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Old 01-26-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
David Mathews
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Default Paleo Proof

My son has a high school project in which he needs to show the efficacy of the paleo diet and why in his and my opinion it is a healthier alternative to the low fat high carb diet of the masses. Could I get some suggestions on where to find some peer reviewed studies on this. He will need more than anecdotal evidence, hell, I've got plenty of that in our own family. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
Garrett Smith
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www.thepaleodiet.com - It may be worth it to you (and him) to purchase the old newsletters, along with the original book.

www.paleodiet.com

www.proteinpower.com

There's also the recent pig paleo study that was posted here by Darryl...
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
David Mathews
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Thanks Garrett!
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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another source....may have some crossover stuff with the other 2 sites...

http://www.beyondveg.com/cat/paleodiet/index.shtml

he could also go into "hunter-gather" based societies such as the Inuit and Masai....lots of data out there about them.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
Greg Battaglia
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Use Staffan Lindeberg's human study. He did a study on diabetics with CVD comparing the Mediterranean diet with Paleo and found Paleo to be vastly superior for body fat reductions and insulin sensitivity/blood glucose control. It's a small study, but very compelling.

Search for him on pubmed or google and the study should come up. I'd link to it, but I'm sort on time.

Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:13 AM   #6
Darryl Shaw
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David,

This is probably a good place to start -

Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century.

Next I'd go into a little detail about how humans are primates and like all primates require a plant based diet rather than a grain or meat based diet for optimal health (eat those veggies kids ) -

Nutritional characteristics of wild primate foods: do the diets of our closest living relatives have lessons for us?

Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors.

A little detail on how processing (cooking) roots and tubers enabled early hominids to obtain more calories from a lower volume of food thereby allowing the gut to get smaller as the brain got bigger which was an important step in our evolution would fit nicely here -

Roots and Tubers in Diet of Early Human Ancestors.

Following that I'd go into a little detail about how it's easy to get carried away with the idea of Man the Hunter by confusing the diets of contempory hunter-gatherers with their stone age counterparts ie. firearms and nylon fishing lines and nets vs stone tools and nets made from plant fibres; the importance of energy balance to stone age hunter-gatherers vs the central heating, quad bikes, snow mobiles and other energy saving inventions many modern hunter-gatherers rely on-

Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets.

Hunter-gatherer diets—a different perspective.

*Note: The Inuit diet is the most recently introduced of all hunter gatherer diets so I wouldn't mention it except perhaps as an aside to highlight what happens when you remove plants from the human diet eg. osteoporosis, plus it would only take one smart-ass to point out that there were no stone age Inuits to derail the whole argument.

As for the health benefits of a paleo diet I'd have to go with the paleo-pig study over the human trial as the results are so clear cut they leave no room for argument -

A Paleolithic diet confers higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein and lower blood pressure than a cereal-based diet in domestic pigs.

A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.

To finish I'd make a few comments about how contempory hunter-gatherers are being increasingly pushed off their traditional lands by population growth, the demands of agriculture and climate change and how Inuit health is being damaged by environmental toxins such as mercury, pcb's etc.

Last edited by Darryl Shaw : 01-28-2009 at 06:53 AM. Reason: typo.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:45 AM   #7
David Mathews
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Daryl,
I have Cordains Paleo Diet book. Just curious what your take is on his work? What would you consider enough veggies and fruit and what would you say is too much meat. I ask because I'm still trying to tweak our diet, familywise.Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:13 AM   #8
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Darryl - the plant-animal susbsistance ratios table of macronutrients -

- the carbs are all less than 40% - what amount of calories is this for? I seem to recall some hunter G's getting about 3000 calories a day. Is that normal?

If it's not too personal, what kind of ratios (and calories) has your diet? I ask as it seems to be different than the low carb veg & meat people.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:17 AM   #9
Darryl Shaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mathews View Post
Daryl,
I have Cordains Paleo Diet book. Just curious what your take is on his work? What would you consider enough veggies and fruit and what would you say is too much meat. I ask because I'm still trying to tweak our diet, familywise.Thanks!
I like a lot of Cordain's work but in the books he does tend to ignore the fact that we're all descended from a long line of omnivorous but mostly plant eating primates and go straight to the Man the Hunter stuff. I can understand why he does this, after all he's got books to sell and his customers probably don't want to be reminded that we're little more than Cheeta's (slightly) smarter cousin. The problem with this though is it leaves the door open for people who skimmed thorugh the book (assuming they read it at all) to use the paleo argument to justify cutting down on fruit and vegetables so they can gorge on fatty meats three times a day. Obviously there's nothing inherantly bad about eating fat but a little goes a long way and cutting fruit and vegetables from your diet so you can eat more fat means you're reducing your intake of vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytochemicals etc and that is never going to be a good thing as far as your long term health is concerned.
Overall though I think the Paleo Diet book is one of the better diet books on the market with just two caveats, 1: he says you should avoid all starchy root vegetables despite them being staple foods for most hunter-gatherers, and 2: the recomendation that you rub meat with flax oil before roasting it is just plain stupid. If you're interested in learning more about the diets of hunter-gatherers though you should read Deadly Harvest by Geoff Bond as it's far more in depth than either of Cordains Paleo Diet books.

As for how much fruit and vegetables you should eat, as Cordain says in the book, you should feel free to eat them in unlimited amounts because as they're quite bulky being mostly cellulose and water the relatively small size of your stomach prevents you from overeating. As a rough guide a portion of meat should be about the size and thickness of your hand but as long as you're eating lean meat you don't really need to worry about it too much. Again this is a rough guide but as a starting point it might help if you try to keep your P:A ratio of plant foods eg. fruit, vegetables (including the starchy ones), nuts, seeds berries etc and animal foods eg meat, fish, eggs and insects (only joking ) to around 3:1 (~70% Plants, 30% Animal), measured by volume not weight, that way all your macro and micro nutrient intakes should take care of themselves, assuming you're eating a reasonably varied diet.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:38 AM   #10
Darryl Shaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johnson View Post
Darryl - the plant-animal susbsistance ratios table of macronutrients -

- the carbs are all less than 40% - what amount of calories is this for? I seem to recall some hunter G's getting about 3000 calories a day. Is that normal?
Katharine Milton addressed this question far better than I can in her editoral article - Hunter-gatherer diets—a different perspective

Quote:
If it's not too personal, what kind of ratios (and calories) has your diet? I ask as it seems to be different than the low carb veg & meat people.
I honestly don't know what my daily calorie intake is or what my macronutrient ratios are. I just eat when I'm hungry and try to keep my P:A ratio to around 4:1 eg, ~70 - 80% plants 20- 30% animal source foods. I probably eat slightly more carbs than most people here but I'm a wirey little guy and I need the them to avoid losing weight. If I had to estimate though I'd say that I probably average somewhere around 2500 kcals/day which probably breaks down to around 60% carbs, 20% fat and 20% protein but there would be considerable variation from that most days. Generally I eat meat maybe two or three days a week and fish the other days; eggs are limited to around six per week but I don't worry about eating more than that occasionally and most weeks I have one day where I just eat fruit and nuts. I don't tend to worry too much about the fine details of my diet though because I know that as long as I'm eating enough and I keep things reasonably varied homeostasis will take care of everything and things will just average themselves out over time.
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