[ExI] More information, technical and otherwise, about paleo diet and life

J. Stanton js_exi at gnolls.org
Tue Apr 26 06:46:45 UTC 2011

Since Max has broached the subject again, I feel it's OK to note my 
detailed, comprehensive, and entertaining "paleo diet/exercise for 
beginners" guide:

"Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey: Paleo In Six Easy Steps"

Followed by Part I and Part II of the "Paleo Starter Kit":

The end of the article contains a list of science-based nutrition 
resources that I've found instrumental, most notably the following:

Dr. Stephan Guyenet: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com
Chris Masterjohn: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/
Dr. Kurt Harris: http://www.paleonu.com

Like Max, I subscribe to the Neo-Paleo/Paleo 2.0 view that prizes 
science and research over re-enactment -- most eloquently expounded by 
people like Dr. Harris, who notes that most of healthy eating is 
avoiding what he calls "the Neolithic agents of disease":

-Wheat and all gluten grains
-Omega-6 fats and trans fats from seed oils (misnamed 'vegetable oil')

To add to Max's list of books, I would also note:
-The Drs. Jaminet's "Perfect Health Diet", a heavily science-based 
approach to healthy eating which is basically high-fat paleo plus rice, 
and falls into the "Paleo 2.0/Neo-Paleo" category.  It's also much 
easier to sell to skeptical spouses as it's got a bunch of fruit and a 
yin-yang on the cover.  Their website is good reading too:
-Dr. Mary Enig's "Know Your Fats", if you're still scared of saturated 
fat or want to know the biochemistry
-Both books titled "The Great Cholesterol Con": Dr. Kendrick's is much 
more professional and easy to read, but less comprehensive.  Anthony 
Colpo's is far more exhaustive, but tougher going and a bit amateurishly 

I will also note that I disagree with what Max appears to be saying 
about not eating starchy tubers: humans have many more copies of the 
AMY2 (amylase) gene in their saliva than mostly-fructivorous 
chimpanzees, which makes no sense except for consuming root starches, 
and the evidence for root starch consumption from the Middle Paleolithic 
on (and possibly earlier) is very well established.

And while I agree that meat is a better source of nutrients than (say) 
sweet potatoes, my experience, and that of most active athletes, is that 
VLC/zero-carb is a weight-loss tool or for people whose metabolisms are 
broken.  I can't keep weight on with VLC.  However, even at the high 
end, my carbohydrate consumption is very low compared to before.  (My 
opinion is that fructose is doing much more damage than 
glucose...otherwise you have a very hard time explaining the Kitavans 
and Okinawans.)

Essentially I view Devany and Cordain as the "first wave" of paleo: they 
focus more on re-enactment than on the science, and Cordain in 
particular does some shaky data manipulation in order to 'prove' that 
all the differences between what he claims to be a Paleolithic diet and 
the modern diet are equally important.  Example:
Shortlink: http://www.gnolls.org/?p=715

And his advice (which he has, to his credit, since recanted) to fry 
steaks in flaxseed oil is simply insane, as anyone with a lick of 
chemistry knowledge can tell you.  (Hello, oxidation and glycation! 
You're frying your steak in furniture varnish!)

Either diet is still far superior to the modern diet, and I give them 
(along with people like Dr. Wolfgang Lutz and Ray Audette) all credit 
for being pioneers.  Dr. Cordain has done some great and instrumental 
work.  However, I'm with Max as far as wanting to look forward, not 


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