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Messages - Warren Dew

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Introductions / Re: Week 1, Day 3 (or so) of going Paleo
« on: September 01, 2008, 06:29:34 AM »

I have been buying more and more organics for myself and my wife for various reasons.  Organics definitely are more expensive, though - in this area it's about a 50% premium to conventionally grown vegetables, and organic meat is a whopping 4x as expensive as conventionally grown.

Here are some things I do to keep costs down:
- Use smaller portions.  More on how to do this without getting hungry later.
- Rather than looking at the price per pound, figure out what the price is for what you use as a serving amount.  For example, bell peppers are expensive on a per pound basis, but one bell pepper will last me for a week's worth of salads because I only put a couple narrow slices on a salad.  Organic eggs are more expensive than regular eggs, but no more expensive than conventional meat.  The scale and a bit of basic arithmetic are your friends.
- Consider using conventional meat.  In my opinion, the benefits of organic meat are significantly less than organic vegetables and eggs.  The fat composition in even conventional meat is still much better than in vegetable oils.  I know Cordain doesn't like the saturated fats in conventional meat, but I think there's reason to believe he's mistaken here - you can check out the discussions on the rest of the site.
- Eat seasonal foods.  Wild salmon isn't certified organic, but it's just as good.  Vegetables and fruit that are in season tend to be a lot cheaper than when they have to be shipped in from South America.
- Don't buy too much.  I end up shopping twice per week for vegetables and fruit, since half a week's worth will usually get eaten before it goes bad.  I also try not to shop hungry, so I don't overbuy.

Okay, how not to get hungry.  Hm, I'll do this by example.  We have a new baby and I've been making all the food for my wife, including leaving her lunch in the refrigerator when I go to work.  I've been making half sandwiches for her lunch.  Last week I experimented with making small chef's salads by taking the filling for a sandwich, and basically just removing the bread and rearranging the rest to make it look pretty.  She found it a lot more fillling.  Last night I made a big double sized dinner of steak, salmon, spinach, fruit, and some nuts when the in laws came over.  They thought it was great and were amazed that it was less than 500 calories.

The trick?  No grains, no potatoes, no salad dressing, and water to drink.  I know when we're hungry the potatoes look like just what we want, but in fact, they don't help us feel full - and bread actually makes us hungrier in a very short time, due to the insuling response.  Meat and eggs are better because the fats keep the food in the stomach longer.  Fruit is a lot better than bread because the fiber and the water it retains makes it much more filling per calorie.

The nice thing about paleo is that, if you're strict paleo, you really won't have any trouble limiting your calories, because you won't be eating any of the food that makes you hungry.  Adjusting to the diet is hard, I know, but it makes things a lot easier once you get used to it!

As for shipboard eating, you won't be getting organics unless the Navy has changed a lot since I was in it, but you can still cut out the empty calories.  At breakfast, take the scrambled eggs but skip the hash browns - if the potatos get put on your tray, just throw them out instead of eating them.  At the other meals, again take the meat without the potatos or bread.  Hopefully you can get the salad without dressing, though you may need to be firm with the servers.  If there's oil pretossed into the salad, see if you can get the mess dept. to serve it separately; it will help not only you, but any people who are enough overweight to be on warning.  The biggest problem will be things like pizza; picking the pepperonis off and eating just them might be a little weird.  Oh, and skip the soda and bug juice (or whatever they call the kool-aid these days) - stick to plain water.  The only compromise might be that you might need vitamin C pills to make up for the lack of fresh fruit shipboard.

Anyway, good luck!  Don't be afraid to use the other forums, too.

Recipes and meal photos / Re: Warren's food photos
« on: August 31, 2008, 08:11:57 PM »
This time the photo is of an actual dinner:  salmon with berry salad and nuts.  I've actually included both my wife's portion and my portion because I couldn't decide which photo is better.

That's about 4 oz of wild salmon filet per serving, pan broiled in about 1/2 tsp of fat.  After preheating, I lay the salmon in the skillet skin side up, turn the heat down to medium high, and cover the pan.  I cook it until it's cooked about half way through - usually about 3 minutes - then turn and cook the other side for about the same amount of time.  That gives me time to arrange the greens and berries - spinach, strawberries, and blueberries, in this case - on the plate.  I add the nuts - almonds and walnuts here - after plopping the salmon down overlapping the greens.

I like the filets rather than the steaks because I find the filets easier to cook without overcooking.  If I get it just right, the skin comes out crispy and tasty, and all the good omega 3 fish fats are still there between the skin and the meat.

Recipes and meal photos / Warren's food photos
« on: August 31, 2008, 07:49:05 PM »
I've been enjoying the photos from other people, so I figured I'd add some of my own.  I usually don't have a lot of time to cook, so there won't be much in the way of recipes, I'm afraid.

My first photo isn't of a meal, but just of the salad course.  It just took a sharp knife to prepare.  I wish I'd been able to get better looking spinach, but it tasted fine.

This was from before I was experimenting with removing nightshades.  It's definitely not nightshade free, but I think it's paleo.

I think this is a total of about 25 kcal, mostly from the strawberry in the middle.  All the vegetables help make the meal feel filling, though!

Hm, not sure how to get the attachment to show up in the body of the post ... any advice?

Vitamins and Supplements / Re: What Vitamins or supplements do you take?
« on: August 29, 2008, 07:22:40 AM »
Basically it's my job to know about vitamins. I study everyday, and get training on a regular basis. So let me know if anyone has any questions.

Well, my question would be, what deficiencies are most likely on a paleolithic diet without grains or dairy, and what would be the best food sources to avoid them?

For example, what would be a good source of the B complex vitamins without resorting to supplements?

Research / Re: Saturated fat
« on: August 21, 2008, 08:15:31 PM »
Less saturated fat is correlated with more atherosclerotic progression in post menopausal women:

Okay, this isn't that recent, but I thought it was interesting.  Along with other studies indicating that carbohydrate consumption is positively correlated with athersclerosis, I'm starting to think that atherosclerosis is just caused by excess calories.  More calories = more fat, including in the arteries.

I figured I'd use this old thread to keep all the research relating saturated fat to atherosclerosis in one place.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Olympian Phelps' unusual diet
« on: August 16, 2008, 01:49:30 PM »
What I've seen in my endurance athletes (Ironman, ultra runners, etc) is that they need less carbs once they get more away from them....

The dietitians are stuck in carbs for energy... it's a crappy source since we can't store more than 90-120 mins worth of glycogen AND adding it creates a more acidic environment which shuts down the ability to maintain workloads.

I'm not disagreeing, but I'd just note that Phelps is not an endurance athelete; all his events are short ones that only last a minute or two.  They do demand maximum output during that time, which means he needs to resort to anaerobic metabolism, so he may need quite a bit of carbohydrates.

That said, his diet does have a lot of fat as well, in the egg yolks, cheese, and mayonnaise.  I think it's the recommendations of the nutritionist quoted in that article - for example to cut out the egg yolks - that I think are questionable.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Olympian Phelps' unusual diet
« on: August 16, 2008, 09:22:06 AM »
I would never in a million years slather my lean meat with flax oil then cook it...Holy wow no.

I don't think Cordain recommends that any more, either - I remember reading somewhere, maybe elsewhere on this site, that he later discovered that the beneficial oils in flax don't survive high cooking heat.  It would be nice to have an updated version of his original book for those who aren't atheletes.

There is something in saturated fat we do not know about yet and why it's so important.

I think Cordain's idea with the flax oil was that today's beef has more saturated fats than paleolithic game animals did, and the flax oil made the overall fat composition more like the paleolithic animals.  I agree with you, though:  to me, the point of paleo is to get benefits and avoid problems that we don't know the details of yet, and trying to artificially approximate what we do know about paleolithic foods is likely to run into problems.

Quote from: andrenio
Some cooking process (barbecue, grilling, gridle) clean the grease off the meat so unless one mop it up the grease content is even lower than uncooked meat

Agreed.  So why not just get normally fatty meat and cook it?  Although I do admit to "mopping up" some of the grease by cooking onions in it.

Research / Re: Earlier Milk consumption than previously thought
« on: August 16, 2008, 12:51:56 AM »
The protein casein is not found in meat. It is 80% of the protein found in milk/cheese.

It's also to be noted that human milk has less than half as much casein.

For me, I grew up loving every form of dairy -- cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, etc. It was heartbreaking when I researched more about it as I became sold on the paleo idea. I slowly accepted it and now rarely eat it. Before I was relatively unaffected by it, but I am now when I eat dairy sporadically... which seems to be completely opposite from the lactose intolerant Warren's experience. Interesting!

That is interesting.  Do you become acclimated again if you have a lot of dairy for a while?

It might have to do with insulin.  I never got drowsy from carbs before trying the paleo diet, but after a few weeks with very little bread, a significant amount will make me useless for most of an afternoon.

Research / Re: Earlier Milk consumption than previously thought
« on: August 14, 2008, 05:14:00 PM »
Yes, thanks for the clarification on Cordain, PaleoRedHead!

I'm curious about that idea of a Northern European-only mutation allowing lactose. Milk consumption is common in parts of Africa. Milk is a staple in the Middle-East and India. In Japan, they sell milk in vending machines and convenience stores all over the place. Maybe Europeans can tolerate more milk than others, or have the lowest percentage of lactose intolerance, but milk is certainly not limited to European populations.

Sorry, bad wording on my part.  I mentioned the Northern European mutation because that's the one that might affect me - I'm half European and half Chinese - and because it's the one that's best known.  It's not the only one, though.  Four different mutations for adult lactase persistence have been identified, the one that seems to have originated in northern Europe, and three in Africa.  It's kind of interesting how different mutations can have this same effect.

The mutations are all in the same general area, ranging from 13807 to 14010 base pairs upstream of the gene for lactase - quite close, given that chromosome has millions of base pairs.  That suggests that the chromosomal region they occur in functions to turn off the lactase gene in adulthood, and that perhaps any mutation in that area will allow lactase persistence into adulthood.  The northern European one is at 13810 base pairs upstream, and is called C/T-13910 - I think the C/T means it's a substitution of Thymine for Cytosine.

Aside from northern Europe and east Africa, the areas with significant lactase persistent populations are the middle east and India, as you mention.  One of the east African mutations could have spread to the middle east, or it could again have originated independently; most of the population of India is descended from caucasian immigrants from their west within the last few thousand years, so again they might have gotten lactase persistence from migration or from another independent mutation.  Hopefully someone will do genetic studies of those populations at some point; they might shed further light on prehistoric migration patterns.

I've heard that the Japanese government started pushing milk recently.  My personal guess is that that's basically an agricultural subsidy; their beef farms may have had a hard time competing with U.S. and some may have switched over to dairy, or they may be trying to displace imported soy milk.  I know that when I visited twenty years ago, you never found cow's milk anywhere, though soy milk, sometimes in similar packaging, was common.  The fact that milk is available doesn't mean people aren't suffering from it.  I'm not the only person who has suffered from the symptoms for years before realizing the cause; a lot of people never realize what the problem is.

I do agree there's some individual variation, and even variations within an individual.  If I haven't had any dairy for a long while, I can get away with a little, but if I start having it regularly, I go back to being extremely intolerant.  I would guess that has to do with the population of intestinal bacterial fauna; probably the gut bacteria that convert lactose to gas tend to die off over time when I don't have any dairy, and of course they proliferate when I have a lot.

There's also some question as to how lactase production first switches off in people who aren't lactase persistent.  I personally don't remember any symptoms of lactose intolerance before college, though in other mammals it switches off when weaning.  During college, I had very little dairy, and it was when I went back to breakfast cereal with milk afterwards that I started having the bad symptoms.  Perhaps it switches off when one first stops having milk regularly.  Also, some people who are heterozygous for adult lactase persistence - have the mutation on only one of the chromosome pair - apparently have low levels of symptoms.


Good general discussion; somewhat long
Specific discussion of the discovery of the east African mutations
Abstract of the academic article on the east African mutations giving mutation locations

Introductions / Re: g'mornin
« on: August 14, 2008, 08:55:49 AM »

Introductions / Re: here goes nothing
« on: August 14, 2008, 08:54:09 AM »

I do find that going to a paleo diet takes some adjustment.  Most prepared packaged foods and the convenient restaurant food - like sandwiches - are off limits, so it will significantly increase the time one spends on shopping for and preparing food.  I find it to be worthwhile, though.

Based on some things I saw while looking at the web for other diet related reasons, it seems that a lot of sources believe that the ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats is important for acne prevention.  If that's the case, you might want to focus on that first.  The number one priority would be to remove any corn oil from your diet; likely you'd want to remove all packaged and baked goods with vegetable oils on the ingredients list, and perhaps other vegetable oils used in cooking, as well.  That would cut down on excessive omega 6 oils.  Then you'd want to get some food with well balanced omega 3 to omega 6 ratios:  fish, omega 3 eggs (but not regular eggs), maybe grass fed beef.  You could also take fish oil supplements.

I certainly wouldn't take drugs with serious side effects just for acne.  I had acne well past your age; it's a pain, but it won't kill you by itself.

Research / Re: Earlier Milk consumption than previously thought
« on: August 13, 2008, 08:07:26 PM »
Loren Cordain, I believe, said that dairy was probably the least harmful cheat on the diet. Not that he recommended it; just that it wasn't as bad as bread, etc.

Does he give a reason for feeling this way?  I have to admit, it's comments like this that make me take Cordain with a large grain of salt.

I strongly suspect that Cordain has the neolithic mutation/adaptation for adult lactose tolerance.  I don't, and I had constant painful gas and diarrhea for years before I found out about lactose intolerance.  I cut milk out of my diet, and the problem was solved.

Note that this is not to say that those with the adaptation can safely drink milk.  The mutation simply allows you to digest milk sugar; it doesn't do anything about any issues raised by te fat or protein content.

For me, without the northern European adaptation for milk, and possibly with some Asian adaptations for grain, I think it's likely that milk is considerably worse than grains.  That's not to say I recommend grains, but I haven't cut them out completely yet; I'll still eat small amounts of rice and occasional popcorn.

Edit:  note that wheat and rice, if not corn, have also been with us for 10,000 years.  In fact, there's now some evidence that rice was domesticated 12,000-14,000 years ago.  That's still well after the paleolithic, though.

Quote from: Lakeside
Pellagra is a disease common in populations who have a diet lacking lack of vitamin B3 (Niacin) and a low protein intake.  It is most common in populations who have a corn based diet.

This is a good point.  It is possible to avoid this by using the traditional native American method of preparation with lye and serving with beans - the lye treatment makes the niacin in corn more available, and the beans help compensate for the lack of tryptophan in the treated corn - but that only addresses those specific issues.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Are tomatos paleo?
« on: August 12, 2008, 09:41:43 PM »
Thanks, Jeff!  It took some searching, but evidently someone named Garrett Smith has written a few articles on the dangers of all nightshades.  Perhaps more tellingly, there's actually an "Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation" which has been around for a while.  A lot of people seem to think nightshades cause some forms of arthritis and other bone and joint problems, and that cutting them out will help.

However, the story is not completely clear.  Some people seem to think this is more an issue of extremes in acid/base balance than nightshades directly.

And then, there's personal experience.  A month or two ago, I noticed that the farthest joints in my index fingers were starting to feel arthritic when carrying groceries or handling one gallon water bottles.  I'm 48, and I'm a computer programmer, so I type all the time and the index fingers do twice the work of the other fingers; I figured it was a wear and tear issue and changed my carrying habits to use the other fingers more.  A few weeks ago, the index fingers got better.  But now, I'm wondering if I was also changing my nightshade consumption patterns too, and just not noticing the correlation.

It seems like the more I find out about foods, the more I find are potentially problematic.  Maybe the safest thing is to give up eating entirely!

Diet and nutrition / Re: Quinoa
« on: August 07, 2008, 08:20:13 PM »
I think I agree it's likely not paleo.  It's actually not exactly a grass seed either, but quinoa seeds are protected by a poisonous coat.  That doesn't sound like something hunter-gatherers could pick up and munch on.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Confused
« on: August 05, 2008, 08:27:38 PM »
Your point is noted and well taken. Nevertheless, I must
believe that there is a difference in what you are adapted
to eat between an Eskimo where your ancestors relied almost
entirely on meat and someone in a tribe living on a
tropical island with plenty of fruit. One example is that
we know that Japanese people have a big problem handling

I agree that there are regional, or at least racial, differences.  The alcohol related mutation that you mention is common in all east Asian populations, and I believe also in American indians, for example.  I'm half Chinese, I probably do have that mutation, and I do stay away from alcohol.

That said, there's an issue of degree of adaptation.  We've had 1-2 million years to adapt to a hunter gatherer lifestyle and to cooking our food.  That's 100 times as much time as we've had to adapt to, say, grain and dairy.  Given 100 times as much time for natural selection to work, I think the level of adaptation can be much finer.

The mutation for adult lactose tolerance is a good example.  It's a point mutation that disables a single gene, so 10,000 years is evidently enough time for it to have happened in pastoral populations.  That means that while the lactose - milk sugar - in milk will literally make most adult Chinese, for example, sick with painful stomach gas or diarrhea, most adult northern Europeans can drink milk without these acute symptoms.

However, there's more to milk than milk sugar; cow's milk has a very different fat and protein composition than meat or other paleolithic food sources.  There's evidence that even northern Europeans aren't adapted to those aspects of cow's milk - for example, their calcium absorption from it is still poor - which probably means that it would take a lot more than 10,000 years to collect a full set of mutations to safely and effectively utilize all the nutrients in it.

I somewhat doubt that eskimos are fully adapted to their extremely high meat diet.  There's evidence that they had a strong tendency to get osteoporosis even before they had a chance to pick up any modern habits, likely due to acidic blood pH from the combination of a lot of protein and lack of any vegetables or fruit in their diet.  It's true that they generally seem not to get heart attacks from their atherosclerosis, but I suspect that's an advantage from not eating grains, rather than from an eskimo specific mutation.

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