Every time I point out research suggesting that limiting carbs is good for weight loss or general health, someone responds "paleo doesn't mean low-carb" and/or downvotes my statement. One person even commented "-1 for treating carbs like they're evil." I have never asserted that Paleo is equivalent to low-carb. Just that low-carb may be good for your health. What is up with the knee-jerk reaction against low-carb?
Melissa edit: Please flag any abusive statements or behavior so the moderators can deal with it. Downvotes are just a reality of this site (and any site on the internet).
Well, you've kind of got a bunch of paleos swinging from one spectrum to the other. First it was a fat orgy, everyone stuffing fistfuls of bacon in their mouth, just because it turns out fat isn't bad for you, and it's something conventional wisdom-ers "can't" do. Now you have people realizing that some populations do well on high carb, and they're not exceptions.
My guess is that people fail to realize that humans are a rather diverse species, with a good amount of genetic variation. There's also people with certain metabolic conditions that definitely do better on low carb, and other's high carb (think obese person vs. Crossfitter). They, the people who are semi-fanatic, want to have one "perfect diet" that applies to everyone, which just doesn't work.
I like low carb. I tried higher carbs and the results were less than stellar.
I chalk this up to my own binge tendencies, and the fact that when I do binge, it's exclusively on carbs. This is no fault of carbs, but of my own neurosis.
Because of this, I normally advocate a low carb paleo diet for people that show similar binge tendencies in their own testimonies. And yes, especially lately, I've been downvoted on pretty much every thread where I've made this suggestion.
But on the flip side, I do understand that people can, do, and will eat carbohydrates that don't have an issue with them. And nor do I. In fact, I've frequently suggested people eat some potato or fruit.
Mostly, I've suggested people find their own way in their own diets. I am just as wary of the Low Carb Zealots as I am the High Carb Zealots, as both camps seem to be quite dogmatic in their downvotes and downright venom lately... which really detracts from the previous "self-experimentation" vibe that was so heavy here. In fact, it's that kind of zealotry that pushed me away from another, fairly popular Paleolithic diet forum.
Two years ago, the answer to every question posted here was "Eat more fat". Now it seems, the prevalent answer is "eat more carbs". Somewhere in the middle was a golden era of "try it and see how it affects you" - it's unfortunate to continually feel that slipping.
I think it started with the Guyenet/Taubes handbag-swinging incident at AHS 2011. Guyenet then "proved" that the insulin theory was wrong, thus carbohydrates were not a dietary evil. His food reward theory seems more Paleo-friendly given that it focuses on modern manipulations to increase palatability rather than macronutrients. Anyway, two tribes formed and there are still skirmishes going on, and I think your experience reflects that.
Also, there's a marketing and generational aspect. Some of those who'd like to see Paleo diets go mainstream want them associated with fresh, preferably young, faces and new ideas. I think they see low-carb advocates, including Paleo low-carb advocates, as rather dated and stale.
Even if paleo's not necessarily a low carb (i.e. ketogenic) diet, I would guess most (almost all?) paleo eaters get far fewer carbs than an SAD eater. When it comes right down to it, there's simply not nearly as many sources of carbs available if you don't eat grains. So nitpicking between "Oh, I eat less than 50g of carbs a day" v. "I feel great at 150g" is really beside the point. People need to stop taking the recommendations of others so personally and do what's best for themselves (only determinable based on experimentation).
Repeat after me.. "As in everything, Your Mileage May Vary."
Some people feel better on fewer carbs (me, yes, I admit it and I've tried both). Some people feel better on higher carbs. However my personal observation is that those who favor low carb are not likely to get angry and downvote those who like higher carbs. Maybe because there are a lot of other "carbs are evil and should die" message boards for them to hang out at. Maybe carbs make you cranky. I don't know for sure.
But kudos for asking a respectful question about it.
I can't say I've noticed a "jihad" against low-carbers. However, occasionally I will pipe up with "carbs are very helpful for some people" whenever I see a thread where people are clearly trying to assert that LC is the only real way to do Paleo. Unfortunately, I've seen that more often than not, and when I started Paleo it caused some confusion for me, which I want to prevent for any other newbies here.
Since LC can actually be harmful for certain people, it's important that LC and Paleo don't get conflated.
I did Atkins for a long time before getting into paleo. And the way I do paleo is still very Atkins-y because, after a lot of experimentation, I now know I do best on very low carbs.
I get the impression a lot of paleofolk got started with LC before making the shift, and brought a lot of those ideas with them into paleo. I've also seen paleo treated as another form of LC diet on some LC forums--and from the conversations there, you'd never guess it wasn't.
So I imagine there are enough of us low-carbers here to make a significant minority. And I also imagine that many, if not most, of us still operate from a base assumption that paleo is LC--even if we now know better. I know I catch myself doing just that; it's something I have to watch, because it can influence my answers in ways that aren't helpful.
And when you get a sizable minority who share an assumption that's not universally true, and they keep commenting and answering based on that assumption? That gets really goddamned annoying to everyone else. Plus, it's hard enough explaining paleo to people who aren't into it, only to hear them ask, "So it's like Atkins, right?"
So I can understand why some here might not have a whole lot of patience with the LC crowd.
Strange, it seems like a lot MORE people are against moderate carb paleos :D When I started telling people adding in more carbs to my diet in the form of a smoothie has helped me to lose MORE weight, they tell me "No, you need to add more fat, not carbs!" etc.
The FAQ has this to say:
Above all, be honest. If you see misinformation, vote it down. Insert comments indicating what, specifically, is wrong. Even better — edit and improve the information! Provide stronger, faster, superior answers of your own!
I generally do not notice most people using down votes in this thoughtful way, and consider most down votes punitive--sort of the way people use their car horns sometimes, not to alert someone to danger, but to shout "Get the f*%k out of my way a*$%^&e!" What these down votes really say to me: "I don't like your opinion, and would like to limit how many other people can read it." Get out of my way, in other words.
Users with 2,000 or more reputation points who down-vote without comment or editing the reply to fix what's wrong abuse the system. That's just my opinion--and I'm sure it's worth a few down-votes to someone.
By the way, prompted by your question, I reviewed your down-voted answers, and disagreed with the down votes. Since I thought they had value in the discussion, I voted them up myself. I don't see it as a "jihad," just a (small) handful of people acting in a petty way.
Because paleo DOESN'T necessarily mean low carb, but it's an unfortunate and common misconception which needs to be addressed. It's tiring when even people on paleo themselves make that mistake.
Also, low carbing is NOT necessary for weight loss. Talking from experience: eating up to 400g of carbs PWO, and have lost 23kg doing so.
Low carbing is only one option, and too many people sell it as panacea.
edit: if people are so concerned about META and pissing contests, feel free to check my voting history.