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Does primal/paleo eating have to be low carb?

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  • Does primal/paleo eating have to be low carb?

    I eat quite low carb (100g or so/day) but I am starting to starting to soften on my carb position. I might experiment increasing my carb intake a little from tubers and see how I feel. I do think I feel better with a higher level of carbs in my diet and going too low affects my resistance training. Maybe I'm just not eating enough calories........

    I don't think they are necessarily bad by themselves anymore. Granted the source is very important and the less refined the better obviously. Assuming that a person is healthy and doesn't have metabolic issues and is eating a lot of carbohydrate from plants and tubers (like the kitavans) acceptable in the absence of physical activity or should it be relative to exercise level? Do you think high primal/paleo carbohydrate consumption in a healthy protective diet and lifestyle is acceptable?

    Is too many carbs in the presence of inflammation etc what is bad? Or is it just the SAD that's bad? Some traditional societies would have eaten a fair amount of carbs. Is there a upper limit where even primal carbs become detrimental? I've been reading stuff from wholehealthsource and some studies and get the impression that even just a moderate reduction of carbs can have benefits. Gary Taubes even says you should go low carb until you improve metabolic issues etc related to refined carb consumption and then increase healthy carb intake after to see if you can tolerate them.

    Historically would some paleo people have had access to a lot of carb foods all year round? Not in terms of evolution millions of years ago, but lets say in the last 100,000 years or so. Is there genetic variance in carb tolerance? E.g Europeans would generally be more fat adapted and people from tropical regions can tolerate a higher percentage of carbs?

    I'm open minded so would like to know what people think. I still think fats are great by the way and will still get the majority of my calories from them. P.S I didn't go low carb to lose weight or because of health problems.
    Last edited by muaythaimike; 07-07-2010, 02:52 AM.
    "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

  • #2
    Personally I don't think it has to be no. In general the leaner you are, the more important the presence of carbs in your diet becomes.

    That said, I cycle carbs. Training days could be 200-250g with off days around 150g. There are both psycological and physiolocal benefits to carb and calorie cycling, so I think keeping things like that static/low is a mistake for an active and lean person.

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    • #3
      I would agree that technically a paleo diet does not have to be low carb, since it focuses more on what to eat rather than on how much.

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      • #4
        I think i might be a candidate for carb refeeds or cycling on training days.
        "My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it." -- Stephen Wright, comedian

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        • #5
          As far as I know Mark invented the primal diet so to be eating primal you have to eat low carb.

          Primal eating is like primal but amount of carbs do not matter.
          A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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          • #6
            No it doesn't, you need to gauge your own needs for your own lifestyle. As long as you're happy with your weight/look then feel free to indulge in paleo carbs.
            I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

            Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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            • #7
              After 10 week of vlc primal eating and very fast ketogenic weight loss, I barely understand what I would eat to consume 200+ grams of carbohydrates. I'm at the point where it is hard for me to eat 50g carb. I feel great. The weight is melting away. I guess I'm just curious what a primal 200+ grams of carb diet looks like?

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              • #8
                Yeah I actually struggle to crack 100g. It's fucking hard. No wonders vegans are always so pissed off.

                Mark's upper limit is 150g which is plenty.
                Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bushrat View Post
                  As far as I know Mark invented the primal diet so to be eating primal you have to eat low carb.

                  Primal eating is like primal but amount of carbs do not matter.
                  i dont think 100-150 is low carb! its definitely moderate carb. i find getting over 100 gram pretty challenging unless youre trying.

                  I think the important thing is to stay away from grains and eat carbs that are found whole and digestable, like tubers and veg. I would think that many paleolithic peoples where adept at rooting around for these tubers. they are a whole food that comes out of the earth, and we have the abilty to digest them (raw, if need be) so i say they are not "bad" unless youre eating them like a mad man.

                  SAD is sad for many reasons. excess carbs just add to the problem. primal yam eaters, like myself, are not sad , or SAD.

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                  • #10
                    I think that 150 grams of carbs is 'normal'. It's not that we eat low carb, it is that everyone else on SAD eats too many.
                    Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                    Current weight: 199
                    Goal: 145

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                    • #11
                      I hate counting macros or calories and I'm too lazy to go looking, so could one of you carboholics briefly list the items consumed daily to hit 150 - 200 grams, please?

                      Okay, I looked at yams. 30-40 grams in a cup. Add that to my typical 25 gram day and I still don't see how you get to 200? Lots of sweet fruit? At a point that is NOT primal. I'm not judging. I really don't give a hoot about carb consumption if they're primal carbs, I am just curious after using the -50 approach for weight loss.

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                      • #12
                        I don't count carbs and I eat as much as I want, which includes plenty of fruits and sweet potatoes, taro, cassava etc almost every day. It has worked well for me so far, but I really have no idea whatsoever how many carbs I'm eating, it could be 100 or 200, maybe more. I also eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs and plenty of fat every day. I don't think paleo carbs are bad at all unless, possibly, you're diabetic or very insulin resistant.
                        Last edited by Mirrorball; 07-07-2010, 09:51 AM.
                        Height: 5'4" (1.62 m)
                        Starting weight (09/2009): 200 lb (90.6 kg)
                        No longer overweight (08/2010): 145 lb (65.6 kg)
                        Current weight (01/2012): 127 lb (57.5 kg)

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                        • #13
                          Does primal/paleo eating have to be low carb?
                          Depends on what carbs you are talking about and what do you understand by low carb. It also depends on your current health. If you are reasonably healthy, have a normal %body fat and no carb sensitivity yo would theoretically be able to gorge on good carbs while on paleo/primal and be fine.
                          “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                          "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                          "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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                          • #14
                            Well, a pint of grapes will net you around 100g of carbs.

                            I live in Canada, so i'm gonna go with the fruit in summer (when it's cheaper) and mostly stick with veg in the winter. I should fall into a natural high carb low carb cycle.
                            I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

                            Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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                            • #15
                              Lately, I have been so low carb, I am having trouble even HITTING 50 grams! Also have been not hungry, so eating has become a chore, but that is a different thread...
                              Every day is another stitch in the quilt of life.
                              ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
                              Re-Start date 6/23/2011
                              me--Post pregnancy --mama to a beautiful baby boy--
                              273.4/269.3/115
                              Hubby--230/227.8/165

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