5

votes

What reasoning or research would make you abandon the Paleo lifestyle? or Dogmatic Tendencies

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 31, 2010 at 1:11 PM

I associate questioning established dogma with the Paleo lifestyle because one needs to be open to question the SAD. (It has the word "Standard" in it. :-) ) To push the thinking critically envelope, what reasoning or research would make you abandon the Paleo lifestyle?

Mark Sisson quite accurately called us (including scientists), "bumbling observers". What if, despite our best efforts and intentions, we've made mistakes? How willing are we to be true sceptics who could reject the Paleo lifestyle if it were trounced just as the SAD has been?

I'm not saying it has. But, I feel our formal understanding of nutrition and exercise's roles in promoting health won't advance without such gadfly questions promoting a stricter adherence to riogorusly observed data over dogma.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Rook, Thank you for your complete & thoughtful answer.

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on February 11, 2012
at 12:19 AM

My Gran died at 96 and was evil and surly her whole life. Healthy attitude is a myth.

Ecef210e24a493f64c76d9c5a4ae7c88

on November 01, 2010
at 11:22 PM

You could change my mind the hard way: by each disease. Or the easy way: disprove evolution.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 01, 2010
at 10:49 PM

i completely agree. The research and the principle of it is what drew me in initially but the proof is right in the pudding for me. Great body composition with little effort, feel alert all the time, sleep the best ive ever slept, save money (cuz no processed fakefood), no gas/burps even after large meals. Hell, i feel that if more people just tried this lifestyle for a month or so so many people would jump on. With or without the science, etc backing.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on November 01, 2010
at 08:52 PM

This is a great comment. One should trust their experience over any partially confirmed theory.

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:29 PM

Excellent message either way :-)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on November 01, 2010
at 11:20 AM

Stupid keys, supposed to be live

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 01, 2010
at 03:36 AM

There's also just luck. I mean, if smoking caused 95% of people who did it to die young, there's still 5% who will get through with impunity. Knowing an old healthy person who does X doesn't mean X is a good risk.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:20 AM

So true - I am only 40 and I remember that supermarkets use to be only a few isles - now they are 12 - 18 - I visit 3 of them the rest is processed crap ! I also think that a clam healthy attitude helps - reduces insulin levels - that cat be bad! I wonder if SAD does not get you with weight it will in other ways

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:40 AM

Much of the crap that kids are now eating large amounts of did not even exist for most of your mother-in-laws life.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 31, 2010
at 07:59 PM

oops, I didn't read Rook's answer, but apparantly we agree.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 31, 2010
at 06:37 PM

I bet your MIL has a healthy attitude?? I think it is a healthy mental approach as well as what goes into your mouth. I honestly feel it is 50/50 plan...because you can eat all the best things on the planet but if you are not happy in your thoughts it won't amount to much (jmho)

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on October 31, 2010
at 04:21 PM

The media's hunger for continual breakthroughs to get ratings and pressure on researchers to publish or perish ensures a steady stream of half-baked ideas.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on October 31, 2010
at 03:05 PM

they already invented something that will help you 'love' forever...Viagra :-)

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 31, 2010
at 03:03 PM

i can only see the further refinement of paleo replacing paleo. i don't think it will ever be something like sad. i think after such results a lot of us have seen it would be hard to present us with something that would make us change.

154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:57 PM

This has been debunked already.

  • 4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

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11 Answers

best answer

14
C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on October 31, 2010
at 01:45 PM

I honestly don't have much faith in formal academics when it comes to health and nutrition. There are so many people with advanced degrees who disagree with each other about dietary health that I have come to believe that education is probably a lost cause in this regard. The cultural problems and programming are just too powerful to expect science to "save us" from culture-wide crappy diets.

That said, there are some things that I have held to be "scientific support" for my adoption of Paleo which, if they turned out to be wrong, would throw the idea into serious question again.

So, if it were found that

  • Cancer were as common in ancient times as it is today
  • Heart disease among hunter-gatherers were as common as amongst agriculturalists
  • Skeletal health actually improved in the transition from HG to agriculturalist
  • Dental health were better among agriculturalists than HGs
  • The "they only lived to 30" were shown to be true and related to diet
  • some other identifiable consequence of diet could be shown to have caused poor health in HGs

That would make me reconsider.

Ecef210e24a493f64c76d9c5a4ae7c88

on November 01, 2010
at 11:22 PM

You could change my mind the hard way: by each disease. Or the easy way: disprove evolution.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Rook, Thank you for your complete & thoughtful answer.

4
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 31, 2010
at 04:11 PM

If I stopped feeling good I would try something else.

I am interested in the research but this is what it comes down to for me.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 01, 2010
at 10:49 PM

i completely agree. The research and the principle of it is what drew me in initially but the proof is right in the pudding for me. Great body composition with little effort, feel alert all the time, sleep the best ive ever slept, save money (cuz no processed fakefood), no gas/burps even after large meals. Hell, i feel that if more people just tried this lifestyle for a month or so so many people would jump on. With or without the science, etc backing.

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on October 31, 2010
at 02:21 PM

The work of guys like De Vary, Cordain, and Wolf are what got my attention and lead me to try the life. Their logic was sound, and I already was turned off to the SAD and anything coming from the "establishment."

However, the real question is why do I continue? This counts more than the research and theories. I continue because it works. Plain and simple.

So to answer the question, I would only abandon the Paleo lifestyle if a) my progress stops or reverses, or b) I get legitimate bad health as a direct result.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on November 01, 2010
at 08:52 PM

This is a great comment. One should trust their experience over any partially confirmed theory.

2
46ee2f7d91719ecfe691a0c2a6da7034

(148)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:19 PM

FACT: my mother-in-law is a healthy 94 while having no knowledge of a Paleo diet and she has probably eaten the SAD most of her life. There are many centenarians who probably have eaten the SAD as well.

Will we be healthier old people? We don't really know....we can only hope.

Having many relatives who died of cancer, I am hoping to beat those odds by changing my diet and lifestyle. It all seems like a crap shoot so I try not to be too fanatical.

I am always reading and trying to discern truth from fiction and believe I am open to change as credible information is presented.

I had no weight to lose, no ill health to cure....and I am hoping to keep it that way as long as possible.

2f653fa504adc81612619106e7d1f65e

(455)

on October 31, 2010
at 06:37 PM

I bet your MIL has a healthy attitude?? I think it is a healthy mental approach as well as what goes into your mouth. I honestly feel it is 50/50 plan...because you can eat all the best things on the planet but if you are not happy in your thoughts it won't amount to much (jmho)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:40 AM

Much of the crap that kids are now eating large amounts of did not even exist for most of your mother-in-laws life.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:20 AM

So true - I am only 40 and I remember that supermarkets use to be only a few isles - now they are 12 - 18 - I visit 3 of them the rest is processed crap ! I also think that a clam healthy attitude helps - reduces insulin levels - that cat be bad! I wonder if SAD does not get you with weight it will in other ways

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on November 01, 2010
at 03:36 AM

There's also just luck. I mean, if smoking caused 95% of people who did it to die young, there's still 5% who will get through with impunity. Knowing an old healthy person who does X doesn't mean X is a good risk.

67f3387f0308b570c61944addedd183e

(112)

on February 11, 2012
at 12:19 AM

My Gran died at 96 and was evil and surly her whole life. Healthy attitude is a myth.

1
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on November 01, 2010
at 10:11 PM

There's mainly two types of paleo dieters. People who like the diet because that's what we're more adapted to, and people who avoid grains because they believe them to be poison.

The first type is going to be paleo anyway even if grains have health benefits. Second type has some interest in proving how toxic grains are as their main argument.

I almost like the word "primal" better than paleo because it seems like a less dogmatic word. with paleo you have all this talk about what's Paleolithic, what's Neolithic. I think primal seems like it's more about getting to our dietary roots. Ironic since I don't agree with a lot of Mark Sisson's ideas (keeping carbs below 100 g being one).

I like the blog Whole Health Source and Stephan is not afraid to talk about grains in a positive light. Although he is affiliated with the Weston A. Price Foundation which is not paleo but has their own dogmatic style which I find annoying. I think that grass-fed, organic milk even if pasteurized is still a better choice than conventional milk. I remember hearing about how some cultures like their milk warm. I doubt heat is that harmful to milk. Soy is not that bad either, although in large amounts and through extreme processing it possibly can be. The Japanese eat moderate amounts of soy and they are very long lived.

Ever since my departure from veganism I've been looking at different diets. I even considered eating a high fruit diet (which is why some of my posts on here were rather defensive about fruit and carbs). I'd be lying if I claimed to be committed to paleo. I post on raw food sites too, despite eating cooked food. Maybe one day I'll go 100% paleo or find some other diet. I'm trying to be healthy without being dogmatic and puritanical about my food.

1
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on October 31, 2010
at 02:04 PM

What would change my views on Paleo? Well, since going Paleo I've lost north of twenty pounds, normalized my blood pressure, cured Type II diabetes, and made some fairly impressive improvements to my lipid panel. And I feel and look a whole lot better, too. I find it hard to argue with myself over that.

I'm satisfied, based on that evidence, that Paleo as I've implemented it works well for me. But if something came along that made enough sense (it's hard to imagine what, though, given that approximating an evolutionarily appropriate diet is about as rational it gets in terms of eating strategies) for me to try it, and provided better results across the board than Paleo over a long term, I'd switch.

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on October 31, 2010
at 03:03 PM

i can only see the further refinement of paleo replacing paleo. i don't think it will ever be something like sad. i think after such results a lot of us have seen it would be hard to present us with something that would make us change.

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on November 01, 2010
at 01:45 AM

Similar to others, I lose weight and feel good on paleo. People around me have solved all manner of weird healthy problems by going paleo. However, I do think it likely that as research evolves, so will our understanding of what is healthiest for each individual. I am ready to experiment with alterations based on good research. Some foods we like now may not be so good after all and others that we hate may turn out to be better than we thought. SOme neolithic foods will probably turn out to be metabolically good for us. Some paleolithic foods may turn out to have been something we tolerated at times in the ancient past but are not the absolute perfect diet for us. THere are still many undiscovered metabolic processes, vitamins, and body needs yet out there. To think we already have all the answers would be foolish. However, I do think that our basic general approach of eating natural for us foods in their natural state will turn out to be correct overall.

0
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 31, 2010
at 04:02 PM

After studying nutrition in school for a couple of years straight now, and seeing how I feel as a result of simply removing grains and legumes (I mostly didn't eat dairy before anyway), I'd say it's mostly enough to me to avoid them. That said, I've also studied gluten enough and watched enough family members suffer symptoms of ill health that have been tied directly or indirectly to gluten in many studies and anecdotal stories alike. I'm pretty sure my grandmother is an undiagnosed Celiac at 88 years old- her health has rapidly declined over the last few years, though she was pretty robust before that. Yes, she's old, I get that, but I think she could be more active than she even is...

And my uncle who is around 60 years old who has Parkinson's and lived for at least 30 years as a vegetarian- eating loads of grains and legumes (SOY!) for the bulk of it and came back around to meat maybe in the last 10 years. I think the damage was done, but he also CHOWS gluten still at any chance.

I think it's sad that this food that has been called "the staff of life" has become our achilles heel. And I believe it to be true. I think some of us are more sensitive than others, so I do believe there are people who can live long lives and not fall ill from it, but I think for many or most people, it is affecting them in ways they can't even begin to imagine. It's freaky I think... how gluten has come to affect our body tissues. It's like the plant world is fighting back ;o)

0
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:34 PM

If there was evidence that stone age people and hunter gatherers were actually very unhealthy, I would think again. Because that is the basis of a paleo diet: the mismatch between our healthy past and our not so healthy present, and using this principle to inspire our moderns lives.

But I guess I'll be living paleo for the rest of my life, because I don't see these strong principles being proved wrong... But hey, always open for new evidence.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on October 31, 2010
at 07:59 PM

oops, I didn't read Rook's answer, but apparantly we agree.

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on October 31, 2010
at 02:19 PM

I'm not sure what could trump Real Whole Food...

I suppose if they invent something that allows me to love forever in perfect health while eating whatever, maybe... Likelyhood slim...

4ff24fb9a7d48305681487dfb8040a5e

(383)

on November 01, 2010
at 02:29 PM

Excellent message either way :-)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on November 01, 2010
at 11:20 AM

Stupid keys, supposed to be live

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on October 31, 2010
at 03:05 PM

they already invented something that will help you 'love' forever...Viagra :-)

154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:57 PM

This has been debunked already.

4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on October 31, 2010
at 04:21 PM

The media's hunger for continual breakthroughs to get ratings and pressure on researchers to publish or perish ensures a steady stream of half-baked ideas.

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