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Old 02-12-2007, 08:01 PM   #1
Yael Grauer
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Default Cordain response to Weston Price

I didn't know there was a rebuttal! A friend pointed this out to me. I think Cordain won this round.


Sally Fallon dissing the Paleo Diet


Cordain's rebuttal
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
Craig Cooper
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I didn't know Sally Fallon wrote a review of the Paleo Diet! Kudos to Cordain again for being level headed and factual to the best of his knowledge.
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Old 02-12-2007, 10:26 PM   #3
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My favorite part was when he called it a "satirical ploy to invalidate the entire concept of evolutionary nutrition based upon irrelevant information." Ouch!! Or maybe when he said "I don’t believe Fallon has ever analyzed the tissues of any wild animals - we have, and our scientific results are much different than her opinions." Double ouch!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:26 AM   #4
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Cordain does make some good points about certain apects of Fallon's review, but I think that the larger issues discussed are still up for debate.

It has been a while since I read it, but, IIRC, Cordain's book did seem to have an anti-saturated fat bias. I know that sometimes things get edited or re-written by the publisher and that could very well have happened here. In his rebuttal, Cordain references other articles and research papers, but Fallon's review was specifically of The Paleo Diet book, not necessarily of Cordain's work as a whole. I personally came away from reading this book with some of the same concerns.

Much of Cordain's reasoning seems to rest on the premise that cholesterol and saturated fat are harmful. But there are a number of doctors and researchers, other than Mary Enig, who have a different perspective. And while I do agree with Cordain that the fat obtained from feedlot beef is unhealthy and to be avoided, I know that the Weston Price folks endorse eating grass-fed, not grain-fed beef.
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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I love the Weston Price Fdn. I'm actually a member. I don't like the whole thumbs up/thumbs down book review section in general because they give "thumbs down" reviews to people like Ornish and D'Adamo along with people like Cordain. I thought the review in question was particularly mean-spirited. I would prefer if they would focus on what they agree and disagree with instead of trashing the entire book and making generalizations about the authors. This ticked me off too: http://www.westonaprice.org/bookrevi...ein_power.html

I would hate for people who haven't read these books to think they are exactly what Sally Fallon says they are. I love her cookbook, but I'm sure I could trash it too by pointing out the few things I disagree with (it's grain-heavy, there's a lot of flax oil used in it, nobody can find half the ingredients, some people can't digest even raw dairy, etc.)

I was wondering if they'd ever review the Body Ecology Diet book and what they'd say because it advocates the use of soy, and eating for your blood type and is anti-salt...but I think the author is on the WP Board of Directors IIRC.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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Hi Yael,

You are correct that Donna Gates (author of The Body Ecology Diet) is an honorary board member of the WAP Foundation. While Donna does have a different take on blood type diets than Sally, their perspectives on soy and salt are fairly similar. Both believe that soy should only be consumed in a fermented form (tempeh, natto, etc.) and that salt should be a natural, unrefined variety.

Sally Fallon does, at times, have a fairly intense writing style. I suspect this intensity is just a reflection of the passion she brings to her work and is very different from the graciousness she conveys in person. I guess some people just naturally adopt a "take no prisoners" voice when writing.

I am not necessarily against Cordain or The Paleo Diet; it is certainly better than a lot of diet & nutrition books that are out there. My main challenge with the interpretation of the paleo diet presented in his book is that, IMHO, it is a little too low in fat.

Overall, I tend to think that getting a balance of different fats is necessary for good health. Donna Gates recently had a nice article on this topic:

http://www.bodyecology.com/07/01/25/..._good_oils.php
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Allison View Post
While Donna does have a different take on blood type diets than Sally, their perspectives on soy and salt are fairly similar. Both believe that soy should only be consumed in a fermented form (tempeh, natto, etc.) and that salt should be a natural, unrefined variety.
Actually I recall the BED book stating that salt should be avoided and that non-fermented soy was okay. I unfortunately lent that book out so can't look it up, though.

Quote:
Sally Fallon does, at times, have a fairly intense writing style. I suspect this intensity is just a reflection of the passion she brings to her work and is very different from the graciousness she conveys in person. I guess some people just naturally adopt a "take no prisoners" voice when writing.
I think you can be passionate about your work without being unnecessarily mean; see the Protein Debate if you want an example of this. It's just unprofessional, really. Aside from the fact that many of the points appear to be flat-out wrong.

Quote:
I am not necessarily against Cordain or The Paleo Diet; it is certainly better than a lot of diet & nutrition books that are out there. My main challenge with the interpretation of the paleo diet presented in his book is that, IMHO, it is a little too low in fat.
Cordain himself put together a team that analyzed the macronutrient composition of all known hunter gatherer diets and fat was found to be between 28 and 58 percent. So I don't think it's fair to say that the Paleo Diet is too low in fat.

Cordain L, Brand Miller J, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SHA, Speth JD. Plant to animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in world wide hunter-gatherer diets. Am J Clin Nutr 2000, 71:682-92.

Again I wonder how many people get a negative and false impression of the Paleo Diet (and a few of the other books) from reading Sally Fallon's soundbite reviews. I know that several of us in my local WP chapter have issues with it.
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Actually I recall the BED book stating that salt should be avoided and that non-fermented soy was okay. I unfortunately lent that book out so can't look it up, though.
From pg. 28 of The Body Ecology Diet: "Salt is the most contracting food, but its role has been completely misunderstood. The ordinary table salt that most of us eat is too refined; it lacks the minerals we need and has harmful effects on the body. High quality sea salt, however, is essential to life and has medicinal value in our diet."

From pg. 53: "When eating a food from the soybean, please make sure it is fermented. Miso, Natto, Tempeh and wheat-free sodium tamari are recommended in stage two of the BED."

Donna does mention that you can kefir soy milk, but makes it iclear that it is vastly inferior to raw cow's milk or coconut water.

I don't own The Paleo Diet; I just checked it out of the library. But, as best I recall, the recipes in the book were a little too low-fat for me. I require a higher percentage of my calories to come from fat. But if it works for others, great.

Disclosure Statement: I am the Editor of a newsletter published by The Grain & Salt Society®, the distributors of Celtic Sea Salt®. Our company also offers some of the products created by Donna Gates as part of her Body Ecology line and two books authored by Sally Fallon. I don’t usually mention this, because it has nothing to do with why I participate in this forum, but given some of the topics being discussed in this thread, I felt that some form of disclosure was appropriate.

Last edited by Robert Allison; 02-13-2007 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 02-13-2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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Like I said, I don't have the book in front of me because I lent it out. I specifically remember her recommending non-fermented soy though; perhaps it was an earlier edition. She also said you don't need salt to ferment. And I could write a long diatribe about how the blood type information is hype, but you could get that from the thumbs down book reviews on the Weston Price website: http://www.westonaprice.org/bookreviews/eat_right.html

This isn't to completely trash the entire book (Sally Fallon-style) because I think a lot of the information is important and accurate.

The Paleo Diet ratios are 30-60% fat iirc. I find it hard to believe that 60% fat isn't enough.

I think that all three books (Paleo Diet, Nourishing Traditions, Body Ecology Diet) despite their differences are awesome compared to the standard American diet and have way more similarities than differences. I just wish that Fallon would describe her specific concerns in a respectful, professional way instead of trashing people over the details.
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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I don't know why people get panty bunched over Cordain's statements:

1-wild ruminants have a low concentration of sat'd fat RELATIVE to grain fed animals.
2-When our ancestors ate a relatively high fat diet contained significantly more mono and polyunsaturated fats than sat'd. Again this is in comparison to grain fed animals.
3-All the above considered he says saturated fat is a PIECE of the puzzle with regards to atherosclerosis and heart disease...not the only piece and not a guarantee of heart disease...just a factor that can have significance depending upon genetics and environmental factors, for example a high glycemic load AND high sat'd fat intake.


It is interesting to me that Fallon starts sounding like T. Collin Campbell, Mcdougal and others who resort to personal attacks and incendiary language to push thier views. Why? because they motivate by emotion, not fact.

My take on the BED-It has some information that is right by accident, not design. We certainly ingested fermenting bacteria in the past...it was not in the form of cultured soy. Eat it, don't eat it I could give a rip but when you sit down to analyze an approach to anything, be it bridge building or nutrition if you are not thinking about a scientific ( or at least clinical) approach to the problem it's just dogma and voodo. or perhaps I'm just dogmatic about evolutionary medicine...
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