5

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How is coffee primal?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I've noticed that a lot of people on a Paleo/Primal diet drink coffee. How is this in anyway Primal? And also, how is chocolate primal? i doubt many people out there are eating 100% Cocao in its natural form. Can someone enlighten me on this subject. Thanks

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on June 10, 2013
at 02:08 PM

Nancy, I'm with you. I tried weaning from coffee by going 1/2 decaf 1/2 full on. Even that small deprivation depressed me. I feel so much happier having one mug (say 12 oz) of coffee in the morning. It actually makes me smile. If I have too much coffee it I feel and act mean as my nerves jangle, but one mug and life is good. Good luck with the GAPS. I hope you will report your results.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:47 AM

There's a lot of questions still whether antioxidants actually do you any good.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:46 AM

I would say diseases of civilization showed up around the same time as coffee was consumed in great quantities. Is it the cause of any diseases, I don't know, but consuming a stimulant on a regular basis, probably not very good.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:43 AM

How can you prove it's good for you? We have decades of 'science' of nutrition, and the only thing that can be agreed upon is that almost nothing can be agreed upon. To perform a 'gold standard' lifetime study on the effects of something in the human diet is virtually impossible.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:12 PM

+1 for the coconut milk :)

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:08 AM

In Africa they have the Kola nut (at least 2 varieties) which are more powerful stimulants than coffee, at least for me. And then, of course there is kat which the drivers chew. Both are raw, unprocessed and widely used.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:05 AM

Did that and was oh so happy to find out that coffee (at least my one cup a day) is one of the few non-Paleo things to which I do not react. Of course, I only drink good coffee. Bad coffee is not worth it for anything. ;-)

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 15, 2011
at 07:42 PM

thanks for the recipe Ryan

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 15, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Actually the Mayans and Aztecs drank cacao

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:56 PM

This recipe was unreal: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-carnitas/Detail.aspx

8453c28aa8e2dc82d666c2952f36c5d2

(295)

on March 02, 2011
at 06:28 PM

ah geez, just saw these responses - yes, Sgroh87 is correct, that is what i meant. bad wording, sorry!

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on February 25, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I think Erin was saying that gluten is an example of something that IS terrible for you.

Ac9425a387b78cb37a01972fe848bddb

(655)

on February 25, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I blend up raw cacao beans in my heavy whipping cream fluff along with cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa. SIMPLY DELISH!

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Sorry, but gluten is not a good example. It is extremely terrible for you whether you can tolerate them or not (celiac).

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:18 PM

@Helen: I completely agree. It's less about Paleo re-enactment than eating foods that are 'Paleo' in spirit.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:46 PM

theres also evidence that coffe lowers ones risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. plus, it makes me a better mother.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:10 PM

It isn't, but I don't care.

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23 Answers

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1
Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

on February 26, 2011
at 02:25 AM

How Paleo is the computerized device you communicate with us on? Do you have running water, house and electricity? Drink bottled water? Drive a car? have a job in an office? I dont think we all do primal/paleo everything...but many just strive harder to be as close to primal man as they can in the modern world.

best answer

4
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 27, 2011
at 03:09 PM

its not. But as long as you dont drink more than two cups it should not effect your adrenal gland. If it does you'll know because your DHEA levels will bottom and your sex stroid hormones will not raise with exercise and your sleep will suffer huge and you will feel fatigued especially upon waking. I personally think you should try to wean it. But most paleo people eventually change as they go. I base all my recs upon the biochemical studies that we do as we have patients on the diet. Quite frankly few patients care to be in great shape and below ten percent body fat. They just want to feel better.........coffee is Ok for them. Those who want to be shredded and look magazine like need to get rid of coffee booze and most artificial stuff. It requires a different commitment. There are no hard and fast rule about Paleo. It must be in context of what the patients goals are. There is not a diet or lifestyle that will make you lose more weight quickly. Maintence is easy because craving go away when the patient becomes leptin sensitve once again and that is all about limiting carbs to let you hypothalamic signalling work again and then if you want top end performance and further shredding without changes in mood or muscle loss you need to add clean carbs post work out. Less than 1% of people ever get to this point. And if your strict paleo below ten percent body fat and add things like Whey post work out you will be shock at how much performance improvement we get by changing this. You will also add more muscle to shred further. But it is tough to stay there unless you are committed to glycolytic exercise. VO2Max testing proves this advice. Go read some.

best answer

6
D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I'm really surprised by the tone on this issue. People really are biased toward their coffee. I absolutely love the stuff. But I'm giving it the good 30 day elimination. And you know what, I seem to be doing pretty damn well without it. I feel more balanced. I haven't had the urge for a quick twenty minute nap in the afternoon.It sucks that coffee is something I may benefit abstaining from. But if I feel better, it's worth missing a taste and a short high.

Yeah, coffee isn't technically paleo. But let's examine our response to it like any other substance. Let's not just assume it an okay cheat. Try living without. Doing an experiment of n=1 and then report back. You guys have all thrown out wheat, most of you have thrown out dairy, most of you have thrown out legumes. Those are all huge calorie sources that require replacement. Coffee doesn't require replacement. Just throw it out. Maybe drink some tea, maybe don't. Just try life without it.

[and by the way, coffee may be a common cross reactant with gluten.]

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:05 AM

Did that and was oh so happy to find out that coffee (at least my one cup a day) is one of the few non-Paleo things to which I do not react. Of course, I only drink good coffee. Bad coffee is not worth it for anything. ;-)

19
5edbf85deaf83e13b176df023abb154d

on February 25, 2011
at 02:56 PM

To be honest, anyone who is overly worried about labelling things as "primal" or "paleo" is probably putting too much stock in labels. Is the foodstuff good for you? Does it help in terms of essential bodily needs, is it anti-inflammatory, etc. These are what matters most.

Just my 2 cents.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:43 AM

How can you prove it's good for you? We have decades of 'science' of nutrition, and the only thing that can be agreed upon is that almost nothing can be agreed upon. To perform a 'gold standard' lifetime study on the effects of something in the human diet is virtually impossible.

15
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:44 PM

its about as "primal" as that computer youre typing away on, and the couch youre likely sitting on, and the metal weights you might be lifting, and the car you drive. its a lifestyle choice that some people make because they enjoy it. life isnt about deprivation and reenactment, IMHO. the broccoli rabe and slow cooker shredded pork shoulder im making for dinner probably isnt too close to what a paleolithic person living in cape ann massachusetts would be eating in febuary, but frankly, i dont feel like going down in this snow and rain to dig clams all day.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:46 PM

theres also evidence that coffe lowers ones risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. plus, it makes me a better mother.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:56 PM

This recipe was unreal: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-carnitas/Detail.aspx

7
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on February 25, 2011
at 10:02 PM

I think you would be hard pressed finding a human society that had access to stimulants or other drugs and did not use them. If there's coca leaves laying around, people are going to chew them. If there is DMT containing vines around, someone is going to make a nice hallucinogenic tea. Taking exogenous compounds for their effects on brain chemistry is about as primal as it gets.

Being Paleo/Primal or whatever label you want to give it is not so much about re-enactment (as every advocate has taken pains to point out--do you want to live in the woods with no electricity and eat grubs? Really?) as it is about eating/living in a manner consistent with the evolved constraints of our biology. Does coffee negatively impact our biology? I haven't seen any convincing evidence that it does, but I've seen some evidence it might be beneficial (beyond the obvious enjoyable stimulant effects). In moderate doses it isn't really hard on the body. Is a Starbucks upside down extra caramel carmel macchiato bad for you? Yes. But it isn't the coffee part, as we all know, it is the 200 g of fructose in the cup. Is coffee with whole cream or coconut milk going to have negative effects on your physiology? Again, unlikely. Will coffee with artificial sweetener have negative effects? Uncertain (but in small doses, probably not so much).

So the issue is where do the diseases of civilization show up? They didn't show up following the introduction of coffee. But they did tend to show up following the British habit of putting mounds of refined sugar in their tea. The tea or coffee might stain the teeth, the sugar rots them. Likewise, do we see disease associated with the consumption of chocolate in Mesoamerica? No. But when the Europeans got the idea of putting huge amounts of sugar in the chocolate, yeah, eating chocolate became a problem (although eating a little bit of high % dark chocolate with very little sugar every now and again probably is probably about the same as eating a piece of fruit, no biggie).

Don't dwell on would a hunter-gatherer have eaten/drank this (and I'm pretty sure they'd all drink coffee if given the opportunity), but whether it is something that our biology is ill-adapted to. You want real, authentic Paleo? Go watch the No Reservations episode where Anthony Bourdain eats with some !Kung in the Kalhari. Ostrich egg omelette cooked directly on a bunch of smoldering wood chips on the ground. Yum, little bits of dirt and burnt wood with your eggs. Or maybe you fancy the roasted rectum of a warthog. Authentic ain't all that. Evolutionary compatibility is really a better aim.

Now, I'm going to make myself a nice cup of coffee with my French press...

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on September 06, 2011
at 08:08 AM

In Africa they have the Kola nut (at least 2 varieties) which are more powerful stimulants than coffee, at least for me. And then, of course there is kat which the drivers chew. Both are raw, unprocessed and widely used.

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:46 AM

I would say diseases of civilization showed up around the same time as coffee was consumed in great quantities. Is it the cause of any diseases, I don't know, but consuming a stimulant on a regular basis, probably not very good.

5
8453c28aa8e2dc82d666c2952f36c5d2

(295)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Not everyone is attempting to be 100% primal 100% of the time. There are non primal foods that aren't terrible for you (like gluten) that do make life a little bit more awesome. I would include dark chocolate and coffee among those items.

A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

(1208)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:42 PM

Sorry, but gluten is not a good example. It is extremely terrible for you whether you can tolerate them or not (celiac).

A993550f2a130df8d3462c08582f08ec

(589)

on February 25, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I think Erin was saying that gluten is an example of something that IS terrible for you.

8453c28aa8e2dc82d666c2952f36c5d2

(295)

on March 02, 2011
at 06:28 PM

ah geez, just saw these responses - yes, Sgroh87 is correct, that is what i meant. bad wording, sorry!

2
Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

on February 25, 2011
at 11:52 PM

Coffee is my favorite flavoring for heavy cream. No, I will not give it up! :-P

2
A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on February 25, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Coffee + Coconut milk for me in the morning. It's not primal but it is vital.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 15, 2011
at 12:12 PM

+1 for the coconut milk :)

2
1b53eabf4124ccf000720a5fe3027795

on February 25, 2011
at 07:33 PM

I don't think coffee or chocolate is paleo and I now avoid both for the most part. I do love the taste but get an irregular heart beat when I indulge in too much of either so its rather simple for me to forgo them. (Don't tell anyone but I just polished off my very first latte of the year just now)
I do not believe one should be militant in any endeavor and should concede things once in a while if one wants, but both coffee and chocolate are addictive which is not a good thing both physically and mentally.

2
F6019c693fc981657b1efa602298bc2d

(429)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:23 PM

i wasn't attacking anyone who drinks coffee or eats chocolate. i was just curious. thanks for everyones replies =)

2
B71c994aeabed38db3645cc5227504f7

(20)

on February 25, 2011
at 03:41 PM

What was the quote? "Paleo is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment." Something like that.

So is it getting you closer to your goals or further from them knowing what we know about the framework of the paleo diet. Coffee raises cortisol levels but is sleep and stress pretty good? If so a bit of coffee is probably okay. If not steer clear till the other stressors are taken care of before we go adding to it.

2
61ff86be603d2508d10eedb1997b3532

(400)

on February 25, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Coffee beans are actually seeds - so it's not a legume. I can't imagine it holds many nutrients or antinutrients, but it is an antioxidant and caffeine can be nice when used properly. I doubt there were any cavemen brewing a pot of french roast, but the origin of coffee dates pretty far back (not sure there is a reliable source on the specific origin).

I agree on chocolate. The only chocolate I consider paleo, are chocolates I've prepared myself using cocoa powder: paleo candy bars

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 15, 2011
at 07:42 PM

thanks for the recipe Ryan

1dd1d4bde5b46b4c90efeadea3a96a75

(180)

on June 05, 2012
at 01:47 AM

There's a lot of questions still whether antioxidants actually do you any good.

1
05e039a4b362cae18f97313b870780e9

on June 10, 2013
at 02:31 AM

I just went 5.5 months without coffee and couldn't stand it any more. I'm on GAPS diet, in the Intro section, and also anti-yeast and no dairy. My morale was so low. I actually feel better now that I'm drinking coffee again, and I don't mean from the small coffee buzz that lasts a couple of hours. I mean my morale is better with not feeling so deprived of everything I enjoy (the anti-yeast elimination of fruit, honey is where the deprivation is coming into play). I put coconut oil in my coffee and spices such as cinnamon, although I really miss the honey I used to put into my coffee.

0e395acc856e3353f3f5892e6b09b0e7

(1227)

on June 10, 2013
at 02:08 PM

Nancy, I'm with you. I tried weaning from coffee by going 1/2 decaf 1/2 full on. Even that small deprivation depressed me. I feel so much happier having one mug (say 12 oz) of coffee in the morning. It actually makes me smile. If I have too much coffee it I feel and act mean as my nerves jangle, but one mug and life is good. Good luck with the GAPS. I hope you will report your results.

1
6c216fc97da9c233f4e8a8d88b54a4fa

(20)

on January 13, 2013
at 06:51 AM

See this is an old thread but... I've made a commitment to going primal. Used to be an alcoholic, smoke and have many other terrible vices. Intuitively, coffee is not primal, excessive amounts can cause stress in the circulatory system, disturbance in mood, tiredness and the dreaded teacher, coffee breath. Saying that, it is my little vice. A couple of cups a day, not after three in the afternoon. I like to think it's naughty, we all have to be naughty sometimes... By the way, avoid decaffeinated like the plague, it's mostly soaked in horrible chemicals that I can't spell to remove the caffeine, plus, in my view, it tastes bloomin 'orrible.

1
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 06, 2011
at 06:39 AM

Some people use the argument that a couple of tribes used it. First of all, those tribes are recent. Second, people should stop trying to copy what tribes did. I tried going "asian", I tried following all kinds of tribe diets, it just didn't work. Find what works for you!

This is the exact same argument as "is marijuana paleo?". In my book, everything that makes your health go down in one way or another, isn't paleo. I'm trying to achieve a state of near-perfect health, and while I know that is very difficult to obtain, it is fun to do so. That's my definition of paleo : a fun lifestyle to improve life quality. I would definitely eat bread if it would be better for my health. I would definitely eat coffee if it would be better for my health. But coffee makes my life worse, that's why I personally don't label it as paleo.

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 26, 2011
at 06:51 AM

I don't think it is paleo, but I think we all have our little pleasures in life, and for many, coffee fits the bill.

I'm actually not a coffee person. It does terrible things to my digestive system, so I've eliminated it just for the sake of a calm tummy in the morning. :)

I do drink green tea though, and I have no idea how paleo it is. I just know that between that and peppermint tea, my tummy and my taste buds are happy.

In other words, I'm not too terribly worried about being perfectly paleo, since I'm so much more happy including things that give me balance and harmony and happiness than being entirely and firmly restrictive. And I have no issue whatsoever with those who do include coffee, since I'm sure my "vices" can be, quite possibly, far worse. :D

1
90fc4f1e94bab32e4fbab7468e3cecb5

on February 26, 2011
at 02:50 AM

Is it PALEO? No. It is, however, paleo-compatible.

1
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 26, 2011
at 01:35 AM

I drink decaf, with heavy cream. I worry sometimes that I like it too much. But then I have a day without it with no ill effect, and I realise I'm not addicted; I just really enjoy it.

0
E45b042606726d3ec458e713bc87dd0c

on January 13, 2013
at 02:03 PM

No it isn't paleo. Most people here are addicted to the substance, because they are too busy working not to get a good night's sleep. I would venture that people work to much here due to materialism. People will further justify it by cherry picking inconclusive studies or believing the know how the body biochemicaly reacts to it. Combine this with some group think and that's why everyone uses it.

0
858035cde2c86dd28d071c0404478f11

(0)

on September 06, 2011
at 06:11 AM

Coffee is not paleo, but I don't know how bad it is. It would seem that roasting beans and then boiling them might remove a lot of the toxins common to all beans. On the other hand, perhaps you're just drinking the toxins...? I actually think it's the latter, given how irritating coffee is for a stomach.

Beyond paleo it's should be noted that being addicted to coffee is a negative. This is because coffee is such a dependable, not-highly-addictive, commonly available stimulant. If you use it regularly, though, your baseline adjusts (I can't cite that, but I think it's true). My goal is to be able to use coffee as a stimulant (very occasionally), so I went though the two weeks of headaches to get unhooked over a year ago. Now: Sleeping is better and therefore everything is better. Energy levels are the same or better.

Note: You can't generalize from anecdotal evidence, but you cannot generalize without it.

0
0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 25, 2011
at 07:32 PM

I eat 100% cocoa, anything less and it tastes too sweet for me.

-2
C0bd8a5bd5aa17bbf5817bf48ab2b78b

on February 26, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Paleo is more organic-Atkins than anything else, in terms of emphasis. Unsweetened coffee has always been acceptable on low carb weight loss diets.

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