2

votes

Is Paleo a "diet" ?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2011 at 1:51 AM

I think one of the most common mistakes made by many paleo followers is to assume that paleo is a "diet" as you could say for Atkins, South Beach or so. I mean some people perhaps being used to diets that prescribe "this many grams of meat, that many grams of protein, carbs, etc" are often looking for that in paleo and I believe, there is actually nothing like that in paleo. If you read well most of the paleo researchers, it is clear to me that paleo is a whole approach to eating, a new way to think about nutrition, where you elaborate about which foods are desirable, which ones should not be part of our diet and perhaps which ones are "in the border" to be had with caution. But there is no overall recipe for "this much of this, that much of that", on the contrary once a food source is deemed convenient you are left on your own to choose your satiation point. So I say we could easily elaborate over one weekend perhaps one hundred different "diets" just by playing around with amounts, proportions, etc, and in the end those 100 or so diets would all be "paleo" although they could be quite different from each other! Do you agree?

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 20, 2011
at 04:30 PM

so many of you think that paleo is a "diet". Well then it is a diet that can be 100% percent from animal sources as in the traditional innuit diet, or 80-90% from vegetable sources as in the kitavans. It sounds to me much more like an approach or family of diets than a single diet!

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 20, 2011
at 04:29 PM

so many of you think that paleo is a "diet". Well then it is a diet that can be 100% percent from animal sources as in the traditioal innuit diet, or 80-90% from vegetable sources as in the kitavans. It sounds to me much more like an approach or family of diets than a single diet!

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 20, 2011
at 02:53 AM

You didn't ask whether Paleo was better, though - we pretty much all think that, or we wouldn't be here. ;) And I think most of the modern diets (not the ridiculous quick-fix ones, like cabbage soup, but the book-based ones) purport to be science-based. So, while I think Paleo is the most correct diet, from the outside, it's not clear to me that it looks any different to the average person who wants to change their life. Especially when we have some "spokespeople" making Paleo look gimmicky.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 20, 2011
at 02:16 AM

anyway I have never seen in any other diet the kind of scientific attitude that you see among paleo followers. So I say paleo is actually quite different and better..

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5 Answers

4
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on February 20, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Paleo is a diet. It's the way I nourish myself, they way I eat. It's not the fault of the word "diet" that it's been understood recently in a very narrow way, often equaled with fad, crazy restrictive practices imposed to lose weight.

But still it's pretty common to use it in the original way, as in "gluten-free diet" or "Eastern European diet".

I understand the problem, as I feel strange to say I am on "Paleo diet", I often say "I eat according to the evolutionary science" to avoid the word.

3
F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

on February 20, 2011
at 04:31 AM

one thing I've noticed in the short time I've been reading about this paleo eating style is that there's a lot of different definitions of what it means to eat paleo. Like, you get folks on here who eat nothing but meat, and then other folks who eat dairy and even grains on a daily basis, but they all consider themselves paleo. I see a lot of statements like 'paleo is essentially a low-carb diet', or 'paleo isn't a low-carb diet, it's a high-fat diet!', but from the books I've read I've come to understand it more as a high-protein diet. So which is really correct?

I think the paleo diet is really hitting the mainstream more than ever now, and is attracting a lot of new folks (such as myself), all of whom are listening to different authorities. I wouldn't be surprised if 10, 20 years from now we end up with a lot of different splinter groups, because to me the all-meat eaters and the low-carbers are following drastically different diets than what I've been following: lots of lean meat with as much non-starchy fruits and vegetables that I want (can you tell I've been reading the work of Loren Cordain?).

Personally, I would like to have a different term to use than 'paleo-diet', because it implies I'm trying to lose weight, and I'm totally not. I love the idea of saying 'I eat according to the evolutionary science'! But I just know I'd be written off as a flake....

3
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 20, 2011
at 02:06 AM

"it is clear to me that paleo is a whole approach to eating, a new way to think about nutrition, where you elaborate about which foods are desirable, which ones should not be part of our diet and perhaps which ones are "in the border" to be had with caution."

I agree with the statement, as well as your other statements.

However, some people seem to start eating the Paleo way to lose weight, the other aspects of Paleo can be secondary to these folks. So, in this sense Paleo may well be a diet for these people. They may well adopt the Paleo way of eating once they lose what they want to, but the3y may go back to the SAD (how sad that is).

2
C42ca04212a396353131758237f209d7

on February 20, 2011
at 12:27 PM

By definition of the word, yes. But, modern culture has effectively re-defined the word to mean an attempt at weight loss through nutritional change. True Paleo-esque diets are lifestyle changes, long term and beneficial for health.

1
0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

on February 20, 2011
at 02:07 AM

Well, there are several definitions of diet, one of which is "habitual nourishment," and a lot of people I think use the term in that way, e.g., "My diet consists only of meat and veggies."

Also confusing the matter is that every single damn diet says "This isn't a diet, it's a way of life!" - so saying that Paleo "isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle!" sounds pretty familiar, and doesn't distinguish Paleo from Atkins or South Beach or Mediterranean or whatever.

And for some people Paleo is a diet, in the way I think you meant it (a way to lose weight) and diets don't always tell you how much to eat, but what to eat, and Paleo does that.

So no, I don't agree. :)

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on February 20, 2011
at 02:16 AM

anyway I have never seen in any other diet the kind of scientific attitude that you see among paleo followers. So I say paleo is actually quite different and better..

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 20, 2011
at 02:53 AM

You didn't ask whether Paleo was better, though - we pretty much all think that, or we wouldn't be here. ;) And I think most of the modern diets (not the ridiculous quick-fix ones, like cabbage soup, but the book-based ones) purport to be science-based. So, while I think Paleo is the most correct diet, from the outside, it's not clear to me that it looks any different to the average person who wants to change their life. Especially when we have some "spokespeople" making Paleo look gimmicky.

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