5

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Simple scientific explanations of paleo "laws".

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 20, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I've been paleo 5 months now, but I still can't explain to anyone why fructose, PUFAs and gluten are bad for you, nor can I explain why saturated fats are good.

Can anyone give a simple but scientific explanation of these things? I'm gonna read Gary Taubes' book, but I don't think it will help me explain all this stuff to others.

0b074df8079a6cea3470b509d86fca67

(255)

on November 20, 2011
at 10:41 PM

That is a very informative link (if not for the rules, then for the articles it references). Thanks for sharing!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Thanks a lot for that link. I'm prepared to read more blogs from now on, but I have a lot of work to do for college.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:18 PM

You're absolutely right Nance! I shut my mouth about the science, but I'd like to be able to tell people why butter is better than PUFA oils. I don't wanna refer to anyone though : people are very lazy when it comes to healthy habits.

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6 Answers

8
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 20, 2011
at 07:06 PM

I think you'd be better off with Robb Wolf's or Mark Sisson's book if you want to explain paleo laws. But here's my quick primer:

  1. Fructose is not bad per se, but excess fructose (the kind that comes from added sugar in processed foods and drinks) is generally bad because too much can overwhelm the liver's ability to metabolize it, leading to a whole host of problems.

  2. Some PUFAs are critical (EFAs, the essential fatty acids), but excess PUFAs (especially those in industrially produced veggie oils) are harmful because they are unstable fats that can oxidize (not a good thing) and do bad things like contribute to inflammation.

  3. Gluten is a protein in wheat that causes problems for sensitive folks (and modern wheat is particularly bad). Sensitivity to gluten has been linked to all sorts of problems especially gut and/or auto-immune related.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:15 PM

I won't second guess you if you prefer not to do a lot of reading about ancestral eating, but I do recommend you refrain from doing a lot of explaining if you aren't well-informed.

Just describe how you're eating and how you feel. If people want explanations, refer them to Mark's Daily Apple, Archevore, Quilt, Gnoll.org, etc.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:18 PM

You're absolutely right Nance! I shut my mouth about the science, but I'd like to be able to tell people why butter is better than PUFA oils. I don't wanna refer to anyone though : people are very lazy when it comes to healthy habits.

3
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on November 20, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Excess fructose overloads the liver and excess PUFA increases inflammation. The quantities of fructose and PUFA consumed on SAD have only be possible in the last 100 years or so, and we are not that well adapted to them.

Dietary fat for humans has been predominately half saturated and half monounsaturated until the last 100 years or so (when PUFAs started to comprise a larger portion), so humans are well adapted to saturated fat. Attempts to link saturated fat to heart disease have been misguided: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/dirty-little-secret-of-diet-heart.html

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:23 PM

Thanks a lot for that link. I'm prepared to read more blogs from now on, but I have a lot of work to do for college.

2
E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:22 PM

There's a nice list of paleo principles/laws/rules/philopshy here.

0b074df8079a6cea3470b509d86fca67

(255)

on November 20, 2011
at 10:41 PM

That is a very informative link (if not for the rules, then for the articles it references). Thanks for sharing!

1
53ef4eab6b85e1b65a77b86f972e1792

(10)

on November 20, 2011
at 11:07 PM

1
93ae9f2d376e5426e891a9b58d8302fa

(2936)

on November 20, 2011
at 07:29 PM

In lieu of a biochemical explanation, just present an evolutionary scenario that explains all our weird human physical traits (so you know it's gotta be right) as consequences of carnivorous behaviors.

http://tinyurl.com/3jqbmuo

This has convinced a couple people in my circle to at least hold their tongue instead of criticizing my diet. One of them might go paleo rather soon, a full-fledged convert, if I don't drop dead from carb deficiency.

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