Shame On The Chicago Tribune For Bashing The Anti-Grain Movement

Shame On The Chicago Tribune

A blatantly pro-wheat piece ran in the Chicago Tribune that bashes the anti-grain movement. Read it here.

Written by dietitian, Marsha McCullough, it is full of the oversimplifications and partial truths echoed by the wheat industry. (So it smells and looks like something either paid for by the wheat industry to be placed in the Tribune, or Ms. McCullough was paid to write. That’s how the big lobbies work. They generally cannot rely on “organic” commitment.)

“Those with an allergy to wheat or other grains must avoid them. And the one percent of the population with celiac disease and the six percent with non-celiac gluten sensitivity must avoid all gluten, a protein found in grains, including wheat, rye and barley. With a doctor’s approval, most people with a gluten sensitivity can eat small amounts of uncontaminated oats; all other uncontaminated, gluten-free grains are typically allowed.”

Well, that’s a new concession: that people can have non-celiac allergies to wheat and that 6% of the population have “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” or NCGS. Actually, the percentage of people with NCGS is in dispute with a recent effort at a consensus discussion from several celiac experts asking the question whether all irritable bowel syndrome sufferers, constituting 25-30% of the population, are really suffering from NCGS. The fact that the wheat lobby would allow such a concession is progress, so she starts off on a fairly positive note. Even conservatively, she allows that 7% of the population should not consume wheat — yet we are told by the USDA that everybody without exception should make “healthy whole grains” the centerpiece of diet.

It is a widely held fiction that oats are okay for people with celiac disease or NCGS: Yes, you can find oats without gluten or gliadin, but oats have a closely related protein called avenin that cross reacts immunologically in some people. The question of allergy is not as well charted out, but it is affecting a growing number of people, especially children suffering eczema and asthma, due to changes in wheat proteins, such as alpha amylase and trypsin inhibitors, as well as gliadin.

“According to an August 2013 review in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, multiple case reports suggest gluten can play a role in some autoimmune diseases beyond celiac disease, but large studies are lacking. Autoimmune diseases that occur most commonly in combination with celiac disease are autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, type 1 diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, and psoriasis.”

Alright, now she’s playing games with us, choosing one review and suggesting that this review is the totality of evidence, and suggesting that autoimmunity only occurs alongside celiac disease.

Not true. Dr. Alessio Fasano, while at the University of Maryland (now at Harvard) performed the elegant series of studies that first demonstrated that wheat (rye, barley) gliadins trigger the zonulin protein-mediated process that is the first step in autoimmunity. And this mechanism has nothing to do with celiac disease or NCGS, though it is partially dependent on the genetic variant of zonulin (“haptoglobin-2″) you carry. But essentially 90%+ of the population is susceptible to this effect.

From the perspective of “large studies,” we have a study of wheat removal in rheumatoid arthritis demonstrating partial remission. A search on PubMed will also reveal the explosion of studies exploring Dr. Fasano’s work further and documenting the close relationship of wheat consumption and autoimmunity. Yes, we need more data, but it all points fingers at wheat (and consistent with our anecdotal daily experience of multiple forms of autoimmunity receding with wheat elimination).

And, by the way, there is more to autoimmunity than wheat/gliadin removal, as chronic grain consumption distorts health in other ways, such as impaired absorption of nutrients over many years, disrupted cholecystokinin signaling for digestion, and changes in bowel flora (dysbiosis). All of this must be addressed for full recovery to occur after grains are removed. Just as an alcoholic doesn’t recover full health just by stopping the flow of bourbon, so a former wheat-consumer does not fully recover once the wheat/gliadin are stopped–the long-term consequences of wheat/gliadin consumption must be corrected, as well.

“Gluten-free diets carry the concern of nutritional deficiencies, and completely grain-free diets only heighten that risk. Julie Miller Jones, PhD, CNS, LN, professor emerita of nutrition at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn., summarizes data showing grains provide the following amounts of nutrients in the U.S. diet: 70 percent of folate 60 percent of thiamin 50 percent of iron 40 percent or more of niacin, riboflavin, and selenium 25 percent of magnesium and zinc.”

Proponents of grain-free diets voice concern about anti-nutrients in grains. Grains, especially whole grains, contain a substance called phytate that impairs the body’s absorption of some minerals. However, in populations with well-balanced diets, this may be of little consequence. There are ways to minimize phytate, too.”

Ah, so she is aware of the phytate issue, the phosphorus-containing compounds in all grains that block 90% of iron absorption, 90% of zinc absorption, and at least 60-70% of magnesium absorption.

In nations that have developed dependence on wheat and corn, iron and zinc deficiencies are rampant, affecting over 2 billion people. Consumption of grains provides no net increase in iron or zinc, nor of any other nutrient, because they are inaccessible. The second most common cause of iron deficiency anemia in the world (after blood loss): wheat consumption.

How to minimize phytate? Well, first of all, modern grains have been selected to be phytate-rich, as phytates serve to protect grains from pests, such as insects. So modern grains are more effective at blocking nutrient absorption than traditional grains. But she is correct: phytates can be minimized — by genetic modification, GM. So she is essentially advocating that more GM crops be introduced, an argument that surely delights the agribusiness advocates.

Make no mistake: GM is an awful, crude, and desperately unhealthy process, despite the absurd FDA stand that GM crops are “substantially equivalent.” They are not and the science is bearing this out.

“‘Breads made with longer fermentation times, such as Julia Child’s French bread (which requires at least 6 hours of rise time), and classic sourdough bread, have significantly lower phytate levels,’ Jones says. Lectins, another type of anti-nutrient in grains, also may be inactivated by lengthy fermentation, and some are destroyed by heat.”

That is true: phytates are modestly reduced, but not eliminated. Lectins, on the other hand, are nearly impervious to heating, human digestion, or taking a beating at the hands of enthusiastic bakers. Wheat germ agglutinin, the lectin protein of wheat, rye, barley, and rice, remains remarkably intact despite such manipulations. But the reduction in phytates means that gliadin, glutenins, alpha amylase inhibitors, trypsin inhibitors, D-amino acids, amylopectin A are still there in all their glory, exerting autoimmune, intestinally disruptive, bowel flora-changing, allergy-provoking, and blood sugar-raising effects.

“‘Some people reason that if they eat more broccoli, for instance, then it won’t matter if they don’t eat grains. But, thinking you don’t need grain fiber because you get a lot of vegetable fiber is like saying that if you get enough vitamin A you don’t need any vitamin C. That’s just plain wrong,’ Jones says. For example, beta glucan, the fiber best at lowering cholesterol, is present only in oats and barley. It’s grain fiber, rather than fiber from any source, that is linked with a reduced risk of colon cancer.”

Several partial truths here. Jones and McCullough are referring to the presence of indigestible prebiotic fibers, or “resistant starches,” in grains, such as arabinoxylan, consumed by bowel flora and converted to butyrate, which does indeed exert healthy intestinal effects and metabolic benefits, such as reduced blood sugar.

But, given the fact that wheat has been consumed for only the last 10,000 years of human existence — how did humans obtain such fibers in the 2.5 million years prior to grains? Root vegetables. Root vegetable consumption is among the oldest documented foodstuffs to enter the diet of primates, found in even pre-Homo Australopithecus (e.g., robustus). Root vegetables are how non-grain consuming cultures, such as the Hadza of sub-Saharan Africa, obtain their prebiotic fibers — not grains. And most of the fiber in grains is cellulose — wood fiber — indigestible by humans. There is no inherent benefit to wood fiber consumption.

And the fiber data do not demonstrate that it is grain fiber that is most closely related to reductions in colon cancer risk. The data here tend to be sloppy, epidemiological studies of the sort that prove nothing. Taken as a whole, we could say that fiber intake reduces colon cancer risk, but we cannot say that it is grain fiber specifically. (I predict that the data will show, when clean data are finally generated, that it is the prebiotic fibers/resistant starches that are the truly protective component of foods, not the cellulose fibers.)

“A 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that healthy adults on a gluten-free diet for a month had a significant decrease in protective gut bacteria, while potentially unhealthy bacteria increased in number. These findings are similar to an earlier study of children with celiac disease following a long-term gluten-free diet (Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2007).”

This is nonsense. She suggests that eliminating “gluten” is somehow unhealthy, an unhealthy and necessary evil to treat celiac disease. Yes, there are changes in bowel flora when you remove gluten, celiac or no, a process that requires months to years to correct. And they may not correct on their own, given the extensive disruption of digestion and intestinal health that derives from grain consumption. (We cannot create the healthy species we require, such as Lactobacillus plantarum, without introducing them through a probiotic or consumption of fermented foods.) The problem is not removing gluten; the problem is that bowel health is so disrupted that re-establishing healthy bowel flora requires efforts that go beyond gluten removal.

And followers of these discussions know that a “gluten-free” diet can be a terribly unhealthy diet, including effects on bowel flora, if it includes cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato flour, or rice flour, as replacements, since they also distort bowel flora and provoke inflammatory effects of their own. A faulty solution does not mean the original premise was wrong.

“In the typical American diet, wheat supplies at least 70 percent of inulin and oligofructose, which are prebiotic starches that fuel the growth of good bacteria.”

That is true, but suggests that grains are indispensable. Americans have woefully inadequate intakes of prebiotic starches on the order of 3-5 grams per day. The solution is not more grains; the solution is more root vegetables such as legumes, lentils, chickpeas, and other foods — the way humans have done it for 2.5 million years until the widespread fictions, misinterpretations, and lore of grains entered our experience. (This is an entire discussion of its own — for future!)

All in all, despite the half-truths in this piece, it demonstrates that apologists for wheat are getting a bit more savvy. But I don’t envy their position, having to defend the role of grains in the human diet — because they never belonged in the human diet in the first place. Recall that grains entered the human experience during moments of desperation, a source of calories when foods we instinctively consumed — such as organs, bone marrow, meat, nuts, seeds, roots, and berries — fell in short supply. They were intended to be consumed when real food was unavailable. But, in a world overpopulated due to the cheap, large-scale production of grains, we are told that our diets should be dominated by this nutritional intruder.

If you were starving and found yourself standing in a field of wheat, would you celebrate your good fortune and feast on the seeds of this grass? No, you would die of malnutrition. Wheat was never meant for human consumption.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. > Shame on the Chicago Tribune

    Dr. Davis, little hatchet jobs like these have been popping up all over lately. We had one in the magazine our REA sends us. Since all of these puff pieces mention Julie Jones, it rather looks as if they’ve made minor tweaks to the last big effort to prop up grains, her AACCI paper of 2012-09, which I analyzed at:
    http://wheatfreeforum.com/index.php/topic,247.0.html
    It will take more than lipstick to remediate this pig. They couldn’t even find an alleged professional journal to run this nonsense in this time.

    With their creeping (and creepy) admissions of
    (more problems with wheat than we admitted last time),
    I suspect the real question is:

    Are they just trying to fool us,
    or are they also fooling themselves?

    • Culinary Adventurer

      Dr. Davis,

      They are obviously trying to position themselves as the most knowledgeable and official voice in the room. The “leader expert”. It is typical of both corporations and lobby groups to have other people be their mouthpiece – usually women I’ve noticed if they are behaving badly behind the scenes.

      Time is on your side Dr. Davis as will be the increasing number of facts. As the new “clean” studies come out, they will have to try even harder to twist their story. Yours will be steady. The truth always proves itself and the lies fall apart..

      You handled this clearly and directly as we have come to expect from you. Thank you so much!

      To Boundless,

      Thank you so much too, for all your ongoing contributions! You are a voice of calm and reason and facts. In support of Dr. Davis you have been steady and true. I have learned much from you!

      Thank you!

      CA

      • > Thank you so much too, for all your ongoing contributions!

        You’re welcome. Glad to be useful.

        > You are a voice of calm and reason and facts.

        I’ve been on the internet way too long to act otherwise (back before it was the internet, in fact).

        > In support of Dr. Davis you have been steady and true.

        Only because Dr.D. has been steady and true. :)

        We are all on a nutritional journey. My distinct impression is that we don’t really know what an ideal human diet is yet, exactly (and it may turn out to be both genotype-specific, and a set of options each with a constellation of consequences). We can be very confident that a diet that works for NO ONE is high carb generally and the USDA “MyPlate of Metabolic Syndrome” in particular, which of course is fully endorsed by grain industry shills and useful idiots like Marsha McCullough.

  2. Neicee

    Dr. Davis, you hit it out of the ballpark. Again, for all the naysayers I encounter (almost daily) this is great ammunition – or shield to shut them up. ;) Thanks again.

  3. What a load of poppycock. The newsletter the article came from also endorses carrageenan, a food additive that’s used as an inflammatory in lab animals. But it’s natural!

  4. Good response and am glad to hear there will be further discussion regarding RS. I’m doubtful that the root vegetables available to our ancestors for 2.5 million years bear any resemblance to the domesticated species available today…..many may present potential hazards.

  5. Lisa

    I love the way Dr Davis has a logical scientific answer to counteract all these half truths.

  6. The paper from the British Journal of Nutrition did have this comment
    Effects of a gluten-free diet on gut microbiota and immune function in healthy adult human subjects – comment by Jackson

    A paper in the British Journal of Nutrition by De Palma et al.(1) noted that healthy adult human subjects fed a gluten-free diet (GFD) developed significant changes in their gut microbiota. Similar results were observed by Collado et al.(2) in coeliac-affected infants on a GFD compared with healthy controls. Naturally occurring fructan-type resistant starches, especially oligofructose and inulin, are known to promote a favourable mix of colon bacteria(3). What has been overlooked in the literature is the extent to which wheat contributes to this prebiotic stimulus. For example, Van Loos et al.(4) reported that wheat (78 %) and barley (3 %) together provide 81 % of oligofructose and inulin for average North Americans, with onions giving 10 %. Moshfegh et al.(5) found that, in Americans, wheat supplied 70 % of these two fructans, with onions contributing 25 %. Thus, it appears that a GFD in both coeliac and non-coeliac subjects could produce similar, potentially adverse, changes in the microbiota solely on the basis of a marked reduction in intake of naturally occurring fructans which have prebiotic action. Provision of gluten-free but prebiotic-rich foods and/or a supplement of fructan-type prebiotics could avoid this situation and, in so doing, provide important support to the intestinal microbiota as well as important nutritional guidance for the coeliac patient.”

    It’s also worth pointing out that the De Palmo study was based on 10 subjects who were submitted to a GFD by replacing gluten-containing foods by equivalent ones certified as gluten-free (20 parts per million maximum gluten content) by the Spanish Federation of Coeliac Association (FACE) over a 1-month period.
    The WheatBelly diet is not based on processed ready made gluten free products. It’s based on eating REAL FOODS with an emphasis on home prepartion from basic ingredients naturally gluten free. Readymade gluten free products are equivalent to junk foods and will have similar inhibiting on commensal gut flora and promoting pathogenic gut flora. A REAL FOOD diet promotes beneficial gut flora and inhibits pathogenic gut flora.
    We also know changing from one diet to another there is often a period of adjustment while our gut flora rebalances to those changes. Many people find a little resistant starch can improve matters by providing a suitable food for the beneficial gut microbes.

  7. JillOz

    This push for wheat and no animal products is not just from the grain industry. Much of this pressure comes from the UN:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet
    supposedly to defeat climate change. It is all lie – the climate change lie/move to veganism and various other measures have been pushed as part of a move to reduce population, reduce and act against capitalism with the aim of controlling the world’s resources under Agenda 21.
    The article above is just one example being brought to bear on people worldwide to eat grains and give up meat.

  8. JillOz

    hey Dr Davis, the line by line analysis of a piece of alleged reportage is known as “Fisking” after Robert Fisk who lies a lot in his own journalism.

    Good example of it here, hope you do more it! :)

  9. Jeanine

    Question about probiotics: I know Dr. Davis recommends taking for only a few months. But is there any harm in keeping it as a regular supplement? Is daily ok? We’ve been using for over a year. We don’t notice huge effects when we go without (for instance, on long vacations with no refrigeration) but for some reason we feel kind of addicted to it.
    Question about prebiotics and inulin: I’m seeing ( or maybe they’ve always been there and I’m just paying more attention to them now…) these terms more and more and would like to know if there are certain foods I need to consciously make a part of the diet to ensure we’re getting enough. For instance, I pretty much cut out beans and lentils (for carb reasons) but now I’m wondering if I should put them back in.
    Question about fermented foods: besides sauerkraut, what should I be looking for? Pickled isn’t the same as fermented, right?

    • > Question about probiotics: … any harm in keeping it as a regular supplement? Is daily ok?

      Let’s assume we are speaking of a quality PB. If you search the web, you can easily find advice like “The only reason to avoid them is if you have had an allergic reaction to lactobacillus, acidophilus, bifidobacterium, or Streptococcus thermophilus.”

      The principal risk of over-use of PBs is all the money you are literally flushing down the drain. If you don’t need ‘em, and/or they don’t take hold, they just pass on through. And quality PBs aren’t cheap.

      I only take PBs when there’s indication of need, such as during and after a course of intentional antibiotics, or perhaps after an illness or exposure to an adverse food, and then only until the outcome is resolved.

      Anyone whose diet consists of things laden with pesticides (such as Bt GMOs) or full of gut antagonists (such as wheat) might need to be on PBs continuously, but treating the problem rather than the symptom would seem to make more sense.

      That said, most PBs in the retail market are worthless. If they aren’t sold out of the pharmacy refrigerator (or shipped in ice packs), you can assume that most of the bugs are dead. Many brands have an inadequate spectrum of bugs to begin with. And of course, the shadier brands can easily have contamination issues. A subscription to http://www.consumerlab.com is useful here, as they test PBs,

      • Jeanine

        Thanks, Boundless. I’m laughing at myself (sort of) for being the “middle man” between very expensive probiotics and the sewer. Hah! Any wisdom to share regarding my other two questions?

        • > …. my other two questions?
          > … cut out beans and lentils (for carb reasons) but now
          > I’m wondering if I should put them back in.

          The carbs may or may not be manageable with preparation that converts them to resistant starches (RS), a topic on which the jury is still deliberating. Legumes have other considerations beyond carbs (lectins and phytates). The LC blogosphere is all over the map on this, so I’d put them in the Limited category, subject to net carbs, which varies with prep, and keep an eye on developments.

          > besides sauerkraut, what should I be looking for?

          Beats me.

          > Pickled isn’t the same as fermented, right?

          Pickling is a form of fermentation, and with that I’ve told you more than I know.

          • I’m new to the fermenting journey so please bear with me…..confusion comes from the overlap in definitions that not all fermented foods are pickled, and not all pickled foods are fermented.

            Pickled foods are those that have been prepared in an acidic medium, usually the acid comes from vinegar (which is itself fermented)…..these vegetables are not fermented and do not offer any probiotic nor enzymatic value. Most of what you will find in supermarkets are of this variety.

            Lacto-fermented foods which are anaerobically processed (without oxygen) produce their own acidic liquid which not only converts the sugars in vegetables/legumes/tubers to lactic acid but creates innumerable gut-friendly bacteria in the process. While I am still low on the learning curve, I have found Pickl-it.com to be a valuable resource.

            As far as the RS factor goes, the only personal experiment I have done is fermenting potatoes, (yesterday) and I’m not sure it qualifies as an RS experiement ……if only 5% of total starch is resistant, then the fermenting process may, or may not have had an impact on remaining levels. Mine was probably just a fermented potato curiosity! I fermented a peeled, organic, heritage white potato for 28 hours in a 3.5 salt brine…..sliced, cooked in coconut oil, cooled, then consumed about 1/2 cup…..my pre-prandial BG was 81…..post-prandial at 90 minutes was 86. Unfortunately, I didn’t check further . Next, I will check levels after eating a cooked unfermented potato and see what happens. Hope this helps…..as I said, I’m new to all this and still learning

    • Dr. Davis

      No harm to my knowledge, Jeanine, except the dent in your pocketbook. But I question their necessity unless there is some ongoing disrupting factor, e.g., hypochlorhydria (reduced stomach acid).

      Yes, beans and lentils are good sources, but serving size needs to remain small, e.g., 1/4 cup, to avoid glycemic implications. Also, green unripe banana and peeled raw potatoes are other sources that I put in smoothies.

      • JillOz

        Dr Davis, I am only just beginning to feel again when I am full, but am still having trouble with portion sizes.

        Could you please post portion suggestions for the post-triticale tummy ;)?

          • Thanks Dr. Davis …..does that mean that you do not recommend the type of RS that forms when potatoes are cooked, then cooled, because they could contain acrylamides? And then another question is whether fermenting potatoes would have an effect on resistant starch values….could they be eliminated entirely? I know you’re planning on tackling the RS issue in the future and, as always, am looking forward to your well-researched opinions.

  10. Lynn Dell

    Thank you for your thoughtful response to this article. Perhaps I read your response too quickly, but I note that she did not deal with the rise in obesity and diabetes in our culture, which exploded during the era of modern wheat and high fructose corn syrup, both of which are extremely bad on our systems in their respective ways. Nothing about whole wheat ratcheting up blood glucose levels more than most foods? Oh well, apparently that is not a big problem to her, or the people that paid her to write the article.

    I found out about you and your work from Dr. Perlmutter, in Grain Brain. It was quite beneficial to read Wheat Belly and learn about they hybridization of modern wheat and why it is so bad. We (husband and I) also got the 30 minute cookbook. Sitting upstairs is my second attempt at a pizza using the crust recipe in that book. Made the first one last night and it was a big hit. Nom, nom, nom! ;)

    Also, I was greatly relieved to read your blog entry on losing weight and lipid panels going (what is perceived to be) the wrong way. I lost over 30 lbs and went for a check up. I had been prediabetic, per home checks. After 3 months of wheat elimination and going slightly ketogenic, my A1C was 5.6, my fasting glucose was around 55, my insulin was <2, but my total cholesterol was somewhere around 250, which scared me badly until I read that entry of yours explaining why.

    Other personal benefits to getting rid of wheat and going low carb, and being intentional about trying to get the omega 3/omega 6 ratio better than it was – persistent joint pain greatly diminished. Persistent soft tissue pain, especially at L heel strike, GONE. Feel somewhat more on an even keel emotionally. Can go for hours in between meals. The occasional fast is much easier than it was. Really struggled with post viral asthma, and don't have that any more.

    I'll take what appears to be lowering generalized inflammation and keep at it, and view articles like that with healthy skepticism. I've experienced way too much good effects to be persuaded by major articles such as that in newspapers, but thanks again for the rebuttal.

    • Dr. Davis

      As you see, Lynn, the more you know and understand, the better this wheat-free lifestyle gets!

      Keep up the good work.

  11. stephen ottridge

    I’m confused now about starches. Potato starch is good for the bacteria in the gut. How about tapioca starch? It is good to see the Doc recommending root vegetables and legumes, peas, lentils etc. I’ve often commented that I eat these and the fanatics fall over themselves to run me down and call me a troll.

    • > I’m confused now about starches.

      This topic is now under the microscope in LCHF. On this blog, the recent chat is under:
      http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/press-media/faqs/comment-page-17/#comment-204200

      Which starch, how prepared, and how served seems to matter to a surprising degree.

      > How about tapioca starch?

      Glucometer readings before and at 30 minute intervals after the meal should tell the tale. I should add that in the context of WB goals, the readings you’ve reported in other threads appear to be less than optimal preprandial, and materially elevated postprandial (notwithstanding destructive advice about this from the ADA).

      • stephen ottridge

        My pre prandial reading this am is 99. The number I noted in an earlier thread was wrong. A week ago my number was 94. No comment about the doc now liking lentils and pulses in moderation.

        • > My pre prandial reading this am is 99 …

          I’m not a BG expert (I don’t monitor my own), but I have seen statements in various places from Dr.D that fasting BG is ideally 90 mg/dl (for those reversing T2D) and perhaps lower for those free of T2D. For postprandial, he has said to target 100 or less, and that too might be lower for non-T2D.

          Since home test kits are now available for HbA1c, keeping an eye on that is also useful, targeting 5.0% or lower.

          > No comment about the doc now liking lentils and pulses in moderation.

          Not sure what the intent of that statement is. As I’ve said elsewhere here, the only thing we’re 100% sure of is what diets don’t work for anyone (USDA, ADA, AHA, etc.). What will be the future optimal recommendation is going to evolve. Just since the publication of the original book, Dr.D. has shifted his posture on quinoa, for example. I suspect that if we dug into TYP posts, we might see other older shifts.

          Anyone proposing that formerly “never” or “limited” foods be reclassified is welcome to make their argument, preferably supported by test data. Keep in mind that individual responses to carbs vary, so anyone contemplating giving it a try is advised to monitor.

    • Dr. Davis

      I don’t believe tapioca falls into this category, Stephen.

      One of the problems we have in this question of prebiotic fibers/resistant starches, is limited analyses. Also, note that heating will undo the polymeric forms of starches and convert them into sugars. So NO heating is crucial.

  12. Rich

    These types of articles have been appearing on a steady basis lately. I suppose the truth hurts entrenched business intrest and they have been trotting out the mainstream media cheerleading squad to suppress it.
    First they ignore you, next they ridicule and attack you and then you win!!
    There seems to be a lot of focus around proper bowel function around this article. I have anecdotal evidence that the claim that grains are beneficial from proper function of the digestive tract are utter nonsense. I have been wheat and grain free for about 9 months and my bouts with loose stool and irregularity are all but gone.
    It was not easy in the beginning. Soon after ditching wheat I had trouble with constipation. Probiotics, even the high quality, expensive preparations, were marginally effective. As soon as I stopped taking them constipation returned.
    For what it is worth, the solution that finally worked for me was homemade kombucha tea. I know that kombucha is controversial For instance, Wikipedia claims that drinking kombucha has been linked to serious side effects and deaths, and improper preparation can lead to contamination. As for me I take this risk over the risk in genetically altered or modified organisms any time of the day. Also, there remains some sugar in this tea after fermentation. Since it is homemade I cannot tell how much, but I limit my intake to 1 to 2 small glasses per day; and I found that lenthening the fermentation process reduces the sweetness and therefore sugar content.
    Yet, it worked for me without any negative side effects so common in the ‘remedies’ of modern Western medicine.

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific, Rich.

      You can appreciate that, in this age of “healthy whole grains,” better than 1/3 of all Americans can be expected to experience an abdominal condition, often chronic. Much of it goes away by rejecting this absurd notion.