Things I’ve learned so far

I’ve been learning a lot. For one, I had been eating a lot of wrong veggies (mainly canned green beans and sweet peas). Or I thought I had. I was eating green beans because I was thinking of them as veggies, not as legumes. For some reason, I thought it was sort of a “peanut isn’t a nut” thing with them. No idea why. But then I started to get worried. What if I’ve been eating all these green beans and they’ve been slowing my progress? Turns out they’re fine. So that’s a load off my mind. I think sweet peas are too starchy, though. I’m probably going to cut back on those. it’s cool, because I much prefer green beans, and can buy them canned or frozen at Costco. Frozen is probably better than canned, but honestly I’m talking about eating vegetables. It’s all good for me. What I should be worried about is “Are green beans better for you than half a Meat Lover’s pizza?” Because they are. And that’s worth remembering any time I get too concerned about all this.

What else have I learned? I learned that I shouldn’t eat too many nuts. One of the good things about the paleo diet is that it gets your Omega 3/6 ratio back to normal. It should be about 1:1 or 1:2 and most people, because of all the vegetable oil they eat, are more like 1:10 or something. Not ideal. This unbalance is part of what contributes to inflammation. Getting Omega 3s into your diet is important, but you can’t balance those properly if you’re eating tons of Omega 6s. You’ll just end up eating way too many calories from fat, and not have enough room to get protein and veggies in there. Nuts also contain phytic acid, which prevents you from absorbing a lot of minerals. That’s bad. It’s also found a lot in grains, and it’s one of the bad things about grains. You can minimize it by soaking and roasting and such, so I may try some of that. I just know that I was eating a bunch of walnuts, almonds and pistachios. Like a lot. Probably a couple cups a day, total.

Anything else? Yeah. People have wacky ideas about what paleo is (“That’s the one where you just eat Big Macs and think you’re being healthy, right?”), and people seem really married to the idea of grain as a healthy food. No idea why, though. If you ask someone what is healthy about grains, they’ll generally say something about fiber. Maybe someone will mention that your body needs glucose to operate, and they’d be right. But I’m eating probably a pound of veggies a day most days, and those are absolutely loaded with fiber and they still provide plenty of glucose. They just don’t hit you with a big sugar spike like grain does. So what’s the downside? I can see some people still thinking that fats are bad for you, but that’s been thoroughly debunked. The only fat that’s bad for you are the fats derived chemically from grains and seeds or those hydrogenated oils they put in margarine and stuff. Those fats are bad. Fats from humanely-raised meat and eggs are good. Eggs have actually been shown to help increase weight loss. It’s something we all know inherently. Eating carbs doesn’t make you feel full as quickly as eating protein and fat, so you can gorge your self on more calories, and your body processes it much faster, meaning you’re going to be hungry again sooner. Duh. I’m not even getting into the insulin response, but that’s a factor, too. So anyway, it’s frustrating. I’m still new at this, and I’m not certain it’s the way I’m going to eat the rest of my life or anything, but people believing things without any reason to is just annoying. At least get a real picture of it before you decide. You don’t have to become an expert but you should know more than one wrong thing about a topic before you make a decision. Is that weird or harsh? I don’t know.

That’s probably enough for now. The deeper I dig into a topic and the more I learn and understand, the more I want to know. I like knowing but I like understanding better. Learning the reasons why some things are good and others aren’t makes me feel much more comfortable than just following a list. I don’t like appealing to someone else’s authority. I’d rather appeal to my own knowledge and understanding when possible. I’m getting closer to that point with the paleo thing, but there’s still plenty more to learn. At least I’ll be learning on a full stomach, right?

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