My grandparents lived in to their 80's and 90's and they eat grains and dairy. Can someone tell me what evidence there is that switching to the Paleo diet will make my life better?
My grandpa is 90 and he went to war. Therefore going to war is safe, and if you want to live to be 90 you should also go to war.
I've always believed it's a case of Pottenger's cats. I recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/Pottengers-Prophecy-Resets-Wellness-Illness/dp/1935052330/ref=pd_sim_b_3
The amazing thing that Pottenger found was that cats fed poorly over generations got weaker. This is a scary prophecy for us: our future generations will not only suffer our poor health...but get even worse.
Our grandparents probably got away with the new processed foods of the 50's/60's since their health and bone structure was strong from their traditional-eating parents (who still soaked and prepared grains properly). Our parents haven't been as healthy, but they've been able to tolerate most foods. Our generation is beginning to come apart at the seams (allergies, autoimmune explosion, autism, gut disorders, etc.). If we stay on the current diet (uh, recommended USDA pyramid/SAD diet), the next generation is even more screwed.
Here's a thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/33218/best-summary-of-evidence-of-harms-of-gluten-other-nads
And here's a link: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/
But here's some thoughts to get you started:
Well, what kind of grains did your grandparents eat?
Where did they come from?
How were they grown?
Were they fresh?
How were they cooked / processed?
How often did they eat it?
What else did they eat?
Now, what kind of grains does our generation eat?
Where does the grain come from?
How is it grown?
Is it fresh?
How do we cook it / process it?
How often do we eat it?
What else do we eat?
Some more questions. Think about these in conjunction with the above. Were they healthy? How were their teeth? Their eyes? Their bones?
A bit of creative thinking will get you the answer. It's up to you to figure it out now.
My grandparents are still alive. Eat a lot of grains and processed foods. But guess what? They look and feel like crap. (No offense dished out towards them. I love them like crazy.) But just because an individual lives to be old, doesn't mean it's quality life.
My grandparents are on medication, papa is a diabetic, they barely go more than 20 min with simple activity before tiring out, etc. That is not quality life.
Paleo/grains/etc isn't about proof. It's not about nit-picking. It's about building a template that maximizes an individuals performance, wellness, and physique. There is no "one diet cures all" IMHO. Paleo is a great general start to eliminate all process foods, crap grains, bad dairy, etc. Although similar in ways, we all have a genetic code. A family lineage that has maybe left a certain type of metabolic makeup where we all respond different to foods. Paleo let me cut out a LOT of garbage, and since then, I've slowly introduced some raw dairy, and occasional prepared, soaked grain (rare occasion) into my diet and I'm doing awesome.
I'm not sure if your approach was meant to be facetious or ill delivered (as I see it being voted quite negatively) but I hope you understand where my post is coming from. You can't have that method of delivery. Approach with questions or concerns in regards to yourself. Don't try to combat using others lifestyle. That's THEM. This is YOU.
There is never generalized evidence that proves that anything will work for a specific individual. Why don't you try it for 30 days and see how you feel. That's how all of us got started.
My grandmother ate like crap and lived to 94. She also was fed liver and non-processed foods as a child. Did you ever see The Ghost in Your Genes on PBS? Great 1-hour thing on epigenetics. Essentially, your grandparents (like Lindy said--Pottenger's cats) lived on the good will of the foods of their parents and grandparents. And yes, they ate grains, too, but they also probably ate liver, whole foods, bone broths, and what grains they ate were not wildly hybridized GMOs emulsified with soy lecithin.
As far as reading about what's healthy and not healthy, you have to remember that the media is there to get people to pay attention. The people that write these health articles will take one fad or one small study and blow it up into a huge thing. Also remember that there are industries behind everything, and soy is a big industry with a powerful lobbying arm. My advice would be to look at the patterns in the information and not rely on one specific thing. Then try to eat what makes you feel good and what you believe is truly best for your body. There's no such thing as a magic bullet against mortality yet.
My Gran ate grains and PUFA's galore and she lived to 103. She was miserable and in pain from rheumatoid arthritis since she was in her 60's and asked me every time we talked why God didn't let her go as she was suffering so. I want the best shot at longetivity without decrepitude!
Here's my theory:
Talking to my mom about what her parents and grandparents ate, one thing kept popping up, they ate homemade soups for 2 meals per day, based on bone broth (at least until Cambell's soup got cheaper than making their own). They would then eat bread and butter on the side. In my own experimenting, eating even one meal a day for just a matter of weeks of bone broth based soup or stew increased my tolerance of grains dramatically. Perhaps the soup heals what the grain might damage, and when balanced, great a neutral situation in the gut.
One more thing to be mindful of is the grain our grandparents and great grandparents ate wasn't hybridized up the wazoo like the modern crop that is used in everything from Wonder Bread to most of the artfully handcrafted artisanal slow rise breads. The variety of wheat we've been using in the US, Canada, and GB since the '70's is the uniquely inflammatory triticum aestivum dwarf mutant, it even has a vastly different number of chromosomes than the wheat our grandparents ate.
If you look you can find older strains of wheat, but you'll have to pay boutique prices because very few people are growing ancient strains of wheat. That said, it is clear in the human fossil record that when wheat started making up a significant part of our caloric intake arthritis showed right up with it. So while it perhaps bought them more time by providing extra nutrients during lean times, there was a price to be paid near the end of life in exchange.