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AndrewNYC

Allergic To All Grains -- What To Do For Carbs?

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Those of us who are on lowcarb diets for various reasons get our carbs from veggies, seeds and nuts. For those who don't have to worry about blood sugar issues, starchy vegetables are also sources of carbs-sweet potatoes, peas and probably others that I've forgotten.

Nut butters, nut meals/flours are sources of carbs. If you do a search on the internet you can find low-carb recipes that use flax and/or almond meal as the sole flour in baking. They may use sugar substitutes but you could use real sugar if it's not a problem for you. There are recipes for cakes, muffins and breads. Coconut flour is another one that can be used in baking.

http://www.elanaspantry.com/

http://www.comfybelly.com/2009/01/waffles.html#more

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It is a fallacy that we need carbs in order to exist. If the Inuit can live extremely healthy with virtually no carbs at all then I can't quite see what the issue is with it.

The foods that Missy'smom has mentioned are all good sources of simple carbs - it's the complex ones that usually cause the problems - the grains, starches and sugars.

All fruit and vegetables contain carbohydrate in some form - even green leafy vegetables. Whilst grains and starchy root vegetables are best avoided, the simple mono-saccharides in fruit and all other veg can much more easily be absorbed.

Damaged guts often lack the enzymes needed to convert the complex di and poly-saccharides and the undigested carbs provided lots of yummy food for yeasts and other rogue microbes.

I have always had issues with carbs which culminated in me becoming diabetic about 12 years ago, then when my digestion finally collapsed 18 months ago coming to the realisation that I am very gluten intolerant too.

Dropping the gluten helped some but cleaning up my diet and sticking to just good wholesome unprocessed food has made a big difference.

I now follow a low-carb, medium protein with plenty of good fats (coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil and fish oil) diet and am heaps better than I have been for years.

Instead of carb-burning, my body is now fat-burning (a much more efficient energy source) and I have more energy as a result.

Since becoming Diabetic I spent the last 12 years feeling sorry for myself. 'Why me'? Constantly feeling deprived. What has had the biggest impact on changing my mind-set is the realisation that actually this high-carb, high-sugar, high-additive, highly-processed 'Western' diet is actually damaging everyone to a greater or lesser degree.

Now I no longer feel sorry for myself - I feel sorry for everyone else who is enslaved in the food trap without being aware of it and are suffering as a consequence.

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For carbs I eat tree nuts, not too sweet fruits like berries, and non starchy veggies.

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I eat about 4 potatoes per day, in addition to green veggies and fruit, and some nuts. But I appear underweight and can't gain any weight. This is problematic because I am a young guy.

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Consider tracking your calories to see if you are getting enough. http://www.thedailyplate.com/

Fats like the ones AliB mentioned help as does plenty of protein. I have read that even thin diabetics on lowcarb diets can gain by getting sufficient amounts of protein at each meal. It has heped me. An avacado half has 6g carb and good fats and calories. Macadamia nuts are high calorie- a little pricey but a good bang for the buck in the calorie department. Maybe add another small meal to your day. That's one way I keep my calories up. If it's really a fight for you to keep weight on(and it is for some of us) then you may need to be really committed and consistant with any changes that you make if you want to see progress.

A Paleo diet might be of interest and another good resource.

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Carbs can contribute to weight gain in those with insulin issues. Paradoxically they can also contribute to weight loss in some with insulin issues. It all depends on whether you have too much insulin floating around, or too little.

Because protein does not spike the blood sugar like carbs do, it has a more gentle effect on blood sugar and gives the body time to catch up. Fats do not affect the blood sugar at all.

The low-fat ethic is probably one of the worst things that could have happened to us. Not only has it not brought about the desired weight loss that its proponents suggested it would, but the incidence of obesity and diabetes and other related health issues has reached epidemic proportions. On top of all that we now also have other diseases like Alzheimer's ( http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutri...ses-Alzheimer-s ) and Multiple Sclerosis, that appear to be linked to a lack of certain fatty acids in the body (the myelin sheath is comprised of 70% fat - all the search results suggested that a low-fat diet MAY - I like the lack of commitment here - benefit MS sufferers, but my analytical brain suggests that if the myelin sheath is 70% fat and is breaking down, that surely has to be far more suggestive of a shortage of fats - not just any fat, but possibly specific fats that those people are not getting enough of in their diets!).

We need fats. Not any of the highly damaging trans-fats, or hydrogenated fats, or even heated vegetable oils, but good, wholesome fats that have nourished and supported us for millennia. The brain consists of 60% fats, the myelin sheath on each neuron about 75%. Without enough proper fats in the diet our bodies can't function properly.

I keep coming back to the coconut oil but it is one of the very few valuable sources of MCTs. These fatty acids are present in human breast milk - in fact they are now recognised to be so valuable that baby formula contains coconut to provide those acids.

I don't know about you, but when I was born, none of that was known, or added to formula and not having been breastfed myself, I quite likely have been deficient in these FAs since birth - perhaps that is why my body is greedily absorbing it now. The only sources appear to be milk fat (partial) and oils from coconut and palm kernels. Of course milk is pasteurized and homogenised and had goodness knows what else done to it these days, so it is possible that the MCTs in milk fat doesn't benefit us - or that the damage that it does may cancel out any benefits.

Certainly the healing evidence I have seen in my own body from the coconut oil does suggest to me that the lack of MCTs in most people's diets may well be an as yet untapped clue to the breakdown and/or disturbance of at least some some of our body functions.

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That's interesting AliB. I had seen coconut oil mentioned alot but hadn't read up on it.

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It is worth reading up what you can on it - Bruce Fife's Coconut cures is extremely interesting.

Interestingly too, there is yet another headline splashed across the front page today 'Alzheimer's cured?' Scientists have identified 'the rogue gene' that marks Alzheimers. They believe that the disease is caused by inflammation and are desperately trying to create a drug that could help it. Sigh.

Genes can be switched on and off. Finding a 'rogue gene' gives them more credence to push the idea of yet another drug to 'fix' it. Isn't it amazing that with all these drug treatments there are they still haven't actually found any cures?

But then they don't want any cures - if they actually found any the drug industry would collapse.

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The foods that Missy'smom has mentioned are all good sources of simple carbs - it's the complex ones that usually cause the problems - the grains, starches and sugars.

All fruit and vegetables contain carbohydrate in some form - even green leafy vegetables. Whilst grains and starchy root vegetables are best avoided, the simple mono-saccharides in fruit and all other veg can much more easily be absorbed.

Damaged guts often lack the enzymes needed to convert the complex di and poly-saccharides and the undigested carbs provided lots of yummy food for yeasts and other rogue microbes.

I'm sorry, but I think a few things need to be set straight. Firstly, there are simple carbs, complex carbs, and even more complex fibers. Simple carbs are the sugars, and complex carbs are the starches (fiber is a very complex carb). The more complex the carb is, the less it can serve as fuel for microbes. Yeasts and such feed on sugars, not complex carbs. It is only after enzymes break a complex carb into a simple sugar that the yeast can feed on it. Complex carbs make poor food for yeast. Furthermore, not all sugars can be consumed by yeasts.

http://www2.niles-hs.k12.il.us/jacnau/IJAS...st_Fermentation

http://www.home-brew.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?...egory_Code=CARB

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrit...cles.asp?id=590

http://www.thedietchannel.com/Good-Carbs-V...r-Your-Diet.htm

http://www.carbs-information.com/complex-carbohydrates.htm

http://www.carbs-information.com/simple-carbohydrates.htm

http://www.carbs-information.com/sugars.htm

http://www.blog.myyeastinfectiondisaster.com/?p=28

I eat about 4 potatoes per day, in addition to green veggies and fruit, and some nuts. But I appear underweight and can't gain any weight. This is problematic because I am a young guy.

Well, simply ingesting more calories to "put on weight" usually isn't the proper way to go about obtaining a healthy weight. If your body lacks fat, then tailor your diet appropriately. However, both muscle and bone weigh more than fat, so if bone mass/density and/or muscle mass are what you are lacking, then select your foods accordingly. But, malabsorption is a likely culprit unless you're suffering from chronic diarrhea. And in that case I'd recommend examining your diet for hidden sources of gluten or other things to which you are intolerant. Otherwise, supplementation seems like a good idea, if your diet is adequate. Nutritional supplements are designed to be more effectively absorbed, because the nutrients aren't bound up in larger molecules which need to be broken down in the digestive tract.

Digestive enzymes and probiotics can also help a lot. They can help provide the means to break down foods in order to get at the nutrients. Just as with all supplements, make sure the ones you select are gluten-free, as well as free of anything else you need to avoid.

Another thing that can help is to eat more frequent, smaller meals. Thus gives your digestive system an easier time. Things like meat, nuts and dairy are generally more difficult to digest. Many of us have digestive systems which don't do well with specific things. It depends on where the intestines are damaged, and how severely. So just because a food is recognized as nutritious doesn't mean your body will be able to utilize it.

As your gut heals and absorption improves, your body should be able to better regulate its weight.

Anyway, when you say you "appear underweight", what do you mean exactly? How tall are you, and how much do you weigh? If your ribs are showing, then I'd agree. Keeping in mind that most Americans are overweight, please do not use the general population to decide how big your waist or thighs should be.

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Sorry Riceguy. I was looking at it from a biochemical point of view, being that mono-saccharides don't need to be converted and can be absorbed straight in to the blood stream whereas the di's (lactose and sugar) and poly's (grains and starches) have to be broken down.

Those of us that lack the appropriate enzymes can't digest them properly which means that they are hanging around in the gut fermenting. That makes sense because it is those foods that many of us seem to have problems with. I know that I always seem to cope much better with the monos than either of the other types. I know they usually provide fiber but I never consider that a carb.

I may be totally wrong on that but that is what I have always understood. I suppose my take on what is a simple and what is a complex carb has changed and probably doesn't agree with the 'normal' idea.

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Simple carbs are the sugars, and complex carbs are the starches (fiber is a very complex carb).

Starch turns into sugar very shortly after eating it. In fact, the process starts in your mouth as you chew, there's amylase in your saliva that turns starch to sugar. It continues on through the digestive tract. Essentially when you're eating starch, you're eating glucose. There's no requirement for starch in the human diet as we're able to create all the glucose the human body needs from protein. At any given time, the (healthy) human body has about the equivalent of 1 tsp of glucose in the blood supply for the tissues.

Fiber is just indigestible, at least by human digestion. So it doesn't turn into sugar.

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I agree with Riceguy about the weight issues, and IMO it seems like the whole atken's, low carb diets are for people to lose fat (I may be wrong.) If that is the case, than carbs don't seem like the right way to gain weight, especially not if you're a young guy. I'm a young guy and before all of my intestinal issues started I could eat a whole pizza as one meal and I never gained a pound, just had a fast metabolism.

I finally upped my weight (I'm 5'11", I went from 145 to 155+) by hitting the gym regularly and getting on a protein supplement. I would tailor my diet so I have good energy foods for before working out and good protein sources for post workout recovery.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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I've returned with some clarifications.

First, I am 5'8, and about 135 pounds. No muscle, but I would like to add some. However, I seem too weak to do so since I started my grain free diet. Relatedly, my cortisol levels have risen on this diet, and I am chronically tired now. Breaking my grain fast and eating rice alleviates these issues. Thus, the ultimate question is, what should I be eating more of so as to maintain normal cortisol and strength, assuming I'd rather avoid grain.

Now, I present my diet.

Breakfast

3 pasteured eggs

2-3 raw food bars

Banana/Orange

Lunch

Grass fed burger

Mushrooms

2 baked potatoes

banana/orange/peach

Dinner

Grass fed burger/salmon

mushrooms

broccoli, peas

2 baked potatoes

orange

Snacks

Almonds, Walnuts

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Hi Andrew.

You are not eating grains but you are having quite a lot of carbs which equates to several sugar hits during the day. The extreme fluctuation of your blood sugar is a very likely candidate for the fatigue and also the raise in your cortisol levels.

Your diet seems pretty good, the only thing that concerns me is the amount of potato. As a pure starch potato will trigger a huge spike in blood sugar. I don't know about the raw food bars as I don't know what is in them but if the carb count is on the packet that might give a clue. Anything over about 9-10gms carb will spike the sugar levels. One bar may not be too bad but two or three might trigger a spike.

Protein, fats, most veg (not starchy - that's most root vegetables) and some fruits are ok (apples and berries are lower carb).

Perhaps you could try scrambling your eggs with a good knob of butter and/or other oil. other candidates for breakfast is to have your eggs as an omelet with added veggies, ham, cheese, etc. Home-made turkey/beef/pork patties or burgers.

Personally I just start the day with an apple. Fruit is best eaten on its own. Most fruit takes about 30 minutes to digest, and bananas about 45 minutes. It is preferable too to eat them before a meal as they can then be digested before other food. If they are eaten afterwards, they can be left hanging around in the stomach whilst the other food is digesting and can end up fermenting and causing gas.

If I am still hungry an hour or two later and it still isn't time for lunch I will have another apple. Eaten that way rather than all at once, spaces out the sugar hit and makes it less likely to spike. Sometimes I have a carrot and apple smoothie instead.

I then have my eggs or other protein foods lunchtime rather than for breakfast.

There are lots of other veggies you can have instead of potato. Carrots, squash, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, kale, etc., etc. I love to stir fry a medley of different chopped or sliced veggies in some butter or coconut or olive oil. Fats and oils are very satiating. If you have enough good oils in your diet you won't get so hungry.

You don't have to be Diabetic to experience blood sugar issues, but certainly the Diabetes and Obesity epidemics are largely driven by the amount of carbs that people consume in the Western diet. Of course, the body functions start to become problematic long before it gets to that point.

Some people think that because they are thin they don't have insulin or blood sugar issues, but that is not necessarily the case. It is just that their bodies react to it differently. Diabetics can often lose weight or be unable to gain weight if the disease progresses without intervention.

I'm not saying for one minute that you are Diabetic, but that your body may not be able to process carbohydrates properly. The only way to get the blood sugar under control is to limit your carb intake, or at least space it out so that you don't get huge spikes.

People generally tend to start the day with a drink, usually with sugar, cereal, toast, then mid-morning coffee and a cake or bagel, sandwiches, rolls, etc., for lunch, mid-afternoon snacks, dinner with potato, pasta, rice, etc., and beer, crisps, chips, whatever in the evening. Add into that a mix of sweets or chocolate and lashings of sugar-laden drinks during the day and their blood-sugar is doing cartwheels all day long. No wonder they often slump after lunch with no energy.

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How about red lentils, beans, winter squash. If you have eliminated grain from your diet you need to replace it with something. How about good quality fat? Grass-fed beef, lamb or buffalo will have better quality fat than grain fed. Butter, full fat yogurt, eggs, chicken with the skin on...

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Agreed on the lentils, my naturopath says they're easy to digest because of how small they are. Have you tried non-grains like buckwheat and quinoa? They have more protein than rice and the like and are not members of the grass family (like rice, wheat and oats I think) so they may be non-allergenic for you.

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I eat red lentils often. They're great in stews. The point about those things which we call "grains", but really aren't grasses is interesting. I believe that how our bodies handle a given grain has something to do with the type of starches they contain, but just try and dig up info on the molecular structure of such starches LOL.

I often wonder just what exactly makes something a "grain", as opposed to a seed. According to the experts, buckwheat isn't actually a grain. So I wonder how many people who can't tolerate "true grains" could have buckwheat and other "pseudo-grains". Apparently, amaranth isn't a grain either.

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