View Single Post
Old 06-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
FitDay Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 443

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
Thanks for your reply. Yeah, unfortunately there's a lot of bad science out there, and people can get pretty dogmatic about it (as with any dietary paradigm). I'm pretty sure neither you nor I have the complete picture and anyone who says they do is selling snake oil.
You're right. I'm learning more all the time.

One thing I want to clarify about gluten is that with evolution you often get a change in the general shape and a few insertions/deletions of genes and proteins over time. To be honest, the gluten protein in early domestic wheat probably wasn't that bad. People also had to do real work to process it, since these field grasses grew to about 8 feet high and had hard, thorny shells covering the seed husks (like pine cones). Heritage strains of wheat like einkorn and emmer have fewer chromosomes (diploid, 14 chromosomes, and tetraploid, 28 chromosomes, respectively) and so their gluten proteins are actually relatively harmless.
One of the things I was thinking of was that a lot of paleos say we're not adapted to eat grains. I disagree with this because while some people's ancestors might not have eaten grains on a regular basis, if you have ancestors that came from the Middle East or Europe, or even most of Asia, then they ate lots and lots of grains for about 10,000-15,000 years.

Even back in the hunter-gatherer days, I can't see a group of hungry people turning their noses up at eating grass seeds, when nearly all types of grass produce edible seeds and they were very knowledgeable about their environment and the plants in them (down to the medicinal qualities of them which formed the only pharmacy for most of human history).

I saw a guy on youtube harvesting wild grass seeds (he said you have to be careful about ergot, so you may not want to try that at home). And he was able to get a pretty substantial amount of grain from them with just little effort. I can't see our paleo ancestors turning down this potential food source if it was available to them.

Humans are incredibly flexible omnivores that can eat a wide variety of plant and animal materials and derive benefit from them.

Modern wheat, on the other hand has 42 chromosomes (hexaploid) and is bred to be 2 feet tall and huskless (perfect height and exposure to be sucked into a harvester) as well as naturally more resistant to pests and fungus. I'm willing to bet modern gluten plays some part in this pest resistance too.
Even with this change, it seems strange that people have been having so much trouble just within the last decade or so. It seems like there's suddenly this epidemic of "gluten sensitivity" which didn't exist before even with durum wheat. I wonder if it has to do with some GMO contamination? Maybe they added even more chromosomes to already modern wheat or mixed it with a fish gene or something?

So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.
I like the Nature's Path brand cereal that's called Heritage grains. It has a mix of different ancient grains and pseudo grains and they taste pretty good. I usually have it with some almond milk. I've been trying to eat less inflammatory foods lately (whole grains are supposed to be less inflammatory than refined grains) and so I will usually have it with some almond milk and sometimes some nuts too. I figure since almonds are anti-inflammatory that it might cancel out any inflammation from the grains. I try to pair things up like that as much as possible although I don't get too obssessive about it.

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
I also wanted to add that paleo isn't a high protein diet. It can be low-carb for many people, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, protein's a pretty lousy energy source. I generally get between 50-60% fat, which usually means pouring olive oil over everything, and take fish oil daily. For protein I aim for 0.75 - 1g / lb lean mass. Since I'm estimating I'm around 20% body fat at 165 lbs, that usually amounts to around 100 - 130g of protein per day. Carbs vary based on physical activity.

As I mentioned before I don't believe there's such a thing as THE paleo diet, but it's a pretty handy framework or model to build from.

Also, Gary Taubes isn't really "paleo" per se; he's an Atkins advocate. Many people who follow a paleo-style plan have "evolved away" from Atkins.

One thing I like about his approach is that he focuses on insulin and controlling insulin as being important to weight loss. I think this is one reason why the avocados were helping me last year, because they suppress insulin (and fat storage).

I don't think I could eat that high of a percentage of fat every day because I need to have more volume on my plate which is why I try to fill the plate up with food that's not very calorie dense most of the time. Fatty foods come in smaller portions.

A lot of the blogs/sites I've seen seem to indicate that paleo is low carb which is why I got that impression. If it's just based on natural foods then that's more reasonable and something I can't say is bad, but the way a lot of people seem to approach it seems unhealthy and dangerous. I actually saw on one of the sites that people were recommending to someone needing to lose weight to eat lots of butter. I wondered what planet these people were from!

Last edited by Rubystars; 06-21-2012 at 05:26 PM.
Rubystars is offline   Reply With Quote