2

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Paleo/Primal, Cordain/Sisson/Wolf, Dairy? Starchy Vegetables?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 03, 2011 at 8:21 PM

I was first introduced to the Paleo lifestyle by John Durant, www.hunter-gatherer.com, through an interview on the Colbert Report. It was very interesting to me, seemed difficult, but ultimately made sense. I stashed that knowledge away until last week, when I bought and read The Paleo Diet (revised edition) by Dr. Cordain. I read it within hours of getting my hands on it and am now reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes (though I don't currently do competition sports, I am working out 6-8 hours/week).

I've been reading quite a bit from several websites on Paleo/Primal nutrition but have yet to have it explained in basic terms, not just how they are different, but why?

Long story short, it seems, is that Primal allows for more saturated (animal) fat than Paleo. Cordain relaxes his stance on saturated fats in the revised edition, however his reasoning that our ancestors ate wild animals who were nothing like the domesticated, fat, grain-fed animals of today is something that makes sense to me.

Dairy is the other question -- Cordain argues that no wild animal could be milked in the hunter-gatherer days, and that it isn't part of the natural human diet. That said I'd like to believe that there are pros and/or cons to "doing dairy" though maybe this all goes back to the saturated fat argument? Cheese is delicious but clearly processed, and from my reading thus far (Cordain's book), it seems that anything processed=not natural=should not be eaten. That and humans are the only animal that eat dairy post-infant.

There also seems to be a difference in starchy plants (Tubers, Fruits, Roots) though I'm not sure why.

Here's a chart I found that explains the main differences: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/paleo-vs-primal-vs-atkins

I'm just looking to clear some of this up so i can make some sense of it. Part of me wants to kick dairy entirely, but the protein, cost, and convenience of things like cottage cheese is enough to at least make me ask why and/or how bad for one it might be.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 07, 2011
at 03:37 AM

I've been eating some butter lately especially when I cheated and ate gluten free chocolate cupcakes the other day(made using butter too). And I find that the longer I eat dairy the more tolerable it is, but I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. Gluten works similar, the more one eats the more tolerable it is but it's no good! I'm gonna try butter some more and then quit, hopefully I don't experience craving.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Wozza- I neither downvoted nor ignored the A1/A2 issue. I simply don't think it's wise to attribute casein in milk to one of its many functions. Accuracy in language is important, and not just for semantic purposes!

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:09 AM

What is the mechanism in which long chain saturated fats are dangerous in the presence of inflammation? I've read that palmitic acid potentially downregulates LDL receptors, as well as promotes physiological insulin resistance to an extent - are these the reasons why you consider saturated fat dangerous in the face of inflammation?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Palmitic acid is one that is more sketchy based upon some recent reports. Nothing is written in stone about this because the knowledge evolves daily

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:31 AM

the issue of sat fat is far from settled. I think science will get to it soon. My current interpretation of the literature is that in the face of inflammation in the system (human) then you should really limit the longer chain sat fats. My cut off is arbitrary because we have no solid randomized data for it. But when the system shows no or little inflammation I think sat fats of all types are not an issue at all. Coconut oil has a sat fatty acid profile which is very favorable in this light and hence why it is a paleo staple.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 04, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Melissa, I'm sure he would avoid spinach if the opioids in it were shown to be has harmful as the BCM7 in dairy. Kamal, the casein in modern cow breeds breaks down into BCM7 and this has been shown to be harmful for a significant number of people.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 04, 2011
at 12:32 AM

You are absolutely right and I'm sorry you were downvoted. The downvoters should investigate the A1/A2 issue before they react.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:27 PM

You know, I bet there's other, bigger reasons the casein is there. Like to provide a steady source of slow-digesting complete proteins for infant growth.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 03, 2011
at 11:22 PM

The latest Paleo Solution podcast with Chris from Healthy Skeptic covers this territory pretty well

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 03, 2011
at 11:21 PM

A lot of foods contain opiods...do you avoid spinach too?

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Straight up casein is not dairy. I could find something in broccoli that causes cancer too, doesn't mean that the food itself does. Dairy has bad stuff, of course, but pastured dairy has good fat, k2, cla (which inhibits igf-1), some omega 3s with low 6, etc. I think it's still a good food because of these things.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Most people at paleohacks don't even just eat ghee, they eat butter and tons of it. So they aren't avoiding one of the worst things about all dairy products. Even small amounts of casein has been linked to negative conditions.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Casein is similar to the addicting opiod chemical Gliadorphin which is found in gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Many people don't know it but a lot of their depression, brain fog, anti social tendencies, irritability, stomache issues can be caused by this. There is also evidence that it can affect the immune system and make one susceptible to serious conditions. Read here:http://naturalbias.com/a1-beta-casein-the-devil-in-your-milk/ It's best to just avoid it IMO, get your saturated fats and protein elsewhere. Dairy is just too risky, and it isn't even primal.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on March 03, 2011
at 10:05 PM

To clarify Travis' solid anwer: if you believe butterfat is harmful, you also have to believe animal fat is harmful, which it isn't. Casein and lactose are the things your body may not be able to deal with...so the more casein and lactose, the more 'neolithic' a dairy product is. Thus there is a dairy continuum with ghee and butter at one end, and pasteurized skim milk at the other. Some people may have to stick with ghee and butter, and some people are fine with whole milk.

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4 Answers

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on March 03, 2011
at 08:33 PM

Rather than focusing exclusively on what our ancestors ate or what extant HGs eat today, we should use it as a starting point and then flesh out the details based on whether something that wasn't available is nutritious and non-toxic and whether we as individuals are able to consume it without digestive upset etc. It helps to not simplify things into dietary monoliths such as Dairy, since the type of processing/fermentation can drastically change the composition of a particular food. For example, on the road from milk to hard cheese, the lactose content decreases down to almost nothing and is thus increasingly digestible, though some may have problems even with aged cheese. Let personal negative experience trump the anecdotes from others.

As far as tubers go, we have millions of years of history consuming tubers and the burden of proof is definitely on anyone claiming that we are not designed to consume them. If your goal is to lose fat or maintain your current fat stores, it's important that starch intake not exceed how much glucose you can store in liver and muscle glycogen. If you are depleting your glycogen stores heavily every day, then you can eat a lot of tubers and not gain any fat. If you are largely sedentary, then it doesn't take much to increase adiposity. I favor tuber consumption that changes widely from day to day depending on my level of activity and the type of activity I engage in. For resistance training and hiking up steep grades, I eat a lot of potato. For days when I just walk around, I eat none. Keep in mind that your brain and organs are tapping into liver glycogen on sedentary days as well.

I think of there being a dietary spectrum from what was actually eaten day to day by an anatomically modern human before agriculture all the way to the guy who eats only cheetos and Mt. Dew. The closer your point is plotted to the former rather than the latter, the better, but it's not clear that being all the way to the former is either personally sustainable or even optimal for health.

Good luck.

00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on March 03, 2011
at 10:05 PM

To clarify Travis' solid anwer: if you believe butterfat is harmful, you also have to believe animal fat is harmful, which it isn't. Casein and lactose are the things your body may not be able to deal with...so the more casein and lactose, the more 'neolithic' a dairy product is. Thus there is a dairy continuum with ghee and butter at one end, and pasteurized skim milk at the other. Some people may have to stick with ghee and butter, and some people are fine with whole milk.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Most people at paleohacks don't even just eat ghee, they eat butter and tons of it. So they aren't avoiding one of the worst things about all dairy products. Even small amounts of casein has been linked to negative conditions.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Straight up casein is not dairy. I could find something in broccoli that causes cancer too, doesn't mean that the food itself does. Dairy has bad stuff, of course, but pastured dairy has good fat, k2, cla (which inhibits igf-1), some omega 3s with low 6, etc. I think it's still a good food because of these things.

5
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 04, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Cordain's reason to avoid fat on meat is because he just assumes that people will buy their meat from the supermarket which is usually grain fed. It's strange how he's so evasive on this; Jimmy Moore, in his podcast this week, challenged Cordain about this and Cordain neatly sidestepped the issue. Cordain may not be a lipophobe, but he sure is frightened by them. Anyway, the best I've been able to figure out from previous discussions on this is: if it's grain fed, cut the fat and get some extra omega 3 from somewhere (probably fish). If it's grass fed, eat the fat to your heart's content.

As for the starch, there are two paleo diets. One for healthy people wanting to stay that way, the other for obese/insulin resistant/metabolically deranged people. One group can eat starch without too many problems, the other better stay away from it.

ADDITION: Remember, too, that if you avoid Harris' three "Neolithic agents of disease" (gluten, excess fructose, excess linoleic acid), then you are most of the way there. Everything is toxic to some degree: that's why we have digestive systems in the first place. One day we may evolve to absorb nutrients by osmosis, but we're not there yet. So follow De Vany's advice and eat a range of foods, diversifying your toxins. So don't sweat the small stuff. Remember, we're not shooting for immortality here.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:09 AM

What is the mechanism in which long chain saturated fats are dangerous in the presence of inflammation? I've read that palmitic acid potentially downregulates LDL receptors, as well as promotes physiological insulin resistance to an extent - are these the reasons why you consider saturated fat dangerous in the face of inflammation?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:31 AM

the issue of sat fat is far from settled. I think science will get to it soon. My current interpretation of the literature is that in the face of inflammation in the system (human) then you should really limit the longer chain sat fats. My cut off is arbitrary because we have no solid randomized data for it. But when the system shows no or little inflammation I think sat fats of all types are not an issue at all. Coconut oil has a sat fatty acid profile which is very favorable in this light and hence why it is a paleo staple.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 04, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Palmitic acid is one that is more sketchy based upon some recent reports. Nothing is written in stone about this because the knowledge evolves daily

2
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on March 04, 2011
at 03:19 PM

I would argue that PaNu is the most progressive/enlightened version of ???Paleo??? at the moment and that should be the starting point and baseline before trying to compare different rationalizations.

http://www.paleonu.com/get-started/

I would also argue that the inclusion of Atkins in the comparison is kind of pointless. Many people came to paleo via low-carbing and it has been hard to shake that culture, but low-carbing has nothing to do with true paleo.

The more progressive people talk about a preferred minimum amount of carbs (20% of calories or 100-150g per day) but there is nothing wrong with eating more (unless you are diabetic or pre-diabetic)

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 03, 2011
at 10:26 PM

The reason for avoiding dairy shouldn't be because it's not paleo....but because it contains the addicting casomorphins(in casein) which is risky to eat. It's been linked to autoimmune disorders which can possibly cause many different conditions such as autism, depression, irritability/"fussyness", low energy, ADD, brain fog ect.

Even small amounts of casein can cause mild, moderate or severe conditions! Sure everyone reacts different and some people "seem" to do fine, but what about the silent damage?

Casein is similar to the addicting opiod chemical Gliadorphin which is found in gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Read here: http://naturalbias.com/a1-beta-casein-the-devil-in-your-milk/

It's best to just avoid it IMO, get your saturated fats and protein elsewhere like cavemen did. Cow's milk is for cows. Goat's milk is for goats. Human milk is for human babies. All contain casein for a reason, to calm the baby and stop him/her from crawling away into danger. To shut the baby up too.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 03, 2011
at 11:21 PM

A lot of foods contain opiods...do you avoid spinach too?

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 04, 2011
at 12:34 AM

Melissa, I'm sure he would avoid spinach if the opioids in it were shown to be has harmful as the BCM7 in dairy. Kamal, the casein in modern cow breeds breaks down into BCM7 and this has been shown to be harmful for a significant number of people.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 04, 2011
at 12:32 AM

You are absolutely right and I'm sorry you were downvoted. The downvoters should investigate the A1/A2 issue before they react.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 04, 2011
at 09:18 PM

Wozza- I neither downvoted nor ignored the A1/A2 issue. I simply don't think it's wise to attribute casein in milk to one of its many functions. Accuracy in language is important, and not just for semantic purposes!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 03, 2011
at 11:27 PM

You know, I bet there's other, bigger reasons the casein is there. Like to provide a steady source of slow-digesting complete proteins for infant growth.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 07, 2011
at 03:37 AM

I've been eating some butter lately especially when I cheated and ate gluten free chocolate cupcakes the other day(made using butter too). And I find that the longer I eat dairy the more tolerable it is, but I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. Gluten works similar, the more one eats the more tolerable it is but it's no good! I'm gonna try butter some more and then quit, hopefully I don't experience craving.

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