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Starch necessary for optimal health?

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  • Starch necessary for optimal health?

    Have any reasons for or against this statement? A lot of paleo people lately have been telling me that starch is just an absolutely necessary ingredient in a healthy diet.
    Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

  • #2
    For me, yes. I like to be fit and active for optimal health. I couldn't achieve this without starch.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    • #3
      same for me, i just feel better and have more energy if i eat root vegetables, sweet potatoes or even a bit of rice... but i always need lots of fat with them.

      7/14: 156 lbs.
      weight in's:

      7/17: 153.5 lbs.
      7/18: 152.5 lbs.

      goalweight: 130 lbs.

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      • #4
        I looove my sweet potatoes, but I'm cutting them out for a bit to see if it improves my results, as I seem to be gaining since eating one every day. Negative changes both on the scale and the way my pants fit (or don't fit, that is).

        Not much working out at the moment, but it has been my only source of carbs, so I'll be rotating in some greens instead.

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        • #5
          There are no essential nutrients in starchy foods that cannot be found elsewhere. That doesn't preclude starchy foods having other benefits for your health.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            I think it is all about your activity levels - adjust as necessary. There are better sources of nutrition so can you do without them yes, but it depends on your your needs. I am close to my weight goals so trying to up my carb intake closer to 150g which means I need to add sweet potatoes because I will not get there eating veg alone. Having said that I did a two hour walk with 30lbs on my back then climbed for 2 hours in the evening with no starch in me at all just my reg primal diet.
            Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
            PS
            Don't forget to play!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
              For me, yes. I like to be fit and active for optimal health. I couldn't achieve this without starch.
              But what would you say is your carb count per day?
              Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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              • #8
                People keep forgetting that for example apples (the flesh) is starch, too.
                The digestion that begins in the mouth via saliva starts with an enzyme that breaks down starches.
                I believe starches, may it be a sweet potato or the flesh of an apple, are needed for optimal health.

                Personally, I don't do potatoes....my starches come from apples, occassional banana and squash/pumpkin/heirloom types.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                  But what would you say is your carb count per day?
                  I'm not strictly counting. I'm eating 150-180 g carb most days, from white rice, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and lower carb vegetables mostly. The occasional white potato. I'm averaging approx 2500 calories a day.

                  I eat low sugar, low fructose, apart from a bit of honey or very dark choc now and again.
                  Last edited by paleo-bunny; 02-23-2012, 09:46 AM. Reason: typo
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                    I'm not strictly counting. I'm eating 150-180 g carb most days, from white rice, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and lower carb vegetables mostly. The occasional white potato. I'm averaging approx 2500 calories a day.

                    I eat low sugar, low fructose, apart from a bit of honey or very dark choc now and again.
                    And you don't feel that will eventually lead to any insulin resistance? Not challenging you, just asking...
                    Fighting Primal - A Savage Performance and Recovery Blog for Primal Combat Athletes

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                    • #11
                      Not daily, no. But probably once or twice a week if you are doing the heavy lifting and sprinting.
                      Crohn's, doing SCD

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                      • #12
                        I'm probably the only person on these forums whose health and metabolism actually got worse from trying low carb. Granted, I am at a healthy weight range but have very high body fat. I tried dropping my carbs to 50-100g and on some days I went below 50g. I am not a very active person either, but did add a little bit of exercise. I am not diabetic and have never been at any risk of being diabetic and neither does diabetes of any kind run in my family. My last physical and blood tests showed me to be in great health with good thyroid function.

                        After three weeks of low carb and no starches at all, my metabolism got really screwed up. I had major hunger pangs and uncontrollable sugar cravings. It's been two months since then but my body is still recovering from the shock of too little glucose in my blood. I had never had problems fasting or going on prolonged hours without eating ever in my life before, but now I can't even go for a slow walk without eating something first or else I will start to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia- dizziness, nausea, cold sweats, heart palpitations, faintness, black-outs. Once I almost fainted but as soon as I ate some candy, I felt much better. I have never, ever experienced this before I tried going low carb. I don't think I am actually hypoglycemic, but I have been experiencing similar symptoms ever since.

                        I've been tracking my carb intake and find on sedentary days, I am okay with 100g carbs without having black-outs but those carbs need to come from starch and not fruits. On days I exercise, I need at least 200g or I am sick for two days afterwards. I also really need to eat regularly now whereas before I had no problem fasting or eating sporadically.

                        Just my experience. I'm sure most people are not as extreme.
                        Last edited by Fiji; 02-23-2012, 12:44 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Issabeau View Post
                          People keep forgetting that for example apples (the flesh) is starch, too.
                          The digestion that begins in the mouth via saliva starts with an enzyme that breaks down starches.
                          I believe starches, may it be a sweet potato or the flesh of an apple, are needed for optimal health.

                          Personally, I don't do potatoes....my starches come from apples, occassional banana and squash/pumpkin/heirloom types.
                          Just curious - do you avoid potatoes because you don't like them, or is it due to other reasons?
                          LastBottleWines

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                          • #14
                            kevin, you may want to give paul jaminet's blog a read. in fact, you should, since his conception of a healthy paleo diet speaks directly to your questions. i've read your comments on nikoley's blog, and i don't understand why you seem resistant to checking out what paul's written. you don't have to agree, but he's done a lot of writing that would at least be of interest.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kevingeary View Post
                              Have any reasons for or against this statement? A lot of paleo people lately have been telling me that starch is just an absolutely necessary ingredient in a healthy diet.
                              Fatty Acid Oxidation
                              The oxidation of fatty acids yields significantly more energy per carbon atom than does the oxidation of carbohydrates. The net result of the oxidation of one mole of oleic acid (an 18-carbon fatty acid) will be 146 moles of ATP (2 mole equivalents are used during the activation of the fatty acid), as compared with 114 moles from an equivalent number of glucose carbon atoms.
                              Not only does fat produce more ATP, it also produces ketone bodies which can be used by the brain and heart as fuel. Is starch as versatile a fuel as fat?

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