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Does Meat Rot In Your Colon? No. What Does? Beans, Grains, and Vegetables!
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February 6, 2014
4:26 am
eddie watts
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1 why can't you read other comments, especially about the chimp which eats meat daily?
2 why can't you read other comments specifically on that exact point that has been raised a number of times?
3 why can't you read other comments that answer this question too?
4 why did you have to post this 4 times? this is not a case of he who posts the same comment the most wins you know
5 bacon because all lists should include bacon

February 6, 2014
4:36 am
JT
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all this site does is prove that most people will believe everything they read and hear without doing any investagative research. Meat nor produce rots in the gut, what fool would believe such nonsence. Im amazed at the people that go to great links to post garbage such as this site and as if they are some specialist on the very topic being discussed.....Before posting such idiotic crap as is posted here, do your homework and don't listen to clowns like the ones who run this site or any other site like it...this clown is no doctor or specialist of any kind, just a clown.

February 6, 2014
4:45 am
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Gnoll
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February 9, 2014
12:44 am
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Vassillos:

eddie watts covered that one, so I'll defer to his response.  Also, #5.

 

JT:

I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you?

Note that degrees are no guarantee of accuracy or validity: Josef Mengele was an MD, but I certainly wouldn't take medical advice from him!

 

Paul:

I honestly can't parse what JT is saying, other than that they're very angry.

JS

February 13, 2014
5:31 pm
WalterB
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That 22 year doubling time for Ethiopia is about 3.2% year. Goodness how exponential growth aka compound interest grows. Over a year or three no appreciable growth, OK about 10% over three years. But.

February 18, 2014
1:43 am
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WalterB:

That's why most "environmentalism" is doomed to fail: you're trying to fight an exponential increase with a linear decrease.  The only long-term environmental strategy is population stabilization and reduction.

Of course, the Sierra Club (and every other environmental organization) abandoned those efforts in the 1970s once they became politically unpalatable. 

JS

February 22, 2014
2:10 pm
Dave
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Vassillos wrote:

1. If we are meat-eaters, why is our physiology most closely associated with herbivores, particularly the chimp?

2. Why do countless studies show that a vegetarian diet is healthier than a carnivorous one for humans (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324423904578523190441042514)?

3. Humans do not salivate at the site or roadkill as carnivores do. Our physiology and instinct is to salivate for fruits, berries, and plants-things we can naturally consume (i.e. without the use of cooking) without getting sick (I challenge the author to consume all his meat henceforth raw).

1. Chimps have small brains compared to humans. Perhaps if they ate more animal foods they would eventually evolve to be as smart as humans. ("Take your stinkin' paws off me you damn dirty ape!")

Just because T. C. Fry and Douglas Graham wrote a list of bogus physiological comparisons between "carnivores" and "herbivores" doesn't mean they have any basis in scientific fact. Look up 'confirmation bias in science.'

2. Because the ignorant news media and ignorant American media consumer (and sometimes scientists with confirmation bias) don't seem to understand that Correlation Does Not Equal Causation. If you didn't understand my last sentence, then you, too, are ignorant.

Educate yourself on the difference between observational studies and clinical experiments. Understand that scientists put their pants on one leg at a time too. They're only human, and you should never give a human the benefit of the doubt.

3. While I do salivate at the thought of fresh fruit and salads, I have also salivated at the thought of Pop Tarts, Cheez-its, and Little Debbies. Does that mean that junk food is a natural part of the human diet?

You may recall Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioning his dog's to salivate at the sound of a bell. I can look at raw bacon and salivate at the thought of what it will taste like when it is cooked. The smell of cooked bacon can make me salivate in anticipation of putting it in my mouth.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/pavlov.html

4. It's been said already, but... BACON!

February 23, 2014
2:06 pm
John Wagner
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J...am I right in the the assumption that gut flora is relative to our intake of carbs? And, all this talk about resistant starch, probiotics, fermentation and resulting benefits is needed due to our carb intake? Which reminds me, do cats have gut bacteria then? Richard Nikoley is going nuts right now on freetheanimal with the need for resistant starch. Not saying he is not right, but in context, it does depend on our overall carb intake? BTW I love his free spirit and willingness to put his beliefs online.

February 23, 2014
2:21 pm
John Wagner
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Maybe the above is a two part question. Quantitatively, our gut bugs are related to our carb intake? Qualitatively, we need good bugs to keep off the bad bugs, and for our immune systems (70% of gut orgin) and serotonin (90% from gut. I am very low carb for many years now, do I take raw potato starch and fermented vegetables to maintain the quality of my gut bugs? Heck, I have done just fine up to now.

February 23, 2014
3:05 pm
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From an evidential and pragmatic point of view, eating close to paleo will give the right conditions for your gut flora to flourish. Simply put, we're built that way.

If you want to boost it, well, it seems to come from (a) another animal via raw dairy (which really should be eating according to its own evolutionary standpoint), (b) some fermented foods, or (c) esistant starch. You know the ups, downs, rights, wrongs, pitfalls and otherwise of all three, I'm sure.

If you like where you are ... carry on. My first sentiment will bear out, I'm sure. Eat paleo, be naturally healthy. Gut flora, included. Experiment if you fancy ... Niko has the practical low-down on resistant starch, traditionally fermented vegetables and raw dairy are already well written about.

Good health!

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

February 23, 2014
3:52 pm
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John Wagner:

"am I right in the the assumption that gut flora is relative to our intake of carbs?"

No.  That's a misrepresentation currently promulgated by Tim and (primarily) Richard, for reasons I can't begin to speculate on. 

Our population of gut flora is relative to our intake of food that we can't digest or absorb — but that the gut flora we have can digest and absorb. 

The bulk of this involves what is called "soluble fiber" on the nutrition label — complex molecules like inulin that we have no enzymes to break down.  "Resistant starch" is an outlier in that it's considered a "carbohydrate", and shows up as carbohydrate on the nutrition label, even though we can't digest it.

However, cheetahs have gut flora that can digest collagen, cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin (Depauw 2012) — so I see no reason to suppose humans couldn't, either.  People with fructose malabsorption, or who drink giant sodas (we can only absorb so much fructose at a time) usually end up with a lot of gut flora that eats fructose — again, because anything that makes it out of the small intestine is either fermented by gut flora or pooped out.  And so on.

The gymnastics that the RS brigade has to go through to get any significant amount of RS in their diet using anything but the potato starch hack, compared to the amount of regular carbohydrate in the starchy foods they're eating (selecting only a few foods, preparing them carefully with multiple cycles of heating and cooling) tells me that RS alone is not generally a significant contributor to prebiotic content in any natural human diet compared to regular old non-sexy soluble fiber, found in every fruit and vegetable.

And vegetables are most definitely low-carb.

There is another irony: the way you get "low net carbs" in low-carb bread and other junk is by using a lot of…SOLUBLE FIBER, which (according to the rules) you subtract from the carb count.  So low-carb junk food is, ironically, usually quite high in prebiotics…much higher per calorie, and often in general, than the carb-heavy foods being recommended!

There's more baloney here: their entire idea that low-carbers are dropping dead of gut inflammation and permeability is based on one anonymous commenter.  Then there's the idea that you can diagnose remotely, over the Internet, the degree of systemic inflammation based on two crappy cell phone photos in radically different lighting…that look the same anyway.  (There are cheap and easily available medical tests for that, like CRP and hsCRP.)  And Richard has been relentlessly deleting the comments of anyone who dares to point that out — or to disagree with RS dogma in other substantive ways.  It's easy to manufacture consent when you simply vanish those who disagree.

I'm also seeing clear misrepresentation of science, both at FTA and from the American Gut Project, who are clearly Pollanesque guilty vegetarians looking for excuses to bash meat-based diets.

 

Anyway: The important thing to remember is that there is a lot we don't know about gut flora, and most of the conclusions I'm seeing drawn are either wrong or extremely premature.  We don't even know which bugs are good and which are bad!  For instance, we used to think the Bacteroides/Firmicutes ratio was a predictor of obesity…turns out that's not true.  Michael Pollan is proud because he has a lot of Prevotella from his grain-based diet, as do African children, and they're all thin, right?  Turns out Prevotella is a strong risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis

I forget who said this, but it's a truism: the number of plausible hypotheses is inversely proportional to how much we actually know about a subject.  Since we know so little about gut flora, it's possible to make almost any argument.  (For a contrasting view of gut flora, see Petro's posts on FIAF (1) (2)…and recall that sterile mice, e.g. mice with no gut flora, are slim on diets that make regular mice obese.) 

As for myself, I'm not jumping on any bandwagons until I understand the science enough to be secure in making recommendations.  That's why I haven't gone through multiple dietary-religious conversions, bounced between crash diets, or had to make any substantive changes to Eat Like A Predator over the years since I wrote it.  

Yes, you can certainly experiment with the potato starch hack, because it's cheap and easy: I did, too!  But don't be surprised if it makes you fart, makes you fat, destroys your motivation (too much serotonin is just as bad as too little), stops working after days or weeks, or does nothing at all: these results have all been reported.  The flip side of "more gut bugs than cells in your body" is that the response of your gut biome to dietary changes is at least as individual, possibly more, than the response of your body to dietary changes. 

And "OMG YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG AND EVERYONE IS DEFICIENT IN THIS THING ONLY FOUND IN MEANINGFUL QUANTITIES IN PREPARED NEOLITHIC FOODS" is provocation marketing, not science.

JS

PS: Because drama is so popular on the Internet, let me add this clarification. 

I like Richard and consider him a friend: we've shared meat and alcohol, and we've been guests in each others' homes.  This is a factual disagreement, not a personal one.  Besides, he's a big boy and I know he can take it as well as dish it out Cool

February 23, 2014
3:58 pm
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Gnoll
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I'm not John, but thanks J - sound, as always. Eating like a predator works.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

February 24, 2014
4:50 pm
Jules
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You can certainly get all of your required nutrients from meat, but I wouldn't recommend it. That can be hard on your kidneys. To eat only meat raises your chances of having kidney stones significantly, and thats probably one of the most physically painful experiences a person can have. Avoid that. But yeah, totally. Probably half of my calories for the day come from meat. After this, a quarter come from alternatives, and the rest from fruits and veggies, and yet I've eaten far more fruits and veggies then I ever did before I ate Paleo.

February 24, 2014
7:49 pm
Alex
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I tried the raw potato starch thing, and all it did was make me uncomfortably gassy. I think there's far more hype than reality going on with that. Fortunately, the potato starch is a really nice thickener for sauces, so it won't go to waste.

February 25, 2014
7:28 pm
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Paul:

Thank you.  I do my best to separate hype from science -- and while there's definitely some fascinating stuff in there, we're so early in the gut biome game that it's tough to give any recommendations without seriously overreaching the data.

 

Jules:

I picked up a kidney stone early in my Paleo transition.  The solution for me was to drink lots and lots of water until I passed it, which happened soon afterward.  Interestingly, the stone hasn't recurred, despite my diet being as meat-heavy as before...I'm not sure why.

"yet I've eaten far more fruits and veggies then I ever did before I ate Paleo."

Absolutely!  I've found the same to be true.  Clearing the bread and empty starches out of your diet leaves a big vacuum that has to get filled with something.

 

Alex:

Any quantity of PS over 1 TBS gives me horrendous gas: I have no idea how people are taking 5+ TBS! 

1 TBS usually improves my sleep the first night or two: it feels a lot like a high dose of melatonin.  However, after a few days I start feeling the effects of what I believe to be too much serotonin -- a total lack of motivation that feels a lot like depression without the despair.  This is a robust result that has happened on multiple occasions, and people report similar effects from SSRIs, so I'm reasonably sure this is what's going on.

I haven't tested my fasting blood glucose yet, though I expect I'll get around to it eventually.

JS

February 25, 2014
11:35 pm
Minerva Moser
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Jesus, am I confused! You know what? I don't think there's any one "right" answer. I'm a total omnivore, and I tend to think that evolution has made us omnivores. I feel certain that to limit ourselves to only vegetables or only meats is a big mistake. I guess the question is what ratio is best, and I have a feeling that the answer to that is what our own bodies, through genetics, seem to demand. I think we should listen to our bodies because they will tell us what they want. I've known people who have gone vegetarian for a short time, and given it up because their food desires were demanding meat, and vice versa. We need to listen to our bodies... that's all I'm saying. This discussion would be a lot simpler if the modern food industry were giving us unpolluted meats and vegetables, though, wouldn't it? Thank you, J. Stanton, for all your research.

February 27, 2014
8:55 pm
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Minerva:

If you're eating paleo foods, it's less important to be concerned with exact ratios.  I wrote ELAP the way I have, because Fear of Meat and Fear of Cholesterol are so heavily ingrained in us that it takes some deprogramming to get past them!

That being said, there are still potential problems.  A lot of people get stuck in "lean muscle meat and broccoli" land, which is great for short-term weight loss but tends to crash you in the long term, especially if you're active.  It's important to be realistic: paleo works great, but weight loss stalls occur on any diet, diet can't solve every medical problem by itself, and a sufficiently limited food palette can result in deficiencies even if the individual components are relatively nutritious.

Most importantly, as I note in the disclaimer on my sidebar, "Your life and health are your own responsibility."  Yes, I believe that "listening to your body" usually works well once you're past the initial stages of cravings, which is why it's part of a step in ELAP -- but no one but you can decide what tradeoffs are best for you.

JS

March 2, 2014
12:01 pm
big juicy
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Humans are herbivores!!!
We were never meant to eat meat!

Meat-eaters: have claws
Herbivores: no claws
Humans: no claws

Meat-eaters: have no skin pores and perspire through the tongue
Herbivores: perspire through skin pores
Humans: perspire through skin pores

Meat-eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat molar teeth for grinding
Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding

Meat-eaters: have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly
Herbivores: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.
Humans: have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.

Meat-eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat
Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater
Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater

Meat-eaters: salivary glands in mouth not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits.
Herbivores: well-developed salivary glands which are necessary to pre-digest grains and fruits
Humans: well-developed salivary glands, which are necessary to pre-digest, grains and fruits

Meat-eaters: have acid saliva with no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Herbivores: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains
Humans: have alkaline saliva with ptyalin to pre-digest grains

March 3, 2014
11:53 am
eddie watts
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hey "big juicy" please read the responses to the large number of people posting the exact same list of, ahem, *"facts"*

also please note the list of responses from J to each one showing how not only are almost all of them false, they are Trivially False...

at least post some kind of reasonable response to the article not the usual BS vegetarian/vegan points.

also what about behaviour? humans behaviour actually mimics hunting animals that hunt in packs like lions, wolves and hyenas
cannot find article now as at work, but it was a very interesting read.
plus: mind over matter, seems like behaviour is more important than physiological connections.
(especially when you consider we were once frugivous apes before we evolved to this current state, you'd expect us to have similarities to them really. surely?)

March 3, 2014
11:39 pm
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big juicy:

Apparently you didn't read the BOLD-FACED WARNING ABOVE.  I'll reprint it here, yet again:

1. The purpose of this article is to address one very specific topic: the claim that “meat rots in your colon”.  Making the general case for veg*anism vs. omnivory is not only a non sequitur, it's beyond the scope of one article — and most certainly beyond the scope of a comment.

2. Please read, at the very least, my responses to comments before asking a question (or making a statement).  I have previously answered many of these questions: asking them again says, to me, that you're not interested in productive dialogue and are just spouting off.

Yes, there are a lot of comments!  Deal with it.

Note that if you had read the comments, you would have seen my reply to bobby, above, in which I address that particular list of veg*an myths (at least the Steve Pavlina version...it's mutated into many different forms as it spreads throughout the Internet).

 

eddie:

Remember: veg*anism is religious in origin.  If you remember that these people are arguing from religious faith, not from rational inquiry, you'll have a much easier time dealing with them

JS

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