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 Paleo Diet ... what *is* it?

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Posts : 133
Join date : 2010-03-11
Age : 49
Location : California

Paleo Diet ... what *is* it? Empty
PostSubject: Paleo Diet ... what *is* it?   Paleo Diet ... what *is* it? EmptyFri Mar 12, 2010 3:06 am

For those that have not yet stumbled across this diet that might want to learn more, the best source for learning about this diet is the source:

However, this is another GREAT summary of what the Paleo Diet is all about:

That being said ... it took me a while to notice the links for people just learning about the diet at the very bottom of site ... so I will attach them here for your convenience.

Definition of Terms for the First time Reader

Paleolithic Diet

Paleo Diet

Paleolithic Nutrition

Caveman Diet



Hunter Gatherer Diet

The Paleo Diet

Loren Cordain

Athletes Diet

Low Carb Diet

Here are some exerpts from the site

The Paleolithic Diet ("Paleo" is a common abbreviation) is based on eating foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate. The "Paleolithic" refers to the Paleolithic Age, which is a formal time on Geologic and Archaeologic Time Charts from about 2,600,000 years ago to about 10,000 years ago. Although they are technically misnomers, the time is also sometimes informally referred to as the Paleolithic Period or Paleolithic Era. The term derives from, and is best translated as, "The Old Stone Age". This is in conjunction with the Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age), and the Neolithic Age (New Stone Age).

The premise is that during the Paleolithic, we evolved a specific genome that has only changed approximately 0.01 per cent in these last 10,000 years. However, during this recent time span mass agriculture, grains/grain products, sugars/sugar products, dairy/dairy products, and a plethora of processed foods have all been introduced as a regular part of the human diet. We are not eating the foods we are genetically and physiologically adapted to eat (99.9% of our genetic profile is still Paleolithic); and the discordance is an underlying cause for much of the "diseases of civilization", "syndrome X", obesity, and "diseases of old age" that are so epidemic in our society today.

As Dr. Cordain and others' scientific research reveal - the evolutionary, genetic, and clinical evidence point to a natural (i.e., unprocessed foods), omnivorous diet as the healthiest way to eat. Dr. Cordain's research shows that 70% of the average caloric intake of Americans is from foods that did not even exist for our Paleolithic ancestors. This discordance is having tremendously negative health consequences for our society as a whole.

Our genes determine our optimum diet, and our genes evolved according to the environments in which our ancient ancestors lived, including the foods they ate. Our Paleolithic ancestors did not eat just one single diet, but rather they ate within a range of natural, unprocessed diets - depending on variables like geography, climate, competition, ecologic niche, season, and glaciations. All of these Paleolithic diets did share some universal characteristics, though:
Some Paleolithic Diet Details - the ingredients

1) The vegetable sources were:

· Plants
· Roots and tubers
· Berries
· Fruits
· Nuts

The most obvious plant food missing is grains and grain products. If you can concentrate on fresh versions of the plants above - and eliminate or drastically reduce grains, grain products, sugars, and sugar products - you will be well on your way to eating the plants that fit your genetic consitution.

2) The animal sources were:

·Wild terrestrial animals (including the muscle tissue, fat and organs, although the total amount of fat and the fatty acid composition were quite different than that found in modern domestic animals).
· Fowl
· Insects
· Fish and seafood
· Eggs

Paleolithic Diet; an outline from Dr. Loren Cordain

Below is a short excerpt from Professor Cordain's book, outlining and summarizing some of the salient points about what Paleolithic Era people's ate:

• Paleolithic people hardly ever ate cereal grains. This sounds
shocking to us today, but for most ancient people, grains
were considered starvation food at best.

• Paleolithic people ate no dairy food. Imagine how difficult
it would be to milk a wild animal.

• Paleolithic people didn’t salt their food.

• The only refined sugar Paleolithic people ate was honey,
when they were lucky enough to find it.

• Wild, lean animal foods (relative to today) dominated Paleolithic diets, so
their protein intake was quite high by modern standards,
while their carbohydrate consumption was much lower.

• Virtually all of the carbohydrates Paleolithic people ate came
from nonstarchy, wild fruits and vegetables. Consequently,
their carbohydrate intake was much lower and their fiber
intake much higher than those obtained by eating the typical
modern diet.

...taken from ...

Paleolithic Nutrition

Paleolithic Nutrition refers to the more formal and detailed nutritional and medical science of the Paleolithic Diet. Nutrition scientists, medical doctors, and anthropologists are the main research groups that contribute to this growing and powerful nutrition research. The thesis is increasingly backed by a steady stream of peer-reviewed science, with more and more scientific researchers and medical doctors writing, lecturing, and agreeing with the "diagnosis".

Paleolithic Nutrition: quite different than the USDA

Below in quotes is an exerpt from an interview with Dr. Cordain about the general thesis of Paleolithic Nutrition:

"There is increasing evidence to indicate that the type of diet recommended in the USDA's food pyramid is discordant with the type of diet humans evolved with over eons of evolutionary experience. Additionally, it is increasingly being recognized that the "food Pyramid" may have a number of serious nutritional omissions. For instance, it does not specify which types of fats should be consumed.

The western diet is overburdened not only by saturated fats, but there is an imbalance in the type of polyunsaturated fats we eat. We consume too many Omega-6 fats and not enough Omega-3 fats. The Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio in western diets averages about 12:1. Whereas data from our recent publication (Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd, Sinclair AJ, Cordain L, Mann NJ Dietary intake of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during the Paleolithic Period. World Rev Nutr Diet 1998; 12-23) suggests that: For most of humanity's existence, prior to agriculture, the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio would have ranged from 1:1 to 3:1. High dietary Omega-6/Omega-3 ratios are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and tend to exacerbate many inflammatory disease responses.

Further, the USDA food pyramid places breads, cereals, rice and pasta at its base and recommends that we consume 6-11 servings of these items daily. Nutritionists at the Harvard School of Public Health (Willett WC. The dietary pyramid: does the foundation need repair? Am J Clin Nutr. 1998;68: 218-219) have recently publicly criticized this recommendation. It fails to distinguish between refined and complex carbohydrates and their relative glycemic responses. Dr. Willett further pointed out that there was little empirical evidence to support the dominant nutritional message that diets high in complex carbohydrate promote good health.

Both the fossil record and ethnological studies of hunter-gatherers (the closest surrogates we have to stone age humans) indicate that humans rarely if ever ate cereal grains nor did they eat diets high in carbohydrates. Because cereal grains are virtually indigestible by the human gastrointestinal tract without milling (grinding) and cooking, the appearance of grinding stones in the fossil record generally heralds the inclusion of grains in the diet. The first appearance of milling stones was in the Middle East roughly 10-15,000 years ago.

These early milling stones were likely used to grind wild wheat which grew naturally in certain areas of the Middle East. Wheat was first domesticated in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago and slowly spread to Europe by about 5,000 years ago. Rice was domesticated approximately 7,000 years ago in SE Asia, India and China, and maize (corn) was domesticated in Mexico and Central America roughly 7,000 years ago.

Consequently, diets high in carbohydrate derived from cereal grains were not part of the human evolutionary experience until only quite recent times. Because the human genome has changed relatively little in the past 40,000 years since the appearance of behaviorally modern humans, our nutritional requirements remain almost identical to those requirements which were originally selected for stone age humans living before the advent of agriculture."

The above quotation is from an interview Dr. Cordain did with a noted nutritionist, Robert Crayhon, M.S. and can be seen in its entirety at: Paleolithic Diet Interview:

...taken from ...

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