3

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Is the worst thing about Paleo Diet the name?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 21, 2013 at 10:19 PM

My best friend, being a complete cynic, is always trying to poopoo Paleo as being a fad diet. Today he forwards this article to me: http://hells-ditch.com/2012/08/archaeologists-officially-declare-collective-sigh-over-paleo-diet/

I feel like too many people get caught up in the name and the notion of dietary evolution instead of focusing on the real core aspects of Paleo: eating unprocessed foods, eliminating grains and sugars, etc.

I feel like Paleo would be attacked a lot less if it didn't have the "Paleo" in its name and if people didn't explain the origin of the diet as eating what early man ate. If you explained to someone that you were following the Whole Food Diet (for example) and explained that it was about eating unprocessed foods, eliminating processed sugars, and eliminating unhealthy grains and oils, it would be much more widely accepted and less categorized as a "fad diet"

I guess this isn't really a question as much as throwing my thoughts out to the Paleo world for discussion.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 22, 2013
at 01:22 AM

"too many people get caught up in the name and the notion of dietary evolution instead of focusing on the real core aspects of Paleo: eating unprocessed foods, eliminating grains and sugars, etc." That part of Paleo is not distinctive to Paleo, but almost common.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 21, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Yes .

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3 Answers

5
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 22, 2013
at 12:43 AM

Here's a quote from the article:

"You want to know what the ideal human diet consists of? Everything. Humans can and will eat everything, and we are remarkably successful not in spite of this fact, but because of it."

They are completely and utterly missing the point. Humans can in fact eat almost anything but there is an enormous difference between survival and optimal health. An entire culture could probably survive a few generations eating nothing but tree bark but they'd be miserable and sickly. It's one thing to survive long enough to pass your genes along to another generation and another to live a long, happy, healthy, fruitful life.

Humans are indeed omnivorous, and can survive on diets varying from animal organs to leaves. But I'm a lot more interested in optimizing my health than just surviving.

Even modern humans fail to make this distinction and eat crappy diets full of bad processed foods, gain weight, take medications, are unable to run (or even walk) up a flight of stairs, yet claim to be happy because they can eat french fries 6 times a week. If these same people were able to change their diet and then feel great, run 5 miles, carry 200 pounds, look great, screw like bunnies, revel in nature, and live past 80, they would have a totally different view of food and diets.

2
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on March 21, 2013
at 11:22 PM

"???This is a work of fiction. Please calm down."

Seems he was in such a hurry to give you a good natured ribbing that he didn't read the article and didn't see the closing sentence.

I alm0ost wouldn't tell him just to watch him gloat...you'd know the Truth which would make it that much more entertaining!

Truth.

1
24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 22, 2013
at 01:12 AM

If not the one word "Paleo", then what better?

These who wish to promote a healthy lifestyle and sell books need a distinctive name, whether Primal, Caveman, Stone Age, Perfect Health Diet, Warrior, or whatever.

Paleo is a nice brand name that sells. The goal is optimal health, but "Optimal Health Diet" too generic and says nothing. It makes a poor brand.

As a new term, "Paleo diet" is distinctive, rolls off the tongue easily, and encodes an enormous amount of information (historical narrative, organizing principles, scientific paradigm, etc.)

It appears to fail only when opponents or novices misuse the word as a strawman to attack; especially the two arguments: "X is natural therefore you must eat X", or, "Cavemen didn't eat Y, therefore...". But strawmen are irrelevant to the serious debate. No matter what name is chosen it will come under the same attacks, and ultimately thrive or die by the science.

Edit

I feel like Paleo would be attacked a lot less if it didn't have the "Paleo" in its name... instead of focusing on the real core aspects of Paleo: eating unprocessed foods, eliminating grains and sugars, etc.

But "eating unprocessed foods, eliminating grains, and sugars", is increasingly common to diets nowadays. They aren't what is distinctive. It's in the application of evolutionary theory.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on March 22, 2013
at 01:22 AM

"too many people get caught up in the name and the notion of dietary evolution instead of focusing on the real core aspects of Paleo: eating unprocessed foods, eliminating grains and sugars, etc." That part of Paleo is not distinctive to Paleo, but almost common.

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