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Are we losing our identity as a community?

by (5768)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created August 19, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Recently, in my humble opinion, there has been this shift of almost anti-paleoism coming from the "paleo" community and I am curious where everyone thinks this movement is headed. I was reading a recent response by Melissa McEwen's, who I respect immensely and not calling out in anyway, regarding a poop hack and she said "Finally I got it to go away altogether by just well...not eating paleo." Also, Kurt Harris, another respected individual in this community, has totally detatched himself from paleo and Matt Lalonde's speech at the Health Symposium had a sort of anti-paleo feel to it. The kicker for me was Robb Wolf's podcast (Episode 93) when they were just bullshitting at the beginning he went on a rant about Paleo Orthodox and how we might need to hit the reset button and start all over. By the way, many of the points Robb made during that "rant" were very valid and hit home with me.

When I first started Paleo I read Robb and Mark's books and I loved them because they were simple and to the point. To my beginners eyes it seemed the focus was eliminating grains, legumes, Dairy (Robb's book), PUFA's, processed foods and generally going VLC or LC while eating grassfed/wild caught/free range moderately high fat meat and fish. I also began reading some others blogs who had a WAPF feel to it with fermented veges, butter, and such. However, like everything things seem to be evolving and there are many, including Robb himself, who have accepted items originally thought to be avoided (rice, potatoes, etc.) and have eliminated items originally thought to be ok (nuts/seeds, high fat meats, fish oil, some fermented veges, etc). Now I am not saying I disagree with these thoughts or this movement cannot or should not evolve, but it has certainly caused some sort of a Paleo Orthodox which has definitely turned off many who we rely on to pass the message away from the term Paleo. Also, it seems to confuse people who start Paleo using Robb or Mark's book as a starting point. they seem confused when they witness the Paleo Community eating dairy, rice, potatoes, etc. It's almost like we are presenting to the rest of the world like we are a little unsure of what we are doing.

Now you may think that I am hanging this whole movement on the term "Paleo." Well you are partially correct. I think if we want this thing to catch on and not just be a cult movement we need a term to define the lifestyle we are promoting. Simply saying don't eat processed foods doesn't seem like an effective marketing tool because most laypeople don't view grains and PUFA's as processed. Or promote an elimination diet and introduce foods of individuality seems like it would get a "that's to realistic" response. Do I think the term needs to be Paleo, no, but just as Robb mentioned podcast 93 we cannot be battling within ourselves if we want this thing to be accepted by both the medical/academic field and the layperson.

I realize that ever movement is going to have orthodox views, but it seems that it is slowing us down and confusing not only the outside viewers but the "members" themselves. On top of that many of our "leaders" are turned off by the self righteous dogma.

With all the different concepts that seem to touch the original paleo concept, should we, as Robb said, hit the reset button and essentially start over or can we come together as a community and make this thing catch fire?

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15229 · December 09, 2011 at 2:11 PM

excellent answer. thank you!

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1626 · October 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Very well said and its why I absolutely love the fact that we have so many terms. It shows this is not a cult or religion. I LOVE the fact that there are debates within the primal community. There is a general framework that everyone needs to experiment with. We are still all different and can tolerate all foods at different levels. This movement will continue to grow in exponential numbers until 80% or more of the world is in the community.

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15226 · August 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM

thanks Paul, I'll keep those graphs and charts handy

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:13 AM

[[I just altered a comment from above and put it here. It goes in between the second and third above.]]

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM

You might need a subscription to see that abstract; I have university access and still can't see the whole article. Anyhow there's also this 2002 paper by Cordain et al. which is a review and incorporates the just-mentioned article and also others: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/full/1601307a.html The relevant table is this one: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/fig_tab/1601307t7.html So it seems clear from these sources at least that there is more O-6 in the [Continued]

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:06 AM

Whoops, I was unclear as often happens. I meant that my brother had once given me a link to something on your website, and just yesterday when I was snooping out the selfsame website through the link on your user page I saw it and thought "oh yeah, I recognize this; my brother gave me a link to this once." But I can't remember what the link was. Maybe a recipe? Anyhow maybe I'll do a little more snooping later.

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15226 · August 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

PHers' opinions on these matters.

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15226 · August 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Thanks Paul! Thanks for those links! I will check them out later tonight. I tend to agree with you about the differences in beef. I just had some conventional beef for lunch for the first time in a very long time and it does not even hold a candle to the farmers market stuff I've become accustomed to. And my website is www.hungryforreal.net It's put together for the benefit of people I'm training (in the gym) to get a good general overview of how to clean up their diet and lifestyle habits that may be counterproductive. Would love any feedback on it as I highly regard yours and many other

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:30 AM

conventional beef, not just less O-3. I think that makes a difference, even if others don't, but maybe I'm hypersensitive to O-6s. Btw my brother once sent me a link to your website, but I can't remember what exactly it was (recognize the title and the format) .... Anyhow no pressure to respond but I'll check back here. Peace to you.

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:28 AM

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1745-4557.1986.tb00802.x/abstract You might need a subscription to see that abstract; I have university access and still can't see the whole article. Anyhow there's also this 2002 paper by Cordain et al. which is a review and incorporates the just-mentioned article and also others: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/full/1601307a.html The relevant table is this one: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/fig_tab/1601307t7.html So it seems clear from these sources at least that there is more O-6 in the [Continued]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:25 AM

brilliant things to say as always, though in this case I disagree with him. I find conventional beef more and more repellent the longer I eat paleo. Anyhow I think Moss would agree however that the bit about conventional and grass-fed having the same O-6 is wrong. You've probably seen some of these charts before: http://www.theiflife.com/grass-fed-beef-meat/ They've been around the paleosphere here and there and I think they come from this 1986 article, "Lipids in Wild Ruminant Animals and Steers," Miller et al. [Continued]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Hi, Jeff, responding to you three days later or something absurd like that. I dove into the o6/o3 beef issue tonight for fun. I had heard that about O-6s in beef before, that there's just as much in grass-fed beef as there is in sick (aka "conventional") beef. I seem to recall KGH saying it now that I think about it. Well there's a fair amount on our very own site, e.g.: http://paleohacks.com/questions/18282/enough-pufa-in-beef-to-even-worry-about-omega-3 and http://paleohacks.com/questions/739/is-it-ok-to-eat-plenty-of-fat-from-conventionally-raised-ruminants David Moss has [continued]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Wow, eight years paleo. We're going to have to kidnap you and perform experiments on you.

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2861 · August 21, 2011 at 3:05 PM

@The Loon, that's why I am saying you shouldn't feel marginalized. Only people saything this kind of stuff should be concerned about marginalization. In Guyenet's post he said straight-up that low-carb can work great for weight loss - it's the pseudoscience that's the concern.

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8979 · August 21, 2011 at 4:07 AM

I don't think most people care what it is called, or how scientific it is. They just want something that works. They just want to get thin, healthy, fertile, and have energy.

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8979 · August 21, 2011 at 4:03 AM

@Paleo2.0, I never said anything about hyperinsulinemia, or anything about spikes.

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2861 · August 21, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Paleo 2.0, bitches...It's not your red-faced grandfather's Paleo. Just kiddin'. KGH made the point that "paleo" in Paleo 2.0 comes from the root, meaning "old", not paleolithic. I believe "The Paleo Diet" is actually trademarked by you red-face grandfather, err I mean Dr. Cordain.

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3891 · August 21, 2011 at 1:00 AM

No Jack, this is a PALEO site. How dare you engage in levity instead of gravity! ;-)

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 11:51 PM

okay bb and bb. look, I was just being a smartass alright? just having fun. binko made some polarizing statements here so I figured I'd toy around a bit.

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Jeff - Nice link! I read that right after he put it out last year but I understand so much more of it now. It's like I was reading a whole new article.

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10502 · August 20, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Funny how this thread is mostly about marketing.

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11986 · August 20, 2011 at 9:24 PM

And he goes into quite some detail regarding "vegetables and starches" versus "refined starches and sugars." See for instance the section of GCBC here: http://tinyurl.com/44dvgpw

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11986 · August 20, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Small quibble: I think Taubes would more likely say hyperinsulinemia, rather than insulin spikes *per se*, is what is implicated in the DOC. For example, Reaven's research, which he recounts here: http://tinyurl.com/3ussopj

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39841 · August 20, 2011 at 7:56 PM

The ratio is important, but there is a minimum amount that is needed per day. It's probably safer to overshoot on both a bit rather than undershoot. If, for example, your ratio were 1:1 but it's 1g:1g I doubt that's enough.

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36 · August 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Yes, Jack, you can eat dairy and call your diet "Paleo" And you can look up at the sky and call it purple. Unfortunately for you, words, in order to be useful need to have generally recognized meanings.

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2861 · August 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

@The Loon - I didn't say that. Calling starch a NAD and claiming that "insulin spikes" are the cause of the diseases of civilization are mythology.

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15226 · August 20, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Love your answer Paul. Not to beat this o-6 thing into the ground, but I was under the impression that grain and grass fed beef had the same amount of o-6s, but grass fed beef just had more o-3s so the ratio looks better. Maybe that's not true? Also, in case anyone hasn't read this post, here's a fantastic blog about essential fatty acids by Chris Masterjohn http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/precious-yet-perilous

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 6:07 AM

oh yes I can Binko Barnes... watch... "I eat a Paleo diet". there. I called my diet Paleo, even though I eat dairy.

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8979 · August 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Yes, huge disconnect, and many times the low-carb greats were wandering around alone (except for Dr. Mike). Wasn't anyone going to talk to Feinman?

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8979 · August 20, 2011 at 3:57 AM

losing weight on a low carb diet is not a myth

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2861 · August 20, 2011 at 2:12 AM

@The Quilt - I’m skeptical how much the clinical context really matters (but I’m pretty skeptical of doctors.) Most people concerned about diet never reach the point of going to a doctor. As long as you avoid the label of a “fad diet” and don’t have silly science going on, an impact can be made (look at vegetarianism). People like Guyenet and soon Masterjohn with PhDs in these fields will provide the needed credibility. Many people can relate to the idea of “what is wrong with our modern diet vs what our ancestors ate” whereas to me “evolutionary” sounds like a buzzword (it needs better PR)

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25467 · August 20, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Some people went to AHS to see the "big people" and others approached this meeting as any other science meeting. In my view there was a huge disconnect in those people and how they interacted. It was fascinating theater to be honest. It was obvious in how some of the presenters even dressed for the event and how they constructed the talks. I came into the event with a science mindset but after three talks I changed my own perspective in how I viewed it. It was a great experience but I think the perception of how Taubes and Lustig were viewed was completely off kilter.

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25467 · August 20, 2011 at 1:02 AM

i agree that ancestral is wapf......but wapf is not evolutionary at its base. There is too much ethnographic/politics involved. Evolutionary biology is strictly scientific and patients tend to like this. I dont think what Melissa thinks is representative of what the masses think. We have been passing out questionaires to patients about what the clinical brand of medicine we practice represents to them. Evolutionary and integrative have been top vote getters so far. Progressive health is third. I started asking three years ago to gauge how to build my own brand locally.

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Ancestral health *is* more like WAPF. “Paleo” will be a subset of Ancestral, but it will be relegated to diet books. Most of the leading scientific bloggers are much closer to WAPF than they are Cordain.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' Yeah, there's no room for ratiocination in "Paleo".

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:30 PM

@The Loon - There used to be quite a bit of insistence that Paleo must be low-carb; now that it is changing some does not mean low-carbers are marginalized. Low-carb mythology should be marginalized though. Saying that starch is not a NAD should not marginalize anybody except for those who are claiming that it is. It is the same way that Cordain has been somewhat marginalized for his various claims.

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

In many respects G vs T is much more than minutiae – it is whether the direction is towards science or will it keep too many roots in mythology. Low carb diets can be beneficial for many people, but Taubesian mythology is a drag on the movement, especially in terms of credibility.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' BS. A derisive attitude will get you nowhere in these parts.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' BS. A derisive attitue will get you nowhere in these parts.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Community does have a much nicer ring to it.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Thanks for that first sentence, especially. I tend to be all about *my* health, and so lose sight of a possible greater good.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Ancestral could also be confused with a Pollan-type recommendations, which is more like WAPF.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I agree on your view on the Gvs.T ring. Great for science theater, not so great for people who are looking for actual answers. I think it has been like a field day for the vegans, like braised tofu with quinoa.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Well......we'll probably be somewhere else, and the skinny pale-faced potato-eaters can get older and see if it is still working for them lol (P.S. don't keep downvoting me. I was a skinny pale-faced potato-eater for a long time too.....)

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7660 · August 19, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Yeah, "movement" does sound weird, but sometimes language fails, you know? I've been using "community" and that feels better.

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7660 · August 19, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Yes, I feel like "ancestral" opens the door to traditional grain and legume preparations, in addition to dairy. And I think these things have a place under the larger umbrella of "real food" but it ain't Paleo.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

AA has already been taken.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

If that happens, The Loon, then I suppose we'll get to see if starchy paleo (or fruity paleo) works as well as low carb for weight loss.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Look for my book "The Mesolithic Diet" in 2012 hehe

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Tons of archeological evidence for paleolithic people eating grains. The "paleo" diet has nothing to do with the paleolithic.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Ancestral is more flexible. What period in the paleolithic are you referring to in your diet? The Paleolithic was over two million years. It has nothing to do with dairy for me. I sincerely doubt your diet resembles anything anyone ate in the Paleolithic.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:42 PM

As far as changes go, I think we will continue to marginalize the low-carbers until they go somewhere else.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:39 PM

ha ha! How can I upvote that more than once Quilt??

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I'm with you, though I must confess that I didn't read all the things about your test results all that carefully. My solution is just not to go to the doctor. Which is maybe slightly extreme -- I'm going to go soon, I'm especially interested in my iron levels -- but you know there's that saying from Peter which KGH has passed on: the best cholesterol test is the one you never took. (OK, ok, I'll get my cholesterol looked at. Geez.)

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I have noticed the change in folks recently here, too, with more "suboptimal" posts being edited and more questioning by people like Travis.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 9:26 PM

So I just figure that even eating chicken and nuts and bacon etc, I am still soooooo much better off, especially given that I now consume far more sat fats and mono fats are far less processed boxed crap, sugar, grains. The changes I've made to my diet are not minor. This is why I have been so reluctant and pushy about believing that these pure whole foods like banana and almonds and raw honey would cause cardiovascular issues for me. It aggrevates my observations of common logic.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Paul - i usually eat half an avocado, and my bacon serving is normally 2-3 average sized pieces. I dunno. Sometimes I look at the context of life itself and my observations of 1) those around me (who of course you don't want to set your comparison standards against... better to set it against excellence) and 2) my own personal experiences of how I used to eat and how I felt Pre-Paleo. By rough mental estimation only, I would guess that my o6 intake has been cut by at least 90% if not %95. Also, my o3 intake has likely risen.

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11581 · August 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Amazon lists a new book as coming out from Cordain in December - http://www.amazon.com/Maximum-Paleo-Taking-Diet-Level/dp/1118016084/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313787551&sr=1-1 Do any of you fortunate AHS attendees or others know what the changes will look like?

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112 · August 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM

What does "ancestral" even mean? What time frame does it cover? My ancestors from 1850 were eating tons of white flour and sugar, for instance. "Paleo" on the other hand is a nice simple term. Eat foods that humans ate in the Paleolithic. What could be easier to understand. My experience is that people who prefer the term "ancestral" to "paleo" generally want to eat dairy and are trying to redefine the core concept.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Depends on where you are coming from. Old doesn't mean bad to many people, including me. Evolutionary nutrition/medicine does indeed have more scientific references, but I prefer ancestral because it jives with a traditionalist mindset.

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1880 · August 19, 2011 at 8:40 PM

ancestral atkins

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11581 · August 19, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I've always like the terms evolutionarily appropriate or biologically appropriate diet, as a bit more descriptive than paleo. Biologically appropriate is both less likely to turn off some *cough*fundamentalists*cough* than using the word evolution while also allowing acceptance of the kind of change that is bound to occur with ongoing scientific research. I see a diet based on changing and (dare I say it) evolving science as potentially difficult though for some people esp. in the US where science suffers from declining quality education and is distrusted in some circles.

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11581 · August 19, 2011 at 8:38 PM

've always like the terms evolutionarily appropriate or biologically appropriate diet, as a bit more descriptive than paleo. Biologically appropriate is both less likely to turn off some cough*fundamentalists*cough than using the word evolution while also allowing acceptance of the kind of change that is bound to occur with ongoing scientific research. I see a diet based on changing and (dare I say it) evolving science as potentially difficult though for some people esp. in the US where science is suffers from a lack of good education and is distrusted in some circles.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I try to say "a natural human diet" whenever I can (that is, whenever I can not sound like a contentious jerk when I say it). (And then I say: the natural human diet does not have high o6, high fructose, lots of grains (I say that wheat and its preparation have changed when I feel like conceding a little to the person I'm talking to), and it has always been much higher in SFA (and lower in PUFA) and much higher in nutrients.)

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM

heard that avocado has a significant amount of CLA.)

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11581 · August 19, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I've always like the terms evolutionarily appropriate or biologically appropriate diet, as a bit more descriptive and especially with the term . Biologically appropriate is both less likely to turn off some *cough*fundamentalists*cough* while also allowing acceptance of the kind of change that is bound to occur with ongoing scientific research. I see this as potentially difficult though for some people esp. in the US where science is disliked and distrusted in some circles.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Alright, let me see, I would guess that about 40g is a serving of bacon for someone like you or me with a big appetite, and then one avocado is a serving. Each one 3.5 times a week, that gets you roughly 2g a day. You're right, that's pretty low. Julianne recommends in her post that we aim to keep it down to 6g. But to be honest I don't actually know what the *requirement* is for our bodies. (PS for the avocado data they're only giving you the grams of 18:2 undifferentiated, which would include CLA, which is supposed to be good for you I guess -- but I don't think I've ever [continued]

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Also I was pretty blown away by this post: http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/ (And she's a paleohacker too: paleohacks.com/users/1827) It just made me realize that we all make such a fuss about vegetable oil and nuts, but chicken and pork can be just as bad in large quantities .....

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Great question, hemanvt.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 8:18 PM

I prefer ancestral over paleo. After talking with people who know nothing about this other than watching a blurb in what passes for the news, the vast majority of them associate it with the caveman caricature.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Also I was pretty blown away by this post: http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/ And she's a paleohacker too: http://paleohacks.com/users/1827

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:10 PM

that pastured bison/beef and having fish every once in a while should probably take care of your o3 needs.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Cool, thanks. I figured you knew about the EFAs which is why I felt silly speaking as if you didn't. My thing with o6s is that I really think now that just limiting the o6s is so much more important than the balance. That might be because in my case there are many weeks in which I'm half-assing it at restaurants one out of every three or four meals, and when I get that "icky restaurant feeling" I'm pretty sure it's the o6s. But this was also KGH's thing from early on: if you just don't have all those other sources of o6s then eating those pastured eggs and [continued]

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

ancestral connotes old..........and that is not good for many people. Evolution confers new theory and its based on firm science. Ancestral has no firm scientific foundation. That is a problem for a new movement. Just my two cents from what I have heard in my own clinic and hospital.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Maybe The Quilt is thinking of the singularity

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1880 · August 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM

what's the down side to "ancestral?"

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I'm such a nerd! Reading "just wait'll we really get started crunching input from genetic databases" gave me chills.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM

"The creation of hierarchies, factions and an official canon is less than optimal for the free exchange of ideas." Nice. +1

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:45 PM

no worries bud. i posted my comments based on your other comment, but it's all good. it's gonna take a lot more than that from *you* for me to take issue with your tone. thanks for the clarification though.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

i am getting off topic here but to bring it back what i am really saying is that sometimes this constant tweaking is dizzying. i am avoiding bananas because of the possibility that i *might* need to. that's annoying because even if I find success in what I change, it is hard to pinpoint what helped since I am toying with so many variables.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Paul - I know the EFAs. I am just saying that I'm not sure reducing omega6 to virtually zero is necessarily a good thing. I must be somewhere close to 1:1 at this time. I might have been 1:2 or 1:3 (o3:o6) with the nuts, and even then I can't imagine the amount of pufa from a couple tablespoons of almond pecan butter could send me into hypothyroidism land, or cause small dense LDL, or a odd feeling in my chest.

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3631 · August 19, 2011 at 7:40 PM

hear hear !

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:39 PM

@Jack [erased my last comment because I didn't like my tone, sorry if it seemed like I was trying to be "Mr. Authoritative"]: I assume Travis means "essential" in the strict sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_fatty_acid In which case linoleic acid is one of the two essential fatty acids. Looking up your diet numbers now ....

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Triple cowabunga answer. This is not just how I feel about PaleoHacks, but about teh interwebs and the information age in general. A whole new way of processing massive amounts of data. And just wait'll we really get started crunching input from genetic databases; that'll be powerful stuff.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

travis today its close to impossible to do.....but youre right that some will do extreme things with omega 6's. We need them in a balance

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Great comment Dave. I think your point and marrying it to the new science of nutrigenomics is going to be where clinicians are going to discover that many of the things in this movement where spot on early......the key now is having a method to monitor this clinically. It is there but too few know how to do it. And the people in power are clueless about. I think they will find paleo fromt he new science of the nutrigenomics and then not feel like they were clueless all along. Just my two cents.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM

next year we can talk about the milky white skinned ex vegans at AHS......LOL Dave. And youre right about Cordain. I think Robb's camp is moving in other directions and I think that is good. There has to be a science side and clinical side for this to take the next step. Some people dont see that but I think the guys at the top do see that now. It will be interesting to see it all flush out. Plus one Dave

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Nice final sentence, FED.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM

ancestral has a down side too......but we will see.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:25 PM

plus one............

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:24 PM

This is gonna catch fire one way or another. But the tipping point is coming. How docs are thinking about this is the key to a tipping point. I think if you spend any time talking to Robb or to Brent they are of the same belief I am. The Science has the gravity to make it to a tipping point. They key is in how it is presented.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:22 PM

yes we are. And I think its a good thing. It should be based upon evolutionay biology. There are too many conotations attached to the Paleo or Primal tag.

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2052 · August 19, 2011 at 7:13 PM

See... This is why I miss Fabulous Foragers...

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM

So how's your book coming along? ;)

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM

If it weren't for Cordain's book I would have been paleo years earlier. I picked it up in my doctor's waiting room, and spent a good half hour leafing through it. There was a lot of great stuff, but the low fat thing just didn't jive with me. I think it would be helpful if he released an updated version of the book to align with his current views.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:04 PM

@Jack there are only two EFAs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_fatty_acid I don't think you're getting too little linoleic acid, but I have to run off right now and can't run your numbers. (Not that I know for sure that I can though.)

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM

True, if you eliminated linoleic *entirely* you'd be up the creek without a paddle. But I think it's pretty difficult to do.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:02 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. not sure if you meant essential as in o3 only, or that even a small amount of o6 is essential, but my PUFA intake is very low. i eat chicken less than once per week (maybe every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per wk. avocado about 3-4 meals per wk. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know we're supposed to limit PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I've considered the possibility that I've gone too far.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:01 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. not sure if you meant essential as in o3 only, or that even a small amount of o6 is essential, but my PUFA intake is very low. i eat chicken less than once per week (maybe every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per wk. i eat avocado about 3-4 meals per wk. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know we're supposed to limit PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I have considered the possibility that I've one too far.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. my PUFA intake is exceptionally low. i eat chicken less than one meal a week (maybe once every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per week. i eat avocado about 3-4 meals per week. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know were are supposed to *limit* PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I have considered the possibility that I've one too far.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Honey Badger is the most badass animal ever.

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39841 · August 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I suspect that some paleos may nearly eliminate (the essential) linoleic acid to the detriment of their health.

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15003 · August 19, 2011 at 6:38 PM

You had me at honey badger ;).

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678 · August 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Well said, sir.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Nah, I've just disagreed with his (and others') stance on carbs in the past. Probably a function of me not understanding how non-dogmatic and non-prescriptive many of those folks' stances are. :)

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I REALLY like how you differented "limit" versus "eliminate". They mean very different things and getting that right 'limits' confusion.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Nah, I've just disagreed with his (and others') stance on carbs in the past. Probably a function of me not understanding how non-dogmatic and prescriptive many of those folks' stances are. :)

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM

do you guys have a tiff history here on paleohacks? juicy gossip! lol.

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9812 · August 19, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Great question- It's great that people are doing what works for them and not getting bogged down in dogma, but I've definitely been thinking lately about the points you being up.

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39841 · August 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM

If you only knew the power of the dark side...Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I don't understand what's happening to me...I'm starting to agree with most of your recent posts, lol.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but I *am* interested to hear what others have to say. Your question is eloquent and well-thought-out.

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17 Answers

Medium avatar
42
19479 · August 19, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Whether it's called Evolutionary health, Paleo, Primal, Weston A. Price, Achivore, or the Paleo "template", the general consensus is to gather wisdom from the past, hold it up to the light of science, and apply it in the present to ensure a healthy future.

The "movement" isn't like Atkins, a traditional top-down model, but rather a manifestation of emergent behavior. Groups of people all over the world are responding to the pressures of capitalism, commercialism, and technology by looking for tangible relics of the past, something that can give them footing in our uncertain world.

Speaking of footing, barefoot running, MoveNat, and Cross-fit parallel these sentiments in the arena of physical exercise, which is why Paleo, Primal, etc. was quickly co-opted by such groups.

Rallying around a singular "diet" for the purposes of promoting a "movement" may work for religions, but I would like to think that this is about something bigger than winning the diet wars.

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3631 · August 19, 2011 at 7:40 PM

hear hear !

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Nice final sentence, FED.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:25 PM

plus one............

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678 · August 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Well said, sir.

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1626 · October 16, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Very well said and its why I absolutely love the fact that we have so many terms. It shows this is not a cult or religion. I LOVE the fact that there are debates within the primal community. There is a general framework that everyone needs to experiment with. We are still all different and can tolerate all foods at different levels. This movement will continue to grow in exponential numbers until 80% or more of the world is in the community.

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15229 · December 09, 2011 at 2:11 PM

excellent answer. thank you!

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39841 · August 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I think it may be a mistake to consider this to be a "movement" as such. We're just a diverse assemblage of people who are trying to be healthy and are (for the most part) using an evolutionary template as a starting point because it simply makes good sense. A particular individual's addition or subtraction of certain foods should be based on their personal experience and research, not on what is popular or "paleo."

The creation of hierarchies, factions and an official canon is less than optimal for the free exchange of ideas.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I have noticed the change in folks recently here, too, with more "suboptimal" posts being edited and more questioning by people like Travis.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Nah, I've just disagreed with his (and others') stance on carbs in the past. Probably a function of me not understanding how non-dogmatic and prescriptive many of those folks' stances are. :)

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Nah, I've just disagreed with his (and others') stance on carbs in the past. Probably a function of me not understanding how non-dogmatic and non-prescriptive many of those folks' stances are. :)

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I don't understand what's happening to me...I'm starting to agree with most of your recent posts, lol.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM

do you guys have a tiff history here on paleohacks? juicy gossip! lol.

Medium avatar
39841 · August 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM

If you only knew the power of the dark side...Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM

"The creation of hierarchies, factions and an official canon is less than optimal for the free exchange of ideas." Nice. +1

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Well, I think we've had questions before about what the "core" of paleo is, but I would like to think that amid all the disagreement there's still consensus around a few things:

1a. Limit fructose. 1b. Limit linoleic acid. 1c. Limit/eliminate wheat, many other grains.

2a. The diet-heart hypothesis is wrong; therefore get your fats from healthy (saturated) sources. 2b. Don't eat processed foods, mostly because they are poor in micronutrients; get adequate micronutrients.

I really don't think there's anyone out there who disagrees with these, is there? Note that this more or less fits what Kurt Harris said in his Paleo 2.0 post. It's the big three, plus my simplified version of some of the "corollaries" to the big three.

Note that this conception would make room for paleo vegetarians and also higher-carb paleos.

I also have no trouble with calling it "ancestral" instead of "paleo" -- we can let the evolutionary reasoning into the description of our diet at some later point in a hypothetical discussion.

But we can present a unified front by sticking to the core.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:03 PM

True, if you eliminated linoleic *entirely* you'd be up the creek without a paddle. But I think it's pretty difficult to do.

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39841 · August 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I suspect that some paleos may nearly eliminate (the essential) linoleic acid to the detriment of their health.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:02 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. not sure if you meant essential as in o3 only, or that even a small amount of o6 is essential, but my PUFA intake is very low. i eat chicken less than once per week (maybe every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per wk. avocado about 3-4 meals per wk. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know we're supposed to limit PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I've considered the possibility that I've gone too far.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

travis today its close to impossible to do.....but youre right that some will do extreme things with omega 6's. We need them in a balance

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I REALLY like how you differented "limit" versus "eliminate". They mean very different things and getting that right 'limits' confusion.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:43 PM

i am getting off topic here but to bring it back what i am really saying is that sometimes this constant tweaking is dizzying. i am avoiding bananas because of the possibility that i *might* need to. that's annoying because even if I find success in what I change, it is hard to pinpoint what helped since I am toying with so many variables.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Alright, let me see, I would guess that about 40g is a serving of bacon for someone like you or me with a big appetite, and then one avocado is a serving. Each one 3.5 times a week, that gets you roughly 2g a day. You're right, that's pretty low. Julianne recommends in her post that we aim to keep it down to 6g. But to be honest I don't actually know what the *requirement* is for our bodies. (PS for the avocado data they're only giving you the grams of 18:2 undifferentiated, which would include CLA, which is supposed to be good for you I guess -- but I don't think I've ever [continued]

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:58 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. my PUFA intake is exceptionally low. i eat chicken less than one meal a week (maybe once every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per week. i eat avocado about 3-4 meals per week. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know were are supposed to *limit* PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I have considered the possibility that I've one too far.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Paul - i usually eat half an avocado, and my bacon serving is normally 2-3 average sized pieces. I dunno. Sometimes I look at the context of life itself and my observations of 1) those around me (who of course you don't want to set your comparison standards against... better to set it against excellence) and 2) my own personal experiences of how I used to eat and how I felt Pre-Paleo. By rough mental estimation only, I would guess that my o6 intake has been cut by at least 90% if not %95. Also, my o3 intake has likely risen.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:45 PM

no worries bud. i posted my comments based on your other comment, but it's all good. it's gonna take a lot more than that from *you* for me to take issue with your tone. thanks for the clarification though.

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:01 PM

completely agree travis. in fact, i seriously wonder if i might be (accidentally) part of that camp. not sure if you meant essential as in o3 only, or that even a small amount of o6 is essential, but my PUFA intake is very low. i eat chicken less than once per week (maybe every 2 weeks). i eat bacon about 3-4 meals per wk. i eat avocado about 3-4 meals per wk. Other than the amount that comes in the occasional non-grass fed beef, that's about it. NO JOKE. i know we're supposed to limit PUFA, but I have nearl elimiated it from my diet and I have considered the possibility that I've one too far.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:10 PM

that pastured bison/beef and having fish every once in a while should probably take care of your o3 needs.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Also I was pretty blown away by this post: http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/ (And she's a paleohacker too: paleohacks.com/users/1827) It just made me realize that we all make such a fuss about vegetable oil and nuts, but chicken and pork can be just as bad in large quantities .....

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Paul - I know the EFAs. I am just saying that I'm not sure reducing omega6 to virtually zero is necessarily a good thing. I must be somewhere close to 1:1 at this time. I might have been 1:2 or 1:3 (o3:o6) with the nuts, and even then I can't imagine the amount of pufa from a couple tablespoons of almond pecan butter could send me into hypothyroidism land, or cause small dense LDL, or a odd feeling in my chest.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Also I was pretty blown away by this post: http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/ And she's a paleohacker too: http://paleohacks.com/users/1827

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM

heard that avocado has a significant amount of CLA.)

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:04 PM

@Jack there are only two EFAs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_fatty_acid I don't think you're getting too little linoleic acid, but I have to run off right now and can't run your numbers. (Not that I know for sure that I can though.)

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 7:39 PM

@Jack [erased my last comment because I didn't like my tone, sorry if it seemed like I was trying to be "Mr. Authoritative"]: I assume Travis means "essential" in the strict sense: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_fatty_acid In which case linoleic acid is one of the two essential fatty acids. Looking up your diet numbers now ....

Medium avatar
39841 · August 20, 2011 at 7:56 PM

The ratio is important, but there is a minimum amount that is needed per day. It's probably safer to overshoot on both a bit rather than undershoot. If, for example, your ratio were 1:1 but it's 1g:1g I doubt that's enough.

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Cool, thanks. I figured you knew about the EFAs which is why I felt silly speaking as if you didn't. My thing with o6s is that I really think now that just limiting the o6s is so much more important than the balance. That might be because in my case there are many weeks in which I'm half-assing it at restaurants one out of every three or four meals, and when I get that "icky restaurant feeling" I'm pretty sure it's the o6s. But this was also KGH's thing from early on: if you just don't have all those other sources of o6s then eating those pastured eggs and [continued]

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 9:38 PM

I'm with you, though I must confess that I didn't read all the things about your test results all that carefully. My solution is just not to go to the doctor. Which is maybe slightly extreme -- I'm going to go soon, I'm especially interested in my iron levels -- but you know there's that saying from Peter which KGH has passed on: the best cholesterol test is the one you never took. (OK, ok, I'll get my cholesterol looked at. Geez.)

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 9:26 PM

So I just figure that even eating chicken and nuts and bacon etc, I am still soooooo much better off, especially given that I now consume far more sat fats and mono fats are far less processed boxed crap, sugar, grains. The changes I've made to my diet are not minor. This is why I have been so reluctant and pushy about believing that these pure whole foods like banana and almonds and raw honey would cause cardiovascular issues for me. It aggrevates my observations of common logic.

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15226 · August 20, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Love your answer Paul. Not to beat this o-6 thing into the ground, but I was under the impression that grain and grass fed beef had the same amount of o-6s, but grass fed beef just had more o-3s so the ratio looks better. Maybe that's not true? Also, in case anyone hasn't read this post, here's a fantastic blog about essential fatty acids by Chris Masterjohn http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/precious-yet-perilous

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Jeff - Nice link! I read that right after he put it out last year but I understand so much more of it now. It's like I was reading a whole new article.

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20411 · August 19, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Well, I consider myself to be a nearly Paleo, mostly Primal, sorta Ancestral, Perfect Health (I wish!), Archevore, WAPF leaning Honey Badger!

I take what I learn from anywhere and everywhere. I try things and see what works for me.

Call me paleo if that's easier - it's what my friends and family use when telling others about me - "He's Paleo."

Then I have to explain - "Well I do eat white rice and high fat dairy and by god a cookie now and then. And no, honey and agave syrup are not health foods."

You know, even Cordain was putting some distance between himself and Cordain at the AHS.

I don't mind the differences and even the squabbling. Some people seemed peeved that so many low carb proponents were at the AHS. Not me. Give me all sides. Love it!

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM

next year we can talk about the milky white skinned ex vegans at AHS......LOL Dave. And youre right about Cordain. I think Robb's camp is moving in other directions and I think that is good. There has to be a science side and clinical side for this to take the next step. Some people dont see that but I think the guys at the top do see that now. It will be interesting to see it all flush out. Plus one Dave

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15003 · August 19, 2011 at 6:38 PM

You had me at honey badger ;).

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:39 PM

ha ha! How can I upvote that more than once Quilt??

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18412 · August 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Honey Badger is the most badass animal ever.

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6082 · August 19, 2011 at 6:24 PM

I think one of the problems is that the core orthodoxy of Paleo stems from the books written by Dr. Loren Cordain.

Unfortunately, over time research and changing ideas have revealed the Cordain version of paleo to be rather inadequate.

  • Average hunter-gatherer macronutrient ratios are not useful, and have no basis in reality.
  • Starches are not inherently problematic, except for people with damaged metabolisms.
  • Limiting food sources based on paleolithic availability is a poorly contrived hypothesis.

Overall, I think Dr. Kurt Harris' approach is more sound, but I don't think it requires extricating oneself from the general paleo concept to be utilized.

Understanding and accepting that the human diet has always been incredibly diverse and dependent on context will help one to also accept that paleo should be less about one optimal diet, and more about providing a logical framework for developing a meal plan that suits you best.

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM

If it weren't for Cordain's book I would have been paleo years earlier. I picked it up in my doctor's waiting room, and spent a good half hour leafing through it. There was a lot of great stuff, but the low fat thing just didn't jive with me. I think it would be helpful if he released an updated version of the book to align with his current views.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Great comment Dave. I think your point and marrying it to the new science of nutrigenomics is going to be where clinicians are going to discover that many of the things in this movement where spot on early......the key now is having a method to monitor this clinically. It is there but too few know how to do it. And the people in power are clueless about. I think they will find paleo fromt he new science of the nutrigenomics and then not feel like they were clueless all along. Just my two cents.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:42 PM

As far as changes go, I think we will continue to marginalize the low-carbers until they go somewhere else.

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8979 · August 20, 2011 at 3:57 AM

losing weight on a low carb diet is not a myth

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

If that happens, The Loon, then I suppose we'll get to see if starchy paleo (or fruity paleo) works as well as low carb for weight loss.

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11581 · August 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Amazon lists a new book as coming out from Cordain in December - http://www.amazon.com/Maximum-Paleo-Taking-Diet-Level/dp/1118016084/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313787551&sr=1-1 Do any of you fortunate AHS attendees or others know what the changes will look like?

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM

Well......we'll probably be somewhere else, and the skinny pale-faced potato-eaters can get older and see if it is still working for them lol (P.S. don't keep downvoting me. I was a skinny pale-faced potato-eater for a long time too.....)

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:30 PM

@The Loon - There used to be quite a bit of insistence that Paleo must be low-carb; now that it is changing some does not mean low-carbers are marginalized. Low-carb mythology should be marginalized though. Saying that starch is not a NAD should not marginalize anybody except for those who are claiming that it is. It is the same way that Cordain has been somewhat marginalized for his various claims.

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2861 · August 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

@The Loon - I didn't say that. Calling starch a NAD and claiming that "insulin spikes" are the cause of the diseases of civilization are mythology.

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11986 · August 20, 2011 at 9:24 PM

And he goes into quite some detail regarding "vegetables and starches" versus "refined starches and sugars." See for instance the section of GCBC here: http://tinyurl.com/44dvgpw

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11986 · August 20, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Small quibble: I think Taubes would more likely say hyperinsulinemia, rather than insulin spikes *per se*, is what is implicated in the DOC. For example, Reaven's research, which he recounts here: http://tinyurl.com/3ussopj

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2861 · August 21, 2011 at 3:05 PM

@The Loon, that's why I am saying you shouldn't feel marginalized. Only people saything this kind of stuff should be concerned about marginalization. In Guyenet's post he said straight-up that low-carb can work great for weight loss - it's the pseudoscience that's the concern.

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8979 · August 21, 2011 at 4:03 AM

@Paleo2.0, I never said anything about hyperinsulinemia, or anything about spikes.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 5:59 PM

That's why I prefer the term "ancestral." It includes the evolutionary story, which is very effective, while divorcing from the "paleo" word which has been contaminated by bad science. Seth Roberts is right...stories ARE important and I don't want to call it the no-PUFA/fructose diet either.

Paleo is generally not seen in sci literature either, besides the questionable articles by Cordain. Evolutionary medicine is the non-commercial term used by a variety of respected scientists, doctors, and biological anthropologists.

But no, there is no book out that expresses these ideas well for beginners. We need one.

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2052 · August 19, 2011 at 7:13 PM

See... This is why I miss Fabulous Foragers...

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM

ancestral connotes old..........and that is not good for many people. Evolution confers new theory and its based on firm science. Ancestral has no firm scientific foundation. That is a problem for a new movement. Just my two cents from what I have heard in my own clinic and hospital.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Depends on where you are coming from. Old doesn't mean bad to many people, including me. Evolutionary nutrition/medicine does indeed have more scientific references, but I prefer ancestral because it jives with a traditionalist mindset.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Ancestral is more flexible. What period in the paleolithic are you referring to in your diet? The Paleolithic was over two million years. It has nothing to do with dairy for me. I sincerely doubt your diet resembles anything anyone ate in the Paleolithic.

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Ancestral health *is* more like WAPF. “Paleo” will be a subset of Ancestral, but it will be relegated to diet books. Most of the leading scientific bloggers are much closer to WAPF than they are Cordain.

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25467 · August 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM

ancestral has a down side too......but we will see.

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1880 · August 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM

what's the down side to "ancestral?"

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2861 · August 20, 2011 at 2:12 AM

@The Quilt - I’m skeptical how much the clinical context really matters (but I’m pretty skeptical of doctors.) Most people concerned about diet never reach the point of going to a doctor. As long as you avoid the label of a “fad diet” and don’t have silly science going on, an impact can be made (look at vegetarianism). People like Guyenet and soon Masterjohn with PhDs in these fields will provide the needed credibility. Many people can relate to the idea of “what is wrong with our modern diet vs what our ancestors ate” whereas to me “evolutionary” sounds like a buzzword (it needs better PR)

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Maybe The Quilt is thinking of the singularity

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 8:18 PM

I prefer ancestral over paleo. After talking with people who know nothing about this other than watching a blurb in what passes for the news, the vast majority of them associate it with the caveman caricature.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Ancestral could also be confused with a Pollan-type recommendations, which is more like WAPF.

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7660 · August 19, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Yes, I feel like "ancestral" opens the door to traditional grain and legume preparations, in addition to dairy. And I think these things have a place under the larger umbrella of "real food" but it ain't Paleo.

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM

So how's your book coming along? ;)

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9647 · August 19, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I try to say "a natural human diet" whenever I can (that is, whenever I can not sound like a contentious jerk when I say it). (And then I say: the natural human diet does not have high o6, high fructose, lots of grains (I say that wheat and its preparation have changed when I feel like conceding a little to the person I'm talking to), and it has always been much higher in SFA (and lower in PUFA) and much higher in nutrients.)

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25467 · August 20, 2011 at 1:02 AM

i agree that ancestral is wapf......but wapf is not evolutionary at its base. There is too much ethnographic/politics involved. Evolutionary biology is strictly scientific and patients tend to like this. I dont think what Melissa thinks is representative of what the masses think. We have been passing out questionaires to patients about what the clinical brand of medicine we practice represents to them. Evolutionary and integrative have been top vote getters so far. Progressive health is third. I started asking three years ago to gauge how to build my own brand locally.

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10502 · August 20, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Funny how this thread is mostly about marketing.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM

Look for my book "The Mesolithic Diet" in 2012 hehe

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112 · August 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM

What does "ancestral" even mean? What time frame does it cover? My ancestors from 1850 were eating tons of white flour and sugar, for instance. "Paleo" on the other hand is a nice simple term. Eat foods that humans ate in the Paleolithic. What could be easier to understand. My experience is that people who prefer the term "ancestral" to "paleo" generally want to eat dairy and are trying to redefine the core concept.

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8979 · August 21, 2011 at 4:07 AM

I don't think most people care what it is called, or how scientific it is. They just want something that works. They just want to get thin, healthy, fertile, and have energy.

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836 · August 20, 2011 at 11:08 PM

I started the Paleo diet 8 years ago, before Rob was writing anything online, or most other people. I was never low carb back then, and I don't think most people were either. It seems like the easiest way to prepare food is to be roughly isocaloric with macronutrients so I guess people drifted toward that direct. The focus was never on the amount of carbs until like 3-4 years ago when I started hearing about these guys like Rob and that old shirtless dude who talks about Grok. People generally just focused on eating "Paleo" and some people found they felt better with more fruit and tubers for a lot of carbs, some people were the opposite. Nobody cared about others macronutrient intake and I still don't give a crap about what another person feels best on. It seemed like we were universally healthy, and it still seems like people on whatever macro distribution, as long as they eat Paleo foods, are doing fine.

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Wow, eight years paleo. We're going to have to kidnap you and perform experiments on you.

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM

I think when we move beyond identity we can get to the good science. That's why I'm digging what is happening. People are bringing their n=1's to a forum like this, and if our data is consistently refuting the theoretical data in the "paleo" tomes, then we need to grow and examine our own assumptions.

People like black and white answers, but I don't think we're anywhere close to being able to provide a straightforward "put this in your mouth, in this percentage, and you will be superhuman." We've come a long way in figuring out where to start, but personal responsibility and self awareness need to take it from there.

I agree it is a marketing nightmare, and maybe we're not as ready from prime time as we thought we were. I think a system like paleohacks provides a new model to help people move more quickly towards figuring out what works for their own wellness than the old model of "do what this book says".

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24538 · August 19, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I'm such a nerd! Reading "just wait'll we really get started crunching input from genetic databases" gave me chills.

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Triple cowabunga answer. This is not just how I feel about PaleoHacks, but about teh interwebs and the information age in general. A whole new way of processing massive amounts of data. And just wait'll we really get started crunching input from genetic databases; that'll be powerful stuff.

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7660 · August 19, 2011 at 9:59 PM

I agree with Robb that if we're going to make any headway against the Industrialized Food Complex, we have to band together. Our differences are far fewer than our similarities. To argue over whether it's okay to eat rice or whether dairy is okay or not is to completely miss the point.

I'm coming around to an idea more centered around Real Food. Maybe I personally adhere more to a Primal diet, but I think there's room for all the variations in Real Food. If we could all push a Real Food agenda to the rest of 'Merica, we might actually make a dent. This message is too important to let it fail due to nerd infighting.

I think it's beneficial that there's debate and disagreement. I saw Guyenet vs. Taubes as being far from drama, it furthers the discussion. But I worry that in discussing such minutiae, we're going to miss the opportunity to invite people in. It gets too technical too quick. So it's great to explore this stuff, but at the end of the day, guess what? You're eating Real Food. To relate it to Buddhism, I'm approaching this more Mahayana than Theravada.

Just remember: We're all more similar than we are different.

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2861 · August 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

In many respects G vs T is much more than minutiae – it is whether the direction is towards science or will it keep too many roots in mythology. Low carb diets can be beneficial for many people, but Taubesian mythology is a drag on the movement, especially in terms of credibility.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I agree on your view on the Gvs.T ring. Great for science theater, not so great for people who are looking for actual answers. I think it has been like a field day for the vegans, like braised tofu with quinoa.

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25467 · August 20, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Some people went to AHS to see the "big people" and others approached this meeting as any other science meeting. In my view there was a huge disconnect in those people and how they interacted. It was fascinating theater to be honest. It was obvious in how some of the presenters even dressed for the event and how they constructed the talks. I came into the event with a science mindset but after three talks I changed my own perspective in how I viewed it. It was a great experience but I think the perception of how Taubes and Lustig were viewed was completely off kilter.

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8979 · August 20, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Yes, huge disconnect, and many times the low-carb greats were wandering around alone (except for Dr. Mike). Wasn't anyone going to talk to Feinman?

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11986 · August 19, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Thanks for that first sentence, especially. I tend to be all about *my* health, and so lose sight of a possible greater good.

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1710 · August 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM

This is an overly simplistic response to your well thought out question, but I don't think we have to worry about some of the most basic ideas here. There are some core ideas that will continue to make the "paleo" concept viable, whether or not there is broad agreement and unity in the "movement."

Here's the ideas I see:

1) The idea that humans are an evolved species and that, like most other evolved species, we likely have an evolutionarily appropriate diet that can help us to optimize our health;

2) the idea that many diseases of modern civilization can be traced to diet, and in particular to the introduction of modern industrial processing of neolithic agricultural products;

3) the concomitant idea that most of our paleolithic ancestors ate in a way that was much more evolutionarily appropriate and were not subject to the diseases of modern civilization;

4) the idea that a better, more appropriate diet can be achieved by eliminating or limiting our exposure to those dietary elements that can be linked to the diseases of modern civilization.

"Paleo" is not magic or religion, or a movement. It's an idea about how people ought to eat.

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15226 · August 20, 2011 at 8:39 AM

I think it's good that the views are constantly evolving. The "lean meats" thing has relaxed considerably as has the mega-doses of fish oil that were recommended. Nuts and seeds are being found to be more problematic. All these adjustments are made easier by having more and more people on a basically similar diet and figuring out which of the 'fringe foods' work well and which don't.

To be stuck in a rigid identity would not be a much better situation than the diet dictocrats have found themselves in.

The other problem is trying to simplify (i.e. grain,legume, dairy free) for the public at large. Maybe white rice is okay and butter is okay, but at the risk of confusing the masses we say grain/legume/dairy free.

Kind of like the gov't telling everyone to reduce fat and cholesterol to avoid explaining mono/poly/saturated fats, or LDL particle sizes.

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Hi, Jeff, responding to you three days later or something absurd like that. I dove into the o6/o3 beef issue tonight for fun. I had heard that about O-6s in beef before, that there's just as much in grass-fed beef as there is in sick (aka "conventional") beef. I seem to recall KGH saying it now that I think about it. Well there's a fair amount on our very own site, e.g.: http://paleohacks.com/questions/18282/enough-pufa-in-beef-to-even-worry-about-omega-3 and http://paleohacks.com/questions/739/is-it-ok-to-eat-plenty-of-fat-from-conventionally-raised-ruminants David Moss has [continued]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:28 AM

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.proxy.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1745-4557.1986.tb00802.x/abstract You might need a subscription to see that abstract; I have university access and still can't see the whole article. Anyhow there's also this 2002 paper by Cordain et al. which is a review and incorporates the just-mentioned article and also others: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/full/1601307a.html The relevant table is this one: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/fig_tab/1601307t7.html So it seems clear from these sources at least that there is more O-6 in the [Continued]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:25 AM

brilliant things to say as always, though in this case I disagree with him. I find conventional beef more and more repellent the longer I eat paleo. Anyhow I think Moss would agree however that the bit about conventional and grass-fed having the same O-6 is wrong. You've probably seen some of these charts before: http://www.theiflife.com/grass-fed-beef-meat/ They've been around the paleosphere here and there and I think they come from this 1986 article, "Lipids in Wild Ruminant Animals and Steers," Miller et al. [Continued]

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:13 AM

[[I just altered a comment from above and put it here. It goes in between the second and third above.]]

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9647 · August 23, 2011 at 7:30 AM

conventional beef, not just less O-3. I think that makes a difference, even if others don't, but maybe I'm hypersensitive to O-6s. Btw my brother once sent me a link to your website, but I can't remember what exactly it was (recognize the title and the format) .... Anyhow no pressure to respond but I'll check back here. Peace to you.

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:06 AM

Whoops, I was unclear as often happens. I meant that my brother had once given me a link to something on your website, and just yesterday when I was snooping out the selfsame website through the link on your user page I saw it and thought "oh yeah, I recognize this; my brother gave me a link to this once." But I can't remember what the link was. Maybe a recipe? Anyhow maybe I'll do a little more snooping later.

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15226 · August 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

PHers' opinions on these matters.

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9647 · August 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM

You might need a subscription to see that abstract; I have university access and still can't see the whole article. Anyhow there's also this 2002 paper by Cordain et al. which is a review and incorporates the just-mentioned article and also others: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/full/1601307a.html The relevant table is this one: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n3/fig_tab/1601307t7.html So it seems clear from these sources at least that there is more O-6 in the [Continued]

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15226 · August 23, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Thanks Paul! Thanks for those links! I will check them out later tonight. I tend to agree with you about the differences in beef. I just had some conventional beef for lunch for the first time in a very long time and it does not even hold a candle to the farmers market stuff I've become accustomed to. And my website is www.hungryforreal.net It's put together for the benefit of people I'm training (in the gym) to get a good general overview of how to clean up their diet and lifestyle habits that may be counterproductive. Would love any feedback on it as I highly regard yours and many other

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15226 · August 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM

thanks Paul, I'll keep those graphs and charts handy

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I don't think this motley crew is losing its identity. The idea of what is ancestral/paleo/primal is changing, for example, to include foods that are considered heretical by rigid knee-jerking zealots (potatoes, rice, yadda yadda yadda). I'm glad to be a part of a group that challenges its own beliefs and moves on. This whole thing is still in its infancy. There's bound to be confusion and there will be those who bow out. Turbulence is good; it means people are thinking and experimenting. If there were no disagreements, we would be participating in a vapid echo chamber.

As far as this being a movement, I wouldn't call it that. Movement sounds like a media creation (It's sweeping the nation!!!!!). It makes me imagine a bunch of us marching down the street in minimalist shoes while gnawing on rib bones, with the cameras rolling, while some idiotic anchorman spews carefully scripted nonsense.

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7660 · August 19, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Yeah, "movement" does sound weird, but sometimes language fails, you know? I've been using "community" and that feels better.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Community does have a much nicer ring to it.

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112 · August 19, 2011 at 8:47 PM

It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy. On the other hand, late Paleolithic humans almost certainly ate a fair amount of tubers but not until they had fire to cook them.

I don't like the term "Ancestral" diet because it is too vague. My grandparents were my ancestors but I wouldn't want to eat everything granny was eating back in 1950. :)

The core concept behind Paleo, as I see it, is that modern nutrition science is a muddled and incomplete mess. So the only way to be certain that we are eating foods that are optimal for our health is to eat the foods that the human digestive system evolved to eat. Simple.

Basically this means eating anything that was available to humans from a million years ago up to a few thousand year ago when agriculture and animal husbandry took previously unknown foods and made them the foundation of the civilized diet.

So the core of paleo is no dairy, no grains, no legumes with tubers in a gray area.

Unfortunately a lot of people seem to want to take this simple concept and then modify it to fit their special cherished dietary desires. So they add in dairy or they try to make it be all about low-carb or they turn it into Weston Price and so forth. This isn't a bad thing necessarily because the Paleo influence is still there.

But it's important to remember the core concept.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' Yeah, there's no room for ratiocination in "Paleo".

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' BS. A derisive attitude will get you nowhere in these parts.

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3891 · August 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM

'It's nice to be open-minded and inclusive but there is no way you can call your diet "Paleo" and eat dairy.' BS. A derisive attitue will get you nowhere in these parts.

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36 · August 20, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Yes, Jack, you can eat dairy and call your diet "Paleo" And you can look up at the sky and call it purple. Unfortunately for you, words, in order to be useful need to have generally recognized meanings.

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56616 · August 19, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Tons of archeological evidence for paleolithic people eating grains. The "paleo" diet has nothing to do with the paleolithic.

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 6:07 AM

oh yes I can Binko Barnes... watch... "I eat a Paleo diet". there. I called my diet Paleo, even though I eat dairy.

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3891 · August 21, 2011 at 1:00 AM

No Jack, this is a PALEO site. How dare you engage in levity instead of gravity! ;-)

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18412 · August 20, 2011 at 11:51 PM

okay bb and bb. look, I was just being a smartass alright? just having fun. binko made some polarizing statements here so I figured I'd toy around a bit.

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2861 · August 21, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Paleo 2.0, bitches...It's not your red-faced grandfather's Paleo. Just kiddin'. KGH made the point that "paleo" in Paleo 2.0 comes from the root, meaning "old", not paleolithic. I believe "The Paleo Diet" is actually trademarked by you red-face grandfather, err I mean Dr. Cordain.

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11111 · August 19, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Living the paleo lifestyle is about as human as being human gets, it is constantly evolving and changing much as the human species did over millions of years. We are just starting to scratch the surface in understanding human metabolism, diet, environment, etc. I would expect almost all the noted names in paleo to revise their thinking and beliefs over the coming years as new research and experimentation add more & more to what we know. We cannot just assume we have all the answers and just sit still, we will then stagnate. We are meant to question and challenge and try new things, its what humans do best.

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78422 · August 19, 2011 at 6:31 PM

hemant, i hear you. for the record, i'm keeping it old school! LC, no starches, no grains, no legumes, yes to nuts & fats.

for the record though, i don't think that there's any science behind the idea of avoiding tubers & potatoes. it's ridiculous to pretend that 'paleo man' did. but you know what? i still do!

whole food atkins is probably the best description of what many of us do, but nobody would be comfortable with that.

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8979 · August 19, 2011 at 9:48 PM

AA has already been taken.

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1880 · August 19, 2011 at 8:40 PM

ancestral atkins

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133 · August 20, 2011 at 6:07 AM

To be continuously evolving the Paleo concept is to do what is natural at that period in time... so it's not so un-Paleo for it to change based on an indiviuals circumstances or seasonally alter the menu. We all have to try and see how we feel on a singular level. The best quote I feel I've heard in my life time is by Robb Wolf "If they don't buy in, F*@k em".

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1659 · August 14, 2013 at 4:23 AM

IMHO all things cool always start small and underground (crossfit, kale, "grass-fed", American Apparel, your favorite dive, hoodies etc,), and then they get popular and then something else becomes small and underground. Sort of the nature of trends, not saying Paleo is a trend but if you feel good about what you're putting in our body, Paleo or not it doesn't matter.

Community to me is BBQ'ing and drinking beer with cool people, Paleo or not.

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