5

votes

Why can I eat white and sweet potatos but not paleo sweets?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 15, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Just curious if anyone understands the phenomenon I'm experiencing:

Been paleo for a few months now and I have some insulin issues (prediabetes and PCOS). For a while I was doing super low carb and lost some weight. Then I tried moderate carb (for me 75 g a day) and gained. I was saving room carb-wise everyday for a paleo "sweet"- something baked and delicious. I made sure to calculate the carbs and serving portions correctly but kept gaining weight.

Annoyed at my body, I decided to start expirimenting. I decided to try and narrow down what was causing me to gain weight. I cut out all sweets for a while but let myself have moderate amounts of starches- up to half a sweet potato, half order of french fries- i know its not paleo, etc. I lost weight. The funny thing was, I was still eating the same amount of carbs and wasn't doing anything different as far as working out.

Then I added in a binge day once a week for baked sweets. Even with the inevitable insulin spike after this day, I do not seem to gain.

Questions:

Why can I eat starches and not gain weight but a couple nights of a paleo treat and I'm up three pounds? Is it the fructose?

Is one larger insulin spike once a week better than a smaller but sustained insulin spike every night after dinner? Is that known as carb refeeding? Is it safe for those with insulin problems?

If nothing else, I have learned through this experience that I truly have an addiction to sweets. It is hard to not have them after dinner, for sure.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 04, 2012
at 08:33 PM

Thank you Colin, I totally spaced on that one! That is certainly an important part of the tuber story. I don't remember her using that exact term, but I do think resistant starch is one of the beautiful things about potatoes.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 04, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Thank you Colin, that is certainly an important part of the tuber story. I don't remember her using that exact term, but I do think resistant starch is one of the beautiful things about potatoes.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on December 03, 2012
at 10:54 PM

Was it resistant starch by any chance?

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 20, 2012
at 01:37 PM

It's actually AMAZEBALLS!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 19, 2012
at 10:28 PM

That sounds fantastic!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 19, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Good to know. I guess I unknowingly put it in the same category as the aspertames of the world. I will definitley take up using it again. :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 18, 2012
at 11:40 PM

I'm not certain, but I'm thinking glyconutrients sounds right, off to go googling and see if that was what I couldn't remember earlier.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 16, 2012
at 12:14 PM

While it's true honey/dates/coconut sugar are *better* for you because they have trace minerals...just how much would you have to consume to get any benefit?! Xylitol is anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, and better for someone battling candida, which I still sort of am. Sigh.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I think it depends on the person for butter and cheese, I seem to tolerate them without spiking my blood sugar, but when I want to lose weight I do eliminate cheese and yogurt, and eat a little less butter. If you are struggling with sugar cravings, I had really good luck supplementing with Theramedix CDX, it was kinda pricey, but it after about 4 weeks of that, and purposefully avoiding sweet tasting things, my cravings went dormant.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Sounds good! Cinnamon is a favorite of mine. I take cinnamon capsules daily and also use it in most foods because of its ability to help stabilize blood sugar.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Of course! They were loaded up with honey. Even when I cut the honey or other sweetener by more than half they still were causing me to gain. I used to use xylitol (gave it up because I wanted to be more natural) but I think I will take it back up again!) and I will have to try glucose and see how that works.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:46 PM

This is really interesting! Thanks for the info. Not eating the goods with milk, gave that up due to lactose intolerance- do you think cheese and butter have the same effect? I think I am going to give the red wine and chocolate a try. I read somewhere that many of us with PCOS have a much higher desire for sweets than other people and that makes breaking the addiction that much harder. I think you are totally right though- with PCOS we have to be much stricter with ourselves. It sucks but thats that. If you ever remember what she said about the starchy vegetables I'd love to know!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I used to use xylitol and gave it up because I thought the conventional wisdom was that honey/dates/coconut plam sugar were better for you. But I'm coming to the conclusion that, at least for me, some of the o calorie sweeteners actually are better for me than the "all natural" versions. I think I'll buy another bag of xylitol. And dark chocolate and red wine are a must in my house! I will see about replacing my evening snack with those though I am trying to break my addiction to having something sweet after dinner.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 07:57 PM

That's really interesting. I'd never heard of that before but will have to look into it more. Thank you!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on November 15, 2012
at 06:46 AM

I think it has to do with gut flora, personally. You're cultivating a certain set with daily habits. THere are gut microbes that love sugar and send signals to your brain to keep the good stuff coming. It's a different set than the ones that love starch, I think. Just a thought.

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6 Answers

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3
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 15, 2012
at 06:26 AM

I've been experimenting with this myself using my glucose meter after meals, potatoes, sweet potatoes, or other roots, no problem. One serving of grain free or gluten free baked goods, and I'm screwed for days, higher fasting, and higher after meals, even when the carb load is the same. Milk is another dastardly thing for me (raises fasting blood sugar by 20-30 points the next day), if you are washing down those baked goods with milk, that could be a culprit too.

I vaguely remember when seeing a holistic nutritionist when I was in a VLC phase, that she kept encouraging me to eat root vegetables because they had something beyond the fiber (but it escapes me right now what that was, sorry) that helps control blood sugar stability. After seeing my blood sugar results this last month, I believe her now.

With PCOS, I think we don't have the leeway others do to have a treat day once per week, and I would encourage you to go as long as possible without giving in. Like primalpat said, a bit of dark chocolate or red wine a few times per week is probably fine, but letting loose, even for one day I think derails our hormones more than can be fixed in the following 6 days with PCOS.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 18, 2012
at 11:40 PM

I'm not certain, but I'm thinking glyconutrients sounds right, off to go googling and see if that was what I couldn't remember earlier.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:46 PM

This is really interesting! Thanks for the info. Not eating the goods with milk, gave that up due to lactose intolerance- do you think cheese and butter have the same effect? I think I am going to give the red wine and chocolate a try. I read somewhere that many of us with PCOS have a much higher desire for sweets than other people and that makes breaking the addiction that much harder. I think you are totally right though- with PCOS we have to be much stricter with ourselves. It sucks but thats that. If you ever remember what she said about the starchy vegetables I'd love to know!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 16, 2012
at 06:02 AM

I think it depends on the person for butter and cheese, I seem to tolerate them without spiking my blood sugar, but when I want to lose weight I do eliminate cheese and yogurt, and eat a little less butter. If you are struggling with sugar cravings, I had really good luck supplementing with Theramedix CDX, it was kinda pricey, but it after about 4 weeks of that, and purposefully avoiding sweet tasting things, my cravings went dormant.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2040)

on December 03, 2012
at 10:54 PM

Was it resistant starch by any chance?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 04, 2012
at 08:32 PM

Thank you Colin, that is certainly an important part of the tuber story. I don't remember her using that exact term, but I do think resistant starch is one of the beautiful things about potatoes.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 04, 2012
at 08:33 PM

Thank you Colin, I totally spaced on that one! That is certainly an important part of the tuber story. I don't remember her using that exact term, but I do think resistant starch is one of the beautiful things about potatoes.

4
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on November 15, 2012
at 03:26 AM

Yes, a carb refeed is a very large portion of carbs after a particularly intense workout. I'd say most people only do it once a week, but I'm not an expert on the topic. I'm going by what I've read on the MDA forums.

I'm not crazy about paleo baked goods. It's kind of my pet peeve about this Way of Eating. We give up baked goods because of gluten and it's toxicity, because we don't need to snack and eat processed crap between meals. We wean ourselves away by keeping our blood sugar levels at an even level with vegetables and some fruit. Why is there an urge to make frankenfoods made out of almond flour? Or coconut flour? Coconut flour is particularly high in fibre, and hard to digest for some people. Almond flour tastes better, but holy-rancid-fatty-acids, Batman! And talk about a calorie bomb! On top of the eggs, honey/maple syrup/dates are added for sweetness. Now you have a rancid, baked omega-6 and sugary laden concoction. So much for eating well, huh?

I most certainly have a sweet tooth, but that's why I allow myself chocolate.

Cut out the frankenfoods. Eat your sweet potatoes. Have some fruit. One of my favourite meals ever is a nice steak with a roasted sweet potato. May it be my last meal!

Have a cup of good quality herbal tea an hour after dinner. I like sweetening with xylitol, but go easy on it when you first start using it, or your bowels will explode.

Or have a piece of really good quality dark chocolate, and a little red wine. These are perfectly acceptable treats.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I used to use xylitol and gave it up because I thought the conventional wisdom was that honey/dates/coconut plam sugar were better for you. But I'm coming to the conclusion that, at least for me, some of the o calorie sweeteners actually are better for me than the "all natural" versions. I think I'll buy another bag of xylitol. And dark chocolate and red wine are a must in my house! I will see about replacing my evening snack with those though I am trying to break my addiction to having something sweet after dinner.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 16, 2012
at 12:14 PM

While it's true honey/dates/coconut sugar are *better* for you because they have trace minerals...just how much would you have to consume to get any benefit?! Xylitol is anti-bacterial/anti-fungal, and better for someone battling candida, which I still sort of am. Sigh.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 19, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Good to know. I guess I unknowingly put it in the same category as the aspertames of the world. I will definitley take up using it again. :)

2
5bac45c78a2be60bc17fc2084a0f5d43

(259)

on November 15, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I wonder what you paleo "sweets" were? If they were loaded with fructose (like dry fruits or honey), then probably the problem was fructose.

But you don't have to give up sweet things out of fructose fear. Xylitol can be nice sweetener if you can tolerate it (as it may be fermented in the bowel and cause you bloating - it is FODMAP I believe)

Or you might try glucose - it is sold in powdered form and basically the same thing as rice and potatoes by weight but sweet! If you mix it with fat and fiber (nuts, almond meal or gluten free meal, like buckwheat) it shouldn't spike your blood sugar higher than safe starches do.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Of course! They were loaded up with honey. Even when I cut the honey or other sweetener by more than half they still were causing me to gain. I used to use xylitol (gave it up because I wanted to be more natural) but I think I will take it back up again!) and I will have to try glucose and see how that works.

0
9bf0cd801ab042614fe6c9a3adbedd2d

on January 06, 2013
at 09:33 PM

What has your experience been to this point? Are you losing weight? Did you give up sweets altogether?

Thanks for the recipes. I can't wait to try those!

0
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on November 17, 2012
at 08:08 PM

This is a favourite dessert of mine. I can't believe I haven't posted it on my blog. Either way:

Mix a couple tablespoons of coconut cream, the thick part of coconut milk when you first open the can. Add in another couple of tablespoons of raw cacao powder. Add xylitol to sweeten, and stir vigorously. Wait a few minutes (if you can!!!).

The xylitol will have dissolved. You can pop this in the freezer to make a pseudo ice cream/mousse type thing. You can even stir in some macadamia nut butter into it. Alternately, I think it beats the pants off Bulletproof Coffee; mix the whole concoction together and pour freshly made coffee into it, stirring vigorously, and BAM! you have the most badass mocha coffee in all of history, case-mother-effing-closed.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on November 20, 2012
at 01:37 PM

It's actually AMAZEBALLS!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 19, 2012
at 10:28 PM

That sounds fantastic!

0
5f678ffff153bfc8a17ac1ee438c054f

on November 15, 2012
at 05:51 AM

Instead of making baked goods or "frankenfoods" I like to mix some yummy paleo foods together in a sort of pudding. For example, I mixed almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon (for blood sugar spikes), and shredded coconut together, and kept it in the fridge. It was a nice treat to take a few spoonfuls of when I wanted something sweet at night.

Though I am far from an expert on the topic, I do believe small rises in blood sugar frequently would be better than one big spike, so your body can be more prepared for the fluctuation, rather than caught off guard when you binge.

I did read a study that suggested eating carbs at night helps keep you on track for the next day, because the carbs will fuel your body for the 8-10 hour fast you will be entering during sleep.

And don't forget to have cinnamon to help regulate your blood sugar when you do eat carbs!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on November 15, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Sounds good! Cinnamon is a favorite of mine. I take cinnamon capsules daily and also use it in most foods because of its ability to help stabilize blood sugar.

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