No harm man, I was not defending France against your argument (which would mean I had misunderstood you). I was referring to what you said re wheat. France is full of chronically ill people, and the French side of my family is plagued by chronic illnesses ranging from early arthritis, blood pressure issues, obesity, IBS, etc. They NEVER EVER made the link between wheat and health. They are told repeatedly that eating baguettes every day, especially for men, is a real healthy thing to do. Kids are plagued with obesity, some have had IBS since very early in their life, chronic colds, allergies, etc. French people in general are NOT healthy. They depend on medications like drug addicts. My mom has to ingest an army of pills every single day, some to counteract side-effects of other pills ... it is INSANE.
The only redeeming property of a baguette (save for its amazing taste ... when you are addicted to wheat) is that it is full of air ... When I was a kid, I could not be sent to buy the daily baguette, I would eat most of it on the way back. That's how addictive the shit is. Before turning primal, I would have orgies of croissants and "pains au chocolat" at every vacation there. I would feel like super crappy but would blame something else (bad nights, sea food, whatever, but never the bread). Guess what ? when I stopped wheat, I stopped experiencing this super crappy feeling. And I am talking about French wheat, even organic spelt which I thought was healthy ... My friends there always complained about brain fog, fatigue, lethargy at work, etc. They think that eating a salmon sandwich with some lettuce leaves and low fat mayonnaise is healthy, and yet they feel like shit. I told some of them: maybe you should remove the bread instead of using low fat mayo. They think I am weird now ... but anyway, the image of health you can experience when on vacation there does not mean people are healthy. In fact, I could drive you to parts of France that would probably scare you ...
Edit: I forgot, I agree with your second paragraph. Giving up bread was good for me as well. But I can't deny that a lot of my friends eat bread and pasta and have no issues with them. Especially not digestive issues. Plus, you have to consider the social aspect too....in some places where wheat is so ingrained (no pun intended ) in the culture, it will cause a great deal of worry for someone to give it up, especially people with an active social life. And it's not a big step from worry, to anxiety, social isolation, and depression.
Last edited by sauerKraut; 06-24-2013 at 03:14 AM.
That's the problem with wheat, it can take many years before the image of health disappears. Many of my relatives don't age very well. And the other problem (confounding vars) is that modern wheat is the worst, it is a wheat strain I had not experienced as a kid but as a grown-up. So my later health issues are now experienced by younger people. If you stick to older strains of wheat and home-made stuff, you will definitely not be as affected. But now, this modern crap is ubiquitous, in all processed foods which by convenience and acculturation (US influence mostly) have become a staple. The 2 hour lunch with nutritious traditional foods is a thing of the past ... Just 30 years ago, breakfast cereals and daily coca-cola were unheard of home at home. The only soda I would have once in a while was orangina (not necessarily better though but it was made-in-France damn'it! )
But you know, wheat is one thing, but when combined with shit fat, bad milk and tons of refined sugar ... you get the picture ... You should have seen the "street kids" I used to manage in poor neighborhoods (I used to help social workers during my spare time in my early 20's): I brought some to a real animal farm with sheep, cows, etc. I had to explain to them that the meat they see in the supermarkets mostly come from animals like those. We tasted real honey, raw milk, butter, etc. They thought it tasted off. I would ask them what they preferred: cookies, candies, sodas, chips, cheap crap junk that their parents could only afford. There was a gap of maybe 15 years between me and them, we're talking about the mid-90's.
5'0" female, 44 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently keeping food tracker.
I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and should tweak Primal to their own needs.
My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog: