on February 12, 2010
at 08:41 PM
Primal is a marketing gimmick invented by Mark Sisson. Paleo is a catch-all for people mimicking the ancestral/paleolithic diet.
on February 13, 2010
at 01:47 AM
I think typically "primal" has some built in fitness and lifestyle connotations built into it that "paleo" typically does not have. I almost always see primal referred to as the "primal blueprint" as coined by Mark Sisson, and incorporates a more natural lifestyle in general.
I think there are some linguistic semantics that speak more directly to normal people, since the word primal is very well known. That may cause it to be used more often. A lot of people have no idea what the word "paleolithic" even means.
Diet wise, I believe the two terms are synonymous, but "primal" definitely carries some extra meaning behind it that "paleo" does not.
on May 12, 2010
at 12:48 PM
I associate "paleo" with Cordain's original paleo diet and "primal" with Sisson's Primal Blueprint and Harris' Paleonu. The primary difference seems to revolve around saturated fat. Sisson and Harris maintain that you can eat all the saturated fat you want as long it's from healthy animals, while Cordain says that paleolithic man just didn't have access to that much fat and therefore just didn't eat that much of it.
There are numerous scientific papers which have analyzed the fat composition of ruminants killed at different times of the year. This analysis includes all fat in the body (subcutaneous, brains, etc.). Even if you kill a "fat" deer in the Fall, it is still a pretty lean animal. And during the Summer, forget it--5 percent body fat or less. So, on that Fall day of the kill, they may have feasted on fat, but the rest of the week would have had much leaner food from the carcass.
There is also evidence that a low-carb diet, rich in animal saturated fat, causes atherosclerosis, as in the 1600-year old Inuit mummies with clogged arteries. This is not a sign of good health, and is a potentially life-threatening condition.
I think this puts me in the minority here, but I'm in the Cordain camp on this. I've had great success with The Paleo Diet, and wouldn't change a thing. Harris derisively refers to this as paleo reconstructionism, but I think it's an accurate statement nonetheless.
Bottom line: The science is still evolving and you just gotta read a bunch of stuff and make up your own mind.
on February 12, 2010
at 09:04 PM
"aleo" To me Primal is the entire lifestyle (rest, play, eat well, avoid stress, etc.) While Paleo is mainly a diet thing. Largely it is the same thing though when speaking of the diet. But really it doesn't matter. Paleo is some loose guidelines on how to eat and live with plenty of room for experimentation and self-discovery.