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Morgan Morrigan
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Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
 
Joseph Fields
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As long as people are operating outside of the norm, there will be plenty of "haters". I have lost and maintained almost 70 pounds of weight loss and people constantly tell me that paleo does not work. I think it baffling that people have be sold on a system that involves fresh whole veggies and grilled lean pasture feed meat.
 
R Scott
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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

--Mahatma Gandhi



Should be a mantra for lots of things and people here...
 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I only read the article, but she seems to make a lot of sense. Evolution continues even today, so why is it reasonable to assume that conditions in the paleolithic were any less marginal than at any other time? Just because people are healthier because they are eating only pasture-raised lean meat and fresh fruits and veggies, doesn't mean that it's because at some point in our distant evolution we happened to eat some of the ancestors of the stuff we eat today. That seems ill-thought-out. Also (I'm assuming you read at the article too), look at the records of biological adaptations of humans to changes in our diets. The numbers do back up her observations that human evolution happens on a much shorter scale than 10,000 years ago. Not to mention what she brings up about evidence of grains being cooked and eaten 30,000 years ago, or what she didn't say about evidence of cheesemaking in what is now Poland about 7500 years ago.

I think it might be a good idea to examine critically the basis of this idea, and perhaps to investigate why, exactly, lean, pasture-raised meat and fresh fruit and veggies are good for us. We need understanding, not new religion.

-CK
 
wayne stephen
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One thing for sure , we have evolved into a species that sits at computer screens wondering what cave people really ate. After one month , I find paleo diet much easier to maintain than Atkins. At this point I am energized , not jonesing for carbs. I am not convinced this diet is anymore than calorie restriction as far as weight loss. Whether or not grass fed is better for us or not , it is certainly better for Mother Earth. Some scientists argue that humans have stopped evolving because the pressure is off biologically. Some say we are evolving in the cultural centers of the brain. Some say the fact that 99% of Irish people have lactose tolerance and only 5% of Asians proves evolution has occured recently. Lewis C.K. says we should put lions back into society , like at the mall. I believe that would reinstate some biological pressure on us and kick on the evolutionary engines .
 
Chris Kott
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Wayne, nobody just turned off evolutionary pressure; I don't think it can work that way. We are just dealing with different environmental pressures, those created by ourselves. Those that succeed these days are those who can, in the case of urbanites, handle an excess of stress caused by living in enclosed spaces with too many people, and still function adequately to both provide for onesself and one's family, and of course to make that family.
We haven't evolved into a screen-worshipping animal because the time scale involved is too short. This is no different than writing letters and posting them, we only send and receive faster.
I am, incidentally, not claiming that cities are good for people; I feel that cities are unhealthy places for people, and crime is just the most obvious evidence of that unhealth.
All I am suggesting is that we examine the mechanisms that make certain eating patterns healthy, and others unhealthy. Is it coincidence that by going paleo, we also remove from our diets the intake of fructose, which can only be metabolised by the liver, and not at the rates we consume it in our processed foods (our livers are usually at capacity, and so the fructose gets turned to fat. Also, over time, it causes non-alcoholic liver disease, accumulating fatty tissue in the liver, and can also result in the body developing a tolerance for lipase, a chemical secreted into the blood stream to tell us to stop eating too much; obese people often have excessive levels of lipase in their blood, but it does nothing because of this tolerance)?
Where paleo might accidentally get it right is that by limiting the sources of intake to fruits, veggies, and lean meat, we aren't eating any of the foods that we adapted to so that we could do more work each day, high-energy, high-calorie foods like grains and potatoes that you really need when you burn twenty thousand (maybe a slight exaggeration) calories a day plowing or harvesting, or logging. If we burned all the calories we ate each day, it wouldn't matter so much.
There was never a magical "steady state" for humanity. At some point, we transitioned from hunter-gatherer groups to agrarian and pastoral ones, and as our nutritional requirements changed, so did our diets. Hunter-gatherers did as they did because it was usually all they could do to keep themselves fed properly.

-CK
 
Tyler Ludens
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Chris Kott
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Thanks Tyler. I agree, for the most part. But I am not arguing pro-agriculture, because at this point it's merely semantics. I'm saying that we shouldn't attribute benefits of any system to a hypothesis founded in bad reasoning. I think that paleo diets might work well for some people today because we don't do as much physical activity of necessity as we did when we all lived calorie-intensive, burst-work cultures, and so it doesn't make sense to consume food designed for people who worked all day in the fields alongside their animals.

-CK
 
Tyler Ludens
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Chris Kott wrote:I'm saying that we shouldn't attribute benefits of any system to a hypothesis founded in bad reasoning.


What I have read of some paleo diets is not founded in bad reasoning. There is not one "paleo diet" but many. Some may be founded on bad reasoning, but I have not personally seen that.

Lots of research posted here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
 
Joseph Fields
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Location: Berea, Kentucky
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Calories is the amount of heat in a food and has little to do with how you bodies metabolic system works. Back in the day I did not eat sweets and religiously tried to run 14 miles a week. After I fractured my spine running was over. Now I lift a little hike a lot and eat like a king. Grassfeed butter on everything. Life is good and my back pain has been greatly reduced.
 
Chris Kott
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Thanks, Joseph. Calories are also used to figure out how much work (the basic, general physics definition) can be gotten out of a feedstock in a particular system. Both before and after your spine injury you are still needing to supplement your normal daily activity with recreational exercise. We used to derive our exercise gaining food for ourselves and our social groupings, first by hunting and gathering, and later by planting and harvesting crops and tending to animals. Theoretically (I'm not saying this is something everyone needs to adopt, but some paleo diets fit this idea), if we make a dietary shift from calorie-dense foods to nutrient-dense foods, our need for physical activity could more reasonably be met by light to moderate use of one's body in normal daily life (i.e., biking to work/school, something I have done where possible, walking where driving is unnecessary, tending a garden, etc.).

Tyler, thanks for the links. Again, I don't think you're wrong. All I am saying is that the basic precept of the idea of paleo diets, all paleo diets, is that they were getting something/doing something that we aren't now, and that we can get that thing by apeing them. It fits that there are many paleo diets out there; there were many different paleolithic cultures. I'm just agreeing with the point made in the article about the book in the thread title heading, in which it was stated that the assumption that we are still the same paleolithic animal we were 10,000 years ago, on the baseless (and factually incorrect) assumption that evolution is so slow a process that we couldn't have evolved appreciably in that time, borne out by the example of the development over time (since pastoralism) of populations of people who were increasingly better able to digest milk.

I'm not attacking any particular paleo diet at all. I'm pointing out that I think that all those assumptions make for silly reasoning.

Also, and maybe I just haven't read this bit yet, I haven't heard anyone address the issue of epigenetics where it applies to this issue, or, for that matter, the colonies of bacteria that help our bodies work. If humans have been able to evolve to digest what was previously inedible, does it seem reasonable that the bacteria that we require to live have remained the same for the last 10,000 years?

I look forward to reviewing all the data available.

-CK
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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I have to agree, that i think it has more to do with the loss of gut microbe families, and the lack of dirt and charcoal in the diet, than the actual foods.

in the last chapter of this book, they talk/brainstorm a little about the primal paleo diet. They got attacked for that too...

http://www.amazon.com/Demonic-Males-Origins-Human-Violence/dp/0395877431

Book was pretty good for studying groups of people tho...


edit, might cover some of it in talk #6 here, but it looks like he is the same guy that did the new book on cooking too, so.....

http://www.paulagordon.com/shows/wrangham/
 
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