A reader sent me a link to a blog post claiming that paleo types who advise against eating grains are scaring people for no reason.  (No, I’m not going to link to it.)  Grains are good for us, you see, because the Mayo Clinic, the USDA and numerous other experts say so.  That’s the main evidence offered:  a mindless appeal to authority.

The writer acknowledges that the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease has gone up, as have claims of gluten intolerance, but suggests the increases are a matter of increased awareness.  In other words, we’ve been scared into the thinking wheat is bad for us, so we’re reporting more problems with wheat.

The reported increase in celiac isn’t due to better diagnosis, however.  As Dr. William Davis explained in Wheat Belly, the rate of celiac disease really and truly has gone up – it’s quadrupled, in fact.  We know that because researchers found blood samples taken from soldiers 50 years ago and compared them to blood samples taken from soldiers today.  Sure enough, today’s soldiers were four times more likely to have celiac antibodies in their blood.

As for the argument that gluten intolerance is all in our heads, perhaps a double-blind study would answer that.  You know, feed some subjects foods containing gluten, feed other subjects similar foods without gluten, with neither group knowing which foods they’re eating.  If only someone had conducted such a study …

… oh, wait.  It’s been done, as reported in a New York Times article about gluten sensitivity:

Crucial in the evolving understanding of gluten were the findings, published in 2011, in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, of an experiment in Australia. In the double-blind study, people who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, did not have celiac and were on a gluten-free diet were given bread and muffins to eat for up to six weeks. Some of them were given gluten-free baked goods; the others got muffins and bread with gluten. Thirty-four patients completed the study. Those who ate gluten reported they felt significantly worse.

So gluten intolerance isn’t all in people’s heads.  It’s in their guts too.  At least that was the case in this study.

Ahh, but if you eliminate grains, you’ll miss out on all the health benefits who grains provide, the blogger assured us.  Oodles of studies have shown that whole grains are good for us.

I’ve written about those studies many times.  Every time I tracked down a study purporting to prove the benefits of whole grains, the comparison was between people consuming whole grains and people consuming white flour.  All we can determine from those studies is that whole grains aren’t as bad for us as white flour.  To prove whole grains have real benefits, we’d have to compare people who eat whole grains to people who eat no grains.

Ask the USDA, a doctor, a dietitian, or almost anyone who writes health articles for the mainstream press, and they’ll go on and on about hearthealthywholegrains.  Well, here’s one study that actually measured changes in heart-disease risk factors after feeding subjects whole grains:

A total of 316 participants (aged 18-65 years; BMI>25 kg/m2) consuming < 30 g WG/d were randomly assigned to three groups: control (no dietary change), intervention 1 (60 g WG/d for 16 weeks) and intervention 2 (60 g WG/d for 8 weeks followed by 120 g WG/d for 8 weeks). Markers of CVD risk, measured at 0 (baseline), 8 and 16 weeks, were: BMI, percentage body fat, waist circumference; fasting plasma lipid profile, glucose and insulin; and indicators of inflammatory, coagulation, and endothelial function. Differences between study groups were compared using a random intercepts model with time and WG intake as factors.

120 grams of whole grains … that’s a lot of hearthealthywholegrain goodness.  Now let’s look at the results:

Although reported WG intake was significantly increased among intervention groups, and demonstrated good participant compliance, there were no significant differences in any markers of CVD risk between groups. A period of 4 months may be insufficient to change the lifelong disease trajectory associated with CVD. The lack of impact of increasing WG consumption on CVD risk markers implies that public health messages may need to be clarified to consider the source of WG and/or other diet and lifestyle factors linked to the benefits of whole-grain consumption seen in observational studies.

Yes, I’d say the public-health messages regarding whole grains need to be clarified.  Here’s my version of the clarification:

Sorry … turns out we were wrong about the whole-grain thing.

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48 Responses to “Two Studies of hearthealthywholegrains”
  1. Andy says:

    I dream of a day when the truth about nutrition will come out.

    For now though scientific and anecdotal evidence will keep being ignored, bad-mouthed, or covered up, so the USDA can keep America invested in hearthealthywholegrains that are low in arterycloggingsaturatedfat! Sometimes I wonder if George Orwell had the ability to see the future….

    What’s REALLY interesting is a study (that I need to dig up, if you haven’t already) that compared stool samples (fun!) of people who ate whole wheat and people who ate white, and found that those who ate the white wheat actually absorbed more nutrients from it, despite it having less, than those who ate the whole wheat, due to the phytonutrient content (maybe this is why white tastes better, our bodies seem to be very smart). While this probably shouldn’t be construed as to conclude that white is always better than whole, it should serve to cast doubt in people’s minds about hearthealthywholegrains, and grains in general.

    When whole grains beat white flour in studies of health effects, I believe it’s largely because the whole grains (if they’re truly whole grains) don’t spike blood sugar as much.

  2. Pierson says:

    Why weren’t the people who ate the most whole grains any worse for the wear, though? Did health at least vary based on age?

    My guess is that people eating all the whole grains were largely replacing refined carbohydrates.

  3. Bret says:

    Prolong that study to a year and I’ll bet we’d see some significant differences. Just not the differences the NIH wants.

    My thoughts exactly.

  4. Nads says:

    That just means we all need 240g of healthywholgrains per day.

  5. JasonG says:

    Excuses:
    But, 16 weeks isn’t long enough to show the true benefit.
    But, healthy low-fat margarine, canola oil, skim milk, and coco puffs needs to be eaten with the grains for the full benefit to shine.
    But, every journalist says whole grains are good, so it must be true!
    But, the word “Wheat” has the word “Eat” inside, which is an obvious sign from God to eat it.

    Yup, you could almost sense the panic when the results weren’t what they wanted.

  6. TheFatNurse says:

    Tom…you might not want to listen to this NPR story that was on last week then:

    http://www.npr.org/2013/03/01/173242994/seeking-a-grain-of-truth-in-whole-grain-labels

    Some interesting exchanges:

    LUDWIG: …grains are a choice culturally, and are typically required for a large population to, you know, to get enough calories. But the biological requirement for grains is zero.

    And, of course, we ate no grains, or virtually no grains until domestication of grain products 8,000, 10,000, 12,000 years ago in some populations, and very much more recently in others.

    SLAVIN: But our recommendation in the U.S., if we’re going to get 50 percent of our calories from carbohydrate, I don’t know – I think if you want low glycemic, you’d go with sugar. But otherwise, I don’t think we’re going to recommend sugar instead of grains as a carbohydrate base, and also from a cost standpoint.

    LUDWIG: Carbohydrates, yeah, of which grains typically are the main part of that. I think that there’s – there is evidence that substantial reductions in refined grains, and possibly total carbohydrates, can have important health benefits on the metabolic syndrome, and this is a, you know, an exciting, evolving area…

    SLAVIN: I would just want to point out, though, this is for healthy people, and it is the dietary reference intake, so it is the basis, the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 45 to 65 percent of our calories should come from carbohydrate.

    Head. Bang. On. Desk.

  7. Hey, Tom, how long has this hearthealthywholegrains nonsense been accepted by science?

    In the book “The Half Life of Facts” it mentions how scientific errors take fifty years on average to get expunged. But that’s just an average. This particular fact might stay longer or shorter.

    The big push for hearthealthywholegrains began in the 1970s (a decade which also gave us disco, Watergate, stagflation and artificial gasoline shortages), so maybe we only have a decade or so to go.

  8. Bruce says:

    Sorry … turns out we were wrong about the whole-grain thing.

    I think they would just borrow something Emily Litella would have said,

    “Never mind.”

  9. Walter Bushell says:

    Next up a clinical investigation of white flour products, vs. whole and both vs. tubers (perhaps potatoes or sweet potatoes) as a carbohydrate source.

    Not to get too radical and test very low carb. >;)(

    At least we’re starting to see a few of those studies.

  10. Taysha says:

    It’s hard to go against what you’ve been told all your life. Especially when you get praised and rewarded for ‘following the guidelines’ by doctors and other people that are supposed to be looking out for you. I keep getting asked what kind of low-fat diet and how much exercise I’m doing, since I’ve lost about 30lbs so far. I really must be enjoying my oatmeal (actual statement). Um, only if by oatmeal they mean chicken and bacon scramble and by exercise they mean couch surfing, since I broke my arm 3 weeks ago.

    I just convinced my husband to look into LC/paleo. He’s lost almost 10 lbs in about as many days, is down a waist size (aren’t those grounds for divorce?) and he is feeling so much better he’s almost scared. As he told me the other day “This feels like I’m using a cheat code, it’s hard to believe!”
    Even food is tasting better every day for him. I call that a win. And of course, it’s much easier for me to do LC, and control my insulin usage since I’m a T1 diabetic, when he’s not eating pasta around me =)

    Like using a cheat code. Good description.

  11. Walter Bushell says:

    And furthermore we are not going to get Americans to eat whole grains. Even the “whole wheat” bread in the stores is IIRC mainly white flour, sugar and industrial seed oils (diesal fuel).

    By the way, flour products are a major source of PUFAs in the SAD. Perhaps the pernicious effects of wheat is due to a large extent to the PUFAs in bakery products? Especially since PUFAs in baked products are *cooked*.

    Do they use PUFAs in bread in China? Rice is usually eaten in grain form, but wheat almost never.

    What passes for “whole wheat” bread in America will likely spike your blood sugar more than eating sugar directly from the bowl.

  12. Marilyn says:

    The problem, of course, is that there are only three macronutrients. If fat is going to kill us, and protein is going to wreck our kidneys, what else is there? It will never happen, but perhaps the first studies that need to be done — or existing studies that need to be brought to light over and over again — would be those that corrected people’s understanding of fat and protein, so carbohydrates didn’t end up so out of proportion by default.

    @Andy. If my memory serves me, Barry Groves recommends white bread (if one is going to eat bread) because the bran might be carcinogenic. Also, it appears that soaking or fermenting grain before it’s used can reduce the amount of minerals the grain binds with and carries out of the intestine. Most of the grain that’s used commercially isn’t prepared that way.

  13. Sabine says:

    Please watch this and pass it on:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI&list=WL667BED8F39091741

    Our addiction to grains (and soy) is not only ruining our own health, but it is also killing the planet we all depend on for survival.

  14. desmond says:

    The NPR radio program was hillarious. “We have to eat whole grains because that what our authorities tell us to do; even though we did not eat them prehistorically.” “Eating whole grains is essestial to our biology, but don’t go picking wheat or oats in the field and pop them into your mouth… because humans can’t digest them.” (paraphrases, but not far off)

    Luckily I was eating some raw almonds as she insisted that we absolutely need grains for dietary fiber. If you make it down to Atlanta for a presentation, let us know.

    Interesting logic, eh? We can’t eat them unprocessed, but we need the processed version to be healthy. Yeah, that makes sense.

  15. Kim says:

    I’ve been following a paleo diet without grains for 1.5 years now. I saw some very unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms disappear which I attributed to cutting the grains. However I made a lot of other changes at the same time, so I decided recently to try some experiments in a more controlled way.

    I tried some wheat. Felt crappy for 3-4 days. Tried some whole rye. Felt even crappier, but for only 1-2 days. Tried some barley. Not as bad, but still nothing I wish to repeat. Every type of bean I tried also gave me the same reaction to some degree. I don’t care what anyone says, I’m not going to eat foods that cause bloating, gut-wrenching gas pains and even worse. Some people want to claim that it’s “just the fiber” and I’ll “get used to it”. BS. I can eat avocado, broccoli, carrots, eggplant, sweet potatoes and other high-fiber veggies all day long with no problems whatsoever.

    Grains aren’t magical. They’re poison. And no that’s not an exaggeration. My mom and grandma both suffer from more advanced issues than I was suffering from. They’re scared to ever be far from a bathroom. I have no doubt I would have been in the same shoes at their age if I’d continued eating the same way.

    I remember always packing a bottle of Pepto-Bismal when I traveled. Since dumping the grains, I can’t remember my last dose of the stuff.

  16. Rich Damien says:

    I’ve been eating Paleo since the end of December and it really has changed how I look at food. I shoot for about 80% compliance and honestly I’m still not 100% sold on all grains being bad. I am sold on this “heart healthy” thing being some kind of bizarre dogma now though. I find people react strongly when you challenge this notion.

    In any case paleo and intermittent fasting is working for me as I try and cut fat. Paleo by itself makes maintenance a breeze. When I try and add more muscle next cycle I’ll add in paleo/primal friendly carbs like sweet potatoes and possibly some rice.

  17. SB says:

    I dont even understand the NPR bit about “low glycemic” and “sugar”… Those words don’t belong together. As to awareness…yes, I am more aware of when I have a stomachache and without fail it comes after eating a few slices of pizza… But not after eating just cheese or tomatoes by themselves. Hmm.

    And I’m pretty sure that’s not all in your head.

  18. Craig says:

    I love how the “experts” always claim that the problem is people misdiagnosing themselves with gluten intolerance. Like most of your readers I largely avoid grains. But I’d imagine a large portion of your readers are also like me in that I live in the United States in the year 2013 and I still occasionally end up eating a couple slices of pizza while hanging out with friends. Exactly how much advanced medical training does someone need to properly diagnose an aching stomach, heartburn and explosive watery poop?

    P.S. At home I frequently use the Meatza recipe from “Free the Animal.” But along with all the meat, cheese, bell peppers and onions in the standard recipe I like adding jalapeno peppers before cooking and hot sauce and red pepper flakes before eating. Never any problems.

    They’re also claiming a placebo effect when many of us had no expectations of seeing various health issues go away, which means there can’t be a placebo effect. I stopped eating wheat to get my carb count down. I didn’t expect the arthritis in my shoulder or the psoriasis on the back of my head to go away, but they did. Dr. Davis started investigating wheat after hundreds of patients told him about all the health problems that went away after he told them to stop eating wheat simply to reduce their glucose levels. He didn’t tell any of them that their IBS, arthritis, asthma, etc. would go away too.

  19. sapphirepaw says:

    I used to bake my own bread. When I used 100% whole wheat flour (or organic whole spelt flour) I got a much denser loaf, because the bran cuts some of the gluten chains that give it structure.

    Commercially prepared 100% whole wheat breads seem to be consistent with the density of the rest of the brand’s line, and include extra gluten as a separate ingredient. These lines are not as airy as regular fluff-above-all bread and cost twice as much. Apparently consumer taste preferences run toward fluffy, soft bread which stays fresh for an unnaturally long time, so the industry has spent decades optimizing for that.

    Anyway, the labeling laws are designed to be tricky and confusing. That little “100%” has a technical meaning in both whole wheat and organic labels.

    Yup, those fluffy whole-wheat breads let people believe they’re eating something healthy, even though it’s barely any different from white bread.

  20. lantenec says:

    “the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 45 to 65 percent of our calories should come from carbohydrate.”

    If the Institute of Medicine recommended you jump off a cliff would you do it…..

  21. Bill C. says:

    I just read an article by Denise Minger on her Raw Food SOS site about a new “China Study” that links wheat consumption to weight gain.
    http://rawfoodsos.com/category/wheat-2/

    She put links to the study in her article and urged people to read it before “the powers that be shove it behind a pay wall”. The link now takes you to an “updated” version of the study. but I was able to find the original online as well.

    Of the 4 diets the study used the one that caused the most weight gain was the “vegetable rich pattern”. Of the 4 this was the only group that consumed wheat. The conclusion of the study confirmed that wheat was the only variable that could have caused the weight gain.

    The conclusion of the original study read:
    “In conclusion, the ‘traditional’ dietary pattern was
    negatively associated with weight gain and the ‘vegetablerich’ pattern was positively associated with weight gain in Chinese adults. More research is needed to reveal the mechanisms involved in explaining these associations.”

    I clicked the link to the study that Denise supplied and noticed the conclusion of the study had changed since Denise read it.

    Now it reads:
    “In conclusion, we found a positive association between intake of vegetable-rich food pattern and obesity. This association can be linked to the high intake of energy due to liberal use of vegetable oil for cooking vegetables. Such vegetable-rich pattern considered to be healthy by the Western concept is not so healthy in China since it may lead to a risk of overconsumption in terms of energy relative to energy needs. When making recommendation on vegetable intake in the Chinese context, vegetable oil consumption and cooking method should also be taken into consideration.”

    It seems that no one bought their original attempt to explain away the results so they decided to pull a Maxwell Smart. (Would you believe….)

    Can’t say I’m surprised. They probably heard from the Diet Police.

  22. Stefan says:

    “We don’t know what the best diet is,” said Dr. Michael Lauer, the director of the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “This is a great opportunity to come together and use power of the scientific method to get closer to the right answer.” (full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/health/experts-want-more-studies-of-mediterranean-diets-role-for-the-heart.html?pagewanted=all)
    Aha! Or rather oops? Isn’t the NHLBI the same bunch who launched that campaign in 1984 to convince us that low fat will reduce coronary heart disease? (and failed to do so in MRFIT etc….)

    We can dream, can’t we?

  23. After being very-low-carb for the past six months, I decided to cheat yesterday and eat two of the bread rolls at the restaurant table. I got light headed and dizzy! I won’t be repeating that experiment again. :)

    Consider it a “proof of concept” experiment.

  24. Liz says:

    Hey check it out, Huffpost actually published a weight-loss story by a guy who cut grains to get his health back in order:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/i-lost-weight-dj-foodie-williams_n_2719171.html?ir=Healthy+Living

  25. paulc says:

    wholegrains are being pushed on us by the wholegrain growers and vegetarians who hate the idea of us getting our protein from meat.

    Anyway, this article on the Daily Mail needs assimilating:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2288154/A-diabetes-epidemic-supermarkets-pushers-addictive-drug-called-sugar.html

    Good article, but I have one quibble: food producers don’t tell us what to eat. We tell them what to produce through our purchases. When we stop buying junk, they’ll stop producing it.

  26. Firebird says:

    “What passes for “whole wheat” bread in America will likely spike your blood sugar more than eating sugar directly from the bowl.”

    A friend of mine (a since passed away diabetic) use to say that about pizza crust.

    Your friend was right. Sorry for the loss.

  27. Vir-Gena Fowlkes says:

    My 13 yr-old son decided to conduct his own observational study at school. He identified students exhibiting a lot of acne and ask them what they liked to eat…. pizza, sandwiches and bread. He asked students with minimal acne the same question….. cheese, sausage, bacon and eggs. Maybe those healthy grains aren’t so good for your complexion? Good thing he doesn’t fall for the “Eat your healthy whole grain” mantra.
    I get to see your buddy, Jimmy Moore, at the Become Superhuman event in Spokane, WA this weekend. If it wasn’t snowing right now, I’d ask him to play a round of disc golf at Farragut State park.

    I believe Jimmy would take you up on that if he had the chance.

  28. Bob in NM says:

    My wife and I have been eating low-carb for two years. While we have been dissapointed in my wife’s progress with her blood pressure/blood sugar/lipid panel/weight loss, she has had a dramatic improvement with her asthma. Her doctor told to keep doing what she was doing because her lungs have never sounded better and her medication has to be refilled far less often. It appears this was a side-effect of cutting out wheat, because on those rare cheat occasions when she eats something with wheat in it she has to hit the inhaler pretty hard for a couple days later.

    That’s good news. Year ago a doctor told me I had mild asthma. Now I don’t.

  29. I love how the wheat apologists fall all over themselves to argue that unless traditional celiac tests are positive, there’s no possible way a person can be suffering harm from wheat.

    This despite the American Journal of Gastroenterology calling for a new, unique disease that they’ve dubbed “Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity.” In the July 24, 2012 issue of American Journal of Gastroenterology they state “Our data confirm the existence of non-celiac wheat sensitivity as a distinct clinical condition.”

    Carroccio et al. “Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity Diagnosed by Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Challenge: Exploring a New Clinical Entity.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul 24. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2012.236.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22825366

    By the time you’re diagnosed with celiac, you’re already permanently damaged.

  30. Bret says:

    @Liz:
    I was also shocked to hear a Weight Watchers commercial and a TV news story matter-of-factly acknowledging bread as a fattening food. The truth doesn’t seem to poke its way into the mainstream media very often, but it’s a nice surprise when it does.

  31. SueD says:

    Just want to add to the anti-wheat mention – today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinal Wednesday food section featured numerous articles and recipes concerning gluten free living. Additionally, a short interview with Dr. Davis (Milwaukee’s own) was included.

    On a sad note – one local chain is offering as a special next week a half gallon of chocolate milk for 39 cents. A mere quart of full fat white milk is currently running between $1.59-1.89. Makes you shake your head.

    Ugh.

  32. NM says:

    It’s not just healthy-wholegrains. Massive main headlines in all UK news this morning was that (processed) meat’s going to kill us. Thanks, of course, to another OBSERVATIONAL study:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779

    And, guess what. I checked the full study and it does NOT adjust for sugar, starch or carbohydrate at all. Indeed, literally do a ctrl+f on the PDF and you’ll find not *one* mention of any of those:
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7015-11-63.pdf

    So, of course, for all those people enjoying a bacon sandwich and a coke, it’s the bacon that’s getting 100% of the blame here.

    Still, at least the pernicious maths-torturers couldn’t manage to get red meat to plead guilty here, and just had to agree to “processed” meats instead.

    People who eat a lot of processed meat tend to have crappy diets in general.

  33. Jim Butler says:

    Hmmm…put a rather wordy reply in this morning…didn’t see it appear waiting for moderation, so reposted it, then got the “Hmmm…it appears you already said this?” msg from WordPress, so assumed it was in.

    Apparently not ;) Oh well.

    Jim

    Sorry, no idea what happened there.

  34. Andrew says:

    Tom, see this study in the news today? “Processed meat ‘early death’ link” I am sure you will have to put up a post about this one… =)

    I will keep my bacon, thanks.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779

    Same old observational garbage.

  35. Lauren says:

    Ugh! Everytime some gives me the line about “needing” whole grains or I’ll miss “vital nutrients”, I always ask, “What nutrients are in whole grain that I cannot get elsewhere?”
    So far, no one can answer me. Point, set, match please pass that slab of fat-dripping steak and broccoli, thanks.

    And how did humans survive for hundreds of thousands of years without those “vital” nutrients?

  36. paulc says:

    [quote]Walter Bushell says:
    March 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

    What passes for “whole wheat” bread in America will likely spike your blood sugar more than eating sugar directly from the bowl.[/quote]

    of course it will, gram for gram, starch will hit your blood glucose levels twice as hard a sucrose because starch is all glucose molecules linked up, while sucrose is glucose and fructose molecules… the fructose has negligible effect on your blood glucose levels (but very bad effects upon your liver)

    what freaks me out is that fructose gets a healthy low GI image and is even used as a sweetener in diabetic products!!!

    That’s because the fructose is processed in the liver and, if your glycogen stores are full, it’s turned to liver fat. So it doesn’t spike blood sugar, but gives you a fatty liver.

  37. NM says:

    “So it doesn’t spike blood sugar”. The problem is, fructose does spike *a* blood sugar via GLUT2:! And excess fructose in the blood is even more destructive in the arteries than glucose. But because standard monitors don’t register fructose, it’s out of sight, out of mind.

    Those who recommend fructose as safe because it “doesn’t spike blood glucose” is like recommending standing next to high-energy gamma-radiation sources because they don’t register on alpha-particle meters ;-)

    If, for some reason, we regularly measured our blood-fructose, then maybe we’d be recommending “safe” glucose to everyone, which didn’t spike it.

  38. Walter Bushell says:

    RE: Paulc’s comment The quote is from Mr. Naughton in reply to me.

    I’m not sure whether spiked blood sugar or fatty liver is worst. Carried to extreme either one will kill you.

    I have recovered (mostly) from fatty liver, from sugar. I looked at some antidrug propaganda and I was the very picture of an alcoholic induced fatty liver type. People with non alcoholic fatty liver are turned down for transplants because the doctors figure that they are lying alcoholics and this can be fatal.

  39. gollum says:

    I recently read up on something called the polyol pathway:
    Too much glucose in the blood favors recycling it into fructose and sorbitol. Sort of a last defense, I guess.

    Sorbitol unfortunately has a slow ‘-ase and sticks around, pardon the pun, making cells go all swollen.
    It is theorized that this makes up for a good part of damage from hyperglycemia.

    So what do you think my bag of “Sweetener for Diabetics” is filled with ? That’s right, >99% sorbitol.

    However they sort of canned the special diabetics’ foods with lots of fructose here (after having pushed them for at least 30 years, of course).

    Dr. Richard Johnson has also conducted some recent research suggesting that some people may convert glucose to fructose, which means excess starch could end up producing the fructose damage Dr. Lustig warns us about.

  40. Marilyn says:

    @Walter Bushnell: “People with non alcoholic fatty liver are turned down for transplants because the doctors figure that they are lying alcoholics and this can be fatal.”

    And a person who does not drink can have an awful time getting decent treatment for a liver problem because the doctor insists that he’s lying about not drinking. Happened to a friend of mine.

  41. Christopoll says:

    “Quick, find an excuse, else the companies that support us will not pay us!”

    By the way, do you ever eat dark chocolate? Like 80% cocoa or more?

    Very, very rarely. Nothing against it, but I’ve never craved chocolate.

  42. goll says:

    Actually I wonder whether maybe there are people that have polyol on overdrive,
    providing “natural glucose tolerance”.

    That would explain cases where people experience diabetic damage, but quack says BG or urine is “normal”.

    On the other hand I’m not sure how that would be beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint, since it does damage.
    If we, on the other hand, theorize that these are “high-protein-low-carb-people”, polyol shouldn’t be useful at all.
    Maybe if we think about blooming summer and in the heat you eat, eat eat carbs and stuff your cells, half of it goes to the adipocytes, the other half goes to polyol and is metabolized slowly in the night?
    Summer lasts two months only so damage is limited (I call that pet diabetes theory of mine “Endless summer” – people eat strawberries in January nowadays. But I would have to add that other people got this idea too, the rdos.net asperger guy I think).

  43. Marilyn says:

    From what I’ve read, the bacteria in the mouth that cause dental problems can be as happy with sorbitol as they are with sucrose. So much for all that sorbitol “sugar free” chewing gum. . . and all the sorbitol sweetened mouth rinses. . . and all the sorbitol sweetened tooth pastes . . .

  44. Jean says:

    I don’t think the 50 years for an idea to change has even started, I’m afraid. Even if we convince the authorities and the medical profession we will still have a whole generation learning this rubbish in school because all the biology text books bang on about arterycloggingsaturatedfat and hearthealthywholegrains and schools can’t afford to dump expensive resources.

    I think the change has started. I’m seeing more articles in the popular press that get it right.

  45. Todd says:

    While I am not full Paleo, I have have up all breads, pastas, most starches and and significantly reduced simple carbohydrates overall . Since then (Xmas 2012), I have dropped 20 pounds from 198 to 178. For a guy who is 5 ft 8 inches at 34 ages that is not bad at all. While I do exercise more, it not a huge increase and only when I feel like it – ironically my deal approach eating increases motivation also be physically active. While I try to make breakfast largest meal in terms of protein and size, I essentially eat till I am full and eat when I feel like it – No more and no less than what I want.

    As for gastro issues as others have mentioned in their posts, I had salmonella in 2010 and ever since I had always had had gastro issues. Some weeks were better than others, while others I had to thinking about where the next bathroom was in my travels outside the house. Since this new approach to food, my bowel habits are not perfect, but quite satisfactory as I no longer go multiple times a day and live in anxiety about being to far away from a bathroom. Oddly, when I think back to it, my bowels habits were rarely consistent. I would like to say we are only now discovering how bread and all these other simple carbs are the cause and/or co-factors in a lot of illness, but sadly, previous research going back long ago confirms this as well. We of course fed off a paleo diet early in our human history and of course started to manipulate our world to make food more ready and on demand. We made food that is not really digestible consumable and use our predisposition for certain tastes to increase consumption and in turn sales. Unfortunately we shot first and asked questions later…..well in some regards,we shot first and dare not to ask questions or at least try to silence those who do….sigh.

  46. Farside says:

    Here is an interesting radio program from the People pharmacy

    http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/03/09/895-the-great-cholesterol-myth/

    Any show with Dr. Jonny Bowden in it is bound to be interesting.

  47. Phyllis Mueller says:

    @Todd–Have you replenished your gut microflora with probiotics? There are many options–active culture yogurts, probiotic capsules, drinks like kombucha or fermented coconut (Kevita) or beet kvass, or naturally fermented pickles and sauerkraut. They are widely available at health-food stores, and some you can make yourself. Any or all could help and it’s unlikely that any would hurt you (unless you’re allergic to the ingredients).

    For some people, eating less fiber of any kind (and more meat and fat) can help.

  48. Dariusz says:

    I wonder how many gluten-free company pay you ?

    That would explain all the ads for gluten-free foods on my site.

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