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Old 12-26-2009, 02:47 PM   #11
Rafe Kelley
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The Paleo Diet is effective for most people at adipose tissue reduction and health and fitness improvement. The problem is that effective does not mean optimal, nor does it imply that the underlying concept is absolutely true.

Lets look at it another way if you put someone on a diet that includes whole food sources, is high in nutrients dense and low calorie foods would you expect them to improve across most parameters compared to the average diet. Of course almost all sensible diet perscriptions are based on those principles. Once you decide on one such strategy and find it works for you it is is easy to look back and decide that the rationalization behind the diet must be true.

The problem is we know based genomic work that the Paleo hypothesis is false. We are not unchanged from 10,00 years ago, this should be obvious, there are two seperate lactase persistance genes that have swept to nearly universallity in specific populations within the last 6,000 years. Salivary amylase production has been upregulated in populations with history of starch based diets. Even the gluten itolerance often used as argument for paleo diet may turn out to be a pleotropic effect of a neolothic adaption to increased immune defense.
http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/2009/10..._its_own_b.php

It appears that populations with diets based around meat carry metabolic adaptions lacking in agricultural populations as well. Though this is fairly new topic of research
http://www.springerlink.com/content/afr3ekhecvtnhh68/
http://ijch.fi/issues/671/Kozlov.pdf

Tthe paleo assumption is untenable and in order to really optimize diet we have to understand the post paleolithic evolution of human metabolism and the differences between different populations and individual. Paleo is a nice story but your not grok and what is best for you may not be the same as what was best for him and may not be what is best for the next person either.

Last edited by Rafe Kelley; 12-26-2009 at 02:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
Mike ODonnell
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I like the "Paleo" prescription from the reality POV.....tell someone to eat a certain way, and you are lucky to get 80% compliance. People drink beer/wine, eat cake, sip lattes, have bread, like pizza, take their kids out for ice cream, etc. If you give people too much leeway sometimes they end up fatter and wondering why down the road.

So it might be more ideal to start off giving strict rules (without needing an OCD way like the Zone), assume they are not going to be 100% compliant at all times and then let them adapt a new enjoyable lifestyle around it without guilt or feeling of being deprived (as that is why diets fail to work in the longterm....because no one stays on them).
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:42 AM   #13
Gittit Shwartz
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Rafe, great post. Thanks.

Taking out the grains effectively removes most of your dense and easy-to-overeat carb sources. That's a perfectly legitimate strategy of caloric restriction. The rule is clear, no grey area = less room to rationalize bending the rules.
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Old 12-28-2009, 05:11 PM   #14
Steven Low
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
I like the "Paleo" prescription from the reality POV.....tell someone to eat a certain way, and you are lucky to get 80% compliance. People drink beer/wine, eat cake, sip lattes, have bread, like pizza, take their kids out for ice cream, etc. If you give people too much leeway sometimes they end up fatter and wondering why down the road.

So it might be more ideal to start off giving strict rules (without needing an OCD way like the Zone), assume they are not going to be 100% compliant at all times and then let them adapt a new enjoyable lifestyle around it without guilt or feeling of being deprived (as that is why diets fail to work in the longterm....because no one stays on them).
Yeah, I feel this way too.

If you or your clients have the willpower to eat soundly from a nutrients perspective then go for it. I personally don't and I don't think 99.99% of people will either.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:12 AM   #15
Allen Yeh
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Originally Posted by Arien Malec View Post
Lyle believes, as best as I can tell, (based on what he's posted on his blogs in in his forums) that, in the presence of adequate macronutrients and micronutrients, food quality is pretty much a non-scientific notion and that the paleo critique of grains, dairy, etc., is also silly and pseudo-scientific. It's what Michael Pollen critiques as nutritientism (although Pollen also believes that anti-grain, anti-dairy types are wacky as well).
It's been a while since I read In Defense of Food but I think the major points were:

1. Eat food mostly veggies
2. If your grandmother doesn't recognize something as food it probably isn't
3. If you can't get something from the ingredients into what it is your about to eat in less than 6(?) steps then maybe you shouldn't eat it.

In my mind at least those are Paleo-ish guidelines which are around what I try to stay with (though not always successfully).
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #16
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Those rules don't preclude bread, danishes, pancakes, pizza, chocolate milk, etc.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:17 AM   #17
Jay Guindon
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I feel like the "paleo" aspect of the paleo diet was really just a starting point to test some hypotheses. Whether or not we actually know what our paleolithic ancestors ate or not is really irrelevant outside of the big picture. The big picture I refer to is whether it works or not. The bottom line is that it does work, whether it is truly what humans ate 700,000 years ago or not. Maybe paleo man did eat grains, as Lyle seems to believe. This absolutely in no way rules out the fact that most people do better eliminating grains and therefore elimintating toxins like gluten and lectins and reducing the insulin response to high carb foods. Maybe we shouldn't call it the paleo diet anymore and name it something else to clear up the confusion. What seems to bother most people about it is that we can't really know for sure what early man ate, we can only infer based on the evidence we can obtain, and that leads most people to call it pseudo-science.

Where the real science comes in though is in the studies done by people interested in the implications of cutting grain, dairy, legumes, and that seem to show that people's health improves as they cut these foods. While the science is far from being set in stone, it is hard to deny the fact that in certain populations the "paleo diet" has reversed type 2 diabetes, alleviated ms symptoms, improved blood lipids and blood chemistry in general, reduced inflammation and the associated problems, and generally improved people's health and well being. That for me seems to imply that this diet might be a good one to try if one's concern is health, longevity, and well-being, whether or not it is our "true" paleolithic diet.

Whether or not it is the "optimal diet" is really a pointless argument because there will always be people who do well on wacky diets, but for the majority of people, myself included, this one works better than any others I've tried or researched.
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