The second thing i read this morning which yanked my chain was YET ANOTHER report of how chocolate is good for us and contains SOOOO many good properties. Certain paleo/primal sites ring its praises constantly.
Unfortunately, it's also a very common allergen. So are wheat, dairy, citrus, tomatoes, and even eggs.
I wonder how many people try low-carb and/or paleo/primal, and give it up because they feel bad BECAUSE they've been told how good for them certain foods are, and they eat a lot of things they're actually intolerant of without even knowing it. I occasionally see people note that they love cream or chocolate or whatever, but after a whole-30 they reintroduce things only to find that what they love has betrayed them. ;-)
Then there is the question of sweet potatoes. And brassicas. And nightshades. A lot of "paleo darlings" have a dark side, especially to hypothyroids and the histamine-intolerant. It's a real pain in the ass to have to learn what foods are widely problematic THE HARD WAY.
We all know that "just because it's natural doesn't mean it's benign," and the converse as well. But it's truly shocking how many foods lurking in your friendly neighborhood grocery -- even your local farmers' market -- are downright health-damaging.
If you find, as a lot of people do who have Chronic Fatigue/ME, hypothyroidism, and most of the gastrointestinal problems, that you have whole strings of dietary intolerances, you probably start investigating the things you should avoid eating. The easy things are the ones which paleo proscribes: grains, legumes, industrial seed oils, and maybe dairy. Then you get into finer points -- hypothyroids also need to avoid goitrogens like cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mustard and turnip greens, collards, cabbages of all kinds, rutabagas and turnips, radishes, maca, and even condiments like mustard seeds and horseradish), AND cyanide-containing fruits and vegetables (including cassava/yucca, cabbage again, sorghum, flaxseed, peaches, apples, cherries, almonds...), AND glycosylflavones like millet, AND animal-fat sources of excessive omega-6 fats, AND ... and ... and ....
If you have Histamine/Tyramine/Salicylate Intolerance, there's a whole 'nother list of foods that cause trouble. This list includes more PDs (paleo darlings) like fermented vegetables, red wine, and avocados. Then there's the trouble with FODMAPs (the length of that list is jaw-dropping) ... and also when there are problem biota in the small intestine. Again -- and and and.
There are probably no foods which are 100% safe for everyone. According to Dr. Donaldson, fat meat and water SHOULD be, but i know people who swear they're allergic to beef or chicken or whatever. I rather suspect it has more to do with the feeding and health-maintaining practices of those raising the meat-animals, but that's just the way i think....
The point is, there are few foods which are almost entirely undamaging to modern humans. Part of it has to do with how things are raised these days, but a good deal is our tendency to want to eat the wrong things in the first place. We were conditioned by nature to enjoy sweet things, and this predilection has taken on a life of its own now. The fruits which were wholesome in their wildness have been cultured to deliver a STUNNING level of some of the most toxic micronutrients we can indulge in. Somehow, "eating the rainbow" has been turned into a big virtue, and why? Because the poisons in them are so dilute that they seem to put our immune systems on their mettle -- preposterous! :-D ...And don't get me started on our fondness for grains.