Where do you stand on safe starches? Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white rice. How far do you go? What are your thoughts?
I think each person can only answer this for themselves, from their own experiences and what works for them. If there is one thing that most of us learn along this whole paleo journey, is that THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL. I can not stress that enough. Starches work wonderfully for some people, there are others, many others, who can not tolerate them. At all. IMHO, you have to listen to your own body, pay attention to the signals it is giving you to see what works best for YOU.
Me personally, I am quite high in starch. I eat white rice, white potatoes, lots of root veg, especially over winter when that is what is locally available. That works for me. I will occasionally go low carb. I started this whole journey low carb actually. For me, I found I lost too much weight and my period cycle lengthened while I was eating low carb. My cycle corrected shortly after I introduced more starches back in, but again this is only my experience. There are plenty of other people who absolutely thrive without the starches. I think everybody needs to focus on self experimentation and find what works best for them. This whole low carb V higher but not actually high carb, battle is getting really boring. We all have more in common than we do differences. Lets focus more on that, and trying to help people find what works for them.
I was virtually zero carb for 1+ years and lost a lot of weight then sort of plateaued when I really wanted to lose about 6 pounds more. But didn't feel "right".
Adding potatoes and white rice back - not every day, but frequently, helped digestive issues, gave me more energy, better sleep - and helped with some of the nutrients that FitDay showed I was low in. I'd believed all of this "potatoes are empty nutrients" thing, when in fact the opposite is true - great source of nutrients. And the extra 6 pounds went easily.
I find I feel just better all round with carbs. And now I'm adding back more fruit - some each day.
Really, you need to listen to your body and what it tells you. Some obviously do well on meat only, some people need more veg, some more carbs. So long as there is plenty of good fats and no "bad" grains, I'm sure you'll flourish!
Dr. Kruse and Rosedale are placing a bet that carbohydrate restriction (Rosedale also places a lot of importance on protein restriction. Somehow that never comes up in these debates, even though most of us eat over his recommendations) with enhanced longevity, primarily based on animal studies. That's cool. I'm all for making life an experiment and I'm thrilled my grandchildren will have access to their data, along with the CRON (calorie restriction) folks. However, it has nothing to with with the paleolithic. At least Dr. Rosedale doesn't try to muck around with prehistory to try to convince people about why carbs are suboptimal, even though he is arrogant in his own way.
The evidence for starch consumption in the paleolithic is robust and I believe firmly that response to it, like response to most things, lies along a normal distribution, in which one tail end might not tolerate it very well and the other tail end might not do very well without it. This is particularly since reliance on starch as a STAPLE seems to be somewhat recently (middle to late Paleolithic) selected for, as are adaptations to polar environments. The vast majority of people are in the middle, where they are somewhat flexible in their choices and can chose to consume starches or to place their bets on carb restriction improving their quality of life later on.
I am not convinced by Rosedale's practical data, which is paltry. You can see my data on cross-cultural leptin data on my blog, in which Rosedale's study isn't anything particularly special and Stephen points out that the markers he is using aren't even proven as markers of longevity.
Active Paleo folks thrive on those things. Humans are omnivores and we are able to process a variety of macros for a reason.
Jaminet does a good defense of safe starches, but he's talking about the optimal diet for the optimal human. A lot of us have problems to solve and avoiding those "safe" starches is sometimes the best strategy.
I think a good rule is Jaminet's 20% starches in terms of calories, adjusted up if you are more active and adjusted down if you have weight to lose.
While there are certainly people who can't handle much if any starch, I think many, if not most people can handle a fair amount.
As always, an elimination diet is helpful, and if eliminating starches eliminated a problem, keep them out.
However, I think there are a lot of active groks who have never had a health issue who low-carb unnecessarily. I was one, and feel much better with starches.
My body doesn't seem to handle starch that well, and in middle/high school, when I didn't know better and was eating a lot of rice and potatoes, I was farting a lot and was laughed at by other students. Recently I was out with friends in a Thai restaurant, a meal with rice noodles and bean sprouts made me burping pretty much non-stop all night.
I wouldn't go that far as completely shutting off starch. Currently I eat small portions of starchy food before/after workout, and sometimes I have safe starch for meals too. I feel rather good doing that. However, a big starchy meal will be off limits for me.
I eat: tubers. Root veg such as carrots,celery root, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potato. This is in addition to seasonal fruit and loads of leafy greens. My plate is always very well rounded. If I happen to come across one, a sour plum yaki onigiri will make it's way into my day but that's kind of a rare thing nowadays.
Every body is different - this works for me.
My experience was that I had gotten a little fat. I went LC and kind of VLC for about two months and dropped 20 pounds fairly easily. Then, as a lot of people report, I kind of stalled and went several weeks without any weight loss. So, I started experimenting with Leangains style carb cycling: adding a sweet potato to my post workout meal, which amounts to three per week. So, I'm staying around or below 50g of carbs per day on non workout days, and then staying at or slightly above 100g on workout days. I feel better and several pounds pretty much fell off of me without much trying. Like my body said, "oh, that's what we've been missing...we can let go of some of this goo now."
I do best on a low carb diet with carb days every once in a while. I am usually around 50 grams net carb on the low carb days. I do not believe that there is any such thing as a safe starch that should be eaten all the time. I am really with Drs. Rosedale and Kruse on this one.