4

votes

Can someone please help a confused Paleo Newbie?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 25, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Let me start out by saying I am a complete Paleo Newbie, I have not started yet. I have been type II diabetic for the last 10 years and I am 47. Last year, I lost my Doctor (long sad story there) and went about 6 months without a Doctor, during that time period, my Blood Sugars went up to a staggering 400 ranges, I was on a lot of medicine. I found myself lying to my wife about my BS readings in the morning. I finally found a new Doctor when my wife started catching on (I guess my mood swings were bad). I went to the new Doc and a few days later, after the lab results came back, my Doctor called me at work and said, ???I have some bad news, you are going to be dead in 5 years and the last couple of years are going to be really bad???. He also went on to tell me that with some really hard work on my part, I could change this.

I did a lot of looking around the Net and ended up getting hooked up with P90X. I was able to do it for 9 weeks before a family vacation got me off track. During that time, my BSs went way down, some mornings I had below 90???s. I only did the exercise part of P90X, I found the food part to be a little confusing and too carb high for a diabetic. I really like the working out, I have the muscular body type, it is just covered with a large layer of fat. I am currently 6???4??? and weigh 340, my goal is to get down below 240.

I have decided to take up P90X again and last week I was on the BeachBody forums where I read from one poster who said to try Paleo instead of the P90X food plan. So I searched the Net on Paleo and the first place I found was Cordian???s site, I also went right out and got Cordian???s book and read it that evening. I was very interested in the whole Paleo thing as I am your Poster Boy for Syndrome X, I have diabetes, high blood preasure, and high cholesterol. Since last week, I have spent great amounts of time searching the Net trying to digest the whole Paleo thing and now I am confused. Cordian was my first impression of Paleo and everything else seems to be counter to what she said.

  1. Cordian says lean proteins, but everywhere else says high fat?
  2. Cordian no diary, but you are all saying eat lots of whole cream and butter?
  3. Cordian no bacon, here on Paleohack I keep reading about bacon?
  4. Is there a better book than Cordian???s?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and answer.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 07, 2011
at 08:35 PM

I like Robb Wolf's book, but the juvenile language may be off-putting for some...

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Bacon wrapped sausage!!! Wow what a concept. Life could not get any better. I appreciate the comments and encouragement.

2acab1c60fe533b0c651e36cc9e57a68

on January 26, 2011
at 09:09 AM

I personally like Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution book. I am inclined to side with biochemists on what's healthy and what's not...

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 26, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Yes - this site is such a convergence of ideas on evolutionary eating, and this set of ideas is _dynamic_, so no wonder why for newcomers getting started can feel like trying to chase and simultaneously hop onto a running horse! A horse, of course, which eats a species-appropriate diet and does weekly sprints.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:44 AM

I'd add no vegetable oils, even over no legumes. Sprouted beans or green beans are really not so bad, for example, but "vegetable" oils are horrid by any measure.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:40 AM

PaNu is on point. Amazing wealth of info there.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on January 26, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Cordain is just wrong. Unfortunately, the best advice is PaNu - but he doesn't have a book. Good news - it's all free! Primal BluePrint by Sisson is probably the best book, but I'm not sure we all agree on Sisson's enthusiasm for veggies. I think he's a bit oversold on them, but he gets everything else right.

4b0fa9c9960bc2a409b06354d0bed92f

(108)

on January 25, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I second the advice to focus on diet first, then exercise. I think this is so key--get the diet dialed in. Try to be more active. Then once you have been eating a clean Paleo diet for awhile (at least a month), then worry about the exercise.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:42 PM

"...at some level it's like taking on a second job." I love this quote!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Cheers! (this is me raising my glass of coconut milk, post workout)

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I appreciate the feedback

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:57 PM

;) It was too good to pass up.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:50 PM

+1 for the dirty little repartee

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Done steph! You were absolutely right! I missed that one.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Yeah, eat a lot of fats with your potatoes and it will slow the uptake. Also, if you let them cool after cooking before you eat them, it will increase the resistant starch, which will lower the carbs but increase the amount of fatty acids that your intestinal bacteria create from the indigestible starch. In general, don't worry about what any one of our paleo luminaries has to say about anything; just use all available info as a knowledge buffet and above all, do what works.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I would add NO SUGAR to your list of most important things, consistent across the varying approaches.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Lol, don't tempt me with a good Paleo time! hahaha. Good stuff.

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Thanks SnowDog. I appreciate the comments

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Thanks Travis, a few years back, I read somewhere that Coconut oil was good for lower BS, I used to have two Tbls every day. I am going to go back to that and more.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:02 PM

My two cents: Though I don't follow cordain per se, I don't eat any dairy (including butter), I don't eat any bacon (just too processed and salty for me taste wise). And occasionally I will eat leaner cuts but generally I opt for the fatty options. To each his own. Just understand WHY he says what he says; what these items will do to you, how they might affect you. Then make your choice from there.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Hee! I'll take it wherever you put it Todd. (Heh. That sounds REALLY dirty and I almost edited, but it's too fun to take out.)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:48 PM

@Tormag, I am probably the wrong person to ask about sodium. I just got off high blood pressure med (yay!) and I'm still a bit wary of it. If you don't have issues, normal consumption of sodium doesn't seem to be a problem for most Paleo eaters. Just don't go crazy. @luckybastard - Thank you! :) I am good at simple. It's the detailed/sciency stuff that gets me.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Apologies, that was supposed to be a comment under Melissa's answer.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:25 PM

really good, simplified answer, melissa. i may memorize it to regurgitate when curious ask me similar questions:-)

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. Also, what about the Salt? Cordian seems really down on that too.

  • 7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

    asked by

    (95)
  • Views
    2.8K
  • Last Activity
    1459D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

11 Answers

best answer

24
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on January 25, 2011
at 06:13 PM

There is no one "Paleo Diet", which is where the confusion starts. There are several different approaches on what to eat and not eat.

Lean proteins?

I believe he has slightly adjusted his stance on this recently. If you are not able to get grass-fed meat and are eating conventional grocery store meat, it is safer to stay on the leaner side and get your fat from other sources.

Dairy?

Many Paleos would call themselves Lacto-Paleo or Primal (Mark Sisson's camp) or PaNu (Dr. Harris camp). The main reason to avoid dairy is that it provokes an insulin response much like carbs. The heavy cream and butter do not do that as much, which is why you will see many Paleo eaters do include them.

Bacon?

MMmmmmmmmm. BACON. Cordain isn't big on processed meat and sodium, so that is why he doesn't endorse bacon, to my understanding.

Books?

There is not a BETTER book, but there are other books. Robb Wolf's The Paleolithic Solution is by far my favorite and he learned under Loren Cordain, so they have a lot in common. Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint is a great beginner book, he has slightly different choices than typical Paleo, but it's an easy read.

The very most important thing is NO GRAINS, NO SUGAR and NO LEGUMES. You should probably cut out dairy for at least a month to see if it makes a difference in how you feel.

Good luck!

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. Also, what about the Salt? Cordian seems really down on that too.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:25 PM

really good, simplified answer, melissa. i may memorize it to regurgitate when curious ask me similar questions:-)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:48 PM

@Tormag, I am probably the wrong person to ask about sodium. I just got off high blood pressure med (yay!) and I'm still a bit wary of it. If you don't have issues, normal consumption of sodium doesn't seem to be a problem for most Paleo eaters. Just don't go crazy. @luckybastard - Thank you! :) I am good at simple. It's the detailed/sciency stuff that gets me.

7767e05a8c4504f6be03f13ee40815cd

(1299)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:44 AM

I'd add no vegetable oils, even over no legumes. Sprouted beans or green beans are really not so bad, for example, but "vegetable" oils are horrid by any measure.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:39 PM

I would add NO SUGAR to your list of most important things, consistent across the varying approaches.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:55 PM

Done steph! You were absolutely right! I missed that one.

7
B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

on January 25, 2011
at 07:08 PM

There are great answers above, but i wanted to try to dilute some of your confusion.

This paleohacks website draws from a number of related source of information, and while I see where the confusion can come from, this is not a site focussed on just Dr. Cordain's books.

He was not the first or the last to write about an evolutionary eating approach, and we draw from many sources here.

We can be a bit overwhelming when you are looking for simple places to start, but i hope that we make up for it with the depth of our experience and information.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on January 26, 2011
at 03:55 AM

Yes - this site is such a convergence of ideas on evolutionary eating, and this set of ideas is _dynamic_, so no wonder why for newcomers getting started can feel like trying to chase and simultaneously hop onto a running horse! A horse, of course, which eats a species-appropriate diet and does weekly sprints.

6
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on January 25, 2011
at 08:48 PM

Here is my $0.02...

If you do nothing more than eliminate grains and sugar from your diet, I believe your health will improve and you will lose weight. This couldn't be bad for your blood sugar, either.

Lean or fatty meat...I never gave any thought to this. I began to eat a meat-based diet with no grains and no sugar and the change was pretty dramatic, in terms of body composition, weight, mental acuity, personality (less high-strung), and so on.

Personally, I don't recommend exercise for someone who is trying to make a major dietary change. I feel that it has its place after a person gets his/her diet together. Because we've been habituated for decades to eat a certain way, it could take months (years?) to reverse this. At some level it's like taking on a second job.

I believe you will have good luck with a paleo diet (using Cordain's book or whomever)...

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:57 PM

I appreciate the feedback

4b0fa9c9960bc2a409b06354d0bed92f

(108)

on January 25, 2011
at 11:48 PM

I second the advice to focus on diet first, then exercise. I think this is so key--get the diet dialed in. Try to be more active. Then once you have been eating a clean Paleo diet for awhile (at least a month), then worry about the exercise.

07ad8e05f734cb1deec5479dc0e4a194

(315)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:42 PM

"...at some level it's like taking on a second job." I love this quote!

3
B2157bdf4a217ac943c41125d1a67845

(258)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I shoot for low blood sugar; not necessarily paleo. They are very similar, but I eat dairy and like to drink alcohol. Just an FYI: my blood sugars have not only completely normalized, with an HbA1C of 5.2, but my system is actually getting stronger, now after 2 years. I no longer spike and can eat a lot more carbs than I could just a year ago. My phase I response is back more often than not, and my weight dropped back to my college weight. All health markers have optimized and I can run again for the first time in 25 years.

Keep the faith.

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Thanks SnowDog. I appreciate the comments

3
Medium avatar

on January 25, 2011
at 06:55 PM

If I were diabetic, I'd eat large quantities of fatty cuts of meat (preferably grass-fed) and green leafies and eat only as much steamed/boiled potato as I needed to replenish my glycogen. Just have a lot of it pre-made and if you feel your blood sugar drop or if it tests low, then eat some amount of potato and you'll eventually get a handle on how much is actually necessary. Put copious amounts of pasture-fed butter on everything. Drink cream if you want. Eat a lot of coconut chips/oil if you can.

Take 5000 IU of D3 a day. Take 100-200 mcg of K2 a day The green leafies should cover everything else.

Good luck...if you stick with it, you should be completely asymptomatic eventually.

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:09 PM

Thanks Travis, a few years back, I read somewhere that Coconut oil was good for lower BS, I used to have two Tbls every day. I am going to go back to that and more.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Yeah, eat a lot of fats with your potatoes and it will slow the uptake. Also, if you let them cool after cooking before you eat them, it will increase the resistant starch, which will lower the carbs but increase the amount of fatty acids that your intestinal bacteria create from the indigestible starch. In general, don't worry about what any one of our paleo luminaries has to say about anything; just use all available info as a knowledge buffet and above all, do what works.

2
Acfd35c9e350bb4c0c17810af4decd95

on January 26, 2011
at 03:39 AM

My general menu:

1) Carbs held to less than 30 gm/day, usually less. 2) Red meat (primarily because I live in west Texas where acquiring other meats can be problematic), bacon, sausage, eggs cooked in butter or beef tallow, etc.

I don't worry about the sodium content of the bacon or sausage. Since I no longer eat carbs my kidneys dump the excess sodium with no problem. I used to have high blood pressure but it is now low normal and my blood pressure doesn't even bobble after a meal with, or of, bacon or sausage or bacon and sausage. (Bacon-wrapped sausage, cooked over wood, is mucho delicious.)

3) Very few veggies. I have never like veggies anyway. Once or twice a week I'll choke down a handful of fresh baby spinach or broccoli but that's about it. I am very fond, though, of fajitas: beef with sauteed bell peppers and onions (no tortillas). 4) I eat a handful of blueberries or raspberries once per week. 5) One day per week the only thing I ingest is a version of a non-alcoholic eggnog: 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, vanilla, nutmeg, and a packet of sweetener. I will drink this maybe three times on the randomly chosen day but two usually will do me for the entire day. 6) Every morning I eat four or five filberts and about a half ounce of macadamias.

I have a tendency to view the world as black and white, with little gray area. I consider ALL carbs and ALL fats not from an animal as the enemy, veggies are viewed with a jaundiced eye, and berries are a rare treat. Generally, if it ain't meat and and fat, it ain't my friend. (Maybe an acquaintance but not a friend.)

The result of the above: No more medication of any kind (I was on meds for high blood pressure and gout), a loss of thirty pounds, vastly lowered blood pressure, the complete reversal of a diagnosed "pre-diabetic" condition, and after twenty years of suffering from gout, I've not had an attack for over a year. From an economic standpoint, my medical bills went from about $2000 per year to exactly $0.00 (zero point zero zero) in 2010.

There are the naysayers and the scoffers but to them I say "Paleo works for me so phukk off and die." (This sentiment is also for those insisting I eat lots of veggies. Blech.)

7252d24b0b0a359774025c4f39bd395b

(95)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:02 PM

Bacon wrapped sausage!!! Wow what a concept. Life could not get any better. I appreciate the comments and encouragement.

2
Bbd50c115fa066bea3ac23a4e82447ff

(558)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:18 AM

I strongly recommend starting with Dr. Bernstein's Diabete's Solution and Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint, to get both the diabetes information and great primal/paleo nutrition (as many have said, cutting out sugars/grains/legumes/soy). Then, as it starts to make sense, get Robb Wolf's The Paleo Solution. Listen to Robb Wolf's podcasts. Also, Jimmy Moore does a great podcast about things of interest to people who follow low carb diets, interviewing all the above experts, as well as researchers on cholesterol, the link between mental health and nutrition, etc...Don't get too caught up in the minor differences between authors--you'll soon see many commonalities.

  1. If meat is grassfed, fatty is good. If grain fed, avoid fattier cuts. (Um, I don't actually do this myself, but the understanding and intent is there!)
  2. Bacon is a great condiment, especially for green vegetables like kale and brussels sprouts. Basically, any food you thought you didn't like is improved by bacon. Buy the best quality available to you.
  3. Butter and cream are okay in small amounts. I wouldn't try to deliberately add more to your diet. But for example if you have milk in your coffee, cream would be better. Given the option, and depending on taste, try cooking with coconut oil instead, especially as you're concerned with weight loss. Many people find it hard to lose weight when consuming dairy (not everyone).

Congrats on taking this first step. I am convinced it will change your health for the better!

2
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on January 26, 2011
at 02:47 AM

REad bernsteins diabetes book too. His diet is compatible with paleo and he has said that he eats no grains himself. The nuts and bolts of dealing with t2 make it worth the read.

2
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on January 25, 2011
at 11:26 PM

Hi, Newbie.

It sounds like you are really on the right track to change. I suggest you read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint book and check out:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/

My suggestion is to cut out all grains entirely. Eat non-starchy veggies, no potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, or corn until your blood sugar gets under control. Eat high-quality meat (grass fed if possible) and consume animal fat. Although contrary to what conventional wisdom tries to advocate, fat itself does not make you fat, but rather it is fat combined with carbs leading to high insulin levels and fat storage. Add Organic virgin coconut oil to your diet (I use 5 Tbsp per day.

High fat dairy is ok if you tolerate it, raw and/or organic butter, heavy cream, and eggs are all good. Nuts, seeds, and low-sugar berries are also good in moderation. Make protein and fat 95% of your caloric intake. Stock your fridge with boiled eggs, baked chicken, and other low-carb snacks. If you are hungry or want a snack, eat a chicken leg or some pork rinds (no MSG). Track your food on Fitday.com. It is free and gives you a good picture of what your are eating.

If you are struggling to break the carb habit, you might also try the amino acid L-glutamine. When having a sugar/carb craving, break open a capsule and dump it on your tongue. The craving will dampen within seconds. If you can make through the first 3 weeks, the cravings will subside.

I also recommend getting things that you can't eat out of the house. It is hard to make good choices with cookies around. Hope this helps!

1
976844bb16c0ab60ca2632aa5df149f8

(317)

on January 26, 2011
at 03:36 AM

Exactly what Melissa said. I'll add this...a fatty cut of meat from a grassfed or pastured animal is higher in Omega 3 fatty acids than conventional corn fed meat, which is why you're hearing "eat more fat." Specifically, "eat more omega 3 fatty acid fat."

Bacon is just plain yummy. Eat it if it's nitrite free, pastured, uncured and season it yourself.

1
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:38 PM

I was going to answer but Melissa sums it up pretty well.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Lol, don't tempt me with a good Paleo time! hahaha. Good stuff.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Cheers! (this is me raising my glass of coconut milk, post workout)

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Hee! I'll take it wherever you put it Todd. (Heh. That sounds REALLY dirty and I almost edited, but it's too fun to take out.)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on January 25, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Apologies, that was supposed to be a comment under Melissa's answer.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:57 PM

;) It was too good to pass up.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on January 25, 2011
at 08:50 PM

+1 for the dirty little repartee

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!