2

votes

Is 80% Paleo good enough?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2012 at 2:06 AM

I had a friend in college who only smoked cigarettes when at a bar.

I had another friend who only smoke pot if a friend gave it to him for free: he would never buy it.

If I do paleo at home (80%), but eat whatever when traveling or out with friends (20%), wouldn't I still derive lots of benefits?

I'll confess I'm a bit nervous about going all-in-100% paleo after reading this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/117616/been-on-paleo-for-3-months-now-starting-to-feel-very-bad#axzz1ylSbfeJV

and this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/130238/is-paleo-making-us-worse/130247#130247

I just skimmed a little of the 180degreehealth.com links referenced, and it's scaring me. I don't want to develop food sensitives. I don't want to rid my diet of 100% gluten, and become hyper sensitive to it; that sounds like bad news.

I did suffer from reduced libido 2 months in, as described. Yes, I upped my sweet potatos, and am hacking my diet so I'm not sure if that is still my major concern.

However, I'm not a big fan of Matt Stone after listening to one of his podcasts where he was trying to debunk drinking water. He made lots of over-sweeping statements which set off a bunch of BS red flags in my opinion.

If it matters, I'm 185 pounds (lost 10 of the 20 pounds I wanted to lose). I'm in this to improve my health. I don't seem to have any problem digesting wheat. I'm trouble-shooting a couple of pesky health problems: one is muscle cramping and/or maybe joint pain in my right ankle - I think the two are related and new since going paleo 3 months ago.

I am 44 and I noticed that since going paleo 3 months ago, my vision got dramatically worse for close objects. Yes, I know I'm at that age, but it really was abrupt. I did post a separate question about that ( http://paleohacks.com/questions/118767/is-paleo-causing-me-far-sighted-ness#axzz1ylZyD1N6 ), and I also posted some info I found about 2 air force pilots who went on atkins at within 3 months had the same problem. It turned out it was from a deficiency in thiamine since they weren't eating refined grains (like me).

I guess this isn't one of my more focused questions; I guess it reflect some degree of ambivalence I'm feeling 3 months in.

Mike

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 26, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Well, it would be cool if you had enough $$ (like Dave Asprey) to hack your biology and find out if those symptoms - vision and libido - were diet related or something else. Did they resolve once you went 80 %? Just kinda thinking about it, am I not sure how it's possible for 2 months of diet to effect your vision. Eye doctors are not that expensive. Have you been to one? I would be curious as to a good eye docs opinion. The make libido? I'm not even gonna go near that one ;-)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Karen, please don't suggest I'm not honest. As to being "nervous about going all-in-100%", I'm concerned that continuing @ 100% might make me overly sensitized to certain foods. Maybe avoiding grains 100% forever is a great idea, maybe not, but please don't fault me for asking questions about the ramifications.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 06:00 PM

I'm not expecting "magic", and as I said, I was very strict and consistent for 2 months. I'm sure you're not suggesting I should have continued eating spinach and avocados for an additional 24 days despite the terrible sneezing fits before eliminating them to see if that made a difference for me?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Have you really been 100% paleo for 2 months? I'm asking because above you say "I'll confess I'm a bit nervous about going all-in-100% paleo..." Which is it. You need to be totally honest with yourself if you're going to get a big lifestyle change to work.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:32 PM

You're doing n=1, but they aren't really going to tell you much because you keeping shifting through them too fast, expecting the "magic" to happen overnight. There isn't any magic. Start with the basics, not the fine tuning, and give it time. 30 days minimum. And don't drink the orange juice.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 03:33 PM

And Karen, I all about the N=1 experiment. When I shifted to a bunch of high histamine paleo foods, and started having huge sneezing fits, and then realized that spinach & avocados are high-histamine foods, I did ask a bunch of paleo histamine questions. I'd like to think that wasn't obsessive, just inquisitive, as I tweaked my foods in pursuit of better health. I hope the questions didn't bother anyone.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 03:31 PM

Good point Karen about getting the eye exam to make sure nothing is wrong. I scheduled it last month, and my apt. is tomorrow morning.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 25, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Sol~ Unless someone goes 100% gluten-free for at least 6 weeks (perhaps longer if Eugenia is correct!), they may not realize that they have symptoms. For example, my digestive issues disappeared in 2.5 weeks, but my achy joints took at least a month. And I certainly don't think everyone has gluten issues!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 25, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Something is deeply disturbing to me about the thought that many people could be having gluten issues with no symptoms. This forces us to either get tested or to abandon our bodies in the belief that a bunch of researchers got it right.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:26 AM

IMO re benefits. Your diet is so all over the map because of your somewhat obsessive questioning and shifting that you aren't really settled enough to be able to discover benefits or not. You need to just settle down and do the n=1 experiment.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Sorry about my unclear post. I was 100% for about 2 months. Like that other thread, I initially felt amazing. I talked it up to anyone who would listen. Then, I started getting reduced libido, vision abruptly went worse, and I got side tracked hacking other issues which cropped up. Even if I felt great for 3 months, the threads are questioning the possibility of long term sensitizing to gluten and other foods.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:23 AM

Re: eyes. Changes in diet can change intraocular eye pressure. With paleo that should be for the better overall, but it could change your prescription needs. Since your diet seems to vary A LOT and you aren't committed, I wouldn't get new glasses until you're settled. You should get an eye exam now though to see what else is going on. Diabetes and prediabetes can have major effects on your eyes that you want to catch NOW.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:17 AM

In my experience the difference between some and all is huge.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:12 AM

You'll get some of the benefits, but not all. Of course, the only way to see what the difference that amounts to for you is to try it. Going 30 days or so totally clean like Robb Wolf recommends is the only way to get that personal baseline. Try a Whole30 and then compare and pick which is right for you.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 25, 2012
at 07:09 AM

According to new studies (mentioned in various doctor blogs), 7/10 people have problems with gluten without knowing it, and even more get onset symptoms. Eating a piece of gluten stays in the gut for up to 6 months, so I'm not sure in this case you want to be doing 80% Paleo. You want to be doing 80%-20% of every food in that case, but still, 0% of gluten.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Yup. 80% is fine for me, but I can't go too crazy with the 20% or signs of ill health start creeping back.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:41 AM

That's if you have a problem with gluten, right?

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Yeah - this. 80% will yield some serious improvement, as long as one is a bit cognizant of what goes into that other 20%.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Yeah - this. 80% is will yield some serious improvement, as long as one is a little bit cognizant of what goes into that other 20%.

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6 Answers

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4
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:24 AM

According to Kresser and Wolf, not if you're doing gluten. So 80% might be ok, but not when it includes gluten.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:41 AM

That's if you have a problem with gluten, right?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on June 25, 2012
at 07:09 AM

According to new studies (mentioned in various doctor blogs), 7/10 people have problems with gluten without knowing it, and even more get onset symptoms. Eating a piece of gluten stays in the gut for up to 6 months, so I'm not sure in this case you want to be doing 80% Paleo. You want to be doing 80%-20% of every food in that case, but still, 0% of gluten.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 25, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Something is deeply disturbing to me about the thought that many people could be having gluten issues with no symptoms. This forces us to either get tested or to abandon our bodies in the belief that a bunch of researchers got it right.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 25, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Sol~ Unless someone goes 100% gluten-free for at least 6 weeks (perhaps longer if Eugenia is correct!), they may not realize that they have symptoms. For example, my digestive issues disappeared in 2.5 weeks, but my achy joints took at least a month. And I certainly don't think everyone has gluten issues!

3
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on June 25, 2012
at 03:57 AM

What about the number of threads where people talk about how great going 100% paleo makes them feel? I see far more of those than the other sort.

I don't see how you can be feeling ambivalent about something you haven't really tried.

If 80% is your comfort level, so be it, 80% is better than nothing, but I think your decision should be made based on how YOU feel not on how someone else feels.

Why not try it 100% for two weeks, see how you feel and then, if you decide not to go all in, it will at least be based on something solid.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Have you really been 100% paleo for 2 months? I'm asking because above you say "I'll confess I'm a bit nervous about going all-in-100% paleo..." Which is it. You need to be totally honest with yourself if you're going to get a big lifestyle change to work.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Karen, please don't suggest I'm not honest. As to being "nervous about going all-in-100%", I'm concerned that continuing @ 100% might make me overly sensitized to certain foods. Maybe avoiding grains 100% forever is a great idea, maybe not, but please don't fault me for asking questions about the ramifications.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 26, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Well, it would be cool if you had enough $$ (like Dave Asprey) to hack your biology and find out if those symptoms - vision and libido - were diet related or something else. Did they resolve once you went 80 %? Just kinda thinking about it, am I not sure how it's possible for 2 months of diet to effect your vision. Eye doctors are not that expensive. Have you been to one? I would be curious as to a good eye docs opinion. The make libido? I'm not even gonna go near that one ;-)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:25 AM

Sorry about my unclear post. I was 100% for about 2 months. Like that other thread, I initially felt amazing. I talked it up to anyone who would listen. Then, I started getting reduced libido, vision abruptly went worse, and I got side tracked hacking other issues which cropped up. Even if I felt great for 3 months, the threads are questioning the possibility of long term sensitizing to gluten and other foods.

2
D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:12 AM

80% still works well for me, but I still watch what comes in that 20%. Too much bread and I'm gassy and mentally deflated.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Yeah - this. 80% is will yield some serious improvement, as long as one is a little bit cognizant of what goes into that other 20%.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Yeah - this. 80% will yield some serious improvement, as long as one is a bit cognizant of what goes into that other 20%.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:43 AM

Yup. 80% is fine for me, but I can't go too crazy with the 20% or signs of ill health start creeping back.

1
C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on June 25, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Here's the deal! EVERY BODY is different. You have to be pretty strict in the beginning, and I honestly believe 45 days + is better than 30 days. After that, you can tweak with things according to your needs. Maybe it is eating a bit of white rice for your carbo needs. Maybe dairy isn't so bad. I truly believe wheat is the DEVIL, so I'd stay very clear of it (forever)... Going Paleo, GAPS, Primal, Ancestral, whatever you want do to clean up your act is the key. Once you figure it out, doing the 80/20 will become more clear.

I don't travel a ton, but at times I may actually use travel time to IF (intermittent fast). Skip the meal on the plane. Skip the crappy fast food urge. It's actually quite easy to do once your body planes out.

You can try 80%, but the reality is it keeps folks from seeing the results, and then it's chaulked up to a "fad diet" rather than a serious lifestyle change.

Good luck,

Craig

0
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on June 25, 2012
at 06:03 PM

80% is way better than nothing. But 100% is clearly better than 80%, unless you think that sugar, gluten and other crap provide benefit to you that paleo foods don't. Some people go paleo, but too low for their own needs, causing new problems they didn't have before. Others might suddenly be eating more nuts than the used to, and nuts are a real issue for some people. And so on. If you do 100% paleo, you'll probably be fine-tuning for a while. On the other hand, if you only do 80%, or not at all, you'll also probably be fine-tuning for a while. I'd think the result of the fine-tuning will be better, the stricter paleo you are. Certainly that's been my experience.

0
C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on June 25, 2012
at 03:31 PM

I also JUST listened to a podcast with Sisson or Dr. Davis (can't remember) anway, if you're obese and have been eating "poorly" most of your life, your gut is likely in serious trouble and it may take up to a year (or more) to start seeing some changes. BTW, I suppose you don't have to be obese to have these problems either.

Anyway, 80% won't likely allow your gut to properly "heal" and you'll continue to fight the problems.

Two more cents,

craig

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