The second step in Dr. BG's 7-Steps Paleo* Gastro IQ SIBO Protocol is:
"Ancient heirloom potatoes, tubers, roots that are low glycemic index (or high if good insulin sensitivity) and ancient heirloom grains, legumes, lentils/dal that are low glycemic index (or high if good insulin sensitivity), prepared the ancient way (soaked, fermented, etc)"
Potatoes, tubers, roots, grains, legumes, and lentils have been alongside man throughout our evolutionary past. Eating these foods is very important in keeping our gut microflora in top-notch condition. You saw in the Fat Burning Beast blogpost that a digestive system starved of carbohydrates, fermentable fiber, and butyrate leads to a high risk of colon cancer, but it also leads to a dysfunctional and less prolific gut microbiome.
The Standard Western Diet leads to a Standard Western Microbiome, one that has been starved of healthy, fermentable fibers, flooded with antibiotics, and allowed to proliferate with pathogenic bacteria. This leads to inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and auto-immunity. On the other hand, A paleo diet, with near complete avoidance of refined sugars, flours, gluten, and vegetable oils and plenty of starchy, fibrous plant matter will produce a functional microbiome, replete with beneficial bacteria, flooded with short-chain fatty acids, and ensure immune system homeostasis, glucose regulation, vitamin and mineral uptake, and production of vital hormones and neurotransmitters.
Often times when starting a paleo diet, one restricts carbs. This is an effective strategy for weight loss and may help eliminate unhealthy sugar cravings, but in the long run carb restriction will most certainly lead to a dysfunctional gut microbiome. Both the Perfect Health Diet or Mark's Daily Apple Diet outline the optimal amount of starch that one should include in their diet. A daily food intake that is roughly half plant matter, including up to one pound of starchy foods is highly recommended.
[Grace~~ Dispelling fairy tales: I love Paul and Mark. (Particularly Mark's pectorals and gluteals and how he recognizes a good thing like RESISTANT STARCH for the gut microbiota and insulin metabolism) We have all evolved but I'm not certain if their respective diets entirely have.
What I like about PHD is the 150 grams per day advice for adrenal dysregulation because ketosis/VLC will instigate susceptible adrenals into hypercortisolism, and subsequent low adrenal and low T3 thyroid syndromes. PHD can heal this. However, the reliance on white rice and not the whole grains, whole legumes and RS-rich tubers will lead to gut dysbiosis for those who are vulnerable. Adding these back in are thus imperative. If I consumed 150 grams of high GI (glycemic index) white rice daily, I'd be T2DM within two seconds. But if I consumed 150-200 grams of low glycemic index carbohydrates that included RS-rich starches, grains, and tubers, ME AND MY MICROBIOTA ARE GOLD *wink wink*. And the net carbs are 75-100 grams/day.
MDA has two (ancient) popular posts which offend my gut ;) and the microbiota... (1) The Primal Carb Continuum and (2) All Grains are Unhealthy. Fiber IS INDEED good for us (and Mark says so HERE). They feed your microbiota and heal SIBO and promote gut longevity, proper processing requires soaking and fermentation of whole grains, legumes and pulses to make them edible. So Mat Lalonde has already banished the lectin myths. Please see his AHS 'Invalid Inferences'... How to make our legumes and whole grains work for us? Soak, soak, soak which ferments the starches. Soaking brings alive the microbes that reside on the grain or legume/pulse. If Gluten Small Grass Grains and unsoaked legumes wiped out the Neanderthals, then it is perhaps food technology that brought Anatomically Modern Humans to the Great Leap Forward 40,000 to 50,000 years ago.]
If 'carb restriction' means eliminating gluten, industrially processed flour, and refined sugars, that is perfect! If it means eliminating potatoes, rice, and most other whole, starchy foods that's a problem.
The purpose of this blog is to teach you how to chose and prepare starchy, fibrous food in a way that will lead to a high Paleo* Gastro IQ.
Everyone knows potatoes and rice, but there is a whole host of other foods that fit the bill for exceptional gut health and getting a variety of these foods is extra-important when healing a broken gut. It would be a very wise move on anyone's part to seek out some of these:
Mt Uncle's Raw Ladyfinger-Banana Flour (high resistant starch content)
Journal Source: HERE
Basmati red rice
Kidney, black, fava, navy, etc beans
Steel cut oats
Okinawan purple potatoes
Andean purple potatoes
Nagaimo (Chinese white mountain yams)
Raw or Roasted Potatoes
The list goes on and on, but you get the picture--no need to rely only on potatoes and rice! Each different variety packs a different punch. Beans and lentils are often frowned upon in paleo circles, but when properly prepared, they are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.
When it comes to grains and legumes, one of the biggest problems is phytates. An exceptional write-up on phytates and how to remove them can be found here. "...phytic acid does indeed bind with minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc. If you depend on grains and legumes for a high portion of your diet, then those phytates (phytic acid) could lead to mineral deficiences." Fortunately our ancestors found ways to remove phytates and these methods can be used today to make these evolutionary important foods safe. It would be of great benefit for you to learn the techniques of sprouting and fermenting to increase your range of healthy foods.
A very interesting grain known as Job's Tears, Chinese Pearl Barley, or Adlay has some remarkable properties including effectively alleviating osteoporosis, leukemia, and rheumatism. Oats are an interesting topic of much debate, and don't let a Gluten-Free label fool you! Dr. BG said of Gluten- Free foods in 2010:
"Personally I believe gluten-free is not enough for an ultimately optimal lifespan and health. Gluten-free products often still are refined, vastly processed and full of high carbohydrates and problem oils (oxidized, pesticide-laden crops of omega-6 canola, safflower, cottonseed, etc) which spike and increase blood glucoses (BG) and promote silent inflammation. Chronic silent inflammation leads to cancer, obesity, fibromyalgia, mood disorders, arithritis, weight gain, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Gluten free however alone improves stomach and GI symptoms including bloating, constipation, bloody stools, iron deficiency anemia, chronic fatigue, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and gut dysbiosis."
The best advice we can give you is to include plenty of starchy carbs in your daily menu planning and learn to broaden your horizon. The more variety in your diet, the better profile your gut microbiome will develop.
If you have any questions or concerns about our food list or want to see any added, please comment!