30

votes

Least toxic green vegetable?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I have been on an all-meat diet for over a year, and I'm very happy with it. I saw drastic health improvements even over a very low carb diet. My doctor is mostly happy with it, but he often urges me to eat some non-starchy green vegetables, as he has the idea that that would be optimal. I always say "maybe one day".

Well, I've been at this long enough that I'm ready to try some experiments about what my body will tolerate, just to see what happens. I've thought about adding some so-called "safe starches", but I think what I'd like to try first is a green vegetable, partly out of respect for my doctor, whom I really like working with.

So what is the least likely to hurt me? Ideally it should be low in common problem compounds like oxalates, salicylates, lectins, whatever it is in brassicas that is a problem for thyroid, etc, but I'm not sure what that leaves or what other compounds to avoid. Any ideas or resources appreciated!

ETA: And what about seaweeds? Any toxin issues with those?

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 14, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Mushrooms are not vegetables. Fungus is more closely related to animals than to plants. In fact, fungi and animalia were combined into a super-kingdom by biologists.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:04 PM

Yeah, my plant biology prof always gleefully told us about toxins associated with even the most benign raw mushroom- I think the whole class started cooking mushrooms after those lectures...

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:02 PM

iceberg is like water in between membranes, probably the least irritating thing of all time.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I don't know, if you haven't eaten greens in a long time, I have a hard time eating too many nettles and I eat loads of greens already (kale everyday, totally addicted). I used to prepare them all the time at work for meals, and if I ate too much nettle soup I would get a rash on my chest. They are pretty potent for a vegetable-cherry-popping so to speak.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Note: it would be highly improbably that oxalates could "cause" autism- autism is a spectrum condition that is an integral part of who a person is, not a symptom. Autistic children do exhibit higher levels of oxalates in their urine, which suggest greater accumulation, so possible benefits from a low oxalate diet could manage clinical features of autism. Important distinction!

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Actually, many other people suffer from oxalate-related symptoms and problems who have never had a kidney stone. I have severe oxalate issues but I've never had kidney stones. Yes, it's a low percentage of the population who have trouble but it's not just kidney disease sufferers. Also burning mouth syndrome, autism, fibromyalgia, IBS, bladder pain, genital pain and/or burning, arthritis, and the list goes on.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Blueberries are NOT high in oxalate. In fact, they are quite low in oxalate. I've been on a low oxalate diet for almost 20 years. i remember when blueberries were retested about 6 years ago with the new more accurate testing methods. I rejoiced! Broccoli is lower medium oxalate and can be eaten by people on a low oxalate diet. Don't give up blueberries or broccoli! Now spinach is another story! The Trying Low Oxalates yahoo.group has the most up-to-date and accurate oxalate list.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 02, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I'm amazed, Ambimorph, I'm VLC right now but lately I've been attracted to ZC for some reason. I'm just afraid that, if I go ZC, I'll have to do it my entire life. I want to be able to eat some fruit or at least some vegetables one day... I seem to be able to tolerate vegetables quite well right now though.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on August 15, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Hi Ambimorph, & Rose, I spent a year experimenting to find the cause and it was repeatedly unaffected by changes in quantity or type of vegetable and repeatedly cured by starch, so I think it's clear it was a glucose deficiency. In my case it was aggravated by a Candida infection, and I believe any eukaryotic infection would make an all-meat diet intolerable. Since everyone is exposed to pathogens regularly, it's only a matter of time before you encounter a pathogen that can take advantage of the particular "terrain" you provide, and create an infection.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Dill is indeed delicious. I've been doing okay with some oregano at the spice level, so it might be just a matter of amount. By toxins, I meant specifically the kind of chemicals that plants develop to fight being eaten, not so much the storing of pollutants. Not that the latter aren't something to be aware of, it's just that I don't really know why I can't tolerate vegetables, and one theory is that it's the toxins.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 11:23 PM

If they ever get an oxalobacter probiotic supplement on the market, you might be a candidate for trying it Ambimorph. From what I've found the only way to reintroduce it into your system currently is fecal transplant.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Even the most benign grocery store mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins like gyromitrin. It is completely nullified by cooking. I see them called for raw in recipes all the time, but my mycology professor said to never eat them raw.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Yeah don't mess around with anything that looks like a carrot in the wild unless you really know what you are doing, I don't want anyone here to pull an accidental Socrates.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 03, 2011
at 10:11 PM

+1 for you, Ambi. We have some very, very strange down-voting people indeed. More power to you. You've found and done what has worked for you.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 09:00 PM

In "Primal Mind, Primal Body" by Nora T. Gedgaudas it is mentioned that human coprolites from 300,000 to 50,000 years ago showed little to no evidence of plants being eaten in any notable quantity.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 03, 2011
at 08:16 PM

Just watch out for the carrotty-looking plants with the purple spots growing by the creekside.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 26, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Presuming we came from the sea, so long ago, seaweed and some other algaes ought to be quite accepted, and a fine source of iodine!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 26, 2011
at 03:52 PM

+1 for a well laid out approach.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on June 17, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Cabbage is on the FODMAPs list of foods to avoid, as are onions. Spinach, too, is very high in oxalates. Rose, thanks very much for the link to the article!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I see no evidence of eating vegetables only in times of poor hunting. What I see is lots of scavenging. I also see evidence of our direct ancestors living by the ocean for eons. I have always loved all vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I eat plenty of meat. But I have zero interest in giving up veggies. Now that I have kicked carb craving, I trust what my body wants.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 11:35 PM

My concern is that when I was eating what I currently eat plus LC vegetables I was 50 lbs fatter and had a mood disorder which I don't suffer from now. At the time I wrote the question, I was considering stretching my boundaries a bit, but it isn't worth getting sick over.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 09:34 PM

That's a neat idea, CaveRat.

8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on June 16, 2011
at 09:15 PM

I agree completely here. If I only eat meat and eggs, I'm golden. The second my wife convinces me to try some salad or spinach, I go running for the refrigerator! The way I've reconciled the old brainwashing that one MUST eat veggies is that I use herbs in my meat like oregano, basil, rosemary, etc. Oregano, for example has four TIMES more antioxidant activity than blueberries. (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=35)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Corinne, I've had the same response when I've added plants back in. Plus other issues, too, but one of the great benefits (to me) of eating this way is that it controls my otherwise insatiable hunger.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:39 PM

And now there's this fun little discovery about brassicas: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615103044.htm

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Good for you. Did you move to all vegetables from a grain-based diet? I'm sure that would be an improvement for anyone. Have you tried a meat based diet for a few weeks and compared it directly? What our ancestors ate was very likely highly meat based, with vegetables used mainly in times of poor hunting.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:32 AM

The claimed value of high fiber is based on the same kind of assumption and bad research that brought us the 'grain is good for you!' diet. And as each health claim is invalidated by studies, it's replaced by a new claim based purely on the assumption that it MUST be good for you. It actually might, but this has not been demonstrated by research.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:24 AM

Btw foraging also respects the seasonal nature of different species, and increases the likely variety as well which helps with any risk of overdose.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Concur on nettles - I once, with friends, collected a couple shopping bags full (we wore heavy gloves) and steamed them up with a little butter. They were *really* good! I don't know about toxins, but perhaps they contain less, having an alternate method of defense. The 'needles' disappear the instant the steam hits them.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:05 PM

came here to say that, so I won't clutter the thread with another answer but count this as another thumbs up from me.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 15, 2011
at 05:39 PM

I *am* prone to kidney stones, and I get plenty of nutrients from meat. Whatever it was that made the drastic positive difference in my health when going from VLC to ZC, was almost certainly due to something in vegetables, so I am quite right to be cautious. Different people are more and less sensitive to compounds in plants that may or may not be considered "toxic" to the species as a whole, in the sense of causing acute, immediate illness or death.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 27, 2011
at 01:55 AM

The fact that it wasn't really a zero-carb diet disappointed me more than anything. From at least one theoretical perspective, zero-carb "works" (in those of us for whom it does work) because you're not introducing plant toxins into your body. Who's to say his issues weren't caused by the plants? He had a lapse in reasoning, there.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Sure, Minnie. In fact, for the last 13 weeks I have recorded my food intake in detail on this thread at dirtycarnivore.com: http://forum.dirtycarnivore.com/index.php/topic,1475 Currently I do an hour of aerobic exercise once or twice a week, lift weights once or twice a week, and walk a total of about 45 minutes per day.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on May 26, 2011
at 01:08 PM

All meat diet, can you let me know what you were eating day to day? Sounds interesting! I love veg but maybe overdo them. Wonder how my body would feel on all meat for a couple of weeks. What about your activity levels?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:54 PM

Yes, I was wondering about those. They're algae, strictly speaking.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Yes, good point, Stephen. And I haven't after all. :-)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 21, 2011
at 02:06 AM

dose makes the poison.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 21, 2011
at 02:04 AM

if youre getting everything you need... why change it?

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 21, 2011
at 01:17 AM

:( But ... I like eating plants ...

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Lamb's lettuce is also called maché, or corn salad, here in the US. It is my favorite salad green. Kikulila, thanks for the book reference. I'll take a look at it.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 07:02 PM

(2) The diet he is criticizing isn't even actually zero carb! It is a VLC diet with lots of high fiber, low starch vegetables. I had problems on such a diet, too, which is why I went to a ZC diet in the first place.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Hmm, I generally like to be more constructive than the above, so let me say, I think Jaminet's work is mostly very good, and the Perfect Health Diet makes an excellent starting point (as Chris Masterjohn says in his review: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Paul-Shou-Ching-Jaminet-Perfect-Health-Diet-Review.html). My specific criticisms in this case are (1) He had a problem in his own experience, and generated a hypothesis from it (fine!), and then thought of a bunch of plausible mechanisms for his hypothesis and presents it as proof of the hypothesis (misleading and not scientific!)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Thank you. I hadn't heard about Donaldson's green vs. yellow. That's very interesting. Also I didn't know the term phytotoxin, which might be a good search term.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I've read all that, and almost all of it either doesn't apply or is sloppy speculation. In several cases my responses are in the comments there. I'm actually pretty disappointed to see such alarmist sloppiness on an otherwise well-thought out blog. It is the Jaminets that I refer to when I mention "safe starches" in the question. Thanks, though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 03:03 PM

Thanks, Kaz, and others. I didn't mean to fish for upvotes, but the downs were a prime example of what we talking about, IMO.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Wow, that's a good caution! I'll have to be very careful, if I proceed.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on January 08, 2011
at 06:24 AM

Yeah, kale is pretty high in oxalates too. It's also in the cabbage family and has goitrogenic properties.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Lettuce does seem to be looking pretty neutral. It's low in all the things I mentioned, afaict.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:39 AM

Upvoted because your question IS a good and valid one and there's no legit reason for anyone to downvote. :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:12 AM

I don't mind if they have little nutrition. I suspect I get everything I need already. I just don't want to worsen my diet by adding a toxic vegetable.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:09 AM

Someone else mentioned cukes to me, saying that since they are actually the fruit, they have less of the toxins. I guess the same would apply to zucchini.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:07 AM

Probably. I am susceptible to kidney stones, and spinach and blueberries are very high in oxalates. I get plenty of nutrients from meat, so I take the opposite position. :-)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:02 AM

I basically just eat fatty cuts of meat. Sometimes I eat broth or soup, but usually it's burgers, steaks, or chops. I have plenty of energy for my workouts, but I usually do them fasted. I used to enjoy cabbage, but it's a brassica. WordVixen says cooking removes most goitrogens, though, so that might work. Spinach is high in oxalates, I'm not sure about kale, though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:58 AM

That's interesting, thank you. Too bad it doesn't use toxins in the rankings, though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:55 AM

As an aside, apropos of Stephen's recent meta question, this question has gotten 2 downvotes so far. I can only assume that those people are 'against' an all-meat diet, and therefore will simply downvote my question on how to improve it. How very useful.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:49 AM

Hi, Steve. I originally decided to try it for 3 weeks because I thought it might help weight loss which was not going very well at the time. It did help with that. Within 3 weeks I felt better than I had in years.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:13 AM

That's a good point. I tend to agree that vegetables all seem to have some problem or other.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:12 AM

Thank WordVixen, goitrogen was the word I couldn't think of.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on January 07, 2011
at 08:40 PM

The problem with brassicas is that they're goitrogenic. They're also called cruciferous vegetables and are highly represented by spinach, kale, chard, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. There are a lot of others, but the goitrogens partially break down in cooking. The longer cooked, the fewer goitrogens (also the less tasty IMO). In small amounts it shouldn't be an issue though, especially if you currently have a healthy thyroid. You can search for "is *** goitrogenic?" or print out a list of cruciferous vegetables to take with you shopping if you want to avoid them.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on January 07, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Why bother steaming kale when you can saute it in bacon grease? But no, I've steamed it and then sauteed it (in bacon grease, of course) and it came out wonderful.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Hey, that's pretty interesting. I had no idea that bok choy was that nutritious. I usually only put it in soup, but I may have to add it to my daily steaming. Are kale and collards bitter if you steam them?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Hey, that's pretty interesting. I had no idea that bok choy was that nutritious. I usually only put it in soup, but I may have to add it to my daily steaming.

D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Very interesting diet approach; do you mind sharing what prompted you to go 0-carb?

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20 Answers

12
9f2b5def0bc7fd8ad615637d1ffeb9ec

on January 07, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Biochemist Mat Lalonde makes the argument that pretty much every vegetable contains some kind of toxin as a protective mechanism (since plants cannot defend themselves by running away or fighting). He recommends rotating a wide variety of veggies so as to not overwhelm any detox pathway in the digestive system.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:13 AM

That's a good point. I tend to agree that vegetables all seem to have some problem or other.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 21, 2011
at 02:06 AM

dose makes the poison.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 21, 2011
at 01:17 AM

:( But ... I like eating plants ...

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on June 15, 2011
at 10:05 PM

came here to say that, so I won't clutter the thread with another answer but count this as another thumbs up from me.

9
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on January 08, 2011
at 04:39 PM

In case this is of use:

The Failsafe Diet, which is used by allergists at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Australia, is designed to help one discover what it is in foods that one is most sensitive to. It is an elimination diet.

One might be sensitive to salicylates, another to goitrogens, another to oxalates, another to two or three of those, etc.

Here is a link to an excellent blog about the Failsafe Diet.

http://failsafediet.wordpress.com/

Also, Dr. Blake Donaldson, who helped thousands of patients who had allergies, states in his book, Strong Medicine, that many people have allergic reactions to green vegetables and that yellow vegetables are the safest if one tends to have allergic reactions in general. There is no online version of his book, that I know of, and it is very much worth reading. I do not know of those who may have carried on this line of work after he died. Perhaps someone else knows.

ETA: Dr. Donaldson's book is now online and can be read here:

http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015003228171

For anecdotal report: I do well with the following yellow vegetables: celery, turnips, and an occasional parsnip, but that does not mean they are the best vegetables for everyone. (I am not overly fond of carrots, but have not noticed any problematic reactions.)

I have read both pro and con regarding seaweeds. I still eat them, albeit in very small amounts.

I'm sorry I can't be of more help at this point. The subject of phytotoxins is rather large.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Thank you. I hadn't heard about Donaldson's green vs. yellow. That's very interesting. Also I didn't know the term phytotoxin, which might be a good search term.

9
030e4c293151bf6c70550dcfcfde0f67

(1537)

on January 08, 2011
at 01:58 PM

I don't think you need to eat vegetables to enjoy fantastic health. I, too, have been eating an all-meat diet and feel amazing. I tried adding in a few veggies about six months ago and it threw me off balance. My insatiable hunger popped back up and it took six weeks to get back on track with "zero" carb. Seriously. All I added were lettuce (iceberg) and cucumbers. That was enough to toss me to the wolves, and I ended up eating all kinds of things - all "paleo" mind you - that gave me unstable blood sugars etc. What a learning experience it was!

I think that some people do their absolute best on an all-meat diet, and I don't believe that there is anything wrong with that at all. Fatty meat contains all of the nutrients we need.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Wow, that's a good caution! I'll have to be very careful, if I proceed.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:43 PM

Corinne, I've had the same response when I've added plants back in. Plus other issues, too, but one of the great benefits (to me) of eating this way is that it controls my otherwise insatiable hunger.

8828d5922b47a0e2b82bde2232037746

(616)

on June 16, 2011
at 09:15 PM

I agree completely here. If I only eat meat and eggs, I'm golden. The second my wife convinces me to try some salad or spinach, I go running for the refrigerator! The way I've reconciled the old brainwashing that one MUST eat veggies is that I use herbs in my meat like oregano, basil, rosemary, etc. Oregano, for example has four TIMES more antioxidant activity than blueberries. (http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=news&dbid=35)

5
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 15, 2011
at 04:20 PM

Just because some vegetables contain goiterogenic compounds doesn't necessarily mean they are actively goiterogenic to the body. Cruciforms and other veggies have enough nutrients and fiber to make them far more beneficial for most people and I think outweighs the potential problems.

As for toxins to deter predators - which predators? For example, just because something is toxic to a dog (like onions or grapes) doesn't mean it's toxic to humans. most of the 'toxins' in plants are meant to deter insects, and probably are harmless to humans, or in such low amounts they're negligible.

From what I've read about oxalates, unless as one person mentioned, you are prone to kidney stones, they probably have little or no effect on body function.

Pesticide residue is probably another story.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 15, 2011
at 05:39 PM

I *am* prone to kidney stones, and I get plenty of nutrients from meat. Whatever it was that made the drastic positive difference in my health when going from VLC to ZC, was almost certainly due to something in vegetables, so I am quite right to be cautious. Different people are more and less sensitive to compounds in plants that may or may not be considered "toxic" to the species as a whole, in the sense of causing acute, immediate illness or death.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 02, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I'm amazed, Ambimorph, I'm VLC right now but lately I've been attracted to ZC for some reason. I'm just afraid that, if I go ZC, I'll have to do it my entire life. I want to be able to eat some fruit or at least some vegetables one day... I seem to be able to tolerate vegetables quite well right now though.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:58 PM

Actually, many other people suffer from oxalate-related symptoms and problems who have never had a kidney stone. I have severe oxalate issues but I've never had kidney stones. Yes, it's a low percentage of the population who have trouble but it's not just kidney disease sufferers. Also burning mouth syndrome, autism, fibromyalgia, IBS, bladder pain, genital pain and/or burning, arthritis, and the list goes on.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Note: it would be highly improbably that oxalates could "cause" autism- autism is a spectrum condition that is an integral part of who a person is, not a symptom. Autistic children do exhibit higher levels of oxalates in their urine, which suggest greater accumulation, so possible benefits from a low oxalate diet could manage clinical features of autism. Important distinction!

4
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I have a couple suggestions:

1) Do an experiment by introducing related groups of veggies one at a time, then either eliminate or refine as needed. For example, start with the Brassicas and eat Cabbage, Brocolli, Brussels Sprouts as a group. If you have a strong reaction you might assume that it's all of them that cause problems and eliminate the entire class. If a minor reaction (and you care) refine to one species at a time. After you've determined the impact of a group then move to another Group (say, Allium - Garlic, Onion etc) and test that.

Doing this in groups of similar veggies reduces the total number of tests you'd have to do, and get you to your answers faster.

I definitely think the algae and seaweed would be good to try too.

Since it doesn't sound like you're in a hurry you can spend a bit of time on this :-)

2) Foraging. oak0y mentioned this earlier, and I think it's a good idea with multiple benefits: it's seasonal, which means you're not eating just one species for more than a few months max at a time, there is a huge variety which minimizes the impact of any one species. Plus - you're already doing the 'Hunting' piece - foraging lets you do the 'Gathering' part AND you spend more time in nature; what could be more "Paleo" than that?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 09:34 PM

That's a neat idea, CaveRat.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 26, 2011
at 03:52 PM

+1 for a well laid out approach.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 21, 2011
at 01:09 AM

I suggest.. go for wild herbs and greens. Nettles chickweed,... leafs flowers....get a good foraging book on wild edibles. there are good experts out there

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:22 AM

Concur on nettles - I once, with friends, collected a couple shopping bags full (we wore heavy gloves) and steamed them up with a little butter. They were *really* good! I don't know about toxins, but perhaps they contain less, having an alternate method of defense. The 'needles' disappear the instant the steam hits them.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:24 AM

Btw foraging also respects the seasonal nature of different species, and increases the likely variety as well which helps with any risk of overdose.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 03, 2011
at 08:16 PM

Just watch out for the carrotty-looking plants with the purple spots growing by the creekside.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 10:45 PM

Yeah don't mess around with anything that looks like a carrot in the wild unless you really know what you are doing, I don't want anyone here to pull an accidental Socrates.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:01 PM

I don't know, if you haven't eaten greens in a long time, I have a hard time eating too many nettles and I eat loads of greens already (kale everyday, totally addicted). I used to prepare them all the time at work for meals, and if I ate too much nettle soup I would get a rash on my chest. They are pretty potent for a vegetable-cherry-popping so to speak.

4
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on January 07, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Lettuce. Use it to wrap up beef liver pate.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:44 AM

Lettuce does seem to be looking pretty neutral. It's low in all the things I mentioned, afaict.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:02 PM

iceberg is like water in between membranes, probably the least irritating thing of all time.

3
Medium avatar

on January 07, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Isn't the percentage of the population that is sensitive to those compounds pretty small? I hope so, because I eat 2 cups of spinach and 1 of broccoli and blueberries a day. The nutrient density is just far too great for me to discontinue this practice.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:07 AM

Probably. I am susceptible to kidney stones, and spinach and blueberries are very high in oxalates. I get plenty of nutrients from meat, so I take the opposite position. :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 11:23 PM

If they ever get an oxalobacter probiotic supplement on the market, you might be a candidate for trying it Ambimorph. From what I've found the only way to reintroduce it into your system currently is fecal transplant.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:54 PM

Blueberries are NOT high in oxalate. In fact, they are quite low in oxalate. I've been on a low oxalate diet for almost 20 years. i remember when blueberries were retested about 6 years ago with the new more accurate testing methods. I rejoiced! Broccoli is lower medium oxalate and can be eaten by people on a low oxalate diet. Don't give up blueberries or broccoli! Now spinach is another story! The Trying Low Oxalates yahoo.group has the most up-to-date and accurate oxalate list.

2
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 08, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Mushrooms seem relatively benign, but I'm sure they have some toxin I'm not aware of. I think that as long as you mix up your veggies you should be fine.

Fruits would presumably have less toxins as well. Don't know what your opinion is on these.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Even the most benign grocery store mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins like gyromitrin. It is completely nullified by cooking. I see them called for raw in recipes all the time, but my mycology professor said to never eat them raw.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 13, 2012
at 08:04 PM

Yeah, my plant biology prof always gleefully told us about toxins associated with even the most benign raw mushroom- I think the whole class started cooking mushrooms after those lectures...

4b8ce2e8143119b39e00d5705b76cfa6

(40)

on February 14, 2012
at 03:45 AM

Mushrooms are not vegetables. Fungus is more closely related to animals than to plants. In fact, fungi and animalia were combined into a super-kingdom by biologists.

2
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on January 08, 2011
at 03:19 AM

Swiss chard, spinach and kale are probably to worst offenders in terms of toxins.

I've found that the vegetables with the least toxins are also often those with the least nutrition (lettuce, cucumbers, zucchinis, ...)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:12 AM

I don't mind if they have little nutrition. I suspect I get everything I need already. I just don't want to worsen my diet by adding a toxic vegetable.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:09 AM

Someone else mentioned cukes to me, saying that since they are actually the fruit, they have less of the toxins. I guess the same would apply to zucchini.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 21, 2011
at 02:04 AM

if youre getting everything you need... why change it?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Yes, good point, Stephen. And I haven't after all. :-)

2
D38c0cc994b194de08289e0fe3f99d1e

(421)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I know Furhman is a quack, but I really like his ANDI metric for comparing carbs (ANDI = Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). link text

He ranks Kale and Collards as highest (both 1000), followed by Bok Chjoy (824) and Spinach (739).

      • N O T E : The ANDI metric makes no sense what so ever for ranking protien and fats, so ignore them completely!!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Hey, that's pretty interesting. I had no idea that bok choy was that nutritious. I usually only put it in soup, but I may have to add it to my daily steaming.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on January 07, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Why bother steaming kale when you can saute it in bacon grease? But no, I've steamed it and then sauteed it (in bacon grease, of course) and it came out wonderful.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Hey, that's pretty interesting. I had no idea that bok choy was that nutritious. I usually only put it in soup, but I may have to add it to my daily steaming. Are kale and collards bitter if you steam them?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:58 AM

That's interesting, thank you. Too bad it doesn't use toxins in the rankings, though.

1
103a639b040a17bb579084287f2a5307

on February 14, 2012
at 03:17 AM

Why not try something lacto-fermented? Sauerkraut, sour pickles, carrots and ginger... Or simply starting out with a few fresh herbs?

1
7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on August 03, 2011
at 08:02 PM

What about dill weed? I know most people just use it as a garnish but I have some growing in the garden and nothing compares to the delicate taste of fresh dill. Can't get enough of it. I don't think it has any toxins... anyway, it's not like you're safe from toxins if you stick to just meat, since fat is a great storage site for any sorts of junk that the poor animals pick up in the environment. Even in the most seemingly pristine of places - I'm sure grass-fed and wild-caught helps, but still, we do live in the modern, inconvenient truth world.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:03 AM

Dill is indeed delicious. I've been doing okay with some oregano at the spice level, so it might be just a matter of amount. By toxins, I meant specifically the kind of chemicals that plants develop to fight being eaten, not so much the storing of pollutants. Not that the latter aren't something to be aware of, it's just that I don't really know why I can't tolerate vegetables, and one theory is that it's the toxins.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on May 26, 2011
at 04:55 AM

Sea vegetables might be right for you...yummy and chock full of minerals, and are a wild food!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:54 PM

Yes, I was wondering about those. They're algae, strictly speaking.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on July 26, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Presuming we came from the sea, so long ago, seaweed and some other algaes ought to be quite accepted, and a fine source of iodine!

1
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on January 07, 2011
at 06:27 PM

Green asparagus, pointed cabbage and lamb's lettuce are the most tolerable for me. On white cabbage I react in contrast to pointed cabbage with abdominal pain. Brussels sprouts and zucchini are also good digestible, just like other lettuces.

This book was helpful for me: "Gut leben trotz Nahrungsmittel-Allergie" by Claudia Thiel (Autor) sorry - just this german book...

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on January 10, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Lamb's lettuce is also called maché, or corn salad, here in the US. It is my favorite salad green. Kikulila, thanks for the book reference. I'll take a look at it.

0
Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 16, 2011
at 02:07 AM

I have an (n=1) study that says my body needs all vegetables, including sea vegetables, and does well on them. No way is an all meat diet in line with what our ancestors ate.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:11 PM

Good for you. Did you move to all vegetables from a grain-based diet? I'm sure that would be an improvement for anyone. Have you tried a meat based diet for a few weeks and compared it directly? What our ancestors ate was very likely highly meat based, with vegetables used mainly in times of poor hunting.

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:53 AM

I see no evidence of eating vegetables only in times of poor hunting. What I see is lots of scavenging. I also see evidence of our direct ancestors living by the ocean for eons. I have always loved all vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I eat plenty of meat. But I have zero interest in giving up veggies. Now that I have kicked carb craving, I trust what my body wants.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 03, 2011
at 09:00 PM

In "Primal Mind, Primal Body" by Nora T. Gedgaudas it is mentioned that human coprolites from 300,000 to 50,000 years ago showed little to no evidence of plants being eaten in any notable quantity.

0
E933f552653459536599dd9ac1c23062

on January 10, 2011
at 03:22 AM

I would guess that any form of kelp would be a good nutritious option. I've done my own research on the cruciferous veggies, and have decided to reintroduce them to my diet because I feel like the studies I looked at show that while the goiterogenic compounds are present, they're in small amounts. I have also gotten more strict about a daily kelp supplement, but a diet of mixed eat and veggies is good for me. All protein and my kidneys start to ache.

0
Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on January 08, 2011
at 04:03 PM

I would be very wary of zero carb diets

link text

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 07:01 PM

Hmm, I generally like to be more constructive than the above, so let me say, I think Jaminet's work is mostly very good, and the Perfect Health Diet makes an excellent starting point (as Chris Masterjohn says in his review: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Paul-Shou-Ching-Jaminet-Perfect-Health-Diet-Review.html). My specific criticisms in this case are (1) He had a problem in his own experience, and generated a hypothesis from it (fine!), and then thought of a bunch of plausible mechanisms for his hypothesis and presents it as proof of the hypothesis (misleading and not scientific!)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I've read all that, and almost all of it either doesn't apply or is sloppy speculation. In several cases my responses are in the comments there. I'm actually pretty disappointed to see such alarmist sloppiness on an otherwise well-thought out blog. It is the Jaminets that I refer to when I mention "safe starches" in the question. Thanks, though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 07:02 PM

(2) The diet he is criticizing isn't even actually zero carb! It is a VLC diet with lots of high fiber, low starch vegetables. I had problems on such a diet, too, which is why I went to a ZC diet in the first place.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 27, 2011
at 01:55 AM

The fact that it wasn't really a zero-carb diet disappointed me more than anything. From at least one theoretical perspective, zero-carb "works" (in those of us for whom it does work) because you're not introducing plant toxins into your body. Who's to say his issues weren't caused by the plants? He had a lapse in reasoning, there.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 16, 2011
at 03:32 AM

The claimed value of high fiber is based on the same kind of assumption and bad research that brought us the 'grain is good for you!' diet. And as each health claim is invalidated by studies, it's replaced by a new claim based purely on the assumption that it MUST be good for you. It actually might, but this has not been demonstrated by research.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on August 15, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Hi Ambimorph, & Rose, I spent a year experimenting to find the cause and it was repeatedly unaffected by changes in quantity or type of vegetable and repeatedly cured by starch, so I think it's clear it was a glucose deficiency. In my case it was aggravated by a Candida infection, and I believe any eukaryotic infection would make an all-meat diet intolerable. Since everyone is exposed to pathogens regularly, it's only a matter of time before you encounter a pathogen that can take advantage of the particular "terrain" you provide, and create an infection.

0
00fe9c58f7020500007bd5f9638747fa

on January 07, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Whoa! I've wanted to try this for awhile but I feel like getting enough animal fat in me to support rigorous workouts would be very difficult. (A girl can only consume so much pemmican ;) ) What is your average day of all animal product like? How much energy output do you generally have?

As do your veggie question, I'd bring in cabbage, kale, or spinach. Cabbage is a fave of mine because you can fry it in lard like onions and pour it over meats.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on January 08, 2011
at 05:02 AM

I basically just eat fatty cuts of meat. Sometimes I eat broth or soup, but usually it's burgers, steaks, or chops. I have plenty of energy for my workouts, but I usually do them fasted. I used to enjoy cabbage, but it's a brassica. WordVixen says cooking removes most goitrogens, though, so that might work. Spinach is high in oxalates, I'm not sure about kale, though.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on January 08, 2011
at 06:24 AM

Yeah, kale is pretty high in oxalates too. It's also in the cabbage family and has goitrogenic properties.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 16, 2011
at 05:39 PM

And now there's this fun little discovery about brassicas: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615103044.htm

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on June 17, 2011
at 07:38 PM

Cabbage is on the FODMAPs list of foods to avoid, as are onions. Spinach, too, is very high in oxalates. Rose, thanks very much for the link to the article!

-1
78f4a1b90814931891179fca3b987292

on June 16, 2011
at 05:52 PM

I am not sure what your concern is or what you mean by "toxins." But if you are concerned about digestive upset, you might want to try to avoid foods high in fermentable sugars, also known as FODMAPs (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols). A low FODMAP diet is often used to treat IBS. FODMAPs aren't "toxins" but they do cause intestinal distress in many people. These include things already banned on Paleo (diary, grains, beans) but also 'approved' foods (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, asparagus, avocado etc.)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on June 16, 2011
at 11:35 PM

My concern is that when I was eating what I currently eat plus LC vegetables I was 50 lbs fatter and had a mood disorder which I don't suffer from now. At the time I wrote the question, I was considering stretching my boundaries a bit, but it isn't worth getting sick over.

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