Resistant Starch Self Experimentation Prelude: Sisson, Konstantin Monastyrsky, and my Commenters

In advance of tomorrow’s publishing of important, meticulously tracked results using potato starch to control blood glucose in various circumstances including ketosis, I thought I’d pump something out quickly on what’s been going on.

Fist up.

Konstantin Monastyrsky’s guest post at Mark’s Daily Apple: Dietary Fiber Is Bad for Sex – That’s the Only Claim About It That Isn’t a Myth. Suffice to say that other than discounting the CW that we should be seeking out all kinds of fiber roughage for health (Translation: Please Buy My Product), which I agree with, the post is really a mess and I guess it’s left to me to say that Konstantin is weird and has an unhealthy obsession with excrement (not to mention other “analities”). There, I said it.

The comment thread is pretty wild, especially given Mark’s balanced way of doing things. I have a couple comments there. Pretty tame, though. I’m a guest, I know my place.

Today, Mark follows up with his own post: Dear Mark: What’s the Deal with Fiber? Not much to see in comments as of this writing, but here’s what Tatertot Tim submitted as a critique.

Yep, to deny that our gut flora need proper care and feeding puts one in the dark ages.

The only problem I have with your post, Mark, are the terms ‘soluble’ and ‘insoluble’ as descriptors for ‘fermentable’ and ‘non-fermentable’. There is soluble fiber that are non-fermentable, and insoluble fiber that are fermentable. Also, some soluble, fermentable fiber is targeted more by pathogenic bacteria.

If we look at the FODMAPs, some of them are good ‘gut-bug’ food, and some are not.

Better descriptors for fiber recommendations would probably be ‘bifidogenic’, ‘butyrogenic’, or just ‘prebiotic’ fiber. These terms all relate to how beneficial gut microbes react to the food source.

Termed as I described, it would be clearer to see that the most important fibers probably are inulin, pectin, oligosaccharides, gums, mucins, and resistant starch.

Your recommendation of: “stuff like raw onion and garlic, leeks, jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, raw plantains and green bananas” gets us inulin and resistant starch. I’d like to give a shout-out here for properly prepared (fermented) legumes, raw potato and tapioca starch, parboiled / converted rice, and a daily apple. See: Friendly Bacteria Love the Humble Apple.

Mark is a disciplined blogger, unlike me…who blogs on a whim 80-90% of the time. While he never explicitly feeds controversy and strife for the pure exercise in it as I sometimes do, he nonetheless entertains and provides a forum for it: so long as it’s on point and reasonable. I can’t argue with that. In his words.

Last week’s guest post from Konstantin Monastyrsky, author of Fiber Menace, generated a lively, boisterous, and at times combative comment section. I use these descriptors in the best sense possible, mind you; debate is healthy and necessary, even – nay, especially – if it’s impassioned.

Good for Mark. Someone out there needs to tend to the anchor. I’m happy to go adrift now & then, because as a former ship driver, I know I can always call in the tugs if I can’t get the plant to hot iron fast enough.

Next up. A Comment from Michelle.

I have had the same morning fasting issues as Tater and Clem – in that they were high, often at 122. Unlike them, they would stay that way and wouldn’t fall until I ate something – or maybe I couldn’t hold out long enough for them to fall naturally. I’ve been eating 1/2 a green banana or some cold black bean noodles here and there there the past couple of weeks, not trying to get any daily minimum amount of RS and not even eating it daily, just experimenting with adding a little bit. My morning fasting numbers for the past two weeks have consistently been 91 or lower with some mornings in the 80s. What is really remarkable is that I am eating more carbs (mostly sweet potatoes, yams and apples – being apple season). My post-meal numbers have been awesome too. I don’t know if it’s the increased carbs (a la Jamient’s PHD) or the bit of RS that’s doing it. I also seem to be able to go longer between meals. What I’m really interested in is if these numbers continue, what my next A1c result will be – I’m hoping it too will be lower.

I discovered a great Asian market that has what they call ‘cooking bananas’ – these are really, really green bananas – the ones that suck the moisture out of your mouth. Keeping them in the fridge to slow ripening as someone mentioned is working great. I can only manage to eat maybe 1/2 at a time, if that. The market also has green plantains (really green) and I will try making plantain chips.

I discovered a black bean pasta (ingredients: organic black beans, water) that I cooked then cooled. I’ve been eating it as a cold Mexican salad with salsa, avocado, olives, taco-seasoned beef but they’d be tasty as a pasta replacement in anything. I haven’t eaten beans in almost two years since I started paleo and am enjoying this. I may even make some hummus.

Richard – Chris Kresser talks about RS and mentioned your blog posts in his lastest podcast: RHR: What Are the Hidden Costs of Modern Hygiene?

Yes; Chris Kresser. He’s made himself a trusted darling of the “alternative health” side of paleo in my view (those are enthusiast quotes, not scare quotes). Job very well done and I recommend him to any and all without a second thought. I still recall when he first emailed me way back with his series on GERD that I blogged about (search his place). It was a pleasure to meet and chat with him at AHS12, back in the presenters room as he, I, and Denise Minger were putting on final touches for our presentations.

He emailed me recently about my RS series and encouraged me to keep it going.

Tatertot Tim followed up on that comment.

I’d like to see if Judy could repeat the results with just kefir or just potato starch. At any rate, I think with some people, something is happening while they sleep that causes high morning FBG.

I used to have FBG of 130′s while on LC paleo. Switching to Perfect Health Diet levels of carbs brought it down to 110′s, and adding RS to the mix has brought it down to the 85-95 range. Back when I had the high FBG, I’d wake every night at 3am and be wide awake for an hour or so before falling asleep til alarm went off at 6. That never happens now.

I just have lots of RS foods and a scoop of potato or tapioca starch a couple times a week with meals. FBG is always 85-95.

In Judy’s report, I don’t know what’s happening, but agree it will be a false FBG in the morning, still, I’d bet if she is getting her A1C checked regularly it will be lower–and that’s really what matters.

Back when I had high FBG, it would be 135 or so upon waking, then while still fasting, it would drop about 5-10pts an hour until I ate at noon when it would usually be around 100. Now, if I check upon waking, it’s like 88, then hourly checks only show +/- 2-3 pts. –very stable.

So, regardless of what is happening with Judy, I think it shows that RS has an impact on BG.

You may note that I’m very stalwart in this. That’s because I know a lot more than I’ve even blogged about. Me, wife, family, emails I get and many, many comments in the many posts that all signal the same thing. Carbs from RS sources (rice & beans mostly, often eaten cold, which I’ve acquired a taste for) and supplemental RS via potato starch, tapioca starch, plantain flour give me/we/us way better glucose control, both post-prandial and fasting. The numbers don’t lie.

In short, I’m right. I know it unequivocally, and all the LC Gurus are just going to have to suck it up, eventually. I trust they will. And I don’t give a shit about getting credit, and neither does Tatertot Tim. I really want people to try this and use it if it works for them. Fast forward: If you go back to the early posts, it was a lot about measuring out supplemental RS and such. No need. I very intermittently dump a hearing teaspoon in stuff and stir it in now & then. No more measuring. No idea how much I’m getting daily. Some, most days, different times & circumstances. That’s it.

The only complaints are as Paleophil adequately addressed in his comment recently.

Despite the backlash against your RS experiments, I’ve yet to see a single person report that they tried RS, followed your and Tatertot’s tips on it, measured their blood glucose, and experienced no lowering in fasting or post-prandial BG (the small number of negative reports I’ve seen have involved taste, fartage, or sleep, with no mention of BG). Did I miss it somewhere?

Yep, lowering is the norm. Adept folks ought to really note something right off. We’re talking about “evil” starch and we have yet to see a report I’m aware of—in hundreds of emails and comments—where anyone’s BG got worse. I repeat: it’s starch. And, I reiterate: well over a hundred of my readers have been experimenting with this. You would think that at least one person with adverse BG as a result of chowing down on carb sources that contain RS would want to set my world on fire, right?


But that’s a good thing. We’re dealing with largely honest people. Given that, I expect that most will be on board soon enough. Combined with what we’re learning about our gut bacteria, this is an idea whose time has come. This ought to raise at least an eyebrow with staunch defenders of a “healthy low carb lifestyle,” which in every version I have ever seen, eschews all starch and makes no distinctions whatsoever. I’m calling them out right here: you are ignorant. I’ll go a step further. To the extent you ignore your ignorance and don’t correct it in the face of compelling facts, is the extent to which you can henceforth be dismissed as dishonest. How’s that?

So, for any LCers who want to get on the honest side of things, here’s a post with links to all the previous posts, including a couple with just a salt shake of the hundreds of studies over 30 years that have heretofore been ignored by the entire LC community because of, near as I can tell, a single word that erroneously means only one thing to them which is even incorrect on that basis and I think Paul Jaminet would back me up on that.

I just might end up having to make LCers my basic enemy. It seems increasingly religious to me and they seem increasingly unwilling to deal with any new information that does not include eating more fat. And that’s a shame, because I think LC is a great therapeutic tool. It is, however, simply not a “healthy lifestyle” for most humans, and manifestly so.

OTOH, Real Food always is.

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  1. Ash Simmonds on September 9, 2013 at 13:14

    The fibre/fiber thing has given me the shits no end for many years.

    I’m an unapolagetic carnivore, and when someone sees me eating a 2lb steak without bread or veggies ( ) they ask about my poo functions – wtf?

    I’m wondering if with enough delusion and obsession I could become the next Evelyn – FiberSane… :p

    Have collected a bunch of fiber-sane resources and will continue to do so here:

  2. Judi on September 9, 2013 at 13:36

    Hey all, I’m the “Judy” mentioned in the above post. I can give you a brief summation of my stats and why I decided to experiment a little with the RS. I am a thin type 2 – 134 lbs, 5’6″ – well-controlled with an A1C of 5.5. I use a Primal diet to manage my blood sugar, but the first morning glucose has always been higher than I would like. And to make it even more complicated, around mid-October my morning sugar will go up to around 115-117 and over the winter will be higher than it is in the summer. July and August my morning sugar will be 95-100, sometimes a little lower.

    Many diabetics deal with the Dawn Phenomenon, which is an exaggerated release of glucose from the liver around dawn – hence the name. I have experimented with Extend bars in the past and had some success lowering my first morning reading. They are supposed to supply a steady release of energy for stable blood sugar. I would take a couple of bites around 3-4 o’clock to try and avoid that release of glucose. The ingredients are somewhat sketchy and I was reluctant to use them for any length of time. In my case, my morning sugar keeps rising until I eat breakfast, which is also common to many diabetics.

    That is when I came across Peter Attia’s use of Superstarch and it seemed like a healthier alternative. The one thing I didn’t like was the price. So here I am experimenting with potato starch in the same fashion to see if my body will get the signal of “incoming energy” and forestall that morning burst of glucose. I added a little full fat kefir to the mix to slow down the digestion of the PS. I have already tested the potato starch in the middle of the day to see if it spikes my blood sugar. It doesn’t – not even a little! I may try adding more PS into my diet at various times of the day to see if it will lower my morning sugar even more. (slowly – I have to be around people!) Especially as we approach October and the typical rise I know is coming. It would be awesome to avoid that!

  3. tatertot on September 9, 2013 at 16:50

    Hi, Judi! Thanks for clarifying. I imagine you aren’t out to prove anything and don’t care what anybody says when you are happy with your BG in the morning. It seems to me there are still some unexplainable causes of the dawning phenomenon and also symogyi effect, neither seemed to completely explain what I was seeing, and eating a bit of RS in the middle of the night shouldn’t have much effect on either condition, but you have shown it does.

    One of my earliest intentions of highlighting RS in foods and raw starches was so that people might choose to experiment with them after seeing the science for themselves. It just irks me to no end seeing big corporations turning a huge profit when they know all along there is a cheap alternative.

    Good luck!

  4. marie on September 9, 2013 at 16:56

    good for you, your approach is very practical. Can’t tell whether it’s the RS in potato starch or whether it’s the kefir’s lactose and protein (preventing hypoglycemia and a dawn glucogenesis spike to correct it) that’s taking care of your ‘dawn effect’, but that’s easy enough for you to test if you want to, knowing it’s worth it since something is clearly working.
    With your timing, it can be both, because the RS has a known ‘second meal effect’ as well as a long term effect. It works that way for me.
    So for what it’s worth, that also means it shouldn’t matter if you’re taking RS at 4 am or at some other time, which might be more convenient as well as getting you that extra help you want in the winter!

  5. marie on September 9, 2013 at 17:08

    Ugh, typo (I’m on my phone) :”… that also means it mightnot matter if you’re taking RS at 4am…..”
    (the dawn effect itself can depend on several things).

  6. Brad on September 9, 2013 at 17:30

    Richard, your last sentence reads like an opinion, and if you want people to believe it, you should give some evidence. Maybe you already did this in past posts. I haven’t seen them, but I’m a fairly new reader here. I personally am not convinced that a “LC” diet is necessarily unhealthy. But how many grams are we talking about?… 75-100? below 75? Below 30 (ketogenic)?

  7. Judi on September 9, 2013 at 17:42

    Well said, Marie! I have checked my blood sugar at various times during the night and I don’t seem to have lows. One thing about diabetics – we are like snowflakes, everyone is different and what might work for one person may not work for the next. You have to be willing to experiment and find what works. It could be that what I’m doing now will not go the distance and that’s why I may work on getting more RS starch in at other times as well. I am doing other things to heal and nourish the gut – gelatin, fermented foods, and probiotics. Gelatin is amazing – it has greatly reduced my arthritis pain.

    Thanks again to Tatertot for all your hard work and research – this is a gold mine of valuable information.

  8. Richard Nikoley on September 9, 2013 at 17:48

    My last sentence is that real food is always a healthy lifestyle. That’s a-priori (you don’t even need to get up off the couch to know it’s true). If you mean the last sentence of my penultimate paragraph, yea, kind of an opinion and my support for it is not only have people been upping their ‘carbs’ a bit with RS to the tune of 10, 15, 30g per day, but they are also finding that upping carbs via beans, rice, potatoes is actually improving overall BG. That’s what all these posts are about, and the comments, and the few I’ve highlighted in posts of their own.

    Sure, you make a resonable point about how to define LC. I think that a reasonable definition might be 50-100g is LC, under 50 is VLC. There’s no question it’s doable and there’s no question it can be and excellent, even best therapeutic measure for some. But I simply don’t buy it anymore as a “health lifestyle” as some kind of ideal. I just don’t.

  9. Brad on September 9, 2013 at 18:09

    Unless you are an athlete or very active, what are the health benefits of eating more than say 150g/day of carbs?

  10. Richard Nikoley on September 9, 2013 at 18:31

    To whom, Brad? Additionally, what are the benefits of being an athlete?

    The simple fact of the matter is that so far as we know, raw carb gram intake does not correlate with longevity, unless it’s inveserse, as all the longest lived populations get more than 150g per day. I’m beginning to suspect that in conjunction with the proper gut-feeding, prebiotic fibers and RS (I do not consider RS a fiber, anymore than regular starch is a fiber) that a higher carb level, say 200ish, might just be in the most optimal range, given it all comes from real foods and not processed foods.

    In one respect, this is a laugh to me. I’m on the publishers lists and get every single new Paleo book that comes out. Two of them on Saturday.

    Guess what literally half of them are?

    Paleo treats and indulgences. That speaks volumes to me. People close off their minds to 200-300g of carbs from potatoes, rice, properly soaked beans——but lets have an endless supply of “paleo” brownies, cream puffs, cakes, pies, and the list goes on.

    I’m not fooled.

  11. Richard Nikoley on September 9, 2013 at 18:34

    I hasten to add. I am getting emails and comments from people who are actually trying it, and finding that way upping their carbs, along with RS, is lowering their post prandial and fasting BG numbers.

    But, go ahead and don’t see for yourself. You can argue from ignorance (or fear) all you like, as long as you like.

  12. Paleophil on September 9, 2013 at 18:36

    Ash, Richard’s series is about resistant starch, not all “fibre/fiber/dietary fiber,” which includes other things. Both Richard and Tatertot have explained this umpteen times.

    Richard, I don’t think you need to make LCers your enemy. Let’s not forget that Paul Jaminet is a LCer as compared to most Americans and his hypothesized optimal avg carb intake for most people of 25% is only 5% more than Dr. Rosedale’s 20% (yes, the “safe starches” debate at the Ancestral Health Symposium was over a measly difference of 5% in carbs!). One can eat RS-rich foods and “safe starches” and still be LC overall.

    Plus, if one considers the macronutrients of the end products produced by foods (like Barry Groves did, instead of the foods themselves, then your diet is potentially lower carb and higher fat with RS in it, since RS is converted into ketogenic short chain fatty acids.

    Thus, RS is not like what people normally think of as “fiber” at all, nor what people normally think of as starch or carbs. It’s more like (mostly) fat. Who here thinks that ketogenic short chain fats are a “menace”?

    I’m still waiting for the first bad BG measurement from someone testing RS. :) I can still get BG spikes if I overdo carb consumption, but my overall FBG and post-prandial BG numbers are running lower, like other folks are reporting.

    As Judy pointed out, even prominent LC advocate Peter Attia is promoting a RS-containing product called Superstarch. If RS does work, then I see it as a win-win. Starch advocates can say they’re ingesting starch and fat advocates can say they’re running on fat.

    It’s clearly possible to overdue it on the RS, of course, which excess fartage is a helpful signal for. Plus, if the benefits of RS are hormetic, as is sometimes hypothesized for ketosis in general (, then there would be an upper point of consumption or length of time on the hormetic U or J curve at which they start to become excessive and harmful.

  13. Paleophil on September 9, 2013 at 18:43

    BTW, I am very carb sensitive and actually don’t tolerate the much vaunted kefir well (the only dairy foods I so far tolerate quite well are butter and raw sheep cheese), and I actually tolerate RS better than kefir. So for a carb-sensitive VLCer like me, RS is a nice option.

  14. john on September 9, 2013 at 18:45

    Being on the other side of the earth I am quite happy to see the rectal end view of life first.

    The colon/large intestine and its bacterial symbionts have been around for, lets guess, 400+ million years in various species from sea animals to land animals. Just recently, like about 2 million years ago, one of these animal forms , apparently worked out how to use fire, with an effect to chemically tear / alter the sheath around starch granules ; thereby monumentally , making alterable, the balancing point between nutrient types entering the portal vein system via the small intestine versus the large intestine.

    From these types of discussions that Richard is making possible, we are just starting to give the role of the colon a little respect and appreciation for its biochemical production capability to the organism. I thank Tatertot for opening my eyes and making me go back to my old paleontology textbooks.

  15. marie on September 9, 2013 at 19:10

    “Starch advocates can say they’re ingesting starch and fat advocates can say they’re running on fat.”
    +1! :)

    Meanwhile, have you checked to se if you get a BG spike if you take 4 tbsp potato starch while you’re ‘overdoing’ those carbs? (and roughly how many readily available carbs mean you’ve overdone it)

  16. Tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 09:56

    @Raphael – I think that Mark Sisson and Paul Jaminet will both say that eating as they describe will provide one with all the pro- and prebiotics one needs to thrive.

    I think differently. I think their plans are a good start, and adequate for long-term good health, but more indepth looks at the role of prebiotics on proper gut function, and evidence from our ancestors petrified poop, shows that our gut microbes evolved on a diet high in fermentable fiber (prebiotics) and that about 20g per day is needed to optimize the growth of beneficial microbes and keep pathogenic types at bay.

    A Primal Blueprint Big Ass Salad, or a Perfect Health Diet day with one pound of veggies, depending on food choices, could net someone about 5g max in prebiotics.

    Take a look at this paper:

    It shows the average intakes of inulin and oligofructose (the main non-RS prebiotics) for SAD eaters in the mid-90’s. The average intake was about 5g–with 70% of that coming from wheat products!

    The advice of the 80’s and 90’s to ‘eat more fiber’ really did nothing to increase our intake of prebiotic fermentable fiber, but led to the inclusion of all types of filler fibers in bakery treats and snacks–to make them ‘healthy’ snacks.

    So, when you adopt a paleo style diet, whether PHD or Primal Blueprint, you take away grains and replace them with more veggies, but at a deficit of overall prebiotic fibers. Then we demonized legumes, potatoes, rice, and starchy fruits like bananas and plantains which takes away any hope of resistant starch for prebiotics.

    What I am proposing, is that a healthier way of eating can be had by continuing with the Big Ass Salads, but also add in known RS sources: beans, bananas, plantains, potatoes, rice, as desired, and a bit of raw starch if you are slacking in the real food compartment or just want to up the ante a bit.

  17. Richard Nikoley on September 9, 2013 at 20:04


    Love your comment. Something about someone going as wide scope as possible, integrating everything knowable, that just gives me a smile and gets my heart beating.


    I’ll get to yours after the game, or tomorrow..

  18. tatertot on September 9, 2013 at 20:06

    When it comes to eating low carb, I will be forever thankful that I came across this approach as it quickly reversed my well-advanced metabolic syndrome and it led me to paleo. Following CW advice did nothing for me except to dig me deeper into reliance on meds to control just about every health marker there is.

    As soon as I cut out all the carbs I could easily identify (sugar, flour, grain, potatoes, rice, etc..) and only ate minimal carbs found in veggies and a few other foods, I lost a ton of weight and was off all 5 or 6 different meds within 6 months. In the years following this success, I continued to eat VLC/LC Paleo, but had a few new problems–BG crept up, sleep was crappy, fingers/toes got cold easily, I’d be very sore after a hard workout, and my weight would have wild swings if I ate ‘off-plan’.

    These problems led me to Paul J’s PHD and the notion of safe starches and resistant starch. I now eat between 100-200g of carbs per day, but I don’t count them at all–I just make sure to eat a starch with each meal mostly, or not…a potato with lunch, maybe. Beans and rice at dinner often. Acorn squash is nice. Stuff like that. It does seem the sweet spot is between 100-200g/day as this is an amount easy to hit just eating a couple hearty servings of starchy veg and I’ve heard the brain requires 130g or so per day before it needs to start making carbs in the liver.

    Remember Atkins? His deal was you were supposed to go full-keto then add in carbs a bit at a time until you were eating 100-200g/day, but nobody ever gets that far–they stall and get back to induction/keto. I don’t think I’ve ever met an Atkins type who says they eat over 100g of carbs.

    So, I guess what I’m trying to say is low carb is great for escaping CW and SAD and reversing metabolic syndrome and some other nutrition based conditions, but as a long-term plan that is treated like a religion, it just doesn’t cut it. I say if people are doing great on a LC platform, then do it until it isn’t doing great, but the answer probably isn’t lower carbs.

  19. Brad on September 9, 2013 at 20:30

    Richard, what populations are those? Are they ones with predominately manual labor jobs and lower average salaries? I agree many Paleo eaters are kidding themselves, esp with all those treats made with coconut oil, almond flour/butter. But after getting sufficient gut critter food, I don’t see what one would gain by eating a lot more carbs that are relatively low in nutrients. Personally, I have more energy and feel bettter when I’m eating a lot more fat than carbs. But I realize that there are just as many people that experience the opposite.

  20. Brad on September 9, 2013 at 20:43

    If you guys can figure out a plan where I can eat 200g of carbs and still be relatively lean, I’ll jump on it. So far the only time in the past 3 years, since I got off SAD, I’ve ever had any reasonable looking ab’s is when I was eating low carb, IF’ing, and lifting hard. Now I’m not saying ab’s are the end-all be-all or that it should be everyone’s focus/goal. But this is also when I feel my best, have the most energy, etc. I just feel healthier when I’m leaner. And I’m too lazy to weigh food, count calories or grams…so maybe that’s also why high fat and IF works better for me. Hard to eat too much when you only eat once or twice per day. Btw, that’s also why it would be hard for me to ea 200g of carbs in one or two meals.

  21. marie on September 9, 2013 at 20:52

    do you happen to know if there’s a study anywhere looking at the consumption of antibiotics versus rates of diabetes and obesity, preferably across a few countries?
    Correlation doesn’t mean causation of course, but I’m thinking ‘backwards’ from all the info you’ve gathered that shows how important a healthy gut microbiome is to our metabolism, not to mention to the rest of our health. Antibiotics easily and reliably knock our gut microbes out of whack (C.difficile is an example) and I’m pretty sure we’ve been getting more of them in the west in the last 40years or so and the rest of the world is following. Then there’s the way CAFO animals are doused with them too, affecting most food.
    Together with the lack of prebiotics in general, like RS, and lack of fermented foods in the typical processed food SAD, well…..the gut could be the root cause, not the ratio of any macro-nutrients.
    That’s not to say that changing the C-F-P ratio won’t help. It clearly does, by treating downstream effects like insulin resistance, but knowing the root cause would be good because treating it should help permanently and be preventive too?

  22. Brad on September 9, 2013 at 20:57

    Let me put it another way. Let’s say I eat each day, 1 apple, 1 onion, 3 tbs raw starch, 1 cup parboiled rice, 1 cup lentils, and 2 tbs blackstrap (just for the minerals). Now I don’t know how many carbs that is, but lets say it’s around 100. So I just fed my gut critters and refilled my glycogen stores. What would I gain by eating another 100 grams of carbs versus some meat, butter, or other nutrient dense food?

  23. tatertot on September 9, 2013 at 21:30

    Marie – I can’t recall studies like that, but I’d bet that the US leads in antibiotics and health problems. Norm Robillard just a wrote a good piece on that issue this week:

    Brad – I think you are overthinking it a bit. If where you want to be in life is best accomplished by eating less carbs than most people, and you are healthy and not forcing it, then just roll with the flow. It’s when the LC’ers start getting all philosophical and preachy that I have a problem with them.

    I think you are smart to think about gut microbes and eat some raw starch, but nobody is saying you have to eat a certain level of carbs–or else.

    When I was LC’ing it, if I’d have sushi or a couple brownies, my weight would shoot up 5-10 pounds in a couple days. “I can’t handle carbs!” I’d say. I got down to my leanest adult weight last year low carbing to 159. I liked the way I looked but felt bad and there was no way that weight was sustainable. I decided to start in with the starches a la PHD and just see what would happen with my weight. What happened was I went from 165 to 175 and have stayed there now for about 8 months–I can over eat or undereat, but I haven’t counted calories or carbs and my weight just stays at 175 +/- 2 pounds. I don’t have any flab, feel great, eat what I want. I stick to two meals a day generally and don’t snack, the only vestiges of paleo that remain in my diet are avoidance of sugar, flour, and vegetable oil.

    Truthfully, I feel like “I’m there” in regards to having the diet thing figured out for me. If you can say that, then don’t change a thing.

  24. marie on September 9, 2013 at 21:58

    you wouldn’t gain anything given your list, don’t be like that. That’s not the point that was made.

    Most people will get the requisite amounts of prebiotics from veggies and their probiotics from fermented veggies or dairy. In other words, “Given it all comes from real foods and not processed foods” .

    The amount of carbs then adds up. Is it 200gms? May well be. Maybe it’s 150-200gms. That’s sure more than VLC or even what most consider to be LC.
    BTW, for shits and giggles, calculated the carbs in that list you wrote. Also, because I have insomnia tonight :)
    Didn’t even count the ‘cheat’ of 3 tbsp of resistant starch (because it’s not attached to it’s naturally occurring regular starch and it doesn’t digest like a carb).
    (1 med apple : 25 gms, 1 cup cooked white rice : 44 gms, 1 cup cooked lentils : 40gms, 1 med onion : 11gms, 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses : 25gms) Total = 149gms.
    Now if you got the equivalent amount of RS in 3 tbsp from it’s natural plant sources as well, you’d be even higher in carbs, eh?

  25. Los on September 9, 2013 at 21:59

    Is this the better way to eat rice.

    I boil regular white rice while I’m making dinner.
    I let the rice cool and then put it in the refrigerator.
    I eat the cold rice in morning.

  26. tatertot on September 9, 2013 at 22:15

    @Marie- Wow, really? 149g? I would have guessed 250. I’ve tried a few times to tally up the carbs I eat in a day, with just potato and rice it’s pretty straightforward, but then I eat something like those stupid fig/apricot bars I recently learned about, a bowl of homemade ice cream, a hunk of cheese broken off a bigger hunk, a couple carrots from the garden, a handful of nuts….without weighing it out, it’s so impossible to calculate. I use PHD method to eyeball it to try to get a pound of starch, a pound of veggies, and a pound of meat a day–that makes life so much simpler and it gives a built in error factor so you aren’t eating the exact same macros every single day.

    @Los – I think what works really good for potatoes and rice, cook up a big batch and eat some hot right away, put the leftovers in the fridge (or freezer if you made a whole bunch) then eat some of the leftovers cold, some warmed up.

    If you were strictly after resistant starch, I would recommend cooking the rice, freezing it for several days, then thaw it out and eat it cold. For potatoes, roast or bake them, then chill to at least 40 deg F or even freeze them to maximize RS.

    In the big picture, though, if all of your RS is coming from rice and potatoes, even eaten cold, it’s hard to get enough in a day. A pound of potato or rice, eaten cold, is 5-10g max, about half of what you should be shooting for. A pound of cold rice is hard to eat, in my opinion! But, if you eat rice on a regular basis, by all means eat as much as you like cold.

    • Mary on January 19, 2014 at 11:37


      I’m rather new to RS and am slowly making my way through the many posts and comments. Have you ever described what you eat in a typical day? Do you eat much meat and fat in addition to the carbs and vegetables you eat? I’m a 49-year-old woman who has lost 85 lbs on a paleo-ish diet (I.e., by avoiding processed foods, especially flour, sugar, artificial anything, and vegetable oils). I still have about 30 lbs to lose, but I have lost only 5 lbs in the last year. I’m wondering if RS could help me get the rest of the weight off. I’ve eaten moderate carb and lower carb, but my weight won’t budge.

      A couple of questions if you don’t mind:
      Why aren’t canned beans as good a source as beans made from scratch? I spend a little extra for organic, bpa-free, if that matters. Also, if some of the carbs of cooked and cooled rice and potatoes are rendered indigestible, the calories are reduced. Any idea by how much per, say, a half cup serving?

      Without becoming completely self-obsessed, I’m trying my best to eat and exercise for optimum health. Admittedly, I am not hard into the whole bio-hacking thing, though. I’m looking forward to reading the new book. I hope it will contain lots of practical advice on how to incorporate RS into an already clean diet.

    • tatertot on January 19, 2014 at 13:09

      Hi, Mary – Are you and I the only two people in the world not watching football today?

      My diet is easy — Perfect Health Diet + beans and heavy on RS type foods with a bit of supplemental potato starch most days. Lots of fermented foods, nearly every day. I rarely snack. usually 2 meals a day (lunch and dinner).

      I don’t like canned beans because they are not fermented before hand. I think beans are made extremely healthy when soaked for 12-48 hours at room temperature. This causes a large growth of lactobacillus to degrade most of the anti-nutrients and make vitamins and minerals more available. Lots of studies to back this up. Just cooking beans is not enough, IMO.

      I don’t count calories, but generally you can count all RS as 2 calories of fat per gram. For instance, 100 grams of cooked and cooled potatoes has roughly 5g of RS. Subtract 5g from total carbs, and add it back in as 10g of fat. Make sense? But really, the fat isn’t yours to digest, it’s your gut bugs fat to eat, so I wouldn’t count it at all. As far as I’m concerned, counting calories is not worth the trouble.

      Find a diet that you can maintain on, with about 20-40g of RS in it along with ample starch and carbs, say 100-200g/day, then tweak it based on hunger and weight gain/loss. It’s tough. You shouldn’t have to starve yourself, but counting calories usually ensures you will hit a target. Not counting makes you more intuitive to your hunger and usually keeps you at a deficit. Just learning to maintain is half the battle. Lots go into losing weight, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, especially from a man to a woman, lol.

      Sounds like you are committed. Find a good exercise program that challenges you and stick with it. Get a good dose of RS daily, take a good probiotic and eat plenty of fermented food. Don’t kill yourself to lose weight. Get healthy, work out medical issues, and see what happens while eating things that keep you full.

      Good luck!

  27. marie on September 9, 2013 at 23:14

    ya, I hear you. Chocolate ice cream is my occasional downfall – and it doesn’t matter/has no effect because I stick to my ‘natural’ diet (copying mom’s cooking) most of the time and I find I’m very stable in carbs and very weight stable. Not to mention ridiculously healthy. Metabolic gumby, eh? ;)
    As for the calculation, I went with the very specific quantities given, just for the illustration.

  28. tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 13:52

    Brad – This is a new post on MDA today…it exemplifies the the problem with MOAR FAT:

    “Hi All,

    Hoping someone can help me either find my mistake or perhaps give some suggestions.
    I’ve read every blog entry of Jimmy Moore’s N=1, Dr. Eddie’s N=1, and am part way through Volek and Phinney’s TAASOLCL. I really think I have a decent grasp of the subject matter.

    Quick snapshot:
    48 WM, ~210#, normal lean body weight should probably be around #175
    No health issues, although was borderline hypoglycemic as a teen

    So my problem. I’ve been in ketosis since around 8/29, ketostix normally in the 4-8 region (Rapid Response 10). Waiting for free glucose/ketone meter to arrive.
    I seem to have lost only ~4#.

    I’ve changed Goals a couple of times on myfitnesspal Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal |
    and have settled on 1600 kcal goal, broken down to
    carbs- ~20-25 ( was 40 until recently this week)

    Carb 5% 20g
    Protein 25% 100g
    Fat 70% 124g

    No initial problems with cravings, not hungry at all.
    After several days had some headaches, which could have been from caffeine (Coke) withdrawal or postassium depletion. Also very weak, just taking out the trash would almost wind me and cause very slight dizzyness.

    Earlier this week I started adding 3 Tbsp Coconut oil to 1/2-1 cup of 4% cottage cheese, which seems to have helped energy. Also started adding 5x 99mm Potassium along with Mag (Kidney stone preventer), and 1/2 Tsp RealSalt to water at night. Not nearly as weak as before, however even drinking 70+ oz. of water is still showing as very dehydrated on urine pH strips.

    I know I’ve always been under hydrated, probably because of my Coke habit.
    I salt me food much more than I have ever in the past, and drinking far more water.

    Does anyone see anything glaringly obvious in my diet/food regimine that would be causing this stall, or am I just not taking in enough salt or water?

    On the plus side, a BS meter I’ve got shows my BS was initially staying in ~ 89 (7 day avg, normally lunchtime/dinner), although it was 97 tonight. Last time I checked it regularly (last year), it was normally 110-130, maybe 140-150 shortly after eating.

    So, ketostix say I am in Ketosis
    BS definately is 15-20 points lower

    I love the terrible diet, 12 oz Carnitas 6-7 oz fresh Mexican sour cream, 12-13 oz Pic de Gallo

    Snacks- Tablespoons of Adam’s Crunchy Peanut Butter.

    I am stumped. “

  29. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 03:22


    You’re making a mistake in attributing nutritional density to plain fat (coconut oil, butter, take your pick). It’s energy dense, not nutritionally dense in terms of vitamins and minerals. In a sense, fat is to the LCer what sugar water is the the SAD eater. Comparing someone getting 50% of energy from fat to someone getting 50% from carb sources like potatoes and beans, it’s the latter that’s getting more vitamins and minerals, provided the other half has good amounts of nutritionally dense food like meat, fish, fowl, shellfish, eggs, complete dairy.

  30. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 03:55

    @Tater, I’m totally with you on your viewpoint. My weight stays right around 170-172 lbs when I’m lifting or not (just slightly worse distribution like now when I’m recouping from an injury). I can easily drop down to 165 or so by cutting carbs to very low (<70g) but it takes effort versus very little to be at my normal 170ish, and it's highly likely that my gut critters and hence MY health takes a hit. Perhaps also some less than ideal quantities of minerals as well. I agree the "LC'ers" as a group tend to have an emotionally induced brain-block about all things carby, and I thank you Animals for driving home what I now know to be true, and in retrospect just seems obvious, that with carbs as with damn near everything else…

    they are not all the same.

    This is the main point that needs to be repeated endlessly until the no-carby's finally decide to take off the blinders and embrace reality.

  31. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 04:20

    I think you may be a bit guilty of a similar line of thinking regarding fats – kinda lumping them together as a group and generalizing about them due to their high caloric content. There is a huge difference between the nutrient makeup of various fats – this I’m sure you know. What I interpret from your statement, and I’ve seen this viewpoint from many others, is the thinking that (vitamins & minerals) to a larger extent, and phytonutrients/anti-oxidants to a lesser extent, are the primary, most important, if not only things that constitute “nutrients”, setting aside proteins. I think this thinking is too limited. To exclude the importance of (fatty acids) from the label of “nutrients” is just wrong, since it has been shown in lots of studies how important these are to life – ie, rats starved of certain fats quickly suffer negative health and often death. No need to talk about EFA’s here because everyone here knows what they are. Simply put, I don’t think it’s accurate to say that foods like grass fed butter, pastured lard, and red palm oil, are not nutrient dense. They are not *mineral* dense food, that I can agree with. Also stating the obvious, you can’t ignore the calories in them, but they tend to be somewhat self limiting due to the increased satiety, in my experience, but yeah you can still over-eat them.

  32. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 04:34

    And about the fats, again stating what is obvious to many readers here… there is also the synergistic effect that fats have in creating other important things inside the body. This is a kinda side effect, apart from the fats’ direct nutrient content. Chris Masterjohn has written a lot about this on the WAPF site. From just a quick search…

  33. Raphael S on September 10, 2013 at 05:55

    I enjoy how you present your ideas about RS, getting to the heart of the matter without any regard for conventional mucking about…I think it was Mr. Tit-wank K. West whom expressed this as “It gets the people going!”

    Perusing the USDA’s Nutritional Database and recalling Matt Lalonde’s talk on nutrient density I’m left with the picture of animal foods having a higher nutritional density per gram compared to vegetable foods (on average). Am I wrong in thinking your reply to Brad essentially negates this?

    You seem to have observed/discovered/clarified a strong plasma blood glucose regulation technique by purposely including RS intake in ones diet (seemingly contradicting the ‘all & any carbs = BAD dogma).

    So I guess I have a naive question: will the fall in blood glucose you observe with RS intake also be accompanied by the myriad of other improvements that tend to follow suit (as typically observed in the paleo/primal-sphere of N=1’s) such as : weight loss, acne resolution, improved sleep/energy levels etc.. ?


  34. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 06:05

    It’s important to realize the difference between nutrient density by weight versus by calories as well as which “nutrients” you are including or excluding. That Lalonde talk skews the data, perhaps intentionally, towards animal foods but it still does not support the idea that fatty animal foods are nutrient light.

  35. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 06:20

    And if you use only the USDA DB to define “nutrients” you will not be getting the whole picture. I don’t think it takes into consideration things like RS and the differing efficacy, bioavailability/absorption of different forms of a certain nutrients. For example different types of the “same” vitamin like Vitamin-E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) and their differing effects in vivo. It also often just looks at “nutrients” in isolation and does not address the synergistic effect that nutrients have on each other. It’s a good place to start however.

  36. Raphael S on September 10, 2013 at 07:35

    Your point is well taken (density in terms of weight rather than per kcal). I don’t think he skewed the data (as that’d imply intentional data manipulation and/or omission fit a preconceived notion) as he was very transparent with his methods and limitations concerning the data itself.
    [Concerning the USDA DB] Yes, nutrient content of foods is not the whole story about what our body should do or does with those nutrients..BUT we are not knowledgeable enough at present to accurately quantify the various effects we are starting to observe and explain, such as nutrient absorption and efficiency of use in the presence of differing fat/carb/protein ratios) – I’d say looking at nutrient content of foods when trying to optimise ones diet is a solid START.

  37. Tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 09:01

    @Raphael – “So I guess I have a naive question: will the fall in blood glucose you observe with RS intake also be accompanied by the myriad of other improvements that tend to follow suit (as typically observed in the paleo/primal-sphere of N=1′s) such as : weight loss, acne resolution, improved sleep/energy levels etc.. ?”

    I look at getting adequate RS and other prebiotics as a way to even the field. Every day new studies come out on the importance of gut flora and it’s implications to health and mental well-being, but there are relatively few people actually doing anything about it. I saw a commercial on TV last night for a probiotic supplement, the actress in the ad says, ‘did you know 80% of your immune system is controlled by organisms living in your intestines?’

    The focus on probiotics is great, but I really think it needs to shift towards prebiotics. I would never make the claim that increased RS leads to weight loss or anything for that matter–but I do think it fine tunes your intestines and gut flora–just one more piece of the puzzle for health.

  38. Tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 09:32

    Brad – Another component to LC is the individual’s health status. I applaud anyone who can overcome serious medical conditions using LC, and it does work wonders. My experience was as a mid-40’s male, eating the SAD his whole life, getting unhealthier by the day and trying to get better with drugs and CW advice from overweight doctors and nurses.

    Long-term LC may be needed by some folks who just can’t seem to find any other way to keep their weight stable and remain healthy–itsthewooo springs to mind. The impact of gut flora on long-term ketogenic and LC dieters remains a mystery.

  39. Raphael S on September 10, 2013 at 09:32

    Doesn’t a diet ‘a la’ Primal Blueprint (‘loads’ of veggies, some starches & fruit) already contain a pretty complete (aka sufficient) mix of prebiotics (and probiotics for that matter)? I can see someone needing to ‘shift [focus] towards prebiotics’ only if they were following a SAD diet or poorly implementing a paleo/primal/ancestral one)…
    That fiber is effective at reducing the GI of some foods when consumed simultaneously (all else being equal) is widely accepted in conventional wisdom and in the paleo/primal/ancestral spheres (seems to me at least) – are we now saying that that we’ve potentially elucidated a mechanism based on changes in gut flora (and presumably some specific species or families thereof) capable of explaining those previous observations? Or are we describing a completely different observation I’m just too dumb to glean? :)

  40. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 09:39


    I think you are missing my point. Real food carb sources (potatoes, tubers, legumes, starchy veggies, some fruits & berries) have more and varied nutrition (vitamins, minerals, phyto nutrients) than refined or isolated fat (butter, lard, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, etc). It’s interesting to me that in the LC and to some extent Paleo world, refining out sugars from food, or juicing is no-no, but refine and spoon down or drizzle all the added fat you like.

    I’m advocating primarily getting your starch, sugar and fat from Real Food sources. Nothing wrong with a little of the added stuff to cook in, dress a salad, etc. But people go hog wild and ignore the fact that storing dietary fat is like 24% more metabolically efficient than is converting glucose to fat and storing that. Similarly, nothing wrong with a tsp of sugar in your coffee, or, for that matter, modest amounts of juice. Remember, if you’re old enough, the 4 oz juice glasses when you were a kid. Nothing in the world wrong with a 4 oz serving of OJ with your breakfast.

    All I’m saying is that eating a variety of meat, fish, fowl, shellfish, whole dairy, vegetables, starchy vegetables and fruit, and getting your fat PRIMARILY from the food and getting your starch PRIMARILY from the food and getting your sugars PRIMARILY from the food is probably the optimal way to go nutritionally. Depending in individual tastes and preferences, one is probably going to find themselves in the following ranges:

    Protein: 15-25%
    Fat: 25-40%
    Carb: 25-40%

  41. Raphael S on September 10, 2013 at 09:55

    Mr. Example eats a diet of predominantly meats (predominantly fatty), fish, a little raw dairy, fruit a few x a week, starches every now and then and of course, veggies x2 or x3 a day (grain and legume free though).

    Does he seem to be getting ‘enough’ RS starch?
    Or is his diet pretty good, but could be improved by ‘promoting’ starches (listed by Richard Nikoley) to the level of his veggie consumption? (essentially making space for more starch by reducing some of the veggies)

  42. Tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 10:01

    I’m going to repost that on Mark’s Daily Apple’s latest fiber blog with a few changes!

  43. Resistant Starches - Page 18 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 18 on September 10, 2013 at 10:09

    […] came from Resistant Starch Self Experimentation Prelude: Sisson, Konstantin Monastyrsky, and my Commenters | F… A commenter said: “I think that Mark Sisson and Paul Jaminet will both say that eating as […]

  44. Marc on September 10, 2013 at 10:21


    “the only vestiges of paleo that remain in my diet are avoidance of sugar, flour, and vegetable oil.”

    You should perhaps make the above comment you made part of your signature/name line.
    This is the central message to to me about all of this (caveat being that you are not all metabolically fucked up, then more drastic approaches are needed)

    That is it for me also.
    Simple! the way life is supposed to be.


  45. Marc on September 10, 2013 at 10:26

    One more thing…

    I believe the villification of bananas is part to blame on mr. Art Devaney.

    Most that have been around for a while (I started in 05) hung on his every word back than as he was one of the few resources at the time. He made it clear how he felt about nanas.


  46. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 10:26

    @Richard, I get what you’re saying and I agree for the most part. Whole foods are the way to go. Whole, preferably unpasturized milk over butter and cheese, olives over olive oil, etc. Some of these whole foods are not always available though, unfortunately, while the more concentrated forms are – eg., red palm oil versus palm fruit, coconut oil versus coconuts. And while I would agree in the general sense that the “more and varied nutrition” the better, this is like saying that all “nutrients” are equally good or equally necessary which is not the case in either carby plant sources or fatty animal sources and this relative importance of “nutrients” as well as their density in foods is what that Matt LaLonde “nutrient density” presentation is all about. Sorry, don’t have the link handy right now.

    I do not believe that potatoes, rice, and many if not most other starchy foods, and to a lesser extent lentils and beans, are high in vitamins, minerals, and phyto nutrients on a per weight or per calorie basis. But I do acknowledge their benefits via small amounts of nutrients they have and their benefit to gut flora. Hence I do include some of them in my diet, I just don’t eat a lot of them.

    If you believe a “more and varied” approach applies to carb eating you probably would apply the same logic go fat eating, no? Meaning, one should strive to eat a variety of different types of fat – beef fat, milk fat, pork fat, fish fat, palm fat, olive fat, etc. This is extremely difficult to do with only (whole) foods. Eg., nobody is going to eat palm fruit straight off the tree even if it was available (though maybe they should!) or press their own red palm oil. So the best we can do is seek out other sources as minimally processed/filtered as possible.

  47. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 10:33

    I’ve often had the thought that there is a correlation between the ease and speed that a food spoils and it’s overall nutritional quality. The longer the shelf life the less nutrients and the worse for you health and vice-versa. Hence things like fresh fish, fresh red meat, raw milk, fruits and vegetables, etc… Why this is I don’t know exactly… the enzymes in the food that is more “alive”? Perhaps besides the enzymes the other bacteria in/on the food that spoils easy that you are also ingesting versus the (sterilized) man made foods that are void of these enzymes and bacteria and hence a long shelf life.

  48. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 10:43


    I saw Matt’s presentation live and chatted with him after. These are post I had done prior to seeing his presentation.

    That later one was a draft for a chapter in V2.0 of my book, substantially revamped and improved with better graphs in the published version.

    My point stands. Isolated fat, no matter from what source is pretty nutritionally poor. Great energy source per gram, though. Same with sugar, so we ought strive to get these things from food so we get the whole nutrition.

    The reason for varied nutrition from food is precisely because we DON’T know. I’m now highly skeptical of any diet that cuts out any sources of real foods—and I don’t consider bird food (grains) to be real food for humans.

  49. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 11:36

    @Richard, if I and other readers are to gain something from your knowledge and opinion that isolated fats, no matter the source, are nutritionally poor, then please, I’d like to hear your analysis/rebuttal of the many claims to the contrary by Masterjohn on the WAPF site. I have an open mind, but I have to be convinced and so far the evidence I have seen puts my belief at this time, firmly on the other side. I’m not trying to be argumentative but I think your readers deserve more than just a stated opinion. Where’s the evidence and science you are basing your opinion on? Maybe this should be a separate thread so not to drag this one off track. I’m picking only butter at the moment, but prob the same logic applies to lard and red palm oil, if not others.

  50. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 11:46

    Btw Richard, since you claim that “we don’t know” what’s most important for health in nutrition, how can you make some broad brush claim about fatty acids, even filtered/isolated ones, are not important nutrients and beneficial even outside their whole food sources? I don’t see how YOU can know, this.

    OK, now I’m being a bit argumentative. But it’s all in the search for THE truth. A complicated matter. Cut me some slack.

  51. Joshua on September 10, 2013 at 11:57

    Has anybody seen any theories as to why FBG goes down when consuming resistant starch? I’m thinking it might have something to do with the SCFAs helping the body be more insulin sensitive, but that is pure speculation on my part. The other option is that the starch consumption triggers additional insulin release, but does not come with a sugar load, but that seems unlikely considering the insulin-desensitized nature of most Type II diabetics.

  52. Tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 12:07

    @Joshua – I think the answer is here: watch the video.

    @Brad – My only issue with fats is when people get brainwashed into believing they need MOAR FAT. I can’t tell you how many forum threads there are about people putting whole sticks of butter in their coffee and downing spoon after spoon of coconut oil. I think this approach to weight loss can work if it puts you in ketosis and calorie deficit, but it does not turn you into a fat burning beast as many believe, it just takes advantage of ketosis and basic metabolism–short-term, meh, whatever…long-term, no way! I see so many people doing high fat and not getting the results they are looking for.

    There is definitely a need for healthy fats in ones diet, it’s hugely important, but shouldn’t take center stage even if it is the highest macro represented. I think a healthy dose of fat is easily had eating real foods.

  53. tatertot on September 10, 2013 at 12:45


    Here’s a really good blog on gut bugs, fermented foods, and how digestion/immunity relies on gut microbes…kind of hard to read, the author needs to take lessons in writing coherently from Richard.

  54. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 12:52

    @Tater, yeah I think the whole coconut oil craze has gotten way out of hand. Sure the MCT does work some kinda magic, but you still have to eat a varied, quality diet. The magic only applies to aiding fat loss not overall health. In the case of coconut oil I would completely agree that it is one filtered/refined fat that firmly belongs in Richard’s category of nutrient (non-dense) fats. But I don’t think the same applies to ALL minimally processed fats – eg. cold or low temp pressed or rendered, and minimally filtered fatty plants and animals.

    A somewhat repeat of my last post… a “healthy dose” of fat is easily had from real/whole foods, yes. The difficult part is getting *both* a healthy dose and a VARIED dose of different types. Does the latter matter a great deal or is it diminishing returns of hair splits? Dunno. But I’m placing my bet based on the same logic that says the other aspects of nutrition should be as varied as possible and practical. And besides, it freakin’ tastes great! Experiment with mixing your fats… a little lard, a little RPO, a little butter, or EVOO. I think you will easily find some combo’s that will make your tastebuds stand up and say, yowza dat goob!

  55. Cathy on September 10, 2013 at 12:52

    I was one of those people who did high fat and just got … fat! It really doesn’t work for me so I am searching for something different. When Richard first started his potato hack and lessened the amount of fat he was using, it seemed to make sense. The problem is the words “low fat” have been corrupted by the dietetics mafia to mean a certain thing, namely high sugar. For me, its learning to use real food in a way that meets my needs and perhaps helps me take off weight and have normal BG.

  56. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 13:05

    @Cathy, I’m curious which types of fat did you eat primarily and in what quantities? At the same time, how low did you go with the carbs? I’ve read that some people react poorly to VLC via thyroid (T3?) levels. I’m not really up on the science of it, but it made sense to me. Hormones play a huge interactive role in diet and I think explains why different people can have very different reactions/effects to the same diet.

  57. Ed on September 10, 2013 at 14:06

    Yes, BG #’s may be better eating rice, potatoes, and beans, but let’s not forget about insulin.

    Insulin will always be needed whenever protein or carbohydrates are eaten to process the nutrients.

    Minimizing insulin aids longevity. Therefore minimizing protein and carbs to a bare minimum amount required for optimal health should be the goal. The “bare minimum” part is what is open to interpretation and great debate.

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  59. yien on September 11, 2013 at 05:15

    Enjoying these rs posts. please keep them coming.

    A couple of comments:

    RS has been marketed specifically for glycemic control for many years.

    However, the slowly digestable starch component is a further missing factor, and you guys have yet to really pick up on this yet.

    You need to think about starch as having rapid digestion components, slow digest components as well as resistant components.

    The better sources of rs, imo, are also the one’s with a higher proportion of slow to rapid (and the focus shouldn’t only be on the rs component).

  60. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 15:26


    OK, first of all I’m very familiar with Masterjohn and have been blogging about his stuff since 2008. Do a search on the blog. I also know him personally and have exchanged many back & forth with him. I think I’m safe in saying he advocates real whole foods and would certainly prefer them over lots of isolated, processed fats no matter the lipid profile.

    Second, this, just posted.

  61. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 15:38

    I don’t buy any of those claims, Ed. Sorry. Rice eating Asians completely falsify that idea.

    I don’t think it matters much, and certainly not to a point of worrying about it. Unless diabetic, let insulin do its thing. That’s what it’s there for. There’s no need to go to extreme ends (lots or little to none) with fat, carbs or protein. Real whole foods in reasonable proportions and you’re more than likely to do just fine.

  62. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 15:55

    Yeah I don’t buy that either Ed., not only due to the Asians but plenty of other people that eat high carb – like that recent report of the 123 year oldest living (claimed) man. I think their low overall calorie intake and amount of physical activity is also playing a role in longevity but that’s a tangential subject.

    Richard, I’ll give it a read and some thought, thanks.

  63. Cathy on September 10, 2013 at 16:21

    @Brad, I ate mostly butter, cream, sour cream, and cheese. The cream was added to coffee but the other fats were pretty much ad libitum. I used coconut oil in cooking, too. My carbs were probably too low as I was mainly meat/fish and veggies. I’ve never been a big fruit person except for water melon which I can eat all day.

    I have been concerned about thyroid for myself but especially for my husband. He is always chilly and I am the opposite. I had a blood panel run at work so I’ll see the results tomorrow. I read in a few places that too low of carbs would trigger thyroid troubles. But you know, after eating a meal of steak/fish and vegs, I would still be feeling like something was missing — most likely rice or potatoes!

    I feel bad for the gal on MDA. I would really rather just eat real food instead of taking meds or supplements.

  64. marie on September 10, 2013 at 16:47

    Brad, Ed, Richard,
    you know how none of the reports on cultures eating staple carbs mentions their traditional, usually religious, fasting habits? It was the same problem with reports on the ‘mediterranean’ diet, which was patterned after the traditions of Crete originally and kinda missed the 196 days of structured fasts per year.

    Given the studied benefits of controlled fasting on longevity (similar to caloric restriction – what all the ‘oldest living’ have been naturally doing for decades), on apoptosis, on IGF1 production and on insulin sensitivity, what do you think of the idea that fasting mitigates any cumulative glycation damage, while also preventing insulin desensitization of cells , etc?

    Also, societies that traditionally ate a large proportion of carbs have been eating very little overall – caloric restriction due to poverty mostly, which would have similar effects to fasting?
    Just wondering about this.

    I’ve always done fasting for a series of reasons, from observing tradition (when I was a kid), then later for the energy boost on long work days and recently also for the idea of stimulating apoptosis.

  65. Richard Nikoley on September 10, 2013 at 17:06

    I still have these links open in my browser, thinking about blogging then sometime.

    I’m convinced that a big part of my success over the first years was my 2 30-hr fasts per week and working out near the end of them.

  66. marie on September 10, 2013 at 17:57

    That’s a terrific blog alright.
    Physicists, especially ones who fool around with chemistry and organics, just have that certain je ne sais quoi, non? :D

  67. Brad on September 10, 2013 at 20:04

    Richard, I almost always lift-heavy-things in a fasted state, usually at the end of a 16 hour IF window. That combined with carb cycling, post workout and/or a very carb heavy day once per week, got me in my most lean body state since I was 20 (I’m now 50), and also in my best shape since dumping SAD for paleo-ish 3 years ago and getting back into the gym.

  68. Paleophil on September 15, 2013 at 19:40

    Fermented raw honey is the only kind that not only doesn’t give me any negative effects, but actually gives me some benefits (reduced dry skin flakes on my scalp, eyebrows and forehead, softer, more hydrated and younger-feeling skin, thicker, less-greasy hair, and improved sleep). It’s also my favorite tasting honey, but some people don’t like the mild fermented taste (I love fermented foods). It’s not alcoholic at all, BTW, if anyone’s thinking that.

    Once I tried fermented honey I discovered that all the talk of “sugar is sugar,” and “all sugar is the same” and “all carbs are the same and all turn into sugar” was BS. Resistant starches like potato starch further confirmed that. Raw honey contains fiber too, BTW, called oligosaccharides (Oligosaccharides Might Contribute to the Antidiabetic Effect of Honey, Heating the honey likely degrades the fiber, as with other fermentable fibers like resistant starch, and other heat-sensitive components. Thus, it’s no surprise that honey aficionados recommend that honey be raw, and raw fermented is even better.

    Plus, “Research conducted at Michigan State University has shown that adding honey to fermented dairy products such as yogurt can enhance the growth, activity, and viability of Bifi dobacteria as well as other commercial oligosaccharides.”

    What explains the short-term BG effect of resistant starch? I’ve only seen it reported as working in the large intestine. It looks we can have our cake and eat it too. ;-)

  69. Paleophil on September 15, 2013 at 16:43

    Thanks for the 4 tbsp experiment suggestion. I think in retrospect that the BG spike I measured was actually due to contamination on my finger, as it was abnormally high for me, but I tried the 4 tspb idea anyway and put it through a tough test. It passed with flying colors! I consumed 5 tsps of raw fermented honey, which normally would spike my BG to 180-210 mg/d, but this time with 4 tbsp of potato starch, I washed my finger and tested it twice and it measured at only 112 and 120. It helps that my fasting blood sugars have been running lower, so before I ate the honey, my BG was only 75. Thus, there’s more room for including more carbs in my diet if I wish. RS has been really amazing for me so far on the BG front.

  70. marie on September 15, 2013 at 18:32

    that’s great to hear! It’s wonderful to see the ‘double whammy’ effect you describe of both a long-term lower FBG and an immediately blunted BG rise for a hi-glycemic food.
    Especially since you get to have something as amazing as raw honey, fermented no less. Is there a specific reason you take it and at that amount?

  71. Paleophil on September 15, 2013 at 19:42

    Oh, and the amount was just a test. I was normally limiting myself to 1-2 tsps at a time. I may up that now. :)

  72. marie on September 15, 2013 at 20:28

    Paleophil, you’ve a wealth of info, I’m glad I asked!
    “It looks like we can have our cake and eat it too” – indeed, and find the land of milk and honey ;)
    The yogurt connection makes a lot of sense to me btw – not surprising that mediterraneans and middle-easterners traditionally eat their yogurt with (real) honey.

  73. ben on September 16, 2013 at 16:46

    fermented raw honey here:

  74. Brad Baker on September 16, 2013 at 04:39

    You might want to try blackstrap molasses and palm fruit (dates). Both are pretty high in vitamins and minerals. Dates are slightly higher in vitamins and blackstrap higher in minerals. True, all sugars are not created equal. If you think of the sugar cane plant as a very tall grass that just happens to store lots of sugar in it’s stalk, it’s not surprising that extracting and refining out the sugar leaves you with a mineral dense bi-product. Blackstrap I think is another example that not all “processed foods” are bad for you. Of course if you downed a butt-load of it daily (and became a “BS gobbler?”), ya aint gonna be thrivin’, feel me?

  75. Brad Baker on September 16, 2013 at 04:51

    I think a heaping soup spoon of BS has about 10-15g carb’s, maximum. So using daily in one’s coffee every day isn’t gonna kill ya. And the small additions of minerals daily will prob help. I found a mixture of melted butter, BS, and a liberal amount of raw tapioca starch (after butter has cooled a bit) makes a mind-blowing syrup that should also have a much lower BG spike due to the fat and RS in the mix. It’s my go-to syrup now for all things pancaky/waffly. No grain, wheat of course.

    So… recommend everyone get your heaping spoon of BS each morning. No, not from the media, that type doesn’t have any nutrients in it and it can make you feel ill. Ha!, is the media a form of anti-nutrient? Me thinks yes.

  76. Resurgent on September 16, 2013 at 11:33

    @Paleophil – If you are reading this – what is your source for raw fermented honey.?

  77. Dean on September 17, 2013 at 06:22

    A couple of years ago I went on an all-meat stint – never had one stomach ache, constipation, or any sort of digestive distress. When I went back to eating plants, I still didn’t have any digestive issues. My n=1 has shown that I really don’t need any fiber to function well and despite eating very high fiber these days (simply due to eating a large amount of carbohydrates), I do find it rather ridiculous that fiber is touted as being an important nutrient. Now, not to say some types of fiber (or resistant starch for that matter) can’t be useful, but I think the main takeaway from Konstantin Monastyrsky at least for me is that fiber isn’t necessarily beneficial.

  78. Brad on September 17, 2013 at 10:39

    I’m kinda wondering why you even bother reading articles about nutrition when you clearly have issues understanding it all. Am I being harsh? If you’re read anything other than con-man KonMon’s laughable article, including the ones on this blog, you should (though apparently don’t) understand a few very primary things…. First “fiber” is a dumb label as it lumps all forms into one group. This is wrong. Two, the benefits of fiber is not only related to how your shit flows or “digestive distress”. Those aren’t even the most important factors. And three, regardless of the size of the n=? a “stint” says nothing about the long term effects of eating ANYTHING. And depending on the length of a “stint” it may tell you absolutely nothing at all even for n=1.

    By your logic, you should have come to the same conclusion that you really don’t need plants. So why did you go back to eating them? I guess you had other problems unrelated to shit?

  79. Paleophil on September 17, 2013 at 19:42

    Warning: see here for my much less stellar 2nd BG test result of potato starch, this time using brown rice syrup: It’s possible the first result was a fluke. Marie, how extensively have you tested the short-term BG blunting effect from potato starch?

    Brad, thanks for the suggestions. For whatever reason, dried fruits–particularly dried dates–are one of my less well tolerated foods. It stinks, because I love the taste of dates. Figs are less of a problem for me, especially fresh. The main difference seems to be that dried dates contain more concentrated sugar, especially glucose. It’s interesting that this matches up with my stronger BG spike from rice syrup vs. honey, and glucose and sucrose are reported to have more of an impact on BG than honey and fructose ( Perhaps my carb sensitivity has more to do with sugar/glucose than something like fructose malabsorption, though it’s difficult to draw much conclusion from a couple measurements. Plus, there are the concerns about toxicity to the liver of excess fructose.

  80. marie on September 17, 2013 at 20:20

    Paleophil, tested under several conditions. Both Tim and I however used a typical starch source, a large cooked potato as our control and as the hi-g food whose response was to be blunted by RS.
    Did not use syrup or any other refined sugar.
    Richard will post results I believe in a Part 2 post. However I think you’re probably on the right track with noting that glucose and sucrose have a higher BG impact than honey in order to explain the difference in your results.

  81. marie on September 17, 2013 at 20:39

    Also, I just realized you noted that you took the PS after eating the syrup.
    Considering how quickly refined sugar is absorbed, I don’t think that RS had a chance to even reach your lower gut before your BG started rising from the sugar, let alone feed gut bacteria so that they produce SCFAs that are supposed to mediate the blunting effect.
    Doing your tests the same way each time might give you a better comparison, in that you’re only changing one variable, the food.
    Even so, I don’t know that we can expect much help with refined sugars/syrup. Some, maybe, and timing would probably be important, may need to give RS a head-start, so to speak. I really can’t guess. I’d be interested though if you ever try again but took the RS first and then the syrup.

  82. Paleophil on September 28, 2013 at 14:10

    Thanks for the tips, Marie. You consume the potato starch at the same time as the potato, right?

    Pure glucose is used in an OGTT. The typical dose is 1.75 grams of glucose per kilogram of body weight, which comes out to over 100 grams for most adult males. Just 5 tsp brown rice syrup containing about 17g carbs, much less than 60g net carbs in a large potato, spiked my BG to over 220 mg/dl. Granted, 2 hours is apparently the time frame focused on in the OGTT, but I find that 2 hour figures don’t tell me much more than what I learn via the 1 hour figure. It also saves money to only test at 1 hour instead of also at 2 or 3 hours or more frequently, and I don’t want my BG spiking above 160 mg/dl at 1 hour based on the recommendations of many of the more credible experts in the Paleo community, and I wish to err on the safe side. I’ve never seen anyone claim that BG should never go over 120 mg/dl, but I have seen plenty of knowledgeable people and studies suggest you should try to keep it below around 160 mg/dl as much as possible and avoid large post-meal BG surges ( I know, they’re not necessarily right, but it is something of a consensus and I haven’t seen any evidence to contradict them).

    Another reason I tried rice syrup was Paul Jaminet’s recommendations of it (for example: “I often recommend dextrose or rice syrup, which is readily digestible to glucose only, for bowel disorders. This seems to be the safest glucose source.” And other people also claim to tolerate it well. I wanted to see if that would prove true for me or not and thus possibly be another convenient occasional safe carb source for me and also provide some more clues for my health either way (perhaps glucose is more of a problem for me than fructose, or maybe the fermenting of the honey accounts for its superiority for me).

    Like you, I suspected that taking the potato starch shortly after the glucose may have been a factor in the huge spike in the initial test, so I have been careful to take the potato starch before or with the glucose, honey or cooked potato since then, and I’ve also been checking my ketostix levels after you mentioned that factor.

    In my 2nd rice syrup test, with just a trace ketostix measure and taking the PS first, just 2 tsps containing about 7g carbs significantly spiked my BG up to 160 mg/dl (unfortunately, I forgot to take the pre-glucose measure, but at ten minutes it was 123 mg/dl BG) and also gave me negative symptoms, whereas RF honey has so far been much less of a problem, even with a higher reading on the keto strip of about 20 when I tested honey. So I’ve written off brown rice syrup as a test substance for now.

    Suits me fine, since RF honey tastes way better to me than brown rice syrup, which I find mildly unpleasant. Interestingly, the rice syrup causes a scratchiness in the roof of my mouth and throat that heated honey also causes (which is ironic, because in my childhood my mother gave me heated honey for sore throat, and the resulting worsening of my throat scratchiness was one reason I wrote off honey as bogus years ago until trying RF honey).

    RF honey is more convenient and consistent test substance than potatoes, but I also tested potatoes. I did worse than I expected:

    Ketostix measure ~10 (between trace and small)
    BG pre-meal: 118 mg/dl
    Added 2T potato starch to a cooked potato (I used 1 med russet + 1 small purple potato)
    BG 1 hour after finished eating: 188 mg/dl

    Is a 10 ketone measure too high to eat cooked potatoes on or do I maybe have a ways to go before I reach the level of insulin sensitivity and BG modulation that you and Tatertot have achieved?

  83. marie on September 28, 2013 at 14:46

    Paleophil, I’ll get to your other points later this eve, but for now, something about the numbers :

    It should not be at all possible to get the spike you mention (220mg/dl) even say you started at a high value of 120mg/dl before eating the 5tsp br syrup.
    The reason is, at an avg. blood volume of 5L for an avg.male, even if you injected the carbs as pure glucose into your veins (never!) then maximum immediate spike would be just 34mg/dl (eg. even if you started at 120 mg/dl, you would only rise to 154mg/dl).

    This is always the theoretical limit, never reached and only approached if T1 diabetic (no insulin whatsoever) or in severe insulin resistance from Long fasting (48+hrs).
    Even if you had those conditions, which you don’t, you could get nowhere near 220mg/dl with 17gm carbs.

    So I looked up Brown rice syrup.
    Granted the brands can be different, but let’s say for ballpark figures that this one is good enough :®_Brown_Rice_Syrup.aspx

    Donc, your 5tsp = 2.5 tbsp = 45g. Now you are closer to getting a big spike, since that gives 90mg/dl for max.theoretical immediate spike.

    That is to say, you are either mismeasuring 5tsp (possible, but not to this degree), or mismeasuring BG (not likely since you’ve been repeating it) or your source of rice syrup nutritional info is mistated/mislabelled.
    The latter I like, since 17gm for so many tsp of what is essentially liquid sugar is way too low, and I see a more reasonable number from that link above too.

    Does this reorganize some of your thinking/questions? I’ll check back again later when I look at the rest of your message.

  84. Paleophil on September 28, 2013 at 16:05

    Marie, 5 tsps = 1.67 tbps, not 2.5 tbsp. I don’t have the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes and I haven’t been long fasting.

  85. marie on September 28, 2013 at 16:20

    Ah, I think I see. It depends if we’re doing it in US, UK or metric, eg. Australia, where 4tsp = 1 tbsp (!).
    That makes it worse you know, because if it’s really 17gms, there’s something wrong in another measurement.

  86. Richard Nikoley on September 28, 2013 at 17:09


    I always knew those wankers were up to no good.

    Who doesn’t know that 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon. English, please go to the rescue of your bastards. :)

  87. marie on September 28, 2013 at 17:23

    here’s so you can always check max.limit : since there’s 1000 mg in 1g and 10dl in 1L, (X g/ Y L) x 10 = Z mg/dl.
    Given avg. 5L of blood, your 17g of carbs, assuming all glucose, can cause a rise in BG of at very worst of (17/5)x10 = 34mg/dl as noted above.
    Where’s all the rest of the glucose (to get over 100points rise) coming from, you see the problem?
    We may be comparing apples and oranges.
    Though frankly, if you hate the stuff (I know I do, eye-crossing sweetness/flavor, as I’ve mentioned before) then dropping it is the best thing to do!

    Now, about the ketostix, that’s only useful if you want to check whether you’re staying in ketosis and to do that you’d need to be measuring continually (at every pee, this guarantees you’ll get at least Two measures after any meal, which is the key).
    Easy trap lots of folks fall into : measure with ketostix, some time later eat something, measure with ketostix again. Ooh, look I’m still keto, it’s at least at trace or between trace and light (between 5 and 15, which is often guestimated at ’10’ I gather).
    Well, no, they may or may not be, because of course we make urine continually, so likely still has enough ketones from before they ate so they’ll register as trace or light.
    Therefore, only useful measurements are at least two after any meal. This you automatically get if you measure continually.
    Anyone who doesn’t report at least two measurements after meals or continuous measurements, just hasn’t thought it out (or read the literature or talked to their doctor … ).

    Now, about honey : if you saw another post Richard put up, yogurt+honey(ie.not alone) after about 2months of RS did manage to have only a very small rise if eaten after drinking RS in water. For the quantities I used, it was only 18points rise. In a severely insulin resistant state (because of 48hrs fast and ketosis at 40+) that’s fantastic, because in the past before RS it would rise by 50 or so points when I was in that state.
    It did drop me out of ketosis, but back in a few hours later.

    So I think you may have to wait a few weeks on daily RS before being able to handle the sweet stuff while in deep ketosis without getting big spikes.

    Of course, if you’re not fasted and not in ketosis, it’s really quite easy. The RS drops the medium spike from yogurt+honey to almost nothing.
    So there, since you’re neither of these (well, only barely ketotic at times), you may be able to take your honey with greek yogurt and RS and you should see only a small rise even before any long term effect from daily RS. If 1.5-2 cups of yogurt and 2-4tsp honey, take 2tbsp RS in water half an hour before (that’s my best time until now).

    t.b.c… :)

  88. marie on September 28, 2013 at 17:50

    Oh Richard, it’s worse than that.
    because american cooks and american labs don’t all use the same thing (cooks, 3tsp:1T, but many labs, 2tsp:1T) -I didn’t take that into account above at first pass. It’s a small difference compared to the big disparity Phil and I are trying to work out, but still….

    Then, here’s the worst : converting tsp to grams of some substance isn’t the same as converting to grams of water, which is the official conversion (because water is easy, since water’s density is 1kg/L). So my teaspoon may have 15gms of something like water, or 5gms of something less dense or….
    So one tsp of one thing is not comparable in mass to one teaspoon of another.

    Everyone should just use Metric mass (gms), it’s Imperialists who are gumming up the works! ;)

  89. marie on September 28, 2013 at 18:08

    Paleophil, o.k., I’m back for your last part :
    -there are so many different honeys that it’s hard to guess what your mom gave you, not to mention was it real or ‘pasteurized’ aka pure sugar. Your RF honey sounds perfect. BTW, so we have a common base to compare, does it crystallize very soon after you open it or last liquid form for months? Because the major factor for crystallization is the glucose to fructose ratio, so the more glucose it has, the faster it crystallizes.

    You potato results with RS are somewhere between what I get when in fasted ketosis and what I get when in fasted ketosis after 2 months of RS. So it may get a bit better for you, but I don’t think it can get Much better.
    Note that Without the RS and before taking it for 2 months, I got about 100 points rise for the same 300gm potato if I was deeply in fasted ketosis.
    Of course, without that insulin resistance it was fine, about 70points rise without RS and only a meager 28 points rise with RS (that was real nice!). Concurrently or up to one hour beforehand for the RS works fine.
    But now I’m scooping an upcoming post, so I’ll stop there, just to answer your question :)

  90. Ash Simmonds on September 28, 2013 at 18:10

    Fuck’n ‘Muricans man, every recipe calls for 50g of this and 2oz of that, then they’ll say you want 1/2lb of veg and 250g of meat.

    Then when youse talk about protein needs you say 1g per lb of LBM – does my head in you non-metricised heathens.

    Let’s not even start on miles/km/etc…

  91. marie on September 28, 2013 at 19:53

    Paleophil, never mind about theoretical maximum, I just realized there’s an error in the conversion formula, it should be just plain x100 to get gm/dl (not x10).
    So there’s room for your spike from even that small amount of 17gm in syrup.
    It’s still exceptional for 17gm of any carb to cause such a huge BG rise, but the theoretical maximum isn’t the problem. Which means I’m all out of ideas on that one.
    Putting aside that syrup was the best thing :)

  92. marie on September 29, 2013 at 13:03

    Paelophil, anything you’ve grown up with is ‘intuitive’. Nassim Taleb’s arguments are always interesting, but Nordstorm’s ‘natural’ objects argument is just confirmation bias. There are things in nature that correspond to various metric units.
    Just a couple little examples, a meter is the length of an average male leg, useful especially where you’re measuring things out against you, for example in order to string a bow, which is why random metric measures are close to ancient ones. A kilometer is about the distance away at which you can first see a man standing, with the naked eye.

    There are many intuitive systems, Britain happened to spread theirs around the world during the height of colonization. It’s not whether a system is intuitive or has natural correspondence that makes it a good system to use anywhere for anything. After all, we don’t still measure things in ‘hands’ either, except horses :)

    Metric beats out the rest only because it uses the same decimal base both within each set of units, eg. length, and across all it’s units of length, area, volume, mass, so relations between them become easy.

    A system with a single base is easy to use. Easy is good, yes? …when you get used to it, it’s even intuitive :)

    But I also agree with LaFrite, it’s the fact that there are more than one system that’s the bummer, famously seen in this “cautionary tale for all time” :

  93. marie on September 29, 2013 at 17:08

    “True, but my understanding is that it was more a choosing of standards from measures developed by ordinary people…….rather than by some ivory tower philosopher or academy scientist…”
    That one is tricky. It takes a standard-making body to make, well, standards common to some group.
    A yeoman’s thumb is an inch.
    When/who decided which yeoman’s thumb was “the” inch so that 12 of them made a foot, or was it which king’s foot became the standard and for some reason lost in time it’s divided into 12 equal pieces. Or, why choose to keep feet but discard hands? (though some stables still report a horse’s height in hands of course).
    It took a royal academy or a bureau of standards to standardize all that…..or maybe a ministry :D

    Unfortunately, with Imperial, the standardization is random such that the many different conversions are totally independent of one another. 12 of this and 16 of that and 4 of something else.

    So, a pinky is a cm while a yoman’s thumb is an inch. A meter is a leg, while a foot is, well, a large booted foot. Great. There’s nothing better about one individual unit vs the other. Though yes, probably Imperial can trace more of it’s individual units origins.

    However, for a system of units, the advantage of a single base for each of its units and for all of its units is beyond compare. It’s easy to use and it’s easier to adopt as a lingua franca (you don’t have to learn so many different conversions).
    Yes, it’s true scientists use it (base 10!) and the French love it, but those things shouldn’t automatically disqualify it, eh? ;)

  94. Paleophil on September 29, 2013 at 11:13

    Marie, The only reason I used the ketostix was because you said ketosis was a factor in BG spikes and I thought you were using ketostix with your father and that it was a help. I hadn’t used them in quite a long time. I frankly prefer to not be in ketosis all the time, just some to much of the time.

    Yes, I think I probably need to allow more time for RS to build up the gut flora and improve my insulin sensitivity. I’m hoping that I’ll tolerate yogurt better at some point too. For now, the only dairy products I’ve tried that I seem to handle well are butter and raw sheep cheese.

    “Everyone should just use Metric mass (gms), it’s Imperialists who are gumming up the works! ;)”

    Nah, it’s the metrification neomania that’s mucking up the world. :) See Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile and “Diverging Bases: The Case Against the Metric System” (, by Lila Nordstrom for the how and why.

    Try imagining a length of 9 meters to measure out on the ground and then compare that to imagining a length of thirty feet. Which was easier? Which could you more easily roughly approximate without a measuring stick?

    “It is when you start trying to compare the meter to items in the vicinity that you realize that the metric system is designed for robots, not people.” – Lila Nordstrom

  95. La Frite on September 29, 2013 at 11:29

    I grew up with the metric system as my reference for measurements. 30 feet ? no clue. 9 meters ? yeah, I can visualize that. By the way, a yard is almost one meter. I am sure you can visualize 10 yards ;)

    Getting info from North-Amrican websites, books and fora, I quickly learned to convert in my head anyway so no big deal.

    I am not bringing any weight to the discussion whether one system or the other mucked up the world. I tend to think that it is neither, it is rather the fact that there are different systems in use :)

  96. Paleophil on September 29, 2013 at 12:00

    @La Frite,
    If someone told you to measure out 9 meters on the ground without using a measuring device, how would you do it?

    “By the way, a yard is almost one meter.”

    So you *can* visualize a yard, composed of 3 feet, and thus 30 feet shouldn’t be difficult.

    That is the same response I get from all metric proponents–they put things in terms of the supposedly inferior British system. Similarly, when I asked a college-educated woman what thing in the natural world the meter roughly equates to, she responded much as you did, that it’s a little more than a yard. In other words, the abstract meter is only a bit off from the natural yard based on three large male human shod feet. We instinctively refer to the more natural, intuitive measures even when promoting metrification. Plus, if we use the natural intuitive measuring system to begin with we don’t have to memorize conversions to the abstract metric system in our head. Case closed.

    Metrification is just one of many symptoms of the general muck caused by neomania, the expert problem (we know better than you do what’s in your own best interest because we have these official degrees/certifications or because we were elected or because of the divine wisdom bestowed upon kings, etc.), and other man-made problems. See Antifragile for more.

  97. Paleophil on September 29, 2013 at 12:07

    Oh, and please no straw men from anyone about ludditism or such. If metrification were truly an improvement I’d support it, and actually misguidedly did so in the past until I read The Black Swan and started to question CW like metrification more.

    Now the more I see something being repeated over and over again with little intuitive logic or evidence to support it, such as the superiority of the metric system and the alleged stupidity of anyone who doesn’t go along with metrification, the more I question it.

  98. Paleophil on September 29, 2013 at 12:25

    Come to think of it, this blog is another source of info on modern man-made problems due to neomania and such, and Nassim Taleb even gave a positive review of Richard’s first book. So keep reading this blog too. :)

  99. marie on September 29, 2013 at 13:07

    Shoulda said ‘some’ ancient systems, there were lots of them of course, just like since then.

  100. Paleophil on September 29, 2013 at 15:02

    Hah, I meant metrication instead of the poetry term “metrification” , though the latter has a more grandiose sound that better matches the grandiose rationalist vision of an abstract universal measurement system for all time not overly tainted by the anarchic chaos of the reality and heuristics of ordinary people. Hope my blunder at least supplies some chuckles. I don’t claim to be smart, just to question CW more than avg. :)

    Marie, Are you sure it’s not you that is employing some confirmation bias and putting the cart before the horse? Was the meter developed by ordinary people from the length of a man’s leg and bowstring or did someone seek some natural thing that comes close to a meter to justify a system that some experts came up with and authorities legislated? Do you know what the origin of the meter was without looking it up? How often does that original use come into play in our everyday lives?

    I can imagine someone will say that authorities also imposed the Imperial system. True, but my understanding is that it was more a choosing of standards from measures developed by ordinary people (and the later devices employed in developing the metric system didn’t yet exist) and which evolved over time, rather than by some ivory tower philosopher or science academy (please correct me if I err).

    I wouldn’t bother with this topic if it didn’t seem such a good illustration of the problems of neomania, the expert problem, etc., and if I’m employing confirmation bias, then that would be the most obvious source (everything looks like a nail to the one with a hammer) Did you read any of Taleb’s books and do you see what I mean?

    “it’s the fact that there are more than one system that’s the bummer”

    That is a frightening statement. You can have your system, please let us have ours. As Daniel Quinn said, “There is no one right way to live.”

  101. marie on September 29, 2013 at 15:57

    Who’s ‘ours’. There’s many systems, for groups. Every group uses their own.
    When they come together to cooperate they need a common one that is easy for them all to use. That’s all.

    Not everything is about authority. Sometimes it’s just about finding common ground. An easy one. In fact, any measuring system was about finding common ground within some interacting group/s, trade mostly. Eureka was about figuring out if something is really gold after all.

    Yeah, I love Taleb, quite apart from the fact he has a sharp eye, he writes well. Have Black Swan and Antifragile. I especially like the relation of antifragility and evolution.

    Why would I have to ‘look it up’, btw? If you’re mostly greek you grow up with the lore, it’s like king arthur and such, eh? So you know they measured against a leg and that btw that’s about a meter. Why, you just asked the wrong ‘college educated woman’ before who couldn’t come up with a handful of ‘natural’ metric measures :D

  102. gallier2 on September 29, 2013 at 22:22

    And what most imperial proponent conveniantly forget is that their measurments (feet, gallons etc) use the metric one as reference i.e. they use the metric one for calibration since 1893.

  103. marie on September 30, 2013 at 00:18

    Vraiment? I am shocked! You mean the international common standard isn’t someone’s foot, or arm, or distance from nose to fingertip (which king? oh yeah, a british one and didn’t Queen E do something with furlongs?) or for that matter, someone’s stride (middle-east and med regions) , or a camel’s tail, or a chi or a li? (though to hand it to the chinese, they figured out at least decimals for their lengths and that hundreds of years ago).

    What did they use in various regions of France before metric, do you know? How come the French didn’t choose some local units for the whole country or some king’s favorites and then on top of that expect every other country to use those units to trade/communicate with them?
    Did they really have to choose, develop and standardize a self-coherent, rational, decimal, easy-to-use system that was not biased regionally/ethnically/historically? Lilly-livered kings couldn’t just impose what they will? :D

  104. La Frite on September 30, 2013 at 01:53


    You: “If someone told you to measure out 9 meters on the ground without using a measuring device, how would you do it?”

    Me: “By the way, a yard is almost one meter.”

    You: “So you *can* visualize a yard, composed of 3 feet, and thus 30 feet shouldn’t be difficult.”

    First of, I don’t give much of a crap. I am surprised to see so much discussion following my post.
    Second, I gave you my practical reflex when it comes to roughly estimate a distance. It is what I am used to. I never measured distances in feet, inches, etc – only used the metric system, since I was a kid.
    Third: I can roughly visualize a yard, BECAUSE it is close to a meter! 9 meters or 10 yards are much easier for me to visualize. If you tell me 30 feet, I have to divide by 3 to roughly visualize what it could represent. That’s how my mind works, there is nothing to argue here. I don’t understand why you see any implicit undertones implying that I see the metric system superior. I don’t care, that’s just how I visualize distances. Same with weight (mass): kg speaks more to me than pounds. That’s just how it is, I am used to it. The anglo-saxon system is foreign to me, I don’t invent that state of things for myself, it is just the way it is for me. Why would that collide with your experience (which is with another system) ? There is complete symmetry in our use of a given system and lack of intuitiveness in the other.

    The rest is academic discussion which is of no real importance for me, practically.

  105. sootedninjas on November 28, 2013 at 18:10

    so I’m Asian. I used to eat rice on breakfast, lunch and dinner. But when I went low carb couple of years ago I have to stop eating rice and it served we well in regaining my health back due to the LC lifestyle. Although, in the back of my mind I always have the intention of bringing rice, bananas and sweet potatoes back. I started to bring back sweet potatoes as a carb backload on heavy workouts and I do believe that it is the right time and a good reason to bring back my rice and bananas because of RS.

    tatertot cleared up to me on a previous comment on exactly what bananas/plantain to eat. I’m also clear about which potato starch to supplement with.

    What I want to know is rice.

    Is there a specific white rice that has a high content of RS when cooked and cooled ?

    Or just about any whit rice will work ? Jasmine, Calrose, Sushi rice, Long Grain, Short Grain, Basmati.

    Also, if I fried the cook rice, will lose the RS again ? Or should I cool the fried rice before consuming it ?

    I fry my rice with coconut oil, butter, bacon grease and/or ghee. I wonder if this will affect the RS content because it was cooked on saturated fat.

    Always loved garlic fried rice with scrambled eggs bits, bacon pieces and Chinese sausage slices.

  106. tatertot on November 29, 2013 at 08:49

    You again!

    I love that you are going through all these old blogs, it shows me you care enough to do some reading–most people just jump to the end and ask stupid questions.

    I have the full text to this article of pdf, but the online abstract tells all you need to know:

    Cliff Notes: To maximize RS in rice: cook, cool overnight in fridge, reheat by stirfrying in a bit of oil.

    To minimize RS in rice: Cook and eat hot.

    The worst rice for RS: Glutinous/sticky rice.

    The best type for RS: Parboiled (converted) rice, long-grain rice.

    Bottom line: If you like rice, just eat it however you want. It’s a good source of carbs no matter how it’s prepared. If you like cold rice, eat cold rice. If you make big batches of rice and store them in the freezer or fridge until you get ready to eat it, you are getting more RS than most people.

  107. sootedninjas on November 29, 2013 at 10:49

    thank you sir. you did all the research and the least I can do is read the information you provided.

    I was trolling your thread on the MDA forums. And I read the citation you provided. Being indica (long grain) and japonica (Japanese sushi rice) is a good source of RS.

    The citation you listed does not say if they use parboiled rice.

    Did also a little research on parboiled rice. It is basically pre-cooked rice in the husk and vacuum dried before it is package. I wonder if that is enough to get the RS formed or must be literally cooled first in cold temps.

    “Parboiled rice (also called converted rice) is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. The three basic steps of parboiling are soaking, steaming and drying.[1]”

    “Parboiling drives nutrients, especially thiamine, from the bran to endosperm,[3] hence parboiled white rice is 80% nutritionally similar to brown rice.”

    “The starches in parboiled rice become gelatinized, then retrograded after cooling. Through gelatinization, alpha-amylose molecules leach out of the starch granule network and diffuse into the surrounding aqueous medium outside the granules[4] which, when fully hydrated are at maximum viscosity.[5] The parboiled rice kernels should be translucent when wholly gelatinized. Cooling brings retrogradation whereby amylase molecules re-associate with each other and form a tightly packed structure. This increases the formation of type 3-resistant starch which can act as a prebiotic and benefit gut health in humans.”

    Now since the RS is already available on parboiled rice, I wonder if you can just grind the rice then add it your yogurt, kefir milk or just chug it with water.

    Although, with me being Asian, I’d rather eat the garlic fried rice with my grass fed beef, bacon and pastured over-easy eggs.

    just saying :)

  108. Konrad on February 19, 2014 at 07:05

    Inulin + Resistant Starch Combo Study:

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