Friday, October 14, 2011

Safe Starches? Whatever

Doris Day, on a movie plot suggested by Tony Randall: "You mean, I leave Rock Hudson for you? Forget it!"

From left: Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall.

Have you heard about the Perfect Health Diet? It's the one where you eat a pound of safe glue starches a day--foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and some others I've never seen in a grocery store, even though I do my shopping at a few different grocery stores in a city of two million people (Denver). You also eat one-half to one pound of meat a day. There's more to it, but that's the general plot: a mostly paleolithic diet with a boatload of starch.

Some people are reacting as if someone came up with the chocolate diet. I don't see what all the fuss is about. The diet cuts out or cuts way down on most neolithic foods because they have irritants and antinutrients, but we already knew that. It encourages eating natural fats, organ meats and fibrous vegetables because they're nutritious, but we already knew that, too. 

In practice, if you're already on a low carb diet, the Perfect Health Diet replaces some of your bacon cheeseburgers with rice. The Jaminets, the authors of the diet, report that some people felt a lot better with more starch in their diets. Perhaps they just needed a potassium/magnesium pill instead of a bunch of sugar, which is what starch breaks into in your digestive tract. If there are any other nutrients in rice or root vegetables that I can't get from a salad, I'm afraid I don't know what they are.

I've had extremely good results on a low-carb diet: GERD gone, shoulder pain gone, bloating gone, four-hour naps gone, dental plaque gone, over 20 pounds of fat gone, midafternoon slump gone, and so on. I don't see a reason to dump Rock Hudson for Tony Randall.


Chuck said...

nice analogy....roll with what works for you.

i think that a lot of people in the paleo world are warming up to "safe starches". people used to be carb phobic but not so much anymore. i think the potential problem is confusion among the less informed. a lot of people are metabolically deranged and need low to very low carbs to fix things.

Lori Miller said...

Agreed--if you've found a diet you're happy with, there's no need to start adding back anything. But I think even some people who ought to know better are jumping on the safe starch bandwagon.

To Paul Jaminet's credit, he stated in a later post on Jimmy Moore's blog that the "regular" Perfect Health Diet wasn't meant for diabetics.