Friday, January 18, 2013

Are we all allergic to cereals?

Some evolutionary speculators say we are not fully adapted to an agricultural diet and we suffer from the various poisons that grains are known to contain to avoid being eaten by animals. Ten years ago, people had never heard of celiac disease, which seems to me some kind of gluten sensitivity. Gluten-free diets and products have expanded beyond those with celiac disease and are bought by many because it makes them feel better, even if they don't have a wheat allergy. This may be a revolution for the catering and restaurant industry of Israel too, that are good clients of mine.

37 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:08 AM

    I think it is a fad. I know many people who ate cereals and bread for many decades of their life and this year they declared that they are suddenly "gluten intolerant". There is a small % of the population that has true allegerics or celiac disease but only a small number. The rest are just influenced by fashion. Next year they will adopt the next fad diet.

    I remember maybe 20 years ago there was an "oat bran" fad. Now maybe oat bran by itself is a healthful source of fiber (maybe so is eating cotton) but they had oat bran covered potato chips, oat bran muffins, etc. that were just junk food with oat bran sprinkled on it. Then in a year or two, there was no more oat bran.

    K

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  2. Anonymous2:59 AM

    I think Ashkenazim must be especially well adapted to eating grain. A major portion of the calories in the E. European diet consisted of bread. Before the introduction of the potato, even more.

    K

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  3. Anonymous3:25 AM

    I think that when people give up gluten-containing products, they actually consume fewer calories, and often feel better on that account alone.

    It is not impossible to be subclinically intolerant for years, however, and there is no doubt that gluten enteropathy is a risk factor for the development of various kinds of cancer in the bowel (usually lymphomas, but also the rare small bowel carcinomas).

    Anon.

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  4. Anonymous5:27 AM

    Essentially, the only people who are thought to be predisposed to developing true celiac disease have HLA serotype DQ2 or DQ8. Only a small subset of those people ever develop it, and at least as far as we know now (which could change), people with other serotypes don't. So celiac disease is not nearly common enough to account for the number of people who think that they are gluten intolerant. There are other proteins to which they could develop allergies, but the outcome wouldn't be expected to be as severe as celiac disease. A lot of these people with bowel problems have IBS, bowel bacterial overgrowth, or just generally poor eating habits (late-night snacking, junk food, etc.). Other disease, such as diabetes, can also affect the gut. And psychiatric causes can't be ignored.

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  5. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Grains make you fat and stupid, aside from anything else.

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  6. antonym6:06 PM

    Cutting gluten has worked well for me. I have more energy, better digestion, and I eat less.

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  7. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Too much food makes one fat and stupid. Carbs aren't evil, but it's not optimal when people unthinkingly eat 4,000 kcal of them per day, mostly in sugary junk food rather than grains. The low-carb diets work because carbs are usually the food type in which the overweight overindulge. Cutting out the carbs does thereby cut their calories significantly.

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  8. Anonymous10:53 PM

    It was well-known in the 1950's and before that if you don't want to get fat you should avoid starches. It's not a new fad. The new fad is the pro-carb low-fat thing that has contributed to the obesity epidemic.

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  9. Anonymous5:06 PM

    And Dr. Kellogg thought that eating flesh was bad and advocated a diet high in cereal grains. The pendulum swings back and forth.

    K

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  10. Anonymous10:51 PM

    It doesn't swing back and forth, the idea that eating starches made you fat has been known since the 19th century, the idea that carbs and low-fat and anti-meat is good for you is recent and obviously unhealthy.

    It's the calories too, but it's not just calories. Food has hormonal effects, and a high-carb diet is bad for body composition. You're not a Viet farmer who does backbreaking work 20 hours a day.

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  11. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Meat consumption has been correlated with stress hormone production, so it's no panacea either.

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  12. Today I went into ultraubersuperOrthodox Mea Shearim, where health food is unheard of, and everyone eats tons of starch. No fatties in sight. What gives, cavedietologists?

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  13. Anonymous2:14 AM

    I don't just eat mostly meat and low carb to avoid being fat. Avoiding obesity is easy: just eat less. I do it to be more muscular and powerful.

    You can keep quaffing on your nachos and mayonnaise though.

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  14. Now you're moving the goalposts. First, paleo was the only way to avoid obesity and diabetes (other than being a Vietnamese rice farmer working 20 hours a day.) Now, it's the proper choice for a body-conscious lifestyle. Have you waxed your nipples this week?

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  15. Anonymous8:00 AM

    You're a fatass and probably happy with it, B. Keep on being a fatass. And who knows what your definition of "fat" is anyway. When you say not fat you probably mean "not obese."

    It's not a modern fad that eating starches makes you fat. This was known to your grandmother. The modern fad is the pro-grains nonsense.

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  16. I am reasonably sure my bench press, squat, deadlift and two mile run time are competitive with or compare favorably to yours. I am also reasonably sure that I can ruck you into the ground any day. But if, in order to justify your pseudoscientific religion, you need to assume all the heretics are sitting on the couch with their sideflab hanging over the side and eating mayonnaise with a spoon-be my guest.

    When I say "not fat," I mean that nobody in their right mind would call them fat. Their physiques certainly reflect their sedentary, book-oriented lifestyle, but they're not fat. Now, according to Gary Taubes, they should all be constantly starving for nutrients, due to their wild insulin swings and resistance, and be shoveling food into their face, bloating out to Jabba the Hut-like proportions, so whom should I believe? You guys, or my lying eyes? Does it make sense, given the 10KY explosion, that while every other aspect of the human genome has been evolving at an ever-increasing speed since the start of the Neolithic, the digestive system has failed to adapt, to the degree that to function normally, our bodies need a steady intake of organic avocado-coconut oil smoothies, handcaught wild Norwegian salmon covered with flaxseed and wrapped in buffalo bacon, etc.? It might be delicious, it might even be good for you, but why would it be essential?

    And a false dichotomy (it's either Paleo or Twinkies!) in 5, 4, 3, 2...

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  17. Anonymous7:02 PM

    B, I have bad new for you. Since you left America, the union bankrupted the company and they stopped making Twinkies.

    K

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  18. B can breath a sight of relief because Twinkies are on their way back http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2251906/Twinkies-Legendary-cake-set-return-shelves-coming-months-new-ownership.html

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  19. B: False dichotomies such as "it's either Paleo or Twinkies!" are solved by Hegelian synthesis: "Paleo-Twinkies"! Somebody will make it.

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  20. I see your years as a Marxist did not go by idly, J.

    You could substitute organically rendered hand-caught walrus fat (high in Omega 3!) for the partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and berries for the high fructose corn syrup. Only $6.99 at your local Whole Foods.

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  21. Anonymous12:13 AM

    Are these LOCAL walruses? If not, I'm not interested.

    K

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  22. Anonymous2:26 AM

    Norwegian salmon aside, your grandmother knew eating starches made you fat. Girls used to know this, and now that they don't, guess what, they're getting fatter. Forget "paleo"; what I'm talking about here has been common knowledge since the 19th century, but recent govt. propaganda in favor of grains has made people forget it.

    And B you're not fooling anyone, you're a Jewish fatass who smears butter on your stomach fat rolls

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  23. Anonymous2:29 AM

    B is ex-military stationed in Afghanistan. I doubt he has fat rolls

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  24. Anonymous4:19 AM

    B is from where? He was posing as an Israeli the other day. A lot of internet Jews are action war heroes from Afghanistan, etc., the reality is more like Woody Allen...

    (no antisemite, Jew myself, but it's a particular neurosis of diaspora Jews to try to appear "tough," online they're all military/special forces, I've come to be skeptical)

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  25. Anonymous5:32 AM

    He emigrated to Israel recently. He was born in the USSR and emigrated to the U.S. as a child. I'm not sure if he was in special forces, but I doubt he's lying about his military service. He and I don't agree about much, but he is sharp, well-read, and worthy of at least benefit of the doubt.

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  26. Anonymous5:52 AM

    If you think he is really a fatass faker, go meet him in the Shomron - he will kick your ass if you ask him to. When you get out of the hospital, I will tell you I told you so.

    K

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  27. Anonymous1:15 PM

    K,
    Are you another internet tough guy too? What is this desire to appear "tough" on the internet. Are you also special forces and you catch terrorists?

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  28. Anonymous1:19 PM

    Jews were not farmers and are not adapted to eat grains well. What Jews should eat is fatty fish like herring, chicken and beef organs, eggs, much milk and cheese. But mostly smoked fatty fish, the Ashkenazi brain got big on oily fish in the north.

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  29. Reality is stranger than fiction sometimes, my fanatical paleonymous friend. In our globalized world, people change countries and careers all the time. Not me, of course, I sit in my mother's basement in New Jersey, eating mayonnaise from my cavernous bellybutton, and attempt to impress anonymous assholes online that I am the real-life version of a Golan-Globus film. You smelled me right out, you human bloodhound-all the Omega 3 must be giving you superhuman incisiveness.

    Most of the Ashkenazim most of the time were dirt poor and lived on typical East European subsistence fare, mutatis mutandum for Kashrut. Lots of grains, lots of potatoes after they were introduced.

    I have no doubt that herring, chicken and beef are better for you than bread. I do have doubts about the paleo party line, i.e., that our bodies are not adapted to subsisting off typical agricultural fare.

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  30. Anonymous4:25 PM

    The E. Europeans used proteins the way the Chinese do - a little meat and a lot of vegetables and grains, because they couldn't afford a lot. Herring was eaten with bread (and butter if you could afford it). No one ate a steak. One small piece of beef on the bone would go into a big soup pot along with lots of cabbage, beets, etc. If you were richer, a slightly bigger piece of beef. You might get a little bit of it in your soup. You'd eat the soup with bread or potatoes or buckwheat kasha. Chicken ditto - in the soup bowl would be noodles or matzoh balls or kreplach (wontons) or something to give substance. Etc.


    K

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  31. Anonymous6:51 PM

    Recently I came across a picture in a book of food relief being distributed to the Jews in Przytyk (my father's shtetl) after the pogrom of '36. The riots and anti-Jewish boycott disrupted the livelihood of the Jews, who depended on Poles from the surrounding villages coming to the weekly market to trade their goods. The food that they were distributing was bread, just bread. Bread was synonymous with food, just as in China , the word "fan" means either rice or more broadly, a meal.

    I should add that the bread was considerably better than what we usually get - it had real substance and was nothing like horrible American white bread.



    K

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  32. Anonymous7:14 PM

    And by the way, these people (like their descendants that B saw in Mea Shearim) were not fat because A. they could not afford to eat enough calories to get fat , B. while high in carbs, the diet was very low in refined sugars. No soda with high fructose corn syrup and sweets were reserved for special occasions only. No between meal snacks. No junk food and C. while they were not farmers they were nevertheless active by modern standards. If you wanted to go somewhere, you usually walked. Many of the occupations involved physical activity - there were no power tools or electric motors. If you wanted your sewing machine to spin, you'd have to spin it yourself (with a foot treadle).

    K

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  33. It was a conspiracy-they were trying to poison the Jews with glutens!

    The people in Mea Shearim, while not rich, are as able to stuff their face with junk as American proles. And historically, even the rich ate lots of carbs (albeit better quality ones, and with more protein and fat.) Yet, the waddling masses of flesh we see today are not to be seen in portraits.

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  34. Also, this: http://dienekes.blogspot.co.il/2013/01/dog-food.html

    So, dogs have evolved to be able to digest starch much better than wolves. Dogs! But yet we supposedly are such pathetic evolutionary failures that despite a manyfold population explosion and something like 250 generations with agriculture, we haven't been able to adapt? GTFO.

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  35. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Dog lovers don't like to hear that their pets are evolved to eat human garbage - predators turned to scavengers and that they were not tamed by humans but rather tamed themselves so that they could put up with humans and get all that yummy garbage. The life of a predator is hard compared with scavenging in garbage dumps so I don't blame the dogs.

    The key mutation (in humans and dogs) seems to be having multiple copies of a gene to produce amylase, an enzyme that breaks starches into digestible sugars. Humans even have this in their saliva - we start to digest starches even before we swallow them.

    We have a dog and it is clearly wild about human food. And not just meats as you might expect but vegetables and starches too.

    K

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  36. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Dogs will still prefer meat. And they will instinctively go for certain organs first if you place a variety of meats in front of them.

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  37. Dogs PREFER meat. I too prefer meat (and prefer high-quality fish even to meat.) Which doesn't mean that everything else is poison, which we are genetically incapable of digesting. If dogs, whose ancestors 50KYA were carnivores, have adapted to digest vegetable matter quite well, how much more so humans, whose nearest primate relatives consume all kinds of carbohydrates (from which we can deduce that our common ancestor did as well.)

    No, I am not saying that Twinkies dipped in mayonnaise are good for you.

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