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Thread: The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory page 5

  1. #41
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    I think that this has to be an individual choice--and that some people cannot function on a 'potato' diet--I know because I'm one of them.

    I originally began eating very low carb when I discovered how carb sensitive I am--a sensitivity that kept me morbidly obese for most of my life. Any excursion into eating potatoes (or any other starchy carb) would create chaos for me in terms of both appetite and weight gain. The idea that "potatoes are surprisingly satiating" works only for those who don't have my metabolic problem.

    In my experience, effective weight management involved learning about oneself and how one's body functions best. For me, it's very low carb, and I'm sure it's very different for others.

    I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.
    I was with you right until you said crash dieting But I guess maybe Fasting and IF and ketongic diets and carb re-feeds and Steak & Eggs, really are all a Crash Diet, and I do/have done all those with Primal foods, in fact I only started doing them when I came to MDA and learned about Primal - trying to find what works for me so I just don't like the terms crash or fads when referred to the way I have embraced eating. One day I might do this Crash of tators, the next day I might do that Crash of VLC, one day I feel like only steak & eggs. Maybe I really am just crash dieting. I just know that when I stuck to one plan all the time of LC/HF all the time, it was not working. I had to mix it up for it to work for me.

    wiki says: A crash diet is a diet which is extreme in its nutritional deprivations...

    So yes, I guess that by definition that includes fasting, IF, steak & eggs, VLC, and even Grok stumbling on a pile of something like apples (or heaven forbid tators) like Mark talks about with his seasonal eating blogs.


    I definitely agree that with health issues, this is not for that person. Like Chris says:
    • Let’s define the terms: are we debating whether starch is “safe” in healthy people or people with particular health conditions like diabetes or small-intestine bacterial overgrowth? These are very different conversations. People with hereditary hemochromatosis (a disorder that causes iron overload) should not eat iron-rich foods like liver and mussels; does that mean everyone should avoid these foods? Even if starch/glucose is “toxic” for diabetics, should everyone avoid starch/glucose?
    • If the argument is that starch is not safe for healthy people, I would say there’s little to no scientific or anthropological evidence to support that idea, and overwhelming evidence opposing it.
    • There are literally billions of people eating high-starch diets worldwide, and you can find many examples of cultures that consume a large percentage of calories from starch where obesity, metabolic problems and modern, inflammatory disease are rare or nonexistent. These include the Kitava in the Pacific Islands, Tukisenta in the Papa New Guinea Highlands and Okinawans in Japan among others. The Kitavan diet is 69% carb, 21% fat, and 10% protein. The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy, at 85% carb, 9% protein and 6% fat. The Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate: 94.6% according to extensive studies in the 60s and 70s. All of these cultures are fit and lean with low and practically non-existent rates of heart disease and other modern chronic disease.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    I think that this has to be an individual choice--and that some people cannot function on a 'potato' diet--I know because I'm one of them.

    I originally began eating very low carb when I discovered how carb sensitive I am--a sensitivity that kept me morbidly obese for most of my life. Any excursion into eating potatoes (or any other starchy carb) would create chaos for me in terms of both appetite and weight gain. The idea that "potatoes are surprisingly satiating" works only for those who don't have my metabolic problem.

    In my experience, effective weight management involved learning about oneself and how one's body functions best. For me, it's very low carb, and I'm sure it's very different for others.

    I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.
    Good post. I was rather shocked when a poster who described herself as one who has some sort of metabolic issue was being coached and encouraged by a prominent advocate to do the potato juju. When I made a disparaging comment - eat more twinkies, huh?- I was told that I wd.n't have T1 d but for my own inability to put the twinkies down. This statement was edited out a little later. Wouldn't want to interfere with the narrative of Tuberism as a religion of peace, now would we? I suppose in the heat of religious fervor we sometimes say things that we don't mean and hopefully regret later. It wd. really irk me if the potato diet was just to use MDA as a springboard for someone's new website/book/video launch all along.

    I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.

    Me too.

  4. #44
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    I think there's a serious conflation of two things going on here.

    First of all, there's the question of whether LCHF is the best way for everyone to lose weight. Like many people posting in this thread, I also found that the lower carb I went, the more my weight loss stalled and the worse I felt. That didn't mean I went back to CW diet mode--it meant that I added primal carbs back in and saw success. Absolutely, I think some of us do better with more potato, sweet potato, and other starch (even rice!) in our diets. After returning to eating starch and fruit along with a focus on heavy lifting, I've seen far better results and continued leaning out. I don't dispute that this is a good option for some people who find VLC isn't working for them.

    Second of all, there's the question of whether eating *only* potatoes for a couple of weeks at a time is a healthy way to lose weight. This is the one I feel concern over (for the record, I also question the wisdom of multi-day fasting for weight loss). I don't argue that people are getting results, but I worry about the health effects and what kind of weight is being lost since it's quite possible that the astonishing numbers seen on the scale are partly attributable to loss of muscle and bone mass as well as fat loss. I think it's reasonable to question the mechanism at play here, just as it's reasonable to examine the mechanisms behind the huge initial losses seen on VLC (in that case, loss of water weight along with fat loss).

    When we try to debate these two issues at once without picking them apart as two different questions, then we end up with people upset because they feel like they're being attacked for adding potatoes back into a primal diet and dropping back their fat intake (gopintos and others, who I empathize with) when the people criticizing the diet are actually questioning the wisdom of eating only potatoes and nothing else for a couple of weeks at a time. While there's a relationship between those two discussions, I'd guess that Neckhammer is trying to question the latter, not the former, in this thread.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirlot View Post
    @ sbhikes...and tell us how your tastebuds are fairing....lol
    I don't understand where this comment is coming from. You tell me if my menu is depriving my tastebuds:
    Scrambled eggs
    Crio bru
    Pumpkin pie spice coffee

    Salmon
    Sweet potato
    Broccoli
    Dried figs

    Roast chicken
    Purple carrots, cauliflower, onions and sweet potatoes in butter and rosemary
    Dark chocolate

    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    I did post my measurement decreases for last month. I lost 10 inches in the places that I measure. Now... I did not do days on end of tators. I came off my LC/HF and I was transitioning into starches via PHD recommendation. Then the tator thread hit so it was perfect timing. So I did a couple days of tators. Since then I have just included more tators - most daily, or start out eating tators but end up with steak for dinner.
    Hey congrats on the weight loss. Sounds like you didn't do the 14 day plan. Neither did I. I have enjoyed adding potatoes to my diet again just like you. Also added lifting heavy. Wow, talk about a drastic change there! (Not so much in my size but in everything else about me.)

    I'm sorry you were offended by my post about "why so many crash diets" or whatever the title. I actually was disturbed that there were 4 or 5 potato diet topics and 2 African mango topics right on the first page and it was like WTF? Whatever happened to just eating nutritionally dense food in adequate portions and following the PB Fitness to whatever ability you have?
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  6. #46
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    Caution! This is hijacked from Hyperlipid Hyperlipid: Protons: Zero fat. Peter has some good stuff but its not a light read. So have some BP coffee or whatever gets your brain going before proceeding!

    Protons: Zero fat
    A bit speculative here, read with caution!

    How do we lower free fatty acids? Obviously, with nicotinic acid. What does this do to insulin secretion in response to a glucose challenge? I'll just work through this figure from the same paper which gave us the insulinotropic effects of various FFAs a couple of posts ago.



    Section A is very simple, it just shows that they succeeded in clamping glucose at just over 200mg/dl, about 12mmol/l, ie just in to supraphysiological levels.

    Section B shows FFA levels, which they manipulated very carefully. All rats started at about 0.6mmol/l. Nicotinic acid lowered FFA levels to 0.1mmol/l. These are the black squares. Two other intervention groups were included. The white triangles had their lipolysis shut down using nicotinic acid but then had FFAs clamped back up again using a soyabean oil infusion (mostly omega 6 PUFA) and the black triangle group had an infusion of lard based lipids (a mix of lipids but with a significant palmitic acid content) to restore and hold FFAs at about 0.8mmol/l.

    The nicotinic acid group, with FFAs of 0.1mmol/l, cannot secrete insulin in response to glucose. Flat line at the bottom of graph C.

    The open squares are the control group. These rats show the normal response to an hyperglycaemic clamp. They reduce FFAs in response to the inhibition of lipolysis from secreted insulin, down to 0.2mmol/l. Insulin inhibits lipolysis. But the reduced FFAs also reduce insulin secretion. There is a balance struck with only a modest rise in insulin, sustained throughout the clamp. You can see this in section C, open squares.

    The two lipid infused groups have clamped glucose and clamped FFAs. They secrete insulin in proportion to the amount of palmitate in the lipid infusion. A bit extra over control if you use low F:N ratio omega 6 PUFA, a ton extra when you include some palmitate. Section D is simply a summary of this.

    Step by step at the mitochondrial level: The lower fatty acid supply results in decrease reduction of the CoQ couple in beta cells. This reduces the reverse electron transport and associated superoxide triggered by glucose as it feeds NADH in to complex I, so limits insulin secretion. You can virtually ablate the insulin response to glucose by eliminating beta cell fatty acid supply.

    Now, nicotinic acid is one way of reducing FFAs. There have to be other, perhaps more physiological, methods. Maybe we could use insulin per se? From food perhaps? Let's try eating around 40g of carbohydrate and look at the Spanish study graph again. Insulin rises from 50pmol/l to 75pmol/l. This is enough to reduce FFAs from 0.5mmol/l to just over 0.1mmol/l. Look at the FFAs, especially the circles between 120 and 300 minutes:



    Now (again, sorry!) look carefully at the insulin levels after the small carb load, bottom circles.



    By 180 minutes insulin is actually lower than fasting, and FFAs are still well below fasting levels too. The rat model appears to hold in humans, not what the study was looking at, and a small effect. But I think the effect is real.

    How about scaling this up to a massive dose of potato induced insulin and limiting dietary fat? Severely limiting dietary fat. And never mind pussy footing around at 40g of mixed carbs and protein. There is a limit to how low FFAs can be driven, and it seems safe to assume that a baked potato or three might just inhibit lipolysis maximally and keep it that low for rather a long time. But if you deprive beta cells of free fatty acids you blunt their ability to secrete insulin. Very, very high carbohydrate diets really ought to be able to inhibit lipolysis to the point where the knock on effect is the inhibition of insulin secretion, provided you don't supply exogenous fat. Look at the nicotinic acid treated rats...

    Once you get FFA levels low enough to inhibit insulin secretion you will start to move in to the sort of territory where insulin secretion might be blunted enough to allow hyperglycaemia. But the feedback effect of reduced insulin levels is also the re commencement of lipolysis. This will restore enough FFAs to maintain functional insulin secretion and so avoid potential hyperglycaemia, which the body tries to avoid. Of course you have to throw in the increased insulin sensitivity of muscles deprived of exogenously supplied FFAs too.

    So is it possible to eat an ad lib, calorie unrestricted diet based on near pure carbohydrate and lose weight? Working from the premise that lowered insulin is a pre requisite for hunger free weight loss, as I always do, the answer is possibly yes. We all remember Chris Voight on his all potato diet (plus 20ml of olive oil, low in palmitate, per day) who lost a great deal of weight over a few weeks, the rate of weight loss accelerating as the weeks progressed? I had a think about it here, well before I had any inkling as to what might be happening in the electron transport chain.

    We need to know what the interaction of insulin and FFAs was during this particular n=1 self experiment, and we don't. The rats suggest to me that insulin levels were initially raised post prandially and FFAs were not then available from peripheral adipocytes. Assuming the fall in lipolysis persisted in to the post-absorptive period (the primary function of insulin, especially at low levels, is the inhibition of lipolysis rather than facilitation of glucose diffusion, we've all read Zierler and Rabinowitz) we have a method for limiting insulin secretion late post prandially using reduced free fatty acid levels.

    As an aside I personally wonder it might be the ectopic lipid supplies typically found in muscle, liver and visceral adipocytes which might still be available for metabolism by the tissues when exogenous supplies are shut down. It reminds me of how metformin most likely depletes ectopic lipid to improve insulin sensitivity, despite having complex I inhibition as its primary action. You need lipid from somewhere. So reducing FFA supply by inhibiting systemic lipolysis may well be a route to lower fasting insulin levels. Especially if you are not far in to metabolic syndrome.

    Once ectopic lipid becomes depleted then lipolysis would accelerate in peripheral adipocytes as systemic insulin resistance falls and fasting insulin levels too, which might be what was reported as progressively increasing weight loss by Chris Voight. Insulin levels would be low, especially during fasting, and appetite low at the same time due to hypoinsulinaemia facilitated lipolysis, much as appetite is low under LC induced hypoinsulinaemic eating. There is more than one way to skin a.... Oops let's not complete that phrase!

    What would happen to a healthy person under these conditions, long term, is anyone's guess. Chis Voight gave up after a few weeks when weight loss became alarmingly rapid. But we know from the crucial study by the vegan apologist Barnard that, for diabetic people at least, that a long term, whole food, low sucrose and low fat diet is a complete disaster, once the initial weight loss ceases.

    This is playing with fire (possibly near literally, at the mitochondrial level) if you are a diabetic. Please don't go there.

    But the physiology of weight loss on ultra low fat diets is basically comprehensible, especially once you look at lipids and superoxide at the ETC level, and what the body needs to function effectively. Running your metabolism on pure glucose would induce, theoretically, an infinite glucose sensitivity and low fasting insulin. If we do reductio ad absurdum you would end up with no fat stores and experience death from hypoglycaemia if you ever depleted your glycogen stores. Mitochondria like (saturated) fatty acids. Fatty acids keep them in control.

    I think someone in obesity research used Chris Voight's experience to support some cock and bull story about food reward and a set point of body fat. We can wait for the recant on that one, if you could care less about it. The biochemistry is, as always, the fascinating stuff.

    Peter

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post

    Second of all, there's the question of whether eating *only* potatoes for a couple of weeks at a time is a healthy way to lose weight. [...] I'd guess that Neckhammer is trying to question the latter, not the former, in this thread.
    Right. That is how I read the question too. It is not whether a person eats some potato, or rice as part of their eating plan. I do it. It's whether eating only potatoes for 10-14 days is healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Caution! This is hijacked from Hyperlipid Hyperlipid: Protons: Zero fat. Peter has some good stuff but its not a light read. So have some BP coffee or whatever gets your brain going before proceeding!
    oh gosh...I need that in "english," I don't understand "scientish"

    But I think the conclusion is the important part, I just need someone to explain it a little more fully:
    This is playing with fire (possibly near literally, at the mitochondrial level) if you are a diabetic. Please don't go there.

    But the physiology of weight loss on ultra low fat diets is basically comprehensible, especially once you look at lipids and superoxide at the ETC level, and what the body needs to function effectively. Running your metabolism on pure glucose would induce, theoretically, an infinite glucose sensitivity and low fasting insulin. If we do reductio ad absurdum you would end up with no fat stores and experience death from hypoglycaemia if you ever depleted your glycogen stores. Mitochondria like (saturated) fatty acids. Fatty acids keep them in control.
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    SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.

    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
    2013 goals are to get fit and strong!

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
    Thanks for this thread- good to have a neutral spot to discuss, without bringing down those using the potato thread to get support for their efforts.

    I've read some of the potato threads, but just from interest to see what people were talking about, not from a desire to do it myself. One thing that puzzles me is the talk of satiety. I know you can eat a good VOLUME of potatoes on this plan, but is no one having difficulties with the insulin reactions causing cravings for more food, regardless of physical FULLNESS?

    I know that when I am riding the sugar/starch rollercoaster, I can want to eat, even if my stomach is physically full, because of what my insulin levels are telling me.

    But I don't see this discussed.
    Hi Sabine,

    Maybe it's because I don't have any insulin issues, but I have not had any cravings on the potato-only diet. I have done it for the last 7 days and have hunger getting less each day. Initially, I was ready to try it for a couple days but honestly couldn't see my self going the entire 10-14 days. My assumption is that I would be crazed with hunger and cravings coupled with a decreasing desire / ability to do workouts, especially weight lifting. I was prepared to do just walking and some yoga. I was also prepared to stop immediately if I bend down to hold a pose or pick up laundry and get hit with dizziness or nausea.

    None of that happened. No cravings, aside from smelling roasted meat I cooked for the family and wanting to dive into the crispy skin, but that was just in my head - it wasn't the "OMG, I need to EAT everything" kind of craving. Just a "wow, that smells tasty" feeling.

    Re: workouts . . . This is where I was really surprised. My energy is super high - I've been getting tons of housework done, have been walking everywhere, taking multiple yoga/Pilates classes and also doing my 60 minute weight lifting class, which is really intense, even when I'm eating my usual primal foods. I killed it at my class eating just potatoes - didn't need to reduce my weights and had a ton of energy to do all of the push-ups, planks etc that are part of the class. I waited until I was several days into just potatoes to try that class because it is so intense. No bad side effects at all. I'm going to continue until Friday, then will go back to my usual foods.

    Like gopintos, I have moved into a smaller jean size and have visibly lost weight in my stomach. Not posting pics because that's not my thing but I know my body and know how my clothes are fitting. I also know when food I'm eating is affecting my energy or making me feel bad and would have instantly stopped with the potatoes had that happened.

    To me, this is a very doable, short-term experiment that has worked out very well for me. And I certainly don't think it is doing me any damage. To see people commenting about this like it's wrong, wrong, wrong, when I have seen those same posters talk about fasting for several days makes me scratch my head in confusion. At the end of the day, if you think this is silly or stupid, don't do it. It's accomplished what I wanted so I'm happy with it.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    Second of all, there's the question of whether eating *only* potatoes for a couple of weeks at a time is a healthy way to lose weight. This is the one I feel concern over (for the record, I also question the wisdom of multi-day fasting for weight loss). I don't argue that people are getting results, but I worry about the health effects and what kind of weight is being lost since it's quite possible that the astonishing numbers seen on the scale are partly attributable to loss of muscle and bone mass as well as fat loss.

    Yes, that is correct. And glad to see regular fasting ("wisdom of multi-day fasting for weight loss") lumped in also, because to question one really is to question the other, imo. (and all the others also)

    Now, I also get there are other factors and that is probably the real question. What those particular nutrients are doing to our bodies. Just like someone had to first learn what does CO do to us when we use it only, or what does Kraut do to us when we use it only, or what does it do when we eat only protein, etc. So someone has to be the first to experiment and try to figure it out.

    I know for me with a regular fast (though I can't do absolute water fast, or havent yet anyways) I can lose some pounds on the scale but I always gain it back when I go back to eating - and eating primally clean. However after a couple of tator days and then going back to eating, I continued to lose weight (but then again for me, I was also changing around my macros)

    The other thing I noticed was the inches lost. I have been IF for months and months, and some of my measurements havent moved since July. And then bam! Arms are smaller, waist is smaller, hips are smaller, 3"below my belly button is really smaller - new jean size smaller - and not just for a day. The number on the scale might go up & down (I have added ST now so that might be why) but the inches have stayed off.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Caution! This is hijacked from Hyperlipid Hyperlipid: Protons: Zero fat. Peter has some good stuff but its not a light read. So have some BP coffee or whatever gets your brain going before proceeding!
    Will have to read this after my head quits spinning
    Thanks for digging and sharing!
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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