4

votes

Does tolerability = longevity?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 04, 2011 at 9:17 PM

I'm seeing a lot of advocating for "eliminate, then reintroduce" science in the paleosphere lately. While I think that it is a good approach for determining what foods a person has a sensitivity too, I think it is a terrible method for finding the best nutrition for longevity.

I can tolerate almost any food in moderation fine, and if I keep a decent amount of variability, I can eat bad foods regularly without any real "symptoms." Does this mean I should eat as much bread, ice cream, and twinkies as I can tolerate? I don't think so.

It's cool that people like KGH, Guyenet, Robb Wolf, and others are advocating more safe starches and the like than before with the whole "test for toleration" caveat -- but what evidence do we have that any of these foods are going to increase longevity?

EDIT: First of all, I wasn't denying that some populations who eat certain foods (e.g. starches, dairy, or even grains) live much longer than others. Pointing this out does not prove that we should eat how they did/do. Many other variables could have more of an effect on longevity than humans.

It appears I stepped on some toes, when I included my thoughts on the subject. I deleted them because people aren't really answering my question. My bad; I'm guessing I didn't elaborate enough. Here goes again: What evidence do we have to support the idea that foods we can tolerate, should be included in our diets for long term health? Dairy, legumes, and "safe starches" all come to mind here. I am asking for data from clinical trials -- not observational studies. Sorry for the confusion.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 04:43 AM

Cliff, I'm sure others value your comments -- I don't. You're not helping at all.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Ah, but wouldn't that be "costly"? Why do you support making fat from carbs, but not glucose from protein? That's inconsistent.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Why do you support making fat from carbs, but not making glucose from protein?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:03 AM

was it made from carbs............

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:48 AM

But we are *made* of animal fat...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:15 AM

optimal foraging theory is seriously flawed, taubes has been debunked. Evolution favors whatever we need, it has no bias for animal fats...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:13 AM

lucas tafurs essay is theorycraft who knows what actually happens in the body. I don't think you get travis point tho, your body will make glucose from whatever you give it because it is so important.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Wait. Why is it costly to run on fat? In Lucas Tafur's Bioenergetics essay (http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/05/bioenergetics_08.html), he shows (I think -- I don't have the background to follow it very well) that ketones are a more efficient and "cleaner" fuel. So you can't just compare them as if they rendered fuel equivalently.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 12:24 AM

Hm, good point Travis. Your observation seems to contradict what we'd expect if we accept Optimal Foraging Theory as true, though. I'm not sure how those two ideas align. On one hand it is metabolically costly to run on fats -- on the other hand it would seem that evolution would favor animal fat as the primary source of fuel, given that it is typically the most energy-efficient source of calories. What are your thoughts on this? Also where does this all fit in with Taubes and others' work which seems to point to CHO as a dominant factor in disease and ill-health?

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Hm, good point Travis. Your observation seems to contradict what we'd expect if we accept Optimal Foraging Theory as true, though. I'm not sure how those to ideas align. On one hand it is metabolically costly to run on fats -- on the other hand it would seem that evolution would favor animal fat as the primary source of fuel, given that it is typically the most energy-efficient source of calories. What are your thoughts on this? Also where does this all fit in with Taubes and others' work which seems to point to CHO as a dominant factor in disease and ill-health.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 11:33 PM

I must have hit the strawman gold mine. Please stop mischaracterizing what I've said, Cliff.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 04, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Run on animals as fuel? The fat and protein from these animals has to be coverted by the liver into usable substances (ketone bodies and glucose, respectively) for the central nervous system (glucose only for red blood cells). Wouldn't the fact that these processes are metabolically costly tell you that evolution would have favored a more efficient, unmediated way of eating?

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Agreed, Ambimorph. I would never suggest anyone manipulate there diets based on whim. Thing's are only healthy if they are shown by science to be so.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:59 PM

What does tolerate mean? humans are omnivores, we aren't cats. Your argument reminds me of the vegans.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 10:55 PM

I have no burden of proof. I made no factual claims -- just mere speculation. I'm sorry that you took it that way.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 10:41 PM

Who said it was?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Youre trippin...

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Agreed, dean. And Cliff, I wasn't particularly asking about "my philosophy" as you characterize it, nor am I claiming "yours" is wrong. I could care less who the burden of proof is on. Humans, at face value, seem to be designed to run on animals as their primary source of fuel. It seems basic to me. If not for you fine -- but it's not "my" philosophy any more than 2+2=4 is mine. I call it as I see it, from what I've read and seen.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:18 PM

The fact is no low carb long lived culture, spin it anyway you want.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:15 PM

There can't be any comparable evidence when there are no low carb cultures that weren't exposed to neolithic foods but have modern medicine, hygiene etc. A different approach is required.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:14 PM

There can't be any comparable evidence when there are no low carb cultures that weren't exposed to neolithic foods but have modern medicine and life standards. A different approach is required.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 04, 2011
at 09:35 PM

The longest lived peoples in the world eat high carb diets. Why is the burden of proof on the starch advocates?

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 09:20 PM

In my mind, it seems like we need to do controlled randomized trials comparing a carnivorous diet to different variations of omnivorous ones to see what, if anything, increases longevity. Personally, I have a hunch that some kind of diet consisting of only foods from the animal kingdom would turn out to be optimal. So much of what we do with adding veggies, fermented foods, and other food compounds seems to be trying to compensate for the fact that we add all of this stuff in the first place.

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2 Answers

5
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:11 PM

I'm of two minds about eating to tolerance.

I think it's a good point that just because eating some food doesn't manifest in immediate bad symptoms is not evidence that it is safe. If you'll forgive my imprecision (I can't cross-check right now), I think that Taubes showed a few examples of non-Western peoples moving to a Western place and it taking 10 years for the diseases of civilization to show up. I don't want to find out 10 years down the road that my food choices have been hurting me.

Nonetheless, there are advantages to eating as widely as possible within your tolerances, including covering nutritional bases that may or may not be well understood. Many important symptoms will appear virtually immediately, at least in some people, and that's probably the best metric we have right now.

I'm all for eating mostly animal, as it's helped me in an acute way. And there are certain substances that seem to have enough evidence against them that I wouldn't want to try to tolerate them, such as wheat. But I don't feel it makes much sense to restrict something whose effect on you can't be measured, just because it isn't an animal product; there simply isn't a compelling enough reason a priori to do so.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 11:10 PM

Agreed, Ambimorph. I would never suggest anyone manipulate there diets based on whim. Thing's are only healthy if they are shown by science to be so.

-1
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Wheres the evidence of any long lived low carb cultures? Okiniwans, hunza, goergians, sardinians and 7th day adventist all eat relatively high carb. Like melissa says the burden of proof is on you, we already have tons of evidence that starches possibly increase longevity or at the very least they are neutral.

Your paleo philosphy doesn't hold up in real life examples.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 01:15 AM

Wait. Why is it costly to run on fat? In Lucas Tafur's Bioenergetics essay (http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/05/bioenergetics_08.html), he shows (I think -- I don't have the background to follow it very well) that ketones are a more efficient and "cleaner" fuel. So you can't just compare them as if they rendered fuel equivalently.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Why do you support making fat from carbs, but not making glucose from protein?

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 12:24 AM

Hm, good point Travis. Your observation seems to contradict what we'd expect if we accept Optimal Foraging Theory as true, though. I'm not sure how those two ideas align. On one hand it is metabolically costly to run on fats -- on the other hand it would seem that evolution would favor animal fat as the primary source of fuel, given that it is typically the most energy-efficient source of calories. What are your thoughts on this? Also where does this all fit in with Taubes and others' work which seems to point to CHO as a dominant factor in disease and ill-health?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:48 AM

But we are *made* of animal fat...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Ah, but wouldn't that be "costly"? Why do you support making fat from carbs, but not glucose from protein? That's inconsistent.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:14 PM

There can't be any comparable evidence when there are no low carb cultures that weren't exposed to neolithic foods but have modern medicine and life standards. A different approach is required.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:18 PM

The fact is no low carb long lived culture, spin it anyway you want.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Agreed, dean. And Cliff, I wasn't particularly asking about "my philosophy" as you characterize it, nor am I claiming "yours" is wrong. I could care less who the burden of proof is on. Humans, at face value, seem to be designed to run on animals as their primary source of fuel. It seems basic to me. If not for you fine -- but it's not "my" philosophy any more than 2+2=4 is mine. I call it as I see it, from what I've read and seen.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on October 04, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Run on animals as fuel? The fat and protein from these animals has to be coverted by the liver into usable substances (ketone bodies and glucose, respectively) for the central nervous system (glucose only for red blood cells). Wouldn't the fact that these processes are metabolically costly tell you that evolution would have favored a more efficient, unmediated way of eating?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:36 PM

Youre trippin...

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137

(1520)

on October 04, 2011
at 10:15 PM

There can't be any comparable evidence when there are no low carb cultures that weren't exposed to neolithic foods but have modern medicine, hygiene etc. A different approach is required.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 04, 2011
at 10:55 PM

I have no burden of proof. I made no factual claims -- just mere speculation. I'm sorry that you took it that way.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:15 AM

optimal foraging theory is seriously flawed, taubes has been debunked. Evolution favors whatever we need, it has no bias for animal fats...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 02:13 AM

lucas tafurs essay is theorycraft who knows what actually happens in the body. I don't think you get travis point tho, your body will make glucose from whatever you give it because it is so important.

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Hm, good point Travis. Your observation seems to contradict what we'd expect if we accept Optimal Foraging Theory as true, though. I'm not sure how those to ideas align. On one hand it is metabolically costly to run on fats -- on the other hand it would seem that evolution would favor animal fat as the primary source of fuel, given that it is typically the most energy-efficient source of calories. What are your thoughts on this? Also where does this all fit in with Taubes and others' work which seems to point to CHO as a dominant factor in disease and ill-health.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 05, 2011
at 03:03 AM

was it made from carbs............

4b8bf8683630d2acfb13303e5f311e71

on October 05, 2011
at 04:43 AM

Cliff, I'm sure others value your comments -- I don't. You're not helping at all.

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