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Dr. Katz discusses the Paleo Diet

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 08, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Dr. Katz takes on the Paleo Diet. Ultimately he gives it a thumbs up, but it's kind of backhanded because there's a lot of doubt cast. Of COURSE he included things like "they all died at age 40 so why would we want to eat like them" and my new favorite "we can't eat like our Paleo ancestors because when was the last time you saw a wooly mammoth?" Classic

He also seems to mention the diet is somehow flawed because some people eat cheeseburgers, hot dogs and processed meats on the Paleo Diet... huh?

Just curious to hear what others think.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/paleo-diet_b_889349.html

Also - anyone try leaving comments on HuffingtonPost articles? Especially those written by Neal Barnard or T. Colin? Mine never get posted, even though I follow their guidelines to posting... funny how that works out.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:03 PM

That's one of those "crazy" things about Katz that I mentioned in another comment. He is a HUGE proponent of the calories in vs. calories out model. He is stuck on the idea that the majority of calories must be burned via exercise, so if you're gaining weight Bingo! You're not hitting the treadmill hard enough - end of story. He's also stated that anyone who eats low carb is eating low calorie, and that's the only reason they lose weight.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 09, 2011
at 05:12 AM

+1. Love the definition and the lack of silliness re: macronutirents, etc.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on July 08, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Thats the thing about Katz. I tend to agree with about 90% of his articles, then he throws in a few things that are just crazy.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 08, 2011
at 09:55 PM

"think it is more important to have a healthy diet than to eat the way our ancestors did 10,000 years ago". Amen brother.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 08, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Yeah by "fruits and vegetables" I don't mean "a lot of fruit and a little vegetables". You can eat a large quantity of vegetables and fruits and stay below 150g of carbs. To quote from Sisson's book, "For example, a huge salad, two cups of Brussels sprouts, a banana, an apple, a cup of blueberries, and a cup of cherries totals only 139 grams of carbs."

149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

(289)

on July 08, 2011
at 08:16 PM

He actually advocates more vegetables than fruits, but most people just naturally say "fruits and vegetables" - it was how we were raised. The Primal Blueprint setup mentions berries over all fruits IF you must eat fruit and then organics over conventionals of other types seeing as today's fruits, like apples, are nothing like they would have been 10,000 years ago. What does he call them, "bags of sugar?" It is very easy to stay within his ranges eating a variety of vegetables like he recommends, but you're right, not when you include a lot of fruits (which he does not recommend).

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on July 08, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I haven't tried leaving comments on those authors' posts (I think), but I've left a few on that one raw milk article, and it went through. Hubs had a similar problem on an article on Yahoo, while my comment went through- so maybe individual authors can control their own comments? I tend to be more polite than he does. :-)

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on July 08, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Mark promotes a maintenance carb intake of 100-150g or less. I never read the Primal Blueprint, but I don't see how you could stay under that by eating that much fruit.

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3 Answers

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93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 09, 2011
at 01:38 AM

Katz's article was silly and pseudo-intellectual, full of straw-men he set up to knock down at will. Painful to read as he is either horrendously ignorant or intentionally disingenuous.

As lkco says in another answer on this question: "Paleo - use past as a guideline, refine with science" is king. But an article about caveman is way easier to sell than an article about PubMed geeks."

Or in my words:

"It has to be given the frailty of knowledge about modern hunter-gatherers, our Paleolithic ancestors, and recent evolutionary changes in the last 10,000 years. I view eating Paleo as a broad and flexible meta-rule: Eat in an evolutionary appropriate manner for our species. That's it. Full Stop.

So, you might be asking, what does evolutionary appropriate manner for our species mean? What it means is that I fully expect its meaning to change, or uh, "evolve", as better anthropological, genetic and medical evidence accumulates. I think the jury is still out on many of what we Paleo diet enthusiasts firmly believe in regards to intermintent fasting, saturated fats, macro-nutrient ratios, supplements, fitness etc etc And that's okay.

As John Maynard Keynes said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

Probably, there are multiple ways of eating evolutionarily appropriately depending on who you are, your state of health, and personal history."

From http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=48c5aee421576df1d6f5c8e45&id=9135210d47

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 09, 2011
at 05:12 AM

+1. Love the definition and the lack of silliness re: macronutirents, etc.

1
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 08, 2011
at 09:54 PM

I'm making a new rule for myself. "Don't take people who bring up the age of Paleo ancestors as a serious argument, seriously".

Anyhoo, "Paleo - eat what caveman ate" is dead, "Paleo - use past as a guideline, refine with science" is king. But an article about caveman is way easier to sell than an article about PubMed geeks.

My favourite quote: "Perhaps consuming 4,000 or so calories a day -- and burning them all -- should be required before the "Paleo diet" label truly pertains."

Seriously ? Imitating a calorie amount ?

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on July 11, 2011
at 05:03 PM

That's one of those "crazy" things about Katz that I mentioned in another comment. He is a HUGE proponent of the calories in vs. calories out model. He is stuck on the idea that the majority of calories must be burned via exercise, so if you're gaining weight Bingo! You're not hitting the treadmill hard enough - end of story. He's also stated that anyone who eats low carb is eating low calorie, and that's the only reason they lose weight.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 08, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I agree with almost everything he says.

He points out that some people eat a diet very high in meat and low in everything else and then call it a "Paleo" diet, which is probably neither healthy nor accurate to how our ancestors ate. Hunter-gatherers gathered after all, and their meat was much more likely small game and not eaten every day.

He suggests some research saying that a ratio of 1:1 (by calories) of plants and animals is both ideal and closer to what our ancestors ate. Animal foods are more dense than plants, so that would probably be closer to 2:1 or 3:1 by volume. This implies a plate that is 2/3 to 3/4 fruits and vegetables and 1/3 to 1/4 meat. This is usually the diet that works best for me, and is basically the diet that Mark Sisson promotes with the "Primal Blueprint". When trying to lose weight, I eat lower carbs, but for maintenance, this is best.

How much fat our ancestors ate is probably very debatable, he suggests something like 10%, others say much higher. There were very few sources of concentrated fats 10,000 years ago, basically just some of the offal from their hunts, nuts, and certain fruits like olives or avocados (where available). So I think it's hard to argue that we should eat a lot of fat because our ancestors did.

I think it is more important to have a healthy diet than to eat the way our ancestors did 10,000 years ago, so differences in our diet may be ok as long as they lead to good health. The one thing that I think everyone can agree on is that sugars and processed foods are bad.

3a833804187fe8926214e6c0bd8a0766

(1023)

on July 08, 2011
at 11:23 PM

Thats the thing about Katz. I tend to agree with about 90% of his articles, then he throws in a few things that are just crazy.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on July 08, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Yeah by "fruits and vegetables" I don't mean "a lot of fruit and a little vegetables". You can eat a large quantity of vegetables and fruits and stay below 150g of carbs. To quote from Sisson's book, "For example, a huge salad, two cups of Brussels sprouts, a banana, an apple, a cup of blueberries, and a cup of cherries totals only 139 grams of carbs."

B61f6513a155cd874b42efdad55312f6

(231)

on July 08, 2011
at 07:40 PM

Mark promotes a maintenance carb intake of 100-150g or less. I never read the Primal Blueprint, but I don't see how you could stay under that by eating that much fruit.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on July 08, 2011
at 09:55 PM

"think it is more important to have a healthy diet than to eat the way our ancestors did 10,000 years ago". Amen brother.

149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

(289)

on July 08, 2011
at 08:16 PM

He actually advocates more vegetables than fruits, but most people just naturally say "fruits and vegetables" - it was how we were raised. The Primal Blueprint setup mentions berries over all fruits IF you must eat fruit and then organics over conventionals of other types seeing as today's fruits, like apples, are nothing like they would have been 10,000 years ago. What does he call them, "bags of sugar?" It is very easy to stay within his ranges eating a variety of vegetables like he recommends, but you're right, not when you include a lot of fruits (which he does not recommend).

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