Are the effects of going strictly paleo that much more prominent compared to going primal / normal paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 23, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I'm fairly new to the Paleo game, and I was just wondering how successful people have been with different types of Paleo. Based on my understanding, it seems like strict paleo is, well, super strict, and primal is the least restrictive of the three types, leaving normal in the middle. This is based off of this chart.

To follow up, I was also wondering how strict do you have to be when eating paleo. For example, if I ordered some sort of meat, but then I find out that it was cooked in soybean oil, would that one instance of me eating that meat ruin however long I've been working at it? Or is it a situation where I have to just be cautious of what I'm eating? Thanks.

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on July 24, 2013
at 12:32 AM

You'll have to test some of this for yourself. Some people discover that a common food product like wheat or soy oil really will make them sick for days. Others find that they were fine with something before, but after abstaining from it for a while it starts making them sick. But outside of those circumstances, I think that mostly-paleo is almost as good as total paleo. Try googling "80/20" paleo to find a great many discussions of how people make choices about adhering, and not adhering, to strict paleo principles.

Some people do well with a flexible plan, whereas for others it's a slippery slope -- you make an exception "just this once," and before you know it you're making it every day. If you have previous issues with compulsive eating or anything like that, you may find there are triggers that you're better off avoiding 100% of the time. If you find that you can enjoy a borderline-paleo or non-paleo food once in a while and still stick to your general principles, then more power to you.

In the particular case of soy oil, the main concerns are 1) rancidity, and 2) excessive omega-6 fat. Those are both gradual, quantitative problems, not instant poisons that will undo all your health progress. If you're generally avoiding undesirable cooking oils and getting plenty of seafood, then a little soy oil is not going to harm you.


on July 24, 2013
at 04:30 AM

It varies from person to person. Some people are not really damaged, so primal works for them. But for some other people trying to cure metabolic syndrome, strict paleo is the only way.

Personally, I try to pick foods that are cooked with lard when I eat out - here in Mexico some restaurants still use it for cooking. But don't worry- A little soybean oil won't kill the whole progress you've done. What is damaging is the constant consumption of the wrong foods.

For example, it takes years for people to get chronic diseases, they don't get it in one meal. So as long as you don't eat crap in a daily basis, you'll do just fine with either primal or super strict paleo. Choice is up to you!

Much love(:


on July 24, 2013
at 03:03 PM

If you do mess up, push on. I know. It's hard. For me, if I slip up once, even in other failed diets, I'd just go back to the past. But with paleo, I had to overcome the hump of telling myself that even if I failed, I just have to start anew. That was my mindset, because if I told myself that I'd "continue" paleo, I'd just be making fifty exceptions. So, I tell myself to "start" paleo. It helps. Also, you'll find that after a month or two, even if you did have a cheat meal, you'll find that you'll quickly recover (at least for me) because you feel guilty (in a good way).

For me, when I do feel like ordering a dozen of Krispy Kreme donuts hot off of the oven, I just remind myself of the benefits. Weight loss. Reduction of hair loss. The lightness I feel. The insurance that I will maintain a good weight for the rest of my life. It works. Also, like I stated, you will be able to fend off the no-nos much more easily.

Also, in terms of fast food, why not just fast? Skip a meal o two. Leave room for some recovery. Or, if you must eat, try going for a salad. Or, go to a restaurant. What I did at Olive Garden (EXTREMELY ANTI-PALEO) was state that if gluten/dairy/potatoes was in my food, I'd swell up. Don't just say that you don't want them. Let them take this more seriously. I ended up ordering steamed veggies with herbs, chicken without the heavy cream sauce (with thyme, rosemary, and I got an order of salad with balsamic vinaigrette instead of the mashed potatoes.



on July 24, 2013
at 03:19 PM

I know you're specifically referring to oils, but I had a similar experience on the 90% paleo to 100% paleo difference. For me, what made the biggest difference was removing fruit. (Overconsumption of fruit was the only thing keeping me out of "strict paleo".) I spent years and years trying to lose weight, using every trick in the book: calorie restriction, exercise, you name it! The only thing that allowed me to finally drop the weight was removing fructose. I would never have guessed that it would have made such a big difference.

However, results will surely vary from person to person. Why not try it out for a month or two, and see if the results are noticeable enough for you to make the jump?

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