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      Being obese, I’m always looking for a good diet. Just as I was finally considering the “Caveman Diet,” “Paleolithic Diet,” or, simply, “Paleo Diet,” my Discover magazine’s April 2013 issue panned it as the “Paleomythic” diet. The diet encourages folks to model our eating habits after that of our cave-dwelling ancestors by relying upon meat to the exclusion of carbohydrates, sugar, and processed food.  The Discover article summarizes scientific research that fossil hominids also ate starchy tubers, bulbs and other plants, in addition to their usual woolly mammoth burgers. The experts now say that, even if our ancestors ate a predominantly meat diet, one cannot infer that such a diet was ideal for them. I have to agree, for every one of those people is now dead.

      As a subscriber to Archaeology magazine and a longtime student of paleontology, I knew that examination of camp site bones, coprolites, and, more recently, even the DNA analysis of plaque on ancient teeth reveals that our ancestors ate whatever they could get their furry paws on. That includes lizards, rodents, grass, herbs, insects, etc. (What wine goes with lizard?) An idealistic view of our cavemen ancestors grilling 16 ounce mammoth steaks, medium rare, every night is entirely wrong. Neither did he just roam about harvesting some rich bounty of fruits and vegetables, while whistling “Kumbaya.”

       Hobbes had it right in describing “the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” in a state of nature. Evidence indicates that our ancestors rarely lived beyond fifty years. New research reported last month in the journal The Lancet, suggests that atherosclerosis may have been a universal disease in all ancient human societies, and not wholly a result of the modern diet. Study of both intentionally and accidentally mummified remains at five sites dating back thousands of years on three continents found the condition in these prehistoric people. Study co-author Caleb Finch, a neurobiologist at the University of Southern California writes that, while some researchers believed hardening of the arteries was a 20th-century disease that results from modern overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods, "the generality of our observations suggests it is really a basic part of human aging under all circumstances." Nothing in the report offered me any hope for finding a good, life-extending diet, for, without exception, all of the mummies were also dead. However, on the plus side for their diet, the mummies were all very thin, at least at the time of their examination.

       What about the vegan diet? I, for one, could not live with it. While some say it extends one’s life, I believe it serves only to make life seem longer and, certainly, drearier. And there is the problem of nutritional deficiencies produced by such a diet. Basketball Hall of Famer, Bill Walton, suffered from serious foot injuries due to his macrobiotic vegan diet. After joining the professional ranks in 1974, he underwent numerous surgeries, costing him four full seasons and parts of three others. The problem diagnosed by a UCSD nutritionist, Dr. Paul Saltman, was calcium deficiency. Walton explained that he got his calcium from broccoli, but Dr. Saltman advised that he would have to eat 30 pounds of broccoli per day to obtain his RDA of calcium. When he retired after 14 years with three NBA teams, Walton had missed more games than he had played – and he was always pale and wan.

       In researching for this story, I went to a vegan cookery web site to get the other side’s point of view. Quoted there was a vegan cook: “Everyone thinks veggies are pale and wan,” she giggles. “Not on our courses! Our veggies and vegans are busting with confidence and fun. They are enjoying life, and have a great moral strength and commitment to animals and the environment.” Near that comment was a photo of her large group of vegans chewing on their cuds and grazing on green stuff at a table. All were pale, wan, and gloomy looking. Their vestigial arms looked like the wings of flightless birds. Some would have been indistinguishable from the mummies in the Lancet study.

       We do not have to sniff coprolites to find out what our ancient ancestors ate. We have modern models in the form of Mbuti pygmies of the Ituri rainforest of Africa and the Yanomami Indians of the Amazon jungle. Documentary films of their Stone Age lifestyles reveal remarkable similarities and can serve as evidence of what life may have been like for our paleolithic ancestors.

       Both the Mbuti and the Yanomami live seminomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles with some slash and burn agriculture. The Indians, for example, move to areas of the jungle that have a large number of monkeys. The men hunt the monkeys with blowguns. They also clear a patch of land and erect simple shelters. The women plant cassava and other roots and vegetables that they had carried with them from the previous settlement. Eventually, the monkeys and other fauna in the area are exhausted by the hunting. At that point the group lives on dried monkey meat and the women’s vegetables. When they can tolerate the increasingly vegetarian diet no more, the people move to a new monkey rich area to begin the process again.

       Similarly, the pygmies hunt forest elephants. They sneak up on an elephant and stab it in the side with an assegai. The elephant runs away, sometimes for days, followed by the pygmies waiting for it to collapse. Then the entire group moves to the site of the dead elephant.

       The documentary film showed the happy party atmosphere of the pygmies cutting up the elephant. When they arrived at the carcass, it was bloated with gas. The stench must have been horrendous. They seemed not to notice. The gory sight was enough to make me a vegan for months. Anyway, they turned the elephant into jerky and hacked down the surrounding jungle so the women could plant vegetables. Until the vegetables grew enough to be harvested, the group was on a strict jerky diet,augmented only by the occasional fruit they happened upon in the vicinity of their new camp. As the jerky disappeared and the vegetables turned the people pale and wan (at least as pale and wan as an African pygmy can get), the men began looking for another elephant, continuing the cycle. Our mammoth hunting ancestors must have had a similar lifestyle and diet. Even now one can find knuckle-dragging cavemen buying jerky in convenience stores and truck stops all over the country.

       I don’t know what this diet does to the cardiovascular system, but in one scene in the Yanomami documentary, a man, said to be in his sixties, killed a monkey 45 feet up with a blow dart. As if this alone were not enough to demonstrate his great heart/ lung capacity, the wiry man had to shinny the 45 feet straight up a bare tree trunk because the monkey’s corpse was stuck in a crotch of the high limbs. I could not have done that in my prime.

       The Caveman Diet is based upon a belief that man has not had time to develop or evolve genetic adaptation to the relatively recent fruits of modern agriculture, particularly grain and processed foods. The Discover article cites the research of University of California, Berkeley anthropologist, Katherine Milton, who has studied and  written about the diets of hunter-gatherers and ancient humans. She disputes the idea that because these ancestors ate fat rich diets that these were somehow optimal for health. There is no evidence that humans were ever “in sync” with a particular diet that ensured good health and long life. The best diet has yet to be found.

       I must go now, for, ever “the hunter,” I have captured with some difficulty a herd of Omaha Steaks ™, which has just arrived at the front door, and, having no easy means of turning them into jerky, I must quickly find room for them in the fridge. (Also, before I eat them, I must get the brainworm image of rotting elephants and monkeys out of my mind.) My wife, “the gatherer,” meanwhile, is no doubt at Whole Foods market foraging for quinoa, arugula, broccoli, and other exotic, expensive, organically grown, and GMO free vegetables. My dog, who shares my simple preference for meat, is watching with interest what I do with the steaks. If only I could sneak my unwanted cauliflower tidbits to her under the table at dinner without “the gatherer” catching on!

Originally posted to Skipper Al on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:44 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Weight Loss.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Haven't Had Enough Time to Adapt. (13+ / 0-)

    I am fully intolerant of wheat and dairy; also strong evidence of poultry intolerance which is weird, because poultry are actual dinosaurs, who predate us mammals by millions of years, still it seems I can't eat them.

    The nation with one of the highest rates of gluten (wheat) intolerance is Italy, the land of wheat based breads and heat based patsta and wheat based desserts.

    There are many ethnicities that have not fully adapted wheat, alcohol, dairy, whatever.

    So while there are countless reasons to suspect assertions of some kind of diet based on "cave" men, the underlying principle that we might not all be well adapted to a 21st century diet is --well, talk to my upper GI scope.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:55:06 PM PST

    •  So evolve!! Evolve, damn ya!! (12+ / 0-)

      :-)

      Yeah, we aren't really designed for agriculture.  The genes for digesting lactose (and I suspect, for tolerating gluten) have spread pretty quickly, but whether you have them or not is one of life's great crap shots.

      I'm not sure if a "caveman diet" is the solution, but certainly, we're probably better off eating a lot more plants, a modest amount of meat and a diversity of seeds rather than mostly wheat and similar cereals we center our civilized diets on.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 10:00:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What blood type are you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwinabell, blueoasis

      I am a Type O, and it means I am also intolerant of most wheat and dairy, also chicken.
      Man has evolved over the centuries, but there is a theory that our blood types tell us more about how we should eat.
      Type O's, being evolved from "original man" need more unrefined foods, less dairy, etc.
      It's from the "Eat Right for Your Blood Type" diet.

      Just wonderin'

      Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

      by MA Liberal on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:55:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  O POS here, and I can eat pretty much anything. (7+ / 0-)

        To my detriment at times.

        I've done the 23andME DNA thing, though, and it tells me that with the exception of some Ashkenazi heritage I'm pretty much 100% northern European and British Isles. Even the Ashkenazi bit may be uncertain, as it turns out that particular haplotype is shared in Scotland by Clan Graham - my birth surname. There must be a geographic component in what foods we can tolerate, at least to a degree.

        •  I'm O NEG... (0+ / 0-)

          and my heritage is British Isles (father's side) and Saami (Finnish Laps - mother's side).
          I often wonder if being part of a "tribe", peoples who were of a certain group and not integrated, means my (our) blood type and physical evolution did not change that much.
          The Blood Type Diet says I should not eat chicken, cantaloupe and a few other things. Funny is that while I eat them, they just don't seem to agree with me!
          And I so love a roast chicken!
          Guess I should switch to turkey and duck (both OK), which I also love, but are not as readily available.

          Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

          by MA Liberal on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:23:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  My mother was O positive. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corwinabell, blueoasis, ladybug53

        She could eat anything and never gain weight.  

        But my having a different blood type may explain why I never thought she put enough spices in her cooking. :-)

        The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

        by raboof on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:08:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My step mother is O neg and has no reactions or (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        intolerances. And she's a firm believer in both breads and dairy products.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:01:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can eat bread and dairy products... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          but they need to be from sources that are not as refined as many on the market.
          I can eat cheese and yogurt. I can eat breads that are naturally made and made with whole grains. Milk and white bread not so much. There is a difference in where the final product comes from.

          Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

          by MA Liberal on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:29:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Blood type diet is bullshit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof

        There is absolutely no scientific evidence behind it.

        •  LOL! You can believe that if you like... (0+ / 0-)

          but if you read the book, you will see that there is plenty of "evidence." Just because the FDA hasn't studied it doesn't mean it's not true. And there is also no "scientific evidence" that proves it doesn't work.
          Bet you believe in pharmaceuticals, which work for only 30% of the population, even though they're prescribed as thought they work for everyone.
          Scientific  "evidence" is purely selective. If you haven't read the book, you can hardly have an objective opinion.

          Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

          by MA Liberal on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:27:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Paleo Bacon! (7+ / 0-)

    When you eat paleo, you can put bacon on everything!

    yeah, the cavemen loooved bacon!

    ahem...

    Maybe there's something to the diet, but the caveman part is all marketing. I always thought it was just a way to sell a diet to dudes. It's extremely popular with weightlifters and other athletes and I think the macho name coupled with a bit of "eat some of your favorite foods" does it.

    •  Actually, no (5+ / 0-)

      Bacon, cured and salted, and taken from grain fed fattened animals enclosed in a pen, did not exist in paleolithic culture. Nor would the carcinogenic preservatives have been used in those times.

      Bacon is not a true part of the paleo diet. The fat content of paleo animals would be much leaner than domesticated versions.

      And the diet includes loads of very macho fruits and green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, wild lettuce, etc. Yep, all that broccoli attracts the muscle men. Indeed.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:11:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and if ya wanna become pale & wan, eat collards! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        p gorden lippy, corwinabell

        They have a surprisingly laxative effect for some people!

        We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

        by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:21:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Smoking of meat would have happened incidentally, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen

        which imparts some of the carcinogens, but I agree that salting and spicing as means of meat preservation were much later in our evolution. So no, I agree that bacon was not part of the early diet and the fat to lean ratio was very different in meats that were available. ;-)

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:07:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Many early people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          petral

          slow-cooked meat in large quantities by burying the whole animal over burning coals. This was more efficient for a larger community. They used a variety of techniques. Meat can be dried in the sun without fire (animals were much more free of disease). They didn't have an unlimited supply of store bought bacon.

          And they ate a large degree of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, the variety of which was far more diverse than today in the typical diet, which would help to balance the adverse affects of red meat. Its also suggested by research that less omega 6 fatty acids could also help to reduce carcinogens. Its the overall diet that comes together to create the healthy benefits.

          Cordain's research team went out and obtained wild animals in different seasons to measure body fat, and they published a study detailing the quantity of fat, which at most was 80/20 protein to fat ration.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:05:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great mix of humor and information! (17+ / 0-)

    I never bought the "nasty, brutish, and short" line, though. I've lived a hunter/gatherer lifestyle and the biggest problem is not finding enough to eat, the biggest problem is figuring out what to do with all your time once you have spent the hour a day it takes to supply your wants. Thus, arts, crafts, agriculture, and eventually - civilization!

    And with that last great leap, to civilization, we have finally managed to fill all of our time, to the point where we never have enough of it.

  •  Paleo or cavemanperson (9+ / 0-)

    the diet is nonsense. Which paleo population is it supposed to represent? Northern Europe? South America? Somewhere along the Jordan? The Russian or Mongolian steppes?

    It is based on the ridiculous assumption that all people everywhere on the planet ate the same kind of diet then (whenever then) and it is optimum for all existing populations now. How could that possibly not work?

    Not only does it not pass the science test, it doesn't pass the commonsense test.

    •  Well, if you want to be fair (10+ / 0-)

      Actually, the studies by Cordain examine paleolithic diets in a wide range of latitudes and various climates, ranging from equatorial where more fruits and a bit less meats were eaten, and the far northern latitudes where more meats and less fruits and vegetables were eaten. He comes up with a range for the diet, with averages.

      I tried the diet and ate a lot of fruits and veggies at first, and very little meats, and became light headed. I increased the meat consumption, and everything got better.

      My blood pressure went down to normal, as did my weight, my HDL (good cholesterol) soared, my LDL and VLDL plummeted. My overall cholesterol went down to 139. As did triglycerides which on a vegan diet were sky high (250) but after four months on the paleo diet went down to 60.

      Perhaps the best thing was my terrible knee pain which I had had for years went away within two weeks, and never returned.

      All this after having been vegan for 33 years.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:54:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well we can definitely see this works for (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corwinabell, blueoasis, FarWestGirl

        Your body. But it may not work for others or even, theoretically, most people.

        I followed it strictly for 2.5 months, and didn't eat bacon etc. My cholesterol went up and now ldl is 155...it hadn't been great before at 138. They want to put me on medication if it goes any higher/hits 160 ldl. I lost no weight.

        I actually think the theory of it must have some basis and was surprised of it's effect on me. I tried hard but probably had to eat more saturated fat than my former, usual  very healthy diet. Maybe it works best for people who are used to higher saturated fat or even normally don't eat well.

        •  I had been vegan for (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corwinabell, FarWestGirl, ladybug53

          33 years before trying the diet, and I kept to an extremely disciplined vegan diet that was very low in fat. Toward the end of those years, I had gained weight, had hypertension, dyslipidemia, headaches, low energy, and all of the signs and symptoms of insulin resistance, despite avoiding juices, sugar, refined grains, and other concentrated carbohydrates.

          Changing diets solved all of these problems. My appearance improved (skin condition), my hair improved, my thinking became more clear, the difference was dramatic.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:07:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Did you balance omega 3 and 6? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corwinabell, ladybug53

          By taking fish oil? This was a big part of my approach.

          I've known many who tried the diet, and those who really followed the program had similar experiences to mine. You're the first I've encountered who has reported a negative experience. One person I know reversed her multiple sclerosis. Her symptoms disappeared, and she remained disease free ever since adopting this way of eating.  Another cured herself of terrible arthritis she had had for 20 years.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:14:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  for years have taken fish oil, eat avo, flax,.nuts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corwinabell

            Bodies differ. Mine does not like saturated fat at the level of exercise I can physically do which isn't much. Doesn't mean it can't work for others.

          •  one variable you/we need to look at though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corwinabell, ladybug53

            is the diet Compared to what they had been eating before. As you know most Americans eat way too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3 at baseline diet. If such people make that ratio netter with paleo, as they would, it isn't surprising their inflammation.would improve.
            It is about how the diet changes eating from before that would be related to a good or bad change in health. That is only logical.

            It may be I kept my omega 3 vs 6 ratio the same when I switched to paleo ad the main difference for me then was eating more saturated fat than I had been.

            •  MS, Arthritis are inflammatory related conditions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corwinabell

              in that both are thought to be from hyped up immune response. If such people had eaten like typical Americans and switch to Paleo they would eat more omega.3.and less 6. And research has shown that does.help downregulate inflammation hyper-responses So their experience.of improved heallth makes sense.

              On the otheqr hand increases saturated fat seems to increase cholesterol. It did for me on this diet. That is a different mechanism of health impact than MS and arthritis.

              Maybe we can say Paleo helps people who were eating typical American diet with high.omega 6(?)

              •  You must have missed the comment I made (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corwinabell

                where I explain I was vegetarian/vegan for 33 years. And not just in name only. I ate what is considered among vegans a very high quality vegan diet, and was very disciplined. What I've found is one must rather strictly follow the paleo diet, and many who claim to follow it strictly in fact do not.

                I stumbled upon this dietary principle when for a three week period I ate by coincidence nothing but fruits, vegetables, and beans (somewhat higher in protean than other vegetables), and avoided other starchy carbohydrates with the exception of legumes, and I lost weight. I remarked to my mate, "hey, I wonder if fruits, veggies, and protein makes me lose weight". When I heard of the paleo diet, and began reading articles and studies, I remembered my experience. So I tried it. The vegan diet is very high in starchy carbohydrates. I tried to limit them, avoiding the worst of them and cut out all concentrated sugars, but I continued to gain weight, and had to resort to levels of exercise that I could not sustain to lose weight.

                When I tried the paleo diet, the weight easily went away, whether I exercised or not.

                AS to fat, grass fed and free range animals are not that high in saturated fat. One must be very careful in meat selection. Processed meats in some cases are 80% fat. Meats from supermarkets are often loaded in fat, and are not healthy. Ground meat can be loaded in fat. One must be careful.

                I ate a lot of free range bison, which is lean, and very balanced in lipids. I used a lot of olive oil, and fish oil. I poured off the fat from cooking. I didn't eat out often. I ate huge amounts of fruits and non-starchy vegetables (avoiding the starchy "vegetables" like potatoes). I ate no grains. No processed meats. My fat intake was very balanced (you do know that even olive oil is 14% saturated, and that animal fat is only something like 40% saturated or even less depending on the source and quality?).

                The paleo diet is mainly fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and lean, free range meats and seafood. Eggs are limited. Meat is slow cooked on low heat, fat poured off. Nuts and dried fruits must be kept to a small amount. Peanuts are not legumes and can raise LDL. It really is vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, and not much else. And this must be rather strictly followed in my personal experience. Countless people don't follow it as instructed, despite claims (which I discovered by observing them and through slips in conversation).

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:20:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Correx: I meant to write - peanuts ARE legumes (0+ / 0-)

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:38:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I saw you were vegan and was not commenting on you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZhenRen

                  but on the two examples of sick people cured... one with MS the other Arthritis, both inflammatory conditions. If one of those were you, sorry I didn't follow that.My proposal of One mechanism of why paleo diet would help some people ..many Americans..does not refute the diet or its underlying principle which, as I said, I believe in. That most of us do not get.enough omega 3s that are bodies are adapted to is an argument For the diet. Glad it worked for you.

              •  And there are studies (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corwinabell, jplanner

                which identify lectins (like gluten) which are prevalent in grains to induce inflammation and auto-immune responses. A big part of the reason the paleo diet reduces inflammation is due to eliminating lectins from the diet, which includes the lectins in diary products. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and various others are related to grains and diary.

                I had severe inflammation in my knee, and had been limping around for two years, and had to stop my nature hikes, which I loved. On the paleo diet, this condition went away in two weeks and never returned.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:26:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  And, I had been trying to balance 3 and 6 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corwinabell, jplanner

              long before adopting the paleo diet. It isn't just omega 3 that fights inflammation, but also eliminating lectins present in grains, legumes, and diary.

              "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

              by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 11:00:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  you know a lot (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen

                I'm disabled by inflammation, myself.  Now free range meat is out of reach. A circle for lower income people.

                •  I'm very low income at the moment (0+ / 0-)

                  The cost is a problem. I've found a local store that is a bit more reasonable. Whole Foods? I feel like an alien in there...

                  I don't eat all organic. With meats, I try my best to get free range (which is better than organic grain fed). If one buys non-free range, going lean is very important. Turkey, chicken, wild caught seafood are all good choices.

                  "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 03:30:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  thought you said bison, maybe someone else (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ZhenRen

                    I used to love ground turkey until I looked closer and saw that most of it is as high or higher fat that ground beef. Lean ground turkey can be found if you look, I know.

                    In my area, free range meats, including chicken, are at least double sometimes triple or more the price per pound of not free range/grass fed. On a SNAP diet they are not feasible. Better, I think, to buy more fresh produce. I have a lot of trouble choking down canned and sometimes even frozen vegetables, unfortunately.

    •  You should do some reading before claiming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeteZerria, corwinabell

      it doesn't pass the science test. Cordain, at Colorado State U. has done numerous studies, as have others. Exhausting research was done to determine the nature of ancient diets before the agriculture revolutions As if often the case, what we think is "common sense" and science turns out to be just assumptions.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:57:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Paleo is NOT nonsense (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emmasnacker, ZhenRen, corwinabell

      If you look at it from an evolutionary standpoint, Paleo makes a lot more sense than vegan, vegetarian or even SAD. I have had similar success with it: effortless weight loss especially in the midsection, a vastly improved lipid profile and most importantly a feeling of well-being and clear thought. Cordain has done tremendous work in this area and in recent years there has been an explosion of great books on the subject. Like it or not most of us are designed to thrive on diets heavy on meats, fish and the "good fats" as Zhenren points out above.

  •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeteZerria, corwinabell

    the diet is not fat rich, and is rather moderate in fat intake, and it includes a lot of the good fats, such as monounsaturated fats, and omega 3 fats, and less of the inflammatory omega 6 fats. Turns out many fats are good for us, such as the omega 3 fats. Most of these are cut out of the typical American diet.

    The animals which were hunted were rather lean, unlike the grain fed animals of the modern feed lot. Most fruits and vegetables are low in fat.

    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

    by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 01:04:32 AM PST

  •  I've been "paleo" for about a year and a half (4+ / 0-)

    It's worth it for the remission of digestive problems alone. But the kicker was, I recently found out that I'd cut my triglycerides in half during that time period and nearly doubled my HDL (it's now noted as an "anti-risk" factor on my lipid profile). So I'm not worried at all about what it does to the cardiovascular system.

    The paleo label might invite mockery, but I think any diet that gets people eating more protein and vegetables, and less refined sugar, grains and processed foods, is going to help.

    If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century. --PBO

    by kismet on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 03:57:26 AM PST

  •  It's not really paleo unless you are barbecuing a (7+ / 0-)

    dinosaur for Jesus.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:23:03 AM PST

  •  I couldn't get anyone to buy my diet book (10+ / 0-)

    It's called "Eat less, exercise more".

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:38:29 AM PST

  •  Gawd, I hate meat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corwinabell

    If I were cooking for myself I'd never eat it. I cook it because Dearly Beloved is a carnivore.

    On the other hand, I love bread! Hot buttered wholewheat toast and orange marmalade for breakfast. A toasted cheese sandwich with tomato soup for lunch. Crisp, thin, cheese-only pizza. Mediterranean Seafood Soup with delightful hot French bread with butter for dinner.

    Oh, and did I mention toasted crumpets dripping with honey and melted butter for tea on gray winter afternoons, and scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream for tea in the summer?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:28:13 AM PST

  •  Thing about the cavemen... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corwinabell

    they did eat meat, but meat was hard to get and had to last (so they dried it and used everything).
    But they also had other things in their diet. Those doing the Paleo thing need to include fruits and veggies and less refined carbs.
    But the diet probably isn't right for everyone.
    I keep thinking back to the Eat Right For Your Blood Type diet, which advocates eating foods specifically for your blood type - type O needs more of a paleo-type diet, while other blood types do better on a more vegetarian diet.
    If we all were the same, we'd have the same blood type. But we don't.
    I don't follow the blood type diet, but I think it is an interesting look into how we differ based on our ancestors evolution.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:59:05 AM PST

    •  Americans (in general) love meat (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sny, corwinabell, matador, blueoasis, Munchkn

      Write a diet book that says "Eat all the meat you want!" and you'll make a fortune.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:48:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They ate meat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, corwinabell

      but they had to exercise to get it ...

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 12:10:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  meat was not always hard to get (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwinabell

      In the warming period just after the Ice age, people were nomadic as were the wooly mammoths and other large beasts. Once man figured out to form groups to take down those large animals, the entire clan was very well fed for a long period especially when migrating along with the herds.

      Most likely, the fact that they were so well fed led directly to the genetic propensity for large size in those northern European societies. When the herds died out, those large humans had do learn warfare to supply the calories they were accustomed to and that has driven much of recent history.

  •  There was no single 'paleo' diet. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corwinabell, blueoasis

    Various groups of proto-humans ate whatever was available to them, and this varied widely depending on the local environment.

    Those on the African plains subsisted by cracking open bones left behind by lions/leopards with stone tools and eating the marrow. Sort of a pure fat/protein diet. Bet they were pretty constipated.

    Those in South Africa ate mostly shellfish. Those in more tropical environments ate lots of fruits/nuts/tubers.

    It's certain that many proto-human populations suffered severe nutritional deficiencies due to the limited range of dietary intake available to them.

    •  According to Cordain's exhaustive research (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwinabell

      pre-agrarian diets were mostly fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts, and seeds. The species consumed varied widely, of course, depending on geographical location. Grains, legumes, and diary were not consumed in paleolithic times in significant amounts, due to hardship of gathering sufficient quantities for survival. Ancient grains were different than the domesticated versions we have today, and were small, and ripened unevenly making foraging for them difficult and inefficient.

      Despite the wide variety of plants, fruits and meats eaten, it still comes down mostly to three groups: Fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and lean meats, with the addition of small amounts of seeds and nuts.

      "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

      by ZhenRen on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:43:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No single "Paleo" diet (0+ / 0-)

      I agree. In fact the first paragraph of the continued text above states: "As a subscriber to Archaeology magazine and a longtime student of paleontology, I knew that examination of camp site bones, coprolites, and, more recently, even the DNA analysis of plaque on ancient teeth reveals that our ancestors ate whatever they could get their furry paws on. That includes lizards, rodents, grass, herbs, insects, etc. (What wine goes with lizard?) An idealistic view of our cavemen ancestors grilling 16 ounce mammoth steaks, medium rare, every night is entirely wrong. Neither did he just roam about harvesting some rich bounty of fruits and vegetables, while whistling 'Kumbaya.'"

  •  I have enjoyed this diary very much (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, DawnN, ladybug53, corwinabell

    I love the writing style. It warms my hungry heart.

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