5

votes

Hypothetical: Would your body ever adjust back to eating the SAD diet after Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Let's say for some reason the economy collapses or money gets super tight so you decide to eat the cheapest foods out there...(rice, beans, bread, oats, etc. - no more bacon, salmon, omega 3's/supplements, and so on.)

Would your body adjust to eating grains/inflammatory foods? Or do you think it would wreck havoc on your system?

90f66d30d977b07694403b469b3f85c5

on March 12, 2012
at 06:39 PM

Haha, I have some Ramen and canned food stashed away in case of hyperinflation!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:50 PM

Mexican food prepared and sold in US restaurants perhaps. Food eaten in Mexico however must at least be SMD. And rice and beans themselves really aren't SAD, unless we're extending that A to be Africa and Asia too, in which case I think some of us *may* be missing the point again.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I definitely include Mexican food with the rice and beans as SAD. This might seem MAD to some....

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Big +1 on this one. My body never was meant to do SAD. I think I survived my active younger years on reserve. The crash started at 26. I have wondered what would happen if for some reason I ended up with very little diet choice (like when in the hospital), and it doesn't work. I just sneak whey protein into the hospital and won't deal with it! Humans haven't adjusted to SAD and never will.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 11, 2012
at 03:56 PM

I was very poor for a time and ate a lot of rice and properly soaked/fermented lentils. Nothing bad ever happened to me. I feel a little bit more energetic when I am getting more % of my calories from meat and fish, but I wasn't in a bad place on my poverty diet. That's not really SAD though. SAD would be going back to Breyer's Ice Cream, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and Soda, which I would never do.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:43 PM

Fun question! I do love a good hypothetical. :)

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:37 PM

thhq, in my experience, and forgive my lack of technical terminology here, it seems like these artificial foods somehow hijack our system. When I first went Paleo, I thought I would be able to dabble in the SAD stuff, and it just doesn't taste good anymore. My cravings have completely changed. I used to drool over things like croissants and tortilla chips, but the thought of eating something made with dust and water just isn't appetizing. Junk begets more junk.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 01:56 PM

It seems odd to me that cheap vegetable fats replaced cheaper lard in the SAD. The lard makes fries more rewarding. More bacon-ish.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 01:20 PM

I'm glad you noticed the fat @beth. A lot of people here confuse low fat dieting with SAD, which I define as a cheap mixture of starchy carbs and vegetable fat. Without the fat you don't have rewarding foods like pizza and Cheetos.

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9 Answers

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4
76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

on March 11, 2012
at 12:02 PM

I would argue that my body was never really adjusted to the SAD, I just didn't realize it. To me, that's one of the points behind low carb and paleo/primal.

Before I switched my diet, I always limited the candies we purchased, for budgetary reasons. But I was eating a lot of beans and processed grains. In my mind, the "poor man's diet" you describe is as much to blame for my weight problems as the "treats" that we ate.

So definitely "wreak havoc." On the other hand, if that diet was truly necessary for survival, I think there might be ways to mitigate the damage: cook with more animal fats, for example.

Of course, that might not be an option if society collapsed. If it was just money, though, I'd put up with the BHA in cheap lard!

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:37 PM

thhq, in my experience, and forgive my lack of technical terminology here, it seems like these artificial foods somehow hijack our system. When I first went Paleo, I thought I would be able to dabble in the SAD stuff, and it just doesn't taste good anymore. My cravings have completely changed. I used to drool over things like croissants and tortilla chips, but the thought of eating something made with dust and water just isn't appetizing. Junk begets more junk.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 01:56 PM

It seems odd to me that cheap vegetable fats replaced cheaper lard in the SAD. The lard makes fries more rewarding. More bacon-ish.

E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:42 PM

Big +1 on this one. My body never was meant to do SAD. I think I survived my active younger years on reserve. The crash started at 26. I have wondered what would happen if for some reason I ended up with very little diet choice (like when in the hospital), and it doesn't work. I just sneak whey protein into the hospital and won't deal with it! Humans haven't adjusted to SAD and never will.

7
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 11, 2012
at 12:46 PM

Rice and beans isn't exactly SAD. It may not be paleo but it is a traditional diet. And it may not be bacon and salmon, but bits of meat would still typically be available. The worst parts of SAD are neither cheap nor necessary.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I definitely include Mexican food with the rice and beans as SAD. This might seem MAD to some....

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 11, 2012
at 03:56 PM

I was very poor for a time and ate a lot of rice and properly soaked/fermented lentils. Nothing bad ever happened to me. I feel a little bit more energetic when I am getting more % of my calories from meat and fish, but I wasn't in a bad place on my poverty diet. That's not really SAD though. SAD would be going back to Breyer's Ice Cream, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and Soda, which I would never do.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on March 11, 2012
at 07:50 PM

Mexican food prepared and sold in US restaurants perhaps. Food eaten in Mexico however must at least be SMD. And rice and beans themselves really aren't SAD, unless we're extending that A to be Africa and Asia too, in which case I think some of us *may* be missing the point again.

3
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on March 11, 2012
at 12:44 PM

I think the body always will adjust. Whether or not it will "wreak havoc" depends in part on things like whether one has specific grain-related issues (like celiac).

For me in particular, there's a difference between eating SAD and eating grains. Given that cultures have been existing for generations on properly prepared grains (soaked, sprouted, fermented etc) I don't think that eating grains per se would necessarily be the end of the world in case it's the end of the world.

But it's very clear that SAD as consumed by most folks is not a healthful diet. It's not just the grains though, it's also the ridiculous amount of sugar, the heavy-duty veggie oils and the lack of nutrients like the fat-soluble vitamins and omega 3.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 11, 2012
at 01:20 PM

I'm glad you noticed the fat @beth. A lot of people here confuse low fat dieting with SAD, which I define as a cheap mixture of starchy carbs and vegetable fat. Without the fat you don't have rewarding foods like pizza and Cheetos.

2
A1e88766fa30107f3dbd6b6aecce6d55

on March 11, 2012
at 03:50 PM

I had a "SAD" experience just this week. I wanted to have a tiny splurge, and thought hey, go down to the local health food store and get one of their gluten-free brownies (they're also vegan, but that wasn't my main goal). Well, I felt super-duper crappy following that, for several hours. Don't know if it was the chocolate, the non-gluten grains used, or something else in it, but it did not treat me well. It was especially surprising considering my diet pre-paleo consisted almost entirely of vegan pseudo-foods :) I've been mostly paleo for 5+ years, with deviations now and then; however for the past 10 months I'd been 100% paleo before this "treat".

Won't be going off the "diet" again.

2
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:42 PM

I think the thing for me that would help guide my choices would be my hunger cues. I could never go back to being ravenously hungry every 2 hours. I would do my best to control blood sugar levels, but how would you do that on beans and rice?! I definitely would be smarter about preparing that stuff.

I'd like to think I'd go the hunter-gatherer route too: fish, lizards, frogs, squirrels, deer (they're basically domesticated around here), raccoon, snails, birds, maybe insects? I'm about to take a wild edibles class, and I'm excited to learn what's out my front door.

2
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on March 11, 2012
at 01:45 PM

I would get a small boat and fish my own food. And gather berries and mushrooms from forest.

2
Medium avatar

(1536)

on March 11, 2012
at 12:56 PM

I have done the switch back to the SAD way of life. It was relatively seamless because the quality of the "SAD" foods was higher than it was before. Paleo taught me quite a bit about diet. Before my first wack at Paleo my diet was anything but great. HFCS, soda, pizza, hamburgers, Subway, etc... I was never overweight but suffered sinus infections and allergies. I did paleo for a long stint but I started to get really sucked into the endurance world. Instead of taking the time to really hack my diet and make paleo work for endurance, I started including grains and tubers (never bread really, but I also didn't discount it either). Then b/c I was running so much I went vegetarian. Poor man protein sat a lot easier on the stomach than real protein which meant I could hit the road soon after a meal to get the mileage in that day. I never suffered any real noticeable damage while back on the "SAD" wagon, But I attribute that to the fact that I eliminated all the super processed bullcrap. But the lower protein meant that I sacrificed a lot of muscle mass. I was never injured, but if you put me in a TV show, "Are you Stronger than a 5th Grader?," I definitely would have lost. I could barely do 10 pushups.

Since coming back off the SAD wagon and hopping back onto The Paleo Train, I've gone up from 169lbs to 185lbs and my bench press (through very little work) went from 160lbs to 215lbs (Jan-March). And that weight gain hasn't been fat gain. My waist circumference has stayed the same. I don't think that I had a huge inflammatory response to my SAD food choices when I went back. But I attribute that to keeping inflammatory foods relatively low, constant exposure to Vit. D, and supplementing heavily with Omega 3's. That being said, I'll never jump back on the SAD wagon b/c I have a far better understand of Paleo than I did the first go around.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 11, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I've finally healed enough that one splurge every month or two doesn't have any apparent consequences but I think it would take less than a month to get back into health trouble if I went back to eating wheat. I also think I'd be pre-diabetic and possibly hypertensive.

If the economy collapsed, though, I'd still be fasting because I agree with Karen P--I don't ever want to return to eating my way around the clock. So I guess it's possible the fasting would help neutralize the degraded diet and allow me to make the best quality food choices over quantity. I hope I never have to find out!

0
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 12, 2012
at 05:18 PM

I would be in BIG trouble should I say, have to dig into my emergency supply kit (bought before Paleo but good for another 20 years). I would probably spend at least week in the bathroom. I would then be a useless wreck from joint pain and gut inflammation. I think I would start fishing and hunting and foraging. Hell, even watercress from the local creek has got to be better than a loaf of bread.

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