Thread: Fad Diets
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 576


Sorry if I came across as attacking or trying to discredit you. But none of what I stated is an ad hominem attack, since I didn't criticize you outside of what you had stated before. Your assertion that "Loren Cordain is trying to sell everyone a diet and his studies and references are sponsored by industries that are favored by his diet. He developed the diet, then developed data to support his theory" implies that you don't believe the diet he promotes has any merit because the research supporting it might be sponsored by large corporations, which it isn't anyways. Please don't diminish the value of this discussion by misconstruing a point-by-point debate or disagreement for a personal attack.

In paleolithic times there were no famines as there was no agriculture. People were hunter-gatherers and thus fed off whatever the land gave them. Since tribes followed the herds, game was readily available, while fruits and vegetables were seasonal, with different things available throughout the year. Since these people were always on the move, it is highly unlikely that they were ever obese or had "bellies," despite their high fat, high protein diets. Likewise it does not appear that the "bad" animal proteins killed off our ancestors.

If we look at cultures today that eat mostly animal proteins, say for instance the Inuit, which eat mainly whale oil, deer and elk muscle and organs, seal oil and organs, and supplemented with whatever little plant material grows at such extreme climates, they are a picture of health. A number of them live to be quite old. It is only when people of that culture migrate to the city and adopt a westernized diet that the health problems begin.

I am not advocating enslaving people or oppressing women. But we can look at whether or not the low-fat, plant-based advice handed out over the last thirty years has benefited the general populace. IMO, it hasn't. And saying that it's a compliance issue, that the reason it has failed is because people don't really follow it, is just blaming the victim. We can look to the past and see what has worked in terms of diet and nutrition for specific populations, then adopt those to improve our own health. There's nothing wrong in that.

Adolescents and adults need the extra protein for muscle synthesis, as well as protein synthesis for other organ systems (hemoglobin doesn't grow on trees). Toddlers don't have that problem since they're not packing on muscle. They burn off enough calories just running around and supporting all that new gray matter. Since adults are fully developed creatures, some muscle mass is needed to bolster resting metabolism.

Olympic strength coaches get their athletes 1.5g of protein per lb of lean body mass, minimum. For a 225lb lifter that's around 11% body fat that's 300g of protein per day, or about 1200 calories. At a caloric intake of 4800 calories a day, which is typical, this is around 25% protein, minimum. If they are trying to make weight at 4000 calories, this bumps it to 30%, minimum.

What exactly in animal protein is bad? Sure, I'll concede that corn-fed beef and vegetarian-fed chickens, as well as farmed fish are animals that exist only to feed American appetites and are not allowed to live in their natural states, and thus are stressed out and produce more inflammatory chemicals that end up in their flesh. But I doubt there is anything bad about grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish, and hormone-free dairy. All of these protein sources are complete, meaning they provide all the necessary amino acids. Plants are naturally more specific in which amino acids they produce, so you have to eat a multitude of plants to keep from becoming deficient in any one amino acid. I'll keep the vitamins, fiber, and trace phytochemicals from my vegetables, but I'll turn to meat, dairy, or eggs for my protein.

My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).

Last edited by tandoorichicken; 07-02-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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