Author Topic: Am I fat adapted?  (Read 18505 times)

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Offline Josh

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Am I fat adapted?
« on: April 21, 2009, 10:00:58 pm »
Hi there.

I haven't eaten much raw animal stuff yet, apart from a few raw eggs and a bit of sushi, but this seems place seems more knowledgable than other paleo forums. I wonder if you can help me with a question trying to sort out my macronutrient ratio?

I have been following a roughly 'paleo' scheme for a while...less than 150 g carb a day, c.100g protein and plenty of fat...I've been using coconut, olive oil and avocados as the main source of fat but also fat beef and lamb. To start with I only ate meat and salmon (cooked) and green leaves, then I phased in a few berries, carrots, beetroot etc. I have cheated a couple of times and had a kebab wrapped in a nan or something. I also supplement with AOR ortho core and a couple of other things, so probably doing ok for micronutrients.

I lost a fair few pounds and now have that lean look I see in a lot of paleo people...my skin looks great and I feel strong. For a couple of weeks I had low energy, but now I have all day energy for everyday tasks and don't crave carbs.

However, my brain functioning has not come up to the level of when I was eating healthy 'balanced' meals with wholegrains and starches - hard to explain, but I can't think as quickly and creatively like I have less brain 'energy'. Also I have very little stamina for running and get out of breath very easily.

I've been doing this for about 5 weeks...could it get better than this, or do I need to rethink something?

It seems like the options are

1) There's more fat adaption to take place, I just need to stick it out
2) I need more paleo carbs, berries etc
3) I just need to eat some starchy carbs tubers etc
4) There's some other explanation

Any ideas? I don't really want to ditch the paleo idea as it makes a lot of sense. Oh yeh, I will be starting to ease into raw meat and fish as well.

Josh




Offline wodgina

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 10:44:12 pm »
Hi Josh,

When i started raw paleo I read nearly all the posts. I still struggled but it's the best way to learn.

Good luck
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Offline Guittarman03

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 11:57:26 am »
Josh, I think most people on this forum would agree that animal sources of fat and protein are far superior to plant based ones.  While extracted fats can be good for transitioning, you will likely find much better results with something like fatty beef, bison, lamb, bone marrow, and suet.  The truth is extracts are not really all that paleo (but still MUCH better than other oils you might get).

Some people find they need more in the way of carbs than others.  If you do feel the need to add some more carbs, stay away from very starchy carbs such as corn, potatoes, grains, beans, rice and the like, as they will only hurt you in the long run.  Add maybe tomatoes, pineapple, papaya if you're looking for something a bit starchy, berries, peppers, if your trying to keep the effective carbs (the ones that end up as glucose) to a minimum.

And definitely don't give up until you've incorporated a good portion of raw red meat into your diet.  If you need to cook the outside a little, that's fine as long as you leave some good unheated portion in the center.  Try to get the main portion of your calories from animal sources, and supplement as needed with plants.

Experiment and give it some time.  Often when transitioning to RP, you can experience some detox and adjustment symptoms which I bet would subside fairly quickly if you switch to primarily fat and meat supplemented with plants, not the other way around.  Let us know how it works out for you. 
When you consume an organism it loses individuality, but its biological life never ends.  Digestion is merely a transfer of its life to mine.

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 12:33:07 am »

I have been following a roughly 'paleo' scheme for a while...less than 150 g carb a day, c.100g protein and plenty of fat...I've been using coconut, olive oil and avocados as the main source of fat but also fat beef and lamb. To start with I only ate meat and salmon (cooked) and green leaves, then I phased in a few berries, carrots, beetroot etc. I have cheated a couple of times and had a kebab wrapped in a nan or something. I also supplement with AOR ortho core and a couple of other things, so probably doing ok for micronutrients.

I lost a fair few pounds and now have that lean look I see in a lot of paleo people...my skin looks great and I feel strong. For a couple of weeks I had low energy, but now I have all day energy for everyday tasks and don't crave carbs.

However, my brain functioning has not come up to the level of when I was eating healthy 'balanced' meals with wholegrains and starches - hard to explain, but I can't think as quickly and creatively like I have less brain 'energy'. Also I have very little stamina for running and get out of breath very easily.

I've been doing this for about 5 weeks...could it get better than this, or do I need to rethink something?

It seems like the options are

1) There's more fat adaption to take place, I just need to stick it out
2) I need more paleo carbs, berries etc
3) I just need to eat some starchy carbs tubers etc
4) There's some other explanation

Any ideas? I don't really want to ditch the paleo idea as it makes a lot of sense. Oh yeh, I will be starting to ease into raw meat and fish as well.


I choose answer number 4.  If you are eating anywhere close to 150 grams of carbohydrates a day, then your body is burning carbs primarily.  There is just no way you are fat adapted, because your body will burn the toxic carbs first if it is bombarded with them.  If you want to burn fat as fuel, then give up the carbs completely, or nearly so.  I know it seems counter intuitive to many, and it may seem like a scary thing to do. 

Twelve days into my nearly zero carb adventure and I feel better than I have in years.  I eat liver or oysters once every 2 weeks and some very small amounts of seaweed and herbs only as carb sources.  But then, I very gradually had been cutting down carbs for months.  I was obviously already keto adapted, as I have had no symptoms of brain fog, poor performance or anything, even though I train for taekwondo and strength regularly.  No cravings for salad, avocados, nothing.  I might eat these things once in a while, but for now, this is the life!

You may want to experiment, Josh.  Stay off of any carb you have to cook in order to eat, first and foremost, for a month, then reassess.  That means no bread, tubers, etc.  If you are having symptoms from that, I would say you may have candida issues.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 06:38:58 am by Satya »

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 06:35:33 am »
Josh,
It will take you many months to fully adapt to a significant dietary change.  Your body can't run on fat as long as there are any significant carbs in your diet.  Adaptation to fat and ketones requires the cells to add mitochondria as they are the power houses that allow the cells to burn fat. This will take about 3 months or maybe more.  In the mean time you may have periods that you feel low on energy.

You'll have to get into a ketogenic state for your brain to transition to using ketones and clear the 'fog'.  You can measure this in your urine with Ketostix.  If you are dumping ketones in your urine it is an indication that there are not enough carbs in your diet to meet your body's current high glucose demand and body fat will be broken down to produce free fatty acids, glucose (from the glycerol molecule in the triglyceride), and ketones (another form of carbohydrate that the body manufactures to replace glucose).  The brain will then convert to using ketones directly for fuel rather than the now scarce glucose, and you'll start to notice a positive mood shift as well as significantly increased alertness.

To get into a state that will encourage your body to create ketones (which is the first stage in converting to burning fat as primary fuel) you'll probably have to reduce carb intake to 30g or less per day.  You'll have periods where you really feel run down and other periods where you feel great, but over about 8 to 12 weeks you'll be feeling on top of the world.

Glad to answer specific questions, and you may find my journal on this forum useful in understanding what to expect,

Lex 


Offline Josh

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 09:02:43 pm »
Thanks a lot for the info...that's seriously useful. 3 months is a lot longer than I have seen elsewhere...I'll stick it out and see what happens.

I'm probably doing about 75g of carb a day at the moment...I guess if I go down to 30 it would be best to get into raw organ meats etc to get enough vits and minerals.

@Guittarman03 I'm not knocking what you say, as I'm far from clear about anything, but what are the reasons that animal fats are superior? The extracted ones are easy to measure out, and seem to be the staples of some healthy cultures FWIW.

I'll be in the archives dusting off the old posts...

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 11:48:39 pm »
Thanks a lot for the info...that's seriously useful. 3 months is a lot longer than I have seen elsewhere...I'll stick it out and see what happens.

Josh, Adaptation takes much longer than popular wisdom would suggest.  As an example, we are told that you can eat as many calories as you want as long as it is fat, and you won't gain weight.  Many experiments have been done to "prove" this point.  The problem is, most of these "experiments" were just a few weeks at the longest.  My experience was that when I raised the fat ratio in my diet, I LOST weight for the first couple of weeks, but then, surprise, surprise, over 4 months I gained about 10 lbs.

Another common belief is that if you eat a zero carb diet then you will have large amounts of ketones in your urine.  Again, tests have been run for several weeks at a time and sure enough, everytime, the participants in the study dump large amounts of ketones in their urine.  I've monitored my ketones now for about 4 years.  Here's what I've found.  At first I dumped ketones in large amounts for months.  I assumed this would continue, but then noticed they dropped off after a year or 18 months.  What happened?  Well, interestingly enough, my weight stabilized.  As long as I'm not making changes to diet composition or activity level, and my weight stays constant, then ketones are present but in the Trace to Level-1 stage.  If I make sudden demands on my body by increasing activity levels above normal, reduce food intake, or significantly increase fat ratio of my food, I will start dumping large amounts of ketones again until my body stabilizes at the new level of whatever change was made.  This can take several months so whenever I make a change as an experiment, I always run the experiment for at least 4 months and often longer.

@Guittarman03 I'm not knocking what you say, as I'm far from clear about anything, but what are the reasons that animal fats are superior? The extracted ones are easy to measure out, and seem to be the staples of some healthy cultures FWIW.

Plant fats have a really terrible lipid profile.  Almost completely made up of Omega6 and Omega9 fatty acids.  They also contain plant esters that our bodies are not really equipped to handle.  This is why people that are allergic to Soy Beans  or Walnuts, or Wheat or other plant material, are allergic to the oils as well.  PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids are also a major issue.  Our bodies are designed to process and use saturated fatty acids and not the immense levels of PUFAS found it plant oils.

Some studies have linked high consumption of plant fats to cancer as well as degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.  Our brains and nerve tissues are about 50% Omega3 fatty acids.  Our bodies can make a little of this from the other fats but it is very low quality and causes problems.  Studies have been done on the IQ of children, where the mother had a high intake of Omega3 fatty acids while carrying the child and IQ is consistently 6 to 10 points higher than children from a mother deficient in Omega 3.  Most plant oils have NO omega3 fatty acids at all.

Grass fed red meat animals have both the saturated fat our bodies need for fuel as well as the omega3 fatty acids needed for tissue, brain, and nerve development and function.  Grass-fed animal fat consistently tests out at between 25% and 50% Omega3.

Most plant fats test out at 0% Omega3 fatty acids, and animals fed an unnatural diet of grains in a feed lot, often have Omega3 levels of around 3% or so.  Another thing you may not have thought about, Where on earth would our ancestors have gotten concentrated plant oils?  It takes a bushel of corn to get one cup of corn oil - that's a lot of corn.  And how on earth would they have extracted it with crude tools of pointed sticks and sharp rocks and no jars or vessels to hold it.  Also, most of the plants from which we extract oil didn't even exist 10,000 years ago, much less 100,000 years ago.

Here's a web page with some basic information that you can follow up on:

http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/focusing_on_nutrition.htm

Lex

Offline Josh

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 09:14:04 pm »
Thanks for the info Lex. I'm not taking a position one way or the other, in fact keen to try out raw beef, but just to try and play devils advocate - from what I've read virgin coconut oil is pure saturated fat... some 'paleo' types are into it because it contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides which they find good for energy. A staple of the Kitavans who experience good health.

Virgin olive oil is 80% monounsaturated fat then the ratio of omega 3 to 6 can vary...however

Quote
Another health benefit of olive oil seems to be its property to displace omega-6 fats, while not having any impact on omega-3 fats. This way, olive oil helps to build a more healthy balance between omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats.
- from wikipedia.

Possibly why the mediterranean diet is ok for health in certain ways?

Cheers, Josh.

Satya

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 10:21:48 pm »
Strictly speaking, coconut oil is no more paleo than carrot juice.  You need technology to extract it, in the form of electric motor driven extractors.  Eating coconut flesh is fine, but man, it's a pain in the butt to crack and eat them.  Animal fat just has to be sliced to be eaten.  So, if you want saturated fat, why buy an inferior, highly processed for of it that has no omega 3s whatsoever?  Olive oil can be obtained by smashing olives by hand (or foot).
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 10:39:33 pm by Satya »

Offline wodgina

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2009, 12:03:53 am »
Coconut and olive oil are high in salicylates which is toxic to humans.

I picked a ripened olive off a tree last week and had a nibble, it tasted inedible.

 
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William

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2009, 01:34:01 pm »
Ripe olives must be soaked in brine to make them edible.
Simple enough that they could still be paleo.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2009, 11:33:09 pm »
Ripe olives must be soaked in brine to make them edible.
Simple enough that they could still be paleo.

Hmmmm, simple?  And just where would paleo people get the containers to soak them in?  I spent 3 years working for Early California Foods at their olive processing plant.  The brine process (commonly referred to as "Spanish" olives), takes months of soaking and brine exchanges which we did in wooden barrels.   We often forget that what we accept as routine didn't exist at all 100,000 years ago.

Also, olives, like coconuts and other foods that are often referred to as part of the universal diet of early man are highly regional and only available to a very small segment of the earth's population.  It is modern processing and transportation that has taken coconuts, olives, and their byproducts out of their small regions and made them available in markets all over the world.

Nope, I seriously doubt that olives or olive oil was used by paleo man (2.5million to 75,000 years ago).  Mesolithic? (75,000 to 10,000 years ago) - maybe, Neolithic? (10,000 years ago to present) - yes.

Lex

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2009, 01:27:33 am »
Just a correction:- The Mesolithic era only started c.20,000 years ago at the earliest - it's merely used to describe the transition from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic, and, IMO, isn't a true epoch at all:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesolithic
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Offline Josh

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2009, 04:10:51 am »
Something to think about thanks. Although the more I read about nutrition, the more I suspect that no food is free of potential downsides  -\  :)

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2009, 05:04:41 am »
Something to think about thanks. Although the more I read about nutrition, the more I suspect that no food is free of potential downsides  -\  :)

What downside have you found for meat?  I've had personal experience of the downsides of dairy, grains, and excessive fruits and veggies.  Haven't had any problems with red meat and fat.

Lex

William

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2009, 05:06:13 am »
Hmmmm, simple?  And just where would paleo people get the containers to soak them in?  I spent 3 years working for Early California Foods at their olive processing plant.  The brine process (commonly referred to as "Spanish" olives), takes months of soaking and brine exchanges which we did in wooden barrels.   We often forget that what we accept as routine didn't exist at all 100,000 years ago.

Also, olives, like coconuts and other foods that are often referred to as part of the universal diet of early man are highly regional and only available to a very small segment of the earth's population.  It is modern processing and transportation that has taken coconuts, olives, and their byproducts out of their small regions and made them available in markets all over the world.

Nope, I seriously doubt that olives or olive oil was used by paleo man (2.5million to 75,000 years ago).  Mesolithic? (75,000 to 10,000 years ago) - maybe, Neolithic? (10,000 years ago to present) - yes.

Lex

Seawater would probably do, contained in a tidal pool.
Yes, regional, but still could have been as paleo as soaking coffee beans which are also regional.

Offline lex_rooker

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2009, 05:22:29 am »
Seawater would probably do, contained in a tidal pool.
Yes, regional, but still could have been as paleo as soaking coffee beans which are also regional.

A bit of a stretch if you ask me.  My tools are sharp sticks and rock shards and I'm going to carry handfuls of little bitter olives to a tide pool that washes things away with every high tide, so I can let them soak for 6 months to wash out the taninns to make them edible - yup that's the ticket.   

Personally I don't think olives OR coffee beans are a paleo food, but hey, each can decide for themselves.

Lex

William

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 05:58:49 am »
  My tools are sharp sticks and rock shards and I'm going to carry handfuls of little bitter olives to a tide pool that washes things away with every high tide, so I can let them soak for 6 months to wash out the taninns to make them edible - yup that's the ticket. 

Those are hunters' tools. Gatherers' tools might have included nets or baskets or whatever could have been woven. Easy then to confine some olives in a pool, although I don't know why they would have done it other than out of curiousity.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2009, 06:51:39 am »
Clearly olive oil is a very processed food. I'm open to the idea of processing things like rendering fat and drying meat for preservation, maybe even pressing fruits and nuts/seeds for extractions, but olives are out of the question. First of all even modern olive trees grow fruit that is very offensive to the taste buds until processed with brine, why on earth would paleo man bother collecting it in the first place? I could see collecting something that tastes good right off the tree or vine, like fruit or nuts, and then storing them and perhaps learning how to extract an oil or juice, but to collect something that tastes like crap and then spend hours learning how to soak it in brine (which they couldn't just get at the store) seems insane. Not to mention the fact that wild olive trees probably have more small and bitter fruit than the commercially grown ones of today, an even worse tasting initial product. Then after all that there's the oil extraction. It's so many steps for an inferior oil, as far as I know the only reasonably healthy plant oils are coconut, palm seed and macadamia nut because of coconut and palm seeds saturated nature, and the macadamia having the best omega 3 to 6 ratio in the plant kingdom that I've heard of. There's flax but that has a lot of weird chemicals, lignans and such, and the way it gets all chia pet when you soak them I doubt anyone would ever think to try and extract an oil from that mush.

William

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 10:06:41 am »
Not a processed food, and questionable if it was a food.

Get ripe olive, which is a fruit, and may have been the only edible fruit at the time, probably did not even have to climb a tree. Put in tidal pool in sea. (Sea is made of brine)
Cover with basket/net/whatever. Put rock on top.
Come back in six months.

Paleo folks must have been doing something with those big brains. Why not a fun experiment?


Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 10:19:23 am »
You could come up with a story like that about any Neolithic food. I see it highly unlikely given the reward vs. work needed that anyone would have bothered with that kind of food gathering. You could either spend an afternoon hunting and take down an animal that could feed you and your family and friends for a week, or spend just as much time gathering bitter little fruits, go to the shore if you happen to be near the ocean, make a container for them, leave them there and hope some animal doesn't eat them in the SIX MONTHS you say they should be left, then go all the way back and have maybe one meal out of it, and a poor meal at that (compared to a wild animal carcass). Not to mention they would have to somehow have learned that the salt water could transform the inedible fruit into something halfway decent tasting. I think a more likely story would go see tree, pick fruit, take a bite, spit it out and don't bother with it anymore.

Offline wodgina

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 12:57:27 pm »
Olives couldn't be more neolithic if they tried. Months of soaking? sounds like a lot more fun than taking down a woolly mammoth or being at war with another tribe.

Red meat and fat is the perfect food, someone once claimed they knew someone who is allergic to red meat. That would have to be a one a million thing. I've heard of people being allergic to water and sunlight as well.



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William

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 01:49:28 pm »
You could come up with a story like that about any Neolithic food.I think a more likely story would go see tree, pick fruit, take a bite, spit it out and don't bother with it anymore.

Until someone says that the fruit of the olive tree is not the same size as in paleo time, it could have been used.
The stupid caveman idea gets tiring. The could have been more intelligent, must have had forsight and may have been capable of all we do. How much work does it take to throw olives in a tidal pool and cover them?

If you wonder why they did not invent a high technology civilization, read the news every day of modern man, whose life is mostly short nasty and brutish. Paleo man was too smart to poison himself.

Nobody has claimed that they lived on olives, or what they might have been used for.

Offline Josh

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 09:59:19 pm »
I haven't found any downsides to meat. I've just become cynical enough to suspect that there must be some :)

I think I and other people sometimes go through a process...when I was a kid food was food - fish fingers, oven chips, burgers, roasts..enjoyed it all thoroughly.

Then start trying to lose weight and be healthy as a teenager, but only consider the idea that too much fat is are bad and it's good to eat your veggies. Then have a few health issues and start to look into it a bit more - gluten in grains so eat potatoes...hold on nightshades aren't good for you...how about yams then? But carbs in general cause glycation...ok then try a low carb paleo diet. What about all those AGE's in cooked meat though? And those long lived cultures that eat a plant based diet? How about eating veggies then...but OMG dangerous phytochemicals.

I hope raw meats are the perfect food, but I wouldn't be suprised if there's a compromise to be made somewhere.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Am I fat adapted?
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2009, 12:01:31 am »

Red meat and fat is the perfect food, someone once claimed they knew someone who is allergic to red meat. That would have to be a one a million thing. I've heard of people being allergic to water and sunlight as well.

I've come across several cases. Those were to cooked meat, though. You've got to bear in mind that even though red-meat-allergy isn't one of the top 5 food-allergies, it's a fact that allergy-rates have been rising inexorably in the last few decades.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
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