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What effect will meals like this have?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 19, 2011 at 12:05 AM

One of the (non Paleo) blogs I read is about personal finance, but it regularly includes recipes that the author feeds his family (three small children) with. He has a very CW, vegan/ vegetarian approach.

This is his latest offering. He's feeding his family on baked squash in breadcrumbs, a tiny amount of blue cheese, spinach and a sandwich (I'm sure it's wholemeal bread, so, er, that's ok). So that's no significant fat or protein source?

It's just got me wondering how a diet with most meals like this, will affect the young children given it?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Excellent point on the fat. I sometimes get only 30% of daily cals from fat and I never have any issues.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:02 AM

He could have also used a nut flour in place of the breadcrumbs, and animal fat or nut (like coconut) oil in place of the olive oil.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:01 AM

If he could have tossed in some eggs and chunks of ham in with that casserole, it would have had plenty of protein for everyone. Probably would have "held" together a bit better too.

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2 Answers

4
Fa9f340eddbad9a544184c688fa4dcdd

(6433)

on September 19, 2011
at 12:30 AM

Firstly I think that the trend for very high fat diets has skewed the Paleo perception of what constitutes a low-fat meal. With about 300 calories per serving coming from fat, or ~50% of total calories, I would not personally classify the meal as low-fat, though there is certainly enough to facilitate the absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients present in the squash and spinach.

Equally, whilst the recipe lacks animal protein, only 0.8g/kg is necessary, meaning about 28g/day for a child, which is easily obtained via other meals/snacks. In fact, excessive and unbalanced methionine consumption is actually detrimental.

Although there are minor issues that we at Paleo Hacks might focus on eg olive oil is slightly too omega 6 heavy and is suboptimal for cooking, really my one major concern would be the gluten, which I don't think anyone should be eating on a regular basis, regardless of coeliac status.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 19, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Excellent point on the fat. I sometimes get only 30% of daily cals from fat and I never have any issues.

2
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on September 19, 2011
at 12:44 AM

I looked through the dinner posts, and I think this family eats better than a good 80% of Americans at least.

However, I think it's far from optimal for a developing child and would not feed my own kids this way. I believe strongly that no gluten, few grains, moderate starch and animal protein, high in quality animal fats and green veggies, is the way to go.

Replace all the bread with more harmless/whole-food starches, and it's very similar to the traditional diets of healthy tribes all over the world. The main effect of a high-starch, low protein diet seems to be simply less muscle mass/higher subcutaneous fat, leading to a lower BMI and 'soft' appearance (also probably less strength and ability to get stronger). There's no evidence I've seen that health or longevity is negatively effected by such diets, as long as micronutrient needs are being met.

Eating moderate to high protein for vanity and strength gains is justified in my book. :)

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