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Old 12-14-2008, 04:39 PM   #11
Grissim Connery
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i perform better when i am pretty low on the carb scale.

if i have a mental craving for carbs, then generally i am just as satisfied by using more acid on some meat - gives it a nice sweet taste.

if i am having a physical craving for carbs (walking around campus is tiring, mood is messed up, performance is sagging, getting sore too much) , then i'm not eating enough fat. and for reals, i will make sure to not just eat "some" fat. i'll chase every meal with a solid portion of coconut until i'm not hungry at all.

just listen to your body. if that's what it's telling you to do then do it. i can handle nuts well and dairy not at all. other people on these threads are different. they have different bodies. just try to really understand what your body is telling you.

i grew up with a really terrible eating disorder and learning how to know what hunger was became a big challenge for me. things get a lot better when you tune in.
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:05 PM   #12
George Mounce
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Low carb for most healthy eaters is low carb to a high carb eater, its not "low carb". I watched 4 people eat a plate full of 14 deep fried twinkies today. Thats not high carb, that disgustingly killing yourself.

Lets not mince words, most Paleo eaters eat plenty of carbohydrates, but they also get great sources of protein to go with them and plenty of healthy fats. Nobody Paleo advocates starving yourself of carbohydrates.

Mark eats a normal amount of carbs - the rest of the world is eating way too much.
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #13
Will Moore
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Here's the thing about carbs that disturbs me: Back in the 90s when the notion of low carb dieting became popular again (Adkins, etc.) the low carb camp distorted a lot of facts in promoting their agenda and condemning carbohydrates. For example, they showed that Americans had decreased their percentage of fat in the diet and increased the percentage of carbohydrates. They translated this to meaning that despite decreasing fat, Americans were fatter than ever. Therefore, the carbohydrates and low fat diets were the culprit...BULLSHIT.

The truth is, and what they failed to mention is that Americans never decreased the total fat in their diets...they simply consumed more calories overall which dropped the fat percentage a few points. The low carb camp's claim that low-fat dieting made America fat is totally invalid. America, as a whole, never was on a low-fat diet...in fact, the average percentage of fat in the diet never even got down to the Government recommended 30%, which by the way, is not low-fat by most people's definition.

What most people fail to understand is that most people got fat in the first place from eating huge amounts of fat and carbohydates together. When it comes to using energy, your body will take the easiest route; if carbs are plentiful, the fat in the diet will not get used and will end up as body fat. If one were to eat large amounts of carbohydrates in the absence of dietary fat, the body will use the carbohydrates for fuel, store what it can as muscle and liver glycogen, and then if there is still an excess, store the rest as fat. Now, if you reverse the scenario and large quantities of fat, but no carbohydrates, the body is forced to use the fat as fuel and doesn't become bodyfat unless the amount is excessive. This does not mean that fat is a superior fuel as many low-carbers try to imply. Unlike carbohydrate, fat cannot be stored as muscle glycogen and therefore is not superior for fueling high intensity muscle work, i.e. bodybuilding, power lifting.

My point here is that you can function and maintain a healthy body weight on either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet. One just has to remeber that if carbs are high, fat must be low and vise versa. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Everyone has their own unique biochemistry...Some people seem to have no problem doing heavy lifting and strength work on a low-carb diet while others, like me, feel like a dead man in the gym on a low-carb diet.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:26 AM   #14
Garrett Smith
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Put simply, you are lumping the Paleo Diet (which talks about types of foods, not macronutrients) with a low-carb diet (which talks about amounts of a macronutrient, not types of foods).

The two are completely independent. You should be saying a low-carb approach doesn't work for you and leave the Paleo discussion out of it.
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:31 AM   #15
Darryl Shaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johnson View Post
I don't know. Poliquin says "And remember, only 25 percent of the population is genetically carb-tolerant."
I'd love to see Poliquin's evidence supporting that statement because the idea that 75% of people belonging to a species which evolved from small fruit eating monkeys into the large omnivorous apes we are today can't tolerate carbs is clearly bullsh*t.


I think part of the problem with this whole paleo debate is there's no clear definition of what a true stone-age diet is. Personally I tend to think that eating paleo means eating more or less how we ate in Africa up to the point about 50,000 years ago when we started migrating north into colder climes but others seem to think that the more modern diets of indigenous north Americans and Inuits should also be considered paleo. I don't think it matters too much which version of the diet you eat as long as you're eating mostly natural foods but I think people who cut out fruit and other healthy foods in an attempt to cut carbs are somewhat misguided.

My own version of the paleo diet therefore, which I've been following and modifying for the past twenty years, is made up of roughly 80 - 85% plant foods and 15 - 20% animal foods with no real attention paid to daily macronutient ratios. I tend to buy whatever plant foods look freshest regardless of whether or not they're strictly speaking in season and I always try to buy the leanest cuts of meat available. I'll also eat fish two or three days a week or as the mood takes me.
Today age 40 after twenty years of eating like this I find that I can maintain an average of 5% BF year round without any effort and my BP averages 104/60 with a resting pulse of 48bpm despite doing hardly any cardio. On a slightly superficial level it's worth mentioning that I look much younger than my 40 years with most people seeming to think I'm in my mid to late twenties and this is despite spending most days outdoors in all weathers.
So to answer the OP's original question "does paleo REALLY work for you?" the answer has to be a resounding yes.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:11 AM   #16
Will Moore
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Garrett, you are correct, Low-carb and Paleo are not the same things. I should have phrased it differently. I was actually referring to a low-carb Paleo approach to dieting....certainly, all those who follow the Paleo prescription are not avoiding carbohydrates. However, I have found that many Paleo dieters do adhere to the reduced carbohydrates approach (at least in most of the Blogs and Forums I have read elsewhere). One thing that bothers me about these people is they "cherry pick" natural foods and label them "non-paleo" just because they are higher in carbohydrates. Example: potatoes and most starchy tubers are not paleo. Why? Its a natural food that grows in the ground and can be eaten raw...sounds Paleo to me! But no, its got to many carbs so we'll say its not. Or peanuts....yes, technically its a legume, but so what? It grows in the ground, can be eaten raw, and required no technology to process and eat...sounds Paleo to me. Those are just a few examples.

I too am over 40 (45 now) and have managed to keep myself together pretty good for my age. I am a retired Marine but I still drill with the Army National Guard and I can outdo 90% of these kids have my age in physical fitness tests. I do some form of meaningful high intensity exercise 6 days a week, whether it be cardio or resistance training. I have not been able to make Paleo work for me, but perhaps that's because I have been using the low carb approach. Perhaps I should try an approach with more paleo friendly carbs, as you all have suggested, and I would get better results. The main reason I have not, is fear of putting on bodyfat from combining too many carbs with fatty foods. Up to this point, the only reason I allowed myself to eat high fat paleo foods (salmon, nuts, seeds, etc) was the absence of carbohydrate foods. I have often wondered what the results would be if I just restriced myself to Paleo foods and ate instinctively...without regard to macronutrient ratios. Apparently, this seems to work for some of you. Thank you all for all of your comments!
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:53 AM   #17
Gittit Shwartz
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Regarding the "definition of Paleo": some foods are regarded as "not Paleo". not because they were not available at all in the Paleo era but because they were not available in significant quantities. Various grains, for example, grew wild like grasses. I suppose Paleo man could pick a stalk and chew on it absently, but he would never get 7200 grains at once (the approximate number of grains in one cup of rice). So quantity as well as type of food is significant here.

Likewise, I don't think eating a bag of almonds every day (as some Paleo folks do) is healthy. In the Paleo era you would need months to gather that many almonds, so we are not equipped to handle large quantities all at once.

I forget who it was that said "honey is Paleo... if you walk 10 miles to find a honeycomb, flee the angry swarm of bees, climb the tree to steal the honeycomb, run from a drooling bear and THEN eat it."

Hope you find what works for you!
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:49 AM   #18
Garrett Smith
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Will,
If you eating more carbs previously resulted in better performance and low bodyfat, stick with it--you are your own best experiment. My wife is mostly Irish, she seems to do better on more carbs than I do as well (I'm mostly Scandinavian heritage).

People who are dismissing certain foods as not being Paleo due to carbohydrate content are mixing up the message based on their own created biases.

As Weston Price found in the traditional cultures he studied, the common thread among them was *unprocessed* foods. Some ate grains, some ate a lot of dairy, etc. The key thing is the lack of processing of foods, eating them in their natural state. That's the first priority. Then Paleo. Then adjusting carb levels within that framework to fit one's physiological needs.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:34 PM   #19
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I realize it is a bit of a side issue, but I think that there are two importantly different ways of thinking about paleo foods. One way of understanding it, suggested above, is foods that were available or readily available in paleolithic times. But I don't think that this is a particularly useful way of thinking about paleo foods. A better way of thinking of paleo foods is foods having a certain nutritional profile. Perhaps others can spell this out better than I can, but the two major factors are (1) high nutrient density and (2) low anti-nutrient density. Any food with the right nutritional profile is paleo in this sense, no matter if it was utterly unavailable in paleolithic times. Of course, there is a great deal of overlap between the two conceptions of paleo; specifically, the first conception is a pretty good hueristic for the second. And this dove-tailing of the two concepts is exactly what we would expect from an evolutionary perspective.

A second point. As the second concept of paleo makes somewhat clearer than the fist, the concept of paleo food is a graded concept not a categorical one. That is, it is simply not true that either something is or is not a paleo food. Rather, some foods are more or less paleo than others and this may be, in part, a function of one's ancestors more recent genetic changes (e.g., genes for digesting lactose).
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:09 AM   #20
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Another defiinition of Paleo that I read has nothing to do with food available during a specific time period: A paleo food is a food that can be eaten raw and does not require a technology to process. For example, you cannot eat grains raw and you cannot eat legumes raw (with the exception of peanuts). Grains and legumes are indigestible and toxic in raw form. Therefore, it doen't take a genius to figure out that these were not staple foods before the concept of soaking/boiling came along. However, this raises some interesting questions; If a processing technology is applied to a food that is toxic and indigestable which renders it "edible", making its nutrients available while destroying the toxins, can that food be considered healthy and nutritious or maybe even superior to some foods traditionally eaten raw? The grain and soybean producers would certainly have us beleive this to be the case. So does the government with its promotion of the food pyramid.

Man is unique among mammals. We are not the only omnivores, but we have demonstrated an ability to make radical dietary shifts in relatively short time periods. After eons of the same dietary pattern, grain foods suddenly became the staple of our existance...not for all populations, but most of them. It was a change brought on by necessity. Climates changed, the availability of game for meat became more and more scarce. Once it was discovered that grains and legumes could be rendered edible, our very existance revolved around their production. Even so, we tried to obtain our preferred food, meat, whenever the opportunity presented itself. The ability to produce grain created a new opportunity to have meat "on hand" when we wanted it. Animals were domesticated and fed on the grains. Therefore you can say grains were, and still are, the cornerstone of our existance for better or worse.

Now, since we have been living this way for what.....the last 10 - 15 thousand years...is that enough time for our bodies/genes to adapt to, and actually prefer grain based foods to function optimally? Could it be true in some population groups and not in others?
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