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January 31, 2011


(Another) Barbara

I love you madly, Tom Maguire. In a motherly way, of course. I'd like to adopt you and put you in the will. Would you agree to phone on Mother's Day?


I have very low blood pressure. Salt has no effect on me whatsoever except to make food more palatable. And I have no intention of cutting back on it. NONE.

You cannot make decent tasting bread solely with whole grains. The maximum I can do is squeeze in 33% of spelt or rye or whole wheat into the batter..and reduce bread intake.

It's easy enough in most foods to substitute brown or wild rice for white rice. Even more delicious and healthful is to substitute 1/3 black rice and 2/3 brown rice for white rice--except in things like sushi and risotto. You can switch to sashimi for sushi.
You can switch to whole wheat pasta or dreamfields which has coated the wheat to make the carbs largely indigestible. And it is very tasty.


I love SweetTart's and Beer.

Frau Fritten

I'm with you all the way on this, TM.

Black rice is hard to find, clarice. Do I need to go to an Asian store? I'm not close to a Whole Foods, either.

John Thacker

If refined grains are so bad, why are East Asians not fat? White rice is far, far more common than brown rice.


I get mine at Asian food stores, Frau, though it is available online.

I feel certain I just read a medical report that the danger of salt was way overblown --that even among people with high blood pressure a very small percentage--something like 3 or 5%--had elevated blood pressure because of salt intake.

Charlie (Colorado)

Instead of a clear message identifying a villain we have this muddled soultion cobbled together by a committee,

Boy, there's a sentence yo7u could just keep on a hotkey.

(Another) Barbara

Whole wheat bread and brown rice have about the same amount of carbohydrates and a close to identical glycemic index as their white brothers. We fool ourselves if we think of these as unrefined carbs and therefore helpful. If you want to lose weight, give up all grains, all sugar, no matter what "color" they are.


Another Barbara, your conclusion might be right, but your first two sentences might be a bit of a generalization. The LUNed page suggests that there is a difference in "glycemic load" across some of these products. Not so much for bread (though "whole wheat" bread is usually only partly whole wheat), but there are larger differences between brown and white rice, and between all-bran cereal and corn flakes.


Since this seems to be a food thread of sorts I thought some might be interested in this little tidbit...

We're on the OR coast tracking down dungeness crab and went to our favorite fish market in Lincoln City.
The owner told us that China is combing the area here and parts north buying up all the crab it can find right off the docks/boats--paying top dollar--and flying it back home to sell for around seventeen dollars a pound.
I haven't seen so many commercial craft out on the water for a long time.


You ignore that different populations might have Produced different results. I do not remember big gulps In the 60's and 70's. If I have a hunch if examined closely more excess calories came from fats back then. Eggs sausage and bacon for Breakfast as opposed to cereal. Gravy on Almost everything. Foods contained more fat because fat tastes good. People who ate more fat carried more excess weight and had more heart problems. The take home message should be to many calories of any food group is bad for you. Lots of cultures get almost all of their calories from carbs without insulin resistance.

Well we got rid of the fat and replaced it with carbs. If you want to eat 3000 kcal of food when you only need 2000 you will develop problems with insulin resistance on an a 0 carb diet. But live by the Foma.

(Another) Barbara

Not so much for bread (though "whole wheat" bread is usually only partly whole wheat), but there are larger differences between brown and white rice

You're correct, Jimmyk, there are small differences but the counts are still high for both. So why eat either, when they don't promote health but do promote weight gain, unless one is an ectomorph and/or young enough to be enjoying the skinniness of youth.

There aren't many who are more devoted than I to thinking about food, talking about food, reading about food or traveling to places renowned for food. I've been a dedicated cook for more than 50 years and that remains a very great pleasure in my life, both in the preparation and the eating. All I'm saying is that one can still pursue the self-indulgence of the hedonist while forgoing grains and most sugars. So why not, if you feel more vigorous (as many of us do) and can keep your weight stable and where you want it while eating like a potentate.

Yeah, I know I'm a bore on this topic, but I'm a well-fed bore who will (try to) shut up now. No one is as wearying as a crusader, but I used to be chubby, in years past, and had to find my inner svelteness in old age, thanks to Eades, Taubes, Naughton and others. Hard not to want to spread that message around.


This obsession with low fat has done nothing but make us... FAT.

I consume a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet and I'm healthier at 48 than I've been at any time in my life.

The last place I would turn for dietary recommendations based on actual science is the US Government. Kind of sad, isn't it?


In the mid- 19 century, when steamships began to distill seawater for internal needs, it was discovered that drinking distilled (salts-free, or in language of modern commercials “pure” water) has marked detrimental effect on health. Most profound damage occurred to teeth, nails, and hair, but general metabolism and health suffered too. Since that time, it was required to re-introduce quite an amount of mineral salts into distilled or reverse-osmosis deionised water on ships, if used for drinking.

Find water which contains at least 200 ppm of dissolved solids (carbonates, or dissolved CO2 does not count). It is about how much is contained in emergency water pouches in military, coastal guard, or sea-going rations, with potassium/sodium ratio of 1 to 4. Anything less for drinking is inviting troubles. Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium are the most important, since Sodium we can get from table salt. Unless, of course, you are involved in prolonged and intense physical activity, like 10 miles running; in that case ingesting of prodigious amount of sodium is extremely important, to compensate for loss with intense perspiration. In most localities regular tap water will fit the bill, just put it into open jar and place overnight in fridge – it will loose all chlorinated bad-tasting chemicals. I am not so lucky here in Vancouver, where tap water is basically melted snow and contains only 20 ppm of dissolved solids. So I spend 1.2$ per two liter bottle of carbonated artesian water with about 200 ppm of solids.

The only thing deionised water is good for is to make good-testing tea, coffee, of broth.


Barbara is right 200%.

Talking heads have to produce “healthy food” advice every week, or whenever magazine they publish in is issued. There is no healthy food, as there is no gasoline healthy to your car. There is healthy diet, and it is very individual.

Whole grain bread and wild rice do release their glucose slightly slower, but they release it equally longer. Refined white flour products still have higher protein/carbs ratio than wildest of rice, not to mention potato or sweet corn. Do not trick yourselves. Whole grain is the same refined flour plus some insoluble sawdust (which is great to fight constipation, to be fair).

If refined grains are so bad, why are East Asians not fat? White rice is far, far more common than brown rice.

Posted by: John Thacker | January 31, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Taubes attempts to explain this by noting that these cultures have traditionally consumed very low levels of fructose, or any refined sugars. Therefore, their cells would be expected to have developed relatively less insulin resistance over their lifetimes, allowing them to consume more carbohydrates without fattening than someone raised to eat more sugars and with consequently more developed insulin resistance. His explanation involves a fair amount of hand waving, and did not refer to any data, although his previous book on the subject, Good Calories, Bad Calories may have.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign

TM, Thank you - an excellent post. (Another) Barbara, no need to "shut up", especially when on topic. As TM suggested in a previous post, this seems like a very important topic that is not getting the coverage it deserves. The MFM will likely try to stifle it because it goes against a lot of different memes and ideologies (big guvmint is always right, evil rich Americans should die to save the planet, etc).

Barbara, you left off one of my favorites in your list, Dr Harris at PaNu, who is a true crusader (oops, bad word?) on this topic. He spent a career as a radiologist literally looking at the insides of what the USDA recommended diet has done to people. He has the medical background to fill in the holes that Taubes cannot fill in, and answers some of the questions posed above and on previous posts.


Tom-- be careful with this stuff-- you may be making the same mistake as the USDA/NYT morons. I agree with your points as far as the bell curve distribution of the population is concerned. Carbs are the enemy. I lost 75 pounds of fat in 6 months 2 years ago, gained 15 lbs of fat back and lost those in the last 2 months.All by a low carb diet. That worked for me because it cured the defects in my diet. But everyone is responsible to figure out what caused their obesity snd how to solve the problem. The ONLY ABSOLUTE truth is you get fat by eating too many calories, and not exercising enough. You lose weight by reducing calories and exercising more. That's the only absolute truth.


"You cannot make decent tasting bread solely with whole grains. The maximum I can do is squeeze in 33% of spelt or rye or whole wheat into the batter..and reduce bread intake."

That's BS. I make a tasty 100% whole wheat loaf in a bread machine. Using the recipes provided by either Williams-Sonoma or Breadman. (I've worn out 3 bread machines in the last 20 years.) Just remember to add some wheat gluten to get it to rise.


Pete--I an't stand that kind of spongy bread. YMMV. I like a nice crusty loaf with a large crumb. I'm perfectly willing to eat less of it than to eat more of that stuff.

You can make very good flat breads and pitas and chapatis using only whole wheat though.


(Another) Barbara brought Dr. Harris and his PaNu blog to my attention months back in a Vitamin D thread. I wish she'd start a blog where folks could get answers to their low-carb questions, but until then I'll ask one here. You mentioned Eades, but not Atkins. Do you prefer the Protein Power plan or another approach for low carb newbies?

Mark Folkestad

Glasater, interesting comment about the Chinese buying up our Dungeness crabs. I passed that news along to Susan, and it will probably hasten our move to Alaska, where we will catch our own.

AL, I appreciate your comment about adding minerals to water. My gal and I will be using a rain-harvesting domestic water supply in SE Alaska, and we have no wish to waste money by buying water in the store. I will just have to look for supplements to add to our drinking water. Aside from that, perfectly soft and sterilized rainwater is ideal for household use. I've got conservative Canadian cousins in your area, down around Surrey, and I love visiting them, whenever your border guards decide I'm not a drug runner, terrorist or potential leach on your "magnificent" health care system.

My physician, a Type I diabetic, is emphatic about cutting carbs for everyone. He is firm about the advantages of using rye for its better glycemic index. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find true rye bread in many stores. I bought a loaf of store brand rye bread recently, and was shocked to find that rye flour was very low on the ingredient list. I love Kavli rye flatbread from my ancestral Norway, so using rye is not a hardship for me.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign

DebinNC, Dr Harris has blog posts and comment sections going back over a year where he directly answers a lot of these kinds of questions for commenters. You need the carbohydrate replacement calories from somewhere, and Harris general recommendation is more from fats than from other sources, including protein. He expounds on a lot of reasons for this, one of the more important being the satiety aspect of a high fat diet. You wind up not eating as much because you don't feel like it and don't need to.

Thanks to (another)Barbara I started this 6 months ago. I have followed mostly Dr Harris recommendations in the "getting started" section of his blog. In order to peel myself off of the Standard American Diet, and attempt to heal some of the damage, I went the ketosis route. It does have some effects on the body for a period of time. I do volunteer Search and Rescue which requires extreme physical effort occasionally, and I had a couple of those in the middle of this period. Until the body has adapted over to where it should be - preferring fats to sugars for energy - extreme effort can smack you but good. Since then I can keep up with the punk kids now (53 yrs old). Not only that, but I can go a long time now between meals if I need to, including during high physical activity.

Melinda Romanoff


On my old "trader's" train home, there was some mope who would take great delight sitting behind me, drinking Bud, eating Lemonheads, talking to himself and belching over my shoulder four days a week.

Unforgettable odor.

Oh, and he "blew out", trading wise, after about nine months.


I think TM caught anduril's obsessive-compulsive thing when they were having their little tussle a couple of weeks ago but he thought anduril was saying "juice" when it was really "Jews".


Interesting to hear (Another) Barbara inspired us both. More reason she should keep crusading inspiring us here. I'm in Day 11 of Atkins Induction. The only problem I'm having is making myself eat 3X a day now that my appetite was plummeted and all carb cravings are gone.

Re Dr. Harris, he's in the Sisson/Paleo camp. Seeing a section in Sisson's Primal Cookbook labeled "Offal" convinced me to look elsewhere. Ditto the idea of "sprinting" at my age. I am newly concerned about the quality of the meat I'm eating though and seeking grass-fed beef in my area.


Tom's right. However, if you simply eat less, you'll probably succeed in your diet. That's part of the problem with refined starches and sugars... you wind up eating more because they are empty and digest quickly.

The FDA's mandate has expanded to far. Time to get back to worrying about whether food is contaminated or unsafe, with an according cut in budget.

BTW, the truth is that this is about politics. Heavy reliance on corn keeps food prices stable, but requires an unhealthy food supply with low fiber (exportable food is low in fiber) and high HFCS. If we're all eating unprocessed food, the prices will shoot up and down, imperiling politicians (and corn farmers wouldn't like it much, either).

That's what this is about. There's a reason Americans have gotten fatter steadily since Earl Butz was setting our agriculture policy.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

I can tell you from experience if you actually met Another Barbara she would inspire you even more. I won't embarrass her here, but trust me on this.

(Another) Barbara

All low-carb roads lead to Rome, Stephanie. There aren’t vast differences in approach between the various authors, physicians and scientists writing on the topic. In my experience, you need a book/counsel/leader mainly to learn how to kick start yourself into ketosis. Merely going to Dr. Harris’s “Pa-Nu” and following his “Getting Started” and list of 12 steps is all anyone really requires, (except it will likely capture your interest enough to make you want to broaden your investigation).

I began with Atkins because that was about the only game in town when I started. My M.D. son kept talking about the incredible results he was seeing in patients who had turned to a high-fat, strictly low-carb diet -- not only in weight loss but in virtually every aspect of whole-body wellness, including tyoe 2 diabetics able to get off insulin. Atkins led me to Eades, who led me to Tom Naughton’s “Fathead” which led me to GaryTaubes, who led me to Pa-Nu. . . and so on. There are other excellent sources of information online too, The Heart Scan Blog (Dr. Wm Davis, a cardiologist) writes simply and profoundly, and in layman’s lingo, Hyperlipid (http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/03/kwasniewski-praise-lard.html) a blog by Petro Dobromylskyj -- I need to send him a couple Hawaiian vowels -- will interest the more technically and scientifically inclined. And there are many, many others, as you've likely already discovered.

But as Dr. Harris says regarding his Step #1, if you can turn your back on grains, sugar and fruit juices and drinks, you are already at least halfway there. There is life after bread, trust me. I wish everyone could try just two weeks grain-free and see how appreciative your gut will likely be.

Well, so much for shutting up. I am now going to wrap duct tape around my fingers and see if that will keep me away from the keyboard. Good luck, Stephanie, Deb and all others giving this a whirl. You'll never go back, that's my guess.

(Another) Barbara

My apologies DebinNC. Meant to put your name in my first sentence above, but my duct-taped fingers somehow typed Stephanie instead. Anyway, thank you for the encouragement and I'm so happy that several of you have found Pa-Nu helpful.

Ha, Jane. Oh please embarrass me, please. I'll send that money I promised.

I love offal! Am I the only one? We've got to petition to get it renamed, though.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

Ha, Jane. Oh please embarrass me, please.


AB looks at least 30 years younger than her age. She is gorgeous. And in better shape most people in their teens.

(Fed ex will be fine AB)


I love offal! Am I the only one? We've got to petition to get it renamed, though.

Well, entrails, guts, innards are even worse as offal is less identifiable.

Jane, that's exactly how I pictured AB.


That's how some of us picture all of you ladies.

(Another) Barbara

(Fed ex will be fine AB)

Yes, for those extraordinary comments, Jane, a pretty large payoff bundle will be required, too bulky for USPS to handle. On its way, with my favorite recipe for tripe 'n trotters enclosed.


Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

I'm not even sure I did you justice AB. (Want me to find a pix and post it?)

(Another) Barbara

(Want me to find a pix and post it?)

Thanks again, Jane, but no. Cause sometimes pix tell dirty rotten lies, particularly when the subject has neglected to hold in her stomach, stick out her chest, lick her lips and hold her head high enough that dewlaps don't droop. I usually fergit. . . or when I remember, find that my efforts weren't up to the task. You are a dear pal, though.

You cannot make decent tasting bread solely with whole grains.
Heh... My banana bread is pretty awesome made strictly with whole wheat flour. (Of course a loaf has 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of bananas for along with the two cups of whole wheat flour!)


Low-salts water is great for making tea, coffee, broth, and it is superb to get max performance from any detergent, like dishwasher, laundry, or soap chemicals.

However it is horrendously harsh on teeth, hair, nails, etc. if used for usual drinking. Moreover, low-salt water makes you drink sugar-rich drinks like orange juice or beer.

Generally speaking, human body is very receptive for kind of liquids we drink. It means that if you like some particular liquid, it is most probably exactly what you need.

Try to make your drinking staff by brewing water with green tea, hibiscus flowers, lemon zest, cucumber peels, or else. Whatever will feel good is most likely you need.


P.S. And Mark, I live about 20 minutes drive from US border and travel to US almost weekly, to get some groceries unavailable in Canada, or just plain cheaper, 15% cheaper gas (refined from Canadian oil), and staff I buy on internet and E-Bay. With Canadian dollar at par with US$, amount of cash I spend down south is increasing.

Canadian border guards treat me like shit on return the same way they treat you on entrance. It’s what they are and what they do. US border guards are kind of different: on rural crossings (which I use) they are kind of nice, but according to my experience in NYC airports and Ontario crossings they are retarded Nazis on steroids.

As for Can health care system, do not fall for Fox news propaganda hacks. It is defined two tier system: one level is relatively cheap, shitty, universal, but quite effective provincial-run system which assures same as in US average 80 years life expectancy . Another one is complementary financed premium (used by no less than 30% of Canadians) which uses US hospitals to provide services without single day waiting. So, PLEASE, repeal Obamacare, or otherwise we will have no escape from the waiting lines…


Barb,I think I made the mistake of buying the old Taubes book,GCBC, and it is kind of dry.Did anyone answer Deb's question about how many carbs are OK? I mean, do you stay below 10,20,30 per day? I should have bought the new Taubes book!

Rick Ballard

What a svelte and obviously fit thread!


Do you think the mullahs will risk sending out crowds from the mosques tomorrow? I'm betting against - I believe the army has the situation tamped down to the point where the mullahs won't risk their scrawny necks.

Danube of Thought

OK--here we are, Clarice. Anybody else coming over? (I think the power outage suggestion might be spot on...)


I posted this, on the other thread, is there anyone they don't run the two ends of the con, for, in the LUN


I was sort of liveblogging the Egyptian VPs statement and interview on the other thread... I'll post a summary here in a little bit.


Rick, to answer your question, the VP ended his interview by thanking the youth for sparking reform, but now it is time to let the state do the work of reform. Based on that interview, anyone out on the streets after today will be identified as an 'agent illigitimate foreign agendas.'

Three specific 'special agendas' identified as possibly behind the unrest: Muslim Brotherhood, 'foreign interests', and business interests.


Basic run down from the interview:

The initial demonstrations were peaceful, legitimate, and an expression of love for Egypt.

The demonstrations were highjacked by those with "domestic and foreign agendas" who created the violance by attacking the police.

The government has made concesions and would have made more if violance had not erupted. The time for more concesions has passed.

The government is meeting with opposition parties and "leaders of the youth" (I take this to mean they are going to create a 'youth movement' to undermine the existing opposition parties)

Elections will take place on time, and it takes time to ammend the constitution to allow for a more open process that will allow more people to stand as candidates.

The question of stepping down "has been settled." Mubarak will serve out his term and use it to impliment reform. Mubarak leaving early would invite chaos and break the constitutional order.

Neither Mubarak or his son will be on the ballot.

There will be a full investigation of the events, and those responsible will be held accountable. The government believes that the violence was the result of a conspiracy, and the investigation will reveal who was behind it.

Three specific 'special agendas' identified as possibly behind the unrest: Muslim Brotherhood, 'foreign interests', and business interests. (it looks like this will be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, but a few of Gamal's friends will be taken down too).

There has been froeign interference by foreign countries. Statements from foreign governments have not been helpful and have damaged relations with those coutnries (finger to you Barry). Also, friendly countries that house news networks that 'inflame the youth' have been unhelpful.

Continued unrest hurts the country. Significant economic damage already sustained. Anyone who continues to protest is serving as an agent of 'domestic and foreign agendas.'

Comic releif provided by a call for escaped prisoners to return to jail.

Closed by thanking 'the youth' for sparking needed reforms.

A bunch of stuff I skipped over, but I think that is the important stuff.

(Another) Barbara

Caro, I sent you an email.


Moran, seems to have glommed on to Springborg,
in the LUN


Not sure I buy this part of his take though:

our backing of the military's power play will only radicalize the population further, thus making the next uprising much worse for America and Israel.

Given that right now the vast majority of the population just wants this over, I doubt there will be much appatite in Egypt for challenging the government for a while.


Oh, one other thing I noticed on AJ was that the Army has depoloyed at least one tank with a dozer blade near the square. That will come in handy for breaking down those make shift barriors the demonstrators have erected in the square.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

AB, Can you send me one too? I tried to email you a couple of days ago and it came back.

<but they made a conscious decision before that to remove the severability clause that had been in a prior Senate draft.


What makes you think that? Since I blogged the opposite and talked about the opposite on the radio today, I;m at risk for being called a liar.

I always thought it was a cut & paste error


Well the long term issue, focused on by Spengler, last night, is the circumstances
facing this caretaker government, make it unlikely to survive. But Springborg, comes from the very Arabist SOAS, I think they just swapped him out for Vali Nasr.

Jane (sit on the couch or save your country)

BTW, Ward Bird is Free!


While the media is all aghast that Anderson Cooper took some punches, it seems that FNC's Greg Palkot and his producer Olaf Wiig escaped a molotov cocktail hitting in their room - ran outside and were severely beaten. Both spend the night in a Cairo hospital.


Unfortunately for those guys, the very first thing a govt must do in these circumstances is to control the communications out of the country if one is in a position to do so.

It proved a mistake to cut off the internet--what they have to do is Moby it up..

Send Cairo shysters, gats, and loot.

Doesn't he have a cause of action, Jane?


OMG, C-cal, I was watching him yesterday and hoping something didn't happen to him. He indicated they were being watched by people below their balcony.


New Thread. Guess TM has power after all!

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