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About 2 years ago I've been eating only fruit and vegetables for 6 months. After that I have chosen to return to regular, diverse food - meat and everything else included. Since I started to eat normal food again I have felt some difficulties with my health:

  • After eating fatty food I feel like my blood vessels are being blocked, and my arms feel tense.
  • I often get tired very soon, only after 2 or 3 hours of working (whether on computer, or outside) - BIGGEST PROBLEM!

I have talked to my doctor about the problem, but didn't receive any beneficial advice about my nutrition. I'm also a running-junkie, and while I'm running I feel fine, but soon after I finish, I feel like I'm very very low on energy. Now I'm trying to eat more carbohydrates, like rice etc.

Tu sum it up: after almost 2 years of being on normal diet again, I have feeling that I have quit being veggie just a few days ago, considering the problems that do bug me. Did anyone else have similar experiences? Any advice on nutrition or about whom should I consider talking to (I feel that professional health care workers don't know too much about these kind of problems)?

Edit 1.: Trying to clarify problem a bit. (I think that) I'm mainly having issues with food fried in oil or grease, because whenever I do eat that kind of food, if I don't go to walk or run outside in few hours after that I feel like my blood vessels are blocked (strange, uncomfortable feeling in chest, neck or hands). I asked about tiredness also because it seemed to me that it might be connected to this, but now I'm not so sure --- maybe it's about better balance of nutrients... Would be most grateful if someone made the same transition I did and if there were some of the problems I described.

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curious as to why you stopped the raw food? –  Ryan Miller Aug 11 '11 at 13:30
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I started raw food, in the first place, because I got convinced by one person that it is the ultimate nutrition for humans, able to beneficially improve one's physical and mental abilities. (I'm heavily biased because of current problems I have ->) What a disfavor it was! Not only did it not help me in any way, but I had big problems even back then: food was more expensive, nutritional difference between ripe and non-ripe fruits felt huge then, social awkwardness nutrition brings etc. Even before I started raw food I had fast metabolism so I didn't have weight problems or something like that. –  user1653 Aug 11 '11 at 15:33
    
Care to explain how this question relates to strength, endurance, agility, and cardiovascular fitness? See this Meta discussion for more information. –  Ivo Flipse Aug 13 '11 at 11:55
    
@Ivo Flipse: You expect me to give an explanation, or you've wanted to provide one via that link on meta? –  user1653 Aug 15 '11 at 9:40
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I am fine with whatever mods regard to be off-topic. When I was asking the question, I saw that it might be off, so I did my best to mask it as one that's not off-topic. :) Nonetheless answers helped me. –  user1653 Aug 15 '11 at 15:57

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Amazing you can run a lot on just fruits and veg!

Regarding that particularly sort of odd tingly problem you describe. I've got a feeling it might be a problem relating to hypoglycemia - a difficult and sometimes misunderstood condition.

It can lead to issues like migraines if (in short) you have problems with the dynamics of your bloody sugar levels.

I encourage you to buy this book: by Dr Wolfgang Lutz and turn to page 42 for details. Notice the graphs on page 43 - that seemingly tiny difference is a huge difference in your body operations. Since I guess you've lived on just sugar for a few years (most fruit and veg is just sugar), your body chemistry, anything could be happening.

If you turn back to the comparative graph on page 39 you will see exactly why fat people get fat, if their insulin response is stuffed-up.

Anyway the section on hypoglycemia (and indeed the whole book) may answer the questions you have. Alternately if you speak german consider that "point-diet" book that is popular in austria, etc. at the moment.

In short you will (IMO) have to carefully manage your protein and fat balance (and also any carbs you eat) perhaps for some time (a year?) until your body chemistry - basically the "decay time" of that insulin function - returns to some sort of normality. I bet that the problem you describe is some variety of hypoglycemia-like problem caused by your bloody sugar levels going crazy in one direction or the other.

As Berin explains, you should really carefully choose "slow" carbohydrates (G.I.) if you must eat carbohydrates.

sugar curves

As the caption says the dotted curve shows what hypoglycemia looks like (it can cause migraines and similar problems not unlike AnAnt describes), and the solid line shows a healthy person. Conceivably eating just right for a year or so could bring you to the "normal" situation.

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While its nice that you refer to a book, if we have to buy it to 'see it for ourselves' that kind of beats the point doesn't it? –  Ivo Flipse Aug 12 '11 at 11:25
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Hi @Ivo ! I appreciate that you often point out, "don't just refer to a scientific paper" or "don't just refer to a book". It's a tricky one, I mean, people don't always have time to write out a detailed synopsis (or indeed just copy and retype), you know?! I, personally, am overjoyed when someone points me to an interesting paper or book, it would be a shame if people "didn't bother" referencing things because "one should provide a detailed synopsis". Don't you think. Anyway I will take a photo of the graph for interest!! –  Joe Blow Aug 12 '11 at 11:34
    
Well you did exactly what I expected you to: show us the graph and reference it. Job well done. If time is an issue, you can always update it later when you do have the time ;-) –  Ivo Flipse Aug 12 '11 at 11:52
    
Thanks for answer! That would seem like a legit solution for tiredness problem... will check it out. –  user1653 Aug 12 '11 at 12:19
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@an_ant great! it sounds like you need more fat. a common problem. i urge you to read the book in question, which is a science book, rather than just junk on the internet you know? you'll like the book! –  Joe Blow Aug 24 '11 at 20:36

Perhaps it would help to describe what your current diet is like on average. Fruits and veggies have certain benefits that you need to make sure you are continuing to get, although they also have some disadvantages.

Let's start at the beginning with nutrition. You need something representative of each macronutrient:

  • Protein. Fruits and veggies have them too, but it's easier to come by in animal meat.
  • Carbohydrates. Again, plenty of slow and complex carbs in fruits and vegetables.
  • Fats. Yes, fat is important. It's also something that is in minimal supply with fruits and vegetables.

Along with the macronutrients, you need micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins are water-soluble (like Vitamin C) and others are fat soluble (like Vitamin D). It is possible that you are not getting enough of these.

A very healthy spread for macro nutrients would be the 40/30/30 split. That's 40% carbohydrates and 30% each for protein and fats. For some easy math, an example would be 120g of carbs, 90g of protein, and 90g of fat. So let's say you need to eat 2000 Calories to maintain weight. With a bit of math, we find this would split into roughly 144g carbs, 108g protein, and 108g fat. (Divide the total number of Calories you need by 550 to get the number of grams to multiply by the percentages).

What this does is make sure you are getting a workable number of the macro nutrients you need. However, this doesn't address the micronutrients that you may or may not have. Raw food has better access to the micronutrients which are easily broken down by processing. You may need to use a multivitamin supplement if you can't get everything you need from your food.

Even when eating regular food again, it's pretty tempting to just go nuts and eat burgers and fries all the time. That will definitely leave you feeling like you described. Even having too many carbs can do that to you--particularly if they are absorbed by the body quickly. That kind of harsh cycling will give you a lot of energy for a short burst followed by a crash that leaves you feeling worse than before you had the carbs. It's best to stick to slow burning carbs (i.e. lower glycemic impact).

Take a look at your diet to determine if any one of the macro nutrients are vastly out of balance. For example, if you are eating food laden with fat and carbohydrates but very little protein, you will have energy problems. Same if you have any one of the macro nutrients way out of balance with the others.

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You've got the 40/30/30 ratio wrong. That's calories, not grams. A 2000 calorie diet should be 200g carbs, 150g proteins, 67g fats. –  Jeremy Stein Aug 11 '11 at 18:18
    
@Berin Loritsch: Thanks for answer! Although I don't calculate what I eat to a gram (because I'm kinda skinny and would be happy if I could gain some weight), I'm pretty sure I've balanced my diet (in line with your recommendations) all this time with additional minerals and vitamins in pills also. And I certainly don't have any problems with junk food - I prefer healthy food by far. --- I'll edit my question to try to emphasize core of my problem a little more... –  user1653 Aug 11 '11 at 19:33
    
@An_Ant Hi Berin, the amazing detailed info you provide is epic, but one thing, you mention the "40% carbo" idea that was popularised by the USA govt's "food pyramid" poster they had an ad agency create in 1992. The problem is, I'm sure you agree that this is a current hotly controversial issue. Half of current scientific opinion violently believes we should eat an incredibly large amount (40%!) of carbohydrates, half of scientific opinion believes we should eat no carbohydrates (as we have for 2 million years). It's a tough issue and difficult to present as a fait accompli. –  Joe Blow Aug 12 '11 at 11:28
    
The major failing of the "food pyramid" is that they don't count starchy vegetables and fruits as carbohydrates. You could follow the USDA's guidelines and have 80% carbohydrates. I think we can all agree that would be disastrous to our waistbands. I also don't believe for a minute that our ancestors did not have any carbohydrates at all. They are contained in fruits and vegetables which they did eat. You can say that our ancestors did anything a million years ago and no one could support or deny it. –  Berin Loritsch Aug 12 '11 at 12:19
    
Bottom line, is that carbs are necessary, but not in the quantity most people eat them. –  Berin Loritsch Aug 12 '11 at 12:20

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