las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Robb Wolf: On Fruit

Fruity? 
Notice that I did not mention fruit. Most folks are battling some kind of metabolic derangement, aka obesity, diabetes, fertility issues, depression, etc. This with a mixed bag of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation. Until you are lean and healthy, you don’t get much fruit. There is no nutrient in fruit that is not available in veggies, and fruit may have too many carbs for you. When we start talking about what constitutes “health,” we will see where on that spectrum you are. For now, just keep things simple and you will reap the greatest rewards.  
~ Robb Wolf, p. 214 The Paleo Solution


In the ongoing quest to clarify the relationship between the various low carb and paleo/primal diets out there, I take note from time to time of the positions on carbs in general but also certain types.  

I would note that the version of paleo in Robb's book is not the buttered bacon on cauliflower with a cup of coffee with more butter in it that seems so popular these days.  It's pretty much the Cordain version with lean meats, but not quite the version applied by Lindeberg et.al. in their clinical trials.  


It's worth noting that Robb's second paleo meal was eggs and a half of a cantaloupe.  As he tells it:
I bought a pack of ribs from Whole Foods, along with salad fixings. I made a rub of garlic and ginger powder for the ribs and set them baking in the oven. I made a salad of field greens, fennel, and sweet red onions. Two hours later, the timer on the oven rang, and I reset it for twenty minutes to let the meat “rest” (which seemed odd considering it was already dead). When the second timer rang, I cut off a section of ribs and piled my plate high with salad. I garnished the whole mess with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I ate. And ate, and ate. About six ribs and a pound of salad later I was warmly satisfied, clear headed, and I felt better than I had in years.
After one meal.
I had no gas, no bloat, and no stomach problems. That night I slept better than I had in recent memory. I woke up the next day rested and not in a fog. I made scrambled eggs with chopped basil and rounded things out with half a cantaloupe. I felt great! I had energy, I could think. I actually felt like I wanted to live.
I ran with this for two weeks, feeling better and better. I immediately lost the layer of chub that had grown around my midsection despite the fact that I was emaciated. I started gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time.   (pp. 20-21)

58 comments:

Gene said...

Why is it worth noting? One meal that one guy had many years ago is relevant to his baseline dietary prescriptions for a host of people he hasn't met and for whom he's trying to lay out his best guess "do no harm" prescription? How on earth is that relevant?

Karin said...

Robb Wolf seems to change his position so often it's hard to tell what he currently thinks. I wonder if it's intentional so he's difficult to pin down. Anyway, when you reference his old advice, like taking massive amounts of fish oil, he just complains that he's changed his view based on "new information" and then spins it as if he's being persecuted for doing so. He's also done this with fruit based on this link: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/ Fruit is in the Okay column, and I didn't see anything about limiting it.

Gene said...

So, Karin, you'd rather give succour to this ridiculous smearing than give a guy who has openly admitted he's changed his mind as new evidence has come available? Interesting.

carbsane said...

This is from his book. It is funny how he provides 30 days of menus and recipes and nowhere in those 30 days is there cantaloupe or ribs. It is worth noting because that comes from the same book as his cautions about fruit. Make sense now?

Gene said...

No. It's still completely irrelevant. Just because he ate a piece of cantaloupe and some ribs one day and liked it doesn't mean that should/would form the basis of his recommendations for everyone. Make sense now?

Gene said...

As we say on teh webz, the ironing in the above comment is delicious.

fathernature said...

I disagree. Robb has changed his position on Fish Oil and Carbs, but in both cases he has specifically explained why he thought the way he did and why he changed his mind. Search Robb's website for the phrase "who are you" and you will find dozens of examples of Robb describing how his recommendations will differ based on the answers to the questions "who are you?" and "what are your goals or needs?" So yes, fruit is in the Okay column. But that does not mean that unlimited fruit is the best choice for everyone all the time. If you're battling metabolic derangement, with autoimmunity problems limiting fruit may help. That's not changing his position. It is the difference between the info that can be conveyed in a one page general summary of Paleo and a more in depth discussion in a book or a specific answer on a podcast.

carbsane said...

He's definitely a yes man though I don't see it as not wanting to be pinned down as much as going with the flow of what sells and keeps "paleo" popular and trending. He has changed his mind so much it's truly amazing. No wonder he got all upset thinking I was talking about him in this post: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-information.html (though I mentioned no names)

Kinda crazy that he's the world's leading expert on paleolithic nutrition. The subtitle of his book is "The Original Human Diet" -- that can't have changed now, right?

Gene said...

Yeah, that's just basic common sense, fathernature.

fathernature said...

Well, to be fair, in his 30 day menu there are apples, peaches, strawberries and mixed berries. So, I don't see the inconsistency. Nowhere does he say, fruit is bad. As the quote you've including indicates, he is aiming his advice at people "battling some kind of metabolic derangement, aka obesity, diabetes, fertility issues, depression, etc." At some point, if you want to help the average person, you need to actually provide him or her with actionable information. Do this for 30 days, see what happens. That is what he has done with the menu. But any full reading of his material makes it clear that he does not intend people to eat that 30 day menu on a continuous cycle for the rest of their lives. He specifically advises people to add foods back in and see how they affect them.

carbsane said...

He likes to lash out at anyone that dares even question how and why some changes came about. Mostly it is just the development based on his experiences. Which is not what the paleo diet is supposed to be based on.

carbsane said...

Smearing? Sheez Gene. Who is smearing anyone? The misinformation spread about fruit is astounding. Does Robb refer to Lindeberg and other clinical trials regularly? If so, is he even aware of the version(s) of paleo they employed? It seems not.

There is no NEW evidence. New to him is not new. Get it?

carbsane said...

No. This was his paleo diet. So do as I say, not as I do?

carbsane said...

Yes, there's a little fruit.

" Most folks are battling some kind of metabolic derangement, aka obesity, diabetes, fertility issues, depression, etc. This with a mixed bag of autoimmunity and systemic inflammation. Until you are lean and healthy, you don’t get much fruit. "

Oh ... but so no fruit for these people doesn't imply to you that fruit is bad? Fruit causes depression now? LOL. Before people go making stuff up like this, don't you think there should be some evidence? The Lindeberg study on ischemic patients was in an "ill" population, and their paleo diet included even more fruit (almost 500g). Robb likes to cite Frassetto as well that used even more fruit and honey.


Until you are lean and healthy, you don't get much fruit. Based on what? Not anything you'll find in the scientific literature that's for sure.

carbsane said...

Yeah that's just the thirty days that require Paleologix to keep you from feeling like such crap ;-)

Gene said...

So, if he refers to them, he must parrot their every word? And if he suggests that he believes some people shouldn't eat *much* fruit in certain situations based on his own experience he's spreading "misinformation" about fruit? This despite the evidence that carbohydrate restricted diets do lead to weightloss, a fact even you admit though you believe it has to do with spontaneous calorie reduction. And you wonder why folks think you're a laughing stock.

Gene said...

So if Robb ate some fruit for "a couple of weeks" he should, therefore, prescribe "All fruit, all the time, for everyone." How's your high fruit diet going, Evie? I mean, if Robb is all wrong about fruit, you must clearly believe that everyone - including you - should be eating a lot of fruit all the time. So, how's that going? You lost any weight?

fathernature said...

Again, I disagree. I think personal experience is very much a part of the paleo diet. Hence Robb's differing recommendation depending on the individual. I've seen and heard Robb acknowledge in writing and on his podcast that there is no "one" paleo diet. That it's a starting point from which you can personalize within some general guidelines. But you have to start somewhere.



It's funny. How many posts and comments have there been stating something to the effect of "There is no one Paleo Diet, various ancient peoples ate completely different types of diets"? This is used as a criticism of Paleo.



Yet, when Paleo's acknowledge that there is variability in the ancestral diet and that a healthy "paleo diet" is not about reenactment and can vary widely between people, then they are criticized because now you "can't pin them down".
I get that you feel you haven't been treated well by some Paleos and you are predisposed to find fault with the ideas. It's easy to find quotes out of context that contradict each other that support your bias. On the other hand, I've had great personal success as well as success helping others with Paleo. So, I'm sure I'm predisposed to overlook inconsistencies and contradictions.



My guess is that the truth is somewhere in the middle. But, it seems like these types of posts are thrown out there as some sort of "Gotcha! Robb Wolf is inconsistent, Paleo is a fraud!" To me, a post like this tells me more about your predisposition to find fault than it does about any actual fault with Paleo in general or Robb specifically.

carbsane said...

Back up and look at the quote and look at the book it comes from. "The Original Human Diet" is not whatever Wolf makes up. If it's based on the Eaton/Konner/Cordain/Lindeberg model then fruit is not the issue. He cites studies then makes up his own take?


Where has fruit been implicated in obesity, diabetes, depression, or fertility issues? Nowhere.


LC does cause a short term spontaneous caloric reduction and weight loss in most. What does that have to do with what the Original Human Diet was?

fathernature said...

Okay. So you post a quote in which Robb says to limit (not eliminate) fruit if you have metabolic problems. You then post an anecdote in which Robb mentioned he ate half a cantaloupe. You finish by noting that Robb doesn't include cantaloupe in his 30 day meal plan. To you, this is evidence that Robb is inconsistent, when in reality it is all very consistent. Let me outline it: 1) He recommends limited fruit when dealing with metabolic problems. 2) He tells a story in which he describes two meals that consist mostly of meat, vegetables and some fruit. 3) He provides a 30 day meal plan that consist mostly of meat vegetables and a little fruit. Sorry, not inconsistent.



With regard to depression, no, fruit does not cause depression. But metabolic derangement can play a role. And Robb is recommending limiting fruit to help counter metabolic derangement. Don't confuse something that can, in some situations, be successful as a therapeutic treatment with the underlying cause of a larger problem. That is the very thing for which you criticize Taubes (e.g., just because low carb can help with weight loss, doesn't mean carbs cause obesity).

carbsane said...

No. The "Original Human Diet" should not be what Robb says it is anyway, right? If you know enough to try to address me as Evie, you know that it is a nickname reserved for friends. If you want to continue to miss the point of this post I can't help you. But your white knighting for Robb is touching.

carbsane said...

Back up. I didn't call him inconsistent in my post. I responded to Karin. He is extremely inconsistent which is why he is so defensive if anyone even questions him. He is all over the map.

I said it is "worth noting" that his second meal included half a cantaloupe -- notice that according to him he was a metabolic mess before going paleo, then after just two meals he was much better. So how can he implicate fruit? He wasn't lean and healthy a the time ... by his own account which is all I have to go by. Isn't it odd that cantaloupe doesn't make an appearance in the 30 days of menus? Maybe 1/4 or a 1/8th wedge?


There are a very small percentage of people with fructose malabsorption issues that need to limit fruit. Besides that, there is no indication that fruit is anything but a positive factor in the diet. Do you really know of any? Is there a high fruit society that suffers? I don't think you will find one.

fathernature said...

Honestly, I'm confused. You didn't call him inconsistent in your post, (although you do say he's inconsistent in your reply). Rather, you say his comments on fruit are worth noting? If the post wasn't to try to point out a perceived inconsistency, then what exactly is noteworthy? I really thought that is the point you were trying to make.



With regard to a society that suffers due to high fruit consumption, no I'm not aware of one. But again, no one is claiming that fruit is universally bad or that it causes obesity, especially on a population/society level. That is a straw man that you have adequately slayed. Am I aware of individuals that have seen significant improvement in body composition by reducing fruit intake? Absolutely. It is a recommendation to assist people in reaching a goal. It is not an indictment of fruit.

carbsane said...

OK, let me try a different angle here. This is The Carb-Sane Asylum. I don't have a particular mission, but one of the things I do here is just collect and share the viewpoints various people have on carb-related issues. I started doing the On the Record "label" for this reason, though I haven't had time to do a lot of that or go back and re-tag all the prior posts that might qualify.


There has been a recurring theme that fruit is fattening, bad for you with sugar swings, etc., or just plain not all that nutritious for a while now. There has also been an ongoing war (not my doing, I'm just "reporting") over whether or not paleo = LC. Robb has basically taken the fence on this one, but that depends on which Robb you read.


His book is not *that* old -- late 2010. Yet he has changed his tune since. His book is subtitled "The Original Human Diet" and is tagged with Lose Weight, Get Fit, Reverse Disease.

Paraphrasing now: You don't get to eat much fruit until you are lean and healthy. People reading this book are effed up, like I was. Fruit can be problematic for this list of maladies and conditions.


There is NO other way to interpret that than that he is implicating fruit. This is based on NO evidence and NO "paleolithic principles". It is not a subject up for debate, really. Except those who still make up stuff about how fruit is fattening and needs to be restricted if you are ideally healthy by some nebulous compilation of ever-changing goal posts I might add.


The reason his diet is worth noting is that HE noted it in the book. He shared how he "went paleo" and felt better overnight! Cantaloupes are pretty high in sugar and bulky too so it takes a bit to consume half of one. So if he was feeling like crap and that helped him, why were not cantaloupes on the menus? Why limit fruit at all? He didn't. The paleo diets used in clinical trials don't seem to. Where did he get this idea?


Not every post here is a monumental thing and I find it telling how much people overreact to anything that is written about Robb here. I blogged VERY little about him. I looked into his positions because readers asked and I listened to a podcast he did way back when with Jimmy Moore.


Robb wants to have things every which way till Tuesday so long as it makes him a buck. Doesn't want to anger the paleos that eat LC, but low carb is his bread and butter. Wants to poke at the mainstream to rile the troops when the diet IN his book would be perfectly acceptable to most mainstream doctors and dietitians. He bought the insulin thing and included it in his book. Now he doesn't believe it, says he was duped, then lashes out at those who wonder aloud who duped him.


So anyway, your and Gene's support for him is touching and I'll leave it at that. But I think there's a bit too much "doth protesting" going on!

LWC said...

Hasn't Wolf written that he has celiac's or at least a severe gluten intolerance? If that's the case, then not eating gluten as part of his meal is likely what caused the change. Just as avoiding lactose helps a lactose intolerant person avoid severe gastric distress.


I know when I realized what lactose was doing to me and I quit ingesting it, I felt like "a new woman" after only a couple of lactose free meals.

preluded said...

I'm not a huge fan of Robb but I agree with the others and I think your take here isn't useful. He is trying to make a point with a personal story about the very first stages of his transition to paleo, I'm not sure why I would expect him to get it exactly right the very first day or expect him to think that from that day on everyone should gorge on ribs and cantaloupe. The bigger point is that he stopped with the vegetarian and grain stuff. You are really drilling down into minutia that isn't all that interesting or clear what point you are trying to make. I imagine you could make similar analysis in almost every book written by anyone.

carbsane said...

Yeah, I'm not sure if he's celiac or just severely gluten intolerant, but he's one of the many gurus who "cured" something and then think that's what everyone needs to do.

LWC said...

This is why there is periodically a slew of "When the magic doesn't happen," posts in the paleosphere. Because if you have an intolerance (or two) and you stop ingesting whatever's been bothering you, it IS magical (for you, the individual). But if you don't have an intolerance? All you've got is a needlessly restrictive diet.

carbsane said...

Jeez. I was actually searching the ebook for bacon to answer a question off-blog when this quote caught my eye. There have been a spate of anti-fruit posts and fruit makes you fat proclamations in the LC and paleosphere, so this post was an "On the Record" post. This is Robb's position .... or it was circa 2010.


It is interesting to me that *his* first paleo meals, that made him feel instantly better, were not included in the 30 day menus he offers up with his "used car salesman pitch" to try the diet. Not sure why the cantaloupe but the ribs are pretty obviously not on his mentor's (Loren Cordain) menu.


I have no problem with the personal anecdotes but they should mesh with the diet advice in a diet book, no?

I don't think it is nit picking at minutia to point out that a book subtitled "The Original Human Diet" should not really be about Robb's diet. This is where the various "paleo" positions on fruit and starches and dairy, etc. all fall apart. It either was or it wasn't and yet the more real and comprehensive the anthropological evidence one looks at is, the more it looks like verboten foods were a part of human evolution all along.

carbsane said...

Bingo!

carbsane said...

Furthermore, many have issues that simply aren't food related. I have heard especially from some with chronic pain issues where it just does nothing except an added dose of "adrenal fatigue".

PaleoNouveau said...

What a load of "over analyzing" from every single side of this issue.
Paleo Shmaleo!! What everyone seems to look at are RESULTS. No one
sector in any area is more successful at losing FAT and maintaining LEAN
body mass than BODYBUILDERS. Yes steroids are part of the "game."
However, no amount of steroids can get you RIPPED (low body fat). It is
the DIET that works! BB's can get ripped with multiple approaches. Low
carb. Low fat. Caloric restriction. THEY ALL WORK!!!! Why? Who cares? If
a specific approach works, it may be wise to understand WHY it works,
but it should not be questioned if it achieves results time and time
again!

Hormones are a big part of the answer! DUH!!!! So is
working out PROPERLY!!! So is eating SENSIBLY!!! It seems everyone in
the blogosphere is an "armchair quarterback" and a self proclaimed guru.
You know what, If you KNOW so much post your pictures to PROVE your
KNOWLEDGE. I DO!!! I follow the diet that worked for the bodybuilders in
the 80's ( before insulin) and we got ripped! I did this now and it
allowed me to get CUT not RIPPED because I only did it for 6 weeks and
not strict. It's been 3 months and I am still losing fat, even though I
am not dieting! Only not as quickly.Losing fat is not rocket
science. Sadly the fact remains that most of us refuse to do what is
required to attain the physique and health we want. I compare it to a
child complaining about not wanting to do homework. They may not WANT to
DO what is NECESSARY to achieve RESULTS but that does not mean there is
ANOTHER path to knowledge and learning!

Manimal said...

'Until you are lean and healthy, you don’t get much fruit.' - What's wrong with this? He doesn't say no fruit at all and his daily menus I've seen always include 'some' fruit.

Unlimited fruit?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W2zSN0JOa8

carbsane said...

What's wrong with that is that there is NO evidence that fruit is even a problem for the "unhealthy" or "non-lean" -- that was the point of the "worth noting" part because Robb's second meal included 1/2 a cantaloupe. HE claims he was sick and a little doughy about the middle. The paleo diets studied in clinical trials have been relatively high in fruit.


Mercola? Seriously?

carbsane said...

It's time to realize that appearing fit is not necessarily healthy either.


I do believe that before someone claims authority and writes such in a book, there ought to be some sort of evidence behind it, no?

Adam said...

I presume the primary point of this post is that even in his book there is inconsistencies in what a "paleo" diet is. Of course, we're likely picking the bottom of the barrel with this point however I presume the example was illustrative of an underlying tendency in the paleosphere.


The paleo diet is never clearly defined. It is low carbohydrate, high carbohydrate, lean meat based, fatty meat based, buttered coffee and everything in between. The result is the use of paleo diet studies in support of a paleo diet that is not consistent with the employed definition of paleo diet. It's just language games dressed up as marketing.


I understand many people will say that is the point of the paleo diet. That is it self-styled, highly individualistic and tailored to an individual's needs. What works for the individual does not necessarily work for the group on average but the paleo diet, If it is to be a diet at all, is prescriptive and will advocate selection of certain foods based on certain criteria. Perhaps there is a set of base criteria and then the individual aspect comes into it.


These base criteria are inconsistent between definitions (If we all agree that paleo diet, when defined, means game, nuts, fruit, tuber and vegetables we can start there) and often restriction differences between groups are harmful as they can cause disordered eating. In certain cases restriction differences promote metabolic advantages promising "weight will be maintained while slurping down buttered coffee and butter covered bacon fried asparagus".


As an aside the paleo (Or is it primal?) obsession with butter and coconut oil is fascinating. It's re-assuring that Grok has access to sticks of Kerrygolds every morning such that he could pop them in his coffee, hop into his luxury sports car and drive to the office to attend business meetings. (Okay, this part is just tongue in cheek. But life style modifications are down played in favour of dietary modifications far too often)

Manimal said...

Half medium cantaloupe is like 20-25 carbs only. That's completly inline with his meal plans and 'some fruit' recommendation. If he wrote 'eat all fruit you want, it's great for you' I'm sure quite a lot people would end up smashing 10 bananas a day.
Posted link isn't about Mercola but Dr Johnson. His findings suggest to be very careful with fructose and fruit intake, unless you're a bear preparing for winter :).

fathernature said...

Does Robb emphasize the science when it is available? Sure, but he didn't do that here. He's not telling the reader there are scientific studies showing fruit is bad for you. His book is not a science textbook. It's a self help book. As such, he is going to recommend things that he thinks will help.


Show me the studies that say you NEED high fruit consumption to be healthy or lose weight. Wait, there aren't any of those studies either. Can you lose weight eating fruit? Yes. Are there circumstances where limiting fruit intake is helpful? Based on what I've experienced and personally witnessed yes.

My guess is that his fruit recommendation is based, in part, on his experience training and coaching hundreds of people. He's pretty clear that his approach is a synthesis of refined from a combination of his understanding of the anthropological record, scientific literature and personal experience (both for himself and as a trainer).

Paleo is based on the diet from the Paleolithic, but as Robb noted in Podcast 52 (yes, way back in 2010) “Paleo is a framework applied to modern humans not a historical reenactment… we're using this concept in this framework to try to make informed decisions to improve our lives, and it's not to turn it into a cult.” So, you start with a framework, then you look at the science. Then you consider your own experiences as well as the experiences of others and go from there. This is why you try it for 30 days, then add things back in and see how they affect you. This is why there is variation in recommended diets depending on a person’s health and goals. This is why there is an 80/20 principle. Can you find examples of orthorexia in some inline Paleo circles (as well as any other dietary circle you care to look in)? Sure. But if you look at Robb’s recommendations, in context, you find very reasonable recommendations to be used as a starting point which can be modified as needed. I'm sorry, but you are grasping at straws.

I normally don’t comment on your articles because I haven’t read Taubes’ books and I don’t eat low carb. If you want to go after Taubes or get into the details of the value of a calorie vs. a carb, that is fine and interesting, but I’m not going to comment unless I think I can add something to the discussion. In this case, I have read The Paleo Solution and listened to many or Robb’s podcasts, so I have a pretty good understanding of the topic. It is telling that when confronted by someone that knows as much, or more, on a subject than you (in this case, what Robb actually recommends) that you feel the need to dismiss what I write as simply a “touching” defense of Robb.

So, I’m sorry I wasted your time and mine. I will leave you to your fans who can pat regardless of what you write.

Gene said...

"What's wrong with that is that there is NO evidence that fruit is even a problem for the "unhealthy" or "non-lean"

Many modern fruits contain high levels of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate reduced diets help many people with fat loss. There is clinical evidence supporting this assertion, and it's something even Evie knows from experience way back before the call from the Lindor Truffles became too strong for her. 1+1 = 2 except in Evie's little bubble.

carbsane said...

You are now banned. My name is Evelyn to you or you are not welcome here. You were notified and you disrespect. So ... bye. But in case anyone doesn't know, I lost around 100 lbs or so eating VLC most days, with planned "cheats" that were NOT binges, and a Lindor or two many days along the way. So I don't know what Gene's point is except to personally attack. There is clinical evidence that reducing calories results in fat loss. That restricting carbs without caloric reduction does not.

lucyricardanon said...

The diet is obviously an important part of contest prep, but yes, the drugs do help competitors get leaner while maintaining muscle mass. Furthermore, post-contest bingeing and massive weight gain is a known problem for bodybuilders as well as fitness and figure competitors, in addition to other disordered behaviors. Holding bodybuilders up as some kind of example for the general public to follow is quite simply absurd.

carbsane said...

I have watched that before but have neither the time nor patience to watch again. Perhaps you can summarize Dr. Johnson's evidence because I have yet to see a study even correlating fruit consumption with fattening, let alone clinical evidence.


What Robb wrote implied that fruit can be problematic. In a book of this nature, more than his say-so is needed. Why wasn't half a cantaloupe included in one of 90 meals? Just sayin'

carbsane said...

If I accidentally deleted anyone's comments I apologize. There's no upset on my end here so no worries over the mixup that caused it OK?

Adam said...

I agree with you that the combination of self-experimentation, an evolutionary framework and the bolstering of this framework with scientific evidence can work well. I also think testing responses to food with elimination diets can be a good idea in the right context. I also think a person's health context shifts over time so strict adherence to a prior elimination may not be necessary in the future. I also think in the wrong context such things can cause disordered eating.


I just think paleo is too restrictive, is ill-defined (As the popular paleo diet is not necessarily what you advocate. Also even if you argue there are multiple paleo diets there can still be those who argue high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein is the only one) and that terms such as "metabolic derangement" are over-applied. Like you said the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

LWC said...

By your description of Wolf's definition or framework, Paleo amounts to nothing more than an elimination diet.

carbsane said...

Does Robb emphasize the science when it is available? Sure, but he didn't do that here. He's not telling the reader there are scientific studies showing fruit is bad for you. His book is not a science textbook. It's a self help book. As such, he is going to recommend things that he thinks will help.


No it's not a text book but his book peppered with geek-speak. You can't have it both ways, especially when Robb bills himself as a world leading expert and a former research biochemist (and cancer researcher and specializing in lipids). The fruit quote is not taken out of context and it is not substantiated and it is not something he likely learned from Cordain. Speaking of whom Robb used to highlight doing graduate study under him, but I guess someone must have pointed out that Cordain doesn't teach anything paleo or anthropology related.


There is no "paleo diet" which is a problem when you are trying to build a movement. It helps though if folks that used the term at least agreed on a framework -- gluten is satan's excrement is not a unifying credo. So Sanfilippo is right when she says she doesn't really care about what's paleo, it's a marketing pitch. But it would help if paleo didn't promote all manner of woo woo like the low stomach acid scam and betaineHCl. No thanks, there are others more qualified and genuine in their desire to improve the health of the population.


I see you are a fanboy. That's fine. You've wasted my time and you've insulted my readers, so you accomplished your mission as minion. Have a NorCal on me.

Sanjeev Sharma said...

repackaged broscience

PaleoNouveau said...

You r missing the value of the methodology. Being able to lose body fat effectively is a proven concept in bodybuilding. We can take what works and throw away what does not. Binging is not universally accepted. It works because it is simple, not easy, but simple. Healthy? Lowering your body fat to levels that r in keeping with what a hg society show r parameters that have shown to b ideal. Overanalyzing and out of shape unhealthy (JM, etc.) r poor cop outs. Lifestyle is equally important as eating is only a PART of the equation!

PaleoNouveau said...

Agree. But regurgitating dogmatic views that r currently popular is not appropriate for the masses to learn, however it seems to make them feeling warm and fuzzy! it just seems that most of us r looking for the EASY way and not the right way!

lucyricardanon said...

No, I'm not missing the value of the methodology. The whole point of a bodybuilding diet is to get as lean as humanly possible and then stay that way for a day. It's not healthy and it's not sustainable. Do you honestly believe that bodybuilders maintain 5% bodyfat at all times?

Most people know how to lose weight and are able to do so. The main issue a lot of people face is that they're able to lose weight but unable to maintain long-term. A bodybuilding approach in no way addresses the issue of maintenance.

David Pete said...

I always try to be extra careful with fruit. When I feel myself slipping and start craving fruit again, I just go over to the 30 Bananas website and look and all the obese people there to scare myself straight.

Sanjeev Sharma said...

> THEY ALL WORK!!!! Why? Who cares?


2 groups:

Screennamerequired said...

It's not so much not wanting to get pinned down or "new information" coming to light that has him changing his mind. It's just about learning more and discovering what you stated publicly and spoke about authoritatively was mostly rubbish. Which is kind of funny when the whole book is written in a mocking "the health and nutrition authorities have it all completely wrong but we totally know the perfect human diet" manner. At least these days you can edit ebooks these days I guess. I think Robb wolf is trying to have it both ways. Embracing the high fat butter loving crowd and selling his diet to them, but also trying to pass his diet off as "healthy lean meats and vegetables" when convenient, like in that fire-fighter study.

Screennamerequired said...

The paleo books of today are going to be the same as the fad diets of
yesteryear. We'll all look back on these books in 10 years time and
laugh at how comically incorrect and full of bro science they were. I wonder what the original human diet will have evolved into by that time. It sure as hell won't be lean meats, fruits and vegetables. That kind of diet has no staying power. It needs the butter, bacon, cream and evoulutionary Grok stories to entice people.

carbsane said...

It's the most bizarre cult ever!


Back in 2010 I'm sure I listened to Robb's podcast with Jimmy but probably didn't think much of it. I decided to relisten after the response to this post. There are some gems in that podcast, done before he sold anything other than some premade paleo meals. It was quite enlightening ;-)

carbsane said...

Exactly. Paleo a la the 30 days in his book is pretty austere. Bacon a couple of times as a condiment or side is about as decadent as it gets ... and the appeal of bacon in moderation wears off pretty quickly.


The mainstream medical establishment is never going to adopt a 50+ percent fat diet, because it is utterly untested and the scant few humans ever to eat such a diet lived in very different climates and had very different lifestyles AND most importantly consumed very different fats. Should keep the rebel without a clue cult diet stuff going for a while, even if there won't be as much money in it once the bubble bursts.

Bris Vegas said...

Rob Wolf's only academic qualification is a bachelors degree in biochemistry. It is extremely unlikely that he has ever been involved in research at any level higher than a very junior laboratory technician.You don' get to do any independent research until reach the level of Postdoctoral Fellow (PhD with 5+years experience).

carbsane said...

You don't need to have the title "Principal Scientist" , a PhD after your name and your name on the grant to be a research scientist. Lots of independent thought goes into research at different levels ... and this also varies widely with the purpose of the research, the environment (academia vs. industry) and the size of the company/group you are working with.


I did some pretty cool research the summer before I got my BS and developed a device and the manufacturing process for making it all by myself. Twas a cool project that each of us "pre professionals" were assigned. I also silvered dewers on that very same job. When I worked in the pharmaceutical industry most of the research part of my job was analytical chemistry related but so, too, was some of the hum drum side of things. I recall my first PhD scientist boss being rather unhappy at times because he didn't do a lot of real science any more, it was so much paper pushing in the drug development world. He actually enjoyed teaching me bile duct canulation surgery.

OTOH, there is a big difference between being a lab tech and a researcher. By his own (former) description as being a "bench scientist" Robb is guilty of quite a bit of resume inflation when he has claimed to specialize in lipids and even claimed being a cancer researcher. I think he was, indeed, a lab tech at a research facility. I worked mostly on antidepressants during my tenure in pharma, but I would never describe myself as a depression researcher, nor an infectious disease researcher b/c I also worked on an antibiotic or a food scientist because I worked on an artificial sweetener.

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