13

votes

Might the theoretical "optimal diet" not be optimal in practice?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

At least some (a large part I would argue) of what it means to be "paleo" eating in such a manner that is informed by our evolutionary past. This in short means meat, fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits- no grains, maybe dairy.

But as paleo has become adopted, "scientific" theories abound on what is the "optimal (paleo) diet." Among the most accepted concepts included maintaining a favorable omega 3/6 ratio, minimizing PUFA, favoring saturated fatty acids as a fuel source, and minimizing fructose consumption (i.e. preferring glucose based starches to fruits a-la PHD). I think we can all generally accept that these concepts are becoming "mainstream paleo," which used to be just meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables...and dairy if you're primal. Coconut oil is an ideal source of energy, and I've seen food logs of people on here on low carb diets who literally eat it by the spoonful.

Now I may be going out on a limb here, but just from what I know of ancient and current hunter gathers, what a lot of what is theoretically "optimal" seems at variance with what was likely the case, and intuitively not optimal at all.

Exhibit A- coconut oil: A favorite among the low carb crowd because its MCTs provide a quick "energy boost." Where is coconut native to? The South Pacific Islands. It seems that in such a temperate climate, carbs are more bountiful than any other place on the planet in the form of tropical fruits, roots, and tubers. Coconuts come with coconut water, another excellent source of carbs. The Kitavans, one of the better studied of the modern HGs, have terrific health scores and eat around 70% of calories from carbohydrate dense foods. How is coconut oil compatible with a low carb diet?

Minimizing PUFA and creating a favorable omega 3/6 ratio: It seems that of all the foods on the planet, the nut has been the most rigorously (or among them) studied in not just epidemiological, but also clinical studies. Nuts are the most dense source of LA PUFA in the human diet since the 1960s. It is highly, highly likely that our ancient ancestors consumed these in large quantities whenever possible, due to their calorie and nutrient density. Modern HGs consume vast quantities of nuts, such as the Mongongo, which is not a low LA nut. It also seems that these tribes it very little in the way of fish and seafood, so most of their fat is coming from land mammals and birds, all of which contain predominantly OEMGA FATS (3,6 and 9). These people all seem quite healthy, as clinical studies on nut consuming humans would suggest, but in direct contradiction to what new paleo theory suggests is optional. The Inuit (certainly an outlier) consume a high PUFA diet as they feed of mostly the fat of cold blooded fish. However, they obviously have what is deemed a "favorable" omega 3/6 ratio, despite reports of suffering from hemophilia.

Favoring Saturated fatty acids as fuel and high fat diets: I have no idea where this came from. All land mammals, particularly free ranging ones, have a predominance of MUFA as their sole source of fat. If you look at the way animals are typically prepared (roasted over the fire), this is a very inefficient way of rendering whatever fat there is in the already lean land mammals that are caught. However, it is true that organ meats seemed to be eaten with alacrity and zeal unlike other parts of the animal. LAst time I checked though, organ meats were not particularly fatty, but are good sources of cholesterol and fat soluble nutrients.

fructose is the devil: I see that every HG society considers honey to be liquid gold, and at least among the African Hadza it is the number one preferred food source. You can see video documentaries, papers, and pictures of HGs going to great lengths to obtain and eat copious amounts of the stuff by the fistful. http://www.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/fwm23/tubers_and_fallback_foods_21040_ftp.pdf

starch (carbs) make you fat: at least in Africa, Hadza women are leaner when they eat the predominant source of calories from starch than from animal flesh. http://www.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/fwm23/tubers_and_fallback_foods_21040_ftp.pdf

So, assuming we have found what is the "optimal diet" (low PUFA, high SFA butter/coconut oil, low fructose/carb), are we even ready to eat it? WOn't it take at least a few generations of current paleo-people eating that diet and mating with each other before we select out unfavorable genes and genetic mutations can occur which are adaptable to said diet? *Might the theoretical "optimal diet" not be optimal in practice...at least until we can let natural selection occur over a few generations of eating this way?*

Not be offensive, but doesn't it seem kind of arrogant and/or naive to think that we can actually plan out the diet that is ideal for us. It seems more like the play the hand you've been dealt as best as you can, not go through the deck manually and choose the best hand yourself.

Would like to hear your input and correct where I am wrong. And thanks for reading this far and in advance for answering!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 04, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Nuts certainly aren't bad, but nuts in the absence of meat looks to have been a problem going back 1.5 million years. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003195122.htm#.UG0TPXWFx5I.facebook

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:28 PM

We are all SO glycogen depleted!

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Hmm...work that I have done suggests that very few north americans have the right ratio and it is really a big deal. By eliminating grains, moderating nuts, not using seed oils, and including fish oil or fish, pretty well balances the ratio.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:38 PM

That is just one of the reports I've seen...i've seen more but am not willing to go dig through the internet for you. I know they were not dry roasted and salted, but thank you for pointing out the obvious.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:37 PM

^ "Fifty percent (by wt) of their plant-based diet comes from the mongongo nut, which is available throughout the year in massive quantities" http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/3/665.short

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:34 PM

Also known as the Maria Von Trapp diet.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:32 PM

"The Heidi Diet" is going to be a best seller!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 12:48 PM

+1 on picking up evolutionary rate

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 03:33 AM

That's what Heidi Klum ate? I am so there...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 03:31 AM

"Modern HGs consume vast quantities of nuts" - Some. Not all. Define "vast". Also, consider how they are prepared, as I understand it it isn't dry roasted and salted.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:46 AM

+1 for recognizing that ancestral is not the same as optimal.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:39 AM

The concept of an optimal diet is another Neolithic invention. Paleos didn't eat optimal anything, and certainly not industrially manufactured fats like butter and coconut oil.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:24 PM

JayJay, The anthropological perspective gives us the basis from which we can do real experiments. The baby formula debacle is experimentation without any framework in place. Even the whole idea of why they were trying to do this in the first place- really has more to do with crop and corporate subsidies than any sort of science. I do think paleo has an important role to play in any discussion of optimal- paleo paints the boundaries within which optimal may be found, if it exists.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:18 PM

foreveryoung, The diet is actually called 'The Optimal Diet.' I don't know whether or not it is actually optimal, but I am pointing out that there is an argument via biochemistry (which seems to make sense, though I have trouble comprehending it all) that high fat/low carb is optimal. Further, what I am trying to point out is that, via biochemistry, a person actually has some way to make an argument for optimal. Paleo only provides us with parameters- the outlines of the territory. VB, I've seen that. I think living in a Eastern European country has more to do with it than the diet.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:53 PM

This is really a fantastic answer and I agree on so many levels. Especially the point about vegetables being under present (I asks d a question about why no one actually eats like a HG- makes no evolutionary sense to wast our time gathering leaves when they're calorically indigestible). Excellent answer. And yeah, the question was more about questioning dogma ("theory") than actually questioning the individual things mentioned.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

There's one exception - if you're glycogen depleted, your liver will convert fructose into glucose (in small amounts). Of course, unnaturally large amounts of fructose (i.e. from SAD levels of HFCS consumption) leads to conversion to fat and worse, fatty liver. So if you work out fasted or to the point of glycogen depletion, you can eat a few fruits without issue.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

There's one exception - if your glycogen depleted, your liver will convert fructose into glucose (in small amounts). Of course, unnaturally large amounts of fructose (i.e. from SAD levels of HFCS consumption) leads to conversion to fat and worse, fatty liver. So if you work out fasted or to the point of glycogen depletion, you can eat a few fruits without issue.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 11:29 AM

Great question. +1

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:56 AM

Fructose being stored as fat is common in all primates.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:04 AM

I wouldn't worry about a friggin piece of fruit. Most of the "OMG FRUCTOSE IS A A [email protected]" paranoia in the paleo community is completely overblown. Also, there's not much evidence to support BoneBrothFast's contention that fructose is stored mostly as fat, unlike glucose (in humans, rats are different). Source: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/6/737.abstract http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/6/707.full

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Hmmm yes, I have underestimated the sugar content of apples!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:32 PM

Nice catch. Yes I am pretty relaxed with my diet, I just don't think it matters as much as we're made to think it does. If you just eat del food and then eat carbs in accordance with activity levels, you are pretty much golden. I do try to get some EPA/DHA in my diet from sardines and shellfish, but I really don't care at all about the omega 3/6 ratio and think it is just another red herring...along with the other stuff I mentioned. You are right that I do think the theory seems to contradict historical norms, and in my view, real world results trump theory every day of the week. Great answer.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:24 PM

kind of reminds me of the liberal media going after one Financial firm after another, and blaming them for fueling their own excess and profiting off of their financial illiteracy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:22 PM

reminds me of the attack by the (mostly liberal) media blaming in the wake of the crisis, blaming Wall Street for getting paid to fuel the excesses of the middle class who are also largely economically illiterate.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Nice. I stopped reading all paleo-related blogs after I read Sisson write, in all seriousness, "mac-nuts are so superior to any other nut...they're the only one's I eat now." That cracked me up (which was also it turns out was a blatant lie because it was in one of his week in the life posts where he went on to add almonds to his BAS at least once or twice). And yes, I am very laxed with my diet, but I spent about a year of it losing most of the progress I made by reading paleo-blogs obsessively and watching one food/nutrient become vilified after the next...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Apples and pears are not low sugar...a medium apple has like 25 grams of sugar (predominantly fructose).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 26, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Well, most people don't eat fructose by itself. It usually comes with glucose, unless you're eating apples and pears, which are pretty low sugar anyway.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

But, the anthropological perspective is to inform and fill gaps missing in our biochemical models. Our current knowledge base in terms of physiology and biochemistry is still woefully inadequate to produce reliable results in constructing "optimal". Hence, why whole real food still trumps any sludge that they can put together in a lab for producing health (baby formula anyone?).

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 26, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I love your paragraph about coconuts. I mean - maybe 2000 generations ago my ancestors had coconuts, but for the last 100 they had lard and butter as fat sources. Not sure how old they were when they died, but coconuts were definitely not on their menu.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 26, 2012
at 07:28 PM

Here is something scary about Dr. Kwasnievski and the Optimal Diet - you need to know: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/diets/optimal-diet/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 07:00 PM

You can't "optimize" across the board, as we encounter trade-offs along the way. I really like and agree with this point of view.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 26, 2012
at 06:58 PM

We were likely scavengers before we were hunters and that looks like the point in our history when our brains grew drastically. Don't discount the saturated fat and omega 3 content of brains and bone marrow, which were likely the first scavenged staples once humans learned how to use stone tools.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I don't really know what you mean by all of this. First you say we encounter problems when venturing into optimal territory, but then you say Peter at Hyperlipid eats the optimal diet. Why? First these two statements seem at odds with one another, but what makes Peter's diet optimal. Is it theoretically optimal, practically optimal, or both? What does peter do besides blog? Is he good to look at? Is he fast? Is he strong? Is he genius? Is he all of these things and more? How come his diet is optimal?

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10 Answers

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4
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:10 PM

I'm not quite sure what the question is.....sure paleo, ancestral eating, or the hunter gatherer lifestyle (whichever you like) is only a theory, but as such its the one that makes the most sense (IMO).

Instead of studying sickness, we study healthy wild humans that don't have the diseases of civilization that we find in our own cultures. Then we emulate those activities that are espoused to lead to such health and vitality.

In respect to your breakdown of O6/O3 and such, I tend to agree (see my previous posts on nuts). Not a big deal when gotten from real food. Then again I also make an effort to eat sardines, bivalves, and other seafood because I find the "theory" of these foods being an important part of our past and current genetic makeup compelling. They provide DHA and iodine and things not found in large quantity in land animals.

As you know, there is a wide variety of "human" diets. There is this http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/3/682.full?ijkey=KPJ8NPKvC6lVQ. Then there is this "There are a number of striking things about the data once you sum them up. First of all, diet composition varied widely. Many groups were almost totally carnivorous, with 46 getting over 85% of their calories from hunted foods. However, not a single group out of 229 was vegetarian or vegan. No group got less than 15% of their calories from hunted foods, and only 2 of 229 groups ate 76-85% of their calories from gathered foods (don't forget, "gathered foods" also includes small animals). On average, the hunter-gatherer groups analyzed got about 70% of their calories from hunted foods. This makes the case that meat-heavy omnivory is our preferred ecological niche. However, it also shows that we can thrive on a plant-rich diet containing modest amounts of quality animal foods.

The paper also discusses the nature of the plant foods hunter-gatherers ate. Although they ate a wide variety of plants occasionally, more typically they relied on a small number of staple foods with a high energy density. There's a table in the paper that lists the most commonly eaten plant foods. "Vegetables" are notably underrepresented. The most commonly eaten plant foods are fruit, underground storage organs (tubers, roots, corms, bulbs), nuts and other seeds. Leaves and other low-calorie plant parts were used much less frequently. "

I bolded what I find to be the relevant points, and in a society where we have an overindulgence of well EVERYTHING I think the "displacement theory" of vegetables just crowding out worse choices is quite likely.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 06:53 PM

This is really a fantastic answer and I agree on so many levels. Especially the point about vegetables being under present (I asks d a question about why no one actually eats like a HG- makes no evolutionary sense to wast our time gathering leaves when they're calorically indigestible). Excellent answer. And yeah, the question was more about questioning dogma ("theory") than actually questioning the individual things mentioned.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 12:59 PM

" doesn't it seem kind of arrogant and/or naive to think that we can actually plan out the diet that is ideal for us. It seems more like the play the hand you've been dealt as best as you can, not go through the deck manually and choose the best hand yourself. "

Not yet, anyway (perhaps in the near future).

To continue with your analogy, the most important consideration is to be able to read the hand you've been dealt. Alas, we're playing by the light of a very feeble candle at present.

3
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 26, 2012
at 09:06 PM

It's all really just a template. None of us is going to eat exactly like any hunter-gatherer or traditional culture, existing now or in the past. We can only take an approximation of what we see them doing and try it out on ourselves. Or we can use our scientific methods to try and isolate nutrients and come up with theories. All of this has limitations. None of this guarantees you are practicing a diet that will ensure you the greatest longevity and the greatest health. Those two things may not even go together for all we know. Applying labels like "optimal" or "perfect health" to these things is just marketing.

3
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 26, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Now, when you venture into the world of optimal, you have a problem. This has been staked out by low-carbers. Smack in the middle of the carbohydrate victory dance in paleoland, Feinman comes up with something like this: Suddenly Last Summer: The Triumph of Carbohydrate Restriction. Then there is Peter, with his proton series. That guy keeps stretching my brain. He actually eats the Optimal diet. The Optimal diet is a very high fat diet created by Dr. Kwasniewski.

You can't really get to optimal from paleo; in fact the most solid paleo perspective is that we can't really have an optimal diet because if we 'optimize' we eat the same thing all the time and lose variation. You've already noticed the problem with being paleo and yet trying to avoid fructose.

So, you have to have another paradigm in which to decide optimal. If you've got an argument based on biochemistry you can argue for an optimal diet because, presumably, some basic principles apply to all mitochondria everywhere. From the anthropological perspective, you can't argue for an optimal diet because of the variation of diet among ancient populations and the various differences they would experience through their lives.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 26, 2012
at 09:39 PM

But, the anthropological perspective is to inform and fill gaps missing in our biochemical models. Our current knowledge base in terms of physiology and biochemistry is still woefully inadequate to produce reliable results in constructing "optimal". Hence, why whole real food still trumps any sludge that they can put together in a lab for producing health (baby formula anyone?).

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:18 PM

foreveryoung, The diet is actually called 'The Optimal Diet.' I don't know whether or not it is actually optimal, but I am pointing out that there is an argument via biochemistry (which seems to make sense, though I have trouble comprehending it all) that high fat/low carb is optimal. Further, what I am trying to point out is that, via biochemistry, a person actually has some way to make an argument for optimal. Paleo only provides us with parameters- the outlines of the territory. VB, I've seen that. I think living in a Eastern European country has more to do with it than the diet.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I don't really know what you mean by all of this. First you say we encounter problems when venturing into optimal territory, but then you say Peter at Hyperlipid eats the optimal diet. Why? First these two statements seem at odds with one another, but what makes Peter's diet optimal. Is it theoretically optimal, practically optimal, or both? What does peter do besides blog? Is he good to look at? Is he fast? Is he strong? Is he genius? Is he all of these things and more? How come his diet is optimal?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:46 AM

+1 for recognizing that ancestral is not the same as optimal.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:24 PM

JayJay, The anthropological perspective gives us the basis from which we can do real experiments. The baby formula debacle is experimentation without any framework in place. Even the whole idea of why they were trying to do this in the first place- really has more to do with crop and corporate subsidies than any sort of science. I do think paleo has an important role to play in any discussion of optimal- paleo paints the boundaries within which optimal may be found, if it exists.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 26, 2012
at 07:28 PM

Here is something scary about Dr. Kwasnievski and the Optimal Diet - you need to know: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/diets/optimal-diet/

3
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 26, 2012
at 06:21 PM

Optimal diets vary from Kitavans to Inuit to Masai and even the WAPF Swiss Alpiners (goat milk, goat cheese, goat and rye bread - think Heidi). I don't think any particular diet is optimal beyond avoiding toxic things, especially avioding the modern industrial toxic food products. But fixing individuals with particular metabolic problems (like my T2 diabetes) or other diseases may require certain diets that are more restrictive than just an ancestral diet. Optimal for me is likely to be different than someone who is not a T2.

Honey is probably fine in the absence of high omega-6 intake, such as what you would get from a typical American diet. But honey is not an option for me (at least for now or in anything more than a very small amount).

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:32 PM

"The Heidi Diet" is going to be a best seller!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on September 28, 2012
at 01:34 PM

Also known as the Maria Von Trapp diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 03:33 AM

That's what Heidi Klum ate? I am so there...

2
Dae6daa7aa2d051896b4478e91db350c

on September 26, 2012
at 06:43 PM

I appreciate your perspective - it is really easy to latch onto a concept and follow it religiously as if it is the end all answer. In reality, a more appropriate answer is that it depends on many variables, including genetics and what foods are readily available and appropriate for each culture. For example, in first world countries there have been so many different types of foods shipped in during the last century that we have an interesting situation, one in theory where we can choose any combination of foods we would like to eat. This may be opposed to what many varying world cultures would have developed on, e.g. the Masai tribe or the Inuit peoples, who have a limited group of 2-4 staples in their diets. Who knows, this could be influencing our health as our genetics haven't yet adapted (as you mentioned) to this variety. Even societies that we see as thriving on a certain diet likely have their own issues (like the Inuit and bleeding, as you mentioned). There are many scenarios like this that make it difficult if not impossible to determine the "perfect diet" for everyone.

1
B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:01 AM

I have an issue with your question because it shows a lack of understanding of evolutionary principals.

You write: "Won't it take at least a few generations of current paleo-people eating that diet and mating with each other before we select out unfavorable genes and genetic mutations can occur which are adaptable to said diet?"

It doesn't take a few generations to adapt to a diet. If it did, we would all be well-adapted to grain, legumes and dairy. Hell, our kids would even be adapted to high fructose corn syrup. This is not how evolution works. Yes, some mutations and adaptations happen quickly in evolutionary time -10-100 generations might cement a particularly advantageous gene. But evolution is a very slow in general. Some evolutionists believe that evolution proceeds extremely slowly most of the time with occasional "quick spurts" of adaption. But even these quick spurts are measured over hundreds or even thousands of years.

So whether our highly scientific version of the Paleo diet is optimal or not, we will not adapt to it in 2-3 generations. Our great grandchildren will not be genetically different from our grandparents. That's why we are Paleo in the first place. Because our bodies are pretty much the same as the bodies of hunter gathers from 20,000 years ago.

But that said, I thought your points about the "optimal diet" were quite interesting and thought-provoking.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 28, 2012
at 12:48 PM

+1 on picking up evolutionary rate

1
3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

on September 26, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Good question...but I have a feeling you aren't really asking but are rather ranting out loud. Given some of your other posts, it seems you're about as laxed as paleo can get....apparently eating rye bread and nuts daily.

I understand exactly what you are getting at- paleo has gone way overboard in trying to find the ideal or perfect diet, when really the theory of it all is in direct contradiction with what history seems to suggest.

I can read between the lines, and your smug "question" does not fly over my head!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:32 PM

Nice catch. Yes I am pretty relaxed with my diet, I just don't think it matters as much as we're made to think it does. If you just eat del food and then eat carbs in accordance with activity levels, you are pretty much golden. I do try to get some EPA/DHA in my diet from sardines and shellfish, but I really don't care at all about the omega 3/6 ratio and think it is just another red herring...along with the other stuff I mentioned. You are right that I do think the theory seems to contradict historical norms, and in my view, real world results trump theory every day of the week. Great answer.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:22 PM

reminds me of the attack by the (mostly liberal) media blaming in the wake of the crisis, blaming Wall Street for getting paid to fuel the excesses of the middle class who are also largely economically illiterate.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:24 PM

kind of reminds me of the liberal media going after one Financial firm after another, and blaming them for fueling their own excess and profiting off of their financial illiteracy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Nice. I stopped reading all paleo-related blogs after I read Sisson write, in all seriousness, "mac-nuts are so superior to any other nut...they're the only one's I eat now." That cracked me up (which was also it turns out was a blatant lie because it was in one of his week in the life posts where he went on to add almonds to his BAS at least once or twice). And yes, I am very laxed with my diet, but I spent about a year of it losing most of the progress I made by reading paleo-blogs obsessively and watching one food/nutrient become vilified after the next...

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on September 28, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Hmm...work that I have done suggests that very few north americans have the right ratio and it is really a big deal. By eliminating grains, moderating nuts, not using seed oils, and including fish oil or fish, pretty well balances the ratio.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 07:00 PM

You can't "optimize" across the board, as we encounter trade-offs along the way. I really like and agree with this point of view.

0
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on September 26, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Honey is naturally antimicrobial and is not just fructose.

Fructose by itself causes liver problems, insulin resistance and feeds pathogenic microbes. Fructose is also stored mostly as fat, unlike glucose.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

There's one exception - if you're glycogen depleted, your liver will convert fructose into glucose (in small amounts). Of course, unnaturally large amounts of fructose (i.e. from SAD levels of HFCS consumption) leads to conversion to fat and worse, fatty liver. So if you work out fasted or to the point of glycogen depletion, you can eat a few fruits without issue.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 26, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Apples and pears are not low sugar...a medium apple has like 25 grams of sugar (predominantly fructose).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 26, 2012
at 10:11 PM

Well, most people don't eat fructose by itself. It usually comes with glucose, unless you're eating apples and pears, which are pretty low sugar anyway.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:10 AM

Hmmm yes, I have underestimated the sugar content of apples!

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:04 AM

I wouldn't worry about a friggin piece of fruit. Most of the "OMG FRUCTOSE IS A A [email protected]" paranoia in the paleo community is completely overblown. Also, there's not much evidence to support BoneBrothFast's contention that fructose is stored mostly as fat, unlike glucose (in humans, rats are different). Source: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/6/737.abstract http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/74/6/707.full

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 27, 2012
at 02:27 PM

There's one exception - if your glycogen depleted, your liver will convert fructose into glucose (in small amounts). Of course, unnaturally large amounts of fructose (i.e. from SAD levels of HFCS consumption) leads to conversion to fat and worse, fatty liver. So if you work out fasted or to the point of glycogen depletion, you can eat a few fruits without issue.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:56 AM

Fructose being stored as fat is common in all primates.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 03, 2012
at 12:28 PM

We are all SO glycogen depleted!

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