Author Topic: Thoughts on sweeteners?  (Read 6822 times)

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Offline Satya

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2014, 02:52:17 PM »
The way I was using food sensitivities, and the way I had seen it used in the past, was as the broadest category that covers all negative reactions to foods. Do you have a preferred term for that meaning?

Hi Phil, no, sensititivities is fine.  I just wanted to be clear that in my case it was not some minor intolerance, but a real allergic reaction.  And this industrial use of erythritol has only been in US since 2001.  Since I was pretty much eating whole foods that don't come in packages, it just fell under the radar until the chocolates from hell episode.

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Not everyone gets allergic reactions to erythritol, or fruits and veg sprayed with it. Some people even use erythritol and/or xylitol sprays to clear the sinuses (I'm not recommending it for others, but in the past I tried the Xlear nasal spray with xylitol myself without negative symptoms). That doesn't necessarily mean that it's very safe, but it doesn't fit with the notion that it's highly allergenic for most people. So the question becomes, what could be the underlying cause(s) behind your true allergy?


First, thanks for the info on spraying this into nasal passages!  If I ever am told I need to shoot something in my nose, I will 1) tell the person no, or 2) look for erythritol on the label! :wimper:

I think in my case I had never been exposed to it in multiple gram sized quantities, got sensitized with first dose over weekend, then had allergic response and now must avoid it like the plague.  I may be the rare individual who just happens to have an allergy to it, and since there are other cases, this is not too odd.  While allergies are not too common in my family, my mom has allergy to penicillin.  These things just happen, I guess.  Just wanted to share my case, and I also think it has nothing to do with how I am eating or how I have been eating.  I am doing great in every other way.  I have had food sensitivities to walnuts, pineapple and eggplant throughout the course of my life (although it can be a bit irregular with pineapple) - from SAD days, to vegan days, to zc and beyond! ;D

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Like you, I seemed to do best when I ate a GAPS-type diet, but the notion of coddling my system forever that way made less sense to me than trying to fix the underlying problem(s) that was making the non-GAPS foods problematic for me. I think I may have found one tool to that end in resistant starch. Have you looked into resistant starch at all? If no foods are bothering you, then why minimize RS-rich foods, given that lots of VLCers have recently been reporting remarkable benefits from RS?
Isn't resistant starch in onion?  I eat that everyday.  I guess in my case, carbs will make me fat if I am not careful of them.  I just don't like the way they make me feel - the heavy fruits or heavy starches.  You and I are very different in that regard.  So I don't think of GAPS in terms of coddling my system, I think of it more as honoring my Northern European ancestry.  Of course, I have not suffered the digestive distress you have either.  I eat some legumes, as that is the one starchy food - besides carrots, parsnips, beets, etc - that I do well on.  Of course, I use kudzu or potato starch in gravies, but I don't have that often.  Oh, and the inclusion of fermented foods over the last 10 years may be one reason why I have not had issue with my brief zc stint.  I was WAPF friendly for a long time before raw, paleo, zc, whathaveyou.  Oh, and seaweed.  That and the fact that I am eating foods like plants instead of fearing them carte blanche.  In fact, I never gave up spices, so I probably never even was really zc for 4 months.  I have always been 1) a heretic, and 2) middle way.  I never went 100% raw, vegan, zc or any of those dietary purist ways for more than a fleeting instant.  Probably a good thing. :yes:
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 03:38:49 PM by Satya »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #76 on: February 16, 2014, 01:42:29 PM »
OK, the reports of immune system issues on VLC is just something that I've been seeing increasingly reported and thought I should mention it.

There's no significant RS or starch of any kind in onion that I'm aware of. RS tends to be in foods that also contain digestible starch, such as potatoes, green plantains/bananas, cassava/tapioca, garbanzo beans and hummus, lentils, mung beans, glass/cellophane noodles, par-boiled or cooked and cooled rice, reheated rice and beans/peas, English pease porridge cold (boiled split yellow or carlin peas that have been stored in a cool/cold place for a day or more), French white bean cassoulet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassoulet, Irish fermented rolled or steel cut or whole oatmeal (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-how-to-cook-oatmeal-the-right-way/ and http://www.thegoodfoodmuse.net/2009/02/sally-fallons-irish-oatmeal.html), hominy corn/grits, peanuts, and there's some in sweet potatoes. There's a list here that contains some more: http://freetheanimal.com/2013/08/resistant-starch-content-of-foods-other-anecdote-and-miscellania.html

These are also foods that tend to get minimized or avoided in LC diets. The RS content is highest when the foods are raw. If cooked, allowing them to cool for a day or more allows recrystallization of the fractal resistant starch.

There are also lots of RS-containing foods not commonly consumed in the northern USA, such as breadfruit, sago, tiger nuts  (a sedge tuber that's edible raw and AKA chufas), poi (taro), African lesser yams (and other African tubers) and bambara groundnuts.

The two biggest problems with modern starches seems to be
1) plentiful high-quality African sources are largely unavailable outside of the continent
2) the resistant starch content of foods was greatly diminished with industrial heating and refining processing techniques (traditional processes, like those advocated by the WAPF, tend to preserve RS content)

I also used to think that maybe the GAPS type diets worked for me because of my Northern European ancestry, but I saw too many examples of other Northern Europeans who not only didn't need to do GAPS but even improved when they added more RS to their diets, and I saw too many people reporting problems in the longer term on ZC and strict VLC, to continue to take that notion very seriously. When I tried RS and experienced benefits, it eliminated the need for that hypothesis.

Do you have some examples of heavy fruits and heavy starches?

Carrots, parsnips, and beets are generally considered more sugary than starchy.

The fermented foods, potato starch and kudzu gravies, some carby and other plant foods and seaweed and your experience with the WAPF might indeed help explain why you have fared better than many ZCers and VLCers in the longer run. Plus, if you didn't have a history of antibiotic treatments, that would be another possible factor.
> "Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong." - Tatertot Tim Steele
> "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance." -Socrates
> "The way you walked was thorny through no fault of your own

Offline Satya

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2014, 08:49:40 AM »
OK, the reports of immune system issues on VLC is just something that I've been seeing increasingly reported and thought I should mention it.


No, I have never had problems lc to vlc.  Anyway, just wanted to show that these sweeteners might be problematic for reasons other than "taste of sweet," blood sugar spikes or what have you.

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Do you have some examples of heavy fruits and heavy starches?

I just meant heavy amounts of fruits and starches.

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Carrots, parsnips, and beets are generally considered more sugary than starchy.
  One carrot provides a gram of starch.  Parsnips have more starch than carrots, but I guess I was wrong about beets.

I will start or find a thread on resistant starch next time I have a minute.  I tend to think this is just over-hyped right now.  You know, like all things coconut was a few years ago?  It's about as helpful as the exercise advice out there on the web.  You know, we all must sprint, we all must lift heavy, or any other type advice that just paints super broad strokes for the masses.  People have preferences, needs and unique situations that need to be honored.  There is no one-size-fits-all eating plan any more than there is one-size-fits-all exercise plan.  What works for one person may not work for another for any number of reasons.

Offline Satya

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2014, 08:26:19 AM »
Phil,

I have (haphazardly) split this topic, because damn it, we are not talking about sweeteners any more! :P  Please post in either the RS thread or the is vlc sustainable thread.  Gracias.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2014, 09:43:18 PM »
LOL Some of my favorite unconventional "sweet" foods are raw eggs, non-heated or low-heated organic Irish breakfast (assam) tea, raw Bunny-Luv carrots, Meyer lemon juice mixed in mineral water, and mineral water (it's not so much that the mineral water itself tastes sweet to as that my saliva sometimes seems to become sweet after I drink it). These foods all came to provide sweet tastes to me over time, which I suspect is a good sign, though it's speculation and I can't prove it.

I don't think of it as a sweetener, but raw fermented honey is my favorite food in that category. It's not a panacea, though, and I limit myself to small quantities at a time. It's the only sweetener I've noticed benefits from, and the benefits are pretty minor.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:47:47 PM by PaleoPhil »
> "Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong." - Tatertot Tim Steele
> "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance." -Socrates
> "The way you walked was thorny through no fault of your own

Offline Satya

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Re: Thoughts on sweeteners?
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2014, 08:46:42 AM »
LOL Some of my favorite unconventional "sweet" foods are raw eggs, non-heated or low-heated organic Irish breakfast (assam) tea, raw Bunny-Luv carrots, Meyer lemon juice mixed in mineral water, and mineral water (it's not so much that the mineral water itself tastes sweet to as that my saliva sometimes seems to become sweet after I drink it). These foods all came to provide sweet tastes to me over time, which I suspect is a good sign, though it's speculation and I can't prove it.

I don't think of it as a sweetener, but raw fermented honey is my favorite food in that category. It's not a panacea, though, and I limit myself to small quantities at a time. It's the only sweetener I've noticed benefits from, and the benefits are pretty minor.

Yes, foods like you mention can have a sweet quality.  Honey never goes bad, does it?  I have some that crystalized, but I know some old time German cooks prefer it that way.

I spoke to my nutritionist friend at length yesterday to tell her about my reaction to erythritol.  She said she advises against all the sugar alcohols in general.  Of course, most people who see her have gut issues that need healing.

And thanks for being a sport about the splitting of the topic.  I think what you have presented is very important information that I would like to discuss further.  In most cases I couldn't care less about a topic going off in a new direction.  But since so many people who have come here have been of the low to no carb persuasion, I would just hate for the info to be lost on folks who don't care about sweeteners, but might care about RS and or whether their vlc ways have served them or not.

And I can't help but come back to the idea of vlc-zc causing me to want sweet tastes when I hadn't before.  I read something yesterday - and I am on a different machine now and not finding it - but it was something about certain microbes not getting RS will need sugar.  Now, I probably have been getting at least some RS.  But I cannot deny that my want of sugary sweet things definitely went up over the years of lower carb eating - which was completely out of character for me my entire life.  So again, thanks for taking this discussion to new directions.  I got 2 upper respiratory infections this year too, btw.  However, the last one was caused at least in part by breathing in nasty fumes at my gym, where a shop vac was used to spew crap around the weight room floor.  Not a member there anymore.  :winky: