These pages are the aggregate of information and research I have gathered, especially in the last few months, about carbohydrates, heart disease, cholesterol, fat and diet. I didn't expect what I found, like how saturated fat is not bad for you, how Vitamin C can help heal CHD damage, fructose probably *is* really bad, and that kind of thing. Also that the arguments presented here apply to "Western diets" which are high in wheat based products and refined sugar. It is Entirely Possible to eat a high carbohydrate diet and have a lipid profile that would have any western doctor re-running labs or giving you three weeks to live and be completely healthy. And those friends mine with whom I've discussed this didn't believe a lot of it either, but after two of them told me to write a book I figured the least I could do would be to aggregate the information here.
I get a lot of information from Drs. Eades and Eades Protein Power web site, and I'm currently reading from their book The Protein Power Life Plan which brings up some compelling points. Their main point is that we do not eat the way our forebears did, but our physiology is no different from that of pre-agricultural people. Those people had thousands of generations of ancestors who had adapted to their diets and environments and were thriving, healthy people. Only after the onset of agriculture did humans begin suffering from many of the problems we have today. Problems like widespread obesity, auto-immune disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other problems we take for granted.
I am personally sensitive to wheat and walnuts. They both hit me right in the nose, and later in the joints. This seems consistent with "leaky gut" problems that humans get from having something go wrong in the intestines while the offending substance is present. It could be, I did try phen-fen and it made me sick as a dog, I had a fever and other issues and gave up on it quickly. It seems to have been after that when my allergies developed, but it is hard to say because for years I never felt "well" until I gave up carbs and notice my symptoms would re-emerge if I cheated.
While I do not adhere to this strictly, I do believe humans are healthiest when they only eat things their bodies adapted to in the millennia before agriculture. I do eat cheese, and I drink diet soda albeit not as much as I did. I drink tea and sometimes coffee. But I have developed the attitude over time that wheat is not food. If it were, you'd be able to grow it in the back yard and graze on it. It is possible to eat corn raw, fresh off the cob, but not wheat. Nobody grows wheat in their back yard gardens, because processing it would be nearly impossible at home. We have to smash it to bits and cook it seriously before we can eat it. That's something nobody did much of, if at all, prior to the end of the last ice age in Europe.
I don't even miss these products, most of the time. I am not tempted to eat them because after going low carb and regaining my health, I now know what it's like to feel good most of the time and to rarely experience illness. One of my reasons for not having children was that I experienced such poor health for so long I thought something was wrong with me and it would be extremely rude to risk transmitting that to some poor sod of a child. Teaching karate for a few years removed most remaining impulses in that regard, but that's not germane to this web site.
Now, having avoided nearly all grains for years, with only occasional bits of rice or rice noodle, I find that many of the problems that kept you from hearing about my son or daughter instead of my parrots have gone away.
I know. TMI! AGH. Go scrub out your brain now, but if you are suffering any kind of chronic problems I think it's worth your time to investigate possible environmental and dietary causes. Consider removing a common food from your diet for a week. Do a little research on-line. I fell into most of the things I've learned, a surprising amount in the last few months despite 11 years of low carbing.
Some of the Big News in my life lately revolves around fat. Not the kind I'm trying to get off of my waist, but the kind you've been told for years is bad for you. Saturated fat. It's the health food of the new millennium now, in my book. Prior to the low-fat dieting theory taking over American nutrition, we had much lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many other problems. There is evidence that low-fat diets contribute to Alzheimer's, for instance. There was a major study of post menopausal women with heart disease who were followed for years, and their rates of death analyzed. The low-fat dieters died the most in spite of the much touted benefits of a diets low in saturated fats and high in heart healthy grains!
The benefits of fiber are questionable, also. Frankly, unless you're eating lots of refined grain products that turn into a sludgy paste in your gut, you probably don't need near as much fiber as you think. In people with IBS, adding fiber, usually the first thing a doctor tells you to do, can make things much worse. Fiber acts as an irritant in the gut to promote motility ("regularity") and too much can damage the linings of the gut that keep the gut contents from getting in contact with our blood. If a surgeon does this with a scalpel, he's sued for mal-practice. If you do it with metamucil, well...
Vitamin C is probably even more important than you think. Humans, monkeys and apes, guinea pigs and possibly bats are the only animals that cannot synthesize Vitamin C and must get it from diet. Most simians consume in their diet 10-20 times the amount of Vitamin C that is recommended for humans. If we share so much with these other primates, does it make sense that we have a magically smaller need for C? The Vitamin C Hypothesis of heart disease points out that C is necessary for collagen formation and that weakened blood vessels may result from a chronic shortage of Vitamin C. On of the first lines of defense against such a vessel failing is the deposition of plaques to shore up the vessel, which is exactly what happens in atherosclerosis.
I have been told dozens of times that humans are by nature peaceful, vegetarian primates. You know, like chimps or orangutans. If you look at the human gut and how it is arranged, it is much more a predator gut than a vegetarian gut. Just look at how much space the vegetarian gorilla needs for his food processing, those big round stomachs aren't for show, they are the hallmark of an animal that has to eat copious amounts of food every day to extract nutrition. The predator gut is short, and lacks the adaptations necessary - and is nearly identical to ours. We have some adaptations that allow us to be omnivores, but the basics of gut anatomy place us firmly on the carnivore side of the divide. As for the peaceful part, it should be noted that our nearest relatives, the chimps, aren't all that peaceful either. This article looks at meat consumption by chimps, and while it makes a questionable and unsupported statement that most "traditional" (the word "traditional" is undefined) societies eat diets mostly made up of plant foods, the chimp hunting data are directly observed and when they are extrapolated instead, he says so.
Cholesterol is another bit point of contention. Most people believe that cholesterol is inherently bad for you and that if your numbers are high you must immediately cut fat from your diet, start statin drugs and write up your will. The reality is that cholesterol is a vital bulding block for cell walls, bits of your brain and all the hormones that ensure a healthy and active sex life. Half of all people who have heart attacks have "normal" cholesterol, so something else must be going on. For giggles, do a google search on large particle LDL and see what comes up.
There is a "cholesterol" number you need to pay attention to, which strongly correlates with heart disease and that number is triglycerides. These blood fats correlate strongly, also, to diet - specifically to starch and sugar. Starch and sugar in the end correlate to insulin levels which is almost certainly where the havoc begins. Insulin is designed as a fine tuner, not a throttle. It's not a hormone our body expects to use much of, but has to depend heavily on with diets high in starch and sugar.
Needless to say, these fruit-batty attitudes of mine do not find much favor in the wide world I live in. My husband tolerates me and cooks low carb meals for me while others steadfastly advise me that meat and fat are toxic and will kill me. I have yet to hear anyone claim that our paleolithic ancestors were vegetarian and that they did not eat a LOT of meat. Those people had average heights about 6 inches taller than modern people have, they did not have dental disease, they had plenty of room in their pelvises for quick and relatively low-hazard births. They did not die of vitamin deficiencies, cardio-vascular diseases and they probably didn't get very fat. So, here's what I often get for lunch, though I rarely eat any of the tortillas. It's an order of Tacos de Carnitas from El Rancho (near work) - the salsa is very garlicky, and the pico de gallo is full of (the hated) cilantro.
Except for the whole cave interior decoration thing, the lack of hot and cold running water, the possibility of getting stomped to death by a mammoth and being cold a lot, this all seems perfectly fine to me. Because the dangers and pains of human childbirth were the other big factor in my decision. Incidentally, work and painful childbirth were the things God cursed man with when he kicked us out of the Garden of Eden. It sure looks to me like that particular set of punishments might have its orgins in the transition to agriculture, when older generations looked askance at how hard their daughters had to work to birth a baby and how hard their sons had to work to support it. Modern day hunter-gatherer peoples spend about three hours "working" per day, and the rest of it doing whatever they damn well please.
This page is a work in progress. Over time I will add links to resources that gave me the information I'm presenting. It won't happen overnight. If you are curious, a judiciously set up google search should return plenty of information. I recommend the Protein Power web site, primarily for its blog by Dr. Mike. If I cooked I might read Dr. Mary Dan's blog too. Other people to look up are Gary Taubes, Weston A. Price and even Dr. Mercola (though he seems like he might be a bit cracked to me). Linus Pauling had a lot to say about Vitamin C. But, without the weight of the scientific establishment (you know, the ones catering to Congress) behind most low carb and Vitamin C research, you will find the proponents of these largely feel marginalized and frustrated with the lack of attention the media and the government give to their researches and results. The studies are there, but the press won't promote them.
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background on weight and weight control.
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