I'll confess I didn't understand all the science mumbo-jumbo in the latest podcast from Chris Kresser: http://chriskresser.com/rhr-what-science-really-says-about-the-paleo-diet-with-mat-lalonde
But, at 22:21 minutes into it, during the section: "Why typical claims about antinutrients are wrong",
It sounds like there's a major disagreement about a fairly fundamental aspect of paleo between Mat Lalonde and Loren Cordain. Mat said he didn't want to bring it up "for the sake of the community", but then did.
Could someone please summarize in plain English what's the heart of the disagreement,
Could someone tell me who's right, who's wrong, and which health guru I'm supposed to follow?
I have respect for Robb Wolf because of his willingness to change course and down-size his recommendations on fish oil in the face of new oxidation information. (I like my guru's to be open to new ideas and not to be soo invested in past positions that they refuse to consider new information).
I have tremendous respect for Chris Kresser. He seems like he really keeps up on the latest, latest studies (and reads them); I like that he does't speak in sweeping generalities and doesn't over-sell his points. I like that he seems to pick the best pieces from several philosophies.
I'm not sure what I think about Mat Lalonde.
PS: you can stream the podcast from the link above, and drag the mouse right to 22 minutes into it.
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on June 18, 2012
at 04:01 AM
Mat Lalonde is a biochemist and is more qualified on the subject of antinutrients than Cordain, who has a degree in Exercise Physiology. But that's useful too, so it would be great if they would collaborate. It would be cool if some of the more annoying and pedantic elements of Cordain's paleo would totally die out. Like X is bad because it has lectins in it (which I see somewhat often here and more on reddit.com/r/paleo). Well.. which lectins? What do the studies on those specific lectins say? Are they destroyed by cooking? Are there individual factors that might make some people more or less sensitive to them? Are there ways to figure out whether they are an issue for you?
I think Mat's main issues with Cordain is his exaggeration and simplistic understanding of the impact of food components like phytic acid and lectins. Also recently he said that saturated fat and carbs are OK... grudgingly if you are an athlete. Not many people do well on a paleo diet that restricts both of those things. He used to recommend canola oil and now he doesn't, but he says the only OK oils are olive, flaxseed, walnut, and avocado. He recommends replacing your butter and lard with these things. I'm sorry, but you can find studies of similar quality to the ones he uses to dismiss canola (on animals and in vitro) on why those have issues. I'll stick with coconut, butter, tallow, and lard.
on June 18, 2012
at 03:42 AM
Matt is clearly younger, has lower % body fat,is more fit and better looking so...he must be 'doing it right" therefore he must be correct. Ah book schmook. Cordain is old (god forbid!)and has a roll of fat around his middle. Clearly he's not someone to listen to if that's the best he can do with himself. I'm pretty sure that's how we decide these things around here right?
on June 19, 2012
at 08:12 PM
I think the Kresser-Lalonde podcast should be required listening for anyone entering into paleo, as the hyperbole of primal seems to cloud the brains of many in The Sphere. The collaborative interview injects much common sense (especially regarding epigenetics and all the "we haven't evolved enough to eat this, this and that" guff) into what is so obviously, in itself, an evolving discussion. I think Lalonde rocks, and has more guts (underneath his flat tummy!) than many in The Movement.
on June 18, 2012
at 02:21 PM
There are certainly bugs in Cordain's 1st book, which he has mentioned in various interviews.
I don't know who's right or wrong, but I do know that if I eat too many nuts, it stalls fat loss or causes fat gain. I do know that if I go anywhere near grains, I get instant diarrhea for two days, lose my immunity to cold, and feel completely awful.
I've not tried beans in a long time, but the sugars in them do cause gas, so why bother? I'm very certain that soy is very bad stuff, so I won't try them.
It's very possible that anti-nutrients aren't as bad as claimed, perhaps some of us have some genetic adaptations to them, but the things that contain them still have tons of bad effects, so why would I want to eat them?
Maybe phytate or phytic acid is already bound to metals, and thus can't "steal" any from you, but then again, it doesn't mean that the advertized iron, or magnesium, content of of a food is absorbed as we already know, so the nutritional label on these is wrong to start with.
I do know that eating kale and spinach is something that does make me feel more alert and better over all, and while that's a fuzzy way of measuring it, oxalates, or other phtytate-like substances don't bother me when I eat it - probably because I cook them.
So, overall, this is picking nits, and in the end it doesn't matter in practice... at least for n=1 me. I'll still avoid too much nuts, and all grains.
IMHO, everyone is going to be wrong somewhere, there are perfect paleo gods out there. Just because something Cordain says is wrong doesn't negate the rest of what he says. Nor would I expect Lalonde to be 100% correct on everything he says either.
On top of that new studies are released every day. That's just a part of how science works. Some of those studies are flawed, or possibly faked, others validly negate previously thought correct data.
I'm not sure I'd categorize an interview with Matt where Loren isn't there to answer him one way or another as a "Cage Match" - and if anything, professional wrestling is mostly fake, so please do refrain from the hyperbole. As you'll note the title of the podcast episode isn't "This Just In: Cordain is WRONG!!!!!1!" There's no need to pick up on one detail and use it as "evidence" to negate everything he says.
on June 18, 2012
at 03:00 AM
I think the biggest issue Mat has is that Loren uses the phytic acid argument too much. People get scared into avoiding phytic acid at all costs in spite of the fact that it doesn't bind minerals the way Loren claims it does.
Also the saponins and lectins, which many people claim we need to avoid, don't behave quite as bad as they're made out to be.
To answer #2, I'm on Lalonde's side.
on June 18, 2012
at 01:49 PM
Mat is big on what has been supported by science. It's technically correct, but is that the best kind of correct? That's his paleo schtick. He certainly doesn't live and die by what science has supported and what it hasn't, else he wouldn't be paleo (as there's little scientific support for paleo as a whole). I do think Mat is a smart guy, but the dogmatic view of science irks me a bit.
Despite being a founding father of paleo, I've read next to nothing by Cordain. He's certainly been eclipsed by nearly everybody in the paleo community. Folks talk about 'faileo' paleo, but I don't know the details myself and really can't comment.
In the end, it's an apples and oranges matchup, both are paleo. Best to ignore the personalities, but that might just be my anti-political attitude showing.
on June 18, 2012
at 03:42 AM
Hypothetical question for those who adhere to a Paleo Diet: if science managed to create some Frankenfood that mimicked a food in nature, except...
it did not contain any of these: -No Phytates/oxalates -No lectins/saponins/tannins/salicylates -No PCBs/plastics/heavy metals and free of environmental toxins -No artificial preservatives/antibiotics and mold inhibitors -No disaccharides or lactose/fructose/fructans/FODMAPS -No phytoestrogens -No cellulose or irritating insoluble fiber -No gluten/casein -No vegetable oils/trans fats/hydrogenated oils of any sort.
And it had:
-Taste wise, it had all 6 tastes in pleasant ratios, including sourness, bitterness and umami. Also, depending on your mood, it may taste like chocolate as well.
-Texture wise, it would be creamy, soft but not fallsapartinyourmouthsoft and some parts of this food are also lightly crunchy. -Can be eaten raw or cooked. -Extremely shelf stable. -Good potassium/sodium balance -High in magnesium/moderate in calcium -High in MCT saturated fat and fat soluble vitamins ADEK -High in Omega-3 PUFAs, that were preserved from oxidation due to the other beneficial parts of this frankenfood. Small amount of essential Omega-6s in the form of LA and GLA.
-Contained all of the B-group vitamins in proper ratios (with a little extra b6) and Vit C -Significant source of bioavailable zinc and heme-iron. -Contained lactic, butyric, acetic and lauric acids. -High in easily assimilated complete protein. -Good source of soluble fiber and resistant starch. -Low in carbohydrates and the carbohydrates that it contains are from glucose, fiber and resistant starch. -Potent source of probiotics. -Contained antioxidants found in berries and many common herbs such as anthocyanins and rosmarinic acid. -Full of live enzymes. -It's basically a divine food with no downsides and would fix all of humanity's health problems if they just consumed this one, hypernutritious ultradelicious food. You get the point.
How many of you would honestly NOT eat this miracle food on the basis that it's a frankenfood (albeit a good one) and a food that was not available during Paleo times?
on June 28, 2012
at 12:50 AM
What has Lalonde put out ? Does he have a blog,books or any writen articles that sight his points? Excuse my ignorance but all I know about him is from the few podcast he appeared in. should we trust his POV because he's a biochemist? Wouldn't that be the same as "my boy told me to eat 2g of protein per lb of weight. And he's huge!"
on June 18, 2012
at 08:04 AM
I don't know if Matt is right, but Cordain is more wrong than Matt. Cordain has backtracked on Saturated Fat, but IMVHO that's not enough.
on September 05, 2012
at 08:45 PM
Gosh, this is a hot topic, but really, both of these guys are extremely brave and both bring a lot to the (hopefully meat laden) table.
Ultimately, it's easy to criticise, everyone who makes broad, brave opinions has something wrong somewhere, so it's certain that Loren Cordain has some things wrong. So, Matt has some new, more modern opinions, based on some more modern science, but he is not published, so he is hardly taking the risks that Cordain has taken or brings such a level of benefit to the Paleosphere.
Ultimately, they both bring a lot to the table, and as someone who has benefited from Paleo as an approach, the idea of 'faileo' is not something I can easily take on board.
Ultimately, we all benefit from scientific rigour, so if Mat Lalonde acts as a scientific overseer and makes everyone else work just that little bit harder we won't end up with any Colin T. Campbell style crazyiness in the Paleo world.
I would like to see these guys sit down and thrash this out and given the Lalonde, Wolf, Cordain link I am surprised that has never happened and we have got to this level of beef.
on June 25, 2012
at 03:02 PM
Cordain totally knows everything about antinutrients. He has published gadzillions on them. Biochemists know jack about antinutrients, it is an esoteric field that is probably not mentioned once in any major biochemistry text book. Matt is a dabbler with a big mouth. I wonder if he will recant if he is well refuted? – Paleozombie 2 hours ago
@Paleozombie, you seem to have a major hard-on for Mat. I appreciate that everyone deserves their opinion and you've invested time in Cordain to the point that you come across as close-minded (at least to me).
Biochemists know jack about antinutrients
WTF are you talking about?
I respect Loren Cordain, I've never heard of Mat Lalonde - but at some point Loren Cordain was where Mat Lalonde is now, so he deserves the same open-mindedness. He seems very educated and carries his research/opinion with authority & confidence. It's important to be able to articulate your findings & I actually find him quite humble - compared to Robb Wolf he's Ghandi.
I don't know whether he's right or wrong, I do believe that scientists should be open to their studies being analyzed and disproved or otherwise. Hopefully a response surfaces soon, I do know I've eaten legumes, wheat etc. in the past, and for now at least, I'm going to stick to what makes me feel healthiest.