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Are there any low-glycemic, low-fiber, low-fructose carbohydrate sources?

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Updated about 6 hours ago
Created April 30, 2014 at 9:02 PM

I'm currently trying to heal my gut issues, including SIBO, dysbiosis, gut inflammation and slow-transit constipation. I am following an SCD/GAPS diet, but I can't find any carbohydrate sources that I tolerate.

Fiber makes my symptoms much worse, so I can't use sprouted lentils or GAPS-approved beans.

Fructose causes problems in high amounts, so fruit isn't a very good carb source.

Glucose powder and white rice make me feel much worse after, because they cause an insulin spike and blood sugar crash.

A ketogenic diet with no carbs or fiber makes me temporarily feel much better, but then it begins to exacerbate my adrenal and thyroid symptoms after around a week.

I need to keep my carb consumption at around 100-150g/day, because low-carb makes my adrenal and thyroid problems worse. Currently, I'm getting most of my carbs from butternut squash, blueberries, and sprouted lentils, but I want to find another source because the lentils have too much fiber.

I realize that this may be impossible, because low-glycemic carb sources generally are high-fiber, high-fructose, or highly fermentable. Does anyone have a solution for this problem?

Thanks.

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2318 · July 29, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Not an answer, but I have a question: what are the symptoms of your adrenal and thyroid problems? I'm just curious to compare it to my own symptoms. Thanks :)

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40 · July 29, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I've heard that eating starches/carbs with vinegar or vinegar foods like fermented veggies is better at lowering the GI than fat.

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10194 · July 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Fermentation generally reduces GI. What about yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles?

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10194 · July 29, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Glycemic response is deadened by mixing low glycemic foods.

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10194 · July 29, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Raw edible starchy foods...celery root or kohlrabi for instance...

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15 · July 29, 2014 at 5:07 AM

oh and celeriac and artichokes as well.

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0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Unfortunately, these are considered highly-fermentable starches on SCD/GAPS, so they would likely feed the SIBO. Thanks for the idea though.

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0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:21 AM

Is there any particular reason why you mention garlic and onions? Do you think they have a particular utility in fighting SIBO? Currently, I've been avoiding them because of FODMAP content.

Plantains are also not allowed on SCD/GAPS, but I'll consider trying them if they could speed up bowel transit time.

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0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:20 AM

Thanks for the advice. When I eat white rice or dextrose, I always mix it with fat because I read in the Perfect Health Diet that it lowers the GI. However, I always become very hungry and crave carbs after eating high-GI carbs, even though they're mixed with fats. This doesn't happen when I eat brown rice or lentils, but these have too much fiber.

Do you have reason to believe that parsnips are less fermentable than sweet potatoes? Squash is allowed on the GAPS Diet, while sweet potatoes and parsnips are both not allowed.

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0 · April 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Thanks so much for your reply. I've read Practical Paleo, and I agree that it's extremely well-organized and informative.

If I hadn't read that sweet potatoes are highly fermentable, I would use them as a main carb source in my diet. Have you found that they don't feed bacterial overgrowth in your case?

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6 Answers

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3979 · July 29, 2014 at 4:21 AM

Have you tried the starchy tuber Yucca? It's like the most benign carb source I've ever found. Speaking of tubers, I bet parsnip is a pretty mellow carb source, too.

I'll also echo others here saying that if you mix carbs with fat and probably protein, it shouldn't spike your insulin so much.

Medium avatar
10194 · July 29, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Glycemic response is deadened by mixing low glycemic foods.

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15 · July 29, 2014 at 3:21 AM

Hello I really get this. I am trying to do autoimmune paleo with a side order of low fodmap and fructose intolerance.

For vegetables, zucchini is a great staple for me. But I scrape out the seed part in the middle, and make sure I cook them with plenty of fat. Chard and spinach and leafy green herbs are great. Carrots are ok in small quantities, raw not cooked. Butternut squash occasionally, especially if riced in the food processor and stirfried with a little bit of ground cinnamon and lot of fat to slow the carb absorption. Cucumbers are good as well, especially if dressed with shredded fresh mint leaves and olive oil, skin and seeds removed.

Sometimes I am relaxed about nightshades (i.e. on holiday) so will allow myself the odd portion of chargrilled peppers (skins removed) or a few oven roasted cherry tomatoes.

On really sunny days, just occassionally I get away with a little low fructose fruit- melon, papaya, pineapple, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, grapefruit, watermelon. I think the enzymes in the pineapple and papaya help. By a little fruit I mean no more than 50g by weight in fruit, and no more than 3g fructose in the portion. And never two days in a row and never more than twice a week. And it's got to be really sunny and I have to have been in the sun for a good bit. I think some of the switches that fructose flicks are unflicked by sun exposure- basically that europeans have access to fruit only in autumn, so a lot of fructose tells your body to start storing fat. A lot of sun is a big message in the opposite direction.

For treats I use european chestnuts and chestnut flour very sparingly. Tigernuts are almost all glucose hardly any fructose, and although they are high in fibre, but a little bit of homemade unsweetened horchata can be a great sweetener in small amounts. You basically soak and process then, then put them through a nut mylk bag and you have removed the fibre. It would cause a spike if you drank a bit glass of it, but a few spoons as a sweetener in something should be ok.

Plus this is a great resource. http://www.fineli.fi/?lang=en. It's a database that can tell you fructose content and insoluable fibre content in various foods. I've found I can tolerate a little bit of fibre if it's soluble. Insoluable fibre is like eating barbed wire, scours out my insides whilst causing awful bloating.

Good luck.

Medium avatar
10194 · July 29, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Raw edible starchy foods...celery root or kohlrabi for instance...

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15 · July 29, 2014 at 5:07 AM

oh and celeriac and artichokes as well.

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0 · May 01, 2014 at 7:34 AM

I have the same problems. I started strict paleo in January and found my thyroid 'tanked' if I didn't eat some type of carb every 2 hours (I ate butternut squash and sweet potato for this). After further reading I moved to a diet that is the intersection of autoimmune paleo/SDC/low FODMAP. This resulted in me eating mainly meat, pureed carrots, coconut fat and homemade fruit jelly. I introduced the low FODMAP veggies and then butternut squash and apple puree fairly soon after that. I was on this for a couple of months and have now started reintroducing other foods, and have quite a healthy list (as well as a list of those I know I don't tolerate at the moment). Meanwhile I have found that I don't crash so much without carbs, and am able to function on meals with fewer carbs, and not have to eat between meals - so something's changed. Oh and my gut function is much improved too.

Maybe you need to strip your diet back to AIP/SCD/low FODMAP basics. Rice/lentils may be just too advanced for you right now. Take a look at scdlifestyle.com, and if you're up to it, start the intro diet and move on from there, at a slow enough pace to be aware of what is causing you problems.

People panic unnecessarily about a restricted diet. But just think about it - our ancestors would only have been eating what was locally available and in season. This probably also applies to our grandparents. It's only fairly recently that we've expected to have everything, from anywhere, year round.

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95 · May 01, 2014 at 2:08 AM

Can you tolerate any plant starches? Like arrowroot or tapioca starch? I have made a great butter cream frosting that you could try if you can tolerate something like it, (it has butter, coconut oil and sweetener of your tolerance). The more starch you mix in, the higher the carbs and the thicker the consistency.

(From testing finger sticks, I have experienced the high amount of butter and coconut oil in the frosting hold done the blood sugar spiking from the arrowroot starch for me).

4d2939fec2398793f778331640d42d41
0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Unfortunately, these are considered highly-fermentable starches on SCD/GAPS, so they would likely feed the SIBO. Thanks for the idea though.

Medium avatar
0
598 · April 30, 2014 at 9:57 PM

I've been through an extended low-fiber period too because it just made me feel better...

Eating white potatoes or white rice with lots of fat lowers the GI and blood sugar spikes by a lot. This is my top recommendation for pure starch/carb source with low fiber and low GI but the below is probably more healthy.

I recently discovered parsnips which are delicious and can be treated much like a sweet potato. Much less fiber per carb than a squash. Not sure how fermentable it is in comparison...

For some reason loads of cooked garlic and onions never gave me any trouble beyond some easily passed gas even when all leafy greens and fibrous veggies would leave me in pain. I fry a lot of rice in EVOO/butter with garlic and onions.

Plantains are pretty starchy and very low fiber. They never bothered me much and were great for regularity. I eat them ripe ... more sugar but seems easier to digest and faster bowel transit.

4d2939fec2398793f778331640d42d41
0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:21 AM

Is there any particular reason why you mention garlic and onions? Do you think they have a particular utility in fighting SIBO? Currently, I've been avoiding them because of FODMAP content.

Plantains are also not allowed on SCD/GAPS, but I'll consider trying them if they could speed up bowel transit time.

4d2939fec2398793f778331640d42d41
0 · May 01, 2014 at 2:20 AM

Thanks for the advice. When I eat white rice or dextrose, I always mix it with fat because I read in the Perfect Health Diet that it lowers the GI. However, I always become very hungry and crave carbs after eating high-GI carbs, even though they're mixed with fats. This doesn't happen when I eat brown rice or lentils, but these have too much fiber.

Do you have reason to believe that parsnips are less fermentable than sweet potatoes? Squash is allowed on the GAPS Diet, while sweet potatoes and parsnips are both not allowed.

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15 · April 30, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Hey. I totally feel for you. I am healing my gut as well, it's hard. The only carbs I currently eat is bananas and sweet potatoes and squash, as well as blueberries. I did a lot of online research, and heard people saying how awesome the book called Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfillipo. I am soooooo thankful for this book. It goes into explaining and giving a 30 day specific Paleo eating plan for the following: digestive health, autoimmune disease, blood sugar regulation, thyroid health, cancer recovery, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's,fat loss, athletic performers and more. I bought it off of Amazon, and started reading, it has been very helpful for me. I hope you can find the answers you need, either in this book, or if you find a different one you like better. It really is amazing. I'm sending you a hug, don't get discouraged, you can do this! I know how hard it is, and how discouraging it can be, hang in there.

4d2939fec2398793f778331640d42d41
0 · April 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Thanks so much for your reply. I've read Practical Paleo, and I agree that it's extremely well-organized and informative.

If I hadn't read that sweet potatoes are highly fermentable, I would use them as a main carb source in my diet. Have you found that they don't feed bacterial overgrowth in your case?

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