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Starch: The Great Mystery

Discussion in 'Starches, Fiber, Legumes' started by Runenight201, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    So I know peat's stance on starches and that he generally recommends avoiding them but

    1)How on earth do you eat sustenance calories on fruit and milk? It's an insane amount of liquid
    2)Does it bother anyone that practically every civilization has used starch as the base of their diet? If starch was so bad, wouldn't we see many cases of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabeties in traditional societies? The fact that this wasn't the case until the modern era makes me skeptical of Starch's role in metabolic syndrome.

    I understand the physiological argument against starch, in that it is only glucose, but could we make starches safer by adding a fructose powder on top of them? And if we just ate potatoes and white rice, who's polyunsaturated profile is highly minimized, I see this as a great opportunity to have cheap, easy calories to the diet. Also potatoes are a great source of potassium and other minerals. White rice is well....just glucose, but if you put a fructose powder on top of it, wouldn't it be akin to eating sucrose? This way you could eat more "traditional" meals without worrying about the negative impacts of starch, which I'm still skeptical of from an epidemiological sense.

    Just some thoughts, what do you guys think? There was a poll done and it showed that a majority of y'all actually eat starches. I mean, I understand wanting to optimize the diet, but potatoes and rice are soooo easy to make. And including some starches in the diet means I'm not rushing to the bathroom every 20 minutes to pee due to the insane amount of liquid OJ and milk have. Plus by including starch, you can put a ton of salt on them. Everytime I consume a salty meal, I feel insane metabolic warmth and temp increases. Salt in OJ and milk....? Ok I haven't tried it but it doesn't seem to appealing.

    Oh yea one last argument, I know John McDougall has a pretty heavy vegan influence, but you can't deny the results that he obtains with his followers in lowering weight, blood pressure, cardiovascular risk, etc....

    Just trying to account for all the evidence when making dietary decisions. I think Peat is pretty on point, but the bit about avoiding starches is tough for me to agree with again from an epidemiological POV.
     
  2. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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    He said this one year ago:



    My favorite part about that is when he said "but you still need a few hundred grams as either starch or sugar every day.."

    People need to realize that Peat is one of the very few people who advocates eating a few hundred grams of carbohydrate daily to meet your sugar needs.

    The point of my "Potatoes Aren't Peaty" thread was to make it clear what the true Peat diet is. It is logical and common sense that his personal diet is the true Peat diet. People like to say "there is no Peat diet.." like it's some kind of hipster diet thing that can't be labeled.

    Also, the second point of that thread was to show that it's not fair to say that potatoes are "Peaty" when he himself doesn't eat them but then turn around and bash all of the successful potato and starch eaters who aren't full Peatarians because they don't consume liver bi-weekly or oysters, or because they eat low fat or don't take hormones etc. I don't understand how people can be so inconsistent with their philosophy. They contradict themselves so much.

    Anti-starcher's go straight to the endotoxin argument. Here's 116 quotes on endotoxin, only 2 mention starch. Endotoxin is a much bigger issue that just starch.

    That's the main complaint people have when trying the milk and oj based diet.

    Yea, those who hate starch, they tend to be pro-high fat folk which is odd because they tend to be former keto folk but they now love pure sucrose and fruit and claim to be able to get consistent, clean, ripe, sweet fruit even though they live north of the tropic of cancer or south of the tropic of capricorn. Peat said imported fruit is best avoided and that he chose the canned frozen OJ over shipped fruit.

    Their response to that would be "well how long are these people living" and "there's a difference between surviving and thriving.." And they call it a "poor mans sugar.." but the problem with that is fruit and starch are different as the folks at McCarbthyism pointed out. Boiled starch is a unique nutrient for humans.

    Exactly.

    All non-flour starches have nutrients except white rice. But many of the societies you're talking about used white rice. I think white rice is a superfood because it is a boiled starch and is a consistent source of clean sugar that digests different from sucrose and doesn't have too much fructose like sucrose does. You can get micronutrients elsewhere. I eat white rice and drink OJ, so I just got all the potassium and micronutrients I need for that meal.

    Just drink some fruit juice with white rice. You don't need a lot.

    They'll say that's "stress hormones."

    He's annoying sometimes and is too conceded but I like that he's one of the few in the nutrition world who tells people the important of eating enough starch, aka enough sugar. As I said above with Peat advocating carbohydrate, there's not many of them. Like this clip:

     
  3. dfspcc20

    dfspcc20 Member

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    Not to mention that even cultures in tropical locations, where tropical fruit should, in theory, be in abundance, they still seemed to gravitate towards starch in some form (rice, cassava, taro, breadfruit, yams, etc).

    I don't think anyone here is arguing that starch is inherently "bad", but rather fruit is a safer bet for people in poor environments with damaged metabolisms, poor digestion and intestinal permeability.
     
  4. Bobber Anderson

    Bobber Anderson Member

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    Here we go again
     
  5. Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    You don't, unless you gorge on dates and coconut.

    Starch has been used in this way because it is economical to do so. That doesn't mean it is an optimal energy substrate. But I would also agree that given its history and humanity's unique biological adaptations to starch, it's likely not significantly harmful, if at all.

    "Hypothyroidism tends to cause the blood and other body fluids to be deficient in both sodium and glucose. Consuming salty carbohydrate foods momentarily makes up to some extent for the thyroid deficiency."

    Thyroid, insomnia, and the insanities: Commonalities in disease

    You seem like you feel you need a definitive answer, or an authority figure, to tell you to eat starch.

    Just eat the damn starch.

    :p:
     
  6. OP
    Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    lol the similar threads page has shown me that this seems to be a debate that has been going on for quite a while =P

    Although I haven't seen anyone talk about adding powdered fructose to starch. Could this be the ultimate solution??? I'm going to experiment with it.

    From personal experience, I just ate a starchy, salty meal and my temp shot up to 98.7. Regardless of scientific rationale, if your temps shoot up from a meal, isn't that a good sign?
     
  7. Bobber Anderson

    Bobber Anderson Member

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    Most fruit for most people is poor. Under-ripened, over priced, heavily pesticised and bad quality. Many types of fruits cause significant gut distress for folks. I think Peat sees their amazing value in a idealistic sense, but real world results with the fruits (esoeciallly here in the Western world) causes most Peaters to keep walking on by the fruit & veg section and on towards the dairy/fruit juices section. Those wonderful fruits that Peat mentions that are in his diet I have no access to, and probably never will have access to.
     
  8. OP
    Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    No I don't need an authority figure. I read different sources and I attempt to make rational decisions based on the science and my own personal experiences. I don't have the biological or anthropological background to find counter points to Ray's opinions on starches, so I come up with any argument I can think of and see what other people have to say. That being said I think I will continue to eat the damn potatoes and rice =)
     
  9. Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    I think your starch and fructose powder idea won't work. From what I understand about the supposed drawbacks of starch, it is the starchy particles themselves that are the issue, as well as the insulin spike. I don't see how adding fructose powder on top would ameliorate that.
     
  10. OP
    Runenight201

    Runenight201 Member

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    From Ray Peat's article Glycemia, starch, and sugar in context:

    Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat.

     
  11. johnwester130

    johnwester130 Member

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    I do eat starch,

    but feel 100 times better without it.

    So there you go
     
  12. Bobber Anderson

    Bobber Anderson Member

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  13. Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    Sure, I guess that'd solve the insulin issue, but it still doesn't tackle the endotoxin issue. Also, wouldn't adding fructose powder to a starch make it sweeter? If so... why not just eat fruit? I can't see how that'd be appetising in the context that starch traditionally occupies.
     
  14. Bobber Anderson

    Bobber Anderson Member

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    I'm the same. I really do feel better without it, yet (like many here) my body constantly craves it. Those cravings never go away. So I still do it now and again. Staying away from bread though is the one thing I really do have to be militant about. If I base my diet around bread I always start developing foot fungus and jock itch. I only get this yeast infection when bread becomes a daily staple. It has taught me that the health of my gut is paramount and abusing my body has systametic side effects (of the most emabarrasing kind). But I really do wish I could eat sourdough bread every day #drool# .
     
  15. johnwester130

    johnwester130 Member

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    that's odd.

    I don't get the cravings when my diet was mostly milk, dates and salted cheese. It's very easy to give up
     
  16. Bobber Anderson

    Bobber Anderson Member

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    You're lucky you don't get symptoms from dates. They're one of the worst 'bad fibre' gut offending foods for me. Serotonin central. I'm envious.

    That instant sugar hit, and they are great on minerals/low PUFA, too. I romanised many times about having them in my diet.

    Other than that, I just hated the way they tasted as well. Way too sickly sweet. I can easily drink many hundred millilitres of maple syrup each day no problems, but even four or five dates is enough for me to put them down and not want any more.
     
  17. jamies33

    jamies33 Member

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    This is a quote from a Ray e-mail exchange with member tca300 and gives his conclusive opinion on starch.

    "'Me: If you don't mind me asking a question. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that you think starches are OK or even beneficial to eat, even when Fruit is available. Some are saying that super cooked starch to the point of it being wet and somewhat soggy, has beneficial effects that surpass sucrose. I was wondering if you think that stuff is accurate or is starch harmful and not ideal when compared to fruits and their sugars. Thank you!
    Ray Peat: When a non-starchy fruit is available I think it’s always preferable to starch. Alkali-processed corn is the only kind that I’m willing to eat, and seldom that (e.g., corundas made with wood ashes).
    Ray Peat: For people with really sensitive intestines or bad bacteria, starch should be zero.
    Ray Peat: Starch-grain embolisms can cause brain damage..
    Ray Peat: There isn't anything wrong with a high carbohydrate diet, and even a high starch diet isn't necessarily incompatible with good health, but when better foods are available they should be used instead of starches.
    Ray Peat: In the winter in the US, I use a lot of frozen orange juice concentrate, because good fruit is scarce. When you use refined sugar it’s important to avoid the starchy foods, emphasizing milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, and occasional liver and seafood. Cooked leafy greens and mushrooms should substitute for starchy vegetables.'

    Ray Peat doesn't see starch as ideal at all, doesn't eat it himself, and makes it clear that people with gut problems ( bacteria overgrowth, etc ) shouldn't eat them, and healthy people with fruit access should choose fruits instead of starches. After reading Rays work for over a decade, and having many conversations with him, its obvious to me that he doesn't see starch as a good food choice in relation to other commonly available foods ( in the U.S ) Whether or not YOU PERSONALLY think starch is ok/healthy or not has nothing to do with Ray Peats opinion on it."

    I like that last part - you can give pros and cons, and it can be made acceptable, and theres nothing wrong with acceptable, but acceptable =\= optimal.

    I like to look at rice and potatos as cheap carbs, definitely OK to eat, not ideal.
     
  18. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    Oh boy........that "always" is a killer!!!:darts:

    Excellent post!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  19. tara

    tara Member

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    Most people, including, AFAIK, most people here, don't, as you've seen in that survey.

    But there are higher-density options that can be included as part of the mix for those who want/have to avoid starch:
    Cheese, cream, coconut, coconut butter, coconut oil, chocolate, dates, dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, fruit juice concentrate, fat associated with meat ...


    Not sure about these, but speculations about other possible contributing factors:
    - Refined seed oils have not been ubiquitous till the last century - they could be overwhelmingly more important in metabolic syndrome.
    - some of the time, other parts of those previous diets were more nutritious than current diets - eg more and more nutrient-dense veges, or more sea-food, or some other factor, was providing more minerals etc and this was a compensating factor.
    - A lot of people did die, many of them of other things, before the metabolic diseases showed up.
    (But I eat starch, and have so far nor found a way to do better without it.)

    Peat has referred to a couple of potential downsides, and this is just one of them.

    The others are:
    • 2. supports growth of endotoxin producing bacteria, not because it's glucose, but because it's complex. (Fibrous fruit and veges can also do this. Gut barrier health, transit time, and other foods eaten also affect development and absorption of endotoxins.)

    • 3. Potential for persorption of starch grains through the gut wall where it can cause trouble in the circulatory system. (Personally, I've only seen evidence presented that seems to refer to raw or dry starch, and I suspect that fully gelatinised (wet-cooked) starch may not have this risk)
    Aside form the starch, Peat has spoken favourably about potatoes.
     
  20. tara

    tara Member

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    I'd recommend adding some actual food (eg fruit, juice) that has more nutrition - esp. minerals - than just refined fructose. That should help with making better use of the the carbs.
    And then there's rice pudding - rice, milk, sugar, optional raisins, jam, cinnamon, ....
    Left-overs are nice with chopped fruit, too.
    Mostly same here.
     
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