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Messages - paleophil

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Exercises / Re: The Third World Squat
« on: April 24, 2011, 07:25:42 PM »
Hi Ben.

There is also the "Western squat" compromise for people who can't yet do a full squat, such as in the video linked to earlier...!

...and this one-legged variation: .

Only way to find out is to try the different options--all raw and mostly raw (aka "high raw") and compare to all/mostly cooked--and see how you do. You could also try different animal fats (marrow, suet, pork leaf fat, duck breast fat, egg yolks, raw fermented cod liver oil, fatty cuts of meat like tongue, ...) in both cooked or rendered and raw forms. Every individual is different, so it wouldn't necessarily make sense for us to assume how you'll do.

Diet and nutrition / Re: confused about the high fat thing
« on: March 24, 2011, 05:25:44 AM »
After reading through paleophil's post and checking out the links it's pretty clear there are a lot of differing opinions on these issues.  Some of these guys i don't really know how, even loosely, could be called "paleo"' and some simply differ on specific parts.
You're missing my point, which was that Cordain is far from the only one in the crowd of folks who consider themselves "Paleo" (they likely don't particularly care whether your or I think they're "Paleo") who talks about "lean meats," the negatives of saturated fats, and so on. There is no agreement on what "Paleo" means and the guys who first proposed the Paleo nutrition hypothesis in the scientific community (Eaton and Konner) took the conventional saturated-fats-are-bad point of view, which has had a major influence on those who followed (Cordain, Lindeberg, etc.). So the claim that Cordain is the only with this view is incorrect.

Of note, i thought it was interesting what you highlighted from Lindeberg, no studies that I have seen have shown that fat contributes to heart disease, and I've never even heard fat mentioned as a contributor to insulin resistance.  You wouldn't by chance have any further sources on that would you?
Lindeberg provided sources which are in the book and the book is freely searchable at I don't care what sources he used myself, as I have already seen most of the sources on the subject and I didn't find them convincing and I didn't detect anything new in his report on it.

The one that really made me chuckle though was the quote from Geoff Bond.  A country who's diet is 80% wheat, rice, and vegetable oil and they blame the heart disease on the ghee.  That really perplexes me.
If you read enough studies, science journal articles and media coverage on nutrition, you'll discover that people often look first to saturated fatty acids (SFAs) to blame dietary sources of ill health on. When the evidence doesn't show SFAs to be at fault they do what Bond did and call it "a paradox."

Bond and the others above aren't as famous in the general public as Cordain is, so they don't get as much grief for their views, even though their views are probably more anti-fat than Cordain's. Cordain is a lightning rod because he is a semi-celebrity in the Paleo community.

Research / Re: Polysystic Kidney Disease
« on: March 23, 2011, 07:07:26 PM »
"Dr T" is a nephrologist who uses a Paleo diet with his nephrology patients and contributes to some Paleo nutrition/medicine blogs:

Diet and nutrition / Re: confused about the high fat thing
« on: March 23, 2011, 05:56:49 PM »
I think that Cordain recommends lean meat because of two reasons: ... From what I've read online, Cordain appears to stand alone on this issue in the "Paleo community". ....
Cordain has become the whipping boy of the backlash against the conventional view (that SFA is mostly bad and meats should be trimmed of fat), probably because he has been made very prominent by his book and video lectures, interviews, etc. There are actually numerous Paleo-diet-supporting scientists and academics around the world who share Dr. Cordain's leaning against saturated animal fat. Cordain is not even the most anti-fat of the bunch. Some of the most prominent include...

Melvin Konner, PhD:
> Konner and S. Boyd Eaton inspired Cordain to look into Paleo diets with their 1985 paper (Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications, that was the first scientific treatment of Paleolithic/evolutionary nutrition. Konner and Eaton were pushing the lean meat idea before Cordain had even heard of Paleo. IIRC, Eaton has since acknowledged that he and Konner neglected to consider fat depots like brains, marrow and perinephric fat (aka suet) in their initial calculations and has moderated his views on animal fat somewhat, but Konner is apparently sticking to his lean-meat guns.
> "hunter-gatherers had high levels of meat intake. Because their meat had little saturated fat, their overall intake of that was still low, but their protein intake was much higher than the standard advice suggested, and so was their cholesterol intake, since muscle cell membranes have plenty of that, which they use as a building block. .... the hunter-gatherer diet lies somewhere on a continuum between the low-carb diet and the Mediterranean (the red meat they eat comes from wild animals with lipid profiles like those of poultry and fish)." Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer, Melvin Konner's Blog, July 26th, 2008,
> "Children throughout our evolution were continually active, mostly in play and exploration, but also in providing some of their own subsistence. Their diets included substantial amounts of lean meat and fish, extremely low levels of saturated fat...." --M. Konner, How Childhood Has Evolved, May 9, 2010,

Art De Vany, PhD - creator of The New Evolution Diet and Evolutionary Fitness:
> Art was one of the earliest Paleo diet advocates in the current reincarnation of that WOE and if anything he's more anti-SFA and anti-fat in general than Cordain.
> "episodic calorie restriction, exercise, and a diet low in saturated fats and trans fats is protective; these are the fundamentals of Evolutionary Fitness." --A. De Vany, Aspects of Metabolic Health, March 6, 2007 05:24 PM
> while De Vany advocates fresh, whole foods, he also recommends throwing away egg yolks, using canola oil, eating skinless chicken breast, preferring white meat over red meat, and occasionally consuming cheese made from skim milk.
He allows liver, but you wouldn't know it from his chapter "A Month on the New Evolution Diet." Here we find no organ meats, but rather the occasional indulgence in dairy in the form of skim milk cheese or in the form of butter, which "is OK now and then." Strangely, fattier cuts of meat like pork chops and bacon make it on to the menu alongside skinless chicken breast.
(How Evolutionary Is The New Evolution Diet? A Review of The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us About Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging, Reviewed by Chris Masterjohn, February 2, 2011,
> Some quotes from Art's book, The New Evolution Diet:
-> "Red meat is fine, in moderation, but (white-meat) poultry is generally healthier."
-> "the truth is that no fat is particularly good for you."
-> "If you must cook in oil and want to do so at a higher temperature than permitted by olive oil, then use canola oil (made from rapeseed but called “canola” because it is a more felicitous name)"
-> "It goes without saying that butter and lard should be avoided completely."

Staffan Lindeberg, PhD, MD:
> The Department of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden. Author of Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective, 2010
> "Six concepts, most of which are overlapping, are widely recognized by health authorities today:
Low-fat high-fiber diets, Fruit and vegetables, Calorie restriction, Mediterranean-style diets, Omega-3 enriched diets and Sodium restriction.... in trials with at least 2 years’ follow-up, a 24% reduction of premature death or cardiovascular events was seen (relative risk 0.76; 95% confidence interval 0.65-0.90), although no effect on total mortality was found. In published studies of changing fat intake in the treatment of overweight or obesity, fat restriction seems equally effective as calorie restriction for long-term weight loss [10]. Studies in animals have shown high-fat diets to be a partial cause of both atherosclerosis [11] and insulin resistance [12, 13]. In some of these studies, a rather moderate increase in dietary fat has caused abdominal obesity and insulin resistance, one of the main culprits in Western disease [13]. In other animal experiments, a high-fat diet has led to intracellular fat accumulation, which is suspected of leading to long-term loss of cell function by way of lipotoxicity [14, 15]. This disturbance is closely related to insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome [16]."
> "Hunter-gatherers eat large amounts of lean, red meat." Food and Western Disease, p. 70

Geoff Bond, PhD - creator of The Bond Effect diet:
> Nutritional Anthropologist and  Evolutionary Biologist. Author of "Natural Eating: The Bond Effect," and Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Link Between our Health and Our Food, Square One Publishers, New York, March 2007.
> "ghee is a concentrated form of butter -- and is therefore even more danger­ous. The common use of ghee in India has led to what Indian researcher Dr. Ram Singh calls the ‘Indian Paradox’ -- skinny, underfed, people who nevertheless get artery and heart disease." --G. Bond, "Heart Attack by Ghee,"

Compare the above to Cordain's revised view ("The new advice I can give you is this: If you are faithful to the basic principles of the Paleo Diet, consumption of fatty meats will probably have minimal outcome on your health and well-being -- as it did for our hunter-gatherer ancestors.") and you will see that Cordain is actually less anti-fat and less anti-saturated-fat than multiple published Paleo-diet advocates.

Here is Robb Wolf's explanation of the controversy (for any who don't know, Robb is a former pupil of Dr. Cordain's and author of The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet):

"What about the total fat in the diet and what about sat’d fat?

Cordain Tackles this question by looking at evolutionary biology, specifically: What was the composition of the diet of our ancestors? Using ethnographic information and whole body rendering and analysis of the fatty acids of wild animals such as deer Cordain has some models that indicate wild meat has/had a pretty low fat content in general and a low sat’d fat content in a particular AS COMPARED to grain-fed, feed-lot meat. His recommendations are geared towards emulating the fatty acid profile of our ancestors, hence the recommendation to eat lean meat in general and supplement with nuts, seeds and fish oils to round things out. Fallon/Enig pull from ethnographic info involving the tendency of our ancestors and modern hunter gatherers and pastoralists to favor fatty meats, whole fat dairy etc. Nothing is odd about this tendency and it is right in line with optimum foraging strategy: Achieve the greatest return on food energy for the least energy output. The problem is Fallon/Enig forget that feed lot meat can be upwards of 40% fat by weight whereas wild meat is 10-15% at SPECIFIC times of the year when the animals are the fattest. Additionally the saturated fat content is much lower in wild meat due to the lower glycemic load of plants vs. grains commonly consumed by farmed critters."

Cordain and Fallon/Enig both have good points, but because emotion tends to get rolled into the fat vs. lean issue and because people tend to prefer salacious snippets and sound bites to complex, reasoned discourse, the differing camps tend to get represented with caricatures rather than what they actually wrote. I try not to rely on critics' characterizations of anyone's views and instead go to the source. It takes more time and I don't always stick to this practice 100%, but my experience has been that the time is well invested. Debates on the Internet tend to be opinion-rich and research-poor. I strive for the opposite tendency that was more common in the days prior to electronics.

Because no one knows for sure how much lean meat was discarded by Stone Agers and because the studies on saturated fats up to now are of generally low quality, the controversy will likely continue for a lot longer. I eat plenty of animal fat myself, but I try to make most of it pasture-fed or wild and I don't heat fat to high temperatures.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Recipe request- Mince Meat "pie"
« on: March 18, 2011, 09:56:49 AM »
I found a recipe that still includes suet. Thank goodness someone still has sense enough to include the ingredient most highly valued by the folk who originally made mince pie.  :)

Authentic Mince Meat Pie
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The ingredient quantities are large because back in the day mince meat pies were not just a treat, but a way of preserving meat and maintaining a store of energy-and-warmth-supplying food to last through the winter.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Recipe request- Mince Meat "pie"
« on: March 17, 2011, 03:47:55 PM »
One of the main original ingredients in mince meat pie was suet (beef perinephric fat--the hard fat that surrounds the kidneys). Most manufacturers eventually replaced suet with the cheaper hydrogenated vegetable oil (Crisco shortening). As far as I'm concerned, if suet isn't used, it isn't real mince meat pie.

"The early mince pie was known by several names, including mutton pie, shrid pie and Christmas pie. Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg."

True mince meat pie is quite similar to pemmican with berries and my guess is that it evolved from pemmican-type foods when grains were added to the staple foods. It's basically heated pemmican wrapped in a pie crust.

Research / Re: Diet and multiple sclerosis
« on: February 19, 2011, 07:33:23 PM »
Try the search terms "Cordain multiple sclerosis" here and on Google and you should find info on the MS research of Dr. Cordain and his Paleo diet research team. It's one of their top interests.

I doubt veganism "works" in the long run regardless of one's blood type, as there is no evolutionary precedent for veganism in any of the hominin or even primate species. Even mountain gorillas eat some insects and other nonvegan foods. The risk of long-term nutritional deficiencies on vegan diets is well known.

I suspect that the Type O Blood Type Diet works for many people (including those with other blood types) because it is similar to the biologically appropriate diet of our species.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Mass-Building Paleo Diet?...
« on: November 02, 2010, 10:07:54 PM »
Quote from: Destor
How about this, we can have a bit of a comparison.  If you're around my weight range, we'll see which diet produces better results.  You can eat pure paleo, I will eat Cordains variation of the Paleo diet for Athletes.
That's a fair challenge and sure beats rhetorical debates over hypothetical results. I'd be interested to see the results. Since muscle is generally regarded as superior to body fat, there should be some measure of body fat % tracked in addition to weight.

That doesn't really work for me. I am currently working through the Convict Conditioning routine (dragondoor), which is all bodyweight work. I also do a decent amount of regular conditioning at home (typically burpees) and in martial arts classes (quick bodyweight work, kicking and striking routines). And I'm also working on basic gymnastic static holds as well (front and back levers, planche, and l-sit).

I don't really do a lot of quantifiable work that would make this scientific.
You could time those static holds and see whose time increases the most. You could prove it by videotaping it if you each have video cameras, otherwise you'd just have to trust each other. 

I eat what makes me feel good and allows me to lose weight.

I eat this way because it makes me healthy.

Well said and same here. I'm not going to add lots of carbs back into my diet just because some scientist has an ivory tower hypothesis that says that some of our ancestors in a certain location at a certain time ate more carbs than I do. I do what works for me.

If tubers helped me, I'd add them. I've experimented with them extensively (in part to see if they would help me bulk up) and so far they haven't. I still eat a tuber on rare occasions for social reasons. If I notice in the future that they give me some benefit, I'll consider adding them to my diet. I'm not that fond of the taste other than french fries, so it will take a substantial benefit to get me to eat them regularly.

Miscellaneous / Re: so how long have you been paleo?
« on: October 18, 2010, 08:35:43 PM »
Started Paleo in March of 2004 (I had been gluten-free, dairy-free since January 4, 2004) and have been doing it consistently since, with some variations in the foods, cheating levels, and levels of cooking. Have been doing a rather strict raw facultative carnivore version the last couple years, as my health started declining again on conventional Paleo that included plenty of fruits and veggies and cooked meats. Have been back on a healing track since then. So far a mostly-raw very low carb facultatively carnivorous diet has worked better than anything else I tried, and I tried a lot of different advice.

Diet and nutrition / Re: GoodSamaritan would be proud
« on: September 23, 2010, 08:04:34 PM »
....My steaks are always cut very thick and they get maybe a minute each side.
I used to do that, but I progressed to mostly raw. I started out doing cooked Paleo for some 4 years plus. I didn't think I'd ever eat plentiful raw meat, but I also had no major hangups about the prospect of eating raw animal foods. When my health started relapsing on a diet that was somewhere in-between NeanderThin and Cordain's Paleo diet with a few twists of my own I realized my diet was not yet optimized. I found that cutting plant carbs down to near-zero was a major help and I also decided to finally give pemmican a try.

In searching online to learn how to make good pemmican I discovered that the world's leading expert on pemmican was Lex Rooker, who even created a helpful pemmican manual. I read Lex's forum posts and bio and learned that he ate mostly raw meat and fat (he's back to rendering most of his fat now for storage/convenience and cost reasons, not health reasons). He was extremely reasonable and persuasive. His logic was right about raw being the original way that humans and their proto-human ancestors ate all their foods (going back millions of years and really to the beginning of life, since all of humanity's ancestors ate all their foods raw) and that all wild animals eat their food raw (and between wild animals and humans honesty dictates recognizing that wild animals are generally fitter--until they get eaten, of course ;) ).

I also liked his simplicity principle that basically says don't complicate things unless it's absolutely necessary, and cooking is not absolutely necessary for most people in places with potable water. I was already cooking my meat less and less, finding my old preference for thoroughly cooked lean meat was gradually being replaced with a desire for less-cooked meats and more fat. I had gotten down to just searing my steaks a minute on each side, which still messed up the pan.

When I tried eating some of my steak raw and didn't die and found I liked it, I thought to myself "Why am I bothering to cook it?" It's not like searing a minute on each side is going to kill all potential pathogenic parasites and bacteria. I knew better than that. The federal government and the mass media had made that clear enough and fast food restaurants and cafeterias are overcooking their burgers into shoe leather to avoid being sued for selling meat with the slightest pink in the center. I realized that I was assuming that I preferred the taste of cooked and wouldn't quickly adapt to the taste of raw and that it was probably more a remnant of a social or psychological construct that I hadn't quite let go of than a real safety measure.

So I decided to go all raw for a while as a test (and am about 95% raw now) and liked the extra health benefits, convenience, lessened cleanup, cost savings and other benefits. The one downside is I'm less hungry when eating very raw, so I need to make a conscious effort to keep my calorie intake up to avoid becoming too thin, which became habit after a while, and I try to keep my diet sufficiently varied to keep interest in food up. So unless the meat is tough or I want to eat softened bones or really fatty stuff like pork bacon or pork belly I don't tend to cook my meats.

Now I'm at a loss for good reasons to sear my meats any more. I realized that raw is the default position, not cooked, and unless the prospect of a potential mild to moderate parasite or bacterial infection perhaps once every ten plus years or so terrifies you, then I think the burden of proof lies with the advocacy of cooking. It's an unnecessary complication, and as complexity increases so does unkown risk. We humans really don't know what we're doing to ourselves when we eat cooked food and we likely will never fully understand it. On the other hand, traditional cultures use low-and-slow methods of cooking that appear to be more healthful than modern high-fast cooking techniques. Then again, I don't want to go to all the work of low-and-slow cooking in this hectic modern world, so I only use such techniques once in a while, though a crockpot with timer is a help. For me, the simplest approach (raw) has worked out the best so far.

I have been thinking about eating more pemmican again, as I have a hypersensitive immune system and a GI tract and digestive system weakened by decades of SAD and conventional "healthy" eating. I figure pemmican might be less allergenic and more digestible for me than raw meat and fat. I don't look forward to all the work that goes into making pemmican and the mess it creates, though.

As for the fears about ground meats--I've been eating raw ground beef, bison, venison and occasionally even ground pork and lamb, with no infections by pathogenic bacteria or parasites. I do think it's wise to eat raw meat from good sources like 100% grassfed cattle. I find it tastes better anyway, once you become acclimated to the less-bland taste of pastured meats.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Your Favorites and Most Nutritious Fruits?
« on: September 19, 2010, 07:18:42 AM »
My favorite fruits are berries, particularly wild Maine blueberries (Maine is a rural state in northern New England) and fresh organic or wild red and black raspberries and blackberries. I also appear to handle wild Maine blueberries better than any other fruit I've tried (most fruit gives me one or more of acne, dry skin, scummy film on my teeth and white crud at the gumline, a bad taste in the mouth in the morning, upset stomach, reflux, mental fog, coldness, nausea, etc., etc.--even Maine blueberries do some of this if I eat too many of them). So I suppose that wild blueberries could also be considered my most "nutritious" fruit in that it does me the least harm. The assumption of a number of people on the Internet (particularly fruitarians) seems to be that everyone or nearly everyone thrives on fruits, but I've encountered many others like me who do not.

Durian fruit appears to be the favorite fruit of fruit lovers in California and tropical Asian countries, but I've never even seen it offered anywhere, much less tried it. I had never even heard of it until I encountered talk of it on the Internet. So when people say to eat durian fruit, it's irrelevant advice to me. Even coconut is pretty exotic where I live in Vermont, and there are generally just a half dozen or so coconuts, often fewer, offered at any one time at the local market.

Diet and nutrition / Re: Paleo Experiment - Off The Nightshades.
« on: September 19, 2010, 04:40:02 AM »
There are plenty of opinions about who does or doesn't need to give up this or that food. Dr. Cordain assumes that only people with recognized autoimmune disorders need to avoid nightshades. However, there's no agreement on what constitutes an autoimmune disorder and which disorders qualify. Ray Audette wrote in NeanderThin (1999 edition) that he believes that even obesity, acne and tooth decay are immune system related disorders, so that most people have at least one. Plus, one isn't completely free of autoimmune disorders and then suddenly develops a full-blown disorder in one day. Instead, they tend to develop gradually over long periods of time and can go unrecognized for decades. The average age for being diagnosed with celiac disease is 40 years old, yet celiac patients are gluten intolerant from birth. So the earlier that gluten intolerant people can start avoiding gluten, the better. I believe that it's likely the same with nightshades. People sensitive to them shouldn't wait for a full-blown serious autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis to kick in before they try cutting out nightshades. The precautionary principle of "first do no harm" and the simplicity principle suggest we check whether nightshades affect us negatively and not eat them as staple foods if they do. Most Stone Agers ate little or no nightshades, as far as I know, so there doesn't appear to be a nutritional requirement to eat them.

I didn't think I needed to give up nightshades and was skeptical about the claims that they were harmful and could contribute to gastroinestinal disorders, joint pains, arthritis and other problems. I even pooed-pooed my sister's concerns about them (regrettably). Later, when some symptoms of mine relapsed I decided to give nightshade elimination a shot and found I did better without them. Not long afterwards Dr. Cordain started coming out with research reports on the effects of nightshades that matched what people had been reporting for many years (but hardly anyone would take them seriously). He changed his early unqualified support of nightshades in The Paleo Diet to adding a caveat for people with autoimmune disorders. I think in the future he will likely become still more skeptical of them.

So I think the only way to really know whether a food affects you as an individual is to do an elimination test. If you experience benefits but you'd like to try to keep one or more nightshades in your diet, then you could follow up with careful one-at-a-time reintroduction tests.

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