Sunday Starchy Breakfast: Beans, Potatoes, Eggs and a Side of Insulin Sensitivity

When It’s not a morning smoothie of prebiotics and probiotics (see here for the recipe), this is now closer to the breakfasts Bea and I eat around here. It’s taken a while to get used to eating this way rather than eggs, meat, maybe a piece of fruit. In spite of blogging now for a while about how I don’t think very low carb diets are optimal long term, it has been really difficult to get out of the practice on average.

Beans with eggs are the bomb for breakfast, as well as other starches with meals. As such, both the wife and I have gone from fasting blood glucose numbers of 100-120 down to the 80s for her (80 this morning) and 90s for me (96 yesterday, didn’t check today).

IMG 2234

Some cooked and cooled pinto beans from the fridge, refried with a little butter, half slice of swiss melted on top. The potatoes were leftover from baked potatoes last night (yep, we had potatoes last night, too—along with grilled pork steaks, haricot verts, and hollandaise sauce…all courtesy of our friends).

The potatoes were chilled in the fridge overnight, then I peeled them, chopped them into cubes and fried them in Red Palm Oil. If you’ve never used red palm oil, you don’t know what you’re missing. I use it often for frying potatoes and doing oven fries. Has a great flavor and is excellent as a condiment in terms of a dipping sauce or a salad dressing. Goes great on scrambled eggs. And, it’s truly red. Those are russets, not yellows.

So anyway, that was my breakfast and Bea had just a little less starch, with one egg. Nothing else, we both drank water. At the 1hr point, I measured 149 and at the 2hr point, 129, and at 3 hours: 95. When I first got a meter and began paying attention, I’d sometimes see 160s. Probably, if you have physiologic insulin resistance brought on by chronic LC, as both Bea and I had, then you’re going to have 10-20 points more on your prostpranidials, maybe more. I once hit a 194, and now haven’t seen anything over 150 in a while.

Bea didn’t test at 1 hr but at 2 hours she was 105. Interestingly, she tested 130 yesterday at 2 hours after eating half of a 4-egg omelet with cheese, some hash browns and a biscuit at a restaurant. Today’s meal was a LOT more carbs, but they weren’t grain based, not cooked in crap oils, and there’s resistant starch and fiber.

Sometimes I wonder if VLC is a self fulfilling prophesy with folks in terms of BG. What I did, having an idea of what I was measuring, was to put away the meter and then start trying to get in starches almost every meal and then a couple of weeks later, picked it up and did some tests and found I had greatly improved across the board. Had I been like so many I see in comments, I would have never gotten that far, unwilling to go through the process, getting freaked out by “hi” readings that were actually caused by the self imposed insulin resistance I’d given myself—not from eating too many carbs, but by eating far too few.

So imagine this. Person goes LC, loses weight, gets on forums, everybody is talking about BG meters and how bad carbs are. It’s like: “I can’t eat any carbs other than non-starchy vegetables. I had an indulgence the other day of a few slices of pizza and my BG shot up to 160!” Person becomes concerned with all these anecdotes, goes gets a meter, confirms the exact same thing. Prophesy fulfilled. Welcome to the broken club.

And they’re stuck, because everyone will tell them “see, you can’t eat carbs. They’ll make you diabetic!” And never is it considered that insulin sensitivity has been shot from chronic dietary starch and glucose starvation, and what people are seeing is not type 2 diabetes but ironically, a condition they’ve brought on themselves where the actual cure is in the very thing they believe to be the cause!

Frankly, I’d drop the BG meter for a month, drop the scale too, and get a daily average of 150-200g of carbs—not counting fiber—from rice, beans, potatoes, fruit, maybe even a little raw honey. Prepare those foods so as to maximize Resistant Starch, and consider supplementing as well. Then, after a month, see where your numbers are.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Alie on March 16, 2014 at 17:06

    Looks yummers! Of course, now that you recommended Red Palm Oil, there’s going to be none left by the time I get to the store. Today I was in Whole Foods looking for potato starch, which I am almost out of, and there was the hole on the shelf, like a missing tooth, where the potato starch was supposed to be. I actually said out loud, “Dammit, Richard!” Got some weird looks.

  2. Adam on March 16, 2014 at 17:08

    Damn, wish I had read this post an hour ago. I just cooked some oven fries. I was debating whether or not to use red palm oil. Decided against it. Thought it wouldn’t work with white potatoes.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2014 at 17:38


      It works great, also 50/50 coconut/palm or leaf lard/palm, bacon drippings/palm.

      It just works.

    • BigRob on March 19, 2014 at 10:36


      Have you ever made Ghana Red Red? A tasty bean stew made with red palm oil.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2014 at 13:17



      Have a fav recipe?

  3. Briterian on March 16, 2014 at 17:08

    Great post. Love the transparency. Would like to know impact this way of eating has had on ldl-p homocysteine, small LDL, CRP etc. My doc is telling me to eat more starch since I’ve been VLC for 2 yrs and some of these markers are a bit off.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2014 at 17:41


      My deal is that way back, i was all into getting all these tests and I did and I saw that Paleo really confirmed what I ought to expect with losing 60 pounds.

      The problem is, there is this almost pathology now, where basically everyone is afraid to eat anything without having some measure of how it affects them.

      So fuck that, and I’m advising against it. If you are one who has seen improvement in the various markers (inflammation being the most important in my view), then relax, you know you’re on the right track. Beans, rice, potatoes are NOT what was causing any problems you had.

    • Briterian on March 16, 2014 at 18:56

      Thanks Richard. Good counter. My crp has gone from 1.4 to .4. My BP is around 125/85 and my weight is stable at 210 and I’m 6’3″. T is over 700. Doc is concerned with my oxidized ldl at 66 and homo at 11.2 and ldlp at 2400. Tried to push me on red rice yeast and I said no thank you. Trying to take on a more relaxed attitude probably only achieved by a new doc or no doc or continuing to follow you and tater.

  4. Adrienne on March 16, 2014 at 17:12

    How does a person determine if improved fasting and postprandial glucose numbers are not at the cost of increasingly elevated insulin? And how elevated is too elevated with respect to insulin? I remember Dr. Rosedale speaking of how there are genetic differences in how much insulin is released in response to carbs and that the people who have higher insulin responses to meals are prone to developing hyperinsulinemia over time.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2014 at 17:59

      “of increasingly elevated insulin”

      You’ve smuggled in a premise there: “increasing[ly],” which is unwarranted. We have a pancreas, it secretes a hormone called insulin to regulate BG. It ought to become apparent soon enough if you’ve fooled yourself, and unlike billions of other people, two people in a household, one northern Euro and one Hispanic, only maintain normal BG by increasingly elevated insulin.

      People with normal BG, who are insulin sensitive, tend to have normal insulin levels, like billions of starch eaters and counting. Obviously, low to normal insulin levels combined with normal BG is optimal. Moreover, with sensitivity comes less insulin to do a job, so that’s what you’re questioning with a ‘what if?’ with no real basis of reason, since things are going just as predicted on the plain facts.

      How insulin became to be demonized is beyond me. I never pay any attention to Rosedale. I was there at the safe starch panel at AHS, and then towards the end of his presentation as I was up next in the same room. I get the sense that my friend Mike Eades gets perturbed with him sometimes, and Mike is plenty LC for me, so I never need to pay attention to Rosedale.

      I count him dishonest, frankly.

    • Adrienne on March 17, 2014 at 10:08

      I like the Eades’ books very much and they speak of the undesirability of “excess insulin” both in the books and on the blog — citing differences in secretion due to genetics as well as diet (too much carbohydrate), stress, lack of sleep etc. Dr. Davis also speaks of insulin “spikes” and certain foods (remember the infamous butter blog) creating an undesirable insulin response. I realize that both insulin and blood glucose are necessary for life, but you can always have too much of a good thing. My question had to do with how would a person know what’s really happening with their insulin levels when adding high starch foods to their diet. How would a person know they are “normal” in their response to insulin secretion and sensitivity? Are you saying that so long as fasting and post-prandial bg are normal, then don’t worry about insulin levels because the normal glucose levels prove the pancreas is doing it’s job?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 11:08


      We’re in a whole new paradigm. Eades once quickly dismissed resistant starch a few years back as an anti nutrient. “…and yes, resistant starch is an anti-nutrient.” Direct quote.

      So, forgive me if I don’t share anyone’s view that Eades can’t be wrong. I’m 100% certain he is, though he has recently expressed interest, as well as admitting he may have been too hasty. He also admitted not knowing much about it. Then pleaded lack of time to look into it now, even though he just posted how he reads 100-150 books per year.

      A proper gut biome or at least, a far better one, was the missing link and RS is an enormous piece of that. Unfortunately, Mike continues to not take much interest, though I know he is very busy always with the sous vide business, and I also acknowledge that his book reading might want to skew towards downtime. OTOH, Dr. Davis is very enthusiastic about this, recently commenting as such on Facebook, as well as a comment here a few posts back.

      Before, there was the “LC Corner Paradigm.” The only logical thing to do was just restrict carbs more and more, such that spikes were not big—but at the expense of higher fasting readings. Forgive me again, but when both I and my wife haven’t seen under 100 since we’d been testing, something is amiss. Moreover, the reason we now have fasting under 100 is because of a dramatic increase in carbs.

      LCers always dismiss this. It’s the GOOD INSULIN RESISTANCE. It has to be good, see? Because no carbs are involved. No, wait, this is healthylowcarbinsulinresistancehighfastingbloodglucose!

      Everything has changed. Get this: EVERYTHING has changed. VLCers are building fires in caves by comparison. But, I love it. I am very cognizant of the progression in a lot of places. Early on, in a lot of places, it was zero acknowledgement. Then, when RS began getting noticed, there was lafter and scorn. And now, it’s crickets mostly and given the air-sucking quality of this everywhere, it means something. Really is. Now, perhaps someone will attempt to come out with a scathing piece and I hope it happens, because the n=1 are in the thousands worldwide, and there is no stopping this tide.

      Once Grace knocked some sense into Tim & I (especially me—she was MEAN to me in email…) and the probiotics got introduced, it has improved most people’s experience, and taken many from no improvement or bad, to some level of good.

      This will absolutely never go away.

      Low carb as a healthy lifestyle is dead, only millions who don’t need it don’t know that yet. Understandable in the paradigm, absolutely no longer necessary except as a therapy, like a drug, and read the side effects carefully.

      Now, I’m going to go polish up this comment and make it the day’s 2nd post, right after the corned beef one just about to be published. So, thanks.

    • Adrienne on March 17, 2014 at 12:02

      I never said the Eades can’t be wrong. I only mentioned them because you mentioned Dr Mike Eades and implied he disagreed with Rosedale on insulin. I’m glad Dr. Davis is enthusiastic about rs and the gut biome, but he’s also enthusiastic about not spiking insulin. I’m not disagreeing with you about benefits of rs and probiotics, I just want to be clear about your views on insulin. You know from my previous comments that you are preaching to the choir with me regarding rs; pre & probiotics; and the fact that vlc is neither necessary nor desireable for everyone. I asked and am still asking about insulin. By “EVERYTHING” has changed, are you inferring that since abandoning vlc and adding rs and probioitcs, the improved blood glucose readings that you now have necessarily imply normal insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 14:09

      “implied he disagreed with Rosedale on insulin.”

      To be clear, what I said is that it’s my sense that Mike gets perturbed by Rosedale and as such, Mike is plenty of LC info for me. In other words, he’s pretty damn solid on it as great, so why need someone even more stanch? All I meant. Just efficiency, really.

      Re insulin, I’ll try to sort my ideas out in the upcoming post, probably tomorrow at this point.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 17, 2014 at 20:40


      I said, submit and bend over and let me insert my probiotics… OK JUST KIDDING. Sorry I had to kick your cute *ss, had to be done!

      What also was ENTIRELY NEW AND SHOCKING was that probiotics themselves improve insulin sensitivity. When you take them, they are only a drop in an ocean of trillions of organisms but yet they make the biggest impact on health. WAH? I can’t even fathom how that mechanistically and biopharmacologically works precisely except that we are indeed cyborgs………………

      Look at the huge 2 pager Table 1 — Probiotic modulation of gut microbiota in rodents. (Table 2 is equally seminal — PREBIOTICS)

      L planatarum is a human gut commensal — don’t need a lot but it does a lot (like reverse life long eczema for Heisenbug). Heisenbug theorizes it is also a keystone commensal and I would have to agree.

      Other insulin-sensitizing species that lower body fat, lower cholesterol, raise HDL, lower TG, lower BG, insulin and HgbA1c are:
      L casei
      L rhamnosus
      L acidophilus
      L reuteri
      L gasseri

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 17, 2014 at 22:08

      (but these are all coprophagic rodents, so don’t apply to us sadly typically)

    • GTR on March 19, 2014 at 04:01

      @Richard – when you write about subjects like “low carb”, VLC, can you please use numbers, like in grams of carb per day average etc. in order to avoid confusion about definitions?

      I specifically wrote about grams, rather than calories, as converting everything ingested in calories is deceitful; as proteins, fats and carbs are also used as buliding material, and calorie counters completly ignore it treating every piece of food as energy: it’s like quantifying a wooden house by using joules, while you don’t have an intention to burn it.

    • DuckDodgers on March 19, 2014 at 05:42

      Most studies suggest that low carb is anything under 100g/day, and VLC is anything under 50g/day. Those numbers usually refer to carbs from starchy/sugary foods, and ignore carbs from green/leafy vegetables (which aren’t net carbs).

      Moderate carb would be about 150g/day.

  5. Ellen on March 17, 2014 at 07:16

    Has anyone who did the Kickstarter for green banana flour gotten their flour yet?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:31


      A couple of days ago there was an update with a picture of a room with dozens of boxes ready to ship out. I suspect you’ll have it within days.

  6. Ann on March 16, 2014 at 18:18

    Well, I’m concerned about insulin right along with Adrienne. I was dx with insulin resistance after having NO IDEA that it was anything but normal. My blood glucose numbers (I checked occasionally with my mom’s meter, she being diabetic and me being overweight) were never high, but I found out after having my insulin tested that the high insulin was what was keeping my BG down. Insulin is silent — until you get reactive hypoglycemia. Then you get trapped in a cycle of eating really often so you don’t suffer anxiety, shakes, headaches, foggy thinking, and panic attacks. I’ve spent the past two years dozing off at night only to jerk awake in the midst of a full-blown panic attack caused by low blood sugar, which was caused by high insulin. It’s not fun or restful.

    I’m doing your month-long experiment, and have put my meter on a high shelf, but I am going to have my insulin tested as soon as my month is up. It was miserable feeling that anxiety all the time, and it took several months of LC to bring my insulin levels back down to normal levels. I truly hope I’m not doing it to myself all over again.

    My changes in carbs with this experiment are no sugar, very little dairy, and only rice and some beans for grains. I had stopped eating grains for the most part (strict gluten free) for quite a while, but would still have ice cream, and other sweets. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m eating some regular and Okinawan sweet potatoes a couple times a week, and have added in some rice and tapioca wrappers for sandwich stuff or egg burritos.

    Proceeding cautiously…

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2014 at 21:17

      “Then you get trapped in a cycle of eating really often so you don’t suffer anxiety, shakes, headaches, foggy thinking, and panic attacks.”

      I’m no doctor, obviously, but this is abnormal so I would be loath for you to try anything I say as an idea–intended for normal people. Not a disclaimer of legal grounds, which I hate, but it seems to me that you might need some supervision.

    • gabriella kadar on March 17, 2014 at 03:28

      She should be alright. So long as she’s consuming balanced meals and not giving herself a license to eat tons of any of the starch foods. If she eats starches according to PDH quantities, she should be fine. I don’t understand why to cut out yoghurt or cheese though. Cheese especially is good for combining with good starches to provide satiation.

    • La Frite on March 17, 2014 at 04:15

      Yeah! Try a truffade and let’s see if you can overeat that one 😀

      Jeeze, I am getting hungry just to remember that simple dish …

    • Ann on March 17, 2014 at 07:38

      Gabriella – I LOVE my dairy. I happen to think for me that it’s insulinogenic (sp?). I find that I bloat in the gut unreasonably, and I don’t mean in a gassy way. I actually get fatter in the middle when I consume dairy, which is a high-insulin weight gain pattern. I also have more anxiety and depression when eating dairy, so even though it might be *good* for my gut and so on, and I realize it has a lot of protein and fat, I think it does me more harm than good. I had cut dairy completely out for about six months, but began to add homemade 24 hour SCD yogurt and raw milk kefir back in, and noticed my waistband getting tighter after about six weeks with no other weight gain. That, coupled with the increased anxiety and feeling “down” much of the time, tells me maybe I’m not ready to completely digest dairy well yet. I was even buying A2 milk, thinking it was the A1 casein causing me a problem, but I really think at this point it’s just dairy in general.

      I’m eating about 1/2 cup of rice per meal (2x day) or 1 small (one or 1-1/4 cup) sweet potato. still keeping the starches pretty conservative. I figure I don’t need to eat a ton of them to get the benefits.

      I’ve also been doing Richard’s smoothie with 1/2 an apple and 1/2 cup blueberries, and then an avocado instead of the other fruit and juices. Sometimes about a 1/2 cup of coconut water with it, but usually just water. THAT’S making a huge difference in how I feel. I think maybe I needed some fruit.

    • Ann on March 17, 2014 at 07:43

      Richard – I would LOVE to find someone qualified to supervise me through this, but as you know, this is all an experiment, and anyone medically qualified and familiar with my situation is going to tell me to avoid all carbs! You well know that what we are all doing here is going against the grain of all current medical advice when it comes to folks with blood-sugar or insulin imbalances.

      I’m proceeding slowly and carefully, and taking full responsibility for what I’m doing.

      I figure if this doesn’t help me, it can’t really make things much worse because with my family history and my own history I was probably headed for diabetes anyway. I think at a certain point in life, and after having eaten the wrong things for so many years, there is only so much a person can do to reverse things.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:36

      “I’ve also been doing Richard’s smoothie with 1/2 an apple and 1/2 cup blueberries”

      I generally rotate through an apple, green to greenish banana from the fridge, or a handful of TJ’s frozen berry mix. It always gets the 2T of PS but when I use the banana, it’s gets the other 2T as plantain flour and the other two get 2T of the green banana flour. The smoothie is for 2 people.

      Anyway, taste wise, I love the apple (with peel) in it the best.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:37


      I gotcha. Full speed ahead then, eyes wide open, OK?

    • Cathy on March 17, 2014 at 11:52

      @Ann, what you wrote about dairy/yogurt sounds like what I am experiencing. I love yogurt and cheese but I think yogurt is a “gateway” food for me. I tend to overeat it especially greek gods! I’m not much of a plain yogurt eater, but I could probably get used to it. But I do feel like I have taken on a definite bloated ‘baby’ belly and a pear shape. As far as I know, I am not lactose intolerant. I have never liked the taste of just milk but eat/drink dairy normally. I will do an N=1 for dairy w/special emphasis on yogurt.

    • Ann on March 18, 2014 at 07:16

      Cathy – Yes – I definitely think dairy is addicting in a way, and especially for some people. When I first started toying with the idea of eating less dairy a couple of years ago, and I was only experimenting with eating less, mind you, I really had a problem. I felt so deprived. More so than with giving up any other food. I found a million reasons to eat it every chance I could, and could justify my slips like any drug addict. My naturopath told me last year that milk is addictive to our brains because milk has something in it that binds to the opiate receptors in our brains, as does gluten. We are made this way so that babies go into that sort of “coma” state and nurse like they should, and so that the milk calms them. Apparently all baby animals, including humans, have this reaction to milk, although why a human would react that way to cow or goat or sheep’s milk is a mystery to me. Perhaps we are alike that way.

      For me I just feel calmer and happier, with less anxiety and down moments in a day when I’m not eating any dairy. I don’t think I’ve always had this reaction to dairy, but I had a huge adrenal crash, and subsequent food intolerances last fall, and since then a lot of things are bothering me. I am getting better all the time, but it’s slow going.

      I don’t think I was ever “lactose-intolerant” either. I think that can happen as we age, and with stress. I have struggled for the past couple of years with an increasingly severe leaky gut syndrome, and didn’t know I had it until last year. I became intolerant of foods I’ve eaten without a problem my entire life!

      I agree with you about the Greek yogurt. I was making my own from raw A2 milk that I was gently heating to 180 degrees and then culturing for 24 hours in a Yogourmet yogurt maker, and then straining it for the Greek-effect. BEST FOOD ON EARTH, tatste-wise. I’m sad about giving it up, but need to feel positive and happy right now while my body is healing, so it’s out.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2014 at 08:42

      “Perhaps we are alike that way.”

      It’s called being a mammal.

    • GTR on March 19, 2014 at 04:12

      “milk is addictive to our brains because milk has something in it that binds to the opiate receptors in our brains, as does gluten. We are made this way so that babies go into that sort of “coma” state and nurse like they should, and so that the milk calms them.”

      This may also be about too much excitotoxins

  7. MRRM on March 16, 2014 at 18:50

    I am just stopping in to leave a comment thanking you and Tim/tatertot & Grace/Dr. BG for all your posts. I spent a good part of today enthralled with the comments on a lot of these RS posts. They have brought me hope! My story: I went gluten free in July and paleo-ish in August 2013. I thought it was great! I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox in September, which was basically a VLC diet (horrible) and lost some weight. Knowing what I know now, I would NOT recommend the 21 DSD to anyone because it is WAY too restrictive. I have bloating after meals, had horrible gas, and acne that paleo hasn’t been able to cure. I feel like since going gluten free/paleo I’ve had way more noticeable digestive issues than I ever did when I ate SAD. I’ve tried a lot of stuff, even a monthlong diet that closely resembled paleo AIP, only I included occasional nuts and some potatoes. I also haven’t had a period (amenorrhea) since I stopped hormonal birth control in October 2013. I’m 26 and want to have children in a couple of years, so this is especially worrisome for me. I found a bunch of stuff about women needing carbs for fertility, so I know I’ve been harming myself over the last 6-7 months by eating too few carbs.

    Anyway, I started taking PS either plain with water or with goat milk kefir a little over a week ago. No major changes yet, but I suspect it’ll take time. I bought the Perfect Health Diet book and I will be incorporating the advice given in that book by upping my carb intake and incorporating white rice, more potatoes, and a banana every day. I have been taking Prescript Assist for over a month, which has helped, and I ordered a bunch of pro and prebiotics that will be coming in the mail this week. I’m excited to get into this for real. I just wanted to comment and say keep doing what you’re doing! You are doing a great service to those of us frustrated by standard paleo & looking to improve our health.

    • tatertot on March 16, 2014 at 21:26

      MRRM – You are very welcome. Glad you found it all helpful. We are still learning and tweaking as we go, but you came in at a good time.

      I was fat, sicken and broken as you can get from the SAD diet a few years back. I wish that instead of going straight into super low carb, I would have just replaced the bread, sugar and fried starches with potatoes, beans, and rice cooked like Richard’s breakfast.

      Carbs are such an easily identifiable target and low carb leads to lower carb and eventually you cut out any possible hope for feeding your gut bugs. I fell right into that trap, eating nothing but low carb veggies and zero starch. Glad you caught on early that that’s not the best path to follow.

      Good luck making babies! Gut bugs are a baby’s best friend.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2014 at 22:13


      “I also haven’t had a period (amenorrhea) since I stopped hormonal birth control in October 2013. I’m 26 and want to have children in a couple of years, so this is especially worrisome for me.”

      Do not read another post of mine, not of anyone else who does not have CLINICAL experience. Don’t walk, run to someone who has clinical experience with women in the prime of life not having the very single thing evolution put you on this Earth for.

      Do it now, sweetheart. Take this seriously. Be calm, but serious and determined.

      Feel free to name a son after me,

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 16, 2014 at 22:47

      Hi MRRM,

      I’m not available until April because my practice is limited but indeed I would second Richard’s comments and concur with Tim. Recently I did a balancing hormone class series here in Shanghai and was truly appalled how infertile so many of the gals that I met — young and older. It’s so wrong. Integrative medicine hormone testing and optimization with diet, gut and hormones is key to regaining fertility! On student is pregnant now as I speak! Her bewbie tenderness of years resolved in only 1-2 wks. She didn’t need to lose weight, but she lost some bloat and body fat.

      Please feel free to contact me — email on the left. In the meantime, read up here one of my favorite sites for background info (esp how veganism, birth control, endocrine disruptors and adrenal problems can lead to infertility).

      Insulin for me was always about increasing or lowering serum insulin. Until RESISTANT STARCH, I never fathomed it was possible to improve insulin sensitivity except via exercise or certain botanicals. WOW. I WAS SOOOOOOOOO WRONG! Richard and Tim are brilliant to piece these parts of this crazy puzzle together and to risk not being taken seriously by the public. It’s truly revolutionary and I’ve been doing insulin management and diabetes education now for over 10 years. In schooling or post-grad education no where is RESISTANT STARCH advocated or taught or utilized. What a loss. Now we are able to link both evolution, RS and optimal gut health because the science is so sharp and illuminating now.

      We need butyrate and other SCFA and microbial by-products to improve sensitivity to insulin (GPR 40/41 and GPR109a) and if not, the gut suffers as well as metabolism, fat deposition and substrate allocation for the brain, muscles and liver…

      BIG BIG BIG STUFF that old school insulin scare mongers probably are not likely to comprehend this millenia… it’s ground-breaking

    • MRRM on March 17, 2014 at 05:05

      Don’t worry, eveyone! I’m going to see my gynecologist soon to see if we can get a handle on what’s going on. I’m not sure if my hormones are messed up from 7 years of hormonal birth control or what (which is a whole other issue in and of itself). I am not taking your word as gospel so don’t worry about that! lol. I am just glad I found all this out 1-2 years BEFORE hubby and I wanted to start trying for a baby, and not while we were in the process! Your (the collective 3 of you) work has confirmed my concerns about low carb being harmful. When I found paleo, I was a healthy weight – still am. I lost weight through SAD and overexercising when I was in college, so that didn’t do me any favors, either. Thanks again!

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 07:57

      Excellent MRRM.

      Just wanted to be sure. doG knows there are lots of people out there who will just follow advice they want to believe in, even in the face of pressing concerns.

      Let us know.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 17, 2014 at 17:12


      Actually I’m envious of you that you have this wonderful opportunity to provide one of the legacies you can give a child — a pristine anti-inflammatory pre-conception and in utero period of time where you are providing optimal gut-brain-fetus function, B vitamins/omega-3 for babbbbie’s brain health and gene expression for future life and even your grandchildren.

      I’m sorry to hear that the birth control may have impacted your health. Thanks to the potent, anabolic levonorgestrel Mirena IUD, I lost 2 years of my life. Though I’m a pharmacist by training, I hate drugs and think very poor thoughts about them. The faster we take our misplaced faith in the FDA and ‘pills’/pharmaceuticals (not probiotics LOL), the faster I think the world will heal.

      “Kavanagh recalls being given records of safety data on a drug—and then his bosses told him which sections not to read. Obviously, they knew the drug was dangerous and they knew exactly where, in the reports, that fact would be revealed.

      “We are not dealing with isolated incidents of cheating and lying. We are not dealing with a few isolated bought-off FDA employees. The situation at the FDA isn’t correctable with a few firings. This is an ongoing criminal enterprise, and any government official, serving in any capacity, who has become aware of it and has not taken action, is an accessory to mass poisoning of the population.

      Fourteen years ago, the cat was let out of the bag. Dr. Barbara Starfield, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, on July 26, 2000, in a review titled, “Is US health really the best in the world,” exposed the fact that FDA-approved medical drugs kill 106,000 Americans per year.

      In interviewing her, I discovered that she had never been approached by any federal agency to help remedy this tragedy. Nor had the federal government taken any steps on its own to stop the dying.”

      Instead, give me fermented foods and a SBO probiotic like Clostridium butyricum! Richard forwarded to me this awesome post earlier on C butyricum (aka C oncolyticum — the Clostridium strain that ‘breaks and dissolves’ cancer tumours) and floods our gut with butyrate, aids our digestion, protects against fungi and pathogens, and helps immunity.

      C butyricum is a human gut symbiont and commensal UNLESS we have taken antibiotics… Antibiotics are like genocide for these strains unless we can re-introduce from soil and other sources.

    • MRRM on March 17, 2014 at 17:39

      Thanks for the info, Dr. BG! I’ll check out these blogs and will keep your advice in mind. I’ll see how things go with my gyno – seeing him next week and I’ll ask for hormone testing.

    • MRRM on March 17, 2014 at 17:51

      Oops, I didn’t see your latest post before I just commented. I was on the NuvaRing for 7 years… I was on it for three years before I even really “needed” it, if you know what I mean. I found this book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility and the author does mention that women who lose weight while on HBC may have a hard time getting regular again. I just hope I don’t have hypothalamic amenorrhea, especially since I’m a good 30-35 lb lighter than I was when I first got my period at 13. If I could go back and do it over again, I would not let my 18-year-old self get on HBC. I always thought my one friend (who always had boyfriends) was crazy for not using HBC. She was actually smart!

      This last year has been all about getting myself ready for having children, both physically and emotionally since I’m working with a therapist on some issues. I find that the more work I do on myself, the more I actually want to have children. I *thought* I was being all healthy by finding Wheat Belly and later Paleo, but I guess I’m not as healthy as I thought. I was on the verge of trying paleo AIP, but it’s wayyy too strict and I feel that PHD/RS is a way more relaxed way of eating. I love reading through the comments on these posts because so many people are reporting a lot of exciting changes after experimenting with RS.

      Thank you again for your comments! You’ve given me a lot of food for thought!

    • gabriella kadar on March 17, 2014 at 18:11

      Maybe get your thyroid function checked and prolactin as well. I don’t and didn’t have PCOS. But my hypothalamus-pituitary > thyroid = no periods after taking BCPs as a teen. Don’t know what really happened but something did. No periods after stopping BCPs. Went on thyroid hormone = everything worked. I didn’t have an pituitary adenoma either.

      I’m convinced that BCPs are not without risk. The TSH is still not useful as a test for thyroid function. I just don’t produce any. Something bad happened. Maybe it’s rare but when it happens to you it’s a BIG DEAL.

    • gabriella kadar on March 17, 2014 at 18:15

      Grace, who makes C. butyricum that is available? This whole thing is getting frustrating. Between the FDA and Health Canada, it would appear that Big Pharma is taking it’s big bucks and getting government to eliminate the small guys.

      Where does C. butyricum live besides guts and capsules? Morrocan rotten butter buried underground for months? Like that’s really available here.

    • GTR on March 19, 2014 at 01:24

      @Grace – “C oncolyticum — the Clostridium strain that ‘breaks and dissolves’ cancer tumours” – this begs the question – does chemotherapy kill this bug?

    • MRRM on April 19, 2014 at 06:08

      Hi Gabriella,

      I got my hormone results back (finally). My gyno suggested going to an endocrinologist because my TSH is 1.7, T4 is 5.3, and T3 is 32, but everything I’m seeing says that 1.7 for TSH is fine. My estrogen (estradiol) is low at 26.3, prolactin is 16.1, FSH 6.1, LH 7.5, serum testosterone 29, and free testosterone .3. My gyno says my FSH/LH are on the low end of normal. I guess my mission now is to raise my estrogen. My gyno says this could be “normal” in that after getting off BCP it can take 6+ months for some women’s hormones to regulate. I am going to try some herbal remedies for a few months before going to an endocrinologist. I kind of see that as my last resort.

  8. stinkyboomboom on March 17, 2014 at 09:34

    That looks awesome, Richard. I’m curious if you’ve heard of “FiberSol 2” resistant maltodextrin? I saw it listed in a protein supplement (Jarrow whey, I think), and looked it up. Apparently it’s an indigestible form of maltodextrin, so it acts as a fibrous pre-biotic. Thoughts? Seems legit, aside from maltodextrin most likely coming from GMO rice/corn, but I suppose if you found a non-GMO source it could be good.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 09:49

      Hard time having any interest when we already have 4 good forms of RS from foods and three supplemental ways.

    • tatertot on March 18, 2014 at 12:20

      Anything that says ‘dextrin’ is a man-made franken food. It’s possible they are good prebiotics, but I don’t want to get into the whole modified realm personally.

      Anytime you see ‘modified starches’ on a food label, it’s a dextrin.

    • BrazilBrad on March 18, 2014 at 16:23

      Tatertot, From what I read when you roast tubers in the absence of water (like an open flame the way our ancestors must have) the pyrolysis creates some indigestible dextrin (ID) on the outside, so I think it can be a natural process. But Fibersol is reportedly produced from corn-starch by pyrolysis and subsequent enzymatic treatment, so more processed than simple potato starch extraction and then also given it’s made from corn it’s likely GMO. I personally avoid all soy and corn as much as possible.

  9. john on March 17, 2014 at 00:19

    Good stuff!

    I was wondering, can anyone point to a good source of pure plantain flour? I bought some Tropiway brand, but it’s got granular potato and cassiva, from both of which I develop skin allergies. Oddly enough only when I take accompanying soil based probiotics.

    Any recommendations on what brands/where to get the pure stuff?

    • john on March 17, 2014 at 00:33

      Also the other flour recommended in the “A Resistant Starch Primer For Newbies” post is out of stock on Amazon. There is a review that states it is green banana flour, not plantains. Can anyone into the details comment? I’m thinking of going to Hi-Maze next, if anyone has recommendations here. I live in Europe so I have to plan my orders carefully.

  10. La Frite on March 17, 2014 at 02:24

    Watch it Richard! You lived in France but only now are you becoming French 😉 Starch and good fat at every meal ya know …

    • Cathy on March 17, 2014 at 11:53

      La Frite, don’t the French eat a lot of lentils? I have read several cook type books and lentils feature prominently.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 13:41

      Beware of Fench cold lentil salad. 🙂

      One day, while in the Med, they served dinner and there was their standard lentil salad. Within hours, people were barfing their guts out. Didn’t hit me until 2am, but ultimately, we had to navigate to a small harbor on the north end of Corsica and drop anchor for half a day. Not enough people to man the ship.

    • La Frite on March 18, 2014 at 02:11

      Sure! When I was a kid, a weekly staple dish at school was “saucisse – lentilles” (lentils and sausages).

      When you look at traditional french cuisine, I am not kidding, it is invariably:

      – starch
      – animal fat
      – proteins

      Sugar and other food groups are either treats or accessories / condiments.

      Ah! and be sure to pass by Castelnaudary, the world capital of cassoulet, my ultimate favorite bean dish 🙂

      PS: of course, the canned stuff is not even food for dogs, you gotta eat the real deal.

    • GTR on March 18, 2014 at 16:32

      @La Fritte – those “10 rules” sound fundamentally wrong at all levels. An optimal meal and way of eating for children and adulds differ widely. Eg. kids tend to have iron deficiencies, older people have iron overloads. Kids have small stormaches (volume scales to 3rd power of height!) coupled with high needs for growth which means frequent meals, high calorie density; while adults do better with interminnet fasting and moderate to low calorie density meals.

      Basically optimal diet for kids differs from optimal diet for adults, which means that what french kids eat is not optimal for them. It may be possible though that standard meditirennean cuisune “for everybody” is better than both standard northern diet for adults and standard northern diet for children. So you have a relative victory, but a failure of basic approach when it comes to absloutes.

      The second part – what’s with this control freakery? “Parents – you are in charge”, “Parents plan, schedule”, “you do have to taste it”, “No snacking” etc. Isn’t it actually known that intuitive eating is the way to go, and that kids can do it naturally, without re-learing?

      Many of these rules sound like an outright ideological indoctrination. “Slow food is happy food”. What if someone doesn’t enjoy wasting a lot of time eating? “It’s OK to be hungry between meals” – a good slogan for use by North Korean government.

      Is it possible that french diet is wrong when it comes to basic rules/framework, just gets thousands of critical details right (eg. using olive oil rather than rapeseed/soy oils)?

    • Cathy on March 18, 2014 at 07:00

      La Frite, as you are French, you may or may not have noticed the books that have recently been published on what French children eat (everything because they are taught to) and what is served in their schools (grown up things like fish, lentils, potatoes (not frites!:)) and gasp! vegetables/fruits.
      They are entitled “French Kids Eat Everything” and “Bringing up Bebe”. I apologize Richard if this isn’t done to list titles.

      Apparently French kids develop their palates early on as their parents give them no choice. One author even gathered together the lunch menus from various schools around France. Its interesting reading. And the there are the books about Americans moving to France and discovering their food and the French way of eating. You are right, the meals are starch, animal fat, proteins. I find it fascinating to look into other cultures, especially one’s with a history of health, and see what they eat.

    • La Frite on March 18, 2014 at 07:49

      Well, thanks for the titles, I will check when I have time. Listen to this:

      – first day in primary school (1st grader) when I was 6: main lunch course beef tongue 😉
      – same week: main course was lamb kidneys.

      There always was an “entrée” consisting of either raw veggie cuts or some air-dried sausage (saucisson), quenelle, what-not. Organ meat quite often for the main course. Dessert was fruits or (sweetened) yogurt. No cakes, no weirdo thing. I don’t remember drowning in bread during lunch time.
      Yes, kids are adapting very quick to all sorts of food very early but times are a changing and today, things are not what they used to be.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2014 at 07:52

      I can attest to the wondrous eating in France.

      When on the two ships I served as Navigators, officer and enlisted all at the exact same meals, prepared centrally. We would sometimes have a bit better wine and cheese after the meal. Otherwise, exactly the same and it’s amazing. Daily. There’s no such thing as a junk meal. And it’s why back then, I don’t think I ever saw a French person eat between meals, over than maybe some nuts or crisps with cocktails, because they don’t like to drink hard liquor without minimal finger food.

      See this:

    • La Frite on March 18, 2014 at 08:07

      In 30 years, things have changed quite dramatically. See, when I was a kid, lunch time was kind of “sacred”: 2 hours break, school teachers had wine but otherwise we ate the exact same food cooked during the morning in the canteen kitchen. We all had a 3 course meal and plenty of time to move around to digest. We were not pressed to engulf some quick crap. It took 1h to eat, and 45mn extra to digest in the school yard, running around, etc. Today, it is rare not to see a grown-up swallowing a dubious sandwich in 10mn, in front of a PC screen or eyes riveted on the ipad.

      I remember when I was 8, the wife of the school director was sharing a “treat” with a few lucky kids (I was among the very few) : fried beef liver in butter (don’t know how she got that but I didn’t ask)… I told you, we are talking about another food and behavior paradigm … Of course, it is easy to remember this period of time with rosy lenses but really, what a change in just 3 decades. We are talking about foods, not technology ot fast evolving things. As far as I know, our nutritional needs and digestive system have not changed radically in 30 years …

    • Richard Nikoley on March 18, 2014 at 08:47

      La Frite:

      You and countrymen/women must become evangelists. There’s no “French Paradox.” It was always about good food, prepared with love, care, pride.

      Jesus I hope you don’t lose that. It’s your gift to the world, really. You do it better than anyone ever. Other Med folks are good, but this is where France so excels, particularly in the meats and organ meats.

    • Cathy on March 18, 2014 at 12:13

      Here, here! La Frite! I agree with Richard, you must evangelize the world about this way of life. I think it is in the book French kids eat everything, that the mother is obsessed with her daughter and what she will and won’t eat during school and tries to send her with a special lunch and also tries to butt in at school. Non!!! the teachers are very firm — no special snowflakes. The mom was Canadian not French and not French Canadian. Another good one is “Lunch in Paris” where an American woman marries a French man and she observes les femmes francaises and their eating habits.

      About the not eating between meals, Richard. I believe one person said it is both a learned habit and the fact that meals are so nourishing with the starch/animal fat/protein make up. It makes for fun reading and gives me something to think about. But you know, 30 years ago in this country, I would have never dared to eat between meals either, at least I would have tried not to get caught.

    • La Frite on March 18, 2014 at 13:50

      Now now, while it is absolutely correct that I really love the French way of eating (minus the wheat though – I can do without, no second thoughts), I am no evangelist …
      But by looking up one of the books you mentioned, I stumbled on this family blog:

      The 10 “rules” are about right 🙂 I never thought about it that way but that’s exactly what I do with my kids as well. I just happen to transmit to my kids the legacy of the generations before me. A no-brainer really, when you grew up in that environment.

      But today, it is more difficult. The “americanization” of society has been changing habits, especially in bigger cities. The 80’s saw supermarkets and even “hypermarkets” mushroom like crazy, killing local specific businesses (butcher, “charcutier”, cheese store, etc). And with those giant stores, food quality dramatically changed. The Saturday outdoor markets (or French version of farmers’ markets) still exist and shopping there, chatting with the local farmers, etc, is still popular in many cities. Even as a young student in my early 20’s, me and my friends were buying stuff there.

      Ah! I forgot another key thing on the French table: the green salad. So, after you are done with the starch, fat and proteins, you get to eat green leaves of some kind with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper quickly mixed together. On days when I feel like it, I would add a tsp of Dijon mustard into the mix, but that would be all.


    • GTR on March 18, 2014 at 15:37

      @La Frite – “So, after you are done with the starch, fat and proteins, you get to eat green leaves of some kind with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper quickly mixed together.”

      Is it some kind of stormach torture? Eating eating meat + starches means the digestion is easy. It’s a good combination. Raw vegetables plus oils are also a nice mix, when that mix is consumed alone. But when you put raw vegetables, starch, meat and raw vegetables together, and eat it at the same time then it is much more difficult on your stormach than the former two combos eaten alone, at different times.

    • La Frite on March 19, 2014 at 00:10

      “Stomach torture” ?? hahahaha, I would have never known had you not mentioned it! Seriously, how can it be a torture if I don’t feel it ? I don’t get it. I believe that if it were as you say, eating habits would have reflected that observation.

    • La Frite on March 19, 2014 at 00:12

      About the “rules”, as I said, I never thought about it that way. It is this particular family that established these rules after living in France. But the end result is the same, that is how French people usually behave with their kids. For better or for worse, that is how it is, and I think, to be honest, that until recently, French kids did not grow in a skew way as opposed to e.g. the US. In the end, I look at the practical “results”, not so much the theorizing of things.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2014 at 04:23

      “Ah! I forgot another key thing on the French table: the green salad. So, after you are done with the starch, fat and proteins, you get to eat green leaves of some kind with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper quickly mixed together. On days when I feel like it, I would add a tsp of Dijon mustard into the mix, but that would be all.”

      I do that often. Classic butter lettuce with a dijon vinaigrette. I’m expert as getting the emulsification just right using only a fork in a bowl.

    • Cathy on March 19, 2014 at 06:48

      “But the end result is the same, that is how French people usually behave with their kids.” i.e. they were the adults in the room in other words. that is what I took from that book.

    • La Frite on March 19, 2014 at 07:01

      “just right using only a fork in a bowl”

      Yeah, that’s the way 🙂

  11. Anna on March 17, 2014 at 02:28

    I am intrigued by this notion of insulin resistance becoming self-fulling when carbs are lowered, and I commend you for investigating this personally and sharing your findings. I will continue to follow this with interest. However, I do come from a different place in that I already had readings in the high 200s while eating starches, especially white rice. That is the reason I cut carbs in the first place (not to lose weight or for any other reason). So in my case, while I have been concerned that I am further contributing to my metabolic problem by creating insulin resistance, I don’t see how I can return to eating starch if I had high blood sugar in the first place, while eating them.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 07:46


      Of course, all of my comments are in the context of non-diabetics and readings that high are surely in that range, I guess. What I’m talking about are people getting themselves into a place where they think they’re pre or type 2, but it’s really physiologic, brought on by chronic VLC for a long time. Tim was in that place, my wife as well, me and many others who’ve commented here. I found that just the potato starch alone didn’t do much. But the PS along with good carbs like rice, beans and potatoes did the trick.

      I’d experiment with cooked and cooled beans first, supplemented with RS as either PS or BF/PF or combo. But just as if you hit the gym after a long time, you want to take it easy. Start with maybe 1/2-1 cup of the cooked & cooled beans at a time, see what the numbers do.

      Oh, and if you do rice, use parboiled rice, since the GI is like 40 compared with 80-100 for normal rice.

  12. Doug on March 17, 2014 at 05:07

    Hi Richard, do you still fast at all? I remember you did a series of posts with Martin B (?). You said that working out and fasting helped change your composition.

    I am looking to drop about 15lbs to be what I consider healthy. I am eating more RS, but I have to say when I go to sleep I wake after 1 hour and feel like I was in a fight. I am all hot and sweaty…wow. It takes me a while to go back to sleep, but I still only sleep for about 5 hrs. I always wake up ready to go, but I worry that 5 hrs is not enought. My weight loss has stalled. I was dropping 1-2 lbs a week, but in the last 2 weeks hardly any weight has come off.

    The reason I asked about fasting is that I wanted to drop the weight.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 07:59

      Yes, I fast, but it’s way intermittent. I might go 2-3 weeks without, then do two 18-24 deals in a week.

      I’m not at the gym anymore, but I play around with kettlebells in the backyard and take a dip in my cold water tub after.

  13. John on March 17, 2014 at 06:06

    I wondered for a while if the physiological insulin resistance brought on by VLC creates a situation where random high carb intake becomes an acutely damaging event, like trying a 400lb squat the day your full body cast comes off. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer, but even when I believed carbs were “evil” I worried about staying too low as I knew I’d be partaking in high carb events from time to time. I feel this is an issue that sort of gets skirted around by most people that are aware – as in “This is what happens, GOOD insulin resistance. This is why carbs cause such a high blood sugar response when you’re in this perfectly healthy state. Oh you still want to know what those blood sugar spikes do? Just avoid carbs and don’t worry!”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:03

      Yep John, your thinking is exactly where mine is.

      Another analogy is being sedentary, such that any kind of fast walking or hiking up a slope or climbing stairs sends the heart rate to 200+ and instead of thinking wow, I need to get out and take brisk walks, go on climbing hikes and use the stairs more, no, I don’t want a heart rate spike so I’ll avoid all strenuous activity.

      How come people can instantly see how dumb that would be, but fail to see it for BG metabolism?

  14. agatha on March 17, 2014 at 06:11

    Yes, I got caught by the Tropiway Plantain flour too. Here is the ingredient list:

    Plantain , Potato Granules, Cassava, Stabilizer: Monodiglycerides E471, Preservative: Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate E450, Colour: Tartrazine E102, Antioxidant: Butylated Hydroxytoluene E321

    Blech! Straight in the bin.

    • Susie Goldfish on March 17, 2014 at 07:04

      Interestingly enough, I decided to by a blood glucose monitor a few days ago and did different tests on consecutive days. One was to eat my standard meal and the other was eating an 8oz baked potato, with no butter.

      1. 8oz potato no butter
      – 72 beforehand
      – 170 at 1 hour
      – 90 at 2 hours

      2. regular meal of hamburger (no bun or condiments), 1 cup frozen rice nuked, 1 cup carrot and swede mash. I added 3 – 4 TBS butter to the hot rice and mash to make them tastier.
      – 77 beforehand
      – 95 at 1 hour
      – I didn’t bother with the 2 hour reading (my monitor only came with 10 test strips)

      I normally eat about 100 – 150 grams of carb a day.

      Do I have insulin resistance, or was the first result because all that carb was a shock to my system?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:19


      Thanks for the catch on the plantain flour. Sorry if you got that via one of my links. I’d switched over to that ’cause Barry Farms was out of stock. I’ve just switched all the links back. Better to wait than get crap. The Barry Farms is just plantain flour, and it’s what I use (back when the price was reasonable, but I’m sure it will go down once they have stock again).

    • gabriella kadar on March 17, 2014 at 08:37

      Susie Goldfish, you need your HbgA1c tested. That will let you know what your blood sugars have been like over the previous 90 days or so.

      I wouldn’t think that spiking is abnormal when someone eats 8 ounces of baked potato with nothing else. That’s a carb bomb if the potato is baked right through. Try it some time so that the inside is still firm, but not raw. You’d have insulin resistance if the 2 hour glucose were still high. It looks like you are producing lots of insulin and the glucose is getting moved out of the blood rapidly. Just you should look at the 3 and 4 hour glucose levels to see if you go really low.

      Next time don’t bake the potato right through. Leave it so the centre is firm but not raw. You’ll see that the blood sugar won’t spike so high.

    • gabriella kadar on March 17, 2014 at 08:39

      duh, repetition, eye-brain-fingers axis not connected.

  15. Susie Goldfish on March 17, 2014 at 07:07

    I forgot to mention that I took 2TBS potato starch with probiotics before meal 2, but not before meal 1.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2014 at 08:29


      Looks like you have a lot of confounders, there. Interesting that a tater by itself would spike you to 170. In the other hand, no fat with it, and you were nicely down by the 2-hr mark. Quite fantastic with the butter in the rice (yummy) but that amount of fat might become a caloric concern.

      Personally, so long as brief, the 170 BG would not alarm me very much, and yes, I’m aware of the touted 140 absolute hard line limit where 139 you are healthy and 141 you are a diabetic. This is a “diagnosis,” not reality. How come we can accept variations on upper limits of blood pressure, heart rates, body fat, cholesterol, etc., but not blood glucose? Seems to me a 10-20% variation in humans would be rational.

  16. xjhuez on March 17, 2014 at 07:41

    TMI, but something in red palm oil gives me Steatorrhea. I don’t suffer from it eating coconut or olive oil.

  17. Murray on March 17, 2014 at 09:59

    Nice looking breakfast, Richard. I’m adding in some more potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans now than normal and feeling good. Blood sugar is spot on, especially since upping the potato starch several weeks ago.

    Hey one quick note – I remember reading your comments on the dreams you were having since using resistant starch, and just dismissing them as bullshit filler, like sure, does it cure cancer and make your erections harder too??

    Well damned if I haven’t noticed a CRAZY increase in frequency and realism of my dreams. In fact if I was to list improvements I’ve noticed about myself since starting the RS, I would definitely put dreams at #1 on the list. I actually wake up most mornings thinking HOLY SHIT! I’m starting to write these things down.

    I don’t know what the hell is really going on, but I love it.

  18. […] ← Sunday Starchy Breakfast: Beans, Potatoes, Eggs and a Side of Insulin Sensitivity […]

  19. ChocoTaco369 on March 18, 2014 at 09:14

    “So imagine this. Person goes LC, loses weight, gets on forums, everybody is talking about BG meters and how bad carbs are. It’s like: “I can’t eat any carbs other than non-starchy vegetables. I had an indulgence the other day of a few slices of pizza and my BG shot up to 160!” Person becomes concerned with all these anecdotes, goes gets a meter, confirms the exact same thing. Prophesy fulfilled. Welcome to the broken club.

    And they’re stuck, because everyone will tell them “see, you can’t eat carbs. They’ll make you diabetic!” And never is it considered that insulin sensitivity has been shot from chronic dietary starch and glucose starvation, and what people are seeing is not type 2 diabetes but ironically, a condition they’ve brought on themselves where the actual cure is in the very thing they believe to be the cause!”


    Beautiful, Richard. You just summed up 1/3 of the threads on the MDA forums. People cannot see the forest for the trees. Insulin resistance does not cause health issues, rather, health issues typical of poor diet cause insulin resistance. The same thing goes for inflammation. Inflammation doesn’t cause disease, rather, poor lifestyle choices create inflammation, which over time leads to breakdown of our bodies. It’s so ass-backwards it makes me feel physically ill. I’m trying to learn to stay away from these backwards places to keep my sanity.

    • La Frite on March 19, 2014 at 01:20

      “It’s so ass-backwards it makes me feel physically ill. I’m trying to learn to stay away from these backwards places to keep my sanity.”

      You spend too much time on forums. That is more likely why you feel ill 😉

  20. Elise on March 18, 2014 at 14:41

    Anybody out there have a good recipe for rice pudding that optimizes the RS?

    • tatertot on March 19, 2014 at 08:36

      I make rice (parboiled Uncle Ben’s Converted) ahead of time and store in the freezer in ziplock bags. Thaw a bag out, mix with milk or coconut milk and sweetener if desired. Pretty high RS right there, but add a spoonful of potato starch and it’s really high in RS without effecting taste, actually improving texture.

  21. Q on March 18, 2014 at 18:40

    Haven’t been able to read all comments yet, but for those struggling with potato starch, I recommend mixing it with tapioca and green banana flour. The addition of the probiotics also made the potato starch doable for me. Personally, I mix potato, tapioca, and banana flour, 1TSP of each in AM and 2 TSP of each with the probiotics mixed inbefore bed. This combo is good doing things which I will report more on later. I did start SMALL and work up to this over several months which I think is also key for delicate flower types like me.

    • tatertot on March 19, 2014 at 09:16

      Ann – Maybe you are just plain crazy…ever thought about that?

      Just kidding! Hey, wanna try an experiment? Inulin stimulates almost the exact same microbial response as potato starch. Buy a jar of pure inulin powder, preferably this: It’s fairly cheap, $12 for 12 oz or so, and pure inulin. Notice their serving size is 1tsp (5g) not enough to do anything gut bug wise because they don’t want anyone to say their product made them fart.

      Use this stuff exactly like you were using your potato starch and see if the result is the same. I’m curious to hear.

    • tatertot on March 18, 2014 at 21:25

      Q – Thanks! I think people can benefit from advice like that.

      I was just reading a study on inulin. It’s basically the same thing as potato starch and was studied extensively in the 90’s. They had the exact same issues we are having…some can do it no problem, some can handle a little, some can’t handle any.

      Here’s how they broke it down:

      71% could eat 30g+ and experience no discomfort
      24% could eat 10-20g before experiencing discomfort
      4% could not even eat 10g without experiencing discomfort

      ‘Discomfort’ was defined as excessive flatulence, bloating, and pain.

      Strangely enough, and I just learned this in the last couple days, the ‘therapeutic dose’ of inulin was said to be 20-40g per day, the exact same as for RS. Funny, these two prebiotics were studied about 10 years apart, the downfall for inulin seemed to be that it caused bloating and farting in the people that needed it most.

      If only these people would have had Dr BG to kick them in the ass! IT’S THE GUT BUGS, STOOOPID!!!

      Anyway, with inulin, what happened was the supplement industry made the recommended dose at the fart-proof level of 2-3g twice daily…a level which ensured 96% of people would not fart, but 100% of people would see no benefit.

    • Q on March 18, 2014 at 22:55

      Tot, I am glad I “farted around” with it instead of giving up, which I seriously almost did several times when I just could not tolerate potato starch. I can now say, the system of RS I am taking IS creating positive change. The bigger news is, I think it may be helping to relieve my addiction issues. I am still experimenting and trying to sort it all out. Addiction is a 30+ year issue for me and a serious problem for many people, so I will not make a report until I am more sure what’s going on. But in any case, thanks to you and RN for getting it out there.

    • Ann on March 19, 2014 at 09:06

      Tim – I had the oddest experience with PS the other day. I started PS last December but had to quit because it was giving me IBS. I’ve since started plantain flour, occasional tapioca starch, and Grace’s top three probiotic choices with good results. Every now and again I’ll try the PS again, about 1tblsp, to see if I’ve regained my potato tolerance. I always get the good effects -good deep sleep, vivid dreams, great mood, excellent unmentionables, but it makes me positively manic! The last time I tried the PS in Richard’s smoothie, 1 tblsp, I felt great that day, but the next day I was climbing the walls, and felt like I was on an acid trip (don’t ask). And I know it’s the PS because it happens every time I try it. Do you think this is leaky gut and that I’m still not ready for potatoes, or is it my gut bacteria kicking my serotonin production into overdrive? It reminded me of what people say about their experiences with ecstasy – that’s why I’m asking about the serotonin. It scared me a little because it felt like I was just a bit *too happy* if you know what I mean. I want to be able to use the PS because aside from the mania, I can tell it would be doing good things for me. This is what keeps me from trying potatoes again.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2014 at 09:30


      “unmentionables”… “acid trip”

      Ha, you’d be positively fun around the campfire I’m certain.

    • quattromomma on March 19, 2014 at 10:56

      I had a similar “manic” feeling when I tried to increase from 2T per day to 3T per day of PS. At 2T I’m a normal mellow person. At 3T, I woke up at 4am feeling hyperactive and giddy. Bipolar runs in my family, so I was concerned, but it went away after going back to 2T/day.

      I’ll try the inulin, just for grins.

    • Ann on March 19, 2014 at 13:23

      Tim – it didn’t last as long as an IBS bout, so I’m wondering if I’ve healed a bit, but man does that freak me out. I wish I was a person who could just say “that didn’t feel good” and decide not to do something again, but unfortunately I love to try all these experiments along with everyone else, and finding some sort of satisfaction with the status quo simply isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I’ve been very sick with leaky gut, adrenal issues, and insulin problems this past year, and since I’ve gotten very little help from doctors and naturopaths, I’m desperate to help myself. RS and these probiotics are really helping, and I have no intention of letting things rest if there is even good anecdotal evidence that what’s happening here to others can help me.

      I will try the inulin. If it’s stimulating the same response, however, is that really going to make a difference for me? I wonder if I should just start with a pinch of the PS and increase to tolerance?

      Quattromomma -I’d love to hear how the inulin works out for you. I, too have experience with depressioin and anxiety, and I had to wonder, when this last bout of “spud mania” occurred, if I was just not used to feeling so good. I told my husband that if this is what feeling happy is all about, I didn’t need any of that! On a regular day, however, I can feel good, feel okay, and know the difference. Man that potato starch was crazy stuff. It reminded me of the post from Pone several months ago about how he sent the potato starch along the wrong-way-highway because he too was potato/nightshade intolerant, and how wild he felt after that. I WOULD NEVER have the balls to try that one…

    • quattromomma on March 31, 2014 at 11:16

      Tried the inulin—-no craziness ensued. I took 3Tbsp for several days (after a few days at 2Tbsp as a control) and had no mania, insomnia or early waking. The PS issues started and stopped immediately with my dosage level, so I think this is a sufficient length of time. I did dream more with inulin vs. PS, but not to the technicolor level that others describe.

      Inulin produced much more gas than PS. Like beans + PS levels times two. I was on spring break with the kids and went on a roller coaster during this little experiment. Never. do. that.

      I’m going back to PS because its cheaper and my mood is better on it. I’m going to try adding a little psyllium next, for fun.

  22. Gemma on March 19, 2014 at 00:39

    Peter Attia “is not sure, a black box for him, has no idea etc.” in his newest post when people gently ask him in the comments about microbiome, commensals and resistant starch.

    Anybody going to put some light on the matter and explain him? Dr. Grace, perhaps?

    • GTR on March 19, 2014 at 04:20

      About Attia: Weird – if he doesn’t know, why wouldn’t he take a week or two to learn, and then answer the questions? Writing a blog/forum is not an online debate.

    • BrazilBrad on March 19, 2014 at 06:42

      My take is Attia really studies something in depth and often self experiments to gain a high degree of understanding before forming an opinion and making claims of knowledge. He also appears to be a very busy man. Given that, I can understand his responses. People do ask him tons of questions about a wide variety of things, many of which are very interesting … eg., one hint at a future post… ‘I’ve been thinking of doing a post on exactly this topic: How do I measure and quantify insulin sensitivity? …I’d like to write about the “science” of measuring things pertaining to metabolism.’… which I think would be a cool subject. Even more cool would be him delving into the microbiota subject. I’m hopeful.

  23. Richard Nikoley on March 20, 2014 at 09:02


    I believe it was in a Stephan WWS blog post way back where I read that palm oil (not sure whether red, seed, or both) is still the most widely used cooking oil in the world.

    Anyway, for me, I use for cooking potatoes. Going to try it on fried rice too. Also, just a condiment, dipping sauce (add herbs & spices–its like chimichurri (sp)). It’s great on scrambled eggs after the cooking.

    Here’s a bunch of recipes:

    Also, I want to try this:

  24. Ann on March 20, 2014 at 08:01

    Richard, I ordered the Juka’s red palm oil, and it should be here tomorrow. Aside from cooking potatoes with it, what else do you use it for? What countries use it the most, if I were to google recipes for it?

  25. Ann on March 20, 2014 at 11:46

    Thanks Richard. This will give me a place to start. Looking forward to trying this. For me, the fats really help make the food good. I know a lot of people rely on spices, herbs, or whatever, and I do too, but the fat food gets cooked in is like the base layer for me. We are butchering a pig this month, and CANNOT WAIT to have some pastured lard again.

  26. Sally on March 20, 2014 at 17:43

    When you reheated the potatoes in red palm oil, was it necessary to let them cool again to have the RS benefit?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2014 at 09:18

      Sally, no. reheating rice, beans and potatoes does not harm the RS3, in fact, it increases it by driving more water out of the retrograded structure.

  27. […] testing again a few days back (did cheat a time of three and tested), and here's what I got: Sunday Starchy Breakfast: Beans, Potatoes, Eggs and a Side of Insulin Sensitivity. In addition, fasting was now usually in the 90s and when over 100, just slightly. This was so […]

  28. Ann on March 23, 2014 at 13:24

    Richard – WOW – love the red palm oil! Been doing sweet potatoes in it, and yesterday and today I heated refried pintos in it, and man was that awesome!

    Hoping to try regular potatoes this week and see if I tolerate them better now.

    Are you making your own refried beans, or just using a good canned?

    I am going to try making my own, and using some lard and ghee for the fat. Mmmm. And that was my first try on the beans in over nine months – 24 hours in and no IBS. Wheeee! So I’m healing! Thanks so much for all the help you , Tim, Grace, Gabriella, etc., are dispensing. I truly feel that I’m healing in a way that wouldn’t be happening had I not decided to join this experiment!

    • BrazilBrad on March 23, 2014 at 15:06

      @Ann, try mixing a little of all three, RPO, lard, and ghee (or butter). That combo is magic for me.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 23, 2014 at 17:32

      “Are you making your own refried beans, or just using a good canned?”

      Bite your tongue, woman! 🙂

  29. Ann on March 23, 2014 at 18:49

    I bought some dried organic pintos tonight. I’m going to make them with some lard and the red palm oil. Lots of garlic, too. Can’t wait.

  30. JMB on March 27, 2014 at 21:55

    Yikes! I don’t know how I arrived here at your blog/site but I’ve been reading comments on several posts for about an hour and I’m feeling like an ignorant child and am thrilled to see all this info. I was LC for a long time, had heart surgery due to a birth defect – not clogged arteries – and am having difficulty keeping things in line. From a diabetic family but not yet officially one. Numbers are rising, I’ve gained a few pounds and blah, blah – and I’m tired of feeling like crap…….I’ve never heard of Resistant Starch but reading these comments is fascinating. I’m open to something other than protein and veggies and now I want more info so I guess I’ll have to follow you. For those of us who it turns out are clueless and our old paradigm isn’t working, where to begin? I will read “A Resistant Starch Primer for Newbies” in detail but I’m wondering if anyone has a suggestion for the best Probiotic and do I need one if I’m taking Triphala ….I’m tired of feeling like crap. Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to eat potatoes….Thank you.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2014 at 09:10


      Impossible for me to tell which one might be best, as I took them all at the same time. Though after pounding them for a week or two I backed off and now take 1 per day of one of the brands, then rotate through them. They’ll last a long time that way, keeping the cost way down and I’m sure to cover all available bases.

      However, perhaps someone else has a specific reco.

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