I think I have a valuable lesson here. As I mentioned the other day, after 30+ days of strict AIP I added in a new, non-AIP food (as an act of protein desperation): a hot dog. And afterwards, I got a splitting migraine. I *do* believe that something in the hot dog triggered the migraine; I hadn't gotten a migraine in months, and all the rest of my food was the same old AIP-friendly veggies, fruits, and fats. The only thing different was the hot dog. So what ingredient, exactly, caused this? That's the biggest part of why we do an elimination diet: to figure out what foods make us feel unwell and avoid them in the future, even if they are 'healthy' things like eggs or tomatoes or certain herbs or spices. But here's the lesson: if you do not know exactly what you are adding, you will not know exactly what to avoid. Sure, I know to avoid hot dogs. They're not exactly good for anyone anyway. But I did think that having a 'healthier,' uncured, all-beef hot dog occasionally might be alright. Now I know it won't be.
I would really like to know what it was in the hot dog that triggered the migraine. Here's what I've got so far.
The label states they are skinless, uncured, natural, from beef that was fed a vegetarian diet with no antibiotics. They are "minimally processed', and state they are nitrate and nitrite free, and contain no artificial ingredients and no preservatives, and they are gluten free.
Ingredients: beef, water, sea salt, evaporated cane syrup, dried vinegar, celery powder, natural flavorings.
I am suspect of the natural flavorings, so I emailed the company and found out that these hot dogs do not contain any paprika or paprika extracts, contain no yeast or yeast extracts, and contain no MSG. They contain only 1 gram of sugar per hot dog as well.
As far as the small amounts of naturally occurring nitrates that come with any processed meat, even those "cured" with celery juice, I've been eating *plenty* of uncured bacon lately with no ill effects. My bacon contains celery juice and sea salt as well, so I am thinking the naturally occurring nitrates are not the issue with the hot dogs.
Do you see how complex this can be if you don't know exactly what you are reintroducing? Because I do not know what else was in the natural flavorings, I don't know what, exactly, triggered the migraine. So for now, I will assume that hot dogs in general are just a bad package deal and will avoid them completely. But I do wish I could isolate the exact ingredient so I could avoid it in other foods.
It's far better to add foods in their naked state, with nothing else new, when starting reintroductions on AIP or any other elimination diet. That's why it's recommended to add egg yolk alone before adding egg white, add plain cocoa mixed into coconut oil and honey rather than eating a commercial chocolate bar, or add a cup of plain coffee instead of a latte with flavorings added. One thing at a time. Your body will let you know.
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