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Thread: Dr. Weil - Carbohydrate density, obesity, and chronic inflammation

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Account closed

    Dr. Weil - Carbohydrate density, obesity, and chronic inflammation

    For your perusal.

    Which brings me to a fascinating new paper by Ian Spreadbury of the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. It provides what I believe could -- and probably should -- become the dominant index for deciding which foods to eat and which to avoid in pursuit of weight control. Bearing the daunting title, "Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity," the paper lays out the hypothesis that carbohydrate density is probably the most important determinant of whether a food promotes inflammation/obesity or not.


    Modern food processing is, unfortunately, very good at boosting carbohydrate density. Two of the most powerful ways to do it are isolating and concentrating sugars from plants, and grinding dense seeds into highly compactible flour. In both cases, heat and pressure damage or obliterate the original food's cell walls. To use Spreadbury's terminology, sugar and flour are acellular -- almost wholly lacking in intact cells.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Joking aside, for all his past advice he's clearly energetic enough to keep reading, intelligent enough to see the point, and flexible enough to adapt his viewpoint. What's everyone else's excuse. :-)

    Have you seen the video where a dietitian angrily (and irrelevantly) argues with Dr. Lane Sebring?

    Of course, dense acellular carbohydrate has been around for some time. Loren Cordain makes a meal out of the invention of the roller mill in the latest edition of The Paleo Diet, but you can grind grain pretty fine with millstones, and you can sieve most of the bran out by bolting through cloth. (Useful for also taking out bits of millstone grit on which you might break a tooth, toon doubtless.). Robinson Crusoe even makes sieves on the desert island in Defoe! (His real-life counterpart, Alexander Selkirik, however, seems to have lived mostly of goats' flesh.)

    Modern people, of course, have unprecedented levels of "dense acellular carbohydrate" and little sleep and industrial seed oils. It's surprising anyone functions at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I have trouble believing anything Dr Weil says about weight control. Sorta like asking Paula Deen for tips on how to manage my insulin resistance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Boston Area
    I like Weil from long ago, it's nice to see him getting with the program.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Delaware Valley
    I'm glad to see Spreadbury's review of the literature getting some attention. I think it's fascinating. Hopefully there will be some more research examining his hypotheses.
    50yo, 5'3"
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Edmonton Canada
    The supporting articles were very interesting. The main article comparing modern and ancestral diets really promotes the Primal/Paleo lifestyle.
    Although I thought it was especially interesting to read the JAMA article on diet composition - another example that all calories are not created equal with regards to their effect on the body.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    Don't forget to play!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    This is Spreadbury's paper:
    Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity
    Worth a read, some interesting points, particularly relating to the idea of a shift in the microbiota composition.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    SF Bay Area
    I used to be interested in Wiel 20 years ago, no more. There are many more credible people to get your information from. Wiel is a chubby man giving health advice, I believe he may even be obese. The main reason I do not favor his advice is that he is a PCRM’s advisory board member associating with zealot vegans T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, John McDougall and so on. Deranged people IMO, bad advice with a political agenda.

    PCRM is associated with PETA, need I say more?

    I have zero tolerance of the vegan religion.
    Last edited by Moochy; 05-04-2013 at 01:21 PM.
    Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
    READ THE BOOK! Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

    Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

    and yes, calories DO count my little piggies

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