So, I’ve been on Keto now for a few months. All has been good so far. The one thing that worried me, was my cholesterol. But after the recent cholesterol tests and the improvement it shown, that is a worry of the past.
But, then I made a change in my diet. Nothing serious. Still keto. We basically just decided to have some nuts and cheese for a snack. And we loved it, so we had it for a few days. And it was really a nice snack. It was filling and the two tastes really goes well together. A bite of cheese, a nut, and away you chew. But do you know what you eat?
And then a week or so ago I started getting sick. I had really bad tummy ache. And I started getting headaches and just in general didn’t feel well. It got worse after a few days. The tummy ache got so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night. And I started getting Diarrhea and started feeling weak.
After a few days of the symptoms getting worse, I went to see my doctor and he sends me for some blood tests. He was sure it is a stomach virus. The following day I was so sick, I could not go to work. That afternoon I spoke to my brother on the telephone and when I told him about my symptoms, he said it almost sounds like I’m being poisoned somehow, and that my body is trying to get rid of the poison. So he asked me if I had any changes in my diet over the last couple of weeks. And said no, not really. And then I remembered about the nuts and told him yes, we started eating some Brazil nuts with our cheese. Immediately he came back with the reply: “Selenium poisoning.” He looked online and read me the list of symptoms of selenium poisoning. He also pointed out that ONE Brazil nut contains more than the daily recommended requirements. And we were eating 10-12 nuts per day!!!!
I had my last nuts on the day the doctor did the blood tests. I didn’t even think about the fact that it can be something I’m eating, and neither did my doctor. I have to be honest and say that it was a bit disappointing that somebody with no medical background immediately said it sounds like poisoning and did I change what I am eating? Shouldn’t that have been my doctor’s first question too?
I stopped eating the nuts immediately and in the next two days my tummy settled and I started feeling better. I still have tummy ache at night, and I still have extreme headaches. Painkillers doesn’t really help for the headache, it just reduce the pain for a short duration. But I believe it will disappear after a few more days.
But this whole experience made me realize, to be careful what you eat. Even HEALTHY food can be dangerous when eaten in excess. Without realizing it, I consumed enough selenium to be more than ten times over the recommended daily allowance, and that just by adding Brazil nuts to my diet. Apart from the nuts I still got selenium in when eating eggs, grass fed beef and taking my multi-vitamin. So in reality I was way more than 10 times over the limit. I was in effect poisoning myself with selenium.
Check what you eat. Make sure you know if there is anything you need to worry about or look out for. If you get any weird symptoms, sit back and look at ALL possible causes, of which the most obvious one should be any recent diet changes.
The two most common terms used when referring to the amount of a nutrient you should get or the amount in a food or dietary supplement are the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and the Daily Value (DV). These two terms can be confusing because they don’t mean the same thing, although a lot of people think they do.
RDA are recommended daily intake of a nutrient for healthy people. They tell you how much of that nutrient you should get on average every day. DVs on the other hand, are used on food and dietary supplement labels. For each nutrient, there is one DV for all people age 4 years and older. Therefore, DVs aren’t recommended intakes, but suggests how much of a nutrient a serving of the food or supplement provides in the context of a total daily diet. It was established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Top 10 Foods High in Selenium
Brazil nuts, 1 oz (6-8 nuts): 544 mcg (over 10 x more than DV)
Yellowfin tuna, 3 oz: 92 mcg (almost twice the DV)
Halibut, cooked3 oz: 47mcg (67% DV)
Sardines, canned 3 oz: 45mcg (64% DV)
Grass-fed beef, 3 oz: 33 mcg (47% DV)
Turkey, boneless, 3 oz: 31 mcg (44% DV)
Beef liver, 3 oz: 28 mcg (40% DV)
Chicken, 3 oz: 22 mcg (31% DV)
Egg, 1 large, 15 mcg (21% DV)
Spinach, 1 cup: 11 mcg (16% DV)