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What's Your Starch?

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  • What's Your Starch?

    Hey everyone,

    Normally I do not talk much about my (paleo) diet to people I run into. But the other day I had mentioned my diet to a vegetarian and the first thing out of their mouth was "What's your starch?". I was wondering how you all would handle this question?

    All I said was that I get everything I need from meat, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, nuts and seeds. And I don't need anything more.

    But what would your response be?

  • #2
    Your response is fine. What I say would probably depend on my relationship with the vegetarian. If they were "cool" I may just quip back "so where do you get your protein?" If someone was teetering on the edge of converting, but fearful of cutting out too much carbs you could let them know that sweet potatos and such are still paleo. If its someone a bit more knowledgeable I suppose we could discuss energy partitioning in relation to the sort of exercise we are looking at and get into all kinds of fun discussion about the need or lack thereof for any starch at all.


    • #3
      my starches are fingerling potatoes and sweet potatoes. Very rarely (every couple of months) I might eat white rice.

      That said, I am with Neckhammer with his protein comment.


      • #4
        Your answer is perfect. Or you could say that now that you take your shirts to the cleaner, you don't need starch.
        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


        • #5
          By "starch" people mean carbohydrates (silly word games)... which is found aplenty in vegetables, tubers, roots, and fruits. All perfectly Primal. No problem!

          And that would be my response.
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


          • #6
            Bananas, Potatoes and Kumaras.
            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

            Griff's cholesterol primer
            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
            bloodorchid is always right


            • #7
              So why exactly would benefit from starch have anything to do with vegertarianism?

              Just curious ...
              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.


              • #8
                Some of the longest lived persons on the planet eat a lot of starches... for instance the Okinawans and their sweet potatoes. They're not vegetarian... but almost.
                Last edited by JEL62; 12-03-2012, 04:31 PM.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JEL62 View Post
                  Some of the longest lived persons on the planet eat a lot of starches... for instance the Okinawans and their sweet potatoes. They're not vegetarian... but almost.
                  Long as its high in pig fat too....then sure Animal Pharm: Benefits of High-Saturated Fat Diets (Part V): The Traditional Okinawans


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                    Long as its high in pig fat too....then sure
                    From what I've read the traditional Okinawan diet did include pig fat but it was a very small portion of their overall calories. I'd like to read more about this though, so please post working links for any studies that you have seen.


                    • #11
                      Is there a problem with the link...I'm not having an issue with it. Hmmm. Well here is the reference list (kinda, my copy/paste may have missed some stuff).

                      Nutrition for the Japanese elderly.
                      Shibata H et al Nutr Health. 1992;8(2-3):165-75.

                      The present paper examines the relationship of nutritional status to further life expectancy and health status in the Japanese elderly based on 3 epidemiological studies.

                      1. Nutrient intakes in 94 Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of ANIMAL PROTEIN to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese.

                      2. High intakes of MILK and FATS and OILS had favorable effects on 10-year (1976-1986) survivorship in 422 urban residents aged 69-71. The survivors revealed a longitudinal INCREASE in intakes of ANIMAL foods such as EGGS, MILK, FISH and MEAT over the 10 years.

                      3. Nutrient intakes were compared, based on 24-hour dietary records, between a sample from OKINAWA Prefecture where life expectancies at birth and 65 were the LONGEST in Japan, and a sample from Akita Prefecture where the life expectancies were much shorter. Intakes of Ca, Fe, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and the proportion of energy from PROTEINS and FATS were SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER in the former than in the latter. Intakes of CARBOHYDRATES and NaCl were LOWER.

                      PMID: 1407826

                      Impact of diet on the cardiovascular risk profile of Japanese immigrants living in Brazil: contributions of World Health Organization CARDIAC and MONALISA studies.
                      Moriguchi EH et al. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2004 Dec;31 Suppl 2:S5-7.

                      1. Japanese immigrants from Okinawa living in Brazil have a higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases and have their mean life expectancy shortened compared with their counterparts living in Japan.

                      2. A cross-sectional study comparing Okinawans living in Okinawa (OO) and Okinawan immigrants living in Brazil (OB) was designed to characterize the dietary factors that could interfere with the profile of cardiovascular risk factors and with this reduction on the life expectancy when Okinawans emigrate to Brazil.

                      3. In total, 234 OO and 160 OB (aged 45-59 years) were recruited to the present study to undergo medical and dietary history, blood pressure measurement, electrocardiograph (ECG), blood tests and 24 h food/urine collection.

                      4. In the present study, OO subjects presented with 37% less obesity and 50% less systemic hypertension than OB. The OB subjects used threefold more antihypertensive medication than OO. Meat intake was 34% higher in OB than OO, whereas fish intake was sevenfold higher in OO than OB. Serum potassium levels were 10% higher in OO than OB. Urinary TAURINE (an index of seafood intake) was 43% HIGHER in OO than OB. Urinary isoflavones (an index of the intake of soy products) were significantly lower in OB than in OO. Of (OMEGA-3 PUFAs) acid (20:5) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6) were TWO- TO THREE-FOLD HIGHER in OO than OB, respectively.

                      5. The rate of ischaemic ECG changes in OO subjects was only 50% of that of OB subjects.

                      6. There were no differences in the smoking rate between OO and OB subjects.

                      7. The results of the present study suggest that coronary risk factors and cardiovascular health are not only regulated by genetic factors, but that the impact of LIFESTYLE (MAINLY DIET) can be large enough to modulate the EXPRESSION OF GENES.

                      PMID: 18254187

                      Read more about Okinawan food, culture and lifestyles:

                      Diary of Local Okinawan TASTY Dishes *YUMM* Goat sashimi, boiled testicles with miso and vinegar, slow cooked stews (fatty pork), goya chanpuru
                      Children of Heaven Interview: Live SLOW Live LONG
                      Okinawan 'Lard' Recipes *ahhhha*
                      The Way of ChoJu: Consuming Longevity in a Rural Japanese Village (Masters Thesis by J. Busch)
                      Mashed Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Recipe (americanized)
                      Goat Meat and Milk Productivity in Subtropical Okinawa for last 80-130+ years
                      Goat Meat and Pig Rearing in Okinawa Prefecture
                      Traditional Yagi (Goat) Dishes and changes in modern Okinawan youth -- Yagi-jiru Goat soup, stir-fried goat, raw yagi-sashi goat sashimi, etc
                      Raw Grassfed Goat Milk in an Okinawa Study Tolerated due to different type of non-allergenic beta-A2 casein and better saturated fatty acid profile (butyric, propionic, lauric, caprylic, etc)
                      Okinawan Goat Milk
                      Traditional Japanese Condiments: shoyu, miso, ishiru, preparations
                      Truth About Saturated Fats by M. Enig and S. Fallon: "In Okinawa, where the average life span for women is 84 years—longer than in Japan—the inhabitants eat generous amounts of pork and seafood and do all their cooking in LARD (Franklyn D, Health, September 1996, 57-63 .)" This is not apparently the case currently... as canola and other refined omega-6 oils which oxidize super rapidly increased to predominant use after the 1980-90's; canola is not great but less omega-6 compared with corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, or peanut oils.
                      Okinawa Centenarian Study and Genetics
                      Ex-Pats in Okinawa and Crossfit Asia/Okinawa
                      Bizarre Food's Andrew Zimmern checks out: traditional Okinawan sea snake soup, raw goat ball and testicles, yako-gai (giant sea snail), squid ink soup, and giant tuna eyeballs, stewed in mirin, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar
                      "Blue Zone Okinawans formed moais to support each other in good times and bad" HHhmmmmm.... sounds like... our TYP forum? our Paleo blogoshere? our Xfit gym networks?
                      Goat's Milk, Blue Zones and Longevity: "Goat's milk - 80 percent of all people over 90 have consumed goat’s milk many times per week throughout their life. It is rich in blood-pressure lowering tryptophan and antibacterial compounds."
                      Blue Zone concordance: Ikaria, Greece similar to Okinawa, Japan in lifestyles, hot baths (?Magnesium, Iodine), raw goat milk consumption, wild greens, tea-drinking, relaxing, embracing community and family closely, etc

                      and Laudan: The Food of Paradise Pa - Rachel Laudan - Google Books


                      • #12
                        Oh, from her comments section a couple about the recent decline in their longevity. As she points out its interesting that they do not account or even look at increased gluten/wheat and carbs or the replacement of lard with vegetable oils as fat.

                        Declining longevity advantage and l... [Asia Pac J Public Health. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI

                        Longevity and diet in Okinawa, Japa... [Asia Pac J Public Health. 2003] - PubMed - NCBI

                        I would definitely not define or look to Okinawan current diet for future longevity.
                        Last edited by Neckhammer; 12-03-2012, 05:40 PM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                          I would definitely not define or look to Okinawan current diet for future longevity.
                          I agree. One would have to look back fifty years or so to when their diet consisted primarily of plant-based foods with very little if any animal protein. That is the Okinawan diet that yielded longevity.
                          Last edited by JEL62; 12-03-2012, 06:12 PM.


                          • #14
                            Lol. A low carber trying to push the Okinawan diet as "high saturated fat".
                            Their traditional diet with a studied about 60 years ago and averaged something like 80% carbohydrate and under 10% fat. That was the average of over 2000 peoples diets studied. From what I read their main times they consume pork was during the annual festivals.


                            • #15
                              Not necessarily high....but high compared to what we are/were told it was. Sorry if what I posted disagrees with what you say you know. Just looks like they ate a shit ton of marine life (decent protein), goats milk, gluten-less carbs, and yes each family slaughtered a pig about once a year and used the lard they rendered to cook with throughout the year.

                              I'll just quote from the comments:

                              "Let's say... indeed... believe all the cookbooks, stories, the 1970s diet surveys, Master's thesis, etc (ALL... except that silly book which does however have some MERIT; I liked the americanized recipes).

                              If we calculate the saturated fat intake -- 2 Tbs daily of Lard (50% sat fat) and then another 13 grams saturated fat from food (seafood, hamachi/fatty fish, pork, grassfed goat, FULLFAT raw goat milk , etc) total.

                              Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Meat drippings (lard, beef tallow, mutton tallow)

                              Total saturated fat 13 + 13 g = 26 g x 9cal/g = 234 cal

                              Let's say Trad'l Okinawans consume a semi-CR diet... that's 234 cal Sat Fat divided by ~1700 cal/day.

                              Sat Fat = 13.8%

                              That's not that high but it's A LOT HIGHER than the silly AHA 10% 'dogma'.

                              In fact, 12% and higher is the percent saturated fat that has been shown in clinical trials to improve HDLs and was associated with regression in coronary disease women (see below). It is a pretty healthy level in fact of saturated fat! It's also about what I consume daily (more on some days, none on fasting days).

                              Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. PDF click HERE. Mozaffarian D, Rimm EB, Herrington DM. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1175-84. EDITORIAL. Figure 1 below."

                              If this doesn't jive with what you know then please post your own references. Looks to me like she did her homework, but I never lived in Okinawa 60 years ago so I can't pretend to be certain.

                              This alone would indicate their fat intake closer to 35+%.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 12-03-2012, 06:58 PM.