The main arguments that Paleo subscribers (myself included) put forth are: 1) our Paleolithic ancestors ate animal protein almost exclusively, 2) grains were not eaten, and 3) our digestive systems have never evolved to handle grains, which leads to modern chronic diseases like heart problems, cancer, and diabetes II. Leigh Peele argues that Upper Paleolithic man did eat grains, and that our digestive systems have evolved. Although he thinks the Paleo diet is a good one, he questions the thinking and assumptions that are behind it. http://www.leighpeele.com/the-paleo-diet-fad-religion-or-solution Comments, please.
The old "I'm with you trick". You say "while he (she) thinks the Paleo diet is a good one.....", she automatically generates some good will and will get more readers than if she says "I disagree with the Paleo diet". She claims to think it is a good diet, then attacks it's basic foundations and concludes that grains are not bad, which is one of the fundamental principles of the thing she claims to support! Then she uses a bunch of little logical tricks to knock down the paleo philosophy.
1) The "fad diet" argument is the grain lobbies best friend. Here's what it boils down to: which has been around longer? No one argues that grains were introduced "recently" into the picture. Peele herself argues about 10,000 plus or minus, but it is as close to fact as we can get that "humans" introduced grains into their diets some time in the last 10-100k years, which is a very small number compared to the time that we did not eat them. Calling a no-grain diet a "fad" is complete nonsense, the grains are the fad that need to be supported by evidence. Show me a study that adding grains to a paleo diet made someone healthier, then I will take notice!
Peele had me on the hook in the beginning, but she really started to lose traction when she said "obesity is caused by excess calorie consumption". While not exactly wrong, it is like saying "death is caused by lack of blood flow to the brain". Sure, but what caused that? Calorie restriction has been dis-proven as an effective long-term solution for obesity.
the "there are very few studies that support a grain free diet" argument, which is not actually an argument and holds not logical importance. There are also very few "studies" that show that if I bash my head against a wall, it will hurt. That does not lead me to bash my head against a wall.
Peele advocates a "moderation diet". "Everything in moderation" is another one of those, "sounds wise, must be true" tricks. Everything? What about arsenic? Oh only foods? What is a food?
The question should not be "is eliminating grains from your diet supported by evidence". It should be "is ADDING grains to your diet supported by evidence. We know we lived for millions of years without them, so the burden of proof needs to be on the grains.
I'm sure upper Paleo people ate some grains here and there, but they weren't a significant portion of calories, like our recommended "six servings a day" because the Paleolithic era is defined by being pre-agricultural. I don't have a problem with gluten that I can recognize, so did my people evolve to handle it? Who knows.
I don't think any of our ancestors ate animal protein almost exclusively. I'd bet they ate mostly fat like most of the indigenous cultures we've seen in the recent past. I'm not sure people can eat mostly protein.
Here is the paleo reply to Ms Peele.
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