11

votes

Is Tolerating Less Food Good?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM

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)?

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:58 PM

Probably I didn't understand what bothers Korion, sorry about that. Might be helpful if Korion and Tony provided samples of what they mean.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 08:50 AM

No I changed I'm eating high-sugar now which solved quite some of my issues (sleep issues, anxiety and mood issues and much more). I seem to be always improving, but it can be hard when you realize you still got a long way ahead of you, especially when tons of students around you eat what they want, are healthier, and you once was there but just made 1 mistake and now have to pay years for it. That's why drugs can look like an easy way out.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 01, 2012
at 06:14 AM

I think this feedback could go in a more useful direction. Korion, keep up the good observation and analysis.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I see, well that's good. I'm curious though who thinks that it's cool to have intolerance? I think it's normal to have intolerance to certain products but it's not cool at all.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 10:39 PM

Korion, I hear ya. I've been doing "everything right" for a year (local organic produce, local fresh caught fish, grass-fed cows and pastured chickens from a local farm, cooking all my own food), and I'm still not fully functional at work. People say these things take time, and I understand that, but does it need to take years? Another thing I wonder if you should consider: it sounds like you're eating low-carb paleo. Have you tried moderate (150g) carb paleo? People say low carb is better for mental health disorders, but I find I function better at 100-150g carb/day.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 10:34 PM

From what I can tell, it blocks iron uptake in the brain. I'm not sure what all else it does.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Manganese? Probably the only thing my diet is lacking in, though B6 could be better too. Maybe eating some pineapple might help me out here :D. Curious though, why manganese?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Yeah what a freaking kind answer! I am feeling much better with all the diet tweaks I've done till now, and am not on my own here (one person I know does the exact same thing as me and now I can discuss it with someone), but ever since I had the privilege to know how it feels to be confident, I've become impatient and just want my health issues to be all gone right now :). Especially when, once again, I find myself avoiding eye contact and realize I still got a long way ahead of me. And while drugs do solve me short-term, it's expensive, dangerous and I basically don't know what I'm doing.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 31, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Wow, great answer.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:36 PM

My experience in life has been more of "that which does not kill us slowly wears us down over time". ymmv

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Korion, have you checked out the popeye protocol by Dr. Young? She's had loads of success reducing people's autism symptoms. I think it's mostly an issue with manganese. http://www.noharmfoundation.org/?page_id=118

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:43 PM

"What's more paleo than being as omnivorous as possible?" This sums up my thinking these days...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Thank you, thhq, I love your answer and completely agree with it!

Medium avatar

(10601)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:11 PM

A thinking person's diet? If people did that who would buy fish and hempseed oil? Bad for both Paleo and Vegan trademarked products.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:05 PM

When late Paleo Asiatics moved across the Bering Sea to America they had to readapt their diet to new survival conditions. It would be interesting to know how much readaptation was needed for some of them to survive as Inuit. Those that moved further south had no problems developing indigenous corn, potatoes and tomatoes as foods. They recreated Asian Neolithic agriculture using available plants and animals, along with civilizations parallel to those in Eurasia. Under much harsher conditions Inuits survived but did not flourish the way the more equatorial immigrants did.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Yes I've read several of his blog posts! I don't like his ideas that much because he seems to be more of a hype-follower and tends to criticize people very easily instead of being open to other people's ideas. I don't know him that well though. I like Peat and like Danny Roddy even more.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on July 31, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Korion, at the risk of being flamed, have you read Matt Stone? He critiques paleo and suggests that one's goal for robust health should be to tolerate and thrive on the widest variety of food possible, even "neolithic" and "junk" food.

4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

(305)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:05 PM

When I say I think they are 'good' I mean in the sense that they are reactions by your body that provide useful feedback. It indicates a problem of some kind that needs attention. Five years ago I could not tolerate nuts. In the intervening time I have worked on my diet (and presumably gut health) and now i have reintroduced some of them with success. Its a bit like pain, I would say pain is a good thing as it stops you doing damaging things like burning yourself. As a chronic pain sufferer for many years it has lead me down a path of improving my health and so for me its a good thing.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:09 AM

Taubes constantly talks about obesity, and that is the least of my worries. I'd love to be fat, but instead I have to be autistic.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:08 AM

You know why I don't believe the 'less tolerance is good' theory? Tracy from http://www.thelovevitamin.com/ mentioned a while ago (I think a year ago) how she 'cured' her food intolerances and acne with her diet. She ate lots of legumes and fruit so her carb level was pretty high and said she felt tired on paleo though she likes the idea of paleo. I remember that a girl didn't tolerate lots of food and took a thyroid hormone supplement and cured her intolerances. So isn't it a bit weird that on this forum, the opposite happens for everybody?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:04 AM

Auto-immune = coconut oil, green veggies, grass-fed meat (and liver), wild-caught fish. No nuts, eggs, not even butter, no fruits, ... How you describe the sugar-caffeine-alcohol tolerance buildup can be used for coconut oil too. *'Eat more fat'* is a popular saying around here, and could be interpreted the same way as the way you interpret sugar 'tolerance'. While changing your metabolism could take a while, 8 months is a lot, and I was getting worse with the diet, not getting better. Or I would have been patient.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:00 AM

I think you missed the *"I followed autoimmune paleo for approximately 8 months"* part. No peer pressure here :), especially since most friends I have don't drink much alcohol if at all, and try to eat 'healthy'. I was not trying to be cool saying I tolerated beer, after all I don't tolerate it at all now, but rather questioning why it is considered a good thing here to not tolerate it.

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8 Answers

5
Medium avatar

(10601)

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.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:30 PM

Thank you, thhq, I love your answer and completely agree with it!

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:43 PM

"What's more paleo than being as omnivorous as possible?" This sums up my thinking these days...

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:36 PM

My experience in life has been more of "that which does not kill us slowly wears us down over time". ymmv

4
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

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.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 31, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Wow, great answer.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 10:39 PM

Korion, I hear ya. I've been doing "everything right" for a year (local organic produce, local fresh caught fish, grass-fed cows and pastured chickens from a local farm, cooking all my own food), and I'm still not fully functional at work. People say these things take time, and I understand that, but does it need to take years? Another thing I wonder if you should consider: it sounds like you're eating low-carb paleo. Have you tried moderate (150g) carb paleo? People say low carb is better for mental health disorders, but I find I function better at 100-150g carb/day.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Yeah what a freaking kind answer! I am feeling much better with all the diet tweaks I've done till now, and am not on my own here (one person I know does the exact same thing as me and now I can discuss it with someone), but ever since I had the privilege to know how it feels to be confident, I've become impatient and just want my health issues to be all gone right now :). Especially when, once again, I find myself avoiding eye contact and realize I still got a long way ahead of me. And while drugs do solve me short-term, it's expensive, dangerous and I basically don't know what I'm doing.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 08:50 AM

No I changed I'm eating high-sugar now which solved quite some of my issues (sleep issues, anxiety and mood issues and much more). I seem to be always improving, but it can be hard when you realize you still got a long way ahead of you, especially when tons of students around you eat what they want, are healthier, and you once was there but just made 1 mistake and now have to pay years for it. That's why drugs can look like an easy way out.

4
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

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.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:05 PM

When late Paleo Asiatics moved across the Bering Sea to America they had to readapt their diet to new survival conditions. It would be interesting to know how much readaptation was needed for some of them to survive as Inuit. Those that moved further south had no problems developing indigenous corn, potatoes and tomatoes as foods. They recreated Asian Neolithic agriculture using available plants and animals, along with civilizations parallel to those in Eurasia. Under much harsher conditions Inuits survived but did not flourish the way the more equatorial immigrants did.

3
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

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.

3
4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

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.

4e6baf393fd5f339ae5a92ffbeadc884

(305)

on July 31, 2012
at 12:05 PM

When I say I think they are 'good' I mean in the sense that they are reactions by your body that provide useful feedback. It indicates a problem of some kind that needs attention. Five years ago I could not tolerate nuts. In the intervening time I have worked on my diet (and presumably gut health) and now i have reintroduced some of them with success. Its a bit like pain, I would say pain is a good thing as it stops you doing damaging things like burning yourself. As a chronic pain sufferer for many years it has lead me down a path of improving my health and so for me its a good thing.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:08 AM

You know why I don't believe the 'less tolerance is good' theory? Tracy from http://www.thelovevitamin.com/ mentioned a while ago (I think a year ago) how she 'cured' her food intolerances and acne with her diet. She ate lots of legumes and fruit so her carb level was pretty high and said she felt tired on paleo though she likes the idea of paleo. I remember that a girl didn't tolerate lots of food and took a thyroid hormone supplement and cured her intolerances. So isn't it a bit weird that on this forum, the opposite happens for everybody?

3
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

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/

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:09 AM

Taubes constantly talks about obesity, and that is the least of my worries. I'd love to be fat, but instead I have to be autistic.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:04 AM

Auto-immune = coconut oil, green veggies, grass-fed meat (and liver), wild-caught fish. No nuts, eggs, not even butter, no fruits, ... How you describe the sugar-caffeine-alcohol tolerance buildup can be used for coconut oil too. *'Eat more fat'* is a popular saying around here, and could be interpreted the same way as the way you interpret sugar 'tolerance'. While changing your metabolism could take a while, 8 months is a lot, and I was getting worse with the diet, not getting better. Or I would have been patient.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 10:34 PM

From what I can tell, it blocks iron uptake in the brain. I'm not sure what all else it does.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Manganese? Probably the only thing my diet is lacking in, though B6 could be better too. Maybe eating some pineapple might help me out here :D. Curious though, why manganese?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 31, 2012
at 07:33 PM

Korion, have you checked out the popeye protocol by Dr. Young? She's had loads of success reducing people's autism symptoms. I think it's mostly an issue with manganese. http://www.noharmfoundation.org/?page_id=118

2
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

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.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on July 31, 2012
at 05:11 PM

A thinking person's diet? If people did that who would buy fish and hempseed oil? Bad for both Paleo and Vegan trademarked products.

0
54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

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?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on July 31, 2012
at 09:00 AM

I think you missed the *"I followed autoimmune paleo for approximately 8 months"* part. No peer pressure here :), especially since most friends I have don't drink much alcohol if at all, and try to eat 'healthy'. I was not trying to be cool saying I tolerated beer, after all I don't tolerate it at all now, but rather questioning why it is considered a good thing here to not tolerate it.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 01, 2012
at 06:14 AM

I think this feedback could go in a more useful direction. Korion, keep up the good observation and analysis.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I see, well that's good. I'm curious though who thinks that it's cool to have intolerance? I think it's normal to have intolerance to certain products but it's not cool at all.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:58 PM

Probably I didn't understand what bothers Korion, sorry about that. Might be helpful if Korion and Tony provided samples of what they mean.

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