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Grain tolerance

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  • Grain tolerance

    Hello! I've been on here for a few days, and I have learned a ton about nutrition in that short time. However, I'm still debating whether or not grains are THAT bad. Some of the posters here say they feel terrible after eating sugary things. I've been doing a low carb paleo-esque diet for about a week (not very long I realize), and decided to cheat and have some, horror of all horrors, Cinnamon toast crunch, and a little later I also had some carby soup. And you know what? I feel fine. I didn't get a sugar rush from the giant helping of breakfast cereal (honestly, it shouldn't even be considered a breakfast food. Cinnamon toast crunch is candy as far as I'm concerned). I feel just as good as I did before eating all that sugar. Of course, maybe I just haven't been eating the primal way long enough to notice the effects?

    But what I'm really wondering is if certain people can simply handle sugar better than other? I've always been a big bread eater, and I'm at a healthy weight. I don't have crashes in the afternoon and I generally feel energetic and focused throughout the entire day, even if I had a big bowl of over-processed sugar filled cereal for breakfast. I realize this might not be the case for a lot of people, but sugar doesn't really seem to effect me at all. I do sometimes tend to over eat sugary things, but than again, I also tend to over eat fatty foods like bacon, if it's laid out in front of me.

    What do you guys think? Does it have something to do with ethnicity or what,(I come from a largely Hispanic background, by the way). I think it's pretty interesting to think about anyway. For instance, the Chinese are very healthy and they live off of grain. Or at least the ones who eat traditional diets do.
    Remember, you are unique just like everybody else.

  • #2
    Like everything in life, there is a continuum from those who are lightly affected to those that are heavily affected.

    With that said, you are very new to Paleo and have only been doing it a week. That is NOT enough time. You should go 3-4 weeks doing strict Paleo/Primal and then try having a big bowl of cereal and see how you feel.

    Also, regardless of how you feel, the internal processes from that much sugar and crap (yes, Cin. Toast Crunch is PURE crap) is just not good for you.


    • #3
      It takes AT LEAST 2 weeks for your body to switch off the sugar-for-energy stuff. I would give it a solid 3 weeks, 100% PB then see how you feel.

      Also have you read the book? Grains are bad for many reasons, not only making you feel tired.
      Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!


      • #4
        Yes there are certain levels of adaptation. It is a principle of evolutionary theory that populations adapt to their environment over a number of generations. The white hares in the snowy tundra soon become dominant while the brown hares are selected against. Same goes for skin pigmentation of humans and the lighter the skin, the better vitamin d is synthesized. Likewise, food is possibly our biggest environmental factor and those whose ancestors ate more neolithic food are better adapted to eat it without as much detriment to health. Chinese people have been eating rice for 10000 years and while that is not enough time for any macro-evolution, it is ample opportunity for adaptation.

        You can get food sensitivity tests to lactose, gluten, etc and you can also get a "metabolic typing" test to see what sort of acid-alkaline balance you need and what sorts of macronutrient ratios you can handle. My one word of advice is that I still consider this to be what it truly is, an adaptation. It is a CAN and not necessarily a SHOULD. If I ingest a little poison every day, in many years I will have an immunity. But should I ingest poison at all if I don't have to? I don't think that anyone has fully adapted to neolithic food. In third-world countries where they eat a lot of beans and grains adaptation + a lack of contemporary frankenfood puts them ahead of the western nations who just happen to be able to afford a lot of meat, in chronic disease and general vitality. But from my overwhelming anecdotal experience eating strict paleo and interacting with its community, I can not see any advantage to the grain-eaters.
        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


        • #5
          Also In the book it says not being affected as much by carbs could be a sign of insulin resistance.
          Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!


          • #6
            I am probably in the middle ground somewhere. I have found that if I eat carbs I get the carb hunger and hour or two later (due to insulin). I am overweight, but have found weight loss fairly easy since cutting carbs in January, slow but steady. I don't cheat often, but when I do I don't notice feeling worse, so like you beefsister, I am not that sensitive to them, but they do encourage weight gain (i.e. hunger) for me. I suspect I am insulin resistant because of the hunger issue and also the difficulty in losing weight depsite following all the CW 'rules' (low calorie, low fat, cardio exercise etc).
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            • #7
              Yes there is definitely different levels of tolerance for different cultures and people. But, as said above, because of what happens in your bodies organs/systems/muscles you should give yourself 3 weeks.

              The idea is that people who come from ancestry lines from warmer areas (Quetchus of South America), can handle grains better because natural forms of carbohydrate grew there. While people with ancestry lines from colder areas (ESKIMO tribe) handle higher protein and fat because natural carbohydrate does not grow there.
              In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


              • #8
                I can still handle grains and sugar pretty well. I'm certainly not knocked on my ass by a few servings. That being said, I can tell my body objects. I get a bit of an oogy feeling in my stomach and I bloat up a little. What used to be a teensy bit of sugar (say, a square of chocolate) sends me ricocheting off the walls. Corn syrup makes my sinuses stuff up (actually it always did that. I just thought I had a chronically stuffy nose until I stopped ingesting the stuff).

                And generally, cereal should not be considered a breakfast food. After reading the ingredients of most of them I don't think they should be considered a food at all. (Wheaties Fuel is downright frightening)


                • #9
                  Give it time. I used to not be effected, then after a month of eating primal, if I eat a few pieces of bread you can bet I will be crunched over with a major stomach ache. Sugar and dairy dont effect me much though, its different for everyone. I can eat a lb of ice cream and feel no ill effect other than being full. I guess gluten effects me more. I know its not healthy either way though.
                  Natural Selection:


                  • #10
                    When I first started, I had similar thoughts - until I realized that all those pains in my stomach & in my joints were from the grains. I'll still have white rice now & again, & do eat quinoa pasta every once in a GREAT while (it's mixed with corn), but yeah. You might think you feel fine, but I bet there are other things you haven't noticed yet. My fiance sort of switched with me in January, but is just now realizing how much more energy he has, how much less hungry he is, & how crappy he feels after eating anything with grains.
                    And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair
                    Kahlil Gibran



                    • #11
                      Some people feel horrid after eating grains, others don't. I don't feel too bad or bloated if I eat a little grains. But I know that too much will cause weight gain and a grumbly tummy.

                      Over the weekend, we were out of town, and I ate off plan quite a bit (while still trying not to get too out of control). Then, I ate at a Mexican restaurant on Sunday and threw caution to the wind. I ate everything that was offered, including a lot of tortilla chips. Then, that night, I ate homemade cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. I seriously haven't eaten that much carbs or sugar in one day since November. It was way over the top. For the next two days, I had a horrible sinus headache that turned into a migraine. Coincidence? Don't know. But I was suffering, and its going to take me 2 weeks to lose the weight I gained over the weekend.

                      Not worth it.


                      • #12
                        White rice doesn't affect me as much as wheat or sugar. I'm from India and rice is a staple there. I've (I'd ?)been Primal for about 8 months but due to pregnancy-related food aversions, I started eating rice about 3 months ago (always with ghee) and it hasn't affected me severely. My weight gain has been healthy compared to my pre-primal days when I would gain weight easily. I'm not advocating eating of grains/rice, but I think the key factor was eliminating wheat and sugar from my diet.

                        I'd always feel hungry in the past and constantly snack. But now I don't feel the need to snack between meals despite sometimes carb-heavy meals.


                        • #13
                          Get a blood glucose meter and test your blood sugar an hour after eating anything containing grains. You'll be surprised at how much of a sugar response you're actually having, regardless of how you feel. When my blood sugars were in the 200s, I would never have believed that I was having any kind of a "sugar response" at all, because my sugars were so high all the time that I just didn't notice it. Now? I have one bite of something containing wheat and within half an hour everything is hurting (joint pain). Go completely cold turkey on grains, sugar and legumes and then try something in about four to six weeks and see if you still don't feel it. I can almost guarantee you will.
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Hi all. This is my first post in the forum, though I've been stalking you guys for over a week now. Are you scared? Like beefsister at the time of her post, I've only been off grains for about a week now. My question is more for those of you who managed to get past the first (and I'm assuming second and third) week---did you have a hard time not being able to achieve a "feeling of fullness?" I've been pigging the frack out, most especially on fruits like oranges and bananas. This has caused a notable increase in the girth of my midsection, even after one week! Would you recommend steering clear? Are there other foods that are perhaps lower in sugar which would fill the void left by bread and cereals? How long did it take before things evened out and it didn't take so much food to feel satiated? Does that seem like an awful lot of dumb questions?

                            Also, as a side note, my research led me to the conclusion that quinoa is not a true grain, but I've seen a few posts in this forum and also by Mr. Sisson that indicate many of you treat it as such. Anything you can tell me about this?

                            So basically, all in all, I'm a big mess. Or at least I feel like one. But as a fan of evolutionary psychology, this modality of health and nutrition greatly appeals to me and I plan to stick with it and see how it feels.

                            Thanks in advance for your help!



                            • #15
                              Fruit is not a healthy replacement for grains. Fruit has a lot of fructose which is far more damaging to the girth and to overall healthy than the equivalent in glucose over could be. Grains have some other nasty stuff so it's not like much of either is a good thing. Definitely cut down on the fruit, it's a treat and not health-promoting. While the paleolithic hunter-gatherers did eat fruit, it isn't the fruit we have today. It was wild fruit with a much lower fructose content. Basically some low sugar berries, crab apples, wild bananas (google a picture! Gross!), that's what Grok ate. Not these modern bundles of sugar.

                              I get about 15g of fructose from fruit in a day and that's plenty. You will want to see Mark's carb pyramid. Primal is necessarily low carb and high fat. The degree to which is at your discretion but generally the less the better.

                              As for quinoa, if properly soaked and prepared, it is somewhat less damaging than other grains. But it still has a lot of starch which will convert rather quickly to sugar (quickly enough, it's "low GI" but that doesn't mean too much). I would stay clear of it. Typically the carbs in PB come from low-carb vegetables and a little fruit and don't amount to more than 100g (including fiber). I'm probably at about 75 with 30 or so of that being fiber. In summary, the key to eating a lot of fat and protein is to keep carbs rather restricted or you will get a lot of insulin and that's no good.
                              Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                              Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!