3

votes

Complete and utter newb

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 29, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Hello,

for a complete newb, please feel free to answer this question:

Why should I not be eating a plant based (vegan) diet?

I have an autoimmune disease (spondylitis, or AS) and there is a theory that starch makes this disease worse. There are anecdotes of people switching to a paleo type diet called the London AS Diet or the No Starch Diet and feeling much better.

However, there are doctors such as Dr McDougall who claims that animal protein and fat creates inflammation, so that those with arthritis and other types of diseases should be on a plant based, vegan diet. There are anecdotes of people trying this diet and feeling much better.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I thank you in advance!

Best,

L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:55 AM

P.S. and thanks to all above who responded previously. As I've said in my reply to Phil: I am feeling better. There is something to this paleo approach that is working for me. I feel inflammation decreasing. I have better energy. I've been reading and learning, and I'm kind of blown away by what I'm learning...but mostly, it is my own self that is responding positively to paloe.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Hi Phil, wow, I'm glad you are feeling well! I'm off starch & sugar, eating meat, fish, veggies, no potatoes, and fruit like berries. Water, green tea. Still on dairy, seeing how that goes. That seems pretty paleo, doesn't it? So here it is almost 2 weeks later and I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. I feel as though I'm feeling less aches, stiffness, and have some more energy. Thanks for the encouragement and best to you!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:57 PM

Done, and done. Thanks!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Thanks, Damiro, yes, I'm learning a lot, reading online, going to order some books...but more than that even, just turning away from grains, beans, and potatoes, I started to feel much better. I'm going to stick with it...thanks again...: )

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Will do, thanks!

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:32 PM

None- also, be sure to eat lots of lacto-fermented foods...it helps a ton!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Thanks, cynarin. That's great about the nightshades! : ) Good to know about Wolf's opinion on nuts/seeds. I'm learning, experimenting. Another question IF you don't mind: did you experience any klebsiella die off symptoms?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on January 04, 2011
at 04:40 PM

If you want a rebuttal to the China study, Denise Minger has a beauty of one: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Yes! So much information out there. I'm glad I've asked for help. I wanted the paleo perspective since I'd read The China Study and got a plant based perspective. I appreciate those book recommendations as I do really like to learn about the science. Thanks again!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Thank you, that's very helpful! I appreciate it. : )

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on January 03, 2011
at 06:44 PM

That's really interesting. I suffered from bad depression and very stiff back/neck/joints and cured both through paleo but I have to stay away from dairy and eggs. For me it's no dairy, eggs, soy, gluten and most importantly, no nightshades. I'm fine with nuts and seeds and even though I try not to eat it rice doesn't bother me nor does corn.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 02, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Glad to be helpful! Personally, I would cut out the margarine ASAP. Try baking with grass-fed butter - it has all sorts of goodies like vitamins e and k2, and whole fat dairy (especially grass fed) is relatively low in O6. I often eat ~4 eggs per day: a medium egg contains about 0.5g O6, although true pastured eggs contain less than half of this. If you eat chicken more than a couple of times a week, go for lean meat and then top up the fat content with low 06 sources e.g. a cream sauce.

626a0ddca599721f53b2c698a1a99f87

(181)

on January 01, 2011
at 02:09 PM

Not a problem. Did you find the information you were looking for? Did you at least get pointed in the right direction?

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:47 PM

No problem! I do low dairy (grassfed butter for cooking, a little goat cheese in an omelet from time to time, and sometimes dairy in things during special occasions or in fancy dinners out, say 1-2x/month), mid-low nuts and seeds (like Robb Wolf says...use them as a condiment, and I try to stick to the less-inflammatory ones like macadamias and hazelnuts), and plenty of eggs (which I may experiment with taking out at some point, but not yet). I also have found that nightshades don't seem to have a negative effect for me.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:32 PM

Thank you, Mari. I'm totally delving into learning about paleo and will check out those sites you mention, thanks again! --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:31 PM

Thanks Ignacio, I appreciate your reply! --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:30 PM

Thanks, Rht, I'll check that out! I appreciate your response. Luckily, I've been strictly gluten free for several years. --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Simibee, I can't thank you enough, I really appreciate this information. I'm going to make some changes in what I've been eating (maybe too many eggs, whole fat dairy, and chicken and some earth balance margarine in baking with coconut flour...?) and see how that goes. I'll continue taking my fish oil supplements, too. Thanks for the good luck wishes, too. --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:26 PM

Thank you, Damiro, I appreciate your reply! --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:26 PM

Excellent point, Aaron. Thanks for that. --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:24 PM

So cool! Thank you very much for the response. I'm really happy that you are feeling so well. Your story is an inspiring one. I can relate to your experience of eating healthy, whole foods as a vegetarian, or vegan, then seeking out a different way of eating to feel better. I know everyone is different, but I'd love to know if you eat: dairy, nuts, seeds, & eggs, or if you have removed any or all of them. Totally understand if you don't have time to reply, though. Again, thanks. --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:20 PM

Drew, I can't thank you enough for the information and encouragement. Thanks for the help and the link and explanations! L.S.

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11 Answers

8
Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on December 29, 2010
at 11:23 PM

One of the greatest benefits of the Paleo diet comes from the removal of harmful substances that aggravate the immune system.

Gluten(from wheat, rye, and barley), lectins(from grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and nightshades), saponins, and certain proteins can all contribute to a condition called "Leaky Gut Syndrome".

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestine becomes permeable to substances to which it is normally not. When this happens, things like intact proteins, bacteria, and other substances can cross the gut barrier into the blood, where they are recognized by the immune system and met with a strong immune response.

Some of these substances have structures very similar to our own proteins, and thus, when our immune system attacks them, it may begin causing damage in our own tissues.

Here is a video about the link between diet and Multiple Sclerosis, another autoimmune condition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZgE-S4m3kI

A second benefit is the rebalancing of omega-3 and omega-6 fat intake. In a typical modern diet, this can be skewed as much as 1:30 in favor of omega-6. Evidence shows that our ancestors probably consumed these fats in a 1:2 or 1:1 ratio. The problem lies in the fact that these fats influence to a large degree inflammation through the production of various eicosanoids.

Eicosanoids are hormones that are involved in cellular signaling and inflammation regulation.

Omega-6 fats tend to produce more inflammatory eicosanoids, so the disproportionate high levels of these fats increase the inflammatory status.

Omega-3 fats tend to produce less inflammatory eicosanoids, and are highly deficient in the typical western diet. The most important fatty acid in this category are EPA and DHA, and they have been shown to have the positive effects on insulin sensitivity, heart disease, etc. Consumption of ALA does not result in very significant raising of EPA/DHA levels.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:20 PM

Drew, I can't thank you enough for the information and encouragement. Thanks for the help and the link and explanations! L.S.

7
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on December 30, 2010
at 12:35 AM

Hi! I'm HLA-B27 positive with family members with full-blown AS and/or Reiter's Syndrome (we've had some issues with a proper diagnosis since they have a lot of the same markers). You want anecdotes...I got your anecdotes.

Years of lacto-ovo vegetarianism and a short time dabbling in veganism left me with near-crippling arthritis and tendinitis issues. I ate a very "clean" diet high in artisan foods and high-quality, local veggies. It continued when I started eating meat again (not associated with my health, but rather, literally due to smelling bacon and being all "f this noise!")

I became "paleo" almost a year ago in part because I wanted to drop down to my early-20s weight but became convinced after reading some of the anecdotal evidence and discussions about why neolithic foods are especially bad for those of us with inflammatory issues. Sick of watching my father and brother in pain all the time, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I DON'T HURT ANYMORE. NOT EVER.

I am more limber than anytime in my life, including when I was a dancer. I wake up and feel good. I can walk longer without hurting, I don't have issues with repetitive stress, and my joints don't feel like an old woman's anymore.

Starch may or may not feed the bacteria that exacerbate the HLA-B27 illnesses, but I feel it is certain that inflammatory foods like those mentioned by the other responders (grains and vegetable oils being the main culprits) wreak havoc on those of us with this autoimmune condition.

Good luck.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:24 PM

So cool! Thank you very much for the response. I'm really happy that you are feeling so well. Your story is an inspiring one. I can relate to your experience of eating healthy, whole foods as a vegetarian, or vegan, then seeking out a different way of eating to feel better. I know everyone is different, but I'd love to know if you eat: dairy, nuts, seeds, & eggs, or if you have removed any or all of them. Totally understand if you don't have time to reply, though. Again, thanks. --L.S.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on January 03, 2011
at 06:44 PM

That's really interesting. I suffered from bad depression and very stiff back/neck/joints and cured both through paleo but I have to stay away from dairy and eggs. For me it's no dairy, eggs, soy, gluten and most importantly, no nightshades. I'm fine with nuts and seeds and even though I try not to eat it rice doesn't bother me nor does corn.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:23 PM

Thanks, cynarin. That's great about the nightshades! : ) Good to know about Wolf's opinion on nuts/seeds. I'm learning, experimenting. Another question IF you don't mind: did you experience any klebsiella die off symptoms?

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:47 PM

No problem! I do low dairy (grassfed butter for cooking, a little goat cheese in an omelet from time to time, and sometimes dairy in things during special occasions or in fancy dinners out, say 1-2x/month), mid-low nuts and seeds (like Robb Wolf says...use them as a condiment, and I try to stick to the less-inflammatory ones like macadamias and hazelnuts), and plenty of eggs (which I may experiment with taking out at some point, but not yet). I also have found that nightshades don't seem to have a negative effect for me.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Will do, thanks!

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 04, 2011
at 05:32 PM

None- also, be sure to eat lots of lacto-fermented foods...it helps a ton!

4
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Of course a vegetarian doctor says meat is an inflammatory. You need to read and discover for your self by experimenting on YOURSELF and stop letting other people tell you whats right for YOU. There are several thousand, million threads, blogs and people who can tell you a paleo style diet is great and there are the same amount of people that say the 'xxxxx' diet is the best. The only way to find out is to jump in with both feet 100% strict for at least a month and see what happens. Then you add different foods back in and see how it affects YOU. Good luck.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:26 PM

Excellent point, Aaron. Thanks for that. --L.S.

2
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on January 03, 2011
at 06:29 PM

L.S.

Take a look at Peter Hyperlipids post on hla-b27 and Ebringer. Also read the comments, very interesting:

here and here.

Have you done the no starch diet? Please keep us updated. As a physical therapist I'm interested in the link between AS and diet (although I don't have a lot of AS patients, so I can't give you even one anecdote).

Good luck!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 03:20 PM

Thank you, that's very helpful! I appreciate it. : )

2
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on December 30, 2010
at 01:43 AM

I'm a little bit leery about overwhelming you with information overload, but I only mention this because I wish that somebody had been there to tell me this when I first started. Also, I see that the theory of omegas 3&6 and eiconsanoid signalling has already been skilfully summarised, so I'll give you some tips about putting it into practice.

Firstly, avoid all vegetable oils; not only are they sky high in O6 (omega-6) e.g. safflower oil 78.4% O6, but they are highly unstable and will be rancid (and therefore damaging/pro-inflammatory) just due to processing. Most nuts are also very high in O6, and so should be avoided (also for other reasons that I'm not going to get into).

Don't be frightened of animal fat; it is a healthful and necessary substance which will displace excess carbohydrate calories from your diet. However, don't assume that all animal fats are automatically low in pro-inflammatory O6 PUFA (polyunsaturated fat). For example, pork/bacon lard is 10.7% O6, duck fat is 12.6% O6 and chicken fat is 20.4% O6.

Equally, not only should Omega-3:6 be consumed in a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio, but total polyunsaturated fats (the unstable group of fats to which O6 and O3 both belong) should ideally be kept to 4% of calories. This is easy to calculate as each gram of fat contains 9 calories. So on a typical 2000 calorie diet, you can consume 8.8 grams PUFA, of which no more than ~4 grams should be O6.

Your animal fat calories should principally come from ruminants like beef (3.2% O6) or lamb/mutton (5.7% O6). Use coconut oil and dairy fats (depending on your tolerance) to add further fat without exceeding O6 targets. Remember that O6 is also found in eggs and (to a lesser extent) dairy. The website nutrition data (although not paleo) is extremely useful, as it will let you see how much O6/3 a food contains.

Remember that your body's stored fat supplies reflect the composition of your dietary fat intake; it can take up to 2 years for the body to purge itself of excess O6 and achieve balance. In the meantime, you may need to supplement with a good quality fish oil if your diet was previously high in O6 and you are losing weight (i.e. your body is liberating O6 from it's supplies).

Oh, and good luck!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Simibee, I can't thank you enough, I really appreciate this information. I'm going to make some changes in what I've been eating (maybe too many eggs, whole fat dairy, and chicken and some earth balance margarine in baking with coconut flour...?) and see how that goes. I'll continue taking my fish oil supplements, too. Thanks for the good luck wishes, too. --L.S.

Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on January 02, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Glad to be helpful! Personally, I would cut out the margarine ASAP. Try baking with grass-fed butter - it has all sorts of goodies like vitamins e and k2, and whole fat dairy (especially grass fed) is relatively low in O6. I often eat ~4 eggs per day: a medium egg contains about 0.5g O6, although true pastured eggs contain less than half of this. If you eat chicken more than a couple of times a week, go for lean meat and then top up the fat content with low 06 sources e.g. a cream sauce.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:57 PM

Done, and done. Thanks!

2
626a0ddca599721f53b2c698a1a99f87

(181)

on December 29, 2010
at 11:29 PM

McDougall is correct, animal fat does cause inflammation. But it is caused by the Omega-6 fats in conventionally raised animals fed grains. The fat profile of grass-fed meat is much different and is much higher in Omega-3. Avoid vegetable oil (corn, soy, and safflower) for the same reason and go for animal fat, such as pastured butter, bacon fat, etc. Coconut oil is okay, though.

In general, the closer you can get to natural, grass-fed animal protein sources the better, in addition to lots of veggies. And staying away from grains and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes.

626a0ddca599721f53b2c698a1a99f87

(181)

on January 01, 2011
at 02:09 PM

Not a problem. Did you find the information you were looking for? Did you at least get pointed in the right direction?

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:26 PM

Thank you, Damiro, I appreciate your reply! --L.S.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 10:55 PM

Thanks, Damiro, yes, I'm learning a lot, reading online, going to order some books...but more than that even, just turning away from grains, beans, and potatoes, I started to feel much better. I'm going to stick with it...thanks again...: )

1
6899763c85871bba323530a314506a9d

on January 13, 2011
at 11:07 PM

I've been 99% paleo for 2 weeks now... I'm just diagnosed with either AS, PsArthritis or rhieters (reactive). Started taking methotrexate 5 weeks ago....

I'm feeling great... Can't be sure what's working though ... But I really do believe diet is going to sort it!

I'm working on the theory of grains= inflammation (disruption/confusion of the auto immune system)

So I'm still on eggs and nightshades..

All going well, my next appointment will see my rheumy reducing my methotrexate ...

Keep positive

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Hi Phil, wow, I'm glad you are feeling well! I'm off starch & sugar, eating meat, fish, veggies, no potatoes, and fruit like berries. Water, green tea. Still on dairy, seeing how that goes. That seems pretty paleo, doesn't it? So here it is almost 2 weeks later and I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. I feel as though I'm feeling less aches, stiffness, and have some more energy. Thanks for the encouragement and best to you!

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:55 AM

P.S. and thanks to all above who responded previously. As I've said in my reply to Phil: I am feeling better. There is something to this paleo approach that is working for me. I feel inflammation decreasing. I have better energy. I've been reading and learning, and I'm kind of blown away by what I'm learning...but mostly, it is my own self that is responding positively to paloe.

1
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on January 03, 2011
at 06:08 PM

It's important to realize that there's a ton of information. Experts from every dietary camp can be compelling. The raw foodist can convince you to give up your stove. Self experimentation is the way to validate claims. Try the diet out for thirty days if you don't look, feel, or perform better, if your biomarkers don't improve, then something about the diet isn't working for you. At paleohacks, we'll try to help you figure out what isn't working from a paleo perspective. In my experience, the paleo diet can work well for most folks especially those with autoimmunity problems (my family is an autoimmunity kingdom). I'd pick up the standard paleo reading list -- Robb Wolf's book as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories, The Perfect Health Diet, and for some variety Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Know the conceptual basis for what you're doing! It's not necessary, but damn, it helps. Especially when mom comes knocking at your door worrying about your heart health.

So why should you not eat a plant based diet? That's up for you to decide. You haven't done it before. Perform a little experiment with yourself as the subject. Test it out. Try it out for at least thirty days (I'd love to see three months with that autoimmunity) and report back. If you have the time and the cash to get some before and after blood work done, beautiful. Let's measure that inflammation. Let's check you LDL/HDL and triglycerides. 4 Hour Body has a nice overview of helpful medical test to get done as does Robb Wolf's book. Watch those numbers move. The science is on our side but that's not going to mean anything to you until you try it.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on January 04, 2011
at 04:40 PM

If you want a rebuttal to the China study, Denise Minger has a beauty of one: http://rawfoodsos.com/the-china-study/

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 04, 2011
at 03:24 PM

Yes! So much information out there. I'm glad I've asked for help. I wanted the paleo perspective since I'd read The China Study and got a plant based perspective. I appreciate those book recommendations as I do really like to learn about the science. Thanks again!

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on December 30, 2010
at 03:27 AM

Bernstein is similar to Paleo, but lower carb. There are people who have no AS flares on the Bernstein diet. Yu can post on the diabetes-book forum for more info. I think the omega 3/6 balance is important for everyone but for AS, gluten is also critical.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:30 PM

Thanks, Rht, I'll check that out! I appreciate your response. Luckily, I've been strictly gluten free for several years. --L.S.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on December 30, 2010
at 01:01 AM

Basically what others have said, but I would encourage you to find your own information. Whole health source, panu, and perfect health diet are good.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:32 PM

Thank you, Mari. I'm totally delving into learning about paleo and will check out those sites you mention, thanks again! --L.S.

0
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on December 29, 2010
at 11:37 PM

If you have a diet that includes lots of omega 3 fats, found mostly on oily fish any inflammation will be much reduced. Also avoid corn, oil and wheat products. Whenever you choose cow meat, it should be grass fed. Also you can have lots of vegetables as long as you keep your starchs low (ie not much potatoes, etc)

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:31 PM

Thanks Ignacio, I appreciate your reply! --L.S.

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