9

votes

Pure Science or Logic?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 12, 2010 at 5:23 PM

How scientific an explanation of Paleo reasoning for why this diet works do you need or expect? I have noticed a lot of extremely knowledgable people on this site, with some complicated explanations for why certain ingredients are bad or good, or why a particular form of, say magnesium, works better than another.

This is great, but sometimes I am lazy and content enough to accept someone like Kurt Harris's or Patrik's explanation of something rather than totally 'getting it' science-wise.

How about you?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Slow and steady wins the race. Most of us are dealing with something health-wise and it is good when you can make it even a bit better so easily.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 13, 2010
at 02:27 PM

I think you have to be curious enough to experiment with the things you read that strike a chord and make sense to you at the time. After reading and thinking, I rely more on gut instincts than a high level of science- some of the biochemistry stuff is beyond me. And it is refreshing to remember that even gurus mess up.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 13, 2010
at 12:34 PM

I think probably yes, females maybe more adept at this, I know some men who are very good at listening to their guts too!

Eae21abfabb19c4617b2630386994fd9

on March 12, 2010
at 11:40 PM

This is all science and logic. Looking at what people used to eat, and gauging how your body reacts are both very scientific. The question is how much are you going to rely on "gurus" (the sources you decide to trust) vs. how much are you going to dig into issues with your own independent verification and research? Even a detailed understanding of scientific aspects does not prevent one from making gross errors of judgment about evidence or what gurus to follow. By what standards do you judge evidence? How does one develop an open and impartial but critical mind to analyze the evidence?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Both gut instincts and gut 'listening' are good! Maybe more females use this way of processing all the data.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2010
at 08:25 PM

Yes I get it Suzan- that is pretty close to what I do. Learn as much as possible, apply the knowledge, and see if the results back up the theory. But I am not willing to stress over tiny details or fine tune and time what I eat or do, or take masses of supplements.

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5 Answers

3
5cc9908801b79ff820bbc1eb7ac01b8f

on March 12, 2010
at 06:42 PM

I look for three things: 1) Would Grok have eaten it? 2) What do the scientific studies say? (I consult Robb Wolf's blog and see what he says. He's science-savvy, and I trust his opinion. Robbwolf.com) 3) What happens when I omit/include it in my diet for a few weeks?

I never look at just scientific studies alone. There's always some zeitgeist for or against a food and who knows how the science will shift in 20 years. Soy has lots of reported benefits, but I don't eat it because my ancestors wouldn't have. Wheat has phytates and causes leaky gut, but I don't eat it because I feel better when I don't. All three questions are necessary.

2
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on March 13, 2010
at 12:10 PM

Read, consider, try, feel, record, consider, retry, etc. Like quite a few people who have found their way to paleo, I'm dealing with some chronic health stuff that was in all likelihood caused by the SAD, and for which mainstream medicine has suboptimal answers. Finding stuff that might help and trying it, in a way that makes sense, is part of the deal.

Like this: "Hm. Kurt posted something about Vit D. I haven't tried that one, but I dimly recall that a friend of mine has and it worked out for her." read *Google* read "Hm, intriguing results from some of the studies and sound logic, and what seems to be very low downside risk. I'll try 2000 IU a day and see what happens." try "Hm, nothing bad happened, let's up it to 7000." try "Oh hey, I feel better despite weeks of crappy cold gray weather. Win."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Slow and steady wins the race. Most of us are dealing with something health-wise and it is good when you can make it even a bit better so easily.

2
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 12, 2010
at 07:52 PM

When I learned I was gluten intolerant I did a lot of research into diet/health. I love to read and research, however I am right-brained, and I do not have a background in science or medicine. A lot of what I read or tried to read was way above my knowledge base. Good Calories, Bad Calories was the deal-breaker for me. Although the book was an extremely tedious read for me, I learned a lot. No, I don't agree with everything written in the pro-Paleo camp. But Taubes book made sense. So the next step was to apply it.

Most people don't have the time or the attention span to read a lot. Everyone wants a quick fix, even some who are into science. I hardly ever recommend Taubes book to the average person who just wants to feel better or lose weight. I usually recommend Kurt Harris' 12 step plan, or Mark Sisson's book. I suggest that they try the diet it for a month.

So I suppose in answer to your question: For me, a non-scientific, but inquisitive person, give me some science and some logic, plus personal experience. When new scientific data comes out, I try to keep up with it, but it's not my field of expertise, so I can't comprehend as much as some do here. But that's cool because the improvement in my overall health and well-being confirms the small amount of science I've absorbed. I hope that makes sense.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2010
at 08:25 PM

Yes I get it Suzan- that is pretty close to what I do. Learn as much as possible, apply the knowledge, and see if the results back up the theory. But I am not willing to stress over tiny details or fine tune and time what I eat or do, or take masses of supplements.

1
D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 12, 2010
at 05:45 PM

I'm happy with it since I've read the supporting studies...

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com is a good place to get free studies that are often about low-carb. Also, http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com and http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com discuss studies. You can use those blogs to get references.

-1
Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 12, 2010
at 07:34 PM

I like a little of both I have to say. Sometimes my gut instinct says, 'That was not around in Paleolithic times, so therefore what are we doing to ourselves by eating it/doing it?' and other times I really need the science to tell me WHY?

I am not a scientist nor a scholar, I am a mother who has been searching for a very long time for a better way to 'be'. Sometimes it feels like groping around in the dark, like trial and error and the science - in some cases - can be really contradictory and confusing, like 'information overload' when I get into heavy research about something.

In light of this, I like to keep up with what people are saying about it, through discussions like these. Sometimes it can make things just a little clearer and hanging out at a place like this means that I can pick up snippets of layman's science and listen to other people's experiences too. I think reading what other people have been through is sometimes just as valuable as scientific evidence. Together they are a powerful combination and when the experience gets backed up by science, well then that is the EUREKA! moment.

I guess I won't try anything new until I have read at least some scientific evidence on the topic, some anecdotal evidence (discussion or opinion) and some historical /anthropological evidence about how pre-industrialized/agriculturalized people lived. I have to admit that it is the actual historical evidence that usually helps me make my final decision as to whether I accept the hypothesis or not.

But then, after all this I always listen to the last and most important judge - my body - in the form of emotional and/or physical gut feelings. My body is where the buck stops, regardless of science, history or word-of-mouth - period.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 12, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Both gut instincts and gut 'listening' are good! Maybe more females use this way of processing all the data.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 13, 2010
at 12:34 PM

I think probably yes, females maybe more adept at this, I know some men who are very good at listening to their guts too!

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