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Beyond the Core Paleo Principle; How long does it take for our bodies to start to adapt to digesting certain foods?

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Updated November 21, 2014 at 4:06 AM
Created June 15, 2014 at 10:05 PM

I know that the core Paleo principle is about eating foods which were available to us in the paleolithic era and I would like to understand this principle a little better since there can be so many variables involved in defining our adaptation to certain foods. I have tried google with ALL KINDZ A queries with zero results, anyone have resources or answers? Also why are there so many healthy super centenarians who eat non paleo foods like the sardinians, okinawans and costa ricans of the Nicoya peninsula? Surely these cultures have adapted to these foods enough to live such long lives, what's the paleo defending argument for this case?

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598 · June 16, 2014 at 9:41 PM

This forum is all about discussing the merits of various positions. It's about working together to understand the means to optimal human health, particularly through the Paleo paradigm but it's not even limited to Paleo. It's not about freedom of expression or sharing of vague and potentially harmful opinions, @Girlgenius...

You may have the troll thing backwards.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 8:42 PM

I have no control over what other people say.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 8:41 PM

I'm not sure this is worth it with trolls like you being here. Why should I be part of your fiefdom?

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM

and validate your email -- I believe that is going to be a requirement soon, and I'd hate to see your account locked.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 8:09 PM

And sorry for being not nice. You are the one who started with ad hominem attacks.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 8:08 PM

if you do not feel the need to "defend" your opinions, how is this open discussion.

You said the diet is reenactment. Every founder of the diet has said it is not. I believe the onus is on you.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 8:04 PM

I said that I believe it is. I don't need to defend my opinions to trolls. Your comparison of my opinion to those of self proclaimed experts only proves that you are attacking my opinion. This is a forum. Its purpose is to discuss. Isn't it? I do believe being "not nice" and harassing me in comments is against the policy of this forum. I've merely said what I think and haven't suggested that anyone do anything dangerous. If you're so sure that those experts are better than open discussion, then you should shut down the forum.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM

yes, I have been slowly trolling around this site for years gaining reputation just to push my pro-health agenda. You got me!

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM

So GirlGenius (who btw has yet to validate her email address) knows more than; Harris, Sisson, Taubes, Wolf, Jaminet, Guyenet, Eades, MasterJohns, Minger, and Kresser --

All of whom are on record as saying Paleo (or their offshoots) are science based health diets, not reenactment. Who is it that has clearly demonstrated that Paleo is reenactment?

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1252 · June 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Since I looked into the issue, at least for okinawans and sardinians,

- they both have well mineralized soils

- they eat pork, and the choicest fat is lard in both places

- they do eat grains, but in modest amounts compared to other groups. Sardinians eat an unleavened bread, that will fill you with very modest amounts. Okinawans eat rice and tofu

- they eat incredible amounts of vegetables, pounds per day

- sardinians eat sheep dairy and olive oil, Okinawans eat fish.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Who are the haters exactly? Is it the people who are ending all their comments with "I disagree with (enter name here)"? Oh right, gotcha. I wish I could simply ignore you, but it's not possible on this website, as far as I can tell.

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245 · June 16, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Woot!~ :DD

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245 · June 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM

I disagree again! :D

This encourages closed mindedness and poor practice. I guess I can't say everyone, but I imagine most people want to be healthy...not paleo. Paleo is just a means to an end, and if there are better ways, or ways to improve paleo, and you ignore these because they don't fit in the original paradigm...well, you deserve what you get if you do this.

That being said, if this is really just a role-play forum for people who like to act like cavemen, then maybe I'm wrong.

+1 CDone, ignore the haters!

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I'm not understanding why you are discussing Neolithic on a Paleo forum. I think maybe you're in the wrong place. Nobody said that everything Paleo is perfect, and nobody here is defending that. We're just doing what we're doing and if you're trolling that, please go away.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Some older cultures ate the stomach contents of ruminant animals. They obviously didn't know about enzymes but now we know that ruminants have cellulase and we do not (the enzyme that breaks down cell walls in plants and thus frees much more nutrition from plant foods). The modern equivalent would be to use digestive enzymes that include that ingredient ("complete" formulas sometimes do, read labels) if you're having some difficulty with fiber, until tummy troubles calm a bit. The increased nutrition can help heal you and then you are no longer as reliant.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I'm here to discuss the Paleo diet based on the Paleolithic ancestors, and what we know of them. If you're here to do something else, then it's you who has lost your way. You seem to be antagonistic to the Paleo idea which is clearly demonstrated in several books, magazines and even on this very forum which in 2012 had a long discussion on modern hunting and how to get involved in it. You're the one in the minority and who needs to defend themselves. What are you doing here? Are you trolling the Paleo community because you disagree with it?

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598 · June 16, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I disagree with the last part (except for the immediate)... I had a lot of trouble adapting to a more fibrous, veggie-rich diet at first. It took nearly a year to get the the point where I could eat more than a couple bites of really fibrous fruits and veggies without suffering severe digestive issues. I think it was more about my gut bacteria adapting than my own body.

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10234 · June 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Well it's an n=1 experiment which will be terminated at my leisure...I think Cordain did the best in defining what it is, but sadly everyone tweaks (Cordain's solanaceae aversion being typical). The results aren't improved and it gets way more complicated than a caveperson's worst nightmare.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

sorry. My interest is not about living a Paleo life. My interest is in optimal health for my life. Reenactment to my own detriment is not something I am intersted in.

Also, "There is no need for defending arguments" -- that is a very dangerous position to take. We should be able to defend every argument we make -- that's called intelectual honesty.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I on the other hand completely agree with what wtfgod said.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I am not sure where and when the paleo diet went off course.... But the paleo diet is not about reenactment. Some quacks are trying that now to very limited success. Paleo is about finding optimal health. We tend to believe that the best way to go about it is by looking through the lens of evolution to frame hypotheses -- but it is a fallacy to believe that everything paleolithic is healthy and everything neolithic is not. It is also a fallacy to believe that anything that is alive today is comparable to what was around in paleolithic times. Moderns incarnations of Chicken, Beef, Fish, Crustaceans, Vegetables, Seeds, Fruits -- virtually none of this was available to the paleo man.

Dr Harris put it besy, paleo is a, "central thesis is that certain aspects of current ill health are due to behaviors that are substantially outside our evolutionary experience" (read more: http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2009/11/26/the-paleolithic-principle-the-panu-version.html)

As for the civilizations that you mention -- their diet is probably closer to an acestral diet that most people who follow a paleo template. Also, diet is only part of it -- their lifestyle far more closely follows ancestral behavior than most of ours do (@thhq excluded).

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10234 · June 16, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Well it's an n=1 experiment which will be terminated at my leisure...I think Cordain did the best in defining what it is, but sadly everyone tweaks (Cordain's solanaceae aversion being typical). The results aren't improved and it gets way more complicated than a caveperson's worst nightmare.

Medium avatar
0 · June 16, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I'm not understanding why you are discussing Neolithic on a Paleo forum. I think maybe you're in the wrong place. Nobody said that everything Paleo is perfect, and nobody here is defending that. We're just doing what we're doing and if you're trolling that, please go away.

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245 · June 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Should be a little more explicit in your first question. Certain foods and adapting...hmm? The whole point of paleo is that we did not adapt to foods...so, not really sure what you're looking for. If you're talking about macro ratios in particular, E.G. adapting to fats where adapting = processing them efficiently you may find it easier to find an answer.

On your second question, I don't know much about specific cultures, but centenarians in general are oddities, exceptions. For example, if a centenarian smokes and drinks and lives till 200, should you? Probably not, that being said there is probably something worth learning from them, but what is it? How sure are you their diets are the main factor? Could just as eaily be genetics, or enviornment, specifically lack of pollution or toxins, or mentality and stress levels. ( Food for thought )

On another note: I completely disagree with everything Girlgenius said.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM

I on the other hand completely agree with what wtfgod said.

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10234 · June 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM

There is no argument, as girlgenius said. The point of Paleo is health NOW. Not what might hypothetically happen when you're 100. So far as adaptation goes I think more or less immediately, certainly within a week. If you can't digest it, whatever it is, eat something else.

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598 · June 16, 2014 at 5:16 PM

I disagree with the last part (except for the immediate)... I had a lot of trouble adapting to a more fibrous, veggie-rich diet at first. It took nearly a year to get the the point where I could eat more than a couple bites of really fibrous fruits and veggies without suffering severe digestive issues. I think it was more about my gut bacteria adapting than my own body.

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0 · June 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Paleo doesn't bother to defend against centenarian cultures who live today. We are interested in living a Paleo life. That's our interest, that's what our discussion forum is about. It's great that there are healthy diets in the world, but it's not interesting to me, personally. My ketogenic and Paleo diet is working for me, thanks.

If I understand your question, you're asking how long it would take, in geologic or evolutionary time to properly digest foods that are non Paleo (like legumes for example). The fact is, we can digest them now.

BUT ONLY IF we properly prepare them through a long process of soaking and/or fermenting and/or sprouting. Paleos say, why bother? This is too much effort after we have already used fossil fuels to cultivate and harvest them, used massive amounts of water to grow them... etc etc.. This is a waste when we can pasture some animals and eat them with much less effort. Technically, some of us believe that it is even simpler to hunt for our food. Or at least hunt for some of our food. Or fish.

There is no need for defending arguments. This is what we do.

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26182 · June 16, 2014 at 3:03 PM

sorry. My interest is not about living a Paleo life. My interest is in optimal health for my life. Reenactment to my own detriment is not something I am intersted in.

Also, "There is no need for defending arguments" -- that is a very dangerous position to take. We should be able to defend every argument we make -- that's called intelectual honesty.

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