Do you ever have moments where you think that this diet might be wrong? That saturated fat IS bad for you? (as the NHS tells me it is and even some parts of the paleo community do too) or that grains ARE healthy?
When you look at vegetarian forums they all seem so damn sure and talk about how great they feel and cite studies and you get sucked into their ways of thinking and wonder if meat really is bad for you
Would you say paleo is based more on scientific evidence and vegetarianism on more anecdotal and (possibly misguided) ethics?
It's hard to put your faith entirely in this diet when the overwhelming medical community disparages it, it challenges everything you were brought up to believe and the personal benefits have yet to manifest themselves
I don't give a shit if the medical community disparages my diet. I went to fourteen of the jokers to help me with my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/allegies/depression/anxiety and wasted my fucking time and money for thirty years. Fast forward to 2012. Best shape of my 56 year old life. Tell me how I can cure myself of all this hormonal/metabolic shit and at the same time get heart disease. It makes a mockery of logic.
You're right! It is so hard. I started the diet because my physician father-in-law recommended it, and I followed up with my own research before deciding it was for me. I think it appeals to people who are analytical and data driven, and who have faith in science rather than official government recommendations. I don't think the ethics are misguided at all - I think we evolved to eat a certain way and the thought that eating animals is bad for you was conjured up well after the advent of agriculture made grain-based foods available.
The medical community does disparage the diet. And I had my own doubts when I got a recent blood test and saw that my cholesterol had gone up modestly. I started to think "wow - what am I doing to myself." But I read a bit more, watched some Robert Lustig on YouTube, and realized that that was exactly what science predicts. Your cholesterol goes up, but if you get the right test you can see that your LDL is lighter, fluffier, and much less risky.
When I have doubts I remind myself that the saturated fat hypothesis was never proven, it was really just a correlation found in data. We actually do know the mechanism whereby too much grain, processed food, and sugar directly causes all sorts of diseases once thought to be caused by saturated fat. That is a very comforting feeling to me.
One anecdote about vegetarianism: my father in-law (the physician who recommended paleo to me) was a vegetarian for 20 years and became pre-diabetic from it (blood glucose over 200 after eating). He switched to paleo eating and now has blood glucose in the 70s - perfect.
Speaking as a past vegan and long time vegetarian, eating a clean vegetarian diet is just as healthy as eating clean paleo. It's veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds. It's when the vegetarians get into the sugar and high carb stuff that cause issues.
Just like in Paleo, often people go crazy with the baked "paleo" goods or eat too much bacon etc…The basic principals are the same….eat REAL food without labels and with or without meat..it is the healthiest way to eat.
I don't know about you, but when I look at vegetarian forums I just see a bunch of people talking about their hair falling out and how much weight they are gaining.
Also, don't look at vegetarian forums. :)
I have short flashes of doubt, but my N=1 results are so good, that they don't last long. I gave blood yesterday, on the heels of a stressful system outage at work, and my blood pressure was 106/70 (down from 120/80 pre-paleo) and resting pulse was 60 with no real workouts. When I had my blood lipids measured the last time, everything had improved - from eating saturated fat and avoiding hearthealthywholegrains. I've been at this over 2 years now, and I suppose if, 5 years out, my health markers start going south, I'd reconsider, but so far, I think this is the right way to eat.
I've tried all sort of diets because of food intollerances, allergies and blood sugar problems. I ended up on the diet that I am on out of necessity. I had 3 choices.
1) This way of eating and feel good.
2) Any one or a mixture of the several ways of eating that I had previously tried that, never made me feel better and sometimes made matters worse.
3) Go without food.
It was a pretty easy decision.
Even if my diet turns out to be unhealthy in the long run, I'm sure it has to be healthier than any of the diets that I tried before, that turned out to be unhealthy in the short run. :)
Forums are not places to receive personalized diet, nutrition, and medical advice.
Not here, not there, not anywhere. Forums are merely collection of subjective and sometimes objective experiences (sometimes backed by science) where YOU can help yourself analyze the conclusions your n=1 sample size.
That being said, take advantage of the science floating around. Feel free to question it; but read both sides, with NO intent on the conclusion you want or even think about finding.
No, because the science behind paleo is firm. I researched it pretty thoroughly before I began. There is no objective basis for a human vegan diet. But then I'm all about rational empiricism vs myths and fads so what do I know...
Subjectively, many of the vegans I have known or met are either obese or stick-thin. I don't count people as vegetarian who make the claim despite eating fish, dairy, and eggs. No, you're not; just because you won't eat the flesh of land animals doesn't make you special. But these people tend to be in much better shape than the vegans, especially those who don't understand that vegan junk food is still junk food.
But because they're mostly doing it for ethical reasons vs health, there is no possibility of discussing diet, despite the obvious improvements to MY health (-45lbs) and appearance in the two years I've been paleo.
And I think some are secretly jealous of what I call the "meat, wine, and cigarette diet." (yes, I know, smoking and drinking are bad. One vice at a time)
Also: eat like a cow, look like a cow; eat like a lion, look like a lion. Within reason of course.
[nb sorry to keep editing; that's another vice]
My physician initially was appalled, but the bloodwork does not lie. He is now a convert. I know now that most physicians know nothing of the science of nutrition; they only know what is passed on to them by organizations and corporations with a financial interest in keeping you sick, and in the US at least their time is under severe pressure by the for-profit medical industry. So it's up to you to educate them.
No I don't doubt Paleo. I grew up in a rural town in a place where many people didn't even own a TV yet, just so you see how behind the times that was. Everyone grew their own food. Everyone.
Other food consumed came from neighbors.
We killed ALL our own animals, gathered our own eggs, grew all our vegetables and fruit, made our own wine, bought seafood from the fisherman which was fished 2 miles down the street, bought cheese from the neighborhood store, which was made from milk from cows on pasture we walk by everyday. Even our spices were grown and dried by ourselves.
The neighborhood stores were so tiny, about the size of a bedroom, since people didn't need to get much food from external sources.
Every meal was made from lots of animal meat, lots of animal fat, and one or two vegetables on the side. We lived in a island so we ate lots of seafood. Sometimes we had a bit of rice too, maybe once a week when we ate chicken.
The amount of different meats we ate was like this: most of the time we ate beef, seafood, or pork. Then came chicken. Rarely, we ate rabbit and pigeon. Most of the time we ate very fatty meats; the lean meats we used for sausage which were then soaked in lard.
We did eat some beans. But even when we did, meat and animal fat was the biggest part of the meal.
When we had soup for dinner, the soup always ate meat. And when we did eat soup for dinner, guess what came after the soup? A meat dish!
We did eat potatoes sometimes too, during the winter. We did eat bread for breakfast nearly everyday, home made fresh from our own recently ground wheat, but the rolls were tiny, and the cheese that went along with it was bigger than a deck of cards.
Again, the vast majority of our diet came from fatty animal products, including their blood, fat, skin, etc. For vegetables it was mostly a variety of cabbages, potatoes, pepper, tomatoes, always cooked.
Lettuce or these fancy leaves like "arugula" was not eaten by us, it was fed to the rabbits. However we did eat lots of cabbagey greens like collards and kale. Nearly all the grain we harvested was for chicken feed, though my mother makes some mean skillet corn bread to eat with grilled sardines in the summer. It's a rare treat, not an everyday thing.
How could I doubt paleo when it's like how people ate before our food came from stores? If it helps any, now that I eat paleo again, I eat like my home country, 65 to 70 percent of my calories come from animal fats alone!
How could I doubt paleo since when I grew up like this, I was super healthy, moved to USA and became very ill, started paleo again and I'm good as new? Sorry, it's not rocket science, despite what the government tells us.