There is something I just do not understand. Since there are so many biologists here (and just smart people) I hope you might get some insights into what is going on.
After a year of keeping a food journal I have made a list of foods that give me energy and keep me satiated. Here they are:
- ox tail meat/ veal cheeks
Now here is a list of foods that do not give me enough energy and do not keep me satiated:
- fish and seafood
- vegetables such as pumpkin and bok choy
Below is a list of foods that absolutely drain my energy, do not keep me satiated and cause major sugar cravings:
- anything sweet, even honey
- potatoes, both white and sweet
- noodles / pasta
- assorted desserts
- candy / chocolate
I am aware that pasta, noodles and white rice are not Paleo. However, I just don't get it - why do they cause sugar cravings? Especially potatoes and white rice? They are allowed on the Perfect Health Diet. So what is going on? An insulin spike or a gut dysbiosis (because I have it). What are the mechanics of it?
Thanks in advance!
asked byVB (15515)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on April 25, 2013
at 10:15 AM
That all makes sense to me. Anything that gives you a blood sugar swing can cause cravings and hunger. Things shift over time too. The first 4 years of trying to eat paleo, just a bite of a banana screwed up my whole day, I'd get an instant headache and start craving things like crazy. Now I can eat several bananas without noticing anything (that could be because I'm making milk for a baby though).
Nutrient variety and density are also at play in your list. Something like liver provides a wide array of vitamins and minerals, along with protein and fat, while something like cheese, in addition to possibly being insulinogenic for you, has a much narrower variety of nutrients. The closer you get to meeting your nutrient needs with a food, the more satiating it is.
Potatoes and white rice are allowed on PHD because they are low toxin foods. They may or may not be appropriate for you in full servings at this point depending on how sensitive you are to carbohydrate consumption. I've been observing that there seems to be a rabbit hole people go through around here where they therapeutically go on a Sissonesque or GAPS/Autoimmune ketogenic diet first, and then as they heal it works to graduate to a Perfect Health Diet or WAPF type diet.
on April 25, 2013
at 06:33 PM
You have all these foods listed individually, but who eats meals consisting of just one food? Which protein sources have you tried combining with which carb sources and how do those when combined make you feel? Sure if someone eats straight ice-cream they're gonna crash and be drained later, but who eats straight ice cream? Like what effect do Balanced possibly portioned meals have on you? ie, chicken, veggies (broccoli, carrots, turnip greens, asparagus), yams and maybe a tiny piece of cheese or slice of papaya?
Also how does meal frequency effect your energy levels?
on April 30, 2013
at 11:36 PM
VB, is it possible that in all the rabbit trails, you've overlooked something very simple? Like maybe iron? That's what stands out to me from your list. And maybe if you are combining the iron rich foods with something else, that something else is serving to block the iron?
Here is one blurb from http://www.drhoffman.com/page.cfm/120
"Meat, fish and poultry contain not only the highly bioavailable heme iron, but also a factor called MFP factor that promotes the absorption of nonheme iron from other foods eaten with them. Vitamin C, which also enhances nonheme iron absorption from foods eaten in the same meal, is the most potent promoter of nonheme iron absorption. Vitamin C captures iron and keeps it in the ferrous form, ready for absorption. Other factors that enhance nonheme iron absorption include citric acid and lactic acid from foods, as well as HCl from the stomach.
Some dietary factors bind with nonheme iron, inhibiting absorption. These include the phytates and fibers in whole grain cereals and nuts, the calcium and phosphorus in milk and supplements, the EDTA in food additives, and tannic acid. Tannic acid is present in tea, coffee, nuts and some fruits and vegetables. Recent studies reveal that soy may inhibit iron absorption."
So I'm wondering if you maybe have low HCl (which would go along with some of your other digestive issues) and maybe the calcium, phosphorus, tannic acids (and who knows what else) in other foods are further blocking iron absorption. And then throw in the leaky gut just for giggles.
Maybe try combining a meal of seafood (which has iron but usually would not give you energy) with some vitamin C, and see if there's a difference.
on April 25, 2013
at 11:15 AM
Totally agree with everything Happy Now said, but I have a follow-up question: are you talking about the carby foods on their own, eaten plain, or as part of a meal? Because a lot of the blood sugar spike/craving stuff is due to insulin response, which is much more intense if you eat just carbs without any fat, so I wouldn't be surprised that eating a straight-up potato would give you cravings.
Same thing with the vegetables; if I eat just veggies I get a feeling I call "empty-full," where my stomach is physically full but my body is still not satisfied because it wanted fat and protein. But if I eat veggies as part of a meal, they help keep me full longer.
Also, does it matter what time of day you're eating these things (morning/evening, post-workout vs. not)? Do you notice a difference?
on May 04, 2013
at 09:42 AM
Once again, I want to thank everyone who answered - I wish I could give you all the rest of my points.
on April 30, 2013
at 07:39 PM
If you asked me what foods would give you sugar cravings, I probably would have come up with the list you provided. Let's look at what happens when you eat a sugary treat or a piece of bread or some pasta. The body will break down all carbohydrates (except fiber) into sugar, and probably very rapidly. The increase in sugars in your blood send the signal out to make insulin. Insulin charges in like the Calvary and sweeps out the sugar and delivers it to cells (fat, muscles, every cell). Now, if your cells are full, they'll put up resistance to the sugar, and more will be stored in fat cells, or your blood levels remain elevated for longer if you have insulin resistance. (The cells are saying "Enough! I'm full!)
What happens next is that your sugar levels will keep dropping. The more refined carbs and simple carbs you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go. The more sugar you have in the blood, the more insulin you'll produce. The more insulin you produce, the more insulin you'll have in your system when your blood levels return to normal. This means that insulin will keep sweeping sugar out of your blood, creating a sugar deficit! That's bad! So your body makes you crave sugar so you can get re-regulated. Unfortunately, in our world, we overdo it, and the cycle repeats.
Most of the foods you listed on your energy draining list should either be avoided, or eating in small quantities. Eating quality complex carbs, like leafy greens, have less carbs, and take longer to break down, which won't create nearly the same insulin overreaction that bread, rice and potatoes have.
The one thing I noticed sorely lacking in your list is fat. Fat doesn't impact insulin level and takes longer to breakdown, leaving you fuller and more satisfied longer. Fat carries flavor, so you don't feel like your food is bland. Please note that the foods that keep you full and happy are higher in fat. Since most of the other foods don't have a lot of natural fat, add some. Olive oil goes good as does dicing up bacon to saut?? vegetables in works wonders. Have more fat in the morning! Bacon and sausage with your eggs is great for me. Some of us put coconut oil or butter in their morning coffee.
If you've just started this, it might take you a while to get your insulin response back to normal. By normal, I mean the way humans are supposed to be, and not what everyone says is normal.
on April 25, 2013
at 02:53 PM
Is the "Perfect Health Diet" a "limit your caloric intake to our set numbers" diet? Because if it is then the aim is to sell you on caloricly/nutritionally sparse foods to "fill" you up so you don't feel like your starving. In fact though diets like that starve you of nutrients in order to thin you out.
on April 30, 2013
at 07:55 PM
There's nothing weird about your food list. You obviously are insulin resistant hence your body secretes insulin but your cells don't realize that and keep sending the signal 'give me food'. Your IR is probably caused by a high-fat but it can be reversed by going on a diet that's moe tended towards carbs.