Q&A: Sweet potatoes for autoimmune, seltzer water, and sugar in ham


A really good set of questions recently came in that I thought some of you might be interested in.


My partner and I recently signed up at Paleoplan.com and have a few questions in regards to following the diet properly.

1) I have an autoimmune disease and had read on your site to completely stay away from potatoes (white). Do I also need to stay away from sweet potatoes?

2) Is it acceptable to drink seltzer water on Paleo?

3) The only type of “natural” ham we could find in Whole Foods is a black forest ham; but we noticed it has “sugars, dried honey and maple sugar” in the ingredients. Is this alright to eat, or do you have any recommendations of where to get a more paleo-friendly ham?


Those are all great questions!

1) Sweet potatoes and yams are totally fine, unless you personally have a sensitivity to sweet potatoes. They’re not nightshades like white potatoes, and that’s the family of foods that are taken off the diet for the autoimmune Paleo protocol (nightshades and eggs). We actually just wrote an ebook that contains 3 weeks of meal plans for someone following that protocol called the 21 Day Paleo Cleanse eBook. If you want to figure out all the foods that are causing symptoms, it’s a really good start.

2) There’s not much wrong with seltzer water in my opinion, as it’s just carbonated water. Other drinks that are basically just fizzy water (some also have minerals in them) are soda water, carbonated water, club soda, sparkling mineral water, or spring water. All of them might make you burp a lot, which can be uncomfortable, and it may cause stomach upset in some people. And I don’t think it should be the only source of water because you’re not likely to drink as much bubbly stuff as you would regular water because of the bubbles.

Bubbly water can be really helpful for people who are trying to wean themselves off of sodas and other drinks and don’t just want to drink plain water. It’s good with a little lemon or lime squeezed in it, too. Just don’t mistake bubbly water for tonic water, as tonic water is full of sugar.

3) As for the ham, that’s one of the compromises I make on Paleo. Ham and turkey and a lot of processed deli meats, even if they come from pastured animals and only contain very natural ingredients, will almost always contain some sort of sugar. It’s a very, very tiny amount, and I don’t have a problem with it. You’ve gotta make the diet do-able, and deli meats are one of the ways people can shave off time spent in their kitchen.

I have found that Slanker Grass-Fed Meat with their free shipping in the US, bulk order discounts and REAL pastured meat is reasonable and I can get fresh wild-caught ham with no sugars…yeah!

Having said that, I don’t think deli meats and other pre-prepared meats should make up the bulk of your protein intake. And I always, always think that your meat should come from high quality, naturally raised animals. That’s just my opinion, though. If you’re more die hard about sugar in your diet than I am, more power to you. I’m just concerned with people eating Paleo most of the time, so I don’t like the diet to get so restrictive that people fall apart and give up on it altogether.

That’s it for today, everyone! As always, your comments are always welcome.