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Very interested - anyone tried it? Feed back? What exactly IS it?

Edited Sep 27 2010 08:51 by sun123
Reason: Moved To Weight Loss Forum
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I just picked up Robb Wolf's book 'The Paleo Solution' which was recrently released on 9/14/10.   This book has been an excellent read;  Robb was a research biochemist and really gives a lot of information on the science of why certain foods should be avoided.   He's obviously not the first to come to this conclusion;  books such as 'Good Calories Bad Calories' also provided a ton of historical background on nutritional studies and why they were flawed, how the FDA came up with the food pyramid with bread at the base, etc.

I've known for a while that starchy foods should be avoided when possible.  Obviously it is easier said than done, especially in social situations.  Still, the science behind the studies is very solid, so its not really a matter of deciding whether or not the advice is sound.   Yes it takes a bit of willpower to follow a Paleo diet but I think the health benefits (not just weightloss, but overall health) is definitely worth it.

There's a ton of information out there if people are truly interested in the Paleo Diet and what it advocates.  Just google it, or pick up one of the serveral books on the subject.

In the end, anyone who rails against cutting out foods full of chemicals or sugar probably has not learned the effects of these things on human health or simply just doesn't want to do without the food.   I wouldn't get caught up on 'you can never eat these things ever again!'.. the idea is a lifestyle of eating and not really a 'diet'.   No one is perfect but if you follow the principles over time then you will likely see the numerous benefits cutting out sugars and chemicals provides.

I see a lot of people dismissing really good ideas out of hand simply because its new or goes against the traditional beliefs.   That's a shame.    At least take the time to learn about something before decidding its not for you.  No one can force you, but you can't say that the opportunity wasn't there.  :)

Good luck!

Original Post by kvalhion:

... how the FDA came up with the food pyramid with bread at the base, etc.

 Why is that exactly? Is it similar to mass marketing surrounding dairy as well? For the past few months, I've been cutting way down on grains and I feel really good so I'm curious how grains (especially wheat) got such a high billing in the first place.

Original Post by cellophane_star:

 Why is that exactly? Is it similar to mass marketing surrounding dairy as well?

It's a bit complicated, and the 'Good Calories Bad Calories' book really goes in depth about how the original studies were conducted.   For the most part the people conducting the studies were looking to prove their conclusions rather than drawing conclusions from the data.   So things that disagreed with what they had assumed to be true was discarded and the results of the studies were massaged in a way that would support their conclusion.

This is still done today.  If there is a study on the effects of medication on 1000 people, and in one group 6 people die and in another group 3 people die, the results will be "this medication cuts mortality by 50%!".   The context of the studies were often ignored, and still are for some studies.

Very interesting read, even if it is very dry due to being very technical.   :)

I have been eating Primal/Paleo and feel very good.  Granted, I have not been at it long but I find that I stay fuller longer.  I eat meat, lots of veg, fruit, healthy fats and nuts.  I have not cut out dairy (I eat a little cheese and maybe have a greek yogur for snack).  I have cut out grains as well.  I think this is going to be a great way of eating healthy.  I am getting most of my carbs from fruit and veg.  I can't say that I won't ever eat grains, but I will have them as more of a treat than an everyday thing.  Check out marksdailyapple.com and see what he has to say on the subject.  I am eating between 50 and 100 carbs a day for weightloss and will eat about 150 for maintenance.  I also use the 80/20 principle for eating.

ah yes... the skewing of facts! I learned a lot about that while reading Michael Pollan's books and Fast Food Nation.

Yeah, the studies that really influenced the modern dietary recommendations were more focused on fats than carbs, but the same thing applies.  I think most people now realize that fat really isn't the culprit, even though there are still plenty of high carb / low fat foods marketed.

I've cut out grains (trying to go gluten free), dairy, legumes for a little over a week.  It's easy and its hard... easy to plan meals and feel satisfied, but hard socially when going out to eat with others.   I do not miss the lethargic "why did I eat that?!" feeling that I'd always have when eating tons of sugars and grains.   Still, just looking around there are so many stores, foods, etc that are all about grains its pretty amazing when you think about it.

I had blood work done at the doctor yesterday and even after 16 days between my last visit and yesterdays visit my blood pressure went down a bit, resting pulse is a little lower, and I lost 7 pounds.   It will be interesting to see how my blood work comes back in about 3 months or so of sticking to it.  I'm already in the normal ranges for the tests they did but I'll still look forward to comparing the results.

Marksdailyapple.com is awesome;  I'm reading through the 450 blog entries he did as well as checking out the forums.   Im about half way through my Paleo Solutions book as well. :D

Good luck for anyone giving this WOE a shot :)

thhq
Oct 12 2010 19:48
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Original Post by kvalhion:

Yeah, the studies that really influenced the modern dietary recommendations were more focused on fats than carbs, but the same thing applies.  I think most people now realize that fat really isn't the culprit, even though there are still plenty of high carb / low fat foods marketed.

I've cut out grains (trying to go gluten free), dairy, legumes for a little over a week.  It's easy and its hard... easy to plan meals and feel satisfied, but hard socially when going out to eat with others.   I do not miss the lethargic "why did I eat that?!" feeling that I'd always have when eating tons of sugars and grains.   Still, just looking around there are so many stores, foods, etc that are all about grains its pretty amazing when you think about it.

I had blood work done at the doctor yesterday and even after 16 days between my last visit and yesterdays visit my blood pressure went down a bit, resting pulse is a little lower, and I lost 7 pounds.   It will be interesting to see how my blood work comes back in about 3 months or so of sticking to it.  I'm already in the normal ranges for the tests they did but I'll still look forward to comparing the results.

Marksdailyapple.com is awesome;  I'm reading through the 450 blog entries he did as well as checking out the forums.   Im about half way through my Paleo Solutions book as well. :D

Good luck for anyone giving this WOE a shot :)

 I don't miss the lethargy either.  But I solved the problem by eating less sugars and grains rather than prohibiting them. 

Fat isn't the culprit?   Fat is very easy to overeat.  So for many people it is the culprit. While doing your paleo research, did you consider this diet at all?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-health y-diet/NU00196

I'm glad you're getting plenty of meat in your diet, but please don't pass judgement on other people's healthy diets.

Original Post by thhq:

I don't miss the lethargy either.  But I solved the problem by eating less sugars and grains rather than prohibiting them. 

Fat isn't the culprit?   Fat is very easy to overeat.  So for many people it is the culprit. While doing your paleo research, did you consider this diet at all?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-health y-diet/NU00196

I'm glad you're getting plenty of meat in your diet, but please don't pass judgement on other people's healthy diets.

I guess it all depends on your goals.   It's not only how I feel, but also the effects sugars and grains has on my body that I do not necessarily detect.   Robb Wolf in his Paleo Solution makes a strong argument for cutting it all out for at least 30 days.   Your mileage may vary, of course.   If something is toxic to our system, should we just have lower amounts or cut it out altogether?  It's up to each person.

When I say fat is not the culprit, I am speaking towards the 'healthy' fats you'll find in eggs, nuts, etc.  Studies are showing that carbohydrates and related insulin spikes are significantly more of a factor in cholesterol than eating healthy fats.   The whole eat low fat high carb and your cholesterol will be fine myth was thoroughly debunked in 'Good Calories Bad Calories'.

As far the Mayo Clinic's advice, it is pretty close to what I am doing already.   I am not worried about fats from the lein proteins I am already eating.  If I am not eating processed junk then I do not have to worry about trans fat.  'Whole grains' are not much better than regular grains, so I choose not to eat them.  I eat a lot of vegetables and some fruits.

Eating a lot of fats in combination with a lot of carbs can definitely affect your health negatively.  However healthy fats with carbs from healthy sources are not going to give you high cholesterol or heart disease.   Blood test results prove this in almost every instance.

People are free to do as they choose, obviously.  I never said anyone has to eat like I am eating.  Good luck with whatever you choose. :)

thhq
Oct 12 2010 22:25
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Original Post by kvalhion:

If something is toxic to our system, should we just have lower amounts or cut it out altogether? 

'Whole grains' are not much better than regular grains

Here's where we part company.  You and your school of writers insinuate, and declare outright, that grains are toxic.  In one of your earlier posts I saw that legumes are also on the forbidden list.

Is this some kind of new religious zealotry?  Halal for moderns?

 

Original Post by thhq:

Here's where we part company.  You and your school of writers insinuate, and declare outright, that grains are toxic.  In one of your earlier posts I saw that legumes are also on the forbidden list.

Is this some kind of new religious zealotry?  Halal for moderns?

If you are truly interested on why grain consumption is harmful to the body, there's an article that explains it really nicely and succinctly:

Living Paleo:  Avoiding Grains
http://www.livingpaleo.com/articles/avoiding- grains-part-1.html

Quick points from the article:

Although grains contain protein, carbohydrates and some vitamins and minerals, which will on the outside, make grains seem like a brilliant food source, grains also contain what are called antinutrients, lectins and gluten, all which have negative traits.
Antinutrients are also found in legumes, nuts and seeds, and even eggs contain an antinutrient called avidin; however you’d need to consume a drastically high amount of raw eggs to get enough avidin to start causing negative effects on the body.
It’s important to know that lectins (which are also found in legumes, peanuts and soy beans) are resistant to cooking and our digestive enzymes, so it’s a hard task to try and stop them from doing their nasty work in the body. Lectins have been linked to inflammatory problems as well as digestive diseases; leaky gut syndrome becoming one of the larger problems in society at the moment, which is then linked to autoimmune diseases (in which the body attacks itself).

Although not everyone gets celiac, it’s important to note that across all species of animals tested (including humans), grains have shown to cause gut irritation. It’s also important to note that you may think that the grains you are consuming are doing you little damage, despite the somewhat in-depth information provided above, but the negative side-effects/allergic reaction of grains aren’t always something you will notice quickly, the damage done from grains is a slow process that is generally only found out about when it’s all too late.

Unfortunately in society we will always be hearing that grains are good for us, but doing your own solid research can provide you with balanced nutritional information. Prevention is always the best cure; eat nutritious foods and less non-nutritious foods (i.e. grains). Consume lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, meat and water and you’ll be so much better off, in health, performance and longevity.

Below is a table of comparison of the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, and that of grains. As you can see, grains provide next to no nutritional value.

I guess in the end it depends on who you choose to believe.   There are dozens of reserach articles published on this that can be found by google searches.   It makes sense to me to severely cut down and/or elminate foods that have little or no nutritious benefit and are shown to be problematic.   If you consider that zealotry, then I guess you are welcome to your opinion. :)

paleo diet is great! i've been doing some variation of it for a year and while my weight has stayed more or less the same, my body fat percentage has gone down and my skin and hair are way healthier. and my moods are better too (i'm bipolar). maybe cutting out grains and modern, processed food won't work for everyone but i'm giving it a big thumbs up (it helps that i have a gluten sensitivity so i can't eat the standard grains without bad gastrointestinal consequences anyway). also i don't eat red meat, just poultry and fish

and i'm just gonna say that i'm not like, insanely devout about following all the paleo rules...i figure some grains and legumes are fine in moderation and hardly "toxic" just probably not as good for you as the "acceptable" foods

I eat 350-450 grams of carbs a day and my total cholesterol is 110. HDL is 57.

I think paleo is great, in the way that ANY diet that encourages you to eat real food rather than fake processed crap is good. Real food rocks, even carby food.

thhq
Oct 13 2010 14:38
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I'll chime in one more time kvalhion.  I read the quotes above, and was struck by this one:

"leaky gut syndrome becoming one of the larger problems in society at the moment"

There is a body of academic research around the problem of leaky gut, of which the following is an example

http://www.intestinalbarriertest.com/pdf/Maes GutBrainDepression.pdf 

However from what I can determine from reading several studies, leaky gut normally results from heavy use of alcohol and corrosive medications such as aspirin.  One of the recommended therapies is a high fiber diet.  It appears to me that eating whole grains should improve gut health, not undermine it.

If you have some peer-reviewed studies which prove that eating whole grains is a PRIMARY cause of leaky gut please share them. 

Original Post by spunglassworld:

and i'm just gonna say that i'm not like, insanely devout about following all the paleo rules...i figure some grains and legumes are fine in moderation and hardly "toxic" just probably not as good for you as the "acceptable" foods

 My problem up till now is only 'kind of' following a plan for eating.  I'll have three or four good days, then go out with friends or family and eat crap foods.   So while over time I've lost some weight (18 pounds from late May to mid September), I've never really stuck with it.

I've been doing much better with the Paleo Diet;  I only decided to completely cut out grains, dairy and legumes about a week and a half ago, but I've lost 10 pounds in just over three weeks.   For me, taking Robb Wolf's advice and cutting it out altogether for 30 days to see how I feel is working.  Like you said, its not like I'll never have grains or sugar again.  I just need to break the pattern of excuses that I tell myself "its only one meal" or "its a special occasion" or "Its just the weekend";  that kind of thinking led me to be where I am in the first place and has kept me from making good progress.

It helps me to have an understanding of what the foods really do when we eat them instead of just having the blanket "yeah its bad for me" disclaimer.   Between that and really making myself remember how awful I feel after a big carb filled meal, I'm finding it easy to pass up the grains and sugars and focus on proteins, vegetables and some fruits.

Ambereva put it well: whatever people decide to do, hopefully they will base their diet on real food and cut out the crap. :)

Original Post by thhq:

If you have some peer-reviewed studies to share which prove that eating whole grains are a PRIMARY cause of leaky gut please share them. 

 Well the quotes were just the salient points;  the article explains the process much further including how the lining of the gut gets damaged over time.   This is linked to leaky gut syndrome;  whether it is the primary cause or one of many factors I am not sure.

I've long since learned trying to do homework for people;  if they are truly interested in finding more information it is easily found.   So if you really are interested, here is a link to the published research of the paleo diet:
http://www.thepaleodiet.com/published_researc h/

Here is a good example:
http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/JANA%20f inal.pdf

Beyond that it is up to you.  I'm sure you'll find naysayers out there.  You'll have to evaluate for yourself who makes the stronger argument and which one is simply dismissing it out of hand because it sounds silly and which one is backed by numerous scientific studies and research.

Good luck :)

thhq
Oct 13 2010 15:48
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"You'll have to evaluate for yourself who makes the stronger argument and which one is simply dismissing it out of hand because it sounds silly and which one is backed by numerous scientific studies and research."

The links you posted are interesting.  The second shows that a paleo diet can be a nutritious one, and I have no reason to disbelieve it.  Whole cultures survived for millenia on this diet.  [I only wish that my relatives had taken their "caveman" diets this seriously, and hadn't just made them an occasion for overeating steaks and beer.]

It's interesting to see that a carefully planned and controlled paleo diet can be a healthy one. But "numerous scientific studies and research" back a HEALTHY diet which contains grain and grain products.  It's silly for anyone to insist that their diet is the exclusive road to health.

The Paleo diet kinda also misses the really obvious question - which paleo diet? African savannah? Tibetan plateu? Middle-eastern river landscape? Polynesian Islands?

 Our paleo ancestors would eat anything that didn't run away fast enough or would stay down best two tries out of three, depending on what was available locally ("ask Grog about our mouse stew!") so to prescribe a single paleo diet is - well, a very dubious idea to put it mildly.

 Besides, citing Gary Taubes of Good Calories, Bad Calories infamy as an example of solid science is somewhat giggle-inducing - given that he's guilty of every single one of the faults he finds with previous research on the subject.

Original Post by melkor:.

 Besides, citing Gary Taubes of Good Calories, Bad Calories infamy as an example of solid science is somewhat giggle-inducing - given that he's guilty of every single one of the faults he finds with previous research on the subject.

Thank you, I needed that!

I really like this quote from In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan), regarding Gary Taubes, p59:

...But the healthy skepticism Taubes brought to the lipid hypothesis is nowhere in evidence when he writes about the (also unproven) carbohydrate hypothesis. Even if refined carbohydrates do represent a more serious threat to health than dietary fat, to dwell on any one nutrient to the exclusion of all others is to commit the same reductionist error that the lipophobes did. Indeed, Taubes is so single-minded in his demonization of the carbohydrate that he overlooks several other possible explanations for the deleterious effects of the Western diet...

thhq
Oct 13 2010 18:21
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I liked the comments on Taubes, too melkor.   I am also a food undercounter, since my obese cookie dough eating youth.  So my diet credo is

"Eat a little less than you metabolize."

There are better and worse things to eat but everything is on the table.  

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