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SROBERTS82 Posts: 306
8/2/12 2:50 P

I think it's important to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it before you go off whole-hog on some new fad diet. I've been around long enough to see diets come and go, and many of them leave people sicker than they started, though they don't know it until they have problems with their internal organs which are not noticable until it's too late. I narrowly avoided the phen-phen drug disaster in the 90s, which caused heart problems for people, though when it started everyone was touting how safe it was and how you'd be crazy not to try it.

So I am very skeptical, and before I would try eliminating all carbs from my diet and switching to bark and berries, I want to know why, and what the possible risks or side effects are. I am overweight, but generally healthy, and I want to make sure I only move in a healthier direction from here. I think it's always good to look into these diets though, because sometimes they might be too radical overall, but there may be a grain of truth in there that you can put to use.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/2/12 2:23 P

The OT asked the question about how wheat, dairy, rice, and legumes came about if paleo diets say to limit them because 'caveman' didn't eat them.

The amusing thing is I'm not even following a paleo diet. I just limit wheat because I've found it is no good for me. I didn't need a nutritional study, expert or doctor to tell me that. I read books, tried it out, and determined for myself what works best for me. I encourage people to engage in critical thinking and explore alternative hypothesis, particularly if they had poor results on the standard diet as I did.

JENG829 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/2/12 2:07 P

What a fascinating turn this thread has taken HA. Really, if Paleo or Primal works for you, awesome! If not, try something else.

All this arguing about paleolithic lifespans or speculations on grains or dairy really mean NOTHING to me. What does mean something is how I feel while eating a certain way. Here are the important questions to me:
Do I feel well? Do I have more or less energy than before? How are my blood test results? Any health issues appear or disappear with this way of eating? Am I making progress with weight goals? Can I do all the things I want to do?

Since Primal eating is the only way I've been able to kick multiple health issues, achieve personal fitness and weight goals... I will continue to follow it (and tweak it to my needs) and yes I will "champion" it too. Others are also seeing positive results. For all the people saying not to try it, well just think: if you prevent someone from resolving long term health issues as I have done... Does that make you feel good? Is being "right" more important than health? That's your choice. I encourage people to experiment and research for themselves - be proactive with your own health because jokers online and well-meaning people really don't have any stake in your health. Only you do.

Frankly I don't care what anyone else says... I'm healthier than ever while ignoring advice from experts and Internet know-it-alls. Sorry if that sounds angry... But really I just implore everyone to find what works for them, whether paleo, vegan, low carb, high carb. Just be healthy!

Rant done. Carry on with your germ, grain, medieval debate.

8/2/12 1:09 P

It's opinions and conclusions that are often wrong - or partially wrong.

Facts are just data. They don't change and can't be wrong. But people's interpretations of facts / data can quite often be incomplete, misguided, or outright wrong.

PARISAPRIL1 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/2/12 12:55 P

I've always believed it's important to question "facts" because they often turn out to be wrong.

8/2/12 12:36 P

True believers will take any shred of faulty evidence and use it to justify their mistaken beliefs. A fully developed theory and etiology of germs isn't necessary to point out that many cultures knew that destroying clothes, burning bodies of the dead, etc. was important in halting or slowing the spread of disease.

Heck, even the Bible has things like "He must burn up the clothing, or the woven or knitted material of wool or linen, or any leather article that has the contamination in it, because the mildew is destructive; the article must be burned up."

Nothing that I've said is wrong, or ad hominem. I'm simply challenging your beliefs with facts.

And sure... staying on topic is important. But you and others brought up Guns, Germs and Steel and played it as evidence / support for your arguments.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/2/12 12:13 P

Germ theory wasn't fully developed until 1870. Until then, bad omens and angry gods were to blame for illness.

Let's stay on topic instead of ad hominem. If you have any information to add about how medieval Europeans had superior nutrition because of their high grain/low protein diet compared to their paleo or neolithic counterparts, would love to hear it.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/2/2012 (12:13)
8/2/12 11:45 A

Oh good grief... "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Diamond is not only old (1997), it's flawed in its analysis. It's a speculative work made for politically correct entertainment. He makes ridiculous claims like, "the white man didn't know about germs." Even his primary theory about latitude is flawed even if you just simply look at a map of the fertile crescent.

PARISAPRIL1 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/2/12 8:21 A

I loved Guns, Germs and Steel!

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/2/12 8:08 A

SROBERTS82: You are on the right track. The reason why you are hungry and need another hit of food when there's stored bodyfat available unused is because of the hormone insulin. Elevated levels of insulin turn on fat storage and prevent fat burn, even if there is stored bodyfat available. If you're serious about learning the science based on actual clinical studies that go back decades, read "Why We Get Fat (and What to Do About It)". There's too much to explain in a single message board post.

The claim that prehistoric man only lived to 30-40 and was short are untrue. Decreased lifespan and increase in disease came about after agriculture. This was explained by Jarrod Diamond in "Guns, Germs and Steel". The bubonic plague almost destroyed Europe. Have you ever been to the old churches in Europe? I'm a small person, and the doorways are tiny. Old Europeans were smaller than today, and it wasn't because of their lack of grains. It was lack of protein.

Regarding wheat, once again, modern wheat is nothing like the ancient grain the Mesopotamian and Egyptians ate. Modern grain is not even like the "amber waves of grain" from 2 centuries ago. It was bred for fast growth and high yield. It is short with a huge head of seeds that can't hold itself up after a certain height. It is completely dependent on human intervention for fertilization and reproduction. People with celiac diseases cannot eat them at all. Read "Wheat Belly" for more info.

Domesticated animals have very short lifespans and early reproductive maturity (1-2 years in most cases). Human intervention can change them very rapidly. Lactase adaption to drink milk in adulthood is one of the few genetic adaptions our species has undergone. However, most of the world population is lactose intolerant. My mom's side of the family and I are all lactose intolerant. I can eat fermented dairy like cheese and yogurt that have cultures that eat the lactose. But I can't drink milk without IBS stomach upset.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/2/2012 (08:41)
PARISAPRIL1 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/2/12 7:57 A

SROBERTS82 - A very good article here

I highly recommend reading Living the Low Carb Life by Jonny Bowden I recently borrowed it from the library and found very educational.

P.S. I think the Primal way of eating and exercise is far superior to Paleo for me.

Edited by: PARISAPRIL1 at: 8/2/2012 (07:58)
SROBERTS82 Posts: 306
8/2/12 12:44 A

I have a coworker who's on this, so I was reading up on it. I'm highly skeptical of most of their claims. I wonder about this whole concept that people shouldn't eat grains and dairy - we've been eating them for a very long time, maybe tens of thousands of years. Our bodies change and adapt too. Look at how different our domesticated animals are after thousands of years of living with humans. We have undergone similar changes, no doubt.

The thing I want to know more about is their claim that you can change your body from relying on burning sugar, to burning stores of fat. I often feel that my body is constantly demanding another hit of food, when there's plenty of fat to run on that isn't getting used. But I did a little searching around and can't find any actual science to prove there is anything to these claims they are making. Does anyone have any links to real science behind that? Or is it just wishful thinking?

TAOZEN Posts: 237
8/1/12 11:36 P

I just listened to a podcast with Robb Wolf. He does believe in his system. If I still ate meat, I would give it a try. If you eat lean meats and green veggies, then most of us would be healthy. But he told the host to eat eggs, bacon and coffee for every breakfast for a month? I am not sure I want to do that.

REDDOGMOM SparkPoints: (21,454)
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8/1/12 10:44 P

I have no issue with the Paleo diet. I've considered it myself. However, the claim that Paleo man didn't suffer from diabetes, heart problems and any other list of illness caused or exacerbated by diet needs to take into account that approximately 30 years of age, maybe 40 was pretty much the upper limit of Paleo life span. Also 5 ft tall was about the maximum height, possibly contributed to by poor nutrition. As for Paleo man not having arthritis, it seems to me, and my anthro classes were a long time ago, the Old Man of La Chapelle aux Saints was one classic argument for altruism in Neanderthal culture. It was obvious he was debilitated arthritis beyond the ability to care for himself. Someone would have had to hunt and gather for him and generally take care of him.

A healthy diet is great, I just don't think half claims should be made.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 9:55 P

If it works for you, all power to you.

However, in the same breath you are dismissing a diet that has many beneficial properties based on some shakey premises.

8/1/12 9:52 P

@Vhalkyrie: It's one thing to find exactly what works for you. I'm glad you were able to find a plan that you're doing well on. But it's quite another thing entirely to champion a particular popular diet that is based on some shaky premises. Just saying.

We all have to find exactly the right thing that works for our individual bodies.

I'll be quite happy with my weight loss and health benefits from eating things like honeycrisp apples, seedless grapes, different breads, low-fat milk, yogurt, and cooked meats from modern-strain animals.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 9:41 P

We have to cook modern meats and many vegetables due to modern contaminants. However, we are biologically capable of eating them raw. That is not the case with wheat grasses and legumes.

Honeycrisp apples are hybrids that have been bred to be super sweet. They are larger and sweeter than the apples that our grandmothers ate. Personally, I find them too sweet. I'll take an heirloom apple over those candy hybrids any day.

I am PRO diet that reduced my body weight, lowered blood pressure, raised HDL, lowered LDL/Trig. For me, that was a low-to no grain diet. Those "heart healthy" grains nearly gave me diabetes and high blood pressure.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/1/2012 (21:45)
8/1/12 9:32 P

@Vhalkyrie: actually, the fact that you have to cook legumes and other things in order to eat them is really a non-issue to me. We have to cook meats, most fish, etc. before eating it so we don't get germs/contaminants/etc. Some legumes are more digestable than others, like chickpeas, black beans and lentils (compared with navy beans or lima beans). Then you get into individual genetic differences - some people have lactose intolerance, but it doesn't make sense to come down on people who can eat cheeses, milk, etc. without difficulty and just make a blanket statement that "they should be banned from our diets!"

And wheat has changed. Yes, people have been playing with genetics for a long time, but we've been doing that for hundreds and hundreds of years with cross-breeding and experimental hybrids, all sorts of things just from controlling plants through agriculture (not even getting into ultra-modern gene-level manipulation). I love blood oranges, honeycrisp apples, and seedless grapes. Did those exist before we started agricultural control? No, but that doesn't mean they're automatically bad and horrible.

Cows, chickens and pigs, even those from organic and super-healthy "green" farms, are different from their ancestral animals because of selective breeding.

Absolutely I'm going to be PRO any foods that are whole and healthily grown. But going totally "raw foods" or "paleo" (and there are tons of variants and disagreements on what's best even in those camps), is not the answer, IMO.

STEPHEN_NANNY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/1/12 9:27 P

Sadly, good science is boring. It doesn't have a trendy name. It is hard. It doesn't present instant solutions to a lifetime of abusing your body. It doesn't come in one book. It doesn't have one guru to follow. It takes time to read and understand it. It takes thinking for yourself. Good science doesn't buy radio ad space. It is hard to explain good science to your friends in less than 30 seconds. It is populated by sceptics who dash the dreams of those who find silver bullet solutions. There is no clinic for 'good science' at my local mall.

Paleo diet. Um ya.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 9:24 P

Paleo diets say to eat protein, vegetables and fruit and to limit grains, legumes and starches (foods that cannot be eaten naturally raw). I don't see any magic pill here.

I agree more people should do research into what it actually is.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/1/2012 (21:27)
PATRUCK42 SparkPoints: (10,596)
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8/1/12 9:19 P

Being an ER nurse for many years, I have seen a lot of damage to the body from the "latest diet." One person had exercised so hard, eaten only protein for who knows how long & damaged both kidneys.... Plus was so constipated, had to be sedated in order to digitally remove feces. The guy almost died. Read everything there is before you try it.
If it promises "to good to be true results." It's probably dangerous or a scam!
If it cost lots of money, It's probably a scam.
If it "just one pill a day for fantastic results" , probably a scam.
One of my dear friends, who is a nurse too, was actually under a doctor's care, suddenly depleted one of her electrolytes, it caused rapid decrease in heart rate, she ended up with a pacemaker, & her heart damage was NEVER reversed.
DO YOUR RESEARCH!! With the internet, no excuse for not doing your homework!

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 9:12 P

RACKMYBRAINS: Interesting information. Thank you for sharing. Please feel free to address the rest of the context.

10,000 or 150,000 is a marginal within scope of 2.5 million years.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/1/2012 (21:16)
AHAPPYLIFE SparkPoints: (107,411)
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8/1/12 8:52 P

ALXM530, I found the article interesting but if you follow some of his links & continue to research his data, you'll find at least one of his statements highly misleading. I only had time to check one out which was national geographic. Make sure you read through that article & follow the link provided at the end of the article.

8/1/12 8:41 P

Actually, recent evolutionary-anthropology research strongly supports that grains were used more than 30,000 years ago, and possibly as long ago as 150,000-200,000 years ago.

The 10,000 year thing is old information.

Edited by: RACKMYBRAINS at: 8/1/2012 (20:45)
VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 8:19 P

History of eating grains only goes back 10,000 years. Wheat is a grass - not a natural human diet. We can only eat it because it's been milled and cooked. Eating raw grain would be completely indigestible.

Same with legumes. Legumes are indigestible and toxic unless they are cooked. Heat destroys the toxins. They only became part of our diet after the advent of agriculture.

If you read the book "Wheat Belly", it tells you that the wheat we eat isn't even the same wheat our grandmothers ate. And it's not even close to the ancient wheat the Egyptians ate. Modern wheat has been modified for fast growth and high yield. Health effects were never tested.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/1/2012 (20:34)
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (78,420)
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8/1/12 7:53 P

I think the evolutionary connection made between the modern humans and the cavemen is totally wrong in the Paleo diet.

Paleo diet was exclusively the diet of Neanderthals , which are extinct species closely related to humans. They were stronger, healthier and of larger build than modern humans. But they went extinct because they could not adapt.

Humans have a very long history of grains and legumes and vegetables and fruits, and little meat, by the way. It is likely that evolution favored those who could accommodate grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

On the other hand, modern humans have an extremely short history of refined carbs. No wonder they wreak havoc on our bodies.

JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/1/12 6:50 P

emoticon emoticon

8/1/12 5:28 P

I had to give up the caveman diet. My grocer ran out of cavemen. Now I'm humanitarian.

But seriously, I had to go on a diet very similar to this before "Paleo Diet" was ever heard of in order to get my immune system working again. This can be very beneficial for a lot of people, including people suffering from allergies. To understand how this works, spend some time, thought, and energy researching Leaky Gut Syndrome and how to heal it.

One tip, if a person has a wheat sensitivity, using Kamut can help. It's best to buy organic whole grains and grind them yourself; better yet to soak and sprout grains before using them.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/1/12 11:58 A

I don't eat "Paleo ", which is just another name for low carb. I eat Atkins, around 30 net carbs a day, 1600 calories. I have been off and on plan for 2 months now, enjoying summer a bit too much. The result is 30 lb gain, and eating a lot more, because cravings returned. My cholesterol numbers went up to 142, from 125, and my LDL from 51 to 72. I was cheating about 3 days a week, eating Subway, or noodles, not chocolate. I also had some cereal instead of my normal 4 Jumbo eggs with 2 Tbsp. butter. So healthy , carby food. I even cut my total fat, and saturated fat dropped huge.

So, I just restarted Atkins, and lost a lb the first day, figure it'll take me a month minimum to lose 30 lbs, so the summer was a waste, even if fun.

My problem is, while gaining all that weight from 218 to 248, I ate what my doctor would call excellent food. True, I ate too much, but that is what happens when I eat carbs. THAT is the cause of weight gain when people quit low carb. We usually eat way too much of carby foods, since we crave more, and more. Low carb, in whatever form, restricts hunger.

I don't feel sick, I just am not hungry. I don't think this is the best diet, or anything, but if you like the food, and have trouble with cravings, it is a choice. I eat 8-10 servings of vegetables to get my carbs, and maybe some cheese every so often. The rest is meat, eggs, and butter. I don't eat fatty portions of meat.

I also have to say that I am a heart patient with an ICD, and my cardiologist is ecstatic at the improvements to my heart function, BP, cholesterol etc. Across the board, I am doing better. Only in the last 3 years or so though. Before low carb, I was slowly getting worse, and worse. I was on diabetes meds, oxygen at night etc. After low carb, I can walk 1-3 hours a day, swim twice a week for 30 minutes, and do band workouts thrice weekly.

I hear all the time that this is " okay " to try for most people, but too risky for heart patients, unhealthy ppl, etc. I think the opposite. This diet IS extreme, and unless you can't control cravings, or in bad health, I wouldn't recommend it. It is a last resort.

Good news is, I am off my diabetes meds, and my Hemoglobin A1C is lower than my doctor's, 2 years later, all due to low carb. I am the ONLY patient out of 100's improving my bloodwork, and strength of my heart. Also the only one doing low carb. Maybe it is just a coincidence.???I don't think so.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
8/1/12 9:39 A

I've been doing it a year. So losing bodyfat, gaining muscle, dropping blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering LDL/triglycerides are all signs of being sick now?

Did you know that you go into ketosis every night when you go to sleep and wake up? Or whenever you're trying to lose weight? Ketosis is the byproduct of burning stored body fat. Something dieters usually find desirable.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 8/1/2012 (09:43)
ALXM530 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/1/12 9:25 A

Everyone please read this article before trying out the Paleo diet:
"This diet works by starving the human body of carbohydrates in order to induce a state of illness (ketosis), which can result in weight loss. People become too sick to eat too much."

BERRY4 SparkPoints: (261,460)
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7/29/12 7:37 P

It has already been said here in one form or another that each person will have to figure out what works for him/her for health and fitness.

I have always been one to research and look for what's behind the "fad" or promotional topic. -- What I have found in studying about "Paleo" as well as "Eat to Live" and "Eat Clean" is the concerns with today's S.A.D. (standard American diet). In general, we are certainly more sick-making than health oriented in the plethora of food choices surrounding us. With that said, it stands to reason that each of us can decide what matters to us and what things to avoid based on our body's responses to food.

If food is fuel, than I want to use a quality fuel to feed my body. Not "food" that has been altered in so many way to no longer represent the original source. (And that doesn't mean that I'm perfect in my application! It is rather a direction I'm headed...)

A good number of the posters here present wisdom and understanding about what they choose to put into their bodies. -- Go with what works for you. Look at what is behind the "diets" suggested and sort through your best choice that causes you to feel and be healthy. (BTW I really don't think that just a week will give anyone a fair picture of how you respond to a given food choice. A month would be a more fair evaluation, in my opinion, to really see and experience either positives or negatives in terms of if you could choose to live a certain way w/ certain food limitations, etc.)

FYI - it was actually my daughter's MD that seconded the notion that Paleo was "good" way to go. What I have gleaned is that so much of our foods & the sources have been altered (GMO) and are in fact messing w/ the chemistry of our bodies (think soy). Too many people are suffering from diabetes, IBS, and many other intestinal ailments. And we tend to see medicine as a treatment instead of a band-aid. (ie. nothing has been "fixed" just covered up w/ potential side effects and a whole other list of "stuff"!)

Good luck to all of you in making wise choices for YOU for health and fitness!

Edited by: BERRY4 at: 8/1/2012 (14:47)
JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/29/12 4:45 P

Trixie I don't think my post is mocking. I was just following the joke of another poster, and pointed out that there are many things which many of us can agree on that are not good to be doing in our modern culture. Just because we are more modern does not mean that we are doing all the right things and the ancestral peoples were doing the wrong things. But, I guess it is ok here on sp for people to make fun of the paleo "faddists" right and left, but as soon as one of the faddists carries along a joke, it is not OK?

Edited by: JUSTBIRDY at: 7/29/2012 (16:46)
AHAPPYLIFE SparkPoints: (107,411)
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7/29/12 1:59 A

I think it's important to remember that each of us is an individual looking for healthy options with their own specific health problems taken into account. There are many good ideas with the paleo & primal way of nutrition, & many different options. One of the misleading statements here is that you can't get enough of the calcium with this dietary regimen. Studies have shown that you can absorb more calcium from certain vegetables than you can from dairy: Calcium absorption from milk is approximately 32 percent. Figures for broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, and kale range between 40-64 percent (Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr. 1990;51:656-657. AND Weaver CM, Plawecki KL. Dietary calcium: adequacy of a vegetarian diet. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59(suppl):1238S-41S.

Many individuals with intestinal discomforts/diseases, auto immune diseases, etc have found relief with this program. I understand that there will be people who don't feel it's healthy or would not try it themselves. That is their choice but it is not for that person to ridicule or forbid me or anyone else from attempting something that may work in the long run for them. This program was recommended to me by a medical doctor to remove possible allergens that could be causing my health problems. Some foods will be reintroduced after a period of 6 to 8 weeks &, as long as they are tolerable by my system, may remain a part of my diet or be forever excluded.

This is not an all or nothing thing here folks because we are not all identical or have the same health issues. Try to be a little more tolerable, supportive, & understanding of each others differences.

7/29/12 1:31 A

You know, there are some pretty wide variations in what kind of diet works for various people. Every person has various strengths and weaknesses in their bodies, at different times of their lives, and in the various cultural influences they're surrounded with. We may be able to eat certain things when our health is at a peak, but need to avoid the same things when our immune systems are somewhat compromised. The definition of wellness is pretty elusive. Anyone remember when "homeostasis" was the big wellness buzzword?

I well remember "The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook", and the Adele Davis books, back in the daze when healthy eating meant brewer's yeast, blackstrap molasses, and wheat germ. A few years back we had "Eat Right For Your Type". Anyone still using their juicer much? How about their grain mill? Now it looks like Crock Pot cooking's trying to make a comeback.

The point is, each of us can benefit by finding the things that work for us, and going with it. It's important to stay flexible, though. What works today may not work tomorrow, or may become too restrictive. Faith certainly plays a big part. Believing that a thing is right may help make it work for the individual. Those eating choices may be contraindicated for someone else, though. Paint someone else's choices with too broad a brush of criticism and denigration and you may paint yourself into a corner.

A thing we can be sure of - losing a sense of balance, perspective, and humor will eventually torpedo any diet or lifestyle. The saying used to be, "Never trust anyone over 30." My take on that now is, "Never trust anyone who can't laugh at their own beliefs." We are, all of us, a pretty humorous lot, after all, and one thing's certain. We're all of us getting older, and immortality's the province of a different discipline.

Of course no knock knock jokes. Caves didn't have doors. I found that out riding with Dr Who. Record labels have Doors.

VHALKYRIE Posts: 2,214
7/29/12 12:25 A

For years I was stalled on my weight loss. All I did was stopped following the dietary advice to eat 3 servings of whole grains per day. I cut down to once or twice a week. My fat finally started coming off again. Whole grain servings are very calorie dense, and took up too much room in my calorie allowance. I replaced my grain serving with other healthy foods, like avocados and nuts. It worked for me, and I don't have any intention of going back to my old way of eating. Been doing it for a little over a year. So it's not a fad diet for me.

Edited by: VHALKYRIE at: 7/29/2012 (00:26)
HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
7/28/12 10:26 P

I eat a paleo-type diet and exclude all grains, beans and some sweet fruits but include dairy. I eat a lot of fat, including saturated fat, but only from grass-fed sources and coconut oil and olive oil. I agree that the term paleo is not necessary helpful for a diet that is essentially low-carb but without counting carbs. There is a wide range of what people on these diets eat and there is a large number of researchers who are convinced that paleo/primal/low-carb diets are much healthier for us than grain/legume based diets. Most of these diets are high fat, but not high protein, with the exception of South Beach which is really in a different category.
For more information please look at the book by Volek and Phinney here:

Also take a look at this blog:
I want to recommend that anyone who reads articles about nutrition look for references to research and publications that the article is based on. Whenever this information is not provided I would be suspicious.

TRIXYMAHOGANY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/28/12 7:29 P

justbirdy, I found your post mocking pretty much what everyone else eats to be pretty offensive too. So yeah.

JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/28/12 6:10 P

Rack, your post is really offensive

JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/28/12 6:09 P

Many people do use the paleo diet to lose weight, especially belly fat.

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
7/28/12 10:27 A

I may be wrong on this, but I don't believe that Paleo eating is meant for weight loss. It is meant to be more of a lifestyle diet like being a vegan is a lifestyle diet. I have looked at it, and I find aspects of it interesting, but I have no desire, or reason to believe it will benefit me, to cut my dairy, oatmeal and beans from my diet. It does seem to be very high in fat, encouraging use of oils and fats, which isn't necessarily bad in and of itself, but if you're comsuming more fat, you're likely consuming more calories. You'd really, really have to watch portion control to lose weight this way, I think.

7/28/12 10:25 A

Has a mass-produced, fad diet book ever helped in the long-term?

Shaky logic, silly premises, limited research, and a few good nutrition tips are all it takes to write a diet book.

Do you really need a "hook" to change your diet such that you eat healthy foods as opposed to junk food, high sodium, and high sugar/fat foods? Or can you skip the fad book of the month and just follow commonly accepted advice from trained nutritionists (much of which is free)?

JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (67,620)
Posts: 9,840
7/28/12 9:47 A

no knock knock jokes? are you sure? No more cave stuff for me, I'll go back to eating our modern genetically-modified grains, a bit of feedlot meat, served with with gobs of trans fat, all in moderation of course.

7/28/12 9:07 A

I was reading an article about how eating whole grains are better than eating refined grains, and how to recognize whole grain bread in the grocery store. My oh my, what a controversy it stirred up! There were a good five pages of comments, many of them pointing out that cavemen didn't eat bread, or if they did, they soaked and fermented the grain before they ate it. This led me ponder a few points.

1. Cavemen didn't shop in grocery stores.
2. Cavemen didn't drive cars.
3. Cavemen didn't sleep in beds with nice blankets.
4. We don't really know what cave men ate, we weren't there to watch them, it's all speculation.
5. Cavemen didn't have knock knock jokes.
6. Cavemen are all dead.

Edited by: ALDEBARANIAN at: 7/28/2012 (09:23)
JENG829 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (14,729)
Posts: 791
2/26/12 9:10 P

To answer the OP's questions, here is a basic explanation of the primal view of grains & legumes:

Honestly, as someone who follows a paleo-ish way of eating, the history does not interest me at all. Frankly, calling it the Paleo diet is a disservice to the basic premise, which is to focus on nutrient-dense, natural/unprocessed foods, avoiding things that may cause inflammation, sensitivities, or other side effects.

Also, keep in mind that the many people who follow a paleo or primal lifestyle have different levels of strictness, and different levels of carb/protein/fat intake to suit their needs. Some folks never eat grains, while others may partake in them from time to time (depending on their own body's reactions to it). Some folks are diabetic and must keep carbs low, while others may be endurance athletes and eat plenty of carbs. Some eat dairy, some do not. It is not a one size fits all approach.

If you really want accurate information on the Paleo Diet, I suggest you reference the Mark's Daily Apple site above or Robb Wolf's site: or ask your question in the Paleo Diet or Ancenstral Health group here on SP.

SAHASARA Posts: 358
2/26/12 8:57 P

Thank you for the info. I guess as long as everyone is taking supplements and can do it the rest of their lives then that's good. I am only going to try it a week because the people at work state they are less tired so I will test that (even only after a couple days they are. If anything it will at least teach me new recipes and help me shrink my appetite (I hope). Thank you for the comments.

2/26/12 7:20 P

I recently researched this diet and wrote a review for Sparkpeople, but it is not on the site yet.
In a nutshell one would eat foods that were available during the paleolithic time period. This would be meats, fish, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds. Food not allowed would be all grains, beans, legumes, peanuts, potatoes, sugar, processed oils, salt, alcohol.

The idea is that paleo people did not suffer from the diseases of modern time and that this eating plan is therefore healthier. There is NO research to support this theory.

If one wishes to eat according to the plan, here are the pros, cons and tips to keep it safe.
(yes, this is lifted from my article that will be on the site soon).

Some of the healthier nutritional aspects of the Paleolithic Diet include:
•avoidance of refined and overly processed foods,
•decrease in excessive carbohydrate intake, especially unhealthy carbohydrate type foods,
•avoidance of sugar and salt intake,
•appropriate protein intake, especially when lean meats are used in the correct portions,
•variety and abundance of fruit and vegetable intake, and
•adequate fat intake, especially when healthy fat sources are used such as fish, nuts, and fruits and vegetables in the correct portion.

Some of the nutritional pitfalls with the eating plan include:
•A complete restriction of several key groupings of food (grains, milk, legumes) makes it more difficult to meet the nutritional needs of you and your family.
•Many will find the restrictive nature of the eating plan difficult to maintain for a lifetime.
•A 9.3% increase in income is needed to consume a Paleolithic Diet that meets the majority of all daily recommended nutrient intakes. It can become even more expensive with the use of grass-fed and organic meats, wild-caught fish, and organic fruits and vegetables.
•Since dairy products are eliminated, it is practically impossible to meet calcium intake needs. Calcium can be obtained from greens and other foods, but the calcium is not as readily available for the body to use. Since milk is also fortified with vitamin D this nutrient also becomes a deficiency concern. Therefore supplementation is necessary for those using this diet, even though supplements were not used by cavemen.
•The diet can be lacking in key vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, plant sterols, and fiber due to the elimination of all whole grains, beans, lentils, legumes, and peanuts. All these foods have been shown to have health-promoting qualities.
•Depending on the food selections, the Paleo Diet may be excessively low in carbohydrate intake, too high in animal protein intake and too high in fat and saturated fat intake, which could increase one’s risk for certain diseases, such as heart disease, renal disease, gout, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Sparkpeople to the rescue:
Talk to your doctor before following the Paleo Diet to make sure that the eating plan meets your medical needs. For several weeks, track you and your family’s food intakes using the Sparkpeople food tracker. Be sure to add the following additional nutrients to be tracked: calcium, vitamin D, saturated fat, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, copper, selenium, and magnesium. If you find that any of these nutrients are not within a healthy range, seek additional assistance from a Registered Dietitian in your area. The dietitian can help tweak the plan to assure that you and your family’s nutritional needs are met through your food selections and/or vitamin-mineral supplementation.

Hope this helps answer your question.
SP Registered Dietitian Becky

ANARIE Posts: 13,179
2/26/12 6:15 P

That's a big part of the problem with the paleo diet. It's based on what people believe about the cavemen, not on the scientific evidence. We honestly don't know all that much about what the cavemen ate, and we DO know that they had many of the diseases that the "Paleo diet" authors say they didn't get. (There's a claim that the cavemen didn't get arthritis, for example, when we have paleolithic skeletons that were so badly crippled by arthritis that it's probably what killed them.)

Paleolithic hominids (ancestors of humans, but not exactly the same as us) were hunters and gatherers. They hadn't figured out agriculture, so they didn't have a lot of the plant foods we have. That much is true. Humans cultivate new plants all the time, and they change them by saving the seeds from the ones that turn out a little different and a little better. For example, carrots didn't use to be orange. Just a few hundred years ago, they were white. One day someone pulled some up that were a little more yellow and tasted better, so they let the rest of that batch go to seed and planted them again. Each year they saved seeds from the brightest-colored ones, until within a few years they were getting orange ones. For another example, corn came from a special type of grass. Somebody noticed that the seeds on that grass tasted good and made their children grow better, so they started saving the biggest seeds and the ones that grew in little ears, and eventually the corn looked like what we grow now. Almost all of our plant foods developed this way.

The cavemen didn't know how to save seeds, so they couldn't do that. So Paleo dieters have decided that you shouldn't eat grains because the cavemen didn't have very many of them. What's not logical, though, is that "Paleo diets" include all sorts of foods that the paleolithic proto-humans didn't have, either. They had some little wild berries, and in some places they might have had dates, but they didn't have apples or oranges or bananas or peaches or apricots. They had acorns and something resembling black walnuts, but they didn't have English walnuts, almonds, or cashews, and they had nothing even resembling peanuts. (Peanuts are legumes, so if you shouldn't eat beans, I don't see how they let you eat peanuts!) They had grass and water greens and dandelion greens, but they didn't have spinach or kale or cabbage. They DID have roots similar to sweet potatoes and yucca, but the Paleo diet says you shouldn't eat those. They had venison and in some places bison, but they didn't have beef or lamb, and their poultry and pork came from animals just as different from modern pigs and chickens as wild wheat grass is from wheat.

The other thing to question is why you think the cavemen's diet was good. The Paleo diet authors say that our modern diet causes diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain kinds of cancer. Do you notice anything about those diseases? None of them would show up in your bones, and most of them start in middle age. Paleolithic proto-humans didn't write things down. The only way we can know what they died of is by looking at their bones. That means there's no way to know whether or not they got heart disease and diabetes or pancreatic cancer, because you can't see those things in bones, and also because most of them died before they were old enough to get heart disease or type 2 diabetes or prostate cancer.

And even if they didn't get those diseases, there's no reason to believe it's because of what they ate. Those are also called "lifestyle diseases;" they're associated with being sedentary as much as with diet. Paleolithic people were moving all day long, out hunting and gathering. They generally walked about 15 miles a day when they were gathering and might have run eight to twelve hours on a hunt. If you do that, you probably won't get heart disease either. Two hundred years ago, farmers who ate the exact opposite of "paleo" didn't have a lot of heart disease or diabetes, either. We don't live like cavemen, so why should we eat like them?

So the answer to your question is that beans and grains were developed by Neolithic and Bronze Age humans out of wild plants. But the answer to the question you didn't ask is that so is virtually every other food we eat, with the exception of most fish (and Paleolithic people apparently didn't eat fish. Neolithic people did, but there are places where Neanderthals apparently starved right next to a stream full of fish and shellfish.) Even if you don't eat beans and grains, you're still not really eating what the cavemen did. And there's no reason to think it would be healthy if you did.

JASONZ Posts: 161
2/26/12 5:58 P

I sense that "Paleo" is just another in a long list of diet fads. There is probably some good info in the book, but I wonder if someone could eat that strictly on a permanent basis.

SAHASARA Posts: 358
2/26/12 4:54 P

I'm not looking for anyone to tell me to just track my calories/fat, etc in Spark but I just want everyone's opinion because I don't understand a few things. There are a few people at my work trying this and it is a diet that is the "caveman's diet". So they say we only eat stuff that was available to cave men. I have a question. Where do beans, wheat and rice originate if that was the case. And sugar cane is grown too right? How would we have these things if they didn't have them back then. Is it based on the location of these cave men. Just wondering what everyone's opinions are.

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