|Print List Price:||$16.99|
Save $4.00 (24%)
Random House LLC
Price set by seller.
The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
HEALING WITH STARCH
Starch: The Traditional Diet of People
Have you had your rice today?
This Chinese greeting—the equivalent of our how are you?—reminds us that, for the Chinese, whether you've eaten rice is the ultimate measure of well-being. Rice is that essential to the Chinese diet. Throughout most of Asia, the average person eats rice two to three times daily. Rice is also an important food in the Middle East, Latin America, Italy, and the West Indies. After corn it is the second most produced food worldwide, and the world's single most important source of energy, providing more than 20 percent of calories consumed by humans around the globe.
In China, the word for rice and food are one and the same. Likewise, in Japan the word for cooked rice also means "meal." Buddhists refer to grains of rice as "little Buddhas," while in Thailand the call that brings the family to the table is "Eat rice." In India, the first food a new bride offers her husband is not cake but rice. It is also the first solid food that will be offered to her baby.
The story is the same the world over. Whether rice in Asia, potatoes in South America, corn in Central America, wheat in Europe, or beans, millet, sweet potatoes, and barley around the globe, starch has been at the center of food and nutrition throughout human history.
What Is Starch?
Plants use water, carbon dioxide, and energy from the sun to form simple sugars through a process called photosynthesis. The most basic carbohydrate is the simple sugar glucose. Inside the plant's cells, simple sugars are linked into chains, some of them arranged in a straight line (amylose) and others in many branches (amylopectin). When these sugar chains gather in large quantities inside a plant's cells, they form starch grains, also called starch granules (amyloplasts).
Plants store in their roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruits the starch they produce. The stored starch provides them with a source of energy when they need it later, keeping them alive through the winter and fueling their reproduction the following spring. It's what makes starchy vegetables, legumes, and grains so healthy to eat: Their high concentration of carbohydrates not only sustains the plants but also provides the energy needed to sustain human life.
Starch should be our primary source of digestible carbohydrate. The enzyme amylase in our saliva and intestine breaks down the long carbohydrate chains, turning them back into simple sugars. Digestion is a slow process that gradually releases these simple sugars from the small intestine into the bloodstream, providing our cells with a ready supply of energy.
Fruits offer quick-burning energy mostly in the form of simple sugars, but little of that slow-burning, sustaining starch. As a result, fruits alone won't satisfy our appetites for very long. Green, yellow, and orange nonstarchy perishable vegetables contain only small quantities of starch. Their most important role is to contribute flavor, texture, color, and aroma to your starch-based meals. They offer a bonus in the additional nutrients (such as vitamin A and C) that come along for the ride.
Why then, here in the states and increasingly around the world, as all populations undergo economic development, have we become so afraid and ashamed of this most elemental food? And what price are we paying for shunning the most basic dietary staple known to humankind?
STARCH IS THE KEY INGREDIENT
Diet and nutrition advice is often focused on how much we ought to eat, and misses the point: More important than how much, how often, and when we eat is what we eat. Different kinds of animals require different types of diets. We humans are built to thrive on starch. The more rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans we eat, the trimmer, more energetic, and healthier we become.
Starch? Really? Isn't that for laundry? Yes, but it's also the key to optimum health and satiety. We hear a lot about carbohydrates and whether or not we should eat them, but we don't hear enough about the most valuable type of carbohydrate, starch.
There are three basic types of carbohydrates—sugar, cellulose, and starch—each made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in specific configurations. The simplest of these—sugar—includes sucrose (the granulated sugar you bake into cookies), fructose (which makes fruit taste sweet), lactose (found in milk), and glucose (the simple sugar that comes together in chains to make cellulose and starch). Sugar provides quick and powerful energy because it is so efficiently broken down in the body. (You'll learn more about sugar in Chapter 12.)
The second type of carbohydrate, cellulose, is made up of chains of glucose bonded together by indigestible linkages. It is found in the cell walls of plants and in wood and other organic matter. Our digestive system doesn't have the enzymes to break down cellulose to use it for fuel, but termites do, which is why they can eat through the wood beams of your home. Although we get no energy from them, indigestible carbohydrates like cellulose are valuable to us for their dietary fiber.
The gold medal for the carbohydrate most beneficial to humans goes to starch. Like cellulose, starches are made up of long-branching chains of glucose molecules. Starch is valuable to us because we can break it down into simple sugars that provide us with sustained energy and keep us feeling full and satisfied. Starchy foods are plants that are high in long-chain digestible carbohydrates—commonly referred to as complex carbohydrates. Examples include grains like wheat, barley, rye, corn, and oats; starchy vegetables like winter squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; and legumes like brown lentils, green peas, and red kidney beans. Starch is so important that an international scientific journal—Starch—is dedicated to its study. Starch is at the core of my health-enhancing diet. If you take away just one message from this book, it should be: Eat more starch. Basic to our human nature is the scientific fact that we are, and have always been, primarily starch eaters. According to the world-renowned anthropologist from Dartmouth College, Nathaniel Dominy, PhD, "A majority of calories for most hunter-gatherer societies came from plant-foods, not animal-foods, thus humans might be more appropriately described as 'starchivores.'" Think of yourself as a starchivore, like a cat is a carnivore and a horse is an herbivore.
You've probably heard about the benefits of a plant-based diet—one that reduces or eliminates animal foods like meat, dairy, and eggs. This concept does not go far enough. Without the addition of starch, a diet of low- calorie leafy greens like lettuce and kale, crucifers like broccoli and cauliflower, and fruits like apples and oranges will leave you feeling hungry and fatigued. Nonstarchy green, yellow, and orange vegetables are good for you to eat, but on their own do not give you enough calories to sustain your daily activities and keep you feeling satisfied. Your natural hunger drive may lead you to fill up on something else at the expense of your weight and health.
McDougall's Classification of Common Foods
Grains: Barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat, wild rice
Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas
Starchy Vegetables: Carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, potatoes, salsify, sweet potatoes, winter squashes (acorn, banana, butternut, Hubbard), yams
Green, Yellow, and Orange (Nonstarchy) Vegetables: Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chives, collard greens, eggplant, garlic, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, okra, onions, peppers, radishes, rhubarb, scallions, spinach, summer squashes, turnips, zucchini
Fruits: Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, loquats, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pineapples, plums, tangerines, watermelons
THE REAL PALEOLITHIC DIET
Look at a globe—any region with a large population of trim, healthy people reveals the same truth: Healthy populations get most of their calories from starch. Eat a traditional meal in Japan, China, or most any Asian country and you will find your bowl filled with rice, possibly alongside sweet potatoes and buckwheat. The same truth dates back throughout recorded human history. The Incas of South America centered their diet on potatoes. The Incan warriors switched to quinoa for strength prior to battle. The Mayans and Aztecs of Central America were known as "the people of the corn." The ancient Egyptians' starch of choice was wheat. Throughout civilization and around the world, six foods have provided our primary fuel: barley, corn, millet, potatoes, rice, and wheat.
If the map hasn't convinced you, science documents it well: Over at least the past 13,000 years, starch has been central to the diets of all healthy, large, successful populations. In fact, new discoveries show evidence of starch-based diets even earlier.
Starch Eaters throughout History
At Ohalo II, an Israeli site dating back 23,000 years, archeologists found wheat, barley, acorns, almonds, pistachios, berries, figs, and grapes among the huts, hearths, and a human grave.1 Other documentation shows that bulbs and corms (an underground plant stem similar to a bulb; taro is an example) were a major food source for Africans almost 30,000 years ago.2
Countering the widely held belief that the European Paleolithic diet consisted predominantly of animal foods, starch grains from wild plants recently were found on grinding tools at archeological sites dating back to the Paleolithic period in Italy, Russia, and the Czech Republic. These findings suggest that processing vegetables and starches, and possibly grinding them into flour, was a widespread practice in Europe as far back as 30,000 years ago, or even earlier.3 Other recent evidence suggests that those living in what is now Mozambique, along the eastern coast of Africa, may have followed a diet based on the cereal grass sorghum as long as 105,000 years ago.4
Recent studies show that even the Neanderthals ate a variety of plant foods; starch grains have been found on the teeth of their skeletons everywhere from the warm eastern Mediterranean to chilly northwestern Europe.5 It appears they even cooked or otherwise prepared plant foods to make them more digestible.
THE DIETS OF WEALTHY ANCIENT EGYPTIANS
Proponents of a high-protein diet have suggested that reports showing heart disease in Egyptian mummies prove that their largely vegetarian diet was responsible for putting them in their graves.6 Is this true?
CT technology uses multiple x-rays to give scientists a three-dimensional view of the body that's almost as good as peering inside. An April 2011 report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging used CT scans to show that 20 out of 44 Egyptian mummies whose cardiovascular systems could be viewed had evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.7 The same kinds of calcification from atherosclerosis can frequently be seen in the CT scans of modern Americans and Europeans.
You would think that people in such early times, around 3,500 years ago, would have been reasonably healthy, with no fast food or tobacco and plenty of exercise. Yet the evidence shows that those selected to be embalmed as mummies ate a diet far richer than that of their less wealthy contemporaries.8 In addition to atherosclerosis, these wealthy ancient Egyptians showed signs of other diseases we associate with modern diets, such as obesity, dental disease, and gallstones.9-11 Spina bifida was found in a mummified child.12 Since the spinal abnormalities typical of spina bifida result from insufficient folate in the womb, the child's mother likely ate a diet heavy in animal foods and lacking in folate-rich starches, fruits, and vegetables.
The gallstones are an interesting case: Stones typically form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile, owing to a diet rich in animal foods. Scientists who analyzed a mummy buried 3,500 years ago found bile acids that looked like those we see today.11 Those aristocrats were indulging in the same rich foods.
The evidence indicates that only the wealthiest citizens—typically royalty and priests—became mummies. These privileged few were entitled to the most indulgent foods and, predictably, those foods produced diseases in the elite that were absent among the mainly vegetarian common folk. Hieroglyphics on Egyptian temple walls reinforce this finding with images of royalty feasting on beef, sheep, goats, wild fowl, rich breads, and cake. These foods have been excavated from the Egyptian pyramids, where they were buried alongside the deceased in hopes of providing for them in the afterlife. The diet of the elite has been conservatively estimated at more than 50 percent fat, much of it saturated, not unlike our typical modern Western diet.8 Hair analysis of mummies (one of the most reliable indicators of diet, even long in the past) likewise shows their diet to be similar in composition to that of modern Westerners.13
The meticulously preserved Egyptian mummies provide unequivocal evidence that these highly placed individuals who ate the richest diet available suffered from heart and artery disease, obesity, and other illnesses, just as we do today. And for the same reason: a diet based on animal foods and deficient in starches. Fortunately for most ancient Egyptians, extravagant feasting was available only occasionally. If only we were so fortunate. Now, as then, a life of excess comes at great cost.
THE WARRIOR'S DIET
Throughout history, men and women who ate diets based on grains, vegetables, and fruits have accomplished history's greatest feats. The ancient conquerors of Europe and Asia, including the armies of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) and Genghis Khan (ad 1162-1227), who conquered the known Western worlds during their respective times, consumed diets based on starches. Caesar's legions complained when they had too much meat in their diet and preferred to do their fighting on grains.14
The remains of 60 Roman gladiators who fought and died more than 1,800 years ago in Ephesus, in western Turkey, were recently found in a 200-square-foot plot along the road that led from the city center to the Temple of Artemis.15 Analysis of their bones for calcium, strontium, and zinc showed that the world's fiercest fighters followed an essentially vegan diet. In contemporary accounts, the gladiators are sometimes referred to as hordearii, or barley men, since barley provided the bulk of the nutrients that gave their remarkably strong muscles and bones the strength and endurance to compete in the ultimate sport of life and death.
OUR DNA PROVES WE ARE STARCH EATERS
Experts have long concluded that primates—humans included—are designed to eat a diet based on plant foods. Our anatomy and physiology require it. The natural diet of our closest relative, the chimpanzee, is almost purely vegetarian, made up mostly of fruits, leaves, and perishable vegetable matter. In the dry seasons, when fruit is scarce, chimps eat nuts, seeds, flowers, and bark.
Genetic testing has demonstrated that humans thrive best on starch.16 Human and chimpanzee DNA is roughly identical; one of the minor differences is that our genes help us to digest more starch, a crucial evolutionary adjustment. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 11815 KB
- Publication Date : June 4, 2013
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 453 pages
- Publisher : Rodale Books; 1st Edition (June 4, 2013)
- Lending : Not Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B007PF7MGS
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,686 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
If you are a vegan you should read this
If you are not a vegan but want to learn or need to learn how to eat healthy this is the book.
McDougall also has other books but the starch solution is updated and it will teach you everything you need to learn about nutrition.
Forget about counting calories, starving or doing crazy diets.. this is THE book.
I recommend this book to anyone who really has an open mind and wants to learn.
By the way... its easy to read too!
THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT SOY... IT'S ABOUT STARCHES (POTATOES, RICE AND BEANS)
Click the button if this review helped you at all. :)
I have followed a Whole foods, plant based, no oil diet and have NEVER been hungry or left the table unsatisfied. I have followed the outlines of Dr. McDougall's way of eating and will never again follow the Standard American Diet that promoted the illnesses in me. Thank you, Dr. McDougall for leading me in the right direction after so many years of yo-yo dieting! I am well on my way to health, by following your simple guidelines!
After this past year I had gotten up to my highest weight ever, nearly 200 pounds. At 5'8" I wasn't horribly huge but I had the beginnings of a gut, was rounder in every part of my body including my face, and I just didn't feel good. Then, like nearly every McDougall story, I stumbled across a video of Dr. McDougall after searching around on YouTube for vegan success stories. High Carb Hannah initially led me in the direction, and after I watched every video I could find of McDougall I was absolutely in.
The first several weeks were challenging because I wasn't losing much weight. I had only watched the videos online and didn't realize that I needed a wider knowledge base to lean on in order to lose the weight successfully. That's when I finally decided to buy the Starch Solution and I haven't looked back since.
It's been 9 weeks on the Starch Solution and I've lost 18 pounds. I know people drop a lot more weight in that amount of time typically, but I haven't been 100% following the program at every moment in time but every time I stray away with a meal when I'm out or something I make sure to get right back on course the very next meal. I've been lifting weights (a program called "Stronglifts" that is focused on building strength by starting low to gain good form then to build up progressively each workout - Google it if you're interested I would highly, highly recommend it) in addition to working a job that requires me to be outdoors and moving.
I couldn't be happier on the Starch Solution diet. My main staples for my morning is overnight oats with a banana, almond milk, and cinnamon. Occasionally I'll add in dates when I feel I need the extra boost. For a while I was eating quinoa, black beans, and sweet potatoes for lunch and dinner with cucumbers and hummus as snacks throughout the day, but I've been switching things up recently.
Regardless of what I've been eating, it's comforting to know that I can eat until I'm full, and that the foods I'm eating are satisfying. What's all really important to note is that I could be doing even better with this diet if I: A - Ramped up the diet to maximum weight loss with 45% caloric intake as starches and 45% as vegetables (I believe that is the ratio stated in the book) or B - Cut out the minimal added oils in my diet found in the hummus I eat (Classic Sabra hummus) or the little bit of olive oil I used when meal prepping a big thing of diced potatoes.
I have a goal weight of 160 pounds that I hope to hit by 1/11/18, which will have been 8 months since I started my most recent weight loss journey. I'm confident that I will continue to see results, and am pleased that I know I can take it up another notch if I hit a plateau. The point of my review isn't to bore anybody with my life story and where I'm at right now: I decided to dedicate so much time to it because I read through countless reviews and stories and testimonials searching for an answer and over time they built up the confidence necessary to take the plunge and regain my health.
If you're at all curious about this program, buy the book. Do what works for you in it. Go on a walk or join a gym, dedicate yourself to meal prepping and making your meals for the week (this is anecdotal but I've observed the food you eat is 80-90% of your weight loss - the exercise is minuscule compared to it - if you don't have the time to exercise, or only time to meal prep or exercise, do the meal prep. Your body will respond better and eventually circumstances could change and you could work exercise in. I highly, highly suggest that). Read the book once all the way through, then reread the 3rd section of how to do it. Stick with the staples of rice, oats, potatoes, quinoa, etc. Try to stay away from processed foods, and keep your meal prep recipes simple. They provide a lot of great recipes, but unless you loooove cooking, id recommend making basic foods (for dinner tonight I had corn tortillas, corn, black beans, and rice with a little bit of hot sauce drizzled on them - took my maybe 10 minutes to make (used microwaveable frozen rice) and it was a satisfying meal).
I wish you the best on your journey, and hope that you can become a fellow Starchivore Warrior as we all work to regain our health and help save the animals and the planet while we do it!
I highly recommend everything from Dr. McDougall.
Top reviews from other countries
John Mcdougall is a legand. I think it is so much easier than I thought to eat healthy. Good honest simple diet. What I was looking for but just didnt know it
I needed to cut dietary cholesterol and came across this in general browsing. It convinced me to give up animal protein about 2 months ago. Basically it's going vegan, but not for the normal reasons.
I haven't missed it at all. I eat whatever I want, as much as I want. Including chips, crisps, pizzas, curries, etc. Loads of variety and flavour - more in fact than when meat/fish etc are in the recipe.
I am not being 100% strict on the dairy side - as it's for my health and I can be flexible. So I have allowed an occasional a bit of cheese when it's an ingredient - eg on pizza. I tried a bit of fish and chicken the other day, just as a protection against eating somewhere where there is no alternative, but it didn't do anything for me - less taste than the veggie alternative.
Results = I have lost about half a stone and feel great.