Getting Starch to Take the Path of Most Resistance

Getting Starch to Take the Path of Most Resistance
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How beans, berries, and intact (not just whole) grains may reduce colon cancer risk.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Resistant starch wasn’t discovered until 1982. Before that, we thought all starch could be digested by the digestive enzymes in our small intestine. Subsequent studies confirmed that there are indeed starches that resist digestion, and end up in our large intestine, where they can then feed our good bacteria—just like fiber does. Resistant starch is found naturally in many common foods, including grains, vegetables, beans, seeds, and some nuts—but in small quantities; just a few percent of the total. There are a few ways, though, to get some of the rest of the starch to join the resistance.

When regular starches are cooked and then cooled, some of the starch recrystallizes into resistant starch. For this reason, pasta salad can be healthier than hot pasta, and potato salad can be healthier than a baked potato. But the effect isn’t huge. The resistant starch goes from about three percent up to four percent. The best source of resistant starch is, therefore, not from eating cold starches, but from eating beans, which start out at four or five percent, and then just go up from there. (Bengal gram is just another name for garbanzo beans, or chickpeas.)

If you mix cooked black beans with a nice fresh fecal sample, there’s so much fiber and resistant starch in those beans, the pH drops, as good bacteria churn out beneficial short-chain fatty acids, which are associated with lower colon cancer risk, as I’ve talked about—both indirectly  and directly. The more of this poopy black bean mixture you smear on human colon cancer, the fewer cancer cells survive.

Or, we can eat berries with our meals that act as starch blockers. Raspberries, for example, completely inhibit the enzyme that we use to digest starch, leaving more for our friendly flora. So, putting raspberry jam on one’s toast, strawberries on one’s cornflakes, or making blueberry pancakes may allow one’s good bacteria to share in some of the breakfast bounty.

Another way to feed our good bacteria is to eat intact grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. If you split people up into two groups, and have them eat the same food, but in one group, the seeds, grains, beans, and chickpeas they were eating were in more or less whole form, and in the other group, they were ground up, what happens? So, for example, for breakfast, the whole grain group got muesli for breakfast, and the ground grain group got the same muesli, but blended up into a porridge. Similarly in the whole group, beans were added to salads, whereas in the ground group, they were blended up into hummus. Note: both groups were eating whole grains, not refined.  Whole grains – they were eating whole foods. It was just that in the ground grain group, the whole grains, beans, and seeds were just made into flour or blended up.

So, what happened? The whole grain diet doubled their stool size, more than the ground grain diet—even though they were eating the same food, the same amount of food. Why? Because there was so much more for our bacteria to eat, they grew so well, they appeared to bulk up the stool. Even though people chewed their food, large amounts of apparently whole seeds were recovered from stools.

But, on closer inspection, they weren’t whole at all; our bacteria were having a smorgasbord. The little bits and pieces left behind after we chew them transport all this starch and goodies straight down to our good bacteria. And, as a result, stool pH dropped, as our bacteria were able to churn out so many of those short-chain fatty acids. And so, whole grains are great, but intact whole grains may be even better, allowing us to feed our good gut bacteria with the leftovers.

Once in our colon, starches have been found to have the same benefits as fiber: softening and bulking our stools, and reducing colon cancer risk by decreasing pH, increasing short-chain fatty acid production, reducing products of protein fermentation—also known as products of putrefaction—and decreasing secondary bile products.

So, hey, if resistant starch is so great, why not just take resistant starch pills? Commercial preparations of resistant starch are now available; this should be no surprise to anyone. Food scientists have developed a number of resistant starch-enriched products. After all, it’s “difficult to recommend a high-fiber diet to the general public.” Wouldn’t it be easier to just enrich some junk food? And indeed, now you can buy Pop-Tarts bragging that they contain resistant corn starch.

But just taking resistant starch supplements does not work. There have been two trials so far, trying to prevent cancer in people with genetic disorders, that put them at extremely high risk—as in virtually 100% chance of getting cancer—and resistant starch supplements didn’t help. Same here.

So, we’re either barking up the wrong tree, or the development of hereditary colon cancer is somehow different than regular colon cancer. Or, you can’t emulate the effects of naturally occurring dietary fiber in plant-rich diets by just giving people some resistant starch supplement.

For example, for resistant starch to work, it has to get all the way down to the end of the colon, where most tumors form. But, if the bacteria higher up eat it all, then it may not be protective. So, we may have to also eat fiber to push it along. Thus, we either eat huge amounts of resistant starch—up near the levels in Africa, twice as much as was tried in the two cancer trials—or consume foods rich in both resistant starch and fiber.

“In other words, from a public health perspective, eating more of a variety of whole plant food rich in dietary fibre, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and [beans], is a preferable strategy for reducing cancer risk.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Young Sok Yun 윤영석 via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Resistant starch wasn’t discovered until 1982. Before that, we thought all starch could be digested by the digestive enzymes in our small intestine. Subsequent studies confirmed that there are indeed starches that resist digestion, and end up in our large intestine, where they can then feed our good bacteria—just like fiber does. Resistant starch is found naturally in many common foods, including grains, vegetables, beans, seeds, and some nuts—but in small quantities; just a few percent of the total. There are a few ways, though, to get some of the rest of the starch to join the resistance.

When regular starches are cooked and then cooled, some of the starch recrystallizes into resistant starch. For this reason, pasta salad can be healthier than hot pasta, and potato salad can be healthier than a baked potato. But the effect isn’t huge. The resistant starch goes from about three percent up to four percent. The best source of resistant starch is, therefore, not from eating cold starches, but from eating beans, which start out at four or five percent, and then just go up from there. (Bengal gram is just another name for garbanzo beans, or chickpeas.)

If you mix cooked black beans with a nice fresh fecal sample, there’s so much fiber and resistant starch in those beans, the pH drops, as good bacteria churn out beneficial short-chain fatty acids, which are associated with lower colon cancer risk, as I’ve talked about—both indirectly  and directly. The more of this poopy black bean mixture you smear on human colon cancer, the fewer cancer cells survive.

Or, we can eat berries with our meals that act as starch blockers. Raspberries, for example, completely inhibit the enzyme that we use to digest starch, leaving more for our friendly flora. So, putting raspberry jam on one’s toast, strawberries on one’s cornflakes, or making blueberry pancakes may allow one’s good bacteria to share in some of the breakfast bounty.

Another way to feed our good bacteria is to eat intact grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. If you split people up into two groups, and have them eat the same food, but in one group, the seeds, grains, beans, and chickpeas they were eating were in more or less whole form, and in the other group, they were ground up, what happens? So, for example, for breakfast, the whole grain group got muesli for breakfast, and the ground grain group got the same muesli, but blended up into a porridge. Similarly in the whole group, beans were added to salads, whereas in the ground group, they were blended up into hummus. Note: both groups were eating whole grains, not refined.  Whole grains – they were eating whole foods. It was just that in the ground grain group, the whole grains, beans, and seeds were just made into flour or blended up.

So, what happened? The whole grain diet doubled their stool size, more than the ground grain diet—even though they were eating the same food, the same amount of food. Why? Because there was so much more for our bacteria to eat, they grew so well, they appeared to bulk up the stool. Even though people chewed their food, large amounts of apparently whole seeds were recovered from stools.

But, on closer inspection, they weren’t whole at all; our bacteria were having a smorgasbord. The little bits and pieces left behind after we chew them transport all this starch and goodies straight down to our good bacteria. And, as a result, stool pH dropped, as our bacteria were able to churn out so many of those short-chain fatty acids. And so, whole grains are great, but intact whole grains may be even better, allowing us to feed our good gut bacteria with the leftovers.

Once in our colon, starches have been found to have the same benefits as fiber: softening and bulking our stools, and reducing colon cancer risk by decreasing pH, increasing short-chain fatty acid production, reducing products of protein fermentation—also known as products of putrefaction—and decreasing secondary bile products.

So, hey, if resistant starch is so great, why not just take resistant starch pills? Commercial preparations of resistant starch are now available; this should be no surprise to anyone. Food scientists have developed a number of resistant starch-enriched products. After all, it’s “difficult to recommend a high-fiber diet to the general public.” Wouldn’t it be easier to just enrich some junk food? And indeed, now you can buy Pop-Tarts bragging that they contain resistant corn starch.

But just taking resistant starch supplements does not work. There have been two trials so far, trying to prevent cancer in people with genetic disorders, that put them at extremely high risk—as in virtually 100% chance of getting cancer—and resistant starch supplements didn’t help. Same here.

So, we’re either barking up the wrong tree, or the development of hereditary colon cancer is somehow different than regular colon cancer. Or, you can’t emulate the effects of naturally occurring dietary fiber in plant-rich diets by just giving people some resistant starch supplement.

For example, for resistant starch to work, it has to get all the way down to the end of the colon, where most tumors form. But, if the bacteria higher up eat it all, then it may not be protective. So, we may have to also eat fiber to push it along. Thus, we either eat huge amounts of resistant starch—up near the levels in Africa, twice as much as was tried in the two cancer trials—or consume foods rich in both resistant starch and fiber.

“In other words, from a public health perspective, eating more of a variety of whole plant food rich in dietary fibre, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and [beans], is a preferable strategy for reducing cancer risk.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Young Sok Yun 윤영석 via flickr

Doctor's Note

What’s so great about resistant starch? See my previous video, Resistant Starch and Colon Cancer.

I first broached the subject of intact grains in my video Are Green Smoothies Bad for You?

Why should we care about what our gut flora eats? See Gut Dysbiosis – Starving Our Microbial Self.

Did I say putrefaction? See Putrefying Protein and “Toxifying” Enzymes.

Berries don’t just help block starch digestion, but sugar digestion as well. See If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

The whole attitude that we can just stuff the effects into a pill is a perfect example of reductionism at work. See Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality, and more recently, Why is Nutrition So Commercialized?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

190 responses to “Getting Starch to Take the Path of Most Resistance

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  1. One time when I felt overwhelmed by all the information , I said to my wife joking `If God really loved us he would have made raspberry jam a cure all for everything `lol . Imagine my surprise to day that raspberry jam may indeed be beneficial .
    This is one of the best videos yet, I`m certainly planning on including more whole grains too .




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    1. Ok, that video was fine but how these facts translate to arthritis? Gut and (rheumatoid) arthritis do have a connection, you know… I wish there were more videos on that subject…




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        1. I’ve seen them all (as I watched almost all videos on nf.org) although I remember well only the first one.

          Three videos for such a terrible disease when vegan diet really works – seems pretty insufficient for me though they were an eye opener for me some time ago.
          I know that vegan diet works because it worked for me. Unfortunately I wanted to get better even faster and I decided to try undenatured collagen of type II. It is supposed to train your immune system to recognize collagen in joints as your own (not as an enemy) using so-called tregs (among other things). Not in my case, it didn’t. I was almost all good but now (after 9 months of this miserable undertaking) I am still rather bad. Anyways now I’m trying to decrease overall inflammation level. Neu5gc was also probably a problem with meat and that was also stated in one of the videos that it might cause arthritis and such (if I remember correctly) but it would be better if there was a new series of videos stating that more clearly.

          And for example there is this new research showing for example that green tea may help with arthritis:
          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160216181443.htm
          Is vitamin E effective for RA? The studies of pharmacological doses kind of confirm that…

          There are many other papers out there and I am really trying to do my “homework” but I always have problems with getting to all of them. It’s difficult to connect all the dots and NF videos always suprised me with overall picture that they presented…




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          1. Hej Mick, there is a very good video also available on NF – called Reductionism. For me it is the answer to all question – not only the health. Chronic diseases are not (!) only related to the diet, the are also related to the psyche, the environment (think not only on the industry but also sun, water, seasons and weather conditions all this have a influence on the body). What I like to say is – a plant-based diet is a very good basic for a healthy body but not the quadrant for no illness. It’s true – if you have a good basic condition it’s harder to get sick but it can still happen.
            I think Dr. Greger and his team is doing there best to give us a idea for on puzzle pice for a good healthy life a basic idea. If the food advises alone not working for the best result maybe it’s also time to look for other explanations. I’m a alternative practitioner here in Germany, when my patients explain there problems I always have the “Hamer-Theory” also in my mind. It’s a very interesting concept to explain diseases – not the only, like Dr. Hamer claims (he has no idea of the power of the plant-based diet) but a good addition. May you can look at the webspace for good information on this guy?
            PS.: I verified his theory on my own bone cancer and found a lot’s of answers also why I survived, despite chemo and a lot’s of meat, eggs, alcohol etc. ;-)




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    2. I love raspberries and raspberry jam, but I’m thinking most preparations would be a wash out at best as far as healthfulness goes. Perhaps if made with erythritol and pectin, or I suppose you could mash some up and mix with chia seeds and some erythitol or date puree.* Also, just sprinkling some blueberries in pancake batter – IDK. I like the challenge of making old unhealthful favorites into something neutral or even healthful – but pancakes are hard. The batter requires fat, and to me technically it is not a pancake unless it is fried. Maybe a very soft, sweet whole wheat flatbread made with a date or prune based fat substitute with blueberries mixed in would work.

      I’m going to have to try this out, and spread some on a warmed-up corn tortilla. Kinda like a corn crepe.




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      1. We use no oil in frying up pancakes , just a non stick ceramic pan . If you use a couple tablespoons of ground up flax seed in the batter , it doesn’t seem to stick. The grand kids are eating stone ground wheat , buckwheat and flax pancakes topped with blueberries and maple syrup, no complaints yet.




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        1. That sounds really good. Are those new non-stick pans really inert / safe? When I see them I think of the BPA free plastics that were supposed to be safer – but weren’t.




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      2. I made freshly ground whole grain buckwheat pancakes yesterday and added ground pumpkin seeds for fat, as well as the ground flax seeds for binding. I cook them on a ceramic-coated non-stick pan. I admit, they began to stick pretty badly after about the 36th pancake. Probably got too hot. Oh She Glows cooks berries with chia seeds and a little maple syrup to make fresh jam.




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        1. 36 pancakes!
          I love buckwheat.
          Where do you get your pumpkin seeds? I was getting them at Kroger but realized they were from China. Then I tried the bulk ones from Whole Foods and remembered why I switched to Kroger in the first place (mold). Kroger has some in-shell ones from Canada, but they are salted.




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          1. I get them in bulk from whatever local health food store I’m closest to at the time. Haven’t had any issues with mold – always keep seeds (except flax!) in the fridge.




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  2. Hi,
    Thought the following recipe would be apt for this video about unground beans and grains.
    Noah’s Soup is a desert made up of a mixture of different beans, whole grains, and dried fruit- eaten cold. In a cooking pot water add a mixture of cooked beans to a bit of soaked grain berries or rice and chopped dried fruit. Looks like a Soup. Small boil until the grains become soft. The sweetness comes from the dried fruit. Cool and garnish chopped nuts. The thickness of the soup depends upon the amount of water added in the begining and the starch grains.
    The story behind the name of the Soup is that Noah on landing on dry ground wanted to celebrate but there wasn’t much Food left after 40+ days. So they took what ever they found in the cupboard and mixed it all together and cooked.




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  3. I can’t eat most cooked foods cool. I guess most people are like that. What if I cook food, cool it, and, just before eating, warm it? Would that destroy the resistant starch? (Logically, it shouldn’t, but is there any research exploring this?) Thanks




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    1. George: I had this exact same question a couple years ago when Darryl brought up the issue of resistant starch and cooling food. Darryl found a study that shows that you get a yo-yo effect warming and cooling foods. So, lets say that you get X resistant starch when you cook a food. When you cool it, the amount is a way bigger than X, say Y. When you reheat the food, the amount of resistant starch is more than X, but less than Y (like a yo-yo not bouncing up quite as much the next time). So, while the food is better resistant-starch wise when cooled, you still get a benefit from cooling and reheating over eating when just cooked.

      I can’t find the original post from Darryl from several years ago that explains it better than I and may have additional references. However, more recently lemonhead pointed me to a more recent post from Darryl that has a reference in it that you could check out. (Thank you both Darryl and lemonhead.) http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-hispanic-paradox-why-do-latinos-live-longer/#comment-2815239418




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    2. Hi George – I thought yours was an interesting question. So I went back and viewed the entire video. At minute # 1.13 Dr. G. displays a chart that shows the increase in resistant starch if the food is heated then cooled. Dr. G doesn’t focus on this, but if you look at the chart more closely, you will see that each food item increases its resistant starch content with each time that the food is heated-cooled. So, if you take the garbanzo bean example and read across horizontally, you will see that the resistant starch, after starting at 4.55, then after one heating, is 7.19. After the third heating-then-cooling the RS went to 9.19. So not only does the food not lose its resistant starch, but it actually increases with successive heating-cooling. Go back and take a look at the chart – very interesting I think.




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        1. So if we have a big pot of beans in the fridge, we should heat up the whole pot instead of just heating up a serving from the pot? I usually just take a few scoops of beans out and heat that up, but maybe I should heat the whole 5 quart pot?




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          1. nc54: I am not an expert, but here are my thoughts:
            .
            Resistant starch is just one measure of a food’s health value. Like any measure (antioxidants, fiber, omega 3s, omega 6s, plant protein, vitamin C, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc), I don’t think it wise to focus too much on that one measure.
            .
            Food is a package deal. So, while heating and cooling and heating your beans may have some advantages on the resistant starch front, what might that do to other health measures? I have nothing to back this up, but I think that kind of temperature fluctuation is likely to break down other nutrients. And also allow pathogens to grow more. Again, I don’t know this for a fact, it just seems like that might be true based on various things I have heard over years.
            .
            And then on top of that, consider that the populations which Dr. Greger is talking about and which have such a low incidence of colon cancer, don’t do this cycle you are talking about. So, I conclude that it simply isn’t necessary to put yourself out that way even if someone could argue an overall net benefit–technically. Because in practice, it just isn’t necessary.
            .
            What do you think?




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  4. Great video! The bottom line always comes down to one thing: eat a whole food, plant based diet. The reductionist philosophy is strong in the consumer food market. Guessing that’s driven by market demand. But sheesh, how hard is it to eat oatmeal and berries, or a salad and beans, or a bean burrito. Do we really need fortified 60-second prep toaster meals?




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    1. I heard the young people today don’t want to take the time or deal with the mess of fixing a bowl of cereal. They get some kinda granola bar on the run to work or to check in on facebook…lol




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    2. It’s not necessarily the speed it is the hyper-palatability of these ready to eat foods that I think is their biggest appeal. After all if real healthy food tasted a lot better than ready-made, then I bet most people would somehow find the time to fix it so that they could enjoy the better flavor.

      But companies spend big money to get the fat, sugar and salt at just that right combination along with just the right textures to hit all the pleasure points (the so-called bliss point). As such the eater wants more as in the infamous Lays potato chip slogan, “bet you can’t eat just one”. The result is drug like food that induces an outsized hedonic feedback response. So which came first the demand or the food. I’m thinking the drug, ah I mean food.

      Just listen to the little 4 to 7 year old addicts in the grocery store pleading and whining with their parent to get this or that candy or snack bar or chips or sugary cereal or ice cream so they can score their next fix. The older kids might not be as naked in their need for a hit of their favorite drug, maybe an eye roll rather than a full on the floor meltdown, but it is still there. And as they (we) grow into adults some are better than others at saying no to their own inner 6 year old. But he is still there whining because he wants more of that tasty food that makes him feel so good! And when you are tired or distracted or upset the little git sometimes just takes over the controls without asking and the next thing you know you have eaten an entire bag of chips or pint of ice cream.




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  5. ripe plaintain mango medjool dates cinnamon spinach smoothie with a touch of cinnamon, carob and flaxseed for the perfect Dr.Gregerstyle microvore meal!!




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    1. I have never been a big fan of ripe bananas and only like them on the green side, but prefer ripe plantains because they never develop that acrid flavor some people seem to love! Glad to hear they are a good choice!




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    2. try dropping in a little dried turmeric and/or ginger. Or even fresh turmeric and ginger (but be prepared fresh turmeric will stain any plastic blender a bit orange)




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    1. Dietary fiber is the undigested and unabsorbed carbohydrate in our diet.These resistant starch may be fermented in the large intestine. In a way you can say souble fiber and resistant starch are both prebiotic i.e. they feed the gut bacteria. I hope that is helpful.




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    2. Fiber is structurally different than resistant starch. However, they play some similar roles in our gut health. As Dr. Greger states in today’s video, “Once in our colon, starches have been found to have the same benefits as fiber: softening and bulking our stools, and reducing colon cancer risk by decreasing pH, increasing short-chain fatty acid production, reducing products of protein fermentation—also known as products of putrefaction—and decreasing secondary bile products.”




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    1. Yes we do too . After looking at the first chart lentils and beans are far superior to potato and rice, no matter how many times you reheat potato and rice have less than half the RS of beans . Might help explain why beans are so darn good for you. Sometimes we toss cold cooked beans on salad and hummus would normally be eaten cold too.




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  6. A lot of people take vegetable and fruit powders and put them into a smoothie. When you turn on that blender that pulverizes whatever you have in it into a even more gound up processed food item which means if this video is correct that smoothies eliminate to a large degree resistant starch. I never drink smoothies. To me, they are UNNATURAL. I just eat food as it comes off the tree or out of the ground. People pour all kinds of powders, liquids, vitamins, and stuff into their smoothies. To me, this is NOT a whole plant food diet. I think that putting some kind of beet powder or carrot powder into your smoothie is a million miles away from just eating raw beets or raw carrots. There is no way that the beet powder or the carrot powder is going to have the same amount of enzymes, phytonutients, vitamins, and minerals as a RAW beet or carrot. To me smoothies are just another invention of the food industry to sell you all of their powders and liquids and “stuff”. Food powders are DEAD food.




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    1. I look on the blended vs. unblended fruit and veg like I look on the raw vs. cooked question – eat it both ways (assuming it isn’t poisonous raw, e.g. kidney beans). I’ve noticed improvements in my health since I’ve started doing berry and kale smoothies. But, like anything else, your mileage may vary. Whatever works for you is, naturally, what you should do.




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      1. I like having a smoothie one day, then eat my salad the next. That’s what works for me. I figure it’s good to chew those hard raw veggies. But then smoothies increase the absorption.




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    2. My smoothies are just a couple banana, frozen strawberries, frozen wild blueberries, tablespoon or two of ground flax seed and reduced fat vanilla soy milk. No nutritionally denuded plant foods or powders, so to me my smoothies are completely natural, just a little more smooshed up. 16 ounces has about 260 calories, 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat (1.5 grams of ALA (O-3), only .2 grams LA (O-6) for stellar O-6/O-3 ratio of 0.13:1, 50 grams of carbohydrate, 45% of my vitamin C RDI, 50% of my B-12 (from the soy milk), 250 mg of calcium, 800 mg of potassium, but only 70 mg of sodium (which is a great potassium/sodium ratio) AND 10 grams of fiber.

      Agreed the fiber is broken up more than if I just chewed the fruit and carefully ground the flax seeds in my teeth. But I doubt that the fiber is so broken down that it can be digested in the small intestines. So my little friends further down will still get to feast on the fiber. But the rest of the numbers look pretty darn good.




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    3. In some cases the blender improves the food quality. For example, the best way to get sulphoraphane (sp?) from cruciferous vegetables and greens is to blend them raw. The smaller the pieces the better the reaction runs. Plus any whole plant food someone eats is better than the whole plant food that they don’t eat.

      I think you might be stereotyping smoothies though and putting all of them into the same little box. My smoothies are only fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables right out of my fridge plus a little b12, d3, and algae sourced omega 3’s which it’s difficult to get in sufficient amounts from wpfb diets. I feel you on the powders though. Why not just use the actual beets or carrots?




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      1. Hi,Ryan,

        To maximize sulforaphane, nutrition researcher Dr. Elizabeth Jeffery, U of Illinois, suggests lightly cooking most crucifers (exceptions: radish and watercress) and then eating them along with a little raw crucifer. The cooking will inactivate nitriles, which compete with isothiocyanates (such as sulforaphane) for production. The raw crucifer addition will provide important enzymes that are destroyed by cooking. http://zesterdaily.com/cooking/how-to-prepare-broccoli-to-fight-cancer/




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  7. Ground flax seeds or whole flax seeds? Dr. Greger recommended eating 1-2 Tbls. per day of ground flax seed in another presentation, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Maybe things have changed. I make a breakfast smoothie with three or four fruits, walnuts, soaked almonds, flax and chia seeds. Everything is pulverized in the blender. It a quick breakfast to drink, but I may be missing the benefits.
    I found his book How Not To Die/Como Comer a No Morir at a downtown bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I live. I’d rather read the English version on Kindle for PC. It’s another year before his new cookbook is published.




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    1. That is great you got Dr. G. book and benefiting from his good advice. Your breakfast smoothie looks like a good combination too. May be a suggestion is to have some days this combination in a bowl with some almond milk instead of pulverizing it into smoothie.




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      1. I have always saved some of everything that’s going to be blended to put in a bowl, then pour the blend over the saved whole foods. Best of both worlds.




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      2. Thank you, Moderator. The thick smoothie is delicious, but I miss chewing food. I’ve thought about doing exactly what you suggested for my breakfast routine. I have to settle for filtered water since almond milk isn’t made/sold in Buenos Aires…yet.




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        1. Hi, thanks for reply. You can make your own almond milk by have a cup of raw almond mixed with 3 to 4 cups of water and you put it in a blender and you get a milky mixture. You can strain it and add pinch of cinnamon or cardamom for nice flavour. If you wanted it sweeter can add honey or date sugar. This is my own recipe and hope that be useful to you too.




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    2. If you eat flax seed whole and intact it will cause you to need to move your bowels urgently and generally with cramping. Always grind flax before eating it.




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            1. Soaking releases inhibitory enzymes and it very beneficial to soak all nuts and seeds to decrease the amount of phytic acid present and activate/germinate the seeds. Whole flax seeds can pass through the digestive tract without breaking down. When you grind them up, your body can better assimilate them. This is because omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seeds are located inside the seeds and therefore the seeds need to be opened to access the nutritional value. If you can, grind them up in smoothies or salad dressings.

              Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds can be eaten whole without blending! Hulled hemp seeds don’t even need to be soaked and they are great to be eaten with salads! Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, the most important mineral in the body. We recently wrote an article about it on our website http://viktoriyaandoksana.com/magnesium-the-miracle-mineral/

              hope this answers your question.




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  8. Why are you trying to deceive everyone Dr. G? Everyone in Euro and Aisa knows that undigested food in your stool leads to disease. That’s why they remove the fiber from rice and wheat and make white breads and rice. Japanese and french even go as far as removing the skins from fruit(grapes,apples, etc) These countries have hardly any bowl cancer and eat low fiber.




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    1. Do they really “know” that undigested food leads to disease. And how exactly do they know this. Is it just some folk knowledge that everybody “knows” to be true. Or are you just a troll doing a little fact free trolling. So like @disqus_Km6QQh7TLV:disqus says, if you don’t have citations backing you up, you got nothing.




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      1. My reference is the 1 Billion Asian who eat white rice instead of brown. Take a liquid diet for example. Do babies need fiber to pass multiple stools every day? It’s a common misconception that you need fiber at all to pass a stool, fat is actually the main simulator. Japanese even go as far to remove the fiber from their beans(tofu).




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          1. Lance, I live in Asia and have for 35 years. White rice is new historically and everyone I talk to comments about how much healthier “red” rice is for us. “My grandmother always ate red rice and vegetables and lived to be 93” or some such age. Heard it all the time in the ’90’s. And guess what? I had 9 men at my house for lunch today. I cooked up 3 cups of brown, red, and black rice and 2 cups of white rice. Which one do you think disappeared? They know what is better for them. Don’t kid yourself.




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        1. And again just assertions with no real references. The “well its just obvious” arguments don’t carry much weight. Sorry. The preference for white rice to brown could be simply cultural. After all white rice before the development of mechanical polishing equipment at the end of the 19th century was restricted to the wealthy while the common folk had to choice to eat brown rice. Once the price of white rice dropped to that which common people could afford it, there would have been strong cultural motives to “eat like the rich people”. I present this as an alternate hypothesis without proof to illustrate the need for research to back up your assertions.

          And you are correct that babies do indeed pass several incredibly runny stools a day, as I can all to well attest to, having changed far too many diapers for my two children. But that watery stool is not what a healthy adult eating solid food should be passing.

          The presence of fiber has a considerable effect on the frequency and consistency of bowel movements.

          Fiber intake has an effect on cholesterol level , with greater reduction in cholesterol with increasing fiber.

          And more and more research is showing that your overall health is closely tied to the health of as well as type of bacteria in your large intestine. The health promoting bacteria are those that feed on the indigestible fiber and resistant starch you consume.

          So while you might not need fiber to pass a stool, you likely do need a high fiber diet to have a healthy large intestine which in turn can effect the health of the rest of your body.




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          1. The concept is to not have have undigested food. Or if IBS and spastic colons are your thing then pile on the fiber. Go eat a whole box of fiber cereal, 70g to be exact, and tell me how you feel after.




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            1. I beg to differ…my IBS became history once I went WFPB and started to “pile on the fiber”. Fiber cereal is processed and not a whole food, so not a very legit example of what to be eating, especially in those amounts sorry. You don’t just feed your face, you feed your gut bacteria, a fact you seem to be missing. Whatever is not utilized passes through and gets flushed…so what? How does that cause disease, show us the science!




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        2. The reasons are simpler than you imagine.

          Polishing rice was difficult work, so most peasants ate whole rice prior to the 19th century However, all grain brans contain fats prone to oxidation and rancidity, and removing them enabled rice to be stored year after year, a boon to rice traders and elites who maintained authority by having the only food supplies in times of famine and war. With the invention of the mechanical rice hullers in the late 19th century, the price of polished rice fell markedly until it became cheaper than brown rice (because it could be stored). This coincided with the discovery of beriberi, the vitamin B1 deficiency disease experienced by millions of Asians who switched to eating white rice.

          In Europe, white bread was also embraced by elites, who could afford flour in which (at a course ground state) the bran bits were removed by the nimble fingers of children. Only with the invention of the roller mill (in Hungary in 1865), and suitable wheat strains could refined flour become economical, and the masses consumed what was once a luxury, resulting in late 19th century epidemics of pellagra (niacin deficiency) and ariboflavinosis.

          So, while refined foods have existed for millenia for the few, their adoption in general diets didn’t begin in earnest until late 19th century industrialization.




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          1. Thanks for the mainstream history lesson but I already knew that. White rice is just a pure source of fuel that is neutral in terms of nutrition(obviously why Asians are so small), but it does promote metabolism and digestive health.

            The main concept I’m trying to deliver is that excess fiber from certain sources is not good for you. Sure, fiber cleans up fat and cholesterol but that also means it is soaking up all your fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K. Cholesterol is also used in your steroid hormones like testosterone,progesterone, DHEA etc, your youth associated hormones. This is why bodybuilders will go low fiber for increased testosterone for a period of time.




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            1. There is no evidence that high fibre consumption is unhealthy.

              Foods that are high in fibre also tend to be the foods that are high in vitamins. While fibre supplements may or may not have an effect on vitamin absorption, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization notes:

              “Purified dietary fibres may reduce acutely the absorption of some vitamins and minerals by binding or entrapping them in the small intestinal lumen, however, there is little evidence that population groups consuming nutritionally adequate diets rich in high fibre foods, such as vegetarians, have any problems with vitamin or mineral deficiencies (170,171). Recent studies with calcium suggest that purified fibres reduce calcium availability in the small intestine, but that at least some of the calcium carried into the colon, bound to or entrapped by fibre, is released when the fibre is fermented (172) with the short chain fatty acid products of digestion facilitating calcium absorption from the distal colon and rectum (173).”
              http://www.fao.org/docrep/w8079e/w8079e0l.htm

              The beliefs of bodybuilders are hardly a sound basis for advice on health and nutrition while the dangers of high cholesterol including increased mortality and increased rates of chronic diseases associated with ageing, are too well known to need repeating.




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              1. That’s why I said bodybuilders temporarily do it, I was using it as an example of what fiber does.

                If a high fiber diet is unhealthy then simply eat 70g of fiber from whatever health food cereal you want and see the results. You can even use whole foods, barley,wheat,nuts, beans,coniferous etc. Now what I gave you wasn’t a study that is intangible but an actual practical application that you can easily try for yourself and see if it works, thus, you will have far greater evidence than anyone could ever need.

                Take Michael Phelps for example. He consumes a ton of calories for his training and would only be hindered by adding excess high fiber foods to his diet. An abrasive and high fiber diet would not allow him to consume the massive amounts of food for the lifestyle of an Olympic athlete. Granted, he eats more potatoes and meat now but still.

                What I’m suggesting isn’t a drastic lifestyle change. Simply cook your vegetables, peel your (even drink)fruits and tubers, eat (gasp)white bread instead of whole grain breads, ferment your beans or tofu, infrequently nut’s and seeds as a butter. If you want to eat a whole grain then simply eat around 48g of it,(what the whole grain council recommends). Remember, the recommendation is 48g not 480g.

                Also, the new food pyramid is half whole grain and half white grains. Increased marketing or health of the population? You decide.

                I find it funny that there is this new study about how this isolated African population thrives on a high fiber diet, and how it should be the new prevention of colon cancer, but it’s the same correlation and comparison to the Inuit Eskimos. All fibers are not created equal, and not everyone lives in Africa(hygiene theory), so this means that not everyone has the bacteria to process this fiber.

                But really, I just gave you the secret of why the upper class eats white rice(1%), and why people who eat McDonald’s are healthier than your average vegan. I mean, just follow my advice for a week and see your skin clear up, digestion ease, mental disorders go away, hairline stop receding, eye bags go away etc etc.




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              2. My bodybuilder example is just to show some of the properties of fiber.

                No doubt about what you are saying here, but a high fiber diet will cripple anyone with digestive disorders like IBS, Crohn’s, the elderly or anyone with unknown allergies. Hence why these people eat white bread etc. Generally the refined food’s glycemic index isn’t a problem when eaten with other foods and in moderation.

                I prefer whole foods myself, but suggesting that people should up their fiber to 70g from an unknown source of food could actually hurt someone, and could slowly be making some people I’ll. Especially from foods that look like huge marbles like in the video.




                0
                1. First, people with IBS or Crohn’s Disease (CD) are a small minority of the population. They receive dietary advice tailored to their special needs. The video is aimed at all people other than those with medical conditions requiring specific diets.

                  Secondly, there is some reason to believe that diseases like IBS and CD are actually diseases of fibre deprivation:
                  ” ….. Burkitt et al,6 on the basis of epidemiologic data, postulated that the high incidence of colon cancer, diverticulosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids as well as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, and hyperlipidemia is secondary to prolonged fiber deprivation.7″
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315379/

                  Thirdly, there is evidence that high fibre diets benefit people with actual CD:
                  “We initiated a semivegetarian diet (SVD), namely a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Our SVD contains 32.4 g of dietary fiber in 2000 kcal. There was no untoward effect of the SVD. The remission rate with combined infliximab and SVD for newly diagnosed CD patients was 100%. Maintenance of remission on SVD without scheduled maintenance therapy with biologic drugs was 92% at 2 years.”
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315379/

                  A 100% remission rate is astonishing

                  However, it and the findings that high fibre diets prevent diseases like CD and IBS are entirely consistent with observations that populations eating traditional high fibre diets do not appear to suffer these diseases and that their prevalence increases with the spread of Westernised low fibre diets. In all recorded history, the vast majority of people have been eating high fibre diets. There were no epidemics of IBS and CD that I am aware of, except perhaps among the riich and powerful who did not eat the coarse high fibre diets of the common people.




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                  1. 32g of fiber is considered a normal recommendation for the average male, and it’s far from 70g+ which is near the upper limit threshold of maximum fiber intake(75g).

                    Even Walter Willett from Harverd suggests people take in half their base foods from fat, like olive oil(low fiber), because the U.S population is more sedentary, aka not living in Africa.

                    And not all fibers are the same oligosaccharides,cellulose, some hemicellulose etc. You could boil a whole pot of hardy whole grains(like barley,wheat), 70g of fiber in all and it wouldn’t be the same as a pot of 70g of fiber from congee.

                    There are many people who get IBD eating no meat or animal products at all. In fact, a large amount of fiber stretchs and distends the intestines and stomach which, also, reduces anorectal sensitivity.

                    The gut is also the second brain and it simply performs better without excess fiber irritating the intestinal tract. I hardly think peeling your fruit and removing the seeds is such a lifestyle killer. Even the whole grain council only recommends 48g of fiber and not 480g of fiber.

                    The Updated U.S food pyramid is also half whole grain half refined grain.

                    I bet the majority of people who have eaten 70g of abrasive fiber would be able to feel it scraping their ileo sequel valveat night when they go to sleep. Like a bull running through a china shop no doubt.

                    Fiber is even such a big enough problem that people have developed diets around them, like fodmaps.




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                    1. Sorry Lance but I am not aware of any evidence to support your claims. Nor are you, apparently, because you are consistently unable to cite any. As far as I can tell, all you are doing is speculating “I bet …”

                      For example, there is no maximum limit threshold (UL) for fibre intake despite you saying there is. As the US National Academies of Science observe:

                      ” It is concluded that as part of an overall healthy diet, a high intake of dietary fiber will not produce deleterious effects in healthy individuals. While occasional adverse gastrointestinal symptoms are observed when consuming some isolated or synthetic fibers, serious chronic adverse effects have not been observed. Due to the bulky nature of fibers, excess consumption is likely to be self limiting. Therefore, a UL was not set for individual functional fibers.”
                      http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/DRI_Macronutrients.pdf

                      As I wrote before, there is absolutely no evidence that a high fibre diet is unhealthy,, There is however evidence that diets low in fibre are associated with increased rates of disease including IBS and that increasing fibre intake will help with eg IBS.
                      http://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-diet/dietary-fiber.html

                      Fibre is not a big problem. Lack of fibre is. Every credible health authority acknowledges this. As for FODMAPS, this is problematic It may appear to assist some people but the evidence for it is weak. Its apparent effectiveness could just be a placebo effect
                      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/849517

                      In any case, you are arguing that, because a minority of people may suffer adverse effects from a high fibre diet, nobody should eat a high fibre diet. This is an obvious non sequitur and the Japanese study I quoted previously unequivocally suggests that people with IBD need more fibre in their diet not less. 100% remission in the study participants!




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                    2. I didn’t come up with the idea for maximum fiber in the diet, the information in the video did. Telling people to down a bag of marbles and saying it’s great, really isn’t. I’m not attacking anyone.

                      I prefer practical applications rather than intangible sources to hide behind. So what is your practical application? Because this can be grossly misinterpreted. Just like this website claiming to be an official source of information but it’s independently run and bias at most. No offense. And claiming it’s purely a donation website is strange when the creator writes books and sell other odd digital information about the benefits of pomegranate or something. Hey, if you are trying to make a living that’s great. Using a non profit foundation to boost your numbers, and then sell your stuff to the newly founded large audience is a great idea though.

                      But anyway, what people need is a proper diet with proper proportions, not more or less fiber. You can still be vegan or whatever you want.

                      But lets keep it simple in terms of fiber. Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and does contribute to stool weight. [1] It bangs against the walls of the intestines, causing damage, but research has shown that this damage and the resulting repair and cellular regeneration are healthy processes. [2] Yes, this process is healthy in healthy people and in NORMAL amounts. Even sudden changes in extreme amounts of fiber could ruin anyone’s life. Not to mention sedentary women, children or the elderly.

                      Cereal grain toxicity is another concern in LARGE amounts. For every gram of wheat bran eaten, fecal weight increase by 5.7 grams. [3] I dunno about you but my rear end can only stretch so far. I could only imagine what that does to someone <130 pounds.

                      By inhibiting human digestion, for example, wheat toxins dramatically increase the amount of undigested starch reaching the colon. This increased food supply substantially increases the bacterial population – and the presence of starch, which is ordinarily unavailable in the colon, favors the growth of pathogenic species(candida). Giving such a large amount of indigestible food in the colon feeds these critters and causes them to bloom out of control(aka fuzzy tongue).

                      Unfortunately wheat toxins do much more than inhibit digestion of food. They also damage the gut itself.

                      Wheat contains an ingenious cocktail of toxins:

                      Gluten, a complex of proteins, inspires on immune response which inflames the intestine in at least 83% of people [4], and makes the intestine permeable, allowing gut bacteria and their toxins to enter the body. [5] Gluten triggers anti-wheat antibodies in at least 30% of the population, and auto-antibodies – that is, antibodies that attack human cells – in at least 0.4% of the population. [6] These unlucky folks suffer celiac disease, which devastates the intestine, as well as autoimmune thyroiditis. [7] Opioid peptides produce effects similar to morphine and heroin. Wheat opioids have been implicated as causes of schizophrenia. [8]

                      Wheat germ agglutinin is a lectin, or protein that binds sugars. At extremely low doses, a few parts per billion, WGA causes gut inflammation and leakiness. At typical dietary doses, WGA causes shedding of the intestinal brush border and shrinkage in the surface area of the intestine. [9] WGA alone can induce celiac disease in rats. [10]

                      By unknown mechanisms, grains can induce vitamin deficiency diseases. Wheat and oats induce rickets [13] while corn induces pellagra. [11]

                      Since as little as 1 milligram of gluten per day can prevent recovery from bowel disease [12], it is essential that grains be eliminated entirely from the diet but not for everyone.

                      Legumes also contain an array of toxins which suspend digestion and damage the gut. Some examples:

                      Phytohaemagglutinin, a kidney bean lectin,makes the gut leaky; blocks stomach acid production, promoting bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine; overpopulates the gut with immature cells that are easily colonized by E. coli and other pathogens;disturbs the mucus and shortens villi. [13]

                      Alpha-amylase inhibitors in legumes prevent starch digestion and leads to gut bloating and multiplication of pathogenic gut bacteria. [14]

                      Antibodies to soy proteins have been identified in duodenitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and
                      coeliac disease, and these diseases are sometimes cured when soy is removed from the diet. [15] This is why you ferment it.

                      It should be noted that peanut and soybean allergies are among the most common allergies. This testifies to the significant immune response legume toxins can generate.

                      Most of the damages of fiber can be reduces by pressure cooking and fermenting and eating more than 30 different foods a day. If you are confused about what to eat, rice is your best bet.

                      Most people think that fiber is indigestible, and that it comes out in their stool. This is not true. Fiber is indigestible to humans, but not to bacteria. Fiber is bacterial food that enables gut bacteria to
                      multiply. Bacteria, not undigested food, make up most of the dry weight of stool. [16]

                      Doctors often recommend fiber to bowel disease patients. While not wholly without merit, this advice usually backfires.

                      There are three problems: helping bacteria feed and multiply may be undesirable; fiber, such as the brans of cereal grains, often contains toxic proteins; and, finally, whole grain fibers and other “roughage” scrape and injure the intestinal wall. Dr. Paul L. McNeil explains that:When you eat high-fiber foods, they bang up against the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, rupturing their outer covering.[17] Double source.

                      That can’t be a good thing.

                      And it isn’t. In the Diet and Reinfarction Trial (DART), published in 1989, 2,033 British men were divided into a high-fiber group and a control group. The high-fiber group ate whole grains and doubled their grain fiber intake from 9 to 17 grams per day. The result? Deaths in the high fiber group were 22% higher over the course of the study – 9.9% of the control group died versus 12.1% of the high-fiber group. [18]

                      Softer soluble fibers from fruits and some vegetables are much more likely to help than wheat bran, but even they may be a good thing only in moderation, or only in a healthy bowel. Fiber feeds pathogenic bacteria as well as probiotic bacteria, and increases the populations of both. When the gut is damaged and leaky, more bacteria mean more bacterial toxins and more pathogens infiltrating the body. A low-fiber diet, leading to reduced bacterial populations in the gut, may be
                      desirable for bowel disease patients.

                      Not to mention this recommendation of fiber would be devastating in people who have past use of anti-biotics, are a c-section baby, amalgam fillings, tap water; pretty much the whole U.S/ modern culture.

                      Yes, it is possible to get too much fiber!

                      [1] Slavin, “Dietary Fiber: Classification, Chemical Analyses, and Food Sources,” 1164-71.

                      [2] Medical College of Georgia, “Scientists Learn More about How Roughage Keeps You ‘Regular’,” Science Daily, accessed October 17, 2014, http:// http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/ 2006/ 08/ 060823093156. htm.

                      [3] Cummings JH. The effect of dietary fibre on fecal weight and composition. Pp 547–73 in: Spiller GA, ed. Handbook of dietary fibre in human nutrition. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1993.

                      [4] Bernardo D et al. Is gliadin really safe for non-coeliac
                      individuals? Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from
                      non-coeliac individuals challenged with gliadin peptides. Gut 2007 Jun;56(6):889-90. http://pmid.us/17519496.

                      [5] Drago S et al. Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on
                      celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;41(4):408-19. http://pmid.us/16635908.

                      [6] Not T et al. Celiac disease risk in the USA: high prevalence of antiendomysium antibodies in healthy blood donors. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 May;33(5):494-8. http://pmid.us/9648988.

                      [7] Sollid LM, Jabri B. Is celiac disease an autoimmune disorder? Curr Opin Immunol. 2005 Dec;17(6):595-600. http://pmid.us/16214317.

                      [8] Singh MM et al Wheat gluten as a pathogenic factor in schizophrenia. Science. 1976 Jan 30;191(4225):401-2. http://pmid.us/1246624. Dohan FC et al 1984 Is schizophrenia rare if grain is rare? Biol Psychiatry. 1984 Mar;19(3):385-99. http://pmid.us/6609726.

                      [9] Lorenzsonn V, Olsen WA. In vivo responses of rat intestinal epithelium to intraluminal dietary lectins. Gastroenterology. 1982 May;82(5 Pt 1):838-48. http://pmid.us/6895878.

                      [10] Sjölander A et al. Morphological changes of rat small intestine
                      after short-time exposure to concanavalin A or wheat germ agglutinin. Cell Struct Funct. 1986 Sep;11(3):285-93. http://pmid.us/3768964.

                      [11] Mellanby E. (March 15 1919) An experimental investigation on rickets. The Lancet 193(4985):407-412.

                      [12] Carpenter KJ, Lewin WJ. A critical review: A reexamination of the composition of diets associated with pellagra. J Nutr 1985 May;115(5):543–552. http://pmid.us/3998856.

                      [13] Kordás K et al. Phytohaemagglutinin inhibits gastric acid but not pepsin secretion in conscious rats. J Physiol Paris. 2001 Jan-Dec;95(1-6):309-14. http://pmid.us/11595455.
                      Pusztai A et al. Kidney bean lectin-induced Escherichia coli overgrowth
                      in the small intestine is blocked by GNA, a mannose-specific lectin. J Appl Bacteriol. 1993 Oct;75(4):360-8. http://pmid.us/8226393.
                      Prykhod’ko O et al. Precocious gut maturation and immune cell expansion
                      by single dose feeding the lectin phytohaemagglutinin to suckling rats.
                      Br J Nutr. 2009 Mar;101(5):735-42. http://pmid.us/18644165.

                      [14] Pusztai A et al. Inhibition of starch digestion by alpha-amylase
                      inhibitor reduces the efficiency of utilization of dietary proteins and
                      lipids and retards the growth of rats. J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1554-62. http://pmid.us/7782910.

                      [15] Haeney MR et al. Soya protein antibodies in man: their occurrence and possible relevance in coeliac disease. J Clin Pathol. 1982 Mar; 35(3):319-22. http://pmid.us/7040491.

                      [16] Stephen AM et al. Effect of changing transit time on colonic microbial metabolism in man. Gut. 1987 May;28(5):601-9. http://pmid.us/3596341.

                      [17] Quoted in Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060823093156.htm. Hat tip Dr. Michael Eades.

                      [18] Burr ML et al. Effects of changes in fat, fish, and fibre intakes on
                      death and myocardial reinfarction: diet and reinfarction trial (DART). Lancet. 1989 Sep 30;2(8666):757-61. http://pmid.us/2571009. Hat tip Stephan Guyenet.




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                    3. You came up with the idea of 70 g a day and I wrote that you were attacking that idea.

                      I also don’t know where you get the idea that this purports to be an official website. It doesn’t. What the site is and what it aims to do is set out here:
                      http://nutritionfacts.org/about

                      As for Dr G’s book, the profits from its sale go to charity ie towards running this website. This is an example of how you make stuff up and then present your claims as facts even when a tiny amount of fact checking would show that your speculations are just plain wrong.




                      0
                    4. You, and you alone, came up with the idea of eating 70 g a day and I wrote that you were attacking that idea.

                      I also don’t know how you can claim that NF purports to be an official website. It doesn’t. What the site is and what it aims to do is set out here:
                      http://nutritionfacts.org/about

                      As for Dr G’s book, the profits from its sale go to charity ie towards running this website.

                      These are further examples of how you simply make stuff up and then present your claims as true even when a tiny amount of fact checking would show that your speculations are just plain wrong.

                      You also reeled out a whole pile of stuff about wheat and gluten. Most of it is just the same old nonsense peddled by fad books that seek big sales by making sensational even outrageous claims to obtain publicity. The fact is that entire civilisations and cultures have thrived over many thousands of years on wheat and grain based diets. And wheat and similar gluten grains would have formed a much higher proportion of the average person’s diet than they doe today. The bible even describes bread as the staff of life. Yet history does not record the problems recounted in these books.

                      Yes, there are some people with wheat and/or gluten problems. About two percent of the population apparently. Milk, egg and nut allergies are much more common but one doesn’t find people selling sensational books or writing wild posts on websites about these things. Go figure.
                      http://www.webmd.com/allergies/food-triggers
                      http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/06/problem-with-the-grain-brain-doctor.html

                      Talking about websites, you shouldn’t automatically believe everything you read on them. Fact checking is essential. That is why I like this site. Dr G puts his sources up so people an independently check what he says. You on the other hand made a claim about the DART study showing mortality being associated with fibre consumption. This was a highly deceptive and misleading claim. There was in fact no significant mortality difference between the fibre group and the non-fibre group. The study itself says so So does the link which you yourself cited! Hat tip to Stephen Guyanet, indeed.

                      “Subjects given fibre advice had a slightly higher mortality than other subjects (not significant). The 2 year incidence of reinfarction plus death from ischaemic heart disease was not significantly affected by any of the dietary regimens.”
                      http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(89)90828-3/abstract

                      Ditto for the various claims about legumes. The fact is that grain and legume consumption are both associated longer survival (ie reduced mortality) and better health
                      http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2716
                      http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/4/775.long
                      http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/13/2/217.pdf

                      None of your links contradict this. Yet you continue focusing on convoluted and exaggerated claims that wheat/grains/legumes/fibre should be unhealthy when the evidence clearly shows that they aren’t. You also ignore history and cultures other than 21st century USA where much higher consumption of wheat/grains/legumes/fibre has been observed and low or no rates of eg IBS were seen.

                      Even in the US, if you go back to when dietary records first began (1909), people had about 29 g of fibre daily in their food – almost twice the current average. Why then should fibre be a problem now, when it apparently was not then? Shouldn’t eg IBS be declining as fibre consumption has dropped significantly since before WW1, according to your arguments? Instead it appears to be increasing.
                      http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USfoodsupply
                      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/756899

                      But then science, as opposed to internet pundits and authors of highly sensational fad health books, shows us that high cereal fibre consumption is protective re mortality, IBS etc
                      http://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-015-0294-7
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607699/

                      And of course Darryl has already pointed you to the most recent meta analysis of studies on fibre consumption where

                      “We found that, compared with those who consumed lowest fiber, for individuals who ate highest fiber, mortality rate was lower by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72–0.81) for CVD, by 17% (HR, 0.83;
                      95% CI, 0.74–0.91) for cancer, by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.73–0.81) for all-cause mortality.
                      For each 10 g/day increase in fiber intake, the pooled HR was estimated to be 0.89 (95% CI, 0.86–0.93) for all-cause mortality, 0.80 (95% CI, 0.72–0.88) for CHD mortality, and 0.66 (95%
                      CI, 0.40–0.92) for IHD mortality, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88–0.94) for cancer. Dietary fiber and CVD mortality showed a strong dose–response relation. Apparently, fiber consumption is inversely
                      associated with all-cause mortality and CVD, IHD, cancer mortality.”
                      http://healthierlivinghaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Liu-Wang-and-Liu-2014-Fiber-and-All-Cause-Mortality-mnfr2293.pdf

                      You can put forward all the bizarre speculations you want about why high fibre consumption “should” be unhealthy for most people (” this recommendation of fiber would be devastating in people who have past use of anti-biotics, are a c-section baby, amalgam fillings, tap water; pretty much the whole U.S/ modern culture.”). The facts show that high fibre consumption appears to be very healthy indeed.




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                    5. Yes, thanks, you are correct. Dr G found some studies showing that our hunter gatherer ancestors ate between 70 g and 120 g of fibre daily.
                      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lose-two-pounds-one-sitting-taking-mioscenic-route/

                      But I think Lance came up with the 70 g of fibre figure in this discussion thread because he said that 70 g of fibre was the total fibre content of a box of cereals and it would be disastrous to eat that much fibre. He wrote
                      “The concept is to not have have undigested food. Or if IBS and spastic colons are your thing then pile on the fiber. Go eat a whole box of fiber cereal, 70g to be exact, and tell me how you feel after.”




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            2. In prospective epidemiology, there’s no downside to high fiber intake with respect to chronic disease risk or mortality. From the latest meta-analysis:

              We found that, compared with those who consumed lowest fiber, for individuals who ate highest fiber, mortality rate was lower by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.72–0.81) for CVD, by 17% (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74–0.91) for cancer, by 23% (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.73–0.81) for all-cause mortality. For each 10 g/day increase in fiber intake, the pooled HR was estimated to be 0.89 (95% CI, 0.86–0.93) for all-cause mortality, 0.80 (95% CI, 0.72–0.88) for CHD mortality, and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.40–0.92) for IHD mortality, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.88–0.94) for cancer. Dietary fiber and CVD mortality showed a strong dose–response relation.

              Most of these studies were done in Western populations with rather low fiber intake compared to traditional agrarian diets. When Dr. Burkitt examined rural Africans who consume

              If, instead, your major concern is bodybuilding competitions, you may have stumbled upon the wrong website.




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    2. “Hardy any”? Check out e.g.

      http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/colorectal-cancer-statistics

      Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World) 2012
      1 Korea, Republic of 45.0
      20 Japan 32.2

      US is not in the top 20 (don’t know where it is).
      Also it is well known that fiber is protective. WHO says this. The Continuous Update Project (see quote below) says this. And my gastroenterologist just told me today there is solid evidence this is true.

      “The Continuous Update Project Panel judged that there was convincing evidence that consuming red meat, processed meat and alcoholic drinks (men); body fatness, abdominal fatness and adult attained height increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

      ***There was also convincing evidence that physical activity and consuming foods high in dietary fibre protect against this cancer.***

      Garlic, milk and calcium probably protect and consuming alcoholic drinks (women) probably increase the risk of this cancer.”




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        1. I was addressing some of your original claims. You claimed that “Japanese and French even go as far as removing the skins from fruit(grapes,apples, etc) These countries have hardly any bowl cancer and eat low fiber”. But the rate of colon cancer in Japan is relative to other countries on the high side, and the rate in France is even higher than in Japan, and both are higher than the US. I got this data from

          http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/colon-rectum-cancers/by-country/

          so you can check for yourself.

          You also stated that ” undigested food in your stool leads to disease. That’s why they remove the fiber from rice and wheat and make white breads and rice.” What disease are you talking about? As others commented, where are your references?

          If you would base your arguments on data we can all evaluate, then your opinions might be taken more seriously.




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    3. Lance: I wonder if you missed the first video in this series. The first video explains how resistant starch can stand in for fiber in preventing colon cancer. Yes, resistant starch and fiber work better together. But as you say, there are societies which eat a diet high in resistant starch, still have some good fiber but not super-high fiber, and yet have low incidence of colon cancer. To educate yourself: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/resistant-starch-colon-cancer/
      .
      Also note that the traditional Okinawans are some of the longest lived and healthiest people on the planet. 85% of their diet was sweet potatoes. Less than 5 percent of their diet was animal products (which generally lack fiber and starch). Just looking at sweet potatoes (without skin since that seems important to you), 1 cup of mashed sweet potato contains 17.1 g starch and 8.2 g fiber. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2668/2 Note that traditional Okinawans fare better in health than traditional Japanese on the mainland. (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5859391_Caloric_Restriction_the_Traditional_Okinawan_Diet_and_Healthy_Aging_The_Diet_of_the_World%27s_Longest-Lived_People_and_Its_Potential_Impact_on_Morbidity_and_Life_Span ) Based on all this evidence plus all the evidence behind the videos on this site, a high fiber and/or high starch diet is very healthy, not “leads to disease” as you claim.
      .
      ——-
      And Now A Word of Warning: Please read the rules for posting on this site. (See green button above the comments section.) Personal attacks are not allowed. You are entitled to your opinion and welcome to post that opinion here, especially if you can back it up with good evidence. There is obviously no deceit going on here, so your post crosses the line. I’ll let it go this time, but please be more careful with future posts. – Moderator




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      1. There is no question that sweet potatoes are better than white rice, and to remove the skin is possibly even better. When you eat a sweet potato it comes out well digested and nothing is floating around left over in the toilet, it even doesn’t cause unsightly gas. If gas was so good then why is our natural instinct to be repulsed by it?

        The problem is that a surplus from undigested food, from hard to digest foods, like the one shown in the video actually cause disease.

        As for the resistant starch video; these Africans eat a refined and well cooked corn, which is a vegetable like the sweet potato, and not a grain. Polenta is a good example of a fermented french and Italian food.

        So this is where it gets confusing because you may think, well, fiber is fiber so I’ll just down 70g of fiber from boiled barley, beans, nuts, seeds, cruciferous vegetables and every other hard to digest food. Then the next day you realize that it was a horrible mistake. The Africans eat nothing like that.

        The problem is the undigested food. It’s why IBS patients are put on a diet of white bread, etc.

        Ever see Asian people with dark circles, bad skin or hair? It’s because their organs don’t have to work as hard to process the food. Just watch some of the ones that adopt an American lifestyle and see their hairlines recede and bags under their eyes start to appear. The bacteria can easily digest the foods to produce B vitamins like biotin and K2. Even during Chinese poverty they would refuse to eat the bran of brown rice because they knew what it would do to their insides as their sole source of calories.




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        1. Lance: I have to agree with others. You keep making assertions without any evidence to back it up. For example, you write, “The problem is that a surplus from undigested food, from hard to digest foods, like the one shown in the video actually cause disease.” This website is stuffed full of evidence that runs contrary to your assertion. Do you have specific studies which back up your claim?




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          1. You have probably heard of Dr. Walter Kempners rice diet. It was white rice he used. Coincidentally, this is a low fiber diet that he gave to his patients to reduce the load on the kidneys and digestive system. He reversed the majority of their diseases including hypertension, retinal damage etc. If you go to a Walmart eye doctor he will tell you there is no treatment for this.

            Here is a study for dietary fiber and it’s relation to colon cancer. But really, there are about a billion studies I could find to support any argument that I want.

            Fuchs CS, Giovannucci EL, Colditz GA, et al. Dietary fiber and the risk of colorectal cancer and adenoma in women. N Engl J Med. 1999;340:169-76.

            http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm073181.htm
            II.Summary of Review, 4th paragraph




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              1. The second reference is from the FDA.

                Japanese started getting disease when they adopted American culture, not when they took out fiber.

                Dr. Kempner used mainly fruit juice, not whole fruit, and didn’t use vegetables even till months later(I thought you were the expert?). Of course I don’t consider fiber from fruit, vegetables or even lean meat(no fiber) to cause any disease.

                I’m telling you it’s the food that comes out undigested, and high fiber. You know, if it’s not smooth, flawless and effortless coming out 2 or 3 times a day, on a low fiber diet mind you, you are getting some intestinal irritation. You might even see this as acne on your forehead.

                Undigested food and high fiber causes leaky gut, IBS,crohn’s disease,Ulcerative colitis,dysbacteriosis, a dependence on fiber, auto immune disease, decreased sex drive, accelerated ageing, distended stomach, pancreatic obstruction causing pancreatitis(why Europeans peel and remove seeds from fruit for children) the list goes on and on….

                The elderly actually have to decrease fiber consumption with old age.

                If fiber is introduced too early in childhood it is an actual link to autism or dwarfed academic performance, and auto immune diseases. Just think about how much better people perform while in a fasted state? A low fiber diet reduces the energy it takes to digest, therefore rerouting more energy to the brain(consumes up to 25%).

                Dietary, Functional and Total Fiber, Dietary Reference Intakes for
                Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and
                Amino Acids (Macronutrients) (2002), Food and Nutrition Board (FNB),
                Institute of Medicine (IOM);

                The American Dietetic Association recommends fiber for children only
                after two years of age, and no more than 5 grams + the child’s age. That
                amounts to 7 to 13 grams of fiber for the two to eight-year-old age
                group. Health implications of dietary fiber, J Am Diet Assoc
                2002;102:993–1000;




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                1. Lance: I still don’t see how you are defending your claim that a high fiber diet causes disease. For example, how are recommendations for infants relevant? They start on a liquid diet. Infants have to be eased into adult food. That does not prove that a “high” fiber causes disease as you claim. I put “high” I quotes, because it’s really not “high”. What we are talking about is human-normal. It’s only high compared to the fiber deficient diets Americans and some other disease-rich countries consume.
                  .
                  Again: For Kempner’s diet to prove your point, you would have to show that the patients lowered their fiber when they went on Kempner’s diet. Americans are famous for our low fiber. There’s no reason to believe that they lowered their fiber when they switched to Kempner’s diet. It is highly likely they were already eating a fiber-deficient diet. We do have every reason to believe that Kempner’s success was due to the lack of meat, diary, and eggs.
                  .
                  You raise a lot of other claims, but again, do not back them up. And even then, some of the relevance escapes me. I’m thinking this conversation is not very productive so I’m stopping now. Good luck.




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                  1. Here is the proof:

                    Eat white rice for 1-3 days, with fruit juice if you like, and examine your stool. Then, eat brown rice for 1-3 days. See how they differ. Eat a box of fiber cereal for 3 days, kashi or something, write down the results. Eat peanut butter till you are full and wait how long it takes to use the restroom. Make sure to write down any changes in mood or skin.

                    Good luck to anyone that tries.




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  9. I have an off-topic question. What’s the best form of iodine to take. There is so much conflicting info on the web. I think most of it must be marketing hype.

    I just started taking whole foods market brand liquid iodine. It’s 150mcg, but it’s a bit confusing because the ingredients last says it’s 150mcg iodine, 2mcg kelp, as if it’s two things and not like it’s that amount from kelp.

    Anyone have any sound information about the beast form(s), sources and brands?

    Thanks, in advance.
    Mark G




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  10. So many benefits to eating intact whole grains! When whole grains are ground into flour, (1) Nutrients are exposed and reduced. (2) The starch becomes really easy to digest, thus our blood sugar and insulin spike. (3) Less starch and other goodies make their way down to the colon to feed our beneficial bacteria. So when we eat intact whole grains, less of the starch reaches our blood stream and more of it reaches our friendly flora, who turn it into beneficial short chain fatty acids for us.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkFJZUIUeEA (excellent video from Thea’s post Wednesday)
    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-green-smoothies-bad-for-you/




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    1. one very minor correction , flaked grain is made from a ground flour and formed into flakes , in other words it is not flaked from whole grain




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    1. We can’t digest fiber without the aid of colonic microbes: we lack the digestive enzymes to cleave it or to make use of its monomers. Resistant starch is different, we could digest it if only our enzymes could access its bonds. There are several classifications of resistant starch:

      RS1: Physically protected, as found in unmilled grains. Milling or thorough chewing disrupts this resistance.

      RS2: Resistant granules, as found in raw potato starch, green bananas and some legumes. The starch is found in microscopic granules that exclude water and hence our amylases. RS2 is disrupted through cooking, but not milling.

      RS3: Retrograded starch, as found in cooked and cooled potatos, porriges and pastas. The amylose chains have aligned to exclude water and hydrogen bond along their lengths in an annealing process (or “crystalization”, as Dr. Gregor describes). RS3 can be reduced through reheating, but successive cycles of heating and cooling increase its content.

      RS4: Chemically modified starches due to cross-linking with chemical reagents. You’ve surely seen “modified starch” on ingredient labels of things that barely qualify as food.

      So milling would enable digestion of starches that only had RS1 resistance, but not the other kinds of resistance.




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      1. Thanks, Darrryl. The list of different types of resistant starch is very helpful. However my question is about the fiber, not the RS. Does blending grains or beans in a blender destroy the fiber so that the gut microbes can no longer eat it?




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  11. Just one time I want you to say “But the supplement, allowing you to avoid eating like a cave man, actually works!”

    Also I’ve gone from 326 to 251 lbs in the last 25 weeks. My calorie intake should only have me losing 50lbs, not 75. I believe now it’s because I’m eating a lot of whole plant foods, including a berry smoothie every morning: so i’m losing an extra pound a week on the back of not digesting some of the carbs.




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  12. This makes is so easy to enjoy Mexican-style food most nights, while being healthy and losing weight (when needed). I leave off the cheese and sometimes make my own tortillas. It’s hard to go wrong with beans, garlic, onion, peppers, greens, tomato/salsa, cilantro, tomatillas, lime, cumin, and some form of tortilla-corn preferred. I use spinach most of the time for greens too.




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    1. Now that avocados have a green light (in moderation), I’ve been eating corn tortillas with pico de guacamole (pico de gallo w/ chopped avocados) many nights, along with some of the sunday cooked Cuban black beans (w/ smoked paprika subbing for bacon flavor). A immigrant focused hispanic grocer moved into town last year, and it makes the other local prices on fresh produce look like daylight robbery. Big bunches of cilantro for 30¢, 2 small avocados for 99¢ etc.

      I still want a good alternative for the cilantro stems. I’ve just been chewing them as I cook.




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      1. The flea market had turned into a Mexican (or rest of world) type open-air market in the county next door. Limes, black beans in bulk, great tortillas, etc. all at the best prices and fresh/authentic!




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  13. Each morning I enjoy a quart of what I call Oat Porridge. I simmer 1 cup of whole oat groats, for 45 minutes, in 5 cups of water. Then, I add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed, 1 tablespoon of black chia seed, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of an erythritol/stevia mix. Enough for me…..and the guys downstairs!




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    1. That’s good eating the intact groat oat. I plan on doing that after I finish the steel cut oats I have. I guess it takes an hour. I think Brenda Davis says she just boils them for 5 minutes, then turns off the heat and they are done in one hour. Most people don’t want to wait that long. But I guess you could make it the night before, then in the morning it’s ready to be reheated. And it would have more resistant starch from the reheat.




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      1. Try a pressure cooker. 18 minutes at high pressure and 10 minutes letting the pressure come down gradually should do it. Likely you could reduce the time at high even more (maybe 8-10 minutes at pressure) if you soaked the groats for 8 hours like you soak beans before cooking. Looking online I saw several suggestion that you use the indirect method with oats since they get thick and splattery (burned bottom or splattered clogged vent) if cooked directly in the pressure cooker. Indirect means that you put water in the bottom add a steamer rack and then put oats and water (or plant milk) in a heat proof casserole dish that sits on top of the steamer rack. In this way the oats never touch the bottom of the pressure cooker. I use the same method to cook perfect brown rice in the pressure cooker too.

        And just because oats are traditionally eaten sweet, I wouldn’t assume that they wouldn’t work savory dishes as well. A quick search for “savory oats” turned up some really interesting looking recipes. Maybe use oat groats in place of brown rice in a pilaf recipe.

        Interesting that whole oat groats take 18 minutes, which is about the same amount of time that unsoaked beans take in the pressure cooker. I bet that soaked oats and beans would also take about the same time. Maybe next time I make a bean soup I’ll throw some oat groats in with the beans.




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        1. In the UK and particularly Scotland, oats were traditionally eaten with a pinch of salt not sugar or other sweeteners. They were made with water but sometimes cream was added later (ie after the oats were cooked). In Scotland too some people added a little whisky. I’ve not tried that one though.




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    1. The study used complex intervention that included additional leafy green vegetables, olive oil, DHA, grape seed extract and pycnogenol, all of which improve endothelial function. That a diet spiked with polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids improves endothelial function says nothing about whether reducing bean or grain intake contributed. Indeed, hidden at the bottom

      Ten participants stopped taking the polyphenol-containing supplements after a normal PAT; however, all developed endothelial dysfunction, based on repeat PAT.

      It’s not a grain/bean free diet, its increasing polyphenol intake.

      I’m reminded of the meat industry funded study that found meat was compatible with healthy blood lipids, so long as saturated fat intake was reduced to levels only seen in strict vegetarians (NF video).




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      1. Darryl, thank you! That made sense to me. I feel like I have to be full-time investigator when I run into these things. I’m still confused about olive oil. It improves endothelial function? But many vegan doctors (McDougal, Esselstyn, Furhman) say NO OIL is good for you so I can’t get a solid take on that one. I gave up oils but wonder about it, too.




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          1. And do you think that the health value of an EVOO would be dependent on whether or not it is rich in olive polyphenols? It seems that EVOOs vary significantly in their quantity of polyphenols (probably in their quality, too).




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  14. Does this mean it’s actually healthier to gulp down your food, barely chewing it, and to think all the lectures my mom gave me about slowing down and chewing your food well. And how about the old hurry up to the table, you don’t want your food to get cold…




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    1. I don’t think that is the real take-away message. I think we should chew well enough to break open a large fraction of the plant cells in the food we eat, especially any raw food. Any intact plant cells are likely to pass undigested into the large intestine along with any nutrients that those cells contained since our digestive tracks lack the enzymes to break down the cellulose in the cell wall. So we are dependent on our crushing and grinding molars to mechanically break open the plant cells so our digestive enzymes can get at the good stuff inside. And salivary amylase produced in abundance by humans is very key to taking advantage of a high starch diet, so we need to chew well enough to mix the food well with a good initial dose of amylase so the starches start to break down in the stomach rather than having to wait until the pancreatic amylase is mixed in in the small intestine. Plus the bacteria on the tongue help to start the transformation of plant based nitrites and nitrates into ultimately NO, which our vascular endothelial cells use to relax the arteries and allow them to dilate. All argue that we should take the time to chew our food completely to smooth paste.

      But even very well chewed food is not going to be as well pureed as say a high power blender like a Vitamix would do. So there is going to be some intact cells in chewed food that will pass through as well as longer strands of the fiber that will take more time for the bacteria in the gut to break down. Thus more fiber makes it to the distal portion of the colon where it can feed the bacteria that feed that portion of the colon so that it stays healthy.




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    1. There’s been no research on this. Keratoconus (corneal thinning) can be induced in animals with vitamin A deficient diets. Varied whole plant based diets should have ample amounts of provitamin A (β-carotene), but some gene mutations lower the ability to cleave dietary carotenoids into biologically active retinol, and the human response to dietary carotenoids is variable. It might be worth seeking a vitamin A serum test.

      There have been numerous studies which found riboflavin (vitamin B2) supplementation and exposure of the cornea to near ultraviolet light (UVA) stabilized keratoconus through collagen crosslinking. The levels of the photosensitizer riboflavin far exceed that available in plant based or other natural food diets, and the UVA exposure is done with lamps. This was a fascinating subject for me, as I’ve delved into the potential for the high riboflavin content of B-complex supplements and midday sun to accelerate skin photoaging, in which collagen crosslinking plays a role. Perhaps someday we’ll be able to identify the keratoconus patients by their beach burkinis.




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  15. Great video. The research proving the superiority of plant foods for humans just doesn’t stop coming. And somehow, I perceive a strengthening of the ambient message to continue on the path of animal foods. They’ve managed to concoct this simpleton’s formula, “fat’s not the problem, it’s sugar”, which seems like such an empty phrase, but is adopted everywhere by people to justify their resistance to change… and resistance to starch… resistant starch :-)




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  16. Is he saying , then, that adding Green Banana Flour, Potato Starch and Inuline FOS to my vegan protien shakes doesn’t provide any benefits, even though I have seen charts showing it has 10X’s the resistant starch of beans and oats, since it is a supplement, or is he referring to just supplements added to pop tarts etc…




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    1. He’s saying that the resistant starch needs to be with fiber in order to get down to the distal colon to feed the gut microbes. All the resistant starch products may contain loads of RS, but without being in a whole food with fiber, it may not be getting down to the distal colon (instead it’s consumed by other bacteria further up in the intestines).




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    2. Gum Arabic / Acacia senegal (“Heather’s Tummy Fiber”) and/or inulin (generic) in my morning coffee, as SUPPLEMENT to a daily serving or two of legumes seem to help my lower-gut function. I suspect some of us need more soluble fiber and resistant starch than others due to genes or previously poor diet?




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  17. Hello, great video as always!!! And the photo!!! Ahhh can’t wait for the recipes book till end of 2017!!!!!!

    I have some questions (please move away the children and any food you are possibly eating) !! Forgive my language, but for such things I do not know the “scientific terminology” :)

    My stool are good in quantity, but somehow “watery”….in another video the doc says that they have to look like sausage (mine are like a sausage but without the “external membrane”)….additionally, sometimes intact flax seeds come out with all the other “sausage” :) – I eat a spoonful every day….

    What do you think is happening?? Am I eating too many fiber?? Too much water (I do not drink above 4-5 glasses a day)??

    PS1: I’ m vegan

    PS2: I know that you can not give specific doctor advice from distance, but I would like to read your insight and general opinion (all the moderators are nutrition rockers!!)

    PS3: Sorry for the theme of my post, I hope you are not very squeamish :)

    PS4: Give Dr Michael our love from Greece (he has a fan club!!!) :)




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    1. Great question! I am sure there are many who want to ask questions about poo..but too shy to ask. :)

      There are quite a few foods that appear to go through the digestive tract “undigested”. Flax seeds being one of them. A couple of thoughts I have…

      First, It sounds as though your stool is formed, but soft. That is perfect. Poo consistency and color can vary depending upon many variables. If you were having watery (like water coming out of a faucet) or stool that is like pebbles or pebbles held together.. then that is a different story. One could indicate diarrhea and should be monitored. The latter is heading down the road to constipation and that could mean a closer look at your diet (more water, etc).

      Second, what I took away from this video is that even though the material “appears” to go through undigested.. He says that under closer inspection.. These food substances were not whole at all..they were being consumed by bacteria. Which is very good for the gut.

      Thank you for asking!! Not squeamish at all.. I ask my patients about poo all the time! :)




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      1. ha ha ha!! Glad you “liked” the subject!!!
        Yes, they are formed but very soft (like a dense chocolate mousse) … so, they sound to be ok??
        That’s very good, the flax does its job then :)

        Thank you for your quick and very helpful answer!!




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    2. You should eat ground flax seeds (best to grind them yourself) as intact ones are not digestible.

      I’m a WFPB vegan and had the same issue for several years. But then I found that using a high quality, “broad spectrum” probiotic along with additional resistant starch (cold potato starch) corrected it in several weeks. I get in excess of 70 grams of fiber per day so I’d be surprised if the problem is too much fiber. I used the probiotic and extra resistant starch for about 2 months but now I use neither, and am normal. I also increased the (canned) beans I eat, even putting some in my oatmeal in the morning, so I now eat about 1 1/2 cups per day.




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      1. Thanks David for the information!!! What is a WFPB vegan??
        In what form was the probiotic?? pill?? I have found a soy yogurt which has bifilus and acidophilus in it…do you think it does the job??
        Ha ha ha!! Beans for breakfast?? Not even dr Greger eats that much !!!




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        1. WFPB = whole food plant-based. Yes, I took a (rather expensive) pill. I have no clue as to whether the soy yogurt might work for you. As far as I could tell from my reading, different strains work for different people (with various issues). Also, there’s the unknown variable whether the product has enough live organisms to be effective. No harm in giving it a try, and if it does not, you can always look for something else. I think one has to be willing to experiment. Good luck!




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  18. Nonsense. There is no such thing as resistant starch. You’re making a myth. They are undigested because you’re eating such haphazard combinations of food and teach others to do so. Mixing berries with bread. Nonsense.
    No digestive system is capable to digest such combinations as you propose. That’s why bacteria are overwhelming our guts.
    None of your scientists ever made an experiment with people who combine food properly and not eating jam and bread and such silly combinations. You are just taking common practice as a rule. And starches are not the only one undigested, the same happen with proteins, and they hence putrefy, as you mentioned.
    Here you are just behaving as a “medstudent”, a “junior clerk” (as you called it in your Heart failure), underestimation the great legacy of Natural Hygiene and the physiologists before you. You just never tried eating proper combinations of food.




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    1. So… what would ‘proper’ combinations of food be? I’m always game to learn something new. I would love to see the research behind this line of thought as well




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      1. To learn about fine art and science of food combining refer to the great work of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton and Natural Hygiene, his book Food combining made easy…
        As for Dr. Greger making a video on food combining, I doubt it. When asked what he thinks of it, he arrogantly replied: Nonsense!
        But I don’t think that one word can stand against more the great legacy of Natural Hygiene. We’ll see.




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    2. Talk about loonies spewing nonsense? Where in the evolutionary process do you suppose our ancestors would have benefited from pausing to ingest different combinations of food that would serve any useful purpose in our survival?
      After days of starvation while searching through the primitive landscape:
      “Oh Grog, me find giant yam near fruit tree, and log filled with grubs!!!”
      “Yeah well you know you can’t eat them together, you not hear of Natural Hygiene?!”
      LOL!!!




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    3. Talk about a myth… There is zero scientific evidence of the food combining myth. Our bodies are intelligent, not only do our bodies know how to digest multiple foods at once, but it’s ideal to eat different types of foods together for various reason. Some examples are vitamin c rich foods or garlic and onions both actually IMPROVING the bioavailability of minerals of foods they’re paired with. Eating is an uncomplicated thing when we eat whole plant foods and not the animal products our bodies were never meant to eat in the first place. There is no “right way” or order to eat your food. I honestly don’t know why I’m commenting on this though, you want to believe that food combining is real so you will, and that’s fine but not when you go off preaching it like it’s a proven science as it is absolutely not, on the contrary. Not to mention calling sound scientific studies “nonsense” because they don’t coincide with your belief.




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      1. Lady, take it easy. There is plenty of “scientific evidence” and results of improper food combining everywhere around you, and you can also listen to your stomach. It just requires to fine tune your being. Our organism certainly is intelligent, but there is no digestive system that can digest some of the here proposed food combinations without harm called “feeding good bacteria”. Go deeply into the science and fine art of food combining, rather than reading mechanically, but “scientifically” gathered recipes.




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        1. I really don’t understand this discussion. This is an evidence-based website, and as far as I know, fear mongering doesn’t count as evidence.

          If you have a valid point, kindly provide links to actual evidence. Otherwise, you are just baffling people who are trying to take care of their health.

          PS: I’ve been listening to my stomach carefully since going WFPB (thanks to this website and Dr Greger) and all it has said so far is ‘thank you’. I never worry about combinations.




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          1. Where are the evidence of the gut flora of the people properly combining food, according to the principles given by the Natural Hygiene?
            Here it is not given any. Here it is just said that there starches which are not digested, as the Natural Hygiene stated many years ago, that such silly combinations like eating berries with starches (here proposed) will cause indigestion.




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            1. I’m sorry, I’ve read your post four times but I still don’t understand your point. If there is such evidence, of the gut flora of people “properly combining food, according to the principles given by the Natural Hygiene”, whatever that means, then where is it?

              By the way, many foods contain different levels of naturally-occurring resistant starch, like beans and bananas:
              http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(07)01932-3/abstract

              Do you consider all those foods ‘silly’ on their own? And is fiber bad as well because it’s not digested by humans? Or is there no such thing as fiber and it’s just another conspiracy theory? Why do you endorse pseudoscience when there is clear evidence to the contrary?




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              1. Please don’t be sorry, try being intelligent. There is no clear evidence to your “contrary”, that is, to your stating that there are resistant starches until we examine the gut flora of the Natural Hygiene people. Only then we will see why the food is not digested, is it naturally indigestible, or is digestion arrested because of our bad eating habits. If you follow funny Greger’s recipes it certainly won’t digest.
                Some time ago, doctors claimed that protein putrefaction in human gut is “normal” because it is so common, which of course was among people who ate abominables or ate such haphazard combinations that chemically were not not possible to digest.
                Dr. Shelton wrote thousands of pages for intelligent people, as he said. Be one of them, read a few.




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  19. Good Morning!

    I have a friend who says he has a lot of sensitivity in teeth, she said she can not even brush much that they start to hurt, she said it eat at least a glass of milk every day, this could be influencing?

    Has an article / publication / study who shows that milk is harmful to teeth?

    I searched the internet and all I found was actually very superficial and somewhat confused. Thank you all for attention, have a great day :)




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    1. I doubt that drinking milk would influence tooth sensitivity as it has a pH of 6.5, which is almost neutral. Teeth often become sensitive from consuming too many acidic foods and beverages–the acid eats away the tooth’s protective enamel. I’d look more into carbonated drinks, lemons or other citrus fruits, most juices, hibiscus tea, as these, along with other foods, are very acidic.




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  20. Hello,
    Thank you, Doctor for posting these interesting and enlightening studies. Just curious, I came across some info that plant foods and much more beans/legumes have high levels of estrogen. For a guy, should one be concerned if you consume this hormone over a long/very long time? Any downsides? Does this tend to reduce testosterone?




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  21. Just to answer your question, the pathway to hereditary colon cancer is indeed different than the development of spontaneous colon cancer; different genes are involved, and tumors occur much earlier in life. It’s a highly penetrant disease. It would be very interesting to see if resistant starch supplements decrease the risk of spontaneous colon cancer or help with other bowel conditions.




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  22. Hi Dr. Greger,
    Are you familiar with konjac or shirataki ? they are often sold in noodle form called shirataki noodles and touted for weight loss wonders. The nutrition information says it has typically between 0-10 calories for a whole serving of noodles , i’m guessing as it is mostly made out of resistant starch. I love the taste and texture of them but i’m just wondering if there is any research to support its weight loss and health claims or is it just one of those low nutrient foods that may not be great to eat so often?

    Thank you so much!!

    ps also, i am on my 3rd read now of How Not to Die and love it. Thank you for writing such a rich and informative book. I loved it so much i got copies for all my family members living in Malaysia.




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    1. Thanks for your question Carolyn.

      While I am not familiar with the full body of research regarding “konjac” and “shirataki”, here is what I found. According to a recent scientific review & both of these varieties contain Glucomannan, which is:

      “A neutral polysaccharides which act as a source of (soluble) dietary fibre. Unlike other soluble fibres, they are characterised by having extraordinarily high viscosity. (…) These sources have been consumed by humans for centuries, especially in Asia, where they are cultivated extensively. Konjac glucomannan is largely tasteless but has a number of desirable nutritional characteristics”

      The potential benefits are illustrated in the image attached, however, if you want to further know more about glucomannan, please click on the review:

      Hope this answer helps.




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    2. Thanks for your question Carolyn.

      While I am not familiar with the full body of research regarding “konjac” and “shirataki”, here is what I found. According to a recent scientific review & both of these varieties contain Glucomannan, which is:

      “A neutral polysaccharides which act as a source of (soluble) dietary fibre. Unlike other soluble fibres, they are characterised by having extraordinarily high viscosity. (…) These sources have been consumed by humans for centuries, especially in Asia, where they are cultivated extensively. Konjac glucomannan is largely tasteless but has a number of desirable nutritional characteristics”

      The potential benefits are illustrated in the image attached, however, if you want to further know more about glucomannan, please click on the review.

      Hope this answer helps. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0e59c77b30bf8d2bbb248e7ffab17ce9cf69e9449460c6d6453f264293c44d7c.jpg




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      1. It is fun stuff if nothing else! I get the powder to use for thickening sauces and smoothies and puddings and on and on! I’ve even made my own shirataki, which was kind of interesting! It thickens without having to be heated unlike cornstarch, so great in any recipe where you need bulk.




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  23. Hi, I’ve been struggling with gastrointestinal problems for a long time now – probably several years. I have been diagnosed with SIBO (through a hydrogen breath test) and GERD. I have been to several doctors, but they seem to only want to prescribe me antacids and other symptom-covering medications instead of helping me treat the causes of my symptoms. I have acid reflux; intermittent, severe abdominal pain; bloating; and frequent diarrhea. I also think I may have undiagnosed intestinal inflammation. I have also been whole foods, plant-based for about a year now (thanks to this invaluable website!) but my symptoms have not gotten any better, even when I try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of leafy greens, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. I am well aware of most of the science covered on this website, but it is difficult to find ways to feed the good bacteria in my large intestine while starving the apparent overgrowth in my small intestine. I have tried probiotics, and I have also tried a low FODMAP diet, which seems to exacerbate certain symptoms – like diarrhea – but helps with others – like bloating. I was also prescribed a 2 week supply of Rifaximin quite a few months ago; this did improve my symptoms temporarily, but they soon came back in full force, and my gastroenterologist did not seem interested in following up on this. My symptoms seem to persist no matter what I eat, and it has gotten to the point where my condition is interfering with my life. Any advice would be greatly appreciated; I am at my wit’s end. Thank you for your time, and all the work you put into this site. It really is a gold mine for people who care about health and nutrition!




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    1. Oh Derek, I am *so* sorry to hear you are still experiencing these problems. (I’m thinking of a Derek who has posted on here in the past.) It sounds like a serious gut problem to me. My advice is to start with a phone consultation with Dr. Michael Klapper. Dr. Klapper is a well known plant based doctor who works out the True North center. He has done some really great digestion-related talks that I have heard. The talks I heard were pretty beginner level, but I got the feeling that he is quite knowledgeable in this area. And he does phone consultations.
      .
      Where I’m thinking you might end up is at the True North center itself. As you probably know, I am by no means any kind of expert. But it sounds to me like you need a gut re-boot. The True North center specializes in doctor-supervised water fasts. They have been able to cure people of a range of problems using this method. It seems worth looking into since these problems are so serious an are affecting your life.
      .
      I’m thinking good thoughts for you. I hope you find an answer soon.




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    1. Hi Tess, I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. This is a good question: I don’t know that I’ve seen specific research on the topic, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t research out there. However, I would try to apply some common sense to this issue based on what is known about other processed additives to foods. In almost all (if not all) cases, eating the whole food is better than eating the processed version of it. Therefore, I would not suggest eating potato starch fiber, in comparison to potatoes; or even better–sweet potatoes or purple potatoes! I hope this helps!




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    2. In short, the answer is no. If I wasnt using a mobile device at the moment I would copy paste from the transcript. Watch the video again… Dr Greger discusses whole grains versus ground grains, as well as the the ineffectual use of supplemental resistant starch. Starch + Fiber are required.




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    1. Mike, I am a volunteer moderator with NutritionFacts.org and attempted to find some answers for you. On PubMed I did a search for the health benefits of Modified v NonModified Potato Starch, but I found no specific information addressing this question, only 2 perhaps pertinent study on the potential benefit of Potato starch in general https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25331334 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24228189

      I did find one article that may be helpful but review carefully as it is not one of the resources we wholeheartedly endorse. The author does have some specific advice on intake of potato starch and Bob’s Red Mill unmodified potato starch.https: //chriskresser.com/how-resistant-starch-will-help-to-make-you-healthier-and-thinner Note he does mention precautions in using potato starch (Again a reminder that whole foods such as the potato itself is always preferable) There are those who have experienced diarrhea after taking potato starch, recognizing it is in many foods. It has been reported that some potato starches contain or are contaminated by glutens, so that is one reason that unmodified potato starch may be better choice I hope this is helpful and do try to get the good effects of resistant starches mostly through beans, as Dr. Greger suggests.




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  24. I am a picky eater and trying to find ways to incorporate more whole foods, especially beans. I’m wondering if I could take some cooked, cooled beans like a capsule and just swallow them – I don’t enjoy the taste or the texture (but I’m working on it) I’m not talking about a ton of them maybe a 1/4 cup per day just to feed my good bacteria. That should be the ultimate resistant starch!




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    1. Hi Michelle – Swallowing beans whole might give you a stomach ache. I would maybe start by blending a small amount of beans into a smoothie or mashing them into a tasty bean dip. For example, you could try blending black beans into a chocolate-flavored smoothie (using unsweetened cocoa powder, frozen bananas, and almond milk) or cannellini beans into a smoothie with vanilla as the flavor base. You could also experiment with different types of beans – hopefully you’ll come across a variety that you like. For example, (believe it or not!) chickpeas are incredibly delicious on sandwiches! Chickpea Salad
      You can find other new recipes ideas on all of our social media channels or on Lighter. Best of luck!




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  25. Please forgive me if this sounds silly but does this suggest that obvious remnants in our stool should NOT be a concern at all? Eg if we notice undigested (identifiable) quinoa or something in our stool?
    Thank you




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  26. A starch based diet that is WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) is something that Dr. Greger would approve of. This would include such foods as sweet potatoes, brown rice, legumes, etc. Please keep in mind that Dr. Greger has cited published peer reviewed evidence that low fruit intake is associated with increased mortality, so avoiding fruit is probably not in your best interest.




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    1. Thank you, Moderator Ben. Good point about fruit intake. I do enjoy lots of whole fruits (especially berries) and plan to continue doing so.

      Now, if only Dr. McDougall would update his views on fat intake. I know that Dr. Greger isn’t concerned about having a high intake of fat, provided it’s from a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet.

      Best regards,
      Aaron




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  27. Hi, Rick Sanders. If the whole grains in the pancakes are used intact (this works if they are soaked overnight first, and possibly cooked) rather than ground into flour, then the answer is yes. If using whole grain flour, then the answer, unfortunately, is no. Pancakes made from whole grain flour are healthier than those made with refined flour, but intact whole grains are still better than ground ones. I hope that helps!




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  28. Dr Gregor,
    Since resistant starch causes the production of butyrate from bacteria, would you say that the consumption of fat, with the purpose of absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, would be reduced? Furthermore, are particular fats superior to others in terms of dissolving A,D, E and K, I can’t seem to find any research on how well these vitamins dissolve in butyrate.
    Thanks




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  29. Hi Giuliano,

    I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for your question.

    The butyrate that is produced by our gut bacteria is primarily made and absorbed in the large intestine, towards the very end of the digestive tract. Fat-soluble vitamins are almost all absorbed well before this, in the small intestine. Therefore, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is, to the best of my knowledge, independent or unrelated to the amount of short-chain fatty acids (like butyrate) that are produced.

    I have also not seen any research on the relationship between types of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. As of now, the current assumption would be that fat type makes little to no difference on the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

    I hope this helps to answer your questions!




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