The China Study is considered to be one of the best and most thorough epidemiological studies on human health ever conducted. The New York Times, in typical absurdly idiotic fashion (like when they told us all about the WMD’s to help create a national panic that led to ?Iraqi Freedom?), calls The China Study ‘the Grand-Prix? of nutrition/health studies. It was thorough no doubt. Way to go T. Colin Campbell! You’ve even managed to convince Michael Pollan that every man, woman, and child the world over should ?eat mostly plants.
To people who study ancient diets, the work of Weston A. Price (the real grand-prix of health studies), and low-carb evangelists, The China Study is a massive cause of tummy-upset. If I were an antacid kind of guy, I might reach for some TUMS just seeing the words ?China? and ?Study? next to each other. I’ll pass on the TUMS though.
The China Study, for those who aren’t familiar with it, showed, very convincingly, that the greater the amount of protein in the diet, particularly from animal sources instead of plant sources, the greater the amount of degenerative disease. The correlations supposedly match quite well, and the amount of data is huge across the endless provinces of big ?ol China.
But should this study make us nervous? Will protein really make us more likely to get heart disease or develop liver cancer? If you’re a Chinese person, evidently it will. I actually believe that may be true ? that the edition of animal protein to a Chinese diet will increase health risks. Here are my explanations.
First, let me at least point out that if China’s Northerly neighbors in Mongolia, a fitter, stronger, and more robust group of people were taken into account ? every single one of those correlations would have been demolished. The rural peoples of Mongolia eat a diet of almost exclusively animals from plump, juicy mutton and whole sheep’s milk. They are a fabulously healthy race in comparison to the west, and in many regards compared to the Chinese as well. They certainly tend to have better physical and dental structure and greater physical prowess in general.
I bring this up, because right off the bat we know that the study is flawed, and that the assertion that animal protein causes degenerative disease can be flung out the window ? perhaps even waterboarded before it’s flung.
But I explain the results of the study as follows:
In China, white rice is the staple food. They eat a considerable amount of white flour as well. Their consumption of refined sugar is quite small though, probably in the neighborhood of 10% of what it is in the United States (which, by many accounts, is probably why their health is generally superior). So right away we set up a study that is basically asking that if you eat refined grain as your staple food, what foods, in addition to that diet, will increase your risk of developing degenerative disease faster?
First let’s remember McCarrison. I brought this point up long ago in my McCarrison posts, and that is the fact that on a nutrient-deficient diet based on refined grain (white rice), the addition of butter to the white rice caused animal subjects to invariably die faster than with rice alone. Butter is healthy. Butter is nutritious, but it seemed to merely exacerbate the nutritional deficiencies of a refined-starch diet and cause a more expedient death. Of course, butter in the diets of test subjects on an unrefined-carbohydrate-based diet (fresh-ground whole wheat), didn’t lead to rapid death or health problems at all. It was a wonderful, health-promoting diet for any and every species of test animal.
But the study shows that, in circumstances of deficiency, butter is framed as a villainous substance that leads to a quicker death. A nutrition legend comparable to McCarrison, Roger J. Williams supports this line of thinking ? that if saturated fat kills you or clogs your arteries, then there must be something gone awry or missing from your diet, because when nourishment is superb, saturated fat does not have that effect. He states:
?A large amount of information, based upon carefully controlled scientific experiments, indicates very strongly that vitamin B6 is another key nutrient which is often present in inadequate amounts in the cellular environment of those whose arteriosclerosis is extreme. Experiments with monkeys have yielded clear-cut results. When they are rendered vitamin B6 deficient, they develop arteriosclerosis rapidly. When monkeys are fed diets supplemented with vitamin B6, they have much lower levels of cholesterol in the blood than when these diets are not supplemented. The animals on the supplemented diet eat much more food than the others, and since their diet contains cholesterol, they get far more cholesterol into their bodies. This does not matter, however; the extra vitamin B6 they get allows them to dispose of the surplus, with the result that their cholesterol blood levels are not as high as in those animals that consume less cholesterol.
Saturated fat aside, The China Study is all about animal protein (higher, generally, in fat than plant foods as well which may or may not be relevant). Again, however, if the entire population is subsisting off of white rice, deficient in many vitamins and long-since known to be able to cause deficiency diseases, then the addition of any number of benign substances, meat, poultry, and fish included ? could exacerbate those deficiencies. What is white rice most lacking in? B vitamins of course, particularly B6 which is well-known to be a somewhat difficult nutrient to get in the modern diet.
B6 is important because it is required to convert homocysteine, a harmful metabolite of methionine, into the benign amino acid cystathionine. Homocysteine is very highly correlated with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and other facets of metabolic syndrome. Other B vitamins lacking in refined rice and wheat, but present in high amounts in the unrefined version, are important in this cycle as well, including folic acid and vitamin B2.
So meats added to a diet based on refined carbohydrates can cause health problems for two reasons ? added homocysteine levels from greater quantities of protein, and greater quantities of fat. Both of these added to the refined carbohydrate scenario can quicken the development of health problems due to chronic consumption of white stuff. That’s why I’ve concluded that a diet based on refined grain and sugar even moreso that is high in fat, protein, and calories is the worst possible diet on earth. This, is obvious. That’s the American diet. If you want to eat refined sugar and grain, it is probably best to eat as little as possible and primarily be a vegetarian that eats a lot of fruits, vegetables, and other fresh foods that help make up for your B-vitamin inadequacies (but you really short-change yourself, and future generations that will inherit your deficiencies if this is the route you take).
Only through profound nourishment and pretty strict avoidance of refined carbohydrates can all the rules be thrown out the window, and the ultimate human diet, rich in all life-enhancing macronutrient classes and overall calories be consumed with great results.
So yeah, now that my digestion and metabolism has improved, I see absolutely no benefit in avoiding fiber and instead opting for white rice and such. I’m all about potatoes with skin, popcorn with nutritional yeast, and brown rice right now ? all B vitamin powerhouses.
As an interesting note, since writing about my vegan escapade, I am unable to get my blood glucose levels over 100 mg/dl. Unless?
… I consume refined carbohydrates, which spike it over 100 every time when consumed as part of a mixed meal.
In summary, The China Study blows. Hopefully this offers insight as to why it does and does so very hard.
??in the absence of vitamins or in their inadequate supply, neither proteins nor fats nor carbohydrates nor [minerals] are properly utilized; some are largely wasted, while others yield products harmful to the organism.
–Sir Robert McCarrison
I read this some years back:
In said post, wheat consumption had the high correlation with heart disease. In northeastern China they eat more wheat.
Now let's combine this with what Stephen Guyenet has been saying at Whole Health Source: wheat needs to be fermented to be safe. Well, China is the home of the noodle. In the West, bread was the traditional wheat product.
I have a question! What exactly is a refined carbohydrate and please name as many of them as you can. Thanks!
white flour, white rice, products made from both of those, other grains with outer hull removed such as tapioca, pearled barley, etc. (although any intact grain vs. one that's been pulverized to a fine powder is generally less harmful – as in pearl barley, white rice, tapioca, etc.)
Plus, all the -ose's in ingredient lists on packaged foods (which are always refined carbohydrate-based and are best avoided completely). Kathleen DesMaisons has compiled the most extensive list on pages 161-162 in The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program (contains almost 90 different items).
And the real biggies that have no protein, no nutrients, no fiber, nada:
white sugar (sucrose), high-fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose
Aaaaaaaaaaah, mmmmmmm, eeeemmm… Sry Matt, but it does not compute. Meat (And I gotta go with Chuck W. in this) is pretty much complete in the sense that it comes with whatever the eater needs to metabolize it. At least nutritiondata goes with me on that, cuz meat (and organs, of course) is quite a good source of B vitamins. Butter has Vit A, D and K2 (da holly trinity of nutrition)which are tremendous mineral movilizers and users, and, among other things, make the body use its stores of nutrients faster. That would explain what happened with the butter and rice diet. However, meat comes with those fat soluble activators AND what they may activate. I doubt the problem would be the B vitamins then… I mean, a bit more is better than none, and meat adds metabolic weight, but also the vitamins to cope with it. So, the example of rice plus butter DOES not apply. More so knowing that a diet of meat and potatoes is viable, and I don't see what's the big difference between peeled potatoes (as the peruvians of Weston Price ate them) and white rice. That leaves us with 3 choices (in my opinion):
First, minerals are indeed needed in the big quantites Price thought (following that path, trying to raise your metabolism with tons of white rice and butter IS deadly and moronic, especially if you come from a deficient diet) and can only be obtained in enough quantities with the addition of vegetables (way to go FDA), good quantities of quality whole grains (way to go Fd…) organ meats (not the same one always as to get all the minerals), bone broths, tons of muscle meat or combinations; and this one is not that simple, cuz we don't now what where the sources of animal protein (with how much in the way of minerals and vitamins) of this little fellows or if they ate enough heart-healthy vegetables (hate em'). Second, having access to protein means having more socioeconomical status which means more money which means more white poison, or alcohol, or weed, or fake foods of any kind which means… You get my point. Or, third, Collin Campbell is a moron and a data screwer and a manipulator and his study is just plain WRONG. Or any combination of the three.
To sum it all up, the conclusions you had in this post baffled me because I believe that the adding of meat to a deficient diet (specially in the absence of sugar and veg oils) can only make it less deficient, which means more health and less risk of whatever Campbell was blaming meat of.
Man, this was fun.
Hey, Matt, after reading this guy, I wonder if limiting fiber (which seems to equal limiting minerals) is that wise when trying to heal digestion with HED. But then, can the digestion heal whithout limiting fiber, or do you need to gobble fiber in order to teach your body to handle it?
"Unless (…) I consume refined carbohydrates, which spike it over 100 every time when consumed as part of a mixed meal" So, Matt are you now saying that white rice is bad? Oh man, that puts a lot of people in a complicated situation. I myself can't stand fiber, so that's it for whole grains. How in the world can I let go of rice…
Great post! Family members of mine have been converted to veganism by this book. It was a classic China Study to Joel Fuhrman progression.
I have a few questions about your refined grain/saturated fat theory as it relates to white rice. Currently I don't digest brown rice well and do great on white basmati rice (high amylose, lower glycemic) while feeling horrible on white jasmine rice (low amylose, high glycemic). I am at a healthy weight but I lose too much weight if I don't eat carbs and I don't feel well after eating a bunch of butter and saturated fat – like my arteries are instantly clogging, possibly due to a lack of B vitamins? I have tried eating a ton of sweet potatoes and starchy vegetables but its easier to eat the rice with most meals.
In your opinion, what would be the best approach to induce a healthy state of saturated fat metabolism? Is it better to have digestion problems and eat brown rice since it allows for safe saturated fat ingestion or to take a multi-B vitamin and eat a lower glycemic white rice that gives good digestion? Does taking a B vitamin make adding saturated fat to a diet with white rice safe and is that a good way to heal my metabolism of saturated fat or do I need to go off the rice and eat lower carb to eat the fat? Thanks Matt!
White rice is not nearly as sinister as white flour and other powdered starches and sugars. In fact, many people, including the Chinese seem to do just fine on a diet of white rice.
Cultures eating a lot of meat, sugar, and fat with white rice tend to be less healthy – like Hawaiians or Samoans, or Asians once they move to the U.S., where they have even higher rates of diabetes than whities do.
Good points. Glad you had fun. I did too. It was that kind of logic that led me to believe, and still lean towards at times, that the lack of nutrients in refined carbohydrates isn't the main issue, but something else entirely. But if your diet is say, 65% refined carbohydrates, it's doubtful that meat will make up for all the metabolic activity of having 65% of your diet be virtually non-nutritive.
I wouldn't limit fiber on a HED. Quite the contrary. I've had fabulous results personally on a high-fiber HED.
Chris M –
Complicated questions. I would be quite the guru if I had a perfect answer for all of them. Monastyrsky would recommend B-vitamin supplements, or at least nutritional yeast and some liver over adding fiber to the diet if you don't tolerate it.
Are you sure you can't do the fiber thing? Have you really gone for it and kept it going for weeks to see if there was any improvement?
True on the basmati. Mo betta.
And I didn't mean to single out saturated fat. It could've been any kind of fat, and I'd guess the result would've been the same with McCarrison's studies.
Ultimately, a higher metabolism will burn fatty acids much more effectively. That gets back to nutrients, among many other factors.
So you believe HED can heal IBS, SIBO, H. pylori and the like (not just a case of generic less than optimal digestion) without killing you in the process?
I believe it might, and I believe it can, but there's certainly no guarantee that it would play out that way. Jordan Rubin certainly showed that it can though.
Cool. It gets me thinking about how glandular support does it's magic without giving any extra nutrients and the like. See, if HED can heal a malabsorption related problem (can it?) the mechanism of action would mostly be (in my mind) that it signals the body that food is abundant and is time to get humping (sorry) so the body takes it's chances and starts spending and rebuilding with whatever it has left instead of conserving and slowly dying. If digestion gets improved in this way, then it is only an upward spiral, but if the body just doesn't have enough (or still considers it doesn't have enough like in severe hippomorphism) you'll just stall there. So THERE would be when supplementation that bypasses digestion or glandulars would come in… But then, about glandulars, why would the body try to keep itself slow if no essential raw material is lacking . I suposse nothing is, or glandular supp wouldn't work, it's just that the body its in a confused and derrangled state (sad sugar can be so fuckin' evil). Doubt that's the whole picture, but am I on the right track?
Matt, ever wondered what would happen if an autist HEDed? And what if they recieved some type of "start rebuilding" signal… Of course supplementation and outer help with healing would be needed, also.
Well, lastly, if I remebember correctly, Robert McCarrison stated that once you were fucked you could't return to the diet that would have sustained you. What you just said about fiber, and if HED really heals digestive disorders, just takes those words and shove em' up his holly ass, doesn't it?
(same guy that thought spending like half an hour criticizing little holes in your post-continuum was fun)(oh, I need to get a life, really…)
Matt, I recall Stephan at Whole Health Source making a comparison between white and brown rice where he concluded that brown rice is basically nutritionally inferior due to antinutrients like phytic acid, unless you soak the rice in some particular manner. Here's the link:
I watch the endless battles in these subjects and I am sorry to say that very few people actually have enough understanding of their soul to know that the harmful effects of meat are beyond the body,
Meat is useful for building a REPTILIAN body and supports the ego in justifying its' exploitations…
Only when you have broken beyond the FEAR of God ( that has been bewildering humans through Industrial religion) will you be able to see the super-soul in all creation and be able to sustain your physical without stealing prana..
I thought there was more to the Maker's diet than eating unlimited amounts of healthy food, like probiotics. Besides, ins't overfeeding part of HED. I don't think it was part of Jordan Rubin's recovery…
2 posts above made me LOL, thank you anonymous comedian
OK, so McCarrison and the China Study point to refined carbs + wholesome food/plenty of calories = bad health. But what about the French? A whole lot of white baguettes and white croissants and sweets in that diet, along with the butter and cheese.
Although just from my own observation, the French are getting fatter and now eating a lot more processed food, so I'd imagine their health markers won't be much better than here for much longer.
Sadly yes the french are getting fatter, I think 16% obese at the last count, there is a tend towards more processed foods. There is no doubt they eat a lot of refined carbs: baguettes, croissants, couscous etc but they do not have a history of eating lots of sugar, though soda drinking is becoming more popular with the young.
The French, like the Japanese, both eat low-calorie diets. Like I said, with refined carbs as your staple, the less you eat the better. The French and Japanese influenced my thinking on this quite a bit.
Secondly, neither the French nor the Japanese should be mimicked – or the Chinese for that matter. Every single one of those places is seeing rising rates of degenerative disease just like the United States. That is proof that their diets are unhealthy, but they are just not as far down the degeneration path as the U.S. – and I think sugar has a lot to do with that, not only because refined sugar is nutrition-free, but because it causes greater appetite and caloric consumption – a bad combo., as I've pointed out.
When your concept of spirituality dictates your diet instead of the natural god-given wise intuition of the body and its needs, you are in trouble. Not just from a dietary/health standpoint, but your spirituality needs to be re-evaluated as well. It should be in harmony with your true nature, and not against it.
Jordan Rubin wasn't into straight up overfeeding per se, but his attitude was one of achieving abundant nourishment. How did he heal himself? He ate lots of vitamin-rich natural foods, with no macronutrient restriction. He did not battle against his hunger by eating small portions, and he laid around on the beach breathing clean air and getting lots of natural sunlight. That is the ultimate recipe for increasing the metabolism and restoring nutrient levels, perhaps the two greatest fuels one can give the body to do its own, natural healing work. With or without the products, doing what he did would have undoubtedly had tremendous benefit.
As for phytic acid in brown rice, I suspect white rice's superiority is a huge error on Stephan's part. His conclusions would be more solid if he had no idea what phytic acid was – if had never even heard of it.
On autism and HED, Natasha Campbell McBride basically recommends an HED, except favors simpler sugars over starches (SCD – and never refined), and makes a temporary provision to be gluten and dairy free with reintroduction a couple years later. But she's all about fat, protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. I get the feeling the more the better in achieving healing.
But Stephan did heard of it, and he is not stupid. Again, you never confirmed if indeed ole' McCarrison was WRONG in his statement that, once the digestive system was screwed it was somewhat a point of no return. What I mean is, if just eating those food that could have given you good health before (all of them, whit or whitout phytic acid, etc.) restores you, then he was WRONG and, just as suposedly we can, and as appparently Jordan and you could, the animals of his experiment must have been able. Then what the fuck happened, why couldn't they? I can grasp your idea of phytic acid, fiber and the like not applying when the metabolism is good, being no more than minor details in the food of a HEALTHY person, and, of course, becoming major problems in one that is not. Yet we don't posses phytase, so, anyway, our mineral (and also to some extent vitamin) intake from this foods would be limited even when healthy… So the cutting point is root tubers, which in nutrient quantity are much lower but much more bioavaliable. Even the Sikhs, I suposse, weren't getting near all the good things that were in their grains, but what they got was ENOUGH. In terms of nutrients, cassava (kitava staple) and white rice are almost the same shit,except for a slight difference in B vitamins in which cassava wins (but white rice is less toxic, since the body must waste antioxidants, protein and stuff detoxifying from the toxins in cassava, and, if you don't have enough, it can KILL you) In their glycemix index they must also be quite similar, which would leave with just one question; is the problem that white rice by itself triggers oversecretion of insulin? I doubt that is the case, because japanese and chinese didn't seem to suffer from obesity or the like before globakillization got em', they did not overeat – stable sugar. Why, if a race like the kitavans can be fine in a NON DEFFICIENT "rice like" carbohydrate based diet, couldn't the chinese be fine with their rice in similar conditions? Sure root tubers have some more vit C, but that's not too hard to compensate for. So, in other words, DONT FRIGGIN' MESS WITH WHITE RICE YOU ASSHOLE! Lol, or please pulverize my arguments in case im just plain wrong.
Calorie restriction my ass…
BTW, other root tubers (and plantain) are indeed superior (although still not impressive sources) in terms of B vitamins. Is that the culprit? Anticlimatic…
So, is any refined carbohydrate bad? That sounds like the arguments of the raw foodists. I don't see why. Lack of nutrients? Get them elsewere. Potatoes are digested faster than bread, yet they mean no problem. Sugar is bad, yeah, we know that, but what about the rest of the bunch? Studies has shown (http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385) that consuming pure glucose INS'T bad for health, at least in relatively healthy people, whereas fructose is. I don't see what would be the problem then with refined starches.
Hey, coconut oil is practically pure macronutrients, like ingesting glucose is, yet it can be a healthy staple. Fat is problem for some people, same with glucose, that doesn't make them inherently bad. Is glucose inherently bad? And the the thing about the rancid vitamins or oils in processed carbs, is it that bad? I mean, the skimos ate rancid seal oil as a STAPLE. I'm getting lost here…
To anonymous rice lover. How do you even dare compare white rice to cassava. Sure, the cassava of nutritiondata is crap, as is everything the average american eats, but I'm sure the tubers they eat in Kitava island are nothing like what comes to the common american table in terms of nutrients.
Same with a properly grown rice,… dah!
Oh, and in the study of fructose vs glucose, the subjects where not healthy, they where overweight, and, even then, fasting plasma glucose, insulin levels and insulin sensitivity DIDN'T CHANGE in the glucose drinkers.
Great blog Matt. Spent the last couple of days going through your old posts.
You are definitely correct in saying that the addition of butter to a high white rice diet would be dangerous. A diet low in polyunsaturates with refined carbs and buttern (low fuctose) would speed up the metabolism (without the necessary co-factors to support that metabolism — hense, you will have deteriorating health. This seems to be in line with what ray peat says happens to mice on a super low polyunsaturated fat diet, they seem to just burn through B6 — which necessitates foods with a high B6 content. It's also interesting to ask if the higher intake of omega 3 fats in the Japanese diet slows the thyroid a bit (maybe the high seaweed intake does too) and lowers the need for B6, and why they seem to be pretty healthy on a high rice diet. Of course, their fat intake is low.
Your HED is a step in the right direction for most people. I've commented for years on low carb forums that my body experiences heavy adrenal blowout on super low carb diets. They keep saying I haven't adapted — they should try being me when I'm on the diet (probably why I also seem to feel like shit on caffeine).
Potatoes are super high in B6, skins or no skins. Probably why the Kitavans radiate health. As a side note, my body seems to tolerate potatoes best when they have been cooked for long periods in a slow cooker. I believe many people have problems with the anti-nutrients in potatoes (even if they have less of these than grains). Slow-cooking seems to lessen the creaky knee symptoms I seem to get on quick cooked potatoes.
Lastly, I feel you would get even better results on a HED if you were to follow a Eat stop Eat style fasting 1-2 times a week. Under no conditions would I suggest this to something who isn't already healthy. Fasting would give the body a break from processing food (and the metabolism wouldn't take a hit as long as you eat well on the days you don't fast). I'd love to see if your glucose readings improve on this style of eating.
Thought I would post my results after two weeks. I started out with four days of just carbs (fruit) and felt great. then added starches for a couple of days with some fat then reduced carbs a bit and included some protein. My weight was holding steady until this morning when I am up 1.5lbs. No problems with digestion at all (am eating mainly potatoes, parsnips and sweet potatoes but have also had rice and homemade bread. Bowels have slowed down a bit this week though. My skin has been a little worse and my period came 4 days early. At the same time I gave up caffeine, artificial sweetners and sugar (which for me just means chocolate and honey). I had flu like symptoms for 5 days but they passed. I feel fine EXCEPT I have terrible insomnia. I haven't slept normally for 14 nights and I am getting headaches from lack of sleep. I really hope I get over this soon as I was sleeping exceptionally well for me the past few months on the Primal Blueprint. Psychologically I am feeling really good though about not having to restrict carbs and eating more normally. As I have been restricting calories more or less for 30 years (since my anorexic days in my teens) to maintain a normal weight (around 130lbs for 5'6 though weigh more at the moment) my HED is not excessive I am full on 1800-2000 cals and no doubt scared to eat more too. Though this shd be maintenance cals for me in the past I have always steadily gained weight on 1800+ cals so we shall see what happens. All in all OK start just want to be able to sleep, seems so strange giving up caffeine and adding back in starch to have such bad sleep.
Forgot to add my temperatures orally week one, which was post ovulation, averaged 36.7?C and this week post menstruation have varied from 36.1 to 36.7?C whereas normally the hover around 36.2?C during the first half of the cycle.
I know Stephen is not stupid, neither is Konstantin Monastyrsky. The guy friggin' co-created Microsoft Windows. Yet, Monastyrsky recommends, for patients with severe health problems, to eat only butter and white rice – McCarrison's deadliest diet. So smart doesn't equal right.
McCarrison's subjects did have trouble assimilating the diet that produced fantastic health in his controls. However, he didn't talk about this at length, and his deficient animals were in extremely poor condition after an extremely deficient diet.
I don't think refined starch is nearly as harmful as refined sugar. I eat pizza a couple of times per month, a burger bun here and there, and so on with no phobia about it whatsoever. Amongst refined starches, white rice is without question a better tolerated food than white flour.
But common sense and observation suggest to me that white rice is not an optimal food. It is, like you say, potentially a suitable food for someone with severely-damaged digestion that cannot tolerate fiber. Potatoes and other tubers are, for the most part, superior carbohydrate sources to grains.
But I'd rather fix my digestion, or at least see if it is possible, before giving up on fibrous foods like brown rice. Brown rice is a safe bet. White rice is not, particularly when you start adding a lot of meat, butter, calories, and refined sugar to a white rice diet – which isn't working out so well for the Japanese, Chinese, or any other traditional white rice eater.
Every great nutritional observer thought white rice was sub-par, be it Cleave, McCarrison, Price, Burkitt, Trowell, or what have you. It's open for debate though, no doubt.
Sorry about the lack of sleep thing. Consider having some fruit or something right before bed. This may help. It is very common to have sleep issues on a no-sugar diet, although I'm not sure why this is. You might want to eat more lightly in the evening too, eating the bulk of your calories before 1 or 2 pm.
It does sound like you're having some improvements though, so I wouldn't give up on it yet. I would expect you to gain weight on any normal or above-normal caloric diet after 30 years of starvation. That's part of the recovery process. You're just going to have to find a way to be comfortable with that. The more you eat, the faster your weight will plateau, the faster the metabolism will come up, and the faster the pieces will start to come together.
Keep us closely updated in future comment threads. Pay close attention to that digestion. That's gotta move or you'll have to make some adjustments.
As for the skin, my skin also breaks out when starting HED. Then it gets a little better, and a little better, and then it completely clears up. I best describe the whole experience as stressing the system at first, but improving as the system improves. Like getting in shape.
Aaron. Great comments. My postprandial glucose readings have done nothing but steadily improve eating very aggressively. Haven't been keeping as close of an eye on my fasting readings, but I'll be back to checking those out this week.
Yes my overall impression is still positive. I haven't had any real indigestion, bloating or gas from anything or any combination I have eaten. And I was thinking that some things will get worse before getting better, just because of dietary changes. I feel better than the previous weeks of intermittent fasting :) I just need to find a good sleep rythm again. Hoping my temperatures will start to move up more too.
Fruit seems fine so i can try some before bed to see if that helps.
The temperatures can take a little more time, but be patient. They usually improve. The fruit should be fine. I too have been enjoying a little fruit before bed recently. Avoiding fruit is only a temporary thing I advise, mostly for the puruposes of overcoming sweet addictions. But with you, being underweight, I can't see it being a problem, and as I have learned elsewhere, some people do better with some natural sugars vs. exclusively starches.
While eating a low fructose diet you probably never top off your liver glycogen stores. Eating fruit at night would probably curb glycogenesis (slightly stressful process) because the little bit of fructose you eat from the fruit would stock your liver. It's possible this might curb an individuals stress response and ease sleep. I think this was the idea in an odd diet book called the hibernation diet.
I am not underweight, at 132 lbs and 5'6 I am right in the middle of a normal weight range. Should i worry about what sort of fruit or just go for what I enjoy? Those first 4 days on all fruit helped me overcome some os my fruitphobia. I can't believe how phobic low carb makes one become, it is sad.
Whatever you enjoy. Mix it up. See which ones, if any, effect your sleep positively.
132 at 5'6" is still pretty low. A well-muscled female physique with proper body fat stores is more likely to be slightly higher. I'm not saying you need more body fat. You may have plenty. Just referring to weight in general. Knowing your anorexic history, you could probably stand to gain muscle, organ, and bone mass. Just a guess though.
Glad you're not phobic anymore. Phobias are far more unhealthy than any macronutrient. That's for sure.
After so many years of mistreating my body i know answers won't come quickly. Body shape is always tricky for women :) I of course prefer myself around 5lbs lighter than I am. I am heavily muscled, having worked out hard for 4 years in a gym, to the point that i regret squatting so much (100kg for reps) as I really put on a lot of mass on my legs (DESPITE undereating, yeh) and this is where I retain all my fat, have a very lean upper body) I have actually stopped deadlifting and squatting, for more bodyweight exercises at the moment :) I think my bodyfat is around 20+% so fine. Obviously keeping my weight down for so many years i have some huge psychological hurdles to overcome in putting on weight but want to really give HED/180? a decent go. I seem to have a very sturdy bone structure BUT have never thought about my organs :)
I think I have more or less read all the back articles and most of the comments, after three weeks of reading :) wow it is a real journey, with subtle changes along the way.
I am now two months on 180(after 9months VLC), the first two to three week my sleep was awful. I found that using 50mg 5-HTP before bed helped, I used it for about 2.5 weeks then stopped. You don't need to use it for long. Can pick it up at any health food store. Also before bedtime; I eat a quite large snack, er meal! And find that some fruit/fructose with that snack helps sleep.
Also I recommend you go read all the new and past posts/comments at diet-fucked. It will help you with your journey as well. DF and Matt's blogs are without a doubt the best advice out there, you just need to find what combo works for you.
So an update for me, after two months of mega eating Scwharzbein/180/DF style, I eat every 3-4hours, always mixed carb/protein/sat fat. I have gained 5 whole pounds(185 to 190, I'm 6'1), I was expecting that to be 30lbs by now. I have dropped all working out, I used to deadlift and squat every week. All I do now is walk for about 45mins/day about 3 times a week. Best thing; I more defined without even lifting weights. I am getting about 8hrs sleep/night, when the little one allows it. I plan on adding back in minimal weight lifting in Dec.
My temps; Basal has gone from 96.8 to 97.4, my 2pm daily temp has gone from 97.7 to 98.3. I take my temps everyday and have been plotting the graph. Thermo in my mouth right now is 98.7! Wow highest daily ever, right there.
Skin on my face has seen good improvement, its always been mega oily, but less now. Nice to finally see the complexion clearing! My backne is not fairing as well yet, but that is just part of the healing process and I know will take time. Backne went away VLC, and flares abit now, again I think this is healing.
Digestion seems to be getting stronger and I plan to add in brown rice and potatoe skins this week, I have been supplementing with Betaine HCL, and think it helps. I use between 500mg and 1g per meal, depending how the tummy feels. I will be stopping that soon too, I think its been about 1month usage now.
Only foods I avoid right now are gluten, and large amounts of milk. I use only small amounts of the raw milk I pick up. Raw milk cheese goes down easy tho, and I eat lots. I plan to add these back when digestion is flowing real good.
Sinuses seem much clearer and getting more open, used to always be one nostril blocked off, really blocked at night and maybe 50% blockage during the day.
I remember too when I first found 180 and DF, I read for 3 days solid, I thought my eyes were gonna fall out. I have read Schwarzbein books as well, if you can get them and read too. They don't have all the answer, but are very good reads to add to your knowledge. They help explain adrenals, thyroid, hormones and such, not very technical, but good too know.
Undertow thanks so much for the info and especially encouragement on sleep. I will look for 5-HTP though we don't always have what you have, here in France. I have been reading DF this weekend, also very interesting with a slightly different slant to here. Your progress is very encouraging, sounds good. I am enjoying a lot of walking too :)
Matt, nothing is a safe bett once you add sugar to it. Aaron, thanks for the answer, got me thinking. B vitamins deficiency is getting extremely common (as everything else is), especially b12, but also the others I believe. Digestion is the most to blame there, but there's also the sheer lack of those nutrients in the diet. Hell, even for the RDA (lowest of goals) B6 requirements are not easy to meet. Gotcha. Not to say i'll leave my loveable rice (specially for brown, ugg) but I also love plantains (shock full of b6) and potatoes (but cooked to a mush, as you do). Besides, though I used the cassava vs rice rant as my point, I also accept the fact that whatever nutrition data says is crap besides the fact that tubers have been healthy staples and white rice not so much (except for okinawans, but I don't know much about them). STILL, rice is clean and non toxic, a sure way to get calories (and hell, is that a lacking nutrient nowadays). Anyway, it's better to be careful because, even if it doesn't get mentioned here too often, soil depletion is VERY REAL… Mr. kitavan cassava defender had a point: a potato is not a potato anymore.
Oh, and one more thing. Matt, you said Jordan Rubin may have healed with or without products, but I believe you are heavily underestimating the power of good probiotics (don't know if his were good anyway). Teruo Higa, a japenese researcher, is healing people of diabetes just by giving them probiotics. There's also healing of digestive disorders, and helping of cancer, and purification of whole FRIGGIN' rivers in a matter of weeks. Gotta remember that there's many ways to health, and sometimes you have to take more than one to make it work.
What is your opinion on salt? Do you avoid salted butter and adding salt to your food? There are also many cheeses with a high salt amount. Do you avoid these?
Awesome blog BTW!
So I've finally been reading William Wolcott's The Metabolic Typing Diet, as I've always been curious and very skeptical about it. I have to say, it is incredibly compelling, and certainly speaks to most of the comments on this blog in that "what works for one person may have no effect on another, and may make a third person worse."
Matt, I'd be overjoyed to hear what your opinions of metabolic typing are (if you've read the book, that is). For those who have no clue what I'm talking about, it is essentially a method of healing the whole body in a "non-specific" way (as opposed to a symptom- or disease-focused way) by correcting any imbalances in the homeostatic control systems (autonomic, oxidative, endocrine, etc.) through proper macronutrient ratios and avoidance of certain foods/micronutrients depending on your metabolic type.
I guess I'm still not 100% sold on it yet (still reading), and would like some intelligent counter-attacks. It would certainly make for an interesting blog post!
It's true that everyone is "individual." There's no doubt about that. But I greatly shy away from anything that categorizes people into certain diets, such as metabolic typing or ayurveda.
I do that because changing my diet has changed my type – my body type, my food preferences, etc. I've undergone all kinds of changes. Plus, I believe that if you have a weakness, you shouldn't necesarily identify and cater to it. A much greater achievement is to fix the problem, breaking and conquering all the supposed needs of your metabolic type.
Plus, it's doubtful that anyone has all the particulars down to such a degree that such specific recommendations can be made. The human body is still 99% mystery, and such programs are more specific than there really is knowledge out there to comprehend.
There are many paths to recovery, but those following an extremely nutritious diet could heal themselves of every disease without supplementation. The milk diet used by Bernarr McFadden and old schoolers at the Mayo clinic is a fine example. No matter what the metabolic type or physical condition, it enabled the body to regenerate and restore itself given sufficient time.
Thanks again. This is the achievement we're seeking here. This is the achievement that I've made for myself and share so enthusiastically. We don't have to starve ourselves or exercise to the point of agony to be healthy. In fact, by doing the opposite we get progressively healthier and happier. And real foods and massive nutrients in great abundance do not cause massive weight gain. In fact, you can recompose your body to have more muscle and less fat by laying in bed eating 5,000 calories per day over time. Many don't even need hormonal supplementation to raise body temperature to such impressive levels.
I've raised my basal temperature from 96.2 to 97.5 since October 1 – recovering from all that "healthy," supposedly metabolically-boosting exercise I did over the summer, while bringing my digestion and glucose metabolism into a state of absolute perfection.
Odds are that natural sugars would've made my journeys even more productive, as Harper and Chloe assert. Maybe, maybe not. Their experiences are still a mystery – it could be a matter of something as simple as vitamin C in orange juice that caused Harper's failure – or the enzymatic inability to digest starch. We just don't know, but will figure it out for sure.
I have no problems with salt. Use it sensibly of course, but don't fear it.
Good call on the 5-HTP as well. I do think the sleep problems stem from inadequate serotonin in the evening, but there is a great dietary way to achieve this too. Eat a carbohdyrate snack 3 hours after dinner and right before bed – all by itself. DesMaisons whole program is based on eating a baked potato in this critical window, but I'm sure popcorn or fruit or a chapati would work great too.
Pardon, vitamin C could've been the reason for Harper's success, and it's lack the reason for her failure, which does sound so severe as to indicate nutritional deficiency (hair loss, amennorhea).
By the way, I will be posting soon on the metabolic effects of exercise – as going from 97.9 to 96.2 while exercising vigorously and returning it to 97.5 again while dormant has reiterated that none-too-important lesson.
Matt, this reminds me of some research by Jeff Volek I came across a while ago – his idea that "carbs control the fate of fat". This article contains links to a number of others. I know you're not big on reductionist research, but I was curious if you think this might tie in?
Oh my, Matt, but would the milk cure work to someone with a casein-opioid sensivity? I'd truly love that you were right, but, man, the sole nourishment and peace you claim are no simple things to obtain and, for some, maybe not even enough by themselves. Or maybe it would be enough, but failures lacked either peace or enough nutrition, or both. OR, we just can't know, cuz the world is so fucked up… One of these days i'll tell my case, but I doubt even you can help me. It's crappy when you know what needs to be done but you just can't, or the people you depend on won't let you… Ha, better pray for me.
Rice lover (not that much, actually)
But what if casein opioid sensitivity was caused by nutrient imbalances and/or deficiencies – and milk and milk only was enough to allow maximal assimilation with near-ideal nutritional ratios?
Nothing is a sure thing, but the effective answers and treatments are out there somewhere. Only those with the most resilience will discover them on that very windy and dangerous trek.
Article on insulin resistance, protecting cells (well in mice): http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/2009/11/superoxide-causes-insulin-resistance.html
Low-carbohydrate diets like that used in the study you point out help to mitigate the consequences of being insulin resistant. It is a better alternative than a standard or moderately lowfat diet for someone with that condition.
I would expect those results when using test subjects that are middle-aged and have some insulin resistance, which most people do. I think it would be tough to get a cavity, for example, which nearly all of us have had, without having some degree of insulin resistance to cause high blood sugars.
The post you point out is almost in complete disharmony with what I've concluded. As you and I have both discovered, by eating more food, even on the carb side, weight gets increasingly more difficult to add as you bump up above your set point. This, to me, suggests that insulin resistance is lessened by such a thing, not increased. Also, going really low carb is known to intensify insulin resistance, not fix it, as is calorie restriction, which is why fat is so easy to accumulate post-diet.
I think that dude's got it all wrong.
… Cortisol prohibits cellular uptake of glucose. As Ray Peat believes, diabetics who are powerfully insulin resistant have a shortage of glucose in the cells, not a surplus. Most of this can probably be attributed to cortisol, and cortisol, I believe, has a lot to do with the metabolism and nutrient levels. Having a low body temp creates chronic low grade infection, more frequent illness, high blood sugars from insulin resistance and resulting inflammation via glycation, allergies, etc. – all of which trigger ever more cortisol until major systemic problems arise such as metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.
I agree with you. Some people will see that post and be back to t-bones minus the nice baked potato!
My weight gaining seems to have somewhat plateaued at 2 months on this new path. Gaining weight on HED is a healing path though, and I am sure I will gain a few more. I thought my body would pack more on quickly with the years of abuse I'd been doing. People should not be afraid of the weight gain, you might gain for years or a few months, eventually when the body reaches homeostasis, you will be leaning out. "Gaining is healing" or Schwarzbein "You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy"
I'm tracking my progress though and will start updating my blog.
Again though, thanks for opening my eyes and getting me on this path!
"Again though, thanks for opening my eyes and getting me on this path!"
Matt, you always talk about glandulars, that someone who is too screwed may have to resort to them. Well, I am too screwed. I'm a pack of bones, come from a semi frutarian diet, have imsomnia, losing my memory, cold sometimes, with panic attacks and weird feelings of all kind, also feel totally exhausted from every point of view, and any minimal stress makes me feel like I'm going to die and collapase for days, my energy levels are always low but I sometimes feel restless and others totally tired and wasted (without the ability to rest and recover). My digestion is… well, I can't eat wheat or dairy, bloat easily and, are constipated, can't withstand periods without food, been trying to eat like you recommend but any fiber destroys my apettite and makes my symptoms even worse (I believe). My feelings are all mostly gone, can't smile, can't imagine, can't even cry or feel truly angry. Every bit of true emotion I am forced to feel (like something extremely sad happening) steals my energy in a way I can't express in words. It's a nightmare all the time. Don't know my body temps, but I'm sure they are low and all over the place. Sometimes it's like I'm having a panic attack but my body can't produce enough adrenaline so I'm stuck in a place and in a feeling I just can't describe. The most I can say is that it is, any effort or stress, as if I kicked a wall with my foot, and broke it, and then keep kicking, and kicking, and kicking… God, a deficient diet and EXTREME levels of stress brought me here. Sometimes my theet ache, or my head, or I feel like I'm drunk. I don't feel normal for a split second.
Worst, here in Colombia I doubt there's any doctor with the ability to help me. Shit, even psychiatrists with their all-knowing vision get puzzled at me, but only offer relieving of traumas or antidepressants. But i'm not depressed, I'm collapsing. There's no friggin childhood trauma, morning cortisol is slightly high, tsh is well, everything they have accepted to check is well except for a mild leukopenia. Won't get t3 test or saliva cortisol, don't have e'm here. Been eating liver, bone broths, potatoes, massive quantities of food. Was having slight recovery but they gave antibiotics for h. pylori and… I have never felt more pain in my life. I wen't loco also, wanted to die. Doctor just said keep taking them and the said I was cured without even checking. I think I'm stuck. Taking vitamin D and B complex also. I'm like a little time bomb, I think any stress more I have will just kill me. Besides I made the horrible mistake to go to the phychs first. The moron knew how I was eating, that I was losing my weight, every damm doctor knew, but they didn't care. Gastroenetrologists say i'ts ABNORMAL I losed weight, but that it isn't critical I can't gain now. Endocrinologists looks at tsh and don't look further.
I'm young, can't sustain myself or even leave my home, have ignorant and non-english speaking parents. In fact, I'm the only one with accces to valuable info. My dad STILL says (oh my god…) that I need to get out and find something to do and believe in god and everything will dissapear. That I'm like this because of my LAZINESS! They made me go to the university being underwight and sickly weak, doctors diagnosed me as hypoglysemic without a test, made me load on whole grains and milk and I'm opioid sensitive. It took many panic attacks for anyone to believe that indeed milk made me damage, they said that I just got hooked to it because I didn't knew when to stop, and that it was all in my mind. Now it seems they are willing to spend precious money on a hypnotist, or pay tons for a pdychoanalist, just cuz the last psych said that it was the only thing he would imagine helping (and he said MAYBE). Oh, and know they also freak because I eat too much butter (ghee, actually) and that can't be good for me, won't hear any arguments from the loco (at least not my dad). Shit, without it I would still be weighting 108 pounds. I'm a 19 year old man. Have been to emergency just to be sent back home like nothing was wrong. Only bradichardia and slight dehydration. Or tachycardia sometimes. fasting glucose is 71, post-charge glucose after 2 hours is 93. I'm afraid to lose my sanity or my ability to cook or read and analyze. Hell, I'm losing it. I used to be intelligent, can't trust my own conclusions now, it seems. It was a struggle just for my parents to believe I'm indeed SICK. Maybe it's too late. I'm losing my ability to fight and have no one to trust but me in the end. If I lose it, the odds are i'll end in some… you know. Don't hate my parents, BTW (amazing, huh?), it's not their fault to be in their position, and they surely are confused, but I can't (and won't try to) "heal them". Still I can't even manage to past the info to them. I struggled to make some bone broth, and they were pissed off because I was trying to "heal myself eating magic stocks", like I was delusional, or obsessive, or something like that. Shit, I didn't even talk about it, I just did it, wansn't doing any propaganda. I even talk to them about W. Price and show them photos and all and they didn't FUCKING change anything. Dad said, "anyone can write a book". Now, top that. That, my friends, is being S C R E W E D. Phew… I just need some push, a slight help to get my act together. I think I can now have food and some peace… but I'm not even sleeping what I should now… Can't recover like that. So about glandulars… or anything… ANYTHING. If I just manage to recover some, to gain some stability. What glandulars? From what company? Do you need any data? Damm, this may easily be my last chance, so I better get it right this time. I just can handle more. Please.
Damn man, that sounds brutal. Don't give up just yet. Life throws incredible challenges at us, and those who overcome the greatest challenges, and the most dire situations are the ones that achieve the greatest things in life. I've met many people who have dealt with such desperation. After their success, they are some of the most magnetic and powerful people around.
Leave your parents out of the situation if you can. They are frustrated just as you are. They want to see you be well too. They don't know what to do. They are in pain also. Of course they aren't going to take health advice from you. Even I say "stick your fingers in your ears when an emaciated person is talking about health." Fix yourself, and they'll be all ears.
I'm sure your metabolism is incredibly low. I do believe that people can climb out of desperate places with glandular supplementation. In your case, you may need nutritional support too – like enteral (predigested with free form aminos and what not) nutrition. You may need dessicated porcine thyroid. Hopefully you can get some shipped to you, but shipping such things can be difficult. For non-prescription stuff, http://www.nutri-meds.com I feel pretty confident in.
One more thing:
If using milk to heal your body, it must be raw and fresh and it must be consumed with no other food and taken in 6-8 ounce cups, sipped and swirled around in the mouth, at room temperature, at precisely 30 minute intervals. Otherwise don't bother with it (as following those instructions is what it takes to assimilate it properly, which is obviously very vital for you and your history with milk problems due to poor assimilation). I'm studying the milk diet intensely right now, and the confidence that the authors have in it, especially for adding body weight, increasing body temperature, and healing a body in deep distress is not to be ignored. Charles Sanford Porter's book on the subject seems to be more thorough and clear than that written by Bernarr McFadden. Both can be obtained at amazon.com
Hang in there and keep us posted. You're not the first person to have dealt with such dire circumstances. When you rebuild your strength, we'll go to Doug Graham's house and eat his liver together.
With some fucking fava beans and a nice chianti.
where can I find more information
about the milk diet you're talking about? I'm a big milk fan and would love to read some conclusions about this diet.
Surprisingly, the concept behind the milk diet is basically the same premise of HED. More nourishment in than nourishment out. It's all about taking milk a certain way, by itself, and in maximal quantities to achieve maximal assimilation and maximal nourishment. It sounds like it provides many of the same healing experiences as other liquid fasts, but with gain of lean body mass instead of loss of lean body mass. There's no doubt it can improve the metabolism, and bring body systems into balance from what it sounds like.
The best book is Charles Sanford Porter's Milk Diet as a Remedy for Chronic Disease, available on Amazon. Ron Schmid talks about it also in The Untold Story of Milk, but not in great detail.
If you ever try it, tell us all about it. I'm thinking of trying it for a short period next month, and for the full course (4-6 weeks) in late spring of 2010.
Those panicky symptoms you talk abut are really familiar, and the not being able to handle any stress. I'm in the too-fucked camp as well, but got out of that bad adrenal place by taking Cortef (prescription low-dose hydrocortisone). You can get Isocort over the counter which is an adrenal glandular, which works just as well.
The key thing, according to Jeffries, king of adrenal fatigue, is not to take over 20 mgs a day. You don't want to have too much cortisol or to shut down your adrenal glands — the idea is to give them some support while you heal, and eventually wean off.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I plan to astonish my family with the amount of food I eat tomorrow. :)
Think I will buy the book since I still need something to spend the long and cold winter nights here in germany.
Not too long ago I tried some kind of massai diet just eating milk and beef for like 4-5 days but gave it up on a weekend when my friends persuaded me to have some Whoppers at BK ;)
I wasn't feeling that much of a difference at this time. Which was probably due to the short period of time. And besides I was doing it with normal full fat milk – pasteurized and homogenized.
Today I drink milk from my local health store. It's not homogenized and comes from cows that grass fed over the whole year.
This milk diet sounds pretty interesting maybe i'll give it a shot. I think milk contains allmost everything one needs. Good protein and saturated fat, the fat-soluble vitamins and some carbs. The growth hormones in the milk are of great importance too, imo. They are identical to HGH which is linked to many health benefits.
Thing is that at the moment I'm felling awesome on the HED and I don't want to spoil it with an experiment.
Does it necessarily have to be raw milk or could I try it with grass fed milk that is just pasteurized?
Yo Matt, I found raw milk in thailand about 10 days ago and have pretty much been on the milk diet. I can say that my skin could probably be used as a heater at this point. I was really surprised at how much I could drink, at least 4k cal/day. My body must really like the protein I've surely been lacking and I've gotten leaner if anything.
Considering the facts that you've been given antibiotics recently and that your previous dietary regimes were well less than ideal, if I were you I would start by making sure I can digest and absorb whatever food I'm eating. You may have some serious gut damage, which can seriously fuck up your mind (heard of Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Natasha Campbell-McBride?). Do you have access to any hard-core probiotics like BioKult? Get the best you can find and start slowly. You should also look into L-Glutamine supplements, as this helps to strengthen and rebuild the gut wall. If you really do have gut problems, don't waste any time taking glandulars or anything else until you know you can properly digest and assimilate normal food first.
Don't think my major problem is down there. Colonoscopy showed moderate ileitis and slightly short vili. Yes, antibiotics made me go crazy, too much fiber or casein and wheat can also give me horrible, panic like feelings. In, fact, whitout going into too much detail, my gut can indeed give me all sorts of mental symptoms. But the worst is the tiredness, the inability to handle stress, the fluctuating energy and the brain fog. If I want to cry I can't, like I'm depleted, it's painful, and, if I do, I'm left exhausted, as with any stress. Those last things sound more like adrenal fatigue, gotta chart my temps. I'm still "relatively" in peace if I'm not being stressed and didn't ate too much fiber or hard to digest stuff (can handle both in not too big quantities). There's brain fog, but that's pretty unespecific. No depression (as far as I can tell in this mess), no obsessions, no delussions. Some hyperish feelings (altough still with brain fog), tachycardia. But, yeah, my gut is indeed a bit part in this. About what you said, I doubt I can go without starch, I think I can't handle too much fruit and I truly feel I need the potatoes. I'm casein and gluten free, no eggs. I'm taking B complex (mental disease clearly linked to b12 levels), but my energy levels and resistance to stress are still as low as… my ability to do metaphors. I'm taking zinc, bone broths and hcl (actually it is muriatic acid from a plumbing store, damm I'm clever). I'm also taking the strongest probiotics on earth (I think), effective microorganisms, industrial grade, so that's covered. I'm starting again, since I ran out of them (how fucking convenient) when they started me on antibiotics. I'm sure they were helping, feeling better emotionally and even in peace, but I was still fatigued, irritable and with low ability to handle stress. Don't know what would have happened if things continued in that way, most likely I would be a lot better now. Antibiotics and a pair of heavy stresses down the line I feel like my adrenals are quite destroyed. Of course there's also the posibility of a sleep apnea making it all worse, looking into that. In short, I don't think my gut is the sole player (never is) or even the most important this deep in the hole. I'm doing the best I can to keep my gut fine while eating the best and most (every 2 hours, fat protein carb combo).
Sorry if that was too much of an answers, but I just wanted to tell you that my butt, I mean my gutt is covered, but that, at the same time, I can't expect to fully heal my gut and get my digestion going if my metabolism remains stalled. I'm doing the best in what I can control, maybe (if i'm able to continue this way) things will improve. Anyway, when I asked Matt for help, the thing the worried me, and worries me, the worst was my inexistant resistant to stress. That's the thing I need to get into control the most. I'm sure, in my state, I just CAN'T take anymore stress as it could kill me or make me explode, and then kill me. Since I can't control my parents, and I can't count on their constant stability, if that part ins't controlled as quick as posible, im fucked.
*inexistant resistance to stress.
Matt, I am doing less sugar and less refined stuff. I've had several days of "better" eating. It doesn't live up to your ideal I'm sure, but I haven't had Snapple ice tea, very little grape juice, little white bread. I'm having more potatoes and sweet potatoes, sourdough whole wheat bread, making sure I have protein. Lots of cheese, some fruit, more veggies than before. Still have a little cereal with milk before bed -esp if I have bad indigestion. I've been able to go a little longer between meals. Will keep working on good carb/fat/protein/veggie meals a la Schwartzbein.
One problem, I have been sick with a sinus infection and I feel like crap. I am on antibiotics. Should I start taking a probiotic now or wait till I'm done with the medicine? Is real sauerkraut good enough or do you have other recommendations?
Jose, I don't know the answers, but keep plugging away at it. I think you're definitely on the right track — you realize that nutrition and your gut are going to fix the problem, and you seem to be reading a lot of the right stuff. Maybe you could keep very accurate records of what you're eating and how you feel week by week (this should be a long term project). You could put this information on a blog, and I'm sure you'd get a lot of smart people reading it and making suggestions. I don't think there are enough 'in progress' health blogs out there. I'm thinking of starting one myself. (I'm underweight as well).
Matt, I'm really curious about the milk diet, and I've just ordered that book from Amazon. When I drink raw milk my gums bleed (even without brushing), and when I don't, they turn pink and solid. I'm guessing that if I do a true milk fast I'd become able to process lactose, and I'm also interested in it as a way to put on a normal amount of weight. My previous attempts were mostly GOMAD (Gallon of milk a day), but I feel that the food and physical activity wasn't helping at all. The problem in my mind with a milk fast is that it's a huge investment (buying the milk, 4$ a quart, and finding a month off of work, and resisting the temptation to go out with friends, or do anything at all) so I'd really love to see you do one and tell us how it goes. In fact I'm starting to love this blog more and more, not only because it's so realistic and encouraging, but because of the self experiments you record.
By the way, do you think there's a connection between lactose intolerance and fructose intolerance? After going really overboard on Ray Peat's dietary advice (milk and orange juice), I'm slowly coming to the realization that I might be better off sticking to glucose as my sugar. (I think lactose and fructose give me semi-acne as well–not sure how.)
PS Anyone know how the Kitavans cook their Yams? I've been baking them, and my knees get creaky. I figure I should be cooking them longer?
I left a post a couple of weeks ago about my long list of ailments. I am becoming more of a believe in changing my 'type' as far as weaknesses go. I thought for sure I was very sensitive to red meat, and that it was a permenant thing since I always have been, but I've been eating it more often than other meats lately and I've been digesting it perfectly! same with raw milk, and I've had milk allergy forever, too. I think I really got myself into a pickle after being nearly vegan for so many years, which I did out of necessity since I didn't know what to eat that wouldn't make me sick. Its been a couple years now I haven't been pooping regular, I've have symptoms that feel like MANY different diseases. It used to be mostly fibromayalgia-like stuff but now its more depression-anxiety related and sometimes I feel like I have neuro-toxicity that makes me do strange things. sometimes i get sudden weakness in muscles and i can't pick up things, or i can't talk; its weird. I've learned to prefer these symptoms over the whole-body inflammation type pain, i think it means im slightly healthier; but less functional because i had to quit my job this week because i had an 'episode' on the day i was supposed to go to work. i used to use exercise as a mood stabiliser, but i had to do it every day at the same time, then i ran into major problems. I sat on my ass all last month, didnt feel too bad, now im starting to do a little exercise here and there.
I really think i have to do an all-meat or milk diet for a few months. i improved a lot going high-fat, but whenever i introduce a vegetable kingdom item, like nuts, or anything else, i really f*ck up. For example, a small amount of nuts will totally constipate me for 3 days!! soaked or not! that includes seeds. i would very much like to do milk diet, but i don't have a steady source of raw milk. I do however have a cheap source of grassfed and game red meat, plus FREE FAT, so i might give that a shot. i just got the OK from my boyfriend that i can take extreme measures in my dieting. he used to give me a really hard time about it. he says i have to keep a log of everything i do, which is great. he explained that most boyfriends would break up if they saw their girlfriend eating spoons of animal fat at every meal. however he can't deny i've made some pretty tasty meals lately!! i know you talk a lot about the importance of carbs, but i think i need something that's more surefire to get me to a better plateau before i try anything else. Please let me know what you think about taking the extreme measure of a one-item diet. i really think its the only way for me to get healthier. I am fairly healthy right now, the most i've ever been, but I'm not pooping enough at all!! (Any quick fixes??)
Matt, for the opioid sensitive there's the choice of sheep's or goat's milk, which, by they way, are closer to human milk. Haven't ya read devil in the milk? And, yes, I doubt the A1 A2 is the cuplrit, yet it may be critical for someone in a situation like our cliched named colombian friend has. Where's your mind these days… Oh, and you told the guy to get some thyroid, yet he is complaining a lot about adrenal issues. As far as I know, supplementing thyroid with sluggish adrenals may be a recipe for Emma- aspie non altie girl- like uber failure. Kid, I said my predicament was bad, but yours is like being fucked by a triceratops and having Hitler and a bunch of nazis pointing a gun at your balls for the mere posibility that you try to scape. Here's my advice (I did try), get some hydrocortisone from your local pharmacy (doubt they botter much about prescriptions there where you live) and give it a try. Search in google, or in "stop the thyroid madness", and, yes, it's critical you make a temps chart. As long as you don't go over 40 mg, you won't supress your adrenals and it might save your ass. Of course, it's not risk free, but then, what is. Oh, and those effective microorganisms, funny thing, they are the same probiotics I was talking above.
Read Porter's book and your questions will be answered. You'll find that lower fat milk, such as that from Hosteins was generally better tolerated. If you feel good on HED, then wait a while on doing any experiments.
Thanks for dropping the adrenal tip.
Thanks for the update. Milk is good stuff, but even Porter, the milk diet evangelist, wasn't a big fan of chugging a bunch with meals. FYI
The milk diet experiment will come in the spring when my gf gets jaw surgery and she must be on a liquid-only diet. Hopefully I'll get to try before then. It will semi-half assed as I will be working, taking care of her, etc. and not just getting bed rest.
Which reminds me, bed rest is half of the milk diet. See if you can talk your parents into letting you be bed-ridden for a while. Say, mom, dad, Estoy muy enfermo. I need to be in bed until I get better. The adrenal support idea is solid. I wish I had better experience with glandular use. I'll leave many of the specific recommendations up to those in similar circumstances that have used them with success. Adrenal support is also perfectly capable of bringing up temps just as thyroid is.
Sounds like there have been some pretty substantial improvements. Congrats. Just tell your boyfriend you are doing "research." That's an easy excuse for me, as I have a business based on nutrition and health. Sorry I haven't made jillions of dollars yet, or I'd pay you to do weird dietary experiments, then he'd be all about 'em.
As for constipation, it usually clears up as your metabolism comes up, which quickens the rate at which food travels along through the GI tract. In the meantime, do a couple days of low-fat, low-protein, ultra high natural carb eating. Do it just until you have some nice, soft dooks. Then slowly ease back the protein and fat, keeping carb levels pretty high. Gradually raise your "dose" of fat and carbs slowly and see how many carbs you can displace before constipation starts to creep in. That's what I would try. Prolonged constipation is bad news.
I wouldn't relegate yourself to a mono diet just yet, but there is a time and place for the mono diet, it can be healing, and it might just be what you need. That's a last resort though, and since you're having some improvements, why jump ship?
Stick around rice lover. You funny. I majorly need your cajoling sometimes too. Every good blog needs checks and balances. Good tip on the non-casein milks.
You bet constipation clears up on the HED! People don't believe me when I tell them I have 3 – 5 bowel movements per day that are clean and small, but I do, and it didn't start to happen until I had been eating 4000+ kcal per day for about a week. This is without worrying about getting any fiber, I would guess 20 or less grams per day (I eat almost no fruit or veg). So much for the advice that fiber helps with constipation.
About my carb wars. I have been eating mostly fat and a bit of protein (with some days where I totally mess up and eat whatever) for a month and a half now. In the last few weeks I notice that whenever I add in ANY starches whether its potatoes or cornchips, even if its a little bit, i get a really hard Type 2 stool. I had the fortune of visiting my parents last week, where food was unlimited, and i was able to keep to a sausage-cheese-coconut milk diet in excess. I proudly shat twice a day, all type 4 poops (according to the Bristol poop chart)except on the day i had a handful of chips or some potatoes the stools were a little harder.
I finally passed the large quantity of nuts I ate the other day, and it was a normal healthy stool..i was worried what it was going to be.
I've tried to do high-carbing several times over the last month and it aint working. when my system is super clean from pure eating for a few days, and I introduce normal carbs like wheat, potatoes, cornchips, I can handle it for about a day and i might get one normal poop at the start. anything more I will become very very sensitive to the carb foods and i will feel sore all over whenever they are in my system. that's been going on for a while, way before i started dabbling in low-carb.
Another idea i had was to eat one huge everything meal once a day. in theory my body would be all cleaned out before the next meal. It feels like when there's always food in my gut, as with constant eating, i never get a chance to heal. what do you think of that type of eating?
i'd really like to try the all-meat thing for a while because i've tested all other ways of eating , it seems, and its not working. i was trying to be less strict and do the SCD, but i dont feel great when i eat nuts or other 'specific carbs'. fruits really get to me now because of the sugar, etc etc, even squash. greens dont have any calories. i really feel like i'm ready for the last resort measures. is there some sort of checklist you would suggest before i dive in?
Matt, I'm not chugging milk w/ meals, they've been my meals, but I've been drinking a lot at each time. Is that what you mean?
I just got myself some medrol (hydrocotisone for practical means). Haven't finished the temp chart, but they are variable and hover around 36.25 (max 36.8, min. 35.85). Don't have morning basal yet. I have been feeling better, my mood more stable, hovwever, I don't know if it would be wise to start the medrol, specially because of this hyperish (though not really horrible) feeling iv'e been having lately. Started one night and did'nt let me sleep for hours, but now it starts in the morning and practically lasts all day. I guess my energy is still low, can't do anything too vigorous, I also feel tired, brain-foggy and my memory is quite diminished, yet I'm fidgety and somewhat jumpy most of the time. Can this be a symptom of low cortisol? My resistance to stress is still gone.
Another thing that makes me doubt, though much less, is that my morning cortisol some weeks before was slightly above the upper limit, and I wasn't particularly stressed. The symptoms should go first, but you can never really know… Well, I guess I have to take my chances. Any ideas? BTW, recently I introduced iodine (thogh I used it as an antibiotic, big doses, but no longer doing it, vit D, b-complex, and probiotics. Now, I must ask: can this things be raising my metabolism and, in the same way it happens when you take thyroid and your adrenals can't keep up, I'm getting this hyper feeling? It is not that bad for me, and I get the impression that for the people in "stop the thyroid madness" and, well, Emma, it is pretty disgusting, besides, I don't get dizzy or anything when I stand up, though I haven't got my blood pressure checked and I do feel like salting (and heavy greasing) my foods a lot.
Strangely, even though my memory won't let me confirm this now, I have the feeling that this hyperish thing has happened to me before when I was achieving very high calorie intakes. Maybe, maybe it didn't relate, too foggy now. Ideas?
May I add: Don't know how reliable the pupil test is, but once I shine the light to my eye, the iris contracts only for a second, then starts dilating and struggling to contract again.
Why not drink some milk with your HED meals? I always drink like 300-400ml with my meals and have absolutely no problem with it.
Didn't mean to confuse with the 'drinking milk with meals provision' made by Porter. That was more of a shout out to Jose who says milk is intolerable. I say, taken the right way and in isolation, things might be different, and was reassuring him by mentioning that even Porter wasn't a flat out milk does a body good propagandist.
Drink all the milk ya want Jannis. Love it strong.
Scott – It took me more than 2 weeks to get my bowels moving like you describe. Emphasis on small, soft, clean, and frequent. 2-3 per day for me.
I'd do food-combining before I thought about doing a strict mono diet. You might do better alternating between all carb and no carb. It's not ideal, but zero carb for a few months isn't going to help your carbohydrate metabolism. It's much more likely to worsen it, not fix it.
Those supplements could definitely have an impact on your overall metabolism.
Yes, iodine could be causing all those wacky, conflicting symptoms. It ramps up thyroid which affects adrenals — but weirdly, it can also suppress thyroid. It's very very volatile. IMO it's a good idea to stabilize adrenals first, then thyroid, then add iodine but in very small amounts and watch thyroid carefully.
I had two really bad chronic fatigue crashes thanks to messing around with iodine. It feels so good at first, then BAM. Now I'm taking a fair amount but I had to creep up the dosage using tabs of potassium iodide 200 mcg.
I've come at this whole health thing from a different angle from Matt — trying to eat whole foods, yeah, but doing a lot of serum thyroid testing (including frees) and saliva tests for other hormones, and making adjustments in bioidentical meds accordingly.
But I wonder how much better it may be to slam the body with so many nutrients HED style that some of that fussy (and expensive) work may be unnecessary. I'm focused on eating more kelp instead of adding more iodine supps, for example. I'm going to do some more testing in a few months since I hope HED will allow me to start weaning off glandulars. We'll see.
My Thanksgiving report is that I ate like a Roman but gave in to the temptation of pumpkin cheesecake. That night had extreme restless legs, trouble falling asleep, and woke up with a cold. I could hear Matt's spooky voice saying, "What did I tell ya about that sugar??"
Thank you all for your attention. The sitation is indeed desperate, yet… The milk cure… That's some awfully extreme measure. I have to investigate some more about it. Where's the best info I can get about it Matt? Free and quick, please. Then, the little thingy will be finding a way to implement it, to make a pair of special someones comply. Guess I'll have to use what's left of my wit. I could also try to get some thyroid, to complete the holly adrenal-thyroid combo, but something tells me it is not the best idea, too much too handle, too dangerous, besides, if my metabolism keeps itself stuck, isn't there a reason? Hell, I'm really losing my intelligence, if I ever had some…, but that's why trying the glandular way, with it's many pitfalls (specific lack of nutrients, adaptation, correct dosing, rt3, etc.) may be out of my reach. I WON'T have medical support, you can't even get dissecated thyroid here. Indeed I may be scaping from the tryceratops just to get my balls shot off. This is gonna be some fun, hell yeah…
BTW, my name is not Jose, it's even more chiched: Juan
Chi Chi Juan,
The milk diet is really simple. These are the apparent rules:
1) Spend as much time relaxing in bed as possible – don't even read too much as it may be too stimulating. Relax both body and mind.
2) Drink the freshest, raw milk you can obtain. Throughout the day, try to drink 1 cup or slightly less (but never more) every 30 minutes. If you doze off or miss a round, don't try to make up for it. Just get back on schedule. 6-8 ounces is all one can reasonably digest in 30 minute intervals.
3) The milk should be room temperature and sipped slowly. Swish it around in your mouth briefly to mix it with your saliva before swallowing.
4) Continue this for a minimum of 4 weeks – longer if it is working but you do not yet feel 'healed.'
5) Take plenty of warm, but not too hot, baths.
6) Take no other food. Drink water if you like, but most do not drink additional water on the milk diet.
7) Eat very lightly, no more than one meal of solid food per day, and gradually return to normal eating after the diet.
P.S. – You might find milk with most of the fat removed to be better tolerated. Generally, the lower the fat content the better.
That would be the ultimate way to follow the milk diet with precision. If you have to make a few compromises, don't worry about it. Even Bernarr MacFadden stated that pasteurized milk would work to some degree, so long as you had a little citrus fruit with it (but that is debatable in your case, with a known milk sensitivity. Casein in pasteurized cow's milk breaks down into larger, harder curds that are far more difficult to digest. Raw cow's milk breaks down similarly to the casein in human breast milk.
If this works really well, do not try to honor me by getting my initials (M.S.) tattooed on your back. That might be construed the wrong way :) Mara Salvatrucha cabron!!! Especially if you wander into central America.
Don't make me use my spooky voice on you!!!
But hey, I had a sliver of chocolate pecan pie myself. Sometimes politeness is more important than health (once or twice a year).
I just want to say I pwned this Thanksgiving, Dude. I ate two plates of food, dessert and as my guests were leaving I was Henry the VIIIthing a drumstick, yo. My guests were doing the typical Thanksgiving groan and moan but I felt swell all evening and the next day. Temps are way up the last two days, and I don't half wonder if it wasn't the mega-calories on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (I love T-day leftovers!) Could be the extra rest I got over the week-end though.
If Mccarrison found that butter exacerbated the deficiencies found in a mostly refined rice diet, so that elimination of butter would be healthier, does that mean eating a diet in mostly butter and eliminating refined grains sugars would be better or worse? Or I suppose that would depend on what you are supplementing with that butter. How bout what the chinese ppl were eating in this study except butter and not rice?
The point is really that concluding that butter, protein, saturated fat, etc. is harmful when mixed with a deficient diet built around refined carbs is not proof or even evidence that butter, protein, saturated fat, etc. is harmful. Eating a lot of butter, a little butter – doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things. What matters is that you eat a diet that allows you to properly metabolize whatever natural food you ingest without causing harm.
Dear Matt Stone,
I contact you by comment because I didn’t find any other way to do it.
I would like to introduce to you Mperience (www.mperience.com), a web
platform on which you can share in a brand new way movies, tv-series,
music, art, and books. It also allows you to blend videos of artistic
content with your own words, simply creating short stories called Memes
that you can spread to a wide audience by a simple click.
As you can see, we have many themes in common with your blog and we
would like to publish on Mperience some of your articles.
Actually we already inserted your post [The China Study Explained] on our page dedicated
to [The China Study] (http://www.mperience.com/view/The_China_Study)
We’ll appreciate if you’ll put on your blog the Mperience’s reference,
just copying and pasting a html code that I’ll give you in a second
I hope that we could keep in touch and collaborate also in the future.
So, if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further
information, questions or suggestions.
It seems to me it is excellent idea. I agree with you.
Except that liver cancer is the leading cause of death in Mongolia.
These are Mongolia’s world rankings in cancer: (#1 being the county with the most cancer)
#1 liver cancer (highest incidence in the world)
#2 in stomach cancer (2nd highest incidence in the world)
#3 in oesophageal cancer (3rd highest incidence in the world)
And before you say that these cancers are caused by aflatoxin, hepatitis, or some other initiator, keep in mind that Dr Campbell’s research shows the role of animal protein during the promotion of cancer, after prior exposure to carcinogens such as aflatoxin, and that even after the same exposure, cancer is not promoted in subjects with low animal protein consumption.
(and if you do some googling you’ll find the same rankings from numerous other sources)