5

votes

Do you need more starch in a cold climate?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM

I have been following a paleo/primal for the last 6 months. I live in a cold environment and have always dealt with the cold well. This year I have been very cold feeling. Cold feet and hands and am wondering if limiting myself to no starched generally is the cause. I am thinking about adding some acceptable starches like sweet potatoes. Anyone else had this issue as well with paleo?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Firstly we are not designed. In regions of the world with winters levels of starch in tubers are higher over the colder months as plants are storing their energy for the following spring. Some commonly available in Europe include burdock roots and the bulrush, which does not even need digging as it grows in shallow water. I suspect that starch would have been more available over the autumn and winter than at mid summer in paleo times, in Europe at least.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Firstly we are not designed. In regions of the world with winters levels of starch in tubers are higher over the colder months as plants are storing their energy for the following spring. Some commonly available in Europe include burdock roots and the bulrush, which does not even need digging as it grows in shallow water. I suspect that starch would have been more available over the winter than at mid summer in paleo times, in Europe at least.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:05 AM

i guess tubers would be hard to dig out of the frozen ground. you are a masochist...no yams at christmas dinner?????

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on November 15, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Maybe you should measure rectally instead :-)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Wow, you need to find a better latitude, man. A couple days after I upped starch, I felt way warmer to the point where I'd have to take my jacket off in the middle of my walks whereas before I was shivering the whole time. I don't know how the Inuit do it, but I suspect that their stature has adjusted for less surface area and they probably have other adaptations with regard to thyroid function.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I had the same experience when i was low carbing last winter, i had body temp as low as 95.5F. It was miserable, we had the coldest winter ages last year. It was some some time down to -30C.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Lucky you. I tried bear once. It was very tasty.

E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

(125)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Absolutely I do! Shot a nice fall bear with 4" layer of fat. Rendered it all down. It is very mild tasting and probably better than the grass fed beef tallow I rendered.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:01 PM

two similar Q&A's which may be helpful, if you have not seen them already: http://paleohacks.com/questions/74722/is-body-temperature-an-accurate-indicator-of-metabolic-function-dysfunction & http://paleohacks.com/questions/74883/i-feel-cold-all-the-time-why

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:55 PM

You cook in bear fat?

E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

(125)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I eat a lot of fat, macadamia nuts, spoonful of coconut oil, eggs fried in bear fat, lots of wild organ meats, wild duck confit, bone marrow, bone broth etc. I have also lost about 30 pounds and am close to my ideal weight so maybe my body is adjusting to less insulation....

  • E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

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9 Answers

best answer

6
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 14, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Does everyone need starch in cold climates? I don't think so or the Inuit and Laplanders would have been in trouble a looong time ago. But do you need starch in a cold climate? Only you can answer that. I would try both upping the fat and if that doesn't work, then trying carbs. Upping the fat works better for me personally.

2
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Are you eating enough fat?

I'm virtually zero-carb, and bearing up quite well in the Minnesota cold so far. I do notice that I'm eating more lately, but not carbs. Fatty stuff like cheek meat and soup bones and pork hocks. I'm currently nibbling away at a big beef heart, very lean, because I wanna loose the last of my spare tire, but heart has fat deposits around the outside and I notice I do enjoy that the most. I have a huge tongue in the freezer, even leaner, gotta thaw it out and see what that does. But the thawing will take long enough, I'll probably grab something real fatty in the meantime. Can't help myself.

BTW, this is the sniffle season, y'know. Are you sure you don't have one of the millions of strains of itty-bitty cold viruses going around?

One last piece of advice: never wear long-johns in the house. Your brain needs to feel the chill somewhere in order to regulate your core temperature appropriately.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:55 PM

Lucky you. I tried bear once. It was very tasty.

E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

(125)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:30 PM

I eat a lot of fat, macadamia nuts, spoonful of coconut oil, eggs fried in bear fat, lots of wild organ meats, wild duck confit, bone marrow, bone broth etc. I have also lost about 30 pounds and am close to my ideal weight so maybe my body is adjusting to less insulation....

E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

(125)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Absolutely I do! Shot a nice fall bear with 4" layer of fat. Rendered it all down. It is very mild tasting and probably better than the grass fed beef tallow I rendered.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 14, 2011
at 04:55 PM

You cook in bear fat?

2
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on November 14, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I don???t know if you need more starch, but you might feel warmer if you eat more. I noticed this long before going paleo that the more starch I would eat the warmer I would feel. When I tried VLC, I was cold most of the time and had to bundle-up at night when I went to bed.

I don???t know if this is really good reason to eat more starch or not. I am guessing as long as you are not messing with your thyroid that it might be a small issue in the big scheme of things. I had other problems with VLC and do better in general with more starch.

1
Medium avatar

on November 14, 2011
at 04:50 PM

Low carb negatively impacts thyroid function and decreases body temperature. When I restrict carbs, my waking oral temperature is about 96.0 degrees, but when I do not, it's 97.5. Doesn't sound like a big difference, but life is miserable even in relatively warm Portland with carb restriction. If I had some more bodyfat, this effect might be mitigated to some extent. This was with a high protein diet, which is supposed to have the highest thermic effect of food, mind you.

The only way that fat is going to keep you warm is if you store it as body fat or you're eating mostly medium chain fats, which themselves have a high thermic effect. I don't know if the timescale of liver processing is such that coconut oil consumption would make you feel warm shortly after eating it (I'm allergic so I don't really want to test it) but I suspect that you'll still have an uphill battle with staying warm around the clock.

A simple way to test this is to see what your waking temperature is tomorrow and then eat starch for a couple days and test again. You'll notice the difference without measuring it though.

Is there a particular reason why you're restricting carbs? If it's for weight loss, there's more than one way 'round the barn.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Wow, you need to find a better latitude, man. A couple days after I upped starch, I felt way warmer to the point where I'd have to take my jacket off in the middle of my walks whereas before I was shivering the whole time. I don't know how the Inuit do it, but I suspect that their stature has adjusted for less surface area and they probably have other adaptations with regard to thyroid function.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on November 15, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Maybe you should measure rectally instead :-)

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on November 14, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I had the same experience when i was low carbing last winter, i had body temp as low as 95.5F. It was miserable, we had the coldest winter ages last year. It was some some time down to -30C.

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 16, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Ancestrally speaking the Paleolithic man didn't really have a lot of veggies in the winter and probably kept pretty lean during the winter months.

Not sure if that's a moot point, but I'm just saying.

0
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:43 AM

we are designed to eat few starches in winter. On Dec 21st I am at zero carb. Light cycles are tied to the brainstem peptides that are in turned yoked to carbohydrate intake.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 15, 2011
at 05:05 AM

i guess tubers would be hard to dig out of the frozen ground. you are a masochist...no yams at christmas dinner?????

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:51 PM

Firstly we are not designed. In regions of the world with winters levels of starch in tubers are higher over the colder months as plants are storing their energy for the following spring. Some commonly available in Europe include burdock roots and the bulrush, which does not even need digging as it grows in shallow water. I suspect that starch would have been more available over the winter than at mid summer in paleo times, in Europe at least.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on November 16, 2011
at 10:53 PM

Firstly we are not designed. In regions of the world with winters levels of starch in tubers are higher over the colder months as plants are storing their energy for the following spring. Some commonly available in Europe include burdock roots and the bulrush, which does not even need digging as it grows in shallow water. I suspect that starch would have been more available over the autumn and winter than at mid summer in paleo times, in Europe at least.

0
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:02 PM

i found the exact opposite. i am one of those cold nosed people who love it 40C and cry at the thought of temps below 25C. about a month and a half ago on LC IF i started to feel warm and energetic. the people who know me best commented on my warm feet and hands and lack of gloves in september.

four weeks ago i let a ND convince me to try more veggies; albeit i just upped the non-starchy one, but still i'm cold....and back to LC IF

do you think adding starch would have given me a different outcome?

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 14, 2011
at 06:40 PM

On SAD, I always thought I needed more starch in fall/winter. On primal, I've noticed I'm more hungry for fatty meat. I don't know if we should trust either of these impulses, because I've noticed a nice warm bowl of thick bone broth stew satisfies my urge completely.

As long as I continue losing weight I won't worry if I feel like extra meat. Otherwise, I'll add another layer of clothes and go back to what I ate when it was warmer.

0
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:40 PM

I find that as sunlight wanes in the northern latitudes, the tendency to crave carbs increases, and people gain weight in the winter. I have been fighting this urge and eating VLC this winter. It is really hard to stay motivated with only 6 hours of daylight and the shortest day is still over a month away.

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