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What's up with fruit & dairy & carb counting? Newbie here.

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  • What's up with fruit & dairy & carb counting? Newbie here.



    This is only my second post, and I'm waiting for my book to arrive in the mail, so please forgive my ignorance if the question is addressed somewhere.


    I've been reading some of the posts in the forum and there seems to be kind of backlash against fruit.... My initial impression was that the whole concept behind primal eating was "what would Grok eat?" If it grew on a tree and you could pick it, hunt it, or gather it then it was primal....


    I'm browsing through the posts now and it seems like a lot forum members are following an Atkins approach to eating as opposed to primal (yes... similarities... but still different). There is high emphasis on counting carbs and eating lots of dairy like butters and cheeses, and adding processed almond flours and other things to make baked goods. Ketosis is mentioned a lot too.


    I definitely don't want to sound like I'm passing jugement or saying there is a "right" or "wrong" way to do anything... but I'm completely and utterly confused. Reading what Mark said about carbohydrates (as long as NO grains, processed sugars, and legumes are consumed) one can eat as much fruit and veggies as they want and not be concerned with it as you're very unlikely to ever go over 150 carbs anyway....


    Any thoughts would be awesome, and once again... I don't mean to flame anyone... but I'm just really confused. I like the idea of eating nature-intended foods. Counting carbs obsessively sounds just as awful as counting fat grams and calories...


  • #2
    1



    I know I'm one that has come out as rather "anti-fruit", so I'll lob out my opinion. NOT Mark's opinion (read that book when you get it, great stuff). I avoid fruit as most modern fruits are nothing remotely like Grok would have had available. It has been a concentrated effort of agriculture to come up with the Honey Crisp Apple, the modern banana, or a watermelon with no seeds and lots of sugar! These neolithic fruits are just candy bars from a tree! When you think Grok's fruit availability, think of berries, tart small apples, that sort of thing. And think of the scarcity of it all. These tart little fibrous Paleo fruits would have been few and far between, and likely only in a 3-4 week window in late summer/ early fall.


    And intake would have been rare and infrequent. We are in a food abundant environment now days.


    Limited intakes of certain fruits certainly seems harmless. But after researching fructose's impact on our metabolism and systems, I am very very cautious of the stuff.

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    • #3
      1



      In a nutshell, here are a few reasons for the anti-fruit leanings of many of those on here:


      1. For weight-loss, less than 50g carbs a day are the goal. Fruit can easily take you over 50g if you're not careful.


      2. Some of those with insulin issues find that even the relatively small amount of carbs in fruit (compared to bread, pasta, etc.) is enough to throw them "out of whack".


      3. For some, the sweetness seems to be a bit of a trigger for craving other types of carbs (cookies, ice cream, etc.).


      4. Many believe that fruit today is much sweeter (due to selective breeding) than fruit in Grok's time - thus has more fructose/carbs.


      5. In Grok's time, in many parts of the world, fruit would have been limited to only a very select variety, only at very specific times of the year, and so would have been more of a "treat" than an everyday staple. This leads many to believe that if your ancestors are northern European, you might be more sensitive to fruit compared to if your ancestors are from an area with more year-round fruit availability. (I have no idea how true or false that is.)


      Personally, I typically eat a few pieces of fruit (or handfuls of berries) a day and I see no ill effects. But I'm not trying to lose weight, nor do I have any insulin issues like diabetes to deal with.


      And yeah, the book will give you more details.


      That's just a quick overview. I think this thread will be flooded with detailed personal experiences soon.

      Comment


      • #4
        1



        The fruit thing varies widely, but most of us consider fruit to have a much smaller place in our daily diets than CW would encourage.


        I don't think fruit is bad, or natures candy bar, as there are still many nutrients, vitamins, and fibre to help your body deal with the fructose.


        As for almond flour, coconut flour and the like, just because I want to be healthy like Grok, doesn't mean I never want to make my babies a birthday cake, or eat muffins or any other baked good. I think these nut flours offer a lot more nutrition, none of the problems that grain based flours provide, so they are a welcome addition to my pantry. I love being able to bake primal muffins that are packed with protein!


        Dairy is considered a healthy indulgence by Mark, and many of us.


        Welcome to the PB!

        The more I see the less I know for sure.
        -John Lennon

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        • #5
          1



          I'm a newbie here as well, but started counting my carbs when I first read Mark's carbohydrate curve page.


          A banana has a/b 26 g of carbs...That's a lot of carbs if you're trying to keep under 100 or 150 and can add up fast. I've found carb counting to be helpful in the beginning--while I'm still learning how many are in various foods.


          Something that seems really cool about PB is that you can really modify it to meet *your* needs. No one HAS to count carbs, but you can if you'd like. If you find eating meat, veggies, fruit, and nuts and no dairy etc. works for you, w/out counting carbs, I wouldn't worry about it! If you are interested in losing weight or just becoming more aware of carb intake, you can always track it on fitday.com. I personally don't do dairy b/c my son has a dairy intolerance (but do coconut milk instead--yum!). But I also do some legumes as well (not primal/paleo according to many)... I think we all just do what works best for each of us. I think if you're feeling good and feel no urge to count carbs, I wouldn't worry much about it...


          And I totally agree w/ lil_earthmomma--my son loves to eat treats like cookies and cakes--and I LOVE making them with real, whole 'primal' foods that I feel are very nourishing to his little body. (I just made some sunflower seed coconut flour cookies yesterday--he loved them!)

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            Well, because I'm doing this to control my diabetes, I have to be incredibly anal-retentive about carbohydrates, even if they're "natural" ones. I'm currently controlling my diabetes entirely with diet. I just can't go over about 20g of carbs in a day. To me the trade-off is worth it. I take supplements to cover the vitamins and minerals I can't get from food.


            Everyone is here at MDA for a different reason. Some are here because they want to be more ripped with less repetitive stress and injury. Some are here to lose weight. Some are here to control various modern diseases brought on by Neolithic dietary plans. Other people have other reasons for being here. They're all valid reasons, but not all of them have exactly the same approach available, even when we're talking about eating Primally. All of us have to adapt the PB to what best fits our needs, our finances, our health, and - to some extent - our schedules.


            Also, if I remember correctly, Mark recommends eating to satisfaction, not to fullness or "as much as you want." And you need to remember, as was said above, that modern fruits are nothing like what Grok would have had available. For one thing, they're larger. For another, they're much, much higher in sugar - tree candy, essentially, due to the enormous amount of cross-breeding and hybridization they've undergone at the hands of human beings practicing plant husbandry. Nor are they as limited in availability as they would have been for Grok. All of these points make me view fruit as pretty much off-limits except for the occasional treat, maybe once every couple of weeks at most.


            Welcome to the forums.

            Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

            Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


            Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

            My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

            Comment


            • #7
              1



              I think berries are an exception? Not that you need eat them every day...but, I've been in temperate rainforests - huge, juicy blueberries, raspberries & crow berries (these crows are a mite bitter). Here in rockies - lots of raspberries. In the valley of CA. - blackberries, I remember when young, riding my bike, seeing a good few bushes & just sitting & munching...you'd get a few bitter to not so sweet & then that perfect berry that kept you foraging for the next perfect one! I can't think of any other fruit that is as delicious in nature....maybe fig, dates grow wild in corpus christi TX, wild plums galore here in NM, & in the some regions I imagine citrus must be similar - ? However, in most climes, seasonal at any rate....

              Comment


              • #8
                1



                Thanks for the responses everyone. I was just so confused, because it felt like Atkins initially... but I realize that it is a hybrid of different plans for different bodies... I'm not sure how mine will go yet... I'm still figuring it all out... Griff, you mentioned that you are controlling your diabetes entirely with diet. My dad does Atkins, but has also had incredible success adding weight training and cardio to help with the blood sugar. Probably another thread altogether, but has anyone found that exercising along with the dietary changes has helped with the diabetes/insulin issues?

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                • #9
                  1



                  Osa007... I miss plums... I live in cold Minnesota, and we basically get whatever is in season that can be shipped in from other states... I wish that someone would catch on that there are wild plums down there in New Mexico and send some our way... Of course I have family in Las Cruces, so maybe if I bribe them to somehow get some for me :-)

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                  • #10
                    1



                    kallen: I do some weight training. Not a lot. Maybe once a week I'll Lift a few Heavy Things.


                    Many of us are doing Primal with an Atkins-ish emphasis. I'm actually doing mine with a Protein Power emphasis.

                    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

                    Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...mer-(Attempt-2)


                    Ditch the scale!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread33283.html

                    My Success Story: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread30615.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      I'm doing Primal with a PrimalK twist. I basically eat along the guidelines, but I do eat more nuts than many on here (eating some now!) and I eat no fruit except on special occasions, mainly because it gives me a huge sugar crash and burn, and an exterene hunger.


                      I initially started eating along an anti-inflammatory path to address done health and weight loss issues and some food intolerances, and then found MDA a short while later. It works for me because i don't count calories, and nor do I check my carb intake any more, now I know more about nutritional values of individual foods. It's instinctive!


                      Welcome, and good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        I must admit though I've lived many areas in NM - I've mainly been here in Northern NM - there are many varities of plums (most probably related to something hybrid)...but the wild ones are great! And the raspberries! I know just where there is a spot up in the rockies I keep secret! And, let's not forget mushrooms! And, when hiking every few feet it seems there are wild chives! Then in a little stream, watercress, then up along some spicy mountain oregano. I could go on, but I'll spare you. I think the natural bounty is overlooked - though, I will concede natural over agriculture and seasonal at any rate. Although, it's interesting - tubers/roots are available year round...oh, and wild asparagus in the Rio Grande valley...I always had my eye on some & then some rabbit would eat the tips off! Oh well...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          The only thing I count/estimate is protein grams, and I only do that because I find it a challenge to get enough. I ignore carb and fat grams, aside from making certain general choices about what to eat and what not to eat.


                          Regarding dairy, I don't eat it at all, with the exception of ghee (which is milk fat, no dairy protein) and raw milk cheese in an omelet once a week.


                          And I'll just ditto lil_earthmomma and FairyRae2 on using coconut and almond flour. It isn't for me. It is for my kids, and to a much lesser extent, my other half. Surely almond and coconut flour are better for them than grain-based flours.


                          In general I believe vegetables have more nutritional bang per buck than most fruit, and I no longer crave sweetness, so I usually stick to veggies for my carb grams.


                          With respect to fructose in particular, watch Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It is a scientific talk intended for non-scientists.


                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM


                          The speaker demonstrates that fructose is much more taxing to your liver than glucose. Granted, he's not talking about fruit. He's talking about sucrose and HFCS. However, the fruit we're eating today is much sweeter ( = higher in fructose) than Grok's fruit.


                          On a more personal note, my other half can't handle fruit at all, because it makes his blood sugar rise unacceptably. Part of supporting his changes in lifestyle includes making those same changes myself, as long as they aren't unhealthy for me.


                          That said, I eat any and all berries that come my way, and I eat other fruit a few times a week. My kids eat fruit several times a week. I also use certain fruits (ie. dates, apples) and occasionally honey as sweeteners in recipes. So I'm not anti-fruit, but I'm definitely a veggies-aplenty, fruit-in-moderation kind of gal.

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                          • #14
                            1



                            i <3 fruit BUT i don&#39;t over indulge in it daily. i eat some blueberries every day and that&#39;s about it for fruit. i eat LOADS of veggies though in place of reaching for fruit when i&#39;m snacky. on occasion i might eat a small banana or an apple in place of the berries but that&#39;s if i&#39;m doing a carb refeed type thing.


                            re: dairy, i drink almond or coconut milk instead of cow milk but i don&#39;t restrict myself from eating full fat greek yogurt or a good goat cheese a couple times a week. it hasn&#39;t had any affect on my weight (keep in mind that i am not sensitive to dairy).

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                            • #15
                              1



                              If you want to eat lots of fruit and stay fairly active, it is definitely healthy for you. It probably isn&#39;t a good idea to just sit around eating bananas and watermelon while just sitting on the couch doing nothing.


                              The diet the people on this board follow is actually a bit different than what Mark actually advocates. If you look at mark&#39;s sample menu (which you can find by searching his blog), it is very different than most people here are doing.

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