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Food and Health

We're All on a Diet, Mostly Not Good for Humans

Introduction To Healthy Eating
Small Stories
Recommended Book List!

Introduction To Healthy Eating

So lets start with terminology. Everyone is on a diet. For most in the USA that is the Standard American Diet (SAD). Here we suggest you switch to the Gundry Diet (also known as the Plant Paradox Diet).

For a list of wonderful recent books on important topics check the Great Books page.

A misleading overview is that the Gundry diet is low-carb and high-fat. Misleading because it misses the real point that humans do not digest wheat, corn, or sugar properly and eating any of these causes most of the diseases we see today. These foods provoke our immune system and cause inflammation throughout the body. People respond to this in an individual way. Arthritis, MS, atherosclerosis and many more diseases are symptoms of the worn-out immune system getting confused and causing trouble (trouble highly dependent on each individual as to how it plays out).

The bottom line is avoid all grains and all food that was not used by humans 50,000 years ago. That's harder to do than you think because how do you know what is new and what is old? And what about GMO and organic food? That is where Gundry is a gigantic help.

I suggest reading Gundry before looking at people opposing his work. From the opposers you would think Gundry recommends really strange foods should be eaten, but actually he's recommending normal food available at a grocery store. It's not difficult to find youtube videos opposing Gundry's approach. The two I watched (life is short, there are more I am sure) are somewhat different. One exaggerates Gundry's positions and debunks the exaggeration. And complains about the lack of human studies, but for *his* patients and diet program mentions no such human studies. A second one misstates the Gundry program too with exaggeration and in addition quotes human studies which are actually "medical reductionism" studies which Dr. T. Colin Campbell thoroughly debunks in "The China Study" (see table below).

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A Few Comments

The David Perlmutter book(s) are proof that the medical community beyond Gundry is beginning to grasp the now well-researched problems with grains and sugar (see especially the third book on the most recent studies). Campbell, in "The China Study" clearly documents the medical and government opposition to any major dietary or medical practice change -- he is a well-connected insider.

While some people turn to Gundry in order to lose weight (since nearly everyone in the US is over-weight) a truly thin person tends to -gain- weight on the Gundry diet. Your body knows what weight is right and will go there over time. See The Plant Paradox.

There is no limit on how much you eat in the Gundry diet: we started out eating quite a lot and gradually tapered off as we just felt a bit over-full. What all the calorie-counters failed to understand is that if you avoid the bad stuff (grains, sugar) and give your biome the chance to recover your then-healthy biome will deal with excess calories silently and effortlessly (your biome does not get fat, it protects you as you are it host [Ok, bad way to put it. Your biome does not think, lets not anthromorphise]).

It's remarkable how after a few weeks on the Gundry plan you can skip meals and feel just fine and have full energy. I used to feel weak/debilitated after just a few hours not eating.

We were on the Atkins diet in the 1970's (the first 'paleo' diet) and it worked well (lost weight) but the instructions were overwhelming and one simply could not stay on it for long. Atkins had a theory, not a scentific basis, and the theory was little help in identifying what was really appropriate to eat. Atkins was on the right track. Atkins had to guess a lot.

Given that wheat, rice, and corn (and related grains) are really big parts of farming one can understand why there is a genuine reluctance to believe that Gundry/Perlmutter could be correct. See VisualCaptialist.com or InformationIsBeautiful.net for nice graphs (albeit 5 years old, apparently) of crop plantings and values.

The first days on the Gundry diet are a bit of a challenge because you have to figure out which (of the many many choices of plants, oils, etc in grocery stores) are appropriate which are inappropriate. And if you don't have a well-stocked organic grocery store available then, as The Plant Paradox says, just do the best you can. Internet shopping can bring you lots of things unavailable in even well-stocked grocery stores. But you will need Gundry's lists to understand what is actually ok to eat in this modern world.

There is lots of reading of the fine print on labels required. If food is in a package it's very likely to have grains and/or sugar and one must avoid grains and sugar! We found we had to discard or give away the vast majority if what was in our kitchen, which took a while to fully grasp. The Gundry books help a lot here. Modern farming practice is really different from 150 years ago.

Modern non-organic wheat farming completely changed post-1991. In 1991 essentially no wheat was sprayed with Roundup (a rather horrible glyphosphate poison). Now essentially 100% of all non-organic wheat is sprayed with it. Multiple times. Big win for farmers: less work, more product, and less wear-and-tear on farm machinery. But who would choos to eat Roundup? July 1, 2019: Austria is the first country to entirely ban glyphosphates!

All that stuff about Glycemic Index you read about for years: that is still correct. So eat yams (at the good end of the glycemic index), not potatoes (at the bad end of the glycemic index). Your body and your biome will love it.

Perlmutter (Whole Live Plan book) writes of research showing that eaten bread attaches to the same receptors in the brain as the opiods do. Which is why people love bread. So when someone says they cannot give up bread you can understand it. They are literally addicted and go through a withdrawl if they stop.

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Recommended Book List!

Author Title Genre Comments
Steven Gundry, MD The Plant Paradox Food, Eating, Health Published 2017. Humans know a lot more about foods and the human body than we knew just ten years ago. This book gives a new eating paradigm (and references earlier 'diets' along the way). We can be healthier, slimmer, and live longer. The book is about 250 pages of explanation followed by 150 pages of recipes. After we started on the program (and started mentioning it to people) we learned one friend had come back from a trip to Africa (eating local food there) with a liver infection that did not respond to medical treatment. Three months on the Gundry program healed her liver. Another friend has endometriosis and has found the diet is the only thing that reduces her pain and tiredness enough to let her get out of bed. The diet eliminates Judy's arthritis pain. We hear from others (after we mention our Gundry diet plan) that they too were cured of various pains/illnesses by this way of eating. You owe it to yourself to read this book and decide for yourself.
Steven Gundry, MD The Plant Paradox Cookbook Food, Eating, Health Published 2018. This has a shorter version of the science of food and nutrition updated with the latest new information. If you want the long explanation read "The Plant Paradox". But this one is better edited and simply looks prettier on every page. It's a joy to read and it's time you too changed your diet. After a few weeks you will realize you feel better all day and have better energy all day without any low-energy periods (even after 18+ hours with no food when you choose to fast). Your craving for sugar will (I predict) vanish and simple things like drinking a glass of good water will taste better. Amazing.
David Perlmutter, MD Grain Brain Food, Eating, Health Published 2013. Perlmutter documents the many and severe bad effects of eating grains and eating sugar/fruit. Goes into more detail in some areas than Gundry on the science that documents the ill effects of grains (which, he points out, are worse now than 100 years ago do to hybridization efforts focusing on production, not human health). It is fine writing. Page 224 has a nice short list of supplements that will help cognition (though they won't avail one much unless one goes off of grain and sugar). One distinction from Gundry is that Perlmutter never discusses seeds and never supports Gundry's Plant Paradox conundrum: I personally think that's an oversight. But otherwise Perlmutter and Gundry are on the same program of fixing health without drugs. Perlmutter has historical notes here and there pointing out that ancient people did not have our modern ills and that a first-century doctor documents Celiacs (the early doctor writings were misconstrued until recently).
David Perlmutter, MD Brain Maker Food, Eating, Health Published 2015. Here Perlmutter gets deeply into how our biome is crucial to our health. Lots of new science.
David Perlmutter, MD Grain Brain: Whole Life Plan Food, Eating, Health In the third book, published 2016, Perlmutter gets deeply into even more recent science.
T.Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II The China Study Revised and Expanded Edition Food, Eating, Health First edition 2004. Revised and expanded electronic edition 2016. Neither Campbell seems to know about any of the recent work on gluten, lectins, and glyadins. Nor do they appreciate how modern farming has changed everything, making many foods dangerous (for your health) to eat for more than one reason. Yet there is a lot here about medicine and diet that is worth reading. How industry has controlled government recommendations on food for many years. How the medical establishment has rejected diet as a way of avoiding or controlling disease and works to suppress anything suggesting that diet really matters. And Campbell explains how the "medical reductionism" approach used essentially everywhere to study health is...bunk. If you wonder why the general medical community does not embrace a plant-based approach to health read the last chapters of the book. There are interesting points on the relationship of the medical community (not just doctors) with foods and health throughout the book.
Daniel Liberman The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Healing Human History, Health Early on the book misleads by referring to what insects and animals ate before humans appeared about 2.5 million years ago in a way that implies that eating fruit is fine for people! That's not what Liberman means. Liberman never addresses how modern people should eat but he does spend some pages making it clear that before the invention of farming (15,000 years ago or so in the Fertile Crescent of the middle east) everyone was a hunter-gatherer and such people were healthier than later people. And Liberman mentions casually (once, I think) that throughout history people and animals only ate fruit in season! In the USA essentially no-one eats fruit that way, we harvest early and fake the ripening (see The Plant Paradox for why this matters).

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