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Debunking the paleo diet

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by justy, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Four hours. Hugs.

    I typically sit at the dining table with my feet up on a chair for peeling or cutting foods. That helps but only so much.

    It's rinsing and cooking when I can't sit that nails me. I tried using a stool in the kitchen but my knees were always in the way.

    My juicer is on my kitchen table so I can sit when juicing. It's still a lot of work tho.

    There are a couple of restaurants near me now where I can get reasonably priced prepared gfcfsf foods. Yay !

    All this work beats having the food reactions all the time. I was miserable.

    Tc .. X
  2. Soundthealarm21

    Soundthealarm21 Senior Member

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    To be honest, the way she described the Paleo diet in the beginning is never what I thought it was. I thought it was more about what she said in the end: Fresh, Whole foods, without processed sugary crap. With an emphasis on protein and good fats with vegetables and fruits being the main source of carbs and fiber. I never knew it as the "meat diet"
    Sasha likes this.
  3. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Hunter-gatherers had different meat preferences than we do. We mostly eat hoofed animals, but they ate a wider variety, including rodents. They ate the brains, the bone marrow, and the organs--including internal fat--instead of just the muscle meat. And the hoofed animals were grass-fed instead of corn-fed, which meant the meat had a much higher omega-3 fatty acid content. So-called pasture butter also has a healthier fatty acid profile.
  4. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Your sister-in-law is wrong. Hundreds of years ago Europeans were extremely unhealthy. Tooth decay, rickets, scurvy, you name it.
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Yes many were unhealthy, but why? Is that choice of diet? Or stuffed society and ignorance? Huge numbers of volunteers for the American civil war were turned away because of problems like rickets. Yet what were the causes? Poverty is a huge problem, no matter where it occurs. In early industrial times starvation was common, due largely to economic circumstances. The transition from feudal to industrial was also an economic transition. From that day to this we still haven't got it right.

    In any case, we know so very little about what ancient people's ate. Its one percent fact, one percent extrapolation, and nine-eight percent guesswork. Nearly all that went on in those times is guesswork. This changes in historical time because of written records, but again only a tiny percentage of what was going on was written down.

    A lot of the evidence for something like a paleo diet is really from last century in my view. What do isolated tribes eat? That tells us far more than archeological speculation. Its also been well documented. Indeed, some places in the world still live and eat in traditional ways, but they are slowly disappearing.

    The point of eating what our ancestors ate is genetics and evolution. That is what we are adapted to. In the shift to the industrial era there was a huge upheaval in wealth and agriculture. I very much doubt what they ate in about 1800AD was the same as what they ate in 1600AD. The problem is we do not know what they ate. We know what some people ate, at some times and not others, because this was recorded or archeologists found some pots and food scraps etc.

    Pacific islanders eat lots of fish. Inuits ate fish, deer, seals etc. In the New Guinea highlands they eat root vegetables and pork. Lots of people in India are vegetarians, though to be fair they also eat things like yoghurt.

    The changes last century were dramatic as well. What we eat now is not what people were eating in 1914. This is probably the biggest change, ever, natural catastrophes aside. Yet the traditional foods, aside from things like tomatoes and chocolate, were largely the same over a very long time. Its those traditional foods that were eaten for some centuries in all likelihood.

    There are three well documented examples of dietary stuffups last century in the medical journals. One was the Pima Indians (central America I think), one the native Australians, and one was a general Indian population (India, Asia). All three groups developed type 2 diabetes and obesity eating modern food. All three reversed that by going back to traditional food, even if it did not fit modern ideas on what diabetics should eat. I think the Pima indians ate lots of corn traditionally, the native Australians ate vegetables, seasonal fruit and wild animals including fish. The Indians ate a lot of rice and use traditional cooking oils. Only one of these groups had a paleo diet.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
    NK17 likes this.
  6. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    We know quite a bit about historic diets, less about prehistoric, and a certain amount about modern hunter-gatherers. You are essentially agreeing with me. My point is that the people of the recent past (i. e. hundreds of years ago) were, in general, less healthy than people of the distant past (thousands of years ago). This is based on skeletal evidence. I would not use the starches and overcooked vegetables of my recent ancestors as the basis for my diet.

    The Pima are native to the American Southwest. They developed high rates of obesity and diabetes when they started eating modern trash, as a result of being essentially dispossessed by the US gov't when it dammed the river they depended upon and diverted its water. I think they have the highest rates of diabetes in the world, possibly because of genetic changes that, ironically, helped them adapt to living in a marginal environment. The Southwest is arid and subject to multi-year droughts, so it has never been able to support a large population, and the people who did live there were short and generally showed signs of malnutrition.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I am saying that this is all very complicated, and there are many ways to view it. I don't think we know nearly as much as people claim about diet or anything else in history, until very recent times. Lots of claims and speculation, very little we can be certain of. Historians love to claim they know about these things, then something new comes along and look, a new story! This happens as well with science, like the growing evidence that saturated fat is not a problem for cardiovascular disease, it as all a beatup and over-reaction by public health officials and for dietary fads.

    The Pima Indians were the prototype for diabetes research. Its why so much of that research is focused on obesity, ignoring the huge numbers of skinny type 2 diabetics. Much of the animal research is similar. They take animals that live close to starvation in the wild, and overfeed them. So they are not eating like they do naturally. Then they get diabetes. Some population groups are more susceptible to that, including many living in isolated Pacific communities. They are survivors, they tolerate starvation well, but when food is plentiful, particular packaged food, they do less well.

    People of the recent past were less healthy, but food choices were not the only issue. Poverty, lack of sanitation, sudden emergence of new diseases, these take a massive toll, even starting in the womb. Smoking really did its number on civilization as well, as it created inter-generational changes in epigenetics. Diet is one factor in many, and one for which ancient diet is mostly speculation based upon a paucity of evidence. Our only real comparison groups, as I said already, are isolated groups in modern times.

    That does not mean that I think the huge shift to grain agriculture was a great idea. I understand the imperatives, about reliability of food sources, but in times of starvation this was a great idea, and in times of plenty its a disaster.

    Ancient civilizations and peoples had much less contact with others so rapid spread of disease was less likely. They didn't have to deal with environmental contamination so much, which has been an issue since Roman times. Poverty was not an issue, though of course starvation was always a risk for other reasons. Poverty is an artifact of civilization. Starvation in ancient times had more to do with the environment.

    My main concerns with modern diet coincide with many groups, but the reasons are different. Its about nutrient quality and toxicity. I have no issues with most genetically modified foods, as genetic modification. I have an issue with what they were modified to do. Better tolerance of herbicides? That leads to higher herbicides in the food. Faster growth? That leads to poorer micronutrient content.

    Similarly we replace nitrogen in food lands with fertilizer. We don't replace the full range of nutrients. Foods are becoming less nutrient dense. This is the main reason why organic farming is good. Yet commercial farming as we know it would not have to change much to fix this, but would have to give up modern fertilizer practices.
  8. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Eat moderately.
    Eat frequently.
    Eat mostly plants.

    Still haven't found any better general dietary guidelines.
    justy likes this.
  9. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I sit sideways and twist a bit, or put a corner of the seat against the counter and sit straddling the corner :p
    xchocoholic likes this.
  10. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Tx. I'll try that. Tc .. x
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I have a slippery tiled floor, so a stool would be dangerous.. I simply cannot use a high stool. I can keep wheeling my own and only good chair back and forth, but that takes a lot of energy, and only to an area to do food prep, its too short for washing dishes or even vegetables.
    xchocoholic likes this.
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I do food f
    I do food prep on my dining room table, with a plastic cloth on it, and then carry the stuff into the kitchen. I can't stand at counters, either.
  13. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I definitely understand how a wheeled chair or stool would be a problem on a tiled floor. I have vinyl so I have a large rubber backed rug on the kitchen floor. It doesn't move unless I pick it up.

    I sit at my dining room table for anything I can.

    We really need chefs. Tc ... x
  14. dmholmes

    dmholmes Senior Member

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    Yes, see Robb's response here. Reasonable as always.

    I haven't watched the video since it came out, but I recall her debunking a contrived version of a Paleo diet. Plenty of straw man points.
    xchocoholic likes this.

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