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Old 06-18-2012, 06:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rubystars View Post
I don't think it oversimplifies it at all. You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight.
In theory, yes. You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight. But, it is much easier to eat less when you aren't hungry all the time. If I eat high carb vs. high fat, I feel hungry all the time, and I'm more likely to go off the rails. Same number of calories, world of difference.

If you eat tons and tons
of meat every day that's a sure fire way to set yourself up for high cholesterol and a heart attack or stroke.
1) Taubes' downfall is that he lays out this beautiful theory but no explanation of how to actually implement it. People think it's a free license to baconize everything. Eating lots of meat isn't the best because of potentially carcinogenic byproducts of the cooking process, especially during grilling or roasting. The paleo implementation of this theory isn't as much meat as people think.

2) Unless you have familial hypercholesterolemia, eating cholesterol won't raise your blood cholesterol. Total blood cholesterol comes from both dietary and endogenous sources. In other words, eat more cholesterol, and your liver makes less of it. Eat less, and your liver makes more to make up the difference. What does raises cholesterol to a very significant effect is carbohydrate, particularly high-glycemic, refined carb, but also the lower glycemic stuff. Regarding saturated fat, Krauss et al. did a survey study of the last 30 or so years of saturated fat and heart disease research and found that there is no connection whatsoever between dietary saturated fat intake and incidence of heart disease.

3) High cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease. It might be a marker for inflammation and vessel damage. So the goal of any intervention should be to lower inflammation, not lower cholesterol. An analogy: lowering cholesterol is like trying to treat a scrape by reducing your access to band-aids. Greater use of band-aids is a sign that you're scraped up pretty bad. But your scrapes are not being caused by your greater use of band-aids.

Some of our Ice Age ancestors (if your ancestos were in Europe) didn't eat very much vegetation because it wasn't available in big quantities on the wind blown steppes. However eating the way they did will lead to an early death. It didn't matter so much for them. They had children at young ages and lived long enough to pass on their lifeways and wisdom to the next generation, but by today's standards their lives were very short.
Just because we're trying to live longer than our ancestors doesn't mean that our lifestyles have to be drastically different. Paleo uses the ancestral lifestyle as a framework to build a sustainable lifestyle for modern humans. The modern approach scraps all of that and builds something from scratch, then claims that paleo is the approach that makes no sense.

Fatness was valued (look at the Venus figures) because it meant surviving through times when less food was available.
This might say something about societal norms today. Slightly overweight people are actually the ones that live the longest in our society. Yet they're in the group that's maligned.

I think today when we are in a state of constant plenty, avoiding fatness (which goes against our instincts) is the key to survival. Taking advantage of the phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits makes sense.
Eating processed foods goes against our natural survival instincts because we're messing with our brain and body chemistry eating food that was never available naturally. Avoiding processed food is to follow our instincts. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits is, in fact, in line with our instincts. Getting fat is not an instinctual drive, but a result of ditching instinct in favor of temptingly presented calorie bombs. On the other hand, if you do follow your instincts and start from an ancestral framework, you'd be hard pressed to find anything in there that will make you fat.

Every major civilization has a carb based diet, and most of these carbs are grains. Grains didn't pop out of nowhere. Even our remote ancestors ate grass seeds sometimes, just not in the quantities we do today, and since the ice age, European people and those in the Middle East in particular have eaten a LOT of grain, and mostly, it benefited society.
Read Jared Diamond. The only way grains benefited society is that they enabled empires to keep standing armies in times of peace, away from the capital at regional fortresses. These societies trampled the ones whose soldiers were also farmers, teachers, doctors, etc. In short, grains are a cheap source of calories, easily stored, good to survive on, but not to thrive on.

Whole grains also have a lot of minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. To say we're not evolved to eat grain is taking a skewed view of evolution. Humans have always eaten seeds. Grass seeds are just another type of seed that was consumed in the distant past too. Refined grains aren't very good for you but whole grains are fine.
Whole grains don't have anything that you can't get from other sources. It's estimated that around 40% of the American population is gluten-sensitive (whether it's diagnosed or not), so there's no good reason to purposefully eat grains, whole or refined, if you can avoid them. To the point about seeds, and also non-gluten grains, many paleo advocates have no problem with them. I myself eat rice and quinoa occasionally and haven't had any problems with them. They just tend to be filling and crowd out the nutrient dense foods on my plate like other vegetables.

Legumes aren't some abomination. They're also healthy for people. I have no idea why paleo eaters are against legumes.
Legumes are another one of those foods where if you can get the nutrients somewhere else, why eat them? They give a lot of people gas, many of them who are gluten-sensitive and already suffer from irritable bowel can get really messed up intestinal problems from all of that insoluble fiber, and the bean "meat" itself contains natural pesticides that can provoke an immune response similar to an allergy. I eat beans sometimes because I'm a foodie, not because of their supposed healthy qualities.

It's not terribly complicated. Get your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber from leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Get carbs, when you need them, from fruits, starchy root vegetables, honey, tree saps. Get protein and fat from meat, eggs, nuts and seeds. It's sustainable, and not all that expensive if you plan it well. It's certainly cheaper than medical bills. I've been at it for 3 years already. And if it doesn't work for you, so what? Go find something that does.

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).
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