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  • How to carb up without starches

    A problem: I don't do so well with starches. Maybe a refeed of sweet potatoes at the weekend would be fine, but is it possible to carb up on non-starchy (or not very starchy) vegetables? I think I have some leaky gut issues, so I'm trying to avoid too much insoluble fiber (I consume a bag or two of leafy greens every day-- bad idea?) So is there anything beyond starchy roots you could use to bump carbs up to about 100g a day?

    I've been on low carb paleo (though not strict keto) for the past 2 months or so, I feel good on it. But I'm concerned about cortisol. It's a priority right now to minimise cortisol.

    As you'll no doubt know, there's a lot of conflicting information out there, it's a headache. Some say sustained low carb increases baseline cortisol (which is claimed to be involved in gluconeogenesis; others that glucagon, not cortisol, is the main player). Others are saying that high protein = high cortisol.

    The main impediment to going full keto is I'm worried about losing muscle and elevating cortisol too high. I also have some annoying blotchy skin issues that seem to flare up when I go very low carb; maybe it's detox...

    So, to summarise: for someone trying to minimise cortisol while going low carb (hopefully a weekend carb-up should do the trick), is there any good option besides root veggies? Fruit maybe? And are daily leafy greens a bad idea for someone with possible gut issues (mainly manifesting as annoying blotchiness on my skin)?

  • #2
    Try honey and/or sucrose. Raw dairy or kefir is good if tolerated.

    If you do keto right, there is no need to be concerned about cortisol or muscle loss.
    There is so much bro-science about low carb.

    Read Peter Attia's fine posts for evidence-based info on vlc/keto:
    Ketosis
    Ketosis

    The interplay of exercise and ketosis
    The interplay of exercise and ketosis
    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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    • #3
      Another fine evidence-based post addressing the cortisol question:
      The Ketogenic Diet for Health: Ketogenic Diets, Cortisol, and Stress: Part I — Gluconeogenesis
      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
      Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
      Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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      • #4
        And how is your D3 blood level? If you are wanting to decrease overall inflammation, an optimal blood level is key. 50-60 ng/ml for ordinary folk. 60-80 ng/ml for folks like me with auto-immune or inflammatory conditions. (Asthma in my case--all symptoms gone at 80 ng/ml.)
        Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
        Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
        Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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        • #5
          Everything that Dragonfly said plus this. Why don't you try giving the big old bag of greens a rest for a while and see how you feel? Greens can often block the absorption of nutrients in the rest of your food.

          Given your neurological issues, I would say that staying keto is in the best interest of your brain. The only time high cortisol would become an issue is if you weren't eating enough calories overall. Without the BAS, you would have room on your plate and your stomach for some things like cheese. In addition to the honey DF mentioned, some fruit wouldn't hurt either.

          Dr Georgia Ede AHS talk about fruits and veggies: Dr.Ede's nutrition presentations
          Dr. Ede on fruits :Fruits » Diagnosis: Diet
          Dr. Ede on veggies : Vegetables » Diagnosis: Diet

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
            And how is your D3 blood level? If you are wanting to decrease overall inflammation, an optimal blood level is key. 50-60 ng/ml for ordinary folk. 60-80 ng/ml for folks like me with auto-immune or inflammatory conditions. (Asthma in my case--all symptoms gone at 80 ng/ml.)
            Many thanks Dragonfly. I just read your last link (Zooko & Wilcox-O'Hearn)---interesting--and I'll read the other two later tonight. Have you any thoughts on leaky gut? I suspect that's the root cause of my skin problems (minor but persistent and annoying), and there's evidence that sustained low-carb/keto is bad for the gut if you don't do carb-up refeeds every now and then, for example those "perfect health diet" guys have said something about starch being beneficial for healing the gut

            I don't know what my D3 level is. I get as much sun as possible. This article put me off D3 supplementation:

            http://gettingstronger.org/2012/11/w...d-supplements/
            Last edited by Sabre; 07-13-2013, 03:55 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
              Everything that Dragonfly said plus this. Why don't you try giving the big old bag of greens a rest for a while and see how you feel? Greens can often block the absorption of nutrients in the rest of your food.

              Given your neurological issues, I would say that staying keto is in the best interest of your brain. The only time high cortisol would become an issue is if you weren't eating enough calories overall. Without the BAS, you would have room on your plate and your stomach for some things like cheese. In addition to the honey DF mentioned, some fruit wouldn't hurt either.

              Dr Georgia Ede AHS talk about fruits and veggies: Dr.Ede's nutrition presentations
              Dr. Ede on fruits :Fruits » Diagnosis: Diet
              Dr. Ede on veggies : Vegetables » Diagnosis: Diet
              Greens can block the absorption of nutrients? "Holy cats!"

              I thought they *were* my nutrients, a la Terry Wahls

              As for the neurological issues, I've improved a hell of a lot over time, thankfully.

              I'm pretty sure dairy messes me up, and it's not advised for anyone with skin issues/acne problems I hear.

              I'm tempted to stay more or less in keto during the week, reduce the bag of greens, and then have a sweet potato or some fruit at the weekend.

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              • #8
                Mathieu Lalonde, PhD

                The nutrient density is in the animal based products.
                Things like oxalates in spinach bind up your calcium and stop it from doing you any good. Just one example.
                Dairy can be a bad idea for skin issues unless you have access to high quality raw and/or fermented dairy products. I was just tossing cheese out there as an example of a calorie dense food. It's the Kraft Processed American Cheese Food-like Substance that gives cheese a bad name.
                You could also have some avocados or coconut cream in your tea/coffee, or some macadamia nuts. Avocados have a fair amount of carbs.

                Glad to hear your brain is feeling better.

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                • #9
                  I think its important to vary your macros to keep you metabolism working properly. Like my training I tend to periodize my eating patterns from VLC to LC to moderate carbs and once in awhile a carb fest. But always try to eat food that is pastured, free range, local and organic. I like to go with the seasonal eating and tend to eat more carbs in the summer. Sitting in the back yard catching some rays today, noticed the apples were ripe so ate a couple, then ate a few plums now munching on blackberries. Our peaches and nectarines should be ready in a couple of weeks...Sure is nice living in Sonoma County, California!
                  Last edited by canuck416; 07-13-2013, 04:43 PM.
                  Recent Blog: http://www.peakperformanceradio.net/...y-john-saville

                  https://www.facebook.com/PaleoJourne...?ref=bookmarks

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Paleobird. I've been casting a jaundiced eye (not literally) on the salads I buy at the grocery store here in Ireland. Even though they say "washed and ready to eat", there may be pesticides on the salad that irritate the gut. Christ, is there anything that isn't out to get you.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by canuck416 View Post
                      I think its important to vary your macros to keep you metabolism working properly. I tend to periodize my eating patterns from VLC to LC to moderate carbs and once in awhile a carb fest. But always try to eating food that is pastured, free range, local and organic. I like to go with the seasonal eating and tend to eat more carbs in the summer. Sitting in the back yard catching some rays today, noticed the apples were ripe so ate a couple, then ate a few plums now munching on blackberries. Our peaches and nectarines should be ready in a couple of weeks...Sure is nice living in Sonoma County, California!
                      Interesting, that does sound good. One possible objection is that if you stay in VCL for a long time and your body starts to become keto adapted, then changing it to moderate carbs all of a sudden throws the body out of whack making it less metabolically efficient. I don't know enough to agree or disagree with this, but I'd guess mixing it up isn't a problem and is probably beneficial.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sabre View Post
                        Many thanks Dragonfly. I just read your last link (Zooko & Wilcox-O'Hearn)---interesting--and I'll read the other two later tonight. Have you any thoughts on leaky gut? I suspect that's the root cause of my skin problems (minor but persistent and annoying), and there's evidence that sustained low-carb/keto is bad for the gut if you don't do carb-up refeeds every now and then, for example those "perfect health diet" guys have said something about starch being beneficial for healing the gut

                        I don't know what my D3 level is. I get as much sun as possible. This article put me off D3 supplementation:

                        Why I don’t take vitamin D supplements*/* Getting Stronger
                        Re: skin issue. Certainly could be leaky gut. My eczema went away when I went Primal and was100% gluten-free for a few months.

                        Re: keto and gut health. Mine has never been better. Here's another viewpoint that posits that our gut bacteria are really out for themselves.
                        Hyperlipid: Search results for Fiaf

                        Re: D3 supplementation. I've read similar arguments, but the weight of evidence is not supportive of his thesis. See the Vitamin D Council website articles and links. I am happy to discuss this at length, but I hate typing, lol! You can pm me if you want to skype! My own n=1 is that sun exposure was insufficient for MY optimal health. Inflammatory conditions and autoimmune can benefit from therapeutic doses of D3.

                        In any case, living in Ireland you are almost definitely D3 deficient, unless you holiday in warmer climes for a couple of months a year. Most of my nutrition clients are UK-based and ALL of them have tested as severely deficient. All of them have reported great health benefits after a few months of supplementation.
                        Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                        Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                        Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                        • #13
                          Liver is your best bet for B vitamins, Vitamin A and K2. There is some tasty pâté available in your neck of the woods!

                          Changing things up can be helpful for certain goals, like fat loss, but gut healing and brain healing might benefit from more consistency, IME. Not to discourage you from adding carbs, but gut health can take a couple of years to regain and there is no harm done in staying lc or vlc, if it is working for you.

                          Nutrient density is important for gut healing, so liver, other organ meats, cheese, seafood, eggs and bone broth are really key.
                          Last edited by Dragonfly; 07-13-2013, 05:38 PM.
                          Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                          Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                          Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sabre View Post
                            Interesting, that does sound good. One possible objection is that if you stay in VCL for a long time and your body starts to become keto adapted, then changing it to moderate carbs all of a sudden throws the body out of whack making it less metabolically efficient. I don't know enough to agree or disagree with this, but I'd guess mixing it up isn't a problem and is probably beneficial.
                            It's important to get to the fat adapted state before varying the macros. I was very strict LC Paleo, keeping my carbs between 50 and 100 per day for 6 months - the fat loss sweet spot as described by Mark - until I reached my goal weight. Since then I've focused on building some muscle and keeping body fat low. I find that varying the macros really works for me, however we are all different and one size does not fit all.
                            Recent Blog: http://www.peakperformanceradio.net/...y-john-saville

                            https://www.facebook.com/PaleoJourne...?ref=bookmarks

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
                              Liver is your best bet for B vitamins, Vitamin A and K2. There is some tasty pâté available in your neck of the woods!

                              Changing things up can be helpful for certain goals, like fat loss, but gut healing and brain healing might benefit from more consistency, IME. Not to discourage you from adding carbs, but gut health can take a couple of years to regain and there is no harm done in staying lc or vlc, if it is working for you.

                              Nutrient density is important for gut healing, so liver, other organ meats, cheese, seafood, eggs and bone broth are really key.
                              liver is one of the few meats that contains carbs so is worth including in your foods
                              When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
                              27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
                              new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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