Me & "The Community" ~ Part II: Is it time for a PALEO Diet?

Pragmatic Ancestral-Lineage and Evolutionarily Oriented  

(Claiming copyrights!  You read that here first!)

It's been a while since I wrote Me & "The Community" ~ Part I: Where I'm coming from ..., and this time of reflection in the aftermath of AHS12 seems like as good a time as any to finish off Part II which is about where I see myself fitting -- or not -- into the community as a whole.  These two posts were inspired by an email I received way back in June that read in part:
Subject: Here's some support from a random paleo dieter
Hi Evelyn, I just wanted to throw a bit of support your way regarding your blog. When I first ventured into this paleo/evolutionary nutrition thing, it was through the Fathead/Gary Taubes route, so I wasn't always open to reading your site, but I did occasionally, and it always challenged me and opened up my mind a little. Now that the days of obsessing about ketosis are over, I feel I've reached a much more balanced place with my current diet, and I do generally attribute that to people like you who are battling against the kind of glucophobia Jimmy Moore encourages. I've seen almost immeasurable benefit from this way of eating, and it's not blunted or reversed at all when I eat a decent amount of plant starch, and I'd like to thank you for helping me get to that point. If it wasn't for the dissenters, I don't know how long I'd be peeing on sticks.
I do have a couple questions for you, though, and forgive me if you've addressed this on your blog before and I just haven't seen it. Do you consider yourself a part of the paleo/whatever community? Do you find any value in it at all? I know there's been a lot of talk about your "pathological obsession" with debunking paleo, but it seems to me that you've put an awful lot of effort into immersing yourself in this world when you could have gone about debunking vegan gurus just as easily. I don't think you'd be spending so much time trying to clarify the science and give us some credibility if you didn't think the approach was at least a little bit useful. Or maybe I'm wrong and you do just enjoy being a stowaway on the USS Paleo?
I kinda liked that last line -- a stowaway on the USS Paleo -- for it's many connotations.   To be honest with you, I don't know myself where I fit in.  Just when I think I'm viewed in one way, I'll get an email from a most unexpected reader who views me entirely differently.  This whole thing traces back to the origins of this blog which really just was a way to organize my research all in one more easily searchable and linkable place and share it in the process with any who might benefit.  I never really even remotely considered doing any of this as part or the entirety of any sort of way to pay the bills, and I certainly didn't have any sort of diet or program to promote.  My personal story has its successes but I do not hold myself up as any sort of model.  In the end, the stuff I blog on here is truly independent from who I am as a person, my looks, my weight, my age, my gender.  Aside:  I find it rather amusing the number of times I'm thought to be male when someone only knows the pseudonym CarbSane attached to my work.   I'm not telling anyone to eat like me or not eat like some other person.  I'm hoping to provide an understanding of the underlying science so readers can make informed decisions for themselves and what's best for them as individuals.  But this is where I cannot for the life of me understand the LLVLC cabal and its immense influence on the paleo/primal community or even the influence of their own low carb community.  This community is dominated by obese long-time advocates of a diet that's not working for them and yet the actors continue to profit off of the desperation of their fellow obese man.  If there's anything more stark than the differences between the pictures coming in from AHS vs. the LC Cruise, I don't know it.  

My only real goal in starting all of my research was to manage my own health, which is excellent thankyouverymuch, and be able to communicate honestly with my doctors about my diet and lifestyle.  I'm not out to change the medical establishment and USDA guidelines and all that jazz.  Don't get me wrong, I think changes are needed.  But my view is that absent changes in the politics and role of government in this country, it will be next to impossible to affect change within the establishment.  Better chances, I think, with building an alternative system with integrity.  And there's the rub.  You do not counter the debacle that is the USDA Food Pyramid and cholesterol & saturated fat phobia with more dubiously substantiated claims of ketosis healing all ills.  Just because saturated fat is not "artery clogging" does not mean you need to eat "lots of healthy saturated fats".  Just because LDL is not the be all and end all biomarker of CVD doesn't make fluffy large LDL "protective".  

Here's where I just cannot stand by silently as people become self-appointed experts peddling diets based on Science Krispies.  I cannot.  It is my understanding that Jack Kruse's keynote speech at PaleoFX was a call-to-arms of sorts -- now (then, March) was not the time for infighting, the community must unite for the common goal.  The movement ... the mission.  Problem is, nobody has defined it.  There is no single position upon which to erect a tent that includes all of the various factions while allowing the factions to remain true to their brands and beliefs.   To join the movement, you have to check your beliefs at the door it seems, because even the simple concept of JERF (Just Eat Real Food) cannot flourish without all sorts of gimmickry in the name of science, and a host of books on how to turn your real food into "name your diet" friendly junk food.  

It just hit me that this community is like the Bill Clinton of the nutritional/fitness realm.   I'm not talking politics or ethics or any of that.  One thing that always bugged me about Bill Clinton was that he had no core values.  And again, I'm not talking morals or philosophy here ... I'm talking those innate values one might associate with an individual.  There are people who you just know, agree or disagree, are going to stick by their beliefs no matter the winds of change that blow through.  The person that doesn't change their position just because someone else changed theirs. Sure, there are drawbacks to inflexibility, and let's face it, we ALL make compromises.  But all of us have some sort of threshold of balance there, an internal cost-benefit meter with a red zone we won't cross into.  Bill Clinton has, and had, a very low threshold -- eye on the prize, cut deals with the devil, so as to remain on track for the goal (and again, in the interests of keeping this apolitical, I'll not speculate on what that goal might have been).   As a female who came of age in the era of the ERA, who both benefitted from and was hampered by the stigma of affirmative action, worked most of my life in male-dominated circles, I'll never get over what the 8 years of Clinton did to feminism in this country.  On the one hand you had Hilary as Co-President and various women appointed to positions of power in the administration.  On the other hand, we got Monica Lewinsky.

The more I think about it, the more apt the Clinton analogy is apt for what has gone on in the community this past year or two.  A lot of women were involved, possibly Hilary herself, in keeping the Lewinsky affair under wraps.  Yet I dare any woman to separate the facts from the figures involved and tell me that a married President of the United States having an affair with an intern who could be his daughter is acceptable to you.  And when the scandal broke what did they do?  Painted Lewinsky as some mentally unstable, delusional stalker  (Hmmph ... sound familiar?  But I digress ...   ) and there were many women involved in that as well.  Oh ... and they blamed and smeared Linda Tripp and brought lawsuits and made fun of her looks and whatnot as well.  And many, many women had a hand in this.    (Double hmmph ... sound familiar?  But I double digress ...   )   I was in graduate school when the Clarence Thomas hearings were on CNN and I watched most of it in the student union building between 6 hour runs and listened to the running commentary from the National Organization of Women, NOW and a parade of female politicians.   Then FF to a Democrat in office and purported champion of women's rights, and I was seeing this very same parade of women dismissing far more egregious behavior by a far more powerful man with a far more subordinate woman in age and accomplishment being excused.  And let's not forget TailHook ...

The various factions of The Community are like NOW and Patsy Shroeder and all the rest.  Forget whether you identify with NOW or agree or disagree with their agenda.  Had it been GWB and Monica, and not Bill Clinton and Monica, is there a person in the audience reading this who thinks the aftermath would not be dramatically different?   But NOW checked its principles at the door because ultimately it was more important to them to keep a pro-choice President in the WH who would appoint judges that would uphold Roe v. Wade than any of those little nuances over what constitutes sexual harassment and appropriate conduct in the workplace or for the Commander in Chief.  And this is what The Community is asking of various members in pursuit of some nebulous common goal.  

The only thing I can see uniting the community is anti-establishment fervor at this point.  I mean over on Ancestralize Me, the lovely blogger Laura writes of manning the WAPF booth at AHS12.  Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson joined WAPF?  I commend these two for trying to coalesce some sort of coherent movement and rally around where we agree vs. quibbling over where we disagree.  But can there be any more stark example of where there is disagreement than between WAPF and paleo?  WAPF is all about soaking grains and raw dairy while true paleo is against both and if there is one unifying theme remaining in the whole paleo-primal-LC-WheatBelly-safestarches juggernaut it has got to be the eradication of grains as human food from the planet!!  

But now here's where my Clinton Administration analogy falls apart -- there IS no unifying cause after all, except SAD is bad -- and what is I keep hearing about tearing down vs. building up?  But that detracts from my point so let's move on.  The thing about Clinton and NOW and various other special interest groups who supported his administration through the Lewinsky and other scandals is that their's was a mission of ideology and opinion.  Right or wrong, agree or disagree, sociopolitical matters are matters of opinion and beliefs and while some may be subject to evidences, there's no such thing as clinical trials to test policies out before implementing them.  True, much can be learned from history ... but I won't go there except to say that in The Community as in politics, few seem truly interested in doing so.

No, in this Community, especially given the renegade factions that are emphatic that the science backs their positions, there can be no room for compromise.  Either gluten and lectins and phytates and saponins and fructose and glucose and PUFA and O6:O3 and ... and ... and ... are indeed deleterious to health based on the purported scientific rationale, or they are not.  Can't have it both ways.  Last I checked, soaking wheat does not remove gluten.  Innumerable formerly paleo-darling foods are very high in O6's, not to mention that from Atkins-to-Taubes nobody in the LC community ever cared a wit about O6:O3 ratio in a world where mayonnaise is its own food group.  Either wheat is murder or it is an appropriate staple in the diet.  Either insulinogenic foods are fattening and bad or they are not, and you don't get to pick which insulinogenic foods you like and which you demonize.  I could go on.  I'm sure you get my point, so I won't.

Bottom line, when you listen to people who are either paleo/primal first and those who are merely adapting paleo to their needs and aspirations.  When Terry Wahl's says to start with a paleo diet and experiment n=1 from there W.H.A.T.  D.O.E.S.   T.H.A.T.    M.E.A.N???    If you're not dairy sensitive, it means dairy is OK and Dr. Cate's cave drawings of Grokina milking yaks speak to you.  If you're suffering digestive woes, it means no vegetation perhaps, while Wahls' version is heavy on veg and fruit.  What's next?  Harcombe v. Wahls on the 5-a-day campaign?  In the absence of even a cohesive message -- dare I say concensus -- folks are being asked to check their understanding of the science at the door and shoosh up criticizing X because they are working towards the same goal as you.  

Same goal?  Hard to claim that when nobody has laid out just what that is.  And it's different than being asked to set aside opinion and beliefs to be asked to set aside facts.  Facts that are routinely mangled by so-called leaders, movers and shakers, who have a deeply vested financial interest in their versions of science however flawed.  Don't sign me up for that.  

That said, I don't think all is lost or hopelessly flawed in having some gimmickry and such in one's message.  If you can get vast swaths of the population to not only listen but participate and reject the health-periling lifestyle most Americans are hopelessly embracing ... there's a positive.  Both low carb and paleo approaches have produced amazing outcomes for many people .... just don't forget the rest of those it does not or did not work quite so swimmingly for -- including so many who advocate for some lifestyle nonetheless.

It's been said that "paleo" is being kept because it's trending on Google, catchy, better than ancestral or eat-like-Granny and all that.  Perhaps what's needed is a new PALEO that CAN actually encompass various factions without requiring all of them to check half of the basics of their plan at the door, rather than continually redefining and diluting and contorting "paleo" to include all manner of things that are anything but to any but the most entrenched and invested purveyors.

To be continued ...


Unknown said…

While everyone doesn’t necessarily need a ketogenic diet, I believe most people would find incredible benefits focusing on a real foods-based, high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional approach to start and then make personalized adjustments as necessary from there. We should consider high-fat, low-carb as the default beginning point of a Paleo lifestyle change for people coming off the Standard American Diet (SAD) and then tinker with it and encourage testing to measure how certain foods will respond.

Living ancestrally in a modern world requires us to be mindful of the historical lessons of the past while realizing that we live in a very different world now. I think all of us in the Paleo community want to pursue the best health we can possibly attain and that there are varying ways to get there. The sooner we can get those tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions more worldwide who eat a crappy diet to realize what they are doing to themselves consuming what Paleolithic man would have never recognized as “food,” the sooner we can start making changes that will benefit their health and help them live a long life to come. Aren’t we all on the same page of making that happen with this movement we call Paleo?

What do you think? Are you concerned about the divisiveness that seems to bring a wedge between the ketogenic vs. “safe starches” camps of the Paleo community? Or is there something positive that comes from representing these very different factions within the same movement? I’m very interested in what you think!
Unknown said…

Next up was a panel including Jimmy Moore (moderator), Paul Jaminet, Dr. Ron Rosedale, Dr. Catherine Shanahan, and Chris Kresser-- "Safe Starches: Are They Essential to an Ancestral Diet?". This is such a huge topic in the ancestral community, so it was really interesting to hear so many differing opinions from this group.

-Jaminet: the Perfect Health Diet is low-carb. "If we don't ask these hard questions [about starches], no one's going to listen to us." "Safe starches" are starchy plants whose toxins are destroyed when you cook them, and they are therefore toxin-free. Examples include white rice, white and sweet potatoes, and taro.

-Kresser: Some problems occur for people who don't have starches, such as low energy, cold hands/feet, depression and anxiety, and thyroid issues. Not everyone thrives eating very low carb (VLC) long-term; people on VLC don't convert as much T4 to thyroid hormone. There is no "one size fits all" approach-- there are genetic and epigenetic factors to take into consideration.

-Shanahan: People who low-carb gradually might not run into trouble. It's important to be in ketosis many days, but it's important to burn sugar some days too.

-Rosedale: The thyroid goes down with low-carbing, but not THC. People on low carb dies do not go into hypothyroidism! Carbs that are not a fiber will turn to sugar and cause harm (though what harm, we're not sure).

-Jaminet: Is "safe" just semantic? No! Glucose is a nutrient-- not necessarily a toxin. We're supposed to have a certain blood sugar, insulin levels, etc. Breast milk is 50-60% fat, then carbs, then protein. The body will adapt to different diets-- T3 goes down in low carb diets, but that doesn't mean you have a thyroid problem. If you add in starches, some problems (dry eyes, dry mouth, etc.) will go away. Energy excess causes faster aging.

-Kresser: There's a lot we still don't understand. Cultures that are healthy with a lot of starch include the Kitavans (75% carb) and Okinawans (85% carb, and they have the most centenarians). There were starches in human evolution as an alternative to fruit, and this may have increased brain size. Starch consumption may not affect longevity. However, people with insulin resistance may not be able to process starch well.

-Shanahan: Sugar is sugar! She also doesn't believe Kresser's statistics about the starch-heavy cultures due to how Westerners interpret data. "The Paleo diet is one type of traditional diet."

-Rosedale: If you eat something that contains sugar, it will turn to glucose and raise insulin levels. You can burn sugar or fat; fat furnishes ketones. The brain doesn't need to burn any sugar under certain adapted situations. Kitavans are small people (have IGF1) and therefore have increased longevity. "I do not understand this obsession with the Kitavans."

-Jaminet: There is a ketogenic version of the Perfect Health Diet, and patients have helped many major conditions by following it. However, it still contains some safe starches! The higher the carb intake, the shorter the life span.

Unknown said…

I've had people tell me that they could never try this lifestyle because they don't like [food X] and are allergic to [food Y]. Hey, it's totally cool if you can't/won't eat certain foods-- just pick something else! There are countless types of fruits and vegetables, many types of animal protein and a ton of ways to prepare them ("you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it..."), and you don't need to eat nuts or tubers or dairy. That's the beauty of the ancestral/Paleo template-- it can be tailored to your individual needs and taste buds. There is general agreement that glutinous grains, refined sugar, processed/chemical-laced foods, legumes, and industrial seed oils are bad for you. But outside of those, your eating plan is totally up to you.
perishedcore said…
I know Evelyn will have a lot to offer here, but I'd like to throw in my .02.

As an older female with observable health deficits attending AHS12, I was largely treated with default contempt and was excluded. This was not a welcoming, friendly venue for those who were not young, white, physically attractive, displaying socially acceptable predatory behaviors (staking out seating, overloading lunch plates with scarce foods, ignoring people who didn't offer prestige and personal benefit, etc) and wealthy.

Only a very few presenters included relating ancestral health principles and practices to other populations: poor, seniors, children, minorities, globally, ethnic/cultures. These presentations tended toward being policy themed, and they were the lowest in attendance.

As I commented elsewhere, there was no ability to create a physical local community of people interested in/applying Ancestral health principles.

As one who is health challenged and very low in income, I grapple with how to marshal Ancestral health resources such as fresh whole foods. Forget about organic and grass fed - unless I stumble on a rare sale of overstock, I spend weekly 4 hour round trips on bus/subway/walks to the local wholesale remainder produce market, load up with as much as I can carry (about 25 pounds due more to bulk than weight), and slog home on crowded buses and trains. I eat canned seafood and buy eggs on sale at the pharmacy, along with milk and nuts. I make my own yogurt and can't afford to be dairy free and still maintain an adequate protein intake. Fortunately, I enjoy offal, and I can afford it.

I walk between 4-20 miles daily, and my world is limited to the local public transportation routes and conveyances. I volunteer with the National Park Service on habitat restoration and research, so I get lots of exercise lifting and carrying supplies, equipment and hauling brush.

I never see the inside of a gym. My clothes and most footwear comes from local thrift shops. I think I'm pretty resourceful, and I have the time to acquire what I need.

Do you honestly think that Ancestral Health community members, however you choose to define that, are recruiting the likes of me? Or inner city poor? Or high school drop outs? People with substance abuse problems?

The debates that were held at AHS12 were largely ridiculous, to my eyes. Living based on evolutionary congruence research was mostly absent. I cynically divide the crowd into 2 groups: scientists/clinicians and snake oil sellers/marketers/clients/consumers.

I serve as a healthy control in selected nutrition studies (Harvard School of Public Health and Tufts/USDA Nutrition and Aging Program). To that end, my lab values are so far from the mean that the PIs invariably interview me, and I share the principles of Ancestral eating. I rely on PubMed to find pertinent evidence.

I do this all on my own because I can't find any resources locally - no physician, physical therapist, etc. And the blogosphere is the clogosphere with a few notable exceptions in finding bloggers such as Evelyn and Chris Masterjohn, who follow the science.

Until the blogosphere discards the big game hunter takes all trope and begins to emphasize pervasive persistence gathering, community sharing and nurturing those who are the vulnerable members so as to gain their contributions (child minding, traditions teaching, wisdom giving), this movement ain't going anywhere but the toilet bowl.

aek, my only quibble with your post is that I'm not sure you had "observable health deficits" aside from being an older woman who'd wear purple ... like me ;).

That said, I'm completely with you on the importance of leveraging this beyond elite white men. Stefani Ruper has some fab posts over at Paleo for Women (here and here) as an example.

Speaking of which, there's a whole paleo=libertarian concept that's in the same space as the safe starches question. It's not just about reforming health care, it's also about the implications for large population groups, not all who have the means to hang out at a Harvard law school building.

Stick with us aek!! And loved chatting with you!!!
Unknown said…
I eat legumes but I have never admitted it to anyone, I'm a closet legume-eater.

It has caused me a great deal of shame but when I make a big plate of rice sometimes I can't help but think "You know what would go really well with that rice?" Then I feel terrible about myself for having betrayed the movement.
Unknown said…
Aek, why aren't you on food stamps? I had them when I was very poor and they helped a lot.

On a tangent I never got a driver's license because I was too sickly at the age when most people get them. And when I tried to pass the test, I failed. And over the years I've thought about getting one, but it's been on the back burner. I walk maybe 4-5 miles a day. You and I are probably getting more evolutionarily appropriate exercise than most people, including people who do things like Crossfit.

My own opinion is that you would feel more included at Wise Traditions. I've had my quibbles with that conference (some of the food upsets my stomach), but over the years I've come to appreciate it.
Dracil said…
Maybe you addressed some of this with your whole Clinton analogy, but I'm not familiar enough with that part of American politics so you lost me there. :)

I'm not sure what's so surprising about the lack of a unified message. Conceptually (I think), paleo is based on genetics and how much (or little) we've adapted from the past. Given that, it seems obvious to me that different people will have different restrictions (or even no restrictions) based on how much they're genetically adapted to eating more modern foods. That's why so many respected "gurus" in the paleo community aren't actually Paleo under any strict definition of it (e.g. Kurt Harris, who consumes wheat I think).

So yeah, I guess I agree that "Paleo" is not really a good term, but unfortunately it's stuck, and with it, all the re-enactment fallacies that go with it from both sides. I'm not convinced coming up with a new term will magically make the new term immune from more gimmicks or marketing though.

The WAPF thing I hadn't heard about, but I'm not really surprised about. Mark Sisson's always had a more relaxed approach with his 80-20 rule and Robb Wolf from what I've read, drinks milk and only advocates eliminating foods to start as a baseline, and then recommends you add them back to see if they affect you negatively, basically the n=1 thing you were asking about. Of course there's the problem that most people probably can't do that step properly.
Sandy Daigler said…
I eat a somewhat low carb diet, but I don't think it's Paleo because it's also low fat. But then my knowledge of what constitutes a Paleo diet is one Google search deep. I have a couple questions though, and these are honest questions, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or anything. 1) How do we know for sure what our ancestors ate? Is there actual scientific data that proves what their diet was? And 2) Why do we assume that because our ancestors ate a certain way, that it's a healthy way to eat? Perhaps they ate whatever they could get their hands on and then died at the ripe old age of 28. (When I was 28, I could eat very badly and still feel good. Now that I'm 55, I have to pay attention.)
Christopher said…
More Jimmy: "It seems to me there are a few from the Paleo world who would like to distance themselves from those who believe in the low-carb diet aspect of healthy Paleo living. And I’ve got a reality check for these people: a good portion of the members of this community who describe themselves as Paleo interpret that as a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet." A REALITY check? Always interesting when the non-conciliatory, somewhat-less-than-a-good-ol'-boy Jimmy makes an appearance. Sure takes some cajones to speak for a community of which he's only recently claimed to be a part.
I say ditch paleo. Maybe we should be deciding on what's healthy through learning about healthy long lived cultures within the last 100 years so we actually know what they were consuming instead of using woefully misguided caveman guess work. But that would probably include consuming mainly rice, fish, veges and green tea, which wouldn't exactly fit peoples bias' of gorging on fatty meat and slathering things in butter.

Besides, I'm yet to hear an explanation as to why we shouldn't be eating calorie free diet jell-o. That's just a ridiculous dietary restriction.

CarbSane said…
I was only half kidding tongue in cheek about a new name ;-) Paleo is here to stay I think, popular and catchy. The problem is if someone says they eat paleo these days, what does that really mean? My take on the basis is a bit different than yours because the timeline folks look back to the paleolithic era for how we evolved and claim we have not evolved any further during the neolithic. This to me is one of those either/or things -- either it's true or it's not. If you believe we didn't evolve to eat grains, then you have to believe the same of dairy.

I embrace the idea of a paleo base or template, but even that could get dodgy because if folks add various "bad" foods back into their diet and tolerate them well, what does that say about the basis? Personally I don't like the notion of "tolerance" -- that presumes something is negative and you just live with it, and if that's the case with a food, should you be eating it?

I don't really know a lot about Robb's positions on things, but I got the impression from his recent ATLCX podcast with Jimmy that it almost sounded more like an elimination diet, then add things back in. Mark has the 80-20 rule, but he's pretty steadfast in his objection to grains so it's hard to listen to such from him and others and do that sort of thing w/o guilt for lack of a better word. He's also pretty staunch on the LC thing lately with wanting to be a fat burner vs. a sugar burner. I don't see how you marry those beliefs with WAPF.

I guess the goal is to change the food system and medical system. When promoting such divergent diets what reforms exactly are we looking for? With A saying carbs good, B saying carbs bad, C saying carbs good but grains bad. And when you have leaders who promulgate bad science and made up notions of how humans evolved and metabolize and base some of their ideas on cold-blooded worms that eat an e coli diet it seems to me bringing together these divergent factions together to work towards an undefined goal gets dicey (witness Krusegate). When someone says "eat a paleo diet" what does that mean?
CarbSane said…
See? There's the rub ... S.Boyd Eaton's work that is widely referenced describes a diet that was relatively low in fat (20-25%) and had to contain considerable starch and/or fructose to get to 40-45% carb. ( It sounds like a lot of high fat bacon eating paleos were quite surprised by Eaton's speech on his 30 years on a paleo diet.
CarbSane said…
LOL, reality check?!
CarbSane said…
I agree on the premise. I've been reading a lot on traditional diets -- one of the more surprisingly prevalent foods are legumes. What's ironic in a way is that some of the LC "junk foods" that include inulin and other fibers might well be rather healthy after all.
CarbSane said…
Good thing you're unknown then ;)
CarbSane said…
They demonize all grains, not just gluten containing ones. As commented elsewhere, I've been quite surprised by the legume consumption of traditional cultures I've been reading about lately. It's almost enough to make me consider being a veggie, or at least an ovo-lacto pescatarian bean eater.
CarbSane said…
I've been highly disappointed in Ruper's Paleo for Women lately. Lots of kickass womanhood rhetoric but guest posting on Nikoley's blog and having Jimmy Moore on her podcast? It's all too much what's wrong with the community. You can't seriously be interested in women's issues and promoting womanhood and providing a voice for women in paleo and deal with Nikoley. You just can't. Or is it OK to discount a woman's worth because she's not hot, or considerably overweight? That is how he feels and how he speaks, and it reminds me of a fraternity in college that had a fair number of overweight football players wearing their "no fat chicks" T-shirts. In one bio she calls herself a nutritionist and ED counselor and to the best of my knowledge has no training to be either. That her conversion to paleo came through Nora Gedgaudas is disconcerting.
FYF said…
Actually, there is an organization out there trying to unite all fronts: Healthy Nation Coalition ( We have friends & supporters from the ancestral health, WAPF, and low-carb nutrition communities, but we reject the notion that there is a one-size-fits-all diet. We also--believe it or not--have friends in the "mainstream" nutrition communities, who would like to see scientific integrity and transparency return to the nutrition policy-making process. In terms of organization, we're young (started in 2010); in terms of working on this issue, some of us have been doing this for over a decade. Women and minorities are of particular concern to us as they have been hardest hit by the past 30 years of misguided nutrition policy and are frequently limited in their choices with regard to food (as the primary recipients of the government's largess with regard to industrialized foods). Science alone will not shift the paradigm (although science is a crucial part of the puzzle). We need inclusive, long-term thinking and action. I'm at if anyone wants more info, or wants to help.
Lerner said…
wrt Wolf and elimination diet: he has serious allergies and has been in very bad health shape previously. I have learned to be very wary of people whose personal history then gets translated into the world view that everybody is the same. That's how I see modern Paleo having become like a food Puritan movement to irrationally ban most foods on the planet. Tomatoes are bad? Huh???? (IIRC you can read about Wolf's allergies at Amazon in the forward of his first book.)

Unknown said…
Shanahan: Sugar is sugar! She also doesn't believe Kresser's statistics about the starch-heavy cultures due to how Westerners interpret data. "The Paleo diet is one type of traditional diet."

Look at Table 1 - what is there to misinterpret??
Lerner said…
Hi, aek. Of the many things that I'm mystified about in comments, the idea of the modern Paleo movement being welcoming and friendly also puzzles me. I've always seen it as being a lot more about back-to-nature food snobbery and elitism. In times past, some people thought they were superior to others because their food was imported. Now they think they achieve superiority because their food is local, and grass fed, pastured, free range blah blah blah. Don't you know those commoners have their wheat and corn, while we dine on grass fed blah blah... and the very primal cans of coconut milk, of course.

The modern Paleo 'movement' is mainly a social thing, with health being the cover story. Why else on earth would anybody spend almost $30 for a pound of ordinary whey, just because it's got a caveman on it?

Hey Evelyn, maybe it's a good thing that I dislike posting on moderated sites - otherwise I'd go on for hours :)
Anonymous said…
I was once at a community meeting about the local high school curriculum. I lived in an affluent community that was adjacent to an even MORE affluent community. They had a small high school and a pretty homogenous population. We had a larger high school and were more diverse. The topic of the evening was to discuss how well we were doing and how 'we' were finding ways to improve. The comparison to the adjacent community's school successes was often mentioned.

Finally, I said, 'Look, just look at what they are doing right now - they are right next door to us, after all - and do that.' The speaker of the evening said, 'Um, no. No. And NO.'

She was right, in a way. We were different communities, HOWEVER not radically different. Not inner city vs. suburbia, for example. But it just wasn't the way to go - don't do what they do. My attitude was, 'Just try it and then build on that... or work on that.' If anything, our budget was bigger!

I'd just as soon eat like the Japanese. Or the French. Or the Italians. Or the Chinese. Not restaurant versions, but what they actually eat. It would be loaded with carbs. It wouldn't be paleo. But everyone would probably see some improvement in health. All you have to do is look at those populations - and try to factor out the influence of American chain restaurants!
Unknown said…

I was clicking through some web pages related to AHS12 and found this gem:

"Taubes' simple advice works for about 80% of the general population -the mass for whom his publisher aims his works. The remaining 20% have special health issues that they in general seem to complain about on blogs, but never seem willing to address.

Dudes, if it's not working for you, get your genes and hormones tested. This is your responsibility not Taubes'!

If you're post-menopausal and stop losing, go ketogenic - 85-88% fat. If that doesn't work, stay ketogenic and limit calories to 1600. If that doesn't work, then take hormones because you have a hormone problem, not a weight problem."

Oh my, where to start!

"Taubes' simple advice works for about 80% of the general population".

What is this statement based on??? Is it maybe the ZERO long-term studies showing low-carb is effective for weight loss? Is it the fact that since low-carb has been popular for the last 40 years, there has not been ONE single study that shows it is capable of taking a group of overweight people and turning them into normal weight in the long-term? How can you get 80% out of ZERO percent?

"Dudes, if it's not working for you, get your genes and hormones tested."

So...if this diet doesn't work, and it never has clinically in the first place, then you should now spend money on gene and hormone testing?? Talk about flushing money down the drain.

"If you're post-menopausal and stop losing, go ketogenic - 85-88% fat."

A diet of 90% fat - wow, that's healthy. Again, zero proof this works for weight loss.

If that doesn't work, stay ketogenic and limit calories to 1600. If that doesn't work, then take hormones because you have a hormone problem, not a weight problem."

And if that doesn't work, then cut calories... and then start taking hormones???

Here's an idea: if low-carb doesn't work (and in general it doesn't), THEN TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

Unknown said…

I was clicking through some web pages related to AHS12 and found this gem:

"Taubes' simple advice works for about 80% of the general population -the mass for whom his publisher aims his works. The remaining 20% have special health issues that they in general seem to complain about on blogs, but never seem willing to address.

Dudes, if it's not working for you, get your genes and hormones tested. This is your responsibility not Taubes'!

If you're post-menopausal and stop losing, go ketogenic - 85-88% fat. If that doesn't work, stay ketogenic and limit calories to 1600. If that doesn't work, then take hormones because you have a hormone problem, not a weight problem."

Oh my, where to start!

"Taubes' simple advice works for about 80% of the general population".

What is this statement based on??? Is it maybe the ZERO long-term studies showing low-carb is effective for weight loss? Is it the fact that since low-carb has been popular for the last 40 years, there has not been ONE single study that shows it is capable of taking a group of overweight people and turning them into normal weight in the long-term? How can you get 80% out of ZERO percent?

"Dudes, if it's not working for you, get your genes and hormones tested."

So...if this diet doesn't work, and it never has clinically in the first place, then you should now spend money on gene and hormone testing?? Talk about flushing money down the drain.

"If you're post-menopausal and stop losing, go ketogenic - 85-88% fat."

A diet of 90% fat - wow, that's healthy. Again, zero proof this works for weight loss.

If that doesn't work, stay ketogenic and limit calories to 1600. If that doesn't work, then take hormones because you have a hormone problem, not a weight problem."

And if that doesn't work, then cut calories... and then start taking hormones???

Here's an idea: if low-carb doesn't work (and in general it doesn't), THEN TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

ejazz1 said…
@fyf After reading your welcome page on your website and the statement concerning "one-size-fits-all". I agree one size does not fit all but if this is truly a coalition for a healthy nation it would have to include the vegan and vegetarian communities and people like me who are not low-carb, paleo/ancestral health, wapf, vegan or vegetarian but still eat a diet that promotes health. In my case I am a type II diabetic for eight years and use diet and exercise to control my diabetes. I have read other sections of your website and it appears to me to be just another low-carb/paleo organization.
Anonymous said…
Calorie free diet jello contains artificial sweeteners including Aspartame (sweetner)
Acesulfame potassium (sweetner)

There is a large body of research that suggests people who consume artificial sweetners are heavier than those that don't. The studies are correlative, though some recent studies showed differences in brain response sweet taste in addiction centers of the brain in chronic diet soda drinkers. They are also finding receptors in the gut for many of these artificial sweetners which suggests that despite not having "calories" they could be hormonally active.

Whole, real foods seem like the best answer, in part because of how little we understand about the effects of these molecules. See the controversy around the BPA molecules in the plastic!
Lerner said…
Ned's take:

It seems that Wolf wants to prescribe metformin, even for prevention. "One thing that caught me a bit off-guard was Robb’s strong advocacy of the use of a drug, namely metformin (a.k.a. glucophage); even preventively in some special cases, such as with sleep-deprived law enforcement officers. I have to listen to that talk again when it is up online, to make sure that I understood it correctly."

Beth, you are mentioned as photographer.
Anonymous said…
Would you consume the insects that go unremarked in discussions of such cultures?
Unknown said…

Safe Starch Debate
One of the best presentations of the weekend was the safe starch debate involving, Paul Jaminet, Chris Kresser, Cate Shanahan, and Ron Rosedale. Let me first just say how ridiculous it is that we're even asking the question "Is there such a thing as a safe starch?" I'm sorry but it's stupid. Especially when it followed Chris Masterjohn's great presentation, which explained very clearly how humans, as compared to apes, have evolved the ability to digest greater amounts of starch through salivary amylase. This is not debatable. Of course starch is safe. The question is, how much starch is safe for a given person? Well, according to Chris Masterjohn's data, humans have varying abilities to produce salivary amylase. So there is a spectrum in terms of the ease at which humans digest starch. Some can handle it very easily and perhaps in large quantities, while others may have a hard time digesting a lot of starch.

The obvious answer to safe starch debate is... it depends. One person may be just fine on a diet high in starch from potatoes and sweet potatoes, while another person may be better off limiting their potato consumption. There is no one diet for everybody, which is why I think Chris Kresser clearly came out on top in this debate, because he understands this concept. Ron Rosedale came off as a complete idiot, in my opinion, although he did make some interesting points. He advocates a low-carb, ketogenic diet for everyone, which I completely disagree with. Cate Shanahan was on the low-carb side as well, although she was not as militant about it, and I was happy to hear her conclude with the idea that eating real food is what matters most. Not to forget about Paul Jaminet, I thought he was great in this debate as well, but having read his book, I know he is of the opinion that the optimal human carbohydrate intake is fixed at between 100-150g per day. Any more, according to him, is toxic. I just can't agree with that. So Kresser for the win.

Oh, and there's also that pesky fact that nearly all 7 billion people on earth eat a starch-based diet. I know that doesn't mean it's optimal, I'm just saying. They're not killing us.
Dracil said…
I dunno, I read Mark's blog pretty regularly and I find generally is a bit more nuanced in his approach there though you may have quibbles with his science. ;) For example, a post on rice:

He rarely flat out rejects things and generally says things are okay under circumstances.

I liked Mat Lalonde's idea of Paleo that he gave during the Paleo Summit, which was something about incomplete adapation to seed consumption in the general population. Which is why paleo almost by definition cannot be black-and-white because of different levels of adaptation in individuals. He sort of gets into that in his Kresser interview in a kind of round-about way.
CarbSane said…
Nope! I draw the line at things that peg my eeew meter, and grubs and insects do that. But I also would not rationalize that insects added animal protein and substitutIe tenderloin ;)

Personally, I have a mental block with the organ meats. You can't spend, well make that *I*, several years sacrificing animals and dissecting them and working with autopsy samples once and not develop an aversion to these in their native form. By that I mean if someone deep fat fried chitterlings I might enjoy them, and I like liver pates, but stay away from me with a slab of liver or especially brains. Just not gonna happen.
Craig said…
Even if you spend months on the internet, digging below the top layer of search results, and read countless books on health and nutrition, you will still likely be confused about what kind of diet to follow.

After doing a lot of reading myself, there are only a couple of things I'm certain about:

- Chronic over consumption of food leads to obesity and health problems.

- Foods that combined refined carbohydrates and sugar with fat and various taste enhancers are particularly likely to lead to chronic over consumption.

- From an evolutionary perspective, humans have survived eating a very broad variety of diets. We thrived as a species, and spread around the planet because we became very clever and efficient at acquiring calories from whatever sources were available.

Beyond that, I have observed that there are some interesting epidemiological associations between diet, obesity, illness, and longevity. And there is a lot of interesting science around to suggest certain things about diet, obesity, illness and longevity. But most of the above information is not consistent enough or comprehensive enough to let me conclude that there is a definitive answer to the question of what constitutes the optimal diet.

Unfortunately, if you are an aspiring health/nutrition guru, "I/We Don't Know Yet" is not a phrase that you want to use a lot. It will not sell many books, or win many loyal followers. And people do need to eat something, and can't wait for science to reach a definitive answer. Of course, that is no excuse for becoming a staunch proponent for a diet plan that is based on a mix of evidence, guess work, and speculation.
Shellfish, especially oysters and mussels, may well peg folks' eeew meter but I think they may well be an optimal food. All the nutrients of organ meat without sentience concerns ... and mussels can be easily farmed too.
CarbSane said…
How long have you been reading? I don't read all of his posts, but I've been reading on and off since 2009. While he has masterfully shifted his rhetoric from insulin-carbs per se, he hasn't denounced it. To this day that carbohydrate curve is there with it's 151st gram causing insidious weight gain.

He may rarely flat out reject things, but he also rarely substantiates the things he says. For example in this article,, he cites an article by Emily Deans that discusses mitochondrial metabolism of glucose vs. ketones and his link says mitochondria burn fatty acids cleaner than glucose. Given as just about every case of mitochondrial malfuction is associated with the buildup of inefficient and/or incomplete fatty acid oxidation and reactive byproducts -- e.g. diacylglycerols, ceramide, and peroxidized lipids -- I'd say he's got a lot of 'splainin' to do here. My quibbles with his science are rather more than quibbles, they are calling a biology major out on BS, plain and simple.

In this post he expresses his boggled mind over how anyone can advocate a high carb diet: GOSH I forgot what an awful load of crap that post was :(
CarbSane said…
I had only ever had "seafood" once as a kid -- tons of fish, but nothing else. It was clams at the home of a Japanese colleague of my Dad's -- ick and eew. When I moved to New England, a college buddy of mine insisted I couldn't live there without knowing how to cook and eat a lobster. I fell in love. Later I discovered linguine with clam sauce, local clam chowders -- NE and Manhattan, fried clams and then O.H. M.Y. G.O.D. ... "steamers" aka mussels. I could eat those forever. I never had an oyster though until I was over 40, but I love those too. Huge fan of squid which all I can remember about that was my brother used to use it for bait. I saw some baby octopus in the Korean market the other day ... would want to try that. More expensive than squid, but way cheaper than those coral shrimp I tweeted a picture of the other day.

Back when I was in college I had a summer job where I analyzed autopsy samples. Was still tinkering with the notion of going to medical school at the time so when things got slow, I was allowed to go watch autopsies -- not to mention I transported tupperwares of human livers and brains to our Tox lab. I'd only ever seen one of those typical brains in formaldehyde (Abby Normal in Young Frankenstein!) so the one time I had to analyze brain it was rather odd. My boss gave me the procedure and I figured I'd need some sort of knife to cut it. Nope, "use a spoon" I was told, it's the consistency of a really really soft double creme brie.
Galina L. said…
Tomatoes are indeed may be bad for people with allergies, especially in a cooked form. I had a very pronounced eczema as a child and was put on an STANDARD anty-allergy diet by doctors. The diet excluded a lot of foods, pan-fried meat or fish was not allowed, only steamed or poached. Eggs, strong broths, smoked meats and fish, chocolate, tomato-based souses and hot spices were all excluded. Even fruits like oranges, strawberries, red apples, raspberry and honey were out of diet. I remember secretly eating out of a jar marinated tomatoes or a smoked salami and having a flare of an eczema, or overeating raspberries with an ice-cream , getting a swollen face and getting into an emergency room.
As I got older, my reactions on foods either diminished or disappeared, but I still avoid spicy food, strawberries, alcohol and oranges.

Just for records, I don't think starches should be avoided by everybody, but not everybody will benefit from the diet based on carbohydrates. Right now more people are eating too much of it that unnecessary ditching tubers and grains. May be that ridiculous discussion will bring more attention to the carb-overloading by those who do it in the believe that oatmeal or beans can't be wrong food choices.
Dracil said…
Well, I only started reading his stuff last year since I only got into this whole thing last year, though I did read back a bit through his posts.

The static numbers (or any numbers) on the carb curve is silly and I agree there (and I've read people on his forums saying the same thing too). :) But even there, it's obvious (IMO) from reading his stuff that he doesn't really believe that's a one-size-fits all thing even if he does believe carbs are bad as a rule. I mean he talks about carb refeeds of up to 350 grams a day as a path to weight loss so there's that.

So I still think that whole thing is reading a bit too much dogmatism into something that's just a rule of thumb for the general masses. But that goes off into the whole argument of whether or not we have to be 100% correct/have 100% understanding before recommending things to people that might work for 80% of the time. I don't believe the former is necessary, but the latter does run the risk of creating Kruses. ;)
CarbSane said…
In the past year he has moderated at times, but he has not updated his past positions. This is a problem, IMO, because there are many years of posts up there that counter what he says now in interviews and even on his blog.

If over 150 g carbs leads to insidious weight gain, and he is still near as I can tell a firm believer in the carb-insulin hypothesis, how can he justify a carb refeed for any reason?

I have no problem with Mark's recommendations. I've said before that I think they are certainly of value to a large group of people, and especially men in his age bracket -- young guns, not so sure for the long run though, and it seems that many young guys are the ones who hit that wall at 3 years or so and start feeling like crap, experience low testosterone and all manner of issues. Lots of them out there, usually trashed by the low carbers for betraying "the cause". Where I take issue with Mark is that his science is often very bad. Market the diet, use a little Grokkery, that's OK, I get that and I get that it inspires and draws people to a diet that's infinitely better than the SAD most are consuming. Just don't go there with the mitochondria and ketones and clean burning fat burning beastiality and promoting folks like Bailor who unmistakably misrepresented various studies to claim we all need to eat more and move less to achieve our weight goals.
Sanjeev said…
> I eat legumes but I have never admitted it to anyone, I'm a closet legume-eater.

Add some cabbage and high sulfur proteins and even the closet will not be enough.
CarbSane said…
I do think we need to be skeptical of artificial foods, but then again, there are just so many chemicals in our current environment that simply cannot be avoided that fussing over a few trace AS seems a bit much. Equal is, after all, two amino acids in rather small quantities. I've seen many take phenylalanine supplements that easily exceed normal amounts of aspartame.

I'm all on board the real, whole food train where possible, practical and livable. Just when the purity police step in I have a problem :D
Sanjeev said…

One must assume "mirror", "scale" and "irony" are not part of that reality
Sanjeev said…
Matt Metzgar, I'm sure you're about to be introduced to a new rock band,

"Frank G and the screaming Taubesians"

CarbSane said…
LOL -- if you're post meno go keto, and if that doesn't work, cut to 1600 cal/day? Ha ha ha. I tried it all in 2009 to lose more weight and if I had increased my calories to 1600 I would have gained weight. It's only my n=1 experience, but I think that commenter should go read the threads of despair over on the ALC forums and such when Taubes said for some, it's just the best you can do. Seems I'm not alone in being of a certain age and reproductive status where VLC totally tanked my metabolic rate.

The diet jell-o I buy is sweetened with splenda. I agree that gulping down litres of diet soda a day is probably not the smartest idea but anyone who think a few packets of diet jello a week is putting their health in jeopardy is definitely part of the purity police squad.
James Krieger said…
The "Taubes's advice works for 80% of people" comment is hilarious. If that's true, then why do 90% of the people in the National Weight Control Registry NOT follow his advice? And why was there such a huge number of former low carbers in the weight management program that I used to do research for...low carbers who had regained all of their weight back?
Sue said…
Hate to say it but Sisson's lack of action contributed to Kruse's rise.
Sue said…
Hate to say it but Sisson's lack of action contributed to Kruse's rise.

Add - also I think Kruse posted a lot on PaleoHacks too. So at both of these places (especially at MDA) he was given free reign to post and at the same time recruit followers.
perishedcore said…
Didn't anyone ever eat chocolate covered insects, such as ants, meal worms and bees? They were quite the faddish thing in the late 60s early 70s. As I recall, they were crunchy, tasty, and I'd eat 'em again if they were prepared well.

Geesh, Evelyn, I watched autopsies, too, but it never impeded my love for hearts, kidneys, liver and even tripe. Brains, eyes and tongue, though - never could do those before or after.

Melissa, my income is too high. I eat well. I was just trying to convey how people with limited resources would have to expend possibly unavailable resources in order to eat a fresh, whole foods diet to a large extent.

I ended up blogging about the symposium at length. The reaction has been pretty much as expected. Until I see the videos of the presentations, I think my plan to remain disengaged with the "community" as it exists and continue to just read the science and the science-based bloggers is about as good as it's going to get.
CarbSane said…
Yep, remember the chocolate covered stuff! I eat calamari rings naked both cooked and ceviches, and even learned how to clean my own squid (thanks Alton Brown!) ... but the heads still have to be breaded and fried <--I even prefer these pieces in your standard calamari appetizer.

The autopsies weren't so much the thing, it was that the organs harvested for possible analysis were stored in those deli containers. Something about handling human organs in food containers just icked me. Heck, I guess the more and more hubs and I get into cooking, the less and less we even appreciate eating out. So guess I'll leave the exotic stuff for restaurants ;)
CarbSane said…
BTW, totally unrelated to food, I'll never forget the impression, as a 19 yo, of holding in my hand the brain from someone my age that had committed suicide.

Back to food, anything digestive system oriented just grosses me out. Cleaned too many rat intestines to do intestinal homogenates and such to "go there". If someone else cleans, prepares and disguises it so I don't recognize either the form or texture, I'm game.

I do wonder how many actually eat organ meats at all, let alone with some frequency, compared with the numbers of those touting them. I do, however, see all manner of paleo types justifying the frying of fatty skeletal meats because modern meat doesn't contain enough fat.
CarbSane said…
I discovered the PH scene late in the game. Seems at least a group of PH'ers had been calling him on his crap for a good long time. Also I believe Patrik had banned him for a period as well. That community is supposed to be a reputation/participation based self-moderated group. I think I've earned the ranking to be able to edit others' posts but I think I only did that once to add a label or fix a glaring typo that changed the entire meaning of a sentence. Last summer it was folks from PH who tried to sound the alarm bell.

Now on Mark's forum he was given free access to a huge following with nary a work on Mark's thoughts on the matter. Yet there were mentions of a book deal and Kurt confirmed in comments here that there was one that was nixed upon arrival of the first installment of content. Still nothing public until after the whole thing. He didn't even come out with a dedicated blog post to the issue, and wanting to protect his status as all around good guy who avoids controversy doesn't cut it for me.
He couched this as a Dear Mark, and even clouded the issue by throwing safe starches in there. What would it have taken for him to say I should have looked more into the claims this guy was making sooner, but that thread had taken on a life of its own by then. I can understand he might not have wanted to close it down or delete it, but IMO he should have and could have been justified in doing so long before Jack started charging on his site. He was selling things there and was using Mark's site to promote his business -- this much was obvious -- and his website boasted that thread as "cred". Whether he likes it or not, that thread represented Mark's endorsement of Jack's plans.

In the end, the rapid end of Krusegate is predictable. Jack went his own way gaining more followers by adopting that martyr status and everyone else who had a hand in it would rather everyone just forget it ever happened. For the unifying cause that is ... Sigh.
CarbSane said…
I know James!

This from a panel at AHS:

The ancestral health community includes hundreds of thousands of highly engaged members who routinely engage in self-experimentation to improve their health. Yet knowledge discovered through self-experimentation is rarely captured, validated, and disseminated. We know that dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle (exercise, circadian rhythm) therapies patterned on ancestral lifeways, alone or in combination with conventional medical therapies, can tremendously improve health. But we don’t yet know which interventions are most likely to work in specific health conditions.
The purpose of this panel is to explore how emerging technologies – quantified self tools for gathering data; software web services for sharing information; and analytical and annotation engines for developing and disseminating useful knowledge – can be utilized by the ancestral health community to make experimentation systematic and fruitful.

We envision a new model of science, in which the ancestral health community is able to systematically gather and share information using QS tools, web services, and analytical and annotation engines. The community tests therapeutic strategies under the guidance of scientists and clinicians, and results are rapidly validated and disseminated via blogs and the Ancestral Health Society’s Journal of Evolution and Health. Experts develop the results into protocols for diagnosing and treating disease.

The panel brings together technology entrepreneurs, a venture investor, technologists, a clinician, and three popular bloggers. The panel’s goal is not only to explore opportunities, but to design a pilot program and to identify entrepreneurial companies who would partner with the ancestral health community to implement a pilot program.

I'll be interested in how much time this panel spent on how "easily" to accomplish verification. How many of the various success stories touted by bloggers are even verified real names and primary ISP address and/or snail mail address? Or followed up on a semi-regular basis rather than merely accumulated on a web page.

Go 80+% fat? That's NOT a real human diet. Then "cut" to 1600 cal/day? This is a delusional person.
CarbSane said…
Metformin is the one drug just about everyone thinks is great. But insulin? Now that is poison.
CarbSane said…
@Galina, I don't think anyone is saying every food is good or tolerated or beneficial to every body. It's the broad restrictive prescriptions -- often made with no basis -- that are objectionable.

I wonder how much skeletal meat and nightshades Jack ate when he lost his weight using the leptin reset.
CarbSane said…
Ancestral Health Symposium 2012: Evolutionarily sound diets and lifestyles may revolutionize health care

The question is, what is "evolutionarily sound"?? 80+% fat perpetually ketogenic diets? Man as Ice Age being and possibly hibernator?
I dug this out from a PH post I made months ago ... will probably blog about it sometime soon. Chris Masterjohn said in an interview last fall that Weston Price found that the healthy societies he investigated ate one or more of the following: 1) raw dairy; 2) pastured eggs & organ meats; 3) shellfish/seafood; or 4) insects/whole small animals. Price found no healthy vegan societies. The whole focus on muscle meat plus fat is flawed.

BTW, did you see that Regina Wilshire is back to blogging at Weight of the Evidence? She's now focusing more on food quality (micronutrients over macronutrients) now.
ProudDaddy said…
Evelyn, does your reading re legumes confirm that special processing is reqired?
CarbSane said…
Well in one article they discussed the preparation of various foods (I think it's the desert Australian aboriginal one but could be the Pima. Beans were basically soaked for up to a week. This appears to be solely to soften them so they can be digested. There was no mention that this was to remove toxins or such.

I've always wondered about canned beans ... seems sitting around in some liquid for a long time qualifies as soaking, and I imagine the original processing to soften them before canning is discarded.
P2ZR said…
Mind-blowing incapacity for cognitive dissonance. But then again, how else would such hypocrisy be possible? Diet hypocrisy, business hypocrisy. And then using the facade of 'good Christian' to reach 'kindred spirits' struggling with their a hypocrisy in its very own category of vileness.

If a LC guru claimed that eating butter-coconut gobs at home on Sunday mornings, while doing devotionals to GCBC, would lead to hitherto-unwitnessed high rates of weight loss, JM is the kind of person who would tell his church that he couldn't attend for the next X months due to 'medical reasons', but would be at home dutifully reading the Bible...and soak up all the well-wishes and prayers and gift baskets (or at least the LC items therein) with absolutely zero compunction.

So funny that Dickoley ('Religion needs to die, and Christian fundamentalists can just go to h*ll') is so chummy with JM--who is (this is the key) actively using his faith to promote his LC brand. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised; like attracts like. I'll leave it to others to determine the value of G_h, the gravitational constant of hypocrisy. But of course we know that the two masses involved are definitely not negligible.
P2ZR said…
On another level, it doesn't even matter whether it is 80/20 or 90/10 or 51/49 or 10/90. The 'it's helping people' rationalization (as put forward by Dickoley et al.) forces the deduction that the (1.0 - p_helped) proportion of people who are not helped *or are even harmed* by the method, and their very real pain don't matter. If you feel like it's the end of the world because after all that struggle with The Method, it's not working?--either you're lying about compliance, or you're not among The Anointed for whom it works. If it feels like everything hurts and nothing works from doing it faithfully?--you're probably doing it wrong, but if not, we don't want to hear it.

Does that mean that because a drug like tamoxifen 'helps people', we can sweep all the info about nonresponse and adverse responses under the rug? And lists of side effects are just a side effect of meddling Big Gov (not so that patients are properly informed, but just to avoid litigation)? 'Cause it's so philanthropically helping people--I mean, really...HELPING!!!--right?
David Csonka said…
I seriously doubt the long-term feasibility of a single cohesive all-encompassing umbrella for the concept of ancestral health - in the form of "paleo".

People want solutions, they want black and white, yes and no. They don't want a Decide-You-Own Adventure Paleo Edition. They want the one diet to rule them all.

Due to genetic variation and heritage, at best all we'll be able to offer is a framework. We have to teach people a new way how to think about food.

I believe many would rather they didn't have to think at all.
Sue said…
Double sigh! Thanks for setting me straight re PH - I didn't read there often.
Galina L. said…
In Russia beef tong is priced exactly like a beef tenderloin. I love it taste and price here in US. More muscle meat than an organ. Great in chilly, I make a double-cooked beef-stroganoff with it, or just eat it sliced.
CarbSane said…
Hey ejazz! Nice to see you still about. I always think of you whenever I read a strident LCHF is *the* way to handle diabetes!
CarbSane said…
Welcome Adele!

At first sight, your organization looks promising. Then I look a little further and I don't see a unifying message as much as a heavy presence of low carbers on forming the message and on the advisory panel.

For starters, given that 99.99999% of human cultures that struggle on the SAD are eating more fat than their traditional diets would have afforded, the sum total of all the "low fat diet advice was misguided and caused the obesity/health crisis" quotes are what in fact are misguided. The best quote of all is the one that acknowledges that Americans never heeded the advice ... so it's hard to blame the guidelines that were never followed. We added more carbs but didn't cut fat.

You have two staunch LC'ers out of three advisors, one of whom thinks Carbs Can Kill. But the worst thing IMO, is having Adam Kosloff as your Chair of Outreach. Whoa boy where to start on that guy. He "reached out" to me then went on Jimmy Moore's podcast and trashed me, then said he was regretful and would return to address the issues of his two-faced behavior ... then slithered away never to be seen again.

I would strongly urge you to at least listen to that podcast, because your director of outreach is decidedly not inclusive towards anyone that believes in energy balance. It's basically, we have no cle what's in my little black box, but I welcome everyone to work towards finding out so long as you check your belief in what science tells us at the door. In his caloriegate literature he ruthlessly bashes anyone who believes in CICO as he is a strong believer in the science fiction works of Gary Taubes.

Yeah, I'm being a bit stridently sarcastic here, and I do apologize for doing so with someone who doesn't know me. But I just can't help it when it seems so transparent to me that your group is nothing but a front group for Paleo-Atkins under the guise of inclusiveness. Is this what LC has come to? Nobody has been buying it for 40 years now so rather than be up front with the advocacy, repackage it as part of some all-inclusive movement? That's part of the problem with paleo these days, they've let LC hacks like Jimmy Moore in on the action.
FYF said…
Hi, Thanks for at least checking us out. We do have our roots in the low-carb and WAPF communities, and have been welcomed by the Ancestral Health folks. Since getting official non-profit status, our board has been revamped (although I haven't finished the online updates yes). You might be dismayed to see Adam still on board, but we're adding new faces from other communities as well. At AHS2012 I had a long talk with our Associate Director, Anna Kelles, about working on expanding our board membership to include vegetarian/vegan community members/leaders. It hasn't been easy because one of the three principles we uphold is that there is no one size fits all diet, and that can be a barrier for people on all sides of the issue. In that regard, we do not promote any specific diet. A vegan who is happy with his/her diet is welcome, as is someone who only eats meat. I don't expect anybody to "buy" low-carb or high-carb or paleo or vegan. We need to be able to think critically not just about nutrition science, but why we gather ourselves in little nutrition communities in the first place. The health problems I saw people struggling with in clinic and at the hospital have long, complex etiologies. There's no one solution, there's no quick solution, and there are no simple answers or explanations. Low-carb might improve health for some; a vegan diet might help others. But at long as our national default diet recommendations are created in a top-down, opaque fashion, there is little hope that individuals and communities will be able to figure out what they need to keep themselves healthy. HNC has suggested the following as unifying concepts for ALL nutrition communities who wish to see improvements in our current food-health system:

Old paradigm: One size fits all dietary recommendations can prevent chronic disease.
New paradigm: Individualized nutrition guidance can help every American meet their essential nutrition needs.

Old paradigm: Science can give us the objective truth about nutrition.
New paradigm: Our ideas about nutrition are shaped as much by culture as by science.

Old paradigm: Top-down public health nutrition policies and programs will promote health and wellness in communities.
New paradigm: Community involvement in the creation of public health nutrition policies and programs will promote health and wellness in communities.
Your suggestions for unifying concepts would be welcomed.
Lerner said…
Inulin is added to Stroehman Double Fiber bread. You probably have that brand there. That's what I usually get.

That or fresh store made French bread. I had a whole loaf of that in one day last week. How long do I have to live?? haha