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Thread: The Paleo Diet

  1. #1

    Default The Paleo Diet

    What are the merits to this diet? Is it good enough to just go low-carb/complex carb and see the same results?

    For those who don't know, the Paleo diet seeks to eliminate all grains, beans, dairy and processed foods. Basically what you do eat are meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. And very little salt. It's whole spiel is that you "eat what Paleolithic man ate" (though I don't know how much cavemen ate eggs, honestly).

    Sounds pretty hard, but if high-protein, high-fibre is your goal (which is mine) it seems like the golden diet.

    I'm wondering if anyone here's had some experience (or known someone who's had experience) with this diet who can give me some pointers/advice before I decide to commit to this hard-core.

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I think the logic behind the paleo diet is a little naive - yes, we evolved based on eating different foods back then, but evolution really just drives you towards things that help you survive long enough to have lots of children. That's all. So it's not logical to say that eating caveman foods will help you live to 75 instead of 70 or something - there weren't many 70 year olds around back in the day.

    But a lot of it is decent advice, and not necessarily any more wrong than any other diet idea. It seems like most diets are very poorly supported by any sort of real evidence - including the recommended ones. That's why you get all this handwaving about "it's our natural diet" and so on.

    Eating lots of vegetables, eggs, fruits, nuts and seeds is almost certainly good. Too many grains, particularly simple one, are probably bad. Too much meat may be bad, particularly red meat, but the benefits of the other whole foods might make up for it.

    My idea of the healthiest diet is eating large amounts of a wide variety of vegetables with reasonable amounts of whole/complex grains and meat/protein - as little processed foods as possible. I doubt going to the extremes of a paleo diet is really any healthier than that, and I suspect that it is less healthy due to the vast amounts of meat/butter.
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    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I find it quite interesting, but I've never tried. Our organism processes protein and fat much better than carb, so we function better when we restrict our carb intake. Carb is pretty important for pre and post workout meals though.
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    I think the trick is not to eliminate particular food group, with the exception of processed foods and most oils.
    The agricultural revolution conferred a survival advantage, because the human poplulation exploded as a result. So I don't see grains in and of themselves as bad at all. It's the way modern humans over-consume and don't exercise that leads to bad outcomes.
    Personally, knowing how animals are raised these days, I would avoid any diet that emphasizes meat. I would eat more eggs if I knew someone with chickens. 'yard birds' make the best tasting eggs.

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    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    What concerns me about the paleontology diet is the exposure to carcinogens in meat. I'm unsure if it is thinking "long term" in that respect. Though the increased antioxidants from berries and the anti-carcinogenic effects of most dark greens may compensate for this. For me, it is cost prohibitive to eat this way though. Also keep in mind that increased fiber can interfere with protein absorbtion. I am not a nutritionist however, so perhaps it's compensated for in other ways in the diet. I was concerned about getting enough fiber to avoid colon problems in my 50s also.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I'm skeptical about eliminating grains altogether. Grains are healthy as long as they are whole grains. It's the refined grains that aren't as healthy- things like white Wonder bread.
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    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    I believe in the Arnold Schwarzenegger diet. Eat normal foods and exercise.

    It works incredibly well. Better so that 99% of the other diets.

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    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    I'm skeptical about eliminating grains altogether. Grains are healthy as long as they are whole grains. It's the refined grains that aren't as healthy- things like white Wonder bread.
    The argument is that grains do not provide benefits that can be better provided for with fibrous vegetables and they interfere with metabolization of lipids. I've yet to see research on these claims though so I think it's kind of a "let's create a fad/craze so I can make money" thing
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    My idea of the healthiest diet is eating large amounts of a wide variety of vegetables with reasonable amounts of whole/complex grains and meat/protein - as little processed foods as possible. I doubt going to the extremes of a paleo diet is really any healthier than that, and I suspect that it is less healthy due to the vast amounts of meat/butter.
    Mmm...I was with you up until that point. I don't think butter is a part of the Paleo diet (being from an udder and all) and I also get the impression that one isn't supposed to live solely off of ribeyes and pork belly. Fish and poultry seem to be preferred meats from what I can tell so far. I'm not trying to say it's more healthy than the diet you adhere to - which seems very reasonable and, to my better knowledge, very healthy - but I don't want to go so far as to say it's less healthy, either.

    At any rate, I definitely agree that the concept behind the diet is painfully naive. I'm really not all that sold on it at all. How do we know that our ancient ancestors were healthy? They ate what they could find. Who knows if what they could find were the best for them? It's based on a lot of assumptions veiled under the explanation of evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Personally, knowing how animals are raised these days, I would avoid any diet that emphasizes meat. I would eat more eggs if I knew someone with chickens. 'yard birds' make the best tasting eggs.
    I work in an organic butcher shop so I'm not concerned about getting good meat. However, not everyone's in my position and I can definitely see how it's not the most feasible or inexpensive of diets to maintain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    I believe in the Arnold Schwarzenegger diet. Eat normal foods and exercise.

    It works incredibly well. Better so that 99% of the other diets.
    But, at least here in North America, "normal foods" are utter shit. I'm totally with you (and him) on the exercise thing. But that's only half the story, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    The argument is that grains do not provide benefits that can be better provided for with fibrous vegetables and they interfere with metabolization of lipids. I've yet to see research on these claims though so I think it's kind of a "let's create a fad/craze so I can make money" thing
    Yeah, but who's making the money here? The meat industry? Not if you buy from small farmers.

    But I've read some pretty heated articles that vilify grains. Don't know who to believe, really. The viewpoints of the popular medical community is not something I fully trust, so when people come out with their own data like that concerning grains, I'm skeptical, but still open-minded. Doctors don't always have all the answers, in my experience.

  10. #10
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Paleontology diet is usually in conjunction with p90x it's a classic sales strategy of making your clients see you as holding value that you need from THEM to get your worth from. You see similar strategies with cult leaders for example or other "cults of personality" like keirsey or Jung or anything.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

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