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Thread: A Japanese paradox? page

  1. #1
    wellington's Avatar
    wellington is offline Junior Member
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    Talking A Japanese paradox?

    Hello, I'm reading the book (Primal Blueprint) and enjoying it a lot. The "diet" is very doable to me since I am not too fond of bread, pasta, grains, etc. and I love meat and fresh vegetables. The science behind it is indeed very interesting and convincing.

    My only question, though, as someone who studies the eating habits of different cultures, especially those with a record of longevity, is:

    How come the Japanese, which are said to live longer and healthier than everyone else on Earth, can manage it with a diet rich in rice, noodles, and soy derivatives? May it be their genetic predisposition?

    I wonder if a little portion of rice or a slice of bread once in a while will spoil all the good food we put in with the PB. I'm just trying to avoid extremes, but I love the book and ideas anyway.

    W

  2. #2
    say_rahhh's Avatar
    say_rahhh is offline Senior Member
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    Read GCBC. Also the debunking of the China Study.
    Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
    ~Borges

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    wellington's Avatar
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    A Japanese paradox?

    Thanks say-rahhh, but pardon my ignorance; what is GCBC?
    I heard about the China Study, but I believe the Japanese have different eating habits, depending on the region, of course.

    W

  4. #4
    lolov's Avatar
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    GCBC = Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes - an in depth (VERY!) look at why carbohydrates, especially grains, are causing metabolic syndrome and other diseases of civilization. Great, but tough, read. If you want GCBC "Lite" read "Why We Get Fat" by Gary Taubes. There is a TON of great, interesting and informative stuff written on the subject.

    I don't know about the soy stuff, but rice isn't toxic the way other grains are... but it does cause the dreaded insulin spikes, etc.

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    Hi there As far as i understand there are several possible reasons. 1 is that overall they eat lower calories than many other cultures (especially the USA).
    2. White rice is probably the least problematic grain, and it is very possible that Asians have developed a greater tolerance for the minor content of antinutrients specific to rice.
    I think the same question has been asked with regards to china, so a search on the forums may give a more detailed discussion. Mark has also touched on it in a blog post i think.

    Another thing, the traditional Okinawa's had the greatest life expectancy in Japan, and they ate far fewer grains than the general japanese, instead opting for starchy tubers (yam/sweet potato kind of gig which is accepted on a paleo diet)

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    wellington's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying lolov! I truly buy the idea of carbs and insulin spikes. I never really liked bread, pasta and other grains, I eat it sometimes due to "social pressure", but will definitely cut as much as possible.

    I'm not in any way trying to start an opposite view here, but still, I don't think we got a clear answer to why the Japanese excel in health and longevity with so much carb in their diet (because that is contrary to the PB premise)? May it be some type of genetic predisposition?

    W

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    Good Calories, Bad Calories. I'm reading it now and I just read about Pete Ahrens, a top scientist in lipid metabolism in the 1950s. He believed that carb induced lipemia, or an abnormal milky concentration of fats in the blood, was much more often caused by eating carbohydrates and is rarely caused by eating fats. It is sometimes in people with certain genetic predispositions. But calorie restriction diets were effective in treating it either way. So he surmised that the Asian diets were low in total calories, which protected them from it. Fascinating book.

    Here is the China Study destruction:
    The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? Raw Food SOS: Troubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet

  8. #8
    wellington's Avatar
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    "it is very possible that Asians have developed a greater tolerance for the minor content of antinutrients specific to rice"

    Thanks Pandadude! I also lean towards that possibility - which may indicate that our genes (DNA) MAY adapt to some type of foods?

    W

  9. #9
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    That sounds reasonable yes, but tolerating a food doesn't necessarily mean thriving on it. I would also make the argument that humans aren't adapted to eating substantial quantities of grains (white rice being the possible exception to the rule), and even if some mutated person wasn't negatively affected by the antinutrients and phytates, it would at best be an empty source of calories containing very little vitamins, minerals, flavenoids etc.

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    Also, until recently, they weren't eating as much unfermented soy like tofu and edamame as we think they were. Modern prosperity has allowed those foods to become everyday items and the Japanese are seeing the effects of that in their rising cancer rates.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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