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Have I been doing Paleo wrong this whole time?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I'm a college student and trying to keep a budget ($30-40/wk for food). I'm finally getting over my fear of fat, but now I'm starting to realize that all this cheap, high-fat meat might be the cause of my acne. I've gone from LC to VLC, and it still hasn't cleared up. Am I supposed to be eating lean meats and fats from coconut, avocado, olive oil, etc if I'm on a budget. Or is it worth investing in grass-fed/organic high-fat meats?

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:08 PM

I try to be paleo, but my mom's Japanese and both of my parents are old-fashioned health freaks, so whenever I go home I usually eat rice. I try to stay away from most other grains as much as possible, even when I "cheat", since I've got digestive issues (gluten, lactose intolerance). Thanks for the insight. I'll look into the PerfectHealthDiet.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:15 PM

and why gut issues could be at play...sometimes it's the case and sometimes it's not. I think skin pimples could be a result of liver or allergies...I know the site below is "woo" but I think chinese medicine has helped some people on paleohacks with combating acne when nothing else could. i.e. milk thistle + dandelion root + curcumin + ginger + fennel and other herbs. www.skinacea.com/acne/acne-face-map.htm

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:12 PM

so can many other foods! even "paleo" ones...cocoa, mushrooms, nuts - I'm trying to find the post where someone talked about learning about how fungus can be present in many stored foods...it's why combating acne is really best done with fresh food...and why it's so hard to combat acne!

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:05 PM

because peanut butter can have mycotoxins like aflatoxin. But

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:56 PM

smeags so you're not paleo? It's tough because if your diet still has gluten-containing grains then that's a huge variable...(as whole30 says, if you have 9 cats, and remove 8 of them, is your allergy going to get better) it's tough i know...

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:07 PM

perfect health diet is moderate carb versus the paleo community, but still low carb compared to the rest of the US probably. I don't get paid by them, i just love their book. highly recommend it. it's a moderate, well balanced view towards nutrition.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:06 PM

anyway, I am trying to provide a general guideline for fixing acne. I think the PerfectHealthDiet is a good place to start, especially if you're on a budget and having trouble with VLC or LC - beef bones, some salmon (they say even farmed), egg yolks, and beef broth. Plus bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:04 PM

Smeags, you could have an allergy....

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:03 PM

thanks MathGirl72. corrected.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I guess I should add that I have to get all my food at Walmart. The best I could find for higher-quality meats were prime, "all-natural", no preservatives added. I don't really know what this all means. I looked for grass-fed and organic, but I didn't see anything. Are there any other indicators/labels for meat quality?

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I would be interested in reading more about your acne research. By acne, I'm talking about pimples on my face. For some of them, I can't really tell if they're just pimples or cysts, but they hurt kind of deeper down. Also, when I start eating carbs again (and especially dairy/grains), I notice that it gets much worse.

71bd25c5d978d8b008d9c56967f7cac1

(290)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:05 PM

True - the omega 3:6 ratio doesn't change much from grass to grain, I was referring more to secondary fats like CLA...no grass-fed isn't necessary but it is likely optimal. Depends on individual outlook and other dietary habits. OP should read Mark's Daily Apple Re: grain vs. grass (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/#axzz2BYLgp4EV) TL:DR "Eat beef, first and foremost. Get the highest quality beef you can afford, whether that ends up being premium grass-finished from the farm up the road or USDA Prime from Costco"

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 07, 2012
at 03:37 PM

The fatty acid profile of grain-fed vs traditional-fed animals really isn't that different. Beef isn't high in PUFA so even a poor ratio doesn't matter.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 07, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Hogs and chickens are not ruminants.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 01:28 PM

I know it's tough, but it's going to be a process. howveer, don't stick to something just because Robb Wolf or Mark Sisson or Paleohacks tells you to. It might be better to add in some rice, more potatoes, sweet potatoes and eat less protein that is of higher quality When you can. but in general, scrutinize everything EVERYTHING. if you don't mind my asking, what kind of acne do you have? do you mean 1 or 2 pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, etc? and where? Skinacea has an acne face map from chinese medicine which I think can help you narrow down problems...

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Don't forget Grassfed organ meats! Those are fairly inexpensive too. Not to mention the Vitamin A is supposed to be good for acne.

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5 Answers

5
71bd25c5d978d8b008d9c56967f7cac1

(290)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:40 PM

The short answer is yes. If you can't afford grass-fed beef you should be buying lean cuts and getting your fats from quality sources. That being said grass-fed ground beef isn't horribly expensive and it's quite versatile. Another good source of healthy grass-fed fats is grass-fed butter/ghee, Kerrygold tastes amazing and has all the same healthy fats as grass-fed beef. edit I avoid cheap/fatty cuts of traditional beef because I'd rather take the quality where I can get it over eating a steak just to eat a steak. Nutritionally your problems are likely not stemming from beef; look for seed oils, soy, and dairy where you wouldn't expect it, you'd be surprised where it finds its way in.

Best of luck.

71bd25c5d978d8b008d9c56967f7cac1

(290)

on November 07, 2012
at 04:05 PM

True - the omega 3:6 ratio doesn't change much from grass to grain, I was referring more to secondary fats like CLA...no grass-fed isn't necessary but it is likely optimal. Depends on individual outlook and other dietary habits. OP should read Mark's Daily Apple Re: grain vs. grass (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/#axzz2BYLgp4EV) TL:DR "Eat beef, first and foremost. Get the highest quality beef you can afford, whether that ends up being premium grass-finished from the farm up the road or USDA Prime from Costco"

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on November 07, 2012
at 12:44 PM

Don't forget Grassfed organ meats! Those are fairly inexpensive too. Not to mention the Vitamin A is supposed to be good for acne.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on November 07, 2012
at 03:37 PM

The fatty acid profile of grain-fed vs traditional-fed animals really isn't that different. Beef isn't high in PUFA so even a poor ratio doesn't matter.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I guess I should add that I have to get all my food at Walmart. The best I could find for higher-quality meats were prime, "all-natural", no preservatives added. I don't really know what this all means. I looked for grass-fed and organic, but I didn't see anything. Are there any other indicators/labels for meat quality?

4
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 07, 2012
at 03:11 PM

I'd be more worried about the possibility of soy, wheat, and milk proteins being slipped in on you somewhere. If you are eating at a college campus at all, you are probably getting these things and bad O-6 industrial oils as well.

4
34997c76c8ce232f28942f233e180f18

on November 07, 2012
at 12:56 PM

Work on fixing your gut!

Chris Kresser talks about the gut-skin connection: http://chriskresser.com/the-gut-skin-connection-how-altered-gut-function-affects-the-skin

It's an article well worth reading, also check out the comments for experiences others had.

1
7e8f30595a063a0ca4d8f72604e6d863

(20)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I think ELF27 may be onto something - turned out Peanut Butter was the source of my acne... once I stopped eating it, my skin cleared up after a few weeks.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:05 PM

because peanut butter can have mycotoxins like aflatoxin. But

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:15 PM

and why gut issues could be at play...sometimes it's the case and sometimes it's not. I think skin pimples could be a result of liver or allergies...I know the site below is "woo" but I think chinese medicine has helped some people on paleohacks with combating acne when nothing else could. i.e. milk thistle + dandelion root + curcumin + ginger + fennel and other herbs. www.skinacea.com/acne/acne-face-map.htm

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 09:12 PM

so can many other foods! even "paleo" ones...cocoa, mushrooms, nuts - I'm trying to find the post where someone talked about learning about how fungus can be present in many stored foods...it's why combating acne is really best done with fresh food...and why it's so hard to combat acne!

1
8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Hi Smeags, I refer you to what I just posted on paleohacks: for all acne sufferers: what i???ve learned in a year of fighting and studying acne. would you want to read more about this?

For more Paleo Diet hacks: for all acne sufferers: what i've learned in a year of fighting and studying acne. would you want to read more about this? - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/159841/for-all-acne-sufferers-what-ive-learned-in-a-year-of-fighting-and-studying-acne#ixzz2BXiOAYEd

Like the first responder, Dan - yes! If you can't get organic, grass-fed, pastured, etc. you could be causing more harm. There are actually a lot of hormones and remnants from what the animals were fed in their meat and fat. that is sometimes why people can go vegetarian and get clear.

Chicken and pork caused me more breakouts than fish and meat, because of their high omega-6 versus omega-3, and they are fed grains, conventionally, which are typically sprayed with a lot of pesticides and other chemicals. the chemicals accumulate in their fat and bones. the same is true with cows, but cows are bigger. the problem is still there, but perhaps slightly less so.

You need to eat less and be REALLY careful about what you put in your mouth, your body, etc.

especially when you change your diet to paleo, you have to watch out for deficiencies (like iodine), especially if you're not eating a lot of seafood, in my opinion.

if VLC and LC are causing your acne to worsen, STOP.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:04 PM

Smeags, you could have an allergy....

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 07, 2012
at 03:19 PM

Hogs and chickens are not ruminants.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:03 PM

thanks MathGirl72. corrected.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 11:08 PM

I try to be paleo, but my mom's Japanese and both of my parents are old-fashioned health freaks, so whenever I go home I usually eat rice. I try to stay away from most other grains as much as possible, even when I "cheat", since I've got digestive issues (gluten, lactose intolerance). Thanks for the insight. I'll look into the PerfectHealthDiet.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:07 PM

perfect health diet is moderate carb versus the paleo community, but still low carb compared to the rest of the US probably. I don't get paid by them, i just love their book. highly recommend it. it's a moderate, well balanced view towards nutrition.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:56 PM

smeags so you're not paleo? It's tough because if your diet still has gluten-containing grains then that's a huge variable...(as whole30 says, if you have 9 cats, and remove 8 of them, is your allergy going to get better) it's tough i know...

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on November 07, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I would be interested in reading more about your acne research. By acne, I'm talking about pimples on my face. For some of them, I can't really tell if they're just pimples or cysts, but they hurt kind of deeper down. Also, when I start eating carbs again (and especially dairy/grains), I notice that it gets much worse.

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 01:28 PM

I know it's tough, but it's going to be a process. howveer, don't stick to something just because Robb Wolf or Mark Sisson or Paleohacks tells you to. It might be better to add in some rice, more potatoes, sweet potatoes and eat less protein that is of higher quality When you can. but in general, scrutinize everything EVERYTHING. if you don't mind my asking, what kind of acne do you have? do you mean 1 or 2 pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, etc? and where? Skinacea has an acne face map from chinese medicine which I think can help you narrow down problems...

8d3cb0be5f31c75a05f853cb3b5c245a

(1601)

on November 07, 2012
at 08:06 PM

anyway, I am trying to provide a general guideline for fixing acne. I think the PerfectHealthDiet is a good place to start, especially if you're on a budget and having trouble with VLC or LC - beef bones, some salmon (they say even farmed), egg yolks, and beef broth. Plus bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice.

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