Carb Counters - Newbie with a few questions!

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01-20-2011, 08:13 PM
Hi ladies,

I am not exactly new to LCing( did protein power, the Zone, CAD and south beach in the past) but I have a couple of questions I was hoping someone would be able to answer..

1. alcohol. never really drank before but now I have acquired a taste for wine and the occassional drink usually while preparing question is why is it that we don't count alcohol calories as carbs? wouldn't at least some of the alcohol calories be processed as a carb? Seems weird to have a whole bottle of mike's light hard lemonade and only count 4 carbs :dizzy:

2. peanuts. why do paleo and primal distinguish between nuts and peanuts? I know peanuts are technically a legume.. but they appear to have a very low carb count as well. (I did order the book I swear, it's on its way!) if they are as low carb as nuts, why are they frowned upon?

01-21-2011, 10:39 AM
no one knows?
I guess I will hold off on the peanuts until the book comes.. and as for the wine and MIke's I will count the carbs as per the label for now. I did some research yesterday about it and couldnt find much except it seems that if you take in too many calories, the alcohol would /could be stored as fat. but if you were in a calorie deficit the alcohol would just be burned first so would slightly delay carb burning . but I have read Taubes' earlier book and I forget what he says about alcohol, since he says tha calories largely don't matter.

If anyone could give me any insight it would be much appreciated!

01-21-2011, 10:43 AM
Sorry Natalia ... I'm just so bad at remembering resources.

For me, it's past experience. If I drink, I either gain or don't lose. A little sip of red wine is OK but not much else. As for peanuts ... my body doesn't like legumes ... gassy etc ... so I avoid them.

Sorry, I've got nothing concrete for you.

01-21-2011, 10:51 AM
srmb60- thanks for the input! Do you stall out if you only have one drink (dry wine or spirits with diet beverage?)

I never used to drink at all but I am acquiring a taste and it helps a bit with my chronic pain. MD's sure can be cheap with the pain relievers! I only have 1 or less a day, and I am wondering if some people see a gain because they tend to eat carby with it or afterwards. I am really weird tht way, in that when I have anything to drink it completely shuts down my appetite (which is nice). I think I may drink one a day and see what happens on the scale.

I'm not being super strict on carbs, 40-60 daily, more than that I tend to stall out but much less and I start feeling really weird. Kind of like hypoglycemic symptoms all the time, and I hate that feeling. Plus for me, 40-60 is much more liveable. so hopefully there will be "room" for a drink here and there ;)

01-21-2011, 12:32 PM
I'm not sure I've ever tried just one glass of wine a day. I either have a few for some kind of occasion or I have none for ages. I can have a light beer for several days in a row without it having much effect.

01-21-2011, 02:36 PM
I don't know anything about primal/paleo... You can't count alcohol as a carb because alcohol is not a carb. When there are carbs in a drink it is from sugars, like with wine it's 3 or 4 per glass as it's made from fruit, which is carb-bearing. A lot of straight liquor has no carb. Your body will always burn alcohol first as a fuel, so if you are on a ketogenic diet, it will kick you out of ketosis. I don't know what the effect of it is on a more moderate-carb intake program. Sorry I can't help more.

01-21-2011, 06:14 PM
Hi there,

Abluvion gave a great answer as to why alcohol (or too much alcohol) doesn't help with weight loss and can even hinder it. I enjoy alcohol in moderation, especially in social situations (meaning a gin and diet tonic in the summer or red wine in the winter). However, I'm doing a really strict "clean" eating challenge during the month of January (paleo) ( which is NO alcohol. There have been a few nights where I normally would have had a glass of wine, but I must say I am doing it -- one month with no alcohol is manageable. And, I am really losing and feeling good, so I'm motivated to continue.

As to the peanut question... I remember that when I first started to read about primal lifestyle, the peanut thing (and beans!!!) was really tough for me to wrap my mind around. I've never been a huge peanut butter lover, but I do like it and enjoyed it from time to time or had it in certain recipes (like Asian dips/sauces, which I love).

The way Mark Sisson (PB) and Robb Wolf explain it goes sort of like this: legumes (beans, peanuts) contain fairly high levels of lectins, which are in a lot of foods but happen to be quite high in legumes.

Leptins are proteins, but they are toxic, and are especially damaging for anyone with an autoimmune disease (diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) or for anyone with the tendency or predisposition to develop AI problems (this includes a lot of people).

Here's a bit from wikipedia on leptin toxicity:

Digestion and immune distress
Foods with high concentrations of lectins, such as beans, cereal grains, seeds, and nuts, may be harmful if consumed in excess in uncooked or improperly uncooked form. Adverse effects may include nutritional deficiencies, and immune (allergic) reactions[7]. Possibly, most effects of lectins are due to gastrointestinal distress through interaction of the lectins with the gut epithelial cells. Recent studies have suggested that the mechanism of lectin damage might occur by interfering with the repair of already-damaged epithelial cells.

Lectin and Leptin Resistance

Lectin may cause leptin resistance, affecting its functions (signal have high levels of leptin and several effects gathering to protect from lipid overload), as indicated by studies on effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms on the function of leptin and the leptin receptor.
Such leptin resistance may translate into diseases, notably it could be responsible for obesity in humans who have high levels of leptin."

I used to be a huge bean eater -- beans and rice, bean burritos, beans and cheese, beans in chili, etc. etc. I grew up eating beans a few days a week. It was really hard for me to get this connection, but even if eating beans or peanuts doesn't make you feel poorly immediately (which, to be honest, they DO -gas, bloating, etc), the effect on the gut lining is cumulative and can lead to problems down the road.

Interestingly, my bean loving family is full of AI illnesses - RA, my sister has had lupus for 20 years, and more. Personally I went through a few terrible years of ill health -- total lethargy, achey joints, etc, and even had a borderline test for lupus -- but I've since recovered from "it" (whatever "it" was).

Apparently there is a HUGE connection between gut inflammation and inflammation in the body, which plays into AI illnesses, cardiac issues, etc, etc. Here is a link for a very science-y article on the connection between lectins (the culprit in beans and peanuts) and RA. (

I am probably not explaining this all that well, but I hope it helps a little and maybe the links and books (once you get them) will provide a clearer explanation.

I never thought I could give up beans, but now that I've been eating this way for 9 months, it's easy-peasy. I love it, it's easy, I feel great, I've lost weight... I can't say enough.

Give it a try and see what you think!

01-21-2011, 08:24 PM
wow- thank you so much for that explanation. AI disease does run in my family; as I mentioned (I think) I have severe Crohn's disease, my little sister has psoriatic arthritis. Too bad I just finished 1/2 cup peanuts ! I can pretty much do without beans... normally I only have them when making chili, and I can cope with very few beans in that. PB- I only eat it on bread, which of course I am abstaining from, so thats okay. But to give up nuts I would be a hurtin' unit- I'm not going to lie. I prefer almonds and most other nuts to peanuts but we just ran out and there's a snowstorm so thats why I was into the peanuts. Hopefully almonds don't have the same amount of toxicity!
Thanks a bunch!

01-22-2011, 01:18 PM
Glad it helped. Don't sweat eating the peanuts... you are transitioning, and you'll get in the groove soon. Yes, almonds (and most other nuts) are better and can certainly be enjoyed eating primal/paleo. I now use almond butter for recipes calling for peanut butter or the occasional snack (one apples slices). It tastes very close to peanut but except it's acutally BETTER -score.

I'm way down here in Va, and boy is it chilly (for us). The sky looks snowy, so I may be in the same predicament soon. Maybe I should get my grocery list together...

01-23-2011, 04:00 PM
Wine definitely puts a stall on my weight loss :yes: ... I've been eating macadamia nuts I :love: them a bit too much, but I eat them just to curb my hunger in the evening and when preparing meals... I do find that when I eat them at night they make me "go" in the morning TMI :lol: .... I really, really "try" to limit them to 1/4 cup /day....