14

votes

Did everyone start paleo because of health problems?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 28, 2010 at 2:27 AM

I ask this because my boyfriend is largely derisive of paleo circles, insisting that the majority of the world does just fine eating carbs and grains. He acknowledges that sugar isn't great and that people eat too much of it, but for the sake of taste and enjoyment, believes that it has little negative effect on his health- no mood swings, insomnia, etc. He appears to be very healthy with his diet as it is (meaty but for reasons of economy relatively high in pasta, noodles, bread), and has no digestive complaints, sleeps well, and has perfect skin. I, on the other hand, came to paleo after undernourishing myself on a low-fat pescetarian diet, with shades of anorexia, that caused me to switch from low-fat pescetarian to high-fat, low-carb paleo. He often points out that he has always been healthy on his diet, while I still have some problems (due to stress and structural spinal issues), so am hardly the most convincing argument for paleo or any other eating program.

He points out that mankind has done pretty well on grains for thousands of years, and it's only in the last 100 years or so that 'the diseases of civilisation' have really increased. We also live in Japan, where despite eating around a thousand calories of rice every day, people are in pretty good health. He is skeptical of paleo because most people seem to come to it because of some health problem they were suffering, whether it be obesity, GERD, arthritis, IBS and so on. He argues that most sports professionals eat mountains of pasta, bread and so on, and seem to be in perfect health (I agree that many of them look good and turn out superb performances despite living off glucose and grains). He simply doesn't find the argument for paleo convincing because of this, and because he thinks there has been some adaptation over the last few thousand years to allow people to thrive on grains (our Asian environment would support this).

So- has everyone here come to paleo because of some health problem, or were some of you turned onto it merely out of curiosity? It seems somewhat implausible to me that you would give up pizza and so on if you felt like you were in perfect health.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 20, 2013
at 06:46 PM

For me, it was Good Calories, Bad Calories, and the link with sugar and cancer. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers died of colon cancer. I just did a little test run to see if I could go zero sugar. The effects were so huge that I kept reading, and ended up full tilt paleo.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on February 20, 2013
at 04:00 PM

This is amazing! How liberating for you! Are you strictly limiting your carbs? There's a woman on the MDA forums who's had the same success as you, and she's super strict ketogenic.

Dc5144de5078c44a2b106ff25778fd3d

(308)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Same here. For me it was an intellectual exercise as I've always dug evolutionary biology.

775bc83a7c54975e77a8500e065a24c3

(814)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:33 AM

excellent answer

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on January 18, 2011
at 09:41 PM

Your hiccups went away?

C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on December 02, 2010
at 01:05 AM

Or, dare I say it, Lance Armstrong?

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on December 01, 2010
at 09:23 AM

@Pieter testing is the ONLY reliable way to know how much D you need. it's also the only way to know if your system actually absorbs the D (people with damaged villi can have a very limited capacity to absorb oral D3). that's how i found out that even on 10kIU my level only managed to creep up to 24ng. at doses above, say, 5000IU one also should monitor the calcium level in the blood just to be sure everything else in the body can keep up with the increased D level. my tip: TEST! at least vitamin D3 and calcium. there is much more u should test if you have other health problems as well

3573f7a18ee620179fda184c7d8b7242

(241)

on November 30, 2010
at 10:55 PM

Ditto. It took only a month or so to discover the health benefits, many of which were completely unexpected.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on November 29, 2010
at 09:37 AM

@qualia. Your post just set off flashbulbs in my head. I have has small recurring itchy parches on various parts of my body for many many years. No Dr has been able to identify it or treat it. Some creams helped but I always came back. Now that I look back since I have been using large (5000-8000IU) doses of D3 I haven't used any creams and I have no itches. Just another arrow in the quiver of mighty vitamin D3.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 29, 2010
at 09:03 AM

Thanks qualia. Do I read correctly, you take 10 to 20.000 IU per day? How does that affect your serum levels of D3? I've never tested mine though. I don't like testing and measuring. Maybe I should...

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 29, 2010
at 04:03 AM

Yep, you don't how good you can feel until you actually feel the good. I have so much more energy now. Previously, I just thought I was getting older and that is why I felt so much more tired. But all along, it was the food.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 07:02 PM

The nutrients in grains are not easy to absorb *because* of competition with the phytates (not "moreover). Sometimes the micronutrients are an even more bioavailable form, or sometimes less. But in general it is the problem of phytates which lowers the absorbtion of micronutrients. The bigger problem is lectins and rice doesn't have any that cause negative effects that I'm aware of.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 28, 2010
at 06:36 PM

A lot of sports pros (and amateurs) end up sick as a result. It can take years for the damage to show up. Mark Sisson's story is a great example. Frank Shorter, anyone?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 28, 2010
at 04:05 PM

It's my understanding that most of the nutrients in grains are not easy to absorb, and moreover, grains are full of anti-nutrients. So it's very easy to overstate the nutritional value of a grain.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:40 PM

ditto all the way. I looked/felt/performed very well on the SAD. Just like many people across our country and the world do. However, I maintain that its once youre off it - thats when you look back and realize how you weren't actually feeling that great. But thats not too useful in convincing others to try the lifestyle out, is it?

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:28 PM

And rice, well I live in Korea, and I consider myself a Paleo diet eater for the last 6 years and I eat rice. Rice is by far the least harmless of all the grains. It contains no lectins and white rice has no phytates. You can search my posts, I've commented on it elsewhere, but rice is fine for anyone who is not pre-diabetic and is getting a variety of other healthy foods.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:25 PM

No, I began the Paleo diet at about 18 years old for athletic reasons. True, I did get some acne, but losing the acne was an unexpected bonus for me. Your boyfriend's argument that we "did well on grains" for the past 5,000 years is completely false. He doesn't know anything at all about what happened to human beings after we moved into agricultural societies. Life expectancy, height, bone mass all decreased if you look at fossilized remains. Modern Japanese aren't doing so well, they're not like Okinawans 50 years ago. Asians ate a lot more tubers and almost no wheat until recent decades.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:55 PM

i had the same problem with my skin for 20 years. however, it readily disappeared above 3000IU vitamin D3/day (i'm now on 10-20kIU/day) and after i refilled my "empty" B12 store. so, get your D3 and B12 tested, and aim at upper optimal levels. i'm now completely symptom free (even before i switched to paleo completely)

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108

(35)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:17 PM

Just to avoid the potential drama that might otherwise ensue: I do not think that refined carbohydrates are healthy, but in order to preserve credibility, it is advisable to refrain from deceptive hyperbole and generalizations.

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108

(35)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:03 PM

And yet another Paleo myth to debunk: Rice, and grains in general, are not inherently "empty calories" devoid of micronutrients. While it is true that refining process removes most of them, there still aren't even "close to zero nutrients in it." (It's funny how Eva uses the term "nutrients" as if carbohydrates didn't classify as those.) See the vitamins and minerals content of brown and white rice flour: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5753/2 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5726/2

166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on November 28, 2010
at 01:06 PM

Wow, a lot of interesting answers- thanks guys. I have little hope of completely converting my boyfriend, and that wasn't my motivation in the beginning. I suppose the answer is that most people came to paleo either because of health problems or else, an INTEREST in optimal health. Since he has neither of those, and simply adores rice, bread and pasta, I don't think it's going to happen! We've had enough arguments over it as is- the only leverage I might have is when he says he wants to lose weight again. For now, the dread of a Christmas back in the UK is coming up! :)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:27 AM

Congrats from another formerly obese! It's a huge accomplishment!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:42 AM

I came to it from WAP. I've never been seriously ill, been an athlete all of my life, etc. 31 years old and trim. I have been paleo for over one year and love it. And actually everyone in my paleo circle are athletes, none of us came to it from sickness. Mostly crossfitters.

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27 Answers

13
B28d069e6a3b5b6ef68776db4ed8ef64

on November 28, 2010
at 07:07 AM

I came to Paleo after nearly dying from severe metabolic derangement. Initially all I cut out was wheat, but within two months I discovered that rice made me just as sick. Seven months after I figured out that it was refined carbs that were killing me I went full Paleo. In February of this year my C-reactive protein level was 12.04. In September, after being off of the wheat for 7 months and rice for 5 months, my CRP was down to 0.9. Within the first month of being Paleo ALL of my auto-immune symptoms were GONE. BTW - I ate a Standard American Diet for 43 years before having any problems.

I have no doubt that there are a lot of people who can eat grains and do just fine (at least for a while) just as there are a lot of people who can't eat it at all (such as those with Celiac disease). But trying to compare the bulk of society with a handful of athletes is ridiculous. Look at the obesity, cancer, diabetes, alzheimer's, auto-immune, etc. statistics. These are your average Americans. They are DYING and I would wager that a huge portion of these many cases could have been prevented or can be reversed by eliminating refined carbohydrates. There is a direct, and DOCUMENTED, link between refined carb consumption and inflammation, leptin sensitivity (the hormone that tells us we're full), and the derailing of apoptosis (that handy little safety mechanism that allows our bodies to destroy irregular cells - such as cancer - before they run amok).

Keep in mind that WHEN the deleterious effects of a refined carb diet start making a visible presence (they tend to have a cumulative effect) depends on your own unique DNA. Also keep in mind that by the time you start seeing the physical evidence of the damage it can be too late. I have a friend whose mother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver and lung cancer. These cancers came from her undiagnosed colon cancer which they believe she's had for two years. Colon cancer does NOT show up in blood work. Ever wonder why so many cancers start in the COLON? Could it possibly be because that's where we digest our food?!?

Do your boyfriend a favor and buy him a copy of Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution". All of his statements in the book are backed by documentation which can be found in the reference section in the back of his book.

Paleo saved my life and I talk about it every day hoping to save as many more lives as I can.

775bc83a7c54975e77a8500e065a24c3

(814)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:33 AM

excellent answer

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on February 20, 2013
at 06:46 PM

For me, it was Good Calories, Bad Calories, and the link with sugar and cancer. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers died of colon cancer. I just did a little test run to see if I could go zero sugar. The effects were so huge that I kept reading, and ended up full tilt paleo.

10
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 28, 2010
at 04:29 AM

I came to lowcarb eating to lose some weight and it works great for that. I had no other health issues. But I switched from lowcarb to paleo purely because I thought it was a more healthy approach. I personally believe sugar and processed foods are the main problem because they very slowly damage the metabolism. I don't think rice and potatoes are a huge issue for healthy people other than that rice has close to zero nutrients in it and so you are basically eating something with tons of calories and zero benefits to your body. The more of this kind of thing you eat, the more it pushes out foods that are actually healthy.

You know, I know dozens of people who were very healthy and trim until they hit their 40s or 50s (sometimes 30s)and started putting on weight and then were diagnosed with diabetes. All those people said the same thing as you boyfriend all the way up until they suddenly were not so healthy any more! Seems stupid to me to follow that path and keep eating a bunch of crap all the way up until I too am sick. My plan is to eat healthy now so I won't be sick down the line.

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108

(35)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:03 PM

And yet another Paleo myth to debunk: Rice, and grains in general, are not inherently "empty calories" devoid of micronutrients. While it is true that refining process removes most of them, there still aren't even "close to zero nutrients in it." (It's funny how Eva uses the term "nutrients" as if carbohydrates didn't classify as those.) See the vitamins and minerals content of brown and white rice flour: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5753/2 http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5726/2

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 07:02 PM

The nutrients in grains are not easy to absorb *because* of competition with the phytates (not "moreover). Sometimes the micronutrients are an even more bioavailable form, or sometimes less. But in general it is the problem of phytates which lowers the absorbtion of micronutrients. The bigger problem is lectins and rice doesn't have any that cause negative effects that I'm aware of.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:28 PM

And rice, well I live in Korea, and I consider myself a Paleo diet eater for the last 6 years and I eat rice. Rice is by far the least harmless of all the grains. It contains no lectins and white rice has no phytates. You can search my posts, I've commented on it elsewhere, but rice is fine for anyone who is not pre-diabetic and is getting a variety of other healthy foods.

3a966a805e09d88b0f223f2985392e4f

(836)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:25 PM

No, I began the Paleo diet at about 18 years old for athletic reasons. True, I did get some acne, but losing the acne was an unexpected bonus for me. Your boyfriend's argument that we "did well on grains" for the past 5,000 years is completely false. He doesn't know anything at all about what happened to human beings after we moved into agricultural societies. Life expectancy, height, bone mass all decreased if you look at fossilized remains. Modern Japanese aren't doing so well, they're not like Okinawans 50 years ago. Asians ate a lot more tubers and almost no wheat until recent decades.

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108

(35)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:17 PM

Just to avoid the potential drama that might otherwise ensue: I do not think that refined carbohydrates are healthy, but in order to preserve credibility, it is advisable to refrain from deceptive hyperbole and generalizations.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on November 28, 2010
at 04:05 PM

It's my understanding that most of the nutrients in grains are not easy to absorb, and moreover, grains are full of anti-nutrients. So it's very easy to overstate the nutritional value of a grain.

4
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on November 28, 2010
at 07:42 AM

I had no known health problems when I first heard of paleo. I was just a guy in my mid-thirties who was tired of growing a little softer and more lethargic year by year. I'd never had an interest in any special diets before and ate whatever I wanted for my entire life. Paleo made a lot of sense and so I gave it a try.

To my surprise it seemed I did have health problems as frequent headaches, heartburn, and even hiccups vanished entirely. I had simply lived with these symptoms so long I thought of them as normal.

I'm now back to what I weighed just after high-school, am growing a little leaner and more energetic by the month, and can't imagine going back.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 29, 2010
at 04:03 AM

Yep, you don't how good you can feel until you actually feel the good. I have so much more energy now. Previously, I just thought I was getting older and that is why I felt so much more tired. But all along, it was the food.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:40 PM

ditto all the way. I looked/felt/performed very well on the SAD. Just like many people across our country and the world do. However, I maintain that its once youre off it - thats when you look back and realize how you weren't actually feeling that great. But thats not too useful in convincing others to try the lifestyle out, is it?

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on January 18, 2011
at 09:41 PM

Your hiccups went away?

3
C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on November 28, 2010
at 04:33 PM

My switch to Paleo was made based entirely on the philosophy of why it should be healthier (and more sustainable, etc), and it was only after switching that I realized how bad I had felt eating lots of neolithic and industrial foods.

3573f7a18ee620179fda184c7d8b7242

(241)

on November 30, 2010
at 10:55 PM

Ditto. It took only a month or so to discover the health benefits, many of which were completely unexpected.

Dc5144de5078c44a2b106ff25778fd3d

(308)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Same here. For me it was an intellectual exercise as I've always dug evolutionary biology.

3
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on November 28, 2010
at 02:58 AM

I have always been healthy. I am seeking to keep it that way..paleo makes the most sense to me.

2
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on November 18, 2011
at 08:43 AM

I came to paleo after being diagnosed type II diabetic. Now under control with diet and exercise... no meds, yay!

If I hadn't been diagnosed, I would have kept on what I thought was a healthy diet, based upon whole grains and loads of fruit and honey.

2
0511b69b133556de6e7ef12d4ae262bc

(399)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:24 AM

I came to the Paleo Diet because I have had epilepsy for the past six years. I have been Paleo for the last four months and I can honestly say that I am seizure free AND pill free!! I amjust supplementing with magnesium and taking fish oils. I truly believe that I would have had a really rough future ahead if I had not found the Paleo Diet when I did! I am so thankful! It is truly amazing! I tell everyone about it haha :D

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on February 20, 2013
at 04:00 PM

This is amazing! How liberating for you! Are you strictly limiting your carbs? There's a woman on the MDA forums who's had the same success as you, and she's super strict ketogenic.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 28, 2010
at 06:33 PM

I'm here because of my T2 diabetes and related problems (metabolic syndrome). But I know a fair number of athletes/gym rats/crossfitters who do paleo (or somwthing close to paleo - maybe CKD/clean eating) simply for the body composition and performance. But yeah, a lot of us are here to solve various health issues related to diet. Amazing that this paleo thang is so helpful across the board! Well, it just makes sense - feed human beings an optimal, natural diet - and they perform better, look better and feel better!

2
990472da245e34f25e47af5d270b7a4b

(188)

on November 28, 2010
at 12:48 PM

I began paleo from several angles of research. I have an autoimmune condition called ankylosing spondylitis (similar to a rheumatoid arthritis in the spine). It's incredibly painful, and if you find eating a certain way helps, you'll do whatever it takes!

Besides paleo, there are several nutritional organizations that are pointing to similar diets that are working:

Specific Carbohydrate diet - aiding kids with autism and those w/ autoimmune such as crohn's, arthritis, eczema, etc.

Erbinger's Diet - a no carb/zero carb approach for AS (spondylitis). Currently, about half the people in my support group see improvement on this diet.

Schwarzbein principle - I started here...she does allow grains, but she really cuts them back to support more veggies and protein. Helped me understand the insulin issues.

If I had it to do over again, I'd have been eating paleo diet all along, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be in the health mess I'm in now. I was a carb queen!

2
2afe070b43de645b908b3cb1f4723811

on November 28, 2010
at 11:16 AM

I certainly did. I was suffering from chronic anxiety and always felt cold and tired. Cutting out grain products and refined sugar, upping my saturated fat intake and generally only considering nutrient rich whole foods, along with 'paleo-friendly' exercise and some behavioural therapy, (the holy trinity of diet, exercise, will) saved the day for me.

2
Aad9337259693114bd0ebf30f39198d7

on November 28, 2010
at 04:18 AM

SAD Diet also has been found to change our genetics, where if his parents ate whole foods, he would seem healthy enough, but if he has children, they would probably present more issues as a result of his SAD type diet. It can be linked back to how wholesome our parents and grandparents ate before childrearing....

2
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on November 28, 2010
at 03:18 AM

I came to Paleo with no health problems at all. I have no issues digestively or allergy-wise, nothing. I was looking for a way to lose the last 10-15lbs and to drop my body fat. I rolled my eyes at my personal trainer when he started the Paleo diet. 6 months later he talked me into trying it for just 30 days. It worked.

1
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on February 20, 2013
at 05:51 PM

I didn't come to Paleo because of health problems. I just heard so many people at my gym singing its praises that I thought I ought to do some research. Reading books and websites convinced me to give it a try, even though I had previously been a vegetarian. I thought I was perfectly fine before Paleo.

Little did I know, my clinical depression (for which I had been taking anti-deppressants for 10 years because of my brain chemistry) was at least partially caused by a lack of meat in my diet. I have been off the pills ever since switching to Paleo.

Little did I know, the digestive discomfort I frequently had but thought was normal was at least partially caused by dairy. I now experience the same discomfort when I decide to cheat and eat cream or ice cream.

Little did I know, the bizarre skin rash I had intermittantly that a dermatologist told me was "just one of those things" and couldn't be cured seems to have been at least partially caused by soy (because if I eat a bunch of soy sauce in something, I'll ocassionally see the rash again). That rash was off-and-on for more than 8 years, and now I almost never see it.

The short version is: I didn't even recognize the problems until they were gone.

1
977d98d9ee4a3edba0141c0b3aa018a7

on February 19, 2013
at 10:51 PM

This is my very first diet, and I've been on it for 7 months now. From 240 to 190, and my skin is clear as day coming from pretty bad acne. That's about it as far as tangible benefits go, but I know my body's happy about the change.

1
Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 03:13 PM

I came to Paleo in good health and with a decided fitness orientation, intending to stay well and in fact, to see what "the farther reaches of wellness" might look like and feel like.

Hence I find much of what gets discussed here boring. The emphasis on sickness per se. The complaints, the fretting, the recitation of dissatisfaction, the over-thinking of minute details, the desire for panacea; paleo hacking as "help me scratch this itch."

This of course does not apply to everyone who writes here or everything that gets said here. And I'm all for exploring health "problems." Real concerns merit real attention, especially because most of us aren't, weren't raised to ask questions about health, let alone to question health authorities.

All the same, I am more interested in possibilities: outliers out beyond the standard assumptions about what it means to live a human life in a galaxy of uncertain hospitality.

Including my own (often boring) assumptions.

1
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on November 17, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I did not. Having home-cooked meals most of my life (thanks Mom!) I've done fairly well in the health spectrum.

I think the worst health I was ever in was from tons of In-and-Out burgers my post high school graduation summer (bun included), with grain-y snacks here and there, and gluten bomb breakfasts. This went on for a couple of months, on and off in my first two years of college (dorm food).

I remember getting injured alot while dancing.

I went vegetarian for a year, felt okay doing that, lost lots of weight (including muscle mass) but didn't have health problems.

Went Paleo/Primal in London actually, during a study abroad internship, and since then (1.5 years later), haven't gotten injured at all while dancing, and my bloodwork looks pretty fantastic. Sometimes I have high energy, low energy, but that's just life's ups and downs.

Food quality is super important though, IMO, when it comes to paleo eating, above macronutrient breakdown and even "forbidden foods." IF you have to "cheat", make it a quality cheat. Real, raw, whole, unprocessed awesomeness.

1
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on November 28, 2010
at 05:30 PM

"He argues that most sports professionals eat mountains of pasta, bread and so on, and seem to be in perfect health (I agree that many of them look good and turn out superb performances despite living off glucose and grains). He simply doesn't find the argument for paleo convincing because of this, and because he thinks there has been some adaptation over the last few thousand years to allow people to thrive on grains (our Asian environment would support this)"

Sports professionals can eat large amounts of pasta because of their super glucose sensitivity. Exercise increases glucose sensitivity, which helps us understand why people on the biggest loser lose weight eating the shit they eat all day. Your asian environment has been studied many times, there is plenty of information about what the asians used to eat and what they eat now (SAD). It takes more than a few thousand years for "adaption" to work. Honestly though, convincing other people to change their ways is the most difficult task in the world so I don't even try. I say, go ahead and eat your franken foods but the question is "will you have health problems?" YES. It's only a matter of time, some are more prone to certain sicknesses than others. On the other hand, if you take away all franken foods your chance of a super healthy lifestyle is 100% greater.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 28, 2010
at 06:36 PM

A lot of sports pros (and amateurs) end up sick as a result. It can take years for the damage to show up. Mark Sisson's story is a great example. Frank Shorter, anyone?

C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on December 02, 2010
at 01:05 AM

Or, dare I say it, Lance Armstrong?

1
40e925ddc9657e211c9a2ee83c2cc579

(364)

on November 28, 2010
at 12:18 PM

Yes, I've been hypothyroid for ten years and only just got diagnosed last year. That started me on research quest that led to paleo (all other roads seem to lead to inflammation). I was a vegetarian for most of those ten years and dread to think what derangement all that bread, brown rice and chickpeas caused.

Quite enjoying being carnivorous now and feeling a lot better. My thyroid antibodies have reduced tenfold since I stopped eating gluten.

1
5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on November 28, 2010
at 10:13 AM

this is an excellent question. in my experience, one can thrive pretty well and be pretty performant on the usual grain and dairy based low-fat/high-carb diet, UNTIL a mayor stressor comes along in your life. this might be physical (infection, antibiotics etc), emotional (burn-out, loss, relationship), or simply lacking some key nutrients like B12, iodine, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, etc. combine this with degrading defenses of the aging body, and boom!, the whole system can break down within a matter of only a few months. only a very strict paleo diet was good enough to reboot my digestion and health from such a crash (mainly due to stress and antibiotics). so, yes, a standard low-fat/high-carb diet might get you pretty far in pretty good health, but a paleo diet will be the safety net that gets you back on your feet and gives you back your original health after the sledgehammer has hit you. my old grain and dairy based diet wasn't able to do that - to the contrary.

1
Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on November 28, 2010
at 04:32 AM

Most sports professionals live far shorter lives than ordinary individuals, even those who live sedentary lives. So high carb, frequent cardiovascular exercise hardly seems like a prescription for good health!

Mark Sisson talks a lot about his early succesful career as a runner that was really detrimental to his health.

1
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:24 AM

I am overweight (though no longer obese) and, therefore, probably insulin and/or leptin resistant. I feel good but improving my health was and is my main goal. I don't feel that I was in as bad a place as many who've found a paleo-style diet to be miraculously life-transforming.

That said, it sounds like you really want to have a way to convince your boyfriend that what you're doing is a good idea and maybe, just maybe, convince him to join the crowd. There are lots of good questions already on this site that would help you with that one. The short answer, as I see it, is that just because he feels good now on the SAD (or SJD - Standard Japanese Diet - in his case) doesn't mean that he isn't taking low-grade, long-term damage from it. As a species, we have started to adapt to a diet that includes these non-paleo plant substances so that, over ten-thousand-ish years, most of us are able to make it through the child-bearing years before being afflicted. That's a long way to say that just because your boyfriend feels good now doesn't mean he won't end up overweight, diabetic and/or hypertensive as he ages. If he's smarter than me he won't wait as long as I did.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:27 AM

Congrats from another formerly obese! It's a huge accomplishment!

0
Medium avatar

on February 20, 2013
at 06:39 PM

I didn't have any health problems when I started paleo. I am and always have been skinny and fairly healthy.

But I could tell, looking at average Americans all around me, that something was wrong with the Standard American Diet.

I found real food and never looked back.

0
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on February 20, 2013
at 03:55 PM

I found Mark's Daily Apple when I discovered the paleo WOE on discussfitness.com. This was late 2009.

What Mark wrote made sense. I had just lost my mother to cancer, and I desperately wanted to decrease my odds as much as possible.

Health isn't just about what you eat. I think it probably accounts for 60-70%, but decreasing stress as much as possible, getting adequate sleep, having loving, supportive, POSITIVE relationships have as much to do with health as food, if not more. It's the bigger picture, and finding balance.

I'm convinced that gluten eventually catches up with people, no matter how 'healthy' they currently are. Eating rice isn't the worst thing you could eat...hardly! I doubt the Japanese are eating a lot of bread, pasta and high-fructose corn syrup. Mark Sisson had a great post about this very topic, and also went into the fact that many Asians (sorry for the generalization) eat...well...EVERYTHING. Organ meats, lots of bone broths, and fermented foods.

Wheat has been GMO-ed since the 60s, and I feel that has had the biggest affect on human health. Gliadin is addictive.

0
39311794c054f89a226f33e1afd08721

on February 20, 2013
at 03:38 AM

I did come to paleo recently because of health problems.

But long ago I was also that athlete that ate mountains of pasta. I mourn that I didn't know about paleo then. How much further could I have gone in my sport had I been this clear-headed then?

0
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on November 18, 2011
at 02:31 PM

I think I burnt my brain out on acid and ecstacy that I did a lot of one night and gave me depression up till present day. the benefits of Paleo help me deal with not having a brain anymore.

0
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 28, 2010
at 12:18 PM

I was healthy. I thought. I had a little psoriasis for a few years (I still have, but even less). I read Art De Vany's evolutionary fitness essaye and I immediately knew how important that was. I gradually changed my diet and lifestyle.

But I guess I needed my psoriasis as an excuse to go all the way, which I did. It was not so much an excuse for myself, but for the people living around me. My wife and little kids now are happily eating and living paleo!

Ironically I have really felt great while living an ancestral inspired life, but the psoriasis is still here, although not in summer. Still tweaking the diet and doing personal experiments (dairy, nightshades, more or less carb).

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on November 29, 2010
at 09:37 AM

@qualia. Your post just set off flashbulbs in my head. I have has small recurring itchy parches on various parts of my body for many many years. No Dr has been able to identify it or treat it. Some creams helped but I always came back. Now that I look back since I have been using large (5000-8000IU) doses of D3 I haven't used any creams and I have no itches. Just another arrow in the quiver of mighty vitamin D3.

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on November 28, 2010
at 02:55 PM

i had the same problem with my skin for 20 years. however, it readily disappeared above 3000IU vitamin D3/day (i'm now on 10-20kIU/day) and after i refilled my "empty" B12 store. so, get your D3 and B12 tested, and aim at upper optimal levels. i'm now completely symptom free (even before i switched to paleo completely)

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on November 29, 2010
at 09:03 AM

Thanks qualia. Do I read correctly, you take 10 to 20.000 IU per day? How does that affect your serum levels of D3? I've never tested mine though. I don't like testing and measuring. Maybe I should...

5f0158c23fcb5636e57b4ce097784da0

(1386)

on December 01, 2010
at 09:23 AM

@Pieter testing is the ONLY reliable way to know how much D you need. it's also the only way to know if your system actually absorbs the D (people with damaged villi can have a very limited capacity to absorb oral D3). that's how i found out that even on 10kIU my level only managed to creep up to 24ng. at doses above, say, 5000IU one also should monitor the calcium level in the blood just to be sure everything else in the body can keep up with the increased D level. my tip: TEST! at least vitamin D3 and calcium. there is much more u should test if you have other health problems as well

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on November 28, 2010
at 03:38 AM

I found RobbWolf amusing and I wanted to lose weight. I do have some health issues, but my choice was not about that, it was honestly just about wanting to be smaller and able to skate longer.

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