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Rice v. Potato v. Quinoa v. Whole Wheat Pasta

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mutton View Post
    My brother has no immediate or obvious reaction to wheat. But he had very low zinc levels and very bad skin, which cleared up when he simultaneously removed wheat from his diet and started taking zinc piccolinate.

    My understanding is that the phytate etc in wheat stop zinc absorption, despite wheat itself containing a decent amount of zinc. He currently avoids wheat but has stopped taking zinc, with no recurrance : )

    Not a perfect scientific trial by any means, but I guess the point is that nutrient content of a food is not the same as nutrient uptake or absorption.
    I personally looked 10 years older on wheat and sugar, and I am not talking about my extravagant love-handles, fatty legs and growing man-boobs. And I felt super lazy, not clear-minded, not interested in anything but sitting in front of my home computer (and I was sitting all day long at work in front of 3 screens ...) + I would eat plenty of cookies full of crap until 2AM ...

    These days are gone, it's like I was reborn into someone else ... I am 28lbs lighter by the way

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    • #47
      Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
      That being said, I consider cheese considerably healthier than avocado. Much higher quality fats, lots of protein (and the highest quality protein in nature) versus virtually no protein, much more fat soluble vitamins (particularly A&K in cheese)...it smacks up avocado pretty badly.
      You're probably right, but I suspect I may be sensitive to dairy as well. Not sure if it's the lactose or the casein... probably the lactose. So I'd like to try cutting out dairy and reintroducing it to find out.

      Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
      I often top up my fat intake by adding some coconut oil and/or butter to my coffee.
      No offense intended... I mean, I'm all for whatever floats your boat... but ICK! In your coffee?! Why not just add more oil/butter to your veggies or something?

      Originally posted by Cathartes View Post
      The starch most likely to be least damaging/beneficial to the health of a human being is a sweet potato, yam, or squash.


      potato (whether sweet potato or white potato, possibly skinless, depending on who is eating it and his or her sensitivities)would most likely be "least damaging" to one's health. White rice tends to be neutral, depending on the individual.

      Anything derived from wheat has gluten, which tends to be a gut irritant for most people; quinoa may be slightly better than wheat, but the saponins in quinoa can also challenge the digestive system of the average H. sapiens. White rice tends to be neutral, because the husk (which contains some anti nutrients) has been removed. White potato without the skin is also neutral; sweet potato is neutral to positive, because it also has micronutrients. By " neutral", I mean that it's a starch which won't tend to be a gut irritant, depending on your preexisting state, and may be beneficial if you tend to function better when eating starches.

      I'm trying not to make huge generalizations, because different things work for different people. However, based on my own, personal experience, as well as what I've read in the paleo/primal community, sweet potatoes seem to work best out of the possible starches. However, white potato or white rice may work for different people. Staying away from quinoa and wheat would be best for gut health and nutrient absorption. If a more scientific breakdown of the issues with wheat, gluten, and quinoa and their effects on the gut and small intestin would be helpful, I can do that, just let me know.


      This is an extremely long answer, apologies. So, the answer to your original question is: white rice or potato is best; overall, sweet potato seems to be the starch that works best for most people.

      The most basic answer is that sweet potato is the starch that is most likely to benefit the most people.

      Hope this helps!
      Awesome info, thank you Cathartes! No apologies for the long post, I love it. I would love a more scientific breakdown, but I don't want to put you out over it. If you have any links or books you'd recommend, I love to read about this stuff. I'm fairly new to the primal/paleo lifestyle, and while a lot of it makes sense, and I LOVE Sisson's site, I find his book to be kind of... well, dumbed down. I'd love to know the "whys" behind the changes I'm making to my diet, and I'm looking into more books on the topic (especially a book on fats if anyone has one to recommend). I'm grateful for the information I've gotten from this thread, though.

      While I don't eat out very often, I do eat out with friends, family, and colleagues probably once or twice a week on average. And restaurants just love to fill up your plate with grains and starches. I met up with an old friend from high school and her husband last weekend for lunch at Bubba Gumps, and EVERYTHING on the menu came with potatoes, rice, or pasta. I know substituting steamed veggies is almost always an option, but that gets old. At Bubba Gumps, I chose a dish that came with white rice figuring it was a fairly primal compromise.

      I also am a fanatic for canned soup. I am ridiculously busy and always on the go (and I don't even have kids yet, God help me), and I just can't give up my canned soups... they're cheap and convenient and fast, and I LOVE soup. But it's so hard to find a canned soup, other than the same ol' "Garden Vegetable," that doesn't have a starch or a grain filler! From what I've learned here, I'll know to stick with potatoes or white rice if I'm going to go down that road at all.

      Originally posted by dkJames View Post
      I'll chime in once more for Grokkette (sounds like the French word "croquette", which is dry dog food ... - am half French so I could not resist, sorry )

      Potatoes are GREAT. Remove their skin and process them the way you want. Some eat them raw for the resistant starch (RS) but palatability may lack cruelly. You should follow up on the discussions at freetheanimal.com, especially from poster "tatertot". It is a fascinating topic! Note though that the healthiest way to prepare them is steam-cooking. Deep-frying and even oven baking can increase the amount of acrylamides which are not desirable due to potential carcinogenicity ...

      Rice: prefer white rice because all the anti-nutrients are removed. However, white rice is mostly starch without much else so be sure to eat nutritious stuff with it that will satiate you. Sushis come to mind

      Grains: not human food.

      Pseudo-grains:
      buckwheat is perfectly acceptable once in a while. Stephan Guyenet from Whole Health Source has a nice buckwheat pancake recipe but it takes a little processing of the raw buckwheat (we are not talking about the common BW flour but the unprocessed seeds which you have to soak for quite some time and grind yourself eventually but it is really worth it - make it for special occasions or to be nice to yourself). I do use BW flour occasionally (once a month maybe ?)

      Quinoa is OK but has the saponin issue. Use sparingly if you want to have some. A whole plate of well processed quinoa (washed and cooked properly) should not trigger a big issue but don't make it a staple.

      Then you have other starches: plantain banana flour, cassava flour, sorghum, etc. You can even enjoy glass noodles made from sweet potatoe starch but in my area, it is hard to find.l Most glass noodles I can find are made in China from soy bean starch ... out of the question, and there were a few scandals related to lead and aluminum contamination due to unscrupulous and illegal processing.

      If you want something absolutely devoid of calories and potentially beneficial (I don't really know since I had it only once and did not experience any change in my BMs), try shirataki noodles. This is pure soluble fibers. You have to rinse them and sort of dry fry them for like 8-10mn (add a little ghee for the frying). Then you can add them to some bone broth or soup. I had some chicken fond with a base of onion, garlic and paprika which I mixed with the fried noodles. It was really good but I don't miss pasta or noodles at all (been 8 months pasta free) and I don't feel compelled to eat these noodles on a weekly basis. Since they are devoid of nutrition, it seems a waste of cooking time and stomach space If you want to lose weight, you might enjoy them regularly.


      One last note: I don't fully agree with ChocoTaco on certain things that are more subjective and a matter of individual opinion rather than real science but the guy is not stupid and has some great tips. I certainly agree with him that while I could eat butter just like that when I ma hungry, I would rather not do it. I use it for cooking, as a condiment, unlike during my wheat days where I would spread a very THICK layer of butter on half a French baguette bought from a local French baker ... without anything else (no cheese, no jam, no Nutella, no meat). And I would do it again with the other half ...
      Thanks, dk! I'll be looking into those acrylamides. I'm assuming if steaming is a safer cooking method, boiling would be as well? Thus, mashed potatoes would be fairly benign?

      Mashed potatoes used to be my thing, man... made them for every family holiday. One of the foods I miss most since going primal.

      Originally posted by dkJames View Post
      I personally looked 10 years older on wheat and sugar, and I am not talking about my extravagant love-handles, fatty legs and growing man-boobs. And I felt super lazy, not clear-minded, not interested in anything but sitting in front of my home computer (and I was sitting all day long at work in front of 3 screens ...) + I would eat plenty of cookies full of crap until 2AM ...

      These days are gone, it's like I was reborn into someone else ... I am 28lbs lighter by the way
      That's awesome!

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Grokkette View Post
        Thanks, dk! I'll be looking into those acrylamides. I'm assuming if steaming is a safer cooking method, boiling would be as well? Thus, mashed potatoes would be fairly benign?
        boiling is fine as well. Only deep-frying and to some extent baking. Go ahead with your mashed potatoes

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        • #49
          Originally posted by dkjames View Post
          boiling is fine as well. Only deep-frying and to some extent baking. Go ahead with your mashed potatoes :d
          Yay!

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Grokkette View Post
            You're probably right, but I suspect I may be sensitive to dairy as well. Not sure if it's the lactose or the casein... probably the lactose. So I'd like to try cutting out dairy and reintroducing it to find out.
            I used to drink CAFO skim milk every day. It was just what I grew up doing. I found when I removed it from my diet, along with all the grains and vegetable oils, it really helped. Adding it back in gave me gas, acne and seemed to intensity my allergies. I suspected I had issues with milk, though cheese and yogurt gave me none of these issues.

            Now that I am 2.5 years in, I have zero issues with milk. Granted, when I do buy milk now, I buy Natural by Nature brand grassfed whole milk, but I can drink that to my heart's content with no gas and no acne or allergies. I do use regular half and half in my coffee every day at work and when I bake or cook with milk I buy regular 99 cent a quart whole milk due to cost though, and again, I have zero issues. I suspect the overwhelming majority of issues with dairy is not caused by dairy itself, but rather caused by poor gut health due to consumption of poor quality fibers, lectins and poor quality fats found in grains, legumes and vegetable oils. In other words, heal your gut and lactose intolerance goes away. That is my n=1. You may not be able to do dairy, now, but a year from now if you're diligent with your diet you may be able to.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by dkJames View Post
              Potatoes are GREAT. Remove their skin and process them the way you want. Some eat them raw for the resistant starch (RS) but palatability may lack cruelly.
              I want to comment on two points, here.

              Potato skins technically contain mild toxins. You're 100% correct that removing the skins lowers the toxin load of potatoes. I do not remove the potato skins on young, unblemished white potatoes with no eyes growing out of them. If the potatoes are sprouting, I remove them to the point where there are no bumps or eyes remaining. There are toxins in every plant food. Greens have some of the highest toxins in vegetables, but in their case, the benefits far outweigh the toxins (unlike, say, wheat and soy!). That being said, I believe the toxin load of potatoes to be even lower versus greens. There are downsides to every food on Earth, and IMO, the downside of small amounts of toxins inpotato skins on fresh, unblemished potatoes aren't worth the pleasure of the taste.

              That being said, no one should eat raw potatoes. They are actually toxic. You should not eat uncooked starch as that could truly make you sick, similar to eating raw beans (ex: raw kidney beans could kill you). You need to fully cook starch to make it edible. If you want to eat potatoes for resistant starch, cook them fully, then chill them in the fridge overnight and eat them cold. Never, ever eat raw white potatoes. Plus, they're disgusting raw so no harm there!
              Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-14-2013, 07:18 AM.
              Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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              • #52
                The reason I don't eat potatoes is because I wanted the weight loss associated with a low carb diet and to that end it's worked perfectly, I've never looked or felt better.

                Now with regards to all this talk about toxicity I have no doubts you are probably correct but as to what degree they actually impact your health I'm very skeptical.

                I come from an English working background and nearly all my relatives lived well into their 90's on diets of high fat meats, lots of green veggies and root veggies including lots of potatoes. My grandfathers in their 60's looked like most current Americans do in their 30's. I think the main factors in their well being was that they didn't eat hardly any processed crap or sugar laden products. They also didn't have rice or pasta -" I'm not eating that foreign muck "
                Another factor they all shared was that they had all done hard physical labor to earn their incomes and if they went anywhere after work it was usually on foot, no jumping in the car to go to the store, they walked there and lugged the bags of groceries back.
                So back to the toxicity issue, yeah maybe if they had eaten less potatoes they might have lived to 100- My point being if weight is not really the issue for you and you love your taters then have your bloody taters, lash them with a big dollop of grass fed butter and enjoy them like my grandparents did.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                  I never said deprive your body of fat. I said refined oils are not foods, they are empty calories. Want fat? Eat a steak. Eat eggs. Drink whole milk. Have an avocado. Grab a handful of nuts. Eat coconut. At no point should you be eating coconut oil, butter and tallow by the spoonful. That is a waste of calories and will only lead to weight gain.
                  Gack. What agrees with you doesn't agree with me.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by dkJames View Post
                    l Most glass noodles I can find are made in China from soy bean starch ... out of the question, and there were a few scandals related to lead and aluminum contamination due to unscrupulous and illegal processing.
                    Most glass noodles are made from mung bean starch. Mung beans are not soybeans. Soybeans are not a good source of starch, as they are higher in protein and fat than regular legumes.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                      Gack. What agrees with you doesn't agree with me.
                      I'm not sure what you mean by that. I can eat a slice of butter and it's not going to "disagree" with me. My digestion will be fine. I'll feel fine. But there is no more effective way of gaining body fat because nothing is more likely to be stored on your body as fat than refined oils.
                      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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