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Carb dilemma

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  • Carb dilemma

    I've been paleo for a few months now, took a little break at christmas but I've been 100% clean since january 1st. I never cheat on my diet.

    That being said, I don't fare well on low carbs. I've noticed that when I eat a few pieces of fruit every day I feel much better and have much more energy.

    If I go low on carbs (well under 100g/day) I feel perfectly fine, but I sleep badly and I don't feel as smart. As I am a university student, my goals are:

    1. Best possible mental fitness

    2. Best possible mental fitness

    3. Optimal health

    My dilemma is, that I don't like eating fruit, I don't digest them very well and I believe fructose is something to avoid.

    I've been eating organic potatoes for a few days, with the skin, with most meals, and I've felt truly awesome.

    I don't really care about the "evolutionary factor" in all this, I go by how I feel and boy do I feel much better when I keep my carb up to about 150-200g per day.

    To me starch seems to be a much much better option for carbs than fructose and I haven't seen any proof for why the starch in potatoes would be unhealthy.

    Just thought I'd share my thoughts on this, if anyone here doesn't feel well on low-carbs and isn't insulin resistant or desperately needs to lose weight, potatoes are good source of healthy carbs.

  • #2

    kristjan, others would agree with you. Look at the 'primal wisdom' blog, who argues that humans have been eating starchy root vegetables for X-number thousands of years.

    i also consume potatoes, starchy root vegetables, and include raw honey. i am not trying to lose weight and this seems to work great for me.

    one caveat - you may want to limit potatoes to one meal a day. otherwise (1) you will get sick of them fast and (2) more importantly, you are elevating your insulin on a regular basis. I generally try to limit myself to one carb-y meal a day, ideally post workout. (see the 'lean gains' blog for that idea). if limiting carbs in this way makes you mentally foggy, then i believe you are, frankly, addicted to sugar.


    • #3


      I'm inclined to agree with your take on fructose. I've recently come to believe that fructose is actually a poison.

      If you haven't tried yet, I suggest raising your total calorie intake and see if mental clarity is retained.

      What to try:

      Week 1) Your low-carb diet (DONE)

      Week 2) Your low-carb diet + 2 extra portions of protein per day

      Week 3) Your low-carb diet + 2 extra portions of fat per day (preferably of the same caloric value as the extra protein of n2)

      I'm suggesting this because I have noticed a powerful correlation between total caloric intake and mental clarity back in my intense fasting days.

      Let us know how you fare


      • #4


        I generally try to limit myself to one carb-y meal a day, ideally post workout. (see the &#39;lean gains&#39; blog for that idea).</blockquote>

        mhoward, do you have a link to where he talks about this? I&#39;ve been looking through his blog and haven&#39;t found it but am really interested in reading it. Thanks so much!!!


        • #5

          i wouldnt say that fructose is a poison at all. personally i can have a fruit and not have any carb cravings or what not...if anything, for me starch is a poison...i get bloated and with lots of discomfort when i eat roots like taro, batata or yucca (tropical roots eaten a lot at my house) and no syptoms with a banana or apple or plantain for example


          • #6

            People seem to tolerate carbohydrates very differently.

            I&#39;ve tried going low-carb and upping my calories a lot but it didn&#39;t help, my brain and body just do much better with a moderate amount of carbs.

            I&#39;m still eating a lot of eggs and meat, plus butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and vegetables, so it&#39;s definitely not like I&#39;m missing out on anything.

            Plus I&#39;m at my ideal weight, with a very decent amount of muscle mass, so I have no reason to try and cut carbs in order to lose weight.

            Not everybody goes primal in order to lose weight, some people just do it for optimal health and mental fitness, and I&#39;ve never seen any proof that going very low/zero on carbohydrates is any better than a moderate amount (given that all other nutrients are in order) for healthy people.