I've just found this article about the 8 reasons the Paleo diet should be extinct
It gives the same old flawed arguments we see over and over - hunter gathers did eat grains, hunter gathers died young etc etc.
So, do you ignore these articles, or argue your point? Personally, I find it a bit too hard not to comment...
Fundamental Hole #1: "Do we really know what the caveman ate?" No, but we definitely know what they DIDN'T eat. Over-processed/refined foods cooked in vegetable oils.
Fundamental Hole #2: "What was available to cavemen was highly location-dependent." Yeah, exactly, that's why everyone who eats a Paleo diet now most likely include things that all humans in different parts of the world during the Paleolithic period ate. Coconuts, animal meat, tropical fruits, seafood, roots and tubers, etc.
Fundamental Hole #3: "We can't accurately replicate it." Well, no sh*t. I can't recall the number of times I've seen on Paleohacks alone that the Paleo diet is not about exact reenactment. It's about eating as optimally as we can with what's provided to us in this day and age. There are some things that are out of our control, such as how food is grown.
Fundamental Hole #4: "Cavemen did not live long enough." Oh my gosh. Like, dude. They didn't have medicine, vaccinations, antibiotics, surgery, etc. back then as we do now. They suffered from infections and accidents and natural disasters. Back then, natural selection optimized reproductive fitness, not longevity. The whole purpose of life was to produce offspring, and the fact that humans are still around today, I say they did a pretty damn good job of that.
Fundamental Hole #5: "10,000 years is not enough time to ensure an adequate adaptation of the human genome to properly handle the products of agriculture." Modern humans developed through this diet for almost 2.5 million years. We're not designed to eat processed/refined foods. Cordain quotes Eaton and Konner who say "the human genome has changed little over the past 60,000 years, whereas our diets have changed dramatically."
Fundamental Hole #6: "No particular food group has caused any significant change to the human digestive system." From physical anthropologist Katharine Milton at UC Berkeley: "Human ancestors about 2 million years ago routinely began to include meat in their diets to compensate for a serious decline in the quality of plant foods. It was this new meat diet, full of densely-packed nutrients, that provided the catalyst for human evolution, particularly the growth of the brain. The human digestive system is fundamentally that of a plant-eating primate, except that humans have developed a more elongated small intestine rather than retaining the huge colon of apes - a change in the human lineage which indicates a diet of more concentrated nutrients."
Fundamental Hole #7: "I highly doubt that all, or even most cavemen were able to supply roughly two-thirds of their diet with animal sources." Again, every location was different in their diets. Some were high-carb, some were high-fat. Paleo isn't about taking one tribe and saying that theirs was the superior/correct version of the Paleo diet.
Fundamental Hole #8: "They weren't trying to 'be healthy.' They were trying to survive." Do you really think humans in the Paleo period had any idea what health was? Do you think they were worried about cholesterol, stroke, etc.? Whatever food you put into your mouth now is you just "trying to survive" because energy is energy and your body needs it. But the bottom line is, they survived (and were successful) on meat and vegetables.
I view the paleo diet as more of an ideal, rather than a strict re-creation of something. Obviously, most of the food we eat today looks very little to nothing at all like what our ancestors ate, even if we are eating a "strict" paleo diet. Most types of fruits and veggies we eat probably didn't exist then. Do you think they broccolini? I doubt it. I view the paleo diet as more about principles. It's about eating clean food, not industrial food like vegetable oils and wheat. Our ancestors lived short lives probably because of harsh living conditions, not nutrition. Plus, there just wasn't medical care if a serious injury or accident happened, so a lot of people died that way too. Critics of the paleo diet who throw out the lifespan fact don't bother to look at those factors.
Don't bother commenting or trying to sway anyone. If everyone ate paleo, or even a large percentage, imagine the price increases we would experience on all our favorite products! The scandinavian butter shortage on a large scale?? No thanks!
What constitutes a fad depends on the era you live in.
For the several thousand years prior to 1950, the idea eating a low-fat diet was unheard of. Everyone ate fat, including animal fat, as a large part of their diet.
Processed foods are a recent invention. If you walked through a 1900 grocery, you'd find fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit, and bread (baked that morning), and most of it would go bad if not sold and eaten in a few days. Walk through a modern grocery, and you'll find the majority of the shelves stocked with processed items that were made months ago, and most of the items have expiration dates years in the future.
For most of history sugar was hard to come by. In fact, the most common sweetener for thousands of years was plain old fashioned honey. Until the industrial revolution, processed sugar was rare, expensive, and in limited used. There's a reason deserts and candy were called "treats"--they were the exception, not the rule. Today, sugar is so cheap and common that even vitamins contain sugar. Modern, processed foods contain a level of sugar undreamed of for most of history. Almost 20% of the calories of the average American comes from one item: high fructose corn syrup--20%. That much sugar consumption is (by history's standards) a fad.
Which is closer to the way people have eaten throughout most of human history? Eating fresh meat, vegetables, and fruits; or eating a low fat diet of processed foods that are high in sugar?
Eating a low fat diet of processed foods that are high in sugar is the fad, because it's so recent--less than 60 years old.
Eating natural, whole foods is not a fad. It's getting back to the way people ate for thousands of years, before the recent processed food--we know better than thousands of years of history--fad.
Honestly, it really isn't worth responding point by point. I try not to force my views on people who wouldn't believe me if I told them the sky was blue. It works for me and people who ask me for help.
Despite his self-proclaimed "research-based guy" status, I might argue that the due diligence is lacking. He is under the impression that Loren Cordain is female, which is an indication he hasn't read/listened much. (at all). See the excerpt below.
It wasn’t until 2005 where Loren Cordain released her book ‘The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance’ that it really came into the spotlight.
Ignore it and move on. Do what works for you. Chill out with a steak and let the grainys/veggies/vegans get angry. We can control our temper with more tryptophan and serotonin in our full-fat meaty favor!
Interestingly, most those articles goes on and on about what paleolithic people eat, how their life expectancy is, but in the end they usually comes down to a few points. "whole grains are okay", or "dairy is okay", "saturated fat is bad", or "meat is bad."
We have scientific evidence that these points are not true: about why wheat is bad for us; about why it's common practice for athletes to eat starch around workout time instead of around meal time; about the problem with dairy; and about the lipid hypothesis.
I usually share some of these thoughts, because this is why we believe in paleo, and eat either paleo or near paleo.
It's interesting -- and actually disturbing that they bash the paleo diet so much in the title or abstract, calling it a fad, while acknowledging so many points of the diet.
As for myself, I do not respond to those articles or people who criticize me for following Paleo. I emphasize the good stuff, and show them sites like Paleohacks. Haters are going to hate.
Having said that, people do have a right to their own opinion, even if that opinion is slightly bizarre to me. As long as they don't force me to conform with their lifestyle or choices I am fine with that.
When I discuss Paleo I do not focus on the "grain and dairy is bad for you"-theme. I tend to focus more on the "chemical additives don't belong in the foodsupply"-theme. Most people agree with that, and most people find it easier to adopt. If you then show them a random item of packaged food and discuss the ingredients, most people I know will start to wonder, and more easily accept my ideas.
Is paleo a big scam? 22 Answers