I'm Korean, 30YO male, and have been Paleo for over a year. Pretty strict (grass-fed, local, etc.) except for whey protein, as I am currently on a mass gain cycle. I've seen dramatic improvements in health, both physical and mental, that I've mentioned elsewhere, both here and on my blog. Reduced inflammation, cleaner teeth, fresher breath, fat loss, etc. etc. etc.
"But how will I live without rice?!" Well, there are several options.
- Deal with it. Optimal means avoiding empty carbohydrates. If their health problems are severe, they may be willing to try this.
- Eat less of it.
- Shift to brown rice and make sure you soak it well. Here's a tip from Whole Health Source regarding proper soaking techniques. (Basically you save 10% of the soak water each time, like a starter.)
- Don't worry about it. If they do not have serious health problems, they can probably tolerate rice better than any other grain. The key is to avoid wheat and soy, vegetable oils, etc.
There is another post dealing with genetics, but my take on it is this:
In Japan, people have higher rates of certain cancers (e.g., stomach) and lower rates of other illnesses (breast cancer, heart disease). When they move to the US and change their diet (to varying degrees), their rates of illnesses more closely match that of the general US population. Stomach cancer goes down, heart disease goes up, etc.
Undoubtedly there are some genetic differences at play. For example, some populations tolerate dairy better. But, it seems to me that these genetic differences are mostly overwhelmed by the effect of Neolithic agents of disease. If you want to argue about milk or rice or fermented soy, that's one thing. Wheat and vegetable oils and trans fats are a different story altogether.
Also, depending on your audience, my approach would not necessarily be to tell them to try "Paleo." I would try to get them to avoid "Western" or "processed" foods and see if that strikes a chord. On the other hand, if you can convince them that Paleo is the "cool American thing," they may be more enthusiastic about it. I dunno.
Good luck getting women to lift heavy. It's hard enough in this country. Maybe show them videos or photos of the lightweight women on their Olympic weightlifting team? Those women are TINY and can put some huge numbers above their heads.