Today I take on Dr. Terry Wahls.
Have you all heard of Dr. Terry Wahls? She's the doctor that cured herself of MS by eating a plant-based Paleo diet, ketogenic style. I've heard her name and I know she advocates lots of plants, but, it turns out, she also advises against grains, legumes, and starchy tubers.
Listen to Dr. Wahls' presentation from last month's AHS2016 show:
[tl/dr - gut bacteria is our friend, blah, blah, blah...welcome to 2012.]
Dr. Wahls recommends a gluten, dairy, and egg-free Paleo diet. She demands practitioners of her protocol include 9 cups of mostly raw veggies daily. Her veggies of choice are leafy greens, stalks, mushrooms, or as she says, "3 greens, 3 coloreds, and 3 sulfur" servings per day. Read a preview of her book, The Wahls Protocol.
Where are the whole grains, fruit, berries, and tubers. I have a feeling if I dug deeper, I'd like this diet even less. Wahls' not only advocates low carb plants, she recommends a ketogenic low carb diet.
She had a whole slide devoted to the four RS types, good low-carb fiber, with a big warning (26:00):
AVOID raw potato starch! (glyphosate, C. difficile risks)
Her reason? RPS, is full of glyphosate! Round-up weed-killer. So, she says, RPS is particularly bad, she asserts, because it will cause you to get C.diff from the glyphosate. Where did that come from?
The truth is that glyphosate kills potato plants, and gets into the tubers...sooooooo, glyphosate is NOT USED on potatoes. In fact, every agriculture journal has many articles on avoiding glyphosate, even accidental drifting, because glyphosate is deadly to potatoes. Glyphosate can possibly be used to kill vines just prior to harvest, but this practice does not appear to be widespread. However, in the chance you want to avoid glyphosate, simply buy an organic potato starch. But I don't think it was really about glyphosate, it was just an effort to scare people away from potatoes and people who might advocate healthy whole grains and poisons like that. But don't get me started on glyphosate, I hate the stuff.
Dr. Wahls recommends getting 80-150g per day of fiber. She does this, she says, by eating 9 cups of vegetables per day. The problem with this, these cups of veggies each have like 1-3g of fiber, and average 3-3-3 day shows as about 20g of fiber on my calculators, ie. mushrooms, 1g/cup; broccoli, 2.4g/cup. The only way she is getting near 90g is if she is using RS or other fiber supplements (excluding raw potato starch, of course). The fiber included in her keto-veggies is mostly non-fermentable, cellulose.
Throughout her AHS presentation, she discussed gut health, immunity, T-reg development, etc. Yet, fails to mention these particular items are heavy starch feeding systems. RS, especially RPS, shows tremendous benefits to immunity and health.
Did Dr. Terry Wahls stumble upon a healthy ketogenic diet that is also friendly to the gut, despite its lack of fermentable fiber? Will 9 cups of assorted 3-3-3 veggies be enough to provide the minerals and nutrients we need as humans? Has anyone read her book? How is she getting 90g of fiber without starchy plants? I'm not doubting that Wahls found a diet that worked...for her. I am doubting that the Wahls keto-Paleo protocol is the best diet to follow.
And why the warning on raw potato starch? Really.