I am not a paleo follower, but I very much enjoy learning about the concept and might one day make the transition. I eat like all of you (organic--almost--everything, a lot of healthy fats, an enormous amount of veggies, nuts, seeds and almost no sweets), but I also eat A LOT of whole wheat grains, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, and many types of legumes. I consider myself to be in excellent health, but I am always looking for ways to be healthier.
I lived in Okinawa (since I'm in the military), Japan for 4 years. While there I read a National Geographic article about the 3 countries with the highest rate of centenarians in the world (#1: Okinawa, #2 Sardina & #3: Loma Linda: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0511/feature1/). Living in Okinawa, I had the first-hand experience that I needed to answer my questions about optimal health.
I am no expert, since I am not actually Okinawa, but I saw that the Okinawans do eat a low-carb diet with a whole lot of veggies and fish, but they also eat a lot of soybeans and white rice. I spent time with many people over 100 in Okinawa. There was a home that I volunteered at on an outlying island (Ie Island) that was for the elderly, many of whom were centenarians. I remember dancing with a woman (yes, full-on dancing) who was 105. After we danced, we all ate bowls of rice, snacked on soybeans, ate goya with egg and soy tofu and also some other purple sweet potato cakes (which didn't have much sugar at all). For this reason, I am skeptical that Paleo is the only way to go. If Okinawans outlive the entire world with a little fat and a lot of rice and soy products, then how can this be wrong?
Here is a good article about what Sardinians eat: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/VitalityProject/sardinian-diet-hold-secret-longevity/story?id=8875605&page=2. These people seem not to eat much meat, and they also eat cheese, wine and bread on a regular basis. How can someone say this diet doesn't work?
I am still looking for answers. I read these blogs often. Keep it up everyone! However, how can someone refute the fact that the two longest living populations in the world eat things that paleo followers say kill you at a young age. They don't just eat these food items, they eat them often.
Enough ranting. I eagerly await comments to criticize my ideas. Without criticism by ourselves and others, we would never grow.
I don't know why I can't add a comment on my post, so I will simply add them here as I see fit:
@ Melissa: Actually, not much of the Okinawan diet is fermented soy. Natto, a disgusting (purely subjective) fermented soybean paste is often eaten, but it's in such tiny amounts that it wouldn't compare to how much they consume in soy and tofu.
I have not read the Okinawa thread. I will though.
@ Lisa: I fully agree that the lack of processed American food is a huge factor in the Okinawan diet, along with many other very healthy countries. However, the debate at hand is whether or not Paleo is the healtiest diet and why. None of these responses sheds any insight as to why Okinawans are so healthy into old age with such a large amount of "toxic" rice and soybeans.
@ Jon: I fully agree. Low calorie diets have consistently shown that they assist in longevity. Yet, again, this doesn't support paleo over an Okinawan diet.