0

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Should I try the Paleo diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 08, 2013 at 9:15 PM

I do not need to lose weight, I do not have stomach issues, but I do have elevated cholesterol because of heredity. I run 30-40 miles per week and I have had calf soreness that will not go away. Is this something I should try? How could I benefit from it?

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on February 18, 2013
at 01:50 PM

I doubt you will come across anyone on this board who will advise you against the paleo diet :p

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 09, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Foam rollers are great, but lacrosse balls are even better, esp for localized pain like that. Check out MobilityWOD.com and search calves.

73f70b4ec746143fd5ee587a4e1db7d3

(0)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:23 PM

Compression sleeves are like a pain pill - might make it tolerable, but doesn't solve the problem.

73f70b4ec746143fd5ee587a4e1db7d3

(0)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:22 PM

Those knots ARE trigger points. Check it out on Google.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 10:18 PM

Thanks very much. My concern with the diet is that my cholesterol will go up. Also, my calf soreness is from knots that form in them. I have a foam roller that helps and have started wearing compression sleeves. I honestly don't think I am running too much. The majority of my runs are easy. I don't care what friends say but I don't want my doctor freaking out if my numbers go up. Really, I am just looking to cut out the wheat stuff and sugars.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:58 PM

That makes sense, thank you. However, I have had cholesterol problems for over 20 years and have been on medication. I would like to get off the meds and control it with diet and exercise and that is why I am considering Paleo. Also, my BP is fine.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Because you are stressing your body constantly with running, causing chronic pain and/or inflammation. This is causing constant production of cortisol which is going to raise your blood pressure, raise total cholesterol levels, and lower HDL levels. Running in and of itself isn't bad -- 30-40 miles a week is likely too much for you. If you like a nice, zesty run aim for faster and shorter (i.e. get that heart rate up!), instead of distance and time which is hurting you. Before trying anything new, I would let your calves rest until they heal, though.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:30 PM

Why is elevated cholesterol not a surprise to you? I enjoy running, and aside from the calf soreness, it makes me feel good.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:28 PM

Thank you. I know the running is part of the soreness problem, but a nutritionist friend of mine says that (possibly) something in my diet could be causing inflammation. I am just looking to mix things up.

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7 Answers

2
D1d9b0d839144b72b5f5dae893a686d3

(602)

on February 08, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Eating more natural, less toxic food would benefit anyone. Give it a try. All the bacon and ribeyes you can eat isn't half bad either. As for the leg pain, you run 30-40 miles per week! I suspect that could be part of (all of) the problem.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:28 PM

Thank you. I know the running is part of the soreness problem, but a nutritionist friend of mine says that (possibly) something in my diet could be causing inflammation. I am just looking to mix things up.

2
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Yes, it it something you should try. If you are seeking general health improvements and normalized cholesterol, it will likely help.

If you seek help on paleohacks again, be prepared to have everyone tell you that you are running. Running. Way. Too. Much. Your running frequency is almost certainly the root of your calf pain, and will chronic pain and inflammation, I'm not surprised you claim to have deranged cholesterol levels.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:30 PM

Why is elevated cholesterol not a surprise to you? I enjoy running, and aside from the calf soreness, it makes me feel good.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 09:58 PM

That makes sense, thank you. However, I have had cholesterol problems for over 20 years and have been on medication. I would like to get off the meds and control it with diet and exercise and that is why I am considering Paleo. Also, my BP is fine.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 09:38 PM

Because you are stressing your body constantly with running, causing chronic pain and/or inflammation. This is causing constant production of cortisol which is going to raise your blood pressure, raise total cholesterol levels, and lower HDL levels. Running in and of itself isn't bad -- 30-40 miles a week is likely too much for you. If you like a nice, zesty run aim for faster and shorter (i.e. get that heart rate up!), instead of distance and time which is hurting you. Before trying anything new, I would let your calves rest until they heal, though.

1
F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on February 08, 2013
at 09:21 PM

What have you got to lose? Try it for 30 days, see how you feel, tweak to your needs, enjoy.

0
C68f0b374156e5ce7a9b8358232bfed0

on February 18, 2013
at 09:53 AM

I say yes but as objective as I wish to be, I am posting in a Paleo site, I am inherently, even if unintentionally, biased.

If you do decide to give Paleo a go (really recommended) then I advise you to read at least one book on it. I read Paleo Solution by Robb Wolff but there are many others out there. This will give you a basis to start from. I say start from as you will find that when you start to feel different (and you will), some things will be working for you and some won't. Paleo is a structered theory and lifestyle choice but those structures are very flexible, simply because everyone is individual and responds differently. so be prepared for differing opinions when you ask for advice.

Reading the book will also help you decide whether this is something you want to do. It explains the reasoning for it and the science behind it. If you agree, you will do it. If you don't, you may try it anyway to prove it wrong. In my biased opinion, if you prove it wrong, you're doing it wrong.

Paleo will change your life, even if it's to make you reassess the way you live. The fact you're already doing that is Step 1.

Good luck!

0
73c4daf629dd42820a31fedac11abd60

on February 18, 2013
at 08:55 AM

I do a lot of running (about 20 miles a week. 15 if i'm lazy)over 2/3 times. When I first started the paleo, I experienced a lot of fatigue for the intial 5 weeks. However, this has now stopped and i can run at the same times as before.

just something to be aware of.

0
D87cf7bb07cfc85acf7203c17065d239

(268)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:48 PM

Here's the thing about cholesterol that few people understand. Your body produces HUGE amounts of its own cholesterol. All your cells contain it. Need it. When you eat cholesterol, your body uses a bit and the rest will just go through your body unabsorbed. Eating eggs and meat wont clog your arteries, but when you go overboard eating carbs, thats when your liver dumps fat into the bloodstream. I learned this from the book Wheat Belly. Which was written by a cardiologist!

0
73f70b4ec746143fd5ee587a4e1db7d3

on February 08, 2013
at 09:59 PM

A paleo diet probably won't do anything for your calves, except possibly providing better nutrients to all your muscles - and I'll come back to the diet in a minute. I agree with another recent response - you're running too much. Think of your Homo Sapien origins - we're built to walk long distances in search of shelter & food, but to run only to escape danger (ie. short durations). I'm a Trigger Point Therapist, and I won't advertise here, but just Google "Trigger Point Calf" and read up a little on it. Your pain can be from any one of about 8 muscles in your leg. Most of my patients are runners, because they cause so much damage to their bodies - to the point of no longer being able to work or even do day-to-day things.

Regarding a paleo diet...my total cholesterol actually went up, but my good stuff went up higher than my bad stuff. My doctor remarked, but isn't concerned, and I feel great. It's hard to eat this way if you eat out, and hard to find natural grass fed products. Also, get ready for the response from friends and family that you're not eating right.

09c0ff74b9372abe753c0859181d5e94

on February 08, 2013
at 10:18 PM

Thanks very much. My concern with the diet is that my cholesterol will go up. Also, my calf soreness is from knots that form in them. I have a foam roller that helps and have started wearing compression sleeves. I honestly don't think I am running too much. The majority of my runs are easy. I don't care what friends say but I don't want my doctor freaking out if my numbers go up. Really, I am just looking to cut out the wheat stuff and sugars.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 09, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Foam rollers are great, but lacrosse balls are even better, esp for localized pain like that. Check out MobilityWOD.com and search calves.

73f70b4ec746143fd5ee587a4e1db7d3

(0)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:22 PM

Those knots ARE trigger points. Check it out on Google.

73f70b4ec746143fd5ee587a4e1db7d3

(0)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:23 PM

Compression sleeves are like a pain pill - might make it tolerable, but doesn't solve the problem.

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