How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My “Diabetes”

I’m almost reluctant to post this because I get a perverse pleasure out of seeing myself diagnosed as an “obese diabetic,” in caps, on the Internet. Both are lies, of course. Eventually, all will be revealed but for now, let’s dispense with the “diabetes” claim.

As background, I was occasionally getting high morning fasting BG reading going back to 2008, though my fasting BG tests performed by my provider have never been higher than the 90s, right up to 2011, the last one done. A1c also has been between 4.5 and 5.0, also going as far back as they go, right up to 2011. My strips went out of date probably around that time, never got them replaced.

I got a new meter and some test strips some months back and became a bit alarmed. Fasting BG was always above 100, usually above 110, and every now & then in the 120’s. One and two hour postprandials were often high as well—depending on the kind and size of the meal, of course. The highest I ever measured (though I can’t recall the meal) was 194 on May 8, 2013, just about the time I began to ingest Potato Starch and Plantain Flour. But, just like with a lot of very low carbers, I was seeing some improvement from all the resistant starch supplementation in terms of improved BG, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped for. Call it maybe a 20 pt improvement on average post meal, maybe 10 on average fasting.

At the same time, the stuff Tim was posting in comments about his BG history sounded even worse than what I was experiencing, at its worst, yet he was posting outstanding BG results, with meter pics. Hmm. The final clue came with this post: Resistant Starch Ingestion Has No Effect on Ketosis But Blood Glucose Blunting Effects are Highest in A Normal Diet.

So, I need more carbs, specifically starches in the form of legumes, rice, and potatoes, ideally cooked and cooled, which ups the levels of resistant starch. But I was just so damn used to eating pretty low carb on average. I just wasn’t used to eating these foods daily. So, what happens? When I did eat them I’d get alarming BG readings. I liken it to a couch potato who knows he should exercise by, say, climbing a lot of stairs every day. But instead, he still takes the elevator most of the time. Every now and then, he forces himself to take the stairs and of course, gets a heart rate of 220.

This then reenforces his reluctance to take the stairs. This is what happens to many very low carbers. They have physiological insulin resistance in order to ensure glucose is available for vital functions like the brain. So, what happens when they eat a starchy meal any normal person with a well-exercised metabolism handles with no problem? They have an abnormally high response, reenforcing their belief that they can’t handle starch and that if they eat it, they’ll become diabetic. Similarly for diabetics. Why not simply eat a normal amount of starch and be your own pancreas?

How and why insulin has become so ridiculously demonized, I have no idea. The poor stepchild of all hormones, I guess.

Alright, so a little over a month ago I did three things at the same time:

  1. I got soil based probiotics. Probiotics: The Genetic Component of Obesity.
  2. I began forcing myself to make and have on hand the cooked & cooled starches (it’s ok to reheat them) and to eat them with every meal, starting small and working my way up. I also had a sandwich or two per day, on Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread, about 25g carbs per sandwich.
  3. Put the damn meter away for a month so I wouldn’t freak myself out.

I began testing again a few days back (did cheat a time or three and tested during that month), 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 encouraging that I began to eat more and more starch, more and more often; doubling, sometimes tripling the amount.

So let’s take a look at a few of the meals and readings.

IMG 2243
Plate of Fried Potatoes (lots!)

Those were leftovers from the corned beef & cabbage, cooled overnight, diced and wok fried in my favorite Juka’s 100% Organic Red Palm Oil from Africa.

IMG 2245
With Three Sunnys on Top
IMG 2246
One Hour – 139 mg/dL
IMG 2250
Hot Turkey Sandwich with Mashed Yukon Gold and Chicken Stock Reduction

Ha, the turkey was some TJ’s roasted I had bought, along with Swiss cheese and the fixin’s, in order to make classic turkey & Swiss sandwiches. Utterly tasteless, so I soaked the turkey in chicken stock overnight, then strained it, added more stock, reduced it and thickened with potato starch. Of course, no RS value. The Yukons have sane amounts of butter and half & half. That was actually Bea’s plate, as mine was less photogenic, having even more. I actually didn’t take a reading here (just checked my meter to make sure, since it saves a history).

IMG 2251
This Morning’s Fasting BG

That’s the first time under 90 that I recall in years and years.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of this morning’s breakfast, but it was two full cups of refried beans (in leaf lard) with a slice of Swiss melted on top, 2 eggs o/e in grassfed butter, and two thick slices of beefsteak tomato with lot’s of sea salt and finely ground black pepper. The carb count is 75 whopping grams!

IMG 2252
One Hour – 125 mg/dL
Two Hour – 116 mg/dL

Interestingly, Beatrice had about 1 1/3-1/2 cup of refried beans with Swiss, one egg, and 2 slices of tomato. She measured higher at 136 at one hour but lower, at 105, at two hours.

So, if you’ll pardon me, I think I have this puppy figured out, and you zealots are right: IT’S THE CARBS!!!!!!!!! Yep, I wasn’t getting enough of them, particularly in the form of cooked & cooled (reheated if you want) safe starches.

One final note is that I also have not taken any supplemental resistant starch (potato starch, plantain flour, or banana flour) in about 3 days. After that hot turkey sandwich, I fasted for 39 hours.

Be careful out there. Be skeptical of low-carb and ketogenic diet zealots. In time, I’ll speak to the “obesity.” You can probably guess, though.

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. Kati on March 21, 2014 at 19:04

    Woo-woo! That’s pretty exciting. I’m getting over some really bad feeling hypoglycemia this week (I figured out by keeping a food diary that it was the almighty coconut flakes and oil making me ill) and taking the PHD recommendations seriously. I’m actually down a few pounds since Monday, eating more potatoes and rice consistently and keeping the fat high but not crazy high. Keeping precooked starchy things on hand is really helpful for remembering to eat them, as I also am not used to eating them everyday. It’s amazing how backwards this seems from the ketogenic diet I was on not that long ago. I love your food pictures! It all looks like stuff I grew up eating. Do you find it hard to eat a good amount of veggies with all the starch, or are you finding a balance? I am not liking veggies quite as much or don’t even have space to eat them with the addition of ~100 grams starch carbs.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2014 at 19:14


      I’ll reintroduce veggies, eventually. But for right now, it’s starch + sane fat and protein. Not that I don’t eat them, but I do the Amazing Grass almost everyday, and so I think I’m generally getting the nutrients. Plus, I still like a Big Ass Salad a couple of times per week. But I go to WF salad bar, since it would take $50 to buy the vast array of ingredients I can get for $8 per pound, and then I bring it home and make my own salad dressing.

  2. Stuart on March 21, 2014 at 19:20

    That is quite an improvement. In time ideally you will likely have morning fasting BG below 85 which is recommended by Life extension foundation.

    Have been away from home for months and tried >4 tbps of PS and had gas pains and rushes to the bath room and sometimes loose stools. Kefir also helped along with some fermented foods. When I arrived home I had some Align probiotic left over and added it to my smoothies and it really calmed things down. I have always eaten lower carbs from >150g and lower saturated fat but tried to avoid starchy carbs like potatoes which I started adding back as I added more RS. I plan on ordering the 3 types of probiotics too. My fasting BG is <85 but it has always been low.
    Anyways have put your post links on and others have tried RS and also reported good results.
    This is a great journey to share experiences as it is so open minded and free wheeling here.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 09:00


      This is why I don’t advocate pounding this stuff day in day out. I’ll usually go a day or two per week with no supplemental RS or anything else except food. I also did a 39 hr fast this week. For me, that’s when everything feels great and I’m ready to take it up again.

    • Stuart on March 22, 2014 at 13:40

      Yes, I’ve done the same after I had to run on the beach to the public toilets so I take 3-4tbs as often as it is available for me and skip a few here and there and eat two meals a day frequently.

      When @ WF I grabbed 3-4 bags of different frozen veggies and tossed a cup of a few of them in my cooked meals saves from chopping so many veggies when living in a rented condo. I figure with my veggie intake and good stool formation and being a smaller guy I don’t quite need all that much extra RS.
      My energy also seems to be up as I have done 66 push-ups, went from 45-58 recently which I have not surpassed 50 PU in many years when younger and slimmer than my now 67 years.
      Great value in a careful read of the many insightful comments- much appreciated!

    • cardio on March 29, 2014 at 09:34 is a cruel site. It’s loaded with spam and run by a dogamatic and arrogant site owner who ridicules members behind their backs.

  3. tatertot on March 21, 2014 at 19:51

    Way back when we were doing the ‘potato hack’, I was LC and had FBGs in the 120’s. During a potato week, my FBG would be in the 80’s, reverting quickly back to 120’s when done with spuds and back on LC.

    Then when I started PHD levels going from 50-100 to 150-200, my FBG dropped to around 100-110 fairly quickly. Now, a year later, and adding RS to the mix from foods and potato starch, my FBG is always 80-90 every morning when I think to check.

    A big potato would shoot me to 200+ in 30 minutes and take 4 hours to get below 100 on LC. Now a big potato, even eaten hot/no RS style, raises it to maybe 130 if I check every 15 minutes for an hour, and back to 80’s w/in 2-3 hours.

    I just checked it now, 7 hours on empty stomach after a lunch of sardines and yogurt w/inulin powder added–79.

    I did see that Wal-Mart sells home hbA1C testing kits, that would be the thing to have for BG hacking.

    • BrazilBrad on March 22, 2014 at 04:10

      Tatertot, do you remember what you body weight was like and exercise habits during this time? Just curious if changes in those, if you had any, could be contributing _some_. Are you exercising any more, or differently, now than you were back then?

    • tatertot on March 22, 2014 at 09:23

      On LC, I had gotten down to leanest in adult life and was exercising pretty hard…sprinting weekly, tons of body weight, weighted squats. Hit serious wall.

      Kept all that up and upped the carbs to 150-200g/day, gained about 10 pounds over a couple months, a bit of it on stomach, but also workouts were much more enjoyable and productive in gains.

      For the last 4-5 months, I have been hill-climbing on treadmill and snowshoeing outside, not so many pullups and squats. Wanted to de-load a while. I actually started back up two weeks ago. Pullups decreased from 20 effortlessly to 10 in that time, but in two weeks, I’m back up to 15.

      Started sprinting this week. Feeling great. Legs a little sore. Amazing what different muscle groups get worked with different exercises. The first 10 pullups I did I felt like someone beat the crap outta by belly next day.

      But overall, very happy with body comp after a year on PHD and RS. No swings, just stability.

    • BrazilBrad on March 22, 2014 at 10:07

      @Tater, that all sounds good. Of that 10 lbs you put back on did some of that come back off since then or stayed about the same? Not that it matters much. I think the mirror is a much better gauge than the scale. Sounds like your body-comp overall is better now. 20 “effortlessly” is impressive. I’ve done 20 before but never effortlessly 🙂 I don’t go for numbers anymore and focus on quality of movements – often slower and more difficult movements like sternum chins. Gave up on the fast/ballistic movements that put more stress on joints and connective tissue… well except for sprints… I still do those and still injure myself when I do something stupid (like not warming up sufficiently). I have a recurring elbow/bicep tendonitis on the right side that I have to deal with so I gotta watch the volume and speed of certain exercises. I just got back into the gym after almost 3 months off (two workouts so far). Quads are brutally sore from hack-slide frog squats.

      When I was off for those 3 months I lost about 7 pounds while eating moderate to low carbs and pseud0-16/8-IF’ing most days. Lost muscle for sure but didn’t gain much if any body fat either. There was an occasional set of pullups, running, walking though. I feel like shit if I don’t exercise at all for periods of time.

    • Art on March 22, 2014 at 14:20

      Lord of the microbiome. Fearless hunter. Insighful and considerate commenter across the web. And, now, 20 effortless pullups?

      One can go off a fella, you know, Tim?!

  4. Raj on March 21, 2014 at 20:30

    Have you tried Ragi or kali –

    It has 40% resistant starch and also soluble fibers. South Indian dish and very healthy, only thing my parents screwed up was didn’t give us the gut bacteria necessary to break them in gut. Instead of asking to school should have let us play in dirt like olden times.


    • T-Nat on March 22, 2014 at 07:35

      Raj, where did you come up with the 40% resistant starch in finger millet? Are you sure you are not talking about horsetail millet?
      Have you any resistant starch data on horse gram(ulavalu)?

    • Raj on March 24, 2014 at 12:32

      40% of RS + Dietary Fiber + Carb. In this case carb is very low so it full of RS + Fiber. Great for health. I wont eat horse gram (ulavalu) in spite of health benefits because seeds and grains are harmful to health at large quantities.

  5. Gina on March 21, 2014 at 20:49

    If any of you blood glucose testers want to try another hack, I submit ground flax. I would love to hear about your results. I put a tablespoon of ground flax in with 2 tbsp of the potato starch and drink it every morning. It’s a pretty nasty concoction, but drinkable.

    A tablespoon of daily ground flaxseeds for a month appears to improve fasting blood sugars, triglycerides, cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1c levels in diabetics:

    I wonder if many of the benefits of ground flaxseeds are due to the fact that they are especially good for gut bugs.

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 14:44

      Pretty much anything that has indigestible fibers or polyphenols that can be consumed raw and digested down into glycans will have prebiotic effects. Cocoa, red wine, plants, tequila, cartilage, skin, collagen, whey. The reason we tend to gravitate to potato starch is because it’s extremely cheap and extremely easy to consume. But, yeah, you can get similar effects from a lot of different sources.

    • GTR on March 22, 2014 at 18:00

      @DuckDodgers – collagen is also very easy to consume – you add it to vegetable soups (but only after they have been cooked, while they cool, not during the cooking).

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 18:48

      @GTR, great tip!

      Check this out. If you remember from the Disrupting Paleo series, we explored how glycans can be prebiotics. Well, glycans are found in all plants and animals, especially if they are consumed raw and undenatured.

      Now consider this:

      High polyphenol, low probiotic diet for weight loss because of intestinal microbiota interaction

      The relative proportion of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes is decreased in obese people. This imbalance in gut microbiota generates signals controlling the expression of genes by the epithelial intestinal cells. Both dairy and non-dairy probiotics increase body weight, reportedly through Lactobacillus species growth in the gut. On the other hand, daily intake of some fruits and drinks such as three apples or three pears or grapefruit, or green tea, which all are rich in polyphenols, can significantly reduce body weight in obese people. Metabolism of polyphenols by microbiota involves the cleavage of glycosidic linkages. Glycans, which are the product of glycosidic cleavage, are necessary for survival of the intestinal microbiota as a nutrient foundation. There are two pivotal points: (i) Firmicutes possess a disproportionately smaller number of glycan-degrading enzymes than Bacteroidetes, (ii) Firmicutes are more repressed than the Bacteroidetes by phenolic compounds’ antimicrobial properties. The Bacteroidetes community prevails following dietary polyphenol intake and its fermentation to phenolic compounds, due to having more glycan-degrading enzymes, so this may thus be a mechanism by which dietary polyphenols exert their weight lowering effect. I suggest that future studies utilize clone libraries and fingerprinting techniques enabling identification of the composition and community structure of the microbiota, and dot blot hybridization or fluorescent in situ hybridization to analyze abundance of particular taxa in obese and individuals. A supplementation with polyphenols with high bioavailability in obese individuals with higher Firmicutes/Bacteroides community ratio phenotype, when associated to a probiotic restricted diet, is proposed for weight loss; this hypothesis could have relevant implication in planning a successful dietary regimen and/or neutraceutical/pharmaceutical preparations for achieving and maintaining a normal body weight in obese individuals, especially including much more use of polyphenol-rich foodstuffs and/or polyphenol-rich syrups, and including low amounts of probiotic-rich foodstuffs like yogurt, soy yogurt, or as probiotic supplements

      Interesting the effect of polyphenols on raising Bacteroidetes and lowering Firmicutes.

      Anhyhow, once you understand that polyphenols degrade into prebiotic glycans, it’s easy to find potential prebiotics elsewhere in the diet. Any molecule that has a glycan is a potential prebiotc. Interestingly, here’s a study that explored the prebiotics found in the polyphenols found in red wine.

      Influence of red wine polyphenols and ethanol on the gut microbiota ecology and biochemical biomarkers

      Few studies have investigated the effect of dietary polyphenols on the complex human gut microbiota, and they focused mainly on single polyphenol molecules and select bacterial populations.

      The objective was to evaluate the effect of a moderate intake of red wine polyphenols on select gut microbial groups implicated in host health benefits.

      Ten healthy male volunteers underwent a randomized, crossover, controlled intervention study. After a washout period, all of the subjects received red wine, the equivalent amount of de-alcoholized red wine, or gin for 20 d each. Total fecal DNA was submitted to polymerase chain reaction(PCR)-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time quantitative PCR to monitor and quantify changes in fecal microbiota. Several biochemical markers were measured.

      The dominant bacterial composition did not remain constant over the different intake periods. Compared with baseline, the daily consumption of red wine polyphenol for 4 wk significantly increased the number of Enterococcus, Prevotella, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides uniformis, Eggerthella lenta, and Blautia coccoides-Eubacterium rectale groups (P < 0.05). In parallel, systolic and diastolic blood pressures and triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and C-reactive protein concentrations decreased significantly (P < 0.05). Moreover, changes in cholesterol and C-reactive protein concentrations were linked to changes in the bifidobacteria number.

      This study showed that red wine consumption can significantly modulate the growth of select gut microbiota in humans, which suggests possible prebiotic benefits associated with the inclusion of red wine polyphenols in the diet. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN88720134.

      When you consume a raw glycoprotein, a glycopeptide, a glycolipid or some other glycan, bacteria like Bacteroides, in particular, secrete enzymes to help break off the glycans and you digest part of the molecule (the “protein” of a glycoprotein for instance) and the bacteria get the glycans. I’m oversimplifying since some raw glycans are just assimilated by the body. But, many glycans have prebiotic oligosaccharides and polysaccharides as their carbohydrate component.

      The term “glycan” is a bit confusing because it can refer to either the larger molecule (such as a glycoprotein or glycolipid) or it can refer to the carbohydrate component itself.

  6. MRRM on March 21, 2014 at 21:02

    I was doing low carb/VLC for a few months, and when I’d have a meal with rice, I’d feel super weird and get heart palpitations. Now that I’ve incorporated more carbs and starch (not always cooked and cooled, but you have to start somewhere), I find that I don’t feel all weird after eating carbs. I’m only up to eating a banana, apple, and potatoes/rice every day, so I’m not quite yet at your level, but I’m getting there. It’s a big step compared to where I was for a while – no or very little fruit most days, and all my carbs came from non-starchy veggies, aside from occasional potatoes, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. I fasted for 15 hours today and felt great – not too much hungrier than I usually am around lunchtime on a workday.

  7. Drini on March 22, 2014 at 02:04

    I was wondering what’s the general take on chia seeds (besides that they’re expensive :D)? They should be a good source of mucilage…I take them with PS instead of psyllium husks.
    Another question, what’s the effect of alcohol on the gut flora?

  8. BrazilBrad on March 22, 2014 at 04:52

    @Gina/Drini, It’s interesting if flax, chia, and other seeds show evidence of benefitting gut bugs. I was just reading a study the other day about “resistant protein”, ie protein that makes it to to the bowel, when combined with RS, increasing LCFA production. As I understand it, seeds (and nuts) generally have resistant protein content as well as other prebiotic contents so it makes sense why these things could help. I think it remains to be studied which particular proteins are beneficial and (probably not all of them would be my guess) and what dosage. Obviously this is no excuse to blindly pile on boat loads of protein. Reasonable amounts of seeds and nuts makes sense to me, ancestrally speaking, as well.

  9. BrazilBrad on March 22, 2014 at 04:59

    um sorry, not LCFA. Make that SCFA… Butyrate!
    The study showed butyrate production increase due to resistant protein.

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 14:47


      As I mentioned in that last post, Collagen Hydrolysate (or bone broth or gelatin) tends to be a good source of resistant protein. The “Great Lakes” brand makes a very high quality version of it. If you read the Amazon reviews, you’ll see that the benefits sound awfully similar to RS consumption.

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 14:48

      And I agree that Chia is in the same ballpark. Virtually the same benefits we keep hearing about over and over again.

    • Dan D on May 2, 2014 at 08:03

      Thanks, DD. I love homemade soup but never make bone broth. Just ordered the Great Lakes collagen.

  10. LeonRover on March 22, 2014 at 05:08

    @I get a perverse pleasure out of seeing myself diagnosed as an “obese diabetic” @

    Nothing perverse here, Richard.

    You merely predicted that this blogpost would trigger a particular response.

    My blogger account displays this post @ 10 hours ago @

    and this one

    [redacted] @ 4 hours ago @

    In blogposting terms this is a hair-trigger response, so I wonder whether this results from innate psychology, an endoGenous conditioning or an exogamous (FTA induced) one ?



    PS Or @ remote trolling @ ?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 10:41


      Sorry, but I redacted that link. Haven’t seen the post, wasn’t aware of it until I saw your comment, 10:35 PST, 3/22. Don’t know what it says, don’t care. Don’t know how many hours. Maybe I’ll take a look at it next week sometime for perverse pleasure.

      The numbers are the numbers, and Nothing Else Matters. I have this nailed, and that it makes people squirm is righteous, hubristic pleasure. Fuck ’em.

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 10:57

      Oh dear. Woo is just embarrassing herself with that facepalm-worthy post.

      She’s boasting of eating ~20g of 85% chocolate, which comes in a whopping 2 grams of fiber!

      Then she gorges on “no less than 2-3 ounces of almonds, peanuts, and macadamias”, which gives us a colon-busting 8 grams of fiber.

      Then she eats a few vegetables rich in cellulose (broccoli, cabbage/sauerkraut, salad), which as we know, doesn’t produce much butyrate. At any rate, if she manages to eats a pound of those combined, that gives her about 10 g of fiber

      And then she finishes with a Tablespoon of flax seeds which weighs in at just under 3 grams of fiber.

      She then proceeds to boast: “As you can see, my diet is extremely rich in fiber and very conducive to GI health”.

      Well, based on her boasted diet, we can estimate that Woo consumes about 23 grams of fiber/day, putting her in the ballpark of any SAD dieter.

      Very SAD indeed.

    • LeonRover on March 22, 2014 at 11:03


      “The numbers are the numbers, and Nothing Else Matters.”

      I most wholeheartedly agree – as, I hope, does every self-experimenter.

      “Bless ’em all,
      Bless ’em all.
      The long and the short and the tall,

      Bless all those Sergeants and WO1’s,
      Bless all those Corporals and their blinkin’/bleedin’ sons,”

      Both youtube & wiki use euphemism Bless for Fuck – in my student days it was F……. all.

      “Les Cleveland (1984) writes that a version of the song titled Fuck ‘Em All was a popular protest song by airmen serving on India’s North West Frontier during the 1920s, and may have originated from there. It later gained popularity among British .”


    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 11:26


      Everything became clear for me when I simply realized, ‘young & dumb.’

    • DuckDodgers on March 22, 2014 at 11:50

      Yeah. I think that’s spot on. Good call just to ignore.

    • BrazilBrad on March 22, 2014 at 14:35

      @Duck, you just did more analysis and presentation of actual data than she/he did. How much of that 23g do you think is insoluble versus soluble? Insoluble tends speed up movement through the GI and so I doubt it increases beneficial fermentation like SCFA, but you prob know more about that than me. Very simplistic thinking though – grouping everything into one label (fiber) as if all prebiotics have exactly the same effect. Yeah, thats right… just like all proteins have the same effect, all fats, all carbs, all sugars. yep.

  11. leo delaplante on March 22, 2014 at 10:32
    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 10:43

      Leo, I’ve been taking Amla for a couple of weeks now, added to my smoothie recipe.

    • leo delaplante on March 22, 2014 at 12:15

      I mostly take it for the bioavailable vitamin c but it has lots of medical uses ,you get 400 hits on pubmed for emblica officinalis(amla)

    • Stuart on March 22, 2014 at 14:26

      I have been taking amla extract for about a year now as it has cardiovascular benefits and LifeExtension foundation wrote an article about its benefits recently. I can say it has contributed to helping me. It helps to normalize cholesterol levels which is good for those who might be genetically hyper absorbers of fat which I believe most genotype ApO-E4’s are which is about 25% of the NAmerican population. This is also in part the reason why a low fat diet was recommended as those E4’s benefit the most from it but not the E3’s like RichardN which is in the 65-70%% of the population. These E4’s are the people who do LC and see their Ldl skyrocket. A normally functioning gut would of course help too. I also have the powder I add into a herbal tea concoction but could use it in a smoothie too.
      This is rarely discussed and far from widely known or understood by any mainstream medical people. Dr W Davis a cardiologist of Wheat Belly fame is a well known exception.

  12. Kate on March 22, 2014 at 11:59

    Anyone have any recommendations for coming off a lower carb diet during pregnancy? I’m probably around 100 grams a day now (much lower pre pregnancy due to sibo. Following cravings, but also trying to avoid a sibo flare). I have to take my glucose tolerance test (100 grams of glucose, fasted) soon, and can’t fail (trying to avoid a repeat c section and don’t want ant perceived risk of a “big” baby). Anyone been through this?

    • Alie on March 22, 2014 at 18:10


      I’m hoping someone else can answer your question more fully in regards to adding carbs. What I can tell you is that I did have a natural birth following a c-section delivery two years prior. The first one was ginormous…9 lbs 2 oz, and I weighed 95 lbs when I got pregnant, so it was a wonder I could stand upright by the time he was born. With the second, I was more relaxed, which I credit the much smoother delivery. Plus, being through it before, the hospital staff listened to me more and I was able to demand how I wanted things to be (they tend to not question the psycho pregnant lady yelling obscenities).

      I don’t know what you are eating normally, but rice and green bananas are a fairly easy way to get more carbs and resistant starch. Potatoes are great too, if you tolerate them. Go easy and listen to your body. Including the RS seems to normalize glucose for most people.

    • Kate on March 23, 2014 at 04:56

      Thanks, Allie! I love hearing about successful vbacs! I have a better team this time around, including a doula. I’m not concerned about having a “big” baby, just trying to have everything working for me in case I go past my due date with this baby (first came a day after his).

      I’ve been adding green bananas to my smoothies in the morning, and do eat gluten free grains on a daily basis. Just not totally sure how far to ramp up my carbs to prepare for the test.

    • Alie on March 23, 2014 at 17:27

      Yes, a doula was also essential to having a vbac. There were also midwives in the hospital and they were great advocates. Because my first was so big, they were worried about gestational diabetes, but I managed to avoid that. The second was 8 lbs 5 oz so still on the large-ish side. He was a week early so that probably helped (that was the last time he was early for anything btw). It can be done!

      It sounds like you have a handle on this. Keep up with the nutrient dense food and keep doing those smoothies.

  13. Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 13:42

    Tired of getting spam comments from ‘v’, none of which saw the light of being published, I just went in and deleted all 212 comments she’s ever posted here. The first one being August 11, 2009, 4 1/2 years ago.

    Jesus, that was a delight. It reminded me of when Wooo mocked me for “being obsessed” with posting comments on her blog, so, because she was on blogger, I deleted all 86 comments I had ever posted there. Then, I went to my blog and deleted all 800+ comments she’d posted here.

    Later, she came back, posted about 35 more. I just deleted all those as well. For good measure.


    • LeonRover on March 22, 2014 at 15:50

      It HAS been interesting today!

      AND “It’s Yes, Yea, Ever, Yes, Yea, Evermore .. … … !! ”


    • LeonRover on March 22, 2014 at 14:50

      Quelle surprise! :)) :))

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 15:14


      Yea, I think it may be the last time I ever even mention or allude to either of them.

      Please fuck me up if I ever do, once my next post is published.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 15:31


      In my next post, you will see a neologism of my own making, 1992. At the end of the fist para. You’ll know it when you see it.

      Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to post a formal etymology of your own making.


    • LeonRover on March 24, 2014 at 11:48

      Ah is sure you figured out the answer to “Deal?” by now.

      And that in Belfast & Dublin a tout does to his Boss & Ass-ociates what Sammy the “Bull” did to Gotti & The Gambinos.

      You might have gotten a more interesting comment wi’out “Deal?”

      Right now I’m in Budapest being prepositioned by BudaPesterers who, being blonde and 180 cms announce their presence with the words ” Aaaaa-looooh, do you speak Eng-lish?”

      Were you to enquire further it usually turns out they come from Prague or Moldova – Sic Gloria mundem transit.

      Recocco architecture here is rather marvellous. One church, however, had bouquets strewn in front of a statue of Mary with a a thorned Jesus on her lap in front of a Cross.

      I was so reminded of Irish Catholic Lents of my youth that I had to restrain myself from bursting into (irony) –

      which version is much less spare than the Gregorian chant we boy choristers intoned on The Saturday.

      I also saw a WW1 bronze with inscription “Vitam et sanguinem” on the plinth.


    • gabriella kadar on March 24, 2014 at 18:01

      Leon, very cool. There are so many things to see in Budapest. Don’t forget the baths. Gul Baba’s tomb. The Ottomans contributed hugely to the culture.

      The hookers are mostly imports. But watch your pocket on the streetcar.

    • LeonRover on March 31, 2014 at 07:49


      I did meet a tinted-blonde 180 cm, she has been my ugyvedek since 2004, so I wished her a Happy Anniversary.

      An engineer named Csaba once explained the origin & meaning of his name – his place of birth is near Rumanian border. And Atillas have been a dime a dozen.

      Had not been here for 2 years and found some street renamings; Moszkva tér to Széll Kálmán tér, Ferihegy is now Liszt Ferenc, while walking from Calvin Square past the Egtyptian Temple I saw Mihály had been dropped from Károly ut. Much pedestrianisation which resulted in my being more in danger from silent mountain bikers than night-club salesmen. There is also a 200 ft coin.

      On my last day, I had Coffee & Sticky Bun @ New York Cafe and enjoyed the leering Goat-Cloven Lucifers on the outside. (And each time I passed thro’ Astória on metro, I thought of Marie .. .. .. )

      Hookah ? I can usually smoke one out; at 185 cms, “Like a Colossa she doth bestride the World”.

      “Pocket”: My left one has an extra inner zipped one.

      Finally this miss-spelt sign gave me a giggle: “szentvicsbár – GrabandGo”



      I see today that Richard has become unusually coy, referring to VJJ in his latest post.

      On observing same, this song occurred:

      while u-tubing, I found this: https: // – pick or shovel? – that is either a dentist or an Oirish navvy joke)

  14. Natalya on March 22, 2014 at 14:30

    Hi Richard,
    I was interested to note that 1 yr of VLC did nothing to improve my HbA1C, raising it from 5.5 to 5.6. A couple days ago I stopped and picked up some high carb road side food: ribs, cole slaw, beans and rice AND potato salad. Potato salad probably not cooled, nor the rice ever. I had had 2 TBS PS, but early that day. At 1 hr my BG was 157, 2 hrs 88, 3 hrs 72.
    I decided to have the leftover rice and potato salad for dinner (there was masses of it, I cooled it, but only 3 or so hours) adding cukes and raw sprouted mung beans, gizzards instead of ribs, and 2 TBS PS right before eating. At 1 hr BG 94, 2 hrs 104. 3 hrs would have been interesting, but I was fast asleep. The difference in response obviously dramatic.
    I started PS beginning Jan, added in token carbs a couple wks later, slowly upping rice and potatoes since then. But not yet planning for the retrograde effect. Do you think rice/potatoes have to be cooled overnight? Or will a few hrs do it?
    Also, might this increasing RS w cooling hold true for Boniato, aka Cuban Sweets, Cassava, and Dasheen (which is a type of taro)?
    Really loving all the info sharing, thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 23, 2014 at 08:18


      To be safe, I’d plan ahead and usually try to get an overnight cooling. On the other hand, I’ll often make rice (I use parboiled, way lower GI) eat it freshly prepared for the meal, and the rest goes in the fridge or freezer.

    • Natalya on March 23, 2014 at 15:27

      Huh, I was using Basmati. Just saw this:
      “This process (parboiling) forces all of the vitamins and minerals from the husk into the starch granule. The outer husk falls off and all that is left is the gelatinous starchy granule. This part of the rice grain is full of nutrients and is lower on the glycemic index than traditional forms of rice. Converted rice has a glycemic index of about 38, making it much lower on the GI scale than white or brown rice.”
      Good tip thanks!

  15. bornagain on March 22, 2014 at 14:52

    What impresses me is how cheap it is to eat well. All those SAD eaters who say they can’t afford to eat healthily are full of shit. Since I introduced RS, my food bill is about one third of what it used be.

  16. […] Then I Laf. […]

  17. GTR on March 22, 2014 at 17:17

    Abou picture number 2 – if you have potatoes and eggs – isn’t it better to make potato pancakes?

    Of course one of the reasons may be to preserve fats in egg yolk – perhaps the potato pancakes should be made from whites only, and then the yolks poured over them?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 17:30

      “isn’t it better to make potato pancakes?”

      Holy mother of fuck no. Clear? You do it your way, I’ll never presume to look like a fucking idiot and correct you in public.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 17:33

      …GTR, just so you know the nerve you hit there (no hard feelings). My absolute favorite meal of my life is fried potatoes with either over easy or sunny side up eggs, with warm yolk dripping over them like gravy. I’m talking since 5 years old. 🙂

    • gabriella kadar on March 23, 2014 at 16:16

      LOL. I did.

      I love to eat the whole yolk, unbusted, and enjoy the lusciousness of it. Sound like a pervert. That’s why I didn’t wax eloquent.

      Love popping fish eggs too. Flavour explosion.

  18. Paleo Chuck on March 22, 2014 at 17:34

    6 TBS of PS & Goat Milk Kefir is the sweet spot for me. 2 hour Postprandial after 2 slices of pizza 70… BAM!!!

  19. Harriet on March 22, 2014 at 17:34

    Just to report in. Last week I bought some green banana flour here in Australia – the brand one finds when you google for it. The idea was to increase my varieties of resistant starch. I had previously used tapioca in the morning and PS in the evening. So as a first step I replaced the morning tapioca (2.5 tbs) with banana flour. I didn’t feel any different, ie it didn’t flare my AS at the 5 hour mark, but I did put on 200g overnight. Didn’t sleep particularly well that night but not too bad. The next day I was pleased that I had no AS symptoms as I had starting PS and with the tapioca but later that day my blood sugars went haywire with hot flushes every few hours. I was really tired and slept solidly from 9pm to 2 am then didn’t sleep at all with hot flushes every time I started to doze. Then I felt like crap all the rest of the day plus it was like I was pre-period – my hormones were all over the place. I was very ratty and my judgement was out plus I had put on another 300g over night. So I stopped the banana flour and replaced it with PS. Its now 3 days later and my sleep is improving and my blood sugars are not giving me hot flushes much. At the moment I’m still cautious about attributing cause and effect but the improvement since returning to PS suggests it might be the particular type of banana flour. It is advertised as being very high in resistant starch and that its made from green bananas, but for someone who is in a precarious health situation it doesn’t seem to be a replacement for the PS or tapioca. So unhealthy Aussies beware replacing PS with banana flour.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2014 at 17:43


      Since you now none of this is going to kill you, have you thought of confounding and confusing the hell out of yourself, so that you DON’T know?

      I mix so many things together, and in different quantities, I consciously have undercut my own ability to have a clue. And I go about my merry way. Once I feel a bit “overstuffed,” I stop it all, may even do a total fast, and I end up feeling better than ever.

      I have also come to embrace the natural fact that I can be tired at any time, energized at any time. So, I just go with that. I sleep when tired, get up and work when awake, and don’t stress about it because some numbers on a dial indicate I should be doing something else.

    • dr j on March 23, 2014 at 03:17


      Its all an exploration. listen to your guts, its all about building up your personal needs prebiotic supermarket. I went from PS to banana flour (BF) because PS sat as a slug in my guts and felt like a thixotropic slug which didn’t easily disperse. Now 9 months on, I have even scaled down BF and occasionally use mt uncle banana flour, mainly for flavour and feel on le tongue and a skeleton to carry finer powders. Plus, If i need extra potassium or magnesium that’s an added bonus which can be overlooked if you just think RS and fibre.

      Now my latest experiments are with Konjac vegetable root noodles etc which is a whacko real colon food of glucomannan. My guts just love it and it sort of talks to me. Give me 100g a day it says; it has had a different reaction 4 weeks later to the first eating. You can buy it at Coles or Woolworths in the health food area. Brand name is Slendier. Americans love to fry it, spice it etc but this simple oz boy has it raw.

      I take it with 2g of gelatine powder plus what ever touches out to my hand in the pantry or fridge. (I learnt this trick from our Jack Russell, I put her foods out in a row and depending on her tumtum condition, she eats almonds first some days, otherwise ignores them, eats sardines before chicken or the reverse. She’s trying to teach this dumbo some important to her personal gut truths).

      BTW. Japanese PS is a a good traveling RS which can be found in most upmarket supermarkets throughout Asia so you don’t have to take white powder through airport security.

      There’s a bit of gastro going around here in Melbourne at the moment and i have recovered really really fast using oral rehydration fluid with starch powder that I added. i was feeling impressively better in 2 hours after ingestion. Thank you Tim!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 23, 2014 at 16:59

      dr j,

      Appreciate your deep commentary.

      Here is the PS I believe you’re referring to — I have some friends here in Shanghai giving it a go!

      You’re right — looks a lot better than cocaine going through customs.

      Glucomannan is such a neat fiber too. I wish there were studies examining the synergism with combos of amazing fiber including RS + sick v healthy microbiomes. I think the future will yield much later.


  20. sally on March 23, 2014 at 06:21

    I am a recent discoverer of FTA and wow! Richard and the commenters here are fantastic. I have been reading all I can on RS here, ‘Cooling Inflammation’ and ‘Heisenbug’. I thought I had finally found the right path on my health journey as a BC survivor. But yesterday I read something by Dr. Ayers at CI that through me a bit. The gist of it is this ( I am copy and pasting from commenter Mary Beth since her situation mimics mine):

    “A commenter posted this question to you, “if a person happened to have cancer, but was not aware of it and started taking RS to increase treg cell production, could this lead to the cancer more freely multiplying?”

    And you replied that you thought it was correct. I have gone back to read all your posts on Tregs. And am thoroughly confused.

    So by adding RS to my diet along with with fermented food, a non inflammatory diet (no processed food, no gluten and sugar) and and a probiotic containing Colistridium B. I am helping my body rid itself of my autoimmune disease but may be feeding cancer to multiply more freely if present? ”

    Dr. Ayers has not yet responded. I realize you are not responsible for someone else’s opinions but I had wondered in your research and discussions with Dr.BG if this question of autoimmunity vs cancer in RS therapy ever came up?

    • DuckDodgers on March 23, 2014 at 09:20


      I could be wrong, and I haven’t looked at the discussion on CI, but I believe the risk of tumorigenesis is inferred by a rat model where researchers used 1,2-dimethylhydrazine to induce the tumors in the rats and then fed them RS. This was previously discussed in more detail here:

      Hope that helps.

    • tatertot on March 23, 2014 at 09:23

      I will be interested in Dr. Ayers response as well. My thoughts are that it would not lead to cancer growth, but lowered inflammation, which would be a good thing. Here is a really awesome video of Tregs in action:

      This paper says: “The most novel and relevant recent data describe a role for resistant starch in ameliorating inflammation; the use of resistant starch for optimal bowel health and prevention of CRC; and, further, that the systemic effects of resistant starch may be important for the treatment of other forms of cancer, such as breast cancer.”

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 23, 2014 at 18:55

      Hi sally,

      For BC secondary prevention, there is so much at our fingertips that did not exist 20 yrs ago however modern practices still use the most primitive tools (cutting, irradiating and maiming).

      Have you heard of 2/16OH estrone testing by a functional medicine practitioner? Recently one of my best gal pals suffered both ovarian and BC. Her 2/16OH estrone was abysmal (goal > 2 and perhaps higher if menopausal or post-hysty). Few modern practitioner knows how to test or modulate this significant risk factor for all cancers and inflammation; it’s not taught yet in med school.

      Estrogens are inter-kingdom growth signals. We need beneficial gut symbionts actually to attenuate the carcinogenic estrogens which are from diet, toxins, and our own secretion and metabolism. Estrogens are related to male cancers as well — prostate, testicular, etc. Excess estrogens raise insulin resistance as well, another mechanism for inflammation.

      Lancet recently just reported that aromatase inhibitor Tamoxifen was essentially useless. I think the researchers missed the ‘root cause’.

      Thank you for your question here. It’s not just about Tregs. The entire length of our hollow tube is lymphoid tissue. Our gut = immune system. Cancer is a disease of the gut actually (and so is all disease, as Hippocrates epically once noted).

      Consider evaluation for of the gut particularly fungi, pathogen and parasitic overgrowths and toxin evaluations (nearly all toxins are estrogenic from mercury to PCBs to plastics). These are overlooked root causes of poor gut health and thus overwhelming inflammation. The surface size of the gut is like Antarctica if our head, the size of Hawaii. Neglecting it is problematic imho!

      Have you seen the below? Richard forwarded earlier. Thx to the FTA reader that found it.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 23, 2014 at 19:01

      That’s a great Spanish Caravan comment!

      What works the best in trials for ACF (colon cancer model) is discussed in this super illuminating review study (not RS)

      “…By combining six carcinogenesis endpoints from tables 1 and and2,2, this review suggests that the most potent agents are PEG 8000, a protease inhibitor, DFMO alone or with piroxicam or aspirin, hesperidin, celecoxib, sulindac sulfone or sulfide, and Bifidobacteria strains.”

      But if you take an integrative approach to consider improving gut dysbiosis and reduce ACF — the combo of C butyricum + RS — may be a good start.

      Microbiol Immunol. 2003;47(12):951-8.
      Effects of high amylose maize starch and Clostridium butyricum on metabolism in colonic microbiota and formation of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon.
      Nakanishi S1, Kataoka K, Kuwahara T, Ohnishi Y.
      Author information
      High amylose maize starch (HAS) is not digested in the small intestine and most of it reaches the large intestine. In the large intestine, HAS is fermented by intestinal bacteria, resulting in production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), particularly butyrate. Clostridium butyricum can utilize HAS and produce butyrate and acetate. It has been proposed that butyrate inhibits carcinogenesis in the colon. In this study, we examined the inhibitory effects of HAS and C. butyricum strain MIYAIRI588 (CBM588) on azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) formation in rats. In the group of rats administered only CBM588 spores, the concentration of butyrate in the cecum increased, but there was no decrease in the number of ACF. In the group of rats fed an HAS diet, a decrease in the number of ACF was observed, and in the group of rats administered HAS and CBM588, the number of ACF decreased significantly. In these two groups, the concentrations of acetate and propionate in intestinal contents significantly increased, but the concentration of butyrate did not change. It was found that the beta-glucuronidase activity level of colonic contents decreased significantly in the two groups of rats fed HAS. This study showed that HAS and CBM588 changed the metabolism of colonic microbiota and decreased the level of beta-glucuronidase activity, phenomena that may play a role in the inhibition of ACF formation in the rat colon.

    • T-Nat on March 23, 2014 at 19:46

      Here’s Dr.Ayers’ response to Sally’s question and RS and Cancer:

      “MaryBeth and Sally,
      I don,t worry at all about increasing cancer risk by fixing suppressive immunity and Tregs, any more than I worry about getting infections when I avoid eating inflammatory food, as I see it, our bodies have robust defenses over a broad range and it is only the crazy extremes that get us in trouble. Antibiotics, sugar, vegetable oils and foods lacking soluble fiber are outside that range. That is also why paleo diets and unprocessed food are in the range.

      In the crazy periphery, all of your genetic uniqueness will be problematic, but anywhere within the reasonable is carefree. Antibiotics quickly lead to the crazy extremes promoting autoimmunity or cancer, and more antibiotics are frequently used as therapy to remove the remaining half. Little research has been done on how to repair severe gut dysbiosis, although this is the most important part of a cure for most diseases. Chronic disease and therapy is much, much more profitable. My simple website costs the medical industry hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

      The bottom line is that I think fixing any part of the gut flora and immune system is a good thing. Most problems are reversible. The optimal strategy for each person toward a healthy gut flora and immune system is empirical right now. There are some reasonable combinations of probiotics, soluble fiber and fermented veggies that are available at sites such as Animal Pharm and Free the Animal.

      Keeping asking questions if you think I can be helpful. Let me know how you are doing.”

  21. C Williams on March 23, 2014 at 06:53

    Interesting story. I think it’s important to get ALL types of foods (carbs included) in moderation. I have a few people in my family with diabetes. I will share this story with them. Thanks!

  22. John on March 24, 2014 at 07:17

    I had an epiphany with carbs vs fat for weight gain/loss from some post of Martin Berkhan’s if I remember correctly, with a subsequent comment. Simply look at the metabolic pathway’s by which protein/carbs/fat get stored as fat in the body. Protein and carbs do not just become fat and get stored in the body, such that if you eat low fat and go hypercaloric with protein and carbs you are going to gain less fat than the same hypercaloric state with protein/fat in your diet.

    He eventually said something in response to a comment regarding insulin about “dietary fat can store itself just fine with minimal insulin.” When I googled that approximate quote it popped up his article on alcohol, yet the comment seems to have dissapeared from that post. This post really cleared up a bunch of issues I had with understanding “low carb” and the whole metabolic pathway thing (though I’ve never had a drink in my entire life, this article is one of my favorites of his).

    • Chupo on March 24, 2014 at 15:30

      Dietary fat can and does store just fine without insulin. Google ASP (acylation stimulating protein). ASP is the reason low carbers have such low triglycerides. Chylomicrons, the lipoprotein that dietary fat is packed into, stimulates ASP production by adipose tissue. Imagine what your blood would look like if this didn’t happen.

    • BrazilBrad on March 24, 2014 at 16:50

      @chupo, How does that work? If insulin is low that says that dietary glucose is low and so glucagon is not suppressed so lipolysis should be high. How does fat get stored when fat is being burned?

  23. agatha on March 24, 2014 at 04:39

    I have a question about legumes (sorry don’t know if where is the appropriate place to ask this). Since adding legumes to my diet every day I have noticed an increase of breast tenderness (assume it’s estrogen dominance) – used to be just before periods, now it’s there all the time. It might be just coincidence – I’m 46 and obviously perimenopausal. Is it possible the phytoestrogens in the legumes are a problem for me? I hope not cos I love me my beans (mainly chick peas and lentils). Otherwise everything is going really well – I will post about the positive changes in a couple of weeks as I’ve just started SBOs yesterday too.

  24. BrazilBrad on March 24, 2014 at 10:45

    @John, I’d like to hear more about how you interpret what Martin said. This is what I thought… He said the insulin spike due to carb consumption essentially turns off fat burning and hence allowing dietary fat to be stored. This would only happen when eating a meal with appreciable amounts of both carbs and fat. But if you were to eat a meal high in protein and fat but not carbs then there would be little or no insulin spike, lipolysis would continue, and so reduce if not disallow dietary fat from being absorbed – since fat cannot be liberated and absorbed at the same time (I’m presuming here). In this way the presence of insulin is still controlling fat storage, just indirectly versus directly.

    • La Frite on March 24, 2014 at 12:11

      It’s not exactly like that. If you eat a meal high in protein and fat, you do have some insulin “spike” (albeit not as high as with carbs) but that is not what matters here. It takes little insulin above basal level to _decrease_ lipolysis (I did not say “switch off” because it is not black or white). But in this case (protein + fat), since you have no excess glucose to stuff your cells with, insulin would drive you into hypoglycemia. It does not happen because in this particular meal, glucagon would also be released by your pancreas. Glucagon triggers quite the opposite : it avoids the hypoglycemia episode that insulin (needed for the transport of amino acids out of the blood stream) would otherwise induce. The thing about glucagon is that it favors lipolysis.

      You can actually read some of this stuff e.g. here:

    • BrazilBrad on March 24, 2014 at 14:45

      @LaFrite, enjoyed that link, thanks. I had not understood the way glucagon works.

    • La Frite on March 24, 2014 at 15:00

      Check this:
      You won’t understand all of it but glucagon regulates bllod glucose, but in the other way (compared to insulin): insulin removes excess blood glucose from the bllod stream. Glucagon makes sure you have enough blood glucose to avoid hypoglycemia.
      When you eat protein, insulin makes sure amino acids are going where they should. But too much insulin would affect blood glucose, so glucagon comes in and regulates what would otherwise result in a hypoglycemia. We would be screwed if every time we ate proteins, we would turn hypoglycemic!

    • La Frite on March 24, 2014 at 15:04

      Another quick one:

      Their conclusion:

      It is concluded (a) that glucagon at high concentration is capable of stimulating lipolysis and ketogenesis in insulin-deficient diabetic man; (b) that insulin, mole for mole, has more antilipolytic activity in man than glucagon has lipolytic activity; and (c) that glucagon, on a molar basis, has greater stimulatory activity than insulin has inhibitory activity on hepatic glucose release.

      Insulin (mole for mole) is the stronger hormone re lipolysis: you need more glucagon to cancel out the anti-lipolytic effect of a given amount of insulin.

      I think the takeaway message is that roughly speaking, proteins don’t make you fat nor do they make you slim when looking from the insulin / glucagon POV.

    • BrazilBrad on March 25, 2014 at 08:46

      @LaFrite, what I find most interesting about that graph in the study is looking at the BG, Insulin, and Glucagon graphs over the timespan. You can see how BG and Insulin drop rapidly from 90-120 minutes after the meal as you would expect. But look at the bottom graph… how glucagon just flat-lines after only the carb meal and stays flat for many hours. I interpret this as, if you were to eat glucose generating carbs at every meal at 4-5 hour intervals or less, you would would be inhibiting fat mobilization for the entire day – at least the impact that glucagon has on it. This reinforces in my mind why it would be beneficial to cycle one’s intake of carbs and/or calories via something like carb-cycling and daily IF. Perhaps also of benefit might be eating all your carbs in one meal versus spread out throughout the day. I also interpret from this that it would be better to eat carbs at night versus in the morning so that glucagon and lipolysis is not inhibited during the day when you are active with a higher potential to burn more body fat.

    • La Frite on March 26, 2014 at 02:51

      Grazing on carbs the entire day is probably not a good idea, I quite agree. In the presence of elevated BG, glucagon has no major role to play (it would counteract the action of insulin, no good in this case). Glucagon is there to make sure we don’t turn hypoglycemic and a high protein, moderate fat meal will promote glucagon prod.

      Perosnally, since I eat mostly one big meal every day (+ a few minor items aroun 1or 2 pm “sometimes”), I don’t really try to tweak anything. Most of my bulk carbs are eaten in the evening, save for 1 or 2 green bananas when I have some, not a daily thing. But yeah, in the evening, I eat carbs, no way around that 😀

    • BrazilBrad on March 26, 2014 at 04:54

      @La Frite, I’m the same. Usually one or two “primal egg” coffees in the morning then just one nightly feed window of 4-8 hours which is usually one or two meals/plates. This seems to work fairly well for my mostly sedentary life (2-3 gym sessions per week). The coffee has some carbs – ~1 tbs molasses and ~1tbs potato starch, and so the molasses may be restricting glucagon and hurting fat burning. Maybe I’ll switch to stevia or Xylitol.

      What other blogs do you like/read? Dunno if it’s cool to post them here on Richard’s site so you can send me an email on it if you like. bbaker6212 (at) gmail. Thanks!

    • La Frite on March 26, 2014 at 06:01

      Brad, I regularly come back to a few blogs but I tend to skim through articles and comments:
      From the top of my mind:
      – MDA
      – FTA
      – Chris Masterjohn, WAPF websites
      – Stephan Guyenet (whole health source)
      – From time to time, I also check the one I linked above from Pablo Klopper. This guy is quite meticulous in his data checking and he seems to have access to material not available to the public.

      I tend to ignore the low carb – high fat bias in some of them. There are always some info to pick now and then.

  25. sally on March 24, 2014 at 12:16

    Thank you to everyone who responded to my question on RS and breast cancer. DrBG would you happen to have the link to the Tamoxifen study published in the Lancet showing uselessness? I would like to send it to my oncologist.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on March 24, 2014 at 15:56


      Comment in The Lancet on the IBIS-II aromatase inhibitor 5-year follow up trial for chemoprovention of women at “high risk” of breast cancer (open access). Apparently no changes since the 2002 IBIS-I tamoxifen trial. Hat tip Greenfield. RU you on Tamoxifen?? I’m sorry. DIM is a plant-based estrogen blocker with proven benefits and additionally beneficially modulates the 2/16 hydroxy estrone biomarker to be more favorable. I even give DIM temporarily to male clients who have excess estrogens and suboptimal T (it’s not shocking to me how common this is).

      “With the strongest protective effect recorded in hormone-sensitive and screen-detected breast cancers, the overall breast cancer mortality gain with prevention therapy could be small. No such gain has been reported in any of the pharmacoprevention trials so far. Therefore, for any woman considering 5 years’ anti-oestrogen therapy to reduce her risk of breast cancer without evidence to suggest that she will have a longer life, the perceived and actual toxicity of this intervention becomes important. The financial costs of breast cancer chemoprevention might have decreased, but the toxicity cost to women has not.”

      “In IBIS-II, many women in both groups reported side-effects associated with oestrogen deprivation: frequency of musculoskeletal and vasomotor symptoms was about 50% or higher in both groups, and roughly a fifth of women had gynaecological adverse events. Although the increase in frequency with anastrozole was modest for musculoskeletal (6%) and vasomotor (8%) events, more than 100–200 additional women had these symptoms in the anastrozole group compared with the placebo group—quite often to a moderate or severe level—to prevent 15 symptomatically diagnosed breast cancers.”

    • Gemma on March 31, 2014 at 10:57


      Is this worth looking into because of BC?

  26. Paleo Chuck on March 24, 2014 at 15:11

    So this question will start a firestorm – Define “safe” starches? I’m afraid what’s safe for one is not safe for another.

    • gabriella kadar on March 24, 2014 at 15:28

      Non-insulinogenic = safe starch.

    • DuckDodgers on March 24, 2014 at 16:21

      Safe starches are defined as “starchy plants that contain minimal toxins after cooking.” Examples of safe starches are potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains, sago, taro, white rice and tapioca.

      See also…

    • Ellen on March 25, 2014 at 17:04

      Mark has the best explanation i have seen of this confusion

    • gabriella kadar on March 25, 2014 at 06:14

      Duck, if ‘sweet potato’ = Louisiana yam, then that’s not a starch. ‘member how it doesn’t contain RS?

      Boniato is a source of safe starch.

    • DuckDodgers on March 25, 2014 at 07:41

      Gab, not sure I follow. A safe starch by Jaminet’s definition (he coined the phrase after all) doesn’t need contain RS. It just needs to contain starch and be low in toxins after cooking. If we are trying to redefine what a safe starch is, that’s another story.

    • gabriella kadar on March 25, 2014 at 11:09

      Duck, I find the whole subject of ‘sweet potato’ to be confusing. The ones I make and used to cook in the West Indies were red skinned with cream coloured flesh. They are starchy. Put them in soup. They hold their shape. The Louisiana yam, orange flesh, is to me, another beast: only edible when something sweet is added to it, like maple syrup and orange juice. The cooked texture of Louisiana yam is entirely different than Sweet potato.

      The real Sweet Potato is sweet. Louisiana yams are kind of sour by comparison.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2014 at 11:17

      I like the brown skin ones, yellow flesh. Thais use them in their curries.

      They’re great baked, with butter & cinnamon. Don’t forget to toast them under the broiler after applying said butter and cinnamon.

    • DuckDodgers on March 25, 2014 at 11:51


      Oh we’re talking about the difference between sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) and yams? Hmm.. good point. I can’t say I’ve given the difference much thought, but you are right that they are different. In any case, I don’t believe that RS is a prerequisite. The main goal of a safe starch (at least by Jaminet’s original definition) is to obtain starch, for energy, that is low in toxins after cooking.

    • gabriella kadar on March 25, 2014 at 13:03

      Richard, there you go. Delicious. Louisiana yams? Not so much.

      It takes a lot longer to bake a real sweet potato than a Louisana yam. They are not as moist.

      The purple yams are kinda weird. Sometimes they taste great and sometimes they are funky. So I quit buying them.

      Over by here it’s tuber central.

      Good idea about baking. I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do tonight. Usually I cut them up and bake them in dilute coconut milk.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2014 at 13:07

      Nope. 400F for an hour, or about 5 min Nuke.

  27. Grace/Dr.BG on March 25, 2014 at 16:08

    “perimenopausal breast tenderness and pimples” is induced by many things. Consider getting to the root causes — insulin resistance, low progesterone, testosterone dominance, estrogen dominance (with relatively low E, as sally’s case), toxins (because toxins cause all the above), high sugar/carb diet, and of course centrally gut dysbiosis. Again, ultimately we need the beneficial gut symbionts to help us to process estrogens and other hormones.

    I see. It’s funny in studies, diet combined with exercise is 80-90% effective in BC prevention after the initial BC (and this after standard chemo/rad [poison/irradiation]). I cannot imagine the results if it were customized diet, personalized food-based nutraceuticals combined with exercise?

    Have you seen these? I believe in testing not guessing and because we are smart, we have tools at our disposal.

  28. agatha on March 25, 2014 at 03:30

    @Dr BG
    Would DIM be a sensible option to help perimenopausal breast tenderness and pimples?

  29. sally on March 25, 2014 at 11:48

    @Dr BG
    Thank you for the link and information on Tamoxifen and DIM. I was on Tamoxifen, however, I had to have a salpingo-oophorectomy due to suspicious looking ultrasounds. In my non-medical school educated opinion, I believe the Taxmoxifen was the culprit, my oncologist disagrees. Everything was endometrial tissue non-malignant. I never had endometriosis in my life. At this point with my estrogen nicely reduced by surgical menopause, I am not on anything (I stopped the tamoxifen after the procedure). Honestly, my oncologist seems to not know what to do with me now that he doesn’t have to ask me about the side effects of the Tamoxifen. He takes comfort in the fact I was on it for two years. That makes one of us. Also, I have tried both DIM and Calcium Gluconate for estrogen pathway improvement and it effects my moods. I assumed since I have so little (estrogen, I know there is still some being made by the adrenals) it might be enough to just exercise regularly? Best Regards, Sally.

    • Marybeth on March 26, 2014 at 06:55

      How about MTHFR E, Oncoplex and Essiac tea blend? Something to look into. Also if DIM is not agreeable to you, there is another product, KappArest, that has turmeric in it which helps with immunity and inflammation (or is that redundant?).
      Mary Beth

  30. agatha on March 26, 2014 at 06:10

    Thanks Grace – will follow those leads.

  31. sally on March 26, 2014 at 07:26


    Thank you very much for all your responses. It is much appreciated. I will follow up with those tests. The point you raise above about how well and individual would due with diet, exercise, nutraceuticals vs general statistics is an on going discussion I have with all my doctors. My oncologist will tell me x% of women will have a reduced likely of recurrence if they take x drug, yadda yadda. My response has always been what does that mean for me, at my age, weight, exercise, diet, etc. The response is always a blank look and ‘statistics don’t work that way’ answer. Well, what good are they then? I’m not a roulette wheel. Those stats don’t happen in a vacuum! Thanks again.

  32. sally on March 26, 2014 at 07:28


    Thanks. I will look into those.

  33. How many calories to gain muscle? - Page 4 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 4 on March 27, 2014 at 11:02

    […] with blood sugar management issues should be doing is eating a prolonged low-carbohydrate diet. How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My "Diabetes" | Free The Animal So, I need more carbs, specifically starches in the form of legumes, rice, and potatoes, […]

  34. […] didn't need to look far and wide to find the usual hysterics over this post: How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My “Diabetes”. It's good enough, though. Hate still = passion, and I prefer a mix of both just to keep things […]

  35. […] Starch and the Soil-Based Probiotics, I've done a few experiments both in terms of blood glucose (reported here) and heartburn tolerance, since other have reported such improvements over time. A couple of weeks […]

  36. Dan D on May 2, 2014 at 07:44

    I always enjoy hearing about your experiences and those of your readers.
    I’m a great fan of resistant starch now, thanks to you! My experience with BG readings is a bit different than yours.
    Unlike you I am both diabetic and very obese (BMI 35). When I am in ketosis and using potato starch my fasting glucose levels are the lowest I have ever seen, mostly in the 80s, occasionally high 70s or low 90s.
    When I add carbs in the form of legumes and converted rice, with net carbs still well under 200 grams per day, my fasting BG is generally in the 90s, and always below 110.
    I can’t really speak to the post-grandial effect, as I have only measured that when I have, (whether in or out of ketosis,) eaten a disgusting amount of junk food. That number is way too high, and I’m trying my damnedest to avoid that scenario.
    I love adding beans and rice to my soups and fish chowders, so thanks again.

  37. Dr. Curmudgon Gee on May 17, 2014 at 11:08


    1. your FBG (88) is mightily fine.
    no need to worry that it’s not 85.

    1) BG fluctuates daily.

    2). these hand held BG devices
    (what brand do you use)
    — seem to have precision of +/-5
    (@ this normal range, < ~140).


  38. Mom is pre-diabetic - Page 3 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 3 on August 9, 2014 at 10:01

    […] Starch via Potato Starch and Beans Helped a Type 2 Diabetic | Free The Animal Also this post: How Eating Heaps of Safe Starches Cured My "Diabetes" | Free The Animal This seems to be more along the lines of what you might be looking for, OP. You can control […]

  39. Solange on June 14, 2015 at 07:13

    My type 2 diabetes was cured with cannabis oil

    I am was a type 2 diabetic and I was not diagnosed until last year at the age of 48 when I was admitted into the hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis. I knew something was wrong because my parents are type 2 as well as my grandmother before she died of diabetes. so I am familiar with the disease. I understand how you feel Its like your body is betraying you and there is nothing you can do about it. But believe me they feel the exact same way. Not everyone who is type 2 asked for it by choosing a bad life style some got it during pregnancy and it didn’t leave like my mother and some inherit it from their father. At the end of the day Nobody ask for this disease yeah some could have prevented it but at the end of the day they still have the same issues as we do. I’m a person who didn’t know and i’m still alive after using the cannabis oil for treatment. I heard about the cannabis oil for cure and i purchase the cannabis oil national cancer institute after contacting the institute via email and i was given the instructions on how to use it and after using using the cannabis oil for the stipulated time as instructed by the institute, i was really cure and free from diabetes.

  40. Laurie on September 2, 2017 at 14:32

    I am very interested in lowering my BG and am currently doing Keto; needless to say I am bored silly with it and my BG has not come down much after 2 1/2 months. As far as the RS is concerned
    How much did you consume daily ? or at any one time ? I would love to be able to eat legumes, rice, and potatoes as well as healthy foods. Are sweet potatoes allowed too ?
    I am a person who needs guidelines (please) Thank you

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