4

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How to prove the paleo diet is healthy and safe?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 27, 2012 at 2:19 AM

So I've recently started the paleo diet. I am extremely interested in nutrition and spend lots of time researching it. The problem is, my family isn't big on healthy eating. They constantly make fun and are not supportive of my healthy eating and disagree with what I know is right. When they heard about my paleo diet they immediately flipped out and told me how ridiculous and unhealthy it is. I have heard great things about going paleo and it all seems healthy to me. So now they want me to prove that it is safe and healthy. They especially think its unhealthy and unsafe because it's food limits and taking out food groups like dairy and grains..Is there a way to prove to them it's okay? Also any other knowledge contributing to the health benefits to the paleo diet would be great. (Not tryin to loose weight, just live a healthy life style.)Thanks in advance!!!:)

685fa1e57413bca2548f1a0dda75539f

(10)

on October 21, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Perhaps you can explain to me the logic behind legumes not being beneficial to our bodies? Thank you

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on October 21, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Yeah if they find one guy who ate paleo and he died at a young age they've "proven" it unsafe.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:52 PM

I've argued positivism and inclusion here for a long time. Most REAL celiacs regret having to avoid gluten. Paleos wear it like a badge. Resist the temptation. Leading with your jaw is bad boxing strategy.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:46 PM

What you've described is what I call Paleo/Atkins. There's a lot here about the variety of ancestor diets (eg Hazda), but you have to get past the welter of other stuff. And welcome to Paleohacks!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Show them the numbers. Pounds lost, higher HDL, lower triglycerides.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on August 29, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Good advice: Focus on the good things you *are* eating, and not on all the things you've cut out. It would be pretty damn hard to argue against eating fresh foods, meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and naturally occurring fats.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 27, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Stopped being lazy, here it is: http://www.dietdoctor.com/weight-loss-time-to-stop-denying-the-science

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 27, 2012
at 06:13 PM

His name is dietdoctor

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on August 27, 2012
at 06:12 PM

The MD blogger from Sweden collects RCT studies on low carb diets on his website, all on one page. It's not strictly paleo, but it'll provide exactly what you're looking for. Evidence doesn't get clearer or stronger than that. PS: on iPhone and not in position to provide the link (sry)

C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 05:12 AM

sorry this answer is just soap-boxing and not really addressing your question. i think your family might just be worried. just because they eat crap doesn't mean that you are healthier. good luck.

C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 05:06 AM

i just read your other posts, and i have to say that if i had an underweight vegetarian teenage daughter that was obsessed with "healthy eating" i'd be a leeeetle concerned that she may be developing an eating disorder. btw, if you're a vegetarian, please don't stop eating dairy, ok?

C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 05:03 AM

i just read your other posts, and i have to say that if i had an underweight vegetarian teenage daughter that was obsessed with "healthy eating" i'd be a bit concerned that she may be developing an eating disorder. btw, if yr a vegetarian, please don't stop eating dairy, ok?

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12 Answers

8
E7fc768abe673562268fefc529f62d89

on August 27, 2012
at 02:58 AM

Live it. Show them.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Show them the numbers. Pounds lost, higher HDL, lower triglycerides.

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 27, 2012
at 11:36 AM

There are next to no scientific studies on paleo diets. The closest you'll get is short-term tangential studies looking at a single aspect of paleo. In my opinion, these are only slightly more relevant than epidemiological studies (which paleo folks shoot down as irrelevant all the time.)

For skimping on your dairy and grain food groups, start a Cronometer log documenting your nutrients over a week to month period. You'll then really discover if your paleo diet is covering all your nutritional bases or not. Show it to the skeptics and see what response that provokes.

The additional problem with the paleo diet is likely that you've framed it negatively: no grains, no dairy, no this, no that... that immediately turns folks off. Instead frame it positively: natural meals, unprocessed vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthy oils. In fact, that would be an interesting poll to conduct looking at public perception of the paleo diet as described differently: positively, negatively, by name, etc... I'd predict that described positively, paleo would be labeled healthy. Described negatively or by name, it would be labeled unhealthy.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on August 29, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Good advice: Focus on the good things you *are* eating, and not on all the things you've cut out. It would be pretty damn hard to argue against eating fresh foods, meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and naturally occurring fats.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:52 PM

I've argued positivism and inclusion here for a long time. Most REAL celiacs regret having to avoid gluten. Paleos wear it like a badge. Resist the temptation. Leading with your jaw is bad boxing strategy.

2
489d6842b84b920fabcb9eeb83783c91

on August 27, 2012
at 09:38 PM

"So now they want me to prove that it is safe and healthy. They especially think its unhealthy and unsafe because it's food limits and taking out food groups like dairy and grains..Is there a way to prove to them it's okay?"

It doesn't sound like you're trying to push this on them. If such is the case, then why does the burden of proof have to be on you?

Have them do some work (and have some skin in the game) by having them present to you an articulated and researched position as to why you're doing something unhealthy. Prepare to write their positions down, research, and then respond.

Nothing like preparing for a debate (or making a case) to foster some critical thinking and potentially spark curiosity.

2
B6721db1255c79e518364439a57241a8

on August 27, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Read Robb Wolf book The Paleo Solution... tons of great info

1
685fa1e57413bca2548f1a0dda75539f

on October 20, 2012
at 09:30 PM

The fact that Paleo advocates this is how our ancestors lived should wrap it all up in one bow of the mentality behind this fad. Our ancesters (cavemen as they put it) didn't live past 30 ears old and lived with horrible ailments. (this has been proven). They were Barbarics, uncivilized and spent MOST of their days fighting to survive. Hardly a life I would think people would want. I have a hard time with people saying that anything coming from the earth (legumes for example) are bad for you. Anything that comes from the earth that is edible is beneficial. Of course there are exceptions. Personally, as a health care provider, I can tell you that too much protein is not good for your kidneys, liver, heart and brain. Look at the animals in the wild for example. Animals that live for many years do not eat meat. The meat eaters sleep most the day and violently kill and mame their food. This is not what was intended for us. We are civilized humans for crying out loud. I am not a proponent of processed foods, I just think this is yet another diet / fad. PS a "3" month study on 13 patients HARDLY is a study or proves ANYTHING. Please people use common sense and logic. Fruit, veggies, nuts, legumes, whole grains (not processed) are GOOD for you, nurioushes the body AND mind. PS. If you want to truly live like the cavemen, then go out yourself and kill your own food, skin/de-feather it and bring it home and cook it yourself. It's so easy to say this is easy when you can conveniently go to the store / butcher and buy your food all cleaned and wrapped up for you. Yeah you are really living the way our ancestors did. (eye roll) Sorry for the sarcasm I'm just tired of people inventing new ways to prey on those with weight problems and ailments, to make money.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 20, 2012
at 09:46 PM

What you've described is what I call Paleo/Atkins. There's a lot here about the variety of ancestor diets (eg Hazda), but you have to get past the welter of other stuff. And welcome to Paleohacks!

685fa1e57413bca2548f1a0dda75539f

(10)

on October 21, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Perhaps you can explain to me the logic behind legumes not being beneficial to our bodies? Thank you

1
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on August 27, 2012
at 11:30 AM

Isn't this one of those null-hypothesis things? It's almost impossible to prove anything is completely "healthy and safe" because is only takes one counter example to prove the opposite.

Having said that - we're trying to follow a diet that got us through the best part of 6 million years of evolution as a species, so it can't be all that bad.

7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on October 21, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Yeah if they find one guy who ate paleo and he died at a young age they've "proven" it unsafe.

0
F1f02d5902d1b56d848243d0c1d7e4f0

on September 01, 2012
at 11:40 PM

Have them check out the foods in a Paleo diet and then have them tell you the actual foods that are not healthy. These are foods they eat now but, not on a followed diet plan. Planning is everything in everything. Proof will be when they start have health problems and your not.

0
7102886c1f2d8d0ca5252c0c282976e8

on August 28, 2012
at 10:43 AM

0
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on August 27, 2012
at 10:39 PM

Even though theres a lack of paleo diet research you can find elements of the paleo diet that have been compared with other diets. For example look at research on macronutrient composition, refined carbohydrates, fatty acid composition, etc. Theres plenty of that available and in the process you will get a clearer picture on nutrition to elp you make a case for paleo with your family and friends.

0
743c6f14bdff360777531b6d16a5d4e0

on August 27, 2012
at 06:43 AM

Make them watch the following documentary "In Search for the Perfect Human Diet". If they still don't get it there's nothing you can do to change their food philosophy. Just sit back and wait for an early inheritance and be at peace that you are giving yourself the best chance in life.

PS: your family tease you because you instil guilt in them - deep down they know your right!

0
C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Tell your parents that "the food groups" are a just a made-up thing. the US gov's dietary guidelines are a function of corporate lobbyists, that whole pyramind/plate thing is part of a large web of support for the corporations that gain from the subsidies of the genetically modified crops that feed the cows that make the milk that need the medicine that the pharmaceutical companies sell.. etc etc. Govt officials sit on the boards of these corporations.

Paleo is not the only way to be healthy, but it's a good place to begin thinking about what is really food (for you) and what is really not food i.e, that which is not nourishing you. Avoiding "food" that comes in packages/boxes is a great way to begin eating healthier without thinking too much, but adding more food that was recently alive is actually the key.

C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 05:03 AM

i just read your other posts, and i have to say that if i had an underweight vegetarian teenage daughter that was obsessed with "healthy eating" i'd be a bit concerned that she may be developing an eating disorder. btw, if yr a vegetarian, please don't stop eating dairy, ok?

C0d44d0c62dcf60e8a80ae21411ddeb9

(370)

on August 27, 2012
at 05:12 AM

sorry this answer is just soap-boxing and not really addressing your question. i think your family might just be worried. just because they eat crap doesn't mean that you are healthier. good luck.

0
211ce7026d0c78a1d5aa23d2cfcc24dc

on August 27, 2012
at 03:23 AM

I'd be willing to guess they have health issues (not because I'm being judgmental but because just about everyone on the SAD does!). Ask them if they've got stomach issues or are lethargic or have emotional issues or skin issues or are overweight, etc, etc. If so, find out if they enjoy that lifestyle or if they're willing to try something that's a little out of the ordinary to rid themselves of those problems. If they would rather suffer, then follow @Michelle's advice and make the changes yourself, then show them how great you look/feel after only a few weeks (days, even!).

Like Dave Ramsey says about people in debt who make fun of people on his plan, "if broke people are making fun of you, you know you're doing something right!". I feel the same way about Paleo. It's great to be weird.

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