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Thread: New Sensitivity to Processed Meats/ Nitrates? page

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    jammies's Avatar
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    New Sensitivity to Processed Meats/ Nitrates?

    Primal Fuel
    I know this is long, but I could really use some feedback here so please hang in there with my rambling

    I think that I may have recently developed a really bad reaction to processed meats.

    A few weeks ago I had a 3-4 very large meals in a row of smoked meats and sausages from a new place that opened near my house. I developed a sudden onset of severe anxiety, horrible depression, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and feeling very cold. After much pondering I thought it was a big dose of MSG or other preservatives combined with a big dose of iodine I had taken. The problem seemed to resolve after a week or two. But is was really one of the worst experiences of my life.

    Then about a week after that resolved, I ate ham at a dinner - again just not thinking about it. That night I had moderate anxiety, depression, and diarrhea. I looked up the ingredients in the ham and it contains lots of chemicals.

    I had been feeling great for the last week or so, and then today was at a conference and could not find anything reasonable to eat and I was starving (bad planning on my part - I packed a lunch which I then forgot at home). I ate two smoked turkey/prosciutto sandwiches. Now tonight the depression and a bit of anxiety have returned.

    Is this possible? Does anyone else experience this? Could I have suddenly developed an intolerance to something in processed meats? Or is it more likely that I have developed some type of anxiety/depressive disorder out of the blue and the meat is a red herring?

    Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

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    I have been thinking about it and I have also been having a bit more wheat and nightshades then I normally allow. Maybe they are setting me up to be more sensitive?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

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    I think this is happening more because these things are from restaurants rather than the fact they are cured meats.

    At home, try finding uncured meats (Applegate Farms is my go-to for hot dogs, sausages, bacon, etc.) and no-added-nitrates products. Read the ingredients and if there are more than 5 or 6 of them or if you can't pronounce them, it's probably not the best choice.

    I'm betting the ham you ate at the diner was some Hormel garbage that is loaded with sugar, nitrates, nitrites, chemicals and preservatives - those would be more of a culprit rather than the fact it was ham. If you were to make a ham at home without the garbage in pre-packaged stuff at a diner, I think you'd have a different reaction. Unless you know the ingredients in the restaurant food, it's safe to assume their sausages, cured meats, etc. have garbage in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissJecka View Post
    I think this is happening more because these things are from restaurants rather than the fact they are cured meats.

    At home, try finding uncured meats (Applegate Farms is my go-to for hot dogs, sausages, bacon, etc.) and no-added-nitrates products. Read the ingredients and if there are more than 5 or 6 of them or if you can't pronounce them, it's probably not the best choice.

    I'm betting the ham you ate at the diner was some Hormel garbage that is loaded with sugar, nitrates, nitrites, chemicals and preservatives - those would be more of a culprit rather than the fact it was ham. If you were to make a ham at home without the garbage in pre-packaged stuff at a diner, I think you'd have a different reaction. Unless you know the ingredients in the restaurant food, it's safe to assume their sausages, cured meats, etc. have garbage in it.
    Yes - eating out is a crapshoot at best. The ham was actually at home, but I went to look at the ingredients and they were horrible.

    I guess I have been pretty sloppy with my diet lately. But I still can't understand where this anxiety issue came from - it is completely new but does seem related to eating processed meats. Argh!!
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

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    Hey jammies!

    I don't really have an answer for you, but I can tell you this - as I am more and more Primal, and racking up more weeks/months of Primal, my previously-existing depression-with-mild anxiety is clearing up, and I feel so frickin much better just with the diet change. Never in a million years would I have guessed that diet could affect depression the way it has with me. And if it can clear up, then I am thinking that it can certainly happen if you descend into the SAD abyss.

    My folks are both long-term food-service types, and I can tell you that you have to actively search hard for a place that actually cooks from scratch anymore. My mom's employer, a nursing home, used to cook fresh, but moved years ago to an open-package-and-heat system, and the food quality is now crap.

    I am also thinking that you experienced a perfect storm of chemical-laden box food, coupled with the shit that the animals were fed in the feedlots and that remains in the tissues, coupled with perphaps some diet infractions of your own doing. Have you asked what the smoking process was? Was this really smoked meats, or did it have some smoke-flavoring dumped into it?

    I used to run a wee natural-foods co-op, and one lady I delivered to was mostly a shut-in due to massive environmental/food/everything allergies. She was the one who taught me that if you are super-sensitive, wheat-fed chickens can set off some folks, for example.

    I hope you are feeling back to sorts today. That stuff is scary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Yes - eating out is a crapshoot at best. The ham was actually at home, but I went to look at the ingredients and they were horrible.

    I guess I have been pretty sloppy with my diet lately. But I still can't understand where this anxiety issue came from - it is completely new but does seem related to eating processed meats. Argh!!
    I definitely empathize with this! It must suck indeed. Just be more aware of the quantities of this stuff you eat (remembering that restaurants serve 2 or more appropriate portion sizes in one "dish") when you are eating out. Try cooking a ham by getting a regular ham (not pre-marinated, pre-sweetened, etc.) and make your own primal-friendly marinade or topping for it.

    I still strongly doubt it's the cured meats themselves, rather the quality of and the ingredients in the ones you're choosing.
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
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    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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    Bron's Avatar
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    It's not really a sensitivity (unless you count reacting to any poison a sensitivity), it's just that your body no longer gets bombarded by tonnes of poison (in the form of all those artificial substances we used to eat every single day) and so it can show you there's an issue with eating ham/bacon/anything loaded with nitrates etc. For me, I can as cranky and go ballistic if I eat nitrates. Nasty thing that it is.

    (I have lots of experience with this, as my family went on an elimination diet - of most natural and all artificial chemicals - about 6 years ago and we still eat very little in the way of artificial chemicals. It is quite amazing to see the reactions. My 6 yr old has some nasty looking sores around her mouth from some iceblocks she had last week. Normally these aren't eaten, but she was pretty ill and her throat and tonsils were badly infected and swollen, so cold items that slid down easily were about all she could eat. My son gets similar sores from the oils in the chips we sometimes have. Another daughter gets very sullen if she eats too much cheese).

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    Just my standard PSA that many of the meats that say "uncured" usually have more nitrites/nitrates than those that just have them outright. It's just in the form of celery seed/salt/juice which causes the same reaction the minute it hits your tongue.

    I know, I know. But I have to say it.

    When you have food with a bunch of chemicals in it, you're going to have a lot of trouble figuring out which one(s) is the problem. It could have even been the sugar. It's hard to say. I would just eat super clean for a while, then maybe introduce one new thing at a time that has a pretty short ingredient list.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    Just my standard PSA that many of the meats that say "uncured" usually have more nitrites/nitrates than those that just have them outright. It's just in the form of celery seed/salt/juice which causes the same reaction the minute it hits your tongue.

    I know, I know. But I have to say it.

    When you have food with a bunch of chemicals in it, you're going to have a lot of trouble figuring out which one(s) is the problem. It could have even been the sugar. It's hard to say. I would just eat super clean for a while, then maybe introduce one new thing at a time that has a pretty short ingredient list.
    Thanks, Rita Rose. I am avoiding all processed meats for now. Not even if they are "naturally" cured in case it is the nitrate causing the issue.

    I am improved today, but clearly not back to normal yet.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Thanks, Rita Rose. I am avoiding all processed meats for now. Not even if they are "naturally" cured in case it is the nitrate causing the issue.

    I am improved today, but clearly not back to normal yet.
    We consume more nitrates in our saliva daily than we do from a truck-load of Oscar Meyer weiners. (Maybe not literally, but here's a source basically talking about nitrates in meat products: Junkfood Science: Does banning hotdogs and bacon make sense?)
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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