Metabolic Type and ER4YT Diets archives

Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Mike Kramer on January 12, 1999 at 13:00:45:


I know that life is complex but we all search for simplicity. I know I do better eating some approximation of the H-G. Namely, if I eat mostly meat I feel better than if I don't.

What I haven't yet verified through personal experience are the specifics of the H-G diet. So I was somewhat perplexed at one of your postings a while back (sorry, I didn't save it). Your were replying to someone who asked why white meat is an avoid. My memory of your reply was that it wasn't so necessary to AVOID white meat as to be sure to INCLUDE an allowed meat in every meal.

So (this entire message is in regard to H-Gs, and abstracts from issues of food allergy) let me see if I understand things.
1. A food is an "allowed" if and only if either
(a)it tends to reduce venous blood plasma acidity, or
(b)it has a neutral affect on venous blood plasma pH.

2. A food is an "avoid" if and only if it tends to increase venous blood plasma acidity.

3. A food will tend to reduce venous blood plasma acidity (and fall under 1.(a) above) if and only if it is high in purines.

I propose these definitions as a way of reconciling the white meat issue. It sounds like white meat doesn't satisfy definition 2. Statement 3 is a guess; is it correct? Is there any substance analogous to purines that tends to make food avoids?

By the way. I just saw your posting of Watson's 6-question quiz. I answered "no" to all the questions and my bloodwork exhibits the hypoglycemic profile you define.

Thanks for your infinite patience and readiness to explain. If your are too busy to reply, I do understand. I'll be reading your book.


Follow Ups:

Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Robert McFerran on January 12, 1999 at 18:53:10:

In Reply to: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question posted by Mike Kramer on January 12, 1999 at 13:00:45:

Hi Mike,

You have brought up several excellent questions -- ones that I've wrestled with as I've tried to put my dietary suggestions on paper.

Dr. Wiley's book was written before Dr. D'Adamo's ER4YT. Dr. D'Adamo's avoids suggest that you avoid that specific food at all costs -- Wiley uses it in a different way.

Wiley uses the word AVOID with meats/poultry/fish that are relatively low in purine content. These AVOID meats/poultry/fish will shift blood plasma pH toward optimals -- just not as much as their dark meat counterparts.

When talking about fruits and vegetables he uses the word AVOID to describe vegetables that shift blood plasma pH AWAY from their optimal levels. At the same time the recommended foods all move blood plasma pH TOWARD optimal levels -- even though some of the fruits/vegetables are relatively low in purine content.

To get around these problems I will use a different descriptive format:

CORE FOODS will be your best foods. Time has made us well adapted to these foods. They have proven themselves to have a low allergenic potential and can be eaten several times a week. They should serve as the bulk (greater than 70%) of your nutritional needs. These should be the first foods you test upon completion of the Elimination Diet phase.

SUPPLEMENTAL FOODS are important since they give nutritional variety to your diet. While these foods tend to work well with your inherited metabolism they also have a higher potential for developing food allergies. Therefore these foods should be regularly enjoyed but not overeaten. You will probably find your best balance if you eat them no more than once a week. These foods should be closely checked for negative reactions after testing your core foods.

AVOID FOODS are those that are metabolically inappropriate for your physiology. While they should generally be avoided they can often be tolerated in small quantities when eaten in conjunction with your Core/Supplemental foods. AVOID FOODS also tend to be best tolerated when eaten with your evening meal. This group of foods is the last that should be tested following the elimination diet as many will generate symptoms.

ELIMINATE FOODS must be completely removed from your diet. People with arthritis tend to be very poorly adapted to these ‘new’ foods. These foods all have a high allergenic potential. Many directly damage and increase permeability of the intestinal lining. These foods should not be tested.

Here is an example of the format for the MEAT/POULTRY/FISH section of the Hunter-gatherer diet.

MEATS, POULTRY AND SEAFOOD – It is critical that meat, fish or poultry be eaten at EVERY meal.

Core Foods - Pound for pound these foods have the highest levels of purines needed to create energy in the Hunter-gatherer metabolism. You should choose fattier cuts of muscle meats (i.e. rib steak) whenever possible. Liver or other organ meats should be eaten on a regular basis.

All organ meats (liver, kidney, tongue, tripe, brain, sweet breads, etc.) and all red meats from the following. Beef, lamb, venison, buffalo, bison and elk. Dark meats (thigh and leg) of chicken, turkey, duck, goose, Cornish hen, partridge, pheasant and quail. All crustaceans and dark colored fishes including lobster, scallop, shrimp, crab, conch, squid, octopus, abalone, anchovy, sardine, herring, dark tuna, swordfish, salmon, clam, caviar, crayfish, frog,

Supplemental Foods – These foods have less of the needed purine and fat content. While they are a sub-optimal choice they offer a better alternative than totally abstaining from fish, poultry or meat during a meal. These foods will be better tolerated during your evening meal.

All light colored poultry, pork and fish. Chicken and turkey (breast meat). Scrod, cod, sole, turbot, haddock, albacore tuna, catfish, perch, bass, carp, halibut, grouper, mackerel, mahi-mahi, monkfish, red snapper, sea bass, shark and sole.

Avoid Foods


Eliminate Foods

All commercial ham, bacon and sausage. These food products are not whole foods since they contain many additives and preservatives including monosodium glutamate and sugar.

Mike, I intend to give the reader as much information as possible as to why or why they shouldn't be eating a certain food. Let me know what you think and of course if you have any other questions.


Follow Ups:

Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Mike Kramer on January 13, 1999 at 23:25:24:

In Reply to: Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question posted by Robert McFerran on January 12, 1999 at 18:53:10:


Great stuff as usual. A new insight into your book. My appetite whettens!

Thanks for your detailed explanation. That tied together a lot of loose ends that had been troubling me. It also confirmed my personal experience that it was better to have a Wiley-avoid meat with a meal than no meat and a bunch of allowed other foods. As a personal note, I always preferred dark meat to white. I could never understand how people could get all excited about a chicken or turkey breast. To me it seems dry and powdery. The only way to get it down was to have a lot of gravy to dunk it in. Could that be a question for your metabolic exam: do you like white meat better than dark?

Anyway, there was one other issue raised by my previous posting, about which I am still unclear. You have explained quite clearly that there is a single substance--purines--that drives blood in the alkaline direction. Is there a single comparable substance that makes blood acid, or are there a constellation of factors.

That's my question.

I will now mention as an aside a book I heard about yesterday on the radio: The Eat a Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon. Mr. Gordon was a vegetarian who has moved up the food chain but is still not an carnivore. He points out that most indigenous peoples were insectivorous. Insects are still eaten and available, bottled and fresh, in many places in the world.

In addition, the 1/12/98 New York Times Science section has an interesting discussion of the diets of our human ancestors. It shows that when human populations were small, slow-moving prey, such as tortoises, were frequently consumed. Their role in the diet declined as the human populations increased, essentially wiping out the tortoises as a food source. The article didn't mention it, but social bugs (ants, bees) are an easy, relatively slow-moving, concentrated food source. David Gordon, the bug book guy on the radio also talked about periodic infestations, like biblical locusts, providing another source. (See Leviticus 11:20-23 for the insects recommended by the Hebrew bible for consumption.)

I believe your intention, Bob, is to encourage people to make healthy changes. And I agree. I also understand that grossing people out wil not encourage them to change. But sometimes we all need to be shaken out of our comfort range. I plan on buying the Bug book (after I order some jerky from the source Bob kindly provided). I hope David Gordon mentions some clean supply houses in his book. Maybe the worm's the best thing about tequila. Seriously, does anyone out there have any personal experience eating bugs, or any recipes to share?

(For those who are made queasy take note of these facts provided by the Bug book author: the seafood analogue of roaches are shrimp. I always found it interesting that we accept much more variety in the wild seaflesh we consume compared to the domestic landflesh we eat. The Bug book author also reminded me of the fact that anyone who eats processed foods is getting her daily allowance of bug parts. The government permits a certain level of bug parts, {and these parts are present} in such common foods as flour, frozen vegetables, and peanut butter.)

On a lighter note, I saw the video Men in Black a couple of nights ago. This comedy derived much of its concluding humor by ridiculing the insectophilia of cultures marginalized as "different." Somehow I was able to overcome this flaw and get some good chuckles.

More and more intricate grows the web,

Follow Ups:

Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Robert McFerran on January 14, 1999 at 13:00:51:

In Reply to: Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question posted by Mike Kramer on January 13, 1999 at 23:25:24:

Hi Mike,

I have always preferred dark to light meat (I would always request a drumstick at the Thanksgiving meal when I was a kid). However, my father (an EXTREME Agriculturist) always wanted the other drumstick. I've found that eating habits are pretty much learned and are strongly molded by social constructs. The coffee question is a good example. Since we've 'learned' that coffee is bad it's hard to get a straight answer from someone about their coffee consumption and it's effect on the way they feel.

Now to your question. Yes, purines will always drive blood plasma pH in a certain direction. Caffeine will always drive it in the opposite direction of the purines. As for the other foods there are no doubt a constellation of factors involved.

IF you stand back far enough away from this 'constellation of factors' (like standing back far enough from the trees to see the entire forest) you will realize that what we are seeing is the phenomenon of human adaptation to different foods. This adaptation has taken place very slowly and over thousands of years. This is why it doesn't surprise me that, generally speaking, foods indigenous to cold/arid climates (the domain of our Hunter-gatherer ancestors) move blood plasma pH of H-G's toward optimal levels. At the same time the foods indigenous to temperate areas (the domain of our Agriculturist ancestors) move blood plasma pH of Agriculturists in the OPPOSITE direction -- yet still toward optimal pH levels.

There is a subtlety with today's Hunter-gatherers that is important to understand. The original H-G's (some 4 1/2 million years ago) came from temperate areas. They consumed primarily animals yet there was abundant fruit that they no doubt used to supplement their diets. More recent Hunter-gatherers (the last 100,000 years or so) inhabited cold/arid climates. They turned more to root vegetables, sea vegetables, and hearty green leafy edible plants to supplement their diets. Fruits were almost non-existent in their diets.

If you are white and a H-G this subtle distinction makes a big difference in determining what will be your best diet. Obviously there are H-G's with ancestry linked to H-G's living in temperate areas -- and they will be more tolerant of indigenous fruits.

As far as the bug thing goes -- I wouldn't hesitate to eat them IF they were prepared by folks that ate them on a regular basis and knew what they were doing. I have a friend that traveled Africa for several years as a photo-journalist. During that time he witnessed the 'bleeding' of cows and of course he shared some of the drink made from it. He also ate grubs and other insects. He made two comments that stuck with me.

1) Everything tasted good.
2) Those preparing the meal did it with the precision of a gourmet chef.


Follow Ups:

Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Susan Mierswa on January 14, 1999 at 19:38:59:

In Reply to: Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question posted by Robert McFerran on January 14, 1999 at 13:00:51:


Thanks for the phone number for the buffalo jerky. Can't wait to try it.

A question arose reading this post. It's about the hearty green leafy edible plants for H-G's. Besides spinach which is not that hearty what do you refer to. Kale and collards are not on the list but they seem like something our ancestors ate. Kale can stay alive under snow. What is the scoop? I ask because sometimes I feel frustrated at my choices between this and my excludes like cauliflower with ER4YT for O's. Please help!

Also, what about pycnogenol, pine bark from the South of France, as an antioxidant? The other half of my ancestors are French!


Follow Ups:

Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question

Posted by Robert McFerran on January 14, 1999 at 21:36:49:

In Reply to: Re: Bob McF: And Yet Another Question posted by Susan Mierswa on January 14, 1999 at 19:38:59:


We have used some imported European spinach seeds that produced well past the first frost. They are hearty enough to survive under snow.

Instead of the kale or collard greens I would try some swiss chard -- I list it as being metabolically neutral in my book. Beyond that I'm pleased to report that I'm adding sea vegetables (including kelp, dulse, alaria and laver) to my Core Foods list for Hunter-gatherers. They really are good for us type O H-G's trying to find safe vegetables to eat.

I can't comment on the pine bark and pycnogenol and how it might effect your metabolic balance.


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