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Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flashback! High Fat Paleo??

There's a little sea change going on out there folks.

More prominent bloggers than I raising a question that's been on my mind for a very long time.

Was our ancestral diet REALLY VLC and high fat? 

So I tip my hat today to Don Matesz of Primal Wisdom for asking a similar question:

Who Said Paleo Diet Had High Fat Percentages? Part 1

It is interesting to me that the LC triad of Westman, Volek and Phinney cite Eaton in The New Atkins.  It's how I found this paper if memory serves.  

15 comments:

Tonus said...

This is why I think it's better to see health and diet as a constantly-updated base of knowledge and not as a tried-and-true set of instructions. New information and changes in points of view are not a shock, as much as they are a chance to refresh and reconsider.

eulerandothers said...

If you're living in the wild and eating wild animals, is the meat you eat from those wild animals going to be fatty? Aren't those wild animals going to be spending most of their time running away from you and other predators? Becoming muscle bound and slim in the process?

Dawn said...

Yet another authoritative voice shaking up the macronutrient ratio concept:
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/05/clarifications-about-carbohydrate-and.html

CarbSane said...

Yep, saw that Dawn!

Stephan is saying some of the things I've been laughed at for saying all along now. Carb induced insulin spikes do not lead to hyperinsulinemia. And he agrees with me that fasting insulin has no relation to weight loss.

CarbSane said...

Yes euler! Even when one considers hunting game, deer that live on the periphery of developed areas vs. those who live truly in the "wild" are just a bit fatter.

Grassfed or whatever, the cattle we raise for beef have been selected for certain characteristics. They wouldn't last long in Africa! LOL

MM said...

CarbSane,

Yes, it's very interesting to watch this change among paleo/primal bloggers. It's happening just a few months after my own sea change prompted by your blog. I think you have contributed to the larger one too even if Stephan won't admit it. Thanks again.

Thomas said...

I've been noticing this shift as well-maybe over the past year or so but it's starting to pick up lately. Interestingly, this shift is coming from some of the more well read bloggers as far as research goes. You could definitely see it in Stephen's and Chris Masterjohn's writings, and now Don Matesz (whos blog is one of the best). Funny enough, although I'm not a big fan of his style, Anthony Colpo has been preaching this for years now. If Stephen, Chris, and Don are well received, it'll prove that you have to ease your way into the paleo/LC community with nicety first rather than going great guns about their shortcomings from the get go, as you did. And getting personal about the godfather (Taubes) is a no no. Either way, it means that paradigm based feeling come first, objective thinking comes second in the paleo/LC community. This is rather normal I think, although it's funny coming from a group that prides itself on scientific thinking and being better than the standard (It's interesting to read Jimmy Moore talk about how Walter Willett may be "coming around" and that eventually they'll get the US government to change their diet recommendations). Also, I do think that some people in the paleo/LC world don't like their party ruined by a woman (It's not very primal-it's a caveman's world after all).

Bret said...

You've hinted at something that I've been considering for some time now, namely the apparent absurdity of a paleo diet approach in modern times. Almost nothing modern humans consume today in an industrial society is going to resemble the daily fare of Stone Age humans. In fact, everything the modern human consumes in quantity is thanks to the Neolithic era! Ironic perhaps that those living in the U.S. whom are the most "paleo" don't even care about this lifestyle or consider themselves thusly. I'm talking about the outdoorsmen (and women) - hunters, fishers, foragers. I'll wager the average paleo dieter hasn't even tasted a dandelion! I've even met a few urbanite paleo enthusiasts that are disgusted by the thought of eating fresh quail or lake perch, two of my favorite meats. Honestly, I do get the idea of the lifestyle, but it would perhaps be more realistic to call it a whole foods approach or the like as opposed to paleo.

AL-209 said...

re the linked article, where on earth are these hunter gatherers getting 30g/day of PUFA from? A pound of herring contains less than 10g, and eating enough to obtain 30g puts you c. 1000kcal over the estimated cal intake, before a single fruit or vegetable has passed your lips. so to eat enough plants to achieve acid-base balance is gonna put you way, way over the estimated cals. Unless thats adequately explained i cant really trust that article.

Sanjeev said...

> gatherers getting 30g/day of PUFA from?

Current day HG's apparently use a lot of seeds and nuts.

the !Kung I believe eat a lot of mongongo nut, a relative of walnut

click for the google search

Sanjeev said...

I didn't realize this was available in paleo times ...

one

and TWO

CarbSane said...

@MM: Stephan and Don are sure stirring up the pot. I wonder how many will change their minds as a result vs. stop reading ...

In any case, there's lots of DISagreement out there for those looking for it. I say that as a good thing. We certainly have little to no evidence that a VLC/VHF diet is healthy let aloone the healthiest approach.

@Sanjeev: chuckle :-)

@AL-209: Welcome! Apparently Eaton is good enough for Westman, Volek and Phinney to cite in The New Atkins book. I don't have my ebook copy working, but they also cite Eaton in the Low Carb Nutrition article they collaborated on: http://www.ajcn.org/content/86/2/276.full
Of course these days all it takes is for a blogger or two with a few letters after their name to criticize an article and that renders it worthless. I don't (a) think we really know what they ate, or (b) think we can reproduce that in the context of our modern lives with modern foods.

MM said...

It could come down to the very simple, "Is this working for me?" I think for people who are having trouble losing on VLC like I was but can't figure out why will probably be more open minded about it. However, people who are currently successfully losing or maintaining, and believe "carbs kill" will have major trouble. I hope they don't lose those readers entirely. Time will tell. I'm also wondering how the low carb gods, whose wrath you have incurred by questioning GT and elevated FFA, will react.

CarbSane said...

@Thomas: In case you missed it, this blog was started as part of my personal journey, not to be critical of LC or Taubes or anyone. But along the way one can't help but comment. After Taubes emailed ME and wanted ME to call him, that took on a little life of its own - but even there I'm drawn to Frayn because of his research on NEFA and it's implications for my own health issues.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's a little late for me to change my approach! :)

@Brett: I think I addressed some of your comments in my latest post.

One commenter - not sure if it was on Don's or Stephan's blog - related a story of sticking with VLC paleo for many months despite negative outcomes. I think this is very sad really - so swayed by dogma that if it's not working one thinks they have to stick out some period of misery for months! There are hypothyroids who seem to react especially poorly to LC - not for weight loss but for other thyroid related stuff. Yet are convinced it's the way to go.

If one's of fairly pure lineage I'd say the traditional diet of their culture may be a place to start. But even that's not a be all and end all, because if the diet was of necessity it may not be so good.

Seems Don's getting more pushback then Stephan at this point. It is interesting to watch that's for sure. I hope it leads to more CONSTRUCTIVE debate on such issues rather than shout down sessions.

Sanjeev said...

> Don's getting more pushback then Stephan

Even though, AFAICT, Don's position has changed less: he's been recommending starchy foods for a long time, AND he's referenced some of Lyle's works as long as 2 years ago.

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