An Upbuilding Discourse

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Is Refined Sugar the Next White Rice?

The re-evaluation of sugar in the blogosphere continues as evidenced by the recent post by Stephan. All this is starting to remind me of the de-demonization of carbohydrates, in particular, white rice that occurred not so long ago under the guidance of the PHD. Why was white rice brought back into the sphere of acceptable foods? It was shown to be non-toxic and non-obesegenic as shown by both historical and epidemiological trends as well as an analysis of its chemical make-up. Is the same thing now happening to refined sugar?

What is the popular view of white rice nowadays? That it is more or less a pure carbohydrate that, because it is refined, should not form the basis of a diet due to nutritional lack, however, it is non-toxic and acceptable. White rice, being a polysaccharide will, of course, break down to glucose so the big difference between sucrose and white rice is that white rice breaks down to glucose whereas sugar breaks down to half glucose, half fructose.

There is general consensus as to the possible harm that fructose can inflict, however, it appears to be conditional upon PUFA consumption in my opinion. According to the PHD, the optimal breakdown for glycogen replenishment is  70% glucose, 30% fructose. This would make an all starch diet suboptimal at 100% glucose and a high sugar diet suboptimal at 50/50.

All these issues I think together point to the possibility that a diet with a relatively large amount of refined sugar could be just as healthy as a diet with the same amount of white rice with the possible qualification that because refined sugar is half fructose one would have to take care to limit PUFA as much as possible.

What do you think? Any experience with a very low PUFA, high refined sugar diet? Are there any populations out there who consume a high refined sugar, low PUFA diet or any diet experiments done with this diet composition? Do you think refined sugar is the new white rice?

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Filed under: Diet, experiment, Nutrients, Obesity, Peat, rice, sugar, , , , ,

What About the Liver?

I’ve done quite a few dietary experiments, supplemental regimens, and herbal remedies. Some of them have worked somewhat, some have not but overall, I have to say results have generally been mixed. Looking at other people’s experiences can often have the effect of producing wonder at how so many others respond so well while I feel so mixed still. What could be the problem?

Diet is important. Exercise is important. Stress reduction is important. However, I believe perhaps I have forgotten the importance of specific organs in all of this and optimizing their function. In some cases, changing diet, stress, or exercise is how you optimize that organ’s function. With the liver this is not necessarily the case and considering that the liver is the master toxin removal system of the body, it seems that its malfunction could have pretty large ramifications.

Thyroid and Liver

A large component of Peat’s approach has to do with optimizing thyroid function as much as possible via diet and supplement if necessary (usually T3), however, problems with the thyroid may be related to problems with the liver considering that the liver metabolizes many of the thyroid hormones. If someone is doing a pro-thyroid diet and having problems, I hypothesize that the liver may be involved as a secondary factor.

Primary factors that can hurt the liver appear to be iron overload, alcohol, and polyunsaturated fats over and above random toxins like pesticides and industrial chemicals. One component of the Peat protocol which I have neglected has been his recommendation to consume coffee to reduce iron absorption (mostly because I don’t like coffee and it makes me very jittery). However, the more I look into it, the more coffee appears as a liver protective compound. This mechanism may be through the inhibition of iron absorption. If this is the case then the most useful things one can do from a dietary perspective is manage iron intake and reduce PUFAs.

There is also the possibility of a doing a liver cleanse/gallbladder flush. Unfortunately, good data on the efficacy of doing this protocol is lacking though most people who do it (~75%) don’t regret having done so. This is why I am trying this out though not in its most extreme form. I’m implementing the gallbladder flush as described in John Pollard’s The Digestive Awareness Diet which consists of 3 days with 2 qts of apple juice a day (plus your regular diet) and then olive oil/grapefruit mixture on the 3rd night and 2 tablespoons of epsom salts the following day.

To put some of this in context, the white tongue that I have had at least since the GAPS diet has followed me through high starch, and now high simple sugars. Sometimes it retreats and sometimes it doesn’t. Some say that the white tongue is a marker of liver function so I shall put this to the test. Since I’ve started drinking the apple juice though, my tongue has been looking redder. We shall see. My working hypothesis is simply that with impaired liver function, the efficacy of supplements, herbs, and dietary changes will be impaired no matter what they are. Consequently, one must optimize liver function in order for everything else to take hold.

Filed under: Cleanse, Coffee, Health, Iron, Liver, Nutrients, phytic acid

New Directions in Nutrition

It it high time for an update around here. I had been hesitant for a while mostly due to the fact that what I’ve been reading about recently (sexuality) does not seem to fit in thematically with this blog. However, I have recently also changed some of my views on optimal nutrition and am finally implementing some of these changes. Most of my changes in thinking come from my experience with the GAPS diet, the Perfect Health Diet, the Danny Roddy Blog, and 180 Degree Health.

On the Question of Gut Dysbiosis

“Gut dysbiosis” has become a sort of trendy phrase these days and I do not doubt that it is a widespread problem in our society from the lack of fermented foods, overuse of antibiotics, pollution, chemical adulteration of food, and so on and so forth. How is one to deal with it? There are a lot of ideas about this. I basically bought wholesale into the idea that starch is impossible to digest and that simple sugars feed pathogens. This led me to do the GAPS diet which is pretty low in carbohydrate as a therapeutic diet for a while. The problem is that I had already been pretty low carb for a while at that point as my reaction to subjective feelings of gut dysbiosis has always been to go ZC or VLC as a way to starve the bad guys. I realize now that this path was mistaken since probiotics will not grow well without prebiotics and this was shown time and time again by constipation and reduced stool volume. At the time, I also didn’t realize that a VLC diet increases susceptibility to fungal infection in addition to the other problems postulated by the PHD. It is now my conviction that to treat gut dysbiosis it is important to eat a lot of prebiotics and probiotics along with gut healing foods and a low toxin load. This means foods that contain resistant starch or inulin as these seem to be the least problematic sorts of prebiotics and ones that are preferred by good bacteria. Reducing sugars is still important but going low carb can backfire by increasing susceptibility to fungi and also impairing immune function while not providing enough feedstock for probiotic colonies to flourish and do their work. For healing gut dysbiosis, I have thus changed my mind from the GAPS diet to instead a GAPS-style diet plus foods high in resistant starch and inulin including pseudo-grains, white rice, pulses, and starchy tubers. I would also eliminate nuts, seeds, and fruit. Each person will need to test these foods to see if they have reactivity to any of them and eliminate those that produce reactions. In general, however, I have changed the way in which I believe these sorts of problems need to be conceptualized. Instead of starving out the pathogen while also starving yourself of important foods, it’s better to eat enough of every major macro- and micro-nutrient category while simultaneously adding immune system and detoxification support otherwise you risk weakening yourself as you weaken your pathogen which may have more tricks up its sleeve to feed off of you. This does not mean your diet can be a free for all but you must not be totally carbophobic and take the food lists provided by the diet to be gospel. For instance, on the GAPS diet why are lentils and white beans okay but not adzuki beans or mung beans which are both supposed to be very low in toxins and easily digestible.

On Hypothyroidism

It has come to my attention by way of Matt Stone that it seems that part of the efficacy of low carbing is the fact that it pumps up your adrenals for a while and makes you hypothyroid. In the short term, this works out great but it backfires when one does this relentlessly. Low carbing would thus be most effective when combined with carb refeeds every so often to allow the adrenals to rest. Many low carbers have experienced a certain pattern of symptoms that comes after being low carb for a while, this includes oral thrush, dandruff, intolerance to cold, low body temperature, reduced libido, the return of some fat, and so on. I have experienced many of these at this point especially since returning to the GAPS diet for a few weeks thus providing another reason to increase my carbohydrate intake.

On Protein Consumption

By way of Danny Roddy I have become acquainted more and more with the detrimental effects of high tryptophan consumption on the body. These negative effects are largely the result of the increased circulating serotonin that eating a lot of tryptophan can produce. The tryptophan amino acid is, of course, especially rich in muscle meats. In addition, eating too much protein does not seem to be all that beneficial unless you are attempting to build muscle mass. High protein consumption is associated with hypothyroidism, decreased testosterone production, and a shorter lifespan. In addition, restricting protein can produce beneficial results from the autophagy that may be induced. All these considerations make me feel that protein can be anywhere from 5-15% of a diet and should come mainly from variety meats, seafood, gelatin, pulses, and pseudo-grains.

Other Stuff

A few other things to consider are that fructose and alcohol both appear to be treated similarly in the body and thus produce similar effects when consumed in excess (such as a fatty liver). A few studies, however, appear to show that many of these ill effects of overconsumption can be significantly reduced or eliminated when the consumption is done in the absence of polyunsaturated fats. It thus seems to me that in the hierarchy of evil things that supposedly destroy health, fructose and alcohol may, in fact, both be conditional toxins whose toxic dose depends on PUFA consumption. Reduction of PUFA to minimum levels (while also balancing n-3/n-6 ratio) appears to be the chief thing to do with reduction of fructose and alcohol being secondary. Another interesting thought is about stress. It seems that people who’ve grown on very nutritious foods in a traditional manner can tolerate way more dietary stress without having as many food allergies or problems. I am thus starting to wonder how much optimal adrenal and thyroid function have to do with susceptibility to food intolerances. Recently, I have either become lactose intolerant or only just realized that I am more lactose intolerant than I initially thought. After I finish this phase of carb refeeding, however, I plan to test dairy again to see if my tolerance has improved with improved thyroid and adrenal function but we shall see.

Summary

To summarize some of the conceptual changes:

-I believe a healthy gut depends on prebiotics as much as probitics especially resistant starch and inulin. Low carb programs for treating the gut can impair immunity (especially to fungi) while slowing down growth of probiotic colonies.

-I believe reducing protein (especially tryptophan-rich protein) can be beneficial which means that the optimal protein sources become seafood, variety meats, gelatin, pseudo-grains, and pulses and the optimal protein amount becomes 5-15% of calories.

-I believe a minimum level of carbohydrate must be maintained in all cases. For this minimum I’ll defer to the PHD who puts it at about 20% of calories, however, more may be beneficial depending on your circumstance. I no longer believe fat is a preferred fuel source. Either carbohydrate or fat can be good as long as a few guidelines are observed. Carbohydrate sources are low in toxins, fructose, and insoluble fiber. Fat sources are low in PUFAs. You have an open window of 85%-95% Fat/Carb calories though you will generally do best if you prefer one source and moderate the other one.

-Polyunsaturated fats are the master toxin that can activate fructose or alcohol to produce physiological problems in the body. As such, make sure to balance and minimize PUFAs. I’ll defer to Stephan for this and say that PUFAs should comprise no more than 4% of calories.

Filed under: Bacteria, Diet, Digestion, Fermentation, Health, Macronutrients, Nutrients, VLC

Towards a New Paradigm of Health (or the T-DOMES concept)

So this is meant to be an outline of my ideas concerning how disease is caused and how it may be prevented and managed. There is a standard framework set up in advance by the institution of medicine that has its own philosophy pertaining to how the body is to be viewed and treated and this is challenged in specific ways by alternative and complementary medicine. Nevertheless, these are all techniques that manage bodily conditions once illness has struck. When it comes to prevention, there is a lot of obvious and simple advice given about what one must do. Your average text on health tends to construct a simplified conceptual framework of how health functions in order to organize the activities that produce wellness into a whole that may be conceived and acted upon. I have not yet found an author, however, whose way of doing this has completely satisfied me so this is my attempt to produce my own simplified but hopefully useful way of conceptualizing disease treatment and prevention.

Toxicity

The central concept that relates to health is the idea of toxicity. This is the master concept that is usually at work whenever a problem arises whether the matter has to do with nutritional, pharmacological, psychic, or mechanical toxicity. I am thus using this term in a very broad way to include within it any life stress that is chronically maintained or which is beyond the threshold of benefit. Beneath the idea of toxicity are the various specific objects which we must be careful to be aware of in order to maintain wellness. Toxicity is thus the T in the T-DOMES acronym I have produced, the DOMES being a specification of the possible toxicities to avoid, manage, dissipate, and neutralize depending on your desire, circumstance, and temperament.

Digestion

Digestion is the first and most important part of the health equation, the one most likely to be disrupted, and the one that shall bring the most benefit once it is under control. A compromised gut is implicated in a wide range of problems including, obviously, the digestive problems but also autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, muscular pain and so on. In other words, it’s always good to rule out the gut as a causative factor as it may be playing a role in a variety of ailments. Good digestion is also important for the sake of extracting the most nutrition from food, having good energy balance, and so on. Below the macro idea of digestion lies several things. The most obvious one is to have a proper diet that is good for digestion and nutrition and to go through a therapeutic diet if necessary so that the gut may be healed. As far as therapeutic diets specifically for gut healing, it seems the GAPS or SCD diets work in many people. As a quick summary: eliminating lactose, casein, and/or polysaccharides may be useful for a limited time in allowing the gut to heal. Besides the diet, is the issue of having healthy and beneficial probiotic colonies in the gut through consuming fermented foods and supplements. Enzymes as well as betaine HCL (or apple cider vinegar) may also be needed to help weak digestion and/or low stomach acid production. There are also basic things of importance like the proper chewing of food and reduced meal frequency. Chronic stress is also a factor that may reduce stomach acid production. The goal of this level is then to deal with and avoid a wide variety of digestively related ailments and to improve energy production as well as our nutritive status and thereafter to maintain a nutritious and low toxin diet (i.e. PHD style diet or my regular diet).

Outlook

Outlook in life is extremely important both physiologically and psychologically (as if there were a difference) as the physiological tension from stress, depression, anxiety, and so on can affect digestion, the amount of adipose tissue that you have and where it is deposited, brain function, sleep quality, and the adrenal glands. As much as people attempt to turn into machines, our basis in biology cannot and will not be denied. The fact that we have a biological basis means that we need to understand that we all have certain social, sexual, and physiological needs and that we need to accept them and embrace them. Of course, I cannot delve into this topic deeply right now as this is just a cursory summary but the basic point is that we should not be experiencing chronic stress and isolation and learn to take our activities lightly and accept our circumstance as this will lead us towards a better life. In my view, however, this is the most difficult task to manage as the untangling and dissolution of neuroses is no easy feat due to the structural role that neuroses play in the psychic economy of the individual. Nevertheless, progress may be made such as through having valuable relationships, goals in life, practicing meditation, getting sufficient rest, and so on. The goal of this level is to avoid the problems of chronic psychological stress and self-defeating behavior, loneliness and so on.

Movement

The idea of movement encompasses both exercise and posture as these are two important things that affect our bodies. Exercise is a necessary activity in life in order to keep us strong and able to engage in a wide variety of activities not to mention that muscle cushions us from injury and provides a reserve store for our immune system to feed upon when necessary. I personally believe in the primacy of high intensity, but slow, weight lifting plus leisure and locomotive activities throughout the rest of life (walking to places, playing sports). Posture is important in weight training to avoid injury but it is also important in general as chronic bad posture can lead to a variety of spinal and muscular problems over time not to mention the fact that out culture is geared towards sitting and inactivity which is generally bad for posture. In this realm I suggest the Gokhale method as it very clearly explains what properly balanced posture is and how to achieve it. The goal of this level is then to avoid the mechanical injuries that arise from bad posture and to avoid other bodily injuries that become easier to incur when one is weaker in the body.

Environment

This is a very broad category that relates somewhat back to outlook in that it is important to exist in an environment that is conducive to your optimal functioning. However, one can be more specific in that many environments have stale or dry air, toxins present from the production of the carpets, furniture, and so on not to mention those present in various products used such as shampoo. The idea is to avoid unnecessary exposure to these sorts of things and also to balance it with being outside and in the sun as this is an activity that produces vitamin D in the body among other benefits. To this we may also relate the idea of time, the body responds to the environment and perceives time. When we engage in shift work and sleep all day, this can have a negative hormonal impact so it is recommended that one sleeps in the right environment at the right time. The goal of this level is to avoid the problems of vitamin D deficiency, exposure to toxicity, disconnection from nature, and so on.

Sanitation

This refers to a specific idea of cleanliness as I do not in any way advocate antibacterial cleaners as they are damaging to yourself and the environment. What I mean is the management of space. This includes the space of the body and as such can be seen as being synonymous with the idea of hygiene. Being “clean,” for me, does not mean the destruction of bacteria but rather the proper colonization of it especially as far as bodily entry points are concerned. The mouth, the nose, the anus, and genitals are all possible points of entry into the body from the exterior environment. If one maintains these areas in proper bacteriological balance then the likelihood of disease diminishes so I suggest probiotic treatments for these areas when warranted. For instance, one may wish to use a suppository or enema to help with the colon if a person has severe digestive issues from a loss of colonic bacteria. If a person is prone to chronic ear infections or sinusitis, it may be useful to introduce probiotics into that area of the body via a netipot. Also UTIs in women can be prevented through probiotic treatments which may be done orally or genitally. As for the mouth, there are many ways of modulating dental hygiene through the food consumed and the products used. The goal of sanitation is thus to control the entry points to the body as well as maintain the space around you in such a way that is does not constitute a threat to you. This does not mean destroying bacteria but, rather, being aware of them.

The Healing Modalities (SHOPP): Supplements, Herbalism, Osteopathy, Probiotics, Psychotherapy, Allopathy

The preceding sections outline the most salient concepts for the maintenance of health and prevention of disease, however, it is inevitable that one will become ill at some point and so it is necessary that one should have a plan for this eventuality. The “plan” that I have produced is constructed of several healing modalities that should be applied to the situation depending on the nature and gravity of the situation and the amount of harm and benefit the medicine is likely to produce in the patient. In life threatening situations, there is no option but going to conventional medicine (allopathy from now on) as this is what allopathy is best at, however, for all other ailments I believe a different approach is warranted due to the amount of problems that allopathic remedies tend to produce in individuals and the fact that this sort of medicine is based on symptomatic treatment as opposed to snuffing out causes.

Supplements

Many diseases are caused by vitamin toxicity or deficiency, as such supplemental vitamins constitute an important healing modality as anyone who has ever heard of scurvy can tell you. Even in the case of vitamin toxicity, vitamins may help since they work synergistically together and thus may be able to modulate one another such as vitamin A and D where toxicity in one is often present because of deficiency in another. Besides vitamins, there are many other compounds that can help in alleviating problems. For instance, alpha lipoic acid can chelate some heavy metals and could thus be useful for people with heavy metal toxicity.

Herbalism

Before getting to pharmacological substances to which bacteria (among other vectors of disease) can more easily adapt to due to their simplicity, it is important to attempt to treat disease with herbal substances. Of course, one should not assume that herbs are safe and nontoxic, it all depends on the herb but these are less likely to cause issues in individuals and are thus worth a try before getting to more dangerous treatment options. These are especially good with more minor ailments as there are many herbs that are antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial such as garlic and ginger.

Osteopathy

I do not know so much about osteopathy but do know that it has been shown to be effective and involves manipulation similar to chiropractic practice. As such, it seems to be a prudent option if you have some sort of mechanical difficulty and since osteopaths are full doctors they will move you towards allopathy if they believe it is necessary.

Probiotics

Probiotics are very important in preventing and treating disease as these bacteria constitute our endogenous bacterial army that battles against pathogenic bacteria. When a person has insufficient friendly bacteria, that individual becomes more susceptible to disease and when a person is given probiotics during illness, the illness tends to resolve faster. In most cases, except for gut dysbiosis, this will be either a complementary method or a preventative method, nevertheless, it is still very important as it may save you from recurring infections of the same sort as explained above.

Psychotherapy

If you have a psychological problem then psychotherapy should be your first option of treatment. It is just as effective, if not more so, than pharmacological treatment but gets the shaft because it’s easier and more profitable to prescribe medicine instead. In any case, using drugs to treat these sorts of disorders usually functions as symptomatic treatment that does not untangle any issues in the individual thus forsaking him/her to lifelong medication with the associated side effects.

Allopathy

Like I mentioned before, allopathic medicine is very good for emergencies. If you have a life threatening situation on your hands then you do not have the luxury of shopping around for the best treatment but instead need to just stay alive and allopathy knows how to do that. Besides this very special circumstance, I recommend that you use allopathy once other options have been exhausted as its treatments are the most damaging and dangerous. It may be useful, however, to go to an allopathic physician for the sake of certain diagnostics which you may then use for your own purposes and I believe this is the best use of them.

Other Considerations: Saunas, Laughter, Chiropractic, Acupuncture

There are other activities that can help health that are not treatment modalities in themselves or with which I am not familiar enough with to really endorse fully. I will quickly outline these here now.

Saunas

Saunas have been used for health for quite a long time and it makes sense as the sauna is nothing more than a simulation of the fever. The fever in the disease process does not happen for no reason, rather it is an immune defense. By increasing bodily temperature, the immune system is attempting to kill pathogens. This is why fevers should be allowed to run their course so long as they are mild. In any case, this appears to be the basic idea behind the sauna and why it is associated with longevity.

Laughter

Laughter is an activity which can help bring oxygen into the body, reduce stress, and improve outlook. As such, it seems to be something that should be included in a well rounded healing strategy especially considering how easy it is to get dreary when one is sick.

Chiropractic

So far, chiropractic practice has appeared to me as nothing more than a less professional form of osteopathy with fewer qualifications and more possible injury (especially if the manipulations are done on the neck). For this reason, I do not really see why someone should want to see a chiropractor when that person can simply just go and see an osteopath instead. Nevertheless, chiropractic does have a plausible method of functioning so feel free to go to them if you do have certain mechanical problems and prefer them.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture also has a plausible physiological method of functioning (that is, the needles stimulate bloodflow to the areas being pricked thus improving healing), however, I have not seen much in the way of proof that this does, in fact, work except when it comes to headaches and some muscular and joint pain. As such, I recommend that if you believe in it then go ahead and use it, it is unlikely to do you much harm, however, it does not seem very necessary and the clinical evidence behind it does not seem particularly large.

Conclusion

It is my opinion that the T-DOMES strategy should be a sufficient way to maintain very good health indefinitely. The problem is in implementing it fully as I believe many people likely have chronic digestive issues that require healing, chronic anxiety or stress, and may suffer from psychological problems such as anger, loneliness, depression and so on that put their bodies in compromised states of being. This is not even to mention the encouraged sedentariness of our culture and the bad posture that inheres in too much sitting and the toxic environments in which we often work and live. All these problems feed back into eachother very easily such as a job where you’re stuck at a desk all day in bad posture that leads to strain with a loved one which increases your stress and anxiety which you escape from by watching too much television while eating potato chips and ice cream. Here you have bad food with bad posture with bad environment with lack of movement working together to produce psychic and physiological stress that the person in question finds difficult to deal with except by indulging more fully in that which injures him/her. It is thus a difficult path to find a way to unravel ourselves from the traps of culture that attempt to tell us what to do, what to eat, what it is that is worthwhile to do with a life, who should be desired, how a person should act, what to buy and so on and so forth (not to mention the production of anxiety through news media). This often all eventually congeals into a clinically diagnosable disease which can then, through the cycle of unintended consequences and a faulty framework, lead to even more disease via the side effects of treatment if the treatment was even warranted in the first place. That is the additional insult here; that even people who are healthy can be made to be ill through the manufacture of imaginary diseases that need to be managed such as high cholesterol or the medicalization of problems that should be properly dealt with in psychotherapeutic ways such as depression or anxiety or through screening tests on the asymptomantic which often detect non-threatening phenomena that end up leading to unnecessary surgery. All this medicalization of the physiologically healthy even while the ill are symptomatically treated only thus allowing their diseases to progress further instead of instituting programs that reverse the disease process such as happens in GERD and diabetes. This is how one falls into the plague of iatrogenicity that must be avoided and this is why I suggest the T-DOMES framework above as a way to maintain health and to use allopathy only for diagnostics while using the other modalities (SHOPP) for actual healing if at all possible.

Filed under: Bacteria, Diet, Digestion, Hcl, Health, Iatrogenicity, Medicine, Nutrients, Pathogenesis, Supplements

Another Dietary Synthesis

This is just a note of a quick mash up of a few diets for different therapeutic purposes and some common themes I’ve been seeing among them.

First, I would like to say that the reason for this is that basically I find myself wanting to do several therapeutic things at once. For one, I want to improve my digestion and towards this end have looked at the SCD and the GAPS diet. Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a cavity so I am adhering to a tooth remineralization protocol in order to arrest the decay. Both these diets are relatively similar but seem to bias meat, dairy, and fermented vegetables the most thus placing them in the realm of VLC diets if you’re not careful but considering that the digestion protocols require severe restriction of starches, it seems somewhat problematic to get the carbohydrate values up to 20% of calories or so which would be optimal to prevent the problems of zero carb diets.

Here are a few summaries:

The tooth remineralization protocol that is based on Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel consists of organ meats especially liver, mollusks, fish/beef broth, raw dairy, and fermented cod liver oil/butter oil as the necessary therapeutic dietary elements. Nuts, grains, seeds are basically out and fruit and honey are limited. Other vegetables are allowed.

The SCD/GAPS diet basically restrict starches severely to predominantly monosaccharides. This means that all fibrous vegetables, some other vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat, and certain types of dairy are allowed. Because of the possibility of problems between lactose and casein, dairy is introduced slowly over time and fluid milk is never allowed. At best, you can consume ghee, butter, cream, sour cream, kefir, yogurt, clabber, and cheese but no fluid milk. The GAPS diet further emphasizes broths, a probiotic supplement, betaine hcl, and fermented cod liver oil.

The PHD diet attempts to reduce the complications of zero carb diets such as kidney stones and scurvy by ensuring that carbohydrate intake is 20% of calories mostly coming from safe starches like white rice and starchy tubers.

A few problems present themselves in that the remineralization protocol restricts the honey and fruit that the SCD/GAPS allow while the SCD/GAPS restrict many of the starches the PHD and remineralization protocol allow as well as the dairy component. I am attempting to come up with a reasonable synthesis and it seems that it would be the common elements between the SCD/GAPS and the remineralization protocol plus the restriction of fruit and honey and the restriction of fluid milk which is to be compensated by increased consumption of yogurt, kefir, or cheese and a mandatory consumption of squash, radish, rutabaga, celeriac, and (maybe) turnips. Between the allowed tubers and the dairy, I would hope the carbohydrate requirements could be met and between the lactose restriction, the digestion needs can be met while not shirking the needs of the teeth.

So here is my new dietary synthesis:

Protein and fat should come from seafood and red meat especially organ meats and mollusks. Mollusks and liver should be consumed every week as should fish and bone broths.

Carbohydrate should come from fibrous vegetables, fermented vegetables, dairy, and especially squash, radish, rutabagas, celeriac, and turnips.

Fruit should be restricted except for fatty fruit (olive, coconut, avocado)

Dairy should be restricted to raw fermented dairy such as raw yogurt, kefir, or cheese. Cream may also work since it is mostly fat but avoid fluid milk.

Take fermented cod liver oil/butter oil, a probiotic, and betaine hcl if necessary daily. You may also want to take some of the PHD recommendations especially selenium.

This is the next dietary iteration that I will attempt to implement. By the way, this is not meant as an ideal diet but a relatively safe and clean diet that may be helpful therapeutically. If you have none of these issues then you can probably go ahead with any tuber you like, white rice, some beans, pseudo-grains, fruit, honey, nuts, and raw fluid milk.

Filed under: Diet, Digestion, Fermentation, Hcl, Macronutrients, Nutrients, Raw milk, Supplements, Teeth, VLC

Conclusions on Diet

Note: This is out of date. I no longer believe all of these things.

I realize that I have not yet made a diet post so here it is.

It seems that when it comes to diet the main thing of importance is to simply eat unprocessed foods produced in a manner as close to their natural tendencies as possible and to keep it relatively evolutionarily appropriate (a la the Paleo diet) though some allowances can be made I believe based on information that we have or based on certain non-health motivated dietary restrictions.

This means that a diet should be primarily composed of things like meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts with certain qualifications that will follow.

In addition to this, we must consider which things must be minimized from the diet to avoid health problems. As others have already pointed and explained quite well, the three most prevalent problems in the dietary world are wheat, fructose, and vegetable oils each of which may be thought of as the most common and most insidious manifestation of a larger category. Wheat is a very hard to digest grain that includes the gluten protein and WGA, both of which seem to cause digestive issues. Vegetable oils are highly processed and have a very high proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 thus causing a pro-inflammatory state in the body, not to mention that we should be consuming under 4% of total calories as polyunsaturated fats. As for fructose, it seems to produce non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in humans and is tied to diabetes pathology and may affect the leptin hormone. It is not advisable to eat these in high quantities though the Standard American Diet is composed of these.

Meat

It seems to me that, especially considering the omega-3 and omega-6 issue, the meats of choice should be grass fed red meats and seafood. If you like poultry and pork, go ahead and eat it every so often but it seems to be less optimal in my opinion than grass fed red meat and seafood which contain a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats) not to mention that you have a better idea of what the animal has eaten if you source it well. Pigs and chickens can be fed a lot of different things and are usually fed some proportion of grain and in these animals it seems dietary PUFA levels determine their own PUFA levels. The best way to source your meat is to find a local farm via localharvest, eatwild, or something like this or to find a Farmer’s Market with meat vendors who use the practices that you want. If you contract a local farmer, you also have the possibility of buying high quality meat in bulk which will save you a fair bit of money and give you a wide variety. This is a much better option than going to Whole Foods and paying their mark up all the time or forcing yourself to eat grain fed meat which is less healthy, unethical, and environmentally destructive. If you do buy grain fed meat, you would do well to cut off the fat and instead cook it in high amounts of fat as the fat in animals can accumulate toxins. Since the liver and kidneys act as filters, you would probably want to avoid these from grain fed animals as well. From grass-fed animals, however, you should attempt to eat every part of it that can possibly be eaten from the liver to sweetbreads and the bones (via soup and roasting the marrow) as these have nutrients muscle meats do not provide.

General recommendations: Eat mostly grass fed red meat and seafood. Other meats are fine but are likely to have worse omega-3:omega-6 ratios. Make sure you eat  bone marrow, bone broth, and organ meats as these have different nutritional profiles than muscle meats do. Avoid processed meats.

Vegetables

Vegetables can be a useful part of the diet for the sake of adding good bacteria, hormetic stimulus, micronutrition, starch, and fiber. If you eat fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kim-chee, pickles, and so on then eating these will help your digestion through the bacteria and enzymes that they introduce. This can also be done with fermented meats and dairy products though the former will be something fewer people will likely attempt. As for the idea of hormetic stimulus, all vegetables have some degree of toxins, it is for this reason that we must cook them or ferment them to eat them (except for a special few such as lettuce and cucumbers). Meat doesn’t have these toxins since it doesn’t need them. Animals protect themselves with their motility while vegetables use chemicals to discourage us. This means that overindulging in any vegetable may have detrimental effects since you’ll get a high load of whatever toxin that vegetable produces. For example, cruciferous vegetables have goitrogens so if all you eat are cruciferous vegetables, you should probably take an iodine supplement for your thyroid (or eat seaweed). However, it appears that these toxins in small doses can have a beneficial effect on the body acting through hormesis and that this is, in fact, how benefit is derived from things like tannins, resveratrol, or polyphenols. It follows then that you should include a wide variety of vegetables so that you are not overloading on the toxins of any one vegetable. Many vegetables are also high in micronutrients, the best example being leafy greens so this is another reason. The starchy vegetables will serve your carbohydrate needs and the fibrous ones will be  fermented in the gut to produce butyric acid that your body can metabolize.

General recommendations: Eating a wide variety of different vegetables is best for the sake of micronutrition and hormesis. Most of your starch intake should also be coming from vegetables.

Fruits and sweets

Berries are the preferred fruit due to their nutritive qualities and low fructose content. In general, many fruits have been bred to be very sweet and so have limited nutritive qualities, as such, they should not be indulged in extensively. Virtually everything sweet has some proportion of fructose in it and so sweets in general should not be eaten often. Sucrose appears to be about half fructose, half glucose. High fructose corn syrup (of the form used in soft drinks) is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Honey varies but is often around 30-40% fructose. Agave syrup is over 50% fructose and potentially as high as 90% fructose. Maple syrup and table sugar are mostly sucrose. The only sweeteners which may potentially be indulged in without the problem of fructose are rice syrup, tapioca syrup, and corn syrup (distinct from HFCS) which are all composed of different glucose molecules. Other sweeteners have other benefits which you may be interested in. For instance, molasses has calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron whereas raw honey has bee pollen, propolis, and enzymes and maple syrup has zinc and manganese.

General recommendations: Berries are the best option but don’t overindulge in fruit. Avoid sweeteners except rice syrup, tapioca syrup, and corn syrup as these have no fructose. Molasses, maple syrup, and raw honey are also useful in moderation due to mineral content though these do have fructose.

Grains: Toxins and Adaptation

The question of toxins comes up quite often within the Paleo diet community as it is something everyone is trying to avoid ingesting. The fact is that every food that is not animal derived has toxins in it to protect itself. The reason vegetables are preferred over grains or legumes is because human bodies are more capable of dealing with vegetable toxins than they are with grain or legume toxins which are plants that we didn’t introduce into our diets until agriculture. This, however, does not necessarily mean that grains or legumes cannot be consumed. Traditional cultures were able to eat a fair amount of grains and legumes because they processed these foods in such a way that made them digestible for humans and made their nutrition bioavailable. If these methods are not done to prepare grains and legumes then they will have very little nutritional value. The Paleo diet is, in a sense, a paranoid and/or lazy version of these sorts of Mesolithic diets since grains and legumes are eliminated instead of properly prepared. Depending on the grain or legume, the process may be more or less time intensive and the amount of the toxin degraded may be more or less. For instance, the gluten in wheat is virtually impossible to eliminate even with a long fermentation process which takes several days so I still suggest against wheat. Corn can be nixtimalized which improves its nutritional profile and seems to protect against the pellagra which high corn consumption can induce. Brown rice can be soaked or you can simply eat white rice since white rice has removed the parts of the rice which have the toxin load. The problem still remains that grains relative to meat and vegetables are relatively nutritionally deficient. This is less true of pseudo-grains which can be prepared in the same way as grains and have a better nutritional profile including complete protein. These are buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. These foods should not become a huge proportion of the diet in order so that it may remain high fat, however, I don’t believe these foods are harmful. Properly prepared brown rice, corn, and white rice are okay though they are nutritionally poor. If you want grains, a better option would be the properly prepared pseudo-grains.

General recommendations: If you’re willing to soak and potentially ferment them, you can eat brown rice and corn but these are still nutritionally poor compared to other foods. White rice doesn’t need this as its hull and bran have been removed. The pseudo-grains are your best option since these have more nutrients and can be prepared the same way. These are buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. Other grains, as long as they don’t have gluten are probably okay so long as you soak and/or ferment them (for instance sorghum, millet, or teff).

Legumes

What has been said about grains also applies to legumes. As long as they are soaked and/or fermented, you will be able to consume these if you like or you can be lazy and eliminate them entirely. Like grains, these are also not optimal as far as nutritional profiles go so it’s best not to make these a huge staple of your diet unless you have some compelling reason to do so. Just as with grains, where we still want to avoid wheat though other grains may be acceptable in small amounts so do we find something similar in legumes. Soy is one of the legumes with the highest toxin loads not to mention it has phytoestrogen which seems to have negative effects in men, women, and children. Traditional cultures that ate soy only ate it once it had been fermented and in small amounts. Soy that has not been fermented (tofu, soymilk, etc) should be completely avoided and soy that has been fermented (tamari sauce, soy sauce, miso, tempeh, or natto) should be eaten in small quantities. Fermented soy does not eliminate all of the toxins soy produces but it does minimize many of them so if you do want to eat soy, eat a little of the fermented variety and avoid the rest. Kidney beans can kill you if eaten raw and it is for this reason that I don’t really trust them and would avoid them. Besides these two qualifications, as long as you soak and/or ferment legumes, they can be eaten with less trouble and more nutrition. In this sense, lentils are your best choice as these have the lowest toxin load of any legumes.

General recommendations: Legumes can be consumed if properly soaked and/or fermented. Unfermented soy should be avoided and fermented soy should be minimized. Kidney beans should be avoided. Lentils are your best bet for a low toxin load.

Nuts

Nuts and seeds occupy an interesting position in the Paleo diet community. They are accepted and sometimes even substituted in baking recipes for grain flours, however, these are also plant foods and thus have a toxin load that needs to be considered. Many nuts seem to have toxin loads as high as some grains and legumes do (almonds for instance) and yet they are not demonized as much as these other food groups are. In addition, nuts generally have a high proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 PUFAs and for this reason should not be overindulged in. Nuts can also be soaked to help remove toxins as well as roasted. If you want to do some baking, please use pseudo-grains and not nuts for this purpose. Chestnuts appear to have the lowest toxin load while macadamia nuts appear to have the best omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Walnuts also have an okay ratio. Brazil nuts may be useful on account of their high selenium content.

General recommendations: Limit nuts due to high PUFA content and soak and/or roast them before consuming to reduce toxins. Chestnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and Brazil nuts are preferred for various reasons.

Cooking

Meat can be eaten raw, fermented, or cooked. If cooked, the best way is to cook it rare or to braise it. This is to reduce the amount of time the meat is exposed to high heat and to avoid the formation of mutagens on its surface from the Maillard reaction (charring) as well as to avoid the destruction of heat sensitive nutrient like CoQ10. If you’re worried about bacteria on raw meat then prepare it in an acid marinade (vinegar or lime) and this will kill any surface bacteria which is all you should be worried about. Cooking meat rare will kill any surface bacteria and keep more nutrients intact. Braising meat will make tough cuts tender, make a flavorful broth with dissolved nutrients and will avoid the Maillard reaction through the low and slow process of braising. Avoid meats that have already been processed such as bacon, cured sausage, or deli meats especially if these include sugar or nitrates. Sugar or other carbohydrate sources on meat will create glycation reactions whereas nitrates will produce nitrosamines as they react with the protein. Neither of these are ideal, however, they may simply pass through the body without any effect so don’t get too paranoid about it.

Lettuce, cucumber, carrots, celery, zucchini, summer squash, baby spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers may be eaten raw. All other vegetables should be cooked or fermented. Cooking helps break down the cell walls and makes nutrients more bioavailable not to mention the fact that it can reduce toxin loads. Steaming is a good way to cook vegetables since it is gentle and reduces nutrient loss (when you boil, you lose nutrients to the water). Fermentation is a good way to make vegetables more digestible and improve gut health.

Oils and cooking fats

The best oils for cooking are the ones low in PUFAs with medium to high smoke points. These oils and cooking fats are ghee, butter, coconut oil, tallow, lard, palm oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. Ghee, tallow, macadamia nut oil, and avocado oil have the highest smoke points among these.

Dairy

Dairy is an idiosyncratic matter and some will be able to consume it while others will not. It is best to experiment with a gluten-free, dairy-free diet before reintroducing dairy to see if dairy is actually the problem or if it is only a problem when gluten is present in the diet. Additionally, there are many ways in which one may or may not be sensitive to dairy. Some people cannot digest lactose, some cannot digest casein. Milk has lactose and cheese has casein. Also, there are some people who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk but are able to drink raw milk (since it has enzymes such as lactase which break down the lactose). Many people who do not drink milk can nevertheless eat yogurt as it is fermented. There is also the fact that most milk is produced from A1 cattle (which is a new mutation) and some people are able to drink A2 milk (Jersey, Guernsey, Goat, Sheep) while not being able to drink A1 milk (Holstein). Virtually everyone can at least tolerate well made ghee and many others can also tolerate yogurt and heavy cream. Humans have traditionally consumed milk, once they became pastoralists, in fermented form as fresh milk didn’t stay fresh for very long. Keep these different considerations in mind while you attempt to determine whether you can consume dairy products or just eliminate them entirely if you prefer as many Paleo dieters do though dairy can act as a very convenient way to increase fat in the diet. Because of how much is potentially lost in the pasteurization process, I would recommend that dairy be consumed in raw form.

Supplementation

This is a tricky subject due to idiosyncratic needs but it seems that most would do well to supplement vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, iodine, and selenium. Selenium and iodine are useful for thyroid health. Magnesium is important for sleep and most people are deficient since most soil is depleted of its magnesium. Most people get insufficient sun exposure and are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin K2 works with vitamin D to help with teeth and bones and is hard to find except in grass fed butter and organ meats. Vitamin A also works with vitamin D and K2 so it may be useful to supplement this as well (as in a cod liver oil). My regimen right now is vitamin A, D, K2, selenium, magnesium, and iodine via cod liver oil/high vitamin butter oil blend, Brazil nuts, and then regular capsule supplements. Many of these recommendations are taken from the Perfect Health Diet so I defer to them.

Special Considerations

Illness

In many cases, illness can be reduced through going on a ketogenic diet where glucose is severely limited so that only enough is produced in the body via gluconeogenesis from protein to feed the brain. Besides this, the body will run on fat or ketones. Without glucose, many pathogens cannot live and this diet has been used to treat many diseases including schizophrenia and epilepsy and if you have any problems that seem to be stuck, it may be worthwhile to go ketogenic for a limited amount of time. To become ketogenic would mean either eliminating carbs or reducing them while increasing coconut oil (as coconut oil is preferentially converted to ketones). Similar diets such as the specific carbohydrate diet and the GAPS diet may also be considered. If you have trouble with digestion, it may be helpful to eat fermented foods often and/or take a probiotic while eliminating polysaccharides from the diet as these are harder to digest and are often consumed by bad gut bacteria such as H. Pylori. Increasing stomach acidity via a Betaine Hcl supplement or taking an Apple Cider Vinegar tonic may also help.

Veg*ns

If, for whatever reason, you choose not to consume meat then a few modifications must be made. I have outlined these in this post. Essentially, the diet will have to be a high carbohydrate, low fat diet as opposed to a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. I do not believe this is ideal but it is adequate so long as the main agents of disease are still avoided (wheat, fructose, vegetable oils). Your main sources for protein will be legumes and pseudo-grains whereas your main sources of fat will be coconut, olive, and avocado. If you consume dairy and eggs then those will add to your protein and fat needs. You will probably need to consume an omega-3 supplement since your foods will generally not have much omega-3 but will have omega-6. There are supplements that are derived from algae and thus still allowable as veg*n. These are in addition to the standard veg*n complement such as B-12.

Summary

The basic summary of what I now believe to be the most healthful diet is one that is composed of animal products including bones and organs from grass fed red meat and seafood combined with fibrous and starchy vegetables in a proportion where fat is 60-85% of calories, carbohydrate is 20% of calories or less, and protein makes up the balance. Nuts, legumes, grains, and pseudo-grains are to be limited due to lower nutrient density and when they are consumed, they must be prepared properly which in all cases requires a soaking and in some cases fermentation as well. Wheat and unfermented soy are not allowed. Fructose is to be limited as much as possible and the preferred sweeteners are ones which contain no fructose (rice syrup). Omega-3:omega-6 balance is kept in check by eating grass fed meat and seafood and limiting nuts and eliminating vegetable oils (except for a few). Meat is to be eaten raw, rare, fermented, or braised and processed meat is to be avoided. Vegetables are to be eaten fermented or cooked with a few allowed as raw. Dairy may or may not be a good choice depending on your particular needs and is preferred raw and fermented.

Filed under: Diet, Nutrients

The Vegan Paleo Diet: A Thought Experiment

After reading Melissa‘s latest post and seemingly encountering veg*ns all the time I’ve started to wonder about what would be the best synthesis of a vegan type diet with a Paleo type diet (elements of which could be incorporated in a poverty or emergency diet where fresh foods are limited). The Paleo diet, as it is and in its essence, requires animal products. It cannot function without them. As soon as they are eliminated, the diet is eviscerated and your health will suffer. This is why most people who attempt this must fail. It is simply impossible to strictly apply Paleo with the added prescription of no animal products. If one desires to be veg*n and wants to incorporate some of the wisdom found in the ideas of the WAPF and the Paleo diet, one cannot be dogmatic about their application and must recognize the fluidity of elements.

On the Paleo diet, one can afford to forgo all grains and legumes because you have meat. Without meat, this luxury is no longer possible and the health of your diet must take a hit but I do not believe that this means that your diet must, of necessity, be terrible. Some animal protein will always be preferable to none so a vegetarian diet that at least includes eggs and dairy will be better than a vegan one that does not. A pescetarian diet that includes seafood will be able to much more closely approximate a Paleo type diet. But for the sake of this, let us assume you are trying to be a vegan.

First, the uncontroversial elements of the diet. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts will make up a small part of this diet for the sake of micronutrition and starch. As always, fruits should be restricted somewhat because of the fructose content and nuts because of the toxin load and PUFA content. Green vegetables and starchy tubers are fine in any quantities. So far, some carbohydrate and fiber (for the sake of feeding good butyric acid producing bacteria) are covered. This leaves protein and fat.

Animal products are the primary sources of protein and fat in the Paleo diet. If you just consider for a moment the recommended cooking fats, almost all are animal derived. Almost all, but not all. This would mean that a vegan would have to limit cooking oils to coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and red palm oil. All other vegetable oils are likely to be very high in PUFAs, not to mention the requisite high heat industrial processing required for their manufacture. Coconut products in general will serve the important purpose of providing fat in the diet. Coconut milk can be used often for recipes and should be preferred should you want to consume fake dairy. Other fake dairy products are likely to be high in toxins (soy) or PUFAs (almond and hemp) and I would rank them like so (from best to worst): coconut, hemp, almond.

As for protein, the best source of non-animal derived protein is going to be low toxin legumes and pseudo-grains. This would mean consuming lentils, split lentils, amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat. The pseudo-grains tend to have lower toxin loads than real grains, more nutrients, and are complete proteins. Among the grains, the only one allowed is white rice due to low toxins but this will serve more as a starch source than a protein source (brown rice can also be consumed so long as it is soaked properly). In all cases, it is imperative to prepare the food properly for maximum nutrition by sufficient soaking and optional fermentation. Other legumes are also potentially all right so long as you prepare properly with the exception of soy which should never be consumed in any form except fermented. It may also be good to avoid kidney beans as these have such a high toxin load that they can kill you if eaten raw. Grains besides rice should be avoided, especially the gluten grains though the occasional corn will not be so much of a problem.

Obviously, the macronutrient ratio of such a diet will be very different from the Paleo diet which is generally a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Considering the fact that you will be avoiding high PUFA oils, wheat, and fructose I believe that this is likely to do you no harm. The Kitavan diet likely functions because, even though it is high carb, it is low in metabolic poisons like fructose and gluten grains. To make this diet high fat would be very difficult unless coconut consumption is through the roof and, in any case, is probably not a good idea since making it low carbohydrate presents even more difficulties as your protein sources come bundled with carbohydrate. A diet must be high carbohydrate or high fat, but not both.

All other general recommendations apply. Fat should be saturated, PUFAs should be under 4% of calories and so on. The standard vegan supplements plus the standard Paleo complement apply as well. B12, vitamin D, omega-3 (from algae), selenium, iodine, magnesium, vitamin K2, et cetera.

To summarize this, I would imagine the “ideal” vegan diet to be composed like so:

Starch: Tubers, white rice

Protein: Legumes (except soy and kidney beans), pseudo-grains

Fat: Coconut, red palm, olive, avocado, macadamia nut

Fibrous veggies, fruits, and nuts in moderation

Avoid PUFAs and sweets.

Considering how misguided the information given by the government and nutritionists for how to design a diet, I wonder how vegans who did their diet in this fashion would manage. So far, we mostly just see junk food vegans, whole foods vegans who usually include a lot of whole grains, and raw food vegans, all of which are likely get a large toxin load in their foods from the preponderance of (often ill-prepared) grains, legumes, and fruits.

EDIT: I would like to add that considering the delicate flavor and relatively low smoking point of olive oil, it would be less preferred for frying than other oils and that considering the sustainability problems of many red palm oils, those may also be likely avoided or limited. Coconut, avocado, and macadamia nut oils are the ones most preferred with the latter two providing more of a neutral flavor in cooking along with high smoke points. Cashew nut oil appears to also have a good fatty acid profile but I have been unable to determine what its smoke point is and it does not seem to be produced in large amounts in any case.

Filed under: Diet, Nutrients, Veganism

Maybe the Problem is Stomach Acidity

After reading a few posts over at Whole Health Source I am starting to think that maybe a deficiency in hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a common condition. First of all, this would lead to indigestion, gas, and the ability for pathogenic bacteria to spread rather than die quickly. These are all conditions that are relatively common and which are exacerbated by foods such as wheat and fructose so it would seem that, circumstantially, increasing the acidity of the stomach could stand to benefit a lot of people.

One way to do this is to supplement with Betaine Hcl which some people do. I took a look at Amazon and it was interesting to see that many reviewers reported not only a decrease in digestive discomfort but also less hunger and more energy. It would seem that their nutrient absorption improved, however, I see no reason to supplement with Betaine Hcl unless other options have been explored, namely, drinking dilutions of apple cider vinegar or lime juice with meals. Anecdotally, it appears to relieve gas and bloating which, in any case, are what I tend to have so I shall be trying this first.

This has all been getting me to thinking about eating raw foods again. Perhaps the reason that people sometimes get sick from raw foods has more to do with whether stomach acidity is sufficient to kill the harmful bacteria. As long as your digestion is healthy, raw meat shouldn’t be a problem. This may also be a cause of deficiencies and hyperphagia. If you’re not digesting food properly than it would make sense that you would want to eat more to get the nutrition you’re lacking and if you’re eating deficient foods in the first place, it would stand to reason that this could cause excessive eating.

References:

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/02/sugar-hydrogen-bacteria-and.html

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/02/low-stomach-acid-and-nutrient.html

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/02/more-thoughts-on-hydrogen-gas-and.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/292143-what-foods-are-high-in-hydrochloric-acid/

Filed under: Diet, Digestion, Hcl, Nutrients, Raw meat, Stomach acid, Supplements