5

votes

Friend insists that many Peoples are slim and eat mostly grains. What do I say?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 24, 2011 at 7:09 PM

The title says it all. I feel somewhat stumped. Looked through the pop down info with interest but I still don't know what to say to her. I know that eliminating grains (5 weeks now) has been what my body has needed for years. I feel it!

If someone can provide an intelligent response to this, it would be much appreciated.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:17 PM

A really excellent answer from you AC. +1 well deserved here.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:35 PM

In response to anonymous coward... My point is that someone who is working 10 hours in a laborious job is slim DESPITE their diet. The diet is just sustaining their activity. Also, let's also assume these people aren't taking in loads of HFCS and other processed sugar. If grains are the only flaw in their diet, they're going to be loads healthier than your typical person on the SAD diet. And to answer your question: You're asking whether or not someone would get healthier by eating a healthier diet? The answer is yes :-)

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Yeah! I know my gut is thanking me! Thanks to all who have given me food for thought.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Well, there is one area of rural China that has people with advanced longevity.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:41 PM

I agree whole-heartedly. It is more important.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I am reading all the comments with interest and I appreciate the effort and thought people have put into this. The juxtaposing of western industrialized grain-based food stuffs with those of more traditional societies is helpful. I still need to think carefully about the argument for vegan or vegetarian diets, since the friend also argues that they are best, regardless of the fact that her ancestry is one that included a lot of meat.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:22 PM

For got to mention....Peoples= e.g. South Asian societies

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Thank you,anonymous coward, for the above. You've provided a lot to think about and you're right. The "Peoples" with a capital P that my friend spoke about do eat closer to the natural state and move around a lot more.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:12 PM

I work with organic producers in my region a lot and have learned much. The last comment by "hcantrall" is very true. Post WW2, the chemical giants that made huge profits as part of the 'war machine' had nowhere to sell herbicides, etc. so in order to keep the 'machine' alive in peace time, they began a war on other life forms, ultimately us as consumers.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:06 PM

When I use the term Peoples with a capital, I refer to a nation, for example, south Asians who have grain-based diets, vegetables and very little meat.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:04 PM

very well said!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:00 AM

I think modern grains are not the same as the grains that were grown 40 years ago. I think with all of the pesticides used and genetically modifying plants etc. They've made them into something else entirely.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Sigh indeed!...

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:57 AM

AC - I would say show me the evidence. I can show you evidence that grains cause health problems.

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:48 AM

I don't see why there's so much hostility to AC's comments in this thread. The poster is asking for help in composing a logical argument to counter a common observation. It's helpful for all of us if someone pokes holes in our arguments to show us what others less tolerant of Paleo will say.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:53 PM

"Yet!".........

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:52 PM

Say "and many smokers don't have cancer."

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:26 PM

Of course lots of people tolerate grains OK. You are making up a straw man ("those idiot paleo folks claim that if you eat a bagel you will die") and then proving how stupid it is. Try arguing with the real people making real arguments on this forum and not the morons in your head.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:24 PM

No one is sure about the wheat thing (though I am sure that I get rashes when I eat wheat and I don't get rashes when I don't eat wheat) because the science isn't really in yet. The evidence is suggestive enough for me to say that eliminating gluten grains is probably a good idea for most people. We may know more in 20 years when more research has been done. In the meantime, I think getting rid of that stuff is a good idea for me and my family.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:20 PM

Sigh. That's why we go back to the science. The most credible evidence from many different sources doesn't support the hypothesis that eating red meat will kill you. That's why I eat it, not because it hasn't yet killed anyone on this forum.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:18 PM

I'd say that health is too complicated for only one thing to be the controlling variable--no matter how much, in your idea of logic, you want to make it so. If science could not control for multiple variables, we'd have a much poorer understanding of the world than we do.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Humans can withstand a certain amount of negative health factors in their lives. Eating grains is one of them. Eating processed sugary food is another. Getting no exercise, staying indoors all day, sitting down all the time, and so on. If the only health-negative thing you did was eat hand-sprouted whole grains, you might never notice the difference if you stopped doing that. On the other hand, most people in industrial countries have so many negative health factors that eliminating toxic grains is a great first step toward health.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:48 PM

True. Apply that logic to some of the people who are popular in the paleo world while you're at it (charismatic good looking personal trainers, for example).

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:46 PM

The best book is Nourishing Traditions. After that, I love my Wild Fermentation book by Sandor Katz. You can request his friendship on FB, too and keep up with more fermenting stuff :) As far as underdiagnosis in Africa and other 3rd world countries, that is quite possibly true. There was a post by Melissa at Hunt Gather Love about that, but I can't locate it.

3a512dd276965608b7a7f42df935375b

(70)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:02 PM

@anonymous: nourishing traditions by sally fallon has a lot of info on fermenting grains. Also I would add that I think in a lot of 3rd world countries the diet is probably up wards of 75% grains think africa. I also think that things like crohns,IBS, vitamin mineral malabsorption. Could be under diagnosed. I had IBS issues for years but didn't think they where abnormal. If I was starving/living in filth. I don't think diarrhea and gas would be a top priority or unusual not matter what my diet was.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:59 PM

So what would be the difference if they started eating paleo? Take a strong guy from an undeveloped (not necessarily DEVELOPING, many are going the opposite way actually) who seems healthy but eats tons of grains. You say he stays trim and whatever only because his 10-hour-per-day job burns it off for him, but he's not healthier for it. So what exactly would happen if he started eating more paleo and less grain-oriented that would constitute being healthier? Would he get even stronger and trimmer? Or what?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:58 PM

So what would be the difference if they started eating paleo? Take a strong guy from an undeveloped (not necessarily DEVELOPING, many are going the opposite way actually) who seems healthy but eats tons of grains? You say he's trim and whatever because his 10-hour-per-day job burns it off for him, but he's not healthier for it. So what exactly would happen if he started eating more paleo and less grain-oriented that would constitute being healthier?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

So again we make the claim unfalsifiable. You say grains are bad but they say they're doing fine, so you say "yeah, but just wait and see!!!" What if I came onto this forum and had the same attitude about red meat and how it supposedly causes cancer, heart disease, etc? What would you say?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

So again we make the claim unfalsifiable? You say grains are bad but they say they're doing fine, so you say "yeah, but just wait and see!!!" What if I came onto this forum and had the same attitude about red meat and how it supposedly causes cancer, heart disease, etc? What would you say?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Also, you're pretty sure about the anti-wheat thing, right? Well, have you (or has anybody you've read) conducted any studies on traditional cultures eating REAL whole wheat bread in moderation? Probably not. All this anti-wheat stuff is always based on sedentary SAD-eaters gorging themselves like thousands upon thousands of different industrial wheat products.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Also, you're pretty sure about the anti-wheat thing, right? Well, have you (or has anybody you've read) conducted any studies on traditional cultures eating REAL whole wheat bread in moderation? Probably not. All this anti-wheat stuff is always based on sedentary SAD-eaters gorging themselves like thousands upon thousands of industrial wheat products.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM

No idea whether it's worth a food group, but about the rest, couldn't you say the same thing about some random food like coconuts? Why does one need coconuts? I dunno. They taste good, are satiating, and whatever.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Significant gut pathology can actually make you very skinny. Look at celiacs. Many of them are thin as rails, but not healthy if they are constantly being grained.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:42 PM

@jamie: Can you point me to something explaining how to ferment the grains and prepare them properly?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:41 PM

@BAMBAM: Yes, and I think the first step in the solution is to cut out the junk food and allow traditional grains and legumes in moderation. If you get to that point (which few do), then maybe it's time to try some careful self-experimentation to figure out whether getting rid of the traditional grains or legumes would be an optimization over-top you're already sturdy health. Just keep in mind that that 75% grain-based diet is almost 100% industrial crap and almost 0% traditional grains prepared traditionally (as jamie pointed out).

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Others (like many here!) eat red meat many times a week and don't have cancer or whatever. But just because they haven't suffered ill effects YET doesn't mean they won't!!!111 See why these claims aren't falsifiable?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:35 PM

It's possible the microbiology of brown rice is more compatible with the human body and the different species of bacteria that we host. Other grains like wheat - not so much. But why does one need brown rice? What nutritional value does insoluble fiber hold? Is it worth a food group?

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I think it is more about grain toxicity. White rice and buckwheat have almost no toxins, when cooked. Plus, the people around the world who do consume grains, traditionally, would ferment them and it takes a lot of time to properly prepare those grains. As a Weston Price advocate, and former all types of grain consumer, I can attest to that.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay (supposedly as an insult). It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so they can't lose.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay (supposedly as an insult). It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so you can't lose.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay. It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so you can't lose.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I wasn't implying that because I really don't know. I'm personally nowhere near a place where I want to experiment with that. What I was trying to say is that simply telling people that grains have destroyed our health while pointing at an obese person is not very convincing. There's a whole lot more to the story.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:28 PM

You said that the bad effects of grains manifest in different forms in different individuals. I was exaggerating, but I'm essentially asking why you're so sure that somebody eating grains (such as brown rice for example) is gonna have any bad effects at all. You acted like eating grains simply results in terrible disorders no matter what. So when's the last time you saw somebody experience one of those terrible effects from eating too much brown rice?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Isn't it possible that although they don't acquire those symptoms their intake of grain manifests in other ways? Didn't you know that the US diet is 75% grain-based? Didn't you know that we are stuck in an epidemic of obesity here? How much of the diet in 3rd world agrarian societies is grain-based?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Agreed! Thin does not automatically equal healthy.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Where did I say that?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:17 PM

When's the last time you saw somebody experience acute hostility from eating too much brown rice?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Aren't there plenty of grain-eating people in third-world places who don't get Crohns, IBS, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, etc?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:09 PM

@lunabelle: Doesn't that imply that you could safely return to grains after recovering from the SAD?

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:06 PM

+1 they may be thin, but are they healthy?

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I think this is where people balk at the idea of eliminating grains entirely from their diet. We haven't been eating grains for only 40 years, we've been eating them for thousands. But in the last 40 years, industrial strength processed food and oils, HFCS, a other chemicals and byproducts have entered our diet. What I think people need help grasping (not you, I mean people who continually make this argument in defense of grains) is that those non-foods have made many of us hypersensitive to gains and in order to undo that damage, they need to be eliminated.

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19 Answers

16
F3176aa8463fe7f416f4da0d04974c1d

(1392)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Just because people are thin does not mean that they are healthy!

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:06 PM

+1 they may be thin, but are they healthy?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM

Significant gut pathology can actually make you very skinny. Look at celiacs. Many of them are thin as rails, but not healthy if they are constantly being grained.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:06 PM

When I use the term Peoples with a capital, I refer to a nation, for example, south Asians who have grain-based diets, vegetables and very little meat.

425aa4bfb79556ed50ea693c3edd7e13

(609)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:48 PM

True. Apply that logic to some of the people who are popular in the paleo world while you're at it (charismatic good looking personal trainers, for example).

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Agreed! Thin does not automatically equal healthy.

14
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Yeah, there are plenty of people who eat mostly grains but are nevertheless perfectly slim and healthy. In fact, I was one of those people a long time ago. There's a mountain of common-sense counter-evidence against the claim that eating a lot of grain necessarily makes you fat. That's what those people are bringing up.

So what's the problem? You tell them that grains are fattening because they promote fat storage or whatever? And then they counter that they know plenty of people who are slim and healthy "despite" eating a lot of grain? Well, they have a point I guess.

Or do they? For somebody overweight or obese, making a no-grains rule and slimming down as a result is a completely different animal than somebody already slim and healthy making that rule. The no-grains rule doesn't necessarily apply to somebody who's clearly doing fine on grains... that is if we're only talking about losing weight. If you don't need to lose weight, of course you don't need any rules for doing so.

You say to your overweight friend, "Hey, why not quit grains and see whether you lose weight?" And then they respond, "But but BUT... there are plenty of grain-eaters who are healthy and slim!" Well, who cares? Yes, there are plenty of grain-eaters like that, BUT THEY AREN'T ONE OF THEM! It's not a hard-and-fast rule that eating grains makes you fat, and I don't think anybody suggested that anyway. All we know is that that rule has been extremely helpful for losing weight for many people.

Either way, I wouldn't be surprised if the no-grain rule only works by accident. If you advise somebody fat to stop eating grains, there are thousands upon thousands of crap products that are now off-limits. Most processed food includes grains in at least some sort of form. And the worst industrial imitations do too: Industrial pastries, cake, pie, pizza, etc. Quitting grains means eating less processed food and more meat, fish, dairy, veggies, fruit, etc. No wonder it works!

This is the same reason why the raw food diet works wonders for many people. If you make it a rule to never eat anything cooked, what junk food or industrial whatever do you have left on the menu? Nothing really. All you got is fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. Somebody switching from the SAD to that is gonna make a miraculous transition, even if it might be very suboptimal in comparison to a paleo or traditional eating routine.

See what I'm saying? Stare those people in the face and ask whether they're preparing traditional rice, pasta, bread, or whatever from scratch and along with other traditional ingredients, or if their grain-happy diet is a mix of bread from some grocery store, cake on their friends' and family's birthday parties, pizza from the local food court, pastries in individual plastic wraps from the local convenience store, etc. Maybe... just MAYBE... the people who do well on grains are those who eat REAL grains, avoid the junk food to a greater extent than normal people, and perhaps exercise every once in a while.

But then you would have to change your whole argument, wouldn't you? Why exactly put so much faith in this grain-are-evil philosophy anyway, if it seems like some random dude you know is poking holes in it in a casual bar-room conversation? The fact is this there are plenty of people who do fine on grains, but those are the people who eat REAL bread, REAL rice, REAL pasta, etc... not the people who stuff their faces with individually-wrapped pastries and fake-tasting cake.

If this rule really does work by accident in that way, that explains why the no-grains rule works so beautifully for fat people even though you can easily point to many people who do fine on grains and aren't fat or anything. The ones who are doing badly are the ones who need to stop eating all that industrial crap, which the no-grains rule usually takes out with a glancing shot. And those who are already doing well even though they eat grains already avoid that industrial crap pretty well. Get a SAD-eater to go raw, and there will be a revolution. Get me to do the same, and I'll do worse.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:22 PM

For got to mention....Peoples= e.g. South Asian societies

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Thank you,anonymous coward, for the above. You've provided a lot to think about and you're right. The "Peoples" with a capital P that my friend spoke about do eat closer to the natural state and move around a lot more.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 15, 2011
at 07:17 PM

A really excellent answer from you AC. +1 well deserved here.

12
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 24, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Just look at the people that you see when you walk around. They aren't slim.

It really strikes me when I am just a the store or the mall or something. People are fat. Nearly everyone I see is carrying easily an extra 10-20 pounds.

Watch an old movie like Jaws which was filmed in 1975. People aren't fat. That movie was filmed over a long period of time and the people on the beach in those scenes were random locals who were extras. There are a couple of overweight people but almost all of them are slim and a lot more fit-looking.

Something really bad happened to public health over the past 40 years.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:00 AM

I think modern grains are not the same as the grains that were grown 40 years ago. I think with all of the pesticides used and genetically modifying plants etc. They've made them into something else entirely.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I think this is where people balk at the idea of eliminating grains entirely from their diet. We haven't been eating grains for only 40 years, we've been eating them for thousands. But in the last 40 years, industrial strength processed food and oils, HFCS, a other chemicals and byproducts have entered our diet. What I think people need help grasping (not you, I mean people who continually make this argument in defense of grains) is that those non-foods have made many of us hypersensitive to gains and in order to undo that damage, they need to be eliminated.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:09 PM

@lunabelle: Doesn't that imply that you could safely return to grains after recovering from the SAD?

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:12 PM

I work with organic producers in my region a lot and have learned much. The last comment by "hcantrall" is very true. Post WW2, the chemical giants that made huge profits as part of the 'war machine' had nowhere to sell herbicides, etc. so in order to keep the 'machine' alive in peace time, they began a war on other life forms, ultimately us as consumers.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I wasn't implying that because I really don't know. I'm personally nowhere near a place where I want to experiment with that. What I was trying to say is that simply telling people that grains have destroyed our health while pointing at an obese person is not very convincing. There's a whole lot more to the story.

4
0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:45 PM

It's not their size that matters. It's health and longevity. If they are eating toxic grains, such as gluten, they are slowly poisoning themselves. It won't show up in a lab test as grain toxicity. But, it will show up as Crohns, IBS, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, thyroid problems, cancer, heart problems, etc. Just ask me. I lost my mother in February at age 58. She was as thin as a rail her entire life, her diet was very grain and sugar heavy, though. Too many people are attracted to the physical aspects, when we should be concerned with the internal and our health.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I think it is more about grain toxicity. White rice and buckwheat have almost no toxins, when cooked. Plus, the people around the world who do consume grains, traditionally, would ferment them and it takes a lot of time to properly prepare those grains. As a Weston Price advocate, and former all types of grain consumer, I can attest to that.

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd

(2283)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:46 PM

The best book is Nourishing Traditions. After that, I love my Wild Fermentation book by Sandor Katz. You can request his friendship on FB, too and keep up with more fermenting stuff :) As far as underdiagnosis in Africa and other 3rd world countries, that is quite possibly true. There was a post by Melissa at Hunt Gather Love about that, but I can't locate it.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Isn't it possible that although they don't acquire those symptoms their intake of grain manifests in other ways? Didn't you know that the US diet is 75% grain-based? Didn't you know that we are stuck in an epidemic of obesity here? How much of the diet in 3rd world agrarian societies is grain-based?

3a512dd276965608b7a7f42df935375b

(70)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:02 PM

@anonymous: nourishing traditions by sally fallon has a lot of info on fermenting grains. Also I would add that I think in a lot of 3rd world countries the diet is probably up wards of 75% grains think africa. I also think that things like crohns,IBS, vitamin mineral malabsorption. Could be under diagnosed. I had IBS issues for years but didn't think they where abnormal. If I was starving/living in filth. I don't think diarrhea and gas would be a top priority or unusual not matter what my diet was.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:42 PM

@jamie: Can you point me to something explaining how to ferment the grains and prepare them properly?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:10 PM

Aren't there plenty of grain-eating people in third-world places who don't get Crohns, IBS, vitamin and mineral malabsorption, etc?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:41 PM

@BAMBAM: Yes, and I think the first step in the solution is to cut out the junk food and allow traditional grains and legumes in moderation. If you get to that point (which few do), then maybe it's time to try some careful self-experimentation to figure out whether getting rid of the traditional grains or legumes would be an optimization over-top you're already sturdy health. Just keep in mind that that 75% grain-based diet is almost 100% industrial crap and almost 0% traditional grains prepared traditionally (as jamie pointed out).

3
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Gary Taubes likes to compare insulin insensitivity & obesity to lung cancer: only ten percent of smokers get it. Similarly, only a fraction of the population will become obese from eating grains. So, if you can do it, then that's great, but if you're already gaining unwanted weight, then that's the canary in the coal mine (a metaphor from chris kresser), and you should probably lay off of the grains. Also, since one's metabolism can break down slowly, those who seem able to tolerate grains now, might find that their tolerance attenuates over time.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:57 AM

AC - I would say show me the evidence. I can show you evidence that grains cause health problems.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:18 PM

I'd say that health is too complicated for only one thing to be the controlling variable--no matter how much, in your idea of logic, you want to make it so. If science could not control for multiple variables, we'd have a much poorer understanding of the world than we do.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

So again we make the claim unfalsifiable? You say grains are bad but they say they're doing fine, so you say "yeah, but just wait and see!!!" What if I came onto this forum and had the same attitude about red meat and how it supposedly causes cancer, heart disease, etc? What would you say?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:53 PM

So again we make the claim unfalsifiable. You say grains are bad but they say they're doing fine, so you say "yeah, but just wait and see!!!" What if I came onto this forum and had the same attitude about red meat and how it supposedly causes cancer, heart disease, etc? What would you say?

2
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:14 PM

We all have unique biochemistry and genotype so grain can manifest in different forms in different individuals. In some people, the symptoms/damage might appear as obesity, lethargy and depression. In others the symptoms might lead to acute anxiety, stress or hostility. The point is, grain/wheat creates an imbalance in all people that can manifest in different ways, at different times, in different people. The combination of environmental factors and foods that trigger autism in one family line might cause ADHD or celiac's disease in another.

Ask your friends to explain one reason why wheat is good for you?

The usual claim is because it is made of fiber and we need fiber to poop.

Not all fiber is alike.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water (water-soluble) and can be digested by 'good bacteria' in the colon and converted into essential vitamins like vitamin K. You get it from fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies also contain insoluble fiber - apple skins for instance.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve rather it soaks up water and can lead to constipation which can trigger inflammation/immune response and make you ill if consumed in excess. Wheat is 100% insoluble fiber.

The grain industry has established an entire food group based on fiber. Their claims about "fiber" in general are the driving force behind their marketing strategies. Why did they need to establish an entire food group based on something that we can easily obtain from the other food groups?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:44 PM

No idea whether it's worth a food group, but about the rest, couldn't you say the same thing about some random food like coconuts? Why does one need coconuts? I dunno. They taste good, are satiating, and whatever.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Also, you're pretty sure about the anti-wheat thing, right? Well, have you (or has anybody you've read) conducted any studies on traditional cultures eating REAL whole wheat bread in moderation? Probably not. All this anti-wheat stuff is always based on sedentary SAD-eaters gorging themselves like thousands upon thousands of different industrial wheat products.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:17 PM

When's the last time you saw somebody experience acute hostility from eating too much brown rice?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:45 PM

Also, you're pretty sure about the anti-wheat thing, right? Well, have you (or has anybody you've read) conducted any studies on traditional cultures eating REAL whole wheat bread in moderation? Probably not. All this anti-wheat stuff is always based on sedentary SAD-eaters gorging themselves like thousands upon thousands of industrial wheat products.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:19 PM

Where did I say that?

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:24 PM

No one is sure about the wheat thing (though I am sure that I get rashes when I eat wheat and I don't get rashes when I don't eat wheat) because the science isn't really in yet. The evidence is suggestive enough for me to say that eliminating gluten grains is probably a good idea for most people. We may know more in 20 years when more research has been done. In the meantime, I think getting rid of that stuff is a good idea for me and my family.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:35 PM

It's possible the microbiology of brown rice is more compatible with the human body and the different species of bacteria that we host. Other grains like wheat - not so much. But why does one need brown rice? What nutritional value does insoluble fiber hold? Is it worth a food group?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:28 PM

You said that the bad effects of grains manifest in different forms in different individuals. I was exaggerating, but I'm essentially asking why you're so sure that somebody eating grains (such as brown rice for example) is gonna have any bad effects at all. You acted like eating grains simply results in terrible disorders no matter what. So when's the last time you saw somebody experience one of those terrible effects from eating too much brown rice?

2
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on June 24, 2011
at 08:09 PM

Its true, some people eat grain and are skinny. Some people also smoke 2 packs a day and don't have cancer. Others drink a bottle of vodka and a 6-pack every night and still have a functioning liver. Just because they haven't suffered ill effects YET doesn't mean they wont. Some people just take a little longer to suffer from their poor lifestyle choices.

I'd tell your friend to follow those same people for a couple of years and see how they do. I bet they aren't so skinny at 30.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Sigh indeed!...

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Others (like many here!) eat red meat many times a week and don't have cancer or whatever. But just because they haven't suffered ill effects YET doesn't mean they won't!!!111 See why these claims aren't falsifiable?

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:20 PM

Sigh. That's why we go back to the science. The most credible evidence from many different sources doesn't support the hypothesis that eating red meat will kill you. That's why I eat it, not because it hasn't yet killed anyone on this forum.

1
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on July 17, 2013
at 03:02 AM

There are still a lot of long-lived populations who eat abundant grains. Just in the Blue Zone book, Ikaria, Okinawa, and the 7th Adventists. If your ancestral roots are in the Middle East, you have had twice as long to adapt to grains than if you were from, say, Finland. Yes, for me replacing those grains with various roots and animal fats works best, and no wheat, but just in my immediate family there was one daily pasta eater getting to 95, and another who was too poor to eat meat more than twice a year, getting to 94, and looking energetic until the end. In her case, grass fed eggs, grass fed milk, vegetables, wheat and corn (much more corn than wheat though) were the main staples for most of her life.

0
235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

on July 16, 2013
at 07:21 PM

I just found out that in 1980 there was only one state in the union where the population had a 10% obesity rate. Today 48 states carry at least 28% obesity rate... I have to agree with those who say fast foods and sedintary life-styles are what are responsible for that. Unfortunately for all you paleohacks it is not grains. For me that does not change my opinion on following a paleo plan and cutting out grains, it is a personal choice and yes it cuts out alot of that industrial crap, but then again I rarely ever ate fast food. But I did love my Martins Potato Bread and Pizza and Pasta. And now that I have been paleo for 10 weeks I dont even think about that stuff anymore. Ive said it all along though, paleo is a choice and trying to convince others to make the same choice can be futile. I think it is the healthier choice and it works for me, but if someone wants to disagree I just let them and dont try to convince them otherwise.

0
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 29, 2013
at 03:48 AM

You don't have to convince them that grains are fundamentally bad for humans. You just have to convince them that there's a substantial body of anecdotal evidence that grains are bad for some individual people, and that it's not too hard to quit eating them and find out if you're one of those people.

If they quit and feel better, then it doesn't matter what the weight of the evidence is. They know what works for them.

If they quit and don't feel any better, then it also doesn't matter what the evidence is. They need to keep searching and find something that works for them.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 29, 2013
at 02:07 AM

Have them watch this TED talk.
http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_attia_what_if_we_re_wrong_about_diabetes.html

He poses an interesting idea about how the body responds to hyperglycemia. It is perhaps the people who have bodies that channel the excess sugar into the safer storage place of fat cells, who are having the healthier response to protect their other tissues from excess sugar. If someone remains thin on a very high carbohydrate (grain based) diet there may be an increased risk for cancer in the thin person than the fat one.

0
Bbd349fe334481d99c091333b87cacb5

on June 29, 2013
at 12:41 AM

I have totally given up on trying to argue with people brainwashed by "conventional wisdom." When people try to tell me that being vegetarian is "healthy," I just nod and stay quiet, thinking "I could really go for some beef jerky." Just isn't worth it!

0
9f52f85c3964445d7b16c94a890f6136

on June 28, 2013
at 03:54 PM

Most of the world is too poor for meat, most of the world are thin. If you eat rice and 70-90% of your diet is carbohydrate you will be thin, you probably won't be all that healthy though. Healtheir than most Americans or Brits though because rice and veg is a million times better than burger and coke.

0
235e74b9adb57eff80592f064e1d298b

on June 28, 2013
at 03:35 PM

Do what you want to do!!!! If you want to eat Paleo by all means eat Paleo. If you want eat fast food, by all means eat fast food. Why do people argue all the time. I personally think Paleo is the way to go. I am a liitle confused on what the "real" Paleo consists of... Some say no Dairy, others say fermented dairy like cheese is ok. Some say no Potatoes but others say starchy tubers and sweet potatoes are ok and so on. My point is do what you want and stop arguing, why is it that some people can not leave well enough alone and feel it is their job to step in and tell people that they are crazy for doing what they want to do. If you dont agree with Paleo then dont do Paleo... I am having a hard time getting my head around brown rice being bad for you or potatoe bread for that matter(that was a joke, but I do miss my Martin's Bread) but I stay away from it because I choose to based on the Paleo principle. And in case some of you aren't paying attention the key phrase in that statement was "I choose to". Anonymouse Coward; you have obviously done your own homework and believe what you believe and to everyone who has responded; you too have done you own homework and believe what you believe. Lets just agree to not agree and move on.

I'm probably a little late in this discussion but I'm still relatively new to Paleo so Sorry!!

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 24, 2011
at 11:18 PM

"Show me their guts!"

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Yeah! I know my gut is thanking me! Thanks to all who have given me food for thought.

0
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:42 PM

If you're talking about chinese people eating rice and aren't fat. That's true but there also of very small stature and that's from undernourishment.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:42 PM

Well, there is one area of rural China that has people with advanced longevity.

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on June 24, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Even assuming the thin people she's referring to are perfectly healthy and will remain so their whole lives... it's irrelevant. You dropped grains from your diet, and you're feeling better. Isn't that more important than how other people's bodies react?

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:41 PM

I agree whole-heartedly. It is more important.

0
87cbeb8851fae508895ee8a6a939a299

on June 24, 2011
at 08:19 PM

I've run into plenty of slender, seemingly healthy people who eat grains, but who also have developed heart disease, IBS, Crohn's and psoriatic arthritis. Can't judge a book by its cover.

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:48 AM

I don't see why there's so much hostility to AC's comments in this thread. The poster is asking for help in composing a logical argument to counter a common observation. It's helpful for all of us if someone pokes holes in our arguments to show us what others less tolerant of Paleo will say.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay. It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so you can't lose.

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:26 PM

Of course lots of people tolerate grains OK. You are making up a straw man ("those idiot paleo folks claim that if you eat a bagel you will die") and then proving how stupid it is. Try arguing with the real people making real arguments on this forum and not the morons in your head.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay (supposedly as an insult). It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so they can't lose.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

Can anybody else see the trend in this thread? If readily independently verifiable information fails (e.g., rather than experiencing any negative effects, the grain-eater seems healthy, slim, strong, and happy), then switch to "they'll pay for it later!!!" Always works, right? It's like a 12 year old calling somebody gay (supposedly as an insult). It's not a falsifiable claim (because "but I have a girlfriend" or anything like that can be countered by "you're just in the closet"), so you can't lose.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on June 26, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I am reading all the comments with interest and I appreciate the effort and thought people have put into this. The juxtaposing of western industrialized grain-based food stuffs with those of more traditional societies is helpful. I still need to think carefully about the argument for vegan or vegetarian diets, since the friend also argues that they are best, regardless of the fact that her ancestry is one that included a lot of meat.

0
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:46 PM

Which peoples? If they're talking about people in developing nations, then sure. They can eat grains and be slim. But many of the people in these populations also work very laborious jobs for 10 hours per day so they're obviously burning it off. This does not mean that they are healthier for it, by any means.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:58 PM

So what would be the difference if they started eating paleo? Take a strong guy from an undeveloped (not necessarily DEVELOPING, many are going the opposite way actually) who seems healthy but eats tons of grains? You say he's trim and whatever because his 10-hour-per-day job burns it off for him, but he's not healthier for it. So what exactly would happen if he started eating more paleo and less grain-oriented that would constitute being healthier?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on June 24, 2011
at 08:59 PM

So what would be the difference if they started eating paleo? Take a strong guy from an undeveloped (not necessarily DEVELOPING, many are going the opposite way actually) who seems healthy but eats tons of grains. You say he stays trim and whatever only because his 10-hour-per-day job burns it off for him, but he's not healthier for it. So what exactly would happen if he started eating more paleo and less grain-oriented that would constitute being healthier? Would he get even stronger and trimmer? Or what?

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on June 24, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Humans can withstand a certain amount of negative health factors in their lives. Eating grains is one of them. Eating processed sugary food is another. Getting no exercise, staying indoors all day, sitting down all the time, and so on. If the only health-negative thing you did was eat hand-sprouted whole grains, you might never notice the difference if you stopped doing that. On the other hand, most people in industrial countries have so many negative health factors that eliminating toxic grains is a great first step toward health.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on June 27, 2011
at 03:35 PM

In response to anonymous coward... My point is that someone who is working 10 hours in a laborious job is slim DESPITE their diet. The diet is just sustaining their activity. Also, let's also assume these people aren't taking in loads of HFCS and other processed sugar. If grains are the only flaw in their diet, they're going to be loads healthier than your typical person on the SAD diet. And to answer your question: You're asking whether or not someone would get healthier by eating a healthier diet? The answer is yes :-)

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