But you can tell from my diet I think Dr McDougall is right about the starches....as he often says just look at the healthy long lived trim societies around the world....they all eat a starch based diet.....rice,potatoes or beans....I eat all three.
I think, there is something in what you just said! Being too thin is not an advantage, nor being too fat is. I agree, that better eat starches than suffer from a lack of calories and a deterioration associated with it. Starches are simply used up as energy and the excess is converted to fat (much of that to saturated!) and stored. So a low fat high starch diet a la drmcdougall.com is never as it is claimed "low fat", it is really, internally a glucose plus saturated fat diet with various proportions between those two, depending on calories and energy expenditure pattern!
Yes, native people can live of starchy plant food albeit not always very well. Did you read about some theories about the origin of Aztecs and Mayan canibalistic practices and rituals? Did you know that many American shamans consider corn (maize) to be an "evil" plant?
If you do not have metabolic syndrom, that is if you do not suffer from chronic hyperinsulinemia and chronic insulin resistance, if you eat only once or twice a day, if you do not keep snacking too often on carbs throughout the day all the time, then there is probably nothing wrong in eating natural unprocessed starchy plant food. Health of many native people attests to that.
On the other hand, if you violate the above guildelines or are diabetic, hen the low starch and low carb nutrition is your best bet to begin recovering your health really quickly! Two weeks!
My point is that metabolic syndrome precludes a painless transition to ketogenic cycle throughout the day, which is vital for the body, and forces one to snack frequently, which then amplifies the metabolic syndrome! This is exacerbated by the type of the starch -- the more refined and the more fructose containing food you add to it, the worse it gets and the faster your health would deteriorate! So yes, absolutely there is some benefit for "not yet healthy people" from eating potatoes or beans instead of refined starches like bread, pizza or pasta - but only in the sense of being "less bad" for you. If you have metabolic syndrome or diabetes then forget refined starch and sugar but also forget potatoes! Just go only with the natural unprocessed food that is low carb(*)! In my life philosophy, the "less bad" is not the same as "good".
----------------- *) More details, details can be very important. If you are diabetic or prediabetic, limit also polyunsaturated fats to a few grams a day. The best fat to the human body is saturated fat! That's why mammals convert excess glucose to saturated and mono-unsaturated fat mostly, not to other types of fat. If you consume lot of fats, make sure that saturated and mono-unsaturated dominate and do not mix that with more than 50g of carbohydrates (after a couple of years you can up it to 150g a day in form of vegetables and fruit, but only if you do not consume much fat on that day!).
The cal restriction studies don't give one details about the extent of calorie restriction - maybe they restrict it just enough to still maintain weight (I think one can maintain in a fairly narrow band of calories). They probably limit the subjects' exercise, which is not healthy in itself.
I don't think the calore restriction implies "too skinny" - maybe just the lower end of normal.
The only study I ever saw was restricting the calories of rats and it had to be done from weaning. I made up my mind at the time to never ever feed any rats too many calories.
What is an average weight person? Today that number has to be higher than it was fifty years ago. So an average weight person today would be heavier than an average weight person of fifty years ago. Would that make him healthier?
I also wonder if it is possible to have a calorie restricted diet that is more healthful than one with more calories if the restricted diet has more nutritious food than the higher calorie diet? To give an extreme example, if you fed someone two thousand calories per day of twinkies and someone else one thousand per day of a high nutrient diet (let us say either your high fat diet or my fruit and vegetable diet) would the higher calorie eater be more healthy and live longer?
What about people who are restricting calories to lose weight?
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