This morning I came across a real gem of an article on the Four Hour Work Week blog by Tim Feriss. It was an exert from the book the Paleo Solution written by Robb Wolf. In this post I will be sharing some of the comments that stood out to me as I find the comments of a post often contain more entertainment and enlightenment that the post it self.
First, I’ll start with some of the highlights from the book exert post it self:
1. A short case study of a 61 year old woman named Sally… “was a bit reluctant to get started with a strength-training program and was very reluctant to modify or change her nutrition. We were gentle but persistent.
Our recommendations focused on specific changes to her nutrition and lifestyle. Within two months Sally was off her thyroid medications, her gall bladder issues were gone, she was four pants sizes smaller, while her symptoms of depression had disappeared. After six months of training with us and following our nutrition recommendations, it was discovered that she was no longer osteoporotic.
Of all the improvements, Sally’s doctor was most impressed with the increased bone density. She asked Sally what she had modified to affect this change. When Sally told her doctor how she had changed her nutrition, her doctor pondered things for a moment, then said, “Well, it must be something else! Food can’t do all that.”
My Comments: Why couldn’t food to all that doc? Food is what caused it in the first place! I hope that thought leads him to investigating things for himself instead of relying only on his antiquated training about nutrition.
2. A side note from Tim inserted in the exert:
[Note from Tim: Many of you know that I consume some legumes and beans. Normal cooking will reduce anti-nutrients in both, but, when possible, I also soak them overnight beforehand in water with a tablespoon of baking soda. Soaking for 24 hours at room temperature has been shown to remove 66% of the trypsin (protease) inhibitor activity in mung bean, 93% in lentil (this is what I eat most often), 59% in chickpea, and 100% in broad bean. Remember also to distinguish “in vitro” (e.g. red blood cells in a petri dish) vs. “in vivo” (e.g. after normal digestion) studies.]
My comment: Wow, so you can eat some grains while minimizing their damage… Um, yeah, I guess if you have a really hard craving, your in a pinch or strapped for cash you can do this to stretch your budget however, why bother, just fast for a day or two! Just kidding, Tim’s suggestion is worth considering for many good reasons.
3. The dagger through my heart:
Well, you’ve likely heard the expression, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…” Quinoa is botanically not a grain, but because it has evolved in a similar biological niche, Quinoa has similar properties to grains, including chemical defense systems that irritate the gut. In the case of Quinoa, it contains soap-like molecules called saponins. Unlike gluten, which attaches to a carrier molecule in the intestines, saponins simply punch holes in the membranes of the microvilli cells. Yes, that’s bad. Saponins are so irritating to the immune system that they are used in vaccine research to help the body mount a powerful immune response. The bottom line is if you think grains or grain-like items like Quinoa are healthy or benign, you are not considering the full picture.
My Comments: It was a small dagger though since we only use quinoa sparingly and won’t miss it much… except when you are low on meat and veggies but short on time to cook so you can’t go to the store, and now not even a quick quinoa fried “rice” will do.
4. Corn and rice is kind of “okay”?
Grains contain a variety of proteins, some of which are called lectins (not to be confused with the hormone leptin). In simple terms, lectins stick to specific molecules and thus play “recognition” roles in biological systems.
For our purposes, we will look at wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which is one of the nastier lectins, but also one of the better studied. Keep in mind, WGA (or similar molecules) are found in all grains, but it’s my opinion (and that of many other researchers) that wheat, rye, barley, and millet, which are the gluten-containing grains, are likely the worst of the bunch with regard to health. Corn and rice can be problematic, but they are safer if consumed infrequently (we will look at this later).
My comments: I wouldn’t mind having a tortilla since my quinoa wraps may have to get the axe! I’ll look further at this…
5. Far Beyond Fat Loss (Sorry Micheal Jackson):
We now understood that WGA and other lectins have a significant effect on the enzyme transglutaminase (TG). Transglutaminase is an enzyme that modifies every protein we make in our body. How many proteins does TG modify folks? That’s right, all of them. Heart, brain, kidney, reproductive organs—all of them. So, if lectins can cause problems with TG, and if TG modifies every protein in our body, how many things can lectins cause problems with? I hope this is obvious—lectins can and do affect every organ system. Reproductive issues, vitiligo (a skin condition where the individual loses pigmentation in the skin) Huntington’s, narcolepsy—we have found literally hundreds of conditions in which lectins appear to be the causative factor. Not only do we have science to support this, we have observed clinical resolution of these conditions upon the removal of grains, legumes, and dairy.
My Comments: No one ever knew where these diseases came from. It seemed as if they just “happened” randomly instead of being known for what they really are: symptoms! We own MJ and apology for accusing him of not having vitiligo. And how about gluten could be what had him on the heart meds that reportedly took his life, WOW…
Then the comments:
September 19th, 2010
Fantastic post, Tim and Robb. I had suspicions but never realised the rabbit-hole went so deep!
Due to low IgA issues, slow growth, rashes, eczema, irritability and poor dental development I’ve been testing both my kids. My wife and I took our family off gluten for a month. We, each, were so much better! The boys’ thrived, their behaviour was amazing and they slept like babies! We reintroduced gluten in order for blood tests to be taken and both boys developed constipation issues, eczema, mood swings and rashes. Interestingly enough, neither of my sons showed signs of being coeliac, though one test came back showing allergy to wheat. As far as skin prick tests go, I’m not going to wait for the results. They’re going back off gluten.
My wife and I lost weight quickly and effortlessly (even though we’ve been Body for Life-ing it for years). We had always suspected gluten was an issue in ourselves, even though we are apparently fit and healthy. For one, bran and wheat cereals always gave me a hell of a gut ache!
Thanks for all the info Robb. As an ice cream addict I’m just a bit gutted that dairy presents issues! What’s the story with dairy in this context? Does it mean that I should lay off whey powder for protein supplementation?
p.s. Tim, lay off the vino and hurry up with the new book.
My Comments: I had got to tell this guy about coconut milk icecream… very very good and you won’t miss a thing! I’m also VERY interested in the answer to this last question though. I also now know Tim’s writing a new book which includes health for us life designers, YIPPEEE!
2. Unfriendly to Vegheads?
So what should a person do if they are vegan or vegetarian?
My comments: This one is tricky because vegetarians here NO GRAINS and they imagine themselves starving. Just eat fruits, roots, veggies and nuts… It may be a little repetitive with out meat to mix it up but it’s not impossible. Then you can always consider… (gasp!)… EATING MEAT! We have teeth that imply we are well prepared to eat that. I’d stay with the grass fed, pasture raised though. I’ve discovered that many vegans and vegetarians quit meat over well deserved concerns with the treatment, or rather mistreatment of the animals and their consumable parts. I believe if they watched the documentary, “FoodfInc” they will understand their alternatives in sustainably raised meats.
3. Don’t let being “fit” fool you into thinking you’re “healthy”:
Tim, you remember my dad? The one who had the inset on the cover of Powerlifting USA (I had emailed you about an issue w/ your website at that same time) who was the first 65 year old on record to have benched over 550 pounds drug-free? He died of pancreatic cancer on May 30th this year–I believe it was due to grains. I begged him repeatedly to get tested for gluten intolerance, and he never had the chance. I am addressing this issue in my own life–this is just more validation. Thanks for posting.
My Comments: Don’t let being “fit” fool you. Gluten and grain proteins can show up as almost anything. It can and does destroy any organ in the body. Being physically fit on the outside obviously is NOT the whole story. Your liver, pancreas, thyroid and all manner of things could be out of wack. I was saddened to hear this :(.
Hope you enjoyed my exerts from Tim and Robb’s posts. And remember if you want to read the whole thing just hope over through this link.