So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
Trick And Treat - how 'healthy eating' is making us ill by Barry Groves. The author is one of the world's most outspoken proponents of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This book is an account of how and why the health-care establishment has got the concept of 'healthy eating' so wrong. Whereas Taubes work (see above) is a fairly straight forward review of the existing science, Groves expands into the politics of medical research and treatment to a much greater extent. "Trick and Treat" is divided into two parts. Part One describes the corruption in the health industry, points out the problems inherent in a high-carb, low-fat diet, and then prescribes a diet that leads to good health. The prescribed diet is high in fat - specifically animal fat, not polyunsaturated vegetable fat - and low in carbohydrates, with 60-70% of calories from fat, 15-25% of calories from protein, and a mere 10-15% of calories from carbohydrates. Part Two describes numerous diseases the author claims are the result of high carbohydrate consumption. These range from life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer to less serious problems such as acne, near-sightedness and dental problems. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
The main scientific model in that latter camp is the ”carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis,” which Taubes, Harvard professor David Ludwig (an author on the new paper), University of California San Francisco’s Robert Lustig, and others have promoted extensively. It suggests that a diet heavy in carbohydrates (especially refined grains and sugars) leads to weight gain because of a specific mechanism: Carbs drive up insulin in the body, causing the body to hold on to fat and suppress calorie burn.
Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices.
The first thing you should make from this book? Red Curry Roasted Cauliflower (pg. 242). We've made it FIVE TIMES since we got the book. Super easy and so delicious. If you follow us @gneissspice on instagram, you’ll see dozens of posts of the meals I made from this book. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are debating a Whole30. Nothing is worse than trying to stick to the strict rules, and then have no idea what to eat for dinner. My only complaint about the book would be no mention of portion sizes. I had to head over to their website to find suggestions (they have a cool graphic for this, not sure why they didn’t include it in the book).
“This study confirms that, remarkably, diets higher in starch and sugar change the body’s burn rate after weight loss, lowering metabolism,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the research. “The observed metabolic difference was large, more than enough to explain the yo-yo effect so often experienced by people trying to lose weight.”
Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship by Sarah Fragoso. Piper, Phoenix and Parker are not ordinary children–they are super heroes that travel the land helping other children learn about living the healthiest, most exciting, most super lives possible. They are known as The Paleo Pals, and this is a story about how they help out Jimmy, a little boy who is not sure if eating paleo food is even one tiny bit exciting or super. Published February 7, 2012.
The evolutionary discordance is incomplete, since it is based mainly on the genetic understanding of the human diet and a unique model of human ancestral diets, without taking into account the flexibility and variability of the human dietary behaviors over time. Studies of a variety of populations around the world show that humans can live healthily with a wide variety of diets, and that in fact, humans have evolved to be flexible eaters. Lactose tolerance is an example of how some humans have adapted to the introduction of dairy into their diet. While the introduction of grains, dairy, and legumes during the Neolithic revolution may have had some adverse effects on modern humans, if humans had not been nutritionally adaptable, these technological developments would have been dropped.
A 2018 report on type 2 diabetes by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) found that a low-carbohydrate diet may not be as good as a Mediterranean diet at improving glycemic control, and that although having a healthy body weight is important, "there is no single ratio of carbohydrate, proteins, and fat intake that is optimal for every person with type 2 diabetes".
Granted, low-carb diets can be astonishly effective. But given their side effects, they can be suggested only when the overweight itself presents graver dangers to the health of the patient than the risks of the diet. Morbidly obese patients (weight index 38+) may benefit from low carbohydrate diets in order to normalize their body weight. Such diet should always be considered only as the means, not the end.
The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man by Walter L. Voegtlin. This was self-published back in 1975. Only a couple hundred copies were printed and distributed to friends and relatives. No one knew the book existed until some years later. In no way is he the father of the paleo diet. It is impossible to purchase. Apparently his descendents are planning a reprint, though the book is poorly written and not based upon factual anthropological information that even was available then. We have put up his Functional and Structural Comparison of Man's Digestive Tract with that of a Dog and Sheep. And a PDF can be found here.
Basically, yes and no. Low-carb diets can lower your body weight faster than low-energy diets, but not without cost. Your body needs energy to survive, just as any nutrient in food, and carbohydrates provide it as the most convenient form. Getting the energy from proteins really doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you look at it in terms of our evolutionary history. Early humans (in the Paleolithic period) were generally agreed to be long distance runners, who would chase animals till they died of exhaustion, or became paralyzed by heat stroke and could not run or fight when caught up with by their hunters. Humans are one of the few species that are able to run for long distances at close to max speed, and we used this to chase prey animals 15-20 miles until we could just club them to death. This is, first of all, not a method of hunting that lends itself to a high protein diet. And as any long distance runner or cyclist will tell you, you need carbs a lot more than you need protein when you're doing a long run.
Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved cholesterol. However these studies were of short duration (6 months or less) with a small number of participants (less than 40). [4-6]
A keto diet shifts your body’s fuel-burning engine from one that relies on carbs for energy to one that incinerates fat. A big benefit here is that you may lose a significant amount of weight quickly, and that can be initially motivating to see those results so quickly. The downside is that it’s a very limiting diet — you’re eating mostly sources of fat, plus a little protein, and some nonstarchy veggies — so it’s difficult to keep up, and it’s typically intended as a short-term diet, not a lifelong change.
You’ll stay pretty full on the Paleo diet. Nutrition experts emphasize the importance of satiety, the satisfied feeling that you’ve had enough. You shouldn’t feel hungry on this diet – protein and fiber are filling, and you’ll get plenty of both. One small study of 29 participants published in Nutrition & Metabolism in 2010 found Paleo dieters felt just as full but consumed fewer calories than their Mediterranean counterparts.
Vitamin D is the one supplement that would be paleo. At least it would be for those of us that don't live outside year round. You can have your D level measured. The low RDAs only prevent definable deficiences, not problems that take a long time to develop. Michael Holick, MD is a leading writer on this subject. This is a 10 page PDF: Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis and its companion Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease [change PDF to 100% to read]. Or if you prefer, there is an hour video on YouTube.
By the second week I started to notice that my face and my stomach looked less puffy. Score! I saw this as a sign that inflammation in my system was going down. One of the most remarkable changes was in my mood. I felt generally happy and positive. I would say I’m a positive person in general, but I do get stressed out easily. The margin for getting really stressed got a little thicker, and I was simply able to deal better.
Cynthia Graber is the co-host of Gastropod and is an award-winning radio and print journalist who covers science and technology, agriculture and food, distant lands, and any other stories that catch her fancy. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Slate, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, the BBC, and a variety of other magazines, radio shows, and podcasts.
The Open, introduced in 2011 and so called because participation is open to anyone, is held over five weeks in February–March; a new workout is released on each Thursday night (Pacific Time) and competitors complete the workout and submit their scores online by Monday evening, with either a video or validation by a CrossFit affiliate. Since 2013, Open workout announcements have been broadcast live, and featured two or more past CrossFit Games athletes competing head-to-head immediately following the workout description. Beginning with the 2019 Games, the top athlete from each country and the top 20 overall Open finishers qualify directly to the Games.
However, London stresses that any diet ultra-low in carbs — such as keto and phase 1 of Atkins — can result in some unwanted short-term side effects (like constipation and bad breath), as well as some serious long-term ones (increased risk of osteoporosis, kidney and liver issues, and decreased immune function). Also, one large study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2018 found that low-carb diets should be “avoided” since followers are at a greater risk of death due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
When following the Paleo diet, you will cut the trans fats and the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in your diet and increase the healthful monounsaturated and omega-3 fats that were the mainstays of our ancestors. Recent large population studies, known as meta analyses, show that saturated fats have little or no adverse effects upon cardiovascular disease risk.