Family needs help. What's your best scientific argument for paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

My family's been vegetarian/vegan since before I was born. We have a very strong genetic tendency towards both kinds of diabetes, and it's starting to appear en masse in my direct family.

  1. My mom and dad have reduced glucose tolerance (and Dad's family is riddled with diabetes),
  2. I'm a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed at 14
  3. My youngest brother is borderline type 2
  4. My middle brother was just diagnosed with type 1, yesterday. He's still in the hospital.

I've started making suggestions to them about paleo. Nothing direct yet, but they're all intelligent people - I can win them over if my case is good enough. I just can't stand by and let this happen.

What helped you all with your families?



on December 12, 2012
at 02:11 PM

The OP is clearly asking for more than a glib one-liner. How did you help introduce Paleo-ness to your family?



on December 11, 2012
at 05:54 PM

Read Staffan Lindeberg's book. Food and Western Disease. That should be more than enough.



on December 11, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Just a quick comment - there's a LOT of scientific articles, and even books now, that balk at conventional wisdom and put for a good argument for paleo-esque living. In your case, I would research diabetes control/reversal wrt paleo - that seems to be the first hurdle to jump.

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9 Answers

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on December 11, 2012
at 04:16 PM

I didn't start with paleo, I started on the path that got me here after reading "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman. Paleo, for me, was the natural conclusion I came to after investigating.

I wish you well, and try to foster curiosity in them. Make them think about your reasons because change will only happen if it is intrinsic. Research the reasons people switch. This question is a good one, but your are relying on a random comment from a select few who read these boards. Know why "you" want to change before sharing with others would be my advice.



on December 11, 2012
at 04:32 PM

I convinced my family members to rethink their diets by becomming extremely passionate about health, which to me includes diet and exercise. The more I learned and bettered myself, the more my family and friends saw things that they could apply to their own lives.

But the more I tried to push it down their throats before trying it myself the more hesitant they were to believe me.

Lead by example


on December 23, 2012
at 07:30 PM

I love Nora Gedgaudas' book Primal Mind, Primal Body. It's packed with scientific information, yet is very readable.

It really helped me return to eating meat after disastrous health results from being vegan for about a year.


on December 23, 2012
at 06:20 PM

I'm a type 1 diabetic and pretty new to paleo. I can't tell you how much my numbers have improved since I started. There's a lot of posts about diabetics and paleo or Dr. Bernsteins diet on tu diabetes. Here is the link, maybe if they read some of the blogs it would help them see the light!

http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/taking-paleo-for-a-test-drive http://robbwolf.com/2011/02/14/real-life-testimonial-controlling-type-1-diabetes-with-the-paleo-diet/ http://www.1happydiabetic.com/apps/blog/show/10333424-my-blood-sugar-for-24-hours

Best of luck! I think it's really cool how you are so passionate about your family's health. I bet your little brother will be so grateful that you can help him learn how to live with type 1.


on December 12, 2012
at 02:01 PM

The book that got me to try the Paleo diet & changed my life is: Neanderthin by Ray Audette. I think he was the first person to write about this way of eating in modern times. Also, Schackleford, the guy who went to the north pole & ended up living with the indigenous people was forced to eat how they ate. They were not able to grow anything so far up north. He documented what he ate & how he felt. Also the expeditions that brought canned food ended up starving to death because their rations were lacking in life sustaining nutrients. Stop by my blog for more info if you'd like.



on December 11, 2012
at 09:20 PM



on December 11, 2012
at 07:38 PM

Get your Parents a copy of THE PALEO SOLUTION by ROBB WOLF !

That will change their life FOREVER !!!



on December 11, 2012
at 07:31 PM

Try to get them to read "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution". While not paleo at all, it introduces the idea of eating to the meter, of limiting carbs to keep blood sugar under control, and the dangers of allowing blood sugar to spike. Once they get that, then transitioning to paleo is the easy part--it's just a healthier approach to what they will alreadybe doing if they follow Bernstein's recommendations.

Keep in mind they will be bombarded by their doctors, dieticians, and diabetes educators, not to mention all the helpful literature from drug companies, to eat at least six servings of mostly grain carbs daily, and to avoid fat, especially saturated fat in favor of no fat or low fat made with PUFA's. They will be told that they NEED PUFA's, and saturated animal fat is the enemy. Your suggestions will directly contradict the "experts" who will be bombarding them with this conventional advice. So it will be an uphill battle to convince them, particularly because you are their kid or sibling.



on December 11, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Humans are omnivores. Fact.



on December 12, 2012
at 02:11 PM

The OP is clearly asking for more than a glib one-liner. How did you help introduce Paleo-ness to your family?

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