Eureka (Part 2)

WHAT CHANGED?

Graph showing rise in obesity since 1970s

How did we become the sickest and most medicated people in the industrialized world while paying twice as much for healthcare? We know what the problem is (inflammation). We know when it started (the late ‘70s). We know where it happened first (North America). The missing piece of the puzzle is what are we doing to cause it? And how a low carb diet plan that is also low in vitamin A might help.

…We have these incredibly advanced healthcare systems, with trillions of dollars in spending per year. …Ironically, and in spite of all of that apparent progress, shoeless dirt farmers in India and China may well now outlive us. They will almost certainly go through their entire lives without getting a single autoimmune disease…People in North America should be thriving like never before, yet almost the opposite is happening. We are now getting rates of chronic disease, and dying from them, like never before. Where and how could we have gone so wrong?

Grant Generoux, Extinguishing the Fires of Hell, pp 11-12

Obviously, a lot has changed in the last 50 years, but here are a few things that may explain why North America has fared so much worse than the rest of the world in regard to autoimmune diseases.  

How it began

According to USDA, the major trends in the American diet since the late ‘70s have been a decrease in the percentage of fat calories and a greatly increased consumption of carbohydrates. “Annual grain consumption has increased almost 60 pounds per person and caloric sweeteners, primarily high fructose corn syrup, by 30 pounds.”–Gary Taubes, “What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” The New York Times, July 7, 2002.

Ancel Keys: A Double Whammy

Trans fats have been around since the early 1900s. By the 1940s, thanks in large part to two brothers-in-law named Proctor and Gamble, partially hydrogenated oils had taken over the market from natural fats. They merged their businesses after marrying sisters; one was a candle maker and one a soap maker. Both used lard as the raw ingredient before switching to hardened cottonseed oil as a cheaper alternative. When they noticed that it looked like lard and it tasted good, they started selling it as food under the name, Crisco. By the end of the Second World War there was a huge spike in the number of heart attacks in middle-aged American men (including President Eisenhower). A government consultant named Ansel Keys thought saturated fats were to blame, but he mistakenly lumped natural and artificial solid fats together and demonized them all. (Early researchers also put all solid fats into the same category.) Using government grants, he conducted observational studies in first six and then seven countries, to try to prove what he already believed to be true. He presented his Seven Countries Study, which ignored a lot of inconvenient data, as evidence of the newly minted Lipid Hypothesis, which postulated that saturated fat caused heart disease. Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, said Keys’ idea that saturated fat causes heart disease is among the most rigorously tested in nutrition science—but was never shown to be true. A new major review of reviews in The BMJ on saturated fats and heart disease concludes: “Diets that replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat do not convincingly reduce cardiovascular events or mortality…[We] must consider that the diet-heart hypothesis is invalid or requires modification.” https://bit.ly/2mk4UN7

Based on the Keys’ unproved hypothesis, Congress issued its Dietary Goals for the United States in 1977 making low-fat/high-carb diets the official law of the land. That was bad enough, but there was another outcome that was equally disastrous. The food industry happily accommodated the new guidelines by replacing the expensive proteins and fats in their products with cheap sugar and starch and flooding the market with low-fat products. Government agencies worried that since some vitamins are fat soluble, the low-fat products might cause deficiencies (G. Genereux suggests a more sinister motive), so in 1978 they passed the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance under the Standards of Identity for Low-fat and Non-fat milks; it stated that in these products, “Vitamin A shall be present in such quantity that each quart of the food contains not less than 2000 IUs thereof within limits of Good Manufacturing Practices.” At that time, mothers were taught that their children needed three glasses of milk a day, which would be 1,500 IUs of vitamin-A just from the milk. (Teenage boys can easily finish off a quart in one sitting.) https://bit.ly/2kCMJC1

Because vitamin A is fat soluble, it had to be modified to make it water-soluble so it would stay in solution in reduced-fat milk products. As a result, when it is ingested, the body does not send the modified vitamin A, retinal palmitate, to the liver to be detoxified, but circumvents the body’s natural defenses by sending it instead to the kidneys, with devastating results (a staggering 65,900% increase in kidney disease in just 50 years)! Read about that (and a rollicking conspiracy theory too!) in Chapter 13, of Poisoning for Profit, p. 321.

Canada also added vitamin A to dairy products, but in the US, wheat and some cereals are also fortified with retinol palmitate. Even feed for organic livestock may contain vitamin A, and it doesn’t have to be organic. (The fifth item in the list of Standards says that to be labeled as organic, the animals must be: “Fed 100 percent certified organic feed, except for trace minerals and vitamins used to meet the animal’s nutritional requirements.”) https://bit.ly/2pP3UjE

Ansel Keys and his wife, Margaret invented the Mediterranean Diet, high in beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, and olive oil, which is still recommended as the most healthful way to eat by our government and health agencies. Although the common perception is that it was an almost vegetarian regimen, according to the 1961 Times  issue that featured Keys’ picture on the cover, he and his wife ate “carving meat—steaks, chops, and roasts up to three times a week” in addition to fish, chicken, Canadian bacon, and liver. (Did you notice the bacon?) “The Fat of the Land,” Time Magazine, January 13, 1961, Vol. LXXVII No.3.

Geoffrey Cannon related this story about Fred Kummerow, a crusader against trans fats and vegetable oils: “Fred told me about having lunch with Ancel Keys in a fancy restaurant. They both ordered a main course of steak and eggs. Fred was surprised. Ancel Keys explained that his hypothesis was for the little people…” Cannon, Geoffrey. (2014). Inspiration. Fred Kummerow. “The man who knew about trans fats.” World Nutrition. 5. 169-173.

Keys observed that Europeans were healthier than Americans, but he was there at a time when they were recovering from a disastrous war. Their economies were in shambles and they had undoubtedly suffered food scarcity during the war years. Deprivation, aka fasting, would likely have depleted their vitamin A stores, which could have had a positive effect on the health of those who survived. They may have been eating beans and pasta in the ‘50s because they were cheap, but that was not at all representative of their traditional cuisines. Italians, for example, ate a lot cheese, rich sauces, animal fats, and meat, especially cured pork. (Could that be the reason the names of traditional cured pork are mostly Italian? Prosciutto, Speck, Pancetta, Lardo, Spalla, Guanciale, Soppressata, Cacciatore, Salt Pork, Coppo or Capicola, and Pepperoni?)

Keys’ low-saturated fat, high-carb diet triumphed despite its having no scientific basis and his not even following it himself. After over 50 years of following such advice, we are seeing the results. In a 2019 article titled, “Deaths from heart disease and these other conditions are on the rise, research suggests.” “We are losing ground in the battle against cardiovascular disease… Understanding what is contributing to these alarming trends may help direct specific strategies for prevention…” said Dr. Sadiya Khan, an assistant professor of cardiology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. https://bit.ly/2krbrFk

So in the U.S. we had the double whammy of a huge rise in sugar consumption, which stimulates the release of insulin (the fat-storage hormone) and increases hunger, and a simultaneous increase in grains. And both grains and dairy, our daily food from the cradle to the grave, were newly fortified with synthetic, water soluble, vitamin A palmitate.

Dr. Weston A. Price, the Darwin of Nutrition

Another figure who casts a long shadow over our modern views about vitamin A is Dr. Weston A. Price, an American dentist. He has become the patron saint of the Primal food movement, a way of eating patterned after the pre-industrial lifestyle of early farming and herding societies.

In the 1930s, Dr. Price traveled the world to research the diets and health of isolated, indigenous peoples while such societies still existed. He sought out places where people were continuing to live in the ways of their ancestors with little outside influence. He found them to be a “picture of perfect health.” They had superb physiques, perfect teeth, no arthritis, no heart disease, no cancer, and they were cheerful and happy. He reported that all healthy populations included animal fat and protein in their diets. He also studied less isolated people from the same family groups. In his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, summarized here”, he charts their catastrophic decline in health as they came into contact with “trade foods,” high in refined sugar and starch and processed oils.

He said, “Fat Soluble vitamins have been deficient in nearly every case of active tooth decay.” He was right that fat-soluble vitamins are essential for healthy teeth; he was the first to discover something he called “The X Factor” in raw dairy products. It was later determined to be vitamin K2, a fat-soluble vitamin that keeps calcium in the bones and teeth where it belongs rather than in the arteries, the heart, and other organs. But he could not have known about the destructive potential of another fat soluble vitamin, retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A that is also found in dairy. Retinoic acid was not discovered until about 1960. Early researchers referred to an “unknown toxic factor” that caused illness and death in their lab animals, but they had no idea what it was. Even today, it is very hard to test for retinoic acid and it can only be measured indirectly by comparing several other tests. 

Price recommended a combination of cod liver oil and raw butter to treat tooth decay. His name is invoked by many present day practitioners of Natural Medicine when they prescribe mega-doses of cod liver and butter oil as well as vitamin A supplements to treat all sorts of illnesses. (The only size of vitamin A supplement the Thorne Company sells is 25,000 mgs!) However, I don’t think Price ever prescribed such high doses and he was usually treating malnourished children who would probably have had plenty of room to store any excess if they got too much.

Some of his warnings sound ominously prophetic:  “Don’t over-consume fish oils such as cod liver oil in too large doses, as this may cause serious structural damage to the heart and kidney and lead to depression. Also, fish oils that have been exposed to air may develop toxic substances.” This is especially surprising in light of the recent popularity of “fermented” cod liver oil and the huge kerfuffle about it a few years ago. (It is still being sold!) That story is here.

Another possibility popped out at me as I re-read Price’s book. The isolated, primitive cultures he visited were living in habitats that had been home to their ancestors for thousands of years. They would have been well adapted, not just to the foods that were available there, but to whatever microbes and parasites lived there as well. Tooth decay could certainly result from a diet high in sugar and white flour, but the birth defects, mental disabilities, and the differences described in the teeth and bone structure of children born to the same parents before and after they moved away from their native territory seem too drastic to be the result of replacing freshly-ground grains, natural sugars, and animal fats with refined carbs and vegetable fat. Especially since he said that (for some children) it was only necessary that they eat a special “nutritious meal” once a day. They could have white bread, jam, and vegetable oil (almost certainly trans fat) at their other meals. And then there is this inexplicable paragraph: “The (special meal) menu was varied from day to day by substituting for the meat stew, fish chowder or organs of animals. Their home meals were not changed–highly sweetened coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made from white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat. On this diet, and despite their eating processed foods in their other meals, their physical health and brain function improved dramatically.” From chapter 16 and also in chapter 22, a chapter added in the second edition in 1945, “A New Vitamin–Like Activator.”

He reported that the children born to the relocated parents had narrowed faces, crowded teeth, physical deformities, and they were more likely to be feeble minded or juvenile delinquents compared to the older siblings who were born in their original homeland. Surely such drastic changes would be expected to take at least 20 years to show up. What could cause such deterioration so quickly? I can think of one possibility. Perhaps their precipitous decline in health was the result of leaving the parasites with which they had developed a symbiotic relationship. Parasites are known to reduce retinoic acid levels in humans. They provide targets to keep the immune system busy so it won’t attack normal tissue. As long as the parents stayed put, they would have continued to have healthy children with perfect teeth and a cheerful outlook on life.

The photographs of Dr. Weston Price illustrate the difference in facial structure between those on their native diets and those whose parents had adopted the “civilized” diets of devitalized processed foods. The “primitive” Seminole girl (left) and Samoan boy (third from left) have wide, handsome faces with plenty of room for the dental arches. The “modernized” Seminole girl (second from left) and Samoan boy (fourth from left), born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diets, have narrowed faces, crowded teeth and a reduced immunity to disease.

Some of the birth defects and mental conditions Dr. Price listed as occurring in the children born to parents who had moved to a new environment sound a lot like some of those listed as side effects of the acne medication, Accutane (isotretinoin aka retinoic acid). New patients who are prescribed Accutane are required to sign a document promising to use two different kinds of birth control and it is strongly hinted that they have a backup plan (“see your doctor right away) if they get pregnant anyway.

Quote from the iPledge brochure: “There is an extremely high risk that severe birth defects will result if pregnancy occurs while taking isotretinoin in any amount, even for a short period of time.”

The side effects of Accutane from the iPledge program Patient Introductory Brochure 6:

“Birth defects which have been documented following isotretinoin exposure include abnormalities of the face, eyes, ears, skull, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus and parathyroid glands. Cases of IQ scores less than 85 with or without other abnormalities have been reported. There is an increased risk of spontaneous abortion, and premature births have been reported.

Documented external abnormalities include: skull abnormality; ear abnormalities (including anotia, micropinna, small or absent external auditory canals); eye abnormalities (including microphthalmia); facial dysmorphia; cleft palate. Documented internal abnormalities include: CNS abnormalities (including cerebral abnormalities, cerebellar malformation, hydrocephalus, microcephaly, cranial nerve deficit); cardiovascular abnormalities; thymus gland abnormality; parathyroid hormone deficiency. In some cases death has occurred with certain of the abnormalities previously noted.”

What can I eat on a low-A diet?

Sources and Links

Grant Genereux, Ideas, Concepts, and Observations, recommends very simple fare with only foods that are close to zero in vitamin A, at least for the first few months. It is austere, but it is actually quite satisfying and it will certainly simplify your life. He recently reported that he is still seeing improvements in his health after five years! Grant’s basic diet of black beans, rice, beef, olive oil (not extra virgin), and salt and pepper is not at all unpleasant, even for a foodie like me. He also mentions some other options, such as cauliflower, applesauce, turkey, lobster, coffee, and sauerkraut among others. Calories are not restricted. He occasionally takes zinc and vitamins C and K2 to help with detox and some of the B vitamins. The more strict your diet, the sooner you will be finished with detox. And yes, once you have cleared out your body’s stored vitamin A, you get a start fresh—you are cured!   All of Grant’s e-books, blog posts, and his forum are free.   

Dr. Garrett Smith, Nutrition Restored, is a naturopath who uses Grant’s protocol in his practice (the only doctor who does at this point). His recommendations are less restricted but more complicated. He is especially vigilant about Glysophate. He says it interferes with the detoxing of A. I can’t argue with that, but there are other things that may or may not apply to you as an individual and you may not agree with some of his advice on other subjects (homeopathy, for example). He has compiled a lot of useful information about the vitamin A content of foods, topical products, supplements, and related research on his website. He is currently in the process of updating all his lists, which should be ready soon. He has a public forum as well as a private one which is accessible for a fee. It was about $40 when I joined and well worth it. He also has Face Book pages, a free public one and a private one with a fee of $50 a month. The private sites allow you to ask questions. His advice covers more than just vitamin A related topics. For example, peanut butter is not on his OK food list, even though it has no vitamin A, because most of it is contaminated with aflatoxin.

The Basics

Vitamin A is found in plant foods in the form of carotenoids. Carotenoids have to be converted to retinol before the body can use them. Some are converted at a higher rate than others. Animal foods contain vitamin A in a form that can be used by the body as is; this is the kind found plentifully in cheese, dairy, egg yolks, fish oil, and liver. Many health organizations may tell you that carotenoids will only be converted if they are needed, but that is not true, at least not if you are already over-loaded. There are reports in the medical literature of deaths from overconsumption of carrots or carrot juice. (Pumpkin is higher in A than carrots—watch out—it’s that season again!) In retrospect, I actually know of a case where vitamin A toxicity may have contributed to someone’s death, although I have no way to know for sure. I had a friend whose staple food was vegetable juice (parsley, spinach, celery, and carrots), although he was not a vegetarian. He made it fresh with a manual press for himself and his invalid wife. He had the symptoms of hypervitaminosis A, including very bowed legs and yellow skin. He developed lung cancer and died at about 70, even though he was a non-smoker.

If you cruise the forums on the low-A sites you will see in the comments that people are eating a wide variety of foods and that they do not always follow the same rules. There are carnivores, Paleos, intermittent fasters, those who follow a FODMAP or GAPS plan, and at least one low-carber, among others. It is important to remember that we are all different. Some do fine with pork and chocolate, for example, while others say they feel worse when they eat them. Also, one of the symptoms of chronic vitamin A poisoning is Leaky Gut, which means you may have become sensitized to anything that happened to slip through the spaces between the cells lining the walls of your intestines and those would be random, depending on what you ate. (I loved Grant’s description about what causes Leaky Gut. He says healthy epithelial cells have tentacles that “hold hands” to keep the junctions tight.)

Low And No-Vitamin A Foods:

Here are some dos and don’ts that I’ve put together to get you started. I’m just skimming the surface here and I’m still a beginner myself. If you start today, I’m only seven months ahead of you, so we can all learn together. I hope those of you out there who are more knowledgeable about science, chemistry, and medicine than I am will lend your expertise to the discussion.

In general, most white vegetables and fruits are OK and the white parts of others are allowed, the white part of a green onion, for example. Mushrooms are counted as being white, even the dark ones, so all are OK. Most brightly-colored foods are not OK. So red, orange, yellow, and green plant foods are not allowed, with some notable exceptions; most berries get their color from cyanidins rather than carotenoids, and they do not contain vitamin A, so strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, and cherries are permissible. All potatoes except the gold ones are OK, but they are all night shades, which may provoke allergies, and they are high in carbs. All sweet potatoes and all squash should be avoided, no matter what color. Yellow tomatoes are said to have zero vitamin A, but both Genereux and Dr. Smith think all tomatoes are high in A. I was already buying (and growing) yellow tomatoes and peeling and seeding them because of a five-year-long allergy to almost everything, which seemed to help me tolerate them occasionally. (Allergens are usually in the skin and seeds.)

Remember that herbs and spices count too; fresh herbs are much worse than dried. Fresh chives, mint, and parsley are especially high, and you need to watch out for red spices like chili, saffron, red pepper, and paprika. True or Ceylon cinnamon is OK, but not common or cassia cinnamon. Curcumin and turmeric are OK in spite of their bright yellow color. Red food coloring may be high in A, especially if it says, “all natural” because it may contain achiote, beets, or rhubarb. Most herbal teas are no-nos because they list hibiscus or mint in the ingredients. Check your personal care products too. I’m making my own skin cream now so I know what is in it.

White peaches are fine if you peel them and avoid the red fibrous part near the seed. Bananas, grapes, raisins, and black figs are low in A, but high in carbs. (I have a fig tree that produces greenish/purple fruit. Since black figs are acceptable and green ones are not, I assumed that the vitamin A is in the skin. It is very easy to pull the flesh away from the skin with your teeth when you eat them. Note: Sun-drying fruit lowers its vitamin A content, not just dried, but sun-dried!

Nuts and nut butters that are safe are almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, an coconut. Don’t overdo the almonds because of the high omaga-6 content. Avoid pistachios (because they’re green) and cashews (they contain a toxin similar to poison ivy).

Most beans are OK: garbanzos, chana dal, lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, and black beans, but not kidney beans (they are red), peanuts (usually contaminated with aflatoxin), green beans or green peas. Black beans are fairly low in carbohydrates and if you cook them by the recipe below, they are easily digestible and low in anti-nutrients and toxins. Deli roast beef and black beans have become staple foods for me; that’s what I usually have for lunch.

Grains are a minefield. Most grains that are not fortified don’t have vitamin A, although they may have other harmful components.

Rice is usually considered the most innocent option of the grains, except for its very high carb count and the possibility that the bran may contain Arsenic, depending on where it is grown. It has no vitamin A, which may answer a lot of questions we have puzzled over, like how did many civilizations, such as India and China, survive while eating mostly rice? Why does a vegan diet seem to help for the first year or so? How did Duke University’s Dr. Walter Kemper’s Rice Diet, consisting of white rice, fruit juice, and sugar, cure people of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease back in the ‘30s?

In the past, I explained away Kemper’s success by saying it was really just fasting. Food with no fat or salt is terribly unappetizing. He was sued by one patient because she said he had to beat his patients with a horse whip to get them to eat the food he prescribed. (He admitted it, but claimed he had their wellbeing at heart.) His diet would have detoxed the vitamin A that was causing their diseases and obesity and as long as it didn’t last long enough to result in deficiencies, his patients might have gone home cured.

In rice-dependent Asian countries, the common people didn’t eat a lot of food, either because there wasn’t enough to feed the large populations or because staying slightly hungry was part of their philosophy. (Asian art history depicts some obesity among the affluent and the royalty; it was before photography, so maybe just bad artists?)

I will go into more detail about other grains and share some of my favorite recipes, including one for lower-carb rice, in future posts.

Protein

Protein is essential and beef, lamb, turkey, chicken (skinless white-meat), and egg whites are good choices. There is some controversy about pork and pork fat. Some of the low A advocates think it has hidden retinoic acid and say it makes them feel bad. Others say (in the comment threads) that they have no problem with it. I don’t suffer any bad effects from eating it, but that is highly subjective and because I still have allergies, I don’t always know what causes what, so don’t go by me. Seafood is another area of contention. White fish may not be a problem; red or pink fish, like salmon, most likely is, and all seafood is suspect because of mercury and other pollutants.

Fat is also essential, but not everyone agrees about how much and what kind is best. I favor more rather than less. I never gave up my Bulletproof Coffee with mct oil, even when I was very sick, but I have played around with using different fats. Butter contains vitamin A, but it may have advantages that offset the negatives, so a little may be helpful. Clarified butter and ghee have no casein, which makes them even better and clarified is better than ghee because ghee is heated to a higher temperature, which oxidizes more of the fat.

Low Carb Diet Plan

Grant Genereux and Dr. Smith agree that fat and protein are essential but they both think some glucose is also necessary. Grant prefers it in the form of starch, like rice and beans. Dr. Smith gets his from fruit. I’m still avoiding sugar, trying to keep the carbs low, and continuing to eat more fat. Until we have controlled studies, we need to do our own research and stay open minded. Remember too that this is not a forever diet. Once you have depleted your vitamin A stores, you can change your diet, but you shouldn’t need to worry about weight control anymore. I’m planning to continue with low-carb/high-fat for its other benefits, but I may have to modify it to keep from losing too much weight.

Nutrition Data

Do not depend on USDA labels on products for information about vitamin A. Sometimes it is listed but if it is not, it does not mean that it doesn’t have any. Some vitamins and minerals are required to be listed, but A is not one of them. The percent RDA is a rather vague number; it’s better to go by the mcgs or IUs (international units), which are more specific, and the best number is zero. 

You can look up the nutritional data of foods on a number of sites. I like one called nutriondata.self.com because it is easy to use and it has tools that allow you to search by one or more nutrients. For example, you can search for everything that is low in A and iron and calcium and also high in C and zinc and vitamin K2 all at the same time. It also has a drop-down menu under the micronutrients box that shows the RAE (retinol activity equivalent), which is how much of the different carotenoids (the plant forms of vitamin A) is converted to preformed vitamin A, the form that can be used directly. However the different data bases don’t always agree and some have missing information. We just have to do the best we can. (If you have a favorite data base for nutrition info, please share it in the comments.)

I will be back soon with more info and lots of recipes. My husband took over the shopping and cooking when I got too sick to stand up long enough and following a recipe was way too hard for my foggy brain. He has come up with some really good stuff that we can both eat, such as a great Cottage Pie! I was enough better to make my own birthday cake two weeks ago and it was terrific, so I’ll add that one too.

Please chime in and let me know what you think. We are exploring unknown territory here, which is incredibly exciting!


Here’s a recipe to get you started.

Black-Beans - low carb diet plan
Black beans

Black Beans

Traditional cooks soaked most starchy foods before cooking to remove anti-nutrients and toxins. It made them more digestible and they would cook faster so they didn’t require as much fuel. You won’t need to worry about unpleasant side effects from eating beans if you use this method of cooking.

Rinse beans and place in a large pan. (The beans will swell so allow plenty of room.) Add cold water to cover by 2 or 3 inches and add a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (from a glass bottle) for each cup of beans. Soak, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours. Replace vinegar and water once or twice while soaking.

After soaking, drain and thoroughly rinse beans to remove any scum. Add fresh water to cover. Place pot over medium/high heat and bring to a boil. This is important—they will take much longer to cook if they don’t reach boiling. Skim off the additional scum and foam that rises to the top after pot comes to a boil. (Update: I now just drain off the water for a second time and replace it with fresh water. It is much easier than trying to get all the scum off by skimming. JBB) This is the bad stuff you want to get rid of. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook for one to three hours or until soft. Do not add salt until beans or soft or they may take longer to cook. Cooking time may vary; the fresher the beans, the faster they cook.             

Serving size: ½ cup

Nutrition Data:
Calories: 113; Fat: 5.2g; Protein: 7.75g; Carbs: 20.4g; Fiber: 15g; Net Carbs: 5.4g; Vit. A: 0 IUs, 0% RDA

Recipe adapted from Sarah Pope

Eureka Part 3: To Everything There Is a Season…


© 2019, Judy Barnes Baker

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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Geetha
4 years ago

It is alarming to know that people in North America are worse affected by autoimmune disorders. Diet seems to be a significant reason for the diseases. After reading your post, I have also decided to follow a low carb and protein-rich diet. Thanks for the informative post.

bzjm
Reply to  Geetha
4 years ago

Yes, I’m in North America and the food here is not as good quality. The nutrious foods are here, but not as easy to find and more expensive.

I watch others addicted to sugar and high carb foods can do to the body. That prompted me to look at how others did the low carb lifestyle and change the way I eat.

bzjm
Reply to  Judy Barnes Baker
4 years ago

Its unfortunate that we dont have the abundance of healthy choices like other places. We can make educated choices and ignore the unhealthy foods. I would rather feel good with the healthy choices than rely on medications to fix me.

bzjm
4 years ago

I’ve lost 55 lbs on the low carb, protein and fat rich lifestyle. I also do Intermittent fasting, 6 pm to 12 noon; helps with appetite and keeps my mind sharp.

bzjm
4 years ago

I would like to stay the same weight as now, but I do find the weight is going down. What is the strategy to maintain the weight?

bzjm
Reply to  Judy Barnes Baker
4 years ago

My BMI is 22. I understand the normal BMI is 18 to 24 and wanted to be somewhere in the middle to be at my healthiest. I also do intermittent fasting because my mind is sharper and my appetite is more manageable.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years ago

Hi Judy Ive seen you on Grant’s blog and am reading/reaching out today because Ive been low A just over a year, found Grant after searcing for help with an autoimmune disease for 5 yrs. Have had amazing results, but got nervous about eating meat, tried for 4 months but could not make it work with vegan proteins like Tempeh, Tofu, more beans.. My autoimmune disease started to come back. My son went Low Carb a month ago so to support him, I thought Id try to craft a low carb , low A diet. And was led straight to your blog. Hope you are continuing to feel well, and pray your cataract goes away. And thank you for the recipes! Reading about your husbands recovery and your no plaque artery test has been encouraging

sandyrean
sandyrean
3 years ago

Thank you for all the new information. I am reading it all and needed to hear this. I am ready for a change.

drapo
drapo
3 years ago

Hello

omega 3 oil from fish or algae is ok in a low vitamin a diet ?

Divya Sharma
1 year ago

Amazing post, thanks for sharing this article. Thank You

Griffin
Griffin
2 months ago

Are all of the beans relatively low in vitamin a? I was going to opt for the lower oxalate beans like black eyed peas, lentils and butter beans. Black beans have roughly 60 mg of oxalate per 1/2 cup so I will do those in small amounts as well.