Consider Adding Powdered Cinnamon To Your Food

Considering how many diabetics and pre-diabetics (including people who don’t know they are pre-diabetic) there are among African-Americans, I felt the need to mention this article from New Scientist, which states:

Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, a new study has found. The effect, which can be produced even by soaking a cinnamon stick your tea, could also benefit millions of non-diabetics who have blood sugar problem but are unaware of it.

The discovery was initially made by accident, by Richard Anderson at the US Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland.

. . . Sugars and starches in food are broken down into glucose, which then circulates in the blood. The hormone insulin makes cells take in the glucose, to be used for energy or made into fat.

But people with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes produce it, but have lost sensitivity to it. Even apparently healthy people, especially if they are overweight, sedentary or over 25, lose sensitivity to insulin. Having too much glucose in the blood can cause serious long-term damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and other organs.

. . . The active ingredient in cinnamon turned out to be a water-soluble polyphenol compound called MHCP. In test tube experiments, MHCP mimics insulin, activates its receptor, and works synergistically with insulin in cells.

To see if it would work in people, Alam Khan, who was a postdoctoral fellow in Anderson’s lab, organised a study in Pakistan. Volunteers with Type 2 diabetes were given one, three or six grams of cinnamon powder a day, in capsules after meals.

All responded within weeks, with blood sugar levels that were on average 20 per cent lower than a control group. Some even achieved normal blood sugar levels. Tellingly, blood sugar started creeping up again after the diabetics stopped taking cinnamon.

The cinnamon has additional benefits. In the volunteers, it lowered blood levels of fats and “bad” cholesterol, which are also partly controlled by insulin. And in test tube experiments it neutralised free radicals, damaging chemicals which are elevated in diabetics.

I recently found out about this connection between cinnamon and lowered blood sugar from reading this post and this post from The Paleo Diet blog by Gary Rea. The blog is a fascinating, detailed paleo diet diary “by a fifty-something man with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides.” I appreciate the fact that he gives specifics about his various metabolic readings. It’s well worth taking the time to read through his entries. In his final blog entry, he states,

Today marks day 365 of my paleo diet experience, one that has changed my life for the better in so many ways. In the year I’ve been eating a paleolithic diet of meats, fruits and vegetables (no grains, no dairy, no processed foods) my weight has dropped from 233 lbs to the 160 lbs I find myself at this morning. That’s down a pound from last weekend, and it appears my weight will fluctuate in that range; i.e., right around 160 lbs, plus or minus, as long as I continue to eat this way (and why would I not?).

. . . Furthermore, a year ago, I had just been diagnosed by my doctor as a type 2 diabetic, with a blood sugar reading of 218 ml/dcl. As of seven months ago, I was no longer diabetic and this morning I’m at a normal reading of 104 ml/dcl, though my readings have been lower than this. I could get more exercise than I have been, or increase my use of cinnamon and get it back down into the 90s or 80s very easily.

. . . Finally, a year ago, my blood pressure was somewhere around 180/90 and this morning it’s at a normal 115/72.

So, once again, I am living proof that the paleolithic diet works and works very well for weight loss, weight control, elimination of type 2 diabetes, correction of high blood pressure and high triglycerides, and the restoration of one’s natural health. Today, aside from a little more gray and a little less hair, I look and feel pretty much as I did when I was in my thirties – except that I have more lean muscle mass, less body fat and, oh yeah – I’m 56 years old.

So, the bottom line is, if you are obese, have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and other health problems that are the result of the diet you’ve been eating, the paleo diet can and will do for you what it has done for me – if you just give it a chance to.

. . . I’m leaving this blog here, as it is, for the benefit of all who wish to change their lives with the paleolithic diet, as I have. May you benefit from my experience and from the knowledge I’ve gained. Thank you for reading.

Thank you, Mr. Rea, for so generously sharing your experiences!

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56 Responses to “Consider Adding Powdered Cinnamon To Your Food”

  1. Neecy says:

    Oooh thanks Khadija! I’m a big fan of eating natural foods to help with medical issues. While I don’t have diabetes, i will do this just b/c I love cinnamon. i also eat about 3 tblspns of pure refined coconut oil each day. i find it helps with giving and burning energy among other benefits. i find it has also curbed my sweet tooth. Not sure why or how but it has.

    Anyone interested in learning more about coconut oil can just do a google search for all the benefits of taking it everyday.

  2. Neecy,

    I firmly believe that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Considering the suffering that’s involved in many of these lifestyle ailments, prevention is worth more than a ton of cure as fas as I’m concerned. So, I do what I can to avoid ever having diabetes, cancer, hypertension or the rest of that mess.

    For almost the past 2 years, I’ve added drinking (anti-cancer) sencha green tea and/or juiced Brussels sprouts to my daily diet. [Incidentally, I’ve always hated Brussels sprouts. I refuse to eat them—it’s easier for me choke them down in juiced form. Well, it turns out that these horrid little things “are exceptional sources of. . . anticancer molecules and should be eaten regularly.” Foods to Fight Cancer: Essential Foods to Help Prevent Cancer, pg. 77 (from the chapter “Cancer Hates Cabbage”—yeah, well I do too!) by Richard Beliveau, Ph.D. and Denis Gingras, Ph.D.]

    Now that I’ve found out about the cinnamon, I’ll also work that into my daily diet.

    I’ll also look into the coconut oil; thanks for mentioning it!

    Expect Success!

  3. Rhonda says:

    Turmeric is good to take daily, too. The Japanese (especially, the blessed with long life, because of their diet, Okinawans) drink it as a tea. Turmeric fights inflammation–take it straight with a saturated fat, like coconut oil, red palm oil, ghee or butter from cows raised on pasture. As a matter of fact, many of the spices and herbs from India, used in Indian cooking, specifically, are good for your body, are good to counteract/fight inflammation: cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, amalki and bhringaraj powders. Bhringaraj is good for preventing gray hair and hair loss–you can take the bhringaraj straight, or put the oil (which is made from letting the herb steep in sesame oil for a few weeks) on your scalp, in your hair.

    You can search for Banyan Botanicals, they sell many of the Indian (ayurveda) spices and herbs. Also, another good company is Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve purchased stuff from both companies, and the quality, I have found to be top notch. (Note: I have no financial interest in either company mentioned.)

  4. Rhonda says:

    Oh, by the way, cruciferous vegetables (those things relating to the cabbage family, like brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, collard greens, etc.) should not be eaten raw. They are goitrogenic foods, which will eff up your thyroid big-time; especially, if you eat them several times a week in raw form. Those foods are just a notch below unfermented soy (which is in most processed foods, and in many of the foods you eat in restaurants) for the damage that they do to one’s thyroid = hypothyroidism. If you eat cruciferous vegetables, you should cook them down or eat them fermented. Traditional food cultures knew/know how best to eat them. If you are from the south, then you know that one cooks the greens in water for a long time (usually with some pork, for flavour), until they are broken down. Or, if you are German, then you ferment the cabbage = sauerkraut. Italians cook down their greens in fat. There is a lot of good things in those vegetables, but if you don’t prepare them properly, you allow their bad properties to do more damage than their good could ever do–the bad, the goitrogenic properties will override any benefits of their good anti-oxidant vitamins.

  5. You can also buy cinnamon in a capsule. It’s just a little gelatin capsule and has nothing in it but cinnamon. It’s relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased even at places like Wal-Mart.

  6. Rhonda,

    Thanks, but I’m not going to be chewing on those nasty little things (Brussels sprouts). I wouldn’t consume anything at all from them if I tried to eat them. I’m more concerned about cancer than anything else (since there’s a heavy family history of it—7 dead relatives and 1 surviving relative).
    _____________________________________

    Roslyn,

    I think I’ll stick to the ground cinnamon powder. It seems that the Paleo Diet blogger had tried one brand of cinnamon capsules, and was horrified to discover that they apparently had a lot of hidden sugars in them:

    Just when you think you’ve found a product to help maintain normal blood sugar (as the label on Natrol’s Cinnamon Extract 500mg supplement claims it does), it turns out to be loaded with various forms of sugar!

    . . . The bottom line: if you are using Natrol’s Cinnamon Extract to control or lower your blood sugar, stop doing so! This crap is loaded with enough hidden sugars to maintain or even raise your blood sugar. If you’re not taking this supplement, don’t. You’d do better to swallow a spoonful of plain ground cinnamon (available on the spice rack at your grocery store), instead.

    http://paleoeater.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-hidden-sugars.html
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    **Addendum**

    {chuckling} This is another good opportunity for people to see that I’m not a guru of any sort. I’m a regular person who just happens to be at a microphone. You see, for me the choice isn’t between juiced or cooked Brussels sprouts. It’s between juiced Brussels sprouts or no Brussels sprouts at all. I’m not eating those things. There are other foods that I hate that I’d be willing to cook, chew on, and choke down. Not them. {feh}

    Expect Success!

  7. Karen says:

    As for the Paleo diet, I have been unwittingly on this type of diet since I was diagnosed as being gluten-intolerant about 6 years ago. I can eat rice, corn and potato products but I do better when I avoid them.

    This means that I eat corn-based pasta rarely and it is better also to avoid rice unless it is with vegetables only.

    As for dairy, never was a big fan and when I do, it is limited to sheep and goat cheeses/yogurts.

    I can very well maintain this when I am at home as I cook my meals but it is difficult when visiting friends/acquaintances or at customer locations.

    Thankfully my blood sugar and blood pressure has always been low but I will definitely incorporate the cinnamon in my diet.

    Having been recently on vacation for two weeks, I am working my way back to my normal weight range after “splurging” on eating foods that I would normally not eat.

    Thank you Khadija for the links and info!

  8. Bellydancer says:

    I am diabetic and have been adding cinnamon to my coffee for the last 3 months and do notice a lower blood sugar range while using it. There is a website I visit where people share their cinnamon experience.
    http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Blog/Amy-Campbell/can_cinnamon_help_you_control_your_diabetes/

    By the way I love brussel sprouts and do not have to juice them (lol) to eat them. I just broil them down in water then add a little butter and black pepper for taste.

  9. Karen,

    Thanks for your feedback; I’m always interested in hearing about people’s experiences with various health-related practices.
    _________________________________________________

    Bellydancer,

    Thanks for your feedback; I’m always interested in hearing about people’s experiences with various health-related practices. And thanks for the link—that was very interesting.

    You said, “By the way I love brussel sprouts and do not have to juice them (lol) to eat them. I just broil them down in water then add a little butter and black pepper for taste.”

    {FEH} Good for you! It’s always better when one actually likes the healthy stuff.

    For me, there is NOTHING that can make those horrible little things edible. Believe me, people have worked their culinary magic on those things—it doesn’t work with me. NO amount of camouflage (sauces, spices, or anthing else) can cover up that nastiness as far as I’m concerned. Let me stop talking about the nasty little things…I can go on and on about how much I hate them… My rants about how much I hate Brussels sprouts became a running joke at the previous blog.

    Expect Success!

  10. Rhonda says:

    Brussel sprouts are yucky! I hated them as a kid when my mother (not a good cook of vegetables; her vegetable culinary skills would make you think she were an English or Irish woman, they tasted that bad!) made them, and even as an adult eating those prepared by good cooks/professional chefs, I still find them yucky tasting. I shan’t try my hand at cooking them either–and I’m a good cook. For me, brussel sprouts is a vegetable that is best left on the stalk. (More power to you that you can eat them raw and juiced.) So, I decided to fight cancer the hard way, which is not to feed it sugar/fructose (I have a sweet tooth, which I must work at to tame). I’ve learned that our bodies have cancer cells in them, but for most of us, our immune system manages to fight it. You could have cancer cells right now. You could have cancer cells four or five times in your lifetime, but they are not able to become a tumour, because your immune system, if it is healthy will fight them off. Isn’t that incredible! It is when our immune system is too weak to fight the cancer cells that it becomes such. Wow! And one of the things that makes our immune systems weak is azucar from grains/starches, table sugar, fruit, etc. (Also, environmental factors, such as pollution and toxins can play a factor in cancer cells being able to grow.) And saturated fats are important for strengthening one’s immune system.

    There is a show called Your Own Health and Fitness that I listen to. (You can listen to the show and/or download podcasts by going to kpfa[dot]org) There are two hosts, but the main one is a woman, who doesn’t have the best radio personality, but she shares lots of good health information through interviews and research. The show is one of the places from which I learned about the benefits of eating a Paleo/Pre-Agriculture/Nutrient-Dense diet. You, your readers, might want to check it out.

  11. Bellydancer says:

    Ya’ll anti brussel sprout people are making me laugh (lol)
    You must eat bitter greens a few times a week to clean your system. My mother is mad because she likes mixed greens and cannot consume too many becasue of the vitamin k in them as she is on a blood thinner due to a stroke she had a few years ago.
    We grew up on greens, beans and cabbage. A pot of beans is also good for you and one meal a week should be just all beans especially for diabetics. Lentils are good too.
    I would rather have steamed vegetables over a cold salad.

    • Rhonda says:

      Sorry, Bellydancer, but if you have diabetes, beans are one of the worst foods you can eat. They are a starch (starch, once it gets into your body, is sugar), and they need to be properly prepared to minimize the damage their anti-nutrients do to your body. The worst bean is the soy bean. (I’ll try to come back later to post some links with information about the danger of beans and grains to support my statement. Come to think of it, you can just go to the blog cited in this post, which likely has information about said so-called foods; if not within the posts, then there are probably links to other blogs that will have that information for you.)

  12. Rhonda,

    Thanks for all the info!

    Ahh…you’ve brought back memories of my childhood plots to avoid eating the dreaded Brussels sprouts: The art of simulating chewing without actually breaking through the skin. The art of spitting such things out into a paper towel when nobody’s looking. The art of disposing of this paper towel without detection.

    I think I only had about a 15% success rate. 🙁

    Also, sencha green tea tastes much the way I would imagine grass tastes. However, it’s apparently the tea that has one of the higher concentrations of anti-cancer EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). The Foods to Fight Cancer book notes that “as a general rule, Japanese green teas contain far more EGCG than do Chinese teas.” pg. 113. In both cases, I tried to pick the particular food item from each category that has the highest concentration of anti-cancer ingredients. [I try to be efficient when it comes to yucky-tasting things. 🙂 ]

    Anyhoo, here are 2 fascinating books about cancer prevention:

    1-Anticancer: A New Way of Life, by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., PhD.; and

    2-Foods to Fight Cancer: Essential Foods to Help Prevent Cancer, by Dr. Richard Beliveau, PhD.

    You said, “I’ve learned that our bodies have cancer cells in them, but for most of us, our immune system manages to fight it. You could have cancer cells right now. You could have cancer cells four or five times in your lifetime, but they are not able to become a tumour, because your immune system, if it is healthy will fight them off. Isn’t that incredible! It is when our immune system is too weak to fight the cancer cells that it becomes such. Wow!”

    Both of the above books make similar points. To summarize my very limited layperson’s understanding of what I read {smile}:

    Apparently, it takes a number of years for cancer cells to grow into a tumor. And there are certain metabolic events that go into transforming a few cancer cells into a full-blown cancer tumor. Among other things, the growth of new blood vessels to supply a tumor with the materials it needs in order to grow. Apparently, the blood vessels in cancer tumors are very different from blood vessels in normal tissue.

    The ingredients in certain foods prevent the formation of the blood vessels needed to feed a cancer tumor (while not affecting blood vessels in normal tissue). In short, the ingredients of certain foods prevent cancer tumors from forming by starving them! It IS an amazing process. I praise God that there are relatively simple things we can do for ourselves to help prevent these dreadful diseases.

    Expect Success!

  13. HR Professional says:

    All the brussell sprout haters feel the same way I do about mushrooms. Never could understand how people could eat a fungus {smile}.

    I do like brussell sprouts. They must be steamed and have lemon pepper seasoning. Similar cooking and seasoning method for asparagus.

    BTW, does anyone have a better way to cook greens than boiling them in water and making your house smell awful?

  14. Bellydancer says:

    To HR Professional, I have seen on the food channel some cooks putting the greens in skillets and sauteing in olive oil, steaming and stir frying them. I love mushrooms as well (lol)

  15. Zoopath says:

    Brussel sprouts are gross and I will not eat them. Kudos to those who can choke it down. I do agree with the idea of taking more personal responsibility for our diets. There’s all sorts of stuff in our food chain and environment that’s unhealthful.

  16. calpurnia says:

    Thank You for the advice-I will use it and tell others.

  17. calpurnia says:

    I grew up in an area that raised brussel sprouts and I learn to like them because they were fresh, I love peas also, but my daughter and husband’s family hates them

  18. Calpurnia,

    You’re welcome!

    Expect Success!

  19. Three great books about foods, herbs, and health include:

    The Green Pharmacy, by James Duke (one of the world’s pre-eminent authoritories on herbal remedies)

    The Food Pharmacy, by Jean Carper
    Food, Your Miracle Medicine, also by Jean Carper

    Books by Dr. Andrew Weil are also informative (e.g., Natural Health, Natural Medicine), as are his twitter feed (twitter.com/drweil) and website.

    I mention these resources because I refer to them regularly.

    (I find the best way to cook greens–after rinsing them, draining them, and cutting them finely–is to pan fry them in olive oil (after first chopping onion and garlic and frying them in the oil first). Hope you find them tasty that way!

    • Rhonda says:

      I don’t know about the others, but Dr. Weil’s way of eating is dangerous. Go to his website and check out his Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid.

      1. He recommends eating unfermented soy foods. (Read The Whole Story for info on the poison that is soy. You can search for the book’s website.)

      2. His second level (from the bottom) is all foods that will make one diabetic and/or insulin resistant. If you want good health, it is best not to eat those things: whole and cracked grains, pasta, beans, and legumes. Those foods are just setting your body up for inflammation.

      3. The “healthy” fats he recommends, with the exception of extra virgin olive oil, are all liquid oils, which are high in inflammation promoting Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Your hormones need saturated fats. Your brain loves to swim in saturated fatty acids. If you are depressed, you can relieve or eliminate it, by eating saturated fats and bringing into balance your Omega 3 to Omega 6 EFA intake.

      4. Skinless poultry! Yuck! Eat a chicken that was naturally raised. Eat the skin. Your body loves it. Eat the dark meat, it is nutrient-dense.

    • lafemmenoir says:

      Wow. That sounds like a really great way to cook greens to avoid overcooking them and therefore losing most of the nutrients. I have done something similar with bok choy, but never really thought to do this with other greens. Thanks for the info.

      Also, I read the blog and I have been looking at the paleo diet and the research links on wikipeda and it appears to be a credible diet that actually works (which I didn’t doubt). I expected the critics to tear it apart, but they didn’t.It appears that the biggest complaints about the diet wasn’t that it wasn’t a great diet and that it would be the “fix” to the obesity “epidemic”, it was the fact that it is a diet that wouldn’t work “globally” due to limited land and resources, which I think is a crock because they pay farmers not to farm here in the US. Also, people can be encouraged to grow their own vegatables at home. There was a time when almost everyone did it, now it has fallen out of fashion in favor of mc nuggets & pizza puffs. Right now, because I live in a condo with no real outdoor space I am not able to grow anything, but I do plan on buying a house with some land so that I can have a garden and live off the grid. I want to go geothermal with a year-round greenhouse like the farmer up in Thunder Bay, seriously. I won’t be able to do this for another 3-4 years though, but it is still my plan that I have been researching for about a year.

      Cinnamon. I looove the smell. I can almost equate it with the beautiful smell of baby, it’s just that nice. I went out to WF and got some and plan on using it in my morning tea (green) with a drop of honey. I hope that it doesn’t clash with the yucky taste of green tea. 🙂

      Also, I just wanted to say thanks for the links to the blog. Very informative and life-changing.

  20. Lafemmenoir,

    You summed up my feelings about the topic when you said, “Also, I read the blog and I have been looking at the paleo diet and the research links on wikipeda and it appears to be a credible diet that actually works (which I didn’t doubt).”

    Since I’m a layperson, I don’t have strong opinions one way or another about most diet/nutrition systems, or supplements (like cinnamon). I just don’t know enough to have an opinion. I’m simply looking to see if something appears credible based on: (1) what I can tell of the research (while understanding the limitations of research), AND (2) detailed accounts from other people who have experimented with the diet system.

    As a layperson, the only thing that I do know for certain is that we can’t afford to be passive about maintaining our health. It’s also clear from the radically different distributions of rates of cancer, diabetes, etc. in different countries that much of this must be connected to one’s daily diet.

    Ever Since Rhonda mentioned Mark’s Daily Apple and some other low-carb nutrition sites during The Art of Being Feminine post (again, thanks Rhonda! 🙂 ), I’ve been reading up on the primal/paleo diet. [Starting with reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.] I was amazed at how quickly I saw changes from shifting over to a more “primal” style of eating. I’ve also been impressed by the various accounts of how adopting a primal/paleo diet has helped people who are dealing with various ailments like hypertension, diabetes, elevated levels of the bad type of cholesterol, and so on.

    The primal and paleo diets have much in common, but there are points of divergence: See the following post for details about the differences. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/whats-the-difference-between-primal-and-paleo/

    Expect Success!

    • lafemmenoir says:

      Although you may not think that you are a guru of any sorts, I believe that you are. Not in the way that most people look to a guru like some religious deity or spiritual leader, but in the MW-defined sense:

      “An acknowledged and influential advocate, as of a movement or idea.”

      or better yet:

      “A trusted counselor and adviser.”

      You have great ideas and thoughts that you don’t keep to yourself- You share them, for which I (and I know a few others, lurkers included) are grateful. Thank you.
      ~~~~~~
      I have spent the last few hours today and some time yesterday looking at meat & veg diets and the viewpoints of the proponents as well as opponents and I have to say that I am VERY impressed with what I have read about these paleo/primal/meat&veg diets, thus far. Also, as a result of my loose research, I have come across lots of info, some of it downright scary. Here are a few:

      higher incidents of cancer with carbohydrates consumption
      the link between HFCS and hypertension
      sunlight and vitamin d metabolism. The sunscreen coverup
      carbohydrates and their link to obesity
      carbohydrates and heir link to diabetes
      corn is a grain, not a vegatable.breaks down like a carb
      max safe HFCS intake is 25mg/day. sodas have 74 mg HFCS
      very lower incidents of acne amoung paleo/primal eaters
      the dairy & acne connection

      Khadija said:
      “As a layperson, the only thing that I do know for certain is that we can’t afford to be passive about maintaining our health. It’s also clear from the radically different distributions of rates of cancer, diabetes, etc. in different countries that much of this must be connected to one’s daily diet.”

      I agree. After reading just the little bit of readily available research that I read, it seems to me that although it is known in the scientific community that the current western diet is what’s killing people and that the best diet for us is the paleo/primal diet, for some reason they don’t want to endorse it and the reasons that they gave for not doing so were childish. Life is not balanced or fair, we learn this as small children, so why not make information readily available to the masses and let them decide what they want to do with it? I have a sneaking suspicion sometimes that the medical industry is in active cohoots with big pharma to keep us sick and in need of their “cure” or “treatment”. I read a post response on this blog where someone else spoke about this too. I guess they can justify their actions by saying that the information was made available and that it is up to the individual to do the research for themselves, which would be a clever of them to suggest, especially when it is well-known that the doctors today are focused on cholesterol levels (LDL) & BMI and not on overall cardiovascular health, like they should be. Are the doctors not aware of the research either? or are they kept purposely ignorant of it? Or is it just laziness on the doctors part? I don’t know what the answer is to any of those questions definitively, but I do have an idea. Enough of that rant.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Paleo vs primal

      I like primal better because it appears to be more of a lifestyle (exercise and rest built in) and opposed to a stricly paleo diet. But to be honest, both have their merits. I also must say that I like primal too because there is a de-emphasis on schedules and exercise regimes, and more of a focus on the individual “doing something” that involves movement. The diet takes care of the majority of it, doesn’t it? 🙂

      I would like to know of anyone has tried the primal diet what their exercise regimine/program was?

      • Lafemmenoir,

        Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it! {blushing}

        I’m just doing what I can to pay it forward. I was extremely disoriented immediately after learning about the Dunbar Village Atrocity and Aftermath. Finding out about all of that caused my previous, Black Nationalist world view to shatter into shards of broken glass. I realized that I had been tricked, deceived, hoodwinked and bamboozled (as Malcolm X put it). At which point, I started the grieving process for the AA collective that I finally realized was dead and gone.

        During this time, I was blessed to stumble onto the blogs of several BW pioneer bloggers like Halima, Evia, Sara and Focused Purpose. Reading their essays helped me work through that grieving process and MOVE ON. Words can’t express how thankful I am for the work that they’ve done (and continue to do). May God bless them. And so, in gratitude, I do what I can to pay it forward.

        • lafemmenoir says:

          I am glad that you were aware of that incident and I am happy for the change that you were forced to make in your life. A perfect example of how one can turn an unfortunate event into something positive. Also, much thanks to Evia, Halima, Sara, & Focused Purpose for their efforts, too.

  21. Rhonda,

    Much of Asia, especially parts of China and Japan, has eaten cooked soy products (e.g., tofu, edamame)for centuries, if not millenia. The fermented soy products (black beans in black bean sauce, natto, miso), with the exception of tempeh (mostly eaten in Indonesia) are mostly used as flavoring. In addition, the Japanese eat other beans such as adzuki (in desserts), and are among the healthiest populations in the world. Also, they (and Italians) tend to eat more beans than bean-avoidant Americans, and these bean-eating populations have much lower levels of diabetes and heart disease than Americans have.

    BTW, neither group eats the amount of carbohydrates in the form of sugar that Americans do, as even their desserts (when they’re not eating plain fruit for dessert) have much less sugar than American or English desserts. (French, Italian, and other European pastries are known for being much less sweet, and much more intense in flavor, than American pastries, for instance. Even European chocolate, particularly French and Belgian chocolate, is much lower in both sugar and dairy than American and English chocolates, and is eaten much more frequently by both the French and Belgians; dark chocolate happens to be a healthy [and perhaps the most tasty] form of saturated fat.

    There is a big difference between eating unprocessed and processed grains to make pasta; heck, there’s even a difference between eating grains in the form of flour and eating them whole (not ground), brown rice flour versus whole brown rice.

    Studies have been done comparing the diet of Pima Indians of the southwest US and their propensity to diabetes. For information about dietary changes which have led to their heartbreakingly high rate of diabetes, please see this link:
    http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/pima/obesity/obesity.htm

    The only fats that Dr. Weil has wholeheartedly endorsed (and not in excess) are extra virgin oil (which is liquid at room temperature, btw) and cold-pressed canola oil, both of which are higher in monosaturated fats than other oils. He also recommends avocado (also highly monosaturated) as a source of healthy fat. (See page 23 of Natural Health, Natural Medicine, 1990). On page 25 of same book, he recommends various sources of omega 3 fats.

    One thing that people tend to forget is that even if many people in ancient times ate mostly saturated fats when they ate fats, is that they may not have eaten these fatty foods on a daily, or even weekly, basis. That means that on a daily basis, they were eating mostly plants, fruits, nuts, and certain wild herbs and vegetables.(So, they might have gotten lots of omega 3s from walnuts, which are a plentiful plant source of them. Or, oddly enough, from wild purslane, a vegetable/herb which is one of the sources of omega 3 fats that Dr. Weil recommends on p. 25 of his Natural Health, Natural Medicine.)

    Oh, and the ancestors got a LOT more physical activity to go with the fat they did eat.

    • Rhonda says:

      Sorry, I haven’t been back here to respond: no time and quite lazy, these days, for writing comments (which I have a tendency to make too long).

      Any way, Dr. Weil’s food philosophy is dangerous (perhaps, that is too strong a word, but I cannot think of a milder one right now), because it is rooted in the myth that a vegetarian/vegan diet is the healthiest way for humans to eat–that is why his pyramid instructs one to eat more grains (sugar foods, high carbohydrates) than even salmon! And canola oil is high in Omega 6 EFAs, which is dangerous, because an imbalance of O6:03 sets one up for inflammation, which is the cause of so much of the diseases of civilization.

      Yes, I know about purslane (I eat it when it is in season). And walnuts are not high in the O3s. Most Asians do not eat unfermented soy products–that is another American veg’n myth that has been pushed on the American public. (Granted, I do not know a lot of Asian people, but I did ask my friend, who is Chinese, who came to the US at three years old with his parents, so, he ate real Chinese food most of his life and did not eat, except when away from home, much American-style food, and who is a restarauteur and chef of Japanese cuisine, who told me that his mother rarely served soy foods. But, then that is only one person, which does not speak for all Chinese people.) Unfortunately, the fact is, because of agribusinesses push of their products (corn, wheat and soy), if you eat processed foods, you will be eating unfermented soy; and that is not including all the people who have been taught that animal food products are bad for one’s health, so they drown the insides of their bodies with even more poisonous soy products, like soy milk. Asian people know/knew that soy was harmful to the human body if it was not properly prepared to nullify its anti-nutrients, so they fermented the bean: soy sauce, natto…I cannot remember the other two or three traditional fermented soy bean foods, but tofu is not fermented, and, although Japanese do eat it, it is eaten in small amounts, not like most Americans, who’ll cook up a big block of the stuff–the amount that we are encouraged to eat in one sitting, lasts a Japanese person a week or more.

      Also the Japanese eat lots and lots of O3 EFA-rich seafood. And the Okinawans eat more pork than they do tofu.

      Yes, I know about the lower amount of sugar in French pastries than in American ones. Also, the French use real food ingredients, like butter, instead of fake fats (like, margarine) that Americans use in their pastries. And, they do not eat “sweets” daily, and when they do, their portions are much smaller than Americans.

      Actually, unprocessed grains are not necessarily better for you, because the bran/fibre is harsh on one’s digestive system, preventing absorption of vitamins and minerals, and scrubbing out healthy bacteria in the intestines. Grains have only been part of the human diet for — what is considered a blip on our evolutionary timeframe — about 10,000 years. And they do more harm than good, that is why, if you eat them, one needs to prepare them properly. (You can check out the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website for information on how to properly prepare grains, so that they do little damage to your body.)

      Okay, the Pima Indians…One of the negative results of humans eating grains on a large scale, is that we lost inches. Notice, the people who are tallest in the world — like the Masaai, the Wahadi (spelling?), the Plains Indians — come from traditional food cultures that are mostly animal foods and saturated fats. The Plains Indians (although, their food culture has been destroyed from the past few centuries of occupation by white Europeran settlers) are much taller than their indigenous counterparts down south, who eat potatoes and beans and corn and wheat. Traditional food culture of the Plains Indians was mainly buffalo meat and offal and bone marrow, no grains, and some vegetable matter.

      Long reply, I know, but still, not thorough enough. I’ve learned a lot these past few years, wherein I’ve evolved to eat very much close to a Paleo/Primal/Pre-Agricultural diet, which is a flexible way of eating, and it is possible to eat such a way as a vegetarian (a vegan, well, it is impossible, not on just food, one has to supplement). Since, as a kid into an adult, I never really met a vegetable that I liked, so I eat mostly meat and seafood and eggs; unpasteurized grass-fed dairy (cream and cheeses) (here’s that flexibility of the Paleo diet for you, for the man cited in this blog post stopped eating dairy); some nuts, no seeds; some vegetables, and low-sugar fruits seasonally. Okay, where was I?…yes, a long reply/comment, but not thorough, I must admit–I do stand by my assertion that Weil’s way of eating is not the healthiest (many of the foods he suggests do more harm than good, if eaten consistently over the long-term), but you’re going to have to do a little research, leg-work, to find out more.

      Oh, lastly: It is viral all over the Paleo blogosphere, a research paper was done disputing The China Study, which is a “weapon” that many veg’ns use to back up their claim that animal foods are unhealthy.

      Cheers.

      • mochachoc says:

        Rhonda if you don’t mind (of course with your permission Khadija) would you be willing to share how your LDL and HDL levels have changed since eating this way. I love the primal way of eating but still have a worry about cholesterol because I do enjoy saturated fat: butter, fatty meats and coconut oil.

        Peter from Hyperlipid sees no convincing link between total cholesterol and heart disease. He has posted many scientific papers which support his view. However, as you have clearly been eating this way for some time I’m interested in your personal account.

  22. Felicia says:

    This is great advice regarding Cinnamon. It’s one of my favorite spices. Thank you for sharing this research finding Khadija and I’ll definitely be adding more of it to my diet! Like everyday.

  23. Faith says:

    Good info and thank goodness I like cinnamon!

  24. Karen says:

    Here is my feedback based on a sample of 1 (me).

    I stopped eating processed foods 10 years ago. There were several reasons; a) when I started reading the labels, it was scary how many chemicals are in there b) very little “real” vegetables in them c) very high levels of sugar (fructose).

    As stated above in my previous post, my diet is very close to the paleo diet. I also as a rule do not eat desserts and use very little sugar (perhaps a small teaspoon every couple of weeks when I have the occasional espresso). My salads are restricted to extra virgin olive oil or pumpkin seed oil and balsamic vinegar with a little salt and pepper.

    From food style, I would say mine is more a mediterranean/italian style with a bit of french and moroccan (tangine cooking is great) thrown in there.

    I have very low blood sugar and blood pressure, my cholesterol values are excellent. My main exercise is walking but I am now incorporating some light weight training to maintain muscle mass.

    My family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, weight issues, heart attacks and strokes. Therefore it was important for me to avoid the pitfalls of eating habits that are typical among my relatives: ice cream, sweets, junk foods, processed foods, fried foods, limited movement, prepared versus home cooked meals, etc.

    If I eat chocolate, it is only dark chocolate (minimum 60% or more chocolate) that has an intense flavor but is not sweet tasting.

    I cannot add anything to the bean discussion. I do like them from time to time but I find they do not agree with me. I, therefore keep them at a distance.

    Any time that I eat wheat-based products not only do I experience a bit of indigestion but my skin breaks out. Another indicator for me to avoid it… With cow milk products, the effect is more severe. I do not cook any recipe that requires milk or cream.

    Great information being shared by all!

    • Rcoleman says:

      Unsweetened almond milk is an excellent substitute when you cook milk based recipes. You can easily make your own!

  25. Rhonda says:

    I wrote a reply, but it hasn’t appeared yet. I wanted to add something to it, so I’ll just submit it here.

    The following is from one of the Traditional (not 100% paleo, but darn close) food blogs I follow (you can click on the link to read the entire piece):

    From the Nourished Kitchen blog

    I’ve been following Surf & Turf, the new class hosted by Ann Marie Michaels and while Surf & Turf ostensibly acts as a cooking class, its real value lies in more than learning how to braise meats, fire up a grill, serve wild-caught shellfish and prepare a palatable liver; indeed, the class focuses on the value of protein for our bodies – the essential nature of amino acids to our health, of omega-3 fatty acids to our children and the value of nutrient-dense foods overall. So on Wednesday, as soon as Ann Marie posted the first lesson in Surf & Turf, I was at my computer watching the posted videos which discussed the role of traditional, nutrient-dense diets play in our moods and in keeping our bodies free from disease.

    Here’s the top ten things I learned from watching the first lesson:

    1. The nation is depressed. The American public is 100 times more depressed than we were a century ago.

    2. Depression disables and kills. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and by the World Health Organization estimates it will be the leading cause of death by 2020.

    3. The nation is overfed and undernourished. When Dr. Price analyzed the diets of traditional peoples and compared them to the standard diet among Americans of his time, he found that they were four times richer in minerals like calcium and ten times richer in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2.

    4. We’re operating at a nutritional loss, and that’s affecting our moods and emotional well-being. When our brains are replete with amino acids and good quality nutrition, we feel great and can better cope with the stresses, rigors and losses that life casts our direction. When we’re operating at that nutritional loss, as so many of us are, we lose this innate capacity of human emotional function….

    • lafemmenoir says:

      I have a suspicion, based on the readily available research and the corporatocracy of the food industry, that this is an intentional outcome. I do not believe that with all of the money being thrown into the obesity epidemic that they have not figured out that the grain-based diet is what’s killing people. I believe they know this…

      Rhonda wrote:
      “We’re operating at a nutritional loss, and that’s affecting our moods and emotional well-being.”

      Lafemmenoir:
      Fatty acids from fat are what your brain uses to create the specialized cells that allow you to think and feel. If your diet is low in these essential fats, then you experience mood and behavior swings or lows.

      Once mankind moved from eating a vegatarian diet of nuts, berries, and plant life to incorporating meat into their diet, the fatty acids from the meat caused their brains to grow. Bigger brains means more complex though patterns. Complex thought patterns allowed man to plan. Long term planning afforded clans to grow into what we have today.

      A great fat that everyone champions is Omega-3. Omega-3 is an excellent source of fat and is called brain food because of its high DHA content. DHA is a fatty acid that is found in high concentrations in the gray matter of the human brain, and it aids in the transmission of brain signals. Low levels of DHA in the brain can lead to ADD/ADHD, depression, Schizophrenia, stroke, Alzheimer’s, memory loss and some scientist believe, autism. I take an Omega-3 supplement daily. Food for thought, literally.

      Rhonda wrote:
      “The nation is overfed and undernourished.”

      Lafemmenoir:
      Sounds like cattle industry practices to me. They feed cattle corn and other indigestible non-sense and fatten them up, all the while the cattle, although heavier, are actually malnourished because corn is not digestible by cattle and contains no valuable nutrients (I got this from PETA). Therefore producing substandard meat because the diet of the animal was lacking in the essential vitamins and minerals needed for good overhall health. And we the consumers are eating this meat when we buy non-organic/ non-free-range meat.

    • mochachoc says:

      I would add road rage to the mix. Most people start the day with nothing or a concoction of sugar (be it carbs, fructose, sucrose, whatever), insulin spikes to cope with it then you get a steep downturn in blood sugar resulting in irritability, impaired ability to think and so on.

      I feel wonderful after eating pork crackling with a good layer of fat. No joke.

      All that fruit, muesli, smoothies, cereals, doughnuts, croissants, pancakes, waffles, syrup etc we like to eat in the morning is harming us.

      • lafemmenoir says:

        I never really thought to add road rage to the pool, but I do believe that you are correct. With all the added sugar that people take in the morning and during the day to “keep on top”, I can see how it would impair their ability to think. I read somewhere that sugar blocks the “messages” the brain sends, so your assumption has much merit. The problem that I have with road rage and other defiant disorders is that I believe that they are made up illneses used to peddle more drugs. Call me paranoid if you want. 🙂

  26. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    I knew about the cinnamon a while back when my mom was first diagnosed with diabetes.

    I personally stay away from beans. I may have them three times a year, but I am scared bc, well, they are a starch.

    This is not a scientific comment or anything, but I am wondering if a person’s ability to to eat certain foods processed/unprocessed etc and it not affect them as severely as others has a genetic/racial component?

    At any rate, the results of a study on obesity came out recently. It says that Native American, African American, and Hispanic girls’ obesity levels are through the roof and have not peaked …yet.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67J4Y320100820

    What I am trying to figure out is why they all (nutritionists/dietitians) seem to think junk food is the culprit?

    I mean in my neck of the woods a 16-20oz soda is 1.39 plus tax, a bag of chips is .99 plus tax, a candy bar is .89 plus tax, a combo meal averages 5-6 dollars…That is a lot of money for a kid to be spending. No one that I know of sells penny candy anymore. Not that I am checking, but I notice in gas stations and the like – they don’t have those jars around the counter anymore.

    • lafemmenoir says:

      The culprit is sugar and HFCS along with a diet high in carbohydrates (quickly converted by the body into….sugar!). Junk food is high in sugar/HFCS.

      • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

        What is HCFS? Corn fructose syrup?

        • lafemmenoir says:

          High
          Fructose
          Corn
          Syrup

          Your body can only proces about 25mg/daily, but the average can of soda has about 74mg in it. So much for moderation, huh?

  27. Lafemmenoir,

    You said, “I have a suspicion, based on the readily available research and the corporatocracy of the food industry, that this is an intentional outcome. I do not believe that with all of the money being thrown into the obesity epidemic that they have not figured out that the grain-based diet is what’s killing people. I believe they know this…”

    I have my suspicions about that as well. I also find it suspicious that the medical authorities seem unaware of the results that people have gotten with various low-carb regimens such as primal/paleo . . . it’s all quite peculiar…

    Folks might be interested in the following podcast from Dr. Robert Su, MD (author of Carbohydrates Can Kill), Ill Advice: The Dietary Guidelines for America, 2010 (Episode 4, Sally Fallon):

    In this episode, Sally Fallon is the featured guest. Ms Fallon is President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the co-author of the books “Nourishing Traditions” and “Eat Fat Lose Fat.” Fallon is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Still, nutrition has been Fallon’s lifelong interest since the early 1970’s when she read Dr. Weston A Price’s work, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”

    In the wake of the publishing of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the USDA and the department of Health and Human Services, Fallon believes it is the time to set the record straight: the Dietary Guidelines are misguiding Americans into the belief that fats are unhealthy and carbohydrates are harmless. In this interview, she explains why she thinks the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee may have conflicts of interest and why promoting a high carbohydrate, low fat diet is hurting the health of the American people, and especially the children.

    http://www.carbohydratescankill.com/354/ill-advice-dietary-guidelines-for-america-episode-sally-fallon
    __________________________________________________

    Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You said, “At any rate, the results of a study on obesity came out recently. It says that Native American, African American, and Hispanic girls’ obesity levels are through the roof and have not peaked …yet.”

    {shudder} A series in the New York Times a few years back scared the heck out of me (from “Diabetes and Its Awful Toll Quietly Emerge as a Crisis”):

    Begin on the sixth floor, third room from the end, swathed in fluorescence: a 60-year-old woman was having two toes sawed off. One floor up, corner room: a middle-aged man sprawled, recuperating from a kidney transplant. Next door: nerve damage. Eighth floor, first room to the left: stroke. Two doors down: more toes being removed. Next room: a flawed heart.

    As always, the beds at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were filled with a universe of afflictions. In truth, these assorted burdens were all the work of a single illness: diabetes. Room after room, floor after floor, diabetes. On any given day, hospital officials say, nearly half the patients are there for some trouble precipitated by the disease.

    An estimated 800,000 adult New Yorkers — more than one in every eight — now have diabetes, and city health officials describe the problem as a bona fide epidemic. Diabetes is the only major disease in the city that is growing, both in the number of new cases and the number of people it kills. And it is growing quickly, even as other scourges like heart disease and cancers are stable or in decline.

    Already, diabetes has swept through families, entire neighborhoods in the Bronx and broad slices of Brooklyn, where it is such a fact of life that people describe it casually, almost comfortably, as ”getting the sugar” or having ”the sweet blood.”

    But as alarmed as health officials are about the present, they worry more about what is to come.

    Within a generation or so, doctors fear, a huge wave of new cases could overwhelm the public health system and engulf growing numbers of the young, creating a city where hospitals are swamped by the disease’s handiwork, schools scramble for resources as they accommodate diabetic children, and the work force abounds with the blind and the halt.

    The prospect is frightening, but it has gone largely unnoticed outside public health circles. As epidemics go, diabetes has been a quiet one, provoking little of the fear or the prevention efforts inspired by AIDS or lung cancer.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9907E2DA1F30F93AA35752C0A9609C8B63

    THIS is why I felt the need to spread the word about the cinnamon. Considering that this is an epidemic, why isn’t something as simple as the cinnamon widely known or publicized?!! WTH is up with that? {adjusting my tin-foil conspiracy hat}

    Expect Success!

    • Oshun/Aphrodite says:

      That is a scary article. I had no idea that it could be that “common” in a community where everyone you know has it.

      I wanted to say that I agree that I think there is a conspiracy going on. There is no way to seriously “profit” from something like cinnamon or certain supplements, herbs, and whole foods etc, but there is money to be made from what is currently out there and the resulting illnesses.

      I just have to say right now – they will not take my toes.

    • mochachoc says:

      Yes diabetes has become a worldwide epidemic. It has been repeatedly shown that as nations become richer and want to eat like the prosperous west the people become fatter and diabetes rises exponentially. I saw a documentary outlining the epidemic in Kuwait. I’m afraid all that oil has crippled the people. I cringed as I watched toes amputated. It seems many Kuwaiti’s prefer to opt for the gastric band than change their dietary habits. Kuwait is not alone. Most of the Gulf states is awash with diabetes.

      I too find it curious that there is so much silence around the issue that limiting carbs and sugar really does control blood sugar.

      We really need to change how much and what we eat. It isn’t always easy because our culture encourages us to eat constantly. Think how many times you see an advertisement featuring some kind of bogus food. All the snacking, cheap food, fruit juice and take-away’s isn’t helping. I don’t remember eating particularly healthy food as a child but I do know I only ate three times per day. The only time I was allowed a biscuit or chocolate bar was once a weekend. Take-away was very rare. Perhaps one of the reasons why so much snacking goes on is precisely because our food is lacking in nutrients.

  28. lafemmenoir says:

    Here is an article on the benefits of cinnamon:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/029534_cinnamon_medicinal.html

    It appears that someone over at Natural News might be reading your blog. 🙂

  29. Yes, cinnamon is a fantastic addition to the diet, and has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. (Remember that most herbs and spices have medicinal as well as culinary uses.) Regarding controlling blood sugar levels, Dr. James Duke (who created the world’s largest online database on phytochemicals) also recommends bay leaves as a savory seasoning, in addition to clove and turmeric. (The Green Pharmacy, pages 166 and 167.)

    Rhonda:

    Whole grains are not harsh on the digestive system when consumed with sufficient water, which people often forget to do. Dr. Denis Burkitt’s observational studies of the effects of fiber on the digestive system demonstrated this, that the fibers in whole grains soften when they meet water in the body. The belief that whole grains are “harsh” and scrub nutrients from the digestive system is a relic from the 1950s, when mainstream physicians also thought cigarette smoking was acceptable. (This belief also keeps the laxative companies in business.) Also, WHOLE grains themselves contain nutrients, such as various B vitamins (niacin, thiamine) and magnesium.

    Tofu (an unfermented but cooked soyfood) is widely eaten in many parts of China as well as Thailand, Singapore, and Japan by some people more than others, of course, and has been eaten for centuries. Check out the menu for any Chinese restaurant, and invariably there will be a listing for ma po tofu, which may also contain meat. Most fermented soy products (except for tempeh) are used for seasoning only because they are extremely salty. Edamame, which are immature (unfermented, but cooked) soybeans, have been widely eaten in Japan for years, and have recently become popular as a quick, high-protein snack.

    Yes, the people of Okinawa may eat pork, but not nearly as much as Americans–and no matter what they eat, the older Okinawans only eat until they are 80 percent full. Oh, and they also eat much mountain yam and other vegetables–pork is not the mainstay of the Okinawan diet. The Okinawans, other Japanese, and Asians in general eat LOTS of rice, more than Americans do. The Japanese also eat copious amounts of seaweed (EXTREMELY nutritious) and land vegetables in addition to seafood. And tofu, nuts, and beans. The Japanese, the Okinawans, may be shorter in stature than Americans, but they’re (particularly the older Okinawans) much healthier, the healthiest peoples in the world. (Next would be the French, who eat plentiful vegetables, beans, grains, and fruit to go with their fat, and eat smaller amounts of meat than Americans. See Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat, in which she compares the eating habits of French women to American women.) Okinawans, though they may eat pork, still don’t get almost 40 percent of their daily calories from fat, as Americans tend to. Sadly, the younger generation of Okinawans are not as healthy as their elders, eating more of a (dare I say it) junk food lifestyle, and are getting heart disease and diabetes at their young ages.

    Among Westerners, Italians tend to get their carbs in the form of vegetables, pasta, and beans, and tend to be much healthier than, say, the English, who tend to get their carbs in the form of sugar (not too many vegetables in the traditional English diet). Guess whose eating habits Americans are most like? (By the way, nuts ARE seeds, specifically the seeds of trees–e.g., the pine nut comes from the cone of the stone pine.) It’s also true that while refined sugar is a carbohydrate, not all carbohydrates immediately turn to sugar in the bloodstream. It’s refined sugar and white flour–simple carbohydrates, which flood the with sugar in a short time, which is dangerous. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates, which break down in a much slower, orderly pace that the body can handle.

    Sadly, the Masai are among the shortest lived people in the world. “The Plains Indians” is a broad term–which Plains tribes do you mean? The Pima Indians in the south, with the corn and beans, who kept their culture, were found to be much healthier than their northern brothers.(Probably in part because the corn was whole grain and not stripped of its nutrients.) Also, I thought the concern was not which people are taller in stature, but which people are healthier, and how we all can become healthier.

    It is misleading to claim that Andrew Weil promotes a vegetarian or vegan diet, as he himself consumes salmon. (A vegan or vegetarian diet would not include salmon.) Please refrain from using the word “dangerous” to describe recommendations from one of the few American physicians with a background in botany and an extensive knowledge of medicinal plants, who has no love for Big Pharma or medicine as currently practiced.

    I’d be reticent to refer to a “research” paper by a young blogger (no matter how viral it went) when it’s supposedly critiquing the multi-year study by an epidemiologist, Dr. Colin Campbell, of people in various regions of a nation as vast as China, not a small undertaking to be critiqued in a dismissive manner.

    The Weston Price Foundation seems to be the current fashionable source of claims that high amounts of fat are always good, and that all carbohydrates are the same, and therefore bad. Please, the American people are not diabetic in record numbers because we eat steel-cut Irish oats in the morning. Please don’t pretend there’s no difference between steel-cut oats (a whole-grain product which few Americans eat) and Dunkin Donuts–there’s a world of difference between them.

    • Rhonda says:

      Coming:

      There is much in your comment that I can dispute. But I have seen, on other comments boards, the never-ending rabbit-hole that one can fall into when debating someone who advocates a low-fat vegan diet (I visited your blog after I posted my comment to you, wherein I found out your food philosophy). I have neither the desire, nor the time, to engage in that activity; it’s not worth it to me. The people here, who read your comments and mine, are adults and can make up their own minds how they want to eat, what is the best way for them to eat for good/better health.

      Full disclosure: I ate a vegetarian diet — transitioned to eating the vegan way — for two years. I believed that that was the healthiest way to eat. (Even when my health was at its worst, when I was ill and the doctors did not know what was wrong with me, I still believed that not eating meat and animal products would restore my health. Golly, was I wrong! It wasn’t until I, not the degreed-doctors, took my health into my own hands, and learned/realized that I was malnourished and fed myself nutrient-dense foods that I started to become well — in better health than all my years eating the SAD [Standard American Diet] and the supposedly health-giving vegan diet.) Because I read/research, I am more than familiar with the vegan/near-vegan diets that folks like Weil, McDougall, et al recommend to their readers — I’m glad that, eventually, I questioned their philosophies, which led me to toss them into the garbage bin where they belong.

      I checked out your blog. Many of the “foods” you are gung-ho for are nothing but industrial food products, like the fake meat concoctions. And quite a few of your recipes recommend using industrial food products (canola oil, fake meat) and lots of sugar and starches — all things that are lacking in nutrition and promote, in the long run, ill health.

      Yes, the human body can survive on eating no meat, no animal products, but you won’t thrive. I prefer to thrive, and that is what eating real foods and saturated fats and [humanely raised] meat and animal products has done for me.

      There is one debate-point that I do want to make: The vitamins and minerals and all the other good things contained in vegetables become available to the human body when you eat them with [good] fat, preferably saturated or mono-unsaturated. Otherwise, you may as well toss them into the trash, for all the good they’ll do you eating them fat-free.

  30. Coming and Going,

    You said, “Yes, cinnamon is a fantastic addition to the diet, and has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. (Remember that most herbs and spices have medicinal as well as culinary uses.)”

    Thanks for the reminder—it’s easy to forget that!

    You said, “Regarding controlling blood sugar levels, Dr. James Duke (who created the world’s largest online database on phytochemicals) also recommends bay leaves as a savory seasoning, in addition to clove and turmeric. (The Green Pharmacy, pages 166 and 167.)”

    I’ll have to add that book to my reading list. Thanks for the info about the bay leaves! 🙂

    Expect Success!

  31. Sharifa says:

    Thanks for the tip. I like Cinnamon, and will try this. I also heard that drinking Mulberry Tea will lower sugar, or block it somehow. I bought some, and I really like the taste. Sorry if someone mentioned it already.

  32. Sharifa,

    You’re welcome!
    _____________________________________________________

    Coming and Going & Rhonda,

    THANK YOU both for sharing your views and information!

    As I said earlier, I don’t know enough to have strong opinions one way or another about various diet/nutrition regimens. However, I am extremely interested in the topics of healthier eating in conjunction with enhancing food security (by more AA women growing a portion of their food). Nothing else really matters when people are not healthy; and diet choices are a large part of maintaining or losing one’s health.

    In the near future, I’m hoping to do a blog post featuring a written interview with a BW holistic chef who has written a cookbook. As I said, I don’t know enough to have an opinion. I just want to put information out there. I trust the audience to do their own investigation and make up their own minds about what dietary practices are best for their personal circumstances.

    I’m hoping that the interview post goes forward. I will note that I’ve already warned the author to expect a few “hardball” questions mixed in with the rest. As I mentioned to her, I expect that I would have at least a couple of questions revolving around my concerns about how many people (especially Black folks) turn dietary practices into virtual food cults. The “your immortal soul will be damned if you eat meat” attitude given off by some vegans greatly annoys me. One of the paleo/primal bloggers talked about this when he said,

    And then there’s the enviro-cr*p, which is just original-sin religion in disguise. You’re a guilty sinner (destroying the planet), you must repent (eat unfulfilling food). and atone (sacrifice your values and desires to the diktats of “authorities”). Same con, different day.

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/07/the-vegetarian-menace.html

    Unfortunately, he’s extremely rude to the dissenting vegans/vegetarians that write in to his blog. Nevertheless, I agree with his point about the fanatical “original sin” vibes coming off of various types of nutrition regimen enthusiasts. This is the same vibe I get from too many of the “natural hair crusaders.” Why can’t we just be cool about stuff? Why does every… single… life choice have to be extremely emotionally charged?

    Let me note that I’m also annoyed by other Muslims who make all sorts of judgments about other people—particularly non-Muslims—based on their consumption of the so-called “swine.” {shaking my head}

    Anyhoo, hopefully, I’ll get to do the interview post, and everybody will have another opportunity to ask questions and discuss their views about various dietary regimens.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Rhonda,

    You mentioned your transition out of a vegan/vegetarian diet. If you’re not already aware of it, you might be interested in the following site: Beyond Vegetarianism. The list of discussion topics include:

    FRANK TALK ABOUT VEGETARIAN, VEGAN
    & RAW-FOOD DIETS FROM LONG-TIME INSIDERS

    RESEARCH-BASED APPRAISALS OF
    ALTERNATIVE DIET LORE

    PALEODIET & PALEOLITHIC NUTRITION

    RETHINKING NATURAL HYGIENE
    (are the heavens falling?)

    WAKING UP FROM THE FRUITARIAN DREAMTIME

    BASIC INSTINCT FOR ANOPSOLOGY
    (Re-examining instinctive eating / instincto)

    SPECIAL TOPICS: NUTRITION

    PSYCHOLOGY OF IDEALISTIC DIETS

    DIETARY PROBLEMS IN THE REAL WORLD
    (Bios of vegetarians, ex-vegetarians, and others
    in search of health, not dogma…)

    EDIBLE EDITORIALS
    (on ethics, environment, and other things
    to make you go “hmmm…”)

    BOOK REVIEWS

    COMMENTS & REACTIONS FROM READERS
    (hey, that’s you)

    HUMOR & SATIRE

    LINKS TO OTHER SITES / LISTGROUPS

    SITE CONTRIBUTORS & ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

    Let me repeat: I don’t have strong feelings or opinions one way or the other about various diets and nutrition regimens. None of this is about ideology for me. All I care about is finding what practices work best for me. And helping people find whatever works best for them. I’m interested in ideas that work, no matter which diet/regimen they come from. And no matter whether or not people are mixing and matching the particular practices that work best for them.

    Expect Success!

    • Rhonda says:

      Khadija,

      You’re welcome.

      I do hope that I did/do not come across as some sort of “Paleo” fanatic or cultist; believe me, that was not my intention. If I did come across that way, then I offer my apology for mucking up your comments with a food philosophy religiosity. In my off-of-the-internet life, I am not at all evangelical when it comes to eating this way; I wasn’t evangelical when I ate the veg’n way, too.

      • Rhonda,

        Oh no, there’s NO need for apology or concern–nobody came off as any sort of food cultist during this conversation. Everybody was cool during this conversation! [Thank goodness.] 🙂 And I would have cut off anybody who tried to start up some “food wars” here. The same way I won’t entertain “hair wars,” I also won’t have food wars here.

        It’s perfectly fine for folks to have differences of opinion as long as they’re civil about it. People like me who know next to nothing about these topics learn a lot from listening in to a spirited discussion about a difference opinion! So, again, I thank you and Coming and Going for freely sharing your thoughts about all of this.

        Listening to you two talk about these issues was VERY educational for me, and I suspect many other audience members feel the same way!

        THANK YOU BOTH!

  33. **Audience Note**

    I periodically take mini-sabbaticals away from the gadgets. I’m about to begin one such sabbatical around 10 minutes from now (at around midnight). While I’m away from the computer, the comments to the recent posts will be temporarily turned off.

    I plan to return to the computer (and blog) on Monday, August 30, 2010—I will enable the comments when I return.

    Expect Success!

  34. Rhonda says:

    Khadija and your readers,

    A pretty good argument against eating lots of raw cruciferous vegetables from the Perfect Health Diet blog. The thing you’ve got to know is that plants don’t want to be eaten, so they’ve developed toxins to teach the eater a lesson to make him think twice about eating the plant–that’s why you’ve got to cook “edible” plants, to kill those things in them that want to harm/kill you.

    Here’s the post:

    Recently, an 88-year-old Chinese woman was brought to the emergency department at New York University’s Tisch Hospital by her family. She had been lethargic and unable to walk or swallow for 3 days. [1]

    She had been eating 2 to 3 pounds of raw bok choy daily for several months in the hope that it would help control her diabetes, and the bok choy had poisoned her thyroid. In addition to coma, her symptoms included low body temperature (36 C), a shrunken thyroid, dry skin and coarse hair. Her life was saved by high doses of intravenous thyroid hormone, but she still needed four weeks in the hospital before she could be moved to a nursing facility.

    Remarkably, but not surprisingly in light of how little publicity is given to the dangers of plant toxins, her family wanted to keep feeding her raw bok choy in the hospital! [2]

    This episode is a timely reminder that most of the toxins in our bodies come from the plant foods we eat. Plant toxins can be quite dangerous.

    For good health, exposure to plant toxins should be minimized by:

    1. Cooking most plant foods other than fruits and berries, which are relatively non-toxic. The heat of cooking destroys many toxins, and renders many others more digestible.

    2. Diversifying plant food sources. Don’t eat too much of any one plant; rather try to eat modest amounts from many different species. Live by the toxicologists’ rule, first formulated by Paracelsus: “The dose makes the poison.” If you keep the dose of any one toxin low, it will not poison you.

    3. Eliminating the most toxic foods. These are grains; legumes; oils from grains, legumes, and seed crops; and fructose sugars.

    The Paleo principle – it’s healthiest to eat like a caveman – is a good guide to low-toxicity eating. Paleolithic peoples gathered a wide variety of plants – hundreds of species – and did not eat the Neolithic agricultural crops. Agriculture needs plants that produce an abundance of calorie-rich seeds, but these are precisely the plants that load their seeds with high levels of toxins to discourage herbivores.

    Eat like a caveman, and stay out of the hospital!

    Cheers,
    Rhonda