More From The Save The Grain Campaign

Depending on which article you read, somewhere between 30% and 55% of people in the U.S. and Canada are cutting back on grains, especially wheat.  That’s no small threat to what has long been the most profitable sector of the food industry.  (Those government grain subsidies sure help.)

So the grain industry is fighting back with I’ve decided to call the Save The Grain Campaign.  The campaign employs three main tactics I’ve noticed so far:

1. Promote grains as a necessary health food.
2. Attack people who say grains are bad for us.
3. Attack diets like low-carb or paleo that limit or eliminate grains.

Back in January, I wrote a post about an incredibly stupid article in Shape Magazine that featured the headline Low Carb Diet Linked to Shorter Life Expectancy.  The article was about a Harvard observational study in which people who ate whole grains had longer lifespans than people who ate white flour.  From that study, the dunce reporter at Shape Magazine concluded that 1) whole grains are health food, and 2) a low-carb diet will shorten your lifespan.

Riiiight.  And if people who smoke filtered cigarettes live longer than people who smoke unfiltered cigarettes, that means unfiltered cigarettes are good for you … so people who don’t smoke will die prematurely.  Same twisted logic.  Leaders of the Save The Grain Campaign must have been proud.

The grain promoters know they can’t claim that grains are good for everyone without looking foolish.  After all, there’s that little problem known as celiac disease.  So they’re quick to point out that only one percent of the population has been diagnosed with celiac disease.  Grains are great for the other 99 percent, ya see.

Riiiiight.  That’s roughly equivalent to pointing out that only seven percent of cigarette smokers develop lung cancer, so cigarettes are fine for the other 93 percent.  Celiac disease may be the most severe form of grain intolerance, but it’s hardly the only one.  As I’ve mentioned before, when I stopped eating wheat and other grains, I waved goodbye to psoriasis on my scalp and arthritis in my shoulder, to name just two benefits of many.  And guess what?  I don’t have celiac disease.  I had the test done to be sure.

If my daughter Sara eats wheat, she gets red blotches on her arms she calls da bumps – and I doubt she has celiac disease.  I’ve heard from people who gave up grains and stopped getting migraines, or restless legs at night, or cold sores, or mood swings, or … well, heck, name it.  Most of them, like me, didn’t give up grains because they have celiac disease or were worried about gluten or the gliadin protein.  They gave up grains because they adopted a low-carb diet to lose weight, then noticed all those lovely side benefits.

That’s why I believe some studies and articles discouraging people from adopting a low-carb diet are part of the Save The Grain Campaign.  When people go low-carb, bread, pasta and cereal are usually among the first foods swept from the menu.  So with that in mind, let’s look at a couple more articles I’d consider part of the campaign.

We’ll start with an article on the Med Page Today site with the headline OmniCarb Study: Cutting Carbs No Silver Bullet.

Overweight and obese people who followed a low glycemic index diet in the context of an overall DASH-type diet had no greater improvements in insulin sensitivity, lipid levels or systolic blood pressure compared with study subjects who ate high glycemic index foods, in a randomized, controlled feeding study.

Low glycemic?  I though the headline was about low-carb.

Following a low-glycemic index, low-carbohydrate diet, compared with a high-glycemic index, high-carbohydrate diet did not affect insulin sensitivity, systolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol, but it did lower triglycerides during the from 111 to 86 mg/dL, researcher Frank M. Sacks, MD, of Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote in the Dec. 17 issue of JAMA.

Ah, there was a low-carb arm of the study.  So they must have limited carb intake to somewhere between 20 and 50 grams per day.

Among the two study diets with a high carbohydrate composition (58% of daily energy), one had a high glycemic index (≥65 on the glucose scale) and the other had a low glycemic index (≤45 on the glucose scale).

The two other diets had a low carbohydrate composition (40% of daily energy), with one having a high (≥65%) and the other having a low (≤45%) glycemic index.

Um … 40% of daily energy as carbohydrate is a low-carb diet?  Say what?  If I consume 2500 calories per day, 40% as carbohydrate works out to 250 grams per day.  I’m pretty sure that’s nothing like what Dr. Atkins recommended.

As I read the article, I realized I’ve written about Dr. Frank Sacks and his research before.  In fact, my first-ever blog post (nearly six years ago) was titled Create Your Very Own Biased Study.  It was about a study conducted by … wait for it … Dr. Frank Sacks, who declared that low-carb diets aren’t particularly good for inducing weight loss.  He showed as much by putting people on a (ahem) low-carb diet.  Except his definition of low-carb was … wait for it … 35 percent of calories.  Again, that’s nowhere close to the degree of carbohydrate restriction recommended by Dr. Atkins, Drs. Eades & Eades, etc.  Heck, even Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet, with the safe starches and all, tops out at 30% of calories from carbohydrates.

Dr. Sacks has to know that low-carb diet plans start at 50 grams max, then gradually raise the carb intake to perhaps 100 grams.  So I can’t help but wonder why he keeps studying “low-carb” diets that allow well over 200 grams per day, then uses those results to declare that cutting carbs doesn’t make much of a difference.  Why not try an actual low-carb diet in one of these studies?  Because to me, his studies look like reducing an alcoholic’s intake from 10 drinks per day to seven, then declaring that the poor S.O.B. still isn’t sober, so there’s no point in cutting back on alcohol.

If Dr. Sacks wants to steer people away from low-carb diets, at least he’s subtle about it.  This article in Consumer Reports isn’t:

Widely publicized diets, such as high protein and low carbohydrates, seem so promising. It’s no wonder so many of us have tried—or considered—them. But does science support the claims? We spoke with doctors and dietitians, and read the research.

They may have spoken with doctors and dieticians – which is roughly as useful as asking for dietary advice from a plumber – but based on what follows, I can guarantee they didn’t read the research.

Remember the Scarsdale diet and the Stillman diet? Those high-protein, low-carb plans may have gone out of fashion, but Atkins, first published in 1972, is still hot. Protein-packed products are flooding stores, and the list of popular protein-rich diets—Paleo, Zone, and more—continues to grow. All claim that you’ll lose pounds, feel peppier, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

People lose weight on high-protein plans because they take in fewer calories, not because they focus on protein. “Diets only work by lowering calories,” says David Seres, M.D., director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of Consumer Reports’ medical advisory board. “Where the calories come from doesn’t matter.”

Yes, when you lose weight, you take in fewer calories than you burn.  That’s HOW you lose weight, but not WHY you lose weight.  In several studies, people on a low-carb diet spontaneously ate less despite not being told to restrict calories.  That means something positive happened with their metabolisms.  Eating less is the result, not the cause.  Dr. Seres’ statement is akin to saying that Alcoholics Anonymous may work, but only because people stop drinking.

In addition to pushing protein, many of these plans recommend cutting back on—or completely eliminating—carbohydrates. Get less than 50 grams of carbs per day (the amount in two apples) for three to four days in a row, and your body will start tapping its own fat and muscle for fuel instead of its usual source: glucose derived from carbohydrates. That may sound like a way to shed pounds, but it can have serious health consequences. “You’re altering your metabolism away from what’s normal and into a starved state,” Seres says. “People in starved states experience problems with brain function.”

Holy crap, I’d better load up on carbs and then check that highly complex program I spent all those overtime hours coding last month – with everyone from the president of IT on down waiting for results.  I’m told it worked quite well.  On the other hand, my brain function is impaired, so I might have heard “This sucks — you’re fired” and interpreted it as “I really appreciate all your hard work in getting this done” … from the president of IT.

A high-protein diet also overworks the kidneys. That’s especially worrisome for people with kidney disease and can predispose those with healthy kidneys to kidney stones.

If your kidneys are damaged, they can leak protein.  In that case, you need to restrict protein.  But protein doesn’t cause the damage in the first place.  Here’s a quote from a journal article on the supposed dangers of high-protein diets:

The purpose of this review is to evaluate the scientific validity of AHA Nutrition Committee’s statement on dietary protein and weight reduction, which states: “Individuals who follow these [high-protein] diets are risk for … potential cardiac, renal, bone, and liver abnormalities overall.

Simply stated, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that high-protein intake has adverse effects on liver function. Relative to renal function, there are no data in the scientific literature demonstrating that healthy kidneys are damaged by the increased demands of protein consumed in quantities 2–3 times above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).

In contrast with the earlier hypothesis that high-protein intake promotes osteoporosis, some epidemiological studies found a positive association between protein intake and bone mineral density. Further, recent studies suggest, at least in the short term, that RDA for protein (0.8 g/kg) does not support normal calcium homeostasis. Finally, a negative correlation has been shown between protein intake and systolic and diastolic blood pressures in several epidemiological surveys.

In conclusion, there is little if any scientific evidence supporting the above mentioned statement.

So I guess the anonymous Consumer Reports reporter didn’t actually slog through the research before repeating what a few doctors and dieticians believe.

When it comes to heart disease, the saturated-fat-laden red meat that’s part of many high-protein diets may actually boost your risk. According to a Harvard study of more than 120,000 people followed for more than 20 years, a meat-based low-carb diet increased the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 14 percent.

Denise Minger sliced and diced that observational study in a guest post on Mark Sisson’s blog.  It’s worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the money quote:

If you secretly suspected that this was a “people who eat red meat do a lot of unhealthy things that make them die sooner” study, you can now gloat.

As you can see, the folks eating the most red meat were also the least physically active, the most likely to smoke, and the least likely to take a multivitamin (among many other things you can spot directly in the table, including higher BMIs, higher alcohol intake, and a trend towards less healthy non-red-meat food choices).

Same old, same old … in a society where people are told meat is bad for them, it’s mostly the I don’t give a @#$% people who eat more meat – well, except for us LCHF and paleo types.  I don’t give a @#$% types have worse health outcomes for all kinds of reasons – including not giving a @#$%.

By the way, I realize some of you are probably expecting me to jump up and down and insist that a low-carb diet is a high-fat diet, not a high-protein diet.  Truth is, unless you aim for a constant state of ketosis – which I don’t – a low-carb diet probably will be high in protein.  And for most of us, I think that’s good.  I’ll explain why in a future post.

In the meantime, we can all sit back and chuckle at the Save The Grain Campaign.  I give them kudos for effort, but it’s not going to work.  You can’t easily convince people to dismiss their own experiences.

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101 thoughts on “More From The Save The Grain Campaign

  1. Garry Lee

    Tom, the Wildebeeste faction of GnuVal fame must hate your non-leaky guts, but as we say in Ireland fuck them, or as Brendan Behan would’ve said, doublefuck and triplefuck them.

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    250 carbs per day is low carb? Crap… that’s like 7 snickers bars. I’ve obviously been doing this wrong!

    Reply
  3. Namu

    I’ve wowed coworkers by scarfing down a pound of fresh red meat in a single lunch before, and there’s not a shred of guilt on me.

    The “save our grain [subsidies ?]” campaign is promoting fear and doubt, predictably. Maybe we should start our own testimony campaign, styled “I thought I needed grains until I stopped eating them, and never had a cold sore, gastric reflux or sleep apnea ever since. Feeling fantastic now. Thanks for nothing, grains.” ?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Our campaign already exists and is thriving on the internet. That’s why they’re scared.

      Reply
  4. Garry Lee

    Tom, the Wildebeeste faction of GnuVal fame must hate your non-leaky guts, but as we say in Ireland fuck them, or as Brendan Behan would’ve said, doublefuck and triplefuck them.

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    250 carbs per day is low carb? Crap… that’s like 7 snickers bars. I’ve obviously been doing this wrong!

    Reply
      1. Arturo

        Perhaps they were on the Slim-Fast Diet? After all, US News lists it as one of the BEST diets out there, certainly better than that silly Paleo diet that ranked dead-last and that no one should try because it’s too hard. 😛

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Heh-heh … because getting by on what amounts to a little chocolate-flavored skim milk is easy.

          Reply
          1. j

            It’s not fair to call it just chocolate-flavored skim milk…it contains many ingredients such as Fructose, Calcium Caseinate, Gum Arabic, Cellulose Gel, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Mono and Diglycerides, Potassium Phosphate, Soybean Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Isolated Soy Protein, Artificial Flavor, Maltodextrin, Sucralose and Acesulfame (Nonnutritive Sweeteners), Dextrose…etc.

            Now I dont know what most of these are but I’m sure theyre healthy and nutritious… :O

            Reply
  6. Bryan Harris

    > it did lower triglycerides during the from 111 to 86 mg/dL

    Am I crazy or do these people need to be retaught how to form a coherent sentence?

    Reply
  7. Namu

    I’ve wowed coworkers by scarfing down a pound of fresh red meat in a single lunch before, and there’s not a shred of guilt on me.

    The “save our grain [subsidies ?]” campaign is promoting fear and doubt, predictably. Maybe we should start our own testimony campaign, styled “I thought I needed grains until I stopped eating them, and never had a cold sore, gastric reflux or sleep apnea ever since. Feeling fantastic now. Thanks for nothing, grains.” ?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Our campaign already exists and is thriving on the internet. That’s why they’re scared.

      Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Hey, if you can’t trust the federal government to be fair and neutral, who can you trust?

          Reply
          1. Janet

            I thought net neutrality was about corporations being fair and neutral–something websites like yours should have an interest in and not just another jab at the big bad govmint which in this case does seem to want to protect little old you. But hey, a completely unfettered Comcast or Verizon, considering their bullying and dismal service is just . They must love you.

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              You and I have different opinions on the government’s desire or ability to 1) be neutral and 2) manage the internet for everyone. This guy’s opinion fits well with mine:

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/05/14/am-i-the-only-techie-against-net-neutrality/

              Quote from this article: https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/real-cost-network-neutrality

              A recent study from New York University concluded net neutrality would cost Americans 500,000 jobs and $62 billion over the next five years. The international market research firm Frost & Sullivan found net neutrality regulations would likely pass on to the consumer up to $55 per month in additional costs. These and other studies show a hands-off approach to Internet regulation maximizes social and economic welfare.

              From the Washington Post (hardly a bastion of anti-government sentiment): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/12/01/study-strong-net-neutrality-rules-could-cost-you-84-a-year-or-more-in-new-fees/

              Internet service providers would be subject to more than $15 billion a year in new fees if the Federal Communications Commission decides to start regulating them with Title II of the Communications Act — the same tool the agency uses to police telephone service, according to Hal Singer and Robert Litan, two economists who support less-aggressive net neutrality rules. And those charges, they say, would inevitably be passed along to you.

              So the feds move in to (ahem) protect the little guy and end up killing jobs and raising costs. Well, I am shocked.

  8. Boundless

    Re: … only one percent of the population has been diagnosed with celiac disease.  Grains are great for the other 99 percent, ya see.

    Just published in MDPI/Nutrients: Effect of Gliadin on Permeability of Intestinal Biopsy Explants from Celiac Disease Patients and Patients with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
    Free fulltext at: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1565/htm

    “This study demonstrates that gliadin exposure induces an increase in intestinal permeability in all individuals, regardless of whether or not they have celiac disease.”

    So far, the most prominent investigator on this paper, Fasano, has been saying that only celiacs need to avoid gluten (which contains the gliadin). It will be interesting to see if he shifts his advice.

    Reply
  9. Bryan Harris

    > it did lower triglycerides during the from 111 to 86 mg/dL

    Am I crazy or do these people need to be retaught how to form a coherent sentence?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m prone to the missing-word error myself. I write, I read, my brain fills in the missing words I think I wrote.

      Reply
  10. Firebird

    I have my own “save the grain” campaign. When I eat out and my order comes with a choice of breads or toast, I tell them to “save it”. They don’t include it in my order.

    You would have thought times would change in 20 years. It was around this time that a friend of mine (a nutritionist) introduced me to “PR” or 40-30-30, which evolved into Barry Sears’ “Zone Diet” which, at the age of 30 worked very well for me at that time. Back then 130 gms of carbs per day, which is what I was consuming, was being called a “low carb diet”. The cry from the LFHC people was also that it was too high in fat and protein. Yet some researchers think 130gms in this day and age is “low carb”. I would not call The Zone Diet “low carb” at all. I think Sears was on the right track, however.

    I think I’d feel like crap if I went that high in carbs again.

    Reply
  11. Damien Gray

    I noticed this campaign in my local paper (Austin American-Statesman) a couple of days ago. I usually read Dr. Oz column for a few laughs, but that one was textbook idiocy. The lead point was how much nutrition you are losing if you stop eating grains. All the nutrients he listed were fortifications to grains. It was hilarious and depressing at the same time. Unfortunately, Dr. Oz is one of the most trusted public figures in America, although he is doing his best to change that. I have had a few deprogramming sessions with my parents over him.

    Reply
  12. darMA

    I AM saving grains. For my 2 sisters who just can’t LIVE without bread, muffins and cereal and other people who feel that way.

    Seriously, though, I’ve often wondered why the big push for plant-based, vegeterian or vegan diets. Finally occurred to me – who is in and out of the government and likes to tinker around with all the grains and other foods? Monsanto. Of course they want us to eat their foods, grown only with their seeds and their pesticides. I have no doubt that when they’ve finally gotten a monopoly on food, the next target will be water.

    Reply
  13. Boundless

    Re: … only one percent of the population has been diagnosed with celiac disease.  Grains are great for the other 99 percent, ya see.

    Just published in MDPI/Nutrients: Effect of Gliadin on Permeability of Intestinal Biopsy Explants from Celiac Disease Patients and Patients with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
    Free fulltext at: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1565/htm

    “This study demonstrates that gliadin exposure induces an increase in intestinal permeability in all individuals, regardless of whether or not they have celiac disease.”

    So far, the most prominent investigator on this paper, Fasano, has been saying that only celiacs need to avoid gluten (which contains the gliadin). It will be interesting to see if he shifts his advice.

    Reply
        1. Walter Bushell

          Breakfast cereals — you’re eating the advertising not the “cereal” and the box would probably be less bad for you. And the box is part of the advertising, of course.

          Reply
  14. Josh

    Eminence based health science says “We are experts and we know this to be true. Believe it!”

    What we need is Evidence based health science.

    Reply
  15. Firebird

    I have my own “save the grain” campaign. When I eat out and my order comes with a choice of breads or toast, I tell them to “save it”. They don’t include it in my order.

    You would have thought times would change in 20 years. It was around this time that a friend of mine (a nutritionist) introduced me to “PR” or 40-30-30, which evolved into Barry Sears’ “Zone Diet” which, at the age of 30 worked very well for me at that time. Back then 130 gms of carbs per day, which is what I was consuming, was being called a “low carb diet”. The cry from the LFHC people was also that it was too high in fat and protein. Yet some researchers think 130gms in this day and age is “low carb”. I would not call The Zone Diet “low carb” at all. I think Sears was on the right track, however.

    I think I’d feel like crap if I went that high in carbs again.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It’s lower, at least. I lost weight on the Zone diet, but I was coming from a vegetarian diet that was high in carbs.

      Reply
  16. Damien Gray

    I noticed this campaign in my local paper (Austin American-Statesman) a couple of days ago. I usually read Dr. Oz column for a few laughs, but that one was textbook idiocy. The lead point was how much nutrition you are losing if you stop eating grains. All the nutrients he listed were fortifications to grains. It was hilarious and depressing at the same time. Unfortunately, Dr. Oz is one of the most trusted public figures in America, although he is doing his best to change that. I have had a few deprogramming sessions with my parents over him.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It’s absolutely nuts. Vitamins are added to grains, so now you need grains to get those vitamins. Take a vitamin pill, for Pete’s sake.

      Reply
  17. darMA

    I AM saving grains. For my 2 sisters who just can’t LIVE without bread, muffins and cereal and other people who feel that way.

    Seriously, though, I’ve often wondered why the big push for plant-based, vegeterian or vegan diets. Finally occurred to me – who is in and out of the government and likes to tinker around with all the grains and other foods? Monsanto. Of course they want us to eat their foods, grown only with their seeds and their pesticides. I have no doubt that when they’ve finally gotten a monopoly on food, the next target will be water.

    Reply
      1. Arturo

        Oh, but I’m sure monopolistic privatization of waterworks will serve to lower prices and improve the quality of life for all citizens. I mean, look how well it’s worked for Mexico. 😉

        Reply
  18. Josh

    Eminence based health science says “We are experts and we know this to be true. Believe it!”

    What we need is Evidence based health science.

    Reply
      1. Firebird

        I just saw an item on the Health Check Segment on our local news, featuring a quite attractive registered nurse (who has to remind you that she is an RN to drive home her credibility) who was pushing a book by a doctor on the benefits of fermented foods. They talked about the “possible” health benefits of kefir, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, etc.

        Of course, the doctors say the verdict is out on these foods or if there are any real benefits to probiotics before they recommend them. Once they’re convinced, the mission is to develop “better” probiotics.

        Reply
  19. Armando

    Great work Tom!

    These “experts” do not know their head from their a$&! I lost a kidney to cancer 3 years ago and the one that I have left got damaged. Not because of proteins, but because of diabetes. After switching to LCHF diet, my kindey health improved and I have proof from blood work that gets done every six months. I am leaking protein due to the damage caused by diabetes. My protein leakage only increased a bit, that is because I have increased protein intake, but it is not anything alarming. My doctor and endocronologist are really happy with my results. Triglycerides are responsible for heart disease and strokes. The only way I manage to decrease them is by having a low carb diet 20-25 grams per day.

    Reply
  20. Nicole Tracy

    Tom, my husband has coined a new phrase for these kind of articles: “Carbage”. You’re welcome. 🙂
    We’ve been mostly carb free for the better part of a month and one of the first things We noticed is we’re both a lot less *ahem* gassy than when we ate grains. We both also have more energy.
    I’ve also noticed that each time we have a “cheat day” where carbs are involved, I feel like absolute crap for at least two days afterwards and the crappy feeling starts usually less than 10 minutes after eating the carbs. Ick! No more cheat days. I think I’ll just stick to making paleo desserts when I need them instead.

    Reply
  21. Michael Steadman

    I was one of those complex carb eaters for much of my life; the elimination of grains has been great: no brain fog (can’t believe how much of a difference it has been) and the loss of the Dr. Davis’ termed “wheat belly.” I get tired of almost being accused of being a glutton for all the meat I eat, but it’s more than worth it compared to how I looked and felt eating wheat. Oh yeah, stubborn acne and chronic dry skin are also gone and I couldn’t care less how many “experts” say that humans need whole grains: just the grain industry needs them to line their pockets!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      So I guess the accurate statement would be “Some humans need other humans to eat grains.”

      Reply
  22. Armando

    Great work Tom!

    These “experts” do not know their head from their a$&! I lost a kidney to cancer 3 years ago and the one that I have left got damaged. Not because of proteins, but because of diabetes. After switching to LCHF diet, my kindey health improved and I have proof from blood work that gets done every six months. I am leaking protein due to the damage caused by diabetes. My protein leakage only increased a bit, that is because I have increased protein intake, but it is not anything alarming. My doctor and endocronologist are really happy with my results. Triglycerides are responsible for heart disease and strokes. The only way I manage to decrease them is by having a low carb diet 20-25 grams per day.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      There’s even been some initial evidence that a ketogenic diet improves kidney functioning.

      Reply
  23. Nicole Tracy

    Tom, my husband has coined a new phrase for these kind of articles: “Carbage”. You’re welcome. 🙂
    We’ve been mostly carb free for the better part of a month and one of the first things We noticed is we’re both a lot less *ahem* gassy than when we ate grains. We both also have more energy.
    I’ve also noticed that each time we have a “cheat day” where carbs are involved, I feel like absolute crap for at least two days afterwards and the crappy feeling starts usually less than 10 minutes after eating the carbs. Ick! No more cheat days. I think I’ll just stick to making paleo desserts when I need them instead.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I have a carb nite (usually Saturday), but I’ve learned not to cheat with wheat. If the carb nite indulgence is rice and refried beans at our local Mexican diner, I feel fine the next day.

      Reply
      1. Janet

        That’s what I do too. I feel like I have indulged in a treat but next day feel just fine. Rice and corn here and there don’t bother me much. Been paleo/primal for over three years. At first I was “preaching the gospel” so to say but I have given up. Nobody wants to hear it but hopefully they will read or hear “wisdom of crowds” and start to believe since the living breathing truth standing in front of them who has lived this lifestyle and is in amazing health for a 66 yo woman means squat. Lol.

        Reply
  24. Jamie

    I believe it was an H2 program called “History of Us”. They spoke about when we first started farming grains, we ended up both shorter in stature and life expectancy. Coincidence? I think not!

    Reply
  25. Jamie

    I believe it was an H2 program called “History of Us”. They spoke about when we first started farming grains, we ended up both shorter in stature and life expectancy. Coincidence? I think not!

    Reply
  26. Linda

    loved reading all the comments and the blog itself. So good to know there are so many like-minded people out there. I have never felt better since cuttimg out carbs and will never go back 🙂

    Reply
  27. Derrick Mitchell

    This is fantastic dialogue about the grain foolishness. Tom, I will try to avoid wheat when i do a cheat day (it will happen sometime). I always feel sick when i cheat and it could be because of the grains, but i always attributed it to the sugar. Carb marketing has been providing disinformation for years and it seems to be ramping up more and more and now with the wheat lobby. Healthy whole grains my a**. Finally the truth about how healthy keto eating is become more mainstream. Lets keep up the pressure and stop them from continuing this deceptive behaviour.

    Reply
  28. Linda

    loved reading all the comments and the blog itself. So good to know there are so many like-minded people out there. I have never felt better since cuttimg out carbs and will never go back 🙂

    Reply
  29. Alex

    I lowered by trigs from 233 to 73 in a year eating a moderate-carb diet. It also helped that I stopped drinking like an alcoholic and started exercising.

    Reply
  30. Derrick Mitchell

    This is fantastic dialogue about the grain foolishness. Tom, I will try to avoid wheat when i do a cheat day (it will happen sometime). I always feel sick when i cheat and it could be because of the grains, but i always attributed it to the sugar. Carb marketing has been providing disinformation for years and it seems to be ramping up more and more and now with the wheat lobby. Healthy whole grains my a**. Finally the truth about how healthy keto eating is become more mainstream. Lets keep up the pressure and stop them from continuing this deceptive behaviour.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Your mileage may vary, of course, but for me at least, cheating with wheat produces a blah-foggy feeling I don’t get from indulging in rice or potatoes.

      Reply
  31. Alex

    I lowered by trigs from 233 to 73 in a year eating a moderate-carb diet. It also helped that I stopped drinking like an alcoholic and started exercising.

    Reply
      1. HxH

        Lowering my carbs over the last 2 years (almost always under 100g; often under 50g and lower) also lowered my tri’s (to 56) but I’ve probably doubled my alcohol during that time (got married and am more of a social drinker so we have wine almost every night now that we live together:-). Maybe it depends on the kind of alcohol (beer bad). Hubby is T1 DM and also has low tri’s. He’s low carb but drinks wine and whiskey (zero carbs) regularly (liver/kidney blood work always normal). I’m not saying it won’t impact your belly though! Of course the nurse was a little concerned about my cholesterol since my LDL is 130 (HDL is 80). When I asked for my Tri’s I told her that number indicated all my LDL was the big, fluffy harmless kind and she agreed. So why did she have any concern for my LDL! Fortunately she didn’t try to get me on a statin (but indicated I was on the border). I finally convinced hubby to ditch them (his numbers are similar to mine but it’s automatic for T1 – he was very late onset).

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          My guess is that if your LDL is above a certain threshold, they’re required to give you a warning.

          Reply
      1. Alex

        You will pry artisanal bread from my cold, dead hands Tom! There is no way I will ever stop eating grains! Life just isn’t worth living in the low-carb prison.

        Reply
        1. Sheena

          Alex, I know where you are coming from… I used to think the same way. I baked my own bread regularly, and could make sourdough as good as our local baker. And we ate plenty of it, feeling smug in our homemade goodness.
          Or so we thought. I put on a fair bit of weight, found it hard to concentrate, was having panic attacks… and still did not put the finger on diet as the cause. Finally I did some research, stumbled across this excellent blog, and others, and started experimenting with Paleo-ish living. My sceptic husband lost over a stone (14 pounds) and I’m now a normal weight, having lost over three and a half stones. No brain fog, no panic attacks, back to being me.
          I don’t consider this a prison. Bread was a prison for my mind. Getting grains out of my life has freed me… but you must do what works for you. If you love your bread, lucky you. If it causes you no problems, lucky you. I love the new me more than a slice of bread! 🙂

          Reply
        2. Dave

          If I must cheat with wheat, I choose Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. A grilled cheese sandwich with two slices of bread is around 150 calories of carbohydrate, give or take. That’s hardly a “low-carb prison” to me, considering how much fat I consume on a daily basis.

          There’s food, and then there’s food-like products.
          My grilled cheese sandwich: 2 slices of organic sprouted grain bread toasted in real butter with whole Muenster cheese.
          What I grew up with: 2 slices of Wonder Bread toasted in margarine with American processed “cheese.”

          Reply
  32. Paul B.

    The people I talk to don’t even know what a “Whole Grain” is. What IS “whole grain bread?”

    Point #1) Bread is made from flour. Flour is produced by grinding a substance. Therefore, any bread made from grains is not made of “whole” grains, but rather, ground grains. There are no plants that produce flour. If one tries to ‘logic’ one’s way into stating that the flour came from whole grains, and therefore their bread is whole grain bread, one has just ‘logicked’ one’s self into a corner that all things made from flour are whole-grain items (meaning there are no partial grain breads and all grain items are whole grain items). Unless people are eating straight grain… they aren’t even eating “whole” grain. Corn comes to mind as something that is typically consumed “whole.” But even then, corn is typically chewed (GRINDING before the digestion process), and if not, is sometimes not even digested.

    On topic comment – I think Dr. Davis recently wrote thatt “low glycemic” actually means “less high glycemic,” and I agree with him WHOLE heartedly.

    Point #2) I’m 6’1″ and (currently) 225 pounds (2.4 pounds short of being obese! You would laugh at that if you saw me… weight is a health metric, but weight evaluated in and of its self, is worthless). I can probably tolerate more carbs than most of my fellow LCHF friends due to my body composition / activity level. However, I would NEVER want to eat 250 grams of carbs per day! A pound is 464 grams (off the top of my head… so I may be off by a couple grams), so if you eat that many carbs per day, that’s more than half a pound of, once digested, SUGAR running through your body per day. The typical response I get form people is, “ummm… I don’t want to think about that.”

    Point #3) I love when people give me nutrition advice face-to-face. Most of them are fat or scrawny (or a combination of the two). I’m always polite when I disagree (except with my close male friends… but that’s one of the great things about being a guy – you don’t have to be polite with your friends if they are actually friends… my wife can’t do that with her friends). But while I’m polite, I tell them my story of transition. Unfortunately, it almost never registers. I feel for these people because I was once them. They’ve been deceived, they’re hurting because of that deception, and I’m TRYING to love them to the right information. That’s why I love face to face conversations about this topic (not because it gives me superiority… which I could see someone reading that in the beginning of my comment).

    Reply
  33. Thomas E.

    I know this is going to be tilting to the tin-hat crowd. But unfortunately, there is a huge alignment against us eating better. I can’t believe I can write this, I hate it. I don’t want to believe it, but, when you take a step back. When you look at pure business, profit motives and bottom lines.

    – Monsanto, ’nuff said. The more grain we eat, the more seeds they sell.

    – Processed food companies. I don’t care which mechanism you attribute it to, lack of satiation (lack of fat/protein OR general lack of nutrition), wheat is addictive, blood glucose highs to lows, we can’t get enough of the wheat based stuff.

    – Insurance companies. Yup, I went there. But from what I understand, they have wound up being cost-plus for profit. So the more they spend, then keeping the ratios in tact, the absolute value of profits can rise. Cynical yes, and I wish I was wrong. I don’t see it being in the best interest of modern day insurance companies to reduce what they pay out.

    – Hospitals/Surgical centers. Again, I am cynical here, sick people mean more patients. Especially CVD and diabetes. In the former you have lots of stints and radiological screening, high margin. In the later, life long customers.

    – AMA. sorry to say, but the more sick people, the more doctors are required, and thus more fees, and more power.

    – Medical schools. Again, it is in their best interest to have more sick people in this world. More sick people, more doctors needed, and thus more people in their schools.

    – Pharmaceutical companies. ’nuff said

    – Long term care facilities. Again, refer to hospitals.

    All the groups above are politically active as well.

    But here is where the rubber meets the road. Put your self in a leadership position of the AMA, Insurance company, Pharmaceutical company, Hospital/provider network. You have to go to your board of directories, your investors, Wall Street, you have to tell them that over the last 40 years you have built up this wonderful profitable business, that, with this new research, we can slash health care costs by up to 50% in the next 3 years.

    I am picturing a lead balloon.

    What a position to be in, I can’t imagine being there.

    And even worse, if President Obama, Stephen Harper, and so on, the leaders of the world, went on TV tonight, and said, over the last decade several medical advancements have been made ……….

    What in the heck would happen. First of all, we would quickly be in a position where medical schools would empty. New multimillion dollar medical facilities would go unrequited. At best, step by step introduction of change. And who knows, maybe the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is the first baby step.

    Sadly, this won’t help many people I know who still listen to the “establishment” and are suffering badly.

    Thanks again Tom.

    Reply
  34. Lady Ermintrude

    As Mahatma Gandi said: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    We are clearly at the fighting stage. So nearly there!

    You could not tempt me to eat a grain again. Ever. Life post-grain is calmer, happier, more energetic and minus crippling migraines!! What’s not to like??

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      When they’re reduced to making ridiculous arguments, we know we’re winning the fighting stage.

      Reply
  35. Paul B.

    The people I talk to don’t even know what a “Whole Grain” is. What IS “whole grain bread?”

    Point #1) Bread is made from flour. Flour is produced by grinding a substance. Therefore, any bread made from grains is not made of “whole” grains, but rather, ground grains. There are no plants that produce flour. If one tries to ‘logic’ one’s way into stating that the flour came from whole grains, and therefore their bread is whole grain bread, one has just ‘logicked’ one’s self into a corner that all things made from flour are whole-grain items (meaning there are no partial grain breads and all grain items are whole grain items). Unless people are eating straight grain… they aren’t even eating “whole” grain. Corn comes to mind as something that is typically consumed “whole.” But even then, corn is typically chewed (GRINDING before the digestion process), and if not, is sometimes not even digested.

    On topic comment – I think Dr. Davis recently wrote thatt “low glycemic” actually means “less high glycemic,” and I agree with him WHOLE heartedly.

    Point #2) I’m 6’1″ and (currently) 225 pounds (2.4 pounds short of being obese! You would laugh at that if you saw me… weight is a health metric, but weight evaluated in and of its self, is worthless). I can probably tolerate more carbs than most of my fellow LCHF friends due to my body composition / activity level. However, I would NEVER want to eat 250 grams of carbs per day! A pound is 464 grams (off the top of my head… so I may be off by a couple grams), so if you eat that many carbs per day, that’s more than half a pound of, once digested, SUGAR running through your body per day. The typical response I get form people is, “ummm… I don’t want to think about that.”

    Point #3) I love when people give me nutrition advice face-to-face. Most of them are fat or scrawny (or a combination of the two). I’m always polite when I disagree (except with my close male friends… but that’s one of the great things about being a guy – you don’t have to be polite with your friends if they are actually friends… my wife can’t do that with her friends). But while I’m polite, I tell them my story of transition. Unfortunately, it almost never registers. I feel for these people because I was once them. They’ve been deceived, they’re hurting because of that deception, and I’m TRYING to love them to the right information. That’s why I love face to face conversations about this topic (not because it gives me superiority… which I could see someone reading that in the beginning of my comment).

    Reply
  36. Thomas E.

    I know this is going to be tilting to the tin-hat crowd. But unfortunately, there is a huge alignment against us eating better. I can’t believe I can write this, I hate it. I don’t want to believe it, but, when you take a step back. When you look at pure business, profit motives and bottom lines.

    – Monsanto, ’nuff said. The more grain we eat, the more seeds they sell.

    – Processed food companies. I don’t care which mechanism you attribute it to, lack of satiation (lack of fat/protein OR general lack of nutrition), wheat is addictive, blood glucose highs to lows, we can’t get enough of the wheat based stuff.

    – Insurance companies. Yup, I went there. But from what I understand, they have wound up being cost-plus for profit. So the more they spend, then keeping the ratios in tact, the absolute value of profits can rise. Cynical yes, and I wish I was wrong. I don’t see it being in the best interest of modern day insurance companies to reduce what they pay out.

    – Hospitals/Surgical centers. Again, I am cynical here, sick people mean more patients. Especially CVD and diabetes. In the former you have lots of stints and radiological screening, high margin. In the later, life long customers.

    – AMA. sorry to say, but the more sick people, the more doctors are required, and thus more fees, and more power.

    – Medical schools. Again, it is in their best interest to have more sick people in this world. More sick people, more doctors needed, and thus more people in their schools.

    – Pharmaceutical companies. ’nuff said

    – Long term care facilities. Again, refer to hospitals.

    All the groups above are politically active as well.

    But here is where the rubber meets the road. Put your self in a leadership position of the AMA, Insurance company, Pharmaceutical company, Hospital/provider network. You have to go to your board of directories, your investors, Wall Street, you have to tell them that over the last 40 years you have built up this wonderful profitable business, that, with this new research, we can slash health care costs by up to 50% in the next 3 years.

    I am picturing a lead balloon.

    What a position to be in, I can’t imagine being there.

    And even worse, if President Obama, Stephen Harper, and so on, the leaders of the world, went on TV tonight, and said, over the last decade several medical advancements have been made ……….

    What in the heck would happen. First of all, we would quickly be in a position where medical schools would empty. New multimillion dollar medical facilities would go unrequited. At best, step by step introduction of change. And who knows, maybe the 2015 Dietary Guidelines is the first baby step.

    Sadly, this won’t help many people I know who still listen to the “establishment” and are suffering badly.

    Thanks again Tom.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Leaning towards tin-hat? Maybe, but as I’ve said several times lately, if you’re not a bit paranoid, you haven’t been paying attention.

      Reply
  37. Lady Ermintrude

    As Mahatma Gandi said: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    We are clearly at the fighting stage. So nearly there!

    You could not tempt me to eat a grain again. Ever. Life post-grain is calmer, happier, more energetic and minus crippling migraines!! What’s not to like??

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      When they’re reduced to making ridiculous arguments, we know we’re winning the fighting stage.

      Reply
  38. Diane

    I just made your pizza recipe again tonite. Thank you . Not only did you give a gluten free person pizza again, but you made me laugh at all your shows on the cruise.

    Reply
  39. Diane

    I just made your pizza recipe again tonite. Thank you . Not only did you give a gluten free person pizza again, but you made me laugh at all your shows on the cruise.

    Reply
  40. Laurie Lentz-Marino

    FYI, marginally off topic. Dana Carpender in her “FAT FAST COOKBOOK” has turned me on to shiritake ‘noodles’…I gave up pasta easily, but I know that’s not true for many… Shiritakes are very low-cal, NO- carb….They work well if you want mac and cheese…hold the mac.
    The one critically important prep though, is you CANNOT eat them right out of the package…You must rinse, drain, and microwave 2 minutes…..rinse, microwave 1 minute, rinse and mic one last minute….then they will melt, cheese, cream and butter for you……….

    NEVER AGAIN GRAINS………………………

    Reply
  41. Laurie Lentz-Marino

    FYI, marginally off topic. Dana Carpender in her “FAT FAST COOKBOOK” has turned me on to shiritake ‘noodles’…I gave up pasta easily, but I know that’s not true for many… Shiritakes are very low-cal, NO- carb….They work well if you want mac and cheese…hold the mac.
    The one critically important prep though, is you CANNOT eat them right out of the package…You must rinse, drain, and microwave 2 minutes…..rinse, microwave 1 minute, rinse and mic one last minute….then they will melt, cheese, cream and butter for you……….

    NEVER AGAIN GRAINS………………………

    Reply
  42. JimG

    I make a wheat free bread in my Panasonic bread maker so I can have something I can call toast in the morning. 2 cups ground flaxseed, 1 cup ground almond meal, 1 cup a mix of ground chia, ground coconut flakes, and psyllium husks. 2 tablespoons baking powder. Throw in some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Maybe some parmesan cheese. 4 whole eggs, 1 cup water, a little melted butter, a little olive oil. Two hour baking cycle, let it sit for a while after baking. I don’t really like the taste of flax – it can be just too strong – but with only 2 cups of flaxseed, the flavor is not overpowering.

    Reply
  43. JimG

    I make a wheat free bread in my Panasonic bread maker so I can have something I can call toast in the morning. 2 cups ground flaxseed, 1 cup ground almond meal, 1 cup a mix of ground chia, ground coconut flakes, and psyllium husks. 2 tablespoons baking powder. Throw in some sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Maybe some parmesan cheese. 4 whole eggs, 1 cup water, a little melted butter, a little olive oil. Two hour baking cycle, let it sit for a while after baking. I don’t really like the taste of flax – it can be just too strong – but with only 2 cups of flaxseed, the flavor is not overpowering.

    Reply
  44. Ulfric Douglas

    True true, say this more often ;
    “…gave up grains because they adopted a low-carb diet to lose weight, then noticed all those lovely side benefits.”
    My most valuable side benefit is an absence of grumpy mood swings from bloodsugar drops. Much happier most of the time. That is an enormous benefit of a high-fat no-grain diet.

    Reply
  45. Ulfric Douglas

    True true, say this more often ;
    “…gave up grains because they adopted a low-carb diet to lose weight, then noticed all those lovely side benefits.”
    My most valuable side benefit is an absence of grumpy mood swings from bloodsugar drops. Much happier most of the time. That is an enormous benefit of a high-fat no-grain diet.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I recently saw a study that suggests people are much more likely to get into heated arguments when their blood sugar is dropping. Doesn’t surprise me. When blood sugar drops, adrenaline kicks in to raise it.

      Reply
  46. Michael Steadman

    I was one of those complex carb eaters for much of my life; the elimination of grains has been great: no brain fog (can’t believe how much of a difference it has been) and the loss of the Dr. Davis’ termed “wheat belly.” I get tired of almost being accused of being a glutton for all the meat I eat, but it’s more than worth it compared to how I looked and felt eating wheat. Oh yeah, stubborn acne and chronic dry skin are also gone and I couldn’t care less how many “experts” say that humans need whole grains: just the grain industry needs them to line their pockets!

    Reply

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