5

votes

Anyone else think Paleo is for some..not all?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I've been primal for about 2 months, and I do believe its right for me. But I think that maybe it has to do with different bodies. I think plenty of people can do well on grains. Is it really all or nothing? Does anyone agree with me that its right for some?...but not all.

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1621)

on June 29, 2012
at 05:52 AM

Thank you. I really sincerely hope that more and more people continue the moving direction of looking at Paleo as a framework. When you do then YES, Paleo is right for every single living human being on this planet. This is a no brainer. Sure, some may digest grains better than others. Great! If they want some then I say go ahead and eat it. However, we all know that meat is the most nutrient dense group of food on the planet. All nutrients are more bioavailable and it's easier on our digestive system. Paleo is definitely for everyone. Let's continue to merge WAPF with Paleo!

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:29 AM

{Cont.} I think you're doing a great job, by the way, navigating that gray area. If my kids had major health issues I'd be more strict, but they're kids and they're active. Their treats are still relatively clean foods, even if they do involve sugar or something like popcorn. Teaching them well is key, I think. Keeping them from GETTING sick like a lot of us who find paleo/WAPF-type diets are or were is what I think a lot of parents strive for.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I think also that kids, especially kids of people who are conscious of real food, are less 'damaged' gut-wise than the average adult who lived through the latter half of the 20th century and into this last decade. My kids do very well on traditionally-prepared pseudo-grains and good, local, organic dairy. (And beans.) My kids will actually beg for beans and fermented pickles, neither of which I have any problem giving them. I'm not sure they know what things like pop-tarts are. I think that as parents we have a difficult job--finding that sweet spot of good food plus some indulgence. {cont.}

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Totally agree! :)

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Ah. I actually am in the same type of boat as you. I have bad reactions from stress, and though it's obviously best to minimize it, it's not possible to eliminate it. I think there are positives and negatives to most foods, and finding what you can live with is key. I know that dairy can be problematic (depending on source/type/preparation, but eliminating it completely made my skin drier. So I'm doing a lot of goat dairy, which seems to give me the positives with less of the negatives. I just keep hoping my gut will heal more and my reactions will lessen over time.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:48 PM

{cont.} I just feel at this point that if I were to go absolutely strict auto-immune I'd end up with far more anxiety about my food intake than is worth it to me. I probably have a flare-up of inflammation every four or five months. I can deal with that, especially as I know how to fix it. (I go strict Whole30 for a week or two to heal.) Obviously this is all an n=1 sort of thing. :)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Dairy gives me flare-ups, which is why I avoid it except for a little butter here and there. Most of my flares at this point actually have to do with sleep and stress, not food, so continual avoidance of everything that could POSSIBLY irritate me would leave me eating only steak and a sweet potato here and there. (I find reliably avoiding gluten to be enough of a worry.) I don't actually eat grains except for rice probably once a month. I've never had a flare from beans, though. I went a good three months with no 'cheats' in that respect, so I'm pretty confident in how I do with those. :)

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Meaning eating grains without continually supporting and protecting your digestive system will lead to problems in the future.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:08 PM

I think that grain consumption can be OK (not the best but not really detrimental) for those who are able to fully and properly digest them. I think that the real issue with modern diets is that all of the highly refined, processed, and sterile food that are consumed are ruining the populations digestion (along with other things like c-sections and antibiotic overuse). Which is why some people have problems with them from birth, and others develop problems over many years.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 04:32 PM

I talk to pleny of people who tell me "whatever works for you but I feel fine the way I am." When pressed, most of them have some health issue like arthritis, or high blood pressure, or hay fever which they just think is part of life. All I'm saying is that they could feel even better, but they don't realize it.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Good, thought-provoking answer. But I have to wonder, if you didn't eat dairy and grains, would you then not have flareups of inflammation to begin with? I don't discount what makes you feel better overall, but just stating that it's obviously not giving you optimal health.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:46 PM

I was gonna say Lucas Tafur, but the Kraken (Lalonde) will do nicely. About half of the population would feel better giving up wheat, the rest may not need to. Okay maybe more than half, but I know plenty of people with no apparent problems with wheat. Half the people doing Guyenets 30 days gluten free experiment reported not feeling any different. The other half generally reported feeling much better.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:42 PM

Absolutely. Besides the fact that paleo is not well defined, everyone needs to find their own path through this jungle. Dairy, beans, wheat, etc. Some should restrict, others may not need to. I am pretty sure that excessive n6, excessive fructose, transfats and other weird chemicals (such as MSG) should be avoided by everybody.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:32 PM

I think you're over-representing those with problems with wheat. Most people (definitely a supermajority) do fine, some people (minority) have issues.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Just because we did not evolve eating grains does not necessarily mean that we cannot consume them without issue. In fact, billions of people have been eating wheat for thousands of years. If wheat was so reviled, one would expect that with trillions of people-years of consumption, we'd know better by now.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Agreed. There's subsistence, and there's optimal nutrition.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on June 28, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Dude you need some Mat Lalonde in your life.

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14 Answers

8
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on June 28, 2012
at 06:08 PM

I think everyone could benefit from eating whole, real foods and not processed "crap in a box." I also think everyone could benefit from foods that are humanely and sustainably raised and grown. Our industrial food system is killing us and our planet.

But no, not everyone needs to take it as far as Paleo. My three-year-old twins do very well with some rice and corn, some traditionally prepared beans, some dairy and an occasional drizzle of honey or maple syrup in their paleo icecream or primal cookie. They are "mostly Paleo" and I think they are incredibly healthy. If I notice a problem food, I will eliminate it, but right now they average about one serving of grain a day and two servings of beans a week, plus dairy at almost every meal. To me this SOOO much better than the average "kid diet" or SAD. I don't feel the need to take it further with them and I'm proud of how well we are all eating.

I'm an economist, so I can't help saying that all people really need to consider the full costs and benefits of their diet and the concept of diminishing returns. Some people can achieve very good health without going fully Paleo -- for them the extra cost of completely eliminating all grains, legumes and dairy is not worth the benefits. Perhaps they would be "healthier" if they were fully Paleo, but being a tiny bit healthier is not worth the emotional, social and physical costs of the extra sacrifice. Other people get a much better "return" for being fully Paleo. If you feel lousy when you eat even a tiny bit of grains, then the benefits of completely eliminating them will easily outweigh the costs. This is why an optimal diet is so individual. Not only is every person's body different, the emotional, social and physical cost of giving up or consuming certain foods are, too.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:29 AM

{Cont.} I think you're doing a great job, by the way, navigating that gray area. If my kids had major health issues I'd be more strict, but they're kids and they're active. Their treats are still relatively clean foods, even if they do involve sugar or something like popcorn. Teaching them well is key, I think. Keeping them from GETTING sick like a lot of us who find paleo/WAPF-type diets are or were is what I think a lot of parents strive for.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 29, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I think also that kids, especially kids of people who are conscious of real food, are less 'damaged' gut-wise than the average adult who lived through the latter half of the 20th century and into this last decade. My kids do very well on traditionally-prepared pseudo-grains and good, local, organic dairy. (And beans.) My kids will actually beg for beans and fermented pickles, neither of which I have any problem giving them. I'm not sure they know what things like pop-tarts are. I think that as parents we have a difficult job--finding that sweet spot of good food plus some indulgence. {cont.}

6
892d177f50b16f118152219229870e4e

(776)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:22 PM

Some people seem to do fine on grains,however they really should not be a staple of the diet (unless one has no choice)due to replacing more nutrient dense foods such as tubers,fruit,and animal offal.

It is never black and white though,there is almost always a shade of grey. If going Paleo/Primal with the 80/20 rule helps people get in better shape,lose weight,and become more health conscious overall then that is a victory for them.

I think everyone could learn something from Paleo,especially when it comes to nutrient density of food and knowing where it comes from.

5
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on June 28, 2012
at 08:46 PM

Paleo is too customisable to not be right for everyone

627cf3f5d1ddfb4c2f4c96169420f55f

(1621)

on June 29, 2012
at 05:52 AM

Thank you. I really sincerely hope that more and more people continue the moving direction of looking at Paleo as a framework. When you do then YES, Paleo is right for every single living human being on this planet. This is a no brainer. Sure, some may digest grains better than others. Great! If they want some then I say go ahead and eat it. However, we all know that meat is the most nutrient dense group of food on the planet. All nutrients are more bioavailable and it's easier on our digestive system. Paleo is definitely for everyone. Let's continue to merge WAPF with Paleo!

5
A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on June 28, 2012
at 02:38 PM

The thing is, I don't presume to tell anyone how to live their lives and that includes how to eat. So they are free to choose how to manage themselves. I just give them the facts.

We have not biologically evolved to eat grains or dairy and eating them will most likely be detrimental to their health in the long run. Point them to resources such as http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1z6CGcq6A and let them choose to educate themselves or not.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on June 28, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Dude you need some Mat Lalonde in your life.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Just because we did not evolve eating grains does not necessarily mean that we cannot consume them without issue. In fact, billions of people have been eating wheat for thousands of years. If wheat was so reviled, one would expect that with trillions of people-years of consumption, we'd know better by now.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:46 PM

I was gonna say Lucas Tafur, but the Kraken (Lalonde) will do nicely. About half of the population would feel better giving up wheat, the rest may not need to. Okay maybe more than half, but I know plenty of people with no apparent problems with wheat. Half the people doing Guyenets 30 days gluten free experiment reported not feeling any different. The other half generally reported feeling much better.

4
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on June 28, 2012
at 04:09 PM

I think "real food" is for everyone, but does every person need to eat "paleo" (read: Whole30 style or similar)? Doubtful. I think a lot probably has to do with underlying medical issues brought on by environment, past medical history, etc. I cannot handle gluten under any circumstances, but I do quite well, actually, with soaked legumes. I actually feel much better eating slightly less meat--even grass-fed--and eating more beans. That doesn't mean I don't think eating some meat, eggs, bone broth, etc., is important for long-term health. I eat animal products daily, and a fair share of meat.

Some people feel best on LC, VLC, or ZC diets. Some do well on traditionally-prepared grains and legumes, dairy, etc. Some do well with nightshades; some do not. I think there are so many factors that go into the perfect-for-you-diet. When I have flare-ups of inflammation I cut a lot of these things out for a while. I'm guessing that for a lot of AI disorders this is important long-term, but as my immune system seems to be in check most of the time now I think I've found a happy place with my lifestyle. That happy place seems to be gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, low nut, and moderate carb. I know that doesn't work for everyone.

I've come more and more to respect Dr. Harris' three 'toxic' things: gluten, industrial seed oils, excess sugar. I've noticed this also essentially follows Weston A Price's observations that 'modern', 'Western' foods are damaging to our health. I do think eating real food is important, but within that--just like under the 'paleo' umbrella--there are a lot of variations.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Ah. I actually am in the same type of boat as you. I have bad reactions from stress, and though it's obviously best to minimize it, it's not possible to eliminate it. I think there are positives and negatives to most foods, and finding what you can live with is key. I know that dairy can be problematic (depending on source/type/preparation, but eliminating it completely made my skin drier. So I'm doing a lot of goat dairy, which seems to give me the positives with less of the negatives. I just keep hoping my gut will heal more and my reactions will lessen over time.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Good, thought-provoking answer. But I have to wonder, if you didn't eat dairy and grains, would you then not have flareups of inflammation to begin with? I don't discount what makes you feel better overall, but just stating that it's obviously not giving you optimal health.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:48 PM

{cont.} I just feel at this point that if I were to go absolutely strict auto-immune I'd end up with far more anxiety about my food intake than is worth it to me. I probably have a flare-up of inflammation every four or five months. I can deal with that, especially as I know how to fix it. (I go strict Whole30 for a week or two to heal.) Obviously this is all an n=1 sort of thing. :)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Totally agree! :)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Dairy gives me flare-ups, which is why I avoid it except for a little butter here and there. Most of my flares at this point actually have to do with sleep and stress, not food, so continual avoidance of everything that could POSSIBLY irritate me would leave me eating only steak and a sweet potato here and there. (I find reliably avoiding gluten to be enough of a worry.) I don't actually eat grains except for rice probably once a month. I've never had a flare from beans, though. I went a good three months with no 'cheats' in that respect, so I'm pretty confident in how I do with those. :)

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:34 PM

I think some variety of paleo will work for 100% of folks. That does not mean however that paleo is the only way to eat. Paleo is but one healthy diet of many.

3
B514acafd0a6cc251279b6cb21b48941

on June 28, 2012
at 04:59 PM

I agree with you. I had this conversation with my mother yesterday, because she buys into every new "diet rule" she hears and is perpetually confused.

I personally think that every body is different and processes foods differently. A large majority of the world eats grains (rice, anyone?) and does just fine. One the same hand, a large majority of the world is lactose intolerant, but I do just fine with dairy. I'm paleo, so I don't consume it, but it doesn't bother me when I do.

I don't believe that the paleo diet is for everyone. It's a big diet to commit to, and if you don't feel any ill effects from grains, dairy or legumes, then I can see why it makes sense not to do it. Even within the paleo diet, there are variences. I can eat 3 servings of fruit a day and not have any problems. I actually have rage issues is I DON'T at least get the carbs from fruit, but I have paleo friends who can't have fruit at all or their efforts stall.

I think picking a diet is all about finding what foods keep YOU running at optimal performance.

3
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:02 PM

I guess it depends on how you define "do well". Some people who have spectacular digestion and/or who only eat better quality grains may not suffer the ill-effects that most people do from grain consumption. Whether they could do even better without them is the question.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on June 28, 2012
at 04:32 PM

I talk to pleny of people who tell me "whatever works for you but I feel fine the way I am." When pressed, most of them have some health issue like arthritis, or high blood pressure, or hay fever which they just think is part of life. All I'm saying is that they could feel even better, but they don't realize it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:32 PM

I think you're over-representing those with problems with wheat. Most people (definitely a supermajority) do fine, some people (minority) have issues.

8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

(2830)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Agreed. There's subsistence, and there's optimal nutrition.

1
Medium avatar

(3213)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:27 PM

I think, if you're a human, it's for you

1
61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on June 28, 2012
at 03:23 PM

I agree with you OP.

I use to be on a typical bodybuilder diet and was performing quiet well even during endurance events (Crossfit,running, etc). Did my stomach feel ok though? It did, but not as well as it does now when I'm on Paleo.

Would I consider going back to the bodybuilder diet? I might just because it gives me more flexibility with my lifestyle. All in all though I really do enjoy Paleo.

1
6f7dff370a9178fc54125dc9ccde5c36

on June 28, 2012
at 02:56 PM

No, I don't think anyone is meant to eat grain. From there I think we could all live optimally with a different mix of foods.

0
A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on June 29, 2012
at 03:07 AM

Ideality = total benefits / (total harm + total cost) [Ref 1.]

You can optimise for the whole human race, but you'd be better off optimising for each individual.

No food is without some cost and harm, so I choose to maximise the benefits and minimise the negative consequences -- the Paleo template is the best mechanism I've found so far to help me with the optimisation.

As with all things, your mileage may vary.


Ref 1. From TRIZ: The Law of Increasing Ideality means that systems evolve toward increasing degrees of ideality. Western society seems to have veered away from optimising for human health and is too focused on optimising for profit.

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on June 28, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Short response.

Yes.

Leads to an argument that "diet and health" should not have a "standard."

Let everyone define their own path based on how they feel. No agendas. No marketing. Let the chips fall where they may. Evolution will play out. Survival of the fittest, whether the fittest are "Paleo" or not.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 28, 2012
at 04:56 PM

I think a diet based around any some or all and any combination of the following foods is most ideal for every person:

  1. meat and seafood
  2. eggs
  3. fermented dairy products
  4. leafy green vegetables
  5. fermented, non leafy vegetables (cabbage, peppers, carrots, beets, etc)
  6. roots and tubers
  7. nuts
  8. fruit
  9. rice

My guess is the specific combinations depends on the person, but a selection from the above is ideal for everyone. I suppose some fermented grains may be tolerable, but tolerable does not mean ideal.

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