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Some Paleo dieters emphasize that they never believed in one true caveman lifestyle or diet and that—in the fashion of Sisson's Blueprint—they use our evolutionary past to form guidelines, not scripture. That strategy seems reasonably solid at first, but quickly disintegrates. Even though researchers know enough to make some generalizations about human diets in the Paleolithic with reasonable certainty, the details remain murky. Exactly what proportions of meat and vegetables did different hominid species eat in the Paleolithic? It's not clear. Just how far back were our ancestors eating grains and dairy? Perhaps far earlier than we initially thought. What we can say for certain is that in the Paleolithic, the human diet varied immensely by geography, season and opportunity. "We now know that humans have evolved not to subsist on a single, Paleolithic diet but to be flexible eaters, an insight that has important implications for the current debate over what people today should eat in order to be healthy," anthropologist William Leonard of Northwestern University wrote in Scientific American in 2002.
The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.
The Paleo diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. Though there are numerous benefits eating a hunter-gatherer diet, there are seven fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets that help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and to lose weight and keep it off.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to recognize the nutritional benefits of whole grains and recommend individuals make sure one-half of the grains they consume daily are whole grains. A 2016 meta-analysis of 45 cohort studies, published in The BMJ, looked at the relationship between whole grain consumption and the risk of various diseases including CVD and cancer.5 Researchers concluded that intake of whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, CVD, cancers, respiratory and infectious diseases, and diabetes. Furthermore, a 2017 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when subjects consumed whole grains vs refined grains, inflammation was reduced.6
Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us ill by Barry Groves. The author is one of the world's most outspoken proponents of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This book is an account of how and why the health-care establishment has got the concept of 'healthy eating' so wrong. Whereas Taubes work (see above) is a fairly straight forward review of the existing science, Groves expands into the politics of medical research and treatment to a much greater extent. "Trick and Treat" is divided into two parts. Part One describes the corruption in the health industry, points out the problems inherent in a high-carb, low-fat diet, and then prescribes a diet that leads to good health. The prescribed diet is high in fat - specifically animal fat, not polyunsaturated vegetable fat - and low in carbohydrates, with 60-70% of calories from fat, 15-25% of calories from protein, and a mere 10-15% of calories from carbohydrates. Part Two describes numerous diseases the author claims are the result of high carbohydrate consumption. These range from life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer to less serious problems such as acne, near-sightedness and dental problems. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
The Lazy Paleo Enthusiast's Cookbook: A Collection of Practical Recipes and Advice on How to Eat Healthy, Tasty Food While Spending as Little Time in the Kitchen as Possible by Sean Robertson. The author is a recovering vegan and in the first half of the book recounts his dietary experiences using some paleo foods to restore his health. You learn that the author's main strategy is to make food in large batches which can be reheated to provide dinners for several days running. The second half of the book contains 28 recipes. Some borderline or nonpaleo ingredients do appear, but most of the recipes are more paleo than not. Published November 15, 2011.
A great question to ask is “Does the Paleo diet work?” Here we have a head to head comparison between the Paleo diet and Mediterranean diet in insulin resistant Type 2 Diabetics. The results? The Paleo diet group REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet showed little if any improvements. It is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet is generally held up by our government as “the diet to emulate” despite better alternatives. You can find an abstract and the complete paper here.
We also believe there are benefits in putting an extra emphasis on organ meats, bone broths, Antarctic krill oil supplementation (due to very high EPA and DHA demands on fetal brain development —potentially draining mom’s stores) and 100% organic/fully pastured/wild caught sources of meats, seafood, eggs vegetables and greens. As mother’s milk is an extremely critical source of medium chain triglycerides meant for the rapid growth of the baby’s brain and nervous system, we believe using a little more coconut oil in the diet could be helpful, too. Quality has never mattered as much as it does during this time. Also, in our opinion there has never been a more important and utterly critical time to avoid highly antigenic foods such as gluten, grains and dairy products (except for possibly camel’s milk, which is expensive and a bit hard to come by, but is generally safe from an immune reactive standpoint. It’s nearly identical in its total composition to human milk, and as such may prove useful where supplementing regular breast-feeding might be necessary, as well as a non-immune reactive dairy alternative).

High Blood Pressure can be complex in some instances, so it is important (and we strongly advise) that you seek advice from your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle and have them carefully monitor you over the course of this program. We do not suggest that you discontinue taking any medication you might have been advised to take. Although we make no medical claims with respect to any specific condition, it is common for adherents to this dietary approach to report improvements in numerous health markers, including high blood pressure.
Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed--a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today's diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases--and even beat them back--through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.
One larger randomized controlled trial followed 70 post-menopausal Swedish women with obesity for two years, who were placed on either a Paleo diet or a Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) diet. [7] The Paleo diet provided 30% of total calories from protein, 40% fat (from mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and 30% carbohydrates. It included lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. The NNR diet provided less protein and fat but more carbohydrate with 15% protein, 25-30% fat, and 55-60% carbohydrates, including foods similar to the Paleo diet but also low-fat dairy products and high-fiber grains. Both groups significantly decreased fat mass and weight circumference at 6 and 24 months, with the Paleo diet producing greater fat loss at 6 months but not at 24 months. Triglyceride levels decreased more significantly with the Paleo diet at 6 and 24 months than the NNR diet.
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."

— 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.

Almost equal numbers of advocates and critics seem to have gathered at the Paleo diet dinner table and both tribes have a few particularly vociferous members. Critiques of the Paleo diet range from the mild—Eh, it's certainly not the worst way to eat—to the acerbic: It is nonsensical and sometimes dangerously restrictive. Most recently, in her book Paleofantasy, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, debunks what she identifies as myths central to the Paleo diet and the larger Paleo lifestyle movement.

Similarly, any foods that were not easily available to Paleolithic humans are off-limits in this diet, Holley explains. That means processed foods — many of which contain added butter, margarine, and sugar — should not be a part of the paleo diet. The same goes for dairy, which may not have been accessible to Paleolithic humans, and legumes, which many proponents of the diet believe are not easily digestible by the body.


We strongly advise that you get in touch with your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or lactating to tell them exactly what you are doing before making any changes to your diet or exercise regime. Although we believe many of the dietary changes advocated through this Program could be quite beneficial, every circumstance and pregnancy is different and close, careful monitoring is advised.
Nothing forces you to end your nightly fast right away. If you don’t feel like eating, then you don’t have to. After all, longer fasting periods have been part of the human evolution for a very, very long time. We wouldn’t have survived as long as a species if our bodies didn’t find a way to optimize periods of fasting. In fact, providing your diet is already nutritious and contains enough food as a whole, intermittent fasting on occasion will only help down-regulate insulin production as well as increase insulin sensitivity and therefore help you live a longer, leaner life.
Yes, paleo breakfast tacos are a thing, and they're here to save you from the sad taco-free life you thought you had to live while eating paleo (because taco bowls don't always scratch that same itch). Using almond flour tortillas, these breakfast tacos from Ancestral Nutrition are made with eggs plus all your usual favorite toppings (or at least versions of them)—avocado, pico de gallo, cashew sour cream, and… more avocado.
The evolutionary discordance is incomplete, since it is based mainly on the genetic understanding of the human diet and a unique model of human ancestral diets, without taking into account the flexibility and variability of the human dietary behaviors over time.[27] Studies of a variety of populations around the world show that humans can live healthily with a wide variety of diets, and that in fact, humans have evolved to be flexible eaters.[28] Lactose tolerance is an example of how some humans have adapted to the introduction of dairy into their diet. While the introduction of grains, dairy, and legumes during the Neolithic revolution may have had some adverse effects on modern humans, if humans had not been nutritionally adaptable, these technological developments would have been dropped.[29]
Autoimmune diseases (such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus and others) are multifactorial in their causes, however some research now suggests a Paleo based diet may help autoimmune conditions and improve the underlying imbalance of gut micro-flora. The gut micro-flora generally has significant effects on gut and immune function. Despite the possible benefits of a Paleo based diet, we strongly recommend you seek the support of a suitable health professional both before making any changes to your diet or physical routine and as well as during the Program, so that progress can be monitored and guidance provided for any adjustments made to suit your individual sate. Monitoring by a medical professional of the dosages of any medications you are on is also recommended.

The Carnitine Miracle by Robert Crayhon, M.S. The nutrient carnitine is abundant in red meat. According to Crayhon carnitine helps balance blood lipids and blood sugar levels, maximizes energy levels, increases endurance, eliminates discomfort in ketosis, promotes burning of fat and building of muscle and increases overall well-being. See reviews at Amazon.

Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980’s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.)
A number of randomized clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:

Throw last night's pot roast into the skillet for this hearty breakfast hash. According to recipe creator Tasty Ever After, this classic dish gets its "red flannel" name from the vibrant beets in the mix. They add not only color, but also a superfood-level dose of antioxidants. Toss in whatever other veggies you have on hand to round out the recipe.
Grass-fed beef is often highlighted on the diet, which is promoted to contain more omega-3 fats than conventional beef (due to being fed grass instead of grain). It does contain small amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a precursor to EPA and DHA. However, only a small proportion of ALA can be converted in the body to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). The amount of omega-3 is also highly variable depending on the exact feeding regimen and differences in fat metabolism among cattle breeds. [3] In general, the amount of omega-3 in grass-fed beef is much lower than that in oily marine fish. [3] Cooked salmon contains 1000-2000 mg of EPA/DHA per 3-ounce portion, whereas 3 ounces of grass-fed beef contains about 20-200 mg of ALA.
If a pregnant woman knows or suspects (in any way) that she has or may have an autoimmune illness of any kind, a special focus needs to be put on engaging in autoimmune dietary support and careful management of this condition. With this in mind, we strongly advise you consult a healthcare professional familiar with this illness before making any changes to your diet or physical activity.
It may be difficult to healthfully adopt this program as The Paleo Way does incorporate a fair amount of animal protein. We do not have designated Vegan or Vegetarian options, but if you're open to creativity and able to consciously swap out certain ingredients that you wish to avoid, such as the animal proteins, then you may very well be able to pick up some new recipes and enjoy the Program.
Yes, high-quality proteins and fats are part of the equation, but so are lots of vegetables and even (gasp!) carbohydrates. It’s not like I dumped all the grains (which, let’s face it, aren’t naturally nutrient-rich) and processed junk off my plate and replaced it with bacon. Instead, I substituted with more vegetables and some fruit—and I replaced the low-quality, CAFO-raised, steroid-injected meat I used to eat with grass-fed and pastured proteins and sustainable seafood.
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
In the AM, swap your large latte and Benedict for poached eggs with nutritious sides: avocado, spinach, and tomatoes. In the PM simple dishes that are rich in quality protein and fat prove best: steak, poultry or fish, with a salad and vegetables. Avoid carb and sugar loaded options like pizza, pasta, and dishes that can hide other nasty ingredients. And of course, always say no to the bread basket.

In the AM, swap your large latte and Benedict for poached eggs with nutritious sides: avocado, spinach, and tomatoes. In the PM simple dishes that are rich in quality protein and fat prove best: steak, poultry or fish, with a salad and vegetables. Avoid carb and sugar loaded options like pizza, pasta, and dishes that can hide other nasty ingredients. And of course, always say no to the bread basket.
Almost equal numbers of advocates and critics seem to have gathered at the Paleo diet dinner table and both tribes have a few particularly vociferous members. Critiques of the Paleo diet range from the mild—Eh, it's certainly not the worst way to eat—to the acerbic: It is nonsensical and sometimes dangerously restrictive. Most recently, in her book Paleofantasy, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, debunks what she identifies as myths central to the Paleo diet and the larger Paleo lifestyle movement.

One larger randomized controlled trial followed 70 post-menopausal Swedish women with obesity for two years, who were placed on either a Paleo diet or a Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) diet. [7] The Paleo diet provided 30% of total calories from protein, 40% fat (from mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and 30% carbohydrates. It included lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. The NNR diet provided less protein and fat but more carbohydrate with 15% protein, 25-30% fat, and 55-60% carbohydrates, including foods similar to the Paleo diet but also low-fat dairy products and high-fiber grains. Both groups significantly decreased fat mass and weight circumference at 6 and 24 months, with the Paleo diet producing greater fat loss at 6 months but not at 24 months. Triglyceride levels decreased more significantly with the Paleo diet at 6 and 24 months than the NNR diet.
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