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Old 06-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.
I've heard spelt is a 'healthier' wheat (and delicious -- I do bake sourdough bread with it). Do you know how it compares with emmer?
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not sure about spelt. I think it does affect people with celiac to some extent. I've heard emmer takes more elbow grease to grind to flour because the wheat berry is particularly hard. I'm sure it would be equally tasty though. As a heritage grain, though, it might also be more expensive than spelt, like kamut/khorasan.

Sourdough is also a good prep method because the fermentation step enhances mineral availability. Sourdough spelt sounds really yummy, btw.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply. Yeah, unfortunately there's a lot of bad science out there, and people can get pretty dogmatic about it (as with any dietary paradigm). I'm pretty sure neither you nor I have the complete picture and anyone who says they do is selling snake oil.
You're right. I'm learning more all the time.

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One thing I want to clarify about gluten is that with evolution you often get a change in the general shape and a few insertions/deletions of genes and proteins over time. To be honest, the gluten protein in early domestic wheat probably wasn't that bad. People also had to do real work to process it, since these field grasses grew to about 8 feet high and had hard, thorny shells covering the seed husks (like pine cones). Heritage strains of wheat like einkorn and emmer have fewer chromosomes (diploid, 14 chromosomes, and tetraploid, 28 chromosomes, respectively) and so their gluten proteins are actually relatively harmless.
One of the things I was thinking of was that a lot of paleos say we're not adapted to eat grains. I disagree with this because while some people's ancestors might not have eaten grains on a regular basis, if you have ancestors that came from the Middle East or Europe, or even most of Asia, then they ate lots and lots of grains for about 10,000-15,000 years.

Even back in the hunter-gatherer days, I can't see a group of hungry people turning their noses up at eating grass seeds, when nearly all types of grass produce edible seeds and they were very knowledgeable about their environment and the plants in them (down to the medicinal qualities of them which formed the only pharmacy for most of human history).

I saw a guy on youtube harvesting wild grass seeds (he said you have to be careful about ergot, so you may not want to try that at home). And he was able to get a pretty substantial amount of grain from them with just little effort. I can't see our paleo ancestors turning down this potential food source if it was available to them.

Humans are incredibly flexible omnivores that can eat a wide variety of plant and animal materials and derive benefit from them.

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Modern wheat, on the other hand has 42 chromosomes (hexaploid) and is bred to be 2 feet tall and huskless (perfect height and exposure to be sucked into a harvester) as well as naturally more resistant to pests and fungus. I'm willing to bet modern gluten plays some part in this pest resistance too.
Even with this change, it seems strange that people have been having so much trouble just within the last decade or so. It seems like there's suddenly this epidemic of "gluten sensitivity" which didn't exist before even with durum wheat. I wonder if it has to do with some GMO contamination? Maybe they added even more chromosomes to already modern wheat or mixed it with a fish gene or something?

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So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.
I like the Nature's Path brand cereal that's called Heritage grains. It has a mix of different ancient grains and pseudo grains and they taste pretty good. I usually have it with some almond milk. I've been trying to eat less inflammatory foods lately (whole grains are supposed to be less inflammatory than refined grains) and so I will usually have it with some almond milk and sometimes some nuts too. I figure since almonds are anti-inflammatory that it might cancel out any inflammation from the grains. I try to pair things up like that as much as possible although I don't get too obssessive about it.

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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
I also wanted to add that paleo isn't a high protein diet. It can be low-carb for many people, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, protein's a pretty lousy energy source. I generally get between 50-60% fat, which usually means pouring olive oil over everything, and take fish oil daily. For protein I aim for 0.75 - 1g / lb lean mass. Since I'm estimating I'm around 20% body fat at 165 lbs, that usually amounts to around 100 - 130g of protein per day. Carbs vary based on physical activity.

As I mentioned before I don't believe there's such a thing as THE paleo diet, but it's a pretty handy framework or model to build from.

Also, Gary Taubes isn't really "paleo" per se; he's an Atkins advocate. Many people who follow a paleo-style plan have "evolved away" from Atkins.

One thing I like about his approach is that he focuses on insulin and controlling insulin as being important to weight loss. I think this is one reason why the avocados were helping me last year, because they suppress insulin (and fat storage).

I don't think I could eat that high of a percentage of fat every day because I need to have more volume on my plate which is why I try to fill the plate up with food that's not very calorie dense most of the time. Fatty foods come in smaller portions.

A lot of the blogs/sites I've seen seem to indicate that paleo is low carb which is why I got that impression. If it's just based on natural foods then that's more reasonable and something I can't say is bad, but the way a lot of people seem to approach it seems unhealthy and dangerous. I actually saw on one of the sites that people were recommending to someone needing to lose weight to eat lots of butter. I wondered what planet these people were from!

Last edited by Rubystars; 06-21-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I read the book. I think it had a lot of good data but don't agree with its ultimate premise that we should all be high fat, high protein ultra low carb. Also I take issue with the idea that the average substantially overweight person can "eat to satiety" and still lose weight as long as carbs are fully restricted. Trust me, I can pile down 1000 calories of almonds like it's absolutely nothing at all.

One of the reviews on amazon challenged with a good point I don't recall being addressed which is that modern meat is very high in saturated fat; i.e. it just isn't the same as the meat from yesteryear. The way around this is organic grass-fed, which many paleos like, but have you seen the price of it? Very expensive. I do eat some of that stuff but my diet primarily of that would break the bank. I see tandorchicken refer to a study about sat fat and heart disease, but AHA continues to recommend a limited intake of it. I can only assume they are aware of a meta review of its effects. This is similar to the talk about cholesterol in food. I'm not sure how to reconcile the recent view that cholesterol in food isn't such a big deal after all with AHA's continued recommendation to limit cholesterol-high food.

What the book did for me is have me take a serious look at my macros and my source of food. I will say right now I'm pretty darn low on processed food. I also have upped fat intake a lot (about 35% of calories), and there is fairly conclusive evidence that a high-carb diet is bad for triglycerides and blood pressure; it really is a bad diet, so the book helped me to think a little outside the box. I am 40-45% carbs, though still, but it's not processed (as long as I don't include canned beans without sodium as not processed!).

I've seen some mainstream stuff recently as well (maybe wasn't paying attention before) about low-fat diets and their injurious nature. They were touted for a long time but there's no evidence they really help fat loss, and there is evidence that they cause harm to the body (aforementioned triglycerides). Some continue to adhere to them ignorant of these ideas, though, and are still scared of fat. Taupe makes a fine point that there are no essential carbs. It is thought we could live long term on nothing but protein and fat. However, I am positive many still see fat as "worthless", as in "I already have some on my body, so why do I want/need to eat more of it?".

A recent staple of my diet is avocados. I eat them like I'm paid to. Those and almonds regularly create my lunches these days.

------

Drawing parallels between diet of people years back and how that is relevant to us is very hard. We know little about cavemen, for example, other than that 40 was probably old age, so even if they were all going to have heart disease at 50 it didn't matter.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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For anyone who's interested, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study today that pitted three diets against each other over the short term (4 weeks) for ease of weight maintenance. As many of us know, weight loss is hard enough, but maintenance is 10x trickier.

The link's here but the here and there of it is that a low carb diet resulted in an extra 300 calories/day extra energy expenditure at rest compared to a low fat diet that's typical of what's recommended by AHA. Low glycemic diet resulted in an extra 120 calories/day compared to low fat.

Most reviews of this study do remark that the low carb diet increased markers of inflammation that enhance heart disease risk. However, those same reviews for some reason fail to highlight that the study also found that the low fat diet has the worst record among markers for metabolic syndrome (which also raise heart disease risk), such as lowest HDL, highest triglycerides, and worst insulin sensitivity among the three diets. In fact, it's the low carb diet that boasts highest HDL and lowest serum triglyceride among the three.

Just some food for thought
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
For anyone who's interested, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study today that pitted three diets against each other over the short term (4 weeks) for ease of weight maintenance. As many of us know, weight loss is hard enough, but maintenance is 10x trickier.

The link's here but the here and there of it is that a low carb diet resulted in an extra 300 calories/day extra energy expenditure at rest compared to a low fat diet that's typical of what's recommended by AHA. Low glycemic diet resulted in an extra 120 calories/day compared to low fat.

Most reviews of this study do remark that the low carb diet increased markers of inflammation that enhance heart disease risk. However, those same reviews for some reason fail to highlight that the study also found that the low fat diet has the worst record among markers for metabolic syndrome (which also raise heart disease risk), such as lowest HDL, highest triglycerides, and worst insulin sensitivity among the three diets. In fact, it's the low carb diet that boasts highest HDL and lowest serum triglyceride among the three.

Just some food for thought
Is interesting, but I think the diet didn't use many participants.

I do think nutritionally a high-carb diet is more likely to include processed foods, many of which are as close to worthless as one can get. I was eating corn chips last night with cheese for dinner (normally I eat much better) and thinking how patently worthless those things are. They have on carb energy and nothing else. Everything has been refined out of them. So I wonder if the high-carb dieters' results are due to some metabolic inefficiency. If that's the case though I might think a less efficient body requires more calories, not less. I dunno
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The diets in this study were designed, controlled diets (e.g. the meals were handed out, not left in the hands of the study subjects) so calorie levels and nutrition values were equivalent among subjects. Individual variations in metabolism were also accounted for as everyone did all the diets, in a random order. Low carb still burned 300 calories more per day than low fat. It's true, the study only comprised 21 people in a metabolically deranged subset of the population (obese teenagers); that would also explain higher systemic inflammation during low carb (fat burning in obese individuals can release fat-soluble toxins into the blood to be excreted, which is why fat loss sometimes makes you feel physically miserable), (not to mention that teens are an inflamed bunch in general, what with all the hormonal block parties going on in them). In the end though, they didn't have an explanation as to why low carb burned more calories than low fat, only that it happened. 300 calories a day is still a significant number though, and worth looking into.
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-Nik


My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Just an update my success with low carb. Its been a bit over 6 weeks and I've lost a solid 20 pounds! I can honestly say that this diet is significantly EASIER than any calorie restricted diet I have been on. Some dicipline is required, especially in the begining, when avoiding carbs, but there is no hunger pains and no irratability. My exercise regime started one month into the diet and consists of light cardio 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. The light nature of my exercise program reflects the message Taubes gives about exercise. Too much and your hunger will be increased.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:24 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post

Read Jared Diamond. The only way grains benefited society is that they enabled empires to keep standing armies in times of peace, away from the capital at regional fortresses. These societies trampled the ones whose soldiers were also farmers, teachers, doctors, etc. In short, grains are a cheap source of calories, easily stored, good to survive on, but not to thrive on.
It's not terribly complicated. Get your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber from leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Get carbs, when you need them, from fruits, starchy root vegetables, honey, tree saps. Get protein and fat from meat, eggs, nuts and seeds. It's sustainable, and not all that expensive if you plan it well. It's certainly cheaper than medical bills. I've been at it for 3 years already. And if it doesn't work for you, so what? Go find something that does.
Good points--all the way down the line. I'd like to add that I don't say anything to people who are chowing down on the foods I view as unhealthy--processed carbs (grains) and legumes. Yet, they insist on trying to change MY eating habits. I get tired of explaining the reasons I eat the way I do--and my health problems are really none of their business.

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...About grains and legumes though. If they were so horrible for us, then why is it that one of the main foods that kids ate when I was young were Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, and it never harmed any of us?

I mean it had wheat and peanuts in them! I never heard back then of anyone having a bad reaction to the bread or to the peanuts (or any other type of nut, legume or not). If you listened to the modern gluten-free advocates and the "nut free zone" advocates then you'd assume all of us kids should've been falling on the floor having seizures.

I don't personally believe there's anything harmful in grains or nuts or legumes for most healthy individuals. I also have a tendency to believe that most gluten sensitivities and nut allergies are psychosomatic or completely fake because I never heard of any of this back in the 80s when I was growing up and every kid brought a PB&J to lunch (without having an anaphylactic shock attack, imagine that). Now I know that for a small portion of the population, that there are real wheat allergies, peanut allergies, celiac disease, etc. so if you have these conditions then I'm not talking about you, but I don't think it's nearly as common as people think it is.
Actually, my generation didn't fall over from eating PBJ because the foods we ate started out as food. My mom made home-made bread from wheat berries ground into flour on the day she made the bread. Our PB was not GMO, and our jelly/jam was home-made from fruit off the trees in our back yard or from fruit she bought at the farmers market. We had PBJ a couple of times a week...or maybe once a day during the school year. We didn't have PBJ, a Twinkie, an orange, and a bag of chips every single day. If we had PBJ, it counted as a dessert, too.

Additionally, it didn't knock us out because our bodies functioned well. The fact of the matter is that my body does not function well any more...I cannot tolerate wheat, seeds (nuts, beans, rice, corn) or raw veggies. Not only do many of those things make me FAT, they now make me gravely ill.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:27 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Just an update my success with low carb. Its been a bit over 6 weeks and I've lost a solid 20 pounds! I can honestly say that this diet is significantly EASIER than any calorie restricted diet I have been on. Some dicipline is required, especially in the begining, when avoiding carbs, but there is no hunger pains and no irratability. My exercise regime started one month into the diet and consists of light cardio 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. The light nature of my exercise program reflects the message Taubes gives about exercise. Too much and your hunger will be increased.
I am so glad to see your results! Many of us have seen this type of result in our own lives, but we are not professionals and people pooh-pooh us. You will be able to help your clients so much more now that you understand a smart-carb, healthy-fat diet.
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