4

votes

What food/behavior surprises you most on Paleo blogs, PH, forums, etc?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 20, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I read a lot of different Paleo related sites and often see the community list foods they eat. I am a bit surprised at how often chicken comes up. I thought chicken was full of omega 6 and low in omega 3/sat fat. To me, it is a low energy density food that should be minimized. It's not evil, but it's not optimal, yet I see it as a go to option on so many Paleo resources.

Anyway, what surprises everyone else in our community? Foods, behaviors.. anything goes.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Absolutely...amazes me how many people have planned cheat meals. I can totally understand when you're traveling or meeting your girlfriend's parents and are subjected to food you wouldn't otherwise choose. But I am astounded at how many people actually PLAN their cheat meals. "Ohhhh boy, I am so going to crush a bag of FunYuns, drown it with a Big Gulp full of Mountain Dew and learn to parkour!!! Yeahhh!" It's like saying your diet is so restrictive you need to completely come off the rails to stay sane. To me, a paleo diet is chock full of variety. To each his/her own, I guess.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 19, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Haha, I find the avoidance of veggies and minimization of their role in diet to be surprising actually.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 19, 2012
at 05:39 AM

The SHD (Standard Healthy Diet) says that chicken is better for you than red meat. Skinless chicken breast in particular. I think that a lot of people wrongly hang on to that idea.

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 19, 2012
at 05:37 AM

The SHD (Standard Healthy Diet) says that chicken is good for you. Skinless chicken breast in particular. And that red meat is bad for you. I think that a lot of people wrongly hang on to those ideas.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Agree. High in the wrong types of fats, good chance of being rancid (especially if you buy them already grinded), plus the fats will quickly get oxidized if you cook. What's good about that?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:45 PM

I don't do cheat meals. I 'cheat' enough by accident or by compulsion but then say "that was my cheat meal" as a way to not sweat about it.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I have noticed that some restaurant foods that used to be 'savory' now taste like candy. The other day I had some cake (hey - it was my daughter's birthday, of *course* I'm going to have cake!). Just a tiny amount - half a bite even - was 'tasty' but my first thought was "oh - I definitely don't want much more of THAT". BIG difference from my eat-six-slices-when-nobody-is-looking days.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I'm not sure this is so much mentality as a change in palate. Part of the problem is there is SOOO much sugar in everyday foods, people's palates have become skewed (I'm looking at you Robert Parker! yeah, I said it.). They prefer these overblown, overly sweet flavors and Big Food caters to that desire, thereby creating a vicious circle. You look around at people and they eat like they're freaking 9 years old! Sweets for dinner with a side of diet coke or two. I think part of Paleo is a "retraining" of the palate where your sensitivity starts coming back and you begin to notice more subtlety.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:27 PM

The "fake" flours for baking surprise me as well. Maybe because I just don't crave that flavor/texture anymore.

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:12 PM

If I am forced to eat at McDonalds or a greasy spoon diner, I'd go for the burger over the grilled chicken breast. To me, grain-fed beef is better than factory farmed chicken (better 6:3 ratio, and higher calorie density so I don't have to eat as much of it).

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:35 AM

Good! I like your list very much, I was just surprised not to see a "stuff that makes me feel good" category: we need that...

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:11 AM

On the contrary, I love food! I now think of my default state as "burning a hole through the fabric of the universe with the sheer power of my awesomeness." But some foods make me feel somewhat less so. ;) What doesn't kill me makes me awesome.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Wow, Lareth, your glass of wine is always "half empty": no foods makes you feel good?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:48 AM

forget DIY, ANY kind of "fecal transplant"...

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:42 AM

High Omega 6? In the same ball park as pork and avacado. Not great, but given that it tastes like liquid gold, I'll take it. For what it's worth, ducks do very well on on pasture. If you can find pasture raised ducks, I would be willing to bet that the O6:O3 ratio would be fantastic.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:44 PM

factory-farmed chicken is not "clean" by any stretch of imagination!!

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

For the sake of completeness, there's also "Stuff that may or may not make me sick, but it made those guys over there sick, so I'm not touching it." This isn't the most scientific approach, but it's a decent starting point.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 20, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Tim - I find this true for several things. I eat things now as a treat that I wouldn't have given a second thought about previously. Cookies, cakes, bakery pastries, churros etc used to entice me. Now, I think they taste very fake, like chemicals or something. I love the change in mentality/desire that I've seen in myself regarding which foods appeal to me now and which no longer control me.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have planned cheat meals. As I've said before, our knowledge is limited and there may be nutrients that we are missing on a strict paleo diet. Now, when I talk about cheat meals, I'm not talking about scarfing down Moon Pies and Slurpees. I am talking about eating more fruit, maybe some grains, maybe some ice-cream. Happy 420!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have planned cheat meals. As I've said before, our knowledge is limited and there may be nutrients that we are missing on a strict paleo diet. Now, when I talk about cheat meals, I'm not talking about scarfing down Moon Pies and Slurpees. I am talking about eating more fruit, maybe some grains, maybe some ice-cream.

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Suprisingly I wasn't a dark chocolate lover before Paleo. My theory is that as you become healthier, a simple item like dark chocolate can be rewarding. I will admit that when I was eating pizza, pastries, burritos etc...dark chocolate would have been punishment.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:38 PM

I was surprised by the starch comeback, I thought the recognition that 'tolerated isn't optimal' would have made people a bit more tentative.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:22 PM

if you dont measure you never going to realize that there are many things we can do that make small incremental differences. That is why I am not a Paleo 2.0 guy. Eating an ancestoral diet does not answer enough questions for me. It might be right scientifically but i can advocate it blindly to my patients. I think you can advocate it to Americans eating a SAD though. Again a different context.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:21 PM

eew! Upvoting for the "eew" factor. Keep 'em coming!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:20 PM

a better question Melissa have you ever seen someones omega six profile halved after they gave up chicken? I have. And over time.....it will improve their health. the problem is context. If they started out 350 lbs the effect will take longer cause their omega 6 levels are astronomically high. I have seen a professional athelete lower his omega six level by half in 6 months and get a 6% drop in body fat while increasing his lean muscle mass by 5% and increasing his strength by 155% in his olympic lifts. And yes all his biomakers of health got better. Context.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I'd be surprised if any-one would notice a difference in the short term, it's just going to alter your omega3:6 over the medium-long term. A half chicken is only equivalent to a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil after all, but still a lot more difference on omega-6 than grassfed/conventional beef.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 20, 2011
at 06:41 PM

Has anyone improved their health by removing chicken? I'm no sure, seems like a marginal problem to me, though I did know a guy who was having trouble leaning out before he dropped it.

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9 Answers

9
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Top surprise for me is that I've been taken aback by the amount of dark chocolate lovers in the Paleo world and subsequent high desire for said chocolate as a staple treat.

I am blown away with how tightly informed this community is. Most of us keep very well updated on the forums/blogs/new research.

Also, I have noticed that the vast majority of people in the Paleo community seem to be of "well above average" intelligence. That's comforting, in an odd sort of indirect way.

And finally, I was quite surprised to see how quickly the Paleo community welcomed safe starches back into their diet due to several very highly respected leaders basically giving it a bright green light for those that can metabolize it and remain healthy. It seems like white potatoes and white rice made a decent sized wave in the last few months.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 20, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Tim - I find this true for several things. I eat things now as a treat that I wouldn't have given a second thought about previously. Cookies, cakes, bakery pastries, churros etc used to entice me. Now, I think they taste very fake, like chemicals or something. I love the change in mentality/desire that I've seen in myself regarding which foods appeal to me now and which no longer control me.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:38 PM

I was surprised by the starch comeback, I thought the recognition that 'tolerated isn't optimal' would have made people a bit more tentative.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I'm not sure this is so much mentality as a change in palate. Part of the problem is there is SOOO much sugar in everyday foods, people's palates have become skewed (I'm looking at you Robert Parker! yeah, I said it.). They prefer these overblown, overly sweet flavors and Big Food caters to that desire, thereby creating a vicious circle. You look around at people and they eat like they're freaking 9 years old! Sweets for dinner with a side of diet coke or two. I think part of Paleo is a "retraining" of the palate where your sensitivity starts coming back and you begin to notice more subtlety.

3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:53 PM

Suprisingly I wasn't a dark chocolate lover before Paleo. My theory is that as you become healthier, a simple item like dark chocolate can be rewarding. I will admit that when I was eating pizza, pastries, burritos etc...dark chocolate would have been punishment.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I have noticed that some restaurant foods that used to be 'savory' now taste like candy. The other day I had some cake (hey - it was my daughter's birthday, of *course* I'm going to have cake!). Just a tiny amount - half a bite even - was 'tasty' but my first thought was "oh - I definitely don't want much more of THAT". BIG difference from my eat-six-slices-when-nobody-is-looking days.

8
C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:22 PM

The 80/20 mentality.

To my mind there are three categories of food:

  1. Stuff that makes me sick
  2. Stuff that makes me sick if I eat too much
  3. Stuff that doesn't make me sick

Now those categories aren't exactly the same for every person, but it shouldn't take that long to figure out what's what. Once you know what you can eat a lot of and what you can eat a little of, do that and that's your diet. At that point "cheating" becomes a bizarre exercise in self-flagellation. Why would you do that on purpose?

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:11 AM

On the contrary, I love food! I now think of my default state as "burning a hole through the fabric of the universe with the sheer power of my awesomeness." But some foods make me feel somewhat less so. ;) What doesn't kill me makes me awesome.

C33e8c236e72d67c4b6c028401d23cce

(1884)

on April 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

For the sake of completeness, there's also "Stuff that may or may not make me sick, but it made those guys over there sick, so I'm not touching it." This isn't the most scientific approach, but it's a decent starting point.

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on April 21, 2011
at 05:35 AM

Good! I like your list very much, I was just surprised not to see a "stuff that makes me feel good" category: we need that...

5672b2d190891342389e764cc4056ca9

(1304)

on April 21, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Wow, Lareth, your glass of wine is always "half empty": no foods makes you feel good?

5
Dd017a9b1f2d6a9c220859f780da09c5

on April 20, 2011
at 07:19 PM

I'm surprised by how many people use stuff like almond flour for baking, etc.

That and planned cheat meals / days.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on April 21, 2011
at 04:27 PM

The "fake" flours for baking surprise me as well. Maybe because I just don't crave that flavor/texture anymore.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:45 AM

Agree. High in the wrong types of fats, good chance of being rancid (especially if you buy them already grinded), plus the fats will quickly get oxidized if you cook. What's good about that?

4
8dbe73235f73c615f20d3d0f34b4852a

(1365)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I like Robb Wolf's belief that you don't want to hammer any particular metabolic pathway for too long. Mix up your meat choices, leaning towards more often on the good stuff. Focusing on quality meat first helps. Go for the wild caught salmon, grass-fed beef, etc. but don't eat those solid for weeks at a time. If you're going for a Paleo approach that's low maintenance, I wouldn't worry about it. If you want to nitpick and get burnt out hacking through the details of your food, go ahead :D Once you've cut out all the veggie oils in all of your processed foods, I'd say your omega3/6 ratio is probably on a good track.

I see dairy pop up a bit, too, but usually in a muscle bulking context. Or maybe some raw milk and cheese on occasion. I think with dairy it's important to realize that the lactose intolerance deal isn't the big gripe a lot of people have with dairy. A big downside is the corresponding insulin spike from milk and some of the proteins wreaking mild havoc in auto-immune issues.

The big surprise for me in the Paleo community is usually the idea of cheat meals. Rather, the idea of planned cheat meals. I don't plan to smoke weed every Friday night, but if the opportunity comes up and I'm in the mood that particular night, sure, I'll go for it. But I'll never do coke. I don't plan to binge on sugar, but if I'm in the right situation I'll try something that's way over my normal sugar limit. Until we get a better handle on how long the effects of a single dose of gut irritants last, I'll err on the side of caution in almost all situations and refuse grains/legumes.

The major issue for me is that auto-immune disorders don't happen overnight. Or maybe they do... But I'd rather not chance it. The acute effects may not be particularly symptomatic, but I'm fairly bought into the idea that grains/legumes can cause serious long-term dammage regardless of your current feeling of well-being.

6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Absolutely...amazes me how many people have planned cheat meals. I can totally understand when you're traveling or meeting your girlfriend's parents and are subjected to food you wouldn't otherwise choose. But I am astounded at how many people actually PLAN their cheat meals. "Ohhhh boy, I am so going to crush a bag of FunYuns, drown it with a Big Gulp full of Mountain Dew and learn to parkour!!! Yeahhh!" It's like saying your diet is so restrictive you need to completely come off the rails to stay sane. To me, a paleo diet is chock full of variety. To each his/her own, I guess.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have planned cheat meals. As I've said before, our knowledge is limited and there may be nutrients that we are missing on a strict paleo diet. Now, when I talk about cheat meals, I'm not talking about scarfing down Moon Pies and Slurpees. I am talking about eating more fruit, maybe some grains, maybe some ice-cream.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:59 PM

I have planned cheat meals. As I've said before, our knowledge is limited and there may be nutrients that we are missing on a strict paleo diet. Now, when I talk about cheat meals, I'm not talking about scarfing down Moon Pies and Slurpees. I am talking about eating more fruit, maybe some grains, maybe some ice-cream. Happy 420!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 11, 2011
at 11:45 PM

I don't do cheat meals. I 'cheat' enough by accident or by compulsion but then say "that was my cheat meal" as a way to not sweat about it.

4
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:06 PM

DIY fecal transplants.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:48 AM

forget DIY, ANY kind of "fecal transplant"...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2011
at 07:21 PM

eew! Upvoting for the "eew" factor. Keep 'em coming!

3
1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on May 19, 2012
at 05:12 AM

Would our ancestors have caught birds and eaten them? Of course, probably on a regular basis.

We can look at them today and say they are high in something we have technically decided is bad for us at this time (and may be decided is actually good for us at another time). People like to believe we have absolute knowledge on what is good/bad at this time. Of course we don't. We look back at people 30 years, 60 years, 100 years etc ago and think they knew nothing. Humans will discover new nutrients, new effects different foods have on the body. I am pretty sure humans have been eating fowl for as long as meat so I would definitely give it a pass.

Would we have for a long time been gathering huge amounts of nuts, grinding them and then cooking them? Hmmm no (especially since a lot of nuts ie almonds are naturally poisonous)

Dairy - questionable. We have been drinking it for many generations and consume something similar as babies. Probably best to leave out but the high fats ones may be fine.

Chocolate and coffee surprise me. Caffeine without a doubt affects the nervous system and rest of the body. It's definitely not natural. Is it bad? Maybe not but I doubt it's good to be taking a drug every day. I think people justify it due to their addictions. I mean really it's bitter tasting, not something naturally likeable (I don't think any kid tastes plain coffee for the first time and goes wow that's good!). I do drink coffee but try not to, I get jittery and crash from it too, but caffeine is addictive.

What surprises me the most is insistence on high amounts of veggies. I agree with Kurt Harris (came to the same conclusion before reading his beliefs), that although they might not do any harm and can add variety to a diet, they are not essential.

Compare the primary reasons for avoiding grains:

Toxic plant defenses? Check Only been eating for a short period in our history? Check High in starch? (Some but not most, and many people think starch is fine now)

Of course there is no proof that we haven't been eating plants forever(same as grains), but follow the logic. Pretty much all modern veggies have only been bred for maybe 5-10000 years (at most). Their ancestors didn't taste too good, were smaller, and toxic. So wild veggies tasted bad and offered little caloric return. Drop yourself in an wilderness area anywhere in the world. You're not surviving on veggies (if you can even find any that taste decent), you need to find meat to live (or bugs, wild tubers may keep you alive for a bit). Our ancestors simply wouldn't have wasted time trying to eat veggies unless they were starving. Will I still eat them for variety? Yes. But I think the Paleo community is still trying to fit into the mold of old 'healthy eating' styles by putting more veggies in the diet than necessary.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on May 19, 2012
at 12:30 PM

Haha, I find the avoidance of veggies and minimization of their role in diet to be surprising actually.

2
3ccab807e2b8bb1d050c3584d9c1dd12

(487)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Chicken doesn't suprise me at all. It is the only "clean" food that you can easily get on the street.

Beef choices on the street are either hamburgers or steak(read:cheap or expensive). As a result people wind up eating a lot of chicken.

In comparison to what people are eating (read processed garbage)...eating a diet with a lot of chicken and veggies will offer many benefits to someone who is 50lbs+ overweight.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on April 20, 2011
at 11:44 PM

factory-farmed chicken is not "clean" by any stretch of imagination!!

4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

(646)

on April 21, 2011
at 02:12 PM

If I am forced to eat at McDonalds or a greasy spoon diner, I'd go for the burger over the grilled chicken breast. To me, grain-fed beef is better than factory farmed chicken (better 6:3 ratio, and higher calorie density so I don't have to eat as much of it).

2
1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Similarly, I would have to say the love/hate relationship with duck fat. It's like a Jekyll and Hyde thing. Some of the same people that love it are sure to mention the outrageous omega 6 content.

F4aff43df6a8a49a1c3879c1233ee560

(459)

on April 21, 2011
at 12:42 AM

High Omega 6? In the same ball park as pork and avacado. Not great, but given that it tastes like liquid gold, I'll take it. For what it's worth, ducks do very well on on pasture. If you can find pasture raised ducks, I would be willing to bet that the O6:O3 ratio would be fantastic.

1
5bccbf50a074175a5371b135311ebff2

(283)

on April 20, 2011
at 06:51 PM

I am I guess most surprised by the dairy usage, raw or otherwise. I see it more and more daily. I am lactose intolerant, but I will see the occasional dollop of yogurt as a treat and recognize its not paleo.

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