Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

Controversial Views on Nutrition Topics
Part Two
Email Exchange

This discussion is continued from Controversial Views on Nutrition Topics: Part One. In the following email exchange, the emailers comments are in black and enclosed in “greater than” and “lesser than” signs. My comments are in red.

>In case you want to look into it [whole grains and phytic acid] further, they say the phytic acid causes the body to not be able to absorb the nutrients in the whole grains. Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting is supposed to reduce the phytic acid.   Here a page that talks about it.

Did some quick research on phytic acid on, and yes, phytic acid can inhibit the absorption of some minerals. But that does not lessen the health benefits of whole grains, and phytic acid itself can actually have beneficial effects. Consider the following abstract.

Epidemiological studies have clearly shown that whole-grain cereals can protect against obesity, diabetes, CVD and cancers. … Recent findings, the exhaustive listing of bioactive compounds found in whole-grain wheat, their content in whole-grain, bran and germ fractions and their estimated bioavailability, have led to new hypotheses. The involvement of polyphenols in cell signalling and gene regulation, and of sulfur compounds, lignin and phytic acid should be considered in antioxidant protection.

Add to this the three pages of studies I cite in my God Given Foods Eating Plan book of the benefits of whole grains, and I stand by my stance that low glycemic whole grains are beneficial foods.

>I agree my diet is very restrictive, at this point it is worth it to stay off of meds, which have all kinds of side effects that I want to avoid. About a month ago it was averaging in the 130's, now it's in the 120's. BTW, avocado is an exception to the fruit restriction. Between avocado and other things I love like sour cream and various herbal teas I am managing to be satisfied with my diet most of the time. God doing a gradual healing in my body and this diet removes food stresses that would prevent that healing. When my sugar gets into the normal range and pretty consistently stays there I most likely will add some occasional fruit and maybe a bit more bread or other currently off limits carbs.<

Glad you admit your diet is restrictive, which is why most would not follow it. But also glad it is working for you.

>What kind of fats were you eating at the time you tried the low-carb diet? Is there a possibility that poly unsat fats in combo with the low-carb caused the lipid problem?<

I always find it interesting at the reaction when an advocate of a particular “diet” is told by someone else that they tried the diet and it did not work for them. Rather than the advocate just accepting that his diet is not for everyone, he looks for some “excuse” as to why it did not work.

That said, I was not relying heavily on polyunsaturated fats. My low carb diet was heavy on saturated fats and monounsaturated fats (from nuts and olive oil). Moreover, even if I was consuming polyunsaturated fats, there is no evidence that they increase LDL cholesterol levels. The exact opposite is true. PubMed abstract.

“It was concluded that after 5 weeks, the influence of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet on the concentrations of serum lipoproteins was less favourable than that of moderate- or high-fat diets rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.” PubMed Abstract.

“This study indicates that responses to therapeutic polyunsaturated diet are lowered levels of VLDL and LDL, but unchanged levels of HDL.”

>Here is some info showing raw milk is not as dangerous as is claimed and may even help heal various diseases
It also shows that pasteurized may even be more dangerous.
Raw Milk
Raw Milk
A summary of the results in the previous link is near the bottom of the page in the comments section and here is a link to pictures of the results.

BTW, these were the same breed of calf, based on an answer in the comments section.<

There is no documentation given for the supposed dangers of pasteurization listed on these pages. As for the calves study, any researcher will tell you that extrapolating from animal studies to humans is tenuous at best. What seems to be true with animals very often does not pan out when humans are studied. Moreover, a sample size of two is woefully inadequate. Such a study would never get published in a peer-reviewed journal.

That is why I like checking PubMed. It gives abstracts of only studies reported in peer-reviewed journals. And I can set it to only show human studies. And checking it, I could not find any studies showing the supposed dangers of pasteurized milk or the benefits of raw milk. However, the dangers of consuming raw milk are very real. Consider the following abstract: PubMed abstract.

An increasing number of people are consuming raw unpasteurized milk. Enhanced nutritional qualities, taste, and health benefits have all been advocated as reasons for increased interest in raw milk consumption. However, science-based data to substantiate these claims are limited. People continue to consume raw milk even though numerous epidemiological studies have shown clearly that raw milk can be contaminated by a variety of pathogens, some of which are associated with human illness and disease. Several documented milkborne disease outbreaks occurred from 2000-2008 and were traced back to consumption of raw unpasteurized milk. Numerous people were found to have infections, some were hospitalized, and a few died.…. One sure way to prevent raw milk-associated foodborne illness is for consumers to refrain from drinking raw milk and from consuming dairy products manufactured using raw milk.

So again, I stand by my stance that the supposed benefits of raw milk (which are not proven) are out-weighed by the very real risks.

>Adding nutrients back to replace those destroyed by pasteurization wouldn't help the milk; even the mainstream health people say nutrients from food is a much better source than supplements and enriched food is just adding the supplements to the food instead of putting it in a pill.<

Agreed on this point. But the loss of nutrients from pasteurizing milk is minimal.

>Here is some info on homogenization dangers



Again, these pages do not document the supposed dangers of homogenization. And please note, by “document” I mean actual studies on humans comparing the health of those consuming un-homogenized milk with those consuming homogenized milk. I couldn’t find any actual studies done on homogenization on PubMed.

That said, given that homogenization is not done for health but convenience issues. IF un-homogenized milk were readily available I would probably recommend it. But unfortunately, that simply is not the case. Even the food co-op I shop at doesn’t carry it, although they carry various brands of organic milk.

Of course, the same goes for raw milk. One of your pages said it was only legal in 28 states, which is to say it is illegal in 22 states. And even in those states where it is legal, it would be very difficult to find. I personally have no idea where I would be able to find it in my area.

>Here is some info on ultra-pasteurization


Again, I couldn’t find any actual studies done on ultra-pasteurization on PubMed. But this case is similar to that for homogenization. Simple pasteurization is sufficient for health reason. So I wouldn’t recommend ultra-pasteurization as it is additional, unnecessary processing.

>About "Eggland Best" eggs, some eggs carton say vegetarian. The chickens are fed a vegetarian diet which is not a natural diet for chickens. Their natural diet is bugs and grasses that the forage for; grain should only be given to supplement during the winter when the weather makes it difficult for them to get out or find enough food. Also, if they are vegetarian, that means they are not truly range fed. If they were range fed, the bugs would make them not vegetarian. And they are probably being fed soy based grains, which is less cost to the company than soy free grain. Soy absorbs toxins from the soil and is not a good food to dat. Traditionally, Asian cultures ate soy primarily as soy sauce or as a side in small proportions, not as the main part of a meal. Soy also messes with hormones in men and women.<

Here I was a little surprised to find out that you are correct—the “natural” diet of chickens is omnivore. I just assumed it was vegetarian.


Lions Grip

But note that the second page, which is about raising chickens “the old-fashioned way,” recommends soy as one possible protein source. Now I tend to agree with you that soy is not a good food for humans, which you would know if you read my book. But whether it is a “bad” food for animals I cannot say. And by that I mean, I have no idea what effect it would have on the meat let alone eggs of animals. The same goes for Eggland Best chickens eating a vegetarian diet sans the bugs. I have no idea if that would affect the quality of the eggs or not.

>  The ones that say cage free are not range fed. The carton says they are cage-free, not range fed. This is from Eggland's Faq page
    "The Eggland's Best Cage-Free and Organic eggs are from cage-free hens. Cage-free means the hens can roam around in a very large building, but do not have outdoor access like free-range hens. The cage-free environment offers greater freedom for movement and is rapidly expanding distribution in the marketplace. To protect the birds from each other, a process is done by special equipment, which cauterizes the beak and may be compared to clipping a dog's claws. Beak trimming is sometimes incorrectly referred to as "de-beaking". Beaks are not removed or the birds could not eat. The sharp tips of chicks' beaks are trimmed or "blunted" to lessen injury to each other. Beak trimming is done when chicks are less than a week old. Beak-trimmed chicks will immediately resume pecking, eating and drinking as though nothing had happened" (Eggland Best).      <

Not sure what your point is about all of this. My main reason for consuming Eggland Best eggs is they are hormone and antibiotic free. And I can tell the difference between Eggland Best eggs and “regular eggs” in this regard as I am sensitive such in animal foods.

>Here is a site that tells the truth about the terms used by many, not all, egg producers: Six Wise.<

Not sure how accurate the descriptions of terms are on this page. The following is the official meaning of labeling terms from the USDA’s Web site.

>Soy protein powders present a threat to the consumer due to the significant amounts of harmful chemicals that are used in the creation process of the soy protein powder. Particularly, the soy is acid washed, which allows high levels of aluminum to appear in the final powder. Lysinoalanine is formed during acid washing as well, and when spray dried creates nitrites, which are known carcinogens that cause cancer.  eHow.<

Again, I am not a fan of soy protein, but not for the claims here (which are not documented). My concerns have to do with the hormonal effects of soy, especially the possibility that it lowers testosterone levels. I document my concerns in my Eating Plan book.

>  I don't know if whey protein is really a problem, but there are some things to consider, like the following link showing some whey protein contains dangerous metals.

Not sure what to maker of this study. At least, I don’t use either of the brands that are mentioned. But I will say, you probably could find trace amounts of heavy metals in just about any food if you use sensitive enough equipment. As is quoted on the page, the found levels of heavy metals are well below the allowable limits.

>There are other things that should be studied further. From what I have seen, the protein isn't a danger to the liver and kidneys as previously reported<

You got that right. A high protein diet is not wise for someone with pre-existing kidney problems, but there is zero evidence that is causes kidney or liver problems.

>, but the following should be studied further to determine if it is true or not.

    "High concentration of whey protein can cause mineral imbalance in the bones. This changes the mineral bone density and can lead to primary stage of osteoporosis. Deficiency of calcium and collagen from bone causes them to get weakened easily, thus leading to osteoporosis.

    "Crystals of uric acid get deposited in the muscles, bones and tendons of the legs and feet, causing painful inflammation and rigidness of the muscles and bones. This causes a form of arthritis called gout. It is found in bodybuilders, who take excess amounts of whey protein" (Buzzle). 

In my previous post, I intended to point out some caution that may be needed in regards to powdered whey which is related to possible dangers in powdered milk due to the way it is dried. If whey is dried in the same way, it may carry some of the same dangers. Both powdered milk and powdered whey need further research. The same thing goes for powdered eggs. The 'oxidized cholesterol' issue with these products may have some merit, or they may be so insignificant that they aren't really a concern.

Much study has been done on whey protein, and from what I could find on PubMed, it is all positive.

Abstract 1

Abstract 2

Abstract 3

I did not find any studies showing negative effects of whey protein. As for “powdered eggs,” egg protein powders generally only use egg whites, so “oxidized cholesterol” would not be an issue.

As for osteoporosis, a high protein diet does not lead to osteoporosis. That is an old vegetarian claim that has long since been refuted. In fact, the exact opposite is true; a high protein diet is protective against osteoporosis.

Abstract 1

Abstract 2

As for other supposed problems with protein powders such as the use of artificial ingredients like aspartame, in my Eating Plan book, as well as in my Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting book, I strongly recommend avoiding such protein powders and only using those that use all natural ingredients.

I will conclude this discussion by saying that again, you’ve raised some interesting points and “food for thought” so to speak. But I look for actual research done on human beings to determine what is healthy or not. That is why I rely on PubMed. It gives easy access to abstracts of studies reported in peer-reviewed journals. In my God Given Foods Eating Plan book I cite hundreds of such studies to support my dietary recommendations. As such, I feel confidence in the accuracy of my recommendations. So again, if you wish to purse my ideas further I would suggest you check out my book as I cannot summarize an entire book in an email.

Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any diet or exercise program, one should consult your doctor. The author is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice in this article.

The above emails originally appeared in the free FitTips for One and All email newsletter.
They were posted on this site June 3, 2011.

General Nutrition

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages     Contact Information

Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director