For the 50 grams per day or less ketogenic dieter looking to return to a normal diet with good health – and wanting to have an easier transition…
I’ve been getting questions a lot lately from people who have followed low carb diets for a long time that are looking to break free from the shackles. Although there are no set rules, the idea, when coming back to carbs, is to do whatever you can to improve glucose tolerance. Otherwise, when carbs sneak back in, you feel all the negative consequences of carbs going into a system that mismanages them (bloating, weight gain, emotionality, breakouts, and so on). Needless to say, it’s best to avoid that.
In my experience, the body seems to handle things best when they are isolated. In other words, eating a food by itself allows your body to deal with it most efficiently. Now, I wouldn’t advise doing this on a long-term basis, as eating foods all by themselves has long-term repercussions ? making your digestion weak, causing some muscle loss, and having overall negative influences on your hormonal landscape. Short-term, used to achieve a very specific objective; however, it is perfectly appropriate.
Although some might argue that hurtling full-board back into carbohydrates might have some potential danger, I have my doubts, but it’s up to you as to whether or not there would be any significant reason for precautions.
I say, if you want your body to switch from running on ketones (super low-carb) to glucose, you better make it very clear that doing so is appropriate. Simply put, eat up them carbies. Pound them. Devour them. Feast upon them.
Personally, I think one of the greatest benefits of the ?cleansing? or juice-fasting idea is that it can enhance glucose tolerance. Poor glucose tolerance is a sign of insulin resistance, meaning that when you ingest carbohydrates, your blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up, blood sugar stays up, more insulin is secreted, and then the whole thing comes crashing down as that excess insulin starts to clear glucose from the blood stream. Then you enter a hypoglycemic state. Basically, poor glucose tolerance is indicated by peaks and valleys in blood glucose levels outside of the realm of what can be considered normal.
Eating only carbohydrates ? such as fruits, juices, vegetables, and starches such as potatoes and rice (contain a little protein), allows your body to return to using glucose as a viable fuel source without weight gain. I would be amazed if someone could eat ONLY these foods and gain weight. That would certainly be a rarity if it did occur. If you were to eat large amounts of these with your normal, low-carb diet amount of protein and fat, odds are you would get all the negative consequences of carbohydrate reintroduction including gargantuan, painful bowel movements and significant weight gain as your metabolism adjusted. This is because insulin resistance and bowel transit time is often worsened by prolonged ketogenic diets (due to reduced metabolism).
Going all carbs for, let’s say, 4-7 days, allows you to circumvent that issue so that you are instead adding in fat, then protein at the end to a high-carb diet by the end of that week.
If I were you, which I’m not, I would perform this carbomania by eating meals of steamed rice or boiled potatoes with lots of vegetables. This will be much more stabilizing for most people than just pounding fruit juice and munching on apples and bananas ? although that’s certainly one option. I would literally eat as much as I possibly could stand. Get over the carb-phobic stigma.
After 4-7 days of this glucose metabolism rehab, I would then begin incorporating lots and lots of saturated fats. Buttered mashed potatoes, buttery vegetables, smoothies with coconut milk, and a ton of cream and berries all mixed together in a big bowl. I would continue this phase for several more days as well, and this should be quite enjoyable and quite stimulating to the metabolism ? and easy compared to carbs only.
Finally, I would begin working protein into the mix. The first day, eat a few slices of cheese, have a scoop of peanut butter, or an egg with one meal only. The next day try a tiny portion with two meals. All three meals the next day ? and then up protein levels until you reach a point of satisfaction and satiation. It’s at this point too that I would begin really tapering down on the sugars ? opting mostly for a starchy diet with few, if any sweets.
Hopefully, after progressing through these stages, you will be able to eat lots of fat, carbohydrates, and sufficient protein all together as part of a satisfying, high-calorie diet without any weight gain ? unlike what you might have experienced jumping right in ? which would have worked out fine over time, but would have been terrifying for a long-time dieter.
If you still find carbohydrates problematic, it might be best to practice juice-fasting one day per week until you see some better improvements. Don’t give up though. If you have a weight problem, and issues with insulin resistance, you must get your metabolism into a healthy state. To do this, you need carbs. You can run from carbs, but you can’t hide. Your root problem (a low metabolism) will catch up to you in the form of constipation, irritability, ravenous hunger (not always, sometimes it’s the opposite, particularly with low-carb), fatigue, cramping, coldness, sleep problems, and other telltale symptoms of a low metabolism that are often confused with low-carb diets.
If you think carbs are the enemy, and that eating all those carbs in the initial stages can’t help you overcome weight problems, insulin resistance, and even type II diabetes ? I suggest you consult with Joel Fuhrman, Terry Shintani, Richard Schulze, or study the work of Henry Bieler and others who have claimed to use the removal of most fat and protein from the diet to treat these conditions with remarkable success.
Doc Bieler on Diabetes:
?The best way to handle a diabetic case, I have found, is to take him off insulin and to put him to bed. If the patient will not accept this and the rather rigorous diet, then I am powerless to help. The diet consists of lightly cooked non-starchy vegetables, like celery, parsley, zucchini and string beans, liquefied in a blender and used as a soup. The patient remains on this until the urine becomes sugar-free by test. He stays in bed to conserve his energy in order to give the liver and the pancreas every possible chance to do their work unmolested form the acids of exertion. It may take from one day to four days or more to get the patient sugar-free.
I have already tried many times to eat only fruits and vegetables, or fruits juices, and while I never gain weight, it never cured my carbs intolerance. Actually, it makes it worse!
My metabolism is much better on zerocarbs (no more fatigue, hunger, coldness, abdominal pain, addiction, etc.).
Bieler’diet removes not only fat and protein, but also carbs : “The diet consists of lightly cooked non-starchy vegetables”. Not surprising it works for diabetics.
I would like to undestrand how carbs, alone or not, could increase and improve a metabolism ?
I don’t see why a prolonged ketogenic diet could reduce metabolism ?
I don’t undestrand also why a “normal diet” should include more than 50g of carbs ?
I like the Bruce’s detail.
Even in our time, nutrient detail is a guessing game. We don’t know what the soil water, and air quality were for the prior centuries. Was it the grain? Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet? Sugar? Maltose? bis-6-phosphoglycerate? Isolating variables is very difficult when looking in retrospect. It’s just not that easy to say that WAPF groups ate well and current populations are deficient. WHY?
Man I don’t have the balls to try this diet. I know it would be suicide and carb addiction all over.
I’ve tried a diet with only potatoes and bananas and very little olive oil.
As the other ANON says, ITS NOT WEIGHT GAIN! IT’S THE OTHER SYMPTOMS: FATIGUE, CONSTANT YAWNING, EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER, BLACK SPOTS ON VISION WHEN STANDING UP FROM SITTING/LYING DOWN POSITION, CONSTANT URINATION, CONSTANT THIRST, CONSTANT HUNGER, OBSESSING OVER FOOD, BEING HUNGRY 1 HOUR AFTER EACH MEAL, PARANOIA, ETC ETC ETC.
I sincerely think that eating High Calories, without thinking about food quality, is shooting yourself in the foot. It would be better to eat 500 calories less per day but get ALL the calories from ORGANIC sources and healthy raw dairy and grassfed meats. Much better than pasteurized Walmart dairy with carneegan and walmart veggies and walmart injected meats.
It’s important to remember that when you buy from a supermarket, all the fruits/veggies have enormous amounts of toxins as they are specific hybrids to resist “expiring”/going bad (as Ray Peat pointed out). They are also sprayed with petroleum waxes and pesticides, grown in completely nutrient empty soils, which are only kept alive by artificial nitrogen fertilizer. I would bet a conventional apple in the US bought at a supermarket has virtually no minerals.
So unlike Matt, I believe food QUALITY matters 10 times more than food QUANTITY. Don’t be stupid and stuff yourself with walmart dairy and McDonals burgers. It’s NOT the solution. The body needs minerals to work properly. And you ain’t getting those from veggies/fruits/WHATEVER coming from depleted soils. Period.
Read about the guy from invented the BRIX INDEX and see the studies he conducted, showing that all diseases (including obesity) are caused by mineral deficiencies and poor soils (very common in the US).
I added carbs back into my very low carb diet. I started with milk, potatoes, and rice about 60 grams a day, now I’m eating 120 grams carbs a day. Will carb intolerance symptoms improve if you just add carbs back into a very low carb diet with proteins and fats-rather than doing an all carb no protein diet for a week? I guess it just takes more time to adjust to a diet w/ fats carbs + proteins?
What do you think of eating bananas, corn meal, or milk long term? Is the sugar in bananas and milk better avoided?
Intermittent beer fasting has given me good results in the past.
One reason I like Matt’s ideas is that his model explains why there are so many healthy people who eat carbohydrates. Michael Phelps eats a high-fat high-carb diet. Many other athletes do the same. The Paleo model does a good job explaining why many people are sick and fat. Its explanation is that these sick and fat people are sick and fat because they eat carbohydrates. For them it’s all about the glyemic index. My problem with this explanation is that there are and were many healthy people who eat carbohydrates. Though there are probably more sick people who eat carbohydrates than healthy people. Carbs might be unrelated. It might just be that everyone eats carbs and some of them are sick and some of them are not.
I, of course, have been experimenting with my own diet. I’d like to know if anyone has had similar results.
My problems are: low weight, eczema, insomnia, dandruff, and a strange taste in my mouth when I wake up. Is this thrush? My tongue is off-white and there is a gunk on my teeth. I’m starting to unfortunately suspect that the dwindling patches of eczema are really nothing more than the visible portions of a systemic fungal infection. Why else do I have gunk on my teeth when I wake up? Malabsorption maybe? Anyone know?
So here’s what happened: When I read Matt’s blog I changed my diet in three significant ways. I stopped eating fruits and vegetables, and I started eating potatoes and bread with meals. I also stopped intermittent fasting and began eating three large meals per day. I also ran out of coconut oil and began using butter. The result? I still consume occasion alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and tea, but, knock on wood, my sleep problems are gone! Only now do I realize what it is like to have an internal clock. I now naturally wake up in the mornings. My delayed sleep phase syndrome (problems falling asleep, yet sleeping for a normal amount of time) have temporarily vanished! (Knock on wood.) Was it the fructose in the fruit? Is it my hormone balance?
i don’t know where the hell you got the idea that matt doesn’t care about food quality!
Personally i eat clean about 80-90% of the time, and the other part i leave open for hanging out with friends, family, or if i don’t have time to make it home to make a quality meal.
The real wrench in the system, I think, is individual differences. I know lots of docs like Eades don’t really believe in it… but if something worked for everybody, we wouldn’t be arguing like this. I read about the wonders of very low carb and tried it — experienced no weight loss, and lost my ability to run any distance at all. Oh, yeah, and got depressed and unmotivated. Forget that!! Though clearly it works great for some people.
And I know that low fat, vegetarian type diets make my hair fall out.
Low calorie makes me binge.
Luckily I’m only 10 or 15 pounds above my ideal, because nothing seems to work and I’m stuck with it.
I’m sure HED works great for muscular young men in their 20’s, but for women in their 40s… hahaha.
I just wanted to let you know I think you’re a very smart person and have done your fair share of research and know what good health is. That said, I am a zero-carber because of an eating disorder but have read a lot of insightful things on your blog. Please keep up the posting I like your research!
“My problems are: low weight, eczema, insomnia, dandruff, and a strange taste in my mouth when I wake up. Is this thrush? My tongue is off-white and there is a gunk on my teeth. I’m starting to unfortunately suspect that the dwindling patches of eczema are really nothing more than the visible portions of a systemic fungal infection. Why else do I have gunk on my teeth when I wake up? Malabsorption maybe? Anyone know?”
YO A – I’ve got dandruff and an off colored tongue, too. I think it’s digestive related, or perhaps a yeast overgrowth (dandruff’s case would be overgrowth of Pityrosporum ovale – but that theory isn’t proven). It’s awfully confusing. But I figured if there’s an overgrowth of bacteria on the noggin, there could be one in the gut, too. And if it is thrush on the tongue – that would mean the overgrowth is in the gut and the mouth, and throughout the digestive track.
My dandruff gets worse with humidity – which leads me to believe the overgrowth of the p. ovale is true, as yeast/bacteria thrives in that condition. The cause of it’s overgrowth, I’d like to figure out.
MATT I have to say, your argument is either flawed or self-contradicting!
Now. You say that cells become “insulin resistant” when carbs are taken from the diet. They don’t respond to insulin, so secretion of the hormone goes way too high before they eventually respond and let glucose in, to be metabolized into energy, water, co2 and adipose tissue. Can you please explain the mechanism by which this happens?
And, considering it has already happened, and a person is insulin resistant, then HOW will adding pure carbs to the diet make ANY difference? Is it because fats/protein MAKE cells insulin resistant? And taking these out of the diet will resolve the problem?
And.. Considering fat/protein DOES make cells insulin restitant, then why do you recomend a High Everything Diet? That’s self-contradicting. That would lead RIGHT BACK TO Insulin Resistance.
I would like to see the science behind, and some sources, showing that insulin resistance is caused by eating too little carbs (never seen this evidence) or by protein or fat. I would also like to see the science behind your claim that insulin resitant cells will become less insulin reistant by adding tons of carbs to the diet. I think any raw vegan or high carb eater can attest to the fact that lots of carbs didn’t make the problem go away.. IT CAUSED IT.
The opposite of what you say is true, if you consider common sense. Taking the constant bombardment of carbs and insulin out of the diet will lead to the cells “getting a break” from constant insulin, so they can become, over time, less resistant to it.
Bombarding your cells with carbs=constant insulin= cells eventually “become used to” insulin and start resisting it. How does taking away protein and fat from the diet even help? It only makes the problem WORSE, since now the insulin has to respond much more powerfully = much more elevated levels fast = cells get used to high spikes in insulin and become resistant to it,
I don’t care what any analysis of a tribe that lived decades ago says. This is basic science. Insulin is not meant to be in your blood at high or chronically elevated levels.
Carbs=high insulin CAUSED the initial problem. Adding carbs back won’t cure it.
And Yes a high protein causes the same problems as protein is converted into glucose anyway. BUT a low carb diet is/should be a HIGH FAT DIET, exactly what allows the pancreas to take a break from the job it was never meant to do at those levels. Animals in the wild have a pancreas that’s 3 times smaller (in proportion to their body size) than humans. The cells also get a rest from insulin and their resistance to it disappears. THAT’S WHY when a LOW CARBER adds too many carbs to his diet he gains weight faster then before. Cells are now extremely efficient at doing their job, and take in glucose and store it as adipose tissue! No fluctuations in blood sugar because of delayed response!
or maybe cells are so sensitive (NON-resistant) to insulin after a low carb/zero carb diet, that they become OVERLY efficient at responding to insulin and thus make blood glucose levels go too low after a high carb meal. Hypoglycemia? Isn’t that what low carb diets lead to, when carbs are introduced again? Or maybe the PANCREAS simply isn’t used to secreting insulin any more after a low carb diet, so it doesn’t produce enough when carbs are added, leading to elevated blood glucose levels: HYPERGLYCEMIA?
But I STILL DON’T see how a low carb diets leads to INSULIN resistance. (only if you are thinking about a slowing down of metabolism BUT that only happens if you eat too little fat and too much muscle meat and no organs)
Just spent like 5 hours reading the last 10 or so posts and all the comments. I’ll throw in my two cents.
1. Weston Price has shown that a wide variety of macronutrient ratios can be healthy. So the question becomes then, what should not be eaten?
2. HFCS and PUFAs seem to be obvious modern culprits, since obesity and diabetes have exploded since their introduction.
3. What caused obesity in persons prior to the modern refining methods and fake ingredients? Why were Benjamin Franklin, William Banting, Louis XVIII and other historical figures so fat? My guess is sugar and refined carbs, but that could be to much of a Taubes bias in my thinking.
Anyone have an opinion on whey protein?
I am currently low carbing, have been for about a year and have lost a lot of body fat while gaining muscle. Sleep has been an issue for me since I was a child, maybe I am hyperthyroid. Any thought on using melatonin? It works very well for sleep, but I am cautious about messing with hormones like that because as we all know, there could be some unintended consequence.
I’ve often wondered as to why people were fat before HFCS and PUFA’s. My theory is that excessive alcohol use with an unbalanced diet could be a reason. As well has high protein, high fat, high starch, and high sugar (sumo diet).
I really don’t think Matt ever said that low carb causes insulin resistance. Low carb slows glucose metabolism, therefore causing weight gain when even the smallest amount of carbs sneak in. There are going to be occasions where some carbs will be consumed, such as a nice dinner out or a holiday. I have had amazing luck eating a moderate protein, high starch, high fat diet for the past month and a half. I originally gained weight because of my inefficient ability to metabolize carbs. Now I’m running on all cylinders, and my body is efficiently utilizing fat and carbs and sparing protein for rebuilding (my nails are growing so fast, i have to trim them every couple of days) .I’ve lost nearly 5lbs since I added more starch and decreased my protein.
I’ve read many low carb blogs, and sometimes there is mention about becoming insulin-resistant after a long low carb period.(Not sure, but Peter from hyperlipid and others bur don’t remember) But it is indeed different from damaged insulin metabolism.
It’s seems that your cells become insulin resistant becuz they seems to downregulate the ability to use insulin well. It’s like use it or lose it. Our body seems to adapt well meaning that it downregulate or upregulate what it useless or useful. As you get like 50g of carb and moderate protein, the body doesn’t need to handle lotsof insulin so it adjust itself OR handling x amount of insulin become a habit.
And someone mention upping the carb 2-3 day before going to a doc. Becuz the doctor will tell you “you’re insulin resistant!!” and will try to make money on you. By loading the carb, you upregulate so to speak your insulin using mechanism.
But this is a whole different story if you are a diabete or have a serious damaged glucose metabolism.
Personnally I’ve seen many low carbers who are middle aged and have lot’s of health problem.(long period of damage and many ppl just start to care about health when they start to lose it.)
Although I believe carb can be part of a healthy diet, I’m not very familiar with that approach.
So I let others speak.
Your theory is correct,read William Bantings letter on corpulance.
isn’t it great running on all cylinders Eesakas!!!! Mood is high, energy is high, its like being a kid again!
My life has been so fulfilling since i took the plunge back into starch land. I have just got so much energy now, i have to do all kinds of things to get it out. Today was a gorgous day here in southern cali,,,, as always i guess, i did a long barefooted run on the beach today, full on sprints included also. I went so far down the beach i made it to the nude beach here called blacks beach, amazing surf there also, the sun was in full force, i was like fuck it… and i got naked with everyone else!!! I went swimming for an hour, then i walked all the way back to the start, met a friend at this bad ass Thai place, and had the coconut chicken curry with white rice!!!! and a beer…
i wouldn’t mess with melatonin, unless you were being monitered…. i wouldn’t mess with any hormones. I would recommend getting alot of sunlight without burning first… that should do the trick for hormone production and balancing, getting alot of sun always makes me sleep like a baby. I almost think everything could be cured with a good activity level and while doing anything in the sun, with even a halfassed diet.
still sounds like some low carbers are in the fear state. I can still remember what it was like….
I thought they got rid of the nudity at Black’s Beach. Am I making that up? I remember going there as a young teenager (I went to UCSD) and getting a kick out of it. San Diego is a no fun town, no booze on the beach, at least a little nudity is still allowed.
I also had sleep disturbances as a low carber, in fact i couldn’t fall asleep easy and i would wake up 1-2 times in the night and then wake up early in the morning.
I did the low carb thing for 2 years and towards the end went to zero carbs and found it hard to eat anything. I didn’t lose weight on it, I gained but not too much until the end when i lost but I was hardly eating anything at all and was terribly emotional.
I was doing HIGH fat and moderate protein but just couldn’t face food which was a rarity as I did have an eating disorder for many years.
Now my eating disorder happened after I gave up alcohol and I started binging on sugar but pretty much left me when i started a low carb diet. So I made all carbs the monster.
Since I started to eat more carbs again I was abit nervous that things might get out of control but in fact the opposite.
I feel nice and satieted and actually my issue is I’d like to eat more.
I put on a few pounds since doing this but haven’t gone back up to my inital low carb weight. So i’d be happy losing around 7-10 lbs.
I pretty much stick to potatoes and yams and the odd sprouted tortilla wraps, quinoa now and again. At first I got ezcema on my face but would cut back on grains and it would subside and now I can pretty much eat a good portion of carbs with each meal with no ill effects.
I was pretty moody for the first month but that seems to be getting better too.
I eat 3 meals a day, don’t think about food too much in between.
I do take some suppliments because I believe that if your digestion is shot or your adrenals are out that the body might need some help rebooting.
It appears that leaky gut and adrenal exhaustion go hand in hand and schwartzbein in her book does say that things might get worse, re; fatigue, weight gain, irritability before they get better.
She also mentions that candida can also be due to adrenal fatigue which totally makes sense.
If the digestion isn’t working right then allergies and other health issues appear.
The short term fix for this is to take allergens out of your diet but does that repair your adrenals or digestion in the long run? It may help short term and my experience is in the long term it made my health issues worse.
Thankfully my temps have gone back up since stopping low carb, I fall asleep easier and sometimes make it all the way through the night.
My energy is slowly starting to get better but I understand this is a process.
And I enjoy my food more. Finding my own balance with different ratios and what works for me.
I still have dandruff but it’s not as bad as it was when i started and my mood seems to have improved but I’ll report more on that as time passes.
i guess every year or two they try to ban nudity at blacks… but it never happens. You use to be able to drink beer at the beach, but i guess things started getting to roudy at pacific beach and they banned alcohol at the beach a couple years ago…. i still take beer to the beach though.
Funny thing when i was low carbing… i was never satisfied with my meals… and i would day dream about food all the time…. when i added starch back in with the fat,,,, i got full quicker, i quit obsessing about food, and i am consuming less food overall… but of course, i have better energy!
also… when i said the sun and activity curing everything… i met minor issues everyone complains about… digestion, depression, constipation,… not cancer or anything… take a jog or walk in the sun, and life opens up!!! Things aren’t that bad…
Stephen Hawking would love to propose a unified theory at this point, so I will gladly fill in for him.
I’m willing to bet that we all grew up on pretty crappy diets. Assuming most of the readers are under 35 and their parents were not hippies or naturopathic doctors, we ate some real crap as we grew up. For a while, our hormones were in control and kept us from getting deathly ill. As we left puberty, the strength of growth and sex hormones waned and we noticed some changes in our body composition and/or energy levels. There might have been a variety of subclinical symptoms in each of us, but we made it out okay. I was quite skinny as a child, got bigger and stronger into my teen years and retained a high level of energy after that as I continued to exercise and lift weights and eat like a tiger. The energy was always there, but the weight started to increase. Or other things occurred, such as skin dryness, illness, lethargy, poor digestion, malabsorption, etc (just examples, did not all occur in me but seem to be repeated by other commentators). We were not very aware of how food affected our bodies and decided to do more research to identify a particular cause of the ailments that, while not crippling, were not something we wanted to accept as a normal aspect of growing older (aren’t we still young?)
After numerous trials of low-fat, vegetarianism, vegan, raw, paleo and such, I think that many of us found low carb to be both healing and invigorating…for a while. All of that fat and protein had a positive affect on our androgens and helped to reverse a lifetime of supranatural sugar and carbohydrate intake. It healed us (at least me), but then a new direction was needed. Now healed, where to go next.
For some, that meant going even lower in carbs to achieve perfect insulin levels. That is like taking the medicine after the disease has been cured. The other path is to determine what carbs can be eaten without any ill effects. Many of you have commented about feeling better after reintroducing carbs, and I agree. I feel great after eating 100 to 200g per day of sourdough bread, sprouted wheat and white rice. I never want to be back were I was before, at 6’0″, 185 lbs at 23% body fat.
Low carb has healed me, now where do I go next? Sugar, starch, honey, milk, maple, now we must determine the optimum type and quantity of carbs for each of us, and it will be different based on our genetic and prenatal histories. Also, how does exercise fit in and help to regulate carbohydrate metabolism? I think it’s time for us all to do some personal experimentation (I never liked fruit, can’t stand vegetables and hate sugar, leaving me only starch as a carb source).
Above all, hormones control metabolism, and through our diets we can control our hormones.
Not to hurt your theory, but, my story is way off from that haha (:
I feel like I’m playing Whack-a-Mole.
I had wonderful results at first adding in starch (potatoes, white rice, carrots, parsnips) to my previous low-carb, high-fat, high-food-quality meals. I had previously had horrible fatigue problems which adding in starch seemed to solve completely. I even lost a few pounds eating more food.
A few weeks in though I’m having a lot of aches and pains like I used to. I had forgotten that going low carb the first time had fixed my muscle aches and joint pains. My weight has gone back up too.
I still have bumps on my forehead and my allergy symptoms are unchanged. My digestion is a bit worse with the starch.
This is a tough one because having the energy is so wonderful.
Switching up and surprising your body always seems to feel great for about a week. It would be annoying to change your WOE weekly.
Anonymous on the insulin resistance tangent…
You proved in your argument that low carb diets lead to insulin resistance by inferring that low carb diets lead to hypoglycemia when carbs are reintroduced. Hypoglycemia is caused by insulin resistance, as insulin levels thus climb higher than normal. Insulin resistance is caused by a low metabolism. When the metabolism is normal, insulin resistance cannot be induced, which is why Broda Barnes’s patients did not develop heart disease, diabetes, or other signs of metabolic syndrome (high insulin being only one charteristic of that).
A person can eat carbohydrates over and over and over again in whatever quantity they choose. This causes insulin to rise and fall, just like breathing causes the chest to rise and fall. The belief that the cells’ exposure to insulin causes them to become resistant over time is the fallacy that low-carb proponents live under. This is absolutely false.
Insulin resistance is a natural starvation response. It is deployed to store fat, increase hunger, reduce energy expenditure, and so on. It appears that refined sugar and perhaps flour and vegetable oils have the unique ability to slow down the metabolism, since that is what happened to all generations of mankind of every race when these foods were introduced. I do not know how or why. It could be simply due to lack of nutrients, since the body will reliably slow down the metabolism if you are burning through any substance, including vitamins and minerals, at a rate faster than they are being supplied. It could just be that refined sugar has a druglike effect that has negative consequences. No one would argue that heroin causes harm because it lacks micronutrients. The same may be said for refined sugar.
A no-sugar high-calorie diet that is not restricted in any way, is probably the best fully natural way to counter a low-metabolism. Many restricted diets may provide relief, but most if not all make the fundamental disorder worse by somehow depriving the body of what it needs to raise the metabolism.
Just like rest – although it keeps my legs from being sore, it will never make my legs strong – or give them endurance to the point where I can run 10 miles without feeling tired or sore.
I appreciate your comments a lot. Very insightful.
People were overweight before HFCS and crystalline fructose because of white sugar. It got worse because HFCS and crystalline fructose are worse than sugar. It’s that simple.
Banting knew quite well that sugar was “his greatest dietary enemy.” He pounded alcohol like it was going out of style too.
Good comments. Whack-a-mole sounds about right. With each transition there always seems to be some new pros and cons. Since I’ve added more carbs – going from about 100g per day to 300g per day (zero refined sugar, very little refined starch), I too have had more pain. It is starting to go away though. When trying to eat ice cream to see what would happen I had some serious breakouts too.
But I’m still progressing. Mood is much better – just like the early days of 30g carbs as starch per meal that cured my metabolism just like PaleoRD (but eventually eroded).
My teeth feel amazing. I’ve been brushing half as much and my teeth are cleaner and totally pain free, unlike when I was eating 100g of carbs per day and zero simple sugars/zero refined foods.
Energy is great. Exercise is much easier.
Digestion has had its ups and downs, but seems to be steadily getting better.
I’ve even been able to eat fruit and other sweet-tasting foods without turning into a maniac or having emotional escapades afterwards. This is a first in years.
Weight went up about 5 pounds at first, but this is because I was intentially eating as much as I could, going up into the 6 and 7k calorie per day range.
Weight is back down to only 2 pounds above where I was at after 30 days of zero carb – but I’m eating well over 4,000 calories per day. My resting pulse is also 50% lower than zero carb. Back in the low 40’s.
I can also, as Bruce claimed, eat very large and complex meals with good digestion. Dinner last night was: 6T peanut butter, 1 avocado, 2 crackers, 2 cups homemade custard with a dash of maple syrup to sweeten, 1 cup blackberries, 1/2 cup strawberries, Large bowl of french onion soup with 1/2 stick of butter, 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, 1 ounce parmigiano reggiano, and a quart of water. Over 2,000 calories. Digestion good. I was ready for bed afterwards if you can imagine!
Hey Pip, glad to hear things are coming along. That all sounds about right for someone weaning themselves off of low carb with a history of digestion issues.
What was your experience?
I was just basing my idea on what I had read in this and other blogs along with all the comments. There are tons of comments on this blog, so I missed some things.
Personally, I had issues with abdominal weight gain, dry lips and inflamed pores on my triceps. Going a diet of meat, milk, eggs, cheese, coconut oil, vegetables, whey protein and some supplements seems to have cured all of the problems after about a year. My bodyfat has dropped from 23% to 12%, and my strength has increased as I can now do 8-10 wide grip dead hang pull-ups compared to 3-4 a year ago. The lips were a huge victory for me. I had chronically chapped lips for like 8 years! I tried every ointment, lotion, even homeopathy to no avail. The triceps skin bumps are gone.
Of course, I changed other things as well: sun exposure without sunblock, dropped the chronic cardio and stuck to weights and occasional sprints, and replacing beer with more liquor.
Winfeild S. Hall PHD,MD in his 1910book Nutrition and Diatetics, page 252(google ebook) stated that the Banting Diet(really the Dr. William Harvey diet) was a low calorie diet minus the sugars and fats.The typical caloric intake of the day was 2500 to 3000 calories.Banting had reduced to 1100 to 1200 calories for his weight loss.
It seems the first low carb diet was really a low fat/low cal diet with a liberal amount of booze.
Oh yeah; no doubt – a lot of people can probably relate to that. I’m just weird (:
I had weight problems from since I was 7 or 8 from eating junk and the fat has always collected in the abdomen for me. But ever since I was 13 or so I restricted calories, down to like, 600-900 a day at first when I was vegetarian (6 months), then vegan (2.5 years). Since I ate more than anyone I knew I thought, like most people, that it was the amount of food. Eventually got into vegan junk food and gained weight without even noticing, then got into raw food off and on, then slowly into low carb, low fat veganism (like, soy protein, hummus and vegetables haha), lost weight but that includes muscle, despite increasing exercise. That was extreme fatigue right there, living off of mostly vegan protein. Always had fat around the midsection, and always had digestive problems. So then I got into 80/10/10 (fruit and vegetables) and lost weight in like a week or two down to extremes and gained a tiny bit back, though, it wasn’t much muscle (again, despite exercising even more). Showed B12 deficiencies and deficiencies in general, like nerve damage; as well as more fatigue, anxiety and plenty of other negatives. The positives were that I could eat my face off (after so much restriction), and because I love fruit. And it also helped get rid of all of my addictions (like chocolate and bread). So I found this place and dove into animal products right on christmas, without much emphasis on carbs until March. Since March my temperature went up and is now stable, but I’m still working on digestion and I gained a ton of weight (maybe around the 27-29% body fat range) that I’m waiting to see leave. I have had trouble with chapped lips, too; well, always have, that’s still there today. And the whole dandruff thing I’ve had before in childhood, which is why I hate seeing it again.
A lot of details left out, I could go on forever, but, that’s it in a nutshell.
is dextrose counted as sugar?
I mean, is it worse to eat bread with dextrose in it then it is with HFCS or refined sugar?
“Two stereoisomers of the aldohexose sugars are known as glucose, only one of which (D-glucose) is biologically active. This form (D-glucose) is often referred to as dextrose monohydrate, or, especially in the food industry, simply dextrose (from dextrorotatory glucose). “
I would eat bread with sugar before hfcs.
i’ve made the transition from VLC to about 150g carbs per day without big problems. I kept high fat intake and protein to about 90g per day but binged on only high potassium carbs like potatoes, bananas and carrots. Also i added salt back in my diet, about 1-2g per day. I think potassium and salt are one of the keys when you add back carbs in your diet because they are needed for blood sugar control. VLC made me intolerant to white rice LOL…
I’m also intolerant of white rice, pretty much all grains.
I thought I would be unhappy on such a vegetable-based diet (that is mostly failsafe) but I find myself satisfied most of the time.
I am not looking to experiment with starchy or sugary carbs atm.
My nails and hair are growing like weed!! Is this because you metabolism is faster?? or is it because all the fuel?
3 Questions for MATT
Ok I have to ask you this Matt: Do you think raw meat has ANY place on a good diet? I just feel like raw meat doesn’t work so well on a High Everything Diet, since the combination between RAW meat and cooked starch doesn’t seem to digest very well.
I also have to ask, do you think there’s any truth to the notion of detox? As you probably know, there are now numerous pesticides known to be neurotoxinc and carcinogenic. Most people have eaten pesticide laden food for years before switching to 100% organic/biodynamic foods. Toxins have been proven to accumulate in fat cells of people (example: 90+% of all people in the US have the “teflon” derivative in detectable amounts in their blood) (Search Google for pesticide+cancer or fat+toxin accumulation). Considering we are living in such a toxic environment, what’s the best way to “detoxify” or to protect against toxicity and the potential diseases caused by it such as cancer? Does the body really need HUGE amounts of (raw) fats to bind with and excrete the toxins, as AV suggests? or is the best strategy to boost metabolism to the MAX (increase thyroid hormone) in order to protect from disease? Will eating HED really protect from disease long-term? Do you think HED dieters have less toxins in their blood/fat? Please tell me what you think, I need to know this since I suffered from a minor mercury poisoning from dentistry, and I have refused to take the medication my doctor recommended. I have until now eaten what AV suggests: huge amounts of raw fat. It has helped a lot, but this raw diet is unsustainable. Do you think it’s possible to eat HED and not all raw, and it would be enough protection from accumulation of toxins? Can one really eat 5000+ calories per day long term and still be healthy without aging faster than normal?
You also mention in one of your posts that high/chronic Insulin levels don’t damage the body such as some Low carbers claim, but Ray Peat has many times stated that insulin makes unsaturated fats even more unsaturated and thus causes oxidation.
“In the opposite direction, an excess of insulin or prolactin, or a deficiency of vitamin E, increases the activity of the enzymes that convert linoleic acid into the more highly unsaturated fatty acids. Excess insulin and prolactin are crucially involved in many degenerative diseases.”
– raypeat.com articles
“Other proaging effects of insulin involve the inhibition of proteasome and the stimulation of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) synthesis and of nitric oxide (NO). The hypothesis that hyperinsulinemia accelerates aging also offers a metabolic explanation for the life-prolonging effect of calorie restriction and of mutations decreasing the overall activity of insulin-like receptors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
– Free Radic Biol Med 2000 Dec 15;29(12):1302-6. Hyperinsulinemia: the missing link among oxidative stress and age-related diseases? Facchini FS, Hua NW, Reaven GM, Stoohs RA.
It’s not that insulin resistance is good, but what Matt is saying is that carbs don’t directly cause chronic levels of insulin like a lot of people into a low amount of carbs may think. Ray Peat even eats a lot of carbs, probably mostly in the form of fruit/sugars.
Good point ChlOe.
But I think the strategy of consuming specifically lots fruit sugars is in order to avoid too much insulin. He has also stated that he mixes sugars with fat/protein like milk with orange juice and ice cream (maybe to avoid too high an insulin spike).
And he also states that sugars speed up mitochondrial respiration and metabolism.
ChlOe can you provide a source/quote/link showing that “Ray Peat eats a lot of carbs”? I don’t think it’s good to just be talking on behalf on someone, unless you are quoting. Maybe you should email Ray Peat and then post his response here. I have not seen him mention anywhere exactly what he eats or what he recommends (like any ratios of macro nutrients), so to speak on his behalf or to assume something is wrong IMO. It could give people a false impression.
In Bruce’s old yahoo group he had said he e-mailed Ray Peat asking about his diet to which Ray Peat stated that he ate a lot of sugars lately more so than fats in order to lower polyunsaturated fat content in the body. Bruce has deleted his group, and I guess that could be a false statement, since, well, I don’t know what triceratop’s milk does to a person. But going by what Ray Peat suggests to people (to eat sugars, saturated fats, and protein) and from this interview
it seems he is a large proponent of both carbs and specifically sugars.
“Hypoglycemia is just one of the problems that develops when the liver malfunctions, but it is so important that orange juice or Coca Cola or ice cream can provide tremendous relief from symptoms. Sodium (orange juice and Pepsi provide some) helps to absorb the sugar, and–more basically–is essential for helping to restore the blood volume. “
“Since the blood becomes more concentrated, viscous, and clottable during the night (especially during long winter nights), the risk of a heart attack or stroke would probably be reduced by drinking orange juice before getting out of bed (and at bed-time), to dilute the blood and decrease adrenaline and the free fatty acids, which contribute to the increased tendency to form clots in the morning. “
In one (or maybe both) of his interview(s) he’s mentioned a pinch of sea salt with orange juice can help blood sugar to stay stable. He doesn’t mention to take fats with it, and his explanation behind it is also suggesting a different reason than we may think as to why orange juice (or pepsi,haha) would help hypoglycemia.
And I’m pretty sure Ray Peat says that polyunsaturated oils -not sugars- have an effect on mitochondrial energy production. Got a link of him saying it’s specifically sugars? (that wouldn’t really make sense for him to say).
Why does Matt Stone recommend peanut butter as protein ??? It is loaden with PUFAs…
Why are you, Matt, Recommending PEANUT BUTTER to your trusty readers?
Matt, You are recommending a food which:
– Is extremely high in PUFAs
– Often contains a mold (Aspergillus flavus) which produces a carcinogenic substance, aflatoxin (implicated in liver cancer).
– Is one of the most pesticide laden (sprayed) foods. Peanut farmers have higher levels of cancer
– Is extremely processed/refined
– Is pasteurized (fragile PUFAs oxidized)
– Often hydrogenated
– Often contains loads of table salt
– Often contains lots of refined sugar
– Can contain industrial waste products
– Is manufactured in unsanitary conditions, often resulting in Salmonella growth
– Is very allergenic and for a good reason!
– even the organic variety without sugars/salts/pesticides is bad: this often contains higher levels of the carcinogenic mold.
“..at least one study has found that peanut oil caused relatively heavy clogging of arteries. Robert Wissler, of the University of Chicago, reported that diets high in peanut oil, when combined with cholesterol intake, clogged the arteries of Rhesus monkeys more than did butterfat”
“Some brands of peanut butter may contain a small amount of added partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are high in trans fatty acids, thought to be a cause of atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke; these oils are added to make the butter easier to spread.”
“The peanut plant is susceptible to the mold Aspergillus flavus which produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. Since it is impossible to completely remove every instance of aflatoxins, contamination of peanuts and peanut butter is monitored in many countries to ensure safe levels of this carcinogen”
“For people with a peanut allergy, peanut butter can cause reactions including anaphylactic shock which has led to its banning in some schools.”
“Peanut butter can possibly harbor salmonella, causing salmonellosis; for example, in a 2007 outbreak. In 2009, due to mishandling and apparent criminal negligence at a single Peanut Corporation of America factory in Blakely, Georgia, salmonella was found in 46 states”
“High-level aflatoxin exposure produces an acute hepatic necrosis, resulting later in cirrhosis, and/or carcinoma of the liver. Acute hepatic failure is manifested by hemorrhage, edema, alteration in digestion, and absorption and/or metabolism of nutrients and mental changes and/or coma.
Chronic, subclinical exposure does not lead to symptoms as dramatic as acute aflatoxicosis. Children, however, are particularly affected by aflatoxin exposure which leads to stunted growth and delayed development. Chronic exposure also leads to a high risk of developing liver cancer, as the metabolite aflatoxin M1 can intercalate into DNA and alkylate the bases through its epoxide moiety. This is thought to cause mutations in the p53 gene, an important gene in preventing cell cycle progression when there are DNA mutations. The Aflatoxin acts as a DNA mutatory, not only mutating DNA randomly, but has a selection for mutating the p53 DNA specifically at base 249 to cause liver tumors (249 is an arginine residue, thus extremely important for interacting with DNA. Slight mutations affecting this charge relationship between the positive Arginine and negative DNA can severely hamper the tumor suppressing effects of p53 and its role in apoptosis).”
what a lame agrument… its one big contradiction!
Rocket fuel is pretty much in everything, plastic in everything, natural toxins in everything, unnatural toxins in everything, we breathe toxins, i don’t think alittle organic, unhydrogenated, made with sun dried valencia peanuts(alot safer), peanut butter is going to kill anyone, unless those who are highly allergic… and it will.
More dumb crap you can keep worrying about if you don’t like peanut butter spread on celery, or in curries…mmmmmm….yummy…. or just off the spoon is sooooo good…
poor dude… your missing out.
peanut butter blended up into smoothies…. I like the crunchy kind.
too bad its gonna kill me…. hopefully i will go out that way instead of a car wreck….. or better yet… why not surfng, or at least eaten by a shark.. i am sure if i had peanut butter out there surfing with me the shark would spare me for the almighty peanut butter, everyone likes peanut butter, even sharks… yah!!!
Peanut butter tastes good but turns to cement in my throat. It’s like swallowing tar, especially the bottom of the organic jar that you did not mix well so no oil was mixed down there. Ugh. Now, spread it between two slices of bread and add some jelly, now we’re talking. Don’t forget to cut off the crust.
Half Navajo you really willing to give up your life for the taste of peanut butter? maybe you say that now but you would probably regret it if you really did get sick from it
Half Navajo I think you are ignorant for saying that. that’s like Bruce saying “gluten intolerance is all in your mind”. Most people come to extreme diets because they have serious or chronic illnesses, mental/emotional disturbances, etc.
Avoiding some foods has done major changes in people’s lives. You may be surfing naked and having fun (you are still young) but no matter how happy you are, you are still bound by the same physical laws that govern life. If someone injects you with a poison, you will die. No amount of thinking about it or visualizing or surfing naked or having fun will save you, buddy. Take LSD and witness a change in your emotional state. Pesticides are known to affect brain chemistry in the same way any other mental drug does (inhibition of neurotransmitter reuptake pumps in synapses).
mmmm.. peanut butter
santa cruz! dark roasted.
never heard of that one, I have been buying 365 from whole foods. Something I wouldn’t eat every day, but I’m not afraid of it.
Toxins don’t concern me that much.
At first, when I began trying to improve my health and live a healthier lifestyle, I just assumed that newfangled industrial pollutants and toxins were the primary cause of the epidemics that we’re seeing worldwide.
After doing research, and seeing that the major epidemics of our time were emerging long before the widespread use of these chemicals, I couldn’t help but consider chemicals to be an aggravating factor and less of the root of all evil as some people suggest.
Plus, toxins and pollutants are so pandemic that they cannot be avoided. Sure, I don’t hang out and breathe paint fumes all day and cover my body with Old Spice, lotion, sunscreen, and other easily avoidable and unnecessary pollutants, but I also don’t walk through life with a phobia about what I perceive to be “the little things.”
I rarely eat peanut butter, and it’s probably not the best protein staple, but a spoonful here and there? It’s just not a BFD.
I still believe that the best way to prevent cancer is to keep the metabolism high. Young people have higher metabolisms than old people, and have exponentially lower cancer rates – as well as other diseases. I was also impressed with Broda Barnes success in lowering cancer rates with thyroid supplementation. Even without counseling people on smoking for example, not one of his patients ever developed lung cancer. This makes sense, as lung cancer rates have increased in the U.S. while smoking has decreased. Likewise, other countries that smoke more cigarrettes have far better health and far fewer cases of lung cancer. Clearly tobacco products are not the only factor involved.
As for insulin…
Eating carbs makes your insulin rise, but that does not mean EXCESS. That’s what low-carbers trip up on. They think that the natural and appropriate amount of insulin that is released upon the ingestion of carbohydrates by a healthy person is bad. Wrong. Insulin is just as important and beneficial and necessary as blood, sex hormones, and other body chemicals. But too much or too little of any substance is extremely detrimental.
On raw meat…
If you like it, eat it. If not, don’t. I still cannot see how eating raw meats is a necessary prerequisite for being a healthy person if it was never a prerequisite in the past.
i think if your allergic to something, and not deathly allergic to a food substance, then avoid it, but not completely. I think alot of people think too much about what they eat, because what this book or that book says about something…. if they didn’t think about it so much, and went on with there life, it really wouldn’t matter.
I think i read somewhere that Wolfgang Lutz, the author of life without bread, doesn’t want his gluten intolerant patients to completely avoid gluten for there whole life, he wants them to build a natural tolerance to it… which makes sense. He wants his patients to become stronger.
Avoid all the foods you want… have fun… and i will keep getting naked and swimming,,,haha! I got alot of vitamin D that day… and i think when people stop doing things like that, disease, illness, depression… and all those other symptoms of old age blossom. Come to think about it… who know what kind of toxic waste i am swimming and surfing around in everyday, i think the ocean is like half plastic also….i haven’t gotten sick since i can’t even remember…. oh well.
i like the marnantha organic no stir crunchy variety!
i am more likely to die in a car wreck before i ever die from yummy peanut butter.
About this metabolic rate stuff… Well, I have a very active thyroid (not over the limit though), I could always eat whatever I wanted without gaining weight, I literally stuffed myself with food. I was always quite active as well.
However, my high metabolism did not prevent me from getting sick with infections in the past. It also didn’t prevent me from having allergies and intolerances and cold feet/hands. I had quite some health problems in my life and they started pretty early on. Luckily I was able to overcome them with lower carb/whole foods diet. Eating everything clearly wasn’t good for me.
I think there is no ideal diet. Our genes are in the process of evolution. We are a mix of genetics with different backgrounds. So low-carb might work for something while it might make something else worse. I think it’s an individual thing, it depends on what causes less problems for someone…
How are you sure it was your thyroid that was preventing weight gain? If you had cold hands and feet, you would think that would indicate a lower thyroid.
That’s true Ruth. You hit the nail on the head.
Low-carb is good at counterbalancing some conditions. It is counterproductive at helping with other issues. There is no one diet fits all because no one is in the exact same predicament.
Genetically-speaking however, we are all 99.9% identical, much like two models of the exact same car – like two Honda Civics for example. But even though two Honda civics of the same year and same model are virtually identical, they will not break down in the same way or at the same mileage. Therefore, when a car breaks down, you can’t just change the timing belt every time and expect to fix the problem. That only works in cars that have blown out the timing belt – not ones that need a new engine or are out of oil.
I too would question that you have a high metabolism – something that can only be gauged by body temperature, especially if you had peripheral circulation issues. You may have high levels of thyroid hormones, but that is more or less meaningless. The adrenals can also counterbalance lower thyroid outputs as well, causing a hypothyroid to even be underweight with an inability to gain until the adrenals get burned out. This is the exact scenario of Diana Schwarzbein, who suddenly shifted from underweight to overweight when a hormonal switch was flipped during her late teens.
Think of it more like this:
Eating high-everything impacted you negatively because your body was not running optimally. An optimally-functioning body can handle it – from a digestive standpoint as well as a metabolic one. You can run for relief by omitting or decreasing the amounts of some substances, such as carbohydrates, but that’s not going to fix the problem. It’s a solution perhaps, but not the ultimate achievement – healing.
Also I wonder how many people in this forum who are low cab and speak about feeling better being low carb actually included sugar and pasta and other forms of junkie carbs in their diet before going low carb.
I don’t think you can compare cakes and pastries and chocolate and candy to actually eating whole complex carbs.
I find root veggies are the only thing that work for me right now but i’m looking foward to that changing. I don’t think we can tarnish all carbs with the same brush
i have upped my anti with starch some more… going over the 100g of starch carbs a day… of course mixed with alot of butter, coconut oil/milk, cream, etc,etc,
After i eat alot of potatoes with fat, i get the most burn or feel like my metabolism is on fire. When i eat sourdough rye or rice, i don’t get as high as reaction…. potatoes really do the trick, and make my blood vessels almost explode!
my body can handle cold extremely well… I went surfing for over 3 hours in only my surf trunks yesterday…. everyone else was still wearing wetsuits… some guys who got out there the same time as me couldn’t believe i was still out there… i think the water temp was around 62 degrees… i didn’t think it was that cold…. felt like hawaii water to me.
I’m sure I have a very active thyroid. And within the first year of LC it became even worse, going more and more towards the upper limit (TSH 0.4)… Then I made some further adjustments to my diet (mainly iodine intake) and it stabilized, and now my TSH is about 0.6. Also my body temperature is consistently a bit higher than normal – often it’s 37.0 degrees C. I don’t understand why under these conditions I still get cold quickly – I don’t know about my adrenals but I avoid stressful lifestyle like the plague because I think that’s just as important if not more so than diet. I guess it could also be because I don’t have much insulation, or because my blood pressure is very low, or other reasons.
I don’t know but the best explanation I can come up with is that eating everything impacted me negatively because of PUFAs, sugar, chemicals… Now I often eat more carbs like root veggies or rice without any noticeable problems. Could be that starch is OK for me, and I will try adding more of it to see the effect.
About genetics, I know our genetics are very similar. But on the other hand, people all around the world are very different in many respects. Just take the looks – some people’s skin/hair is dark while others are blonde/pale, there are differences in height, shape of the eyes, etc. Evolution can be very fast under lots of pressure, and considering all those physical differences, wouldn’t it be possible that the differences in what we have adapted to eat are also bigger than we would like to think? We know that certain enzyme activity changed quite quickly, like some can digest lactose (N Europe) while others can’t, some produce more amylase than others (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2377015). And then there’s the fact that native people are much more sensitive to modern food than civilized people (although here I think we should keep in mind that Eskimos and other tribes we like to compare ourselves with started out from a very limited gene pool).
Here’s a quote from a paper by W. Lutz talking about the distribution of several gene polymorphisms that predispose to cardiovascular diseases:
It can be shown that the spread of agriculture from the Near East to the West and North of Europe with the accompanying differences in time for the adaptation to the new food (the carbohydrates) easily explains the geographic differences in the frequency of civilisatory diseases which is highest where (in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland) carbohydrates came last. Highest, too, in those areas is the ?polymorphism? of genes which are related to cardiovascular diseases (ACE, apolipoprotein-B etc.)
Does iodine help the thyroid be more active or the opposite? I don’t eat iodized salt but I eat kelp from time to time.. Is that OK?
Oh and what about Salt in general (like sea salt). Helpful or harmful for thyroid?
“Here’s a quote from a paper by W. Lutz talking about the distribution of several gene polymorphisms that predispose to cardiovascular diseases:
It can be shown that the spread of agriculture from the Near East to the West and North of Europe with the accompanying differences in time for the adaptation to the new food (the carbohydrates) easily explains the geographic differences in the frequency of civilisatory diseases which is highest where (in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland) carbohydrates came last. Highest, too, in those areas is the ?polymorphism? of genes which are related to cardiovascular diseases (ACE, apolipoprotein-B etc.)”
Has he written about milk? In wikipedia, it states this about lactose intolerance,
“…China is particularly notable as a place of poor tolerance…”
When I think about that; I think about all of the different races of friends of mine that live in America and were raised here, and how they can eat anything without problems as great as lactose intolerance. Like Asian (Chinese specifically) friends eating dairy when supposedly it’s uncommon for them to digest lactose. Given someone is raised on what food, I think ultimately that will effect what they do well on. And I don’t see why if it’s changeable when you’re a baby, why that wouldn’t be changeable when you’re an adult. It will just take longer to change later.
I disagree with chlOe since studies have been performed trying to make the “lactose intolerant” tolerant to lactose by feeding milk in large amounts for a long time. Guess what. It didn’t work.
Just as any lactose intolerant will tell you: it took them a while to discover it was LACTOSE intolerant, they were always bloated, had frequent diarreha, but JUST found out it was MILK, and when that was cut out, everything got better. So a lifetime of milk and no lactose tolerance? The theory you are suggesting, chlOe is New Age nonsense. No official source on allergies will tell you to eat more of a certain food, to get rid of your allergy. No, you have to avoid it for long time, then reintroduce it slowly, to see if it causes any problems.
Matt I’m currently on day 4 of your high carb conversion phase, coming from low carbism.
You say that you’d be surprised if anyone GAINED weight on eating only natural carbs, and I agree: it simply is impossible to eat too much. I’ve been eating like 2 pounds of potatoes and some fruit juices, but even that is like only 2000-2500 calories per day! I think THAT’S the reason why you can’t gain weight on this regimen, you can’t eat that much food! I’ve also tried white rice but it gets repulsive after 2 full bowls (and my teeth get in very bad condition if I eat rice instead of potatoes).
Eating 5000 calories on high carb low fat low protein is just impossible IMO, especially when they are whole foods!
Anyway, here are my results after the first 4 days:
– First few meals huge in carbs made me very sleepy and made me salivate a lot (weird I know)
– First few days were very constipating
– Next few days I had huge stools
– Hunger now sets quickly in after a meal. Like I’m satisfied for an hour after a big meal, then I slowly get hungry again (is this good?)
– A bit bloated
– Vinegar tasting belching..!
I will keep reporting!
According to numerous sources, frequent masturbation and ejaculation causes premature aging and things like hair loss. Things like zinc and other minerals/vitamins are lost in the semen and masturbation causes release of adrenalin and serotonin which slow down the function of the thyroid, long term.
Would it be useful to stop masturbation or limit it to 3 times per week in order to get a faster metabolism (and heal the thyroid/adrenals)?
Does anyone from this blog eat their own semen (ejaculatory fluids) in order to make sure that the valuable nutrients aren’t lost?
By the way, Ray Peat states that high adrenalin, cortisol and serotonin are associated with bad thyroid and adrenal function. And since masturbation/ejaculation causes the production of these (serotonin/adrenalin/cortisol and some other hormones) then wouldn’t it make sense for you Matt, to recommend to your readers to STOP MASTURBATING or LIMIT IT in order to achieve metabolic healing?
About “Semen therapy”: http://www.freewebs.com/naturalmedical/
“Swallowing semen three times a week or more does help prevent and fight cancer.”
“Study show that semen exposure reduces the risk of breast cancer “not less than 50%”
“I disagree with chlOe since studies have been performed trying to make the “lactose intolerant” tolerant to lactose by feeding milk in large amounts for a long time. Guess what. It didn’t work.
Just as any lactose intolerant will tell you: it took them a while to discover it was LACTOSE intolerant, they were always bloated, had frequent diarreha, but JUST found out it was MILK, and when that was cut out, everything got better. So a lifetime of milk and no lactose tolerance? The theory you are suggesting, chlOe is New Age nonsense. No official source on allergies will tell you to eat more of a certain food, to get rid of your allergy. No, you have to avoid it for long time, then reintroduce it slowly, to see if it causes any problems. “
Well, I never said feeding large amounts was the way to go. I just think that it’s questionable what is deemed ‘impossible’. Lactose intolerance isn’t an allergy, but, I still am cautious to believe that it’s inherited from examples in real life I’ve seen that have dispelled theories against genetics.
As for allergies, they have been studying peanut and milk allergies and they have had success when trying to cure it by feeding very small amounts over time. I think there’s other ways than to just feed small amounts, like to focus on thyroid, metabolism, hormones and digestion that might be disturbed.
When they say cure, though, it makes it seem like an allergy is more of a disease than a genetic thing. Like pollen – how beneficial would it be for us to be allergic to that if we were living in the wild? The peanut allergies get even more prevalent it seems as the time goes by, making it seem like it’s more of an epidemic than a genetic inheritance – caused by environmental factors and such..
LOL why the hell do you want to build up a tolerance to peanuts? Perhaps they had not intolerance to peanuts but to the mold toxins… Turn your brain on, chl0e!
“…”The theory behind it is you start out at very low doses and build up over time,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center. “And as you do that, then you lessen the allergic side effects and you have the effect on the immune system to make the disease go away.”
Food allergies among children are increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, three million children in the United States had food or digestive allergies in 2007 — an increase of 18 percent in a decade. [that’s general allergies..not just peanuts]
…Children in the Duke study are treated with peanut proteins – either in liquid or powdered form. The initial dose is only 1/1,000 of a peanut, but it is slowly increased to the equivalent of one peanut and more.
Four children who have completed years of the treatment are now able to tolerate 13 to 15 peanuts without showing even mild symptoms.
…The children’s cell and antibodies no longer have the same severely allergic reaction to peanuts. …
…There is also research underway…to see what might be the better way to prevent food allergies from developing at all. …”
The whole aflatoxin thing.. I think there are tons of carcinogenic particles floating around, in cigarettes, pollution and what not. For someone on a shitty diet, it’s unfortunate.
No matter how stupid the studies are in “The China Study” – Campbell even showed that mice didn’t get cancer when they weren’t injected with an animal protein at a high percentage. Not to say it’s the animal protein’s fault (since it wasn’t actual food and the diet was otherwise probably crappy), but, to suggest obviously that diet plays a role in how you will handle carcinogens and toxins in the air and in other food, not just peanuts.
About the masturbation thing, the loss of zinc and other minerals and the release of adrenalin, serotonin and cortisol. That is only when you ejaculate right? If you just stop right before you ejaculate there is no negative effect is there? I personally have lots of sex but I always stop right before cumming. Not because I fear that zinc is lost, but because it isn’t very pleasing for my wife if I cum after five minutes sex. If I dont cum I can fuck her all night long.
that made me laugh for 30 minutes!!!!!! awesome…
I too have stopped masturbation, since it causes:
= Shortening of the penis
= Hair loss
= Stress/fatigue/memory loss (adrenalin related)
= Hypothyroidism (long term)
just do a Google search on “over masturbation” / “too much masturbation” / “sexual exhaustion”
I have experienced a lot of these in a period when I used to masturbate 2-3 times per day, some days up to 9 ejaculations/masturbation sessions in one day.
Who in here thinks MATT should do an in-depth investigation and make a post to his users about the serious health consequences and fast aging caused by masturbating and ejaculating? I mean, it IS a fascinating topic since many sources say that masturbation will lower your risk of prostate cancer, while others say the exact opposite: that masturbation raises risk for prostate cancer.
Can we please get a 180 degree on this one (masturbation)? Is it really healthy to masturbate as much as you want as the new cool Sex Ed teachers are telling you? Or is it all one big lie, just like the saturated fats propaganda?
If you want Matt to investigate MASTURBATION and its specific relation to health, Please, make a post with the code “PIMM”, or just include this code in your next post (it stands for “Please Investigate Masturbation Matt”)
“Masturbating too much can over-stimulate acetylcholine/parasympathetic nervous functions and disrupt the liver’s release of enzymes that synthesize neurotransmitters acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. Additionally, the liver’s ability to release enzymes that aid in hormone production is affected. As a result, the brain and adrenal glands produce too much dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and other hormones and neural transmitters.”
” You will get Both impotency and seminal production (or watery semen), and then low back and groin pains. Your brain’s serotonin level is too low to help you control your libido. Frequent ejaculation rises up your PSA level which indicates your prostate enlargement. The PSA level won’t return to normal in 24 hours. If you keep the PSA high, you are asking for troubles.
The enlarged prostate, in conjunction with the biological effects of testosterone on your prostate, will exert a stimulation pressure on the prostate nerves for more sex and ejaculation and bring you to an endless ejaculation cycle until you become impotent. “
“DHT is a hormone, an offshoot of the male sex hormone, testosterone. This hormone is directly responsible for hair loss in men. This is also the very same hormone that is related to the excitement that is very much a part of sexual activity and of masturbation. So, there is a link between hair loss and excessive masturbation.
DHT is not normally present in the male body. This is caused when a person masturbates too much. Due to excessive ejaculation, the testosterone in the body of the man gets converted into dihydrotestosterone. Such high levels of DHT can cause an overload in the body of the male, which can cause several repercussions. Some major repercussions could be like the enlargement of the prostate gland caused due to poor circulation of the blood. But one important side-effect of the high levels of DHT is the baldness, which can begin occurring even in young boys who masturbate too much. “
How does MASTURBATION shrink the penis?
“There is actually not one but two ways in which OM can bring about a reduction in its size. The first reason depends on its effect causes on the nervous system due to the excitement caused during the act. The second cause is due to physical tissue damage that is caused to the organ during the masturbatory act, which involves vigorous rubbing of the organ. Let us see each of these causes in detail.
(i) This act is a rigorous physical act. It requires the brain to dispel a lot of energy for its performance. The same happens during the actual sexual act too, but there the frequency is not so high. In boys who masturbate too often, the brain needs to provide this surcharge of energy more often. The brain supplies several hormones and nutrients when the man is trying to keep up the libido and ejaculate the semen. And the more dangerous aspect is, there is nothing that will replenish the wasted energy from the brain as fast as it was brought down.
The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for maintaining the entire frenzy during the masturbation act. But the thing is, the parasympathetic nervous system is also responsible for the functioning of vital systems of the body such as the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the functioning of the liver, the endocrine glands and the lung systems. The connection to these organs is through the vagus nerves which pass out from the brain and through the base of the neck region. When you read more into this, you will understand that all the different systems of your body are in fact interconnected, and an imbalance in any one of them will affect all the others. The average male is already doing several things that might drastically affect the heart; but now it could deplete the brain of its energy, which in turn could cause the heart to malfunction even further.
But how does the penis shrink due to all this? Simple, when the brain continuously keeps supplying energy for your jerking sessions, there is nothing to give it that energy back. In medical terms, such wastefulness of energy from a system is called as atrophy. The atrophy will set up in your organ over time if you masturbate excessively, which will lead to its reduction in size.
In fact, your erections do not depend on muscles, but you must remember that it is made of spongy tissue, which need to energy from the brain just to remain alive. Quite a simple thing to understand now; why the lack of energy in the brain will cause it to become shorter in length. In addition, excessive masturbation can also cause a deficiency of acetylcholine or nitric oxide and also stress hormones in the sympathetic alpha receptors.
It is quite understandable how it can cause not only shrinkage of the organ, but also functional weakness, known as ED, or simply, impotence. If a person indulges in it too much, there is a very great likelihood that that person will not be able to get an erection during the actual act.
(ii) If you thought the first way in which it causes the organ to shrink is bad enough, wait till you read this one. When a man masturbates, he is physically jerking the organ. This can cause physical damage to the reproductive organ, since it is made up of nothing but spongy tissue. Abrasions could occur, and there could be scar tissue. Every such episode causes some kind of damage to the organ. Over time this would heal, but by then some more tissues could get internally damaged.
At least in this case, it is more damaging than actual contact sex. The reason is, while doing it, there is more physical movement of the organ. Remember that there is no lubrication in it, which in actual sex the vaginal tract provides all the necessary lubrication. That’s nature’s way of protecting the organ during sexual episodes. But this natural protection is not present in it, which increases the likelihood of damages, causing scar tissues.
It is a superstition that it can cause warts on the palms of your hand, but it is a strongly indicated fact that it can cause calluses on the organ itself. If that happens, the organ will not be able to gain its full erection, and will also lean over to one side, causing curvatures.”
So is masturbation really healthy as the current mainstream science and sex ed teachers propose? Or is this a 180? Who knows?
Please, if you want Matt to investigate the relation between masturbation and health, create a new post where you type the code “PIMM”, or just include this code in your next post. (“PIMM” stands for “Please Investigate Masturbation Matt”)
Remember, if you want Matt to investigate the relation between masturbation and health, create a new post where you type the code “PIMM”, or just include this code in your next post. (“PIMM” stands for “Please Investigate Masturbation Matt”)
this can all be associated with the term “bloggie-style”
Do DHT levels also rise when you masturbate but dont ejaculate/cum?
Because no one wants to abstain from sex ofcourse, maybe the solution is have lots of sex but dont ejaculate/cum
Matt…. Every time I Eat high carbs, no matter if I eat 3000+ calories per day, I have cold hands and feet. My temperature drops and I feel extremely cold in the mornings and my legs are often “asleep”.
When I eat high fat and low/zero carb, my temperature gets A LOT higher, my joints move much more smoothly and my heart beats a lot faster. I can sleep without a blanket when I’m zero or low carb.
Please explain to me this phenomenon. It would prove that carbs slow down metabolism for me and that fats speed it up significantly.
A lot of people on low carb forums say the exact same: when they eat lots of starches they get cold hands and feet, intolerance to bright light, cold body temperature in the mornings.
This is the way I was eating in my youth… very high starch.. and I was always the one complaining to be cold. Whenever I try to eat lots of starch again, even if I stuff myself for days, I’m colder than I usually am. I really feel like my metabolism is slower and my heart beats a lot slower. Then I add big chunks of fat and cut carbs down completely (I really lose my taste/desire for them when I eat high fat) and boom, within hours my heart beats faster and I feel hot!
I think animal fats are much better at speeding the metabolism than carbs are. As a matter of fact, I think carbs slow down my metabolism, since I can be high fat/low carb and be eating LESS calories than when I’m doing high carb/low fat, and still feel more hot temperature and better overall.
I do feel that masturbation and cumming too often can have some serious negative effects… I’m wondering if it’s the same for women with all the neurotransmitters and hormones released… maybe it’s only bad if they ejaculate and loose minerals from that…. but female ejaculation is much more watery and urine like and probably doesn’t contain as much protein, minerals, vitamins as male semen So women would not loose any nutrients in that sense but they would probably be affected by the release of hormones like adrenalin in the same way as with male orgasm, but I really don’t know..
Low Carb is only bad for metabolism if you starve yourself and eat very low calories or if you eat too much protein.
"To evaluate the effect of caloric restriction and dietary composition on circulating T3 and rT3 obese subjects were studied after 7-18 days of total fasting and while on randomized hypocaloric diets (800 kcal) in which carbohydrate content was varied to provide from 0 to 100% calories. As anticipated, total fasting resulted in a 53% reduction in serum T3 in association with reciprocal 58% increase in rT3. Subjects receiving the no-carbohydrate hypocaloric diets for two weeks demonstrated a similar 47% decline in serum T3 but there was no significant change in rT3 with time. In contrast, the same subjects receiving isocaloric diets containing at least 50 g of carbohydrate showed no significant changes in either T3 or rT3 concentration. The decline in serum T3 during the no-carbohydrate diet correlated significantly with blood glucose and ketones but there was no correlation with insulin or glucagon. We conclude that dietary carbohydrate is an important regulatory factor in T3 production in man. In contrast, rT3 concentration is not significantly affected by changes in dietary carbohydrate. Our data suggest that the rise in serum rT3 during starvation may be related to more severe caloric restriction than that caused by the 800 kcal diet."
I liked the diet you recommend in your eBook Matt, high fat, moderate-low carb. This High Everything doesn't make sense and may indeed be suicidal.
No need to scare people into thinking they have low thyroid. You are beginning to sound like Broda Barnes who thought the solution to EVERY known illness was to "cure the thyroid". He prescribed Armour for everything. Ridiculous. He thought these disease were caused by thyroid: heart disease, cancer, depression, arthritis, diabetes, the common cold, tonsillitis, ear infections, apparent laziness in children, various menstrual disorders, and skin disorders.
Oh, and he even said that the Basal Temperature Test can't with 100% accuracy prove hypothyroidism. That's when it starts to get fun. That's when he can diagnose everything as thyroid problem without any test he uses 100% of the time. Fat? Fatigued? You have hypothyroid! Skinny? Too energized? You have hypothyroid, it's just the adrenals countering the effect!
While I consider his research useful, he began, late in his career, to sound like a snake-oil salesman trying to push Armour and diagnose everyone and everything as HYPOTHYROID.
If Broda Barnes was so smart why did he not even reach mid 80’s? Hell, what causes aging? HYPOthyroid. Cure: Armour, of course.
All he should have done was to prescribe Armour to himself and live to be over 100 years..
“This High Everything doesn’t make sense and may indeed be suicidal.”
Oh, get it over it already!
I am getting really tired of some of these “Anonymous” commentators and their pseudo-scientific arguments. If they want to eat low carb, let ’em. (I suspect that the comments that mention low carb and zero carb are being posted mostly by two or three people, because the writing style and syntax are quite similar. At least one of them appears to be a zero-carber.)
As for me, forgetting about macro-nutrient and eating as much starch and fat as I want is the best thing I ever did for my health. I have energy a stable, happy mood, and feel, in terms of health, like I did when I was in my early teens. (I’m in my late 20’s now.)
By the way, I ate low-carb for a while followed by a month of zero-carb. My previous diet was pretty much SAD, so any diet would have been an improvement. Anyway, when I was eating low, and zero, carb, I did experience benefits, among them more energy, clearer skin, weight loss and less brain fog. However, there were some big drawbacks. I had sour stomach almost every evening. My mood was unstable and I would sometimes have dark, brooding thoughts. There were dark circles under my eyes- although those started to go away toward the end. In addition, toward the end, especially during my month on zero-carb, I would become easily chilled, and my heart would sometimes thunder.
I eventually got tired of the drawbacks- they outweighed the “benefits” so I went back to eating SAD. Bad idea. The unstable mood, thundering heart and sour stomach went away, but so did my energy. The brain fog returned, and the chills, especially in the morning stayed with me.
About a month and half ago, I threw caution to the wind and started to eat HED- minus the fast food and grains. My energy returned, the chills and brain fog vanished- all within about 3 weeks. Digestion is great and I couldn’t feel better; low and zero carb don’t even come close.
I bet if I added back vegetable oils, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, etc, back into my diet, I would feel just like I did when eating SAD, eating that way is, in fact, SAD. When these “Anonymous” commenters say they were eating lots of starch and having health problems before starting low carb, I bet they they were eating SAD. They refuse to eliminate variables.
Bruce K is writing as DML, the anti-masturbation guy and the anti-peanut butter guy.
Theres a good product someone could sell… semen from someone who eats HED… I think there is like 15mg of zinc in one ejaculation, lots of potassium, etc.etc… If your eating lots of Cream, Eggs, Milk, coconut, potatoes, fatty beef, lamb, marrow,etc. etc… you would replenish very easily.
I tell the ladies i work with that semen is a superfood, if there boyfriends eat a good diet… not excluding any food groups and what not… so take advantage ladies!!!
So quoth Anonymous,
“Bruce K is writing as DML, the anti-masturbation guy and the anti-peanut butter guy.”
Sorry Anonymous, I, DML, am not associated with Bruce K, whom I fear is insane. Nice job engaging in an ad hominem attack, though. How about learning something about logic, perhaps?
By the way, I do not think HED is a panacea. It worked for me; it might not work for everybody. I can’t comment either way about that. I don’t know everything, and neither does anybody else. Recounting my success with eating starch and fat was a way of demonstrating there is some truth in it (regardless and irrelevant of Bruce’s excesses); nothing more, nothing less.
My point about low (zero)- carbers failing to isolate variables still stands, however.
ok Navanjo. learn to write properly. their/there. it’s pissing me off. otherwise good comments from you
Could be this HED diet had something to do with Bruce’s mania…
“MANIA AND THE SUGAR TRAIL
Protein Kinase C, (PKC) the hottest discovery in the treatment of mania, is an enzyme known to rise with high blood sugar levels. It also plays a role in the immune system, apparently helping control infection by intracellular parasites. In fact Lyme disease, caused by intracellular bacteria, sometimes presents with bipolar disorder-like symptoms. PKC comes in a few different variants, all from the same gene. For example, genetic variants in PKC are also associated with alcohol intake (and alcoholism), which is a common problem in bipolar patients. Similarly to how alcoholics black out, bipolar patients report that they have no memory of what they did or said during their psychotic episodes. They have to depend on people around them to tell them that they were delusional and apparently hallucinating.
The “haze” of mania produced by excess PKC may be somewhat familiar to anybody who’s ever been foggy after a really huge meal. The major difference between bipolar patients and people without bipolar disorder is that most people who have post-prandial high blood sugar tend to feel sleepy or otherwise relax. In contrast, those about to go into a manic episode will experience a burst of unlimited energy along with rapid and pressured action and speech, an overwhelming feeling of seeing it all, and a need to act NOW. Interestingly, both Wolfram syndrome and a rare form of bipolar disorder identified by Japanese scientists have been traced to defects in the endoplasmic reticulum, a cell structure with many jobs, including that of taking up glucose into the cell. This suggests that sugar metabolism may play a role in other types of bipolar disorder.
This new discovery linking PKC to bipolar disorder also hints to a possible mechanism in which lack of sleep causes high blood sugar AND manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. Researchers hope that developing drugs to inhibit PKC will mean that doctors in the emergency room can rapidly bring down people from the manic state within hours.”
To the last Anonymous comment:
Beware of the pitfall’s of “post hoc ergo propter hoc”…
what does DML standfor?
oh and PIMM. I really want Matt to tell us the health benefits and drawbacks of masturbating yeaaa
DML I feel the same way… Potatoes and plenty of fat are now a staple with me!
But don’t praise the HED so much because you are obviously not following it – you are not including the junk foods, deserts or grains (major components of HED).
I too feel horrible on even white rice so I stick with potatoes and root veggies for carbs. Feel awesome but only when I include a lot of fat too. Empty potatoes or root veggies lower my temperature fast.
waaay too many anon posters… who’s who??? DML u only post as DML ?
“Beware of the pitfall’s of “post hoc ergo propter hoc”…”
THINK: It was Bruce HIMSELF that was pointing out non-stop that eating the HED way made him feel the way he did (manic delusional in the end)…
And yeah, please learn how to spell correctly.
DML is Matt Stone
“And yeah, please learn how to spell correctly.”
Get the fuck out of here, do you have any thing of value to add, or did you just come here to be an asshole?
Zero carb would probably cure bipolar disorder. One month of zero carb isn’t enough, you need at least 6 months of meat only.
“One of the questions we asked on the initial survey for The Bipolar Child, concerned a craving for carbohydrates: did the child or adolescent crave starchy foods such as potatoes, breads, pastas, and macaroni and cheese? or sugary foods such as candy, cookies, and ice cream? We’ll never forget the follow-up phone interview we had with a young woman who had indicated a craving for carbohydrates all through her childhood and into the present. As we asked her to describe the cravings, there was a giggle at the other end of the phone. She asked: “Would you consider a gallon of Breyer’s chocolate chip mint every night a craving?”
We reached Katie on the phone and she explained:
Say I’m doing my homework, and suddenly I get a craving for potatoes. I shut down and can think of nothing else. I get into “mission mode” and start to worry: What will I do if I can’t get them? I will be totally lost. Where can I go from here? I won’t be able to get off this.
If my mother says: “I don’t have potatoes, Katie, and I’m not going out in this weather to get them,” I get really, really angry. Most of the times we have a huge screaming match, but sometimes I push her because I am so mad. I see my mother as my enemy because she’s not supplying me with what I need. She is a total obstacle to what I need. The word “no” is evil. It is not acceptable.
Katie isn’t the only one who craves potatoes. The mother of a nine-year-old boy wrote to us and said:
As far as the carbs, he is a bread and mashed potato child. I almost force-feed him anything else. He would eat huge piles of mashed potatoes if I let him. He loves and gets obsessive about eating them, and during the mornings and evenings he is just ravenous and I almost have to follow him around to keep him from eating everything in sight – mostly bread, chips, and stuff. I don’t keep a lot of sweets around for that reason.”
“Adolescents have recounted pouring sugar straight out of the box down their throats; and mothers have told us that long ago they nicknamed their children “Carb King” or “Spud.” We recently interviewed “Spud,” but first we asked her mother to describe her daughter’s tremendous intensity about eating potatoes. “What if she doesn’t get them?” we asked. “It gets really, really ugly,” she replied quietly. When we asked her what “ugly” meant, she said: “See what Katie will tell you. Katie will be totally honest about it.”
Wow I wonder what else those kids were eating. I doubt a kid would kill someone for a plain potato over a form of pure sugar, like say, a lollipop.
You can form addictions to anything, practically. Why blame it on the food as the direct cause? Let alone a food that’s been around since ancient Inca civilization.
Inca civilization has only been around since 1200 AD/CE. Grains and wheat have been around a whole lot longer than that and plenty of people blame them for things.
Potatoes are “believed to be indigenous to Chilo? Archipelago where it was cultivated as long as 10,000 years ago.” (Wikipedia)
Ithink Matt Stone should do an article on sodium and salt after he has done the article on masturbation PIMM
Oh brother. You guys are wearing me out. I’m already exhausted from my excessive masturbation.
Yes, I agree that how much one masturbates has truly got to be one of the most important factors in a person’s overall health. That’s what Weston A. Price was failing to notice. He thought humanity’s demise was due to refined sugar and white flour showing up on the scene, but he must have failed to notice that no one eating natural foods ever ejaculated. He really missed the boat. We should now start an anti-ejaculation coalition. This is the Answer! Solved: The Riddle of Illness.
Come on (pun intended).
Broda Barnes only lived into his early 80’s. Gosh. He must’ve had no idea what he was talking about then. But you are all welcome to pursue centenarianism if you like. Once your metabolism is healed up, I recommend a low-calorie whole foods diet like the Okinawans. That seems to be the safest bet at the moment, but remember, they are born healthy, not born with a screwed up metabolism from mom and dad’s sugar habit.
I will say that Barnes did lack some understanding. The metabolism is a fucntioning whole. It’s not “just the thyroid” that people should be concerned about. In fact, going into ketosis will stimulate your adrenals and cause the heart to beat faster, the eyes to dilate, the body to sleep less, and the brain to be more focused. That’s the exact same impact that is caused by caffeine, diet pills, and amphetamines. It can lead to burnout, which was one of the main focuses of my ongoing FUMP discussion – being wary of feeling those changes. My resting pulse was nearly 80 on zero carb. It is 45 now like it has been my whole adult life.
A faster resting pulse rate has never been synonymous with health. Take Michael Phelp’s pulse. I guarantee you it is low, and he’s obviously a well-oiled machine with a tremendous metabolism. Will he live to be 100? Most people at that level of health rarely do. Weston A. Price certainly wasn’t finding his physically elite native tribes living into the 100’s. Longevity is associated more with starvation and energy conservation. Life expectancy for a non-starved person with excellent health is probably in the 80’s to low 90’s with a few exceptions.
High-five to whoever spelled Navajo incorrectly while making rude requests for Troy to “learn to spell.” You can’t buy entertainment like that.
Troy, potatoes are still the safest bet in the starch category if you ask me. White rice is nonnutritive and led old-schoolers like Albert Schweitzer to say “everyone knows white rice is a disease-causing food.” (paraphrase). Most people have impaired digestion or food allergies to grains because the median level of health is so low. But potatoes? Nutritious and delicious. Lots of potassium in those bad boys too, and one of the best plant sources of protein, making them one of the cheapest sources of protein in the world (for the deal seekers).
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 mishapen 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.
Matt but why does Ray Peat say that sugars protect against free fatty acids in the blood, protect against unsaturated fats becoming even more unsaturated in the blood, and that they speed up mitochondrial respiration and that way speed up metabolism too?
Ray Peat says in one of his articles he eats 1 pint of ice cream (probably with refined sugar as most ice cream?) per day. I think he does this to speed up his metabolism.
He says numerous times that sugars (I haven’t seen him discriminate between refined or unrefined) are protective and one should drink lots of orange juice like before bed.
Seems not all scientists or doctors agree on the sugar issue. You see to have drawn the harsh conclusion that they are the cause of most illnesses and physical degeneration.
IMO Maybe it depends on what the sugars are eaten together with?
I am not aligned with Peat, although I do like his focus on the endocrine system’s role in health.
To focus on fatty acids and not refined carbohydrates is to ignore what history has irrefutably shown us.
I have no problems with sugars. Sugars, starches, who cares? Both are healthy traditional foods.
I have a problem with refined sugar, as that is associated with disease. T.L. Cleave is really the only author I know of since Price, Pottenger, or Melvin Page to really successfully be able to distinguish the difference between natural carbohydrates and refined carbohydrates, which evidently makes all the difference in the world.
I will say that if your glucose metabolism is impaired, starches are preferable to simple sugars because of the glucose curves. Glucose and insulin levels go much higher and much lower on sugars than on starches. That may be reason enough to avoid all simple sugars for a period of time until glucose metabolism has improved. Otherwise, the sugars are likely to trigger emotional and psychological instability and addictive eating behavior as well as other negative phsyiological consequences.
Hence the title of E.M. Abrahamson’s 1951 gem… Body, Mind, and Sugar.
Matt, when talking about glucose metabolism and glucose curves is it appropriate to reference the glycemic index? I ask because on the glycemic index potatoes are ranked higher than white sugar which seems to indicate that they would cause blood glucose levels to rise faster than they would when consuming sugar.
The glycemic index is totally irrelevant and has caused much confusion.
People have always known that simple sugars cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin in a way that complex carbohydrates cannot.
When the glycemic index came out, science abandoned good judgment, common sense, and observation and instead jumped on the foolish idea that a snickers bar was better for a diabetic than a potato – despite information that spans galaxies in the other direction on that topic.
What matters is how much insulin is secreted in proportion to the rise in blood sugar. Insulin isn’t just secreted to match the amount of glucose. It goes higher in response to sweet tastes, which is why it comes crashing back down.
Perhaps it was incorrect for me to say that both blood sugar and insulin levels go much higher with simple sugars. Actually, insulin goes much higher with simple sugars, then blood sugar dives much lower afterwards.
This is why corn starch (one of the highest glycemic carbs known), for example, was found to keep blood sugar levels stable in diabetics overnight – a discovery made by Francine Kauffman of the American Diabetes Association. Without the corn starch, diabetics would often wake up in a hypoglycemic state.
Starches of all kinds are much less prone to make blood sugar fall and induce hypoglycemia than sugars, regardless of the glycemic index, glycemic load, blah, blah, blah.
Great question though. I could go off on that for days.
Peat does more than just eat/suggest sugar. Here’s something I specifically liked in one of his articles regarding metabolism and unsaturated fats:
“Over the years, it has become evident that the polyunsaturated fats are not very compatible with a high rate of metabolism, though they are necessary for organisms that live at low temperatures and metabolize slowly, such as fish and vegetables. The saturated fats solidify at low temperature; beef fat is very stiff at refrigerator temperature, and in a fat fish, such stiffness would be lethal.
Even some hibernating rodents can stay alive with their body tissues close to the freezing point, and their stored fats have to be unsaturated. When their diet doesn’t allow them to store enough polyunsaturated fat, they fail to go into hibernation. This is probably a clue to some of the general biological effects of the PUFA.
A series of studies about 20 years ago showed that the functions of the thyroid hormone are all inhibited by unsaturated fats, with the inhibition increasing in proportion to the number of unsaturations (double bonds) in the fat molecule
…Aging involves a decreasing metabolic rate, an increased tendency toward inflammation, and a decreased ability to synthesize proteins. Inflammation contributes to the decreasing ability to use oxygen, and the slowed renewal of proteins combined with lower ability to produce energy impair the organism’s ability to control peroxidative damage and inflammation….”
In the same article, he talks about allergies which were mentioned earlier in these blog comments,
“Mothers whose breast milk contains more long-chain n-3 fatty acids are more likely to have allergic children (Stoney, et al., 2004). (And children whose mothers are allergic have higher levels of DHA and EPA in their tissues.) These associations aren’t mentioned by the manufacturers who speak of those fats as essential.”
So much good stuff in that article. Anyway, my point is, Peat isn’t really just some man who just recommends refined sugar to speed up metabolism only. He may hold it higher for completely different reasons than Matt would, and for different people’s circumstances (like his thoughts of the persorption linked with grains would be a factor – though, he doesn’t seem to be against potatoes or corn). Some of his studies that he sites I don’t like, but, he’s still well organized with his puzzle solving. Of course he thinks the endocrine system is important, as it usually defines life and death for a species – how long one lives and in what environment. Fruit flies were discovered to live longer with a faster metabolism, for example. Hormones and types of foods effect this. His argument against sugar is that he believes starches are more addicting with fat. When he says starches, though, it seems like he is usually referring to grains only. His newer articles seem to hold different thoughts than his older ones, too. He simply writes that sugars in general (going probably by glucose, fructose and sucrose make up, rather than what’s typically natural or not) will lower blood sugar under the circumstances he suggests. You’d have to read more in depth about his reasoning and the studies he presents. I do think he may focus too much on certain studies that could be potentially vague. It’d be cool to see him discuss this stuff here, but otherwise hard to interpret without much knowledge about his opinion.
Most of his reasoning behind things are not drop-off conclusions, so I’d do a bit more reading before saying “but Ray Peat says..”. It’s a liiittle bit more complicated than that. I mean, I can’t type out his whole site of articles here, but, you can certainly go read them for more insight (:
Also, Matt, it’s interesting you say that about the corn starch, because Peat said here,
“I have heard dietitians urge the use of “complex carbohydrates” (starch) instead of sugar. In the first physiology lab I took, we fed rats a large blob of moist cornstarch with a stomach tube, and then after waiting a few minutes, were told to dissect the rat to find out “how far the starch had gone.” In such a short time, we were surprised to find that not a trace of the starch could be found. The professor’s purpose was to impress us with the rapidity with which starch is digested and absorbed. Various studies have demonstrated that starch (composed of pure glucose) raises blood glucose more quickly than sucrose (half fructose, half glucose) does. The sudden increase of blood glucose is sometimes thought to contribute to the development of diabetes, but if it does, it is probably mediated by fat metabolism and the hormones other than just insulin. “
I think what he means is that if you were to eat complex carbs alone, than your insulin would not be as stable, whereas, with sugar/fruit the insulin would remain stable without the need for fat or protein. This is what I mean by vague in Peat’s articles. In a newer article of his, he says cornstarch is good because it is not persorbed but rather digested completely, and that he would eat products of corn sparingly, but not grains of any sort.
sorry, I mean, blood glucose in that last paragraph – not insulin
Good comments Chloe. My point is simply that absorption rate is thought to be the mechanism behind refined carbohydrates’ ability to induce insulin resistance. I disagree completely. I think it’s totally unrelated. I think it has more to do with the druglike action of refined sugar than its absorption rate. No one would argue that meth causes the problems it does because of its absorption rate, but because of its impact on the endocrine system.
Kauffman gave the corn starch alone, with no other food. The absorption was probably incredibly fast – but blood glucose levels remained stable and did not dive. Likewise, Kathleen Desmaisons of “Potatoes Not Prozac” also recommends baked potatoes late at night by themselves to keep blood sugar stable and therefore reduce emotionality, hypoglycemia, and sugar cravings.
If refined sugar stimulates metabolic activity it may do it artificiallly, by stimulating the adrenals like a mini-amphetamine. This would make sense as Desmaisons entire book is focused on sugar’s tendency to flood the system with beta endorphin – a chemical released with norepinephrine in response to overstimulation.
It’s interesting that Peat mentions the high metabolism and faster protein turnover. That’s exactly what I meant to address the other day as many HED-ers are mentioning that fingernails are growing with tremendous rapidity. Speed of fingernail growth is a tremendous sign of good health, making the short list of telltale signs that you are “IN THE ZONE” accordding to Barry Sears. Fingernail and hair growth as well as sheen and strength have to do with increased keratinization – or higher protein turnover – yet another sign of increased metabolic function.
And yes, this is synonymous with maintaining great strength, function, and resilience to degenerative disease that patterns metabolic downturn as age progresses.
where the fuck did the last blog post go?
There’s a blog archive near the top on the right side. You can access older posts there. If you want to see the most recent one, you can access it there or just type the plain url…
Thanks for the colorful language. Classy.
Thanks for the tip with the vinegar. It works really good! My fingers don’t smell anymore like fish.
Matt, PLEASE get rid of the annonymopus posting feature. Otherwise we have to read endless drivel about masturbation etc….
I still have carbs but mostly focus on the good ones like vegetables and fruits (but not the sweet ones).
I do have my ‘dirty’ carbs (pasta, rice, bread, etc) occasionally though which helps keep my insanity. lol
But mostly I’m on a low carb diet and it helped a lot with my mood and maintaining / losing weight.