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Calorie Count Blog

What to Expect on the Paleo Diet


By +Carolyn Richardson on Nov 07, 2012 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

Picture yourself as a character in the animated TV series The Flintstones. You’re at a dinner party in Bedrock where the Stone Age menu is on full display. What would you order? If you're considering making the switch to a Paleolithic diet, this is one of the pressing questions. Once you get past what to eat, the journey begins as to how to give up your current way of eating. While going Paleo is a drastic change from the modern Western diet, it's garnering popularity. To help demystify, we interviewed several Paleo dieters, whose experiences we’ll share here. 

Paleo in a Nutshell 

If cavemen couldn’t eat it, when you take the Paleo plunge, neither can you. What’s on the menu are foods that get back to nature without modern food industry practices including organic meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables. Smaller amounts of healthy fats, fruit, nuts, leafy greens are also a part of the diet, with still smaller amounts of other plants including herbs and spices allowable. Anything other than these foods is a no-go. Multiple studies say at least 70% of our contemporary Western dietary intake comes from foods that were rarely or never consumed by Paleolithic hunter-gatherers. Therefore, saying no to the large amounts of grains, dairy products, refined sugars, and highly processed fats that are a part of the American diet is a colossal challenge. A snapshot of a day’s worth of macronutrients is about the same amount of fat as a regular American diet, but double the protein and half the carbohydrates. Some plusses nutritionally include more potassium and fiber than most Americans get, but less calcium and Vitamin D, which can be supplemented. 

More Energy

U.S. News & World Report experts rated the Paleo diet 2 out of 5 stars on all 7 categories of key dietary factors, making it dead last in the top 25 Best Overall Diets of 2012. With this ranking, we wondered what our small panel had to say about why they chose to go Paleo. While there was mention of weight loss, respondents alluded to enhanced energy as the bigger reason they tried it:

* After just one week, one respondent said she, “…felt so much more energetic, cleaner, lighter if that makes any sense…that stopping was out of the question.”

* Another woman who has followed the strict diet for over 2 years mentions being sharper mentally after only a month on the diet. She says, “I think quicker, and focus better as well. I think the highs and lows of my sugar intake made me moody. Now that sugar is not in control, my brain works better.”

* Bob, who is only a few months in, having switched from a typical junk food diet as an experiment, also reports improved energy levels.

One part of the science behind increased energy levels is the naturally low-glycemic index of the Paleo diet. Spikes in blood sugar are lessened in diets without excess amounts of refined sugars. With the Paleo diet, blood sugar stays more balanced throughout the day and thus the avoids the crash and sluggishness that is associated with low blood sugar levels following a high-glycemic meal.

Feeling Full

Another through line in the small survey was mention of a sustained feeling of fullness. The Paleo diet is a high-protein, high-fiber diet making it naturally satiating. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines of America recommends between 25 and 31 grams for adults between the ages of 19 and 50, but based on figures from a sample menu in The Paleo Diet, a day’s worth of fiber would far exceed that at 42.5 g. In terms of cravings, all respondents reported experiencing cravings initially. Overcoming cravings, as expected had a broad range from as little as two days to as long as three weeks. The panelist who is no longer Paleo did agree that fullness was not a problem, but said, “It’s a different kind of full that I sought. The taste of sweets gave me a satisfaction beyond my stomach and after 3 months on the Paleo diet, I missed that tremendously and fruit couldn’t satisfy my urge. Ultimately, my penchant for sweets was my downfall, not actual hunger.”

Drawbacks

Beyond cravings, all mentioned difficulty giving up dairy products and common grains such as pasta, rice, and pita bread to name a few: Some mentioned eating out and social settings as difficult to navigate, while others found it hard to “replace” certain foods they ate out of habit. When asked what substitutes could be made for their favorite grain dishes, one mentioned, “Cauliflower is amazing in place of rice, as well as squash and starchy vegetables. Big leafy greens such as lettuce, swiss chard, and kale are great for making wraps instead of pita. Plus, almond butter is great for making batter!” A long-term Paleo eater said, “Anything that replaces the taste of grains makes me want the real thing, so I decided to stick to what I know and season my meat-and-veggie dishes as I would meat and potatoes. In essence, it’s the herbs and spices that make the taste, not the pasta or rice which are bland at best on their own. No replacements or substitutes here.”

Getting Started

If you’re ready to give it a try, one of our Paleo dieter's suggests to go slow. Start by slowly cutting out certain dairy and grain choices and focus on creating a stash of meals you really love that completely follow the Paleo diet. The other panelists went all in. As your stash grows, let go of non-compliant meals. Ultimately what matters is your level of satisfaction with the food, and the nutritional value it has to support your health. Meal ideas from our panel include:

Breakfast: Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes (from RunningToTheKitchen.com) with an optional addition of spinach or greens. Spread homemade applesauce on top.

Bacon and eggs cooked with butter with a side of tomato slices

Lunch: Dairy-free Vegetable Frittata

Beef-Stuffed Bell Pepper

Dinner: Sautéed Veggies with Salad

Turkey Chili

Snacks: Raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit

 

Your thoughts...

Have you tried or are you following the Paleo diet, what was your experience? Share the good and the bad.

MORE...

Our panelists recommend the following resources:

Online Support

Mark’s Daily Apple

Reddit's Paleo Page

Books 

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

Movies

Fat Head

The Perfect Human Diet

Recipes

The Paleo Plan

Paleoaholic



Comments


Okay I am a big fan of healthy eating, particularly anything that involves fresh fruit and veg and so on....but everything moderation. Why cut out things we have access to just because cavemen didn't? I'm not talking about processed foods, they are disgusting and artificial and bad (although I will admit I do indulge from time to time, but I am aware that I shouldn't!!), I just mean grains and dairy and whatnot. We do benefit from these things. Look at Gwyneth Paltro. She was a big advocate of the macrobiotic diet.....didn't she end up with osteopenia at the age of 37? So you want the diet of a caveman? Well ask yourself....what was the life expectancy of the palaeolithic man? I'm not sure myself but I would imagine probably about 30-40 years?  

Eating healthy is about finding the right balance of foods that works for your body. AND getting regular exercise!!! I'm guessing most people who sign up to these fad diets DRIVE to the shop to buy their groceries!!!

Also, where is the logic in cutting out foods that naturally contain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and replacing them with artificial, chemically produced supplements???????

When I was a young child in school there was a picture of the food pyramid on the classroom wall. Crazy fad diets have come and gone over the years, but that food pyramid stands strong. Trust the food pyramid, get regular exercise, a varied, balanced diet and enjoy life. there is no guarantee you will live a long healthy life no matter what you eat, or how much you exercise, but at least if you're sensible about it you can give your body a fighting chance!



I don't think it's a good diet. We have evolved since the Palaeolithic era, to start with. Also, grains are an important of the modern body's diet. I know if I don't have enough, I get indigestion. The oil and poisons in nuts make them inefficient to help with digestion. I just don't think it's a smart choice. Eat a healthy, and well rounded diet. That's the only way you need to eat, not one of these overcomplicated and rather unscientific methods.



Original Post by: spacemanb

Okay I am a big fan of healthy eating, particularly anything that involves fresh fruit and veg and so on....but everything moderation. Why cut out things we have access to just because cavemen didn't? I'm not talking about processed foods, they are disgusting and artificial and bad (although I will admit I do indulge from time to time, but I am aware that I shouldn't!!), I just mean grains and dairy and whatnot. We do benefit from these things. Look at Gwyneth Paltro. She was a big advocate of the macrobiotic diet.....didn't she end up with osteopenia at the age of 37? So you want the diet of a caveman? Well ask yourself....what was the life expectancy of the palaeolithic man? I'm not sure myself but I would imagine probably about 30-40 years?  

Eating healthy is about finding the right balance of foods that works for your body. AND getting regular exercise!!! I'm guessing most people who sign up to these fad diets DRIVE to the shop to buy their groceries!!!

Also, where is the logic in cutting out foods that naturally contain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and replacing them with artificial, chemically produced supplements???????

When I was a young child in school there was a picture of the food pyramid on the classroom wall. Crazy fad diets have come and gone over the years, but that food pyramid stands strong. Trust the food pyramid, get regular exercise, a varied, balanced diet and enjoy life. there is no guarantee you will live a long healthy life no matter what you eat, or how much you exercise, but at least if you're sensible about it you can give your body a fighting chance!


I totally agree with you.

BTW, cavepeople lived about 20-25 years. They were also often suffering from hunger, and diseases because they lacked nutrients.



I tried this diet and it is excellent!I am eating pasta/whole grain bread after workouts, if I feel like eating one, and it is just fine-you can reschedule times when you eat something. Peace of cake once per week of few glasses of wine are also fine..

I have much more energy, training  sessions are easier, and I am definitely eating more healthier by substituting bread and pasta with a plate of vegetables.

I would encourage everybody to try this diet. Make small modifications, eat what you miss from time to time, you will see the difference!



The benefits listed seem to me to be the same as regular low-carb eating.

What's the extra benefit of paleo over low-carb?
And as spacemanb said, there is no logic in going back to the diet of a caveman, especially if it means you need artificial supplements with it.

Also wondering if cavemen actually had a pan to fry butter in for their bacon and eggs... ;-)



I am disappointed in this article. This article seems to have missed all the health benefits that the paleo diet offers. It was recommended my a physician to reduce inflammation in body. Inflammation is a component of many conditions/ diseases. After following the diet many people are able to reduce/eliminate many daily medications within a short time. I suffer from daily headaches/migraines and an autoimmune disease that are both controlled by this diet or way of life. Weightloss is an added benefit, not the original thought behind the diet. It is difficult to follow I am inspired to keep trying one step at a time. I started with eliminating dairy and gluten and the cutting back on grains to the point of just occasional small portions.


And what was their average life span?



This is one of those impossible to stay on diets.  Seriously, how could you eat like this for the next 6 months STRAIGHT or longer?  Drives me crazy.  STOP eating so much.  Enjoy your food, just eat half.  It works and you don't have to completely change your life like this.  No wonder so many people struggle to lose weight.

Jim

Eat less and lose weight the easy, non-complicated way.



This Diet is amazing.  I feel totally diferent since I started two months ago, full of energy and able to do all in my life much better.  I have to be honest and I am not following the diet 100%.  I do eat a bit of healthy Carbs and also a bit of Dairy products.  Since I have started with a semi paleo diet I am stronger and feel faster in all my movemnets and also in my desk work.....For sure it is  a great choice as long as you not obsess. I agree with the Post that says we should  be happy and enjoy life as our first goal....



If anyone stops back, hopefully I can offer a few ideas for why you would want to eliminate grains and dairy.  "Just because cavemen didn't" isn't usually a good enough reason!

From a simple common-sense perspective, there is nothing you can get from whole grains that you can't get from fruits and vegetables.  You get plenty of fiber and carbohydrates from fruits and veggies, and you get way more minerals.  Most cereal grains don't have Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, or Vitamin C, but your green leafy veggies do.

But humans have been eating grains ever since the dawn of agriculture.  Yes, but Loren Cordain, who is actually an anthropologist, points out that human remains indicate a severe decrease in the size of humans and their health once they became agricultural.  Okay, sample size might be small, but the correlation is there.

Correlation doesn't mean causation.  True.  I found these links in a forum called cavemanforum.com, where someone started a thread posing the question, where is all the research proving that grains are bad?  Loren Cordain, again, does have a pdf out there discussing what makes them so bad, but if I keep referencing the same person over and over, I'm going to start sounding like a fanboy.

Nondigestible Carbohydrates and Mineral Bioavailability
http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/129/7/1434S

Insulin-Like Activity of Concanavalin A and Wheat Germ Agglutinin—Direct Interactions with Insulin Receptors
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC433288/

Do dietary lectins cause disease?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1115436/?tool=pu bmed

Bone metabolism in celiac disease
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18534236

Hopefully those at least pique the interest of the more scientifically-minded.  In short, grains and legumes have anti-nutrients that make digestion difficult and even strip away some of the minerals we consume.

Dairy is a gray zone in the Paleo diet.  Some people, like myself, staunchly avoid it because we don't react well.  I get cystic acne.  My doctor said, "Hey, have you ever considered a milk allergy?  It's the most common allergy that results in acne."  After some digging, I found out that it's because the naturally-occurring growth hormones in cows' milk act in the human body the same way naturally-occurring human growth hormones work.  For those with a genetic predisposition for acne, it tips the balance.  The other, I think more serious, problem with dairy is that nowadays it comes from cows that are given hormones, antibiotics, and fed a poor diet, which means the milk is full of hormones, antibiotics, and is not as nutritious as it would be if they were fed grass.

That brings us to meat, and the whole, "How is this different from a low-carb diet?"  For me, the biggest difference is quality of meat.  Much like milk, the fat in meat contains the hormones and antibiotics that the animals get pumped with.  If you can't afford grass-fed or at least organic meats, you're better off eating the leanest meat you can find and supplementing it with other kinds of fats like avocado, coconut, and olive.  It really isn't an all-bacon-all-the-time lovefest the way some people (including some Paleo-ers) would have you believe.  It's also not as meat heavy as some people think.  Yes, I eat meat at every meal, but it's no more than 5 ounces.  I do buy large hunks of meat, but I buy a big pot roast, slow cook it, and then have dinner for myself and my husband for an entire week.

LOL to the comment about a pan to melt their butter to fry their bacon and eggs!  I honestly hate calling my diet the Paleo diet.  There's nothing Paleo about it.  I KNOW cavemen didn't have a CrockPot to slow-cook a pot roast!  I don't go hunt my meat.

I have been on the diet for over three years now, and that doesn't mean every day is perfect.  I do treat myself to ice cream, or to a burger, or to fries, etc., just not very often.  I've even tried adding grains back to my diet in the form of Scottish oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice, and I just find that it's bland, boring, and kinda makes me feel sluggish.  Like I wasted space in my stomach that could be used on something way more delicious.

Anyway, that's what I have to offer.  Hope it helped someone!



Ugh, I forgot to mention a thing or two.  Yeah, average life-span was around 30-40 years, but don't forget that when averaging, you include the baby that died within 6 months for whatever reason.  That would average out another person living to be 80 to about... 30 or 40.

We also don't have the same kinds of environmental hazards that they had, like wild animals.  Some Paleolithic people only lived to be 25 because they got mauled by a bear when they were out hunting.  There are so many other variables that go into Paleolithic vs. Modern life-span that it's hardly a valid argument.

The other point I wanted to make about grains is that, for thousands of years, extensive measures were made to get rid of the anti-nutrients through soaking, sprouting, and fermenting.  A loaf of bread could take three days to make because once the dough is made, it sits out and ferments and gets all pseudo-digested so most of the bad stuff is gone.  Yes, it's a lot of carbs, but don't forget that people those days were engaged in much more heavy physical labor.  Now our grains are even more refined, promoting greater blood sugar spikes, and our lifestyle is even more sedentary, so we don't use up that energy.  That's part of the recipe for diabetes.

So yeah, it's all well and good that humans have been eating bread, but the bread we eat today isn't the same as even our grandmothers ate.  Given the state of our nation's health, I'd say that's a bad thing.



of course their lifespan was shorter, you try outrunning a sabertooth. Besides they didn't have the technological and medical advancements we have today. That said, we may be living longer but not without plenty of drugs. As far as grains go I recommend this reading if you're truly not narrow-minded and open to discussion http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/#axz z2BXjnIUgn ;

Likewise, i will admit mary cavemen did not have a pan and butter to dry up that delicious bacon and eggs but I don't think he had tractors and mills to convert something naturally poisonous into sliced bread. 

 

high five for DianaBreeze, excellent information!



To those who want to eat grains:   grains which have been heavily processed or manipulated (GMO, etc) are not healthy and are the very reason for the huge rise in gluten intolerance.  Remember, eating the least processed foods you can find is the only way to go!



I don't see the logic in removing grains from the diet. Do you really think that paleoman did not eat grains. The paleo diet was more than likely a larger portion of grain and seeds than we might imagine. Less meat than we might imagine also. The premier image of paleo man is a group of hunters surrounding a Mammoth or of a hunter returning to camp with some animal to eat.  They were more gatherer  than hunter.



Excellent, informative comments from DianaBreeze.  I can't believe people still think the old food pyramid still works today.  Read Wheat Belly to find out what really goes on.  Paleo is hard and few of us are perfect, but if you try for it 80% of the time, you'll feel better.  Mark's Daily Apple is a great info source.



@ caveman2533 - I don't follow the paleo diet, but have also eliminated most grains from my meals, mainly based on what I read about low-carb and also the Wheat Belly book. The bread we have now, indeed isn't what it used to be.

I'm not yet 100% convinced it's more bad than good for you (lack of time to actually study all the scientific material about it), but I do know that since cutting it out, I have a lot less cravings, and I'm losing weight. I replaced it with simply more vegetables and proteins.

That said, I still feed my children their daily bread - they're growing, and I think they need a lot more carbs than I do. Plus it's a bit awkward in school when you're a healthy (and thin!) 14 year old boy and you bring a salad for lunch instead of sandwiches ;-)



Original Post by: lindalkl

And what was their average life span?


I am not a health nut by any stretch and currently am about 80% paleo.  I was going to blog about the body benefits that was previously mentioned and the inflammation on the arteries of the western diet, but was already mentioned.  Instead, I will provide an article which really shed light on the processed foods, processed oils, refined sugar type of diet.  See article http://www.sott.net/article/242516-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out- On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease

After reading this article, alot of myths and misunderstndings came to light for me.

I hope it helps others as well.  Good Luck



the problem with the Paleo diet is that it is based on caveMEN and hunting, instead of the 80% of calories gathered by the cavewomen which was nuts seeds berries roots and small animals. Read the archeology, not some guys imaginary diet.



Not sure I understand the comment...please articulate.



Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: spacemanb

Okay I am a big fan of healthy eating, particularly anything that involves fresh fruit and veg and so on....but everything moderation. Why cut out things we have access to just because cavemen didn't? I'm not talking about processed foods, they are disgusting and artificial and bad (although I will admit I do indulge from time to time, but I am aware that I shouldn't!!), I just mean grains and dairy and whatnot. We do benefit from these things. Look at Gwyneth Paltro. She was a big advocate of the macrobiotic diet.....didn't she end up with osteopenia at the age of 37? So you want the diet of a caveman? Well ask yourself....what was the life expectancy of the palaeolithic man? I'm not sure myself but I would imagine probably about 30-40 years?  

Eating healthy is about finding the right balance of foods that works for your body. AND getting regular exercise!!! I'm guessing most people who sign up to these fad diets DRIVE to the shop to buy their groceries!!!

Also, where is the logic in cutting out foods that naturally contain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and replacing them with artificial, chemically produced supplements???????

When I was a young child in school there was a picture of the food pyramid on the classroom wall. Crazy fad diets have come and gone over the years, but that food pyramid stands strong. Trust the food pyramid, get regular exercise, a varied, balanced diet and enjoy life. there is no guarantee you will live a long healthy life no matter what you eat, or how much you exercise, but at least if you're sensible about it you can give your body a fighting chance!


I totally agree with you.

BTW, cavepeople lived about 20-25 years. They were also often suffering from hunger, and diseases because they lacked nutrients.


Ummm... as soon as grains were introduced into the human diet, so was cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cavities. You should do your homework before posting such nonsense.

 



Also, there  is nothing in grains that you can't get anywhere in other food. Real food. Not supplements.



My husband and I have followed a semi-paleo diet for quite a while and we both feel terrific, lots more energy and clarity of thought.  I agree with many of these postings, it is common sense.  If you eat products produced by "the Man" you are eating chemicals and all sorts of things that cause inflammation.  Just cut it out and go back to basic common sense.  Eat organic and do your research.  Don't deny yourself on special occasions, but stick to a basic paleo diet every day and see the results.  Get past the ridiculous statements and use your brain.......frying pan?  Come on........



A great resource for learning about the Paleo lifestyle and why some foods are bad for some people (many of us have sensitivities to certain foods like gluten and nightshades that we're unaware of) is the book Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle.  It's been on the NY Times best seller list for over 3 weeks, and the foreword was even written by Rob Wolff of The Paleo Solution.  This book does an excellent job of explaining how our bodies react to certain foods.  I highly recommend checking it out.  You will become much more well informed about the Paleo lifestyle rather than just having the argument about Cavemen only eating certain foods.



That should be The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain not The Primal Diet.  Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple wrote The Primal Blueprint which is an entirely different book, but does have a similar focus.  Primal is Paleo with Dairy.  That is an oversimplification but anyway.

You really need to do more research if you believe that the Paleo diet or Primal is too low in Calcium or Vitamin D.  Its possible without dairy you may not get as much from food, but I think the Paleo lifestyle includes getting plenty of sunlight for natural vitamin D converted from sunlight.  Calcium deficiency...fairly sure that is not even close to a problem without supplementing.  Is this based on the leaching calcium from bones myth?

I really don't want to go through the trouble to do your research and post an article debunking that but I just might have to.....

Anyway I like the somewhat modified Epi-Paleo diet by Jack Kruse.

http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

A high seafood base with Paleo gives you plenty of Vitamin D in fish and other seafood as well as plenty of calcium.

You should get plenty of all nutrients with all the seafood, offal(organ meats), bone broth and all the other high nutrition things.



For those who fear fat or cholesterol you really need to read the articles and watch any attached videos here.

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believ e-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/how-did-we-come-to-believ e-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-are-bad-for-us

http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/the-straight-dope-on-chol esterol-part-i

Cholesterol and Saturated fat are not as bad as some groups have led people to believe.  Most cholesterol from food doesn't even stay in your body.

Most of the cholesterol you have is produced in your liver.



I didn't know it was called a Paleo diet, but my daughter and I have basically been on it now for over three months, though I guess we modify it slightly.  We consume some milk, some eggs, and even a very low-sugar chocolate (which doesn't leave me craving like most chocolates do).  The benefits of this diet:  I no longer have arthritis pain, less tinitis, improved allergies; and my daughter has significantly less problem with cramps, which were debilitating for several years before starting this lifestyle diet.  I, frankly, do not intend to go OFF this diet, although there will be some exceptions occasionally (holidays, in particular!), but by MY CHOICE!  We are both losing consistently on this diet, though we have to shake it up from time to time in order to keep the loss going.  My daughter has NEVER been able to lose weight on ANY diet until now -- and that's saying a lot, since she is extremely active!  She recently walked and rode her bicycle from Key West, Florida, all the way to the Canadian border (though skipped Georgia & the Carolinas), a total of 1200 miles, on her regular diet, and with all that exercise, lost only 6 pounds!  So a diet with reasonable exercise (4-6 times/week) that allows her to lose weight, is awesome!  Even with my activity level (fairly sedentary), I am able to lose on this diet, so I am not complaining, either.  AND, I have more energy, so I'm actually not AS sedentary as I would be otherwise!  And I know exercise is important -- but not everyone is ABLE to go to a gym or walk for hours, etc.  I'm hoping to get back on my bicycle shortly, but there's no guarantee that I'll be able to!



Oops, forgot something.  The only deficiency my daughter and I have consistently run into is the intake of potassium, which is almost impossible to supplement.  The best thing we have found is to eat plenty of mushrooms, and to use NO SALT consistently (100% potassium, instead of sodium).  It has helped a lot.



Original Post by: raiken3712

That should be The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain not The Primal Diet.  Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple wrote The Primal Blueprint which is an entirely different book, but does have a similar focus.  Primal is Paleo with Dairy.  That is an oversimplification but anyway.

You really need to do more research if you believe that the Paleo diet or Primal is too low in Calcium or Vitamin D.  Its possible without dairy you may not get as much from food, but I think the Paleo lifestyle includes getting plenty of sunlight for natural vitamin D converted from sunlight.  Calcium deficiency...fairly sure that is not even close to a problem without supplementing.  Is this based on the leaching calcium from bones myth?

I really don't want to go through the trouble to do your research and post an article debunking that but I just might have to.....

Anyway I like the somewhat modified Epi-Paleo diet by Jack Kruse.

http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

A high seafood base with Paleo gives you plenty of Vitamin D in fish and other seafood as well as plenty of calcium.

You should get plenty of all nutrients with all the seafood, offal(organ meats), bone broth and all the other high nutrition things.


Thanks for catching our error on the book title - I'll make the change! 



I agree with the breads we have now are not good. I don't eat anything but whole grains now.  But thats not what the article was advocating, rice is a food thats been around for thousands of years, lets not toss it. just use it judiciously.  Maybe my diet is more paleo than I realize, just not labled as such.

 



All these comments about grain and who ate them and when they may have been introduced into our food chain may have people confused.  Grains were not domesticated much less existed at the earliest 10,000 years ago.  The paleolithic man/woman lived 1.7 million or more years ago.  You do the math!!! (see article below)

But, it's not just grains that are not good for you.  It's the processing of the grains, sugars, oils that causes the problem.  Click on the article I blogged earlier.

A little history on grain and when man started using them.

Timeframe for cereal grain domestication.
There are 8 major cereal grains which are consumed by modern man (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and millet) [Harlan 1992]. Each of these
grains were derived from wild precursors whose original ranges were quite
localized [Harlan 1992]. Wheat and barley were domesticated only ~10,000 years ago in the Near East; rice was domesticated approximately 7,000 years ago in China, India, and southeast Asia; corn was domesticated 7,000 years ago in Central and South America; millets were domesticated in Africa 5,000-6,000 years ago; sorghum was domesticated in East Africa 5,000-6,000 years ago; rye was domesticated ~5,000 years ago in southwest Asia; and oats were
domesticated ~3,000 years ago in Europe.

Consequently, the present-day edible grass seeds simply would have been
unavailable to most of mankind until after their domestication because of their
limited geographic distribution. Also, the wild version of these grains were
much smaller than the domesticated versions and extremely difficult to harvest
[Zohary 1969].

How recent in the human evolutionary experience is grain consumption in terms
of our total dietary experience? The first member of the human genus,
Homo, was Homo habilis who has now been dated to ~2.33 million
years ago (MYA) [Kimbel et al. 1996]. Homo erectus, who had
post-cranial (the rest of the body below the skull) body proportions
similar to modern humans, appeared in Africa by about 1.7 MYA and is thought to
have left Africa and migrated to Asia by 1 MYA or perhaps even
earlier [Larick and Ciochon 1996]. Archaic Homo sapiens (called by some,
Homo heidelbergensis) has been dated to 600,000 years ago in Africa and
to about 400,000 years ago in Europe or perhaps earlier [De Castro
et al. 1997].

Anatomically modern Homo sapiens appear in the fossil record in Africa
and the Mideast by about 90,000-110,000 years ago and behaviorally modern
H. sapiens are known in the fossil record by ~50,000 years
ago in Australia and by about ~40,000 yrs ago in Europe.

The so-called "Agricultural Revolution" (primarily the domestication of
animals, cereal grains, and legumes) occurred first in the Near East about
10,000 years ago and spread to northern Europe by about 5,000 years ago
[Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1993]. The industrial revolution
occurred roughly 200 years ago, and the technological revolution which brought
us packaged, processed foods is primarily a development that has occurred in the
past 100 years and has seen enormous growth in the last 50
years.



...yes, it is unhealthy to only eat peocessed food, but that does not mean our diest should be decided by what cavemen ate.... it is idiotic

by the same loigc we should stop using soap and toothpaste, never again take a drug or antibiotic and run around half naked. Please also remember to sleep in an unheated  room ... and forget about your bead... by the end of the day that's what cavemen did.

I do respect the fact that some people feel better on lower carb diets, or by eating more raw fodd, but going over the top with such a diet is not sustainable, and the cavemen argument nonsense.



Sleeping in an unheated room might actually be a good idea.  You can actually adapt to the cold and it has quite a few health benefits.

http://www.jackkruse.com/category/cold-thermogensis/

Enhanced immune system, calorie burn, and various other benefits from adapting to the cold.



It might be best to understand a post before commenting on it.  Better yet, to read the associated information regarding that post...vis-a-vis the heart surgeon article. 

 

It is very difficult to converse with someone that posts this "...yes, it is unhealthy to only eat peocessed food, but that does not mean our diest should be decided by what cavemen ate.... it is idiotic"

It would be so much better if someone actually took the time to understand these plans and better yet the information provided before they stuck both feet in their proverbial mouth...



What a nice informative article. I've been paleo for a few months now and I feel terrific! I'm much more energized and healthier in general. I've also noticed that the tissue around my teeth are a much healthier pinkish color and there's no blood whenever I flush or brush my teeth anymore. Who knew it would also improve my teeth and gum health?

Regardless of the skepticism in some of these comments, the paleo diet does come with some health benefits. For those who are new to it, it really helps to plan your meals in advance. Also keep a list of paleo recipes on hand . This site http://paleodiet.risap.com writes reviews of new paleo books on the market today. Having a cookbook helped me a lot when I first started.



Original Post by: JOMOMMA72

All these comments about grain and who ate them and when they may have been introduced into our food chain may have people confused.  Grains were not domesticated much less existed at the earliest 10,000 years ago.  The paleolithic man/woman lived 1.7 million or more years ago.  You do the math!!! (see article below)

But, it's not just grains that are not good for you.  It's the processing of the grains, sugars, oils that causes the problem.  Click on the article I blogged earlier.

A little history on grain and when man started using them.

Timeframe for cereal grain domestication.
There are 8 major cereal grains which are consumed by modern man (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and millet) [Harlan 1992]. Each of these
grains were derived from wild precursors whose original ranges were quite
localized [Harlan 1992]. Wheat and barley were domesticated only ~10,000 years ago in the Near East; rice was domesticated approximately 7,000 years ago in China, India, and southeast Asia; corn was domesticated 7,000 years ago in Central and South America; millets were domesticated in Africa 5,000-6,000 years ago; sorghum was domesticated in East Africa 5,000-6,000 years ago; rye was domesticated ~5,000 years ago in southwest Asia; and oats were
domesticated ~3,000 years ago in Europe.

Consequently, the present-day edible grass seeds simply would have been
unavailable to most of mankind until after their domestication because of their
limited geographic distribution. Also, the wild version of these grains were
much smaller than the domesticated versions and extremely difficult to harvest
[Zohary 1969].

How recent in the human evolutionary experience is grain consumption in terms
of our total dietary experience? The first member of the human genus,
Homo, was Homo habilis who has now been dated to ~2.33 million
years ago (MYA) [Kimbel et al. 1996]. Homo erectus, who had
post-cranial (the rest of the body below the skull) body proportions
similar to modern humans, appeared in Africa by about 1.7 MYA and is thought to
have left Africa and migrated to Asia by 1 MYA or perhaps even
earlier [Larick and Ciochon 1996]. Archaic Homo sapiens (called by some,
Homo heidelbergensis) has been dated to 600,000 years ago in Africa and
to about 400,000 years ago in Europe or perhaps earlier [De Castro
et al. 1997].

Anatomically modern Homo sapiens appear in the fossil record in Africa
and the Mideast by about 90,000-110,000 years ago and behaviorally modern
H. sapiens are known in the fossil record by ~50,000 years
ago in Australia and by about ~40,000 yrs ago in Europe.

The so-called "Agricultural Revolution" (primarily the domestication of
animals, cereal grains, and legumes) occurred first in the Near East about
10,000 years ago and spread to northern Europe by about 5,000 years ago
[Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1993]. The industrial revolution
occurred roughly 200 years ago, and the technological revolution which brought
us packaged, processed foods is primarily a development that has occurred in the
past 100 years and has seen enormous growth in the last 50
years.


If you are not already, you should seriously get involved with writing articles or books.  Obviously, you know what you're doing. Smile



today there are no sabertooth tigers to deal with but there are other environmental hazards that no matter what or how you eat will kill you. and how did those paleolithic diners get butter if dairy is generally unacceptable. i would think a hungry caveman would rather eat the cow than milk it for butter. these people ate what they could when they could and probably grazed on greens along the way. bread is pretty simple to make and you can decide whatever you want to make it with. people need to invest a little more time in growing and creating their own foods, and if it is truly important to you you will make the effort.



Much of the bread traditionally in the past has been sprouted, soaked, or fermented to prepare it.  Also as discussed in Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and probably other sources the wheat especially we have these days is no where near the same as the wheat they had in the past.

Sometime in the 40s I think it was it had a major shift in its genetics due to new methods of creating grain that is hardier, easier to make into bread, and has much more gluten.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/soaked-sprouted-fermented-gra ins/#axzz2BjuZd6IC

Forget all that stuff about eating like a Caveman and just realize that Paleo no matter which book you read is all about eating whole unprocessed foods that have a ton of nutrition.  Grains aren't just bad because we didn't have them so and so years ago.  Grains are not ideal because they lack nutrition and our really high in sugar.  There are also anti-nutrients in grain that bind with different nutrients so that you can't actually use them.  This is what the traditional preparation talked about in the marksdailyapple blog post talks about.

Can some people who aren't sensitive to grain get away with eating grains without much trouble....maybe but a large group of people can't.  Also I've read of several people who thought they were ok with grains that switched off of them and lost a bunch of symptoms or conditions they didn't even know they had or had no clue of the cause.  Just because you think you are fine with something doesn't make it the case.

Sure its not easy eliminating something that you love from your diet...I still have issues myself, but if you don't at least try it for some time you won't know what issues it might be causing.

There is nothing in grains that you can't get in abundance from other sources.  Small to moderate amounts of fruit depending on sugar content, small to moderate amounts of starchy vegetables depending on activity, large amounts of nutrient dense vegetables, moderate amounts of meat including hopefully seafood is a great nutrient dense wholefoods diet that has plenty of nutrition without any grain whatsoever.



Since when has butter been considered dairy free?  Seriously, how would they have butter if they didn't have milk?



Butter isn't considered Dairy free and by a strict Paleo 1.0 also known as Loren Cordains standards from The Paleo Diet book Paleo people shouldn't eat butter.

There are many different groups of Paleo people and not all go by Loren Cordain specifically.  Loren Cordain was also into lean meats only and many are just fine with larger amounts of fat depending on the source.  The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson is Paleo with Dairy.  This is a bit of an oversimplification but anyway.

If your point is that the menu plan laid out is not strictly Paleo you would be correct by the standards of some.  There are many different groups of people who follow Paleo.

Epi-Paleo or a high seafood Paleo is something I think makes quite a bit of sense for example.

http://www.jackkruse.com/brain-gut-6-epi-paleo-rx/

http://forum.jackkruse.com/showthread.php?987-The-iodine-Thr ead!!!&highlight=Iodine

I plan on doing Dr. Brownstein's Iodine protocol to kick start things since from testing I know I'm hypothyroid and probably lacking Iodine.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/139Xa8u8kgNVT-K17TxYvsM7q sSfusxyvloIXWbU92rg/edit

In case anyone is interested in what I'm talking about.  It should all be explained pretty well in there.

 



Original Post by: fit_artist

Original Post by: zelda_of_arel

Original Post by: spacemanb

Okay I am a big fan of healthy eating, particularly anything that involves fresh fruit and veg and so on....but everything moderation. Why cut out things we have access to just because cavemen didn't? I'm not talking about processed foods, they are disgusting and artificial and bad (although I will admit I do indulge from time to time, but I am aware that I shouldn't!!), I just mean grains and dairy and whatnot. We do benefit from these things. Look at Gwyneth Paltro. She was a big advocate of the macrobiotic diet.....didn't she end up with osteopenia at the age of 37? So you want the diet of a caveman? Well ask yourself....what was the life expectancy of the palaeolithic man? I'm not sure myself but I would imagine probably about 30-40 years?  

Eating healthy is about finding the right balance of foods that works for your body. AND getting regular exercise!!! I'm guessing most people who sign up to these fad diets DRIVE to the shop to buy their groceries!!!

Also, where is the logic in cutting out foods that naturally contain nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, and replacing them with artificial, chemically produced supplements???????

When I was a young child in school there was a picture of the food pyramid on the classroom wall. Crazy fad diets have come and gone over the years, but that food pyramid stands strong. Trust the food pyramid, get regular exercise, a varied, balanced diet and enjoy life. there is no guarantee you will live a long healthy life no matter what you eat, or how much you exercise, but at least if you're sensible about it you can give your body a fighting chance!


I totally agree with you.

BTW, cavepeople lived about 20-25 years. They were also often suffering from hunger, and diseases because they lacked nutrients.


Ummm... as soon as grains were introduced into the human diet, so was cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cavities. You should do your homework before posting such nonsense.

 


Uh.. hold on a minute.

First of all, how in the world can you possibly know what diseases paleolithic people suffered from? Did you get access to their non-existent medical files? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Making that claim is beyond ridiculous, and frankly, shows just how much homework YOU need to do on the subject.

The first indication that something is a fad diet, is when people like you show up defending it with all of the fanatical ignorance of a cult member.



They can figure out quite a bit from evidence in the fossil record.  There are actually signs of heart disease etc.... in the past but much less than today.  It only makes sense that there wouldn't be as much as we have much more junk today than they would have had.

I think its beyond ridiculous of you to assume that its a bad claim because you don't know the details.  Perhaps it is stretching it to say those diseases didn't exist but there is evidence to support the idea that it wasn't as wide spread and is perfectly logical as well.



Yes, and on the same side of the coin, there are likely HUGE amounts of illnesses that are now eradicated due completely in part to our modern diet.

I think it's beyond ridiculous of you to assume that emulating a lifestyle that ensured a life expectancy of less than 30 years is somehow more advantageous than what we are able to achieve today. Am I saying that everything we have access to is wonderful for us? No, of course not. But I am saying that the advantages are far, FAR greater than the disadvantages, and looking back to the paleolithic era for ideas on how to live healthier is one of the more ridiculous fads that has ever been so blindly latched on to.



The modern diet is not what is advantageous.  If you are referring to grains there is nothing in grains that you don't get without them.  Most things we have gotten rid of are are due to us knowing what causes them.

Are you talking about the lack of rickets etc...?  We know what nutrient it requires for it not to happen so its less common these days.  It has nothing to do with having grains or processed foods though.

People lived an Average of 30 years.  That is the average....do you know what that means.  That means there were people living till old age but many who died early.  A large amount of that is infant death due to worse medical care and other advances.  It has next to nothing to do with diet an improvement in our diet.

We don't have to do deal with many of the dangers people used to and also those we still deal with can be dealt with by our superior medical knowledge.

If you or I were to be thrust into a world with the kind of environment that they lived in from birth we probably wouldn't be alive right now.  Dying early pushes the average life expectancy down quite a bit. 



"Dying early pushes the average life expectancy down quite a bit."

Lol, thank you Captain Obvious.
The thing is, there is no way in hell that you or anyone else can know whether or not paleolithic man suffered from the same kinds of later-life diseases such as cancer and heart disease, or hell, even major dental problems, because none of them lived long enough to experience it. There isn't enough fossil evidence of elderly paleolithic man to even begin to try and understand such a thing. So, making claims about better health (up to the age of 25 or so) is seriously hilarious. Up to the age of 25 or so, everyone, within reason, is in pretty good health, no matter what you've been eating up until that point!!

And speaking of modern medical science, not a single respected medical community condones the Paleo diet as anything special, and most correctly dismiss it as yet another fad. But you keep on pushing those links, books, and emptying your pockets to pray at the altar of Atkins Part 2. It's your life.





Here's a small bit of reading that pretty much NAILS it --

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/longing-for-a- past-that-never-existed/

Enjoy.



Original Post by: snooglies

"Dying early pushes the average life expectancy down quite a bit."

Lol, thank you Captain Obvious.
The thing is, there is no way in hell that you or anyone else can know whether or not paleolithic man suffered from the same kinds of later-life diseases such as cancer and heart disease, or hell, even major dental problems, because none of them lived long enough to experience it. There isn't enough fossil evidence of elderly paleolithic man to even begin to try and understand such a thing. So, making claims about better health (up to the age of 25 or so) is seriously hilarious. Up to the age of 25 or so, everyone, within reason, is in pretty good health, no matter what you've been eating up until that point!!

And speaking of modern medical science, not a single respected medical community condones the Paleo diet as anything special, and most correctly dismiss it as yet another fad. But you keep on pushing those links, books, and emptying your pockets to pray at the altar of Atkins Part 2. It's your life.




Quite a few of those "medical scientists" in the "respected medical community" do all or most of their research with money from companies that profit from the sale of goods that do not fit with Paleo or Low Carbohydrate.  This is not a conspiracy theory.  It is factual.

Sure not all but just because a bunch of "smart" people believe something doesn't make it true.  A bunch of smart people used to believe the world was flat.  Does that mean they were all retarded while the "smart" people in the medical community and others are extremely intelligent and know everything?  Absolutely not.

Quit using your appeal to authority its is completely meaningless.  Its the same logic used by pro fluoridation groups that mostly get their support from those who profit from fluoridation.  There aren't any studies in the United States blah blah blah.  There are many studies that have been done outside the United States that show that Fluoride has many detrimental effects.  Should we ignore all research that isn't based here...I don't think so.



"This is not a conspiracy theory."

Please show me the evidence to support your claim, because without that evidence, it is the very definition of a conspiracy theory. And, just for the record, I do have standards of evidence, so please, keep that in mind when you are trying to dig up your

"It is factual."

Again, please provide the evidence.

"A bunch of smart people used to believe the world was flat."

That's actually a myth. The world has been known to be round since classical antiquity. Statements like this are not a great indicator that you can separate myth from reality.

"Quit using your appeal to authority its is completely meaningless."

It's not an appeal to authority if the source being cited is an expert in the field. 


"Its the same logic used by pro fluoridation groups that mostly get their support from those who profit from fluoridation."

Another conspiracy theory. Two in one post, well done. Do you realize that you are exactly the demographic of people that the alt. med folks target when they write their silly books, push their silly agendas, and create their, silly products? You are the reason why people trade-in sound science for BS in the year 2012. You give CRAP an audience, a cash-flow, and a reason to keep existing. Congrats on being another sucker in the world.







Aaand I forgot a whole word in my post --

Please show me the evidence to support your claim, because without that evidence, it is the very definition of a conspiracy theory. And, just for the record, I do have standards of evidence, so please, keep that in mind when you are trying to dig up your sources.



So, fossil record aside, have you just ignored all the links that send you to other information? Because, yeah, some of the links here get you to diet websites, and some go to actual research about the foods we eat. I don't think any of us have the time to write our own research papers for someone who is clearly not interested in having civil discourse. Too bad this turned into a mud-fest.


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