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Primal VS WAPF: Cost and diabetes

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I really need to get my eating and budget under control.  I've tried Primal several times, but after 2-3 weeks my depression and anxiety spike, especially when I'm low carb.  Eating a lot of starchy tubers seems to help, but that can be expensive if they aren't white potatoes.  This depression/anxiety spike always ends up with me eating junk/fast food and doing worse than before.  It also seems to coincide with my cycle.


I would also like to lose some weight, so I'm afraid the higher carb diet won't help me with that.


Conflictingly, my husband has Type 1 diabetes.  He does very well on a nearly no-carb diet.  It would be his preferred way of eating, and his blood sugar levels do stupendously.  He even gets to the point where he doesn't have to take any insulin for meals, just his basal throughout the day.


I'm working though adrenal fatigue and depression and I always thought that being low carb Primal was the best for that.  But with the reoccurring depression/anxiety issues it seems it might not be.  It's certainly not the best for my pocket book.


Does anyone think a WAPF-type diet work well in our circumstance?  Soaked grains and legumes would be sooooo much cheaper.


Dang, this seems very scattered.  I hope it's making sense enough that I can get some advice.  Thank you for reading this.

post #2 of 9

Bumping for some advice from others.  We eat sort of paleo--with dairy. 

post #3 of 9

I eat low-carb paleo-primal-esque. I was very addicted to carbs and the "induction flu" stage was horrible for me. It took me almost a year to transition.


It seems as though you are getting stuck at the induction flu stage. In fact, once the metabolic adjustment away from carbohydrate metabolism is achieved, you should be free from the symptoms you are describing. I recommend that you try to wean yourself off carbs. It will take commitment and tolerance for feeling uncomfortable physically and psychologically. However, once you are eating a protein/fat-based diet rather than a carb-based diet, you should feel much less anxious and depressed. I had a hard time believing that things would get better when I was transitioning. Low-carbers describe the experience as feeling bad, feeling worse, then feeling great. This is what happened for me also.


I recommend that you rely on protein to make your transition. Eat protein instead of carbs when you feel hungry or lousy. Then when you are no longer physically addicted to carbs you can gradually increase the fat and lower the protein until you feel well and satiated.


I also don't agree with WAPF regarding their reliance on grains. I've found better health minimizing grains and starches, using those carb calories for protein and fat and getting my calorie intake lower for better colon and organ health.


I also don't feel that a no-carb diet is healthy. I think that 50-100g carbs per day is healthiest, both for metabolism and also for the nutrients that are found in berries, salad greens, nuts etc. Also it's nearly impossible to eat no carbs, even cream has some carb.


I follow a ratio guideline, that 50%+ of my calories be fat and that my % calories from protein exceeds my % calories from carbs each day. I also have a calorie maximum per day (I shoot for 300-500 cal less than recommended because I practice calorie restriction). This ratio works very well for me and I've used it for years. It's helped me to go from low-carb to calorie restriction with no problems.


In terms of cost, I eat very little food but it's all calorie-dense. So while it seems that the pasta, rice, and bread are the cheaper foods compared to cheese, meat, and butter, the actual cost is about the same since my portions are so small. I recommend that you track your diet with a calculator while you make this transition. I didn't realize how uneducated I was about food: nutrition, calories, portion size. (The US RDA does not correlate with primal/paleo diets; there is no way to comply with those recommendations without eating a ton of grains & breads, so don't be alarmed about that.)


Good luck and Good heatlh!


Edited by PumaBearclan - 4/11/13 at 6:05am
post #4 of 9
It sounds like you may be experiencing carb withdrawal. This happened to a friend of mine IRL who tried low carb after seeing me lose 65 lbs in 7-8 months. She have up after a few days but after understanding what had happened, she tried going slowly instead of cold turkey and did much better. I second everything the PP said.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

But I don't have the typical low carb flu symptoms.  I don't have brain fog or fatigue.  I can be pretty low carb for 3 weeks, be very happy and productive and then BAM!  Extreme depression and anxiety attacks.  And it's not a good situation for my kids to be in, so if it is just a matter of muscling though it, no thanks.

post #6 of 9

Anxiety and depression are also symptoms of induction. Not everyone experiences it the same way or in the same degree. Sometimes mineral imbalance can be at the root of it. This is why addressing overall nutrition during this phase is vital.


I used to have a lot of anxiety and other mood problems for years prior to changing my diet. Since I changed my diet I have a very stable mood. I didn't expect that to happen, I just wanted better health and freedom from sugar cravings and having to snack all the time. I had no idea that diet could affect mood to the extent that it does.


I also didn't realize how difficult it would be to overcome the metabolic addiction to carbs. When support groups coached me I just didn't believe what they were telling me. It seemed incredible that I could feel so bad. About 3 months before I got serious about transitioning, I was in denial, arguing with people about how carbs were natural and healthy and made me feel good. Then I changed my mind and tried again and stuck with it.


In retrospect, the person that I am now and the person I was is a dramatic change. My health is also far better. Changing my diet was one of the most significant improvements I ever made in my life.


Just something to consider as you weigh your choices on diet. A few months of struggle and serious difficulty may be worth the benefit you get for the rest of your life, for you and your family.


Best wishes


post #7 of 9

I struggle with anxiety and depression, and I have found that just eating a "real foods diet" has helped me tremendously.  I eat soaked/fresh ground grains, organic/grass fed/pastured meats, cage free eggs (we have chickens, which helps!), lots of veggies/some fruit, raw milk, etc.  I drink lots of water, some green tea, and coffee as well.  I do my best to lower my sugar intake, and when I do have sugar, I use natural sweeteners (raw honey, sucanat, coconut palm sugar, etc).  I also take a raw foods supplement (Garden of Life, Vitamin Code Women's) and fermented cod liver oil (Green Pasture). 

I also exercise 3-4 days a week, try to stay outside a bunch, stay busy (I find that when I'm busy around the house, being productive, I feel so much better!), write in my journal, and do my best to enjoy life (even when I don't want to). 


It's not completely gone, but these things help so much!


I wrote a blog post this morning sharing my meal plan and grocery list for the next two weeks :-).


Meal Planning Sundays: Two Week Meal Plan

post #8 of 9

I think you've gotten some great advice.


when I switched to Primal/Paleo It took me 3 months to kick sugar.  I've recently learned that it can take up to 18mths to transition from "sugar" (glucose) burner to a fat burner.  This is why for some people they do great the first couple of weeks to the first couple of months then they crash.  This is because 1 molecule of glucose conversion to ATP via the Krebs cycle makes 31 ATP,  where as 1 fat molecule conversion to ATP  makes ~ 130 ATP. 


so when you hit the low carb flu - your body is screaming for fast ATP b/c it hasn't converted to fat burning yet.  This is where glucogensis comes in - which is the conversion of protein to glucose in the liver.  this is why Puma is recommending eating more protein.  it will help you move into the the fat burning phase.   She's also right that you can be low carb, but not no carb.  


Additionally, there are lots of type 1 diabetics who us a Paleo way of eating to manage their disease with the help of a physician. most of those are using a high fat keto version. 


We eat seasonally available fruits/veggies. Seafood, and grass fed meats (beef/pork) are our primary meat sources, but we do occasionally eat conventional meat.  we eat seafood at least 8x/week, with the focus being on shellfish, and mollusks, the small fatty fishes like sardines and mackerel.  We've found the international market has the best seafood  in our area and the turn over is fast. we also have our own garden that we use for veggies in the spring, summer and fall.  


I have PCOS and I've found that eating keto version of paleo helps me keep my BG below 110mg/dl in the mornings toward the end of my cycle when my FBG usually spikes.  One of the things that has helped me is focusing on meal timing, it especially helped me with the 3 month slump as I liked to call it..  I always ate a Big protein laden breakfast at least 50% of my calories were from fat and 50% from protein.  I made sure I ate enough to keep me full until lunch, then I ate if I was hungry, then dinner we'd shoot to eat btwn 530-7pm, depending on when we got home from work, but we always eat before 730 at the latest.  If I found I needed something before lunch I'd eat a spoon of coconut oil, and the next day I'd increase my protein for breakfast. 

One of the key things that helped me was Bulletproof coffee and tea.  this one one of the ways I made sure I got enough fat into my diet, b/c getting the fat in was actually much harder.  I'd probably be categorized as more Primal in the way I eat b/c we do eat dairy. cheese and smoked oysters/sardines are a great quick lunch.  I've also found that if the kids don't like what I'm having for dinner - they'll eat smoked oysters or sardines w/o complaint - and I'm not spending time making another meal


I'm pretty much VLC/Ketosis fan, especially in winter, my carbs are usually less than 50g in winter. Now that spring is here I'm looking forward to strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry season which will arrive towards the end of May and last through August here in the DC area.  I'm also looking forward to our veggie garden as well. 


As for traditional fermented grains - I'm not a fan, but then I'm gluten intolerant, and most likely have ceilacs & I feel better w/o grains of any sort.  Once you figure out what works for you paleo wise you really won't  need grains IMO   

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for all the info, Sijin!  I'm gong to have to come back later and reply.

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