The Maintenance Library - Primal Law#2 Avoid poisonous things

03-19-2010, 03:49 PM
Sisson advises us to avoid processed foods, sugars, grains and chemically altered fats.

Experience? Testimony? Trials? Tribulations?

03-20-2010, 12:17 PM
I know when I eat sugars, pastas, rice, cereals and such I can't lose weight...

03-20-2010, 02:55 PM
I think most of us here are on board about the sugar and processed foods. Grains is tougher! It's an interesting concept, to be sure, to consider grains as nonfood. I have at least made wheat not a daily thing.

It's awfully hard to avoid the vegetable oils when eating out. I guess that's one more reason not to eat out a lot.

I don't always see a huge change with either eating low carb or Primal. But I haven't given it a good, solid 30-day trial either.

03-20-2010, 08:46 PM
My poor family has listened to me rave about this book for a couple of weeks now. But they have given me a couple of things to think about.

My son (23) mused that perhaps we eat bulky grain carb items as filler. Unfortunately, these displace the nutritious vegetables we should be eating. Then not only are we short nutrients, the grains may indeed be preventing proper absorption of even those nutrients.
And, since the grain carbs spike and drop our blood sugar levels, we're hungry again soon and eat more ... filler ...

My daughter (26) talked about how doctors want you to change your eating habits when you're pregnant. Try to avoid all artificial sweeteners, processed foods, preservatives ... We would happily do this for our unborn children. How about ourselves????

I wish someone who could explain the glycemic index would come along to explain satiety value, fast carbs and slow carbs. I make a mosh of it any time I try.

03-22-2010, 12:05 PM
It depends on what he is really calling poisonous as to whether I'd agree :) Does he call rice poisonous? What about things like quinoa which are grain like but really a seed? What about oatmeal?

03-22-2010, 12:40 PM
glazed donut holes = poisonous (Just talking to myself here....)

I ordered the book so maybe I should not comment a lot until I read it, but why let ignorance stop me now? :lol: I think that there are multiple ways to look at grains, and one might consider the following factors:
1) Individual response to certain grains and other foods.
2) Moral attitudes toward foods.
3) Cultural attitudes toward foods (my friend thought I was totally insane to pass up bread. Bread is a central part of lots of cultures. Tortillas, naan, etc. Made with love and time, warm and fuzziness)
4) How processed the grains are....would I be too bold to say we all agree on this one?
5) What percentage of one's diet one wishes to use for grains.

My 7 yo son drew the food pyramid for a Cub Scout project. He very very carefully made sure the grain section was the biggest section, veggies second biggest, dairy larger than fruit, tiny for oils (that he spelled oles <too cute!>), and then meats/beans.

The USDA recommends a grain (and dairy!) heavy diet. Hmmmmmsssss.....

I watched a little of the Jamie Oliver goes to West Virginia show last night and he made chicken and rice for the kiddos. The lunch ladies made pizza. A man (the principal maybe?) got on to Oliver cause he only had one "bread" serving, so Oliver had to borrow some hamburger buns from the lunch ladies. He thought it was bogus to feed the kids rice and bread. The lunch ladies stated that the pizza counted as 2 bread servings. How many "bread servings" does a kid need at lunch anyway?

BTW, to illustrate the "grain" section, my son drew goldfish crackers (which, when his 10 year old sister saw them, she said "Fish are meat, you put them in the wrong section." And he clarified they are goldfish crackers.....yeah.....Not sure I get parent-of-the-year, but that is "grains" through the eyes of my 7 yo. I did review other grain sources with him. Ahem)

If I drew a food pyramid that reflected what I know works best for me, the sections for veggies, fruit, meat/beans, and "oils" would all be larger than what the Food Pyramid shows and the grain section would be smaller. A lot smaller. I say "oils" for fats, but I mean avocado, walnuts, olives, olive oil.

I know I'm rambling here (I really need to read the book), but one of the things I read on the website is something to the effect of (paraphrasing badly) "You don't need French bread unless you just finished lacing up your running shoes." Um....hello?? Some of us are runners, so does that mean his plan does not address runners' needs? I was confused about that.....not about the French bread part but about him maybe hinting that his general reader is not a runner. Will he gear some of his info for runners? Inquiring minds want to any rate Amazon recommended a book called Primal Diet for Athletes (or some such) and I ordered that book too.

I can fuel my runs on sweet potatoes for now.

03-22-2010, 04:58 PM
There's a graph called the carbohydrate curve. It differentiates between the amount of carbs needed for fat loss, maintenance and weight gain. But I think it's mainly speaking to blood sugar and insulin response.

There is a diagram of the Primal Food Pyramid.

I'm very interested in the notion of grains exacerbating inflammatory response. Celiac is so common and irritable bowel syndrome ... I don't find it much of a stretch to think about inflammations like arthritis.

I have to guard my typing fingers a bit because I may just like this book because it agrees with me. I don't do carbs very well. I do have arthritis. I am hypoglycemic.
Like many lifestyle books I've read, I've probably forgotten some of the nonsense and cling to the parts I like.

03-22-2010, 05:15 PM
I do think people may need to avoid certain foods and emphasize others but I really don't like the idea of something being called poisonous if it really isn't.

Is a donut good for you? Absolutely not but is a piece of whole grain bread or oatmeal lumped into the same group as donuts?

Of course I am definitely not the audience for 'primal' eating as my diet is naturally going to be high carb because I don't eat a lot of fat and I don't eat animal products. My normal day to day carbs don't cause issues with my hypoglycemia or other small issues. On the other hand if I eat too much white bread (french bread), then I will bloat up and my stomach will hurt.

I guess it is just the thing of things being called poisonous which bothers me a bit and I'm wondering what is lumped into that :)

03-22-2010, 05:22 PM
But Nelie ... if it wasn't sensational, who'd buy the book ;) I, too, think it's probably a harsh word.

Oh I thought of something else. What do you all think of the notion that some foods actually inhibit the absorption of some nutrients?

03-22-2010, 06:12 PM
I guess it is just the thing of things being called poisonous which bothers me a bit and I'm wondering what is lumped into that :)

Yeah, it's a little inflammatory.

ETA: No pun intended!

03-22-2010, 09:29 PM
I think these discussions are going to be all over the place if a few brief sentences are all people know of the topic they're discussing. Primal is a whole 'nother outlook, one very different in many ways from what most people here are used to. And yes, they do consider grains, beans and too much fruit poisonous. :shrug: I don't agree 100%, but I don't know that this is the place to debate whether Primal has any validity in the first place. I can understand considering "poisonous" to be inflammatory talk, but it's really a concept at the core of Primal.

03-23-2010, 02:46 AM
Wouldn't work for me, and I think I'm going to pass on any book that labels "too much fruit" poisonous!

I had a lovely healthy dinner tonight with blue corn tortillas, black beans, avocado, tomato - since avocado and tomatoes are fruit, the meal was pretty much nothin' but poison. Yum.

03-23-2010, 06:07 AM
I've been thinking about Glory87 lately. Hi! Thinking I should drag out my copy of SuperFoods Rx. I'd bet that many superfoods are on the primal lists too.

Yes, Julie ... that's why I strongly suggested folks read the book first.

03-23-2010, 11:09 AM
I apologize, I figured it was a discussion about the concept of the 'law' :) Obviously 'Primal' is at the opposite spectrum of my eating so I won't butt in anymore :)

03-23-2010, 11:43 AM
I've been thinking about Glory87 lately. Hi! Thinking I should drag out my copy of SuperFoods Rx. I'd bet that many superfoods are on the primal lists too.

Yes, Julie ... that's why I strongly suggested folks read the book first.

Hey Susan :) Here is the list!

Oats (poison)
Tomatoes (poison in excess)
Oranges (poison in excess)
Berries (poison in excess)
Pumpkin (poison in excess)
Beans (poison)

03-23-2010, 05:15 PM
Oats, yes. Tofu and beans, yes. I think I recall that Paleo doesn't like even green beans. But Sisson eats them.

Tomatoes are fine, pumpkin is fine, berries are fine. The problem with oranges and some other fruits is the gylcemic response. With yogurt, he wants you to be careful of how it's made. I think he thinks more people have trouble with dairy products than they think.

There are lots of warnings in the book about pesticide use and thin skinned fruit/veg.

So my interpretation would be to skip the oats and tofu. That's all.

03-23-2010, 05:40 PM
I am into my 3rd week now of no sugar, dairy, processed foods, and very little wheat products, and I must admit, I feel incredibly awesome. I am also doing ESE, and my wife gave it a try this past weekend, and she really liked it as well.

I bought 'The Paleo Diet' from amazon, and devoured it in one day, but I found the diet too restrictive. For instance, I cannot eat peanut butter, nor beans. Here in Costa Rica, rice/beans are a staple food, usually eaten at every meal, and frankly, I enjoy eating beans. But I'm keeping my diet as natural as I can.

03-23-2010, 05:53 PM
I read the Paleo Diet first too. I don't really recall why I didn't like it, but I didn't. Probably because it had too many "no's" for me.

03-23-2010, 05:59 PM
I know, right? Under Paleo, I would've had to limit myself on eggs and green beans, and just completely eliminate too many other foods. It was just entirely too restrictive. It was a pretty decent read though.

03-23-2010, 06:02 PM
No eggs! Oi! That's probably what turned me off.

03-23-2010, 06:50 PM
Sugar and grains (even the healthy ones) can act like a poison at certain levels. Too much of a good thing, is not a good thing. There are many substances that are safe, beneficial or even necessary in some amount, and toxic at another. Even water is toxic in excess (it takes a lot to reach that level of excess, but it's possible).

Minerals, and fat soluble vitamins are good examples. Necessary in small amounts, and toxic in large amounts.

Oxalic acid is another, many fruits and vegetables contain this "poison," but only in large doses is it dangerous. Rhubarb leaves are considered poisonous because of the large concentration of oxalic acid. Rhurbarb stems (the edible portion) contain oxalic acid too, but you'd have to eat pounds and pounds of the stuff to get sick. Tea leaves can be as "poisonous" as rhubarb leaves, but the concentration in tea is too small to be dangerous. Eating a significant amount of tea leaves could be, though.

How much is too much, is going to be the hardest truth to pin down, because I think it does vary tremendously, not only because of a person's unique metabolic situation, but also other variables that aren't always easy to measure.

I've felt so good on an essentially grain-free diet, that I do look at grains much differently now. Rice is the only grain I eat regularly, and even then not daily or even weekly. If I eat grains more than a few times a week, I tend to have more flares of my autoimmune symptoms. I have to avoid wheat entirely (I suspect an actual allergy, but can't have allergy testing right now because one of my medications would make testing dangerous).

For some reason, "too much of a good thing" seems to be a difficult concept for people to grasp. "If a little is good, a truckload must be even better," seems to be the prevailing attitude. I think it's why virtually everything in a package contains some kind of warning on it (usually against something so stupid, I can't believe anyone benefits from the warning - doesn't everyone already know that operating a curling iron in the shower is a bad idea?)

As a diabetic with IBS, I can definitely attest to the fact that "too much fruit," really can have consequences that are best described as "toxic." And you don't have to have intestinal disorders or be diabetic to experience these effects. Too much fruit might be very different for one person than another. Without health issues such as obesity, blood sugar issues, intestinal or digestive issues, IBS - a person's "too much" might be 12 pieces of fruit instead of 3.

I don't like that so many diet and nutrtion books want to break eating down to a list of allowed and forbidden foods, but the alternative is one that isn't very popular. Learning more about nutrition to the point of being able to understand and create balance, and to identify and address specific nutritional needs is not rocket science, but it is more effort than most people want to put in. If the entire topic cannot be exhausted in one easy-to-read, relatively short book, most people aren't interested.

You can't reduce such a complicated topic into a two page article (ideally with pictures), but anything longer than that and you lose the interest of more readers than not.

Folks here on 3FC seem to be the exception to this rule (which is why I love hanging out here).