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Paleo..what is it?

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Old 03-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
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Question Paleo..what is it?

I keep hearing about Paleo..but what is it? What kind of plan is it? What do you eat? Is it a weight loss diet? Or is it just a healthy eating thing like going vegan or vegetarian?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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They say you lose weight on Paleo, but if you eat too much you won't. Basically it's eating like a caveman from paleo times, before agriculture was used. That limits your food choices to an unnatural degree, but if you read the books and the reasonings, it makes sense. You can't eat ANY grains at all, or any dairy (although some aren't as strict and allow a little cream and butter from time to time, most use coconut oil for those things). They eat lots of meat and fish and poultry, and fruits and vegetables and nuts. If you go to Marks daily Apple (google it) you'll find a ton if information on Paleo eating.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #3
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The theory behind paleo is that your genetics have not evolved in the last thousands of years, so we should only eat what our Paleolithic ancestors would've eaten because this will be the best for us genetically in terms of weight management, health and disease. The claim is that Paleolithic ancestors did not eat grains, legumes, dairy or soy as these could not have been consumed at the time because of the extra processing they require. You're basically allowed meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and a little fruit. It's very trendy right now because a lot of CrossFitters are using it.

Some versions of Paleo are really strict and others are more flexible. Primal, for example, lets you have dairy.

The thing is, paleolithic ancestors didn't actually eat these foods exclusively. Anthropological research has shown that these people did have tools that were used for grain processing and ate a lot foods like wild rice and white potatoes. This was as long as 105,000 years ago. In contrast, certain popular "paleo" foods like broccoli and spinach were likely never consumed by many people from this era and certain regions of the world. What you ate depended heavily on where you lived. Humans were opportunistic omnivores. They found a way to eat whatever they could.

I know a lot of people swear by paleo and have had success with it, but for all intents and purposes, it's a low carb diet (though a much healthier one). Yes, you eat whole foods and lots of vegetables, but that's what it is. I know the paleo lovers get mad when it gets looped in with other low carb diets, but it's the truth. If you do well on low carb diets you will do well on paleo weight-loss wise. And if you can sustain these eating practices then it will work for you weight-loss wise.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrieanne6 View Post
You can't eat ANY grains at all
Semantics, but it's not that people on paleo CAN'T eat grains. They don't want to. Like vegetarians don't want to eat meat. It's not that they can't. They are diets one chooses for health, and they feel is the ideal way to eat, not one they HAVE to stick to for X results.

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Originally Posted by gymrat05 View Post
it's a low carb diet (though a much healthier one). Yes, you eat whole foods and lots of vegetables, but that's what it is. I know the paleo lovers get mad when it gets looped in with other low carb diets, but it's the truth. If you do well on low carb diets you will do well on paleo weight-loss wise. And if you can sustain these eating practices then it will work for you weight-loss wise.
Not true.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrieanne6 View Post
They say you lose weight on Paleo, but if you eat too much you won't. Basically it's eating like a caveman from paleo times, before agriculture was used. That limits your food choices to an unnatural degree, but if you read the books and the reasonings, it makes sense. You can't eat ANY grains at all, or any dairy (although some aren't as strict and allow a little cream and butter from time to time, most use coconut oil for those things). They eat lots of meat and fish and poultry, and fruits and vegetables and nuts. If you go to Marks daily Apple (google it) you'll find a ton if information on Paleo eating.
I don't why coconut oil is ok as a substitute for butter? It seems like one thing that cavemen didn't eat is just being substituted for another. Surely they didn't have oils of any kind at that time. That is a more modern invention.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Actually it is, Jez. New research published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Science and Nature (among others) are suggesting that some people are genetically going to do better on low carb diets. And from personal experience it makes sense. I Followed paleo and paleo-like diets religiously for months (going so far as to cut out all fruits and nut butter and no paleo "treats" whatsoever) and I ended up 6lbs heavier than when I started. Some people have a gene that predisposes them to do better on low fat diets as well. It's about finding what works for you.

And as I mentioned, paleo is not actually a paleolithic diet. It's a marketing gimmick. If it works for you, that's fantastic, but call a spade a spade. No grains, no bread, minimal fruit and no beans or legumes is going to result in a lower carb diet.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:44 AM   #7
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Marks Daily Apple is a resource for primal eating not paleo. They are different things. Dr Loren Cordain (google his name) is the expert and founder of the paleo diet movement. His website is full of fantastic information including published studies. Paleo is a healthy scientifically proven and studied way of eating. It's not a fad or specifically a weightloss diet, just a general healthy way of eating. And no paleo is not a low carb diet, it is lower than the western diet which is high in carbs, but it isn't 'low'. Fruit and vegetables including sweet potatoes are freely eaten on the paleo diet with no carb counting.

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Old 03-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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I have had numerous friends try to start this diet, and then quit soon after. You have to be very strict, especially if you follow it the way it's supposed to be followed. A lot of them substititued things but then felt it was way to hard with the way they live to continue the diet. It's not for everybody.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:34 PM   #9
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This article talks about the evolutionary reasons that I disagree with the science behind the Paleo diet, but I also think modern, 1st world lifestyles are just far too different than that of a caveman's to justify trying to copy a caveman-like diet. For instance, my ancestors were nomadic Native Americans but I don't have to hunt, chase down, kill & butcher my own meat, or travel wide distances on foot to find herds of buffalo. Nor am I living in a teepee with more exposure to extreme weather. My stationary (though active) lifestyle doesn't match that of my ancestors so matching their diet isn't really going to be the best for me.

All of that aside, some people do well on Paleo. As others have said, it works for some & not for others.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowPetal View Post
Marks Daily Apple is a resource for primal eating not paleo. They are different things. Dr Loren Cordain (google his name) is the expert and founder of the paleo diet movement. His website is full of fantastic information including published studies. Paleo is a healthy scientifically proven and studied way of eating. It's not a fad or specifically a weightloss diet, just a general healthy way of eating. And no paleo is not a low carb diet, it is lower than the western diet which is high in carbs, but it isn't 'low'. Fruit and vegetables including sweet potatoes are freely eaten on the paleo diet with no carb counting.
The published studies on his website focus mostly on exercise and a lot of dietary related issues that would apply to any diet, not just a paleo diet. I'm not sure how you can say paleo is scientifically proven. Scientifically proven to what? Not to kill you?

And I've known quite a few Paleo-types from when I did Crossfit and their meals were definitely low carb (when they followed Paleo-style) and many of them would debate things like sweet potatoes but for the ones that did eat them, ate them sparingly. They also ate fruit sparingly and focused on low sugar fruits. Now I'm not sure if this was their particular style but I wouldn't say they freely ate fruit or higher carb veggies.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:55 AM   #11
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Here's an image of woman on a genuine paleo diet...




Just sayin'
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:26 AM   #12
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The published studies on his website focus mostly on exercise and a lot of dietary related issues that would apply to any diet, not just a paleo diet. I'm not sure how you can say paleo is scientifically proven. Scientifically proven to what? Not to kill you?

And I've known quite a few Paleo-types from when I did Crossfit and their meals were definitely low carb (when they followed Paleo-style) and many of them would debate things like sweet potatoes but for the ones that did eat them, ate them sparingly. They also ate fruit sparingly and focused on low sugar fruits. Now I'm not sure if this was their particular style but I wouldn't say they freely ate fruit or higher carb veggies.

Dr Cordains version of paleo - the original paleo movement diet (there are now heaps of variations) is not low carb, it is only lower carb.

It is scientifically proven to do what it claims to do. Improve your health, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, reverse/help type 2 diabetes, auto immune diseases etc. Also there is emerging research into these type of diets for the treatment of cancer tumors and so far the results are very good. This is because cancers fuel is glucose.

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Old 03-28-2013, 06:40 AM   #13
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What I like about "paleo" is its emphasis on really high quality ingredients... and its avoidance of most of the processed "foods" that we've become so dependent on... Those I think are really good things... and what I personally strive for in my own "diet"... So from that perspective I think it does have some valuable things to offer...

So for me... I take what I like from "paleo"... and leave the rest...
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowPetal View Post
Dr Cordains version of paleo - the original paleo movement diet (there are now heaps of variations) is not low carb, it is only lower carb.

It is scientifically proven to do what it claims to do. Improve your health, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, reverse/help type 2 diabetes, auto immune diseases etc. Also there is emerging research into these type of diets for the treatment of cancer tumors and so far the results are very good. This is because cancers fuel is glucose.
Mostly any diet where you eat healthier foods, cut out excess sugars, limit calories, etc is proven to improve health, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. also, the bodies fuel is glucose so there is that.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #15
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Mostly any diet where you eat healthier foods, cut out excess sugars, limit calories, etc is proven to improve health, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. also, the bodies fuel is glucose so there is that.
They aren't actually. Most other diets are based around wheat and other grains that fuel the fire for auto immune diseases etc and promote chronic inflammation in the body. The body can actually fuel itself quite successfully on a high fat, low carb diet (a ketogenic diet). It does not have to have glucose to thrive. Ketogenic diets have been used since the early 1900's for the successful treatment of epilepsy and they are now seriously being looked at as treatment for cancer - google it. No other type of diet can shrink a tumor like it.
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