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Old 12-13-2013, 12:27 PM   #16
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But there is also something called Occam's razor. It is used different ways but says start with the easiest explanation first.

Newton said it as "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances."

Or "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.

These very descriptions of Occam's razor actually prove my point. Health and weight loss are not a single phenomenon, but thousands (if not millions) and the anti-grain theories have not been proven either true or sufficient to explain health and weight loss phenomena. And a single theory to explain it all isn't science it's magic or religion.

After all, the simplest explanation is that "Because it's the Will of God."

Also Paleo, low-carb, and anti-grain theories are neither simple, nor consistent either between or within. There is no agreement in the scientific community as a whole or even within the theoretical communities themselves.

What do you do when there are fifty thousand explanations and they're all simple (or for that matter, all complex?)

That is the situation currently, and why research results are conflicting.

I've been reading Paleo and anti-grain theory for nearly 30 years and weight loss theory for nearly as long as I've been able to read, and there are many plausible and competing theories that are no more complex and no less supported by the research.

Also, there is no unified anti-grain theory. The experts don't even always agree on which plant seeds are grains.


The science ahas a long way to go before many conclusions can be drawn. Right now there are no proven and too many equally plausible, equally simple theories.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:34 PM   #17
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Well fruits, veggies (at least starchy) and beans/legumes are usually what people lump into the carbs category but I guess quantities of such would matter to be considered low carb or not.

I think the idea of we are all an experiment of 1 is a great ideas as well. I've played around with various foods, various macros, etc and I feel like I'm in a good place food wise. Amazingly, I've started an iodine supplement and although I don't know if is is a placebo or not but it makes a huge difference for me energywise and hungerwise. It is a small amount (2 drops of 2% solution once a day) but I'm more energetic and less hungry. I'm at the point where I have to remind myself to eat sometimes. I also plan to see an endocrinologist next month and this will definitely be a topic. I'm still experimenting as well because I'm a skeptic at heart . Anyway, I agree there are many factors at play in terms of obesity and I don't think 1 single solution works for everyone.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #18
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I've cut out starchy vegetables, or reduced them dramatically. I am OK with fruit, but not fruit drinks. I stay well away from them.

Kaplods I understand it is complex and different from person to person. What I started back in May before I heard of Wheat Belly and Grain Brain were targeting how many carbs I was eating.

It has resulted in dramtic improvements to my well-being beyond anything I could have hoped for. So for me, yes, no matter how complex it is in reality acting like Grain Brain and Wheat Belly are true (and frankly I probably have more carbs than they recommend but MUCH less than before) was extremely powerfully good and Real.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:44 PM   #19
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Diamongeog, I also gave up most starchy vegetables and made similar changes and I also feel much better! I think my approach is different, but I think we share the benefits

I read Wheat Belly and wasn't impressed. The author blamed wheat for a long list of ailments and claimed that giving it up would result in many beneficial changes. At the time that I read it, I had already been off of wheat and gluten for more than 7 months. I didn't experience any of the changes the author claimed I could expect. I gave it up because I personally had problems digesting it and a lot of people do, but I think most people tolerate wheat and other grains just fine. I also think that grains in general are not only fine for most people, but are essential around the globe. I've looked at the argument the anti-grain movement is making, and I personally don't find it convincing. I think the average American diet does have a problem, but I don't think it's the grains at fault - the problem lies in highly processed foods that combine refined grains with salt, sugar, tons of artificial food additives, etc. Any natural food can be turned into something that is dangerous to our health.

That said, I rarely eat starchy vegetables and the only grain I eat is oatmeal I choose my foods based on their nutrient content and try to eat foods that are packed with nutrients so I get the most bang out of my calories. I don't believe in counting carbs because the healthiest foods on the planet are carbs. Spinach, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, etc. Where else will we get the necessary vitamins and antioxidants we need to live long and healthy lives? I think too much focus is placed on breaking down food into such basic terms as carbs, fats, and protein, and not enough focus on the nutrients we really need. I think the word 'carb' is sadly misused. Almost everything I eat is a carb and I lost over 100 pounds this way. I live on fruits, non-starchy vegetables, legumes such as lentils, and a limited amount of seafood. When I look at the nutrient content of most grains, there isn't enough there to justify including it in my own diet plan, based on my personal health goals. I choose to eat oats daily because they contain avenanthramides, a polyphenol that does amazing things for our arteries I try to take a very practical approach to what I put on my plate and the results are worth it. I have a history of cancer and I have a heart condition, so I changed my approach and literally eat to live. I go through a few pounds of vegetables and fruits every day. I'm healthier than I've ever been in my life.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:11 PM   #20
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I took from the article that it is the insulin response and inflammation and such that are important. If grain or corns don't trigger those things in you or anyone then I guess they would not have the same negative impacts.
Okay, now I'm intrigued because I'm reading more and more about this inflammation being the culprit.

I will say that I AM biased towards low carb because everything I've read about low carb makes too much sense both TO me and FOR me. Someone starts spouting off low fat, I turn right off.

This is what the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine says: "Since our bodies make plenty of cholesterol for our needs, we do not need to add any in our diet. Cholesterol is found in all foods that come from animals: red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, and every other meat and dairy product. Choosing lean cuts of meat is not enough; the cholesterol is mainly in the lean portion. Many people are surprised to learn that chicken contains as much cholesterol as beef. Every four-ounce serving of beef or chicken contains 100 milligrams of cholesterol. Also, most shellfish are very high in cholesterol. All animal products should be avoided for this reason."

So chicken's no good for you and basically don't eat any meat or fish or dairy at all. So what DO we eat? They don't in any way address how to make a diet such as this remotely feasible. I don't think it can be done.

As far as Alzheimer's this is a hot topic for my sister. When my mom dies, she wants an autopsy so we know for sure whether she has Alzheimer's or not. I dunno why but I guess she's keen on knowing how to prevent it. She thinks low carb is crazy. I'd love for her to embrace Grain Brain.

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Old 12-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #21
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Grains but not breads. Nothing like what many consume now. Way more grains than ever before. Bread is a relatively new invention. And bread now and even the wheat is nothing like a 100 years ago.

This is purely anecdotal evidence but virtually all the negative effects low carb people tout were happening to me. And virtually all the positives they tout when you lower them have happened to me. Both body and mind.

Speaking of 100 years ago. People were not eating a lot of processed foods. I don't know what their carb intake was or how different those carbs were nutritionally, but I do know the average person was way more active which would have led to greater carb resistance.
Everybody has good points but, Diamondgeog, I so get what you've been saying. Absolutely years ago, there were grains, but they were GRAINS not the processed crap they try to pass off as whole grains today.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:41 AM   #22
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When we read that sun exposure causes skin cancer, even though we're not told how much sun is too much, we don't decide to live like vampires, avoiding sunlight as if we would burst into flames within seconds.

And yet, when we're told specific foods have negative consequences when eaten in excess (with or without quantity guidelines), we often decide that the food is essentially poison and it should never, ever cross our lips under any circumstances - or if that doesn't seem practical we decide that since we don't know what to eat, we should just continue to eat whatever we want, whenever we want and let the chips fall where they may.

I think eating healthfully is a whole lot simpler than that. Get a checkup, make a few changes in your diet that you think might help and in a few months see how you feel and maybe get another check up.

For me, it's been a very long journey, and it's not over. I continue to experiment with diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. Sometimes the results are cclear and measureable, sometimes they're inconclusive, so I keep experimenting.

For me, wheat and to a lesser degree other high glycemic foods trigger unpleasant symptoms that you can literally see on my face. Hubby knows within hours if I have eaten something I shouldn't have, because my face gets red and puffy or worse, scaley.. Many foods I've given up or drastically limited have less obvious results.

I think for most of us, trial and error to determine where the line lies between excess and moderation works just fine. And even if we aren't sure what an optimally healthy diet/lifestyle might look like, most of us can probably think of a few changes that would probably be a little healthier than whatever we're doing now.

Yes, a lot of the experts disagree, but I think much of what they do agree on, we (as a nation) aren't doing very well, so we can start there.

Almost all of the "healthy diet" perspectives (including low-fat, low-carb, paleo, good carb, veg*n....) recommend eating more low-calorie veggies and less processed foods, especially fast food, snacky "junk food" and highly processed meats.

Ironically, the foods which we all agree are worst for us make up a larger percentage in the standard American diet than ever before, and the foods we all agree are best for us (especially non-starchy veggies and low sugar fruits) come in at or near an all-time low.

I thought I was doing pretty well, usually getting in the recommended 5 servings or more of fruits and veggies (including corn, potatoes, peas and other legumes), but I was often choosing the higher digestible carb options - fruit, potatoes, beans... plus grains.

I was mostly eating foods considered "healthy" from a non-low-carb perspective, but getting way too many calories and eating more sugar and starch than I needed.

Someone who tends towards underweight rather than obesity, might need those extra carbs and calories, but I didn't.

What made me consider low-grain, semi-paleo was reading over and over while researching my autoimmune disease, about the link between high carb, especially high grain diets and AI conditions. Not all autoimmunity experts agree on the significance or meaning of this link, or if it even exists. Some argue that the high-carb diet causes AI disease, others believe it simply aggravates AI disease, and others believe the link applies only to refined carbs.

It was worth experimenting to me. I'm finding it very difficult to stick with the diet I feel best on, but I have learned to avoid what makes me feel sickest.

I think the biggest obstacle most of us face is the idea that we're supposed to completely overhaul our diet and exercise habits, drastically changing our lifestyle all at once. I think this strategy was responsible for a good part of my previous history of weight loss failure.

Lifestyle overhaul is difficult and miserable, sometimes almost impossible. Modest, gradual changes are easier and less uncomfortable, but yield smaller results. We're not taught to accept modest results, so we end up in a no-win situation. Be miserable with the drastic changes or be miserable with less-than dramatic results.

Personally, I don't think there is a single healthy type of diet, even for individuals. Because of my autoimmune disease and diabetes, I think my "healthy diet" options are going to mostly be towards the carb-restricted range. Because of my high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, I need to be somewhat careful of fat and mineral content (keeping sodium and potassium in balance, for example). Because of my weight and appetite, calorie restriction will probably always be necessary and choosing the most volume for the fewest calories is a good strategy.

I think all of us can learn to customize our diets to our unique needs and desires. Until the nutritional science and medical fields gets better at customizing diets for individuals, trial and error is going to be our best tool.

We're all different only means we don't know all the variables yet.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mad Donnelly View Post
Okay, now I'm intrigued because I'm reading more and more about this inflammation being the culprit.

I will say that I AM biased towards low carb because everything I've read about low carb makes too much sense both TO me and FOR me. Someone starts spouting off low fat, I turn right off.

This is what the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine says: "Since our bodies make plenty of cholesterol for our needs, we do not need to add any in our diet. Cholesterol is found in all foods that come from animals: red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, and every other meat and dairy product. Choosing lean cuts of meat is not enough; the cholesterol is mainly in the lean portion. Many people are surprised to learn that chicken contains as much cholesterol as beef. Every four-ounce serving of beef or chicken contains 100 milligrams of cholesterol. Also, most shellfish are very high in cholesterol. All animal products should be avoided for this reason."

So chicken's no good for you and basically don't eat any meat or fish or dairy at all. So what DO we eat? They don't in any way address how to make a diet such as this remotely feasible. I don't think it can be done.
PCRM promotes a vegan diet and there are millions of people around the world who eat vegan or near vegan. In many countries, meat is a condiment. Many other countries subside on mostly on grains, legumes, veggies and fruits. As far as a vegan diet, I think there are something like 2 million Americans so it can be done and is feasible. Although the PCRM recommendations are a side bar to this conversation, I figured I'd pipe in as a vegan of 6 years.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:09 PM   #24
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Just starting to read Salt Sugar Fat on good recommendations. Suzanne and others good posts. I agree finding out what works for you.

I am also pro lots of non starchy veggies and am eating more and more. I don't stay away because they have carbs.

I started to succeed when I gave up whole wheat bread and pasta. I feel from my lifetime of experiences I was very carb sensitive. Whole wheat, white it didn't matter: they got me more hungry and tired. Ironically now my body can process grain carbs better but it could not then.

Cutting back on bread, pasta, junk food, potatoes, helped me get hunger under control and upped my energy.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #25
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Wanted to add a little about the 'complexity' issue. Every researcher at every university that has or will exist always has to reduce the complexity of every issue to say anything about anything.

My ability for typing these words, and all the underlying mechanisms, is probably infinitely more complex than any researcher or team will ever be able to understand fully.

I know I am being redundant, but even without reading Wheat Belly and Grain Brain I knew carbs were a big problem for me. Especially the type of carbs I was eating

I had a huge belly and I almost never drink alcohol. The snacking and fast food wasn't only bad during that particular meal but was leading me to have massive hunger and be very lethargic. Going to whole grain bread and pasta did not seem to help.

Was my particular situation way more complex than getting a ton of 'bad carbs' and whole grain? Yes. Was targeting them probably and at worse arguably one of the best things I, me, myself could have done? Yes.

I think we forget on 3FC with all the amazing success stories that a large amount of people do not succeed. My going down 55 lbs and counting since May 1 is FANTASTIC. And my blood work is better, and I am clearer and stronger, and a runner now.

I am not going to become a zombie, and I know no one here posting is advocating this, until the full complexity of why I was 285 was worked out.

If you want to boil it down to eating better and moving more: well alright. That is what I tell people when they ask. Then I tell them more if they want it.

With my particular diet and habits my worse 'sins' seemed to be all carb related. So targeting them made the most sense. And it is working. Other people have other things ('sins') they are doing wrong in their diet, and different metabolisms, genetics, etc.

But I know tens of millions of Americans had the same diet faults I did. That is why the low carb discussion and books that bring it up are most important contributions to health, happiness, and well-being of Americans and people around the world IMO. Do they have faults? Of course. Are they important? Yes. Are they helping people? Yes.
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