I just have to comment on one remark Russell made, because he said it twice so I know it's not just a slip.
Heart disease and cancer death rates are NOT higher than they were in the early 20th century!!!!! That's just totally untrue. It used to be COMMON for people to drop dead of heart attacks in their 50s. It was so common that no one was shocked when a man with kids still in high school died of heart disease. Now if a man under 45 has a heart attack, we're all like, "OMG, how could that happen?" We have a perception that cancer is more common now, but that's not true, either. It's just that nowadays people talk about it. Until Betty Ford came out about breast cancer, you couldn't mention cancer in polite company, and if a relative died of breast or colon cancer, you lied and said it was something else. You could mention lung cancer or bone cancer if you whispered, but not any of the others.
Diabetes rates ARE up. That's definitely correct-- but it's not entirely due to diet. It's partly because people are living longer; they don't die of a heart attack or lung cancer at 55, so they're still around to get diabetes at 65. We're also doing a much better job of diagnosing it. Even dentists get training now in when to send a patient to an MD for a diabetes test. Add in the fact that doctors tend to tell patients they are diabetic when they just have slightly elevated blood sugar that's reversible with minor weight loss, and you get an inflated increase. I'm not saying that it's not a problem; overall I think it's good that everyone's so aware. But to say that low-fat diet recommendations caused an increase in diabetes just isn't true.
And I also challenge the term SAD. What do you mean when you say that? The true standard American diet is crap. No argument about that. People eat too much sugar, white flour, and saturated and hydrogenated fat, and way too little fresh fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods.
But to twist things and blame the low-fat dietary recommendations of the 80's is just wrong. NOBODY ever recommended that people eat sugar and white flour. You can go back to the very first US government dietary recommendations ever published, before WWI, and even then they were saying to limit sweets. (And that's when underweight was the main nutritional problem!) The low-fat recommendations said that we should eat more whole grains and legumes in place of some foods high in saturated fat. They said to eat LESS processed food, not more. I have never heard of anyone who replaced white flour and sugar with whole foods and didn't get healthier, regardless of what type of whole foods they chose. If you're trying to claim that the government recommendations are the Standard American Diet, I call BS. What most people eat and what the USDA suggests are miles apart.
The problem isn't the dietary guidelines. The problem is that no one follows them! The "obesity epidemic" is completely explained by the concurrent increase in calorie consumption. The average American in 2011 ate 300 calories a day more than the average American in the 1970s. (Most of that increase comes from fat, so obviously people were NOT following the low-fat recommendation.) The only mystery is why there's anyone left who isn't obese!
It's true that the same diet doesn't work for everyone. Some people do have trouble losing weight on a high-carb diet, even if the carbs are all whole food carbs. That's especially true for people who are or have been obese and are diabetic or have metabolic syndrome. Once you've messed up your metabolism by 40 years of eating total crap, it's hard to fix it with a year or two of healthy eating. But people didn't get that way in the first place eating whole grains and legumes.
For the Original Poster-- Start with what you know. You recognize junk food when you see it; don't feed it to your family. If you minimize sugar and white flour and eliminate anything with the words "partially hydrogenated," you're more than halfway to a healthy diet. If you then make sure everybody gets 5-10 servings of fruit and veggies, you're at least 3/4 of the way there. Chances are, after that you aren't going to have to worry much about the last 25%. We can all agree that nobody needs Cheetos, right? If we can ditch the Big Mac and Coke and get the kids (and adults) to eat some carrots and an apple, it probably doesn't matter if your main dish is steak or homemade whole-grain mac and cheese.
And you don't have to make 2 meals. What's healthy for you is healthy for the others in your family. Nobody should be eating junk, so keep junk food out of the house. Then provide one healthy meal, and make it a rule that anyone old enough to complain is old enough to fend for him/herself. If there's no junk food in the house, a person who doesn't like the main dish you serve can make whatever they want from the other healthy ingredients you have on hand.
I have a relative with 9 kids-- 10 if you count her useless bum of a husband. I have a lot of issues with the way she raised them, but one thing she definitely did right was refusing to be a short-order cook. She made a healthy main dish, a vegetable, and salad every night, and there was always bread available. Anybody who didn't want the main dish could either make do with veggies and bread and hope for something better at the next meal, or get up from the table and make a sandwich or scramble an egg. The kids all knew how to make a sandwich by age 3, and most of them could cook eggs by 5. And you know what? It was a total win-win. There was no fighting about food, and the kids got a lot of self-confidence and self-sufficiency from knowing they could control what they ate. Ninety-five percent of the time they ended up eating what was served, but if they really didn't want to, it was no big deal.Oh, and by the way, even though she and the worthless hubby are both obese and come from families with a predisposition to overweight, only the oldest of the 9 kids has a weight problem. He's the one who did get indulged as a small child before she figured out her rules.
Try it. Just make a meal you feel is healthy, with healthy sides. If somebody says, "I don't like this," you say, "Okay. There's plenty of salad, or you can make yourself a sandwich." That's all. They'll either eat what you made or eat what they make, but either way, you don't have to argue and you don't have to cook extra.
You may be interested in our new book The Spark Solution. Members are experiencing great weight loss results. We developed easy to prepare, budget friendly "healthy" recipes for family favorites such as fried chicken, skillet helper meals, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, pizza, etc etc. No need to prepare 2 meals with these recipes and meal plans.
Edited by: DIETITIANBECKY at: 6/8/2013 (22:16)
Fitness Minutes: (488)
6/7/13 10:59 A
I want to thank everyone for the input on my question. With everything I've read I would have to do a modified version of this diet, if I tried it. It would certainly be a life style change to stop eating a life time of favorite foods (i.e. mac-n-cheese).
I really want to find a diet or way of eating that not only will help me with weight loss but be healthy for myself and my family. If anyone knows of something let me know. I'm tired of cooking 2 different meals at a time.
6/5/13 8:32 P
Have not heard of this!
Fitness Minutes: (1,033)
121 6/5/13 11:32 A
There are a lot of thing that are interesting about this article and subject. I agree that the fruits and vegetables aren't the same as we ate as cavemen, however our fruits and vegetables are a lot closer to the foods we ate than baguettes, and we have not adapted to a lot of foods that we eat, and survive. Lactose intolerance is shared by a majority of people to varying degrees of discomfort, as is allergies to wheat. You can still eat them, and we do.
However, the wheat isn't the same as we ate 300 years ago, nor is the fruit and veggies. The people who have issues with grains, or milk, will continue to have those issues. The issues that are killing us, and making our lives more sickly are the alterations we make to the healthy foods we eat. The chemicals we use, and the salt and sugar we add, among many things we do to the food.
I don't think we know which foods would be an issue, if we grew them the way we should, instead of making the food larger, and less prone to rot. What we do know is that the current diet we eat in America, and the Western world is killing us. Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are at an all time high, and climbing. Obesity is the norm now. The food we eat is the cause. What we have yet to determine is what about the food is causing it. We are processing more foods, and putting in additives, which seems to be a likely culprit. Also, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables seem to be universally agreed upon to be good. Even as someone who avoids grans, boodle, rice, I can admit that a serving of plain brown rice can be healthy. The problem is, we add flavoring, and the sodium jumps from 15 mg a serving to 740. We took a decent food source, and ruined it's health benefits. We do this with most of our foods, and I think it is why we are sick.
If our goal is to make it to the age of reproducing, we still are making it, but what are we passing on? A history of disease, malnutrition, and early death? That isn't improving the species, and only medicine has kept our average age high. We get sicker earlier, and just are kept alive with pills. The proof is irrefutable. Something in the current diet is wrong, and most people following a low carb diet, see major health benefits from switching.
Our goal should be to find out what benefits both diets have, and what dangers, and use the best of both. We might be able to eat wheat bread if it the # 8 ingredient wasn't HFCS., and there wasn't 22 ingredients. Maybe we just can't have wheat as we consume it today.
We need to look at more than just saying this food is bad, and that one is good. Till then, I will continue to eat the freshest whole foods I can find in their most natural state. The fewer ingredients the better.
The real reason for the Paleo bashing JUSTEATREALFOOD is that the government is behind the SAD, and those politicians are bought and paid for by the food producers. So if corn, or wheat get attacked, they scream , and politicians tremble. One of these paleoethnobotanists could come out and say something that did not mesh with the mainstream, but would then be working as a bagger at the grocery, after their funding was cut. Amazingly, they parrot what everyone else is saying, and continue to collect the money. It's a wonderful scam.
Real people across America can tell that we aren't healthier, and eventually it will become a majority, and one day we will look back and laugh at the way we eat today. We will probably be eating more fat and protein, and less carbohydrates, but we also will stop letting food producers turn our food into garbage filled with salt, sugar, and additives we can't pronounce.
Of course, all the paleoethnobotanists will deny that they ever supported SAD, and there will still be billions of studies " proving " how healthy it was. However weighed against the mountain of evidence to show how unhealthy we are, it will seem ridiculous that anyone could argue that something wasn't wrong with SAD, and also that low carb diets have some benefits. The people who will be listened to 100 years from now will be the ones who stop making suggestions based on who pays them, and studies all the food, and meshes a healthy diet that people can stick to and maintain a healthy weight at.
As of right now, low carb is vastly superior to SAD in health benefits, as anyone who has done it correctly for a year will attest.
I didn't like that article, big surprise. I don't eat a "paleo" diet but I do eat a real food diet.
Using that British girl who eats nothing but chicken mcnuggets for 18 years to prove the point that humans can eat anything and survive is asinine. Of course humans can survive on crap foods, but the goal isn't just to survive, it's to THRIVE and that girl made the news because she was rushed to the hospital because she was in such poor health she couldn't breathe. She was put on high dose vitamins because her health is suffering from her inadequate diet.
The paleo diet promotes eating a variety of healthy foods with a major emphasis on real foods. Vegetables, meats, healthy fats and fruit. It cuts out over processed high calorie, low nutrient foods. I fail to see anything wrong with that? Even if someone ate "paleo" 80% of the time their health would improve immensely.
I can't really get my head around all the paleo hate/bashing that there is out there. I guess it's just the label that people hate?
Like the good Dr says in the article, "The nutritional benefits of the diet are not what the grievance is about," said Dr. Britta Hoyes. “The diet itself is sound."
And frankly that's all I care about.
Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/3/2013 (07:56)
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
6/2/13 10:52 P
LADYSTARWIND you are welcome. The link really made my day too, I especially like the last line of the article. I love anthropology and would be studying it as my major and going on to grad school with it if it weren't so difficult to make a living out of in the long run...but I just finished an anthropology course last semester in which I did exceedingly well in and still retain much of the information from, and the whole time I was taking the course especially the food/development of agriculture/evolution/early human sections, I was thinking about how the paleo diet can be rationalized, through these topics, but it really cannot be. I have no problem though, like the article says, with people eating what they want (and what makes them feel good and has the health science to prove they're not deficient in anything or have overly clogged arteries and such).
Fitness Minutes: (66,284)
5,053 6/2/13 1:39 P
SQUIDARTPARTY - THANK YOU for that Link!!! It made my day! This was the most rational view of the scientific "basis" for the so called paleo I've found. I, too, have had a lifelong interest in archaeology and related sciences like anthro...and have always felt the "science" behind paleo was shall we say, questionable, at best.
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
6/1/13 3:43 A
Actually; I just read some of the other comments...
Some people are attracted to Paleo because it focusses on a natural food diet.
I cook the vast majority of my meals from scratch using fresh ingredients...I gave up processed a long time ago.
You don't need Paleo if that's your aim...you just need to learn to cook from scratch!
If you don't know how to make meals using only fresh ingredients, the best money you'll ever spend is in a healthy cooking class...:-)
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
6/1/13 3:36 A
It's too extreme for me and overhyped.
Everyone I know who's tried it has lasted everything from a few weeks to a couple of years...but not beyond that.
It's a favourite of the cross-fit junkies who are also too extreme for me...:-)
6/1/13 3:27 A
Paleo is taking all the processed crap out of our diets. I don't agree with the legumes/beans and no dairy, although it has been explained that a baby cow drinks mothers milk, not baby humans. I have a lot of friends who do this and they eat an INORDINATE amount of eggs a week, coconut milk, and meat. I have vegan fiends that opted for a plant based diet and they look healthier than my Paleo friends...but the people I know are Crossfit fanatics as well....and when I went there, Paleo was pushed...or "gently suggested" repeatedly! It matters not which choice you make as long as the choice is based on needs and health...and that you make sure you get what you need to sustain yourself....*off soapbox*
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
3,791 6/1/13 1:12 A
"My understand of true paleo does not permit milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, lentils, legumes....so how would a vegan or vegetarian (who doesn't eat meat, fish, etc) be able to meet protein needs???" -Becky
Have you ever read about raw food vegans? I personally consume animal protein. At the same time, I find the movement interesting.
I would not say that vegans/ vegetarians could do " Paleo ", or would have a hard time with low carb in general, but even though I eat low carb, following Atkins closest.. I do think that those diets are eating real, healthy foods, and can be a good diet.
That was just my response to the poster being attacked about being a vegan. I'm all for others eating greens. Leaves me more meat.
Actually a LOT of the people I'm meeting who are doing a self-described "paleo" diet, aren't actually doing it by the "book" -- or by the top 3 best-selling books on the subject. There are probably as many versions of paleo as there are people on the diets. It would be more accurate to call these diets by another name (if it includes milk and beans) but "paleo" is a buzz word that seems to have stuck.
My understand of true paleo does not permit milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, lentils, legumes....so how would a vegan or vegetarian (who doesn't eat meat, fish, etc) be able to meet protein needs??? Becky SP Registered Dietitian
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
3,791 5/31/13 12:41 A
I like Paleo. I personally think everyone should try it. I think it's perfectly acceptable to take a vegan approach with it. "To each his own."
I'm pretty sure that if you went back into history, and separated out the years we ate eggs, meat, butter/oil, fruits and veggies, and compared them to the rest of our history, it would dwarf the century or so of modern food. My parents grew up in the 50's and they had bacon and eggs, and meat and vegetables all the time. That was just 60 years ago. They had to make their own bread, and it was a rarity, as was fruit. They ate that in season, and canned some berries.
Most of the food and drink we consume today was invented since the 1880's. We ate meat, and eggs and fruits, and vegetables when available, because that is what we had available. The strange diet that is an option now is the low fat diet that was created in the 1970's to make the food industry rich. You can thank Senator George McGovern for that. Since then we have had an every increasing obesity problem.
Amazingly back when we ate eggs and beef, we didn't have the heart disease, or cancer, or diabetes rates we do today. Also less obesity. I think the idea of going back to eating the foods we ate for millennia that we ate all the time that we were thriving as a species seems only logical.
Not sure about a vegans complete diet, but I do know that on a low carb or Paleo diet we eat a lot more veggies, as do vegans, we just also enjoy meat as well, since we are omnivores. I have no criticism of the vegan diet, except for the fact that I like meat.
I dunno, I have issues with the paleo/primal diet. It's based upon human evolution I think but it only accounts for a small period of that evolution, so it doesn't make sense to me. I think the reason it works for some people is because some people have sensitivities to certain foods that it does not allow you to eat, and that's why it works so well for some people.
I am actually a vegan not because it's a diet, although I do eat much more healthily as a vegan than not a vegan, but because I believe in the reasons I do it. It's a lifestyle for me, not a diet. Typical 'diets' fail much more easily for me because I don't really believe it's doing something that is making a larger impact on the world. That's why I've been able to stick to the dietary aspect of veganism.
I have been chastised before by paleo followers for my being a vegan because it has a "moral component" and told my 'diet' has no nutritional value...I don't understand that. I believe as long as you are healthy (or in my case, working on getting healthy) and feel good and energized with the food you are eating, then it shouldn't really matter what you prescribe to (although I do believe it's wrong to eat animals and good to help the environment...but I'm rarely aggressive towards anyone about that).
5/30/13 9:46 P
me too Russel and I have been on some crazy fad diets
Every diet I have ever been on was the healthiest one..lol
5/30/13 12:23 P
It can be a healthy way to eat. Worlds healthiest way to eat, probably not.
I cannot do it because it is to strict and strict diets just leave me wanting the forbidden foods. Some do very well on it though
Fitness Minutes: (11,471)
300 5/30/13 12:17 P
Have heard about this diet, will do some research on it. Very interesting.
5/30/13 12:01 P
If you do a message board search for "paleo" or "primal" you'll find a lot of comments about that and the Atkins-type diets. I think another thing to check out is "glycemic index" because that search term can actually get you some scientific information rather than just hype.
The problem with most of the "hype" that surround those buzz-words is that it's trying to sell a product --a book, a membership in something, supplements, etc. And we know that even government recommendations aren't the unbiased fact-based things we're told they are. Some of the research that led to the "food pyramid" was bought and paid for by companies that manufacture the foods that make up the base of that pyramid. The actual science is complicated and often gets lost in the hype, and you basically end up not being able to believe anything you read.
If you do a little research into the history of Atkins himself and the Atkins-style diet plans (reducing or eliminating carbs from bread and wheat-products, increasing the amount of fat and protein in the diet) you'll see an interesting and almost comical story. Research is continually being done on which is worse for you -- fat or bread. lol. The answer is probably not simple, and may depend on the individual's genetic profile. We still can't point to one factor and say "This is what causes heart disease." Could be bread. Could be fat. Could be something else. Probably is a combination of factors.
I thought Paleo was totally stupid until I experimented and pretty much stopped eating breads and bready foods -- and found my energy level skyrocketed. I got into the habit of having a little egg or chicken or turkey breast with all my fruit and salads, and I swear I don't feel hungry throughout the day like I used to. I still drink milk, and I do eat some bread, but not nearly as much as I did (actually I treat bread like dessert, since that's kind of what it felt like to me.) So moderation, all the time.
Try it and see if it works for you -- or try a modified version. Every iteration of the Atkins/Paleo/Primal diet is slightly different (because you have to sell a new book each time!) so try a couple, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. If it does, yay!
Edited by: AMANDANCES at: 5/30/2013 (12:03)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
3,791 5/30/13 12:59 A
Do you have any specific questions regarding Paleo?
I follow a "Primal/Paleo" way of eating while trying not to get caught up in the infighting of what's "allowed" or not.
Mostly I just try to focus on eating real whole foods and I am healthy and feel great. I have eliminated the things that cause me digestive distress which are grains and beans. That doesn't mean I never have them though just rarely.
There is a ton of info about it on the net. Happy researching!
Fitness Minutes: (66,284)
5,053 5/29/13 8:10 P
If you use the Search function at the top of the Spark Page, you will find all sorts of threads about that, and I think a Spark team too....
Personally, I've read some of info on "Marks Daily Apple" (google it). Its not for me...a little too far off of center, and I don't agree with some of the assertations its based on. Questionable science in my view.... I'm definitely a middle of the road sort of person!
Fitness Minutes: (488)
5/29/13 7:59 P
Does anyone know anything about or even tried the Paleo diet? It's claimed to be the world's healthiest diet. I'm kind of interested.