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Do you know exactly what happens when you eat non-paleo food?

by (361)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:17 PM
Created December 22, 2010 at 8:27 PM

I have been experimenting a little bit. I used to have two issues (among others) earlier when I was non-paleo. I used to wake up many times during the night and would feel extremely drowsy during the day. And I would also experience shortness of breath sometimes. After going paleo, these two problems slowly disappeared, with the exception that nowadays I seem to wake up few times in the morning around 6am. Once, I accidentally introduced gluten and the same night I woke up many times. I tried this once again (controlled cheating!) few days back with the same stuff happening again. So here's my list.

  • Gluten: Waking up during the night! (though no immediate digestion problems)
  • Diary: Shortness of breath! (nowadays I am trying to be paleo+lacto because I keep failing short of calories, but whenever I drink milk or eat yogurt I experience this immediately).
  • Rice: Stomach pain due to constipation! (this one's recent and is scaring me).

Note: Sometime back I had to eat rice when my friends had come and was traveling a bit, and slowly I started to get stomach pains. I then cut back all kinds of meat etc, and then started eating rice+yogurt+banana as bland foods. The pain kept going on for 10 days. I finally went to a doc and he told me this point: what happens when rice/bread is put in water? - it absorbs it! That was the reason for my stomach pains! Without realizing it himself, he told me to avoid all the non-paleo food items and he told me I could eat meat/fruits/veggies etc - basically the paleo template. Immediately I went home and prepared some ground beef and ate it even though my stomach was paining - the pain stopped that day!

I think the lesson is to know what exactly happens to your body when you eat food. Share your experiences so others might be able to keep an eye of whats going on with the food and their body!

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601 · May 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM

I don't think anyone has said that carbs are non-paleo. They're a type of macronutrient, not a type of food.

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601 · May 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Being aware of how you react to certain foods is...being aware of how you react to certain foods. Orthorexia is much, much more.

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681 · May 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Ivan, I don't think rice can absorb any more water after it's cooked in water. I think it's pretty much saturated.

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6107 · May 17, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I have issues with the use of the term orthorexia. I know some people are obsessed to a debilitating level. But people often use the term to "diseaseify" anyone who pays more than passing attention to quality and health of their food. There are plenty of people who would apply the term to most paleo people. Meanwhile, society increasingly normalizes being completely ignorant and unconcerned about food quality and health to the point that one eats a SAD and gets hugely obese and sick. I guess obesity is a "disease," but why not the process by which a person got there? Obesorexia, maybe?

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1492 · May 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM

me neither, but i don't eat gluten 'cause of the long-term effects.

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1492 · May 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

@Kasra. No. THIS is the definition of orthorexia: Orthorexia nervosa: A term designating a disorder in which there is an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating, an extreme dedication to extreme diets that can starve the body of basic nutrition. The emphasis (or overemphasis) is on the quality, not the quantity, of food in the diet. Orthorexia nervosa is not yet recognized (as of March, 2002) as an accepted medical entity.

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6087 · May 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM

^ The question .

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6107 · May 17, 2012 at 9:38 PM

@Kasra: which--the question itself, or the comment from ben61820?

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6087 · May 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM

This is the definition of orthorexia.

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361 · December 23, 2010 at 7:44 PM

I am looking at 1000 or 2000 calories more than what I eat, so eating fat just won't solve it. I already eat 80/20 ground beef, use coconut oil etc.

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15966 · December 23, 2010 at 2:53 PM

as an aside, i would say that if you are thoroughly fat-adapted (from eating low starch for a long time and being active) and then you eat a bunch of carbohydrates you will definitely feel two things: 1. something like a sugar high 2. a bit of bloated feeling in the stomach I know that paleo is not lowcarb but just seeing as many on these boards may dabble in lowercarbohydrate eating i'd put it out there. I float in the 10-50 gram/day range almost all the time and do heavy strength training 3xweek.

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15966 · December 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

i dont have acute serious problems after eating gluten, either. I feel it is indeed something that is better avoided by one and all, and we keep it out of the house, but when i do eat something that has some gluten in it ive never experienced anything acute. i just avoid it due to the fact that if it harms so many people so thoroughly it may be better to avoid it. and most things that contain gluten are overly processed, crappy empty carbohydrates or fakefood anyway.

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18691 · December 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I don't seem to react to gluten at all either, other than a mild "sugar high" which isn't bad, actually kind of fun.

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361 · December 23, 2010 at 2:45 AM

good luck finding out the allergens..

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10 · December 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM

thats not an answer and would make a good comment for the question.

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1103 · December 22, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Simpsons reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61kHpmenkT8

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1276 · December 23, 2010 at 6:07 PM

Sugar in excess: I feel the high, and then the crash, and it's not pretty. Somewhat like a hangover without the fun.

Whole milk or lower: cystic acne!!!

Gluten: loose black stools for an entire week; knee swells so much that I limp. Achey all over, prone to headaches that turn into migraines.

Corn cheats: retain water, get mad carb cravings for days afterward. Too much (as in shamelessly binging on gluten-free chex mix at Thanksgiving) and I get gluten-like symptoms for a day or two.

Any of these can also mess up my sleep, depending on the dose.

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145 · December 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM

I have been able to identify the following reactions after I have done repeated testing several times:

Gluten: Waking up at 3 am and unable to fall a sleep again for a couple of hours.

Lots of candy on empty stomach: Inflamed acne and sometimes stye on the eye lid.

Not sure about dairy reactions as I just recently eliminated it.

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2052 · December 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Admittedly, I'm kind of jealous everyone reacts to strongly to gluten, I got nada :P

FRUIT on the other hand... We don't seem to be able to make nice, pretty much everything people seem to experience with gluten I get with fruit. Headaches, cramps, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, cravings, hunger, heart pacing, annoying caffeine like energy followed by exhaustion with the inability to actually fall asleep, acne, gas, bloating... And then this really weird thing where I can "feel" my veins after I've eaten it, and it's sort of painful in an annoying way. Very difficult to describe to doctors without them thinking you've gone mad. "MY VEINS HURT ON THE INSIIIDE!!!"

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1492 · May 17, 2012 at 10:13 PM

me neither, but i don't eat gluten 'cause of the long-term effects.

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15966 · December 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

i dont have acute serious problems after eating gluten, either. I feel it is indeed something that is better avoided by one and all, and we keep it out of the house, but when i do eat something that has some gluten in it ive never experienced anything acute. i just avoid it due to the fact that if it harms so many people so thoroughly it may be better to avoid it. and most things that contain gluten are overly processed, crappy empty carbohydrates or fakefood anyway.

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18691 · December 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I don't seem to react to gluten at all either, other than a mild "sugar high" which isn't bad, actually kind of fun.

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253 · December 23, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I only just started treating myself to non-paleo things after a 30 day challenge.

Creme brulee (cream, sugar) - Fine! Minor indigestion problems.

Nachos with cheese (cheese, non-GMO blue corn) - Hungry, cravings for more carby things, messed up hunger cues.

Eggnog (cream, whole milk, bourbon) - Oh my god what have I done to myself? I think milk is significantly worse for me than cream is. My skin is all oily and I'm broken out and I'm having trouble sleeping.

I think this'll finally convince me that dairy should stay out of my diet no matter how delicious it is. Of course, it could be chance, time of month, interaction of all those foods, stress. I'm not so interested in re-testing these assumptions, as it were, if I can just do without. I don't want to know how gluten would affect me -- I don't plan on reintroducing it to see.

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170 · December 23, 2010 at 7:33 AM

i'm new to trying paleo...but i've spent years figuring out why i was always getting sinus infections and was generally puffy/unhealthy. i have similar reactions as you do. turns out i'm allergic to gluten, allergic to casein (the protein in any dairy product), and also have an allergic reaction to rice. i get terrible stomach aches when i eat rice. it all was explained to me when i recently read the book "dangerous grains." turns out, rice has a component (or a protein?) in it that is similar to gluten and affects those with a gluten allergy negatively.

i now know that eating gluten gives me digestion problems and makes me tired, grumpy, and itchy. having casein does everything from making me very itchy to making me so stuffy i sound like i have a head cold. i stopped drinking milk daily 4 years ago...and haven't had a sinus infection since! if i eat gluten and/or casein 3 days in a row, i end up getting a cold or pick up whatever illness is going around at work (haven't done 3 days in a row since i figured that out!).

the rice thing makes sense if you are also allergic to gluten. and many people who are allergic to gluten are also allergic to dairy - because the milk proteins have made their way through the permeable intestine lining to our bloodstream and our bodies react as if they are invaders each time we have any. hope this helps. :)

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1103 · December 22, 2010 at 9:35 PM

Gluten: bloat, gas, constipation, pain = miserable. Sometimes I also get an ichy back of the throat/roof of the mouth feeling and/or shortness of breath/tight chest feeling.

sugar: can actually feel the "high". I once told my husband that I felt like Bart and Milhouse after they've drank the all syrup super squishy (for those Simpson fans out there). But I also feel the crash, which causes headaches and general grouchyness/short fuse/mood swing.

Dairy not so bad, I feel nothing as long as its nonpasturized/aged or goat milk. "regular" diary products I get the flem-y feeling in the back of my throat, sometimes a cough, and gas.

also, after having any or all of these, the next day I feel generally tired, worn down, and sometimes ill or sick feeling.

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1103 · December 22, 2010 at 9:40 PM

Simpsons reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61kHpmenkT8

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830 · December 22, 2010 at 8:43 PM

If you're falling short on calories when following the paleo diet, eat more fat rather than dairy.

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361 · December 23, 2010 at 7:44 PM

I am looking at 1000 or 2000 calories more than what I eat, so eating fat just won't solve it. I already eat 80/20 ground beef, use coconut oil etc.

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10 · December 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM

thats not an answer and would make a good comment for the question.

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80 · May 17, 2012 at 10:18 PM

that's not an answer, just a comment. I think that Paleo really cleans our body and makes us work fine. Better. But...

do we really need to believe that non.paleo food, carbs in particular, are the devil to avoid them? Will we feel confortable (with our brain!) to believe that carbs ruined all the good chances in our life and no carbs is the rescue?

People outthere won't die because of carbs, people will die because of EXCESSIVE carbs, and a LOT of other issues.

Having said that, I feel fab on low carbs, but I don't need to believe that EVERY health disfunction is because of carbs. And yep, i crave sugars madly often, I sit and recite all the carbs-relates pests, sometimes the strategy fails no matter what.

Having say that, "what you believe...comes true". Thereby, everything you wrote about carbs,dairy and rice is maybe true, for you. the important is that it works!

we don't have to forget that it's all interesting, but it's only food...

For more Paleo Diet hacks: Do you know exactly what happens when you eat non-paleo food? - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/16928/do-you-know-exactly-what-happens-when-you-eat-non-paleo-food#ixzz1vATc2EbL

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601 · May 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM

I don't think anyone has said that carbs are non-paleo. They're a type of macronutrient, not a type of food.

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80 · May 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM

that's not an answer, just a comment. I think that Paleo really clean our body and make us work fine. Better. But...

do we really need to believe that non.paleo food, carbs in particular, are the devil to avoid them? Will we feel confortable (with our brain!) to believe that carbs ruined all the good chances in our life and no carbs is the rescue?

People outthere won't die because of carbs, people will die because of EXCESSIVE carbs, and a LOT of other issues.

Having said that, I feel fab on low carbs, but I don't need to believe that EVERY health disfunction is because of carbs. And yep, i crave sugars madly often, I sit and recite all the carbs-relates pests, sometimes the strategy fails no matter what.

Having say that, "what you believe...comes true". Thereby, everything you wrote about carbs,dairy and rice is maybe true, for you. the important is that it works! anyway we don't have to forget that it's all interesting, but it's only food...

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1492 · May 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I actually have no immediately noticeable symptoms after eating any one food item or category--maybe other than feeling a slight "yuckiness" after dairy/grains or feeling overly stuffed only to get hungry again hours later. Those things were probably always there but I never noticed them until I went paleo.

Even so, after cutting out grains, dairy, and legumes and adding in fats, I began, slowly but surely, to look and feel better. I feel a steady level of energy throughout the day, I feel real hunger and real fullness, I wasn't overweight but I lost (and am still losing) bodyfat anyway, my asthma and allergies have all but evaporated. I am also better able to manage major depressive disorder, which is literally life-saving.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I notice more effects when I don't eat things like dairy and grains, rather than when I do, if that makes sense.

While I can eat whatever is in front of me without feeling it afterwards, I choose not to for the long-term effects it is having on my health. I think my body is still healing itself even a year and half after going paleo. I continue to notice improvements, particularly with my depression. I haven't plateaued yet and it's very exciting. :)

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925 · May 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I am finding this thread interesting because in trying to find out the reason for my husband's intestinal disorder he has cut out gluten (about a month now). He also used to wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours. Wonder if that was what was causing it. He's been out of the country for about a month so I will ask him if he is sleeping better next time we Skype.

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0 · May 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

After avoiding grains, legumes, dairy and nightshades for a year, I re-added them to my diet cautiously. My reaction was:

Gluten, corn, rice, grains = "Twisting" my ankles frequently (once/twice a day). This begins the day after eating the grains. Perhaps the grains cause gluten ataxia or maybe they worsen my coordination. I also experience drooling (it will occur twice a day). I can't feel saliva pool at the front of my mouth and the muscles around my lips seem to weaken (especially the bottom lip). Other symptoms: Depression and I become more emotional and grouchy. Inflammation also increases in my acne.

When I avoid these foods I'm 100% fine.

I have similar reactions when I eat casein, nightshades and legumes. I have tested my reactions for over a year now and they are always the same. I believe I'm intolerant.

My knees used to stay swollen for 1-2 weeks 4 times a year (starting at age 12). Now they are always fine. Joint pain in hips returns with casein and nightshades. I have also been an easy bruiser and frequently had small and large bruises all over my legs without cause. This went away on this elimination diet. After reintroducing nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, etc), these bruises reappeared on my legs within a week and with a vengeance.

NOTE: If you feel better off grains/legumes/casein/nightshades, you most likely have family members (siblings, mom/dad, etc) who will also benefit from avoiding the same food intolerances.

And consider putting your pets on grain-free pet food -- now available at pet stores and health food stores! A grain-free, legume-free diet has stopped seizures, skin conditions and mood disoorders in cats and dogs. Check out www.DogtorJ.com 's website for more info about pets and grain intolerance.

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911 · December 23, 2010 at 10:01 AM

The three horsemen...

Gluten: noticed some headaches and cramping, possibly other symptoms, but eaten small amounts without much effect. Oddly enough I avoid this most stringently, despite only slight reaction to it.

Fructose: I usually feel pretty sick, especially if I am coming off of fasting or high-fat eating. Exacerbates hunger. Compromised immune system.

Omega-6s: my exercise-induced asthma appears to be correlated with my linoleic acid intake, AFAICT. The true test of this hypothesis is to down a shot of safflower oil and start running laps... but I am honestly afraid of trying that. Allergies might also be correlated to this, but I am not entirely sure yet.

Also of value are the things lacto-paleo alone has not fixed: my circadian rhythm problems (diagnosed delayed sleep phase syndrome), optimal gut health is still not established...

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2427 · December 23, 2010 at 7:16 AM

I'm too scared to try and find out.

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15229 · December 23, 2010 at 2:20 AM

ive only been paleo for a couple of months now, though i had been slowly moving towards it for a while. ive never eliminated dairy, except when i was vegan, so i dont really know, but one thing ive noticed this holiday season when my diet has not been great is a terrible carb-flu about 24 hours after eating (not sure which has been worse) a lot of grain/gluten/sugar. ONE of those things (or maybe a combination) causes me intolerable headaches and a terrible stuffy nose and sinus congestion. there are also significant muscle aches and fatigue. it literally feels like im coming down with a really bad head cold or flu. i cant believe it took me so long to put two and two together, and as you can tell, im still trying to figure out exactly what causes what, but the symptoms are dramatic, and like clockwork.

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361 · December 23, 2010 at 2:45 AM

good luck finding out the allergens..

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