The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Diet Examination - The Starch Solution

I'm not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this, perhaps on a persons Facebook thread. But, when I spotted it, I knew I had to figure out what it could possibly be about, since it literally seemed to be the antithesis of the paleo diet, and claimed their exact same principles. I've read and seen enough pro and anti-paleo propaganda, and frankly I'm bored with it for the time being. The semantics alone make me want to eat a whole cheesecake out of spite. It was time to see how the other half lived, the anti meat, anti fat camp that often get neglected in these scenarios. So, I plunged full boar into what is called...

The Starch Solution

What is the Starch Solution?

"This book argues that humans are naturally “starchivores” who thrive on a starch-centered diet. Protein (in excess), fat, dietary cholesterol, methionine (in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese), and dietary acid (in animal foods) are toxic, and starch is the path to detoxification and spontaneous healing. Animal-based diets are leading to environmental devastation so we should follow a plant-based diet."


Who is the Starch Solution?

"A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine, John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years.  Dr. John believes that people should look and feel great for a lifetime. Unfortunately, many people unknowingly compromise their health through poor dietary habits.

Dr. McDougall is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program that he and Mary McBoggle host at a luxury resort in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes. In addition to her formal training as a nurse, Mary McMonopoly provides many of the delicious recipes that make the McDangarang Program not only possible, but also a pleasure. Dr. Mcgonnagle has cared for thousands of patients for almost 3 decades. His program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits but, most importantly, can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and others, all without the use of drugs.

A graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Dr. McDungaroo performed his internship at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners.  He and Mary are also the authors of several nationally best-selling books as well as the co-founders of Dr. McDuckagull’s Right Foods, which produces high quality vegetarian cuisine to make it easier for people to eat well on the go."

What Can I Eat on the Starch Solution?

Foods to eat in The Starch Solution:
  • Starches
    • Eat as much as you want, the least processed you can find
    • Grains: barley, buckwheat, corn, farro, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, triticale, wheat, wild rice. Also products made with these grains, such as breads, tortillas, flatbreads, pasta, couscous, and whole grain cereals
    • Legumes: beans, lentils, peas (treat peanuts as nuts/seeds, below)
    • Starchy vegetables: carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, potatoes, salsify, sweet potatoes, winter squashes (acorn, banana, butternut, Hubbard), yams
  • Nonstarchy vegetables
    • Green, yellow, and orange (nonstarchy) vegetables
    • Eat plenty
    • 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
  • Mushrooms
  • Fruits
    • Eat plenty
    • Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, loquats, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pineapples, plums, tangerines, watermelons
  • Other foods for flavoring
    • Bean spreads, jellies and jams, tofu, tofu mayonnaise, soy-based yogurts, fat-free cocoa powder, noncaffeinated herbal teas, coffee substitutes, club soda or unsweetened seltzer (flavored or plain), Ener-G Egg Replacer, whole grain flours, soy milk, rice milk, nut milk, fruit juice, brown sugar, agave nectar, pure maple syrup, soy sauce, miso paste, herbs and spices
  • Packaged meals
    • Packaged Dr. McDougall’s Right Food soups, cereals, and cup meals (That Dirt Bag, McGoogly tryin to make a buck?!?!?!)
  • Snack foods
    • Corn thins, crackers (rice or wheat, fat free), hummus or other spreads (fat free), popcorn (just corn; avoid instant popcorn with added fat)
  • Eat 30-80 grams of protein a day, using plant proteins. You don’t need to consciously combine these foods (“complementary proteins”) within a given meal
  • Most people can enjoy small amounts of refined flours and simple sugars without adverse effects


Foods to avoid or limit with The Starch Solution

Stay away from these foods altogether, all of the time, for the rest of your life.
  • Meat
    • E.g. beef, pork, lamb
  • Poultry
    • E.g. chicken, turkey, duck
  • Dairy  foods
    • E.g. milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Animal fats
    • E.g. lard and butter
  • Vegetable oils
    • Including olive, corn, flaxseed, canola, and safflower oils
  • Processed foods
    • Refined and sugar coated cereals, cookies, cakes, desserts, chocolate, ice cream
    • White rice, white flour
    • Margarine, mayonnaise
    • Colas and other sodas
    • Processed meats
    • Packaged foods
    • Highly processed meat equivalents made from soy and other plant-based foods
  • Isolated soy protein
  • Choose foods with the fewest artificial ingredients
  • Low alcohol is implied but not stated in the book
  • Low caffeine is implied but not stated in the book
  • Foods that are too high calorie or rich for every day – either avoid completely or eat occasionally in very small amounts as occasional treats, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or have a chronic illness
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Peanuts and peanut butter
    • Olives and avocado
    • Dried fruits
    • Flours (whole grain, white, all-purpose)
    • Fruit and vegetable juices
    • Simple sugars – table sugar, maple syrup, molasses, agave

Seems pretty straight forward...BUT, they add more guidelines in order to achieve MAXIMUM FAT LOSSSSS!!!

To be that lean sexy version of yourself you've always wanted to be, follow these guidelines:

Eat more:

  • Nonstarchy green, yellow, and orange vegetables – increase to about 1/3 to ½ of the food on your plate. Fill the remainder of your plate with starch
Eat many small meals a day rather than one or two large ones
Eat a simple meal plan – greater variety results in more food consumed


Eat less:

  • Fruit – fresh fruits only one or two a day


  • Simple sugars, including dried fruit and juices
  • Flour and flour products, including breads, bagels, and pastas
  • High-fat plant foods, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and soy-based foods
  • Eating at restaurants


Health benefits claimed in The Starch Solution

The diet in this book claims to reduce the risks or symptoms of: acne, aging, anemia, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, autism, bad breath, body odor, cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, prostate cancer, canker sores, Crohn’s disease, chronic constipation, depression, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, diarrhea, ear infections, eczema, fatigue, gallbladder disease, gangrene, headache, hearing loss, heart attacks, heart disease, heartburn/GERD, high blood pressure / hypertension, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, hives, hyperactivity, impotence, indigestion, inflammatory diseases, kidney disease, kidney failure, lupus, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis MS, muscle pain, osteoporosis, overweight/obesity, Parkinson’s disease, peptic ulcers, rashes, schizophrenia, scleroderma, sinus infections, stroke, ulcerative colitis, vitiligo
As always, this is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical diagnosis or treatment for a medical condition. Consult your doctor before starting a new diet. This page describes what the authors of the diet recommend – Chewfo is describing the diet only, not endorsing it.


Satiation = Adherence

Potatoes, rice, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are immensely satiating (Especially the almighty potato). They are generally high in volume, loaded with fiber, and also the things that make you farty and bloated. (Name that movie.)

The pitfall of most diets that are restrictive in nature is that they often times create a great deal of discomfort in the form of hunger. Nobody likes to be hungry, and we live in a society where our grandparents were the ones who had to feel the pangs of hunger, not us. Therefore, feeling hungry is a burden and cannot be tolerated. (Not my thoughts, obviously.) However, the starch solution allows for ample ingestion of these foods with high satiety, therefore people are less prone to overeat, (unless their inhibitors are shut down) which allows for weight loss to take its course.

Abundance of Energy Sources

Carbohydrates are our bodies preferred source of fuel for our energetic endeavors. People who switch over to higher carbohydrate diets from low carb often times feel a dramatic increase in energy (except in the case of people who have been ketogenic for a while, in their case, they feel high) because their bodies are now cookin with fire. The concept of pre, post, and intra workout nutrition is based all around carbohydrate intake and insulin response. A rigorous intake of carbohydrates will no doubt cause an abundance of energy in the majority of individuals. And since more energy is often times linked to better health (speed is healthy, right?) people think that this ratio of macro nutrients is king, and is also why The Institute of Medicine recommends you get between 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates.

For me and others who eat in terms of physical and strength development, I think your carbohydrates (and frankly your macro nutrient numbers and calories intake altogether) should be directly related to the amount of energy you expend and your body composition goals. This is obviously highly individualized with some cross over between people of similar heights, weights, sexes and body fat percentages, but in the end, if you're ingesting too many calories, regardless if they are protein, fat, or carb, you will retain body fat, and if you eat below maintenance, will you lose body mass in fat and potentially muscle in the absence of protein and resistance training.


Anti Fat

The issue with this diet is not that people are choosing not to eat meat or dairy, it's the fact that it tends to demonize a fairly important macro nutrient: Fat.

Martin Berkhan explained the fallacy against the anti fat sentiments.

"The birth of the fat fallacy goes back to the 1960's, when Keys started promoting a low fat diet to lower cholesterol levels. At that time he was in the process of finishing up the first study on cholesterol and heart disease. At this point he had convinced himself that there was a connection between fat intake, cholesterol and heart disease. He changed his stance slightly in the early 1970s , when he discovered that death in heart disease was best predicted by the intake of saturated fat specifically.

Ancel Keys cherry picked his data to support a pre-existing notion he had about a connection between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease. Instead of choosing to continue his work in the seven countries from his original study, he should have selected other populations. When more and different data is added into the mix, the connection disappears. Keys seems to have been blinded by his own bias and wanted to validate, not investigate.

Many of the old theories about dietary fat and disease have now been contradicted by more rigorous studies that dispute the results, but it wasn't until about ten years ago the tide started to turn. It is now quite clearly established that there is no clear connection between fat intake, weight gain and many of the aforementioned disease states.

Fat gain, heart disease and other modern maladies has everything to do with caloric excess and much less to do with dietary fat or any other macronutrient."

Fat is an immensely important macro nutrient. Fat helps you absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K, the so-called fat-soluble vitamins. The fats your body gets from your food gives your body essential fatty acids called linoleic and linolenic acid. They are called "essential" because your body cannot make them itself, or work without them. Your body needs them for brain development, controlling inflammation, and blood clotting. Fats are structural components of some of the most important substances in the body, including prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that regulate many of the body’s functions. You need fats because they regulate the production of sex hormones, which explains why some teenage girls who are too lean experience delayed pubertal development and amenorrhea.

The reason I whip out all the text book bull shit is because often times people will read something LIKE a starch solution and proceed to go full fuckin potato and remove all dietary fat from their diets, which is extremely harmful and why I feel the need to list out it's necessities in our bodies...continuing on...

The comfort food theory:

Dr. McGoogle likes to claim that these starchy foods are comfort food. Things such as pasta, breads, and specifically he mentions mashed potatoes. However, everybody knows their favorite recipe of mashed potatoes contains no less than one stick of butter, and their favorite pasta dish is served with an oil or cheese based sauce, and that everybody likes to add butter, bacon, sour cream to their potatoe or a nice spread of peanut butter, nutella, or again, butter, on their bread. Comfort foods are things that hit all of our taste bud sensations. Sweet, salty, and fatty and the combination of them all in a filling meal. The carbs are mostly responsible for the satiation, the volume, texture, whereas the fats contain all of the rich and savory flavors. Nobody comes home after being away at school and asks their mama for their famous dry macaroni. Nah, gurl. They want MAC AND CHEESE, PLEASE!

Nice try selling me on that one, Doc. But I know better, Ol' Yeargain was raised in Oklahoma, land of the mayonnaise tree.



Like I've mentioned before. A diet that is restrictive can only work if a person has an eating disorder, an iron will, a potential threat, or a moral belief against eating such foods. Dr. McDouglous does a fairly good job drawing up scare tactics to create a sense of urgency in adherence, but that only goes so far. (People smoke packs and packs of cigarettes everyday with warning labels that claim it could cause cancer.) The reason diets that are of this variety work, such as veganism, is because of the moral beliefs associated with eating in this manner. Vanity alone cannot stand against a giant Meatball Sub with extra Parmesan cheese. When cravings hit, you've got to have the power of damnation on your back, a phobia, or a game plan, or you will fail.

Anti Protein:

There are a great deal of anti high protein diet claims made by this diet as well as all low meat/no meat/low protein diets, many of them stating that your kidneys can't handle large amounts of protein. This is simply not true. Here's my boy, Alan Aragon to smack this shit down.

"Back in 1983, researchers first discovered that eating more protein increases your "glomerular filtration rate," or GFR. Think of GFR as the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute. From this finding, many scientists made the leap that a higher GFR places your kidneys under greater stress.
Nearly 2 decades ago, Dutch researchers found that while a protein-rich meal did boost GFR, it didn't have an adverse effect on overall kidney function. In fact, there's zero published research showing that downing hefty amounts of protein—specifically, up to 1.27 grams per pound of body weight a day—damages healthy kidneys." 

So, now that's out of the way, you can stop staring at your deep freezer full of chicken in fear now. It's okay, they're dead, they can't peck you. You've won, you can eat them now.



I'm certain that aspects of this diet will work. Dietary fat is calorically dense, saturated in a great deal of stream lined, processed foods, and is often the culprit to people's overeating and subsequent obesity problems. Cutting out foods that are notoriously filled with fat will help you lose weight (at least in some manner), and your weight loss will alleviate a great deal of your medical issues.


Claiming that it's a miracle diet that can prevent a number of serious diseases is altogether irresponsible in my mind. Especially when a number of people have seen miraculous changes in their health with things such as ketogenic diets. Even if a person is concerned with these potential ailments, they should not be listening to a book, or even trust an bro who likes to sing opera, they should consult their doctor and registered dietician and find out what their body responds to and if they even need to resort to such extremes. The real truth is that the majority of these ailments are more rooted in hereditary and sedentary factors, rather than you eating a nice fatted goose for Christmas.

Dr. McDoggleboggle attempted to create all cure with his potatoe theory, and in the end wrote a book and made himself a little retreat in California where him and his wife fix you and your rich ass friends some nice starchy crap for a nominal fee <$5,560/person (single) >. To me, sounds like business as usual.

I ain't got no hate for potatoes or vegans/vegetarians. You eat the way your heart tells you, I'm not your moral compass, plus you can still get plenty of protein and fat in a vegan diet. And potatoes are tasty as shit, especially fried in oil and served with chili and cheese. Maybe dipped in mayo if I'm feelin like a real sick bastard and I've been away from the fruitful mayo trees native to my homeland.

Until next time, don't be afraid of eating that rib-eye. Eat it, enjoy it, savor it...but if you're going to eat that rib-eye, don't put a bunch of butter on your potato, roll, and maybe have just one slice of cake and have a nice chicken salad with a nice no fat vinaigrette for lunch. Balance and all that shit. And, as always...

Lift Big, Sing Big, and Look Great Doing It.

The Opera Bro


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