The Paleo diet has a seductive narrative that makes it appealing, even irresistible. It goes like this: our distant ancestors ate a certain way. Genetically we haven't changed much since then. Therefore we should eat as they did. You throw in the Encyclicals from a few of the High Bishops of Paleo- "The Gary", Dr. Harris, Chris Kresser, Loren Cordain, Emily Dean, etc.- lending scientific gravitas- and you have yourself a myth. Perhaps you don't recognize them as Encyclicals because they are written on "blogs" instead of parchment. By myth, I do not mean "false", "fabrication". By myth, I mean a story you live by. A story or principles around which you organize meaning, a lens through which you see the world. I like the story physicist Michio Kaku tells about how as a child he used to imagine fish scientists (in the pond at that San Francisco Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden) who were creating theories of the world based upon everything being submerged in water. Everybody has a myth. Everybody. Even the most "scientific" person. ESPECIALLY the most scientific person!
A lot of people on here are living the Paleo myth and that's fine, if it's working for you: namely, you are truly maintaining good health. The problem with myths is that they can fail you and you are so submerged in them (like the fish scientists) that you can't see beyond them. There is at least a comfort that comes from the certainty they provide.
Now I've got to tell you. I have been seduced by the Paleo narrative, but it's time to throw it off. I have fared dismally on the Paleo diet. Mind you, when I began this experiment I was not overweight. I have eaten healthy for a long, long time, so I did not come to this screwed up from a SAD diet. However, the negative results from this diet (for me, I must qualify) have been dramatic. Despite having come to this conclusion about two weeks ago, when I think about it, sometimes a voice whispers to me, "...what would your Paleolithic ancestors have done?"
EDIT BY PATRIK:
Excuse my barging in -- Thomas Seay makes great points above and I think his POV and voice need to be heard by the Paleo community. Let me add two things:
1) I have a minor quibble with his definition of Paleo Diet. My definition, the one I hope the Paleo community will adopt, is simply this:
The Paleo Diet is a meta-rule (a rule about rules) that only demands one thing; that we look at human nutrition through an evolutionary lens. End of story.
What Paleo Diet means day-to-day will be different as over time better data and research surface through anthropological, genetic and empirical evidence.
2) If you feel the same way, sign up at PaleolithicDiet.com. Working on something that will push this way of thinking.