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Old 03-11-2013, 05:59 AM   #1
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The smell of HC foods

I am just curious if anyone else is bothered by the smell of HC foods. I had an interesting experience a few days ago. I took my daughter to an indoor playground and they has a sitting area for parents, where they also happened to serve lunch. I spent most of my time in this area and was there from 11am to 1pm. The parents that were there starting ordering lunch and unfortunately all that was on the menu was typical HC foods with one exception: a cesar salad. They couldn't make me a salad because they had no lettuce so all could do was drink coffee with the HWC I brought (no outside food was allowed in). I spent the next two hours smelling HC foods. I finally got something to eat from a nearby restaurant when we left, but the rest of the day I experienced mild hypoglycemia.

Is it possible that the smell of HC knocked me out of ketosis? Normally I would have been fine, at home with what I had eaten. The smell of the HC foods did bother me a lot for the two hours I was there, but I survived just drinking coffee. I am just curious if anyone else has had problems with the smell of HC foods.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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I read Gary Taube's book, "Why We Get Fat". He said, just thinking and anticipating about eating high carb foods can start insulin secretion before you even take a bite. So, I can see where being hungry and smelling high carb foods can cause hypoglycemia. I don't think it would take you out of ketosis.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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I find that I have the same thing going on whenever I have to cook rice for someone else (rice was really my carby comfort food!) or whenever I walk through the bakery section of a grocery store.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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I would say "no." Even if, as Taubes says, it affects your INSULIN secretion, that would LOWER your blood sugar and not get you out of ketosis. In theory, if you were a carbmouth, when your blood sugar dropped you MIGHT have to secrete glycogen from your liver to fix that, but if you are really in ketosis, you don't have much if any glycogen in your liver. That was what went the first couple weeks when you got the water weight loss.

Even if your body tried to compensate by a little more gluconeogenesis, it shouldn't be enough to get you out of ketosis.

the mild hypo is possible, I suppose, but I bet it doesn't happen often.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #6
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No, it isn't possible. Energy management in the body doesn't operate like that. Now, that's not to say there is NO physiological response to olfactory stimuli - our brains definitely respond to smells and yes, insulin can be secreted, but it is minimal compared to what is produced in response to even a small low carb meal.

This would be what I'd call head hunger
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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Then what is happening? Any theories? Some of my symptoms include nausea, dizziness, thirst and just a feeling of being unwell. It is definitely triggered by being around HC foods, I do not get it at home when I am cooking a HF, LC meal. Or if I am not around food.

I should mention that I also don't get any cravings for HC foods, just the smell of them turns me off of eating.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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You might just be hungry. I get those same symptoms if I get hungry enough.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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Well I enjoy the smell of some baked goods, but a fair bit of food is overwhelming to me now. My nose and mouth are much more sensitive to quality food and seasoning, now that they arent overwhelmed by processed nonsense like vegetable oil, sugar, and salt for preserving the shelf life of junk food. So what used to smell good (like fries at a fast food place) is now cloying and overly heavy.

For me, some of the food/smell aversion is pregnancy related, too, so I can't give more insight into why that might be happening with you. Sorry!
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
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And don't underestimate the brain - if you've categorized those HC foods as bad or to be avoided, your reaction could be a psychosomatic response to that mental cue. And that ain't a bad thing
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #11
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I find that when I'm solidly in the sweet spot of low-carbing where I dont' have carb cravings or overwhelming hunger, that the smell of high carb food doesn't tempt me like it used to.

That's one way I know I'm in that sweet spot. I can go through the bread aisle at the store and not stop "just to inhale"!

But I can't imagine that it would actually physically impact me like that.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:48 PM   #12
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Increased insulin=decreased blood sugar=hypoglycemia=hunger. She said, she felt hypoglycemic. I believe I said it wouldn't take her out of ketosis.

Last edited by rndiane; 03-11-2013 at 04:55 PM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:22 PM   #13
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Again though, that could be psychosomatic, as the measured impact of thinking/smelling insulinogenic foods has been studied in several limited applications and the actual effects on the body are quite minimal. I wish I could remember the authors or key terms for Pubmed
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:27 AM   #14
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In Gary Taubes book he says that just thinking about carbs or carb based meals can release insulin, well if that is true, insulin works to decrease blood sugar, and if you don't eat, you will experience mild hypoglycemia. I am just curious if the same would be true about smelling them and if anyone has experienced that. Although you would think being in ketosis would counter the effect, maybe it doesn't happen fast enough. I was unfortunately in there for a long time, instead of just a brief moment of smelling them, I was exposed to them for two hours.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:05 AM   #15
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I have been in ketosis for years and live in close proximity to a donut factory which releases strong smells of donuts. If your hypothesis were true, I would not maintain my ketosis which is not the case. Smelling and thinking of food does produce a small amount of insulin in preparation but it is not enough to thwart ketosis.

Your symptoms sound like hunger.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #16
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I"m not going to comment on the bio chemistry part of this thread,
but i will absolutely confirm that carby smells can be delicious.
They will absolutely cause a physiological response in me.
To walk into a house where someone is baking bread or biscuits is just heavenly.
My mouth starts to water, and my pleasure sensors start talking to me.
I can feel like Audrey from Little shop of horrors.
FEED ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL....
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:17 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by avid View Post
My mouth starts to water, and my pleasure sensors start talking to me.
I can feel like Audrey from Little shop of horrors.
FEED ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL....
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Arctic_Mama View Post
Again though, that could be psychosomatic, as the measured impact of thinking/smelling insulinogenic foods has been studied in several limited applications and the actual effects on the body are quite minimal. I wish I could remember the authors or key terms for Pubmed
I would agree that this is a possibility. And/or you may have some type of anxiety disorder related to carbohydrate-rich foods, and being around them might trigger this anxiety which would manifest in the symptoms you described: nausea, dizziness, thirst and just a feeling of being unwell.
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