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nia82 02-28-2012 06:41 PM

It's just all those seem to contradict each other. Paleo says lots of meat = no cancer. Forks and knives = very little animal products = no cancer. I just get very confused at this point. I stick to no artificial anything and a diet ratio I grew up with (lots of veggies and salads, little dairy products more like to accompany a dish like butter on veggies, not too much nor too little organic good meat and fish, good eggs, but also whole grains and sugar) - none of us are overweight nor have isues, and there was very little cancer in my family (grandpa had testical cancer at age 86) but my mom has high blood pressure and prediabetic numbers (but she eats significantly more animal fat than our regular diet, she barely eats refined sugar), and maternal grandma needed a new heartvalve in her 80ies (it was suspected heart damage was from uncured bacterial infections and multiple pregnancies and she never went to docs nor received decent care until older). So I guess I really want to make sense with all the information out there and put it into perspective.


Any insight, links - all highly welcome! Thanks!

SundayCrepes 02-28-2012 08:05 PM

I like the saying, "Eat food. Mainly plants. Not too much."


I do think about how we ate when we were evolving. Mainly plants, the occasional mouse, and we were delighted with any fat or sweet we could get our hands on. But those were basic fats and sweets--plant or animal based, and probably the sweet was fruit.


I'm a vegetarian, but I admit we evolved eating a certain amount of animal products. I have chickens for eggs. I'm sure we gathered eggs whenever we could find them. I doubt if we had any dairy at all.


I do think there's a lot of contradictory info out there. I think eating a mixture of whole foods is your best bet. And I really doubt if we evolved until the last few thousand years consuming dairy.

serenbat 02-29-2012 04:39 AM

you have to come to terms with your genes and how much you think diet will over take your genetic make up


good luck find accurate information on that!




nia82 02-29-2012 07:46 AM

It all contradicts each other, that's where it gets confusing! Was there ever a study comparing people on paleo vs. vegetarian diets? 

serenbat 02-29-2012 07:50 AM



Was there ever a study comparing people on paleo vs. vegetarian diets?


I have yet to see and I have yet to see a study showing doing a certain diet will definitely override your genetic predisposition for such things as cancer via a diet or any type.

nia82 02-29-2012 08:55 AM

I meant more overall health outcomes, like anemia, cholesterol, inflammation levels, diabetes levels and such? All those claims are very strong and each philosophy has some sort of studies, but how can they be true if they are obviously conflicting? I just am trying to understand. And most of us don't even know if we have a cancer or such disposition, at least I don't. For all I know my ancestors ate healthy enough to not get cancer or jsut didn't get cancer because we are not predisposed. 

serenbat 02-29-2012 09:05 AM

did you read - ?


he talks a lot about studies and it will really open up your eyes to the claims on both sides




 but how can they be true if they are obviously conflicting? 

do we really know?-IMO no

cristeen 02-29-2012 10:21 AM

If your family had a predisposition for cancer, you'd know about it.  One instance of sex-linked cancer (testicular, prostate, ovarian, uterine) in your extended family does not a predisposition make. 


As for comparisons of diet, there can never be one done that can take every variable into account, so any that may be done are at best guesses.  Genetic make-up, heritage, body type, previous lifestyle, medications, food sensitivities/allergies, there are so many variables that can effect the body, they cannot be controlled for.  Not to even mention the differences between mass-produced vs small farm vs local vs organic vs pastured vs whatever else you can think of.  Ultimately, your best bet is to try something and see how it works for you.  I know some couples where one partner does best on a vegan diet, and the other does best on a low carb diet.  Learn to listen to your body, keep an open mind and go from there.  There are things that we most definitely know are bad for us - hydrogenated oils, excessive amounts of sweets, junk food, anything that contains more chemicals than food, etc.  Do your best to avoid those things.  But as for more naturally occurring things like meat vs veggies vs eggs vs dairy, so much of that is individual. 

littlest birds 02-29-2012 12:03 PM

No.  These are new ways of eating in a lot of ways when it comes to studies.  There are thousands of variables, most of which we cannot control for.  And we have neither the length of history to have had opportunity to collect data nor the breadth of information sufficient to monitor long-term effects.  And as far as I can tell every single study is done with a lot of bias and even set up in ways that reflect the biases of those conducting the study. 


We evolved as extremely flexible opportunists and that may be one of our best biological advantages as a species.  We can successfully live to reproductive age and beyond eating just about anything we can get our hands on, it seems to me.  Now optimum health in a given environment is a complex thing.  We think we can control it?  I've read a lot of studies myself.  I've eaten a lot of different diets.  Quite frankly, the best I can do is experiment to find the foods that make me feel best and have the best short-term effects and assume that means the cumulative effects are reasonably good too. 


I agree with Sunday Crepes above that whole foods are the way to go whichever things you prefer to exclude.  I exclude a lot of carbs, but not strictly.  I eat a lot of animal foods esp. fish and eggs.  Excluding grains for a while was like a miracle for me.  I respect that kind of experience when I have it myself--it leads me not to care which expert thinks this or that, and instead I like studies that help explain my direct experience.  They share my bias LOL.  I also read things that contradict my experience so that I keep myself thinking.


I think sugars feed rapid cell growth, so this may be desirable in children but for adults I think sugars encourage cancerous growth, especially if we overeat as well.  This includes fruit.  I think children should eat more fruit than adults.  I think dairy is good, concentrated food for those whose bodies do well with it.  If we have an opportunity to consume a food that rich in nutrients we should go with our appetite and do so long as our body gives no sign of rejection.  (We should be alert to all signs of problems from such foods that we know to sometimes cause difficulty!)  I think people who avoid dairy thinking it is by nature a baby food have a pretty darn good point though too.  I don't know who's right but as an opportunist I'm paying $2 per gallon for raw fresh milk straight from the cow and it's too good to pass up.   LOL


I think overeating if a habit or constant, as is the norm for most Americans is unhealthy because our bodies get overburdened attempting to make use of it and lose function unnecessarily rapidly.  Feasting during abundant times is okay, but I think we are best at metabolizing and making use of what we eat when nutrients are a little more scarce and precious.  Our bodies are best designed to make a sufficiency out of a diet of frequent scarcity.  And I think we do that by pursuing rich animal products and vegetable foods, filling in with whatever we can find that satisfies, but usually having to settle for small portions of them or only short periods of abundance.  After committing to eating whole foods and getting away from the sugars and learning to welcome fats, the next best thing I did was get used to using smaller plates for my meals.  You can notice that animal vs. plant wasn't a factor yet in that sentence.


Nia2, to me the paleo diet claims a lot more than that lots of meat is good.  It's also about whole foods and avoiding grains and sugars.  And vegetables are top priorities too--healthy fresh vegetables exactly like those that the vegan folks love best.  A lot of interest in raw and fermented foods in both camps, too.  It's interesting how many areas of agreement there are.  So I would assume those are all right on and the only thing to try to figure out is whether eating more carbs or more animal foods works for you.  


Evolution matters, and we evolved as omnivores.  We can get by with excluding almost anything because of our adaptability.  I don't think we will ever find one optimum diet.  I feel way healthier eating primal than I did when I ate vegetarian though.  I have a lot of possible explanations for that but ultimately I don't exactly know why and that is okay.   

SundayCrepes 02-29-2012 08:20 PM

This thread inspired me to look at the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  It's got tons of studies regarding food. There's about 1200 studies about vegetarians, though only three that include the word paleo.

serenbat 03-01-2012 04:44 AM



 It's got tons of studies regarding food. 



I think it is more about how the studies were conducted (and by who) that some highly question- you can find a study on anything saying what fits your needs-doesn't make it accurate over all.

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