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Would this be catastrophic health-wise?

by (2801)
Updated about 16 hours ago
Created November 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM

In addition to maintaining a relatively strict diet, I pretty much religiously adhere to a few basic rules, including the total elimination of wheat and glutinous grains. I'm ashamed to say, however, that I still possess a profound love for these foods, particularly in cereal form; not a day goes by when I don't crave a personal favorite - Fiber One, made mostly of wheat bran and riddled with artificial sweetener and other questionable additives. Oof.

How much damage would I be doing by having a box of this cereal at the end of every month, sort of as a 'reward' for otherwise avoiding wheat? I'd probably mix it with 4 cups of greek yogurt (another favorite). From a caloric standpoint it's extremely easy to fit in - only about 1400-1500 for the yogurt and cereal together - but at over 200g of insoluble fiber coming from wheat bran, I'm wondering if it would be a seriously risky endeavor.

Here's the thing; my priority is health. Now, I love paleo-approved/whole foods, but I'm an all-around foodie; I love it all! So it really sucks to cut out pop tarts, and cereal, and freshly-baked muffins. I don't see myself never eating these items again. So instead of making this post about addressing the underlying psychological addiction/attachment, I'd prefer to just focus on the straight-up health consequences of doing the box-of-Fiber-One-fiasco.

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10 · December 11, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Totally agree. I've found that since going strict paleo that on the occasion I have decided to cheat, whatever it is just doesn't even taste the way it used to! I've also found with some subs that they are a disappointing letdown because they don't taste the way I think they should, even though they are a close approximation and much healthier.

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10 · December 11, 2011 at 8:03 AM

If you're going paleo, rice is still a grain...

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Eeeeuuuuw! Gross.

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I'm sure many of us would happily justify a fine ale over Fiber One. Probably snobbism....pick your poison.

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Aaaack! Does it have to be THE WHOLE BOX? Nooooo!

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18635 · November 19, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Hey beth...sounds like what I do, except I'd say Primal since I've not read PHD.

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1373 · November 18, 2011 at 11:40 PM

I like your nutrition therapist

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37187 · November 18, 2011 at 10:50 PM

You're my hero, Melissa! :-))

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I can't agree more. Over the last six years . Paleo- zone to "full" Paleo the cravings went from bothersome and detrimental to zero. Let me repeat. ZERO.Do yourself a favor (OP) and just keep tightening up the diet and you eventually avoid all the" Dietary Craving Thearter".

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3924 · November 18, 2011 at 10:22 PM

I like the smoker analogy . . .

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Like you Travis, I'm stunned. Reminds me of the millionaire athlete who told Jim Rome , he really enjoyed eating at a nice place, like Red Lobster.

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2178 · November 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Yeah, I'm not sure "foodie" and "pop tarts" belong in the same paragraph.

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56616 · November 18, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Well, it's not exactly Fiber One I've talking about here. It's delicious warm doughnuts or cask ale.

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I need to correct the formula. A+B+C-D < E. The cost would have to be less than the reward.

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2682 · November 18, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Are you eating the entire box of Fiber One in one sitting?

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Let me get this straight. GlutenEase+activated charcoal +Gluten food product-breakout on face > "delicious food reward unable to be satisfied in no other way in PaleoWorld." Love it! :)

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15003 · November 18, 2011 at 7:32 PM

For almost a year I've been eating a diet that is essentially the love-child of the 4 Hour Body and Perfect Health diets: 6 days a week I do PHD and one meal a week I eat what I want (which is often a SAD food). My gut seems to have tolerated the occasional wheat, tho perhaps I'd be better off without. That said, 200g of insoluble fiber at a sitting? Doubt that's a good idea!

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39841 · November 18, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Oh I stopped reading at Fiber One...Pop tarts...yikes.

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32518 · November 18, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Pop tarts? R U kidding?

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39841 · November 18, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Of all the things in the world to crave...Fiber One? Is this real life?

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15 Answers

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60 · November 18, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I don't know about this... Makes me think of something my nutrition therapist says, paraphrasing... 'eating a little bit of gluten is like being a little bit pregnant. It just doesn't work that way."

From what I understand and has been stated already, gluten stays in the body for quite awhile.

Also what comes to mind is the example of an ex-smoker having 'just one' cigarette while out on the town, then buying a pack and starting the whole habit/addiction over again the next week.

with gluten free alternatives, why risk it?

I guess if you have little to no gluten response the temptation would be stronger... I still have dreams where I cave and eat a freakin cookie, all the while thinking in the dream how it is going to eff me up for days. But really - that gluten stuff is terrible for our bodies. I'd resist and find an alternative.

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1373 · November 18, 2011 at 11:40 PM

I like your nutrition therapist

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3924 · November 18, 2011 at 10:22 PM

I like the smoker analogy . . .

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8239 · November 18, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I'm not much for suppressing intense food desires, as if they'll just go away. It takes lots of energy and fosters resentment. Nor am I one to give into each and every desire. I'm with those who suggest looking for ways, more healthful and less damaging ways, to get your need met. This, as part of looking at the need per se, asking what it "wants" and listening. Like, when that inner voice goes, "Must ... have ... Pop ... Tarts" you might respond, "Who does?" Keep asking. Alternatively, eat all the Pop Tarts you want. Then will come the answer that eluded you. "Who am I? Why, I am the one who right now feels sick as a dog..."

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56616 · November 18, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I'm positive I don't have celiac, so I have experimented with cheats involving gluten grains, both with an without a supplement called GlutenEase and tracked the results. Glutenease + activated charcoal seems to mitigate most of the digestive complaints, but typically I'll have a breakout on my face anyway. Once you know the cost, you can decide whether it's worth it.

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Let me get this straight. GlutenEase+activated charcoal +Gluten food product-breakout on face > "delicious food reward unable to be satisfied in no other way in PaleoWorld." Love it! :)

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56616 · November 18, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Well, it's not exactly Fiber One I've talking about here. It's delicious warm doughnuts or cask ale.

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I'm sure many of us would happily justify a fine ale over Fiber One. Probably snobbism....pick your poison.

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I need to correct the formula. A+B+C-D < E. The cost would have to be less than the reward.

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37187 · November 18, 2011 at 10:50 PM

You're my hero, Melissa! :-))

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4347 · November 18, 2011 at 6:24 PM

One of the problems with gluten is that it stays in your system for weeks. Granted, I'm incredibly sensitive to gluten so just the thought of a gluten 'cheat' gives me hives... The problem with a once a month gluten cheat is that if you eat a bowl of cereal you'll end up with gluten in your system almost until your next cheat... which kind of negates the whole avoidance thing. Ultimately it's your decision, but gluten isn't something I'd personally ever cheat with.

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12847 · November 18, 2011 at 6:27 PM

fruity pebbles are made from rice and taste way better.

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Eeeeuuuuw! Gross.

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10 · December 11, 2011 at 8:03 AM

If you're going paleo, rice is still a grain...

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3924 · November 18, 2011 at 10:20 PM

To me "Fiber One Fiasco" sums it up pretty well. When I was still eating according to the Zone Diet principles I would occasionally eat a little too much sugary carb. Then I would crave more sugary carb, then any carb would do . . . It was a downward spiral that would lead to intense cravings and low energy and weight gain. Usually, I would stop myself within a few days (or weeks) of the downward spiral, then it would take all my will power to get back to eating within the Zone principles and resist the cravings. If you are really craving something sugary like Fiber One this suggests to me that you are still primarily burning sugar as your main source of energy, not fat. If this is true, then giving into your craving could do a lot of damage -- not just because of one bowl or box of cereal, but because of the heightened cravings you would feel in the next few hours/days and the possibility of giving into them also. To me that downward spiral of cravings is not worth it and really is serious damage.

Perhaps you could work on other aspects of your diet that would eliminate or reduce the cravings? I know this is much easier said than done, but that's one of my personal goals/hopes for a Paleo lifestyle. I keep reading posts from people who talk about how their Paleo or Primal diets gave them freedom from cravings and feeling hungry all of the time. To me it seems much more desirable to learn to eat in a way to get rid of cravings than to always have cravings and feel deprived because you are trying to resist them.

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78422 · November 18, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I can't agree more. Over the last six years . Paleo- zone to "full" Paleo the cravings went from bothersome and detrimental to zero. Let me repeat. ZERO.Do yourself a favor (OP) and just keep tightening up the diet and you eventually avoid all the" Dietary Craving Thearter".

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11683 · November 18, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I second blueballoon. If you really want to indulge in a cereal treat once in a while, why don't you get a gluten-free one. Nature's Path makes some great ones. http://www.naturespath.com/products/cold%20cereals?tid=5&brand=All&nutri=All

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8757 · November 18, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Just my humble opinion here but if this is something you love, why not try to make a 'replacement' for it instead. I think you already know that this is probably not the best thing for you to be eating, it may cause more damage than good by adding it and removing it each month (by recuperating then re-harming, a vicious cycle perhaps)

If you are looking for a crunchy substitute some chopped nuts with organic dates, fresh figs and coconut mixed with the greek yogurt might be a healthier change.

BTW you can make freshly baked muffins primal style with just a few ingredients, there's tons of recipes out there....perhaps even someone has discovered how to make paleo poptarts! (oh I loved those chocolate ones!!!)

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2801 · December 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Thought Id leave an update; I did end up doing it, as I knew I would. Aside from a magnificent bout of diarrhea and moderate stomach cramping, I was fine within 24 hours. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but uh...never again.

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1059 · November 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Is there a box of Fiber One still sitting in your cupboard? Get rid of it. Thanksgiving for the squirrels.

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37187 · November 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

I'd ask myself the following questions:

  • Have I tried all the ancestral options? For example, I have to say this recipe looks pretty darn good particularly if you're going to put your favorite yogurt on it. I've even wondered if it can be modified to make pressed bars.

  • If there are no acceptable ancestral options to satisfy my craving, do I fully understand the risks--chronic inflammation that can encourage insulin resistance (see the recent Taubes/Guyanet posts), eventual leaky gut, etc. The consensus seems to be that damage from grains occurs slowly over years and that it takes a significant period to recover from eating a meal including grains.

  • Okay, you've decided to have some Fiber One. Does it have to be so much? Let's face it, a small serving will give you the flavor you believe you're missing but may be less catastrophic to your system.

How about dishing it out an ounce or less at a time--does it really taste as good as you remember, or is it more artificial tasting now that you're used to whole foods? Do you really need another helping?

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10 · December 11, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Totally agree. I've found that since going strict paleo that on the occasion I have decided to cheat, whatever it is just doesn't even taste the way it used to! I've also found with some subs that they are a disappointing letdown because they don't taste the way I think they should, even though they are a close approximation and much healthier.

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2682 · November 18, 2011 at 7:47 PM

If you don't have an immediate reaction/allergy to gluten, it may be hard to resist your cheat item of choice. Then again, if you're not giving yourself time to clear out the gluten before you eat it again, perhaps you are reacting to it and don't even realize it?

I'd suggest cutting out the gluten/wheat for a couple months (or at least 30 days) so that you can more accurately understand what it might be doing to you.

I myself don't have any major reactions to gluten. I've noticed small affects, which I could live with (and do on the occasion that I have wheat/gluten), but I limit my intake b/c I feel the damage done will snowball over time.

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8979 · November 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM

I understand the craving. That is the one gluten food we still have in the pantry (not my choice). But, after a while, I realized that it is just an evening sugar high I am after. It is the only time I will also go for some rice milk. I say, see if you can do alright with just the greek yogurt and some interesting nuts.

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2291 · November 18, 2011 at 6:44 PM

They seem to have rice bran flakes in Australia:

http://www.thevitaminsshoppe.com.au/product-detail.aspx?comid=23d06cc5-d045-4ccf-b4c8-0dfc02547bb2

Maybe someone in Australia will mail you some.

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134 · November 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM

omg just eat it already its not a cheat if you replace it with something healthy if you stay super strict for the whole month then u deserve it geez people live a little!!! My husband and I go out to have ione cheat meal on the weekend we spend time together in a date setting and i dont have to be crazy over food and gives me relief a win win!! Dont believe these guys people can give u advise but you know they are secretly not perfect weither just keep that in mind too!! dont be like me im a super freak over food because i was fat and now i get soooo frustrated my brain constantly fighting eat cheat or dont even just the once a week is soooo hard its a mental defect!! have fun live life its way too short and i try and realize that everyday!!! If i die it aint cause your fat your not going to heaven. lol

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