Cooking, Cooling, and Reheating Starches For Even More Digestive Resistance

One of the more common questions we've had since the very beginning of the Resistant Starch Explosion is: if cooling your cooked starches (e.g., potatoes, rice, beans, pasta) increases the resistant starch (retrograded RS3), will reheating it destroy it?

It was Tim Steele who came up with the info that not only does it not destroy the RS3, successive cooling and reheating actually increases it—though the the first cycle is by far the biggest bang.

Well, so now we have some testing on real people, using pasta: Is reheated pasta less fattening?

The volunteers were randomised to eating either hot, cold or reheated pasta on different days.

On one day they got to eat the pasta, freshly cooked, nice and hot with a plain but delicious sauce of tomatoes and garlic.

On another day they had to eat it cold, with the same sauce, but after it had been chilled overnight.

And on a third day they got to eat the pasta with sauce after it had been chilled and then reheated.

So what did happen?

Well we were fairly confident the cold pasta would be more resistant than the stuff that had been freshly cooked and we were right.

Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had.

But then we found something that we really didn't expect - cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect. Or, to be precise, an even smaller effect on blood glucose.

In fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%.

So there you have it. Short & simple, too.

It makes me wonder if this is why I didn't get fat eating all that pasta at the mom & pop Sicilian place down the street from my flat when I lived in France. I'd walk down 2-3 times per week and if it wasn't a wood fired pizza, it was a bowl of pasta. But I recall one evening asking their son, Salvatore (who's limonadier he gave me when I left is still used to open wine around here, 22 years later), how they do their pasta so quickly, in single batches.

They precook it and put it in the fridge. Then they reheat in salty, boiling water, portion by portion. Go figure.

Update: OK, found the actual program website, as well as the short video segment.

And here's a chart I clipped.

Screen Shot 2014 10 16 at 11 38 58 AM
Dramatic!

Update 2: This appears to work for freezing and toasting bread, too.

The impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.

CONCLUSIONS: All three procedures investigated, freezing and defrosting, toasting from fresh, and toasting following freezing and defrosting, favourably altered the glucose response of the breads. This is the first study known to the authors to show reductions in glycaemic response as a result of changes in storage conditions and the preparation of white bread before consumption. In addition, the study highlights a need to define and maintain storage conditions of white bread if used as a reference food in the determination of the glycaemic index of foods.

Squinting At A Specifically General View of the Gut Microbiome

This was my very first post of more than 100 by now, April of 2013, that began my evolution in thinking about the gut microbiome: Prepare for the “Resistant Starch” Assimilation; Resistance is Futile. Yes, the narrative was initially somewhat hyperbolic, silver-bullet, miracle cure and all. I'll cop to all of it.

I am primarily an integrator, synthesizer, and promoter of things that make evolutionary sense to me and I always kick off with a bang. But I'm also the least intransigent blogger you'll ever meet. I expect being half or more wrong from the outset. Rather than spend endless hours, days, weeks and months checking all my jots and tittles in a self-deluded effort to not be wrong about anything (completely futile, because you're always wrong about something), I go full shotgun and brace for the criticism and constructive critique:

THESIS ---> ANTITHESIS ---> SYNTHESIS ---> NEOTHESIS (WRR)

(^ Wash, Rinse, Repeat—ad infinitum)

This manner of dialectic saves time, teaches more people faster—in fact, we all learn together, collaboratively—is an honest process, and seems to me to be the most natural way to build increasingly complex and closer-to-truth hierarchies of quality* knowledge (* See my AHS12 presentation: Paleo Epistemology and Sociology).

It is for this reason that in terms of most of my posts, I do not delve into "excruciating" detail. For instance, I'm typically not talking about a specific 1-in-1,000 species of a gut bacteria, unless it's a well identified pathogen run amok like C. diff, after a round of antibiotics (the antibiotics being the general issue—specific, to highlight general). Similarly, I don't dwell on deeply dysfunctional guts but rather, on the vast majority of guts, some better than others, but always with the idea of improving whatever you begin with—never achieving perfection.

Shotguns usually hit the bullseye, too.

I've done a number of podcast interviews over this last year or so, most about Resistant Starch. The truth is, I didn't have any idea at the outset whether RS would pan out at all, be the Next Big Thing, or more likely, be a very important specific piece of the general puzzle. I now believe it's the latter.

So, with that, here's my latest podcast interview. It's with Will Barron of Upgraded Ape, one of of those biohacking folks. Upgrade your gut biome for improved brain performance. Talking resistant starches and fish with Richard Nikoley. While RS is in the title, I can assure you that I took a far more general track with it.

  1. I take pains to emphasize that whatever devils are in details, it's the enormous complexity of the gut microbiome that's the important thing.
  2. That focussing on very specific things in terms of specific pathogens, overgrowths, etc., is the province of clinicians with clinical experience that builds with practice and is applied to more and more specific and identifiable problems.
  3. That while experimenting and supplementing with RS and dirt-based probiotics is fine, not generally harmful (suggestions that it is, are bullshit), it is nonetheless likely best to get most prebiotics from various foods, and probiotics from being less sanitary, a bit more dirty. But supplementation, while not ideal, is better than nothing.

Alright, take a listen, and if you've heard some of my earlier interviews that focussed primarily on resistant starch, tell me if I haven't upgraded my specific views in general.

Now, let's squint some more. This post was formulated only an hour ago, when I read Jeff Leach's account of taking it up the butt for science, over morning coffee and an American Spirit ciggie: (Re)Becoming Human: what happened the day I replaced 99% of the genes in my body with that of a hunter-gatherer.

When he announced his planned DIY fecal transplant some while back on the Human Food Project's Facebook, I thought he was deeply confounding variables. I suggested that a better first step would be to bed down and swap bodily fluids and microbes with a Hadza woman for some months as a first step (interest of science, y'know?) and only then take some Hadza guy's shit up his butt. 'Butt' it is what it is.

Anyway, take a good read at that post. I was going to do some excerpts and comment on them, but I don't want anyone to miss the forrest through the trees. In short, I'm now a much bigger fan of Leach, and it's this bit of writing that did it for me. Take particular note of the vast differences between a Hadza gut and an American gut.

Keep squinting, Jeff. Good work, anxious to see the ultimate results.

...To wrap it up, it's easy, in hindsight, to say that supplementing RS in forms like potato starch is "bad." It's complete bullshit, and I'll tell you why.

  1. It's not harmful. How can it be harmful to ingest a real food fraction?
  2. People in general Paleo/RealFood have been talking about prebiotics for-fucking-ever. Onions, Garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, bla bla bla.
  3. Nobody really listened and when they did, it was chest beating over a coupla grams. It was only ever predominately about bacon, grilled meat, and added spoonfuls of coconut fat and grassfed butter.
  4. SAD dieters get way more fermentable fibers than "Paleo" peeps (which isn't saying a lot in an H-G scenario not even ridiculously and fantastically focussed on the way outlier Inuit). And H-Gers get way more than SAD.

But for my last point, it goes back to the way above. Nobody has any tolerance for being only half right. This is always a mistake. Always. Prebiotics have been jerked off about forever, but nobody paid real attention.

Until fucking potato starch and suddenly, there are many thousands worldwide doing so. But that's a specific thing. What's the general thing they learned is that when they took some isolated RS2, they observed first hand that:

  1. It had profound effects that cut through the signal/noise ratio on many gut levels.
  2. Results for the vast majority were positive, over time.

Sorry, I have this quirky fault where I think that giving folks valid generalities, they run with it and create their own specifics. I'm no hand holder. Fucking annoying, time wasting, and manufactures and maintains dependence.

So, some will doubtless stay with the potato starch supplementation forever and call it a day. Optimal? Probably not. But, some folks will always just supplement vitamin D rather than get out in the sun. Optimal? No, but only a stupid fucktarded miscreant would suggest that they ought not then supplement with vitamin D.

Potato starch supplementation in isolation has changed the landscape in many ways. That's a simple fact. But you watch. There will be many coming on line to tell you it's not a good idea and that all the foods they used to shun are the way to go—as though they came up with the idea.

Well, biting feeding hands has always been the province of latching-on leeches.

Cold Rice and Bean Salad

I arrived back to San Jose yesterday afternoon, after a week away giving Beatrice time off from attending to two very spoiled and ornery rat terriers (she spoiled them; see how charitable I am IRL?).

Checked email when I got back and a blog reader, Brian, had a link for me: Rice and Bean Resistant Starch Salad; a post at Food Renegade by  Shannon Stonger (wouldn't it be cool if she was 'Shannon Stronger' or, 'Shannon Stoner'?).

I looked around. Bea had a pot of pinto beans in the fridge, and the rice cooker was on the countertop, with a full load from the night before. Hmmm, beans & rice dish? I'm in. After a quick surveillance of what else there was on hand, I set off to the market.

All I needed was two large heirloom tomatoes (I got a big red and a big yellow) a big [h]ass avocado, and a block of cheddar cheese. It calls for Mexican oregano, but I had Greek, which is the closest. Substitute a little lime juice for some of the vinegar and you'll approximate that lemon verbena thingy (I googled it on my iPhone 6, in the store).

See her full recipe here.

My variations:

  1. the rice was Ben's Parboiled. Doubt it makes any difference. It's just starch.
  2. went with 2 tsp of sea salt instead of 1 1/4.
  3. 1/2 tsp cayenne instead of 1/4.
  4. for the vinegar, used juice of a whole lime, 1 TBS coconut vinegar, and 2 TBS ACV.
  5. recipe calls for black beans or whatever your preference. I had pintos, but bought a can of black at the market which when drained, was 1 1/2 cup of the 3 cups called for. So, half pinto, half black.

The recipe doesn't specify, but you want to drain the beans of their liquid. Ought be obvious, but you never know. Some people do beans more like soup, so you want to start off the same.

My only thing I'd do different next time is to go with less onion. Recipe calls for a medium, the two I had were large and I picked the smallest one. Bit more chunky raw onion than I'd have preferred. Beatrice, on the other hand, loved it more than I. Definitely go with doubling the cayenne if you at all like a little kick. Even still, it's a small kick.

IMG 2682
Yea, it's a lot

So, there you have a week's worth of starchy, side-dish substrate for your proteins for lunch and dinner, for two people; and it's as cheap as sewer water.

IMG 2684
Yin Yang. Grace and Evil.

...I really loved the idea of a whole avocado for the dressing substrate (as opposed to mayonnaise, which I hate to make). Word of caution: if you go with the 2 tsp salt as I did, the dressing will be very salty. Remember, it's to dress a lot of stuff. You'll not need to add any more salt.

Potential future variations: Olives? How about fresh cilantro, either as garnish or in the dish itself?

Thinking Out Loud: Resistant Starch in Beans vs. Soaking Beans

Alright, here's the brain teaser.

So, since the beginning of this Resistant Starch Revolution, I was in San Jose all the time and did all the cooking of beans. And like a dutiful respecter of Wise Traditions methods, I always soaked them (mom and grand moms did too, when I was a kid). On the other hand, my Mexican-heritage mother-in-law scoffs. Mexicans apparently dump their beans in a pot, add water and cook them. Side note: they always taste far better than my soaked ones (soaking liquid discarded) and make way better refried beans.

Now that I'm away about half the time, Beatrice cooks her own beans—just like her mom taught her.

So here's the deal. My beans? Little to no fartage. Bea's beans? Substantial fartage, unless you eat them daily, in which case—for me at least—it subsides.

Remind you of anything?

Hypothesis: soaking beans ferments them to where certain bacteria strains pre-consume various fibers (including the RS2) and the by-product is the bubbles you see on top of your soaking liquid that you discard and that don't end up in your colon where said by-products are available to co-feeders and whatever else benefit you might get. Alternatively, or both, soaking activates certain enzymatic processes whereby RS2 is consumed, much as it is in the ripening of a green banana that's full of RS2; but that's what fuels ripening such than when it's yellow, little to no more RS.

Alright, theorize away. Destroy my hypothesis if you can. After all, the only thing I can ever be truly certain about is when I'm absolutely wrong.

What ought I call this? How about: The Pre-Farted Beans Hypothesis? The gasses end up in the air you breathe, not in your colon where they do the most good.

Update: a Twitter follower sent along this: Soaking the common bean in a domestic preparation reduced the contents of raffinose-type oligosaccharides but did not interfere with nutritive value.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to verify the effect of soaking on the factors causing flatulence in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris, L.) cv. IAC-Carioca during domestic preparation. A biological assay using recently weaned (21 days) male Wistar rats provided the Food Conversion Efficiency (FCE) and the Net Protein Ratio (NPR). Five treatments were carried out with isocaloric (350.9 +/- 37.9 kcal/100 g) and isoprotein (12.0 +/- 0.5%) experimental diets, with the following protein sources: beans cooked without soaking (BNS), beans soaked and cooked with the soaking water (BSWW), beans soaked and cooked without the residual soaking water (BSNW), control diet (casein) (CC), casein plus the total soluble solids found in the soaking water (CSS) for comparative purposes, and an aproteic diet (AP) for corrective purposes, all diets offered ad libitum. The contents of raffinose-type oligosaccharides were determined in the different domestic preparations of the beans. Significant reductions were observed in the contents of the oligosaccharides raffinose (25.0%), stachyose (24.8%), and verbascose (41.7%), and in the contents of total sugars (80.6%), reducing sugars (58.2%), nonreducing sugars (90.3%), and starch (26.8%) when soaking took place before cooking and elimination of the soaking water not absorbed by the beans (BSNW) was used. No significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed between the values for FCE and NPR of the control diet (casein) and control diet plus soaking water soluble solids. Neither was any significant difference between the values for the different bean treatments found, though the values for FCE and NPR were lower than those obtained for casein treatments. Thus it was verified that although the domestic preparation of the common bean significantly reduced the contents of raffinose-type oligosaccharides, total reducing and nonreducing sugars and starch, it did not interfere with its nutritive value.

"[D]id not interfere with nutritive value." Well, at least not for the human cell 10% of us. :)

The Incredible Edible Tigernut

Having touched on the Tigernut previously, I thought it time for a complete review to encompass not only the aspects of its evolutionary roots in the human diet and impressive nutrition—both macro and micro—but also practical applications in our everyday lives. On that note, I have some interesting Tigernut food and drink experiences to share with you.

The Roots of the Root

One thing that always seemed a bit mysterious to me in the general human evolutionary narrative is how, nutritionally, our hominin ancestors were able to evolve to such extremes (ref: expensive tissue hypothesis and Kleiber's law). Briefly, as the story goes, millions of years ago, our ape ancestors with their small brains and gigantic guts climbed down from the trees where they spent most of their time eating (since leaves aren't nutritionally dense) and were able to acquire the nutritional density to eventually grow large brains and correspondingly small guts by scavenging stuff left over from predator kills, such as marrow and brain.

But how to get from A to B, without some intermediate step? What if, for example, there was a plant that could deliver this nutritional density, and far from being hit & miss like finding predator leftovers, it was as plentiful as invasive weeds and as easy to harvest as pulling them from soft, moist soil?

Tigernuts (Cyperus esculentus)

Earlier this year, new research was published that stemmed from research on the eating patterns of baboons. In a nutshell, a mystery was solved as to why isotope analysis suggested that "Nutcracker Man" (Paranthropus boisei) consumed a vast amount of grass (C4 plant sources). Why it was mysterious is that here, you have a larger-brained, smaller-gutted hominin eating essentially a diet similar to the leaves in trees; so where was the nutritional density coming from to grow and support this big brain with its important energy requirements? It wasn't the grass, but the tubers in the soil, the roots.

Ancient human ancestor 'Nutcracker Man' lived on tiger nuts

Previous research using stable isotope analyses suggests the diet of these homimins was largely comprised of C4 plants like grasses and sedges. However, a debate has raged over whether such high-fibre foods could ever be of sufficiently high quality for a large-brained, medium-sized hominin.

Dr Macho's study finds that baboons today eat large quantities of C4 tiger nuts, and this food would have contained sufficiently high amounts of minerals and vitamins, and the fatty acids that would have been particularly important for the hominin brain. [...]

Tiger nuts, which are rich in starches, are highly abrasive in an unheated state. Dr Macho suggests that hominins' teeth suffered abrasion and wear and tear due to these starches. The study finds that baboons' teeth have similar marks, giving clues about their pattern of consumption. In order to digest the tiger nuts and allow the enzymes in the saliva to break down the starches, the hominins would need to chew the tiger nuts for a long time. All this chewing put considerable strain on the jaws and teeth, which explains why 'Nutcracker Man' had such a distinctive cranial anatomy.

I suspect that the abrasion observed on teeth is because 1) it was a staple food being consumed in great quantity, and 2) likely not always washed or rinsed and so abrasion was partially from soil (probiotics). Plus, if you soak the unpeeled ones as I do, for 24-48 hours, they take on a soft but snappy water chestnut texture.

But here's the real evolutionary kicker for me, in addition to the nutrition, which we'll cover next.

The Oxford study calculates a hominin could extract sufficient nutrients from a tiger nut-based diet – i.e. around 10,000 kilojoules or 2,000 calories a day, or 80% of their required daily calorie intake – in two and half to three hours. This fits comfortably within the foraging time of five to six hours per day typical for a large-bodied primate. [emphasis added]

Consider that an average male gorilla eats 50 pounds of leafy and stalky plant matter per day. Scale that to your own weight, then figure how much time it would take you. So, the question arrises to me:

Are H. sapiens big brains and small guts an evolutionary product of high density nutrition, or free time?

What happens when you have more discretionary time? Or, perhaps more poignantly: what happens when members of a society have more free time? You could describe lots of things but creativity rather encompasses all, and is not the human story one of creativity? Freed from having to literally spend all waking hours pursuing and eating food, we're unique; the consequences are manifest all around us.

So, in a primitive hominin setting, we're talking about free time that changes social structures: ushers in collaboration in foraging, tool development and use, and enhances various division of labor dynamics including the trapping and hunting of animals—all kinds of those things that contribute to a growth in intelligence and brain size. Don't forget that we're talking time scales in the millions of years.

So, I don't think it's any longer an easy answer of: we scavenged predator kills for marrow and brain, and grew big brains. I think it means that starch is also an inexorable piece of that evolution. It's perhaps not the only answer, but it's decidedly a big piece of the puzzle for anyone looking honestly.

The Root Nutrition

The most glaring aspect of the overall nutrition is its macronutrient partitioning. First, let's look at mammalian breast milk in general, a rule of thumb I always think is smart to keep in mind:

  • 50 - 60% fat
  • 25 - 40% carbohydrate
  • 5 - 20% protein

Tigernuts:

  • 51% fat
  • 42% carbohydrate
  • 7% protein

Human breast milk:

  • 51% fat
  • 39% carbohydrate
  • 6% protein

Perhaps these Tigernuts were misnamed, and ought to have been called Tigermilk?

Moving onto micronutrients, all the detailed charts are in this previous post, but in summary:

  • Of 18 core micronutrients, Tigernuts (a tuber) outweigh potatoes in 16 of them (Vit C the only thing potatoes have more of) and in one, neither have any (B12).
  • Compared with red meat, Tigernuts outweigh beef in 10 of them, are less in 5, and in 2 (Vitamin A, B12) have none. Vitamin D is listed as "trace" in beef, but that's as good as none.

So, Tigernuts are more nutritious—in 56% of nutrients—over red meat (beef liver is a different story—Tigernuts being more nutritious in only 22% of nutrients). I remind you, folks: we're talking about a plant here, a starchy tuber: more nutritious in vitamins and minerals than red meat generally. And, did I mention? It's a starchy tuber. Moreover, it's more reliable and far easier to harvest than just about anything you can hunt or fish.

The Root of Eating and Drinking These Tubers

I've recently come across a new purveyor of Tigernuts. They graciously sponsored this post and sent me their products.

Screen Shot 2014 09 23 at 11 24 49 AM
 

Currently, the available product lineup is Organic Raw Tigernuts, Organic Tigernut FlourOrganic Cold-pressed Tigernut Oil, and Horchata de chuffa, made from Tigernuts. In terms of the Horchata, it's currently only available in NYC area Whole Foods. I got all the flavors, via a shipped cold pack; and in response to my admonishment after tasting, they are working on making that option available to anyone, via their own website.

Let me tell you: both Beatrice and I loved the Unsweetened the best, more than Original that's lightly sweetened (with non-gmo organic California medjool dates). We also loved the Chai. But my personal favorite was the Coffee. Perhaps the most delicious and lite iced coffee I've ever had.

One issue in terms of a marketable horchata product is that there's sediment. This is resistant starch—behaves exactly the same way as if you'd dumped a tsp of potato starch into it. Once it settles, it settles pretty firmly. The company is weighing where to go with that: "clean" it up for the consumer, or tout the benefits. I've advised them to get rooted now, as it is, then later make a sterile version for the other 90% of pampered America.

In terms of RS content, here's the go-to source for you geeks. Basically, an RS profile similar to maize, perhaps about half of raw potato by weight. However, this is a good thing because as a raw food, more readily digestible starch for energy is better. Or, to put it another way, you'll get a lot more resistant starch from raw tigernuts than you will from anything else that's cooked and cooled I'm aware of.

Or, you could make your own. If you get hooked, they'll get you a 27.5 lbs Bag. You can really knock yourself out.

horchata
Horchata de chufa

I followed a standard recipe (Google it, pick your fav) but with a serious twist. I added no nothing. I just did the Tigernuts and water (no sugar). I had an interesting result.

Previously, I had experimented with soaking them. I don't want peeled ones, but I'm interested in ways where you can soak the whole ones and get various results. So, I did. Up to 48 hours. It was at the end of that last soak where I serendipitously decided to make horchata. Here's the deal: recipes call for 8-12 hour soakings. This was two days. Folks who soak legumes are well familiar with the bubbles that form on the surface of the water after a day or so. Fermentation. Those are bacteria farts.

I had tons of this with these Tigernuts. Bubbles all over.

What did I get, once I discarded the soaking liquid, rinsed, ground, added fresh water and strained? Something resembling kefir. And it got better with age. When I finished the batch, I tasted and noted not too much sweet, but a slight hint of sour. I put that bottle in the fridge for a whole day before touching it and when I popped it, it popped big. Fermentation. It continued to pop each time I opened it. Carbon dioxide, no doubt.

...I once made a batch of kefir that was so powerful, it self carbonated and had a slight fiz to it. Now I'm wondering if I can naturally carbonate Tigernuts by perhaps using the soaking liquid, perhaps adding just a bit of sugar. Suggestions welcome.

That said, the next batch I do will be with the standard 12-hr soak, just to see if anyone can make it in the standard way, get the standard result.

...Now, folks who've followed me for a long time know my adversity to nut flours. I used them early on in my Paleo journey, but then realized that they are very high in omega-6 fats, a polyunsaturated fat that oxidizes easily—not to mention the balance that ought exist between pro-infalamatory n-6, and anti-inflammatory n-3. Nuts, except for macadamia (ref: Fat Bread), are extraordinarily high in n-6, while being low in n-3. Nuts ought be eaten whole, in my view, not concentrated into flours.

Except for Tigetnut flour! It's actually one of the first documented flours. Egyptians used it to make bread.

@OurTrueRoots has just released their Organic Tigernut Flour to market. I got a preview. Given all the "Paleo" brownies in the universe, I decided to make a somewhat closer version. I've never baked a brownie or cookie in my 53 years, so, I just Googled a standard, highly rated brownie recipe and did 3 things different:

  • Half the sugar called for
  • Substitute all wheat flour for Tigernut flour
  • Chopped up half a bar of 80% cacao dark chocolate and added to the batter
brownie
Zero difference

They were still too sweet for me, making my next excursion a sugar-free one. Tigernuts are naturally quite sweet, so this should really focus the minds of some of you "Paleo" bakers out there. That said, they were...brownies. I seriously doubt there would be a statistical significance in a blind-taste-test against standard, wheat flour brownies.

I will make a prediction: within a year, nobody will be using nut flours for baked "Paleo Treats." They'll be using this—a tuber flour and I'll be a little less outraged. Incidentally, the flour is raw. The tigernuts are sun dried and ground up. That's it.

There's one additional product that might interest you, Organic Cold-pressed Tigernut Oil.

photo
Tigernut Oil

To my mind, this is going to be their biggest hit, after the flour. The fat profile is roughly similar to olive oil, without the Italian Mafia fraud. Everyone ought resolve to never purchase another ounce of Italian "olive" oil. I don't. I buy Greek (and it's superior on every level anyway).

But this is quite a different thing, not better or worse. I only cook with animal fats, coconut and palm oils, owing to the paucity of PUFA. Olive and now, Tigernut oil, get used raw.

And on that score, this one really makes the grade. I have tested it with a little vinegar on lettuce, and a water cracker dipped in it. High marks on both. It's difficult to say much more, simply because oil is such an ubiquitous commodity. I'd simply say that you'll want to be having this in your kitchen tool bag, along with the Greek EVOO.

You can see more cooking applications here, with pictures: breaded liver, trout, and an emulsification with the oil.

This post had been brought to you by Our True Roots. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I got into writing it.

Probiotic Fibers And Flatulence; My N=1

Way back in the beginning of experimenting with resistant starch via supplemental potato starch the most common side effect by far was rather impressive amounts of gas, or "fartage," for most people.

Some couldn't tolerate it while others, like myself couldn't help but laugh uproariously. Unless you've experienced it yourself, it's tough to describe the volume and frequency it can induce—and often for a solid day or more. A couple of times, for myself, it was also accompanied by more than mild intestinal discomfort.

But I persisted and over time, it just went away, even with large doses of potato starch. Later, I even added things to my "cocktail" like inulin and fructo-oligo-saccharidesglucomannanbanana flourplantain flour, and took them with my go-to, dirt-based probiotics (Prescript-AssistAOR Probiotic-3, and Primal Defense Ultra). And everything was pretty cool, as relayed here.

A while back, I relayed my experience of being in moving upheaval and eating crappy for about a month. That was in conjunction with taking absolutely no supplements at all, including any of the aforementioned.

Yesterday I got curious. If I supplement the probiotic fibers again, will I be back to fartage square one?

Went and got some raw milk, fresh squeezed orange juice, and some organic apple cider vinegar from a local whole-food co-op here in Placerville, CA. First, I took a shot of the vinegar and chased it with the OJ.

Then I made a cocktail with raw milk as the base and a handy stick blender:

  • 4 TBS Potato Starch
  • 2 TBS Banana Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Inulin/FOS Powder
  • 3 1g-caps Glucomannan

I took it with 1 capsule each of the three probiotics and waited for the fog to roll in. But it didn't. In fact, it never did at all. No foghorn required. I felt fine, clear, and it seemed that I was breathing easier from my nose. The only "negative" I experienced is that I guess I must have been unwittingly retaining water, because from about 9PM, and for the next 12 hours, I must have pissed out a gallon of water. So, here I am, having detailed, lucid dreams (as has been widely reported by others with PS supplementation) about having to take a piss, trying to find a place, having to stand in line, etc. Luckily I managed to wake up (about 10 times) before my turn came up. Incidentally, this was accompanied by absolutely no thirst at all.

So, bottom line is that the bugs that co-feed on the various gases produced by the ones eating all those fibers seem to have taken up long-term residency in my gut. Very interesting indeed, though somewhat disappointing on the entertainment front.

Anyone have similar or different experiences?

Update: Supplemental reading: Does Dirt Make You Happy?

Logic 101: Why The Resistant Starch And Gut Biome Revolution Means Doom For VLC/Keto

It has gone way beyond an embrace of resistant starch. Back in the day—meaning about a year ago—my Google alerts delivered webstuff on RS a coupla times per week, at best. Now, it's a half dozen per day as the world comes to realize the enormity of the gut's profound influence on health in the very general. RS is but one element, but a very important one: easy to see results fast and cheap.

...Lafably, you still have people writing only about the Krebs Cycle, the hormones leptin and insulin, "signaling," and "PATHWAYS!!!!" et al. You see, I take criticism because I never put you to sleep with that sort of deconstruction minutiae. Let those who blog that stuff have their geek followers. Don't care. Never did.

PATHWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More fish, troll I.

I've come to receive more and more comments from VLC/Keto proponents trying to be conciliatory about it—cool enough, progress, etc. I don't mean to pick on rs711; it's merely the latest, and the one that inspired this post specifically.

150g of CHO is too much for more and more people.

This is absurd.

But, I'll explain nicely. A comment along the same lines—trying to reconcile the irreconcilable—put this forth:

I don’t know why the keto/low carb community will not just choose to integrate RS. As you point out some already have. Why not the rest? How long will it be until RS supplements start appearing in stores?

My reply:

Because, they understand quite well that embracing it is like welcoming Barbarians at the gate of the Castle.

Bank on it.

...I’ll elaborate just a bit to give you a clue as to why this is and why RS is a zero-win for VLC/Keto.

Should it turn out that supplementation via things like PS, green plantain/banana flour, etc., help folks, then it takes no genius to conclude that they were fucktarded from day one. Or, ignorant-fucktarded, to be more magnanimous.

Nobody had access to isolated RS in human evolution. Ergo, starch consumption in various forms is a more appropriate dietary regime.

Resistant starch is a Trojan Horse for the VLC/Keto crowd. They know that very well, and it's why you see such vigorous defense of VLC/Keto all over—which, I dismiss entirely; because, I know what it is, and why it is. I'm pretty good at knowing in what to invest my energies. Duh. Try to protect an investment in a dietary regime from the 1970s that turns out to be wrong because unknowns weren't integrated, or try to understand more and more about the gut biome; where, incidentally, 100% of the revelations point to the benefits of real-food carbohydrate in the diet?

Place your bets. LC/Keto are Buggy Whips, but go ahead and try to keep the industry alive.

So, that's really the most fundamentally logical reason why VLC/Keto is now doomed: the rapidly emerging science of the gut biome that heretofore, has been 100% unaccounted for.

Moreover, this logically means that Paleo advocates ought divorce from LCers and lend no more support. It is simply the Law of Identity—i.e., of non-contradiction—that LC is about restricting a macronutrient (carbohydrate) no matter what, and Paleo is about understanding the appropriate human diet via ever developing knowledge about not only what was eaten but now, gut microbiology that dovetails quite nicely with the developing evolutionary and anthropological knowledge in other areas.

The puzzle is coming together, which is the essence of the Paleo paradigm qua foundational template.

Want a belly laf? Human mother's milk is about 30% sugar.

We should have known, eh?

Alright, the second part of the logical equation is more practical, lo, pernicious. You see, the VLC/Keto advocates have had a trick up their sleeves for decades to fool you. It goes like this:

  1. Do an Atkin's style Induction Diet for 2 or more weeks
  2. Measure ketones; pee purple
  3. Test your blood glucose regularly, especially after meals
  4. Freak out when you next eat some carbs and see your BG readings

A self-fulfilling, baked-in-the-cake scam of confirmation bias.

Here's the thing.

When you go ketogenic—either by LCHF (low protein too) or fasting—you develop physiological insulin resistance. Because your brain requires upwards of 130 grams daily of glucose, then if you're not ingesting it because LC-Guru, your body—as an evolutionary survival adaptation in the face of perceived starvation—makes it from protein (even your heart muscle if it has to; welcome to the optimal chronic dietary regime). But, it also guards glucose like Fidel Castro holds onto 1950s communism. To do that, it gives you a form of metabolic syndrome. It's analogous to the physiological "Type 2 Diabetes" of a bear in late fall, about to hibernate for 5 months.

What's the result? It's that, in the way VLC/Keto is promoted now, you have been admonished to monitor your blood glucose regularly. Of course, everyone knows everyone cheats and when you do let Satan into your bed with that piece of your child's birthday cake, WHAM! You're minimally pre-diabetes, if not type 2.

You have self diagnosed. You can no more eat any carbs than a couch potato who fears a heart rate of over 100 bpm can climb a flight of stairs. I suppose that couch potato would be analogous to a low-carb butter ball.

Guess what? This isn't just speculation on my part. I have scienzez to show you.

  1. Way back in 1928, 1936, and 1972, three very similar experiments were conducted on Inuit living their traditional diets. The results were identical even though the testing methods improved. They gave them a huge bolus dose of glucose and unlike you LCers who can't "climb a flight of stairs," they displayed normal physiologic glucose tolerance, spiking to about 140 mg/dL, perfectly normal. Cleard within a couple of hours. Then, they put them on an 80 hour fast in order to induce unequivocal ketosis. Gave them the same glucose. They spiked to 400 and 3 hours later, some were still over 300. My post on it: To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit.
  2. Ironically, Vilhjalmur Stefansson—the guy who popularized the arctic and Inuit for countless VLC/Keto advocates—tested out exactly the same after his Belleview experiment. Crap ability to handle glucose after the year, restored to normal after 3 weeks on a nomal diet: More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance.

At what point are people of good sense going to recognize that the new knowledge of the gut biome and its requirement for much fermentable fiber is a complete game changer (VLC/Keto is just a small aspect, though the very most wrong of everybody on this point)? At what point, as well, are people of good sense going to recognize that VLC/Keto has been a convenient, baked-in-the-cake scam (unintentionally, but the convenience exists) all along by creating physiological insulin resistance that by means of admonishments to measure blood glucose regularly, is then used anecdotally to convince people that carbohydrates are bad?

But you know what? All you VLC/Keto folks are welcome to continue. I love beating you up, and I don't need to recite PATHWAYS!!!!! from textbooks to do it.

Dear Mark: Thank You! (Resistant Starch Doesn’t Actually Cause Colon Cancer)

Easily the subject of most emails, tweets, FB messages and comments directed at me over the last week or so has been about this recent study: Gut microbial metabolism drives transformation of msh2-deficient colon epithelial cells.

I glanced at it and my immediate sense was: "unbridled reductionism." I don't see much utility in reducing things to isolation, disregarding other factors. In this case, it's important to consider all the benefits and downsides to resistant starch and then weigh them to get an overall view. In other words, the only way this study has relevance in my view is for people whose #1 goal in life is to prevent colon cancer at all cost or discomfort.

Anyway, given my recent moving activities I was unable to spend any time on it. Them commenter Gemma said this of the study and I kinda just nodded and put it out of my mind:

As usual, the circumstances and the concentration matter. It is rather complex. My take.

Read the study cited in the study you linked:

The Warburg Effect Dictates the Mechanism of Butyrate-Mediated Histone Acetylation and Cell Proliferation

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1097276512007770

We are speaking tumour cells, not healthy cells.

Butyrate concentration differs in proximal / distant colon, and it's significantly lower deep in the crypts, where the neoplasmatic cells are formed. TOO LITTLE butyrate does not inhibit proliferation of a tumour cell, it is rather used up as fuel. Increase butyrate, and the proliferation is inhibited. Especially increase butyrate content at the distal part of the colon, where most of the colorectal cancer starts. (No, it won’t happen by eating more butter).

Haven’t you already heard it here?

In other words, if there is already a tumour cell at the bottom of the crypt and there is too little butyrate reaching it, there is no inhibition.

“Butyrate is an attractive candidate for chemotherapy or chemoprevention because it selectively inhibits tumor growth and has minimal adverse effects in clinical trials (Pouillart, 1998). However, the efficacy of butyrate as a chemotherapeutic agent has been limited by its rapid uptake and metabolism by normal cells (resulting in a half-life of 6 min and peak blood levels below 0.05 mM [Miller et al., 1987]) before reaching tumors (Pouillart, 1998). More stable butyrate derivatives such as tributyrin have also not been successful on a consistent basis (Pouillart, 1998). A fiber-rich diet might be more successful for chemoprevention because it delivers mM levels of butyrate (via the microbiota) to the correct place (the colon) before the onset or at an early stage of tumorigenesis. Evidence for this idea comes from recent human studies demonstrating lower levels of butyrate-producing bacteria among the gut microbiota of colorectal cancer patients compared to healthy participants (Balamurugan et al., 2008; Wang et al., 2012), and studies showing an inverse correlation between fecal butyrate levels and tumor size in colorectal cancer (Boutron-Ruault et al., 2005; Monleón et al., 2009).”

And now today, Mark Sisson delves deep into the matter: Dear Mark: Does Resistant Starch Cause Colon Cancer?

From my reading of the research, resistant starch (and the resultant butyrate) has an overall beneficial, preventive effect on colon cancer risk. That relationship may change or become more complicated in advanced colon cancer, and the story may be entirely different for people carrying the MSH2 mutation from today’s highlighted study, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m still incorporating RS into my diet.

If you’re worried, ask your doctor about getting an MSH2 status test. And review your family history of cancer. Was it colon? Was it a DNA repair mismatch-related case? Even if you do have the MSH2 mutation and a family history of Lynch Syndrome, don’t fear fermentable fibers, resistant starches, and butyrate. Your colonic cells run on butyrate. It’s their primary energy source. And all the other myriad benefits of prebiotics remain relevant. Besides, this is one study. It’s not proof or confirmation of anything. Not yet.

Alright, water's safe. Everyone can get back in the pool, now.

Note: I'm currently drafting a ginormous post revisiting an old friend: The Incredible, Edible Tigernut. For publication later this month.

Revisiting the Changing Paleo Landscape in Real Food Starches, Resistant Starch, and “Nutritional” Ketosis

A few days back I somewhat reluctantly called out Nora Gedgaudas for what, in my judgement, is a resistance to various revelations that have come to pass over the last few years and been widely adopted in the general Paleoish community: Juxtaposition: Dallas & Melissa Hartwig vs. Nora Gedgaudas.

Since I'm very busy with a complex move (I'll be splitting time between three places) I thought I'd just toss up some of my favorite smart comments on that post, comments that deserve to be on the front page for a while. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. There's an editing touch here & there, but nothing material to the message.

Duck

Tuck, you might do well to stop and think for a moment and look at the nutritional profile of wild game that wild carnivores actually eat: Bison, water buffalo, kudu, springbok, giraffes, impala, deer, ducks, fowl, etc., etc. They're all TOO LEAN to support ketosis!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_(food)

Mind you animals don't eat the fatty parts and walk away. They and their families devour the entire lean and fresh animals—a relatively small amount of glycogen and huge quantities of protein. But, not nearly enough fat, period.

~ Marie

...Mentioning the fact that NK is proven useful for certain diseases addresses its therapeutic effect in special cases up to now, without any accounting of long-term physiological impact.

An extreme example of this issue : Arsenic is also very useful therapeutically. That doesn't make it a desirable for broad, life-long use.

Specific therapeutic effects do not change the fact that long term NK does not have any analogue in nature nor any long history in civilization and has a small patient set of data—data which in fact show adverse effects in many cases (epileptic children studies).

So long term NK is by definition "a modern experiment."

There's nothing wrong with that, btw. Nothing.

It's just that nature or evolution cannot be presented as evidence that long term NK is desirable for anyone. It may be, I surely don't know, but the point is no one does. So, caveat emptor—given which, I'm all for n=1, especially if someone monitors well and shares info.

~ Bret

But when looking for science-based (and not opinion or anecdote-based) baseline

Anecdotes aren't the worst thing in the world. A "science-based approach," while necessary and useful in many ways, still has holes.

Two come to mind primarily:

  1. Most of the time we aim for a clinical study, the gold standard of science. But you can't test everything you need to test in order to establish clinical proof of a dietary/lifestyle tenet. Life is simply too complex. Gary Taubes enumerated this frustrating complexity in Good Calories, Bad Calories when musing about the quandary of trying to design an effective and conclusive clinical study. For instance, if we reduce carbohydrates in a diet, do we increase calories in fat and/or protein? Which one? Or both? If both, then how much of each? And regardless of which we choose, what makes the difference in teh final result? The absolute reduction of carbohydrates? The decrease in carbohydrate relative to the other macronutrients? Or something else that we have not identified? With even one such study being prohibitively expensive, you could not test multiple studies in parallel either. The quagmire is endless.
  2. You can opt instead to use observational science to piece together "markers" of health. But this approach is not flawless, either. Selecting which markers to measure reincorporates the element of bias, which science is supposed to avoid (and as we know from Taubesian research et al, rarely does in practice). How do you decide what to measure? What if some indications contradict others? Are you going to conclude "good" or "bad" based on majority rule? If so, how do you know that certain combinations of these markers don't result in different longevity of life and/or vibrancy of health than others? The danger here is a false sense of security, where you have this enterprise that you implicitly believe lacks bias, but in reality is full of it. Anecdotes, on the other hand, can be much more useful than we often give them credit for. Where experimental studies may give us a decent starting point, individual experiences can help fill in the gaps. Take Tom Naughton's experience illustrated by the following comment, whereas he had previously been highly skeptical of "safe" or resistant starches:

I’ve heard from people who say their energy flagged on a very-low-carb diet, but they felt great when they added 100 grams or so of “safe starches” back into their diets as prescribed in Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. I believe them.

Those anecdotes clued him in that there might just be something to this starch thing. Take Richard's recent remarks in a discussion debunking the pursuit of a (fictional) sterile avoidance of bias in human life:

THESIS ---> ANTITHESIS ---> SYNTHESIS

The Synthesis then becomes the new Thesis, and the process repeats ad infinitum; not in circular fashion, but rather, a spiral fashion where each cycle represents more knowledge, better understanding, get's a little closer to the truth. As such, I never have to worry much about someone's bias. Let them be as biased as they like and then synthesize new understanding from competing bias. Someone's comment on a post of mine might be 90% logical fallacy—or just mostly bullshit—but 5%, or 1% decent antithesis from which which a synthesis might emerge and in turn, a new, more complete thesis.

...Or, you can waste endless hours debating who's right and who's wrong; who's biased and who's impartial; who's cognitively dissonant and who's consonant. Or, you could be making progress recognizing that in all likelihood, you're both right, both wrong; both biased; both living in some measure of dissonance and contradiction—in different proportions, contexts and perspectives—and there's a synthesis dying to get out if you could both simply embrace intellectual honesty.

...

But nothing is settled, ever. I prefer it that way.

And not only is the journey (rather than the end goal) preferable—it is an inevitability of life. We'll never know all the answers. Not even in a thousand years (presuming our descendants are still here).

To corral up all my rambling and return to your original point, I think we have good reason to combine anecdotes with "rigorous science." Be especially careful of that latter concept...you have to bore deep holes of scrutiny and skepticism into every study that comes out before you can trust it as an oracle. Chances are, since it was designed by humans, it will contain the same flaws and biases that plague all of us humans. I'm not saying they're worthless. Just don't let them give you a false sense of security.

~ Duck

Well, he spent $300,000 and 10 years biohacking himself and he still can't tolerate a side of french fries. This suggests that he has some extreme gut issues that even money can't easily solve.

Meanwhile countless others are making more progress with about $100 in probiotics and prebiotics. So, at least he acknowledges that starch is working for many and I think that's certainly better than turning a blind eye to it.

However, Dave couldn't help patting himself on the back as he claimed that the collagen in his bulletproof coffee [see correction on that from Duck] ferments to butyrate at the same rate as RS. I'd love to see a citation for that. I don't think that's true.

I distinctly remember seeing a study about Cheetahs fermenting SCFAs from consuming collagen, skin and other grisly bits when digesting whole animals, but I was the one who uncovered that study a few months ago, and Table 3 clearly shows that hardly any butyrate is fermented from collagen:

http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/90/8/2540.full.pdf+html

And as best as I can tell, that's the only study to look into the SCFAs fermented from animal fibers, and collagen does not appear to be a significant source of butyrate whatsoever.

~ Melissa Hartwig

I always have just the tiniest feeling of dread when I see this many pingbacks to our site from your blog. This one wasn't so bad. Thanks, Richard.

Best,
Melissa

[Laf — Ed]

~ Duck

Nora said: "To quote Bernstein, you can have an amino acid deficiency, you can have an essential fatty acid deficiency, but there is no such thing in any medical textbook on Earth as a carbohydrate deficiency. There is no such thing as a glucose deficiency....per se.

Well, I don't know about you, but nobody in their right mind gets nutritional advice from "medical textbooks." And those same medical textbooks also say some unkind words on dietary saturated fat.

Meanwhile...

The Joint Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Consultation on Human Nutrition stated in 1998:

From: Carbohydrates in human nutrition (Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, Rome, Italy, 14-18 April 1997). FAO food and nutrition paper 66. World Health Organization. 1998. ISBN 9251041148.

"One of the major developments in our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates for health in the past twenty years has been the discovery of resistant starch."

Nora, Nora, Nora... The evidence for the role of carbohydrates and Resistant Starch in human health isn't just there. It's overwhelming.

~ Duck

From: Bulletproof Executive : Podcast #136

Nora Gedgaudas: There's too much credence being given to the whole "safe starch" idea, that I don't necessarily consider safe at all. You know, nightshades are certainly not what I think of as safe.

Dave: I don't do nightshades. [...]

Nora Gedgaudas: And these are anything but Paleo foods. These are very, very, very new foods to us...

Hard to believe that someone with "expertise" in "Paleo" foods never heard of Tiger Nuts.

While Nora comes off as the Sarah Palin of Paleo in that clip, their conversation highlights the wussification of Paleo.

What Nora and Dave don't seem to realize is that some of the very plant toxins they fear have also been shown to have health benefits. For instance, nightshade toxins have been shown in studies to exhibit the following properties...

  1. Antiallergic, Antipyretic, and Anti-inflammatory effects
  2. Blood sugar-lowering effects
  3. Antibiotic Activities against Pathogenic Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa, and Fungi
  4. Destruction of Human Cancer Cells

Source: Potato Glycoalkaloids and Metabolites: Roles in the Plant and in the Diet 

For those who are curious, the paper documents all the known harmful effects and beneficial effects of nightshade toxins, and concludes by saying...

"Food and biomedical scientists, including nutritionists, pharmacologists, and microbiologists, are challenged to further define the beneficial effects of the glycoalkaloids against cancer, the immune system, cholesterol, and inflammation, as well as against pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa."

Not so black and white, eh? How about so-called toxic saponins?

Nora and Dave are afraid of them too. But, would it surprise you that virtually all indigenous cultures make an effort to consume toxic saponins and tannins? They are nearly always found in bark and bush teas that are consumed by nearly every culture, including the Inuit. Take the Masai for instance. Turns out if you actually take the time to research their eating habits, you find that they eat toxic Acacia nilotica bark extract, with virtually every meat-heavy meal. The bark is rich in saponins and tannins. The saponins are believed to lower cholesterol and heart disease incidence (National Geographic, Oct 1995).

What about the Inuit? Labrador Tea was a major component of their diet. And guess what? It's really freakin' toxic. From: Wikipedia: Labrador Tea

[Labrador tea] has been a favorite beverage among Athabaskan and Inuit people for many years...Labrador tea has narcotic properties. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of the plant may cause delirium or poisoning. Toxic terpenes of the essential oils cause symptoms of intoxication, such as slow pulse, lowering of blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and death. It is apparently safe as a weak herbal tea, but should not be made too strong.

Oh, and Labrador tea has saponins and tannins too. Definitely not "bulletproof" tea. Are Nora and Dave are oblivious to this, or just willfully ignorant?

At any rate, hormesis from "toxic" plants appears to be a new frontier for health research. Tim shared this very cool article on nutritional toxicology that was published just a few days ago.

Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You

Warding off the diseases of aging is certainly a worthwhile pursuit. But evidence has mounted to suggest that antioxidant vitamin supplements, long assumed to improve health, are ineffectual. Fruits and vegetables are indeed healthful but not necessarily because they shield you from oxidative stress. In fact, they may improve health for quite the opposite reason: They stress you.

That stress comes courtesy of trace amounts of naturally occurring pesticides and anti-grazing compounds. You already know these substances as the hot flavors in spices, the mouth-puckering tannins in wines, or the stink of Brussels sprouts. They are the antibacterials, antifungals, and grazing deterrents of the plant world. In the right amount, these slightly noxious substances, which help plants survive, may leave you stronger.

Parallel studies, meanwhile, have undercut decades-old assumptions about the dangers of free radicals. Rather than killing us, these volatile molecules, in the right amount, may improve our health. Our quest to neutralize them with antioxidant supplements may be doing more harm than good.

If one truly makes an effort to research what indigenous cultures ate—and it almost certainly appears that Dave and Nora do not make that kind of effort—one will find that consistent consumption of plant toxins were a major component of their diets.

Given what we are learning about the microbiota, it appears that a healthy gut biome may be required to tolerate these toxins—as these toxins can often be metabolized by our gut bugs. I don't doubt that Nora and Dave have their gut issues and perhaps can't tolerate any plant toxins. I understand that toxins can be hard on the weak, modern gut. But, to profess to the world that all plant toxins are bad just isn't supported by the scientific literature. Nor is it supported by the dietary habits of indigenous cultures. Not by a long shot.

The dose makes the poison. Don't eat tons of plant toxins. But, avoid them at your own peril.

~~~

Alright, that should wrap it up for today. It is true that now, my role has shifted from blog writer to blog writer and publisher to a greater and greater extent. I think that makes a far better experience for you readers.

Juxtaposition: Dallas & Melissa Hartwig vs. Nora Gedgaudas

Way back when, I took a first-impression dislike to Dallas, Melissa and the Whole 9.

They were annoying. Came on the scene quick, rose just as quickly, and they were fucking strict; and those were the reports I was getting in my comments. But I didn't have much time to look into it. "They'll go away." They didn't.

Then one day I looked, looked some more, and I understood. There is a time and place for strict dealing and that's what they deal in. For a time; the idea being, to remove as many confounding variables as possible so you can really see the difference between strict real food and packaged junk in very high resolution, over 30 days. Now, thousands of folks do a Whole30 once or more per year.

As is often my style, I can easily go from hate to love in a heartbeat. The inverse is a lot harder, though. Concerning the former, I still have fond memories of Dallas heaping grinning shit on me for wearing a suit for my AHS12 presentation. I'm typically walking around in cargo shorts barefoot.

New Whole30® Program Rules

White potatoes are now allowed on the Whole30 program [...]

We are always thinking about the Whole30 program—how to make it better, more effective, easier to follow, and more logical in its framework. The discussion of white potatoes began about a year ago amongst our team and valued advisors, and the debate raged hard and long. White potatoes are a whole, real, nutrient-dense food! It doesn’t make logical sense to leave them out while other carb-dense foods like taro, yuca, or sweet potato are allowed. [...]

Eventually, we arrived at a consensus. Potatoes of all varieties are in, but fries and chips are not. [...]

And you now what? Just a light coating of those taters (toss in a wok) with coconut oil, ghee, lard, or red palm oil makes awesome oven fries (450-500 for 10, toss, go another 10). I began blogging about adding potatoes in 2009, while doing Leangains, and found myself leaning out while eating a lot of them. I realized it was not about starch, but processed food.

Let's juxtapose. I hate doing this, because I really adore Nora and her partner on a personal level and they have only ever treated me like a King; but girls: you have to embrace new knowledge and understanding, and the VLC club is running on fumes vis-a-vis Paleo/Primal. Plus, if you get the thousands of comments like I do, you must know that all is not paradise in paradise. I can't count the number of people who've helped themselves by curing their starch deficiency.

Plus, it's just getting to ridiculous proportions with people who ought know better ignoring plain facts and science.

I even have a professor at a well known institution scouring the literature to see if there's a case of obligate carnivores ever having been measured in ketosis—the the Inuit have never, in nearly 100 years of trying (if you bother to read the above links). Nope, not found so far.

But, she has found that even seals aren't in ketosis, and even in a fasted state.

As far as I can see, there have never been any wild animals documented to be in ketosis when not not starving, I've searched literature, libraries... I've asked old colleagues with arcane knowledge. Nada.

I may of course be wrong about this, but dang, if it's been shown in any fed wild animal, it's a rare study....

Heck, some of them avoid ketosis even for prolonged fasting (!) - these seal pups do it by recycling glucose (granted, they probably need to do that due to diving demands, but the result is they can stay out of ketosis during prolonged fasting).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23180193

"High levels of Cori cycle activity and EGP may be important components of metabolic adaptations that maintain glucose production while avoiding ketosis during extended fasting or are related to sustained metabolic alterations associated with extended breath-holds in elephant seals."

Sometimes, I just want to answer any ketosis questions with :

"Ketosis is an adaptation for starvation. Short-term fasting is very good, but long-term 'nutritional ketosis' is a modern experiment. Period."

So here's Nora in, to me, a very curious state of being. I'd describe it in three points:

  1. 2008-11 Cocksure
  2. Palpably frustrated to the point of stammering
  3. Doesn't actually have time to look into it (see #1)

You can judge for yourselves. It's at the 38ish minute point in her podcast with Dave Asprey. They talk resistant starch and safe starches for about 10ish minutes.

I reiterate: up to you to judge and this by no means makes Nora a net disvalue, to me. Not by a long stretch. I know it's rather lame to say that I post this to help, but it's really true. I was on fire 2 days go. I slept on it twice, trying to figure out a way to simply motivate the whole community to get past the dogmas that we ALL bought into.

Please end this by scrolling up and refreshing yourself with how it's generally going, Dallas and Melissa being just the most recent examples. Then, if you are so inclined, get word to Nora whatever way you can and plead with her to make sure she really delves into everything.

Please be constructive in any comments.