15

votes

Strict diet causing increased food sensitivity: weakness or strength?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Melissa of HuntGatherLove posted this link on her Twitter:

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/hurtful-food-sniffles-come-readily-with-just-a-dip-into-the-sad-diet.html

I read that, and my snarky anti-vegetarian side says Talia is nuts to think it's a sign of good health that her restrictive hippie diet has left her physiology less able to handle environmental stressors. But, I've also seen paleo dieters report that after giving up SAD foods they are now more reactive to them. My question: Is becoming more reactive to particular foods after eliminating them from the diet a sign of enhanced health? Decreased health? Not an indicator of general health at all?

63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 30, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I think you're right on. Study what you ate and how you feel. If what you're eating on the daily is making you feel great, stick with things most like it. When you deviate, see how that makes you feel. Our bodies are constantly changing and adapting. Very cool!

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:10 PM

i agree with this the most. but i would also like to add that tolerance for bad foods takes years to build but once we lost those tolerance (after having gone paleo for example) and that we eat those bad foods again, we then feel the full force of the damage that those foods produce in our bodies. so it's not a sign of health per se, but more of evidence that this is the full extend of the damage these bad foods can do to us and not there's not tolerance to hide them behind

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:11 AM

Ah I see what you mean.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 23, 2012
at 04:05 PM

That was never what I meant. I'm not a rube. In terms of production, I know the EU prohibits a lot of the crap that goes in the US.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 23, 2012
at 04:04 PM

That was never what I meant. I'm not a rube. In terms of production, I know the EU prohibits a lot of the crap that goes in the EU.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:44 AM

What I mean is that there's no such thing as "European" food. French food is as different from Italian food as "American" is from Mexican, let alone Finnish from Spanish. Same thing with "Asian" food; Vietnamese vs. Sichuan, for example.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 23, 2012
at 02:08 AM

When I read that your hot chocolate was made with soy milk I went WTF! Only cream- real cream! A cheat is better with real food.

2a2da4d6df354c8473706281d61d1850

(430)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:34 PM

NOT ridiculous! Very clever, profound even!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 22, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Wisper...huh? Let us on.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Love the analogy!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Double negative in last sentence..

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:00 PM

That European food. You know, like Asian food. I wonder if anyone gets this...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I'm seeing something like that too. The first day I have no negative reaction to corn and only a mild reaction to wheat. I now skip the wheat but I find hard-shell tacos irresistible about once every 4-6 weeks and I actually feel terrific afterward. And I've heard the same about food in Europe, too.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 22, 2012
at 05:14 PM

@Wisper- It think gluten is different than, say, having a piece of candy. Lots of people have asymptomatic celiac or other gluten intolerance issues, so after being off gluten for a while they may notice reactions more readily. I have extreme reactions to gluten, but know someone who unfortunately says "to hell with my celiac" and eats it regularly because if she doesn't she gets bad reactions when she's 'glutened'. (I think that's a stupid way to go, but I think at some point you stop noticing bad effects because your body gets used to being poisoned.)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 05:12 PM

@Alex, I may be seeing the same positive evolution. Yesterday I ate out and wound up eating some hard-shell tacos plus a few bites each of rice and beans. I had no physical reaction, although my traditional emotional reaction stirred slightly. I didn't binge, though, and I felt fine this morning. I seem to be over all intolerances except wheat.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on January 22, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Our bodies ARE amazing systems! And when we listen, especially to severe reactions from foods or food-like substances, I think it is the wisest course of action. This a.m. I am sorting out what I did eat yesterday to cause a mild relapse of arthritis inflammation in my knee, after many months of no inflammation. I have found it does connect with what goes in my mouth.

63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 22, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Well, I just really like this!

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 22, 2012
at 04:13 PM

This makes the most sense to me. Oddly enough, though, I'm finding that as time goes on, I seem to be able to better handle eating foods I don't normally eat at all. On a recent trip to visit family, we were eating a lot of take-out, and several times I gorged myself on white crusty Italian bread dipped in olive oil, and I felt no effect at all from it. In the past, that would have been more than enough starch to crash my blood sugar.

2a2da4d6df354c8473706281d61d1850

(430)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Last night I drank 3 glasses of hard cider. I lay hear with a stuffy nose and a swollen, slightly sore throat. I've experienced similar reaction after my other alcoholic indulgences. From experience I expect to feel better within a few hours. I write it off as my body's response to the toxic nature of my imbibing. I presume it is a side effect of the detoxing my system is attempting.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:33 PM

"we would have never survived as humans if that was the case" Why not? The OP talks about being sensitive to non-paleo food. It's not like some of us die if we eat some grains, we just have stomach aches and skin issues. I think being sensitive can be a good thing, since it could potentially mean that your body has a stronger immune system and is able to eliminate toxins more quickly.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:45 PM

This is one of the main questions that really bothers me, I'm glad you asked it. If paleo is so great, why are some people essentially incapacitated for days if they eat a pizza - staple food for millions and millions.

  • 7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

    asked by

    (5959)
  • Views
    2.3K
  • Last Activity
    1430D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

8
0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on January 22, 2012
at 01:56 PM

I think it's more that our bodies get used to particular things and don't react well to change in general. It's like how tourists typically get sick from drinking the water but locals can drink it and be fine.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 05:12 PM

@Alex, I may be seeing the same positive evolution. Yesterday I ate out and wound up eating some hard-shell tacos plus a few bites each of rice and beans. I had no physical reaction, although my traditional emotional reaction stirred slightly. I didn't binge, though, and I felt fine this morning. I seem to be over all intolerances except wheat.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on January 22, 2012
at 04:13 PM

This makes the most sense to me. Oddly enough, though, I'm finding that as time goes on, I seem to be able to better handle eating foods I don't normally eat at all. On a recent trip to visit family, we were eating a lot of take-out, and several times I gorged myself on white crusty Italian bread dipped in olive oil, and I felt no effect at all from it. In the past, that would have been more than enough starch to crash my blood sugar.

13
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 22, 2012
at 03:59 PM

A healthy body and immune system will more effectively repulse and expulse toxins from your body and environment.

This is most evident in alcohol. The "healthy" guy will be the 2-drink-floor guy, whereas the sick guy will drink all night with a tolerance to those toxins, and no major effect besides his normal massive hangover.

The irony is that just the opposite is assumed via common wisdom, that the 2-drink wonder is the "weakling" and the alcoholic is the "iron liver". I used to be the latter, but today I am proud to be the former.

63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 22, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Well, I just really like this!

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on January 27, 2012
at 07:10 PM

i agree with this the most. but i would also like to add that tolerance for bad foods takes years to build but once we lost those tolerance (after having gone paleo for example) and that we eat those bad foods again, we then feel the full force of the damage that those foods produce in our bodies. so it's not a sign of health per se, but more of evidence that this is the full extend of the damage these bad foods can do to us and not there's not tolerance to hide them behind

12
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on January 22, 2012
at 08:50 PM

There are so many assumptions that frame our thoughts and we don't even realize it. My friend recently told me he was worried about going paleo because he didn't want to become a "fragile flower" like me, who could never eat greasy food at our local bar without feeling completely ill. I kind of had to acknowledge that that was a downside to eating a paleo/ancestral/human diet, at least within the context of our conversation. But I've since come up with what I think is a good analogy for thinking about this.

Let's say I'm taking small but not insignificant doses of a poison day in and day out -- rat poison, arsenic, something like that. I started at a very small dose and gradually increased it, so I have built up a resistance to it. But it has accumulated in my system, and it's wreaking who knows what kind of havoc on my body. One day you come visit me and I give you some food with the poison in it. You eat it, and you feel like crap, and it's immediate and violent. Finally, while you're on the bathroom floor throwing up, I say to you: "Man, what is with your diet? You are such a fragile flower. I'm glad I don't eat like you."

Is it just me, or would that be kind of a ridiculous thing to say?

2a2da4d6df354c8473706281d61d1850

(430)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:34 PM

NOT ridiculous! Very clever, profound even!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Love the analogy!

5
63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 22, 2012
at 03:27 PM

I hope I'm right in thinking it's just all very telling. For myself, I can eat paleo and feel great but as soon as I indulge in something with added sugars, or wheat/gluten, or nasty-ass flours... my body is all over the place. It's an absolute change: enraged cravings, inflammation, irregularity. I feel pain where I don't normally, I see a change in mental state, I'm running down the street for a burger and fries... that sort of thing.

Sure, it could be just because it's not my standard diet anymore... but could I have just ALWAYS been craving crap, inflamed, and irregular before? Could it be that I was just not as sensitive to these changes in my body? Maybe. I like to think it's my body telling me what's wrong and what's right.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on January 22, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Our bodies ARE amazing systems! And when we listen, especially to severe reactions from foods or food-like substances, I think it is the wisest course of action. This a.m. I am sorting out what I did eat yesterday to cause a mild relapse of arthritis inflammation in my knee, after many months of no inflammation. I have found it does connect with what goes in my mouth.

63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 30, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I think you're right on. Study what you ate and how you feel. If what you're eating on the daily is making you feel great, stick with things most like it. When you deviate, see how that makes you feel. Our bodies are constantly changing and adapting. Very cool!

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 22, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I don't know. I know that I could definitely get away with a hot chocolate right now, made with REAL cream and not soy milk, but I also know from experience that if I repeat the cheat over several days I will get sick. Whenever I travel to exotic locations (sadly rare lately) I allow myself one day to eat whatever and usually if I keep it at one day I'm OK. So yeah, I've eaten torte in Austria, cinnamon rolls in Sweden, liver-grilled cheese (better than it sounds) in Quebec, and not had an issue with it. It is interesting, and I've met other people who say this, that it seems like when I cheat in Europe I don't get as bad effects. Something about the food system there?

I know people with more severe illnesses who cannot get away with that ever though.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:00 PM

That European food. You know, like Asian food. I wonder if anyone gets this...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 22, 2012
at 06:45 PM

I'm seeing something like that too. The first day I have no negative reaction to corn and only a mild reaction to wheat. I now skip the wheat but I find hard-shell tacos irresistible about once every 4-6 weeks and I actually feel terrific afterward. And I've heard the same about food in Europe, too.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 23, 2012
at 04:05 PM

That was never what I meant. I'm not a rube. In terms of production, I know the EU prohibits a lot of the crap that goes in the US.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 22, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Wisper...huh? Let us on.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 23, 2012
at 10:44 AM

What I mean is that there's no such thing as "European" food. French food is as different from Italian food as "American" is from Mexican, let alone Finnish from Spanish. Same thing with "Asian" food; Vietnamese vs. Sichuan, for example.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on January 23, 2012
at 04:04 PM

That was never what I meant. I'm not a rube. In terms of production, I know the EU prohibits a lot of the crap that goes in the EU.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 23, 2012
at 02:08 AM

When I read that your hot chocolate was made with soy milk I went WTF! Only cream- real cream! A cheat is better with real food.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 24, 2012
at 10:11 AM

Ah I see what you mean.

4
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 22, 2012
at 06:32 PM

The bodies of people who eat gluten, sugar, etc. daily compensate constantly to allow for their survival by insuring normal functioning. When we take these foods away, and allow our bodies to stop this daily compensation, it is only to be expected that when we reintorduce these foods that our bodies will need to compensate again, and that compensation will seem more like an emergency than has been our previous experience. This seems to be, imho, a sign of health that our systems would react to the introduction of toxins so strongly and immediately.

"...her restrictive hippie diet has left her physiology less able to handle environmental stressors."

Not LESS able, but MORE able to handle stressors...immediately and strongly push out the toxins.

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:37 PM

In this case she is probably a hypochondriac and the sniffles have nothing to do with the food. Obviously being sensitive to everything isn't healthy, we would have never survived as humans if that was the case.

In experiments on rats they become much more sensitive to toxins when they have low blood sugar.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:33 PM

"we would have never survived as humans if that was the case" Why not? The OP talks about being sensitive to non-paleo food. It's not like some of us die if we eat some grains, we just have stomach aches and skin issues. I think being sensitive can be a good thing, since it could potentially mean that your body has a stronger immune system and is able to eliminate toxins more quickly.

1
Aa0cd0c176b6e63b02ff8240f7c2c9dd

on January 22, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Agreed Korion, definitely a sign of an underlying issue. Increased restriction may lead to hypersensitivity to change but only in the case of weakened digestion or health in my opinion.

I think there might be a significant brain-gut axis factor here as well. If you've been eating a very restricted diet, mentally, you're going to be very conscious of the fact that this is the first pizza you've had in 6th months so its likely food anxiety can play a big role in many folks.

Personally, I've felt the more restrictive I eat, the less foods I can tolerate. However, again this could simply be because when I eat more strictly, I'll eat something like some cottage cheese and wait to see if it is going to effect me. Rather than realizing I feel kinda crappy and thinking back to what may have caused that feeling, when I'm more anal about my diet, I'm already suspecting something might go wrong.

1
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:42 PM

I agree with Paleo Designer. If you've been eating paleo for 4 months, eating a pizza is a huge dietary change. Dairy is a good example of this.
It probably is a sign of an underlying issue, though. I don't think someone with great digestion (no leaky gut etc.) wouldn't tolerate some gluten.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 22, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Double negative in last sentence..

0
Cc3c5269382c5c7807a9120ce55b3316

on October 25, 2012
at 06:12 PM

So good to hear that this is happening to other people. I've been Paleo now for a little over a month and my body reacts stronger every time I cheat. I do find the quickest way to fix myself is eating a big salad (I usually eat kale and tomatoes) with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a lean white meat. That puts me right fast, usually halfway through eating the salad.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!