The extract about starch

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Diet, Nutrition and Health

These are my generalizations (some would say prejudices) from 40 years of experience in plant biochemistry and molecular biology:
Plant Secondary Compounds Are Defensive and Toxic
The development of plant secondary compounds (all of the compounds that are not part of metabolism or structures) is in response to pathogens, herbivores and pollinator/disseminator attractants -- development of these compounds has nothing to do with humans. Examples: Nicotine and caffeine are very toxic to herbivores and are present in plants for protection. Humans learn to play with toxic plant chemicals, just as they have learned to play with fire and explosives.
Plants Are Not There For Us
People have learned to exploit local plants for protection against local human pathogens, but there is no selective advantage to plants (except for domesticated plants) for useful plants to grow near humans. This logic would suggest that rats and mosquitoes, that flourish near human habitations, are there because of their human utility. Human live near places were useful plants grow.
Grains Are Unhealthy
One of the biggest problems with food processing is separating the inflammatory parts = starch and omega-6 oils, from the nutritive parts, the so-called anti-oxidants, vitamins, proteins, etc. Grains, even so-called whole grains, are simply too enriched for starch and inflammatory oils to be healthy. They are not safe to eat in large amounts. Leafy plant parts are healthy, but even those parts are not good in large amounts from a single plant species. Humans are browsers, because the plant secondary compounds are uniformly toxic, but can be tolerated better in a mixture of different toxicities.
Starch Is Inflammatory
Starchy foods should be treated like a fish. The starch should be pared away and discarded, like the fish gut and bones. (The guts and bones could actually be processed to make them nutritious. Not so with the starch. The starch should be fermented.) The potato skin should be eaten and the rest discarded, just as an aphid secretes as honey dew the extra sugar it sucks in from a plant leaf.
Cereals Are Inflammatory
Breakfast cereals are a dietary abomination. They contribute immensely to obesity, inflammation and chronic disease. Oatmeal for cardiovascular health is a total fraud. The fiber might be useful, but the high starch causes cardiovascular disease. Grains/cereal are the foundation of the chronic disease pyramid.
Fructose is Toxic
Fruit juices are another fraud. The juice (fructose) should be removed and discarded. The fructose is very unhealthy. Mice are given type II diabetes for research purposes by feeding them fructose (especially high fructose corn syrup.) Fructose is avoided in the beef industry, because it causes rapid cross-linking of collagen and leads to tough meat. The same thing happens in humans who eat fructose, it causes aging of the skin and other tissues. High fructose corn syrup is a commercial addiction -- it is hugely profitable as a sweetener -- and that is why it is still used, even though it is grossly unhealthy. It will eventually be removed from the market after the industry is protected from subsequent law suits. It is equivalent to the tobacco industry -- too lucrative to eliminate.
Phytic Acid
The active ingredient in fiber that provides its benefits is phytic acid, the same chemical that people are trying to eliminate. Phytic acid acts as a chelator. I don't think it is actually a problem. The problem comes from extracting cations from the phytic acid before it is eaten. Phytic acid should go in saturated, so that it doesn't contribute to deficiencies. The actual problem is that the diet is already low in minerals, because of eating processed foods that are mineral deficient.
Enzymatic Detoxification: P450, Glycosylation and Secretion
Humans are adapted to plant secondary metabolites by the abiltiy to enzymatically detoxify [using p450 and glycosylating (adding glucuronic acid)] and secrete the toxic compounds. These chemical modifications that occur in the intestines and liver are usually effect. They also work on drugs and that is how we eventually clear these compounds from our systems. Grapefruit and black pepper inactivate these enzymes and alter the way we metabolize plant toxins and drugs. The detox enzymes can also convert innocuous compounds into toxins and carcinogens. That conversion is the basis for using liver enzymes in the Ames Test for carcinogens. The activity of the enzymes is dependent on recent diet, so it would make sense to gradually change the amount and type of vegetables that are eaten in a meal to permit the detox system to adjust.
Glucose and Insulin Cause Fat Accumulation
Fat accumulation is dependent on dietary carbohydrates and insulin. Fat and serum lipids accumulates with a high carbohydrate diet and decrease on a low carbohydrate diet. This is more important than the number of calories consumed.
Inflammation Not Serum Lipids Cause CVD: Statin Are Unnecessary
Inflammation is the source of chronic degenerative diseases. Serum lipids are only secondary factors. Statins lower serum lipids, but do not impact cardiovascular health unless they also lower inflammation. Lowering inflammation lowers serum lipids and decreases cardiovascular disease. Statins appear to be a very expensive way of treating cardiovascular disease dependent on their side effect on inflammation. Modest dietary and lifestyle changes are much more effective, cheap and safe than statins.
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