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diamondgeog
08-12-2013, 10:37 AM
I came across this 3 part series which you can find full episodes on Youtube when looking at other stuff.

Wow. Very educational. It is giving me extra motivation to loose weight. I can say that I have experienced a lot more control over carbs after a month or so of trying to be much more delibrate. Still have the occasional bad day but can go weeks now without any sweet (only dark chocolate chips and a handful), bread, pasta.

One of the most interesting things was the story about a book called pure white and deadly. The author John Yudkin nailed everything in 1972 but the sugar lobby buried the book and his career.

He just nailed the effects of sugar and even esentially said a paleo diet is best.

Interestingly enough it is going back in print on August 28th. You can find them used or get a new one in a couple of weeks. Anyhow very informative. Helped me I understand that I do have a body/mind that does crave carbs. But I CAN and WILL and AM moving beyond that to better health the rest of my life.


nelie
08-12-2013, 11:08 AM
I know there is a lot of push toward Paleo but saying it is best is just propaganda. The best diet is the one that you'd stick with. I know Paleo wouldn't work for me and although I have PCOS, I eat plenty of carbs without cravings. Sugar I limit almost completely but carbs no.

diamondgeog
08-12-2013, 11:26 AM
Paleo has plenty of carbs....just not added sugar.

Also I didn't point this out in the original post. Sugar is not great but High Fructose Corn Syrup is even worse. It goes right to fat storage.

It also has a higher sweetness index than sugar. And what did the soda companies do when HFCS came out? They added more than the sugar. They were trying to get the drinks as sweet as possible.

And why is saying Paleo the best just propaganda? I am not on Paleo yet. But how can you refute that the diet that humanity has been on 99.9999% of the time it has existed could not be best? That is what our bodies have evolved to eat. I think that is a pretty hard argument to refute.


nelie
08-12-2013, 12:13 PM
And why is saying Paleo the best just propaganda? I am not on Paleo yet. But how can you refute that the diet that humanity has been on 99.9999% of the time it has existed could not be best? That is what our bodies have evolved to eat. I think that is a pretty hard argument to refute.

Well that is part of the propaganda because recent research shows that paleo man had a highly varied diet that included grains and legumes. Also the diet was highly opportunistic and depending where on the planet they were, included plenty of bugs, small animals, and animals that no longer exist. It didn't include animals that have been bred for centuries based on their taste quality or sea animals that lived in polluted waters with high volumes of mercury. It also didn't include the few select fruits/vegetables that you see in markets today, again which were bred for hardiness. And I'm betting it didn't include things like almond flour, coconut flour and other things that you see in modern paleo diets.

The good news is that we are very adaptable creatures. I was listening to a podcast by Brad Pilon the other day (author of Eat Stop Eat) and it was interesting about what science is coming up with that our bodies do adapt very quickly to our food sources but you can have some in adaptability if you don't have a lot of variety in your foods. The good news is that including those foods means that you can learn to adapt to them. Now I'm not saying that means eat a ton of sugar or eat known poisons or anything. I just think our bodies are more adaptable than we give credit.

Also, if you find the modern paleo diets work for you, go for it but I wouldn't rely on them being the diets that our ancestors ate or even close because we can't mimic those diets very well in our modern food chain nor would most of us want to.

Vex
08-12-2013, 12:26 PM
I'm pretty sure what is best for nutrition and what is best for losing weight can turn out to be entirely different diets.

Yes, there's probably a "best" nutritional diet for an individual, whatever that may be. As for losing weight though, like Nelie said, it's whatever you can stick with.

Munchy
08-12-2013, 12:50 PM
It also didn't include the few select fruits/vegetables that you see in markets today, again which were bred for hardiness. And I'm betting it didn't include things like almond flour, coconut flour and other things that you see in modern paleo diets.

I agree with this. I'm recently gluten free and I've been moderately low carb (rarely eating grains, potato, pasta, rice, etc) for years. It's the reason why I usually end up eating vegetables as noodles or lettuce as bread as opposed to the "gluten-free/dairy-free/xantham gum/blah blah" products that exist.

It's cheaper and less foreign to me.

diamondgeog
08-12-2013, 01:06 PM
I'm not sure what you have read about Paleo but I have heard legumes are fine. Fruits and veggies also of course. Not sure about grains. I doubt bread has been around our diet as long as beans fruits and veggies.

Suzanne 3FC
08-12-2013, 01:08 PM
It's the reason why I usually end up eating vegetables as noodles or lettuce as bread as opposed to the "gluten-free/dairy-free/xantham gum/blah blah" products that exist.

It's cheaper and less foreign to me.

Me too! I try to avoid gluten and grains in general (except oats) because it bothers my digestive system. However, the gluten free substitutes have scary ingredient lists and are usually highly processed, not to mention expensive. I decided to change my tastes so I don't want bread products. It's easier, healthier, and more affordable.

Regarding Paleo, I agree that it's far from what our ancestors ate. There are also different types of "paleo" diets out there now. I think the higher carb paleo diets look healthy enough, but the paleo aspect is just a gimmick IMO. The influence is there, but the authenticity isn't.

I love nelie's post :)

I'll have to check out diamondgeog's youtube suggestion, it sounds interesting.

nelie
08-12-2013, 01:11 PM
I'm not sure what you have read about Paleo but I have heard legumes are fine. Fruits and veggies also of course. Not sure about grains. I doubt bread has been around our diet as long as beans fruits and veggies.

grains doesn't mean bread, it means things like millet, barley, rice, wheat, oats, rye, etc. And yes I used to belong to a gym that promoted paleo, they were very anti legumes and I've never heard otherwise.

diamondgeog
08-12-2013, 02:13 PM
"Regarding Paleo, I agree that it's far from what our ancestors ate."

Ok. I don't understand that statement at all. I am far from an expert on Paleo but I try to vet which sites I go to. But there are incredibly smart, well-intended, research capable people looking at EXACTLY what we did eat and trying to distill that in Paleo recommendations.

So somehow despite that, Paleo people have no idea what people ate, but you or someone else does? That makes zero sense. Dedicated, smart, good research people SPECIFICALLY looking at what humans eat get it all wrong? Wow.

And yes we didn't eat bread. The time involved to make bread would have wait till organized agriculture. Rice? That's a pretty time involved process. Did our ancestors eat some grains? Sure. Was it a lot? Probably, not. Beans and seeds? Abosultely.

But bread and pasta and certainly refined breads and pastas? The refined kind have only been with us hundreds of years and the unrefined thousands of years. In any event I was hungry and tired all the time when I eat more carbs. And now I am not. I am also MUCH stronger. I am losing at 1 to 2lbs a weak. Am I Paleo? Probably not. As I stated just getting started on that. Have I limited carbs and especially breads and pasta? Yes. And it is FANTASTIC.

So what is it specifically about 'Paleo' you find wrong and propaganda? It seems pretty healthy and straight forward a like a lot of other plans: limit carbs, eliminate refined carbs, eat meat, fruits, and veggies. Try to eat food not processed food in other words. I've seen Paleo sites that say beans are allowed and even cheese not to metion eggs.

kaplods
08-12-2013, 02:23 PM
And why is saying Paleo the best just propaganda? I am not on Paleo yet. But how can you refute that the diet that humanity has been on 99.9999% of the time it has existed could not be best? That is what our bodies have evolved to eat. I think that is a pretty hard argument to refute.


I'm very pro paleo. I'm even willing to say Paleoo is PROBABLY best for MOST people, but there are some HUGE problems with paleo as you are thinking and talking about it.

In no particular order

1. There is no truly paleo diet. Most modern fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains do not remotely resemble those found in paleo times. So unless you're eating only wild, foraged plants, insects and animals (that YOU hunted and gathered yourself, with no modern tools or vehicle assistance) you can't say you're eating the diet humans evolved eating).

2. There is no paleo diet without exerercise. Paleo humans did not have the option of driving to work or sitting on the couch all day. You worked (out) hard often, or you died.

3. There is no truly paleo diet without insects. Insects were and still are a major source of minerals and protein for societies that hunt and gather. If you're not eating insects, you're not truly eating anything remotely like "true paleo" (so you can't say that your diet is anything like the diet humans evolved eating).

4. There is no true paleo without eating quite a LOT of dirt. Food was not generally washed before eating. Even cooking methods (when they were used) allowed a lot of dirt to get into the food. Like insects, soil has many trace minerals (unless it's been farmed). So you can't say your diet is the human evolutionary diet unless you're eating soil, from land that was never farmed, deforested, or landscaped (and dig deep, because topsoil is likely to be depleted from erosion).

3. There is no true paleo without blood, bone, bone marrow, skin, and organ meats (and probably a bit of hair). We didn't "evolve" to eat only muscle meat. Paleo people wasted nothing, and ate every scrap of the animal. As any meat eater, we ate everything but the hair and some parts of the digestive system. Early human ingenuity allowed (more like forced) us to become creative and find ways to make even the stomache and intestines palatable.

4. There is no true paleo without fiber. Lots and lots of fiber, and therefore a HUGE variety of plant foods. Most paleo diets were extremely high fiber. We've bred most of the fiber out of our food. We eat a very small number of plants and a much smaller proportion of plant foods than paleo peoples. Even the native Inuits (often used to justify nearly no-carb paleo diets) ate plant foods whenever they could find them, and the ones they DO eat are fiber and phytochemival powerhouses like blueberries, and hardy, high-fiber greens and herbs. They also eat a fermented (rotted) foods and a very high fat diet including the skin, fat, and organs of cold-water fish and sea animals all parts of sea animals (which are extremely high healthy fats, minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins).

5. There is no true paleo without "fermented" (partially rotted) food. Like all omnivores, humans evolved as opportunistic feeders; meaning we hunt, gather, and scavenge. Scavenging mean eating food that has started to decompose. Many beneficial bacteria are found in these foods. Of course, so are many harmful bacteria (which actually may be a good thing, in that both beneficial and harmful bacteria strengthen the immune system). There's also evidence that many paleo peoples intentionally fermented foods. Unfortunately fermented foods are rather scarce in modern diets, even modern paleo. We also know that cooking destroys enzymes and other nutrients (both in fermented and unfermented meats and plants). So unless you're eating raw, partially-rotted meats and plants, you aren't eating authentically paleo.

6. There is no paleo without periods of feast and famine. Intermittant fasting tries to imitate this, but how can you imitate months or even years of plenty alternating with scarcity.

7. We don't know as much about paleo diets as some of the paleo authors would have us believe. What we don't know makes any declarative statements iffy at best.

8. What we do know is that there was no single paleo diet. Different peoples ate differently and experienced different health effects (some were better than others, depending on what was avaliable.

9. There is no single modern paleo diet, either. How can "a" diet be best, when it's not one diet but a dozen or more because researchers and other experts can't agree on what paleo peoples ate or what a modern paleo diet should look like.



And finally..

10. Eolutionary diets (even if you were able to exactly mimic one) are not necessarily optimal. This has been proven for many species by zoologists and zookeepers. Evolution does not require optimization, only sufficiency.

An evolutionary diet just has to be sufficient for a species to breed and (in higher species) transmit group knowledge and culture. Early paleo life expectancy was short. Infant mortality, injury, illness, and starvation were leading causes of death. Malnutrition was common (the more plentiful and varied the diet, the more "nutritious" the soil.. less likely as in modern times).

So, while modern attempts at paleo are generally far healthier than the SAD (standard American diet), one cannot say with certainty that all or any modern diet with a paleo label is "the best," especially for everyone. Our science just isn't advanced enough to say anything of the kind.

nelie
08-12-2013, 02:30 PM
"Regarding Paleo, I agree that it's far from what our ancestors ate."

Ok. I don't understand that statement at all. I am far from an expert on Paleo but I try to vet which sites I go to. But there are incredibly smart, well-intended, research capable people looking at EXACTLY what we did eat and trying to distill that in Paleo recommendations.

So somehow despite that, Paleo people have no idea what people ate, but you or someone else does? That makes zero sense. Dedicated, smart, good research people SPECIFICALLY looking at what humans eat get it all wrong? Wow.

And yes we didn't eat bread. The time involved to make bread would have wait till organized agriculture. Rice? That's a pretty time involved process. Did our ancestors eat some grains? Sure. Was it a lot? Probably, not. Beans and seeds? Abosultely.

But bread and pasta and certainly refined breads and pastas? The refined kind have only been with us hundreds of years and the unrefined thousands of years. In any event I was hungry and tired all the time when I eat more carbs. And now I am not. I am also MUCH stronger. I am losing at 1 to 2lbs a weak. Am I Paleo? Probably not. As I stated just getting started on that. Have I limited carbs and especially breads and pasta? Yes. And it is FANTASTIC.

So what is it specifically about 'Paleo' you find wrong and propaganda? It seems pretty healthy and straight forward a like a lot of other plans: limit carbs, eliminate refined carbs, eat meat, fruits, and veggies. Try to eat food not processed food in other words. I've seen Paleo sites that say beans are allowed and even cheese not to metion eggs.

I think saying it is the best diet and also anything close to Paleolithic man is propaganda. I didnt say paleolithic man ate bread, just that grains were part of their diet. I don't have a problem with the modern Paleo diets, if it works for you then go for it.

I posted this thread a couple months ago about a Paleolithic archeologist who uses dental plaque to develop a picture of Paleolithic diets. She states grains and legumes were definitely part of the diet. Basically, we are highly adaptable and if we weren't, we would've died off a long time ago.

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weight-loss-news-current-events/278846-ted-talk-regarding-food-evolution-since-paleolithic-era.html

kaplods
08-12-2013, 02:46 PM
I'm not sure what you have read about Paleo but I have heard legumes are fine. Fruits and veggies also of course. Not sure about grains. I doubt bread has been around our diet as long as beans fruits and veggies.

Most paleo diets actually do forbid legumes (or anything that can't be eaten in a raw state). Some allow only legumes that have edible pods, and then only if the pods are eaten. Many even forbid all fruits but berries and other extremely low-carb fruits.

Of course this is the problem with modern paleo diets, there are dozens of different diets using the paleo label, and each allows and forbids a different list of foods.

If you're going to assert anything about paleo diets, you need to learn more about the scope and history of these diets.

FYI foods that are frequently forbidden or EXTREMELY limited on diets calling themselves paleo

Grains, pseudograins, sugar, dairy (except human milk for infants) legumes, meat, domesticated meat animals (entirely or just those that are not pasture fed), farmed fish, starchy vegetables and tubers (potato, sweet potato, squash, in some cases even parsnips and carrots), eggs, soy (a legume), tropical and "New World" (North American) plant foods including coconut, cocoa, coffee, nightshade vegetables (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes....), cashews, dried fruits, honey, maple syrup, alcohol....


Most paleo diets include some of these foods, at least in limited quantities but others ban them all. Some allow unlimited quantities, others attempt to replicate the proportions believed to have been characteristic in paleo times.

kaplods
08-12-2013, 03:03 PM
"Regarding Paleo, I agree that it's far from what our ancestors ate."

Ok. I don't understand that statement at all. I am far from an expert on Paleo but I try to vet which sites I go to. But there are incredibly smart, well-intended, research capable people looking at EXACTLY what we did eat and trying to distill that in Paleo recommendations.

And they very often DISAGREE VEHEMENTLY between themselves. They can't look at "EXACTLY what we did eat" because we have no time machines. The evidence is all indirect and open to interpretation.

Many of the experts (food anthropologists and even paleo proponents themselves) are horrified by and vehemently opposed to the modern Paleo movement. Other paleo authors oppose the assertion of others.


Paleo nutrition is NOT a unified science. The experts themselves have very widely different theories not only re: what we DID eat, but what we SHOULD eat.

You really do have to become a bit of an expert to evaluate the wildly varying claims, and especially before you make any claims of your own.

diamondgeog
08-12-2013, 03:31 PM
Everyone is making wonderful points. And you are right. I am not living in a paleo environment. I have a desk job and driving time and it would be nigh on impossible to be eating a true Paleo diet.

But can we agree that thinking about what we use to eat we can TRY to learn some valuable lessons on what we can do better in our lifestyles? So it added another layer of why I personally should stay away from breads and pastas.

And it is working for me. I had classic big belly, beer belly, carb belly whatever you want to say it was. It has gotten a lot smaller. My blood pressure is a lot better. I bet my next blood work is a lot better. I am a lot stronger and can run now which I could not before. When I hit 250 I will probably post some pictures.

So anyhow for me when I started to hear about Paleo it was a way of thinking how can I incorporate some of this, will it work? And it has. Will I ever be Paleo. No I can't imagine ever being able to swing that. But the ideas can still help me.

kaplods
08-12-2013, 03:55 PM
I just wanted to add that being open to opposing theories and viewpoints, is key to good science. And not all paleo diet creators or writers are doing good science.

Even though nelie and I both have very different food beliefs and ideologies, we both have done a lot of reading and thinking about what we eat, and why we eat it. I'm always interested in what she has to say, because I use it challenge my own biases.

As I mentioned, I am pro-Paleo, in that I am a fan of the theory and the science investigating and testing the hypotheses. I'm a fan of the science and my own experiences with pseudo-paleo dietary guidelines.

I am not a fan of the "cult" of Paleo, which overreaches far beyond the science, often contradicting the science, such as when HFCS is vilified, even in trace amounts, while honey, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice, and maple syrup or even dried or cooked down fruit are applauded and used with abandon.


To separate the science from propoganda and hype, you really have to become familiar with the science and theory behind the paleo and low-carb movements as a whole.

I've read hundreds of books (probably 50 just on paleo diet theory and on nutrioional anthropology and archeology alone) that were somehow related to the subject and I feel like I've just scratched the surface to becoming an educated amateur.

I'd encourage you to read Neanderthin, The Paleo Diet, and The Paleolothic Prescription as well as the books that are currently popular. These older books (and the wide range of theories they encompass) should really be considered required paleo reading.

Also read Michael Pollan and Gary Taub's books. Also read about vegetarian and vegan diets (both modern and paleo-inspied).


The more you read from different disciplines and ideologies, the more "big picture" understanding you will have.

Also, check out the food-related TED talks on netflix and youtube.

The biggest problem with a low-grain, paleo-based diet for the modern world, isn't nutritional at all. Our global population is far too large to support a hunter/gatherer diet. Modern foods are required to "feed the world," as it exists now.

Grains and modern food processing has allowed human population explosion. If we want everyone to eat (let alone eat healthfully) we need to use modern foods or drastically cut our population.

In many ways, paleo eating is a luxury of the very rich (even the poorest People in the USA are profanely wealthy in comparison to most of the world) or a necessity of the very poor.

PaleoPeanut
08-12-2013, 04:02 PM
Grains are just peasant food. They're a cheap filler. They're a waste of calories because they offer far fewer (if any) valuable nutrients than meats, veggies, nuts, and fruits. If you're going to take the time to keep a food log, to monitor what you eat, and to keep track to the calories going in, why not also take the time to maximize those calories so that you're getting the vitamins, minerals, amino acids... that your body needs?

A apple and a piece of bacon > a bagel
Strawberries and a banana > a bag of chips
An extra helping of veggies > pasta or rice

I can keep going, but it's kind of a no-brainer. Grains aren't a necessary part of anyone's diet.

nelie
08-12-2013, 04:19 PM
Grains are just peasant food. They're a cheap filler. They're a waste of calories because they offer far fewer (if any) valuable nutrients than meats, veggies, nuts, and fruits. If you're going to take the time to keep a food log, to monitor what you eat, and to keep track to the calories going in, why not also take the time to maximize those calories so that you're getting the vitamins, minerals, amino acids... that your body needs?

A apple and a piece of bacon > a bagel
Strawberries and a banana > a bag of chips
An extra helping of veggies > pasta or rice

I can keep going, but it's kind of a no-brainer. Grains aren't a necessary part of anyone's diet.

I love bagels but at 400 calories/piece, I pass :) I eat grains I enjoy because I enjoy them and they do provide nutrients. I actually don't like pasta so I don't eat it, I like brown rice (with hot sauce) as part of a larger meal, so I do. I also enjoy millet and injera (made out of Teff), kamut, wheat berries (which actually aren't wheat? odd I know), etc, etc. If I had to eat bacon for example (a food I have always hated), then I doubt I'd last very long on a plan that included it as a primary ingredient. And I tried to force myself to eat fish for 20-30 years until I gave up, I figure that was enough of a try. I also don't lack in the fruit and vegetable department as I recently had to count my servings per day and I averaged around 15 servings of fruits and vegetables and a wide variety at that. So 1-2 servings of grains per day doesn't stop me from eating fruits and vegetables.

I think balance is what a lot of us strive for on this site but however you choose to lose weight doesn't mean that way is better than another.

IanG
08-12-2013, 04:25 PM
My way is definitely the best way for me.

Beer for dinner.

And a lot of salads the rest of the time with lots of different, canned, oily fish.

Mercury in fish being harmful is a myth, at least for a grown man - women and kids should be careful. I simply can't eat that much of the risky fish for it to be a problem. And God knows I try to eat a lot of fish.

PaleoPeanut
08-12-2013, 08:36 PM
I love bagels but at 400 calories/piece, I pass :) I eat grains I enjoy because I enjoy them and they do provide nutrients. I actually don't like pasta so I don't eat it, I like brown rice (with hot sauce) as part of a larger meal, so I do. I also enjoy millet and injera (made out of Teff), kamut, wheat berries (which actually aren't wheat? odd I know), etc, etc. If I had to eat bacon for example (a food I have always hated), then I doubt I'd last very long on a plan that included it as a primary ingredient. And I tried to force myself to eat fish for 20-30 years until I gave up, I figure that was enough of a try. I also don't lack in the fruit and vegetable department as I recently had to count my servings per day and I averaged around 15 servings of fruits and vegetables and a wide variety at that. So 1-2 servings of grains per day doesn't stop me from eating fruits and vegetables.

I think balance is what a lot of us strive for on this site but however you choose to lose weight doesn't mean that way is better than another.

I just quickly Googled the nutrition of a bagel.
Size: 98 g
Calories: 245
Total fat: 1.5 g
Sodium: 430 mg
Potassium: 162 mg
Total carb: 48 g
- Dietary fiber: 4 g
- Sugar: 6 g
Protein 10 g
Calcium: 2%
Vitamin B-6: 5%
Magnesium: 12%
Iron: 15%

Now the nutrition of an apple...
Size: 182 g
Calories: 95
Total fat: 0.3 g
Sodium: 2 mg
Potassium: 195 mg
Total Carbs: 25 g
Dietary fiber: 4.4 g
Sugar: 19 g
Protein: 0.5 g
Vitamin a: 1%
Calcium: 1%
Vitamin B-6: 5%
Magnesium: 2%
Vitamin C: 14%
Iron: 1%

And bacon...
Amount: 28 g
Calories: 133
Total fat: 10 g
Sodium: 499 mg
Potassium: 147 mg
Total Carb: 0.1 g
Protein: 11 g
Vitamin B-6: 5%
Magnesium: 2%
Iron: 1%
Vitamin B-12: 5%

I'm sorry, but those things that you don't like... They're better for you than then the bagels and the other grains. The grains you eat may not keep you from eating fruits and veggies, but they are adding a lot to the total number of calories that you eat every day and giving you very little in the way of nutrients. Put down the bagel and eat an apple. You'll eat fewer calories and get more vitamins. Don't like bacon? Have an egg as your source of protein. The protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer too.

Those grains... They're as bad as having 15 servings of fruits/veg and then chugging a coke or two. Empty calories are empty calories.

nelie
08-12-2013, 08:56 PM
I said I don't eat bagels, I focus on whole grains and a large variety. I disagree that eating grains is equivalent to chugging a coke or 2. I love apples, and during the fall/winter, usually eat 1/day but I also like to include grains in my diet and that brings a satiety to my diet that is important to me.

Suzanne 3FC
08-12-2013, 09:48 PM
I said I don't eat bagels.

I think we need to put that in larger letters to avoid further confusion at this point :lol:

I avoid grains because they don't pack enough nutrition for my preference. However, I eat oats because they contain avenanthramide, an antioxidant that does amazing things for our blood vessels. As individuals, we should all examine our diets and what we expect to get from them, then choose which foods to include. Not everyone needs grains, but most people can incorporate them into a balanced plan.

Suzanne 3FC
08-12-2013, 09:53 PM
Wow. Very educational. It is giving me extra motivation to lose weight. I can say that I have experienced a lot more control over carbs after a month or so of trying to be much more delibrate.
.
.
.
Helped me I understand that I do have a body/mind that does crave carbs. But I CAN and WILL and AM moving beyond that to better health the rest of my life.

I just wanted to say that I'm glad you found a spark in all this that will help you on your path. Your message got a little lost in the debate, but we still heard you :) We're all unique and have to find what works for us as individuals. Hang on to what you took away from the videos, you'll do great :hug:

kaplods
08-12-2013, 09:53 PM
Grains are just peasant food. They're a cheap filler. They're a waste of calories because they offer far fewer (if any) valuable nutrients than meats, veggies, nuts, and fruits. If you're going to take the time to keep a food log, to monitor what you eat, and to keep track to the calories going in, why not also take the time to maximize those calories so that you're getting the vitamins, minerals, amino acids... that your body needs?

A apple and a piece of bacon > a bagel
Strawberries and a banana > a bag of chips
An extra helping of veggies > pasta or rice

I can keep going, but it's kind of a no-brainer. Grains aren't a necessary part of anyone's diet.


You're making rather some rather ill-informed and offensive assumptions. As a paleo fan, I'm embarassed.

While it's true that grains aren't necessary, neither are bacon, strawberries or bananas.

In fact, bananas, apples and bacon aren't all that paleo. Bananas and apples are both way too high in sugar (in fact, most conservative paleo diets forbid or strictly limit such high sugar fruits.

Likewise, bacon and other cured meats aren't universally considered paleo either. Unless you're eating home-cured bacon from wild, forest-foraging pigs, the fat ratios are all wrong and the additive content too high (you also have to watch for added sugar).

You obviously aren't aware of nelie's expertise in maximizing nutrient density. That in itself is forgiveable, but the examples you give, show your own inexperience on the topic.

I'd suggest you search for and read nelie's previous posts on the paleo/plant food debate, and in other threads discussing the many benefits of grain foods. You'll find she is quite well informed on the matter of nutrient density as well as the cost/benefit of paleo and non-paleo foods.

Even though she and I disagree fundamentally regarding paleo, it is not because she is unaware or ill-informed. She simply is more persuaded by the science that contradicts paleo, and I am more persuaded by the science that supports responsible paleo.

I think it's safe to say we both oppose irresponsible, pseudo-paleo nonsense.

Please know your nutrition science, both paleo and conflicting theory, before you critique someone else's.

In my experience with nelie ( and with you in this thread), nelie knows more about paleo than you do, which sadly (for paleo) reinforces her argument about paleo dieys being largely propoganda.

In the early days of paleo, the focus was on the science. It has become about marketing and as a result, the science is evaporating.

Please know your science before criticizing someone, especially someone who has proven her understanding of the science in many previous debates and discussions.

Vex
08-13-2013, 11:41 AM
I eat bagels.
I also eat pasta and ice cream.

I just don't eat a LOT of those things.

I've lost over 100 lbs doing so.

I really get tired sometimes of the "this way is the best way" blogs and posts, regardless of what diet it is that is being promoted. Each individual can respond differently to different things. I know some people that CAN'T eat any processed food or refined carbs.

If paleo works for some people, great. This isn't a personal attack, but just a general statement - I just get tired of so many people telling others they're doing something wrong.

sontaikle
08-13-2013, 12:01 PM
I eat bagels.
I also eat pasta and ice cream.

I just don't eat a LOT of those things.

I've lost over 100 lbs doing so.

I really get tired sometimes of the "this way is the best way" blogs and posts, regardless of what diet it is that is being promoted. Each individual can respond differently to different things. I know some people that CAN'T eat any processed food or refined carbs.

If paleo works for some people, great. This isn't a personal attack, but just a general statement - I just get tired of so many people telling others they're doing something wrong.

I totally agree. It gets old really fast hearing about how certain foods SHOULD NEVER BE EATEN!!

I went gluten free for a couple of months as an experiment. I didn't notice any difference between gluten-eating me and gluten-free me, and I remember being a bit worried when I decided to eat gluten again. I often read that people who suddenly introduced it back into their diets would get sick, etc.

I was fine. It was a very yummy slice of pizza.

As long as I don't overdo it—i.e. eat lots and lots of "bad" foods—I'm usually fine. However, I do feel ill if I eat "bad" foods all day, but I've been that way since before I lost weight.

I'm not very tolerant of sweet things, but once again, I've always been that way (I never liked donuts, for example). All that losing weight has taught me was that it's ok to refuse cakes and sweets—even if it isn't socially acceptable to do so. I AM more sensitive to them then I was when I was a kid, but I think that's more an age thing than a diet thing.

My brother on the other hand has a giant sweet tooth but manages to maintain a healthy weight despite having a love affair with sweets (because he doesn't go overboard, or replaces a meal with his sweet of choice :dizzy:).

Since bagels seem to be in this discussion...I miss them. However, even when I plan to eat one, I just realize I could have a giant, yummy salad for half the calories and I just find it unappealing. I think it's been a year since I had a bagel.

Yet I'll happily have a slice of pizza every now and then?

As you said, some people CAN'T have certain foods and that's ok—they need to do what works for them. Some of us can have other foods and still be healthy.

nelie
08-13-2013, 01:44 PM
And I don't think bagels or pizza or whatever else you want to eat is a bad thing, they are just generally things that I can't fit into my calorie goals. I eat pizza once in a great while and bagels, nearly never (except if I visit my friend in NYC). A lot of my initial weight loss was me eating pizza every weekend and I used to joke that it was my secret to weight loss because I always saw a drop in weight the next day.

I'm not anti-paleo or anti-high-carb, I do think that there is no one best diet and finding what works for you and makes you happy while helping you achieve your goals is tricky.

diamondgeog
08-13-2013, 02:14 PM
Suzanne,

Thank you. The thread orginally was to point out the very informative, for me, series The Men Who Made us Fat.

Which mentioned the Yudkin book Pure Sweet and Deadly. Which I haven't read but will when it comes out on Kindle later this month.

'Best' is subjective. But the explosion in sugar eating and in the US HFCS as well has been devstating for individuals and society. Can some people restrain themselves? Of course. Amazingly I am on the road to becoming one of those people. But I HAD to get off the sugar/carb bandwagon. It was messing with my desire for carbs, appetite everything.

One of the interesting things in part 2 of the series is that when rats were fed essentially what had become a lot of America's diets they got obese and could not stop eating. A lot of us lack time and money and other resources and Fast Food stepped right in to deliver quick, tasty food with devstating consequences.

I am not Paleo or even close but I'd like to think that at least 99% of people can agree low carb and lowering carbs would have profoundly positive impacts on individuals and society. I didn't say no carbs I said lowering carbs.

nelie
08-13-2013, 02:51 PM
Well not necessarily lowering carbs is a good thing. I think there are lots of societies that eat a high carb diet and are relatively free from things like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The problem is too many calories in general. There are also people in the US that are able to be healthy and eat a higher carb diet. The problems are when people eat too many calories and exercise too little. That is why I think balance is a good thing.

kaplods
08-13-2013, 03:38 PM
I'd like to think that at least 99% of people can agree low carb and lowering carbs would have profoundly positive impacts on individuals and society. I didn't say no carbs I said lowering carbs.

Even being pro-paleo myself, I'm not sure this is true. In fact, I'm pretty sure it isn't.

Some people (and not just no-carbers) do very well by actually increasing their carbs and reducing their fat intake. Others become underweight on a reduced-carb diet.

I think so much depends on individual needs, and the state of nutritional science is so poor that we can't make any claims with 99% confidence.

There's even a fair bit of evidence that many people can and do thrive on a primarily carbohydrate diet (even a refined carb diet). I suspect activity level and plant foods play a vital role, but the fact is, we just don't know for sure, because nutrition science hasn't explored some of these questions.


Several years ago, there was a study that found number and variety of vegetable servings was associated with better health, regardless of weight, calorie intake, or carb/fat/protein ratios. It may be that low-carb diets main health benefit may be due to the fact, that most people who reduce their carbs, also increase their freggie intake. Is it the carb reduction, or the freggie carb increase responsible for the weight loss and/or health improvements?

We just don't know enough to be sure.

Then there are broader issues, such as how to feed the entire world on a low-carb diet, even if it were proven to be a healthier diet for everyone.

"The men who made us fat," are also the men who helped end widespread starvation from famine in many countries.

Even as late as the mid- 1940's, calorie scarcity was a much bigger concern in America than calorie overload. Nutella, Velvetta cheese food, and even mass-market white bread were created to address calorie shortages. Nutella, specifically was made to solve the WWII problem, of undernourished, underweight children.

Farming, villified by Paleo and low-carb, created the modern world. Without refined carbs, even without grains, our culture would collapse. We would be forced to return to a paleo lifestyle, and we would also return to short, paleo lifespans.

I love paleo, but I'm not willing to trade cities, technology, and modern medicine in order to acheive it.

I have to acknowledge that I can afford to eat reduced-carb only because most of the world cannot.

Hunger is still a huge problem in most of the world, and paleo is a very inefficient means of feeding a society. Cities are a product of a high-carb diet. Without refined carbs, there would be no cities as we know them.

Early in my low-carb education, I too thought that everyone needed to be on this type of diet, but I didn't understand the bigger picture implications, or the consequences doing so would have on the world.

As a nation, we suffer from affluenza. We have too much (of almost everything) for our own good. We give up the healthy, but less palatable foods we used to eat because we don't "have to" eat them anymore. The tastier foods are the best for us when we're calorie depived, and the worst for us when we're not.

Evolution has never had to deal with calorie excess, because overpopulation occurs before widespread obesity. This is still true in human communities where birth control is not widely practiced.

The issues are extremely complicated, and anything that is 99% true is also so generic as to be completely useless as information: Everyone needs to eat. Some people eat too much. Some people don't have enough to eat. Eating fruits and vegetables is usually good. Processed food is usually unhealthy in large quantities.....

We need to know more about all the things that cannot be said with certainty. The human brain loves overgeneralization . We prefer to think in terms of always, never, everyone... but preference isn't truth.

diamondgeog
08-13-2013, 04:34 PM
I don't know if this is true or not but I have heard an explanation of the 'rice paradox'. And it is this: it is not a paradox.

What happened is that in a lot of Asian cities people eating rice as a big part of their diet had very labor intensive jobs. Even when moving to cities walking was a much bigger part of daily life in Asia. So all this activity brought up their glucose tolerance. It still wasn't good for them, but tolerated.

But now with more Western sedentary lifestyles rice is having the same bad negative outcomes in Asia as you would expect here: diabetes, heart disease, etc.

99% maybe not but certianly a vast majority of Americans could.

Yes definitely correct in calling me out on the 99% and yes I understand that Paleo lifespans were short. But we are defnitely cutting into ours with our eating habits. Infomation is good, generalizations are bad. But I am comfortable saying that in the developed Western world or areas with modern Western lifestyles the majority of people are eating too many carbs not from veggies and fruits. That is what I meant to say but I choose a pointless 99% instead.

nelie
08-13-2013, 04:42 PM
Well I think sedentary lifestyle is a big issue. I read a research article presented at a diabetes conference recently that talked about how a simple short walk after a meal can lower blood sugar and thus reduce the need for insulin. Not that I'm diabetic, but I do try to take a walk after at least one of my meals per day and overall try to be more active.

kaplods
08-13-2013, 07:27 PM
I do often wonder if we're trying to fix problems caused by stress, environmental chemical exposure, as well as sleep and exercise deficits with food.

Maybe we're expecting food to do too much of the work. Maybe the problem isn't so much what we're eating, or even how much (by itself), but how everything works together. Maybe we can never fix the problems without fixing it all, and knowing how it all works together.

Being fat may not even be a major health risk at all (at least in the absence of other risks). Maybe a very active, nonsmoking, obese person who eats a varied diet with lots of veggies (even if they eat some empty calories too), who manages stress well, has a large and rewarding social support network, who gets good sleep and lives in a clean environment, may be healthier than the average thin person.

If it turned out that the only keys to health were giving up tv, sleeping at least 9 hours every night and spending and an hour on the treadmill every day, I think a lot of people would still find the required changes difficult or impossible.

I don't believe any diet can counteract the cumulative ill effects of a modern, urban lifestyle.

The first changes I made on this health journey was to get treatment for sleep apnea. I lost 20 lbs without trying (my pulmonologist predicted I'd lose with no other effort and I thought he was nuts).


I think we're trying to condense a multi-factor system into a single-factored one, and it won't work. Sleep, body weight, stress, social connections, food, air, environmental toxins, exposure to bacteria and viruses (or lack of exposure), exercise, personality and temperament, socio-economic status, social status and prestige, physiology and genetic factors.......

They all interact and affect health in different ways, and it may be impossible to change a person's life for the better without addressing ALL of these factors. At the very least, if we understood how everything worked together, we could compensate more effectively. At least we might understand why some people thrive, even on a nutritionally poor diet (maybe the rest of their system compensates).

I think food is often the main focus only because it's easier and more people are willing to experiment with food than they are with sleep, exercise, social interaction... and other lifestyle elements.

ReillyJ
08-13-2013, 07:46 PM
I think food is often the main focus only because it's easier and more people are willing to experiment with food than they are with sleep, exercise, social interaction... and other lifestyle elements.

I agree with you, there are far more factors that come into play with our health and well being than just food but it also seems the reverse is true, a lot of people are so burdened with making a living and all else that's required to just manage daily life that food becomes the last thing that people want to change and the first thing they turn to to self-medicate.
I often wonder if that is as much a reason why for the obesity epidemic as is lack of exercise and lack of consuming healthy "clean" foods and i also think de-stressing is a HUGE part of it all and that's where we all get into this never ending loop, all are spokes of the same wheel.

nelie
08-13-2013, 07:57 PM
I agree, it is definitely a multifaceted issue. I think the reason food takes front and center a lot of times is due to money. It is hard to monetize 'get more sleep'. My company has found out that issuing pedometers to employees, providing incentives for exercise, pedometer steps and such has decreased their overall healthcare costs. They also have things like challenges to count fruit & veggies (which is why I knew how many servings I ate) and other things. I was listening to a podcast today that talked about the importance of stress relief and sleep in terms of overall health and fitness. It is definitely something I've been working on.

Chronostasis
08-14-2013, 12:51 AM
This has been a very interesting thread to read so far. Kaplods (and also nelie) especially, thank you for writing your opinions, they have been thought-provoking.

kaplods
08-14-2013, 02:21 AM
One of the most interesting things was the story about a book called pure white and deadly. The author John Yudkin nailed everything in 1972 but the sugar lobby buried the book and his career.


This statement may not be 100% accurate. It sounded a bit fishy to me (like typical documentary hyperbolic persuasion/entertainment technique) so I've been doing a bit of digging, and so far the argument isn't holding water.

I REMEMBER this book. I didn't read it, but I had certainly read and heard about it before I was 16 years old. I was only 6 when it was published (and it was published, so no one buried the book, it was commonly available), and while I remember there was a lot of controversy surrounding the topic (because low fat was all the rage at the time), that alone suggests that the subject matter was being taken seriously.

I remember in junior high and high school already having heard about the book and it's premise. By the early 80's it was common for people to say, "if it (the process for creating refined sugar) were invented today, it would never make it past the FDA."

I couldn't find any proof or indication that "the sugar lobby" thwarted Yudkin in any other way than flooding the media with pro-sugar propoganda (as the corn growers tried to do with the pro-HFCS tv ads).

I'm still digging, so I may find more persuasive evidence than I've uncovered so far. At this point though, it seems most likely that Yudkin's book and ideology opened some doors for him, and closed others.

I love documentaries, but I always have to factor in the creator's agenda. What are they trying to tell me, and are they trying to challenge common wisdom or persuade me to change my own perspective. If so (and it's pretty much always so) I have to consider the possibility for exaggerations, lies, and misleading "facts" or selective focus.

All this may sound strange coming from a person who strongly believes that sugar, especially, but not only refined sugar can indeed be toxic. I want the "message spread" as much as anyone, but not at the expense of accuracy.

"We have to exaggerate, lie, selectively ignore and hide opposing evidence so people will believe us," is sadly a common attitude in persuasive media.

It's just so hard to get accurate, unbiased information, so it all has to be taken with a grain of salt. No single source can ever be completely trusted, it literally takes a "preponderance of the evidence" to draw meaningful conclusions. To have any hope at having an educated opinion, you have to hear not only "both sides" you also have to hear from the middle.

Sadly the middle is usually most likely to be true, and is the side least often heard.

kaplods
08-14-2013, 02:48 AM
I just did a search on Amazon and realize I have read the author's 1978 book Secret and Deadly, which I may have confused with his first book

I also found that he wrote several books on the subject of sugar specifically or on nutrition in general over the years, which begs the question, if he were so discredited how could he have gotten so many books published by reputable publishers, especially on the same topic only a few years later than the supposedly discredited book. Doesn't add up to me.

Lolo70
08-14-2013, 04:38 AM
Very interesting. Much of what is said I noticed when I moved to the US. I am European and when comparing the US and Europe there are essentially three things that I noticed immediately. In Europe everybody walks to go shopping to get from point A to B etc. So, the lifestyle is a lot less sedentary. Then, US dinner plates and glass sizes are huge. When I look at a glass by a Swedish designer, it looks like something made for children. Since we tend to fill plates, this leads to automatically bigger portion sizes even when we think we do not supersize. Lastly, I grew up cooking using fresh ingredients. Ironically, I eat highly processed foods only while dieting. Eating fresh foods takes a lot more time and requires frequent shopping. So, if time is an issue, one tends to eat more garbage foods that are much higher in calories due to the sugar/filler carbs added. And it is certainly true that bad sugars are more prominent in US food. It is clear that sugar over time changes hormone balance and is addictive.

I was forced to analyze the reasons for my own weight gain in order to loose and came up with a positive feedback loop consisting of hormone imbalance (probably mainly thyroid), environmental factors, stress, a long-term lack of sleep due to working long hours, and a diet rich in carbs. So, it was definitely a combination of different factors. For loosing the weight again, carbs seem to be critical. The more I cut them in an otherwise iso-caloric diet, the faster the losses. I assume this is related to some hormones and I have not yet completely figured out what is going on.

I am not sure though, whether this is readily applicable to most overweight people. I suspect that a lot of people simply overeat and can easily loose weight when reducing caloric intake and/or becoming more active. For them, maintaining the weight loss may be the bigger challenge because it is hard to not drop back to old eating habits. In this regard, eating something like a paleo diet may help, because it eliminates hidden, empty calories common in processed foods and reduces cravings.

I for myself am still trying to figure out how best to eat. While I have to go to war for loosing every gram of fat, I have at present no problem maintaining, even when eating more carbs. I prefer to eat non-processed foods, hardly ever eat take-out, and do not like sweets. For me the problems may only start again when pressed for time. That is when I resort to a quick meal of bread and cheese. Knowing about the role that carbs play in my body's physiology hopefully will help. And I know for sure I need to watch how long I sleep and when to sleep. Hormones again.

diamondgeog
08-14-2013, 08:09 AM
Kaplods yes the sugar industry and big food did bury the book and try to discredit Yudkin. That is historical fact. The book was out of print for years, there were many personal attacks on him. Documented. Read the introduction to the Kindle book coming out which is free, the introduction is, to download.

kaplods
08-14-2013, 10:07 AM
Kaplods yes the sugar industry and big food did bury the book and try to discredit Yudkin. That is historical fact. The book was out of print for years, there were many personal attacks on him. Documented. Read the introduction to the Kindle book coming out which is free, the introduction is, to download.


I have no doubt that the sugar industry tried to discredit him, as they continue to try to discredit low-carb and paleo authors today, but how did they "bury" the book? Did they buy all existing copies? How were they specifically responsible for the book going out of print, rather than the general population simply wanting to believe the sugar sellers rather than Yudkin, Audette, Wolfe, and Cordaine (paleo authors, at least some of whom were writing at the same time as Yudkin).

I'm off to read this introduction, and I'll let you know if I'm persuaded.

kaplods
08-14-2013, 10:29 AM
Kaplods yes the sugar industry and big food did bury the book and try to discredit Yudkin. That is historical fact. The book was out of print for years, there were many personal attacks on him. Documented. Read the introduction to the Kindle book coming out which is free, the introduction is, to download.

Historical fact can only be established with evidence, so if the intro merely makes the statement without backing it up with evidence, it isn't historic fact, but an interpretation of historic events. Perhaps the intro or the book contains that evidence, but I could not find the free download you speak of.

I have no doubt that the sugar industry tried to discredit him, as they continue to try to discredit low-carb and paleo authors today, but how did they "bury" the book? Did they buy all existing copies? Did they threaten bookstore owners, the publisher, readers? Did they steal the books off delivery trucks? How did they prevent people from getting and reading the book. How were they specifically responsible for the book going out of print, rather than the general population simply wanting to believe the sugar sellers rather than Yudkin, Audette, Wolfe, and Cordaine (paleo authors, at least some of whom were writing at the same time as Yudkin).

If the book , it's subject, and it's author's career were "buried" how was it that the author able to get books commercially published that dealt with the topics of sugar, nutrition, and weight loss in 1974, 1976, 1977, and 1978 (and consistently every few years to the present)?

As I said, I could find no free kindle download, and in the description on amazon, it only says that Yudkin was ignored by the health industry (not surprising, new theories usually are).

Could you please link to the page on which this introduction download is available. I'd like to see who wrote it, and their arguments for this assertion to answer the questions I've already posed.

So far, the evidence points toward Yudkin having a very successful career based on his theories. How else could I have read Secret and Dangerous somewhere between 1978 and 1981. Being a teenager with little money, I would most likely have gotten the book from my school or public library or from a garage sale or fellow Weight Watcher member.

Any truth that was buried, obviously wasn't buried too deep or too long, for a 12-14 year old girl in central Illinois could find it.

Matisse
08-15-2013, 11:12 PM
I wanted to thank the people who have devoted time and energy to write thoughtful well-written posts in this thread. It's been interesting!

I have watched the three-part documentary and I enjoyed it, It's BBC quality.

"The Men Who Made Us Fat" hammers well the point that, while our governments are expected to take decisions in the public interest, they rarely do as lobbies are too powerful and drown scientists voices. Money proves to be too much of a lure for most politicians who want to be reelected and they know that if they fight huge corporations with unlimited resources, they will become a target and it could be the end of their career.

Scandinavians seem to have found the answer to that problem as they value human life and community above everything else. Imagine that! (And please do not call it a nanny state.)

diamondgeog
08-16-2013, 07:57 AM
Matisse I am a big fan of those nations.

And you don't have to buy every copy to 'bury' a book. The things you acknowledge Kaplods can result in burying a book. Go to Amazon make sure you are in the Kindle store. Look up the book. Choose try a free sample. The free sample happens to be the introduction.