7

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Best "science oriented" Introduction to Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 14, 2011 at 1:10 PM

There are all sorts of different ways to explain the paleo diet. For out-of-shape people who just want the basics of how to eat right and exercise, something like Mark Sisson's explanation (complete with reference to Grok) works very well. For other people, however, it's a real turn off.

I have a friend who doesn't know anything about the paleo diet and has expressed some interest in learning about it. He is also a doctor, and I think he'd like an introduction to the paleo diet with a bit more science behind it.

Ideally, I'd like a an article or essay that I could just email to him or something, to peak his interest (I'm not sure I can convince him to go buy a book right off the bat). So, do you have any go to articles or essays to introduce a scientific mind to the paleo diet? Perhaps something by Cordain?

As a sidenote, someone with more computer savvy than me should compile a list of types of people (doctors, out-of-shape desk job workers, young athletes, etc...) as well as the best books or articles to hook that particular sort of person on paleo. I have a lot of people ask me about the diet, but I'm always at a loss as to which source to turn them to... what might be right for you, may not be right for some... the same article that appeals to my friend on the soccer team does not appeal to my 60 year old mother... I'd find such a go to list very useful.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:33 AM

I definitely meant "Jared Diamond", but I think that it is awesome that I unconsciously referenced Screech from Saved by the Bell :)

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:08 AM

I think you mean Jared Diamond.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Most of the information is on the site, but I suppose it's not really boiled down into a few pages.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Hey, he is! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Diamond

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:04 AM

Isn't Dustin Diamond the guy who played Screech in "Saved by the Bell?"

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Thanks for the suggestion - and I totally concede your point. My description was perhaps far too overly generalized and/or focused on profession (I meant no disrespect to desk job workers!). Perhaps just a list of what a person would find appealing and is looking for in the paleo diet (scientific proof vs simple, practical advice, etc...) and corresponding introductory material. Which is basically what you suggest.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Also the PHD book has a lot of science refs in it.

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6 Answers

7
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:44 PM

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/p-nu/201103/dietary-manifesto-paleo-20

1) By a doctor (should help cred. with other doctors)

2) Really well written (as always by Dr. Harris)

3) Explains the overarching view and the specific NADs to avoid and why

4) very easy to understand

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Also the PHD book has a lot of science refs in it.

3
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on November 14, 2011
at 02:18 PM

The compiled list you're looking for is basically here in the archives at PH. A good start is the The Paleo Guru Guide: A listing of your favorite experts as its an awesome comprehensive list from top to bottom of submissions by PH's, etc. of their favourites and such including the "why."

Also key word search works well, if you click into it you're given a guide on how to do effective multi-word instead of just single. Cheers.

2
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:42 PM

Chris Kresser's blog series "9 Steps to Perfect Health" would be a great place to start.

I don't know that a list like you propose would be all that practical because of the vast differences between people that might fall into those categories. Lots of people want nutrition/health books with real science behind them whether they are doctors or not. Others don't like to read a lot of science jargon. However, I don't think you can make that kind of distinction based on what they do for a living. Just because someone sits behind a desk all day doesn't mean they'll be satisfied with a watered down version. Genius isn't where tv shows would have you believe it is.

Perhaps the best idea would just be to create a list of resources with some kind of brief description for each one that would help people find something well-suited to the personality of the person asking the question.

6da7ce6a4a250c46a6e78b5b4e22da83

(987)

on November 14, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Thanks for the suggestion - and I totally concede your point. My description was perhaps far too overly generalized and/or focused on profession (I meant no disrespect to desk job workers!). Perhaps just a list of what a person would find appealing and is looking for in the paleo diet (scientific proof vs simple, practical advice, etc...) and corresponding introductory material. Which is basically what you suggest.

1
Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 14, 2011
at 11:54 PM

If you're looking for an essay rather than a book, Dustin Diamond's "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race" is a pretty good place to start.

Here's the first paragraph...

"To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn't the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren't specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence."

(Full text at http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html)

Edit: I meant to say "Jared Diamond", but will leave the subconscious reference to a certain pop-culture icon as it is for nostalgic value.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Hey, he is! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Diamond

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:08 AM

I think you mean Jared Diamond.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 15, 2011
at 12:04 AM

Isn't Dustin Diamond the guy who played Screech in "Saved by the Bell?"

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 01:33 AM

I definitely meant "Jared Diamond", but I think that it is awesome that I unconsciously referenced Screech from Saved by the Bell :)

0
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on November 14, 2011
at 07:25 PM

Have your friend check out Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet's book "Perfect Health Diet". I know you didn't ask for a book, but it is where he'll find plenty of scientific details and references.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Most of the information is on the site, but I suppose it's not really boiled down into a few pages.

0
Medium avatar

(10663)

on November 14, 2011
at 03:03 PM

I think Loren Cordain does a great job of backing up the Paleo Diet using scientific facts. His articles are available on thepaleodiet.com
http://thepaleodiet.com/published-research

If you want a more archaeological/evolutionary aspect of paleo:
http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1a.shtml
http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-1a.shtml

And this is a little more about the nutrition behind paleo (not the best paper but still has good info): http://www.ajcn.org/content/45/5/1048.full.pdf

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