As a 2 to 3-cup of ‘black Joe’ a day man, this study attracted my attention.
Let me say at the outset that I have tried, God knows I’ve tried to cut out coffee, sometimes lasting years without it. But hey, we are in Italy. Italy IS coffee. Without a coffee you are not really in Italy. So… we are addicts again. We hover our noses over the raw coffee before we make it and breathe in. We watch expectantly as the Bialetti bubbles away.. and we settle into our drug-induced ‘high’ – as I am in right at this moment after coffee #2 of the day.
I tried. Really, I tried.
The interesting thing about this report is that it seems 5+ cups a day, whether decaf or regular, doubles the visceral fat – that’s the fat that accumulates around the organs. Now where did I read about that before? Well, I read it in Dr William Davis’ myth-shattering book, Wheat Belly. He says that wheat does exactly the same, accumulating visceral fat. He also says that this visceral fat around our organs becomes a repository for toxins, which is a very ‘convenient’ place for toxins to reside.
Professor Vance Matthews, who worked on the study said that two cups a day was actually good for us because the chlorogenic acid found in coffee acts to break down fat deposits, but at 5 a day the opposite kicked in, with an additional problem that it increased insulin resistance – a surefire pathway to diabetes.
So for we alkaline paleo diet people this once again demonstrates the problem with a straight ‘alkaline’ diet which only chooses foods based on their ability to have an alkalinizing response in the body. Here we have an acid – just like hugely beneficial Vitamin C is an acid – that has been shown to do us good. And here we see the problem of the alkaline diet’s simplistic approach. It just says choose foods on alkalinizing ability, ignoring the fact that (a) the AMOUNT of food you eat is equally or even more relevant, and (b) it doesn’t even approach the simple truth that without many essential acids we could not survive. Its 80/20 rule (80% alkali producing foods, 20% acid producing foods) has no real science behind it that I have been able to find.
I find this interesting for another reason.
(Please leave if I’m wandering too much) Dr Lynda Frasetto says that in an analysis of paleo diets from available evidence, they were overwhelmingly alkaline. Now, the immediate conclusion would be that they ate more plant food than meat, but other studies conclude the opposite. It seems to me that the answer may be in how much we eat of each group, and my own realisation that the basic alkaline diet wasn’t working for me led me to the experience of almost total carb, grain and sugar reduction, which in turn reduced my addictions to these foods, which in turn reduced my NEED to eat so much! In ‘Building Better Bones’ it states that once we eat too much meat beyond satiety, it all becomes acid waste. So I’m presuming that our ancestors had a very different consumption pattern to us, that all the studies are correct, that they indeed did choose meat and fat as their primary energy source, supplemented by greens, but they never ate to the stage we regularly do and therefore maintained an alkaline diet!