I've noticed that a lot of people on a Paleo/Primal diet drink coffee. How is this in anyway Primal? And also, how is chocolate primal? i doubt many people out there are eating 100% Cocao in its natural form. Can someone enlighten me on this subject. Thanks
I'm really surprised by the tone on this issue. People really are biased toward their coffee. I absolutely love the stuff. But I'm giving it the good 30 day elimination. And you know what, I seem to be doing pretty damn well without it. I feel more balanced. I haven't had the urge for a quick twenty minute nap in the afternoon.It sucks that coffee is something I may benefit abstaining from. But if I feel better, it's worth missing a taste and a short high.
Yeah, coffee isn't technically paleo. But let's examine our response to it like any other substance. Let's not just assume it an okay cheat. Try living without. Doing an experiment of n=1 and then report back. You guys have all thrown out wheat, most of you have thrown out dairy, most of you have thrown out legumes. Those are all huge calorie sources that require replacement. Coffee doesn't require replacement. Just throw it out. Maybe drink some tea, maybe don't. Just try life without it.
[and by the way, coffee may be a common cross reactant with gluten.]
its not. But as long as you dont drink more than two cups it should not effect your adrenal gland. If it does you'll know because your DHEA levels will bottom and your sex stroid hormones will not raise with exercise and your sleep will suffer huge and you will feel fatigued especially upon waking. I personally think you should try to wean it. But most paleo people eventually change as they go. I base all my recs upon the biochemical studies that we do as we have patients on the diet. Quite frankly few patients care to be in great shape and below ten percent body fat. They just want to feel better.........coffee is Ok for them. Those who want to be shredded and look magazine like need to get rid of coffee booze and most artificial stuff. It requires a different commitment. There are no hard and fast rule about Paleo. It must be in context of what the patients goals are. There is not a diet or lifestyle that will make you lose more weight quickly. Maintence is easy because craving go away when the patient becomes leptin sensitve once again and that is all about limiting carbs to let you hypothalamic signalling work again and then if you want top end performance and further shredding without changes in mood or muscle loss you need to add clean carbs post work out. Less than 1% of people ever get to this point. And if your strict paleo below ten percent body fat and add things like Whey post work out you will be shock at how much performance improvement we get by changing this. You will also add more muscle to shred further. But it is tough to stay there unless you are committed to glycolytic exercise. VO2Max testing proves this advice. Go read some.
How Paleo is the computerized device you communicate with us on? Do you have running water, house and electricity? Drink bottled water? Drive a car? have a job in an office? I dont think we all do primal/paleo everything...but many just strive harder to be as close to primal man as they can in the modern world.
To be honest, anyone who is overly worried about labelling things as "primal" or "paleo" is probably putting too much stock in labels. Is the foodstuff good for you? Does it help in terms of essential bodily needs, is it anti-inflammatory, etc. These are what matters most.
Just my 2 cents.
its about as "primal" as that computer youre typing away on, and the couch youre likely sitting on, and the metal weights you might be lifting, and the car you drive. its a lifestyle choice that some people make because they enjoy it. life isnt about deprivation and reenactment, IMHO. the broccoli rabe and slow cooker shredded pork shoulder im making for dinner probably isnt too close to what a paleolithic person living in cape ann massachusetts would be eating in febuary, but frankly, i dont feel like going down in this snow and rain to dig clams all day.
I think you would be hard pressed finding a human society that had access to stimulants or other drugs and did not use them. If there's coca leaves laying around, people are going to chew them. If there is DMT containing vines around, someone is going to make a nice hallucinogenic tea. Taking exogenous compounds for their effects on brain chemistry is about as primal as it gets.
Being Paleo/Primal or whatever label you want to give it is not so much about re-enactment (as every advocate has taken pains to point out--do you want to live in the woods with no electricity and eat grubs? Really?) as it is about eating/living in a manner consistent with the evolved constraints of our biology. Does coffee negatively impact our biology? I haven't seen any convincing evidence that it does, but I've seen some evidence it might be beneficial (beyond the obvious enjoyable stimulant effects). In moderate doses it isn't really hard on the body. Is a Starbucks upside down extra caramel carmel macchiato bad for you? Yes. But it isn't the coffee part, as we all know, it is the 200 g of fructose in the cup. Is coffee with whole cream or coconut milk going to have negative effects on your physiology? Again, unlikely. Will coffee with artificial sweetener have negative effects? Uncertain (but in small doses, probably not so much).
So the issue is where do the diseases of civilization show up? They didn't show up following the introduction of coffee. But they did tend to show up following the British habit of putting mounds of refined sugar in their tea. The tea or coffee might stain the teeth, the sugar rots them. Likewise, do we see disease associated with the consumption of chocolate in Mesoamerica? No. But when the Europeans got the idea of putting huge amounts of sugar in the chocolate, yeah, eating chocolate became a problem (although eating a little bit of high % dark chocolate with very little sugar every now and again probably is probably about the same as eating a piece of fruit, no biggie).
Don't dwell on would a hunter-gatherer have eaten/drank this (and I'm pretty sure they'd all drink coffee if given the opportunity), but whether it is something that our biology is ill-adapted to. You want real, authentic Paleo? Go watch the No Reservations episode where Anthony Bourdain eats with some !Kung in the Kalhari. Ostrich egg omelette cooked directly on a bunch of smoldering wood chips on the ground. Yum, little bits of dirt and burnt wood with your eggs. Or maybe you fancy the roasted rectum of a warthog. Authentic ain't all that. Evolutionary compatibility is really a better aim.
Now, I'm going to make myself a nice cup of coffee with my French press...
Not everyone is attempting to be 100% primal 100% of the time. There are non primal foods that aren't terrible for you (like gluten) that do make life a little bit more awesome. I would include dark chocolate and coffee among those items.
Coffee beans are actually seeds - so it's not a legume. I can't imagine it holds many nutrients or antinutrients, but it is an antioxidant and caffeine can be nice when used properly. I doubt there were any cavemen brewing a pot of french roast, but the origin of coffee dates pretty far back (not sure there is a reliable source on the specific origin).
I agree on chocolate. The only chocolate I consider paleo, are chocolates I've prepared myself using cocoa powder: paleo candy bars
What was the quote? "Paleo is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment." Something like that.
So is it getting you closer to your goals or further from them knowing what we know about the framework of the paleo diet. Coffee raises cortisol levels but is sleep and stress pretty good? If so a bit of coffee is probably okay. If not steer clear till the other stressors are taken care of before we go adding to it.