1

votes

eating paleo in spain

Answered on April 17, 2016
Created May 06, 2012 at 2:55 AM

Hey guys,

I'll be backpacking all around Spain for 6 weeks in June and July, and was wondering if anyone has an idea of how easy it will be to maintain a primal type diet. In particular gluten free as I am celiac.

Thanks for any tips and recommendations :)

37f026ae463501697b0b465af49e4e06

(125)

on May 06, 2012
at 02:01 PM

In Spanish: "Soy celiaco" or "soy celiaca" if you are female. I was just in Spain for 10 days and no restaurant gave me a problem.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:25 AM

"Be aware of proccessed meats (minced meat, for example)" So true. It sometimes has soy or very vague descriptions of the ingredients. My wife made me some burgers from a pack of minced beef (may have been beef and pork). I asked her if she had checked for soy. She said it was just meat. It had neither a real meat texture or taste. I threw it out in the garden and even the feral cats wouldn't eat it. lol. The only minced (ground) meat we buy now is the freshly minced stuff at the buthchers counter.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:20 AM

"Be aware of proccessed meats (minced meat, for example)" It sometimes has soy or vague labelling. My wife made me some burgers a while ago that she swore was only meat. It had neither a real meat texture or taste. I threw it out in the garden and even the feral cats wouldn't eat it. lol. The only minced (ground) meat we buy is the freshly minced stuff now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:15 AM

Jamón Ibérico" is delicious and you can get it everywhere. It's not cheap though but it is well worth trying. The lard from these pigs is good too. Look for Manteca de cerdo Ibérico.

C061117b42c212043a6853b8571c24de

on May 06, 2012
at 10:59 AM

Muchas gracias xhenaro, I will have to get on to those spanish forums. We have the same problems with cross contamination in Australia too, but few restaurants here use olive oil unfortunately. If your cousin ever happens to mention a good restaurant I would appreciate it greatly if you could please post it here. Also, I absolutely cannot wait to try jamón ibérico!

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7 Answers

2
72514a20539cf9cc057b9797fab54920

on May 06, 2012
at 09:52 AM

Hello, georgiapeach.

I am from Spain (Sevilla), and I can tell you that, though it is quite easy to get "real food" made with olive oil in this country (most restaurants and bars will have some good plates, and salads at least), you will most certainly struggle with cross-contamination. Flour and gluten-containing products are in every of those restaurants (even seafood or meat specialized). My cousin suffers celiac desease, and has had to locate a few "celiac desease aware restaurants" around every city she goes to (I believe there are spanish forums of celiac people with this info), since most are not at all aware of the problems with the preparation methods (which is a pain in the ass). It will all come down to how sensitive you are, though.

However, if you are staying in a hostal and have somewhere to cook in, there is one supermarket chain (in practically every town, and definitively in every city) called "Mercadona". They have loads of gluten-free products marked with a big "Sin gluten" stamp. Be aware of proccessed meats (minced meat, for example): not good in that supermarket (or any other). You will find, however, "Huevos camperos" (free range eggs), free range chicken, and ib??rico pork (which lives freely and eats mostly acorns). Grass fed meat will be difficult to find, if not impossible.

You might also want to take a look at http://www.backpackingchef.com

Hope it helps!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:15 AM

Jamón Ibérico" is delicious and you can get it everywhere. It's not cheap though but it is well worth trying. The lard from these pigs is good too. Look for Manteca de cerdo Ibérico.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:20 AM

"Be aware of proccessed meats (minced meat, for example)" It sometimes has soy or vague labelling. My wife made me some burgers a while ago that she swore was only meat. It had neither a real meat texture or taste. I threw it out in the garden and even the feral cats wouldn't eat it. lol. The only minced (ground) meat we buy is the freshly minced stuff now.

C061117b42c212043a6853b8571c24de

on May 06, 2012
at 10:59 AM

Muchas gracias xhenaro, I will have to get on to those spanish forums. We have the same problems with cross contamination in Australia too, but few restaurants here use olive oil unfortunately. If your cousin ever happens to mention a good restaurant I would appreciate it greatly if you could please post it here. Also, I absolutely cannot wait to try jamón ibérico!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 11:25 AM

"Be aware of proccessed meats (minced meat, for example)" So true. It sometimes has soy or very vague descriptions of the ingredients. My wife made me some burgers from a pack of minced beef (may have been beef and pork). I asked her if she had checked for soy. She said it was just meat. It had neither a real meat texture or taste. I threw it out in the garden and even the feral cats wouldn't eat it. lol. The only minced (ground) meat we buy now is the freshly minced stuff at the buthchers counter.

1
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on May 06, 2012
at 03:21 AM

I spent a week in Spain several years ago and the food culture there is wonderful. I don't think you'll have any problem. Tons of great seafood and meats, lots of olive oil, and plenty of vegetables. In fact, I'd say there's a chance you'll have an easier time eating "real food" there than in the U.S.! Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world seems to be following our lead regarding processed foods and all manner of fake stuff, additives, etc. But relatively speaking, the food landscape in Western Europe seems to still be significantly better than it is here.

As for the gluten, I'm not sure how meticulous you'll have to be in terms of cross-contamination, but I ate like a queen when I was there and generally avoided bread, pasta, etc. (I was low carb at the time, but not as much focus on food quality.)

I once heard Robb Wolf say that in Italy they're very conscious of celiac and other gluten intolerances, and that if you go to a restaurant and say "sono celiaco," they know how to prepare your food. I don't know if a similar awareness exists in Spain, but maybe look up the translation for some of the phrases you might want to use in terms of avoiding wheat.

I don't know how strict you are with Paleo regarding wine or cheese, but if ever there was a time to indulge, I'd say a trip to Spain is it. :)

37f026ae463501697b0b465af49e4e06

(125)

on May 06, 2012
at 02:01 PM

In Spanish: "Soy celiaco" or "soy celiaca" if you are female. I was just in Spain for 10 days and no restaurant gave me a problem.

0
D3dafb602c2ef9c6c7a8733696326482

(110)

on April 17, 2016
at 09:31 AM

I think the diet of Spain is one of the best in the world from a paleo perspective at this point, still largely eating the traditional diet, and also little grains. And they seem to be rewarded by having now #2 of centenarians/capita (according to wikipedia) and also according to one ranking also #2 life expectancy as of 2015. Behind Japan in both cases. This is particularly interesting as there´s typically a strong correlation between gdp/capita and longevity, yet the GDP/capita of Spain is lower than most western European countries and approx half that of the US.

One intriguing fact is the very high intake of vegetable oils, and based on my calculation the per capita ingestion of sunflower oil is approx 40 ml/day. Additionally the commonly eaten cured ham (jamon iberico) is made from acorn fed swine, very high in n6, but absent in n3. So the diet has a vastly higher n6 to n3 than for example the US. This may decline going forward as new varieties of sunflower oil which resembles more olive oil with less polyunsaturated fat is used. Sunflower oil is also very much used in Italy at this point.

According to one article the LA:ALA ratio in Spanish breast milk had gone from 19.1 in 1985 to 27.5 in 1998 (http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n12/full/1601470a.html), likely as a result of increasingly substituting sunflower oil for olive oil. Anyways this is much higher than in the US. As I´ve understood US obtains about 80% of its vegetable oils from soybean oil with a 7:1 LA:ALA ratio.

So the Spanish eat a lot of fried foods in vegetable oils (olive oil and sunflower oil), but also a lot of high quality foods like vegetables, making up for it. I doubt they would have lived longer if they had used soybean oil instead of sunflower oil for the frying.

0
0d58224bbc8ac2cf54e63b9a20f01b28

on July 24, 2014
at 08:09 AM

Staying gluten free will be a challenge for you in restaurants. I'm sensitive to gluten and I've found that if I stick to very basic dishes I can get away with it, but anything outside the basic usually will give me symptoms (e.g. sauces, or anything that looks like has been processed).

A good rule in restaurants is to go for grilled (a la plancha) fresh fish. If you're near the coast, which you most likely will be, it has come straight out of the sea without any additional treatment.

I've been in Malaga, Costa del Sol, for last few months and have hacked how to find all the typical 'upgraded paleo' and paleo items I eat - see the details here:

http://biohacked.net/eating-paleo-in-spain-malaga-costa-del-sol/

Note: I'm more strict than basic paleo compliance, following a Wahls like protocol.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 06, 2012
at 05:35 PM

lots of jamon serrano/iberico (cured ham)

lots of olive oil

lots of eggs, tortilla espanol is traditionally with potatoes and topped with sauteed onions, but is possible to find with little potatoe. cheese is optional

lots of fresh veggies

lots of tapas (mushrooms, asparagus)

lots of fresh fish (but probably fried)

lots of really really good red wine!!!

paellas are mostly rice but full of proteins (sea food to chicken etc.-depending on the type) with evoo

the pastries and fresh bread are temptingly good, so be careful (cuidado!)

they aren't as 'fast food' or processed food oriented yet (but they do sell it). Obviously very european so you will like get more real food there than if traveling in the USA.

I lived in Madrid for 2 years, LOVED IT!!!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 06:18 AM

I live in Spain. Plenty of restaurants offer simple meals of grilled or fried meats with vegetables.

0
A2b9075bd176ca2912743e4df1e4af49

(146)

on May 06, 2012
at 03:31 AM

I've spent much time in spain...you should be able to get your meats at local butcher shops. eating tapas should be easy, lots of sea food, great oils, and amazing veggies. they love pork, it'll be all over the place.

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