GI Issues while going Primal
I followed a primal diet for a few months and over time I became chronically constipated having a bowel movement once every three days. I tried upping the fat and that would help for a while but eventually I would plateau and fall back into bad bowel habits. Ever since adding grains like quinoa and brown rice, I've been having a bowel movement just about everyday. My theory is that fiber really is essential and I wasn't getting enough when I was primal but adding in the grains worked like a charm.
Let me know your thoughts!
If you want to avoid grains, but still get the fiber, you might try psyllium husk powder. That works for me. Actually, I've just tried an experiment in returning to my bran crackers (just 3g carbs), which I used to eat with my tuna salad daily, and they kept me regular. I know that grains are heresy on primal, but if I can eat just a few of them and stay regular, I might use them.
Eat more vegetables. And more fat.
it would be hard to not get enough fiber while following the PB. After all, it's a produce dominated diet, not a meat dominated diet:
Originally Posted by fidelity
Primal Blueprint and Produce
Here's what The Primal Blueprint says about produce:
"The gathering of berries and other fruit, leafy greens, primitive roots, shoots and other vegetation, nuts and seeds provide the bulk of Grok's food supply."
"'it may take some acclimation to center your diet around vegetables....Dont follow the example of restaurants that serve skimpy vegetable portions seemingly just for decoration; serve yourself heaping portions that crowd everything else on your plate"
"Plant foods..naturally promote a beneficial balance between acidity and alkalinity..inyour bloodstream. Almost all cells prefer a slightly alkaline environment to function properly, but many metabolic processes, including the normal production of cellular energy, result in the release of acidic waste products. The buildup of acidic waste is toxic to your body so it works very hard at all times to preserve a slightly alkaline environment, measured by the familiar pH levels."
see food pyramid: the base is produce indicating that in terms of volume, this is a produce dominated
diet. His food pyramid is a clear supportive visual to both his writing, and the evidence available
regarding a primal diet (diet in our environment of evolutionary adaptation). Volume-wise, we're
eating mostly produce, though in terms of a percentage of calories, we are getting more calories from
protein and many more from saturated fat even when we don't add much, if any, free fat.
In this blogpost regarding inflammation and gut health, Mark said:
"I mentioned Dr. Art Ayer’s Cooling Inflammation blog last week, and I’m
to do so again. First, Art suggests adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. His dietary
recommendations are essentially identical to mine – high SFA, moderate animal
protein, low O-6, O-3 supplementation, leafy greens, some fruit and nuts."
❑ 3,500 mg potassium (K) is the "Daily Value" (DV) intake per the FDA, NIH,
ADA etc. Consdering that nutrient intakes from these organizations reflect
standard intakes, not optimal, consider viewing potassium needs through a
'primal' lens based on K intakes in traditional diets and what we know of diets
in environment closer to those in which we adapted.
❑ Potassium intakes in the above 'primal' diets - likely ranges
based on potassium to sodium ratio
5mg K:1mg Na to 16mg K: 1mg Na
based on potassium to calorie ratio
2-4mg K per calorie ingested
❑ 10-13 servings produce will often be required to supply potassium at
optimal or nearly optimal levels
❑ if needed to bring K:Na ratios or K:Kcal ratios into balance, tomato products
at each meal or by drinking homemade veggie peeling broths are easy, low
calorie, high potassium supplements. adding 99mg from a potassium tab
is essentially worthless when total potassium needs are 3,500-12,000 mg.
Think of magnesium and potassium as the relaxors and calcium and sodium as
the contractors. We need both - but it's all about ratio just like it is wrt Ω3 and Ω6.
Some pretty good points. I'd say I didn't go hard enough on the vegetables. Can't wait to get my PB cookbook and give it another good shot.
Originally Posted by cillakat
Just an update on my 'grain' experiment. Big mistake! I had just a few of my bran crackers yesterday, and this morning I woke up 3 lbs heavier with stiff joints--feeling terrible. I'm convinced it's the grains--i.e., big bloat. No more grains for me!
I'm going to try to veggie route because in order to focus on protein, I've only been having about 5 servings of veggies a day. I'm going to try increasing the veggies to see if that helps because I hate taking the psyllium for more fiber.
Fidelity - were you truly constipated or just not having bowel movements but otherwise feeling ok? Lack of bowel movements may just be a sign that you have nothing to pass because you are eating less garbage so you body spends less time getting rid of it all.
I had CONTINUAL digestive problems (to the point that I was beginning to fear something serious). Upping the fiber just made things worse and I'm now convinced that adding wheat bran is a bad idea. I've noticed significant improvement since I've become more strict about ditching wheat. I include quite a bit of coconut, quite a lot of nuts, especially Macadamias, and some fruit. (and veggies of course).
are you quite strict? I am suspicious about dairy and especially whole milk.
I used to be one of these high-fiber diet dudes.....even baked my own whole-grain breads. This made me accustom to a daily bowel movement. After going Primal, it did take some time (few months) for my body to adjust to going less often and in the beginning, I felt constipated. But after a while, things "normalized" and now things move along nicely, just less frequently. I do eat lots of lower-carb veggies, some berries & nuts and plenty of fats. I also add cream to my coffee when I am not fasting and enjoy some whole-fat yogurt for my dairy.
Hopefully things will get better. Stick with the diet and you will find the overall positives outweigh the negatives by a long shot.