2

votes

Do you have a toxin phobia?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 15, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Seems to be getting quite common at the moment.

Do you avoid eat the skin on a baked potato due to the glycoalkanoids (if you like eating the skin)?

Do you worry about goiterogens in your broccoli and sprouts affecting your thyroid?

Or that oxalates in spinach will give you kidney stones? (For people without kidney stones and not at particular risk of them).

Would you be nervous about eating a kiwi fruit due to the 3 grams of fructose it contains?

I'm sure there are others I could think of more examples.

If you do worry about these on what grounds do you do so? Do you have evidence or personal experience that they are harmful at a normal food intake (not eating several pounds of brussel sprouts a day or living on potato skins).

Personaly I know that enough caffeine and alcohol are lethal in high enough doses yet I still drink coffee and wine.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 17, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I definitely want to avoid the pit-falls of toxic-phobia! I think as humans we are very susceptible to the placebo effect. Believing what we've heard about a food good or bad can lead us to very subjective conclusions and perpetuation of fallacies. Plus it can be confusing and stressful when two very different conclusions are being made about the same food. I am learning about nutrition on paleo-yes. But I am mostly interested in feeling good and learning about balance so I can keep phobias and stridency in check.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 17, 2011
at 09:24 AM

Humans decide emotionally and then justify logically. If there is evidence however weak that says negative, then 50 more pieces of negative... But none of them are substantial and they only shown excess, yet nothing shows positive... And nothing shows smaller amounts(because our bodies are designed to tolerate minimal to moderate poisons) my point is made succinctly by Dr Harris: Tolerated is not Optimal.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 16, 2011
at 06:25 PM

One might be tempted to think some of these comments were made by people who did not even read my statements fully. I clearly said I might eat something if it was a whole food AND THERE WAS NO STRONG EVIDENCE AGAINST IT. How does that equate with throwing the baby out with the bathwater? And I did not even mention fructose. However, I would like to see the strong evidence that moderate amounts of fructose in whole healthy foods is bad for a healthy person. If we are not meant to consume fructose AT ALL, then why do we have biological pathways to do so? It's excess that makes trouble.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 02:04 PM

No, I don't think Matthew is trolling just passionate in his beliefs...

F3e27fc503b7d792d78718af081adf67

(149)

on January 16, 2011
at 01:31 PM

LOL Stephen, good catch. Looks like subtle trolling to me.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:27 AM

oh and you already asked this question twice: http://paleohacks.com/questions/3447/is-the-paleo-community-falling-into-nutritionism#axzz1BAHvICsL and http://paleohacks.com/questions/3891/does-the-dose-make-the-poison#axzz1BAHvICsL

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Im not downvoting, just strongly stating that I disbelieve in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just as Ive said I still eat strawberries, I havent thrown my favorite fruit out with the fructose.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:11 AM

If I want to ignore a study showing that something is toxic, I need a study that shows that its not. give me proof that its good. Then I can compare both sides of the story, see what has been done with better science and make an educated opinion. tossing it out because youre not sure and then damaging yourself without that educated opinion seems... barbaric.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:09 AM

in that context, you should go ahead and eat SAD. errors in studies shouldnt mean you throw the baby out with the bath water and hope that they were wrong. The only studies that get tossed heavy are the nonsense like the lipid hypothesis where we can look back and see that valuable data was left out. nonsense like china study, where we look at the data and see the correlations made were done with poor math. But dont assume that lectins, proven to do damage, will most likely be magically taken care of.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Very nicely put. Stressful self-obsessing probably does more to harm overall well-being that ingesting most of the foods we scrutinize at the margin. :) And mmmmmBrussels sprouts!

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Yaaay sanity and not sweating the small stuff. :)

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

+1 for a balanced, thoughtful approach that doesn't take every study at face value but instead goes on to seek context and additional supporting or conflicting evidence.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on January 16, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Sounds like what I've heard called orthorexia nervosa.

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6 Answers

4
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on January 15, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I probably don't worry enough, honestly. I've improved everything so much since I was obese that all these details seem like nitpicking to me. Maybe I'll start to worry at some point, but I already eat healthier than everyone else I come in contact with, except on the internet.

I also love my coffee and wine.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 12:58 AM

Yaaay sanity and not sweating the small stuff. :)

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on January 16, 2011
at 03:05 AM

I avoid the toxins I know to have either immediate effects on me, or be potentially life threatening.

I think the biggest difference, and why I approach my health much more aggressively, is that I want to live FOREVER.

If a minor inconvenience, that doesnt impede my ability to enjoy life(peeling potatoes is stress free, can actually be fun) and at the same time is more likely to keep me healthy, then YES, I will absolutely take those steps.

I limit and restrict myself to the extent I can maximize my health without causing stress that will negate the benefits that im working towards.

will I avoid a Kiwi for 3g of fructose? nope, but I will avoid it for the sugar crash.(one kiwi wont crash me, but several will) I will eat fructose, but I actively try to keep the #s low.

What does stress me, are the people who want desperately to not do these things and try to justify why its ok. Dont try to sugar coat it, if you will enjoy your life better by eating 30 damn bananas a day, go for it!

I dont feel better on 30 bananas, I know they arent good for me and it doesnt stress me that I shouldnt eat them.

I cook my broccoli and minimize the goitrogens ,and otherwise dont stress.

I have cherries, raspberries and especially strawberries, one of my absolute favorite foods, and I dont stress. Limiting myself would be detrimental. But neither do I go crazy with them. Just like alcohol. I have a glass of cabernet most nights, but its all moderation. When I eat strawberries, Its a handful, not a bushel.

I think often people confuse people being concerned with their overall health with those obsessing over every micronutrient.

I think the goal here, is knowledge. If you know whats bad for you, you are more likely to avoid it. When you dont avoid it, youre less likely to overdo it. As you state with Caffeine and Alcohol, you know excess is bad and therefore dont consume in excess.

Perhaps what you're seeing more often, is people more aware of the little things that COULD happen with the foods, making sure people are aware so that those individuals can make EDUCATED choices.

I feel without education about the toxins and other potential issues, this would be a useless site. We would be better served to simply say, eat whole foods, avoid wheat soy and veggie oils, avoid excessive fructose or processed foods and thats it. bye. good luck.

Luckily, we are humans with large brains. We can talk and debate, we can learn and we can use that knowledge as best suits each of us.

I think we need to talk more about the KNOWN science, and then Self Test. I cant stress enough how N=1 testing has improved my diet, my life, everything. Elimination Testing has allowed me to see how different things affect ME. some of those things affect MOST people the same, others, not. We are all human, but we are not all the same.

Do Elimination Testing. Try things N=1. If they work for you, go with it. If they dont, stop. But if things are shown to cause internal issues that arent easily noticeable, get a doctors help to see whats going on. You can't tell me that your liver is great. You cant tell me how resistant your insulin is. But science can tell us the things most likely to help and hurt those for most people. we can experiment from there... and when we dont see the results we want either way, we can seek medical testing.

Yes, I fear the toxins, but they do not rule my life, they just provide nice neat guided path for me to steer through.

2
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on January 15, 2011
at 09:35 PM

I don't worry about it if it's something that I enjoy. To me, the small but perceptible stress that comes from longing for a slightly sub-optimal food, whether it's a tangerine or a pan of roasted brussels sprouts, far outweighs the "toxic" qualities that food might have. If one of these things were to make me feel even a quarter as wretched as bread or sugar or soybeans, then I'd gladly part with it. But they don't.

This lifestyle is about what makes us feel good and happy and healthy and vibrant. After a certain point, the nitpicky asceticism diminishes that, at least for me. Happiness is paleo.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 01:00 AM

Very nicely put. Stressful self-obsessing probably does more to harm overall well-being that ingesting most of the foods we scrutinize at the margin. :) And mmmmmBrussels sprouts!

1
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on January 16, 2011
at 01:56 AM

I have a big time toxic phobia. At times it is even obsessive. I don't consider it healthy at all, and neither do the people around me hahah.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 16, 2011
at 12:39 AM

In the first place, I think some, if not many, of these assumptions that something is bad because of such and such, are really not all that well tested. There is a danger on basing one's whole eating strategy on theory alone when the theories are not tested and many of which will later turn out to be wrong. We may find out that some or many lectins are harmless to humans due to human adaptation. And some things are probably totally fine if not taking to excess. For instance, even water will kill you if drink too much, but that doesn't mean all water is dangerous. On the flip side, just because you have no obvious huge symptoms does not mean something is totally safe. So I try to take a path down the middle, but if something is a whole food with no strong evidence against it other than a vague theory, and it is also tasty, I will still eat it in moderation. However, I will give stronger weight against something that has theory against it but ALSO has a lot of documented cases of people having problems with it and perhaps even some of the better science against it.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:09 AM

in that context, you should go ahead and eat SAD. errors in studies shouldnt mean you throw the baby out with the bath water and hope that they were wrong. The only studies that get tossed heavy are the nonsense like the lipid hypothesis where we can look back and see that valuable data was left out. nonsense like china study, where we look at the data and see the correlations made were done with poor math. But dont assume that lectins, proven to do damage, will most likely be magically taken care of.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

+1 for a balanced, thoughtful approach that doesn't take every study at face value but instead goes on to seek context and additional supporting or conflicting evidence.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:11 AM

If I want to ignore a study showing that something is toxic, I need a study that shows that its not. give me proof that its good. Then I can compare both sides of the story, see what has been done with better science and make an educated opinion. tossing it out because youre not sure and then damaging yourself without that educated opinion seems... barbaric.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on January 16, 2011
at 06:25 PM

One might be tempted to think some of these comments were made by people who did not even read my statements fully. I clearly said I might eat something if it was a whole food AND THERE WAS NO STRONG EVIDENCE AGAINST IT. How does that equate with throwing the baby out with the bathwater? And I did not even mention fructose. However, I would like to see the strong evidence that moderate amounts of fructose in whole healthy foods is bad for a healthy person. If we are not meant to consume fructose AT ALL, then why do we have biological pathways to do so? It's excess that makes trouble.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 16, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Im not downvoting, just strongly stating that I disbelieve in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Just as Ive said I still eat strawberries, I havent thrown my favorite fruit out with the fructose.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on January 17, 2011
at 09:24 AM

Humans decide emotionally and then justify logically. If there is evidence however weak that says negative, then 50 more pieces of negative... But none of them are substantial and they only shown excess, yet nothing shows positive... And nothing shows smaller amounts(because our bodies are designed to tolerate minimal to moderate poisons) my point is made succinctly by Dr Harris: Tolerated is not Optimal.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 17, 2011
at 09:20 PM

I definitely want to avoid the pit-falls of toxic-phobia! I think as humans we are very susceptible to the placebo effect. Believing what we've heard about a food good or bad can lead us to very subjective conclusions and perpetuation of fallacies. Plus it can be confusing and stressful when two very different conclusions are being made about the same food. I am learning about nutrition on paleo-yes. But I am mostly interested in feeling good and learning about balance so I can keep phobias and stridency in check.

1
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on January 15, 2011
at 10:23 PM

I don't obsess, but I am aware of fructose in fruit and limit my intake accordingly. I think it is important to acknowledge that certain foods have toxins, but some people probably go too far.

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