Impact of eating starchy veggies?


doubledee

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Hello, I'm on Day 16 and cruising along nicely now after realizing that I really need to have at least one good-sized portion of starchy vegetables each day (on a few days when I haven't had them I felt weak and shaky). Just finished a delicious and satisfying breakfast of beet hash with eggs and avocado, and I'm feeling revved up and ready for the day.

But my question is, doesn't eating things like sweet potatoes and beets work AGAINST one of the main goals of the Whole30--namely, to change our metabolism so that our bodies are used to burning fat and protein rather than sugar for fuel? A beet is a natural, whole food, but it's also high on the glycemic index and provides a pretty quick hit of sugar. I'm not sure our bodies see much difference in terms of glucose levels between beet hash and sugary pancakes for breakfast. One of the reasons I'm trying the Whole30 is because I want my body to better regulate sugar levels, so I'm concerned I may be sabotaging this with meals like my breakfast this morning.

I'd be grateful if someone knowledgable about food science/metabolism could comment on how these starchy vegetables work in the Whole30 program.

 

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There's a difference between fat adaptation and being in ketosis where your body ONLY burns fat. It's a common misconception. The fist sized serving of starchy veggie or one-two servings of fruit will keep you out of ketosis (which is fine) but if you balance your meals according to the template and use the 4-5 hour meal timing along w/ eating that first meal within an hour of waking, you'll become fat adapted. This means your body can easily switch between fuel sources (carbs and fat) as needed w/ no impact to you.

We recommend not propping up sugar cravings with fruits, not eating fruit alone and limiting things like the carbier nuts (cashews etc) and dried fruits. These items will slow down that transition to fat adaptation. The sweet potato is fine and kudos to you that you figured out that you feel best with that included.

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There's also a huge difference in the impact to your blood sugar when having a breakfast like you had (with carbs, protein, and fat) and having a breakfast like pancakes which is virtually all sugary carbs. 

You can't just look at one aspect of what you're having in a meal (like the beets) when you're not having *only* beets as your meal. Maybe comparing beets to pancakes, you'd see a similar impact on blood sugar, but when you factor in the eggs, avocado, and whatever else was in the hash, it completely changes things. 

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23 minutes ago, laura_juggles said:

There's also a huge difference in the impact to your blood sugar when having a breakfast like you had (with carbs, protein, and fat) and having a breakfast like pancakes which is virtually all sugary carbs. 

You can't just look at one aspect of what you're having in a meal (like the beets) when you're not having *only* beets as your meal. Maybe comparing beets to pancakes, you'd see a similar impact on blood sugar, but when you factor in the eggs, avocado, and whatever else was in the hash, it completely changes things. 

Good point that you have to consider the whole context of the meal. thanks!

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/29/2018 at 9:34 AM, ladyshanny said:

There's a difference between fat adaptation and being in ketosis where your body ONLY burns fat. It's a common misconception. The fist sized serving of starchy veggie or one-two servings of fruit will keep you out of ketosis (which is fine) but if you balance your meals according to the template and use the 4-5 hour meal timing along w/ eating that first meal within an hour of waking, you'll become fat adapted. This means your body can easily switch between fuel sources (carbs and fat) as needed w/ no impact to you.

We recommend not propping up sugar cravings with fruits, not eating fruit alone and limiting things like the carbier nuts (cashews etc) and dried fruits. These items will slow down that transition to fat adaptation. The sweet potato is fine and kudos to you that you figured out that you feel best with that included.

So should you only have 1 serving of starchy vegetables or 1 to 2 servings of fruit a day? Is it an either or? So if you have sweet potatoes with breakfast you can not have any fruit or another potato in the same day? Or can you have sweet potatoes at breakfast and an apple with your lunch and strawberries with dinner? Thank you for any insight 

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1 hour ago, Holly’s said:

So should you only have 1 serving of starchy vegetables or 1 to 2 servings of fruit a day? Is it an either or? So if you have sweet potatoes with breakfast you can not have any fruit or another potato in the same day? Or can you have sweet potatoes at breakfast and an apple with your lunch and strawberries with dinner? Thank you for any insight 

You can have all three. You can have more than that if you need to. Some people find they need more starchy vegetables because they're more active, or are actively needing to maintain/gain weight, or are prone to depression or anxiety, or are pregnant, breastfeeding, or in the week or so leading up to their period.

The amount of carbs that will stop you from being fat adapted varies from person to person, so we can't really tell you exactly how much to eat. Try to pay attention to how you're feeling. If you can go 4-5 hours between meals easily, if your mood stays pretty stable -- you don't get hangry if you don't get a meal on time, you aren't as easily annoyed by little things -- then you've probably found a good amount for you. 

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