Thread: Paleo diet
6/09/2009 3:37pm, #91
- Join Date
- May 2007
- Boulder, CO
Jack, it says you're from NYC, but just in case: in the US, archaeology is a subdiscipline of anthropology, and it's the part (along with a select group of physical anthropologists -- it's actually rare to be a physical anthropologist and study human evolution as a field researcher) that is concerned with the past.
People uncritically digest research from fringe anthropologists and pseudo-anthropologist journalists (aka Diamond) and treat it as god's truth science -- even people in geography, medical fields, at mainstream research think tanks, etc. A lot of studies that have emphasized the uber-health of hunter gatherer societies and their practices have not held up well over time.
The first big lie is that you can reconstruct a common diet for hunter-gatherers that matches an ideal moment of human evolutionary history. It just isn't the case, and even if it was, it sure as hell didn't include "lean meat" as a primary staple.
Some of the original research that was done set people on really false paths -- for example, if you've read the paleo-diet stuff you've probably heard similar arguments about labor, etc. in hunter-gatherer societies. Funny thing is - when those original studies were done, some of them on the K!ung, transporation time wasn't taken into account, and it turned out the social anthropologists doing the study actually drove the people from one resource to another.
The entire field of nutrition / medicine related to diet, etc. is a big fat joke at the moment. There's no consensus and everyone has something to sell, so there's no lack of interest in the studies being conducted -- it's just someone with a point to prove so they can make another buck. Before anyone adopts any huge raw foods or paleodiet or weird vegan hybrid or mediterranean diet or anything else, especially w/r/t elimination diets, it makes a ton of sense to just get tested for food allergies and lactose intolerance. Then, make decisions about which foods to keep or not to keep based on the measurable effects they have on the body, not some made up lineage for the diet.
It's nice that you can handle a sophisticated, critical analysis of the diet and come away with a large chunk of it that works for you, but for everyone one of you there's 9 people whose reaction is "OMG my ancestors didn't drink gatorade!" and then have their muscles fail trying to run a marathon. I don't give a **** what my ancestors ate or drank, they're all dead.
By the way, hunter-gatherer mortality doesn't seem to be very significantly different from early / just pre-modern farming mortality:
Also, these clinical studies on symptom reversal have been called into question:
I meant for this to be better put together but lunch break is over and I have to get back to work. I'm not arguing that the paleodiet is bad or wrong or anything like that -- I'm just saying I really don't see anything to suggest it over any other diet, and past-evolutionary context is no replacement for explanations derived from body chemistry, etc. etc.
6/09/2009 6:28pm, #92
Originally Posted by u1ysses;2142346Also, these clinical studies on symptom reversal have been called into question: [url
A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease
Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet
... sure, I want more (and bigger N) research, but categorizing the Paleo diet as a zany cult artefact on the order of veganism is a gross injustice.“Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
6/09/2009 7:49pm, #93
- Join Date
- May 2007
- Boulder, CO
Fair enough. I'm not an expert on all the aspects of the diet -- I just know some of what I see touted about and from having browsed through the main book at B&N is complete junk science from a human past perspective, and this time I coupled my usual eye roll with a post. Go on and ignore the intrusion...
6/20/2009 5:14pm, #94
I tried the version of the paleo diet in Dr. Tamir Katz' $4 e-book (it has discussion of exercise in it too. He advocates bodyweight stuff for high reps and a bit of sprinting basically, there are some simple workout programmes. It's very Matty Furey like but cheaper).
I wrote a thread on it, but I can't find the link.
Summary: The food was tasty and satisfying. I lost weight fast, and judging by eye a decent portion of it was certainly fat. I felt pretty good (mentally clear, no apparent loss of steady-state cardio or max strength), but there was a noticeable drop in muscular endurance for the first couple of weeks (i.e. max reps in pushups etc..), then my body got used to it and my max reps in pushups etc.. went up a bit above what they had been before. I also noticed a few other little things, like sleeping a bit better and having a clearer healthier looking complexion after a few weeks.
This was predicted in the book.
Downsides: It was hard to stick to for financial and logistical reasons.
I cheated with beer twice a week but otherwise stayed with it for over a month. However, I found it expensive and time consuming to shop for fresh fruit and veg and lean coldcuts with no preservatives in, in sufficient quantities to fill me up for every lunch, cooking eggs or fish at breakfast before heading out to work every morning etc.. You cannot just grab a wholegrain sandwich with lean protein in it on this diet. I also found my grocery bill almost doubled and when I tried to control the costs by eating cheap canned fish, the smell pissed off my co-workers a lot.
If your financial and lifestyle circumstances suggest these things wouldn't be too much of a problem for you, go for it.
Basically, I got a quick practical, modern introduction to why people moved to farmed foods when they figured out how despite their bodies perhaps being a bit better adapted to hunter-gatherer diets. And my anecdotal experience with it did suggest that the latter seemed true, at least for my metabolism.!!RENT SPACE HERE FOR 10 VBUCKS PER LINE PER MONTH!!
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6/20/2009 6:29pm, #95