T Nation

Carb Intolerances. Suggested Replacements?

I recently took a food intolerance test that identified me as being highly intolerant to a number of foods, including:

Rice
Wheat
Maize
Barley
Oat
Potato
Spelt
Lentil
Durum Wheat
Couscous
Wheat Bran

Whilst I am more than happy to work to cut these out of my diet - I am struggling at this stage to think how I can replace them so that I still hit my macro carb goal on a daily basis.

As I currently understand it, sweet potato is not classed as potato and I will keep that in my diet. I am tripling my intake of fibrous vegetables but, where the starchy veg listed above equates to 25g C per 100g and fibrous veg only 5g/100g this won’t get me too far.

I’m looking for any alternatives that I might have missed that I am unlikely (fingers crossed) to be intolerant.

Thanks in advance.

Wow, that’s quite a list!

A few ones off the top of my head:

Beans
Berries and most fruit (banana, pineapple are all staples for me, but you also have apricots, pears…)
Squash
Pumpkin
Dextrose for workout nutrition (would’ve advised something like cyclic dextrin but since it’s starch-based I’m not sure you’d tolerate it. Might be worth it to do your own research on this)
White bread/pasta (while not the healthiest choice, you’ll probably get away with some if you are otherwise eating right)

Milk can be a decent carb source, too (look up lyle McDonald’s article on it), and for workout usage you could go as far as chocolate milk (again, you’ll find some references on McDonald’s site).

For more thoughts, read this:

But honestly, your situation wouldn’t even be that bad if it wasn’t for the intolerance to rice and potatoes.
Still, it’s something you can work around.

Good luck

Cheers for that - all really appreciated.

I didn’t include the full list - only those I thought were relevant to the non-starchy carb question, but I am also severely intolerant to milk, peas, seemingly most beans and yeast, which rules out a significant number of your suggested alternatives. Imagine white bread/pasta is out given the intolerance to wheat and yeast.

This is going to be crap.

Still, I’m seeing the Dr and dietician later this week - hopefully they’ll have some useful suggestions.

Hell, that’s really bad.

How old are you? I used to be intolerant to eggs, tomatoes, and lactose when I was a really young kid.

It all went away with adolescence. I imagine you are older than I am, but still many intolerances seem to go away with time. I wish you the best with that.

Meanwhile, since you don’t seem to have many choices. May I suggest moving to a keto diet? You’ll still be able to eat all the veggies you plan on eating, and once you become adapted you’ll feel good. Plus, you’ll get rid of all the side effects I imagine you are getting from eating the foods you’re intolerant to.

If you are trying to build muscle, I know many experts say keto isn’t the optimal path, but still, one has to do what it takes to get a compromise between their goals and general health.

30

I had the tests done because my digestion is bad, but other than that I can’t say that I have any obvious symptoms. I never feel lethargic and have energy through the day.

I did notice, whilst on a keto diet, previously that my digestion was significantly better so I think I will move back to that and then slowly re-introduce foods and see what effect they have.

1 Like

Was it brown rice and not white ? White rice is meant to be one of the easiest carbs to absorb, brown has phytic acid which makes it hard to break down.

I need to speak to the Dr later this week to understand if both white rice and brown rice are out, but (from my reading of the test report) they are. I mean, oats are out too and they’re supposed to be equally easy, right?

The list of foods that I’m supposedly intolerant to is ridiculously long - it has come as a shock as I only expected it to flag wheat and milk from what I noticed over the years. Turns out I’m off the chart with my intolerance to egg whites - given that I had been eating three eggs and ten egg white omelettes for breakfast every day that may explain why my digestion had been so poor recently.

I’m also allergic to a ton of diff foods. I’d get the potato one checked again, they use raw potato for the test which comes up as an allergy, same with me, but when the buggers heated, that proetin or allergen gets changed.

1 Like

Well now that I think about it, most of the sources you mentioned are not pure carbs.

I remember reading once that when people have intolerances to carb sources, most of the time it’s because of their protein content (think gluten).

I’m not even remotely a doctor, but the first thing that jumps to my mind that brown rice and oats have in common over white rice is their higher protein content.

Unless you are somehow intolerant to starch itself, you might be able to work at least some white rice into your diet. Of course I’m not suggesting that you do this before talking to the doctor, it’s just a thought. And since you said that most of these foods don’t give any strong symptoms, you might just have a mild intolerance to some of the foods on the list, which at least in my personal experience means that you just have to avoid going overboard and eating tons of those, whereas a small(ish) amount is fine.

No foods are “essential” for a balanced diet and one that helps you with your goals—but seen as you don’t seem to have many other choices, well if I only had to pick one carb source to eat from the rest of my life, that would very much be white rice.

Edit: same goes for potatoes IMO, as @I_Luc pointed out.

3 Likes

If I were you I would seek a second opinion, it seems you allergic to all the gluten and non gluten grains, maybe they stuffed something up or administered it wrong.
Rice allergy is very rare from memory, same with corn. Usually it’s a family of food your body will react to.
What else did they test you for? Fruits? Nuts?
Do you have asthma and eczema too, they seem to go hand in hand.

1 Like

I had eczema as a child, but haven’t suffered in years and I’ve never had any issues with asthma.

They tested me for allergies/intolerances to 200 foods. I’ve listed the intolerances that are most concerning. On the whole, I seem to be fine with fruits - only intolerant to pomegranate and plums - I think I can live with that. Also intolerant to a handful of different species of fish (cod, trout, tuna, pike, plaice, perch, sea bream, haddock, salmon, anchovy, hake, sole) but I’m intolerant to near enough every nut (almond, cashew, brazil, pistachio, peanut, hazelnut, cola nut) which is rather more rubbish.

I think I will have to ask for a repeat of the test. Seems ludicrous to have that many issues.

definitely suspcious.

double so if you aren’t experiencing any of the common symptoms associated with intolerance.

1 Like

White rice? Even people with Crohns can eat that.

If you really can’t eat all that then you’re pretty much fucked.

Have you ever tried an elimination diet? Might be a better idea than trusting some test (food allergy testing is notoriously unreliable).

At least there is no animal proteins on the list, I would also try the elimination diet if I were you, something like 1 cup of white rice (jasmine) and a protein source chicken or steak every 3 hours for a couple of days, don’t add any vegetables, monitor how you feel after the meals, cramps, diarrhea? Also check your stool rice should bulk it up.

Personally I don’t eat anything on that list except for potato and white rice and rarely corn and popcorn. I doubted that I was sensitive but cutting them wheat, ended a decade plus of insomnia issues and sinus congestion within a week. If I put back in wheat my sinus congestion comes right back.

Did they test for “nuts”? Also coffee? Also Egg white? Just curious as nuts with skins and egg white tend to be higher on the allergenic scale than potato and brown rice.

Anyway, some options that work great for me when I need to up starches: Green banana flour and plantains, tapioca (manioc flour) though it sometimes is allergenic to people who are sensitive to potato. Buckwheat flour (which is not a form of wheat). Sorghum flour. Of these, Banana flour is considered to be virtually zero on the reactivity scale. Bananas in general are pretty good and apricots are a low fructose fruit and with their fiber content are not going to be much different that starches. You can make pancakes with buckwheat and coconut flour and eggs.

2 Likes

Regarding your last point, except that almost everything on the list contain similar lectins and allergenic proteins. Rice and potatoes would be the oddballs on the list though.

2 Likes