Paleo on Oz ... Notes & Comments

UPDATE:  Link to Transcript

Dr. Loren Cordain and Nell Stephenson (the Paleoista, who co-authored a cookbook with Cordain) were on The Dr. Oz show today.  I taped it.  Cordain describes the diet of having all healthy aspects including:
  • high protein diet  (say what?)
  • lots of fruits and veggies that contain beneficial phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals
  • high in long chain omega 3 fatty acids
Nell takes over with the nos -- classifying these as inflammatory foods
  • dairy
  • grains
  • legumes
  • refined sugars
"So basically nothing in a wrapper" (I edited this in as I relistened to make sure I get another quote correct).  Lumping beans and grains which are mostly in the case of the former or can be in the case of the latter real, whole foods in with processed foods is unnecessary hyperbole.  

But it's not Atkins despite her description of the diet as organic poultry, wild salmon and grassfed meats with local produce (lots! includes fruit), healthy fats (CO, olive oil, avocados and limited raw nuts - shows almonds).  Nell describes Atkins as sitting around all day eating bacon and cheese (LOL, and we wonder where the stereotypes come from).  But the foods she has there will end up likely constituting a low carb diet as implemented by most (like Practical Paleo's Diane Sanfilippo who restricts fruit considerably).  Nothing in a package or a wrapper -- whole, fresh foods.

Biggest misconception?  Cordain: The biggest misconception that it's a fad diet.  It's the longest fad diet in history, lasted millions of years.  Paleo diet is superior to Mediterranean diet in the 7 or 8 clinical trials.  This of course implies that this one diet is the one our paleolithic ancestors did indeed eat....

Nell's Food Plate:
  1. Two-thirds fresh veggies
  2. palm sized piece of protein
  3. healthy dollop of fat (shows three slices of avocado)
  4. piece of fruit -- wants you to eat more veggies than fruit
Prehistoric cultures were not vegetarians.  Oz "you are kidding me!"  Prehistoric men were meat eaters!!  (55%)  I gotta tell my wife!  (And Nell because her ratios seemed a bit off).  Another edit here:  In Paleolithic nutrition revisited: A twelve-year retrospective on its nature and implications the ratio is put at more like 35% animal/65% plant.  Cordain gets the 55% as an average of the range of 45-65% in his 2000 paper:  Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets.  Eaton & Konner attempt to reconstruct a paleolithic diet, Cordain acknowledges wide diversity in "modern" HG diets but uses the average to say that's what the paleo diet was.  This is THE paleo diet being discussed, not templates or frameworks etc.

No calorie counting!  Nell says you'll have well balanced small meals, steady blood sugar, so you won't want junky foods and if you eat too much broccoli you're OK.

Nell, I guess the last rule is here -- ladies eat meat for breakfast!  Eat breakfast!  No cereal.  

Paleoista -- says 3 cheat meals a week?  More approachable.  OK .... but just don't read her blog :D  Nell is one of the most restrictive out there.  She considers vinegar cheating!

And now for some recipes.  
  • Nell starts off with two possible  paleo breakfasts.  After reiterating the food plate you are shown an plate that is almost 3/4 filled with proteins in the form of steak and eggs with some mushrooms and a green garnish to round it off.  No cheese, so it's not Atkins!   It might be nice if they could be consistent in one food segment on the Dr. Oz show?  Next up the option of a really gross looking smoothie -- made with tea instead of milk, throw in some spinach, there are some berries on the table but she doesn't mention those, and it has eggs in it (that she promises you won't taste) but when they drink it she says you just taste the blueberries. 
  • Lunch is a paleo Cobb salad with an olive oil mustard dressing, you have left over turkey and sliced eggs on this plate.  Or salad with breaded chicken that is "breaded" with walnuts.  
  • Dinners (look traditional) so she has blackened salmon and then a spaghetti squash dinner.  
  • Desserts:  Paleo truffles uses 85% (she prefers 99%) little sweetener.  
Next up Success Stories:

Christina -- thyroid issues, sluggish -- lost 30 lbs -- plans ahead and carries around lean beef jerky
Marie -- has MS -- went paleo cured herself, from numb from waste down and limped walking

What's holding up the proof Dr. Cordain?  We need RCTs, and the leaky gut hypothesis is still relatively new.  

So that's it.  My thoughts?  Sounds like Lindeberg style paleo was on display, moreso in the plate building rules than in the actual meals shown.  But relatively low fat and low carb.  Sure as heck not the images of paleo coming out of PaleoFX or that one would get from reading many blogs and at places like PaleoHacks.  The diet that is in the 30 days of menus in Robb Wolf's book.  Not fat phobic, but hardly "up the fat" either.  Higher in carb than the more fruit-phobic versions.  No mention one way or the other of tubers and root veggies or starch.  

Definitely geared to Oz's female audience.  Which is fine, but in this show, we have one paleo diet presented as "the" diet by Cordain and it isn't either a very high fat diet nor primal (that allows dairy), nor the starchy tubers allowed or even featured in some paleo diets (especially for athletes). Speaking of athletes, it was a bit disappointing that Nell didn't address activity at all.  She was pretty adamant that paleo is not Atkins or low carb.  But the pictured meals were low carb, many even induction friendly being a giant bowl of non-starchy veggies with a small piece of fruit or a few berries.  Certainly not balanced meals as she repeatedly misrepresents them.  So how does such a diet support a competitive triathlete like Nell?


Stabby Raccoon said…
What I noticed about Cordain early on was that he had a theoretical basis for his recommendations (mismatch theory in evolutionary biology applied to a theoretical past environment of evolutionary adaptation from anthropology) which made him want to seek out evidence that fit the theory. Basically anything that could fit into his theory was espoused with little skepticism. Acid/alkaline thing, potassium/sodium ratio (rigorous evidence has not demonstrated that if potassium is high you necessarily need to have any particular amount of sodium or your blood pressure will rise), omega-3/omega-6 ratio (is it really a ratio and do you really need the fabled 1:1/1:2?), palmitic acid kills you, new foods kill you, etc. There are paleo trials, but they're committing the fallacy of division if they're used to prove that Paleo is right. To his credit he has gone back on some of that, but it still seems like he's using his theory as more than a hypothesis-generator, which is all it really should be. Legumes probably reduce excessive inflammation in the body. How hard was that? I didn't even know of this paper until 5 minutes ago when I decided to pubmed it.

I have sympathy for evolutionary nutrition, and it can be good for hypothesis-generation and can be gratifying as an after-the-fact narrative, but this slavish devotion to the Paleo Diet has to go. It's just another paradigm that happens to be better than eating potato chips and fast food.
George Henderson said…
Well. But it is Doctor Oz, let's not lose perspective here. It's a step (or millions) above raspberry ketones and ice water for weight loss.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Slowly, slowly catchee monkey!
Nigel Kinbrum said…
If you don't like what you've written, you can edit it!
Nigel Kinbrum said…
"So how does such a diet support a competitive triathlete like Nell?"
It doesn't. It's probably ideal for the people in the audience, though.

As long as products made from grain dust are allowed to be called "Whole Grain", it's probably advisable to avoid grains, but avoiding dairy & legumes is misguided.
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LWC said…
In a talk last year, (maybe at AHS?) S Boyd Eaton said the Paleo diet was based on their guess at what paleolithic humans ate in East Africa. They chose Africa because that's where paleolithic humans lived for the longest time.

Low carb and low fat was actually the impression I had after reading Cordain's and Eaton's various papers. Eating a diet of lean meats and lots of vegetables can result in lower caloric intake and thus can lead to weight loss, so long as there is adherence. After energy deficit (intaking less than you expend), adherence is THE most important factor in any diet.

The fact that a leading promoter of this diet has to "cheat" on a regular basis is telling.
Melissa said…
I don't know if it's Lindeberg-style. My impression is that Cordain and "Paleoista" think you deserve have a sweet potato if you've exercised enough. The Kitavans, Lindeberg's study subject, were active, but not that active, and they ate mostly starch regardless of how active they were.
carbsane said…
I first looked into Eaton's work because it is cited in The New Atkins (Volek, Phinney, Westman) and a review on LC Nutrition. and which mostly just look at the papers.

Carbs range from 41 to 46%

As to Paleoista and "cheating", I found that super odd. From time to time I read her blog and she is one of the most stringent, righteous paleo promoters. Quite a bit different than here:
carbsane said…
Hi Melissa, when I say Lindeberg paleo I'm referring to the diet his group used in their clinical trials. That is far different, you are correct, than his Kitivan study where that diet was low fat (about 20%) but high saturated fat (17%) but mostly from coconut (so not LCFA).
carbsane said…
Well said. I have that article and many more in the Mendeley folder. It's not really fair to compare individual appearances, but where inflammation is concerned, it's hard to put Cordain against Fuhrman and blame grains and legumes for inflammation.
carbsane said…
To add, as to East Africa, Paleoista is big on salmon. Salmon is awesome, but it is highly unlikely that paleolithic humans consumed much if any deep coldwater fish anywhere on the planet (cold-water mammals being far more accessible) let alone in Africa. So it's hard to make an evolutionary argument there.
John Smith said…
I don't know if I qualify as a "Paleo endurance athlete" I'm just a poor old schmuck who does the best he can. I don't know if I qualify to eat starch.

More gruel please?
desmondindalkey said…
Melvin Konner and S. Boyd Eaton are authors of

Paleolithic Nutrition: Twenty-Five Years Later Nutr Clin Pract December 2010 25: 594-602

Some (revised) conclusions:

Carbohydrate consumption of H-G groups varied from about 35 to 65% of calories.

H-G diets are higher in fat than they once thought: the new range is 20 to 35% of calories.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
carbsane said…
Hmmm ... 35% fat ... that is the upper limit of what is (laughingly in light of the diets of various cultures) considered "low fat" in many studies and supposedly the fat consumption of the SAD.

From that paper (full text: )

''Standard recommendations suggested that TF be reduced to no more than 30% of calories and that the ratio of SF to unsaturated fat be reduced markedly. At the time, we estimated that in the HG diet, TF contributed about 20% of calories, including about 6% SF, a level of restriction deemed by most authorities to be too difficult to achieve. On the basis of new analyses of HG diets, we have raised the estimated
range of their likely TF intake to 20%-35%. Both low-fat (20%) and high-fat (40%) diets have been shown to aid in weight loss given appropriate caloric restriction and adherence,37 but it has also been shown that very low TF may not only prevent or retard atherosclerosis but, combined with other lifestyle changes, partly reverse established atherosclerotic plaques.38,39

However, TF is only part of the story. Game animals have more mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA) than supermarket meat.10 It used to be recommended that SF intake be less than 10% of total energy, but according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), any increase raises cardiac risk.40 (However, recent evidence suggests that the C-14 and C-16 saturated fatty acids, and not C-18 stearic acid, are the chief serum cholesterolraising components of animal fat.41) HG trans-fatty-acid intake was a small fraction of our 2% of total calories. Especially given their high estimated intake of marine animal flesh,35,36 PUFA intake would have been nearly twice the present level of 15 g/d, due almost entirely to a greater proportion of cardioprotective ω-3 forms. The resulting ω-6:ω-3 ratio of about 2:1 contrasts with the current ratio of about 10:1, with 8:1 recommended.40 We predict that future recommendations for this ratio will decline further."
LWC said…
So your response inspired me to go look at the notes I made while watching Eaton's talk. He said his own diet is 30/35/35 protein/carbs/fat with minimal saturated fat; I assume those are calorie percentages. Because he has no intolerances, he also said he's okay with whole grains, (even a bit of wheat), low fat milk and legume consumption. People with specific intolerances shouldn't eat those foods, but it you can tolerate them he says okay.
carbsane said…
I have to relisten to his 2012 AHS talk (he is now on the docket to speak with Konnor in August) but my recollection was that he got some gasps for some of his personal admissions (shredded wheat!).
eulerandothers said…
Isn't that because the non-starchy veggies are less dense (which is why they have fewer calories and eating fewer-calorie-vegetables ends up being a: wait for it: diet of fewer calories!

Certainly explains the Weight Watchers adage that overweight people didn't get overweight by binge-eating broccoli, or celery, or every other watery, fibrous veggie you can think of.

But why not also mention that those non-starchy veggies, if we are talking about fresh vegetables, are costly. More expensive than the fatty ground beef that you can buy, 'family size,' or frozen, or cooked, or made into inexpensive meatballs or meatloaf, or ---- on and on. On a really good day at the supermarket, I find generic (or even brand name) frozen veggies that the supermarket wants to move off the shelf. I'd love to grab them but I don't have a freezer, just a freezer compartment in my fridge. In general, vegetables (and fruits, with the exception of apples) tend to be pricey, because they are perishable when not boxed and frozen.
Ginny RoBards said…
I would not have much confidence in a surgeon who literally believes in magic.
John Smith said…
Yes the non-starchy veggies are very non-dense, I do eat 3-4 pounds or so of them per week as snacks (something to munch on) but I don't count them towards my caloric requirements. They provide fiber but otherwise to me they don't count as "food," people can talk about micro nutrients but I'm not suffering from scurvy or rickets. They are a non-food item to snack on.

Even starchy vegetables don't provide enough density for people who can be classified as an "endurance athlete," when I was young I used to buy these drinks at the GNC that provided 400 calories of glucose in 16 ounces of beverage, and I would still wind up supplementing them with Snickers bars. For an endurance athlete sugar is the bomb.

Now that I'm older I make due with rice and potatoes, "endurance" takes on a different meaning as you age. When I was trying to do it without eating starch it was sheer torture. Even if you aren't much of an athlete, getting some glucose into you will make physical activity seem less of an ordeal. The benefits of "moving more" as you age are so great that you don't want to handicap yourself through starvation.
stefan_leko said…
I'm also physically active and quite lean. When I was mid-to-low carb following a kinda-paleo diet, I had some health improvements because my previous diet wasn't quite as nutritious, but also weird side effects (bleeding gums after brushing my teeth, fatigue, regular and chronic small ligament tears in my wrist, and reduced susceptibility to stress which tended to result in me getting the sniffles). I WAS eating moderate amount of carbs from rice and sweet potatoes, but NOT eating much in the way of sugar. I was craving sugar and didn't even know it. I gorged on it for a few days in the form of copious fruit, juices & honey and my symtpoms have gone. I haven't had a cold since, either.
Bris vegas said…
"What's holding up the proof Dr. Cordain? We need RCTs ...'

a) Money. Even small scale trials can cost millions of dollars. (A 26 week pharmaceutical trial using 1000 patients can cost $100 million). A large scale long term dietary trial (2000+ patients/5-10 years) will cost BILLIONS.

No one will pay for something that can't be patented.

b) Ethics. A nutrition researcher told me a couple of years ago that no ethics committee would approve a paleo diet trial. High fat/high protein/low carb diets for humans are basically considered taboo in nutrition research.

c) Logistics. Large scale, long term, fully controlled dietary trials are impossible unless you can use prisoners. This is now considered unethical.

d) Lobbyists. Dozens of organisations including the pharmaceutical industry, AHA, AMA and the USDA would protest against the trial.
I think that in the context of a diet that is already as low in fat as 20% the amount of saturated fat is largely inconsequential, even from the perspective of stern conventional wisdom. Secondly, there's a substantial difference between the MCT, which gets readily absorbed and oxidised, from coconuts and LCFA in general.
Something about legumes/bean consumption and abdominal gas--a valid complaint that is still benign from a purely health stand point--has given this 'legumes cause inflammation' meme a whole new level of quackery. If anything, the effects of legumes, as well as proper wholegrain (not ground dust) consumption, has shown the opposite effect.
Bris vegas said…
"For an endurance athlete sugar is the bomb."

Humans evolved to travel long distances at low speed (6-10km) - not high intensity distance races. if you walk/jog you have no need for supplementary carbohydrates.
Bris vegas said…
"Here I thought long endurance activity was best fueled by fat and this carb consumption is just a load of bunk?!'

Only endurance activity below the Anaerobic Threshold is primarily fueled by fat. Any endurance activity faster than jogging pace will use a substantial amount of glucose.

HGs don't run 2'10" marathons - they alternate between walking and jogging.
Bris vegas said…
The Kitivans actually engage in extreme intermittent fasting. They eat ONE meal at night. The rest of the time they rely on stored fat for energy.
Bris vegas said…
The vast majority of paleolithic humans would have lived near large bodies of permanent water such as oceans, lakes or rivers.

East Africa has massive freshwater lakes full of fish. Lake Victoria is larger than Lake Huron.
carbsane said…
That was tongue in cheek. You have folks like Volek and Greenfield and whatnot claiming that it is optimal to be a fat burning beast for endurance activities while Paleoista says essentially the opposite.

It is interesting to note that Nell will use those glucose gels for racing.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Apart from trout, what oily fish would have been living in those?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
16% of, say, 3,000kcals/day (assuming no labour-saving devices) = 480kcals/day of carbs = 120g/day of carbs. It's low-carb, but not ketogenic.
carbsane said…
SCFA aren't "fats" really either. They are water soluble and feed into glycolitic pathways and such (proprionate and lactate are gluconeogenic substrates) or undergo lipogenesis to LCFA. The LCFA are eventually "burned" as fats for energy but this is not the same as dietary fat. Estimates for humans are generally in the 5% range for the contribution of SCFA with high end topping off around 10% of total with high plant food diet.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
carbsane said…
Paleo™ is not a high fat diet.
carbsane said…
Agree. Tropical fats got a bad rap in this country largely b/c they were incorporated into cakes and frostings and such. I think it's being less than honest to use CO as an example exonerating saturated fat. Chain length matters!
carbsane said…
And such fish have lower and often differing fat content vs. salmon. I'm curious about Nell's multiple mentions re: local produce. I live in the northeast US and we can get good and varied local produce roughly 3 months out of the year. The rest of the time it is shipped in. And avocados are never local for most of us. It's a nit pick but if you're going to emphasize that local angle it helps if that is applied all the way around, no?
carbsane said…
... and glycogen.
Jane Karlsson said…
Do you have a reference Evelyn please? All I can find is something about coarse wheat bran holding water better than fine wheat bran. Nigel's references (thanks Nigel) say the problem is in the glycemic index. Is there anything else you know of?
And what about that massive bolus of carbohydrate they ingest in one sitting? Slice it whichever/whatever way -- they aren't dying of starvation, and they aren't showing negative metabolic markers, so their energy requirements are being met through a very high carbohydrate diet that isn't doing them the damage that some would expect.
jeffconsiglio said…
There is a meme these days, in the nutritional blogosphere, which I find rather presumptuous and incorrect. Which is the notion that doing lots and lots of exercise (So you can eat dem starches) is a good thing. Excessive exercise is a BAD thing people! Moderate exercise is healthy, and you do NOT need big piles of starch to fuel such a healthy lifestyle. And I say that as a personal trainer with a vested financial interest in getting people to workout. Heck, even Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the man who coined the word "aerobics", now says that many "fit" people are actually very UNHEALTHY due to excessive oxidative stress and wear and tear on various body parts. So if one more person says..."No way my bad-ass self can fuel my elite workouts with a lower-carb type diet"...well...I think my head will explode. Thanks for letting me rant a bit.
My father's lipids improved greatly (drop in LDL and unchanged HDL) when he was consuming very little by way of animal fats but was eating a small serving of coconut each day. I believe his daily intake was incidentally around the same 20% fat mark with the majority of that fat coming from coconut meat. Mind you, these changes in lipid markers took place without any weight loss.
Haliah said…
I'm just thinking out loud here:

I've been reading the Paleo blogs for a few years now, and it seems to me that readers may gravitate toward a particular person or method (for lack of a better word) due to their own understanding, how they were first exposed to the ideas presented, and their personal physiology and health. Then, readers make changes in order to optimize their own health.

I don't see that there is that much dogma in the Paleo movement. People are free to pick and choose their own patterns. What was presented on the Oz program is a great step forward for many Americans who eat a variety of packaged and fast foods, and who may not have put a lot of thought into what is going into their body. For those of us more further educated in all of these health mysteries, we may look at the Oz program and think that the information presented is not full or complete, or that it may not present the most accurate information. How can it, in a 30 minute format? I mean, really!

Melissa M at HuntGatherLove has a lovely recent article on her own Paleo journey and how her dietary and lifestyle adaptations changed over time in order to maximize her own health.

This is what I have done, too, having begun with a standard low carb Paleo approach, moving to a "zero" carb Paleo approach, then, as my body seemed to heal - subjective, I know - I started experimenting with other foods. These days I eat a much greater variety of foods and would classify myself as low-moderate carb and moderate fat and moderate protein. I enjoy legumes as I've mentioned, sweet potatoes, rice, meats of all kinds, coconut oil, butter, goat yogurt, goat milk kefir, lots of veggies, and a small amount of fruit. I don't think fruit is evil, but it doesn't agree with me if I eat more than a handful of berries of half of an apple a day. Everyone is different, right? And has different ancestry and background?

So, Evelyn, what do you think? I'm really curious as to what comprises your own diet. Can you share with us? I agree with you that there are no natural, whole foods that should be entirely off limits to anyone who doesn't have a sensitivity. But, what is your diet like? Since you post so many scientific studies, I wonder how this research has affected your own dietary decisions. Can you tell us your own dietary journey? It would make an excellent post.

Melissa said…
Citation needed. Everything I've read says they eat multiple meals a day.
Melissa said…
Citation needed. Everything I can find says they eat two meals
SCFAs are a justification for ingestion of LCFA in a high fat context? Really? They have vastly different effects and fates from a metabolic perspective. The argument that humans have this limited ability can be used just as well by the low fat camp to argue that the ideal human diet should be largely carbohydrate with the fats coming from the 'limited' SCFA synthesis in the gut along with trace elements from diet.
John Smith said…
I kind of like being a stud so I tend to go for higher intensity physical activity.

There's a big difference between "being alive" and "living."

As far as evolution goes it can bite me. I've got maybe 20 good years left I doubt I'll be doing much evolving during that time frame.
Jane Karlsson said…
Please folks, I am having big problems understanding exactly what is wrong with 'grain dust'. Does it really matter if the glycemic index is a bit higher? I practically live on grain dust and I haven't seen a doctor (except for a thorn in my thumb) for 25 years. I did look into this years ago and concluded there wasn't a problem.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
1) "Does it really matter if the glycemic index is a bit higher?"

2) "I
practically live on grain dust and I haven't seen a doctor (except for a
thorn in my thumb) for 25 years."

1) To many people, it does matter. The higher the GI is, the more unstable their BG is and the worse appetite control they have. Obesity is a major problem. Also, the finer the dust is, the faster plaque forms on teeth. Tooth decay is a major problem.
2) O lucky you. N = 1. What about a dentist?
carbsane said…
Jane, I don't have citations at the moment, just relying on things I've read over the years regarding the digestive process -- time in mouth/chewing, distention, etc. There may well be more to associated water in general in one's diet too. If you do well on refined grains I don't see a problem but it does appear that many do not. Although it is difficult to tease the GI effect of refined foods out from increased/altered fat content in modern diets that seem to negatively effect indigenous peoples so profoundly.
Jane Karlsson said…
Yes, I've seen a dentist, who repaired some damage caused by another dentist many years ago. No cavities from my present diet.

Here's an article Chris Masterjohn wrote last month about Weston Price's work

'...That whole wheat could make up a substantial proportion of such a healing
diet was consistent with Price’s clinical results, where he used rolls made from freshly ground whole wheat as part of his tooth decay reversal program, as well as his animal experiments, wherein he showed that refined but not whole wheat produced cavities in rats.'
Jane Karlsson said…
Thanks Evelyn. Wholemeal flour is refined? I've only ever come across that idea from Nigel, who I'm sure wouldn't mind being called a little eccentric.
Diana Moon said…
"I've been reading the Paleo blogs for a few years now, and it seems to
me that readers may gravitate toward a particular person or method (for
lack of a better word) due to their own understanding,"

Yeah, also the way the guru looks. I am convinced that GoKaleo has her devoted audience of mostly overweight young moms with some post-baby weight to lose because they want to look like her, and her message of "eat more" is something they want desperately to hear. Perhaps I'm unfairly stereotyping (I don't read her anymore) but my impression of her site is, "I've gained weight and I don't know why", while she urges them to throw out their scales and eat more because that's the feminist thing to do. And anyone who disagrees with her (as I do) is a brainwashed fembot of the patriarchy.
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Jane Karlsson said…
Yes I like to think I'm a little eccentric. But you know, calling
wholemeal flour refined goes a bit further than that, if no-one else
does it and you're saying it makes people sick because it's 'refined'.
You have to explain the astonishing health of the Hunza and other people
of northern India studied by McCarrison 100 years ago. They ate
WHOLEMEAL BREAD and were 'great bread eaters' according to Dr Wrench in
his 1938 book about McCarrison's work.

Nowadays people either say
the Hunza were never healthy, or today's wheat is different and toxic.
I have never come across a claim that McCarrison didn't exist or his
work was not sound, with the single exception of Stephan Guyenet who
told me in an email that he didn't think McCarrison's experiments were
good ones. He has never explained what he meant, and I suspect he
regrets saying it. The experiments were excellent, in my view. They
showed that rats on a Hunza diet were just as astonishingly healthy as
the Hunza were. I have extended McCarrison's work by eating a Hunza
diet exclusively for 30 years, using only food items which are
inexpensive and easy to obtain. So far it's worked beyond my wildest
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Nigel Kinbrum said…
Flour made by the Hunza 100 or so years ago was stone-ground and had relatively large particles.
Flour made nowadays is roller-ground and has tiny particles.
This recent show-boating in certain quadrants of the fad-sphere about how some people have found the magic bullet that has given them a magic metabolism, which allows them to eat junk, is rather tasteless when it comes with the gimmicky show boating.

"Oh! I can eat all the ice cream I want! Lol! I AM ALIVE!"

"No. You're just getting away with a certain activity that can be reckless for others because your present health can sustain such a choice."

Sure, if a person's metabolic health or lifestyle is at such a level that they can handle calorie dense junk/crap, then good for them. However, to flaunt that about as some kind of bar to aspire towards and then passively mock those who can't or won't, is just utter nonsense. Many can do well on a lot of crap, but some of them don't want to go down that road just because they can get away with dietary exhibitionism. But o teh orthorexia!

This is where the critics of the paleo movement can be a bit off putting, because while they claim to champion the cause of whole foods without nutrient discrimination, they often march in league with these very dietary exhibitionists.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
There's a big difference between:-
1) being able to eat anything I want (i.e. there are no banned foods) and

2) being able to eat as much as I want (in my wildest dreams!).

Some people translate 1) into 2) Aargh!

Because they can easily do 1, and get away with 2--given their specific circumstances--so it becomes a dietary exhibition of utterly gimmickry proportions.
Bris vegas said…
The Nile Perch is very common throughout East Africa. It is a massive fish that weighs up to 200 kilograms. It contains 9% oil.
Bris vegas said…
Nell's idea of a paleo diet is a just silly. It is just another version of the Mediterranean Diet.

One of my friends spent many years as a geologist in Outback Australia in the 60s and 70s. He told me the aborigines ate huge amounts of meat and damper (unleavened bread). They didn't touch fruit or vegetables.
carbsane said…
A quick search Nile perch introduced to Lake Victoria circa 1960. The beginning of the dark age of endocrinology I suppose ;-)
carbsane said…
Anecdotal for sure, but on PaleoHacks it seems there are many for whom CO causes a rise in LDL, but these folks seem to be eating a lot of butter or beef fat along with it. A switch from other fats to coconut fat would probably not have the same effect.
Agreed. That would be my point. What I was talking about wasn't all that different from what's been observed about the Kitavans, and their lipids were low from what I understand. Ultimately, it was a low fat diet with the majority of that fat coming from MCTs and not our typical 'westernised' fare of saturated fats. Of course, it is still no guarantee that one could lower lipids, and more importantly, adding coconut oil on top of an already high fat diet with plenty of other sources of long-chain fatty acids is going to yield very different results.
carbsane said…
I'm going to try and address these comments in a post soon.
Diana Moon said…
Kade, I'm not sure exactly what sites you are talking about, but I have no compunctions about naming names. It appears that GoKaleo is the chief calorie denialist in the non- or anti-Paleo camp. It's interesting to trace the intellectual taxonomy of calorie denialism, or, looking at it from another perspective, the DNA of this branch of calorie denialism. Somewhere or other, in the 1980s, probably as a result of misunderstanding REE and TEE as a result of poor journalism, folks got the idea that reducing your caloric intake threw your body into "starvation mode" and voila, you were (damaged metabolism, alert) training your poor pitiful oppressed body to exist on 900 calories a day, feminism having been thrown into the mix as well.

I say this is a crock, and that Ms. Disenfranchised is selling people a line. Absent some really screwball metabolic problem that requires a real doctor's care, "I don't know how I went up to 225 pounds" is bollocks. I flirted with 140 pounds recently and I know EXACTLY how that happened! Eating! Specifically delicious, fatty foods, and lots of it. I stopped, and lost weight. Bingo.

I frankly haven't got the time or energy to expose all of this, only when I stopped being a cult member and started thinking for myself, I lost weight. Duh. I understand that GK wants people to throw away their scales - exactly what Jimmy told me to do when I was gaining weight on LC.

Same flat champagne, different bottle. Pseudo-feminist cult behavior is no better than sexist misogynist cult behavior.

ELMM works for men, too. Feminism has nothing to do with it. Every man I ever knew who lost weight and kept it off had to WORK for it.

For the record, I completely subscribe to the their that there should be no banned foods, no banned macronutrients, and people should chill the fuck out as regards how they look. I mean, I'm not the one who is always bragging about her visible abs. Cos I ain't got none and never will and don't care. Although I do make a nice bicep.

But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you are going to have to eat less than you would like, and give up some treats. What is so terrible about that? It's called making choices, prioritizing, adapting. It's only terrible if you base your life on satisfying every appetite mindlessly, i.e., being a total baby.
I have no dog in any of these races, Diana, so I don't bother with identifying actual outlets. They all kinda' sing the same tune anyway, so the fact that there are other parties and websites is largely inconsequential, which is why I can't bother getting into listing names. It's quite a well connected network parroting rather similar ideas with uncanny overlaps that are hard to miss.

To the rest of what you've said: All fine points. Nothing wrong with a personally flexible philosophy for those who don't have problems, but I'll stick with the observation that there will always be banned foods/goods/ideas/activities and reservations among people about stuff. Everyone has 'em, as I've said before. I'd rather just leave people to banning and celebrating whateverthehell it is they want to ban and celebrate in their personal lives. They're never going to absolutely chill out and everyone has their own individually tailored approach to existence and what they desire from life. We have much bigger problems in this world than food wars that haven't yielded to the power of a relaxed temperament and I doubt this'll be changing any time soon. So I sympathise with the more common sense oriented and lesser of the two neurosis--those that don't discriminate macro/micronutrients, but pick lesser rewarding foods or poor pleasure-seeking options that don't even get the job done. Meanwhile, others have more practical and pressing reasons to avoid such stimulation or even an incentive to change their definition of a pleasure food to something different--more power to them in prioritising personal pragmatism over attempting to emulate the next flashy gimmick.

Being a total baby. . . heh. Even infants don't tend to get that mindless, in my opinion.
Diana Moon said…
"but I'll stick with the observation that there will always be banned
foods/goods/ideas/activities and reservations among people about stuff.
Everyone has"

Yes! This gives me the opportunity to clarify something. When I say that I subscribe to the theory "no banned foods" that is a general comment. Individual mileages vary. In my own case, I cannot, simply cannot, keep certain sweets in my house for longer than a day. Just can't do it. Not every kind of sugary food, but certain kinds. It doesn't really matter to me what the particular ingredient combination is - and I don't need a randomized clinically controlled study to tell me what they are. The idea that some people are really powerless to resist certain foods is simply cruel and wrong. If I say that I can't resist oatmeal raisin cookies (I can't) doesn't mean it's true for you. But I can't, and that's not brainwashing, it is fact. Similarly, my feeling that I still have a few pounds to lose before I feel completely at home in my skin isn't the patriarchy, it's me.
Diana Moon said…
"Excessive exercise is a BAD thing people!"

Very true. We are lucky to be able to choose the level of exercise we engage in. That said, a healthful amount of exercise won't use up many calories. You have to exercise restraint in eating patterns.
Diana Moon said…
I wonder if their meals are that structured. If you eat two meals one day, and two meals the next, it can equate to a 24-hour IF. (Example: day one B&L, day two L&D).

In any case I'm very skeptical of this "I know what the Kitavans do" business. Anthropologists are notorious for seeing what they want to see. (Kade: I am not so skeptical I don't believe they live on yams.)
Diana Moon said…
Very well put. When I was in my weight loss phase, I ate "illegal" foods occasionally - but I made damn sure to compensate for their calorie density in the course of a day. So, if I ate a cheese pastry, that was lunch.
Diana Moon said…
I look forward to it. Calorie denialism runs very deep. And I'm no better than anyone else. Even after learning my lesson, I rebelled against the truth, with predictable consequences.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I don't even bother to compensate in the same day. If I eat chips (that's fries to Americans), my weight goes up a bit, but it gradually goes down again on the days that I don't eat chips.
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