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Thread: Calling all primal starch eaters, GTFIH page

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    colejames's Avatar
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    Calling all primal starch eaters, GTFIH

    I'm a male college student, my diet consists of 100% primal on weekdays, and nonprimal on weekends (more practical as a college kid) Besides, just by being privy to this lifestyle, I'm already eating healthier than 95% of my campus despite lax weekends.

    Anyway, I have a very low% bodyfat, probably sub-10%, and its been this way my whole life, even on the SAD. This is why when I eat primal, I include a good number of carbs, from white rice and potatoes, bananas, yams, etc. The problem is, although I understand that saturated fat or fats in general do not cause high cholesterol or heart problems, and its actually the carbs that cause cardiovascular disease, isn't it true that carbs on their own cannot cause these problems, and must be in the company of dietary fat? My understanding is that excessive insulin causes these cardiovascular problems, but it's the dietary fat in the presence of this excess that then starts clogging arteries or promoting inflammation. If I eat a meal high in carbs without the fat, wouldn't the damage be mitigated?

    In a nutshell. my question is this: If you eat primally, is it still important to eat carbs and fats in separate meals? So for example a meal should be either high in carbs + protein, or fat + protein, but not carbs + fat since that is when insulin is high, but dietary fat is also being absorbed in the bloodstream, which leads to all the nasty problems.
    Last edited by colejames; 09-19-2011 at 08:31 PM.

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    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    Yes, try to limit fat in your carb heavy meals and vice versa. Not only for the reasons that you stated, but also in the fact that fat slows digestion and your insulin will stay up longer. It doesn't make that big of a difference in the near term, but it can over the long term. Think insulin resistance, as you have longer periods of insulin in the bloodstream if they sugars are slowly digested. Yes, fat will blunt the glycemic load, but it doesn't change the overall insulin secretion by much, if any.
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    I loves me some 'taters. And I do the Warrior Diet thing of one big meal a day. So here's hoping it all balances out.
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    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
    I loves me some 'taters. And I do the Warrior Diet thing of one big meal a day. So here's hoping it all balances out.
    I have been doing this as well most days. I guess I should elaborate that if you are eating multiple meals per day (which it sounds like colejames is doing that), then what I said would apply. If you are only eating once, then that advice goes right out the window. LOL.

    After training I still take in a PWO shake (100g carbs/50g protein/0g fat).
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    bloodorchid's Avatar
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    i don't have much to add, i'm here cause you said gtfih

    ok, say my starch is a sweet potater. i put butter and sour cream on it. am i gon' die from a myocardial infarction?
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    Precisely what I want to find out. If i think about it, I feel like in nature, fats and carbs are always separated. When our ancestors went looking for food it usually came in one of these forms:

    Anything with legs (protein + saturated fat)
    Fruits (Carbs)
    Vegetables (Carbs)
    Seeds and nuts (Fat + Protein, low carb)

    Notice how you never really find natural food sources with high fat and carbs, so perhaps they were meant to be eaten separately.

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    Zed's Avatar
    Zed
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    Perhaps, but you wouldn't also add butter/fat on any thing you eat in the wild (and yet we have Primals here who do EXACTLY that). You wouldn't also fried your foods in fat (and yet we have Primals here who do EXACTLY that). If we shouldn't add fat to starch foods, or that we should eat them separate because we wouldn't have them together in nature, then the same logic needs to be applied to other areas of the Primal lifestyle (no frying your eggs in bacon fat, no adding butter in vegetables, etc, don't eat meat with extra fat, a meal should only contain meat or vegetables but never together, etc). Try to find a Primal or Paleo who follow that regime. Trust me, you would have a hard time! Besides, a mother's breast milk has BOTH fat and carbs (not to mention protein), so nature can provide a single source with all three components.

    BTW, while it is true that having high carb + high fat diet cause health problems, I find zero evidence to suggest that eating a sweet potato with fat/protein will cause ANY health problems (keep in mind I am talking about a person who follows the PB and keep his or her carbs below 150 grams per day).

    Last edited by Zed; 09-20-2011 at 05:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodorchid View Post
    i don't have much to add, i'm here cause you said gtfih

    ok, say my starch is a sweet potater. i put butter and sour cream on it. am i gon' die from a myocardial infarction?
    Haha, I really don't think so. A typical sweet potato has like 30-ish grams of carbs. I don't think that's enough to worry about.

    Also, I believe that is it a good idea to keep high-carb andd high-fat separate. I follow Leangains and eat a high-carb, high-protein meal postworkout and a lower-carb, higher-fat meal a few hours after that.

    Dietary fat (well, palmitic acid) causes (short-term, normal and necessary for survival) insulin resistance (see this blog post: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.c...tance-and.html). This is actually a good thing in the context of a low-carb diet as you'd become hypoglycemic if your muscles were hogging all the glucose that your brain and RBCs need. However, it's a bad idea to chow down on carbs while you are in an insulin-resistant state (see diabetes). This is the main reason that I believe that high-fat + high-carb = bad.
    Last edited by yodiewan; 09-20-2011 at 05:50 AM.

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    Oh, now I'm really confused. So a smoothie made with banana and coconut milk would be out? Or rice with coconut oil? These combinations raise insulin longer? Or is the problem just when the fat is saturated, ie. sweet potato and a steak?

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    The real answer to your question is "maybe".

    Generally, most body builders do not advocate mixing fat and carbs. Most body builders eat a low fat, high protein, cyclical carbohydrate diet. On their low carb days, they'll eat a moderate amount of fat to make up the difference, but it's still low fat compared to Primal, where people eat as high as 70% daily calories from fat. IMO, you probably won't be able to get ripped eating 70% calories from fat. Dietary fat, with the exception of MCT's, pretty much goes directly into fat storage. When you get lean, it's actually easier to get ripped eating lower fat and higher carbohydrate because you can use glycogen depletion to your advantage, something you can't do on a higher fat diet. Again, this is the general case.

    The fact is, different people need different diets. For the overweight with damaged metabolisms on this website, a high fat, low carbohydrate diet is advantageous. This is because they're insulin resistant and they've wrecked their bodies, so carbs are out for them in the short term. For people with issues with insulin, 50-70% calories from fat would probably do them a lot of good. For them, most of the weight loss is going to come from insulin reduction regardless of caloric intake.

    Then, there are the very lean. People like yourself probably have a predisposition to partitioning carbohydrate in muscles instead of fat cells. Even if your glycogen stores are depleted, you're still going to store some carbs as fat. It's not a perfect system. Some people just naturally tend to partition carbohydrate into fat storage no matter what, and these people would perform better on higher fat. Guys like you probably tend to partition carbohydrate to muscle, which is the case for all the skinny diabetics out there. Hey, there are tons of them! You may actually put on body fat eating a high fat diet, but I could easily be wrong. Maybe you're just one of those genetic freaks that just doesn't effectively store body fat. If so, you're a lucky man.

    The diet you're describing is "isocaloric" - a roughly even spread between fat, protein and carbohydrate. Think 33%/33%/33% calories from fat/protein/carbohydrate. This is what "The Zone" is. It can be beneficial for some because the regular carbohydrate intake is enough to keep their leptin levels high, but low enough that their bodies can burn fat efficiently - something that the high carb American diet bordering on 60% calories from carbs doesn't do. I ate isocaloric above maintenance calories all last week while taking the whole week off from the gym and could swear I lost a little body fat. I felt great with a 33/33/33 spread, and it allowed every kind of meat, fruit, vegetable and tuber on the plate for me to eat, which was liberating. I was eating 2 sweet potatoes and 2 bananas with green cabbage fried in coconut oil with every meal and it was incredible.

    You basically need to experiment and find out what you best react to. Note - barring some kind of extreme sensitivity, you're not going to get unhealthy eating carbohydrate from Primal whole food sources. You need not fear bananas, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, squashes, white rice and the like. These aren't the things causing the health concerns. I personally believe that insulin resistance is largely caused by the huge omega 3 : omega 6 imbalance in this country. We take in far too much n6 and not nearly enough n3. Actually, I think we take in too many PUFA's in general. Studies have shown that grain consumption was higher 100 years ago, yet we have heart disease now and not 100 years ago. I believe it's mostly the industrial seed oils causing it, then the grain consumption compounds the issue because the PUFA's make our cell membranes weak and susceptible to damage from free radicals. Saturated fat, on the other hand, strengthens our cell membranes and keeps the free radicals out, and since saturated fat is demonized, you have people walking around with low defenses to the natural toxins in grains, legumes, nuts, etc. That's my personal theory and I'm sticking with it.

    Experiment and don't fear carbohydrate from Primal sources. Stay away from wheat, corn, brown rice, legumes most of the time and ESPECIALLY vegetable oils and you'll be so far ahead of the game the last thing you have to worry about is starch. That being said, IMO, you should try and push your starches on the days you work out with heavy weights and eat lower carb on off days or cardio days while upping your fat a bit to make up your calories. Protein should be pretty constant at 1-1.5g/lb of body weight. This is my recommendation.
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 09-20-2011 at 11:19 PM.
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