White rice is touted to be basically pure starch by Paul Jaminet on the basis that asain people eat it so it must be healthy right?
But it's not pure starch, it is a refined grain that most asain people haven't been eating that long.
Hakumai, polished rice came into use in the Genreku period at the end of the 17th century and the period at the beginning of the 18th century. It was the staple food prized by the emperors, nobles, warriors and wealthy merchants. Genmai, unpolished brown rice became the food of the poor.
White rice still has phytic acid:
FOOD-Brown rice- MIN=0.84 MAX=0.99 FOOD-Polished rice- MIN=0.14 MAX=0.60
One phytic acid molecule has the ability to lock up many nutrients:
White rice is a poor source of all nutrients and phytic acid in white rice binds up lots of important nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and protein.
So why would anyone eat white rice over potatoes or other underground storage organs which are legitimately paleo and don't contain phytic acid?
I'm sorry but I have to play on the side that there are greater things to worry about than the small amount of phytic acid in white rice. We avoid so much phytic acid eating Paleo as it is. Most people get far higher levels with all their whole grain consumption. White rice contains far less phytic acid than brown rice since the outside shell is removed. I pretty much see white rice as a starch filler. It doesn't really contain nutrients, but then again, that's not the point of rice. Sure, tubers have more nutrients, and I think tuber starch is better overall than white rice But in the context of a nutrient rich, whole foods diet, there is no way you are going to be gorging on enough white rice to be concerned about whatever little the phytic acid the rice has. It's not going to block the nutrition density in your other whole foods.
kresser, guyenet, harris, jaminets - they all eat some rice.
Well, white rice is gluten/fructose/n6 free, so there's that. Suboptimal? Yes. Pure evilz? No.
Potatoes, even white ones, have a way better nutrition profile. But some people will do better on rice. I would say read, think, test and optimize yourself - there is no other way.
I enjoyed this thread enough, I had to do a post about it: "Is Shou-Ching to blame for our rice habit?," http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=3855.
Years I ago I spent some time in Micronesia - Truk mostly, and once took the "field trip ship" (a junker which could have been in a Humphrey Bogart movie). This rust bucket took a circuit around the "outer islands" every few weeks, mostly delivering people, cigarettes and bushels of white rice. And picking up people and sacks of copra (dried coconut - the locals never touched the stuff).
They had gotten into the white rice habit because of long-time occupation by the Japanese, and later after WWII they qualified for USDA money thus the bags of white rice (and Jane Fonda movies shown in grass huts - but that's another story).
You can totally predict what happened to them: a normally healthy and robust people suddenly encountered the "Western Diet" and lo! and behold they gain weight, get diabetes, need dentists - all the so-called "modern" diseases.
This wasn't solely caused directly by white rice of course. But because of that free rice dropped off on their beaches every month or so they weren't eating their traditional foods. Fewer fish because why bother with the canoes (and now chickens were everywhere)? The coconut groves and taro plants not tended, and so on. The cigarettes didn't help either.
So maybe white rice in small amounts is fine - but as a staple? I don't think so.
Don't forget that some of us with arthritis/autoimmune issues do better without nightshades - and that includes potatoes. So, a little bit of white rice in my sushi or a half a cup on my plate once in a while (WITH a liberal dose of good butter - yum) is NOT something I'm gonna stress about.
I fixed Wikipedia. As you can see from the table now, taro and cassava have phytic acid too. I'll continue adding values from that paper later in the day. I seriously doubt any of you are in danger of beriberi. The USOs that hunter-gatherers use are usually toxic enough to require days of processing. Chemical toxicity doesn't make a food "paleo" or not.
I love how paleo crowd is worried sick about phytic acid in stuff like rice (easily soaked out in preparation of cooking mind you), but they'll wolf down nuts and nut butters like crazy which contain much higher levels (chart http://bit.ly/o1kV5W). This is a perfect example of brainwashing within the community.
Hey, we've all been there. Add on the widely excepted 80/20 rule (eating crap) or binge eating (more crap) because they're so carb starved trying to avoid these "anti-nutrients" and "sugar/carbs." Add it all up and it's probably bouncing off the amount of phytic acid in an industrial diet.
Ease up. It's not killing the asians and it's whole hell of a lot better than what you're consuming in your nuts and "20" time.
Lots of paleo foods also have low levels of phytic acid. White rice is as low in phytic acid as some paleo foods, so why not use it in your diet? Obsessing over low levels of anti-nutrients is likely more unhealthy than the anti-nutrients themselves.
Paul Jaminet's blog post 'Can there be a carbohydrate deficiency?' Dr. Rosedale's response.
i.e. Paul Jaminet's blog post 'Can there be a carbohydrate deficiency?' i.e. Is there a need for carbs?;
Paul Jaminet answers his question affirmatively by stating, "The brain is the biggest determinant of glucose needs. While other primates need only about 7% of energy as glucose or ketones, humans need about 20%. Compared to other primates, humans have a 12% smaller liver. This means we can’t manufacture as much glucose from protein as animals can. Humans also have a 40% smaller gut. This means we can’t manufacture many short-chain fatty acids, which supply ketones or glucogenic substrates, from plant fiber. So, while animals can meet their tiny glucose needs (5% of calories) in their big livers, humans may not be able to meet our big glucose needs (20-30% of calories) from our small livers. So any carbohydrate deficiency disease will strike humans only, not animals." Though good thoughts, I must disagree with Paul conceptually and factually. The brain needing 20% glucose is only under conditions of insufficient adaptation to burning ketones. Basic metabolic textbooks talk about adaptation to carbohydrate "starvation" when the brain starts deriving the vast majority of its energy needs from ketones derived from fat metabolism. After several weeks of adaptation the brain can derive at least 80% of its energy needs from ketones. After a longer period of time it can derive more. Regardless, the remainder of the brain's energy needs can be met from gluconeogenesis using glycerol derived from the breakdown of triglycerides as substrate such that gluconeogenesis derived from amino acids is minimal to nonexistent, sparing lean mass. In fact, my patients who strictly adhered to my very low carbohydrate dietary recommendations generally increased lean mass without increasing exercise.
The size of the human liver has little to nothing to do with its metabolic abilities. Rather, it's adaptation to available nutrients and even more importantly its control by, and indeed its sensitivity to metabolic hormones such as insulin and leptin are much more important to its function. Eating 100 g of glucose forming carbohydrates daily is enough to sufficiently raise insulin to shut down ketone production by the liver resulting in the necessity to use glucose as fuel by the brain. As such, what Jaminet is recommending is a self-fulfilling prophecy; requiring the consumption of glucose forming carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice increases blood glucose and insulin enough to greatly reduce ketone production, necessitating the use of glucose by the brain. This is not good. I have talked decades about the change in brain function when it converts from glucose to primarily ketone use; it becomes much healthier. Studies are now pouring in on the connection between glucose and chronic brain diseases. Jaminet rightly mentions the benefit of increasing ketone use in epilepsy. Epilepsy is an extreme of an over excitable brain. Is it possible that a brain primarily burning ketones as its primary fuel may function better all of the time? I believe strongly that the answer to this is yes.
Further counterpoints to the need for carbs;
I have never seen a list of essential nutrients that included a single carbohydrate. This means, that as far as current science knows, a human being does not have to take a single gram of carbohydrate their entire life to maintain health. This is because it is well known that although there is a certain need for carbohydrates and sugars, the body can make what it needs from other sources, either triglycerides or proteins. If the body is using fat as its primary fuel, then it needs (much) less glucose. The glucose that is necessary (more for anaerobic red blood cells than the brain) can either come from glycerol from the breakdown of triglycerides or from glucogenic amino acids that would be much less desirable. Deriving glucose from amino acids from protein requires either the consumption of excess protein–not good (I have written much about this previously) or the breakdown of lean mass–obviously not good, but no choice if one can't eat i.e. while sleeping. So the real question becomes, not whether carbohydrates are needed, but what other sources will the body use as substrates to make the glucose that it needs while not necessitating oral consumption. By far, the best substrate for glucose manufacture is glycerol, but this is largely only available if one is oxidizing fatty acids from triglycerides, and this is not possible when one consumes glucose forming foods such as rice and potatoes thus raising insulin and leptin and shutting off fatty acid oxidation.
TL;DR. nice pic though:)
I jest. Because it tastes good, prolly. Its just another not-too-bad food option. There are people on these boards that have been doing the paleo thing for quite some time (years) and I suppose after a while the mind will wander. I do sprouted corn tortillas pretty regularly, too.
Also, the healthier one gets from a good clean, basic paleo template (there you go, Chris, used template for you!) practiced for a long time, the more you can tolerate, and run pretty darn well off of, less-than-optimal options.
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