Author Topic: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?  (Read 188117 times)

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #165 on: February 08, 2011, 12:00:07 PM »
"New world" means North and South America, as opposed to the "old world" - Europe, Asia, and Africa.  During the paleolithic, humans were restricted to the old world.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #166 on: February 08, 2011, 02:00:16 PM »
Quinoa is considered a new world food? I thought it was ancient?

New world in the sense of it being from the Americas, so not available to paleolithic people.

Edit: somehow missed Warren's post that said the same thing.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 02:01:49 PM by sparrow »


Offline Kane

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #167 on: February 09, 2011, 12:18:48 AM »
But where there not human beings in the Americas at this same time period eating quinoa?

Offline samjohn

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #168 on: February 09, 2011, 01:28:58 AM »
But where there not human beings in the Americas at this same time period eating quinoa?

In what time period? The Paleolithic? No.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #169 on: February 09, 2011, 05:09:09 AM »
Quote
As new discoveries come to light, past hypotheses are reevaluated and new theories constructed. The archeological evidence suggests that Paleo-Indians' first "widespread" habitation of the Americas occurred during the end of the last glacial period, or more specifically what is known as the late glacial maximum, around 16,50013,000 years ago.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Settlement_of_the_Americas

Not that long ago, in terms of the history of the species.


Offline Chris

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #170 on: February 09, 2011, 06:27:34 AM »
Quinoa is considered a new world food? I thought it was ancient?

It's a New World food: linky.

Offline kyleen66

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #171 on: February 10, 2011, 10:25:58 AM »
Just wanted to say thank you to all those that recommend to eat some fat. This morning I felt as bad as I did the last time I was anemic. For lunch I fried up some ground beef with mushrooms and onions. I feel a LOT better!

 ;D

Offline ArcasAgathon

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #172 on: March 13, 2011, 10:14:36 PM »
Hi, I'm relatively new to the Paleo Diet, but a lot of the posts have me confused here.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dr. Cordain specifically writes in his book about the significant differences between the Paleo Diet and the "Low Carb, High Fat" fad diets.

Yet, I see recommendation after recommendation here to eliminate carbs (as low as 25g/day???) and add more fats--- and that's being called "Paleo Diet"?  I didn't read ANYTHING about that in Dr. Cordain's books!!! (Pardon the excessive exclamation points, but I find this deviation from Dr. Cordain's writing to be quite alarming).

The Paleo Diet, **as I understand it**, recommends lean protein from meat, fish, and seafood (with recent updates loosening up the definitions of "lean"), and all the fruits and veggies you care to eat. I read in the book that the intake of nuts should be limited, due to the difficulty of getting a healthy Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio from them, as well as being highly concentrated fats (with as much as 90% of their calories coming from fat).

I read that bananas, while indeed of a high glycemic INDEX, are actually comparatively low on their glycemic LOAD, when compared to grains, starchy tubers, and dairy.

Also, it is my understanding that 30% to 40% of your calories should be coming from fruits and veggies; 40%-50% of calories from meat, fish, and seafood, and 20% of calories from healthful fats in the form of oils, nuts, and higher fat items such as eggs.

I see no indication in the books that we should, in any way, RESTRICT our consumption of fruits and veggies. In fact, I see a strong argument made that we need them for many reasons, including the bulking insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, and to balance our pH levels for healthy Calcium balance. Plus, fruits are especially needed for good potassium intake for a healthy sodium/potassium ratio.

After reading many of the posts here, I'm of the impression that many people are reading Dr. Atkins' books and thinking that the Paleo Diet!

Today, I've eaten:
1 Banana
2 Apples
1/2 Orange
1 Pear

That's along with the spinach, carrots, broccoli, romaine, cauliflower, and tomato I consumed.

And, of course, eggs, salmon, and chicken.

And a small handful of cashews.

Offline sparrow

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #173 on: March 14, 2011, 12:34:14 PM »
While Loren Cordain wrote the book called the paleo diet, it's also a broader term encompassing a way of eating that eschews grain, legumes, dairy, and "modernly palatable" foods.

The newer edition of Cordain's book, from what I hear, has a revised view of fat.  The older edition's recommendation against fat was based more on the "conventional wisdom" of avoiding fat, rather than scientific evidence that fat causes health problems.  There's more info in the Research subforum on this site.

25 g of carbs isn't eliminating carbs; it's reducing them.  For people trying to lose weight efficiently, a ketogenic paleo diet can be useful.

People on this site recommend minimizing nuts because of the poor omega 3-6 ratio.  They can also cause digestive upset in large amounts, and tend to stall weight loss more than meat, a better source of fat and protein.

Bananas might have a low glycemic load compared to the other non-paleo foods you mentioned, but there are better fruit choices available for both glycemic index and load.

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I see no indication in the books that we should, in any way, RESTRICT our consumption of fruits and veggies.

I have Cordain's paleo diet cookbook, and he specifically mentions not overdoing fruit, especially sugary fruit.  Do you have an older edition of his books?  I've never seen anyone recommend restricting vegetables, other than suggesting to try consuming fewer if someone was having digestive problems on a high veggie diet.


Also, it is my understanding that 30% to 40% of your calories should be coming from fruits and veggies; 40%-50% of calories from meat, fish, and seafood, and 20% of calories from healthful fats in the form of oils, nuts, and higher fat items such as eggs.

Where are you getting this from?  It sounds very much like some of the older studies I've read.  Seed oils and nuts are high in omega 6, and the former are products of agriculture, not available in the paleolithic.

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After reading many of the posts here, I'm of the impression that many people are reading Dr. Atkins' books and thinking that the Paleo Diet!

Well, then unfortunately you've gotten the wrong impression. ;)

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And a small handful of cashews.

Those are not paleo.  The rest are, but have you ever tried low carb paleo?  The reason most people on this forum eat this way is because it works well for us, and we feel best on it.  Fruit, while paleo, is something that is seasonal in most parts of the natural world.  Since we don't have seasonally imposed limits on its consumption, many of us choose to place limits on it ourselves.  Make sense?

Offline ArcasAgathon

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #174 on: March 14, 2011, 10:48:18 PM »
While Loren Cordain wrote the book called the paleo diet, it's also a broader term encompassing a way of eating that eschews grain, legumes, dairy, and "modernly palatable" foods.

The newer edition of Cordain's book, from what I hear, has a revised view of fat.  The older edition's recommendation against fat was based more on the "conventional wisdom" of avoiding fat, rather than scientific evidence that fat causes health problems.  There's more info in the Research subforum on this site.

I want to be clear that Dr. Cordain's first edition didn't condemn all fat... only saturated fat in excessive amounts and a poorly-balanced O6:03 ratio. He recommended oils in order to better balance unsaturated fats against the saturated fats that he knew most people would be getting when buying grain-fed meats (knowing that grass-fed meat in the amounts we'd be trying to eat would be cost-prohibitive for many).

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25 g of carbs isn't eliminating carbs; it's reducing them.  For people trying to lose weight efficiently, a ketogenic paleo diet can be useful.

Under 100g of carbs is considered "low-carb" and under 25g of CHO is "virtually eliminating" them. You *could* eat exclusively fat and protein, but it would be pretty unhealthy. You can do a <25g CHO diet on veggies alone, with no fruit at all, which is suspect many here recommend.

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People on this site recommend minimizing nuts because of the poor omega 3-6 ratio.  They can also cause digestive upset in large amounts, and tend to stall weight loss more than meat, a better source of fat and protein.

I never suggested eating nuts in large amounts. I mentioned eating "a handful of cashews" (and yes, I know they're not technically a "nut"). I have never advocated eating a lot of them. I believe Dr. Cordain's book recommends keeping nuts to under 4 oz/day. I plan to keep them to about 1 oz/day as a limit.

When you say that meat is "a better source of fat and protein", are you referring to all meat? Or are you specifically limiting yourself to fish and grass-fed livestock? My understanding is that grain-fed beef is still poor on its O6 to O3 ratio. I can't afford a 1600 calories per day of grass-fed meat. (I have a 3200 cal/day metabolism, so I'd need a minimum of 1600 calories from meat for a reasonably paleo ratio of 50% of calories from meat. 1600 calories of grass-fed meat is in the neighborhood of $20-25, I can't spend that on meat PLUS whatever veggies I need per day.)

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Bananas might have a low glycemic load compared to the other non-paleo foods you mentioned, but there are better fruit choices available for both glycemic index and load.

Of course there are! That's why you don't gorge yourself on the things. Where is the "line in the sand" that you're going to draw about what foods are "too high" in GI and GL? Shall we all limit ourselves to strawberries? What, in your estimation, is a reasonable total Glycemic Load for a day's worth of food? Self.com's NutritionData site recommends less than 100 GL/day. Of course, they have to take into account the SAD. I had a total GL Sunday of about 30, according to their tracker. Too high?

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I have Cordain's paleo diet cookbook, and he specifically mentions not overdoing fruit, especially sugary fruit.  Do you have an older edition of his books?

No one suggested "overdoing fruit", but his older books do say "eat unlimited fruits and veggies", with the caveat that you are eating a significant amount of protein with each meal. He said that whatever fruits and veggies you eat thereafter will never be too much, as you will find yourself stopping well short of that point.

I'm not recommending gorging one's self on the highest sugar content fruits one can find. That is counter-productive to be sure, but what I'm seeing here is the opposite extreme... the advocacy of the elimination of all fruits, and replacing all dietary carbs from fruits with fat.

I originally checked out "The Paleo Diet" in its first edition from the library. I have seen the second edition now, and have read what Dr. Cordain now says about saturated fats. He has loosened his stance on it, but never does he advocate going "hog wild" on saturated fats, as I have seen advocated here. He still warns against many saturated fats such as palmitic and myristic acids as having adverse health effects.

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I've never seen anyone recommend restricting vegetables, other than suggesting to try consuming fewer if someone was having digestive problems on a high veggie diet.

What do you think is implied when people brag about their "Paleo Diets" with >75% of caloric intake from animal fats? What do you think people will hear when the message is repeated over and over "replace your carbs with fat!"?

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Also, it is my understanding that 30% to 40% of your calories should be coming from fruits and veggies; 40%-50% of calories from meat, fish, and seafood, and 20% of calories from healthful fats in the form of oils, nuts, and higher fat items such as eggs.

Where are you getting this from?  It sounds very much like some of the older studies I've read.  Seed oils and nuts are high in omega 6, and the former are products of agriculture, not available in the paleolithic.

From Dr. Cordain's examination of the diet of pre-agricultural peoples, and how we can best approximate them on a modern industrialized diet.

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After reading many of the posts here, I'm of the impression that many people are reading Dr. Atkins' books and thinking that the Paleo Diet!

Well, then unfortunately you've gotten the wrong impression. ;)

When Dr. Cordain specifically targets the "high fat, low carb fad diets" over and over in his writings, and that's precisely what I see being recommended here... one has to wonder.

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And a small handful of cashews.
Those are not paleo.  The rest are, but have you ever tried low carb paleo?  The reason most people on this forum eat this way is because it works well for us, and we feel best on it.

You feel good... for now. How are the bad saturated fats (and I know not all saturated fats are bad) going to catch up to you in the long run? What is your pH balance on your high animal/ low vegetable ratio diet? What is your Calcium ratio as a result?  What is your inflammation index from these saturated fats? Are you getting all the potassium you should have while restricting your fruits?

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Fruit, while paleo, is something that is seasonal in most parts of the natural world.  Since we don't have seasonally imposed limits on its consumption, many of us choose to place limits on it ourselves.  Make sense?

Curious argument. How many paleo peoples lived in temperate zones (with seasonal fruit) year round? And how many traveled, as do migrant farmers today, Northward in (Northern Hemisphere) Spring and early Summer, and back Southward in the Late Summer and Fall, following the pattern of vegetation's peak ripeness? They were NOMADS, and followed both herds and vegetation. (I imagine the herds also followed similar migratory routes, finding the best forage as they moved).  The word "animal" has, at it's root meaning "that which moves (anima)".

Arcas

Offline sparrow

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #175 on: March 15, 2011, 10:32:32 AM »
I never suggested eating nuts in large amounts. I mentioned eating "a handful of cashews" (and yes, I know they're not technically a "nut"). I have never advocated eating a lot of them. I believe Dr. Cordain's book recommends keeping nuts to under 4 oz/day. I plan to keep them to about 1 oz/day as a limit.

I wasn't trying to say that you eat too many.  I was just saying that on this site, people usually are recommending against eating too many for reasons other than overall fat content, since you'd said something about the book saying that they're 90% fat.

>>When you say that meat is "a better source of fat and protein", are you referring to all meat? Or are you specifically limiting yourself to fish and grass-fed livestock? My understanding is that grain-fed beef is still poor on its O6 to O3 ratio.<<

I was, and while grain fed is definitely not ideal, I think it's a better source of protein than nuts.  Does anyone know how the O6:3 ratios compare between nuts and grain fed beef?

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Of course there are! That's why you don't gorge yourself on the things. Where is the "line in the sand" that you're going to draw about what foods are "too high" in GI and GL? Shall we all limit ourselves to strawberries? What, in your estimation, is a reasonable total Glycemic Load for a day's worth of food? Self.com's NutritionData site recommends less than 100 GL/day. Of course, they have to take into account the SAD. I had a total GL Sunday of about 30, according to their tracker. Too high?

Honestly, I don't know.  I'm not getting what your exact point was about the bananas.

Quote
No one suggested "overdoing fruit", but his older books do say "eat unlimited fruits and veggies", with the caveat that you are eating a significant amount of protein with each meal. He said that whatever fruits and veggies you eat thereafter will never be too much, as you will find yourself stopping well short of that point.

Personally, I'd consider "unlimited" to have a large potential for overdoing things, even with sufficient protein.  I'm wondering if he refined his recommendations because people were having problems with keeping their fruit intake to a reasonable level?

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From Dr. Cordain's examination of the diet of pre-agricultural peoples, and how we can best approximate them on a modern industrialized diet.

Ok, I've seen similar numbers in an older study done by Eades.  I think there's been isotope analysis done on some bones that's indicated that at least some populations were consuming much more meat than originally thought.

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When Dr. Cordain specifically targets the "high fat, low carb fad diets" over and over in his writings, and that's precisely what I see being recommended here... one has to wonder.

I doubt Cordain is going to call high fat or low carb paleo a fad diet.  He was likely referring to Atkins, which has dieters eventually going back to eating the SAD.  There is a huge difference between the two.  Just because a diet is high fat, doesn't mean that it's insane or unhealthy.


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You feel good... for now. How are the bad saturated fats (and I know not all saturated fats are bad) going to catch up to you in the long run? What is your pH balance on your high animal/ low vegetable ratio diet? What is your Calcium ratio as a result?  What is your inflammation index from these saturated fats? Are you getting all the potassium you should have while restricting your fruits?

I don't restrict vegetable intake.  In fact, I eat them every time I eat meat.  Other than not being able to afford grass fed meat, I think the acid/base balance and my bone density are probably looking pretty good.  I take an omega 3 supplement to help the O6/O3 ratio.  My arthritis, allergies, muscle soreness, digestive problems, migraines, and fatigue have all gone away on Paleo, so inflammation-wise, that seems like a decent indication that things are going well.  My sodium-potassium ratio is right where it should be, at least from when I was still measuring that.  I eat 1-2 pieces of fruit a day.  My lipid and cholesterol levels have improved.

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Curious argument. How many paleo peoples lived in temperate zones (with seasonal fruit) year round? And how many traveled, as do migrant farmers today, Northward in (Northern Hemisphere) Spring and early Summer, and back Southward in the Late Summer and Fall, following the pattern of vegetation's peak ripeness? They were NOMADS, and followed both herds and vegetation. (I imagine the herds also followed similar migratory routes, finding the best forage as they moved).  The word "animal" has, at it's root meaning "that which moves (anima)".

I might be misunderstanding you, but I don't think paleolithic humans were having migrations of that magnitude.  For most fruiting plants, you'd have to be switching hemispheres to have the types of fruit we're talking about present year-round.

Offline ArcasAgathon

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #176 on: March 15, 2011, 08:57:25 PM »
If he was okay with all this high-fat version of Paleo, then why is Dr. Cordain's organization still touting lean meat?

http://thepaleodiet.com/steaks-health-benefits/

Offline ArcasAgathon

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #177 on: March 15, 2011, 09:00:42 PM »
And from the FAQ on thepaleodiet.com

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When switching to The Paleo Diet after being on an ultra-low-carb diet, is it possible to gain temporary weight from eating the "unlimited" fruit allowed on your plan?
Let me take a roundabout way of answering this question first by explaining why almost all of the weight we gain comes from either dietary fat or dietary carbohydrate.

As I pointed out in Chapter 4 of The Paleo Diet, it is physiologically impossible to gain weight when lean protein is the only food consumed because of the body's limited ability to break down protein and excrete the by-product of protein metabolism (urea). This limit is called the physiological protein ceiling and varies between 30-40% of the normal caloric intake in most people, assuming they are consuming their usual (eucaloric) energy intake. Continued consumption of lean protein at or above the physiological protein ceiling without added fat or carbohydrate will elicit symptoms of so-called "rabbit starvation," a malady eliciting lethargy, diarrhea, weight loss, electrolyte imbalances, and eventual death. Hence, all people will lose body weight if limited to consumption of lean protein.

Lean protein has been shown repeatedly to be the most satiating of all three macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate). Numerous clinical trials have shown that people eat fewer calories during a high-protein meal compared to high-fat or carbohydrate meals, and they eat fewer calories at the meal immediately following a high-protein meal. Finally, lean protein has two to three times the thermic effect of either carbohydrate or fat -- meaning that it elevates metabolism ~5-10% higher than when either carbohydrate or fat are consumed.

Both carbohydrates and fats can be consumed (theoretically) in quantities greater than the daily energy expended because there is no physiological limit or ceiling that occurs when these substrates are metabolized. Excess dietary carbohydrate or excess fat do not make us acutely ill like excess protein. Hence, these excess calories are simply stored as body fat. Over the long haul, when more energy is consumed than energy expended, we gain weight.

Carbohydrates that cause us to gain weight are typically carbohydrates with a high glycemic load. Although most of you have probably heard of the glycemic index (the ability of a food to acutely raise the blood sugar), many are unfamiliar with the glycemic load, which is simply the glycemic index of a food multiplied by the carbohydrate content in a given amount of the food. The glycemic load of a food is more closely related to the net insulin response over a 24-hr period than is the simple glycemic index. Consequently, it is the glycemic load that may predispose us to obesity and chronic disease.

Although watermelon has a high glycemic index (72) similar to white bread (70), it has a glycemic load (per 100 grams of watermelon) that is only 5.2 compared to a glycemic load in white bread of 34.7. The International Table of Glycemic Indices lists the glycemic index of 11 fruits. The glycemic loads (per 100 grams of food) of these 11 fruits are as follows: bananas 12.1, pineapple 8.2, grapes 7.7, kiwi fruit 7.4, apple 6.0, pear 5.4, watermelon 5.2, orange 5.1, cherries 3.7, peach 3.1, grapefruit 1.9. Consequently one would have to eat 6.7 times as much watermelon as white bread to achieve an equivalent glycemic load. Let's say you ate 4 slices of white bread (or 100 grams, ~ 1/4 lb). In order to get an equivalent glycemic load, you would have to eat almost 1.5 lbs of watermelon or 4 lbs of grapefruit.

One of the body's mechanisms used to determine when to stop eating is stomach volume or fullness. Most people would stop eating watermelon after about 3.0 lbs (435 kcal) or say even 6.0 lbs (870 kcal) because their stomach volumes simply could not physically take much more food. Hence, under normal eating conditions, it is difficult or impossible for most people to overeat on fruits alone.

However, this being said there are some important exceptions. Dried fruits are not only concentrated calorie sources, they also represent high glycemic loads and have a high potential to cause weight gain, particularly when eaten in unlimited quantities. In addition, high-fat foods such as nuts, seeds, or fatty meats, if consumed in excessive quantity along with fruits, can also promote weight gain.

When I say unlimited quantities, perhaps I should say, within normal eating limits, rather than complete gluttony. If you are unsure of "normal limits" and do not know if you are hungry, then eat a piece of lean turkey breast. If you are still hungry, eat more lean protein, particularly if weight loss is a major objective.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #178 on: March 19, 2011, 01:11:05 PM »
I was, and while grain fed is definitely not ideal, I think it's a better source of protein than nuts.  Does anyone know how the O6:3 ratios compare between nuts and grain fed beef?

Omega 3:6 ratios:

Grass fed grass finished beef 1:1 to 1:2
Grass fed grain finished beef 1:4 to 1:8
Grain fed grain finished beef 1:8 or worse

English walnuts 1:7
Other nuts worse than 1:10

In addition, the absolute excess amounts of omega 6s is much higher in nuts.

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Ok, I've seen similar numbers in an older study done by Eades.  I think there's been isotope analysis done on some bones that's indicated that at least some populations were consuming much more meat than originally thought.

Isotope analyses on neanderthal bones in Europe from the paleolithic indicates that greater than 95% - probably 100% - of their protein intake was from meat.  There's a thread in the research section on it.

Middens suggest that the primary food of paleolithic humans was large game - red deer in Europe, hippo and antelope in Africa.  Studies of hunting and gathering efficiency indicate that large game is by far the most time efficient source of calories where it is available - which, during the paleolithic, was pretty much everywhere that humans lived.  Again, there are threads in the research section providing more details.  The available evidence points to a human diet that was predominantly meat throughout the bulk of the paleolithic.

Offline Warren Dew

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Re: Why is the caveman diet making me very tired?
« Reply #179 on: March 19, 2011, 02:40:08 PM »
ArcasAgathon, you ask a lot of good questions.  I hope it's okay if I give my answers to them without quoting from each of the recent posts from you and others.

The term "paleo diet" or "paleolithic diet" as used on this site generally means "as close to the diet eaten by paleolithic humans as we can get to".  The logic is that that's the diet we evolved to eat, and thus anything in that diet should be safe for us.  Anything that we didn't eat back then is risky, since we're not evolved to eat it, even if we don't know the specific risks.

There are a variety of sources of information on the paleo diet, which generally differ in various details.  Cordain is only one of them.  Indeed, the general view here is that Cordain isn't necessarily the best source on the diet, because his books don't appear to fully buy in to the evolutionary logic behind the paleo diet; he seems to use about 50% paleo logic, and 50% modern nutritionism.  Since modern nutritionism is what managed to cause the obesity epidemic in the U.S., most of us are skeptical of it.

The best paleo book that's still available is probably not Cordain's book, but Neanderthin, which can still be found at some used booksellers.  However, the best book on general dietary science is probably Good Calories, Bad Calories, or the more recent and simplified version, Why We Get Fat, which explain what the problems are with common nonpaleo foods today, even though they don't specifically advocate a paleo diet.

It should also be kept in mind that this particular thread is centered on giving advice to people who find themselves getting tired during the first weeks of the paleo diet.  If you're not one of those people, advice in this thread may not apply to you.

On to your specific points and questions.

With respect to eating exclusively fat and protein, there's no evidence that it's actually unhealthy.  Stefansson didn't have any problem with it in experiments that I believe are discussed in the research section.  There are sizeable communities that hang out on zero carb forums that eat entirely meat.  I'm certainly not saying it's how everyone should eat, but I would say, don't knock it til you've tried it.

With regard to meat and nuts, all meat is a better source of protein than are nuts; the amino acids in meat, including commercial meat, are better balanced.  With respect to fats, see the my response to sparrow on omega 3:6 ratio.  In addition, fat from meat is probably healthier because nuts have excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats, which are highly reactive and can cause problems in quantities large enough that the body doesn't burn them off promptly.  That said, I myself eat two or three ounces of nuts per day - more than I'd like to, but they're really convenient - and I certainly think they are a paleo food.

With respect to the cost of grass fed beef, most of my grass fed beef is 75% lean ground beef that I get for $6/lb, which works out to about $7.50 per 1600 kcal.  However, for more expensive cuts of beef, I don't insist on grass fed and finished, especially since the leaner the beef is, the less difference there is between grass fed and grain fed.

Fruit is paleo.  I ate large amounts of fruit for my first six months on paleo, and still saw most of the benefits that I see now.  However, many of us on this site find that we do better on less fruit - I probably average about 25g of carbohydrate from fruit per day now.  By the way, you may have some misconceptions about the Atkins diet; for example, the Atkins diet allows unlimited fruit after the brief induction period.  The main differences between Atkins and paleo are that Atkins has "phases"; Atkins allows dairy; and Atkins also allows limited amounts of grains in the long term.

With regard to what is implied by "replace your carbs with fat":  I think it's clear that what's implied is that the biggest sources of carbs should be eliminated in favor of fat.  Those big sources of carbs are geneally things like soft drinks, bread, and potatoes.  Whole fruit has much less carbohydrate than those foods, as it's mostly water held together with fiber.  Leafy green vegetables have very little carbohydrate, though they have even less protein and fat.

With regard to modern hunter gatherers, they don't behave the way paleolithic humans did, or even the way precontact hunter gatherers did.  They live in very different circumstances, generally in lands where there are no large bodied game available to hunt.  While we can learn from them - indeed I have a thread in the research section on historical hunter gatherers - we should be highly aware of these differences when analyzing their diets.

With regard to your questions on pH balance and such, it should be noted that the fats in meat don't disturb blood pH the way excessive protein does, and saturated fats are noninflammatory, unlike some unsaturated fats.  Potassium is a reason some of us prefer our meat raw or rare, since the potassium in meat tends to be lost with the juices.

Finally, with regard to what you are eating, I think what you describe is fine.  Some of us may eat somewhat differently from you, but that doesn't mean we think you have to eat exactly like us.  The paleo lifestyle still allows for substantial variations.