T Nation

Paleolithic Diet

Yes, I will believe a couple of websites advertisin their own ideas for scientific information.

Different cultures developed their own eating styles. Are you trying to tell me that early africans ate the same as the decendants of hte inuit in greenland ?? no, its moronic to think so.
Early polynesian cultures (actually asian decendents) ate a wide varied diet of sea food, and a lot of vegetables/fruits and other plants, including coconut. Did the ancient british eat this way???

Cultures ate what was available, this varies at different times of the years (seasonal).

And what makes this diet healthy???
Wheres the scientific proof that eating like this will make you healthier nad live longer?? neandertals didnt exactly live to an old age, what health risks would have they had if they actually lived longer???

I guess we’re talking about temperate climate paleolithic diets. Inuits pretty much eat meat and fat traditionally so they fit the pattern. As do Mongols, American Indians (most of them in the west anyway), Neandethals, and Cro Magnons. As far as longevity goes diet wasn’t as much an issue for early man as environment. Studies of skeletons show lots of major trauma. Some of it healed and some of it didn’t. The only modern equivilent to the physical damage they had to deal with are rodeo riders.

I have yet to see a diet that will make you live longer than any other. Vegans say theirs is healthier but I don’t see very many 120 year old vegans. The same goes for any other diet. I just go with what keeps me from being fat and how I feel. I look at cholesterol levels and BP and stuff too. I do better on more meat and veggies and less bread and refined grains…so that’s what I do. I don’t care if you eat lard and shredded wheat for a diet. It’s your body and your life. Why argue about someone else’s food choices?

I too follow a paleo diet. Mostly out of necessity because I cannot digest any flour products as I have a gluten intolerance.
To those of you following this diet, do you know what your blood types are? Anyone follow the Eat Right for Your Type book’s rules? Type O people are better off on paleo type diet while the other type’s do not have to avoid grains as much (according to the book). Any comments?

You have to be kidding. “Eat animals you want to be like?” Maybe you want to be small and oily like a salmon, but I would prefer to be strong as an ox! No chicken because that makes me cowardly, but I can eat a bald eagle. They are noble and patriotic. No buffalo because I would not like to be so hairy. You can eat people, starting with your role models. Make sure you eat healthy fit people, or if there are no people around eat a large ape. I also don’t eat slugs because they are sluggish, but I eat ants … they can lift thousands of times their own weight.

Do you guys measure what you eat. keep a journal etc. They Neanderthin diet states that you do not need to measure out portions etc. Anyone believe that I was under the impression you could get fat eating anything if you eat enough of it. I am just starting this diet to try and kick an illness I have had for a long time now. This seems to be a very expensive way to eat also. Any thoughts on how to make it more manageable? Anyone got a good marinate that can be done on this diet?

CYCOMIKO: You musn’t have read the references boombam provided, because all of the questions you–perhaps facetiously–asked are answered. And no, the Beyondveg site isn’t pushing products or literature…most of the authors are respected, well-published professors of anthropology, microbiology, etc. And I think you’re missing the point with your demands for specificity…the Paleo diet doesn’t mandate particular foods, but rather food groups. In other words, the research doesn’t indicate that there’s a bit of difference between eating African yak or North American bison. As a matter of fact, many authors recommend varying your diet seasonally, to mimic how the hunters/gatherers would naturally access different foods in different seasons.

The main constant is that things like potatos, legumes, and grains are bad news because no ethnicity–regardless of location–can or did eat those foods using only the technology available back then.

Check out the site, then decide…

Yeah, good discussion. I’ve read ER4YT, very good. I’m a type O, and have since cut out all dairy(I only ate whey and cottage cheese) , cut out all wheat, and cut down on grains. Since then I’ve not noticed any body comp changes, though I now get zero spots. I’d advise everyone to get your blood group tested. I also get some carbs from yams, sweet potatoes.
The problem with getting all your protein needs from meat, fish and eggs seems to be cost(especially in the UK) , portability – how do you guys cope with eating meat/eggs 5 times a day? And the fact that Milk is usually thought of a being the best quality protein(BV etc). Whey shakes are so easy, especially after workouts. What about tuna as a protein source?

Well said Boscobarbell,you have mirrored my thoughts exactly.Cycomiko,as mentioned,you obviously have not bothered to investigate the beyondveg.com website,it is a 100% text,information-only site,not a shred of advertising.Maybe the lack of pretty pictures discouraged you from checking out the site,but for those more concerned with useful info rather than fancy graphics,it is a great source of information on paleolithic eating.
As for dietary effects on longevity,I am not aware of any data on humans to support a particular diet,it is difficult to track humans and their dietary habits for 80+ years.The only strategy I am aware of that has consisitently shown to extend lifespan in laboratory animals is calorie restriction,with the proviso that all nutrient requirements are met.I am not aware of any studies involving low carb diets and longevity on animals.
However,using available research and our cognitive faculties,we can make several assumptions.
*First of all,we know high insulin levels have been shown to promote many ailments including heart disease,high blood pressure,diabetes,cancer,obesity etc.
*Low carb diets lower insulin.So it is not a huge leap of faith to assume a low carb diet could be valuable in reducing the incidence of these diseases,in fact if you care to look,there is evidence to support this notion.By reducing the frequency of these conditions,we can at least extend mean lifespan.


*Dr Ron Rosedale has stated that on studies with centenarians,despite varying diets and lifestyles,one thing they have in common is low insulin levels.He sites an example of a 115 year old french lady who smoked and drank every day.For the rest of us who do not have the genetics to get away with such dietary indiscretions and still maintain low insulin levels,low carb diets may allow us a method for directly positively influencing our insulin levels.A paleolithic diet is by it’s very nature a low carb diet.As to which low carb diet is best,Atkins-style diets with their emphasis on fatty domesticated meat and dairy products,or the wild-meat based paleo diet,I’ll go with the diet that has a two million year track record-the paleo diet!
Regarding shorter term improvements in health,there are studies on the beyondveg.com website showing such benefits-if you care to look…
As for the argument concerning the relativley short lifespan of our hunter gatherer ancestors compared to modern man,this is not a bad reflection on their diet.Indeed,as mentioned previously,researchers have found that the hunter gatherers were a fitter,more robust species than modern man.Our lengthened lifespans are a recent phenomenen,corresponding with the rapid advancement of technology over the last 150 or so years.If a high carbohydrate diet conferred any health and longevity advantages they would have been apparent 5-10,000years ago,when a grain-based diet became widely adopted-but they weren’t.In fact researchers note the widespread appearance of many ailments around the same time as man’s switch to such a diet.Don’t you think that if we took away your access to peaceful civilisation,modern sanitation,medicine,electricity etc,and for good measure threw you onto a savanna with hungry saber-toothed tigers and warring tribes,that your life expectancy would suddenly experience a huge reduction?You would be lucky to see 30,let alone 80,90 or 100!!
Cycomiko,if you are genuinely interested in finding out the full facts on this diet,then consult the many resources listed in this thread,then decide for yourself.

see, i take my diet way back i only eat unicellular organisims, as that’s all that was available a long time ago… when that gets stale i’m going to cycle only onto dinasaur meat but that might be hard to come by.

Knuckledragger,I know Neanderthin and other low carb diet advocates say you don’t need to measure portions,I would agree you can stay lean on low carb diets without the self denial that seems to be part and parcel of most other diets.However I still measure my food portions for a number of reasons.I don’t believe in eating more than necessary,I have a good idea of my requirements so I measure to ensure I meet those requirements.In times of increased or decreased activity,I adjust my intake accordingly.I also like to ensure that I stick to between 5-20g of carbs per meal,once again a quick check on the digi kitchen scales helps me monitor this.Also animal experiments show extended lifespans with calorie restriction,I do not restrict calories,but I just think it is prudent not to eat too much more than I need to properly fuel my activities.That is what I do anyway,hope this is of some assistance,good luck!

I wrote a paper for this in my anthropology class, how the diet of prehistoric man almost mimicks the hardcore bodybuilding diet. To truly be optimumly healthy I believe you need to eat this way.

What about cheeses? Since they contain little to no carbs, how would it fit into the paleo diet? I don’t think I would be able to survive without cottage cheese.

My point about hte web site is its just that, a web site. It does not have to display factual information. I did read it, no different than most other of hte type. Nothing new.
But I was saying, not all cultures ate the same. They ate what was available. As Cordain et al in their article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000;71:682-692)Most cultures (~73%) got >50% of their energy from meat sources, where as only 14% (Dotn know what happened to the other 13%) ate greater than 50% of their energy source from Carbohydrates. There is obviously a great difference in intake via these cultures.
In terms of the health effects of these diets, it is obviously a lot better to eat free range animals, because of the difference in terms of fat compoisition compared to grain fed modern animals. Seafood is also hugely eaten by the certain cultures that had access to them.
Most cultures who eat their natural diet have good longevity and health(along with modern refridgeration etc), but their lifestyles also promote health, due to general immense physical activity they go thru to survive.
AS for insulin levels, most cultures dont really follow a very low carbohydrate diets, if they are eating 50-65% of energy from meat sources, that still leaves a large amount of energy from carbohydrates. It would be unlikely they would have too low insulin levels.
And nobody in their right mind would want to try energy restriction for longevity (do they really live longer or does it just seem that way =)

So what the hell do you use as marinate?

You may be trying to make the point that earlier humans ate a diet still significant in carbohydrate content and that thus they still must have had high insulin levels, but that is invalid. Think of the only types of carbs available at the time…fruits and vegetables being the main source. I don’t know the facts on vegetables, but being so fibrous and all, their effects on insulin wouldn’t be nearly as drastic as those of grains - and as for fruits, they contain fructose, which is, insulin independent. (It is stored with a negligable amount of insulin) Grains and other refined carbs cause drastic increases in insulin, which appears to me to be something humans were not specially adapted to handle. Due to all I’ve read the Paleo diet seems to be the way to go…for diet or maintenance maybe, I just don’t see how anyone can develop any serious muscle mass this way during a bulking cycle though.

Knuckledragger-experiment! I get my Roo meat minced ,and usually cook it up in herbs such as ginger,turmeric,garlic powders,thyme/marjoram/basil/oregano.Sometimes I’ll simmer some onions,chilli and garlic(if I am not coming into close contact with too many people that day!) in olive oil and throw it on top of diced meat.If I am cooking up say a venison or wallaby or roo steak,I’ll put a bit of olive oil in a plate,then once again add some herbs,usually those I have already listed,and then roll the meat around in it then grill it.With poultry I boil chicken breasts,they seem to come up nice and moist,throw them in the fridge,when I want to eat them I dice them up ,mash some avocado in with them,or mix them with some nuts,sprinkle a tablespoon of lecithin granules over the top,it tastes quite nice,others seem to like it too.With fish,ginger powder and garlic powder work nicely,with lemon sprinkled over the top after it is cooked.Just some ideas,experiment and I am sure you will find your own favourites.

Boombam, Thanks man. Peace, K