For a newcomer, I think the online sources are better than books. Start with the PaNu blog (click on 'Get Started' at the top of the page), then check out the Eades blog and Mark's Daily Apple. For heavy-duty scientific analysis on why the standard American diet is poison, our Bible is Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes (NOT light reading, but fascinating); you can also watch this lecture by Taubes, which summarizes the book somewhat.
As for the book,
The Primal blueprint: Easy to read and technical enough. Mark got a great writing style, Protein Power: More technical but still easy to read and understand, The Paleo Diet: Good book but I would got rapidly with an update about is major topics (ie: staturated fat) on is website. I still think the writing style is to much like to Fade diet book. But the info is legit. Lights out! Sleep sugar and survival: Great book who bring a interesting twist about the season, lack of sleep and our dependance on sugary food. Good calories, bad calories as mention by Jodi: not for the feint of heart. Highly technical and full of references. Awesome book.
As for online ressource, I would had Robb Wolf: with is paleolitic solution podcast. 1 hour of "pseudo science" as he said about the paleo diet. I can't commute with out it.
I would start with Loren Cordain's 2002 book, The Paleo diet. Cordain is a scientist and all of his statements are backed by peer-reviewed science. Robb Wolf's blog and podcasts are also good. Mr. wolf is a former research biochemist who worked with Cordain at Colorado State University, and is very interested in peak athletic performance.
Other popular choices are Mark Sisson's blog (Mark's Daily Apple) and book, The Primal Blueprint. See also Dr. Kurt Harris' blog, PaleoNu.com. Just be aware that Sisson and Harris recommend, or at least endorse the idea, that saturated fat from healthy animals can be eaten in quantity as long as carb intake remains low. Cordain is much more circumspect in this regard.
Interesting note: Recently discovered mummified Inuit bodies (1600 years old) exhibited significant atherosclerosis (arterial plaque). These people's diets would necessarily have included a high proportion of sat fat in their diets, and obviously no neolithic foods...
agree.. when i tried to get my dad into the paleo lifestyle, he was very questionable about mark sisson. The primal blueprint is a good book, but my dad was like: "what is this guys qualifications... other than being a marathon runner." Having a science background, my dad wanted someone with some qualifications, and I guess that is understandable. For people like my dad who prefer people with a relevant degree, cordains book would be a good start. But the primal blueprint is a very easy read, and is better for people who want simplicity and are open minded to try a totally new thing.
The thing about paleo is that it is totally different from everything you see everywhere. Dr. Oz, dean orsnish, all these "health experts" you see on tv, your doctor, and what you have learned all your life say the the opposite of paleo is "healthy." Thus it is important to find something that you can truly believe in before you start. If you have any doubt in your mind about the paleo diet, and you think that this is some fad diet, you will fail. You have to be totally committed, and if you are, you will see unbelievable results.
I would start out online....go to Dr Harris's site, like PJNOIR said....and Mark Sisson's site, like Mark and Sal said. Mark Sisson has a great site with lots of information in an easy to read format....and well indexed. Dr Harris's site is excellent too, but he's newer to blogging and doesn't have as much content....but he also has a list of 12 or so things you can do to get started.
I've not read any books, but do have The Primal Blueprint on my wish list. The downside, from what I've read online, to Cordain's book is his belief in eating lean cuts of meat. I don't agree with that...I feel saturated fats, being more stable, are more beneficial for us....and eating enough fat with your protein is essential.
I have to put in a good word for Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories. It was the first book on nutrition that I have ever read, and although I have very little background in biology, Taubes presented his findings in a way that was entirely comprehensible to me. It was by no means a quick read, but written for an audience of intelligent laypersons. It is comprehensive, and extremely well-researched; his bibliography is impressively extensive. This book was my introduction to the ideas of low-carb and paleo living, and I was an almost instant convert. I also read all of the blogs listed above, but much of what they say seems to me to be footnotes to GCBC. If you want an introduction to some awesome paleo recipes check out my friend's blog at www.paleomama.com.
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