Scientific American on 'paleofantasies'

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Bartelby, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I wouldn't say it is a much of an article about pitfalls at all.

    The whole paleo thing has been a sort of sales pitch, and the article shows that it is wrong in the hype. However, the article doesn't show at all that the modern version of a 'paleo' diet is bad for you, even if much of the theory behind it is iffy or bunk.

    It is very hard to do controlled studies of different diets, but that's ultimately what we'd need to see in order to determine with a higher level of confidence if the paleo diet is really great.

    I don't eat a paleo diet but I've always been interested in it because in the early 1990s I was arguing that saturated animal fat is good for you, sprinting is better for building a lean muscular physique than doing cardio, and sun-tanning is probably good for your health. The paleo people seem to believe similar things. They can't be all bad.
     
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  3. Avles

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    Didn't see anything about pitfalls of the diet in the article.

    It's all about the fact that "Paleo" is a misnomer based on what we know about the diets of the actual paleolithic folks (and, more modern hunter-gatherers), and the fact that evolution continued post-agriculture.

    That's all well and good, but article doesn't really debunk or even substantively address the idea that our bodies may be better suited to digest foods that have more in common with (while not being identical to) foods from before the neolithic revolution.
     
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  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, well, this diet is very under-researched so no one should be making too many claims for it, but the fact is that diet is reasonably well-researched if continually evolving.

    Compared to what we know about diet, the caveman diet is defective in the extreme and the article points out some of the major defects.

    If you choose to read the article fairly it does show the pitfalls that stem from a diet based on spurious premises, but it is obviously more concerned with first premises.

    To base one's diet on a fantasy is a pretty big pit into which to fall.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
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  5. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It is science that is turning against the idea that saturated fats are bad and not paleofantasists.

    They tend to all recommend lean protein, so they are on the low fat bandwagon in that regard.

    Sun tanning is not good for your health, but ten minutes out in the sun a day is needed for Vitamin D levels.

    But ten minutes in the fresh air is not sun tanning.
     
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  6. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I was there before the scientists and the "paleofantasists." Doubt I was the only one or even the first.

    Not familiar with this. I thought a lot of the paleo types said to eat the whole animal type of thing.

    This really depends on the latitude and your skin tone. For light skinned people where I live, you don't need a lot of time, especially during the summer. But I know a lot of people who have an extreme fear of the sun because of skin cancer fear-mongering.

    Ten or 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight without a shirt makes me feel much better. I wear a hat as my face and neck get too much sun as it is.
     
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  7. r2473

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  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    And pigs may troll as well as fly, my big little baconophile!
     
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  10. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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  11. Avles

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    It does? Where? I looked up and down in that article for an actual discussion of the defects of the diet, and the closest thing I could find was this:

    That's vague at best and doesn't seem to make any sort of case that the paleo diet is dangerous or defective.

    Are you arguing that we really need dairy, grains and legumes to be healthy? (I'm not sure what the bit about vitamins being banned by paleo diets is supposed to mean.)

    I think you are reading things into this article that aren't there. It doesn't seem to offer any sort of substantive critique of the actual nutritional quality of the diet.
     
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  12. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Any diet that excludes food groups known to be beneficial is defective, and that's what the article states and so does the article cited just above which is written in a more simple format.
     
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  13. Avles

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    This statement is just silly. A diet is defective if it doesn't include sufficient foods that are necessary for health, or if it features unhealthy foods. It doesn't become defective just because it excludes some food types that have health benefits.

    Like I said, the article doesn't actually mention any pitfalls. "No legumes allowed" is not a pitfall.
     
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  14. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There are many criteria for assessing defectiveness and arbitrary exclusions of beneficial food groups does not fulfill any sort of 'ease of use' criterion.

    And some do claim that caveman cuisine does not include sufficient foods necessary for health and even cavemen break their own rules.

    What's silly is swigging fruit juice while pretending to be a noble savage.

    The 'no legumes' policy is certainly a defect, pitfall, or piece of stupidity.
     
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  15. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    the best food for humans is a healthy human.

    Neo-canabalism diet. healthy dieting and solves the over population problem too.

    Free range, healthy human are the best "white meat".
     
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  16. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Free range humans are too narrow a food source.

    They mostly live in battery cages and live squalid lives pecking at each other without any space to roam.

    Humans are a justly neglected food group, in sum, except for people stranded in the Andes or on a life raft.



     
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  17. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    The secret to the diet from a weight loss perspective, provided that you do eschew root vegetables, is that it is a low caloric density diet.

    Hence, the easiest way to further lower caloric density is to remove or reduce grain based products, as do Atkins-style diets. All Paleo does is to provide a 'noble savage' justification.
     
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  18. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    But could not vegetables and fruit be as, or perhaps even more beneficial than grains (and sugar)?
     
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  19. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Well I think comeback put it quite well when he said: "Nobody cares anymore what the huntergathers did, it's about getting healthy NOW." At least I believe that is a more constructive angle to it. What started out as paleo, like all things develop and merges with other ideas and knowledge.
    Concerning legumes you might be right, or it could, like with milk, perhaps be different from person to person. I like green beans (a legume right?), and have read it recommended in a paleo-inspired site.
    I guess my post is about suggesting to keep an open mind instead of trench digging.
     
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  20. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    But apart from weight control, it seems that the effect from paleo inspired way of eating is also about wellbeing and energy level. Interesting enough to merit my curiosity anyway. And I reckognize these benefits from excluding/minimizing sugar and grains in my own way of eating.
     
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  21. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Hm, "Some Paleo dieters emphasize that they never believed in one true caveman lifestyle or diet and that—in the fashion of Sisson's Blueprint—they use our evolutionary past to form guidelines, not scripture", the article says. And then it goes on to demonstrate in big lengths that there is no one true caveman lifestyle or diet. Strange.
     
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  22. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    They are different and a meal is not some sort of composite of best of materials.

    I have many meals of just meat and vegetables, but I wouldn't want them all to be just that when there's no good reason for it to be so.


     
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  23. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    You need to get healthy via sensible thinking.

    If you intend to depart from the paleo concept you should not stick religiously to the term and construct legumes and especially grains as a taboo on that basis.

    I'm not digging trenches, by the way, you two are the ones who refused dialogue.


     
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  24. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    You'd be better off not wasting your time and money on protein shakes.


     
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  25. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It is paradoxical that the idea of paleo is so bizarrely attractive and yet people simply abandon it in practice.

    And yet they say 'I do paleo plus this and plus that' as if they were saying aomething exotic when they are not.


     
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  26. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    In a way it is. At least it is interesting to discuss the nutritional differences of different foods, and peoples experiences of this imo.

    That is not my impression.

    I do intend to concentrate on real food. But ofcourse proteinpowder can be a timesaver.

    So it seems you have more of a problem with the name than the practice. I think it is hard to have a dialogue about nutrition, if that is your main point.
     
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  27. Bartelby

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    Never had protein powder in my life and do not intend to start as I prefer whole foods.

    The name indicates a profound misconception but paleo is a coherent diet.

    I just don't see how people who only pretend to follow it can be paleozealots.
     
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  28. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Guyenet's personal diet is one that pays lip service to paleo while actually conforming to scientific dietary guidelines and does not exclude any food groups:

    I hope it was clear from the article that I'm not claiming Paleo is the Optimal Diet for All People. Although I recognize that strict Paleo has helped many people, I don't really eat Paleo, personally. I eat Paleo plus beans, non-gluten grains, and a modest amount of pastured dairy, which I prepare in my home using traditional methods. One of my main sources of starch is potatoes, which I consider Paleo but some people wouldn't.
     
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  29. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I think that sounds like a cool diet/eating habit. I do more or less the same, but am open to and trying if going a bit more strict is beneficial to me, for instance regarding rice. No matter what happens, I have a hard time seeing my self never breaking "the rules" btw.
     
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  30. Bartelby

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    Guyenet seems to make a bit of money out of the paleo label so he is reluctant to let it go, but in reality he seems to be following a whole food regime based on the available science.
     
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  31. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    I guess I look at it as a spectrum of ideas.
     
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  32. maggmaster

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    Spectrum of ideas? Spectre means ghost. Most humans have adapted to digest grains and milk appropriately. There are subsets who do not. Paleo science makes sense if you have a problem digesting something and want to eliminate all of the likely candidates rather than just determining what is causing the problem. Like I have said before, whatever works for you. Paleo is too restrictive for me and does not allow me to perform optimally in sports.
     
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  33. OTMPut

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    Just look at the perversity of human existence:

    On the one hand people worship dogs and cats as one of their own, with people even punished and reviled for showing cruelty.
    And on the other hand they zealously guard their right to slaughter a piglet or a calf just so they can eat something "tasty".
     
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  34. maggmaster

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    Interesting point... a bit out of left field but ok.
     
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  35. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It's odd but perhaps not perverse.

    Humans have essentially developed distinctive sets of attitudes and behaviours towards different categories of animals.

    From time to time I do feel slightly nauseated by the idea of putting dead animal in my mouth, but I have to turn my attention to it consciously.

    Whereas other categories of animals would elicit an immediate response.


     
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  36. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    This doesn't seem odd at all to people who have owned these various animals.

    For example, my dogs have physically defended me and shown loyalty. People who have positive experience of that sort tend to value dogs for more than food. While no doubt dogs have been used for food, they've been domesticated and bred for perhaps hundred of thousands of years for hunting and guarding.

    Cattle can be friendly, but they are mostly useful for food and grazing.
     
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  37. maggmaster

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    Interestingly also this is not a uniquely human thing. When well fed some animals will adopt members of another species as...friends? Pets? Unsure what to call them. Predators even sometimes do this with prey animals, again, when well fed.
     
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  38. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Dogs and cats were both pets and utilitarian. Cats seem to have been domesticated much earlier than previously thought. Historically, they were used to protect food stores against mice and rats. Cats are weird animals, but I've had some loyal cats, and they are preferable to mice and rats.

    Dogs are scavengers and have been useful to humans because they have superior ability to detect scents and see better at night. Dogs are easy to train to use in hunting and will guard sleeping humans. I grew up around dogs and appreciated having a pack of large dogs guarding me. The little dogs women carry around in handbags couldn't do much to guard you, but they probably would wake you up if someone is trying to intrude on your territory.

    In short, some people go to extremes, but it isn't really that strange that people treat animals domesticated to be used as food differently than animals domesticated for hunting and guarding. Reputedly this is different in some parts of Asia, but I don't really know what goes on there.
     
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  39. WildVolley

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    Did cavemen eat dogs? Should that be part of our paleo diet?
     
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  40. Ash_Smith

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    Nope, dog is not a very tasty meat at all!
     
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  41. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Carnivores taste bad, omnivores taste good only when they eat mostly not meat.
     
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  42. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    And what about starchivores?


     
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  43. OTMPut

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    Exactly my point. Meat eating is just driven by taste. Some kind of addiction.
    Plus you have a big business interest behind it. That's pretty solid combination.

    The whole paleo health stuff is just to find some reasoning to justify unnecessary cruelty for frivolous purposes.
     
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  44. WildVolley

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    A lot of the paleo crowd are against factory farmed meat. I know that they tend to prefer grass-fed beef rather than corn and anti-biotic fed stockyard beef. How practical that is on a larger scale is a different question.

    It is a bit of work but certainly more people in a large country like the US could raise their own chickens.
     
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  45. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Thank You for the correction, english is not my first language. Yes, and anyway paleo (or what is termed paleo) is, as we have seen, being modified and moderated in different directions. If it has/can serve as an inspiration to a way of eating that helps people lose weight and feel better, it is not so bad imo.
     
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