I was first introduced to the Paleo lifestyle by John Durant, www.hunter-gatherer.com, through an interview on the Colbert Report. It was very interesting to me, seemed difficult, but ultimately made sense. I stashed that knowledge away until last week, when I bought and read The Paleo Diet (revised edition) by Dr. Cordain. I read it within hours of getting my hands on it and am now reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes (though I don't currently do competition sports, I am working out 6-8 hours/week).
I've been reading quite a bit from several websites on Paleo/Primal nutrition but have yet to have it explained in basic terms, not just how they are different, but why?
Long story short, it seems, is that Primal allows for more saturated (animal) fat than Paleo. Cordain relaxes his stance on saturated fats in the revised edition, however his reasoning that our ancestors ate wild animals who were nothing like the domesticated, fat, grain-fed animals of today is something that makes sense to me.
Dairy is the other question -- Cordain argues that no wild animal could be milked in the hunter-gatherer days, and that it isn't part of the natural human diet. That said I'd like to believe that there are pros and/or cons to "doing dairy" though maybe this all goes back to the saturated fat argument? Cheese is delicious but clearly processed, and from my reading thus far (Cordain's book), it seems that anything processed=not natural=should not be eaten. That and humans are the only animal that eat dairy post-infant.
There also seems to be a difference in starchy plants (Tubers, Fruits, Roots) though I'm not sure why.
Here's a chart I found that explains the main differences: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/paleo-vs-primal-vs-atkins
I'm just looking to clear some of this up so i can make some sense of it. Part of me wants to kick dairy entirely, but the protein, cost, and convenience of things like cottage cheese is enough to at least make me ask why and/or how bad for one it might be.