I saw this status update on Facebook from the Wahls Foundation. ...
"Rice is only 10,000 years in human diet; we have existed as a species for 2.5 millions years. The more carbs, sugar, processed food in your diet, the more likely you are to have sugar loving bacteria/ yeasts in your bowels that confuse your biology, increasing your risk of obesity, diabetes, autoimmune problems." - The Wahls Foundation Facebook post
I asked Dr. Wahls if these diseases are prevalent in countries with rice-based diets and she replied, "yes - diabetes and autoimmune conditions are present and increasing dramatically in Asia."
"rice is soooo genetically modified now and its lectin content soo high, surely that must have a negative impact on our systems.. its not the rice of even 100 years ago....." "factor in the unnatural modification of grains to create a better yield and we have some foods that may sustain us, but are ultimately, making us ill and old before our time."
Does anyone have any thoughts on these things? I'm curious about the bacteria/yeast comment but more interested in people's thoughts on the modification of grains.
Each of these claims by Dr Wahl is problematic.
First: The factual basis of her comparison of diet versus species age: We have not existed as a species (homo sapiens sapiens) for 2.5 million years. The first modern human species about 200,000 years ago, homo sapiens about 100,000 years ago. Second: The age of the species and the period in which man has consumed rice have no relevance to whether rice is a food that we can consume healthfully. Third: Obesity does not occur because our "biology" is confused.
The claim that "diabetes and autoimmune conditions are present and increasing dramatically in Asia" in countries with rice-based diets refutes the claim that rice, because it's only been in the human diet for 10,000 (probably at least 15,000) years, is causing it. So in the last two or three decades, Asian countries like China, India, and Thailand are seeing diabetes rise sharply--and the rice that has been consumed as the major staple of the diet for thousands of years is the cause? That doesn't actually make sense, does it? It might make more sense that the increasing consumption of animal meat and fat, oils, refined sugars, and processed foods, which actually are
dietarily recent and do reduce the consumption of rice as a proportion of the diet, are more likely to be the causes of these increasing rates of diabetes.
Her claim that agricultural breeding for plant foods has somehow created alien species ignores the fact that the animals humans eat today, other than perhaps wild-caught fish and fowl, are the products of thousands or hundreds of years of breeding. Grass-fed cows are still not paleolithic cows; they're highly artificial products (products of breeding arts). (And the grass they're eating is also a product of agricultural art and science.) But really, Dr. Wahls needs to make up her mind: Is rice bad for humans because we've only been consuming it for 10,000 (or 15,000) years, or is it because the rice that's been bred in the last several decades is so different from the rice of 100 years ago?