Has anyone tried the Paleo-diet?

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Has anyone tried the Paleo-diet? 2011-07-13T16:59:42+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments Diet Has anyone tried the Paleo-diet?

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  • #89804

    Anonymous
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    A friend of mine is on the Paleo-diet (http://thepaleodiet.com/)–it’s a diet based on pre-agricultural (no refined carbs) human lifestyle. I’ve been reading about ADHD and the hunter/farmer theory, and wondered if anyone has tried this diet and had success. If ADHD is a mindset from way back, maybe our bodies are also pre-agricultural.

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    #105857

    Anonymous
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    I’m not familiar with the Paleo Diet, but I have had success with placing my son on a Mediterranean style diet. Protein for breakfast is key. Removing sugar, soft drinks and processed foods–SO difficult with kids but essential. Gluten seems to be a big culprit. We had him off dairy and wheat for about 2 years and many of his symptoms disappeared. These kids tend to have leaky guts also–they don’t absorb nutrients well–so you need to rebuild and renourish their systems by getting them off the nutrient deficient standard american fare that most kids eat and onto nutrient dense whole foods. It takes time, but works. Ideally, a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as high quality lean sources of protein such fish, eggs, chicken and some red meat (NOT from factory farms–organic, hormone free, grass fed), plus a small amount of high quality dairy products (if they tolerate them well), organic and raw whenever possible. Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids (flax seed, chia seeds) and minerals. I am a certified holistic health counselor–I went back to school to get training in nutrition primarily because of what we were going through with my son. If you want to learn more about our experience, check out my website, http://www.ADDHolisticTreatment.com

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    #105858

    Anonymous
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    CarolG Thanks! That sounds exactly like the paleo diet. No carbs other than what grows naturally above ground (fruit, nuts, vegetables) but no potatoes, starches or grains. Dairy is hit or miss too, according to my friend. Alrighty then. I’ll be eating myself out of carbs), and will start on this diet next week. Unless I get distracted. ;)

    PS, great website, but I’m scared of the green goop in that cup!

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    #105859

    Bibliophile
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    Post count: 169

    You realize that a pre-agricultural diet exclusively for people with ADHD makes little sense from a biological or evolutionary standpoint. Even if the hunter-gene theory were correct, which I highly doubt given that many of the attributes of ADHD (e.g. lack of emotional regulation, impaired long-term planning that would result in under or over hunting or forgetting to hunt at all, inability to stay quiet or focused long enough to quietly stalk prey, etc.) would not benefit a hunter, there is little evidence for a biological difference between ADHD guts and non-ADHD organs responsible for digestion. How would our intestines differ? Do we have a larger incidence of Crohn’s or other gastro-intestinal problems? Do we have different enzymes than non ADHD people? No, I think not.

    Nothing wrong with Omega 3’s from fish oil, they are good for everyone, and everyone would do better to steer clear from artificial dyes and hormone ridden meats. Protein in the morning certainly helps reduce hunger pains for longer and seems to feed my brain (anecdotal comment).

    I am not convinced that diet could impact impulsivity. Natural stimulants in foods, such as caffeine in Tea and Yerba Maté, certainly help with concentration for short periods of time.

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    #105860

    Anonymous
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    librarian_chef, my point was more about the emotional and neurological impact food has, but I phrased it poorly. It is possible that the same DNA that gives us ADHD could give us a different intestine, too, but I agree we don’t know that.

    I have heard a lot of people say that some ADDers self medicate with carbs or alcohol (which I’m thinking I do–the carbs). And I know Dr. J. mentioned in one video of the importance of tyrosine on dopamine production, which is found mostly in high protein meats and fish (and funny enough, soy). I understand his point about the assembly line, but perhaps there is something else at work. Or maybe this diet allows ADDers to be satiated faster. Clearly any diet where twinkies are off the menu is good, but if this diet allows me to stick to it easier (because it eliminates cravings or satisfies my neurochemical imbalance), all the better.

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    #105861

    Deborah
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    Hi Pete-puma, We were on a gluten, dairy, sugar free diet, plus the top 10 delayed onset food allergens. My husband and I cheated, but our children didn’t. We went off the diet at Xmas time, and the kids (18 & 14) asked to go back on it afterward. I was surprised because they were resistant to trying it.

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    #105862

    Anonymous
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    I’m very interested in dietary contriol of symptoms. I’m interested to find out (a year later) if you (Pete-puma) indeed modified your diet, and what the effect had on your symptoms.

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    #105863

    Scattybird
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    distractomom – I am on a gluten free diet because I have a physical intolerance.

    Sometimes I make mistakes and notice the physical symptoms and sometimes I think ‘b***er it, I am going to eat and enjoy some nice bread or cake or whatever’. When I do that, I notice my mood changes. I become quite low and miserable. I’ve not noticed a difference in ADD symptoms specifically, but certainly in outlook and mood. I think it’s more than just because of the physical effects.

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    #105864

    Anonymous
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    Scattybird, that’s interesting. I tried a gluten free diet once, I didn’t really notice a difference on it. However, I just replaced my gluten grains with other (higher glycemic) grains.

    I’ve also done a low carb diet and though not quite where I’d like to be, there was definitely an improvement to many of my challenges (physical and mental). Unfortunately I’ve since fallen off the wagon (a very social summer + carb addiction + poor impulse control = total bingefest). Maybe next time I’ll try low carb and gluten free, see if that’s any better (and learn to just say no to all that wedding cake). Or maybe I’ll never be exactly where I’d like to be and need to just accept that. And love myself for who I am :D

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    #105865

    ipsofacto
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    Post count: 162

    I tried gluten free this year, and it was not good for me. I generally eat only high fiber whole grain bread and cereals carbs wise, and I think the loss of micro nutrients was very noticeable ADHDwise.

    My wife and daughter are celiac, and I’ve been cooking Gluten Free for them for about fourteen years. It’s always been a real struggle to find good carbs and fiber for them. I would not recommend going GF unless you have an intolerance, or are Celiac. I think it’s better to just stick to less refined grains as much as possible. Avoid white bread and all that #%&. Of course the occasional french loaf with some Bree and Pate’, and maybe some good wine are permissible exceptions.

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    #105866

    Scattybird
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    Distractomom – to be honest, I’d be careful with cutting out gluten and reducing carbs all that at the same time.

    A gluten free diet is not that easy and I only do it because I have to. I was in hospital this summer for a week with gut-related issues so it’s a necessity really. It took a while – several months – to make it a way of life which it has been for a few years now.

    On saying that, I think some people have too much wheat in their diet – so if you have cereal and toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta or a pizza for dinner and a biscuit or two with a cup of coffee then it’s overload. But that’s just my opinion and not based on anything scientific. The refined stuff is bad for anyone.

    If you are serious about cutting out gluten you need to be aware it’s hidden in just about all processed foods. Don’t forget that barley also contains gluten. So to take it out of your diet means a complete overhaul of the way you eat. It’s OK when you cook at home, but try going out and having a gluten free meal. Virtually impossible in the UK. There are a few gluten-free products coming onto the market now but the price here is extreme.

    For someone on a gluten-free diet it’s a case of constantly looking for the hidden stuff. Like potato crisps – all the nicest flavours contain gluten! Even some drinks have it.

    However, cutting down on wheat intake is possible without the extreme of removing all gluten. But if you are gluten intolerant then you’d probably but not necessarily have digestive issues. I think what I am saying is if you want to see if removing gluten has a benefit you’d need to remove it all for several weeks with no cheating to really test it out.

    Although when I eat gluten my mood is much lower, I can’t say that my ADD is any better when I consider the bigger picture or things in the long term. If anything the older I get the worse my ADD seems. Whether that’s related to age and hormone changes, or whether it is to do with more responsibilities so the scattyness and procrastination are more obvious I don’t know. Probably both.

    I think for ADD a balanced and healthy diet is essential with good quality protein. Omega 3 – fish – vegetables – and as ipsofacto said micronutrients.

    Too much protein is bad for the kidneys so diets like the Atkins diet are bad (in my opinion). Balance is the key.

    A healthy diet, lots off liquids, plenty of sleep and forcing ourselves to develop habits are the key. Certainly if I get tired and eat badly I am more emotional, impulsive and well…..ADD. Easy right?! ……if only! :)

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    #105867

    allan wallace
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    Post count: 478

    Gee whiz, I thought that rice is healthy! My diet is, and has always been terrible. It’s a wonder that I’m not the size of an elephant. Diet is one of those things that I’ve always procrastinated about, just like gardening. I’ve always thought how lovely it would be to have a pretty little garden with lots of colourful flowers, but because we move around so much I’ve used that as an excuse to not take those first tentative steps into the flora…I have a weakness for chocolate. Oh, and crisps, and donuts…especially the donuts with pink icing. I’d like to be a refuge for unwanted and neglected donuts the world over… 8)

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    #105868

    Scattybird
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    Post count: 1096

    Allan – rice is healthy – it doesn’t contain gluten. It does contain arsenic though! :)

    Distractomom – have a read of the link below I there’s a bit about mental health at the end of the article.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/10/26/plant-based-diet_n_1981838.html?icid=hp_healthy-living_art_more

    Now I really must go – was late an hour ago and now in for a roasting. Peter introdduced me to the Huffington Post – another addiction for me.

    Toodle pip.

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    #105869

    Scattybird
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    Post count: 1096

    Allan – rice is healthy – it doesn’t contain gluten. It does contain arsenic though! :) don’t worry – you’d need to eat a lot for it to matter – and be unfortunate to source it from a ‘dodgey’ area.

    Distractomom – have a read of the link below I there’s a bit about mental health at the end of the article.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/10/26/plant-based-diet_n_1981838.html?icid=hp_healthy-living_art_more

    Now I really must go – was late an hour ago and now in for a roasting. Peter introdduced me to the Huffington Post – another addiction for me.

    Toodle pip.

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    #105870

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    Oops – my edit to stop a rice scare resulted in a different post! Duh!

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