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In general, do carbs make people sleepy? My wife and I started eating a little-to-no carb paleo diet about a week ago (lots of vegetables, fruits, meat), and we feel like we've already seen a change in our mood.

However, earlier today we decided to bake some sweet potatoes (lightly breaded in corn starch) because we love them, and they have more nutrients than your typical starchy food. A couple hours after eating them, my wife's stomach kept making noises (like a loud gurgle every couple minutes for a half hour), and she's feeling out of it and tired.

I'm curious, is this a typical reaction to carbs or starchy foods? We're definitely not planning on eating too many of them, but it was alarming to see her sudden change in mood and constant stomach noises.

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Also take a look at this question on gluten sensitivity after switching to a paleo diet. The answers there might be useful to you. –  Matt Chan Feb 6 '12 at 18:20
    
Off topic according to the FAQ since the scope change of the site excluded questions not related to exercise. –  Baarn Sep 13 '12 at 15:56
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1 Answer 1

It could be the specific choice that didn't agree with your wife. Essentially, there are a couple principles to be concerned with:

  • Carbs with a high glycemic impact will cause a higher than needed insulin spike, resulting in an inevitable crash due to low blood sugar.
  • Not every carb agrees with every person. It can be an allergic reaction, or some other food sensitivity.

By the description, it sounds like it could have been the second option, but perhaps with a bit of the first. It's common to accompany potatoes with a fat, like butter or sour cream, and that helps to diminish the effect of the insulin spike. The fat acts as a binder to make the carbs release slower in the system. However, if the potatoes, or more likely the corn starch didn't sit well in your wife's stomach--particularly if you haven't been eating that way for a while--it's probably got a more basic reaction to the food.

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