They say that low-fat weight-loss diets have proved in clinical trials and real life to be dismal failures, and that on top of it all, the percentage of fat in the American diet has been decreasing for two decades. Our cholesterol levels have been declining, and we have been smoking less, and yet the incidence of heart disease has not declined as would be expected. ”That is very disconcerting,” Willett says. ”It suggests that something else bad is happening.”
While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.

Eggs are a classic breakfast choice even for the non-Paleo. The yolks are loaded with nutrients and eggs as a whole are a cheap source of quality protein. Scrambled, poached, oven baked, omelettes, hard boiled, egg salad with home made Paleo mayonnaise or simply eggs fried in the pan, the list just goes on. So many ways to cook them, but yet it can still start to feel repetitive. The trick here to keep it interesting is to prepare them in different ways and with different ingredients.
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some versions of the diet.
“Wild rice is seed of an aquatic North American grass and completely different species from ordinary rice. The seeds are long, thin and covered in black, brown or green husks. They are dried after harvesting, then hulled, separated from their covering, and ‘pearled’ (polished using traditional methods). They are an expensive delicacy because they are found in relatively small quantities in America and China – though these days, they are cultivated by Americans using modern technology.”
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
Saturated fat has been demonized by our health authorities and media. What is the basis for this position on Saturated fat? Are current recommendations for VERY low saturated fat intake justified? How much saturated fat (and what types), if any should one eat? Without a historical and scientific perspective these questions can be nearly impossible to answer.
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were "civilized." Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
Despite the fact the Paleo diet eliminates food groups vital to health, Katz believes the eating pattern has some merit. "Every species on the planet does well on the diet which it natively adapted. And the idea that things would be different for our species is absurd. There is some modern science to show its benefits, but with limitations. Those limitations include what it is compared to (everything is better than the typical American diet), and how genuinely 'Paleo' it really is," adding that there's a big difference between what meat enthusiasts casually call "Paleo" and legitimate Stone Age Homo sapiens eating patterns, which by today's standards would make a huge negative impact on the environment. "To procure the wild plants and animals required for sustenance depends on a lot of space per person," Katz says. "I have done the math, and for the current human population to eat that way would require about 15 times the surface area of the planet. Eight billion Homo sapiens cannot be foragers, or substantially carnivorous, without decimating the planet."
Saturated fat has been demonized by our health authorities and media. What is the basis for this position on Saturated fat? Are current recommendations for VERY low saturated fat intake justified? How much saturated fat (and what types), if any should one eat? Without a historical and scientific perspective these questions can be nearly impossible to answer.
— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com) and the author of the cookbooks The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day and The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. She's a nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and a contributor to US News Eat + Run and MensFitness.com.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn't really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren't eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
Primarily aimed at reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar and hormones, and increasing cognitive performance, all achieved by improving fat metabolism. Based around the popular “Bulletproof Coffee.” Bulletproof differs from Paleo because of its emphasis on “Bulletproof” supplements and shunning of higher carbohydrate foods like fruit and tubers. The Bulletproof Diet lies somewhere between Keto and Paleo. Check out The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey.
Trying to devise an ideal diet by studying contemporary hunter-gatherers is difficult because of the great disparities that exist; for example, the animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% for the Gwi people of southern Africa to 99% for the Alaskan Nunamiut.[40] Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods.[40] Modern hunter-gatherers tend to exercise considerably more than modern office workers, protecting them from heart disease and diabetes, though highly processed modern foods also contribute to diabetes when those populations move into cities.[40]
^ Ramsden, C.; Faurot, K.; Carrera-Bastos, P.; Cordain, L.; De Lorgeril, M.; Sperling, L. (2009). "Dietary Fat Quality and Coronary Heart Disease Prevention: A Unified Theory Based on Evolutionary, Historical, Global, and Modern Perspectives". Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. 11 (4): 289–301. doi:10.1007/s11936-009-0030-8. PMID 19627662.
In light of Paleo's low ranking in US News & World Report, it stands to reason why most RDs don't advocate the diet—and for a variety of reasons. "The Paleo diet has a lot of good things going for it. It recommends excluding processed foods and refined sugars and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean protein," says Heather Mangieri, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Fueling Young Athletes. However, Mangieri says, "Any diet that suggests eliminating an entire food group can set you up for nutritional deficiencies, boredom, and an overfocus on food." Because the diet eliminates all dairy, meeting calcium and vitamin D requirements can be difficult. Mangieri has experienced this issue firsthand in her private practice. "Even though Paleo proponents claim they can meet their calcium needs from nondairy foods, I have yet to find a client that eats that many greens and is that thought out in their eating. Supplementation becomes a must to meet the needs for these nutrients."
With healing and restorative foods, such as stocks and broth, fermented veggies and kefirs, the dietary approach you will be following in this program is very oriented toward supporting high quality digestive health and minimizing exposure to irritating dietary antigens prone to triggering IBS symptoms. This program might just be the best thing you have ever done for your gut!
We cannot time travel and join our Paleo ancestors by the campfire as they prepare to eat; likewise, shards of ancient pottery and fossilized teeth can tell us only so much. If we compare the diets of so-called modern hunter-gatherers, however, we see just how difficult it is to find meaningful commonalities and extract useful dietary guidelines from their disparate lives (see infographic). Which hunter–gatherer tribe are we supposed to mimic, exactly? How do we reconcile the Inuit diet—mostly the flesh of sea mammals—with the more varied plant and land animal diet of the Hadza or !Kung? Chucking the many different hunter–gather diets into a blender to come up with some kind of quintessential smoothie is a little ridiculous. "Too often modern health problems are portrayed as the result of eating 'bad' foods that are departures from the natural human diet…This is a fundamentally flawed approach to assessing human nutritional needs," Leonard wrote. "Our species was not designed to subsist on a single, optimal diet. What is remarkable about human beings is the extraordinary variety of what we eat. We have been able to thrive in almost every ecosystem on the Earth, consuming diets ranging from almost all animal foods among populations of the Arctic to primarily tubers and cereal grains among populations in the high Andes.”
Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.
Primal Body-Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas advocates a diet that our paleo ancestors ate. Meat, lots of fat, and seasonal fruits and berries when available. Basically, sugar and starchy carbs are discouraged. You can download a chapter from the author's site. She has a Primal Body, Primal Mind Radio weekly show on Voice of America. It started May 20, 2009, so there are many shows you can listen to. Published June 30, 2011.
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