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Paleo Diet Followers

paleo diet
paleo diet

As the Paleo diet has grown in popularity, there’s been a lot of excitement over the many lessons it’s offered us. We’ve obtained a strong sense about healthy proteins, the importance of good, fresh produce and how critical it is to be cautious of poor-quality carbohydrates.

If you follow the Paleo diet and are emotionally committed to avoiding grains, beans and legumes, we can work around that pretty easily. However, if someone has cut out those foods for health or medical reasons, there are a few things to think about.

Daily Reset Shake - Dr. Alan Christianson

Phytates & Antinutrients

All the talk about grains and beans having phytates and anti-nutrients is very true. Shouldn’t we be concerned about them?

Phytates and anti-nutrients are heat fragile, meaning they go away with cooking. Also, the phytates present in these and other foods may cut your cancer risks. There’s strong evidence that phytic acid and phytates have positive effects on our immune systems in ways that make us less susceptible to cancer. (Actually, nuts and seeds can have even more of these than grains and beans.)

I’ve not personally seen the strong evidence for avoiding phytic acid for your health.

Although it’s true that antinutrients remove nutrients from beans, legumes and grains, many people think of them like a spy that sneaks in and steals the jewels. That’s not quite how it works! Antinutrients only interact with what is in the intestinal tract. When you look at beans, their nutrients and antinutrients will bind up and this is already factored into the equation. For example, adzuki beans are high sources of magnesium. Some of the adzuki bean fibers prohibit a portion of the magnesium from being absorbed, but that is figured out before you see the magnesium count. So, these beans are still high sources of magnesium, even though some will not enter the body.

So, I wouldn’t stress about phytates or antinutrients.

Daily Reset Shake - Dr. Alan Christianson

The Adrenal Reset Diet & The Paleo Diet

The idea behind the Adrenal Reset Diet is timing when you’re eating your Paleo foods throughout the day. It’s having good, healthy carbs and timing them in a rhythm to reset your cycles. This is based on Paleo logic: the idea of the fight or flight response, the stress response, our starvation modes and preparation for famine.

You want to have more of your healthy carbs later in the day. These carbs can be from fruit, sweet potatoes or starchy vegetables, like rutabagas, turnips or squashes. Have smaller amounts earlier in the day, and escalate them as the day goes on, having the highest quantity during your evening meal.

Be careful not to rely heavily on fruit for all your carbs. In my book, I talk about the fiber to fructose ratio. Fruit is good, but if it’s your main source of carbs, you’re going to be upside-down on fructose before you get enough fiber and good carbs. Think of eating more of the low-fructose fruit I have in my lists and in my book. Rather than focusing a lot on fruit, turn your focus to the good, starchy vegetables, and consume more of those as the day goes on.

There’s a splinter in the Paleo world about not eating carbs at all. In human history, there’s never really been a Paleo diet. Humans have thrived on such different diets. Take a look at the Tarahumara people. They’ve done well with squash, quinoa, chia seeds, beans and corn. They’ve built their diet around these foods, which are high in carbs but very low-fat. They thrive! They have 200-mile races for all ages—just for fun!

Ancestrally, humans have done well with either some carbs or no carbs. (The Inuits are a great example.) With all the diet options we have, there are ways to predict if you need more carbs than someone else, but the point is, carbs aren’t inherently bad. Research proves if you’re too low on carbs, your quality of sleep is compromised and you lose more muscle mass.

So, have some healthy carbs!

These carbs can come from vegetables. If you haven’t had intact whole grains or legumes for some time, here is a pitfall: If you eat a lot all at once, you’ll think, “Whoa! I can’t digest these!” This would be no different than a vegan friend eating a spare rib, all-you-can-eat meal, after not having animal protein for years! The reason you’ll feel you can’t digest them is because your gut flora can only digest what it’s used to. If you decide to change your diet, do it gradually. Add one tablespoon of grains or beans per day for a few weeks. This will be enough to inoculate your flora to be able to digest these foods, and you’ll feel well.

In general, the more diverse foods our flora can process, the stronger our immunity and the greater variety of nutrients we are getting.

There are many things that weren’t on the human menu until they were synthesized. Avoid these foods in your diet. You’ll do well with any food that was around 100 years ago! The more of those foods you can tolerate and have in your diet, the healthier your digestion and the better-rounded you’ll be nutritionally.

So, embrace the Paleo lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to have good carbs and to increase them later in your day. With all the wonderful health benefits you’ll experience, you’ll be glad you did.

P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:

1. Schedule a Thyroid Second Opinion with me, Dr. C, Click Here for Details
2. Need a Personalized Supplement? Check out My Thyroid Specific Formulations
3. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
4. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet, The Metabolism Reset Diet and The Thyroid Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.

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