Food that may not suit you

A lot of people are dealing with chronic digestives problems and tried to recover from this disease by trying an elimination diet. This is fair. As a human, we are all different. Ayurveda said that because of our nature (prakriti), our health at the moment (vikriti), our medical history (antibiotic, depression, drugs), our environment (sport, cigarettes, alcohol) and sometimes even because of spirituals matters (past life), we all have different body and different tolerance to food. What I tried to do today it’s a quick work that I did for me and I decided to share it with you.

I made a list of food that may not suit you according to studies. So, yes, according to science. You take it or not. My goal is to share what could be the more challenging food to digest in general.

FODMAP

FODMAP means Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed by the body. The FODMAP diet is based on the elimination or severely limited of the food to avoid for 3-8 weeks, then gradually reintroduced into a low-FODMAP diet to see if they cause symptoms.

FODMAP diet has been a very good result for some of my customers. I invite you to read more about this diet/lifestyle here but if you need scientific proof just check this study. The conclusion is: the evidence to date strongly supports the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet in the treatment of IBS. Further studies are required to understand any potential adverse effects of long-term restriction of FODMAPs.

Nightshades

Called the nightshade family of the potato family, Solanaceae may be connected with arthritis and joint pain, especially the autoimmune disease of rheumatoid arthritis. Nightshades contain an alkaloid called solanine, which is toxic in high concentrations. Some people with sensitivities or food allergies involve the nightshade family. Eliminating these foods may help those with a sensitivity find relief from their symptoms.

The same chemical compounds that cause so many problems in nightshade-sensitive people can bring benefits to people with healthy digestive systems. It is why Ayurveda tells us than Vata type people or everybody that experience a Vata Imbalance should avoid all kind of food that contains neurotoxin.

« The poisoning is primarily manifested by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, burning of the throat, heart arrhythmia, headache, and dizziness. Hallucinations, loss of sensation, paralysis, fever, jaundice, dilated pupils, and hypothermia has been reported in more severe cases. It is suggested that doses of 200–400 mg for adult humans can cause toxic symptoms. » For more information, read here.

Ketogenic diet

Keto diet The main component of a keto diet is to lower your carb intake to 20–40 net grams per day to achieve ketosis. A keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, a higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively.

Studies prove that a ketogenic diet is excellent for managing type 2 diabetes, sometimes even leading to a complete reversal of the disease. But what interests us here, is that a Keto diet can result in a calmer stomach, less gas, fewer cramps, and less pain, often resulting in improvements in IBS symptoms.

Oxalates

Oxalic acid or oxalates are very tiny molecules that bind minerals like calcium making them insoluble and decreasing their bioavailability. It is found in a variety of seeds, nuts, and many vegetables. Oxalates can cause kidney stones but also may be responsible for a wide variety of other health problems related to inflammation, auto-immunity, mitochondrial dysfunction, mineral balance, connective tissue integrity, urinary tract issues, and poor gut function.

Having a damaged gut lining will increase your absorption of oxalates. It’s why it could be very helpful to eliminate some of the food that is rich in oxalate to rest the digestive system.

Food allergies

A food allergy is a reaction to a food protein, commonly from cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, seafood, and tree nuts. A food allergy happens when a person’s immune system overreacts to a protein in food. In a person who is allergic, the immune system reacts to the protein by over-producing a special group of antibodies – immunoglobulin E. These antibodies are responsible for the symptoms of the allergic reaction.

Symptoms of a food allergy range from mild discomfort to severe reactions requiring immediate medical attention. It could be a sneezing symptom, diarrhea or a severe reaction affecting one, or more organ systems, for example respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. So, if you sneeze immediately after having a kid of food, you may be intolerant or even allergic.

Trigunas

In Ayurveda, a guna is an element of reality that can affect our psychological, emotional, and energetic states. All three gunas are always present in all beings. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction, and influence of food, lifestyle practices and thoughts. The three gunas are tamas (darkness & chaos), rajas (activity & passion), and sattva (beingness & harmony).

Tamas is a state of darkness, inertia, and inactivity. It manifests from ignorance. Some tamasic gunas are laziness, attachment, depression, addiction, sadness and grief. Tamasic food includes processed food, junk food, alcoholic beverage, some vegetables, and meat.

Rajas is a state of action, determination, and movement. It manifests from the action. Some rajasic gunas are attachment, anger, anxiety, and fear. Rajasic food includes pungent food, tea, coffee, some meat, pasta, and food that is not balanced in taste.

Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy, and intelligence. It manifests from love. Some sattvic qualities are happiness, wellness, self-control, and peace. Sattvic food includes this type of food in a small portion only: ripe fruits, ghee, fresh seeds, natural nuts, leafs vegetables that are not pungent or bitter, good quality, and cold-pressed oil.

Gassy Food

Some foods cause you gas after you eat them. Most foods that contain carbohydrates can cause gas while fats and proteins cause little gas. Each person has their own reaction to single foods but Vata people are very sensitive to it. Gassy food is caused but some molecules in the fruits and vegetables, but also the cooking method and the quality of food. If you used to have gas after a meal, you may also consider how you cook your food.

Proteins like gluten, found in wheat and other grains, can cause a variety of allergic responses in susceptible people, including gas. Whole grains such as wheat and oats contain fiber, raffinose, and starch. All of these leads to gas.

Beans contain large amounts of raffinose which is a complex sugar that the body has trouble digesting. Bacteria digest it by producing hydrogen and methane gas that need to exit. Smaller amounts are found in cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, other vegetables, and whole grains.

The body has trouble digesting alcohol and sorbitol. Both compounds are dominant in fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, and prunes.
Fruits also contain soluble fiber that must pass through the large intestines, where bacteria break them down to create hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas.

As you can see from this table, the list of foods to avoid health problems is not exactly the same from diet to diet. On the other hand, you can see that certain foods, like wheat, appear in several diets. Also note that I have only listed vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and fruits.

More informations

Overeating: 5 Reasons Why we Overeat

Eating too much is something that we have all experienced in different forms: snacking in front of the TV, refill his favorite dish, etc. There are, however, cases where overconsumption of food becomes very problematic. Excess food is caused by several factors or reasons that I wanted to develop here.

Please note that the following information is based on my experience, but also, on my years of practice as an Ayurvedic naturopath. I do not pretend to be an expert on eating disorders, but simply to provide tools so that everyone can understand the mechanism that pushes them towards these bad eating habits.

1. Habit

Many people “inherited” bad eating habits when they were children. Even if what we experience during our childhood has no reason to refer to our “adult” life, there is nevertheless a mechanism which pushes us to continue to reproduce certain family patterns, and sometimes, without question ourselves.

Difficulties: It is easier to keep a habit that is several years old than to create a new one!

  •  Example 1: My family gathers every Sunday at noon for a long meal that drags on and I have become used to eating a lot even if I am no longer hungry.
  • Example 2: At home, my parents ate all the time between meals and I got used to it. When I am at home, I make several trips back and forth to the kitchen, because snacking is a habit for me.

    Habit ⟶ Mental is conditioned ⟶ Snacking is a habit

2. Repressed emotions

Because we are humans made up of a complex hormonal system, we are subject to a multitude of emotions every day. For several reasons, we sometimes avoid living some emotions that exist in us. It may happen that we experience emotions such as anger, frustration, envy, but instead of recognizing them, we ignore them by occupying our thoughts or by anesthetizing ourselves with food, for example.

Difficulties: We struggle with emotions coming from two sources: those before excess food, then those after excess food.

  • Example 1: My boss gives me too much work. I agree to produce this work, but I never tell him that it is too much. I feel anger that I am accumulating. In the evening, as soon as I think about this situation, I go to the kitchen and I eat.
  • Example 2: Whenever I go to visit my best friend, she tells me about her amazing job and her fantastic couple’s relationship. When I get home, I think about my situation as a single woman and about this job that I want to leave for so long, because it no longer suits me. I snack.

    Emotions ⟶ Do not accept the emotions ⟶  Food rage

3. Environment

If I find myself in an oppressive environment, new, foreign or simply that does not suit me, it is very likely that my desire for comfort or to feel good will be increased. As a result, I will be more likely to snack on foods that comfort me emotionally in order to alleviate discomfort or a new situation.

Difficulties: It is sometimes difficult to notice that we eat more when we are in a new environment or when changes take place around us.

  •  Example 1: I just moved in with my boyfriend. Everything is fine. We make good hearty meals in the evening. Week after week, this habit continues and I see myself taking weight.
  • Example 2: My mother-in-law is at home for a week. My relationship with her is sometimes tense. I notice that I’m snacking more since she’s here.

    Environment ⟶ Need stability ⟶ Increased snacking

4. Boredom / Emptiness / Loneliness

One of the primary reflexes that a human has is to eat. Eating is normal! Sometimes when we’re bored, we eat to pass the time. And when we love to eat, we wake up in the morning and think about the meal we are going to prepare. This same meal can turn to a buffet all you can eat!

Difficulties: When I start to associate food intake with « boredom,” it can be difficult to break this mechanism.

  • Example 1: It’s my rest day.  I have nothing planned today. I decide to stay at home to relax. But, hold on! What can I eat today? … After 1 hour in the kitchen and the pride of having prepared a good meal, it’s time to eat and my meal is so yummy! Even if I’m no longer hungry, I take more. Because after all, it’s good, I have nothing else to do so why not refill! Tomorrow I will be more reasonable! ” And a few minutes later … « I’m not going to put half a piece of cheesecake in the fridge! Might as well finish it, because tomorrow I will be reasonable! ”
  • Example 2: It’s Sunday. My kids were supposed to come to see me, but they canceled. I find myself alone at home with this meal that I had prepared for them. I sit at the table alone, but I eat a lot more than my stomach can tolerate.

    Boredom, feeling of emptiness ⟶ Need to fill up ⟶ Snacking

5. Reward

As much in pets as in children, we are unfortunately programmed in a “Pleasure / Reward” world. This is what we do awkwardly with pets and sometimes even with children. If the reward is food, this system programs the brain to associate food as a reward and will be used for any reason other than hunger.

Difficulties: It is important to find a different alternative to the food reward especially if it is associated with eating disorders.

  • Example 1: My parents took me to McDonald’s when I had good results at school. As an adult, I go to McDonald’s when I have success at work. Since I’m a good part of my team, I can eat McDonald’s every week because I deserve it.
  • Example 2: It’s Friday evening. I had a stressful week at work. I’m finally going to be able to relax. After a week like this, I deserve to eat what I want tonight! Life is hard! I work hard! So I deserved it!

    Good news ⟶ Conclusion of deserving a good meal ⟶ Meal composed of foods that are sometimes forbidden

How to get out of these patterns? How to stop snacking? How to rest the fork when you reach satiety? These are questions that I will answer in a future article. Again, I only want to bring my experience and understanding here.