3

votes

Inconsistent Advice about Paleo foods

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 16, 2012 at 1:06 AM

I just started the Paleo diet and began visiting this site. So far I like what I am seeing of both but I have some questions. My goals are to lose some fat around my waist and hopefully see my abs in time. Also to be more healthy and energized.

Now everyone is aware that Gluten is not an ideal food to eat and many think the same as diary. Some people still like dairy but I know I'm lactose intolerant so I have no wish to have any. The are other options though that I'm getting confused because people are saying two or more different things.

For example last night I was out last night with some friends and ordered a Cob Salad. It had lettuce, tomatoes, boiled eggs, bacon, avocado, charbroiled chicken and I got olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side. I felt good about that choice. Then today I found out that would be considered a 'cheat' meal. Now this is strange to me because plenty of Paleo cookbooks have tomato and avocado as main ingredients.

So was my salad Paleo or not? Also I like to have a small bar of dark chocolate in the mornings. It's gluten and dairy free with no additives or refined sugar. I feel that little indulgence saves me from many other I might be tempted with. Then there is rice which some think is fine and others absolutely want nothing to do with. Some try to go for lean meats, others encourage fatty cuts.

These are just some examples. I'm really not sure what is and what isn't? I suppose I'm just confused with all the options and conflicting opinions.

Any advice?

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 17, 2012
at 05:08 AM

You're right, it takes a bit of time but if you do the process well the first time, you won't have to do it again. Of course, you may need to tweak it with time, but you will have a solid base. The problem with nightshades is that they contain a specific compound that MAY trigger inflammation in SOME people, particularly people with joint pain or autoimmune conditions. :)

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:06 PM

That's a good point about the bacon. I didn't think about that. I'm just so use to have my nitrite free, uncured, center cut bacon around. I forget most bacon isn't quite as pure. I usually do more chicken than beef in my day to day but I do like my bacon in the morning. I'll try and cut down. Too many nuts tend to sit heavy in my gut so I eat those sparingly as well. Most of my fat comes from Coconut Oil and Coconut Milk.

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:59 PM

Thanks for helpful answer. Designing my own diet I assume will take a bit of time but it will be worth it in the end. I still don't understand the problem with 'nightshades'?

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Yeah I agree with that. I happen to like my central air during the summer. However I do like the idea of eating vegetables and fruits when they are in season. If only to help cut down on my grocery bill.

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Apparently it's this nightshades ... thing which I still don't know anything about.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:03 PM

First, who said? Secondly, based on what? Did you leave out the twizzlers and kool-aid you had with the meal? What was the justification for saying veggies are "cheating"?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 11:19 AM

Sorry, I forgot the ;) Not sure what to make of being so known for my watered-down paleo question (which I regularly do nowadays!)

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 16, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Each individual component of that salad is acceptable by Paleo standards, Matt. But then again, I am talking to the guy that asked the "Is Paleo getting watered-down?" question. @Paul, I honestly don't know why tomatoes would not be "strictly paleo." Though it is a nightshade, which some people have eliminated. And avocados are a great source of fat! I say go ahead and include them in your diet.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Cavemen didn't have Cobb salads, therefore NOT PALEO!

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Thanks for answering. I saw the comment on another thread on here that tomatoes and avocados are considered not strictly paleo. Which was disappointing because tomatoes are so easy to grow. I'm glad that isn't the case. I should consider fasting but honestly I like food too much. I'm really not missing Gluten so far. My biggest problem is going to be staying away from too much fruits and nuts I think. At least until I lose this extra bodyfat.

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10 Answers

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9
Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:15 AM

I don't see what's so "non-Paleo" about that salad. Where did you get the information that it wasn't?

Over time, you will learn to tweak the diet to what your body likes/dislikes. A lot of people indulge in some dark chocolate. Some people tolerate dairy. Some people don't eat nightshades. Some people will only eat grass-fed meat (and the general consensus is if it's not grass-fed, go for leaner cuts. If it is grass-fed, get fatty cuts). Some people eat more starchy veggies than others (white rice is permitted on Perfect Health Diet in case you were wondering). Some people do intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting. Some people snack on fruits and nuts, while others don't (this is mostly seen in people who want to lean out).

As long as you stay away from gluten/wheat/refined sugar/vegetable oils/legumes/soy, you're pretty much free to choose what you want to eat by just listening to your body. You didn't mention any obvious inflammatory conditions you have so seems to me like you don't need to be so strict about what you eat.

P.S. Welcome to Paleohacks!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Cavemen didn't have Cobb salads, therefore NOT PALEO!

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Thanks for answering. I saw the comment on another thread on here that tomatoes and avocados are considered not strictly paleo. Which was disappointing because tomatoes are so easy to grow. I'm glad that isn't the case. I should consider fasting but honestly I like food too much. I'm really not missing Gluten so far. My biggest problem is going to be staying away from too much fruits and nuts I think. At least until I lose this extra bodyfat.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on April 16, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Each individual component of that salad is acceptable by Paleo standards, Matt. But then again, I am talking to the guy that asked the "Is Paleo getting watered-down?" question. @Paul, I honestly don't know why tomatoes would not be "strictly paleo." Though it is a nightshade, which some people have eliminated. And avocados are a great source of fat! I say go ahead and include them in your diet.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 16, 2012
at 11:19 AM

Sorry, I forgot the ;) Not sure what to make of being so known for my watered-down paleo question (which I regularly do nowadays!)

5
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 16, 2012
at 12:25 PM

One of the reason why there is a lot of inconsistent advice is because some people are following old recommendations and are not up-to-date with the latest science. The main goal of the Paleo diet is not to re-enact what our ancestor hunter-gatherers ate, but to use their diet as a template to build a nutrient-dense diet in our modern world. Minimizing anti-nutrients, gut-irritant compounds, pro-inflammatory omega-6 and harmful sugar and refined carbohydrates, while maximizing antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

The Paleo diet can be tweaked depending on your goal and health. Everybody's Paleo diet may look a bit different, whether it is higher in carbs or low-carb, without nightshades (tomatoes) and nuts or low in FODMAP.

The key thing is to learn what works best for your body and not worry to much about whether a food is Paleo or not!

Design your own optimal diet!

If you felt fine with the meal you had, stop worrying, it was definitely Paleo for you!

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:59 PM

Thanks for helpful answer. Designing my own diet I assume will take a bit of time but it will be worth it in the end. I still don't understand the problem with 'nightshades'?

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on April 17, 2012
at 05:08 AM

You're right, it takes a bit of time but if you do the process well the first time, you won't have to do it again. Of course, you may need to tweak it with time, but you will have a solid base. The problem with nightshades is that they contain a specific compound that MAY trigger inflammation in SOME people, particularly people with joint pain or autoimmune conditions. :)

4
99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

on April 16, 2012
at 11:10 AM

I wouldn't say there was anything wrong with it either. I don't know why you should be concerned about what others say about your choice of meal. For most of us, paleo is about optimisation of health, so if you tolerate all of the elements and it makes you feel healthy and good then why shouldn't it be acceptable to your paleo diet?

4
74b00bbfe9ba0f647bb154ed5f923cb4

(156)

on April 16, 2012
at 10:17 AM

I have quite a lot of disdain towards the "re-enactment" style Paleo, where it's not just about eating properly (i.e. natural ingredients and so forth) but also you can't do or use anything they didn't have. How do you even pull that off anyway? Do you set up a fireplace in your apartment/house if you want to heat your food? No, leave that silliness to the Amish.

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 04:56 PM

Yeah I agree with that. I happen to like my central air during the summer. However I do like the idea of eating vegetables and fruits when they are in season. If only to help cut down on my grocery bill.

4
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on April 16, 2012
at 01:25 AM

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that salad you had! I don't know where you're getting that information, but they're wrong. Like April said, everyone adapts paleo to their own sensitivities and preferences -- not everyone's going to enjoy a nice pan-fried chicken heart. Stick to the basic principles, but more importantly, listen to your body. It's your best guide when it comes to what's good for you.

2
1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

on April 16, 2012
at 12:37 PM

I agree with everyone else! Unless you are doing an immune protocol, eat whole foods that make you feel good.

2
6ea7231b1ba56c616ad14efb8564effe

on April 16, 2012
at 12:18 PM

Paul - I'm also finding out through trial and error that there is no definitive 'Paleo', there are just many versions of it. Each version is what works and what is acceptable for you, your goals and your lifestyle. I'm in the same boat -being patient, tweaking and experimenting.

I agree, you're salad sounded like a great Paleo meal to me!?

Hang in there.

1
A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

on April 16, 2012
at 05:16 PM

I agree with others who said that the idea of Paleo is to use our ancestors' diets as a template and follow the scientific backing on other things that may not exactly fit. Until someone invents a time machine there is no way to know exactly everything early man ate. Your example is fine for eating at a restaurant, where you have less control over the ingredients. The only things I can see wrong with it are:

  1. the olive oil in the dressing was probably cut with other oils, unless it was hand made
  2. tomatoes are considered by some not to be Paleo because they are nightshades. Nightshades can be toxic. I only eliminated them for the first month while detoxifying, but eat them regularly now.
  3. the meat is conventional, so you are getting the antibiotics, hormones, etc., no matter how high quality.

Now that being said, I am not very strict on my diet any more. Financially I cannot afford pastured meat and eggs nor most organic produce. I still feel healthier and more vital than ever in my adult life. Keep reading up, asking questions and learning. That's why I'm here. Find a comfortable groove and ride it.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 16, 2012
at 12:38 PM

HEy, I think the conflicting opinions on proper paleo for x goal is because what works for one person may not work for others. That is why self experimentation is so important. For me, personally, I stick to leaner cuts of meat, eat maybe 1-2 egg yolks a week, no gluten, no rice, no grains. My fats come from things like the meat/fish, mixed nuts, olive oil, avocado. I would say if if you want to see your abs you should stay away from fatty cuts of meat at least until you can see them. Then you can add in some fattier cuts but not everyday.

Bacon from a restaurant is probably not paleo b/c it likely has additives and preservatives.

A9fa2bf11cf5f32d5195d677ff2af197

(268)

on April 16, 2012
at 05:06 PM

That's a good point about the bacon. I didn't think about that. I'm just so use to have my nitrite free, uncured, center cut bacon around. I forget most bacon isn't quite as pure. I usually do more chicken than beef in my day to day but I do like my bacon in the morning. I'll try and cut down. Too many nuts tend to sit heavy in my gut so I eat those sparingly as well. Most of my fat comes from Coconut Oil and Coconut Milk.

0
Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 16, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Did you kill that salad with a spear?

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