Jelly beans and ice cream

What if I said: "Eliminate all wheat from your diet and replace it with all the jelly beans and ice cream you want."

That would be stupid, wouldn't it? Eliminate one rotten thing in diet--modern high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat products that stimulate appetite (via gliadin), send blood sugar through the roof (via amylopectin A), and disrupt the normal intestinal barriers to foreign substances (via the lectin, wheat germ agglutinin)--and replace it with something else that has its own set of problems, in this case sugary foods. How about a few other stupid replacements: Replace your drunken, foul-mouthed binges with wife beating? Replace cigarette smoking with excessive bourbon?

Sugary carbohydrate-rich foods like jelly beans and ice cream are not good for us because:

1) High blood sugar causes endogenous glycation, i.e, glucose modification of long-lived proteins in the body. Glycate the proteins in the lenses of your eyes, you get cataracts. Glycate cartilage proteins in the cartilage of your hips and knees, you get brittle cartilage that erodes and causes arthritis. Glycate structural proteins in your arteries and you get hypertension (stiff arteries) and atherosclerosis. Small LDL particles--the #1 cause of heart disease in the U.S. today--are both triggered by blood sugar rises and are 8-fold more prone to glycation (and thereby oxidation).

2) High blood sugar is inevitably accompanied by high blood insulin. Repetitive surges in insulin lead to <em>insulin resistance</em>, i.e., muscles, liver, and fat cells unresponsive to insulin. This forces your poor tired pancreas to produce even more insulin, which causes even more insulin resistance, and round and round in a vicious cycle. This leads to visceral fat accumulation (Jelly Bean Belly!), which is highly inflammatory, further worsening insulin resistance via various inflammatory mediators like tumor necrosis factor.

3) Sugary foods, i.e., sucrose- or high-fructose corn syrup-sweetened, are sources of fructose, a truly very, very bad sugar that is metabolized via a completely separate pathway from glucose. Fructose is 10-fold more likely to induce glycation of proteins than glucose. It also provokes a (delayed) rise in insulin resistance, accumulation of triglycerides, marked increase in formation of small LDL particles, and delayed postprandial (after-eating) clearance of the lipoprotein byproducts of meals, all of which leads to diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.

I think we can all agree that replacing wheat with jelly beans and ice cream is not a good solution. And, no, we shouldn't have drunken binges, wife beating, smoking or bourbon to excess. So why does the "gluten-free" community advocate replacing wheat with products made with:

rice starch, tapioca starch, potato starch, and cornstarch?

These powdered starches are among the few foods that increase blood sugar (and thereby provoke glycation and insulin) higher than even the amylopectin A of wheat! For instance, two slices of whole wheat bread typically increase blood sugar in a slender, non-diabetic person to around 170 mg/dl. Two slices of gluten-free, multigrain bread will increase blood sugar typically to 180-190 mg/dl.

The fatal flaw in thinking surrounding gluten-free junk carbohydrates is this: If a food lacks some undesirable ingredient, then it must be good. This is the same fatally flawed thinking that led people to believe, for instance, that Snack Well low-fat cookies were healthy: because they lacked fat. Or processed foods made with hydrogenated oils were healthy because they lacked saturated fat.

So gluten-free foods made with junk carbohydrates are good because they lack gluten? No. Gluten-free foods made with rice starch, tapioca starch, potato starch, and cornstarch are destructive foods that NOBODY should be eating.

This is why the recipes for muffins, cupcakes, cookies, etc. in this blog, the Track Your Plaque website, and the Track Your Plaque Cookbook are wheat- and gluten-free and free of gluten-free junk carbohydrates. And put that bottle of Jim Beam down!

Comments (6) -

  • April 9th | CrossFit-HR

    4/8/2012 6:02:59 PM |

    [...] all wheat from your diet and replace it with all the jelly beans and ice cream you [...]

  • [...] Here’s an interesting post by Dr. Davis. He makes a good argument for sticking to more natural foods when getting rid of sugars and wheat from our diets. Great info on additives that we see in so many “healthy” processed foods nowdays.   Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.    ← Thursday May 3, 2012 [...]

  • [...] Here’s an interesting post by Dr. Davis. He makes a good argument for sticking to more natural foods when getting rid of sugars and wheat from our diets. Great info on additives that we see in so many “healthy” processed foods nowdays.   Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.    ← Sunday May 13, 2012 [...]

  • Chris

    5/22/2012 6:22:22 PM |

    What about arrowroot powder?

  • jpatti

    5/25/2012 7:14:44 PM |

    Ice cream is not bad for bg.  

    Sure, INDUSTRIAL ice cream is bad, cause it's full of junk.

    But... I've made ice cream a lot, several years in a manual machine, then the past few years in a Vitamix.  

    My ice cream is something like... frozen sliced peaches and heavy cream (from pastured cows).  Or frozen blueberries and cream.  Basically, any frozen fruit and some cream, blend until it turns to ice cream.  Honestly, when frozen, you lose sweetness, so sometimes I need to add a bit of stevia even if the fruit tasted sweet before freezing.  

    I don't do bananas cause they're too carby for me plus I don't like them.  ;)  But a couple frozen bananas and a few TB unsweetened cocoa also makes a decent "ice cream" for hubby (without needing any cream).

    My fruit and cream ice cream actually raises bg LESS than the fruit by itself, cause fat slows the absorption of the sugar from the fruit.  Well, it does for me, dunno how it would work for a nondiabetic.  

    I'm not suggesting people should eat even my ice cream daily or anything.   Heavy cream is some SERIOUS fat.  And really, it's too rich to eat and eat anyways.  A small serving will really do you as it's VERY rich stuff.  

    We go through about a quart of cream a month, much less than butter.  Dunno why butter is easier to eat than cream, since really it's the same stuff, but I never feel like putting cream on my veggies or eggs!  ;)

    But... since the cream is from pastured animals, it's full of vitamins A, D3 and K2 - so not exactly like industrial ice cream, which rarely even has actual cream as an ingredient, and any dairy it does contain will be from feedlot animals with little nutrition anyways.

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Low HDL makes Dr. Friedewald a liar

Low HDL makes Dr. Friedewald a liar

There's a $22 billion industry based on treating LDL cholesterol, a fictitious number.

LDL cholesterol is calculated from the following equation:

LDL cholesterol = Total cholesterol - HDL cholesterol - triglycerides/5

So when your doctor tells you that your LDL cholesterol is X, 99% of the time it has been calculated. This is based on the empiric calculation developed by Dr. Friedwald in the 1960s. Back then, it was a reasonable solution, just like bacon and eggs was a reasonable breakfast and a '62 Rambler was a reasonable automobile.

One of the problems with Dr. Friedewald's calculation is that the lower HDL cholesterol, the less accurate LDL cholesterol becomes. If it were just a few points, so what? But what if it were commonly 50 to 100 mg/dl inaccurate? In other words, your doctor tells you that your LDL is 120 mg/dl, but the real number is somewhere between 170 and 220 mg/dl. Does this happen?

You bet it does. In my experience, it is an everyday event. In fact, I'm actually surprised when the Friedewald calculated LDL closely approximates true LDL--it's the exception.

Dr. Friedewald would likely have explained that, when applied to a large population of, say, 10,000 people, calculated LDL is a good representation of true LDL. However, just like saying that the average weight for an American woman is 176 lbs (that's true, by the way), does that mean if you weigh 125 lbs that you are "off" by 41 lbs? No, but it shows how you cannot apply the statistical observations made in large populations to a single individual.

The lower HDL goes, the more inaccurate LDL becomes. This would be acceptable if most HDLs still permitted reasonable estimation of LDL--but it does not. LDL begins to become significantly inaccurate with HDL below 60 mg/dl.

How to get around this antiquated formula? In order of most accurate to least accurate:

--LDL particle number (NMR)--the most accurate by far.

--Apoprotein B--available in most laboratories.

--"Direct" LDL

--Non-HDL--i.e., the calculation of total cholesterol minus HDL. But it's still a calculated with built-in flaws.

--LDL by Friedewald calculation.

My personal view: you need to get an NMR if you want to know what your LDL truly is. A month of Lipitor costs around $80-120. A basic NMR costs less than $90. It's a relative bargain.

Comments (5) -

  • Mike

    3/18/2007 1:52:00 AM |

    What is shocking is that enormous prescriptions for statins are written based on the calculated LDL.

  • Dr. Davis

    3/18/2007 1:16:00 PM |

    Yes, $22 billion last year, in fact. All prescribed for a number that is a crude estimate, sometimes a complete fiction. Imagine your state trooper ticketed you because his radar device said you were doing 60 mph when you were really doing 35 mph.

  • Anonymous

    2/6/2008 1:37:00 AM |

    Why NMR over the other tests Berkeley Heart Lab or VAP?

  • Anonymous

    7/2/2008 7:02:00 PM |

    I don't understand.  If in this example, the doctor (wrongly) thinks the LDL number is 120mg/dl, how does that cause the prescription of Lipitor? Unless I'm reading it backwards, and the doctor is actually telling the patient their LDL is 170mg-220mg, but unwittingly, it's actually 120mg/dl.

    And, if a low HDL causes the LDL number to be inaccurate, does that also cause the total cholesterol number to be inaccurate too?

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