I may have overplayed it with the title a bit, but I think the most dramatic hack would probably solve over 90% of the problems people face in these forums.
The paleo diet is usually presented with foods that can be eaten ad libitum, like meat, seafood, veggies, nuts, and fruit; followed by foods to consume in moderation/at only certain times such as tubers. I think by replacing the nuts ad libitum with tubers ad libitum and limiting/eliminating the nuts we would solve a lot of peoples malaise and support the macro agnostic sentiment (which is backed by lots of research).
If I had any up-votes left, I'd upvote this right now. In 5 hours or so, I will.
The demonization of carbs by gurus, and the resultant fear of them by followers is, IMHO, the worst and most obnoxious thing about the movement.
This is likely the cause of "weight loss" but poor body composition, lack of weight loss, food guilt, binge eating, "cravings," "adrenal fatige," hypo-thyrpoid, etc you name it- all the most frequently complained about issues on this board. It is no coincidence that every single elite athlete, and every single lean person virtually without exception consumes some starch. If you want to be fit, healthy, and lean there is an optimal amount of carbs you should be consuming, and the number is virtually always above 70g a day (not counting green vegetables).
If you need to eliminate insulin resistance, a low calorie, reduced carb diet will work. People don't like hearing they have to deal with uncomfortable hunger pain to get better, and like hearing they can eat as much fatty animal prodcuts as they desire without ever feeling hungry. Yeah you might reduce blood glucose eating that way, but you certainly will not become insulin sensitive or even eliminate insulin resistance by doing so. Jimmy Moore still can't even eat a sweet potato without resulting diabetic hyperglycemia.
What kind(s) of "malaise" are you referring to? Weight? Athletic performance? Health issues? Satiety/cravings? Blood results?
Also, I think this is kind of a 'straw man' argument in that I don't think I've ever seen anyone on this site recommending nuts ad libitum.
However, I generally do follow your formula (although frankly I don't eat large quantities of either, as tubers can be gassy for me too). Still hasn't solved my chronic IBS, so I may be in that 10% who don't benefit from your theory.
Yeah, basically nobody does what the OP suggests we do. Nuts, fruit, tators, and dairy ALL have always fallen into the moderation OR YMMV category ever since I can remember. I see nothing wrong with that, nor a need to change it.
Interesting question. I want to briefly address weight loss, since that's a pretty common reason why people drop carbs like they're hot. While many believe Stephan Guyenet slew the carb-insulin-obesity beast long ago, people can still gain weight when they increase the carbohydrates in their diet. But context is everything.
A few studies have examined the effect of nuts like almonds on appetite and thus weight gain/loss. Compared to carb rich foods, nuts have typically been shown to either not increase weight gain (1) or to increase weight loss (2,3). But these studies were nuts vs. grains. I think at paleohacks of all places people would agree: tubers and grains are not the same.
One cool study which gained some popularity after Stephan Guyenet blogged about it measured the satiating effects of a number of different foods (4). It found boiled potatoes to be the most satiating and I think this lines up with a lot of people's experiences. A baked potato fills me up pretty well, while a big handful of almonds doesn't, despite both being about the same amount calories.
Still, here in paleoland we love our fat. And many people who eat tubers don't eat them plain; they add some oil from their arsenal of fancy fats. Maybe they salt em' too. Now you have a tasty carb+fat combo that's much more appetizing.
My point is, recommending ad libitum tubers in place of nuts while giving people the free pass to drown em in fat? I'll make the bet right now, some people would gain weight.
I think what would help the vast majority of people who have issues with being paleo is for them to accept that this is a lifestyle and not a macro nutrient profile (i.e. a rigid diet).
This whole one size fits all myth is more prevalent on this site then I have seen in many other places and causes many of the problems. Your description of eating all you want of nuts and fruit is only the opinion of specific gurus who push that view of being paleo. The very few I listen to say fruit and nuts in moderation. Depending on what site you go to, and who you listen to, you will get different "Opinions" on what paleo is.
The concept of ad libitum intake of anything is entirely foreign to me, having lost over 80 lbs and consciously maintained at least some level of externally-imposed control for over 2 years.
With that said, nuts seem way easier to overeat in the acute than tubers. I wonder how they would compare with regards to long-term satiety, though...
Ad libitum tubers instead of nuts is a great idea. Baked potatoes have an extremely high satiety level so it's kind of hard to over consume them in one sitting. Besides, there's even a lot of theories that tubers played a significant role in our evolution, perhaps even more so than meat.
Good points all around.
High fat paleo made me flabby, tired and I did crave nuts like a nut crazed person!
I don't believe the insulin hypothesis of weight gain at all.
I was obese most of my life - age 9 to 24, eating LOTS of SAD carbs. Some might have said my metabolism was "deranged" by carb damage and a lifetime of LC was in order! I lost about 60lbs over two years and kept it off for 3 years (5 since weight loss started) eating high carb whole foods with nutritious animal foods (brief LC paleo stint notwithstanding). I'm 5'7" and was 198LBS at age 24, am now 135-141 depending on my where I am in my cycle.
I believe obesity is largely caused by malnutrition. If your food isn't giving you what you need, then you'll continue to be hungry no matter how many calories you eat. There's no way Jimmmy Moore could have downed 16 sodas if this weren't true. I once ate 4 bags of miniature chocolates in a day. Even if I had an iota of desire to do this now, it would be physically impossible. I try to tell this to thin people who complain about obese people having no self control when there's no way they can understand what it feels like to have that kind of insatiable hunger.
I also remember as a kid drinking so much milk that it would run out of my mouth, because there was no physical room for it in my stomach (I had undiagnosed celiac disease for over 20 years, so I was very malnourished due to intestinal damage as well as poor food quality).
Today, I love eating lots of fruits, potatoes and big scoops of plain white rice - really starchy and sticky and glue-like. I pair those foods with nutritious stewed meats with bone broths and marrow, eggs and fish. With my digestion improving I've been eating dates (oh, no! sugar bombs!) again every day, and drinking goat's milk kefir. This diet keeps me full, lean, healthy and happy.
Nuts are nutrient dense. Tubers are not.
Re nuts: Some are lower in omega-6 than others. Its worth remembering that animal meat has omega-6, and so do most plants. If you avoid the higher omega-6 ones, favour walnuts, almonds and macadamias, and soak, sproat or ferment some, I dont see the problem.
Almond milk is very low o-6, and high in calcium, which can be low on dairy free diets. Theres an issue with high meat diets, in screwing the copper to zinc ratio up, if you dont eat organ meats. Things like nuts (high in copper) help mitigate this.
Ratio for women is supposed to be 5:1, men 10:1. If you want to get copper from whole foods, without high levels of zinc or iron, your options are pretty limited - liver, nuts, seeds, or cacao.
So I disagree entirely. I dont think anything should be eaten in excess, but I think its a very bad idea discouraging people away from one of the rare high copper foods, when they are eating a high zinc diet most likely without any beef or venison liver involved.
If people find they have weight issues, or are eating too many of the higher o-6 nuts, sure they might want to cut back, and exercise some willpower.
I am personally not sure I see any real benefit in starchy tubers if one isnt very active and particularly doing regular anerobic exercise like weightlifting and sprinting.
I certainly cant see any merit in eating as much of them as people eat rice or pasta. I used to eat under calories, very little sugar, in a mostly carb diet. I was overweight. My metabolism was screwed.
Now I eat over calories often, in a low carb diet, and I am still losing weight (I found my xyiphoid process the other day). Admitedly my thyroid has been slightly overactive due to excess iodine and perhaps not enough copper food. But I think this suggests that more inactive people should moderate carb/starch intake. Even active people seem to do well with only moderate carbs.
How optimal your diet is, is something people should figure out on there own, by reveiwing various peoples cases.
I have reservations about the wholesale banning in paleo of large numbers of food groups. Once youve cut out eggs, nuts, nightshades, fruits, carbs, dairy, oxalate plants, legumes etc etc etc and you havent got the assistance of a skilled nutritionist or are being very careful, chances are good your deficient in something, or your risking an imbalance. Its a bit OTT sometimes.
These HG diets are high refined to obtain proper nutrients from the local foods. Doing such a diet, totally ad hoc, in the modern era can be problematic.
So: I say start with just cutting out wheat/grains, vege oils, probably legumes, definately refined sugar, and processed foods (ie roughly paleo 2.0).
Leave everything else up to individuals own interpretations of various informations (Carbs, eggs, dairy, nightshades, oxalate plants , ra ra radi rah).
Add to that if your losing weight, you probably want to keep carbs under at leats 150 grams, if not under 100 grams.
And if your problem solving autoimmune or gut or other health issues, you may trial eliminating ONE group at a time of the above mega-list, while being careful to replace missing nutrients.
Theres plenty of variants and information out there. I think the best thing we can do as a community is disagree vehemently about every one of those other details, so that people do look into things themselves, and shock horror, think for themselves and drop the group think mentality that pervades our modern society.
Too many nuts isn't that great for gut issues. And can throw off Omega 6 levels in the body quickly. I have trouble just eating a small amount of them myself. So I try not to get almond butter that often.