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  • Paleo & Rice

    Simple question, if the main point of the Paleo diet is to lose weight and become more lean, how to explain the fact that people in Asia (1/2 the world) eat an average of 1lb of rice a day and do not have the weight problems we do in the West. As you know, rice is a big no no in the Paleo Diet. Yes, I know, obesity is increasing over there, but rice consumption is staying the same. What is increasing is sugar, oil, and dairy consumption (associated with a more western diet).

    Does anyone have an explanation for this?
    Last edited by brianpressman; 09-09-2010, 12:05 PM.

  • #2
    There was a thread on this less than a month ago, but dont have the link handy. Try using Google to search amd find it. It was a pretty thorough discussion!

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    • #3
      Yes, lots of people have an explanation for this. Run a quick forum search. It's a topic that's been hashed out VERY thoroughly, most recently in response to some overenthusiastic forum trolls.

      To sum up, people actually living in Asia have a very different lifestyle in terms of their activity levels and overall food intake compared to here. They're also eating rice in combination with meats/fats that blunt the insulin impact of all that carbohydrate. So there's a lot more to it than just "rice or not?"

      Same thing with Italy -- people assume they're eating giant plates of pasta, but the average Italian doesn't. Pasta is more of a small side dish there, a handful with a meal. And they walk _everywhere_.
      "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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      • #4
        The main goal is to become healthy, and you will likely become leaner as a consequence of that. Starch doesn't necessarily make people fat if they have properly functioning livers and insulin receptors, and it is the omega 6 fats, sugar and gluten grains that tend to do it, not necessarily carbs. But they aren't healthy. They have plenty of diseases and they get old and wither and die before they're 80 years old despite eating no processed food at all. Brown rice has damaging lectins and poor nutrition and white rice has less damaging stuff but still no real nutrition. Perhaps they're suffering from zinc deficiency and can't gain weight. Bottom line is that rice isn't a good food to eat, even if it doesn't necessarily cause imminent death and doom.
        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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        • #5
          first, i don't believe the point of the paleo or primal diet is to lose weight. for the PB, it's about optimum health and gene expression. plus, rice (wild rice) isn't exactly horrible. but, i think while talking about the southeastern asian culture (i could be off, but i don't think they're downing a pound of rice a day and staying very thin in russia) you've got to take all things into account. how much are they eating? what else are they eating? are they legitimately healthy, or just thin? am i stereotyping at all? it's never going to be about one thing, and one thing only. how much and how healthy are the big questions. you can stay thin eating nothing but ice cream sundaes if you eat small enough amounts, but you damn sure won't be healthy.

          better to stick with what has helped humans survive for a few million years.
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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          • #6
            The 'point' of the paleo diet is not to lose weight/become more lean in general. IMO 'the point' is to follow a diet that our bodies have evolved (over at least a hundred thousand years--most likely more) to *thrive* on for the best possible gene expression (including the best possible health), and weight loss/leaning out tends to be a side effect of eating in this manner. Some of us come to this kind of diet to lose weight, but there are certainly MANY ways to lose weight--some of which include eating rice. If one can really stick to a low fat, high carb diet with restricted calories, he/she may lose weight, or other calorie restricting diets. Weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Big Fat Loser etc, all of those are methods of losing weight that can work for *some* (maybe only in the short term for many though). Obviously eating paleo or primal is not the only way to lose weight or avoid obesity. Rice is just *not* a paleo/primal food.

            I'm not going to get into the Asia vs. Westerners issue--I'm sure others will have more to share. But just wanted to mention that I've not read anyone here say that 'eating rice makes you fat'. It is not a paleo or primal food, as it is a grain, and contains antinutrients, phytates, lectins and a high carb count (high carb counts *can* lend towards weight gain at a certain amount, which primal folks tend to be aware of). There are some folks here who do carb refeeds using starchy carbs like rice and potatoes. (Not exactly 'primal', but it that works for *them*.) If eating rice works for you, eat up! It's just not 'primal' to do so.
            My Before/After Pics
            Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

            "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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            • #7
              ...because if they didn't they would go hungry.

              It's a matter of overnutrition not if rice is good or bad or "primal".

              Why eat rice as an empty carb source when we have a much better selection to choose from?

              This is a classic Straw Man arguement.

              Not too mention both India and China have higher rates of Type II diabetes than the the US.
              Don't be a paleotard...

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...oxidation.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...torage-qa.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...rn-fat-qa.html

              http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nut...-you-need.html

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              • #8
                You guys got it covered! Personally I think of rice as the "least bad" grain and I eat some white rice once in a while with Asian food. To say that "Asians are healthy" is to admit you've never been there.
                The "point" of Paleo is not to lose weight though - that is a basic misunderstanding. The point is to bring your body into its healthiest state. For most Americans, that healthy state involves a lot less fat, usually.
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                • #9
                  Actually, I didn't say Asian's are more healthy. I said they have less obesity. This is a fact. They also have less things like diabetes but this is changing for the worse. I actually did look up the stats for diabetes. http://www.allcountries.org/ranks/di...try_ranks.html Maybe it is a wrong. Anyways, China is 4.5% while the US is around 13. Maybe i'm looking at the wrong stats or Mr. Chima is talking about total cases as opposed to % of population.

                  I could have also pointed out that the Japanese people have the highest life expectancy and don't eat a paleo diet. I would assume life expectancy is a pretty good measure of health, but that wasn't my point.

                  I choose rice and asia because I lived there for many years (and speak 2 aisan languages to boot) and noticed that the Paleo Diet didn't make sense to me as a diet by itself just looking at how those guys ate. Of course changing your diet for the better has lots of benefits. I haven't taken a survey (im sure someone has) but im pretty sure if you asked your average Joe on the street about a diet (as in changing your food intake) more often then not they'd probably tell you the point is to lose weight. Isn't that why weight watchers is called weight watchers? But yeah, of course there are things like cholesterol and blood sugar we all want to change for the better.

                  I had never heard of a paleo diet until I joined a crossfit and took part in one of the 1 month challenges. Our coach took our picture before/after and the winner of the contest was the one who appeared to lean out the most. Blood work was not drawn nor were personal feelings taken into account. I think everyone makes a good point that the idea of the diet is not just to lose weight. I think the problem might be how the diet is being advertised at Crossfits. Eat lean meat, nuts, veges, fruit, no beans, no rice/pasta/bread, salt.. etc and you body will tend to revert back to a proper weight. You'll also feel better and have more energy for workouts. Anyways, it didn't make sense to me, since again, because all those guys in asia eat lots of rice and they are not fat.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jqbancroft View Post
                    There was a thread on this less than a month ago, but dont have the link handy. Try using Google to search amd find it. It was a pretty thorough discussion!
                    Was it this thread?
                    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...-a-lot-of-rice

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                    • #11
                      Paleo / primal is not a "diet" in the sense of "do this for two months to get skinny".

                      AT ALL. It is a whole set of beliefs (backed by a ton of research) about what is or is not healthy for people to eat for their lives, of which people figure out for themselves how they best fit into their lives.

                      And anyhow, the goal is never "let's not be obese like most Asians" but "let's reach our max health potential" which Asians are not doing either. Japanese do live a long time. Their diet is high carb but much closer to paleo than most Americans.
                      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                      • #12
                        An important thing to consider is that traditional asian diets contains far more seafood (omega-3 and trace minerals like iodine), far less sugar and far less wheat than most of the populations people typically compare them to.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marisa View Post
                          Hai, so des.

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                          • #14
                            If the Japanese live the longest, why isn't their diet the holy grail? After all, how can one argue that life expectancy is anything but the best indicator of overall health? Unless of course you factor in health care spending, but then again, America shows that is meaningless. Anyways, why do we need a paleo diet? We should just adopt theirs.

                            And I guess their diet is closer to the paleo diet than an american one just because they don't overload on anyone thing. On the other hand, they eat 50 kgs of rice, 40 kgs of dairy, and God knows how many bowls of ramen noodles each year... all cardinal sins in the paleo diet.

                            I guess the conclusion seems to be that one can eat a paleo low carb high protein diet and be perfectly healthy. One can also eat a high carb low protein diet and be perfectly healthy. What is missing from each? Sugar maybe?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by brianpressman View Post
                              Anyways, why do we need a paleo diet? We should just adopt theirs.
                              *You* can go ahead and do just that! 'We' don't 'need' any thing. Following a paleo or primal way of eating is a *choice* that works for most of the regular posters here. Your diet is your choice. If you feel that kind of diet will work best for you, go ahead and eat in that manner. We are all unique, and there is not one single path to health that must work for all. Do what works for you. If eating loads of rice and seafood feels great to you, go for it. There is no primal agenda, no*one suggesting 'all must eat primally'! Its an option available that makes sense from both a scientific and evolutionary perspective, esp if one's focus is health, which is a major reason many of us here choose it. But what you eat is 100% up to *you*.
                              Last edited by FairyRae; 09-10-2010, 04:29 AM.
                              My Before/After Pics
                              Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                              "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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