Carbohydrate Intolerance – Its Implications in Health and Fitness – Dr. Phil Maffetone

I came across this the other day. This is possibly one of the best-written papers I have ever seen regarding carbohydrate intolerance in particular and inflammation in general. If you really want to understand both these subjects fully and completely in one short read, this is it!



Catching signs of inflammation early and changing lifestyle leads to longevity

Running on the wrong kind of fuel

The above table is an extract from the paper and in order to understand it fully, let’s imagine for a moment that your body is a brand new car. The comparison is not as absurd as you might at first think since after all, both the human body and the car are fuel-burning, thermodynamic engines. Since the car is brand new, all the car’s parts are in fine working order and she looks fantastic! However, from day one, you inadvertently start filling her up with the wrong fuel. The car runs OK all the same and you really don’t notice any major problems apart from maybe some unusual dark emissions from the back end every so often and also slightly slower-than-expected acceleration and reduced overall performance. Otherwise all appears to be fine and you are very pleased with your new purchase. (Stage 1)

The years go by and you are really too busy to bother looking after your car and never get it serviced by a professional. The car now has occasional problems starting in the mornings, especially when its cold. Your friend who “knows something” about cars says it’s nothing to worry about. These new models are very reliable. You also notice that the fuel consumption has increased over the years and there’s more black smoke coming out of the back and the overall performance isn’t really what it should be. You’ve also heard that the fuel you are using may not be so good for your car but hey, it’s cheap and who cares, it’s only a car! (Stage 2)

Finally after several years, one morning on your way to work, you try to start your car and nothing happens. You try and try again but no joy. This is not looking good! You call the AA guy and he has a look. There’s a frown on his face and he tells you there’s not a lot he can do except tow the car to the garage for a detailed inspection. The inspection reveals your worst fears; the car’s engine cylinders and valves have completely coked up, to the extent that at the very least a re-bore and new cylinder head will be required. This is going to be costly! The mechanic asks what fuel you have been using. You tell him and he shakes his head and says that that’s the worst possible fuel you could use for this type of car. You should have followed the manufacturer’s advice and run it on the fuel recommended by them. He also asks whether you have ever had the car professionally serviced. You look down at your shoes and shake your head in shame (Stage 3)

The good news: we are not cars!

Unlike cars, we are a living organism and our bodies have the ability to repair themselves. Even after prolonged periods of inflammation, deep into stage 3, the body has the ability to almost completely reverse any/ all damage that has been done to it over the years. All that is required is a change of lifestyle and the correct fuel.

However, again unlike the car, once our body’s “engine parts” have been permanently damaged beyond repair, there are usually no spare parts on the workshop shelf to make a second go of it. Hence learn to recognize the signs of stage 1 inflammation and do something about it. The simple fact that you are feeling bloated and tired after meals is a sure sign that you are running on the wrong fuel.

You can read the full paper here:

White Paper: Carbohydrate Intolerance – Its Implications in Health and Fitness – Dr. Phil Maffetone

2 thoughts on “Carbohydrate Intolerance – Its Implications in Health and Fitness – Dr. Phil Maffetone

  1. I have never heard of carbohydrate intolerance but it is something that has been slowly dawning on me over the past year. The moment I change my fuel, I begin to feel better. Thanks for sharing this paper.

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