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.
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.
asked byFred_B (1023)
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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."
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 ?
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.