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High Fat Paleo and pounding heart

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Updated about 4 hours ago
Created May 07, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Every time I try Paleo, I always have the same problem. I eat healthy fats, but eating the fat makes my heart pound and I mean pound. Like to the point where that's all you can focus on. This problem has happened for years, which is why I can't stay on Paleo. So when I see somebody eat a grass fed burger on Almond butter bread with avocado piled on top, I'm like that looks Delicious and if I ate that I would be full...but I would have so much trouble of just not feeling well. Has anybody else had that issue? I really want to eat that way, but I just can't. I've been to doctors, and nobody can tell me why my heart pounds from eating a lot of fat.

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1197 · May 10, 2014 at 3:26 AM

Okay THAT sounds yummy! Whew! I was worried for a second...

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95 · May 10, 2014 at 2:28 AM

Think of things with sweet potatoes, rutabagas, white rice and fruit for your carbs. Recipes don't have to be complicated.

Here is a very easy one from my own recipes: Paleo Oysters and Rice. It has about 60gms of carbs in a bit more than a cup serving.

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26182 · May 10, 2014 at 2:10 AM

co-relate?

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455 · May 10, 2014 at 1:28 AM

As others have commented, hydration has little to do with water intake. As my internist likes to say - if you want to ensure hydration, drink a can of tomato soup. The electrolytes (mainly sodium and potassium) are far more important for hydration status. Excessive water intake can actually significantly lower electrolyte levels.

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1005 · May 09, 2014 at 4:46 AM

Lol, just an average breakfast, heavy on protein that day. Today was spiralized zucchini with bok choy, yellow+red+green peppers, broccoli, and wild salmon with some kelp konbu cha tea and pickled radish / cucumber / carrots, a salad with sliced strawberries and romaine lettuce with spinach with squeezed lemon + orange, and a glass of green tea. I was more or less describing a breakfast that would include potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iodine, and selenium. I do 2 meals a day, generally 15hrs between dinner and breakfast and 8hrs between breakfast and dinner.

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15 · May 08, 2014 at 11:22 PM

I agree the issue here is carb levels not fat. Low carbs is triggering a metabolic change that looks to the body like starvation. Some people are geared to make that switch and others - like me - go through complete hell when challenged to switch.

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15 · May 08, 2014 at 11:18 PM

When you dehydrate, the body is shedding sodium along with water. Then the body tries to keep potassium and sodium in balance by shedding intracellular potassium. Then the doors come off and you get the most serious side effects like heart palpitations, etc.

Because the original poster complains about this problem *after* going low carb Paleo, and because the symptom reliably repeats every time the diet is started, I have to believe that this is all the diuretic effect of the diet.

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1197 · May 08, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Sorry but that breakfast sounds gross - and I love fats. Is that supposed to woo people to the side of HFLC? Cuz yuk! It takes all kinds, I guess!

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4393 · May 08, 2014 at 9:58 PM

the vagus nerve

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0 · May 08, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Have you ever been tested for GERD (reflux disease)? High fat content and carbs sets mine off - there's a nerve that runs directly from your stomach and esophagus, which lies behind your heart (or near it). gerd makes this nerve agitated and highly sensitive. I feel my heartbeat all the time, and much harder than usual, when on a gerd bout.

Read some indigestion/health boards on fluttering/pounding heart. It will explain in better detail.

That said, I would tell your physician and get a cholesterol test just in case. It can't hurt.

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Not everyone reacts the same way. I get that anxiety thing if I IF for more than 18 hours. I'm fine if I eat VLC, even under 50g, but clearly some folks aren't fine.

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1005 · May 08, 2014 at 8:06 AM

On the other hand, ketosis shouldn't give you a pounding heart. I've had 30-40g today, and I'm at a soft 52bpm.

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Not true, if you overeat fat, you'll get stretorhhea. The problem, rather, is undereating carbs, not overeating fats.

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Not all people, some people.

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15 · May 10, 2014 at 1:49 AM

Two thumbs up to Kevin 38's reply to mvenini1

Listen carefully mevenini11: drinking too much water CAUSES low sodium. So if low carbs cause low sodium, and you think you are fixing things by drinking lots of water, in reality you are making the low sodium even worse.

Here is how bad this can get. I had some issue - to be determined - that was causing enormous thirst and sense of dehydration after exercise. I drank a whole liter of water every hour. This dilutes your sodium levels, and at the time mine were already low. Because the body values sodium levels MORE than it values hydration, all of this water would get urinated out quickly, which left me dehydrated. I drank water every hour all night long and could never satisfy my hydration! What I should have done is gone to an emergency room and that would have made clear my sodium was low and helped me to understand that drinking too much water was making it worse. I had a miserable month in low electrolyte hell because I failed to understand these issues.

With all due respect, your posts show that you do not understand the dynamics of hydration or electrolytes well enough to fix an electrolyte problem, if you have one.

What I would suggest is that you go buy Volek and Phinneys "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" and turn to page 150 and read about the research on electrolytes on low carb. They recommend five grams of sodium per day (about 2.5 teaspoons of celtic sea salt) and I found that to be too high for myself.

Currently I am taking a very very low amount of sodium and potassium in all of my drinking water, around 1/16 teaspoon of celtic sea salt along with a little less of potassium chloride, in 12 to 16 ounces of water. I am coming in at a little under 2.5 grams of sodium per day, and by keeping the electrolytes at a very low level in the drinking water, I automatically adjust the total day's dose for days when I need to drink a lot of fluid.

I'm not recommending any specific dose to you. You have to learn what works for your body. Too much sodium is just as dangerous as too little sodium!!

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0 · May 09, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Thank you all for your comments I really appreicate them.

Definilty not dehydrated, drink ton a water each day.

The high carb Paleo sounds more my speed. I didn't know they had that. Do you know where to find recipes for higher carb Paleo? My searches bring up a ton of recipies with a ton of almond flour or something to that effect which makes it very high fat.

I do think some of you are right about perhaps it could be a lack of nutrients, because I've had this issue for years, and sometimes durign the year it will go away for a month and I'll feel fine. Then it will come back.

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95 · May 10, 2014 at 2:28 AM

Think of things with sweet potatoes, rutabagas, white rice and fruit for your carbs. Recipes don't have to be complicated.

Here is a very easy one from my own recipes: Paleo Oysters and Rice. It has about 60gms of carbs in a bit more than a cup serving.

D396b126240f584bc358e6e4fd84e9e3
455 · May 10, 2014 at 1:28 AM

As others have commented, hydration has little to do with water intake. As my internist likes to say - if you want to ensure hydration, drink a can of tomato soup. The electrolytes (mainly sodium and potassium) are far more important for hydration status. Excessive water intake can actually significantly lower electrolyte levels.

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95 · May 08, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Have you tried paleo with lower fat and higher carbs? So many people mistakenly believe a paleo diet is a high fat/low carb one. That is one version, another is as above. I feel more energetic, think more clearly, and have better workouts with lower fat (around 30gm/day), higher carb (150-200gm/day) paleo. Not too different than a vegetarian diet plus animal protein (minus the grains/legumes), big mounds of all kinds of cooked veggies and tubers with a little butter, walnut oil or olive oil, throughout the day, cup of bone broth and 1-3 fruits a day, plus about 3-4 oz. of lean meat, fish, shellfish or eggs with each meal (protein of 40-60gm/day), and a serving of liver and heart once a week. This too, is paleo eating.

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8100 · May 08, 2014 at 9:55 PM

My heart pounds like that when I'm dehydrated.

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15 · May 08, 2014 at 11:18 PM

When you dehydrate, the body is shedding sodium along with water. Then the body tries to keep potassium and sodium in balance by shedding intracellular potassium. Then the doors come off and you get the most serious side effects like heart palpitations, etc.

Because the original poster complains about this problem *after* going low carb Paleo, and because the symptom reliably repeats every time the diet is started, I have to believe that this is all the diuretic effect of the diet.

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 6:35 AM

I think the problem isn't eating too much fat, but rather, eating too little carbs. This signals cortisol, which in turn, signals gluconeogenesis. You should eat at least 50g of carbs, or better yet around 100-150g.

Also, how are you doing with salt? Are you restricting it? If you go VLC (very low carb), you absolutely should not restrict salt.

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1005 · May 08, 2014 at 8:06 AM

On the other hand, ketosis shouldn't give you a pounding heart. I've had 30-40g today, and I'm at a soft 52bpm.

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15 · May 08, 2014 at 6:00 AM

It would be really useful if the next time you develop the heart pounding to go get a basic metabolic panel that includes all electrolytes. LABCORP knows this as a CHEM8 "Basic Metabolic Panel". What you can do is ask your doctor to give you a filled out lab form, and explain to him you will go for the test when you develop the symptom.

My money says you have a low sodium, and low sodium in turn can cause your intracellular potassium to deplete. The potassium measured by the blood panel unfortunately only gets potassium outside the cell. In any case, it sounds like some kind of electrolyte problem.

I have some similar issue with electrolytes on low carb, and it is destroying me. It practically has me disabled, and supplementing sodium isn't addressing the issue. I'm trying to increase my carbs now in an attempt to get back to some kind of normality.

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0 · May 08, 2014 at 5:37 AM

Foods high in fat, if your overeat, etc., can cause these symptom of irregular heartbeat, racing, flutters, pounding, etc.

These may also be the symptoms of anxiety

Try to co-relate this with other following symptoms like:

1. Sweating

2. Have feeling like you have to force yourself to breath

3. Increased heart rate

4. chest pressure, or shooting pains in the chest

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26182 · May 10, 2014 at 2:10 AM

co-relate?

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Not true, if you overeat fat, you'll get stretorhhea. The problem, rather, is undereating carbs, not overeating fats.

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1005 · May 07, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Throw everything you eat for the week into cronometer.com and check the nutrients. Perhaps you're low on electrolytes resulting in palpitations. It's easy to be low on Calcium. Also easy to be low on Magnesium. If you're not eating much fruit / veg, it's easy to be low on Potassium. If you're not adding much salt, you're low on Sodium. If you're eating a calorie restricted diet, you might feel worse. If you're not drinking enough water, or too much water, this will feel worse. How's your thyroid intake of iodine / selenium?

It also depends on how much glucose you're getting and how well you're adapted to the diet. Are you getting enough glucose through carbs? Are you making it from protein through gluconeogenesis? Are you trying to make it right off the glycerol backbone on fat? (The last two might take weeks - months of daily consistent high fat dieting for metabolic adaptation.)

For breakfast, I did a 1/2lb of shrimp in coconut oil + evoo, with a few sheets of nori, a large grip of asparagus cooked in garlic + butter + scallions, and a large plate of grassfed gouda+aged grassfed cheddar over 1/2 a sliced up chicken breast + organic basil red sauce + a zucchini + a beefsteak tomato + spinach in evoo. Then I threw some vitamin D3 (in MCT oil) and a couple hundred mg of Mg chelated with glycine on top. A burger sounds kind of small to me.

I felt pretty bad my first few attempts at HFLC when I approached it at a caloric deficit without adequate electrolytes and without metabolic adaptation. Palpitations / weak muscles / anxiety.

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1197 · May 08, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Sorry but that breakfast sounds gross - and I love fats. Is that supposed to woo people to the side of HFLC? Cuz yuk! It takes all kinds, I guess!

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15 · May 07, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I don't know what the heart pounding is about, but high fat paleo isn't for everyone. So people do better on high carb paleo.

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17136 · May 08, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Not all people, some people.

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