The Yin Yang of Flatulence

OK, moment of truth.  I am farting less since going paleo. There I said it. How do I know? I have been counting. Each fart – its duration, sound level and odor factor. Like “Wow, that was a thunderous triple flutter blast that was …well harmless or …”Yikes, no one heard that one but ewwwwww.”

 

My wife noticed, too. She saw me updating my tally on my iPad and asked what I was tracking. I told her it was …nothing really. She peered over my shoulder to see my spreadsheet that had the seven days of the week displayed in black and white columns and the rows of fart categories color coded by danger level – cool blue to alarming red.  Since she is responsible for the laundry part of our mutual household agreement, she was delighted that there were no entries under the “shart” category. “It’s science and philosophy mixed together,” I said. “You must be in touch with your inner  self.”

I have checked closely with The Wizard of Dr. Oz in trying to understand the character and nature of natural gas production and he said that it is due to the billions of bacteria that live deep inside the colon and feed on our undigested food “In fact,” he said, “you have more bacteria in your gut than cells in your own body. They do something that’s really very important. They actually make things like vitamin K and folic acid, key nutrients you have to have. They actually digest some of the foods that we can’t otherwise digest,” Dr. Oz says.

Since I was eating grass-fed beef I wondered about the claim that cattle produce more gas than any other living animal.

I investigated further and found that….

Flatulence-producing foods are typically high in certain polysaccharides, (especially oligosaccharides such as inulin). Those foods include beans, lentils, dairy products, onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cashews, Jerusalem artichokes, oats, wheat, and yeast in breads. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables that belong to the genus Brassica are commonly reputed to not only increase flatulence, but to increase the pungency of the flatus.

In beans, endogenous gases seem to arise from complex oligosaccharides (carbohydrates) that are particularly resistant to digestion by mammals, but which are readily digestible by gut flora – microorganisms (methane-producing archaea; Methanobrevibacter smithii) that inhabit the digestive tract. These oligosaccharides pass through the upper intestine largely unchanged, and when they reach the lower intestine, bacteria feed on them, producing copious amounts of flatus.

 

 

Once again. My evidence is anecdotal, but I KNOW I am less flatulent. While it may not be the total answer to stomach distress, the well written and thoughtful  blog post below should be helpful in understanding if you are having digestion issues. liked this graph. While not specific to gas production, it does make some sense if you are on a fart reduction diet.

http://huntgatherlove.com/content/why-paleo-didnt-fix-my-ibs 

Embracing My Primal Self

My quest to return to nature and wholesome foods is full of new and exciting adventures. My rereading of Walden Pond inspired me to go after the food that nature so readily provides in its raw form. That includes trolling for my dinner and going after the “big fish.”

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I believe what I caught here with my Spincast 1265 Fisher Price Rod was a dolphin from “Finding Nemo.”  Look at that cute smile. I had to throw it back.

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But my backyard had more bounty to provide. Mushrooms!!!

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I love mushrooms and there they were, growing abundantly and often colorfully in my backyard.  In hindsight I should have read the warnings about mushroom hunting first. 

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But being the adventurer that I am I grabbed one of the biggest, most luscious looking ones and devoured it raw.

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This should be classified under the “Don’t try this at home” category.

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I began to feel woozy almost immediately.

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“ The first thing for even an amateur mushroom hunter to remember is to avoid parasol-shaped mushrooms, or mushrooms that look like wide-open umbrellas with white rings around the stem and white, milky gills.”

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 ”These mushrooms, especially brightly colored and spotted parasols, may be Amanitas, mushrooms full of one of nature’s deadliest poisons.”

I braced myself under the canopy of the pine tree that sheltered my precious morsels. It began to rain and I felt deliriously alive as I reviewed the kaleidoscopic images my day, my week, my life floating in front of me. I noticed some graffiti written on a nearby mushroom that posed the question. ”What kind of room has no doors?” While I  grappled with solving the riddle,  a  6’3 1/3 inch white rabbit from the neighboring town of Indiana, PA (known as the home of Jimmy Stewart) appeared in front of me and began hopping through my maze muttering incessantly that  he “was late.”  Of course, I followed him, having read the book.  

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There standing in the middle of my Mediation Garden was Twinkiedee and Twinkiedum.

 “Say. I thought they took you off the shelves,” I said salivating. “Contrariwise,” said  Twinkiedee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’ s logic.” “Ahh, that make sense”, I said, “But did you see where the rabbit was heading?”

“Ho Ho ,image

they replied in, trying to throw us a Zinger, eh?image

Well, that Ding Dong image

went off with little Suzie Q image

 to see the Mad Hatter.” image

My wheat and sugar fantasies were now  raging out of control. “What is one to do? I said.  “You, my lost friend, have an advanced  case of Wheat Belly,”   image

they said as they slithered through the tulgy wood and burpled as they sang. “Wheat is the enemy.” image

“Ray, wake up!”, my wife said.  “You are not going to eat that mushroom,  I hope.” She took the uneaten mushroom out of my hand. “It could be dangerous. Wash your hands and come to dinner. I have a nice grass- fed New York strip waiting for you.”

"No more dangerous than my visions," I muttered wistfully.

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LET’S FACE FACTS!!

 Our modern world bears little resemblance to that of our ancestors who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Can one really compare our struggle in the urban jungle with the savage world? Fight or fight has totally different meaning now than it did then.  We share nothing. It is ridiculous to think we have anything in common with our primal forefathers.  The paleo diet is a perfect example. It is clearly a fad. Seriously! 

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                                DAMN DIRTY APES!

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99% of Human History is Pre-historic.

That means those early hominids left no written history. What they did leave was tools, artifacts and…their bones and their DNA. Science has established that we share 99.99 % of the genetic make-up of our earliest ancestors.

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Paleo purists suggest that our hominid ancestors received their nutrition by hunting, scavenging and  gathering. A fresh kill, a recently dead carcass, berries, nuts, roots, tubers and leafy vegetables were the staples of the family meal. 

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There is also evidence they may have celebrated big occasions: weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, appointments to the Moose or Elks Lodge with fermented alcoholic drinks made from…well, anything. Given the artwork and artifacts left behind it is also clear that they had discovered the magic mushroom.

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Note: Caveman pottery above —- Potted Hippie drawing  below

 http://froese.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/froese-et-al-13-turing-instabilities-in-biology-culture-and-consciousness-on-the-enactive-origins-of-symbolic-material-culture.pdf 

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That aside, these primal beings adapted to their environment and survived animal extinctions and ice ages. No doubt there were climate change deniers who scoffed at global cooling. 

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 This drawing has been interpreted to say:

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 “Stop! Where are you going? Don’t follow those guys. It’s just a temporary cold snap”

 But today, as then, there are many paleo diet deniers. Some are very smart people that write bestselling books. But………………………..

 Holy crap!

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The 2011 U.S. News & World report evaluation of 20 diets, in which the Paleo diet came in dead last. There were 22 experts - mainly physicians and professors of food science and nutrition, who evaluated and ranked a variety of diet plans based on how easy to follow, ability to produce short and long-term weight loss, nutritional completeness, safety, and prevent diabetes and heart disease.

In the latest 2013 U.S. News & World report evaluation of 29 diets, the Paleo diet came in last again. Here are the scores of the diets from best to worst (on a scale of 5)
4.1 DASH
4 TLC
3.9 Mayo Clinic, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers
3.8 Flexitarian, Volumetrics
3.7 Jenny Craig
3.6 Biggest Loser, Ornish
3.5 Traditional Asian, Vegetarian
3.3 Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory, Slim-Fast
3.2 Nutrisystem, Flat Belly
3 Engine 2, South Beach, Vegan, Abs
2.9 Eco-Atkins, Zone, Glycemic-Index
2.7 Macrobiotic, Medifast
2.3 Atkins, Raw Food
2 Paleo, Dukan

The Paleo diet scored low because dairy and grains have a lot of nutrients, and unless the meat is lean, the fat can give you heart disease.

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            “You don’t say.”

 There are far less carbohydrates than what’s recommended, about 23% rather than the 45-65% of your calories coming from carbohydrates that the USDA recommends. You’re also not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D if you aren’t in the sun enough.

                 DEAD LAST —-ARE YOU KIDDING?!!??!!

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 Professor Cordain Counters Punches (with some actual science)

http://robbwolf.com/2011/06/09/us-news-best-diets/

 Professor cordain writes;

 I would like to directly respond to the errors in the U.S. News and World Report article.

 1.            “Will you lose weight? No way to tell.”

Obviously, the author of this article did not read either the study by O’Dea (6) or the more powerful three month crossover experiment by Jonsson and colleagues (9) which demonstrated the superior weight loss potential of high protein, low glycemic load Paleo diets.  Similar results of high protein, low glycemic load diets have recently been reported in the largest randomized controlled trials ever undertaken in both adults and children.

A 2010 randomized trial involving 773 subjects and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (8) confirmed that high protein, low glycemic index diets were the most effective strategy to keep weight off.   The same beneficial effects of high protein, low glycemic index diets were dramatically demonstrated in largest nutritional trial, The DiOGenes Study (9), ever conducted in a sample of 827 children. Children assigned to low protein, high glycemic diets became significantly fatter over the 6 month experiment, whereas those overweight and obese children assigned to the high protein, low glycemic nutritional plan lost significant weight.

2.            “Does it have cardiovascular benefits? Unknown.”

This comment shows just how uninformed this writer really is.  Clearly, this person hasn’t read the following papers (1 – 6) which unequivocally show the therapeutic effects of Paleo Diets upon cardiovascular risk factors.

And all that fat would worry most experts.”

This statement represents a “scare tactic” unsubstantiated by the data.  As I, and almost the entire nutritional community,  have previously pointed out, it is not the quantity of fat which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease or cancer, or any other health problem, but rather the quality.  Contemporary Paleo Diets contain high concentrations of healthful omega 3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that actually reduce the risk for chronic disease (10-18).

3.            “Can it prevent or control diabetes? Unknown.”

Here is another example of irresponsible and biased journalism which doesn’t let the facts speak for themselves.  Obviously, the author did not read the study by O’dea (6) or Jonsson et al. (2) which showed dramatic improvements in type 2 diabetics consuming Paleo diets.

 but most diabetes experts recommend a diet that includes whole grains and dairy products.

If the truth be known, in a randomized controlled trial, 24 8-y-old boys were asked to take 53 g of protein as milk or meat daily (19).  After only 7 days on the high milk diet, the boys became insulin resistant.  This is a condition that precedes the development of type 2 diabetes.  In contrast, In the meat-group, there was no increase in insulin and insulin resistance.  Further, in the Jonsson et al. study (2) milk and grain free diets were shown to have superior results in improving disease symptoms in type 2 diabetics.

4.            “Are there health risks? Possibly. By shunning dairy and grains, you’re at risk of missing out on a lot of nutrients.”

Once again, this statement shows the writer’s ignorance and blatant disregard for the facts.  Because contemporary ancestral diets exclude processed foods, dairy and grains, they are actually more nutrient (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) dense than government recommended diets such as the food pyramid.    I have pointed out these facts in a paper I published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2005 (13) along with another paper in which I analyzed the nutrient content of modern day Paleo diets (12 ).  Most nutritionists are aware that processed foods made with refined grains, sugars and vegetable oils have low concentrations of vitamins and minerals, but few realized that dairy products and whole grains contain significantly lower concentrations of the 13 vitamins and minerals most lacking in the U.S. diet compared to lean meats, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables (12, 13).

Also, if you’re not careful about making lean meat choices, you’ll quickly ratchet up your risk for heart problems” .

Actually, the most recent comprehensive meta analyses do not show fresh meat consumption whether fat or lean to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease (20-25), only processed meats such as salami, bologna, bacon*and sausages (20).

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*NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……Pretty please, find a way to make it good for me.

References*

*for the science and the peer reviewed journal articles see the link to the original Robb Wolf Cordain post in the link above.

The Coming Paleo Crusades

The anthropological  evidence shows that The Fertile Crescent was the birthplace of the three great foodie religions. The oldest followers  of the prophet Paleo Larry, were hunter/ gatherers  who had a long nomadic tradition of slaying their animal prey for themselves and on occasion burning a goat  as an offering to their many gods.

Larry Fine

The chief god, Megladon, was the invisible spirit who sent his huge beasties to earth to provide man with abundant sources of food.

Người tiền sử sống đầy đủ, sung túc

But Megladon was not happy with man because they ate of the forbidden foods and for that grave sin he made him chase the small game - like rabbits. As their punishment he smited his entire dinosaur collection and reduced them to bones that are still being found to this day.  But  the great one tried again with a pure and chosen one named Curly and visited him in a dream.

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He showed him how to make better tools and then  revealed the secret wisdom of the fish hook. He commanded him to make a mess of the food world order with the gospel of the fishes and was soon known to his followers as Curly the Mesopotamian and his followers - the Mesolithists. They fished and hunted and gathered and lived amid abundance as their descendants roamed the edges of the  great waters and streams. But the Paleolites heard of their heresy and waged a great war and made them slaves. Many generations passed until a young Mesolith slave named Moe led his people out of bondage and roamed in the desert for 40 years.

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Their knowledge of fish hooks was useless and they despaired.  At their moment of greatest despair and hunger, their one god, who had no name, sent them manna from heaven.  They were full of astonishment and wonder at this new taste treat and named it Wonder bread. 

And they fell down and drank drank the fluids from the udders of the golden cow.Their god, whom they now named Charles Monsanto, carved his secret recipes in stone for Moe to carry back to his people.

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And obesity was born.

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They ate of the manna in the temples and perfected their alchemy with chemicals.  Since they were always munching on the foods from grain, they were called the Chews by those who did not  follow their dietary laws. But their food products were not only fattening, they were very tasty and extremely popular and the Chews made a lot of money and controlled the advertising and entertainment industry so that the other religions had little air time.  

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But the good news of healthy eating could not be totally suppressed. Brave  paleos rose up and spoke against the establishment. Some were hunted down and imprisoned by the military under the command of a General Mills.  Many went on hunger strikes when they were fed only Wheaties and Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles and mocking their caveman heritage.

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But word of their courage spread. Today small bands of paleo-mesos are spreading the word that practicing their faith is healthy and good for people.  The spirit of prophet Larry prevailed and his message gave those other stooges a run for their  money.

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And out their temples their new pope, Frank the Fearless, issued  a call for  a new crusade against the infidels. He summoned Mel the Brave Heart to lead his ex-cathedra, non-binding, somewhat cheat-laden, decree from his pope mobile. 

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He made his  primal warriors strong with grass-feed beef and seeds and nuts  and vegetables and they marched to do battle with the morbidly obese knights of the round table (and the Chews in general) on the plains of Battle Creek, Michigan.He received a lot of hate mail.

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Primal me stood in line at the college cafeteria

Primal me stood in line at the college cafeteria with my 15 cent cup with ice ready to be filled at the water fountain. I was a little light headed from my day of strict paleo meat and vegetables. A full day of teaching sapped my energy and my stomach wanted some of the popcorn housed in the lighted glass showcase. image

The kettle was dormant and a few strays littered the floor surrounding the remaining three erect shafts of fibrous delight. My three hour class was ahead of me and I needed bulk in my belly. I succumbed. It was dinner.

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For $1.25 I had a paper tube full of oil-popped white snowballs of starchy goodness . I had 45 minutes to kill and I sat down to review the world news on my tablet. I saw the headlines as I struggled with my guilt at deviating from paleo purity. image

The headlines became a jumble of news items and the images of the untouched, slightly oil stained pillar of popcorn paradise caused a momentary state of delirium

. My hunger inspired carbohydrate madness twisted the headlines to read:

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"PAParazzi anticipate baby king CORoNation."

"POPe Francis CORNered on homosexuality of priests"

"A POPular vote may now sCORN Obamacare."

"Fugitive CORNered in an underPOPulated forest area in Idaho."

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Good God! My now trembling hands reached for the one kernel that had seductively straddled the edge of the paper tight rope. It had no hard kernel core and dissolved instantly on my now wet tongue. It was the “fix” I needed. My cashier pusher smiled as I took hand fulls of the white stuff and jammed it in my body. I was on a carbohydrate high with the evidence clearly visible on my kerneled teeth. I was off the wagon. I was using. I had gone through one bag and was looking to another as the expandable metal gate closed the cafeteria for the night. I clung to the metal fence diamonds and cast a last imploring glance at the departing clerk. She just smiled and knew I would be back another day.

Later research showed many considerable health benefits of lightly salted unbuttered popcorn. Check it out.