18

votes

Moments of doubt

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 01, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Do you ever have moments where you think that this diet might be wrong? That saturated fat IS bad for you? (as the NHS tells me it is and even some parts of the paleo community do too) or that grains ARE healthy?

When you look at vegetarian forums they all seem so damn sure and talk about how great they feel and cite studies and you get sucked into their ways of thinking and wonder if meat really is bad for you

Would you say paleo is based more on scientific evidence and vegetarianism on more anecdotal and (possibly misguided) ethics?

It's hard to put your faith entirely in this diet when the overwhelming medical community disparages it, it challenges everything you were brought up to believe and the personal benefits have yet to manifest themselves

F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on May 05, 2012
at 03:27 PM

That's exactly what over consumption means.

92c2ed40cf1145f8b8085cb4c5e81d36

(0)

on May 04, 2012
at 04:04 PM

Fabulous !

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 03, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Good old times ...

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:34 PM

there are many historical (and current) cultures that thrive on very limited food selection. variety has never really been necessary for health. by variety I mean a wide range of everything.fruit, veg, grain, nuts, etc.. Only well off cultures such as the western world have the means to source and pay for such variety-which is most luxurious compared to much of the world. Over consumption? not sure what that means other than way more than what you need.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 08:35 PM

All I really mean is I feel like we are healthier as a whole.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 08:09 PM

A lot of people are eating what seems to me like a glorified Atkins diet and calling it paleo, primal, or whatever. I don't think that version is healthy for me.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:28 PM

I think eating concisously and exercising is far more important to health and well-being than any diet.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I eat lean proteins, plenty of green vegetables, fruit, some nuts, and some starch. That is what I feel best on. I think a lot of people are deluding themselves that because they're eating grass fed their diet is substantially different from Atkins.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:25 PM

I eat lean proteins, plenty of fruits and vegetables, some nuts, and some starch. That is what I thought the paleo diet was, and that is what I feel best eating. A lot of people seem to be deluding themselves that their not on the Atkins diet, but really their just grass fed atkins.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:16 PM

Wow you're biased. Have you looked at all the problems paleohackers experience?

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:59 PM

Yeah but I feel like a lot of those people come here with problems looking to use paleo as a solution, while on the veg forums the people start out perfectly fine and end up with problems. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:58 PM

My brief stint with vegetarianism many years ago didn't do me at all well, but I have to say that while going Paleo has improved me physically, it's done nothing for my chronic lifelong depression.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:36 PM

Totally agree! Great comment!

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Much like the veg forums, there are lots of people on here who talk about how great they feel. But there are also lots of people who want advice for hypothyroid, food allergies, low testosterone, lethargy and constipation.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Yeah!! :D I'm so glad we're not vegetarians! lol

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:01 PM

I think the Robert Lustig lectures are really great for this purpose. He details the biochemical processes by which sugar makes us sick. I've never seen anyone do the same for fat - I've only ever seen them points to studies like the recent from Harvard that correlate meat intake with mortality. Correlation does not mean causation! When they pinpoint the biochemical process whereby meat causes death I will stock up on tofu and repent.

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:56 PM

I agree with you. I don't want to get in the position of saying that vegetarians' moral calculations are wrong - there is a lot to be outraged about when you consider the ethics of feedlots, CAFOs, and the way we treat the animals we eventually eat. I am sympathetic towards vegetarians who object to eating meat on those grounds and when possible I try to get humanely raised meat. However, in the abstract I don't think there's anything wrong with eating animals, especially since I believe we evolved to have an omnivorous diet and you can use science to demonstrate the health benefits.

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on May 01, 2012
at 02:50 PM

really cool to hear about your father, hope you are both doing well now :)... indeed with the analytically/data driven mind, I find the scientific caliber of some paleo-sphere people really drives home why this approach is actually grounded. And the best thing is most of them can change their mind on things

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on May 01, 2012
at 02:47 PM

I find it very easy to be confident in the general premise of this way of living purely because it is plastic... flexible and always changing with current thinking. Based on science/biochemistry for the most part also. Vegetarians/vegans are almost universally (with some genetic exceptions) deteriorating in health on the outside, let alone what is happening on the inside. Sure, if they need to eat that way because of ethical reasons, fine, but its not a healthy way to live unless you are being a vegetarian following some paleo stuff. Keeping up on podcasts/articles helps the myths away.

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:41 PM

The scientific and anecdotal evidence seems to really stack up here, I was just looking at a vegetarian forum and they certainly seem to base their diet on the fact that 'eating animal flesh is immoral' as opposed to scientific studies etc, none of them are listening to their bodies it seems, all complaining about feeling hungry and tired, having allergies and depression etc. With all the afflictions I've come here to cure, misguided moral values is not one of them thank god!

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Wow I just looked at some forums and they were talking about how their allergy tablets were making them fat but that they have to stick on them because their allergies are so bad. Also about how hungry they are. I saw a thread about depression and they were suggesting antidepressants! Wow, these people are nuts! On here everyone talks about how their allergies and depression have improved and how they dont get so hungry and have more energy etc! Makes me feel better :)

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17 Answers

best answer

21
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:14 PM

I don't give a shit if the medical community disparages my diet. I went to fourteen of the jokers to help me with my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/allegies/depression/anxiety and wasted my fucking time and money for thirty years. Fast forward to 2012. Best shape of my 56 year old life. Tell me how I can cure myself of all this hormonal/metabolic shit and at the same time get heart disease. It makes a mockery of logic.

92c2ed40cf1145f8b8085cb4c5e81d36

(0)

on May 04, 2012
at 04:04 PM

Fabulous !

11
D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:14 PM

You're right! It is so hard. I started the diet because my physician father-in-law recommended it, and I followed up with my own research before deciding it was for me. I think it appeals to people who are analytical and data driven, and who have faith in science rather than official government recommendations. I don't think the ethics are misguided at all - I think we evolved to eat a certain way and the thought that eating animals is bad for you was conjured up well after the advent of agriculture made grain-based foods available.

The medical community does disparage the diet. And I had my own doubts when I got a recent blood test and saw that my cholesterol had gone up modestly. I started to think "wow - what am I doing to myself." But I read a bit more, watched some Robert Lustig on YouTube, and realized that that was exactly what science predicts. Your cholesterol goes up, but if you get the right test you can see that your LDL is lighter, fluffier, and much less risky.

When I have doubts I remind myself that the saturated fat hypothesis was never proven, it was really just a correlation found in data. We actually do know the mechanism whereby too much grain, processed food, and sugar directly causes all sorts of diseases once thought to be caused by saturated fat. That is a very comforting feeling to me.

One anecdote about vegetarianism: my father in-law (the physician who recommended paleo to me) was a vegetarian for 20 years and became pre-diabetic from it (blood glucose over 200 after eating). He switched to paleo eating and now has blood glucose in the 70s - perfect.

D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:56 PM

I agree with you. I don't want to get in the position of saying that vegetarians' moral calculations are wrong - there is a lot to be outraged about when you consider the ethics of feedlots, CAFOs, and the way we treat the animals we eventually eat. I am sympathetic towards vegetarians who object to eating meat on those grounds and when possible I try to get humanely raised meat. However, in the abstract I don't think there's anything wrong with eating animals, especially since I believe we evolved to have an omnivorous diet and you can use science to demonstrate the health benefits.

Dc8ec73989c7b37c006f2031dd648a61

on May 01, 2012
at 02:50 PM

really cool to hear about your father, hope you are both doing well now :)... indeed with the analytically/data driven mind, I find the scientific caliber of some paleo-sphere people really drives home why this approach is actually grounded. And the best thing is most of them can change their mind on things

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:41 PM

The scientific and anecdotal evidence seems to really stack up here, I was just looking at a vegetarian forum and they certainly seem to base their diet on the fact that 'eating animal flesh is immoral' as opposed to scientific studies etc, none of them are listening to their bodies it seems, all complaining about feeling hungry and tired, having allergies and depression etc. With all the afflictions I've come here to cure, misguided moral values is not one of them thank god!

7
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on May 01, 2012
at 03:40 PM

Speaking as a past vegan and long time vegetarian, eating a clean vegetarian diet is just as healthy as eating clean paleo. It's veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds. It's when the vegetarians get into the sugar and high carb stuff that cause issues.

Just like in Paleo, often people go crazy with the baked "paleo" goods or eat too much bacon etc???The basic principals are the same???.eat REAL food without labels and with or without meat..it is the healthiest way to eat.

6
Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:10 PM

I don't know about you, but when I look at vegetarian forums I just see a bunch of people talking about their hair falling out and how much weight they are gaining.

1ccc0b0b7a756cd42466cef8f450d0cb

(1801)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:32 PM

Much like the veg forums, there are lots of people on here who talk about how great they feel. But there are also lots of people who want advice for hypothyroid, food allergies, low testosterone, lethargy and constipation.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:16 PM

Wow you're biased. Have you looked at all the problems paleohackers experience?

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:59 PM

Yeah but I feel like a lot of those people come here with problems looking to use paleo as a solution, while on the veg forums the people start out perfectly fine and end up with problems. Not all of them, but a lot of them.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Yeah!! :D I'm so glad we're not vegetarians! lol

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Wow I just looked at some forums and they were talking about how their allergy tablets were making them fat but that they have to stick on them because their allergies are so bad. Also about how hungry they are. I saw a thread about depression and they were suggesting antidepressants! Wow, these people are nuts! On here everyone talks about how their allergies and depression have improved and how they dont get so hungry and have more energy etc! Makes me feel better :)

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:58 PM

My brief stint with vegetarianism many years ago didn't do me at all well, but I have to say that while going Paleo has improved me physically, it's done nothing for my chronic lifelong depression.

Medium avatar

(2301)

on May 01, 2012
at 08:35 PM

All I really mean is I feel like we are healthier as a whole.

5
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Similar question:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/111837/does-being-paleo-come-down-to-faith

Also, don't look at vegetarian forums. :)

4
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:53 PM

No, because the science behind paleo is firm. I researched it pretty thoroughly before I began. There is no objective basis for a human vegan diet. But then I'm all about rational empiricism vs myths and fads so what do I know...

Subjectively, many of the vegans I have known or met are either obese or stick-thin. I don't count people as vegetarian who make the claim despite eating fish, dairy, and eggs. No, you're not; just because you won't eat the flesh of land animals doesn't make you special. But these people tend to be in much better shape than the vegans, especially those who don't understand that vegan junk food is still junk food.

But because they're mostly doing it for ethical reasons vs health, there is no possibility of discussing diet, despite the obvious improvements to MY health (-45lbs) and appearance in the two years I've been paleo.

And I think some are secretly jealous of what I call the "meat, wine, and cigarette diet." (yes, I know, smoking and drinking are bad. One vice at a time)

Also: eat like a cow, look like a cow; eat like a lion, look like a lion. Within reason of course.

[nb sorry to keep editing; that's another vice]

My physician initially was appalled, but the bloodwork does not lie. He is now a convert. I know now that most physicians know nothing of the science of nutrition; they only know what is passed on to them by organizations and corporations with a financial interest in keeping you sick, and in the US at least their time is under severe pressure by the for-profit medical industry. So it's up to you to educate them.

4
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on May 01, 2012
at 03:39 PM

Forums are not places to receive personalized diet, nutrition, and medical advice.

Not here, not there, not anywhere. Forums are merely collection of subjective and sometimes objective experiences (sometimes backed by science) where YOU can help yourself analyze the conclusions your n=1 sample size.

That being said, take advantage of the science floating around. Feel free to question it; but read both sides, with NO intent on the conclusion you want or even think about finding.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I've tried all sort of diets because of food intollerances, allergies and blood sugar problems. I ended up on the diet that I am on out of necessity. I had 3 choices.

1) This way of eating and feel good.
2) Any one or a mixture of the several ways of eating that I had previously tried that, never made me feel better and sometimes made matters worse.
3) Go without food.

It was a pretty easy decision.
Even if my diet turns out to be unhealthy in the long run, I'm sure it has to be healthier than any of the diets that I tried before, that turned out to be unhealthy in the short run. :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 01, 2012
at 04:36 PM

Totally agree! Great comment!

4
3351f6c8ec1ea64435e419f380ca6468

(1255)

on May 01, 2012
at 02:38 PM

I have short flashes of doubt, but my N=1 results are so good, that they don't last long. I gave blood yesterday, on the heels of a stressful system outage at work, and my blood pressure was 106/70 (down from 120/80 pre-paleo) and resting pulse was 60 with no real workouts. When I had my blood lipids measured the last time, everything had improved - from eating saturated fat and avoiding hearthealthywholegrains. I've been at this over 2 years now, and I suppose if, 5 years out, my health markers start going south, I'd reconsider, but so far, I think this is the right way to eat.

3
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:05 PM

No I don't doubt Paleo. I grew up in a rural town in a place where many people didn't even own a TV yet, just so you see how behind the times that was. Everyone grew their own food. Everyone.

Other food consumed came from neighbors.
We killed ALL our own animals, gathered our own eggs, grew all our vegetables and fruit, made our own wine, bought seafood from the fisherman which was fished 2 miles down the street, bought cheese from the neighborhood store, which was made from milk from cows on pasture we walk by everyday. Even our spices were grown and dried by ourselves.
The neighborhood stores were so tiny, about the size of a bedroom, since people didn't need to get much food from external sources.

Every meal was made from lots of animal meat, lots of animal fat, and one or two vegetables on the side. We lived in a island so we ate lots of seafood. Sometimes we had a bit of rice too, maybe once a week when we ate chicken.

The amount of different meats we ate was like this: most of the time we ate beef, seafood, or pork. Then came chicken. Rarely, we ate rabbit and pigeon. Most of the time we ate very fatty meats; the lean meats we used for sausage which were then soaked in lard.

We did eat some beans. But even when we did, meat and animal fat was the biggest part of the meal.
When we had soup for dinner, the soup always ate meat. And when we did eat soup for dinner, guess what came after the soup? A meat dish!

We did eat potatoes sometimes too, during the winter. We did eat bread for breakfast nearly everyday, home made fresh from our own recently ground wheat, but the rolls were tiny, and the cheese that went along with it was bigger than a deck of cards.

Again, the vast majority of our diet came from fatty animal products, including their blood, fat, skin, etc. For vegetables it was mostly a variety of cabbages, potatoes, pepper, tomatoes, always cooked.

Lettuce or these fancy leaves like "arugula" was not eaten by us, it was fed to the rabbits. However we did eat lots of cabbagey greens like collards and kale. Nearly all the grain we harvested was for chicken feed, though my mother makes some mean skillet corn bread to eat with grilled sardines in the summer. It's a rare treat, not an everyday thing.

How could I doubt paleo when it's like how people ate before our food came from stores? If it helps any, now that I eat paleo again, I eat like my home country, 65 to 70 percent of my calories come from animal fats alone!

How could I doubt paleo since when I grew up like this, I was super healthy, moved to USA and became very ill, started paleo again and I'm good as new? Sorry, it's not rocket science, despite what the government tells us.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 03, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Good old times ...

2
7bcdcce584eb132e4c06b8ad2b1d22cc

on May 01, 2012
at 09:37 PM

I occasionally have doubts, but the specialist I saw for an autoimmune disease was only interested in treating my symptoms. Paleo/primal had hard science behind the idea of treating my actual issues, not with chemicals but with diet. My doubts have a hard time getting my attention when my experience is an elimination of symptoms by treating my whole body with real food.

2
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on May 01, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Yes, I doubt sometimes. I don't want tunnel vision. I try to read studies objectively, with no opinion formed until I get to the end.

I think it is important to always be open to new ideas and be receptive of new information. Questioning and curiosity are necessary in "truth seeking." The complexity of our bodies and biology mean that there is still so much more to learn.

Being stuck and driven to do what you think is right, and brushing off anything that dares to refute those claims (without even reading it first) is practicing something blindly. I am still going to read articles and news releases about grains, dairy, etc. in an attempt to learn more. So many things that were once "obviously" true have been found to be false. I don't think saturated fats and grains are exempt. Us silly humans beings actually know so little about the world. Life, the world...is so fascinating and there is so much more to know!

I do the best that I can with what I know, but I try to keep my ears and eyes open.

2
F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on May 01, 2012
at 07:12 PM

I doubt that the amount of Bacon 'paleo' people proclaim to eat is healthy, I doubt that eating a tremendous amount of domesticated animals is healthy, I doubt that the over consumption of ANYTHING (coconut, fat, protein, fruit, veggies) is healthy..

However, I have never felt better since eliminating grains and natural sweeteners. Skin, stomach and mood problems.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 02, 2012
at 06:34 PM

there are many historical (and current) cultures that thrive on very limited food selection. variety has never really been necessary for health. by variety I mean a wide range of everything.fruit, veg, grain, nuts, etc.. Only well off cultures such as the western world have the means to source and pay for such variety-which is most luxurious compared to much of the world. Over consumption? not sure what that means other than way more than what you need.

F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on May 05, 2012
at 03:27 PM

That's exactly what over consumption means.

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on May 02, 2012
at 01:12 AM

No, I never doubted my decision to eat plenty of saturated fat. The only real thing I waffle on is how much protein I really need.

1
2e5dc29c61f97d335ffb990508424719

on May 01, 2012
at 03:15 PM

No! Most people do not have a background in evolutionary biology. If you study evolutionary biology you will begin to understand that we live healthiest in the "environmental envelope" that we evolved in. It is what our DNA expects of us.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 01, 2012
at 07:23 PM

I eat what is considered the standard paleo diet, but also the one that few here seems to follow- that is lean meats, fruit and vegetables, nuts, and some starch.

0
A291bb4545000cb0ffdfd0ba8efe322d

on May 01, 2012
at 05:54 PM

We all get doubts especially when it comes to a major change in lifestyle but you have to base your choice to make that change on proven data. Facts cannot be disparaged nor negated. Yes starting out we may question ourselves especially when its something as scary as your health but with more confidence which will come from studying the topic you will suceed and you can apply that philosophy to anything. The more you know about anything the more likely you are to achieve the goal you set out to accomplish.

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