I've been strict Paleo for a month in an attempt to clear my cystic acne, and one thing I noticed was that foods high in salicylates were making me feel strange and highly correlated to breakouts. I cut all foods except paleo safe low salicylate ones and my skin has drastically improved within a week, but I'm finding it very tough to get calories throughout the day given how limited my options are cutting out grains, dairy, legumes AND high salicylate foods.
Has anyone done a paleo/low salicylate and were you able to get a lot of variety and high calorie meals. I know I can eat a TON of what is allowed, but it's getting tough being so limited.
If anyone is curious I'm eating lots of eggs (boiled or fried in kerrygold butter), grass fed beef, wild salmon, shrimp, some chicken, liver (calf, beef, chicken), celery, bananas, golden delicious apples, and fermented sauerkraut. Also taking a multivitamin, FCLO/BO, magnesium, zinc, and HCL with meals.
Any suggestions would be very helpful. If it matters I have celiac disease so avoiding grains (especially gluten) is obviously a must. On this diet not only is my skin clearing very fast, my mood, energy, and anxiety have been improving drastically. My biggest concern is getting enough calories to avoid losing weight, and getting enough of the right nutrients.
asked byShawn_5 (1017)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on May 22, 2012
at 02:42 PM
I've been doing failsafe (no amines, salicylates, food additives and colors) for about a month and a half. I've been paleo for much longer. Honestly it is driving me crazy, all I'm eating is meat, eggs, chicken, green beans, cabbage, leek, green onion, garlic, and pear. Now I'm adding in amines, so canned fish, rice vinegar, and fish sauce are about to make my life very exciting. It is difficult to make lots of variations to eat, but I feel so great that it is worth it. That said, I am going to a dietitian tomorrow to find out if there are any underlying problems that can be solved that may be causing the salicylate and other sensitivities that I have. This is a facebook group of people looking to heal themselves and get over their salicylate sensitivities: http://www.facebook.com/groups/beyondfailsafe/
This is a list of remedies that might stop you from feeling awful if you slip up and eat too many salicylates: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=292028324143488 (found on the failsafe eating support group facebook page)
I also recently purchased no-fenol digestive enzymes to help reintroduce salicylates. I just got them so I don't know if they work yet. Here is some info on that: http://www.enzymestuff.com/nofenolfile.htm
on May 18, 2012
at 02:53 AM
I used to be on a low salicylate low oxalate diet because the salicylate interfered with a medicine I took for another health condition caused by the oxalate (oxalate and salicylate share a common receptor for transportation across the cell membrane). I am currently on a low oxalate Paleo diet, and occasionally wonder if I shouldn't go back to low oxalate low salicylate Paleo diet, but DAMN! Then I'd have nothing to eat. I do know a number of people through the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group that are low oxalate, low salicylate and Paleo or GAPS and they somehow make it work.
I can't imagine that you won't be able to get enough calories since all unprocessed and unseasoned meats are okay as are butter and ghee! Also, raw cheeses, cream and full fat yogurt if you do dairy. It's the lack of variety with veggies and fruits that may cause problems but you can eat a number of green leafy veggies and a few fruits, so that should take care of most of your vitamin and mineral needs. You might also want to eat liver and/or take cod liver oil for vitamins.
Most people on a low oxalate, low salycilate diet eat all they want of foods that are low or zero oxalate/sal., then they eat one or two mediums a day. If you do this, you could be sure to pick your medium each day in a strategic way to supply any minerals or vitamins that may be missing in your limited low group.
Good luck! Sounds like this diet change is really helping you.
on September 05, 2012
at 02:05 AM
I'm strict Paleo and used to have big problems with Salycilates. I try to avoid tomatos and cucumbers as they were particularly bad for me (I'd break out in hives and my face would swell up) - though I think they were problamatic as I ate so much of them!
I went all out avoiding anything above a moderate level of salycilates for a few months - and now I find I'm fine with a few things like tomatoes. It's as though I have a limit - and once I break that limit there's trouble! So generally I try to steer clear of high foods - but if I have them occasionally I can get away with it.
on August 22, 2012
at 09:29 PM
I'm strictly Paleo (8 months) and salicylate intolerant (over 25 years) with a VERY restricted diet. I wasn't getting enough calories so I couldn't lose weight (body thought I was in a time of famine) so I bit the bullet so to speak and dared to add a few hundred calories with healthy fats along with eliminating all sugars (fructose especially as well as fruits). It has worked! I would caution eating fermented foods. I'd really like to, but they are a source of salicylates (alcohol, cheese, sauerkraut, etc.) Everyone's body is different, so you need to test for yourself.
on May 18, 2012
at 11:18 AM
I just started a low histamine paleo diet, which is somehow similar. I think you need to find the balance between following a strict diet and feeling good, and going crazy...
on July 03, 2013
at 06:03 PM
Just wondering how the low salicylate thing worked out for Shawn and others, if any of you are still out there? It's just i am doing something similar myself.
How long did it take for anyone to notice a difference?
- if you had acne how long before it started to clear etc.
[Ps is low salicylate / low amine even slightly doable lol.]
on April 12, 2013
at 04:08 PM
Mike, thank you for the vitamin D tip. I too eat mostly paleo and have salycilate sensitivity that has improved over time but I still have to be careful. One thing that has helped me is doing frequent parasite cleanses. I think sometimes low salicylate folks keep themselves in a never ending cycle they can't get out of because they avoid things they may need to take temporarily to become less salicylate sensitive. Most herbs used in parasite cleanses are high salycilate, but a disbiotic gut is likely what leads to salycilate sensitivity, as it was in my case. I was on long term antibiotic therapy for lyme that really through off my gut balance. I have slowly regained it with a strict paleo type diet, some fermented foods in moderation, probiotics, etc. Another thing that I've read and has been the case for me is that salicylates are much more problematic on the skin that when ingested. So check your skin care products. I use shea butter on my skin, which is low salicylate. And for my face, because i tend toward cystic acne too, i use devita perfecting time, which is relatively high in salycilates, but i use such a small amount it doesnt bother me and it doesn't break out my skin at all. i now only get cystic acne from iodine as long as i stick to my diet.
on September 04, 2012
at 03:29 PM
I would be sure your Vitamin D levels are at a normal level and supplement if they aren't. I was extremely frustrated with continued skin flare ups and found low salicylate far too restrictive than should be necessary (and I'm doing GAPS). When I resumed supplementing Vitamin D, it seems my immune system stopped overreacting to the salicylates. As if I needed more evidence for the modulating benefits of it.
on September 04, 2012
at 02:22 PM
If you're having trouble eating enough, then just eat more of what you can. I never thought of eating a low salicylate diet; however, your food list is almost identical to what I eat everyday. It's just the things I like so I focus on those foods. I have no trouble getting 5000 cals a day with those foods. Just have to eat more.
on September 04, 2012
at 04:43 AM
Shawn, Wow your story sounds similar to mine. I have been doing paleo for a little over a year for cystic acne with varying success. Some times it was as bad as ever and sometimes my skin will be very clear. I found that too much polyunsaturated fats was a strong trigger for bad breakouts (so I cut back to 6 eggs/week and no or extremely limited bacon) and also I found that cooking my meat as little as possible helped. I eat my fatty rib eye steaks blue rare and I love it! I also, like you, figured out that salicylates was the last part of the equation that is a very strong trigger for break outs, so very few olives and avocados (they are also higher in PUFAs, so double reason.) For me the cornerstones of where I get most of my calories are beef fat and bone marrow. If you can find a steady supply of bone marrow you can get a very tasty source of lots of calories, very low in PUFAs and salicylates. I actually think this stuff was the corner stone of prehistoric man's diet. Heck, we have the archaeological evidence proving that paleo man loved bone marrow. I haven't decided yet whether butter/ghee causes me breakouts yet. I also have a raw rice protein mix that is probably not really paleo but doesn't break me out. I saw that you are starting low dose accutane which I also decided to start because I found the whole thing too restrictive. I've been doing 30mgs per day for about two and a half months. I don't think its really kicked in yet though because when I "cheat" I still breakout. -Steve