Inspired by this post (that got closed), I decided to re-address the issue. I followed autoimmune paleo for approximately 8 months, and while the 2 first months were significantly better than any of the previous diets I tried (raw veganism, conventional healthy diet, ...), I started to become sick again during the winter. Nothing like on raw veganism, but still pretty, pretty sick (edema, severe sleep issues, keratosis pilaris, tinea, mood issues, ...). I became pretty annoyed when I noticed that one beer made me really drunk, while in my healthy days I was able to drink up to 6 liters of beer daily and still think normally and be able to ride a bike through town (though I remember it made me a bit more introvert and sometimes even a bit aggressive).
Adding sugar, salt, gelatin, coffee, eggs, dairy and other stuff back into my diet helped me a lot, but up till now I'm still having issues. I understand grains and seed oils should probably be removed from my diet forever, but I think you'll understand me if I tell you that I was severely disappointed by the long-term effects of low(er)-carbing, disadvantages that even liberal amounts of potatoes or white rice didn't seem to solve.
I know most of you won't be open to the idea that paleo might actually be worsening our condition. I think it is fairly established that estrogen lower your metabolism, giving you a boost short-term but negative effects in the long run. What if low-carb paleo does the same thing?
It just seems hard to believe that tolerating less food is a good thing! If an inuit would suddenly start living in a random town and started eating bread and drinking beer, would he faint and have to get back to his whale blubber?
And when somebody that asks for help, like in the thread I linked to above, is treated like a lazy, dramatic person, I just get a bit freaked out. Aren't we here to help each other? If someone doesn't tolerate bread anymore, why in the world is it a good idea to assume that this is a good thing. Why isn't this discussed more in-depth (eg scientifically)?
asked byKorion (8938)
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on July 31, 2012
at 04:53 PM
I'd say that tolerating less food goes against the very human need to survive. Less tolerance sets one up for selection to do its work of sorting out the less-fit via starvation.
In these modern times, under affluent conditions, if you can't handle one food you just move on to the next one. This is not a choice if you're starving in Sudan: if you can't digest grain or powdered milk from a relief shipment, going to Whole Foods or the farmer's market isn't an option. Likewise with paleos living in the same place 50,000 years ago.
When I first read this I thought of Nietzsche's line "that which does not kill us makes us stronger". What's more paleo than being as omnivorous as possible? If food avoidance reduces your food tolerances you've chosen to make yourself weaker.
on July 31, 2012
at 08:14 PM
Hey Korion, from your last few posts it seems like you are having a pretty hard time lately. You come off as a very bright and introspective guy and I hope you find some peace, whether that comes from a change in diet or circumstances.
Do I think that paleo has made me "weaker" in some sense? Yes. It has. I am not able to tolerate a wide variety of foods and I get an acute reaction to the foods paleo forbids. But the time in between those acute illnesses is SO dramatically improved that it is a trade off I am willing to make. But to be perfectly honest, if I didn't experience that perfect health feeling in between acute illness from neolithic foods, I wouldn't stay paleo. To me, blindly following paleo dogma is no better than blindly following SAD dogma. And there is a fair amount of that on this site. Paleohackers can be really helpful, supportive and intelligent, but they can also be bullies and extremely exclusionary (and so defensive - "you don't like paleo - get lost"). Don't let the sometimes negative thrust of this site sour you on an otherwise solid lifestyle.
From the sound of it, you are experiencing all of the unpleasantness but none of the beneficial part to see you through and continue to convince you of the merits of this lifestyle. I think you've done a really thorough job exploring the dietary connection to your issues, but it might be time to start exploring the non-dietary issues. Drug use, mental health, stress, personal relationships, buried psychological issues. I think some of those things are overwhelmingly related to food but in your case, I think the answer might be somewhere else.
on July 30, 2012
at 10:27 PM
If an inuit would suddenly start living in a random town and started eating bread and drinking beer, would he faint and have to get back to his whale blubber?
Isn't this roughly what happens to H-G populations exposed to the western diet? Not fainting necessarily, but onset of a lot of nasty chronic diseases. I guess I'd tend to argue that we never truly "tolerated" bread - or at least, that it really has never been good for us, even if we managed to find a few gut bacteria that reduced the acute response.
on July 31, 2012
at 07:32 PM
I can only speak for myself, but I'm looking at cancer at 50 and/or heart disease/stroke, if I don't eat paleo or something similar* to it.
My case might be different from the norm because I have genes for celiac disease, reduced methylation/b vitamins, reduce vitamin D, as well as leiden factor II. I've slowly been uncovering my personal nutritional needs based on these genes, and as a result, slowly turning my health around. Sure, I appear more sensitive to foods now, but the negative effects of these foods were always there, just not apparent until I got a little healthier. If I hadn't originally tried out paleo, I wouldn't have found out about these risk factors that would likely have killed me in my 50s. Really, it was when my dad suddenly died of cancer in his mid 50s, when he was in good shape from running marathons, that I got sick from celiac disease and realized what I had to look forward to if I didn't fix this shit.
*I'll be experimenting with adding fermented lentils next week, and on rare occasion I eat gluten-free cookies made with tapioca flour, potato starch, and sugar, because sometimes I just need a cookie, damnit.
on July 31, 2012
at 07:01 AM
I have often wondered this and come to the conclusion that yes, tolerating less food is good. In my thinking if you have removed the main food types that your body reacts negatively to, then the extreme reactions caused by these offending food types create no longer masks your reactions to these other foods.
I used to drink beer, no problem. Now after improving my diet it causes a reaction in me, so I gave it up and drank wine. Now I notice wine is causing (lesser) reaction so I am giving that up for a while. I am not too happy about that, but my body seems to have more sense than my brain so I think I should listen to it.
on July 30, 2012
at 10:50 PM
What do you mean, when you say "autoimmune paleo protocol"? What exactly is it, that you've removed from your previous diet, that you'd like to add in? Things like sugar, beer, and caffeine act like drugs- yes, you will feel good including them, and the chemical response triggers your body to sustain this "feel good" feeling, but as you develop a tolerance, you will need to use more and more to sustain those "feel good" feelings. as a sugar-burner, your body is adapted to use this fuel from beer, sugar, and caffeine first- before it will burn any other food or fat stores you may have. It takes quite a while, and quite a bit of mental perseverance to change your body's metabolism and the pleasure signals in your brain. Essentially, your sugar-burning body is panicking, saying, "we have no energy, we feel like crap, let's go into full attack mode, until the sugar comes back." It is not an easy fight, but if you believe that it's worth your long-term health to continue Paleo, then you'll have to struggle for it. If you want to go back to eating the way you were before, then do so. I don't think you, personally, seem to benefit from a meat-heavy, low-carb diet. Maybe you could focus on mainly veggies, starches, with meat as a garnish? I'm sure you've read Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories" (a more scientific version of "Why We get Fat?" but you should also check our Nora Gedgaudas' "Primal Body, Primal Mind" and her website :http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/
on July 31, 2012
at 04:58 AM
well, organisms do tend to adapt to their environments, and drastic changes bring about all sorts of problems.
if a person grew up on milk & hotdogs, and did fine, that's great. also some might not. but it does take a bit of time for the body, the gut to adapt to new diets, and then maybe not even all that well.
i mean, humans are designed to survive and procreate in short timespans. the fact that lucky ppl can do all these other unnatural yet natural things, is great... for them.
maybe what's really needed isnt paleo or peat, but the scientific method diet. the n=1 diet. actually self experimenting for YEARS and figuring out what works for the individual, not the crowd.
on July 31, 2012
at 03:22 AM
Not tolerating stuff is geeky, remember who had the most allergies at school?
It is cool when you can tolerate high amount of poisonous instances (tobacco, alcohol, wheat), is kind of peacock tail - "Look how strong and healthy my body is - I can drink 6 pints of beer and not fall under table!"
Although this kind of motivation is natural and ingrained in us from paleo time I think better to use healthy ways to impress peers and girls - arts, sports, business.
Korion, do you have peer pressure, so you have desire to demonstrate how cool you are by eating poisonous stuff?