn’t make any sense. It will only worsen the situation and More and more insulin will be required. The best diet is by far High fat/very low carb.
Correction in above post: I mean to say;
type 2 Diabetic should take synthetic endocrine hormones?
A low fat diet is the Government’s and the Diabetic Association’s answer to managing type 1 and 2 diabetes (along with insulin shots of course).
I can’t believe you have gone down to the level of Government of recommending what seems to be Food Pyramid guidelines for managing a serious illness. That (lots of grains, less fruits and veggies, and least of all fats). That brings us right back where we started, and currently, people with diabetes are not thriving on the Food Pyramid, even though they are avoiding sugar. Believe me, I have been in other countries where the Diabetic Association’s are strictly recommending against refined sugars, still, the diabetics, even though they are avoid sugars, are doing just as bad and their condition is worsening.
Anonymous: if a diabetic were to eat nothing but fruit – that’s extremely low fat and that has “worked” for some people’s diabetes, going by what Doug Graham says.
I agree that adrenals can really effect allergies – I remember when I was on 80/10/10 my nose was constantly running whenever I would eat. Since I was also showing every single symptom imaginable of a B-vitamin deficiency – this leads me to believe my adrenals were burned out. The lower back thing? I had that, too! Look at this snippet that a guy posted from an article (about B-vitamins – linked to adrenals) over on a different forum,
“When you suffer from B vitamin deficiency over a long period, undue stress is placed upon the glands that give you the ability to cope with stress-the adrenal glands. As long as your adrenal glands can put out sufficient adrenal hormone, you will survive BCDS. But when adrenal function can no longer compensate, watch out!
Weakening adrenal function in the face of starvation for B vitamins causes about half of all the low back pain in America. Continued weakening of the adrenals leads to heart compensation and heart problems, potentially even heart attacks. When adrenal function nears the critical stage, nervous exhaustion occurs, with the potential for a full-blown nervous breakdown.”
All the manics on Doug’s diet say “I”… I.
So I would say there is a huuuge connection of adrenaline and other adrenal hormones here. The problem is people thinking one diet will do something magical – it’s more about these underlying issues, I think, that most people take for granted. Assuming insulin will drop because you cut out carbs completely and everything will be glorious; or assuming fat will drift away if you don’t consume any fat or extra calories. This, though, this plan dives into the factors that effect how well all of those dietary-programs will work for a given person. At least, so far, that’s what I see. And it really makes sense.
Truly, I think this kind-of-high-everything diet will show you all the underlying problems, or rather, a slow metabolism and imbalanced hormones and all the effects that rise out of that (such as a yeast overgrowth – dandruff man). And it takes head-on collision correcting to fix it, not avoidance. Oh and, yikes, patience. |: I hate that part.
I have been having breathing problems here and there for sometime now, it comes and goes…. where i feel like i have to take big deep breaths alot. Well, i decided to cut out coconut oil/milk, and its vanished. I use the wilderness family naturals centerfuiged one, its supposed to be super pure, anyways….. i think i will just stick with good old butter, lard, and ghee for the time being.
Matt, what could be the cause for coconut doing that. I know some are high in salycilates. i have also read people haveing really bad weight gain issues with coconut products.
Maybe you guys are eating too much sugar with all the fruit and juice. I’ve been doing a high starch diet, mainly from basmati rice, potatoes and bread. No fruit or any sugar at all. Results: fantastic. No back pain or breathing problems. My adrenals are recovering as I no longer feel my heart beating like I did when on low carb. Blood pressure is way down. I just think that fructose is still problematic, even when coming from natural sources.
This is all about metabolic optimization. Look at the Krebs cycle, it can take a variety of substrates to produce energy. Glucose can enter but not fructose or those other sugars (xylitol, etc – Not sure how lactose fits in but I can drink milk like a baby cow).
A high kcal diet from all sources will stimulate a full production of all the necessary enzymes to make energy from all the macronutrients.
I guess I’m just saying that limiting my carbs to starches has been wonderful. Maybe try that instead of fruit?
@PaleoRD: There are more things than only adrenals. I feel best too on mainly potatoes, fat, some protein and salt but even this is not an end-solution for me. I need some fruit too my body is crying out for fruits sometimes, although fructose gives me some problems in one way in the other way it does more good than harm.
i’m losing weight
Matt, do think this way of eating could be compatible with lap-band or gastric bypass surgery?
PaleoRD The krebs cycle is irrelevant. Glucose does not enter the krebs cycle.
These blog comments are beginning to sound more and more like a raw vegan board.
PaleoRD from now on, whatever comes out of your stupid mouth, I want to see a source accompanying it. 90% of the statements you made in your previous comment have no scientific basis and sounds like you just made them up on the high school biology you happen you know.
PaleoRD you look drugged, drunk and extremely fatigued on your Blogger photo. Is it because you were drunk at that particular moment, or is it because you are extremely hypothyroid?
If you can’t tell that I’m drunk in my Blogger photo, then you need a drink yourself. I don’t think that I am hypothyroid, BUT that picture was taken when I drank about 8 – 12 beers a day, smoked marijuana daily AND ate like a vegetarian. Sorry I offended you by misstating that glucose enters the Krebs Cycle, as we all know that Acteyl CoA, which results from glycolysis, is the substrate that acutally enters the Krebs Cycle (whooptee freakin doo). So from now on, all of my opinions will be stated with references to the great Wikipedia which always speaks the entire truth.
Why such hostility? Why the anonymous name-calling?
Take what you can from these comments and take the rest with a grain of salt. We’re all in the same boat, there’s no need to be mean-spirited.
Hi can anyone help me?
I have tried every possible diet and just for some reason can’t heal my health to the point I was 3-4 years ago. (Well, I was in my teens 3-4 years ago). I began screwing up my health. How? I think it’s because I ate lots and lots of “whole grains” with some protein and virtually no fat. It caused me to get chronic constipation, hemorrhoids and anal fissure. I would experience crams and bloating very often.
Then I of course took the raw vegan high way as most people start with. It helped my digestion but still made me bloated and gave me a potbelly actually, along with a nasty sugar addiction and extreme ups and downs in mood and energy. A dozen bananas per day would eventually make me get dizzy, seeing black spots on the vision when standing up.
Then I of course came to the whole paleo and primal diet thing, eating lots of raw fats. It worked great, my bowels were moving properly for the first time in my life. No more constipation, at least not when eating 1/2 pound of butter and lots of raw animal fats every day. But eventually I’ve realized that water suddenly does not flow very well (it actually bloats me!), I belch a lot, I wake up with puffy eyes – not big problems, compared to what I began from , but I just want the edge! I hate when traveling having to be worried about finding superior raw foods.
I remember when I was in my teens like 4 years ago how everthing would digest perfectly and I’d eat lots of pasteurized cheese, pizzas, pasta, pasta with meat, wheat with cheese with meat with raw veggies in one single frigging meal. Of course it would bloat me a little (and slow me down) but I COULD DO IT without feeling horrible, tired, constipated, bloated, unclear mind, etc. As I do now.
I can’t say my digestion has ever been good ( ever since I was a kid) but that might have been my total fat deficiency…. What I have been doing is trying to eat starch with pasteurized cream or butter in large amounts. Potatoes make me very hyperactive for some reason, I can’t sleep at night when eating them, my stomach rumbles, and it just doesn’t feel right. White rice is better but still causes frequent urination, ups and downs, looong sleep, oh and lower back pain (my ADRENALS?) which I feel particularly in the morning (although it may be because I have added salt back to my diet).
Is this really healing I’m experiencing Matt? I didn’t think it would feel this bad, as a matter of fact no diet I have ever started produced so many bad effects. And the good effects so far are minor: no more puffy eyes.
I can’t run more than 1/2 mile and I break down and my breathing hurts. I never felt this way only when I was completely out of shape. I’m more depressed, less alert, more tired, more hungry all the time,….
What is causing this? Excess salt (using it a lot in my diet now), white rice, potatoes, pasteurized cream/butter???
Maybe I should slowly add those ingredients to my now low carb diet instead of doing what I’ve done for the last 3 weeks: eating like 1/2 pound of white rice (by dry weight) per day with 1/2 pound pasteurized cream and 2 pounds of potatoes, some eggs and some boiled veggies.
I’m running out of options!!
Opinions? Anyone who has been in a situations that even remotely is similar?
@Anonymous: I had lower back pain as i added salt back in my diet too. It went away from itselt, i think it is because you are excreting calcium, which hurts when you urinate too. Or your stomach is producing more acid now and perhaps needs some time to adjust.
The irratibility could be an overactive thyroid or adrenals. Start slowly with the carbs to let your body adjust, i would not eat sooo much fat.
The problem anonymous, is that the longer you go low carb, the worse it can initially feel as you reintroduce carbohydrates. This misleads people into further believing that carbs are the root of all evil, and that they just can’t eat carbs. If you feel horrible eating carbs, then your carbohydrate tolerance, digestion, and metabolism is really poor – probably a result of the same low metabolism that led to constipation in the past, but was improved with a higher fat diet that excluded most carbs. When anyone has trouble with carbs and excludes them or minimizes them they will initially feel better. It’s not a cure-all though. Most really low-carbers run into metabolic problems later on, such as exhausted adrenals and low thyroid. VLC, in that sense, is only a temporary fix, just as a vegan diet is a temporary fix – providing miracle healings followed by a new set of health problems down the road.
On diabetes and low fat diets…
I’ve known many people who healed themselves of type II diabetes by eating super low-fat. It’s not the only way, and possibly not the best way, but it is a way. Proponents of low-fat diets, predominantly meat free, cleansing, and fresh foods displacing all refined grains and sugars have seen great success. Milk-fasting and juice-fasting have a great history of helping with diabetes. Plus, isolated peoples such as the Zulus studied by T.L. Cleave ate an extremely low-fat, low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet and never developed diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or any other disorder related to insulin resistance.
Sure, carbs cause the release of insulin, but if you overcome insulin resistance you no longer excrete too much insulin in response to carbs. There’s nothing wrong with secreting insulin. There’s only something wrong with secreting TOO MUCH insulin to the carbohydrates ingested. That is the disease. To think that simply eating carbohydrates repetitively can cause this is hilarious. There is a Mt. Everest of historical contradiction to such a hypothesis.
Anonymous with the health problems…
You need to figure out what is going on with you. Test your basal temperature. If it is low, you may need to initially take some kind of thyroid support or adrenal support or both before you can eat normally without being damaged by it. I just spoke with the owner of Nutri Meds yesterday and am pretty confident that with careful journaling of body temps and monitoring symptoms, these natural glandulars can be used with great success.
In the meantime, eat what you can and lots of it. That’s still going to be the best bet at improving metabolism and overall function. Over time, you find that your tolerance for your long list of problem foods improves. You can keep carbs low at first, but continually challenge yourself to eat a little more, then a little more, until you are out of ketosis.
I don’t really dig the extra virgin coconut oils. Seems they have some problems with them when consumed in large quantities – especially digestive. I prefer the refined stuff, which maybe eliminates some of the indigestible material in the unrefined oils. I still personally prefer butter, cream, lard, beef fat, etc., but I do use plenty of unrefined coconut oil to cook in a couple times a week.
Matt thanks for the response.. I’m the “Anonymous with the health problems”. I think what is going on with me is that my digestive system, first and foremost, is wrecked. I’ve always had digestive issues as long as I can remember, mostly constipation and nausea.
I’m not sure about taking my temperature every day and charting it and taking adrenal/thyroid support. I’m in college right now and tracking something like that with any great precision requires a somewhat consistent day to day life.. And as you can imagine my program with college life is hectic and changes all the time. I’m having a lot of trouble as it is now, eating the same foods consistently…. it takes a lot of energy and time planning and buying.
I’m not fully sure it’s my metabolism that’s the problem… Ever since I was a kid (and I was never fat) I’ve had the problems with bad digestion, dry skin and dandruff. I also had lots of virus/infections in my youth (don’t know if that has any importance). I did eat candy occasionally and mostly starches (pasta) when I was growing up but never really gained weight. I was also very active as a kid.
Even if I eat starches/sugars now I don’t get obese or anything but I’ve noticed a very interesting thing: my weight seems to concentrate around my belly. I never really gain weight over the entire body, just my belly gets more bloated. I have pretty slim limbs, especially my arms are thin and my torso is pretty narrow.. Maybe it’s because I don’t exercise enough but I’d really like to store some fat/muscle on arms, legs, shoulders.. not all on the belly area. Could this really be metabolism related?
It definitely looks like you have some metabolism/digestion problems (seems like a thyroid/adrenal problem to me with the weight only storing in your mid section, but Im new to this so lets hear what Matt says).
I started on a difficult and restrictive diet (primal diet, raw foods including meat) at the beginning of my last semester in college and it just requires a little will power to do. You have to bring your food with you wherever you go and almost never eat the crap they serve around campus. It isnt the easiest thing in the world, but it isnt horribly difficult and I was definitely very busy (engineering). It just depends on what its worth to you. You can make time, you really can. And once you start feeling better you’ll realize it is completely worth it, especially seeing as how you would likely try the things talked about on this blog which is WAY less restrictive than only eating raw meats and fats and eggs and such like the primal diet. Good luck!
Sooo, I gained my original 7 pounds or so on the HED, without junk food or anything. I felt OK then, and was alright for the first month. Anyways this last month I have gained 2-3 pounds a week and feel tired, sick, anxious, faint and am having digestive problems to the max. I’m not really sure what I should do. I’ve had to cut back on calories b/c my schedule doesn’t allow for much time to eat until 5 or so. Could the change from eating a lot at breakfast to hardly anything and not much at lunch with a big supper be affecting anything? I’m probably eating 1200 calories right now, and I do manual labor all day. I was eating maybe 2500 but am gaining the same amount of weight then as now, maybe more now. So I still feel as bad when I was eating twice as many calories as I do now.
Anonymous – about the digestion thing; I really highly agree that you really have to get in touch with the other symptoms you’ve got – any symptom. Digestion seems linked with metabolism – and hormones are linked with that, and thyroid is the whole thing controlling the speed of the metabolism. It really isn’t a one answers all – focus on what else you’re dealing with: fatigue, temperature, mood, nails, hair, skin – anything you notice is worth it to try and self-diagnose (while, when you think something looks like a culprit, you could take an effective test or something – like for adrenals or overgrowth of bad bacteria from a poor immune system (from the damaged metabolism perhaps)).
Cortisol is definitely infamous for the fat-stomach thing. (Though, the bloating could make it seem like you have more fat than you think?). It’s released from the adrenal glands and is one of those long-term stress hormones (adrenaline being short-term). Over production form adrenals can cause the weight-loss for people, or make it hard for people to gain weight. As any hormone is off-balance..it would make sense the metabolism would be effected. It’s not about if you’re thin or big, though. Metabolism doesn’t necessarily refer to weight only. Just like Ray Peat said in one of his articles – you can have a slow thyroid, but be thin and have classic hypothyroid symptoms. Or like Matt said, if your adrenaline is higher than usual, those symptoms may override the slow thyroid symptoms. So I’d look more in depth as to what may be having an effect on your problems – taking into account your past and experience as a whole. It’s quite refreshing to be your own doctor.
Health problem college stud,
You don’t have to go nuts with the temperature test, but try taking your armpit temperature first thing upon waking. Normal is 97.8-98.2 degrees F. If you are below that, there’s probably an issue there. The health problems you mentioned greatly strengthened my belief that you do have a core metabolic disorder, which is not just the thyroid, but the system. Unless you take your temps, it’s hard to start pinpointing a diagnosis. Go buy a thermometer right now! It’ll take, what 15 minutes and a tiny wad of cash. You can DOOOO it!
@Anonymous: Maybe you need more protein in combination with the starch to gain weight?
Why is it the ‘armpit’ temperature? Also, most instructions I’ve read say to use a mercury thermometer, but you can’t get those anymore. Plus, when i take my oral temp in the morning, it is the same as my armpit temp anyway. So what is the deal with the armpit temp? -thanks
hey kids. first time on this site. seems to be a slightly different take on macronutrients here than on the usual low cal/paleo/highprotein sites. i can’t speak for anyone here, ’cause we’re all different; but here’s my story. a year and a half ago i became sick because of a “healthy” vegetarian diet coupled with stress. devastating. scoured the web until i discovered Cordain’s low fat paleo diet. started eating paleo. realised that “low fat” and “paleo” were contradictory, so added fat (no omega 6 pufas).
i’m no longer “skinnyfat” (i’m cut. no bodybuilding involved) my health is incredible at 44yrs, and i have so much energy now, that i look at my past life of listlessness with some regret.
here’s what i’m getting at: my diet consists of meat (some raw), fat (including raw range fed animal fat (seriously)), greens, some roots, a few nuts, and very little fruit or raw milk.
no starch, sugar, pufa oil.
anyway, call this diet extreme if you wish (carbs c.75gms/day), but remember that we’re all different, and nature doesn’t give a rip about dogma and orthodoxy.
keep in mind too; it’s difficult to procure carbs in the wintery zones except at a couple of peak times per year without technology.
paleolithic nutrition makes the most sense to me.
Bullcrap, we’ve envolved on cooked root vegetables, fruits, meat and fat.
You share a common path with many who view this blog. I think we are looking for a nice balance of the extremes of what we know are viable human diets: from the high fat of the Inuit and Masai to the high-carb of the Kitavans and Tokoleauans. The goal is to extract the highest amount of nutrients from each food, micro or macro, and to create a metabolism that will prevent the common degenerative diseases of aging.
Many have tried Paleo and found that it lacks enough carbs. There is nothing like the immediate energy that glucose can provide, it allows muscle contraction in the absence of oxygen. Paleo style eating derives most carbs from vegetables (minimal) and fruit (a lot of fructose). Without a major source of glucose, the metabolism might be slowed.
In other words, the value of carbs should be examined. Can they boost the metabolism? We’ll find out soon.
Ignore the anonymous posters they like to talk bullcrap.
Matt I just purchased your fatloss book and now your saying to eat high carbI am so confused as to what you recommend for health.At one point in your blog you wrote that 30gms starch per meal had cured your metabolism(then eroded).Whats that mean?
Now I see your recommending 300gms carbs?
Going low in carbs (about 100g per day, even split between 3 meals), helped me tremendously. Anyone with poor glucose metabolism will benefit in the short term from carbohydrate restriction.
I do think, as Schwarzbein later made amendments for in her program, that gradually raising carbohydrate levels over time is probably better.
I have not specifically recommended that someone should eat 300 grams of carbs per day. Personally, I am eating about that much per day. It’s probably overboard, but it has helped me in many ways – better teeth, better mood, better energy, better physical performance, reduced body odor, faster bowel transit time and softer, smaller bowel movements, reduced breath odor, etc.
Of course, going low carb gave me some of those benefits as well, but over time all the positive changes started to unwind. I think going down to 30g per meal is appropriate for someone who is significantly overweight, but should be gradually increased over time as weight is lost and glucose metabolism improves.
If you need to lose weight, going high in fat, and moderate to low in both protein and carbohydrates is still the best performer. Broda Barnes, Barry Groves, Kwasniewski – these are surefire recipes for overcoming serious obesity without damaging the metabolism.
Ideally, one would eventually be able to have such great metabolic health that they could eat any and all macronutrients in whatever quantities they desired without gaining an ounce of unnecessary, unbeneficial body fat. I’d like to think that this is possible – that we don’t have to all shrug our shoulders and say, “guess I can’t eat carbs.” That’s not healing, just avoidance. With a healthy metabolism, carbs do not cause problems and certainly do not cause insulin resistance (unrefined carbs that is, which have never been able to ’cause’ insulin resistance – as Weston A. Price, T.L. Cleave, and many others have shown conclusively by witnessing fantastic health amongst many agriculturalist groups).
well said matt,
i keep eating more and more carbs, and am staying the same weight, probably eating around 150 to 200 grams of carbs now a day. My body composition is alot better now also. I think i have found my carb sweet spot!
You said some people would benefit from adrenal/thyroid support.
Instead of eating concentrated pills (made out of pork thyroid or whatever) would it be equally beneficial to get some raw beef thymus/thyroid/adrenals and eat a little piece every day? Or would it have to be like 2 entire adrenals every other day or something like that?…
Or is it necessary to take the pills?
The pills are probably more consistent, easier to obtain, cheaper, more convenient, and so on. If you want to get fresh glands to experiment with – knock yourself out.
Many people can heal themselves of any number of health problems without glandular supplementation. Many others need, in addition to a nutritious and satisfying diet and a reasonably healthy lifestyle – some glandular support. I think Melvin Page said it best…
?Fortunately, dental decay, as well as the other degenerative disease, can be prevented primarily by two procedures that must go together which are as follows:
1. Follow a natural diet which eliminates sugar and sugar products, coffee, refined grains (white flour), and milk.
2. If there is malfunction of the glands, correction of glandular dysfunction.
?All degenerative diseases are a result of malfunctioning of the endocrine glands, either due to heredity or damage by environment, (primarily due to a bad diet), or a combination of the two factors which is more common.
Matt: How do you know if you can raise your metabolism with diet or if you need some glandular support?
Regarding calories and metabolism:
There is quite convincing evidence that lowering caloric intake will most likely drop your metabolic rate with all resulting consequences. But does this mean that eating more calories will boost metabolism? Anecdotal evidence implies that this is true for young males with a smoothly running metabolism. But is it true for someone with a slow(ed) metabolism?
Let’s think about average Joe Doe. His metabolism slows down while aging and because he continues eating like he is used to, he gains weight over the years. You could say he eats more calories than his metabolism can "handle". What can Joe do to stop his march to obesity? Eat more? To succeed, eating more would not only have to boost metabolism to account for the higher caloric intake but even more to compensate the "aging factor". Will that happen?
Is there anyone on this blog who boosted a former sluggish metabolism to a "normal" level with a high calorie diet? Are there any studies showing such an effect?
Most people start to gain weight as they age due to ever-increasing insulin resistance. However, it appears that insulin resistance can be greatly reduced, perhaps even by force-feeding. Shocking to most who believe that raising insulin levels by eating a high-calorie and/or high-carb diet is the cause of insulin resistance (false), a force-feeding study unearthed by Per Marin in The Potbelly Syndrome actually showed an across the board reduction in leptin and insulin resistance.
I believe these were lowered becauase metabolism increased. I believe a slow metabolism is the cause of insulin and leptin resistance, leading to greater fat storage, less energy, higher blood sugars, greater appetite, and a host of other ills related to "metabolic syndrome."
This is one reason I typically recommend that people, when trying to heal themselves of most conditions, begin by eating as much as possible for about a month while doing very little physically to directly try to boost and repair the metaboblism. Most will notice at least some rise in basal temp. Others may need support. The only way to know is to monitor body temps. This should be kept around 98 degrees F (armpit temp) no matter what age you are. This only gets more and more important as one ages. It's the drop in metabolism that leads to virtually all health problems associated with aging.
Signs that insulin and leptin resistance are lowered are the typical responses to prolonged force-feeding…
Major decline in hunger and appetite over time.
Inability to further gain weight at a certain point.
Better glucose tolerance.
Spontaneous fat loss when returning to a normal diet.
Where's the evidence that refined sugar is the cause of "90% of all disease"?
The evidence is a compilation of thought and research by numerous authors throughout the 20th and 21st century.
For starters, nearly 100% of disease was found absent amongst native groups eating completely unrefined diets by Weston A. Price in the 1930's. This was a theme found the world over. That changed instantly upon the introduction of refined sugar as well as other modern foods.
The same general principle was strengthened by Robert McCarrison, who noticed that without refined carbohydrates, most diseases could not be found. When refined carbohydrates arrived, respiratory and digestive problems were the first to emerge, followed by many others over time.
In 1951, E.M. Abrahamson's Body, Mind, and Sugar was way ahead of its time, linking hyperinsulinism, as diagnosed by poor glucose tests, to all kinds of health problems. The most recent author to link hyperinsulinism with the majority of degenerative disease has been Gary Taubes.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's T.L. Cleave proposed a groundbreaking theory lumping the majority of widespread health problems to sugar consumption, with refined grain playing a lesser role. He called it the Saccharine disease. It was truly outstanding work.
Shortly thereafter, John Yudkin published Sweet and Dangerous, yet another book showing how a constellation of health problems did not exist before the introduction of refined sugar combined with modern day research showing sugar's negative effects on various body systems.
In the 1980's Gerald Reaven "discovered" Metabolic Syndrome, something that had been known about for decades but somehow not sufficiently proven to meet scientific standards – which also happen to be hilariously dumb, discounting things such as history and common observation – which should be held in much higher regard than labwork and clinical trials (because the ease of manipulation and potential for drawing faulty conclusions is outrageous without history and observation as a baseline).
This, of course, is just the short list. Plus, you have an enormous onslaught of recent evidence streaming in convicting fructose, which is being consumed at the highest levels that it has been consumed in all of history by far – in the form of HFCS, white sugar, and crystalline fructose. Fruit, fruit juice, and other sweetener consumption has also increased.
So the evidence is historical, circumstantial, observational, and scientific. The 90% figure is a ballpark figure. I suspect that if refined sugar was never developed or had never come into existence, disease rates would be more than 90% less than what the human race currently endures.
I just looked for something about overfeeding and found two interesting links.
Results of overfeeding studies are pretty inconsistent.
"Overfeeding studies that have not found evidence for adaptive thermogenesis mainly base their conclusions on the observation that there is no elevation in metabolic rate above obligatory costs, i.e. EE associated with an increased body size and tissue gain [4,14,22,30,36], an increased DIT due to the increased amount of food eaten [4,27], increased costs for the same body movements due to an increased body weight [4,27] and a body weight gain proportional to the total amount of excess energy consumed [23,24,28]. All studies show a large inter-individual variation in weight gain, but comparing metabolically efficient and inefficient subjects showed no differences in EE changes . Although these overfeeding experiments fail to show adaptive changes in energy expenditure, this does not mean there is no adaptive thermogenesis. In most studies there is still a considerable proportion of excess energy intake that was not accounted for [22,30,36], which is probably due to errors in the methods and assumptions used. In addition, the study period might have been too short, while adaptive thermogenesis is involved in long-term energy balance regulation ."
Also quite interesting is this:
"Research relating to energy adaptation in man"
Hey Sven, I skimmed the first study.. did it say what kind of fat and what kind of carbs they were feeding these people? I didn't find any information on that, and I mean, they could all be fed completely processed sources of food. Or rather, "healthy" vegetable oils and white bread.
Also, what 50% over "energy" levels means is anyone's guess. If they measure by weight (like, 140 pounds = 1400 calories) than it could still be technically too little for that person's real need for food.
"…Diaz et al.  overfed subjects 50% above baseline energy requirements for 42 d,…"
Like, in that prison study – those guys ate what, 10,000 calories was it? And lost weight easily after.
Anyway, it looks like they did a variety of "overfeeding" tests; it all is just pretty..vague. It doesn't say what the patients felt – if they were stuffed or just simply overfed(by the study's definition).
I assume the rats in the study did not have low basal metabolisms to begin with. That's the purpose of increase. The goal is not to take someone with temps at 98F and increase that. No matter how much you feed a human, their body temps aren't going to go to 100 degrees.
Force feed a starving rodent and you will see a monstrous increase in basal metabolism. Humans with low basal metabolism, although they may have plenty of food, are still exemplifying symptoms of starvation, such as lowered immunity, sexual dysfunction, amennhorea, infertility, low energy, coldness, and so on. Hence the idea that foce-feeding could help to bring basal metabolism from low to normal.
"they could all be fed completely processed sources of food. Or rather, "healthy" vegetable oils and white bread."
"Also, what 50% over "energy" levels means is anyone's guess."
As I understand it, there usally is some kind of initiation period. They look what the participants usually eat and that’s the baseline.
You are right. A forcefeeding study in which participants have suboptimal metabolism/basal body temp might yield different results.
Do you know someone who raised his/her body temperature to normal levels due to force feeding/raising caloric intake? What about your girlfriend? Didn’t you say she had low basal body temp?
I stumbled onto your blog because I really enjoyed the post you did mocking the moderator at diseaseproof for lumping in Atkins with Weston Price. It was funny and well written and I came here to say, good job, dude. Then I started reading some of this and a few things started to jump out at me.
I have been doing a diet (and the program designer insists its not a diet, since that word has a stigma, attached to it, but what else do you call it…reduce calories, exercise, blah, blah, blah) called Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. The program recommends a 20-30% reduction in calories, a macronutrient ratio of 40 protein, 30 carbs and 30 fat. I had some success with it last year, while training for a half marathon, I was able to get rid of some excess fat and build some much needed muscle. After I quit the program though last winter, I gained weight really fast. All the weight I'd lost plus an extra 5 just to say thanks for playing. I restarted it again this spring and have made some great progress in terms of fat loss (8 pounds in 4 weeks) and muscle gain. The program recommends extensive weight lifting (four times a week) and two to three times a week of cardio.
The problem is that the whole reason for doing this, to loose 25 pounds in prep for a trail marathon, has been completely side-tracked by my allergies. I can manage to lift weights with a stuffy head and minor sinus pain, but running is really hard. I've lost a lot of training. I didn't think it was connected to my allergies, until I read different places where it said that sinus based allergies can be made worse by too much dairy. Then I got Nourishing Traditions and saw that the low fat dairy products that have been the staple of my weight loss are "supplemented" with dehydrated milk protein. (Ever wonder why lowfat cottage cheese is higher in protein that whole cottage cheese? I did.) Also, though I don't use the whey based protein that most of the people on this program seem to live on (while simultaneously decrying the evils of sugar and processed food) my latest bought of sinusitus started after I had a double scoop of EAS whey protein in my smoothie at the gym one day.
Other symptoms: I have a kind of dandruff that extends off my scalp onto my face and neck. It's worse in the fall usually, but I've noticed it worsening this spring since being on this diet. Also my acne, which had been at bat since I went on the pill 10 years ago, has come back a bit.
I haven't done my basal temperature. I sure will now. I knew that instant read thermometer I bought before I even went off the pill to have my first child, would eventually come in handy!) I know that I always run low. I have very low blood pressure (nurses always look at me with admiration when they take it)and even when I'm feverish, I have to feel really sick to break the 100 mark (like hallucinating, fever dreams kinda sick). Does that mean I have low metabolism?
I have been about 20 pounds overweight since I had my kid three years ago. I tend to pack weight on everywhere. The last place it goes is my waist and the first place it comes off is my waist. Before I had my kid I did weight watchers for like three years off and on with some initial big success, but then constant plateaus and poor digestion (probably due to the huge amounts of fiber, low fat in my diet).
This site was basically created for you.
I know BFFM quite well – a calorie-restricted, starvation, metabolicaly-ruinous diet masquerading as a "non-diet." I tried it briefly one time even though I knew better – just because I enjoy a good dietary experiment.
I lost fat! Then I got really hungry and tired and overate until I had more fat and weighed more than I did to begin with. Surprise!
Individuals often think that this is a lack of willpower and that this experience strengthens the idea that the diet "works." They lost weight doing it, so it obviously works. They don't associate the after-effects, "rebound hyperphagia," – a well-understood calorie-restriction reaction, with the diet itself. It's a good short-term strategy, a bad long-term strategy.
You are better off focusing on raising your metabolism – balancing out key hormones that got out of whack after your last child was born (sounds like). This is a horrible short-term strategy (you gain weight at first and many symptoms worsen), and a fantastic long-term strategy (hunger decreases, muscle increases, body fat slowly dissolves, energy increases along with body temperature).
I would recommend amending BFFM by eating MORE calories than your metabolism calculation instead of slightly less, replacing half of the protein with saturated fat, and sticking to the recommendations to eat starch over sugars. Give yourself many months to heal, perhaps even longer. Be persistent. Monitor body temps as you go.
Eat fat shakes, not protein shakes.
"I lost fat! Then I got really hungry and tired and overate until I had more fat and weighed more than I did to begin with. Surprise!"
But isn’t that what you recommend for boosting metabolism? Eating more. Where is the difference in overeating after a diet because you are hungry and overeating because you want it to stimulate your metabolism? Either way you consume more calories.
Why is that bad in case one and good in the other?
Overeating is what your body does to heal itself from a restricted diet. Your body fights against the stupid thing you tried to do to it, and literally brings about changes and urges so strong that you are helpless to control it. The harder you push against it, the harder it pushes back.
Overeating after a diet is wonderful! It's undereating during the diet that brings about damage and the desire for your body to fix itself.
Only after overeating does one start to regain control of their eating habits, have appetite reduction, and start building muscle and shedding fat without forcing it to happen via starvation.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply Matt.
I'm glad you are familiar with BFFM. My allergies pretty much forced me to quit the exercise portion of the program. Then after doing some soul searching about whether I wanted a ripped abdomen for as long as I could stand to starve myself, or to actually be a healthy, comfortable weight, I decided I want to stop feeling like $hit! Hooray for common sense.
I think I messed up my hormones before I had my kid by being on the pill and by doing weight watchers for a long time. I agree that this will probably take a while to get sorted out. On the plus side I'm seeing some positive improvement already:
I started eating less protein, (eating it with an equal portion of starchy carb) have dropped down to one or two servings of whole fat dairy per day (am going this week-end to see about a farm share to get raw milk) and my allergies are totally at bay. I've been off my allergy medication for almost three weeks now and my headaches are gone.
One good thing about BFFM was that it got me to quit eating sugar (except for the some how acceptable sugar in my protein drinks!) and white flour and eating more starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes and brown rice. It also gve me a taste for the so-called "healthy fats" like nuts and fish, which I never really considered before.
Since reading nourishing traditions, I've gone scorched earth on my cupboard. I've been emailing the crap out of our local dairies and bakeries trying to find out what they put in their products. It's not a pretty picture. Even some awesome bakers who only use sprouted grains and natural fermentation in their breads, are buying into this soy protein supplementation gimmick. Agggh. It's like soy is taking over the world, one vegan soytarian zombie at a time.
Thanks for your helpful and encouraging words and your funny blog.
So good that you are finally feeling so much better! congrats!
I wanted to bring up that you said you were eating more "healthy" fats like nuts and fish. Eating small amounts of those is fine but I wouldnt make either a big staple in your diet as I think many here would agree they arent as "healthy" as mainstream dietary dogma believes. Both are high in PUFAs (other than macadamia nuts), and nuts have usually been around awhile before they get to your plate and could be rancid and oxidized (some think thats a problem and some dont, so up to you). Unless you are picking your own nuts (and even then I still would say not to make them a staple) I would leave them for occasional snacks. Good luck and keep us all posted on your progress!
I don't huge amounts of nuts. I have about 6 almonds a day chopped up in various stuff, like mueslix in the mornings, salads, etc. I've been using more unsweetened coconut meat instead just based on all the raves in nourishing traditions. Also I like the taste. I always keep my nuts in the fridge and that seems to help. I do have a walnut tree in my yard. It's weird I've never actually eaten those nuts. I might have to try that this fall.