7

votes

Mythbusters: Paleo Edition

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 02, 2012 at 11:12 PM

What myths would you like to see debunked?
And which myths do we know for sure are just myths that apply to the Paleo diet?

I think we can all agree that "saturated fat is bad" is a myth, "fat makes you fat" is a myth, and "whole wheat carbs help you to lose weight" is a myth.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 04, 2012
at 01:13 AM

@Talldog: So the traditional Pima were "sprightly" on a 75% sugar diet. OK, if that floats your boat! The all carbs are sugar canard is another myth.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 04, 2012
at 12:48 AM

@greymouser: Note the use of the word "just". Unfortunately, many eat healthy foods and gain (when they are trying to lose). I'm responding to the defeatist notion that if this doesn't fix you, you're terminally broken and should just settle for what you get. Paleo doesn't work for everyone.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on February 03, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Just because one person can eat corn and beans and not obviously suffer any ill effects doesn't mean they're optimal food for everyone. I can take up smoking and not suffer any ill effects for decades, if at all -- my grandfather smoked at least a pack a day for over 50 years and died of completely unrelated causes -- but that doesn't make smoking healthy. +++ That being said, properly soaked and sprouted beans are probably in the "not all that bad" category...but why eat them when you can eat far more healthy, nutrient-dense, and antinutrient-poor foods like meat, eggs, and veggies?

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on February 03, 2012
at 06:09 PM

All carbs are made up of sugar (and all sugars are carbohydrates). Table sugar is a carbohydrate. High fructose corn syrup is a carbohydrate. The carbs in a potato is glucose (blood sugar) molecules chained together. The way your body digests carbs is to break them down into simple sugars. ALL digestable carbohydrates end up as sugar in your body. "There are enough cultures who thrive on upwards of 75% SUGAR to demonstrate this." When you phrase it that way, it has a very different meaning. We were designed to eat sugar, but never at such high levels.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I only "disagree" with 'Just eating "healthy foods" will normalize weight magically' being a myth. Eating healthy foods is the single most normalizing action I complete that regulates so many other things throughout my day. It also was the basis for my weightloss, and is the basis of maintenance, imho.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 03, 2012
at 04:16 PM

@saiklon: In the absence of persistent overfeeding (excess calories) there is basically no such thing as an excess carbohydrate. Our metabolisms are designed to use carbs for energy preferentially and are able to do that. There are enough cultures who thrive on upwards of 75% carbs to demonstrate this.

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:43 PM

So in your view, what happens with excess carbs??

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:36 PM

"Beans are gut irritants full of the stuff that plants make to defend themselves from being tasty. It ain't good for us" - I am leaning toward that being a myth as well. Bean lectins and phytic acid are not much to worry about. I think Archevore has completely removed mention of beans from it steps.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on February 03, 2012
at 05:07 AM

Yes, your aunts are walking and talking, but are they farting and farting? Beans are gut irritants full of the stuff that plants make to defend themselves from being tasty. It ain't good for us.

63e88edb1b6a067f264b2dedfc312c23

(25)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:53 AM

yea, I was a perfect weight, and gained weight on paleo by thinking I could overeat. Can't!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:57 AM

@Joshua, LOL! Full disclosure requires me to confess I occasionally take bile salts or acid supplements after a large greasy meal (no gallbladder.)

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I upvoted you even though lately I've been experimenting with reintroducing supplementation to my diet. It's defiantly "supplement for thought", or is it "food for thought"?

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Pollan refers to them as "edible food-like substances" ...

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 03, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I can vouch for this. Gained weight on purpose due to being anorexic.

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 03, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Cool. Seems like a lot of people believe less extreme versions of these. I want to see some more info on these topics.

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5 Answers

8
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:18 AM

I'd like to see "healthy supplements" receive more skeptical examination.

I call processed foods "manufactured food-like products" and I object to the preservatives, stabilizers, etc., which is why I eat as many whole foods as I can.

Well, IMO many if not most supplements are "manufactured nutrient-like products" and I object to the preservatives, stabilizers, etc., which is why I eat the widest variety of meats, vegetables and fruits I can afford.

I'm not saying we can get absolutely everything from whole foods but I think it's arrogant to assume we know everything that's good in salmon or fruit or greens, etc., OR that popping a bunch of supplements every day instead of eating a wide variety of whole foods is "paleo."

(meekly stepping down from soapbox)

Medium avatar

(2923)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:16 AM

Pollan refers to them as "edible food-like substances" ...

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:46 AM

I upvoted you even though lately I've been experimenting with reintroducing supplementation to my diet. It's defiantly "supplement for thought", or is it "food for thought"?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 03, 2012
at 02:57 AM

@Joshua, LOL! Full disclosure requires me to confess I occasionally take bile salts or acid supplements after a large greasy meal (no gallbladder.)

7
07243c7700483a67386049f7b67d90a4

on February 03, 2012
at 12:05 AM

The myth that 'a paleo protein powder sold by a paleo guru is paleo' that goes for all the powders generally. I mainly hold this view because I'm not a guru and so cant make a fortune of the back of it.

5
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on February 03, 2012
at 01:54 AM

Legumes!! Are they really a "neolithic agent of disease," I have 90 year old Aunts who consume a ton of beans and are still walking and talking. I think most fear of legumes comes from a small incident in a certain cafeteria where a couple people got food poisoning from undercooked beans.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on February 03, 2012
at 10:55 PM

Just because one person can eat corn and beans and not obviously suffer any ill effects doesn't mean they're optimal food for everyone. I can take up smoking and not suffer any ill effects for decades, if at all -- my grandfather smoked at least a pack a day for over 50 years and died of completely unrelated causes -- but that doesn't make smoking healthy. +++ That being said, properly soaked and sprouted beans are probably in the "not all that bad" category...but why eat them when you can eat far more healthy, nutrient-dense, and antinutrient-poor foods like meat, eggs, and veggies?

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on February 03, 2012
at 05:07 AM

Yes, your aunts are walking and talking, but are they farting and farting? Beans are gut irritants full of the stuff that plants make to defend themselves from being tasty. It ain't good for us.

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:36 PM

"Beans are gut irritants full of the stuff that plants make to defend themselves from being tasty. It ain't good for us" - I am leaning toward that being a myth as well. Bean lectins and phytic acid are not much to worry about. I think Archevore has completely removed mention of beans from it steps.

5
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on February 03, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Thy myth that if you eat paleo you won't put on weight

Medium avatar

(10663)

on February 03, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I can vouch for this. Gained weight on purpose due to being anorexic.

63e88edb1b6a067f264b2dedfc312c23

(25)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:53 AM

yea, I was a perfect weight, and gained weight on paleo by thinking I could overeat. Can't!

5
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 03, 2012
at 12:15 AM

Myths often believed in paleo circles:

  • Carbs make you fat
  • Postprandial insulin spikes lead to hyperinsulinemia
  • Carbs make you insulin resistant
  • You burn out your beta cells eating carbs
  • Dietary fat has no impact on body weight/fat mass
  • You will gain more fat mass eating a pound of cookies than a pound of grass fed beef tallow
  • Fruit is fattening
  • Too much protein is fattening because it is turned to glucose
  • Excess carbs are converted to fat
  • Just eating "healthy foods" will normalize weight magically
  • A real whole-foods diet is not fatty enough, you must add more fat

I could go on :-)

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:43 PM

So in your view, what happens with excess carbs??

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I only "disagree" with 'Just eating "healthy foods" will normalize weight magically' being a myth. Eating healthy foods is the single most normalizing action I complete that regulates so many other things throughout my day. It also was the basis for my weightloss, and is the basis of maintenance, imho.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 04, 2012
at 01:13 AM

@Talldog: So the traditional Pima were "sprightly" on a 75% sugar diet. OK, if that floats your boat! The all carbs are sugar canard is another myth.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on February 03, 2012
at 06:09 PM

All carbs are made up of sugar (and all sugars are carbohydrates). Table sugar is a carbohydrate. High fructose corn syrup is a carbohydrate. The carbs in a potato is glucose (blood sugar) molecules chained together. The way your body digests carbs is to break them down into simple sugars. ALL digestable carbohydrates end up as sugar in your body. "There are enough cultures who thrive on upwards of 75% SUGAR to demonstrate this." When you phrase it that way, it has a very different meaning. We were designed to eat sugar, but never at such high levels.

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 03, 2012
at 12:56 AM

Cool. Seems like a lot of people believe less extreme versions of these. I want to see some more info on these topics.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 03, 2012
at 04:16 PM

@saiklon: In the absence of persistent overfeeding (excess calories) there is basically no such thing as an excess carbohydrate. Our metabolisms are designed to use carbs for energy preferentially and are able to do that. There are enough cultures who thrive on upwards of 75% carbs to demonstrate this.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on February 04, 2012
at 12:48 AM

@greymouser: Note the use of the word "just". Unfortunately, many eat healthy foods and gain (when they are trying to lose). I'm responding to the defeatist notion that if this doesn't fix you, you're terminally broken and should just settle for what you get. Paleo doesn't work for everyone.

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