How do we build a healthy microbiome? Fiber is the answer. The fiber in vegetables and fruits, and particularly, the fiber in starchy vegetables help build the probiotic "good" bacteria in your intestine and body.

1. All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout verifiable human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch. Examples of once-thriving people include Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians eating sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and/or rice; Incas in South America eating potatoes; Mayans and Aztecs in Central America eating corn; and Egyptians in the Middle East eating wheat.

2. Starches are nutritionally complete supplying all the energy, protein, essential fats, and minerals a child or adult needs. People, and even large populations, have lived for long periods of time on “all potato diets.”

3. Overweight, type-2 diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and common cancers (breast, colon, and prostate) are unknown in populations of people who get the bulk of their calories from starches.

Brown Rice

Rice has played an important role in ancient Asian diets.

4. Starches are clean. They do not grow human pathogens like salmonella, E. coli, or mad cow prions (animal foods are filthy with these organisms). Starches, being lowest on the food chain, have the lowest levels of environmental chemical poisons (pesticides, herbicides, methyl mercury, etc.)

5. Winners of all endurance races (marathons, triathlons, bicycling, etc.) “carbohydrate load,” which means they are primarily starch-eaters.


Caesar’s legions complained when they had too much meat in their diet and preferred to do their fighting on grains. Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

6. Men and women following diets based on grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables have accomplished most of the great feats in history. The ancient conquerors of Europe and Asia, including the armies of Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BC) and Genghis Khan (1162 – 1227 AD) consumed starch-based diets. Caesar’s legions complained when they had too much meat in their diet and preferred to do their fighting on grains.

7. The longest living populations on planet Earth today live on starch-based (low-animal food) diets. These include people from Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California, who live in what are called the “Blue Zones.”

Longevity Hotspots / Blue Zones

A recent National Geographic study has focused national attention on people who live to be more than a hundred years old. These people live in areas of the world called “Blue Zones” and, contrary to what you might think, their secrets are not genetic.

8. The most effective diets ever used to cure people of common day illnesses, like coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, arthritis, and obesity minimize animal foods and require people eat the bulk of their calories from starches, including grains, legumes, and potatoes (foods forbidden to Paleo eaters). Medical giants in starch-based diet-therapy, include Walter Kempner MD, the founder of the Rice Diet at Duke University; Nathan Pritikin; and Roy Swank MD, founder of the dietary treatment of multiple sclerosis at Oregon Health & Science University.

* Examples of common starches are rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans.