Author Topic: Confused about basics  (Read 5317 times)

Offline gav223

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Confused about basics
« on: September 23, 2006, 01:46:34 AM »
Hi all, within the last couple of days I have started eating the paleo way (or so I think). I have bought 2 books, Neanderthin and the paleo diet. Although I have not read through them properly, I quickly had a look at the foods you can and cannot eat. Between both books they have different foods and I am confused as to what I can eat and how much. I've read on this forum of people eating many eggs per day, but in the paleo diet book he advises no more than 6 per week. Can someone please tell me which book I should follow.
Many thanks.

Offline Eric

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 05:10:18 AM »
Paleo Diet book advocates lean meat, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables as what you should be focusing on for your diet

Not sure about the other book but I'm sure there will be a transition from your old diet to this new way of eating

If you used to eat eggs every morning don't throw them out right away.  In fact some of us still eat eggs since they would have been available back then (though in much smaller quantities) and we enjoy them and they are good for you.

Give the books a read thru first before embarking so you have a better base of knowledge to start from

And keep checking back here and posting whenever you have another question :)


Offline Manupright

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 06:20:46 AM »
We know that palaeolithic hunter-gatherers ate wild animal foods (meat, eggs, seafood) and wild plant foods (roots, leaves, fruits, nuts, seeds etc.). We don't know exactly how large a contribution each element made to their diet. There was almost certainly a lot of variation over time and place.

The typical hunter-gatherer is/was fitter and healthier than the typical modern westerner. I believe there is evidence of humans undergoing a decline in stature after the switch to an agricultural diet, and I know that comparisons generally show prehistoric hunter-gatherers to have enjoyed better dental hygiene than their agricultural counterparts, despite the fact that neither used toothbrushes (to the best of my knowledge). Neolithic dental decline was due to the cariogenic effect of that source of the modern nutritionist's sexual arousal, starchy carbohydrate. Amongst other things, there is also evidence (possibly) of anaemia after the switch to an agricultural diet.

That said, the typical neolithic farmer was also fitter and healthier than the typical modern westerner. It is not clear that populations automatically suffered a decline in health after switching to an agricultural diet. The general trend for decline may have been due to a specific element of certain agricultural diets (cereal grain, for instance), or to the lack of certain crucial elements of the palaeolithic diet. Some early agriculturalists were pastoralists whose diet included dairy foods but did not contain significant quantities of cereal grain. Neolithic populations usually (but not always) neglected marine food resources. As for dental hygiene, there are instances of prehistoric agriculturalists faring as well (or as badly) as their hunter-gathering counterparts, either because they were not consuming large quantities of cariogenic carbohydrates or because the hunter-gatherers were consuming large quantities of cariogenic dried fruit. Palaeolithic origin does not necessarily mean that a food is completely healthy. Neolithic cereal grains contain anti-nutrients, but so do palaeolithic nuts and seeds. The anti-nutrients in nuts can be neutralised by certain processes, but so can those in grains. So some non-palaeolithic foods may not be entirely unhealthy, but there is no doubt that many modern foods are unhealthy, especially when they make a large contribution to the diet.

Sorry about the digresssion. Back to the controversies of palaeolithic eating, the main one being about fats. Some claim that hunter-gatherer diets were high-protein, medium-fat and low in saturated fat and cholesterol; others claim that hunter-gatherer diets were high-fat, medium-protein and high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

I haven't read Cordain's diet book, but I have read many of his journal articles. Despite arguing against almost every other dogma of modern nutritionists, he rigidly supports the notion that saturated fat and "LDL cholesterol" are responsible for heart disease. I have read Neanderthin, and Audette contradicts himself on this matter. He sings the praises of animal fat and cholesterol in places, but then defers to Cordain and recommends lean meat in another section.

The argument (as supported by Cordain and, it appears, Arthur De Vany) goes that saturated fat increases levels of "LDL cholesterol", which in turn is "associated" with heart disease. Saturated and monounsaturated fat are thought to raise levels of "HDL cholesterol", which is thought to protect against heart disease. Polyunsaturated fat is thought to lower levels of both types of cholesterol transporter. People's attitude to fats is often based, therefore, on their attitude to cholesterol. If they think cholesterol is always good, they think polyunsaturated fat should be eaten in moderation. If they think cholesterol is always bad, they think saturated and monounsaturated fat should be eaten in moderation. If they think HDL is good and LDL is bad, they think saturated and polyunsaturated fat should be eaten in moderation.

I believed Cordain until I discovered an online debate between him and Anthony Colpo on the latter's www.theomnivore.com website. The article is no longer available, sadly. Anthony's journal article (http://www.jpands.org/vol10no3/colpo.pdf) is, however. The gist of Anthony's argument is that, regardless of the wild claims made by various researchers, their studies do not actually show an association between LDL and heart disease. Rather, they show an association (whether causal or coincidental) between oxidised LDL and heart disease. Oxidised LDL has nothing to do with dietary saturated fat or cholesterol, and neither does it have anything to do with general LDL levels. LDL might be oxidised as a result high blood-sugar levels or consuming large quantities of cereal fibre or ... all the usual suspects, basically. Statin drugs, which lower LDL levels and (in some trials) improve the mortality prospects of carefully selected treatment groups, produce anti-inflammatory effects that are independent of LDL-lowering. They can also produce nasty side-effects. Intelligent exercise and a truly healthy diet can achieve the same anti-inflammatory ends, without the nasty side-effects.

In his online review of Al Sears's The Doctor's Heart Cure, Chris Masterjohn makes a very telling point that compares the role of LDL to that of white blood cells (http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Doctors-Heart-Cure.html). He says:

"On page 166, Dr. Sears describes how, in response to trauma to blood vessels, "harmful LDL cholesterol" and white blood cells accumulate and cause harmful atherosclerotic lesions. Yet, if this process is what makes these LDLs "harmful", why does he not refer to white blood cells as "harmful"? Both LDL and white blood cells perform important functions in the absence of these assaults on the blood vessels, and when such assaults call them to action, they are fulfilling a vital role of preventing immediate danger. That this process leads to harm in the future only makes the toxins that initiated the assault "harmful," not the important immune and repair processes."

Offline Orc65

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2006, 06:24:47 AM »
The basics are as Eric stated mate.
While most of us stick to the basics, there are variations due to personal taste and location.
Some of us include dairy products, (I'm one) others include other non-paleo foods as well or instead.
Basically just eliminate grains and beans from your diet first, then work on eliminating processed foods from the diet, if you find you are not doing well after removing a food from your diet, pop it back on the list of foods eaten, but try to look for a paleo substitute if you can.
Diet is a personal thing, find what works for you and go with it, if that means a little non-paleo stuff now and again, so be it.
I'd suggest seeing a doctor for a check up before you start and then again after about a month to get an idea of how it has changed you physically. I plan on getting some blood tests done to see if I'm deficient in anything, vitamin wise, if I am I will be searching for a paleo food to provide the needed vitamins.

Offline gav223

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2006, 09:57:32 AM »
Thanks guy's for the advice. Although I do need to lose about 10lbs of fat, it's the health side of it that i'm more interested in. For the last 10 years I have regularly ate good food and exersized for the majority of the time. Now and again I have had a few months where I have slipped off the wagon, but then once i'm ready again I have lost the weight and started training again. I have recently been following an eating plan where I eat every 3 hours and have around 5/6 small meals per day. While doing this I lost about 18lbs over 3 months. I'm not to bothered if it takes me much more time to lose the last 10lbs as long as it makes me more healthy. My girlfriend is giving it a go aswell, but as she is quite overweight I do not want it causing problems for her (diabetes) or anything else. I have read elsewhere that you can eat Bacon, Sausage and tinned fish to name a few and then other places they tell you not to eat these things. The 2 books I have are quite different and i'm unsure of which one to follow.
Cheers.


Offline Orc65

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2006, 05:56:03 PM »
While I'm currently not exercising regularly, I get daily RSS feeds from http://fitness-solution.blogspot.com/2006/09/friday-22-september-2006-triple-ups.html which is quite good for the average person, provides a set of exercises from monday to friday with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of difficulty, while being simple enough for anyone to do at home.

I eat bacon quite often, sausages generally contain some grain or soy products to thicken the meat mix, I prefer to get my meat from the butcher as they can tell you what's in them, I found "South African Sausage" which according to my butcher has no grain or bean products in it, one way to tell is to cut them before you cook them, if juice runs everywhere and they tend to fall apart, you can be pretty sure it's just meat and no grain or bean products.
I prefer fresh fish but some tinned fish products should be okay just read the label to see whats in them.
On the books, read both, read some online stuff, then go with what makes sense to you, naturally you will revise your diet as you go along, it's not cut and dried, mate. You'll read something one day, then the next day   something will refute it and you'll change your mind again. We all do it, if it makes sense to us.

There is only one hard and fast rule, NO GRAINS OR BEANS. :)
Everything else is personal taste or beliefs.

Oh.... have you looked at this thread http://cavemanforum.com/index.php?topic=55.0 in the Meta Category?
We've posted a bunch of links with various bits of information on diet, health etc there.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2006, 06:16:54 PM by Orc65 »

Offline JonR

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2006, 10:21:45 PM »
THANK YOU!!! :)

Manupright - thanks for the cogent summary of most things paleo.  I've been reading about this stuff for months and your concise summary is perhaps the single best few paragraphs on this subject that I have ever read.  Fantastic post - keep it up!

Offline gav223

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2006, 12:40:27 AM »
Thanks for all your input and advice. I have a better understanding of how to use this diet and will try it out for a week or two. Once I have lost the last last few pounds that I need, I will continue with this type of eating, but I think I will add other foods for a bit more variety. I will not add bad things, just things that I have normaly been eating and I will limit there use (cheese, yogurt, milk, potatoes, wholewheat bread, pasta and rice). I can't see these foods causing any health problems if eating in moderation.

Offline Manupright

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Re: Confused about basics
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2006, 02:46:16 AM »
Cheers, Jon!

I've been collecting info about ancient diets for almost a year now, but there's still a mass of stuff I don't understand properly. I'm hoping to study the matter during the coming year.