Can you explain to me the rationale of paleo/primal diets? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Traditional Foods > Can you explain to me the rationale of paleo/primal diets?
mamamerle's Avatar mamamerle 11:07 AM 08-29-2011

Quote:

Originally Posted by pohaha View Post

Also, although humans have big brains that need lots of protein, we also have long digestive tracts like herbivores.  The important thing to remember is that we don't need to find a diet that will make us live to 101 without a heart attack or stroke, we need to find a subsistence strategy that will get our offspring to successfully reproduce.  So, the healthiest diet for us probably is a varied diet of any whole foods grown locally without pesticides or chemical fertilizers and everything in moderation.


This caught my attention because of my personal experience...

 

It took us 16 months of TTC, including six rounds of fertility treatments to get pregnant with our middle child. I switched to a quasi paleo diet (about 80% paleo) when she was two years old. Six weeks into it, I dropped 11 pounds and got pregnant. No meds, all natural! The change in my eating was the only change in my life!

 

I believe it when I hear wheat/gluten/grains inflame the body, especially since my infertility was always unexplainable.



serenbat's Avatar serenbat 12:31 PM 08-29-2011

 

 

Quote:

It took us 16 months of TTC, including six rounds of fertility treatments to get pregnant with our middle child. I switched to a quasi paleo diet (about 80% paleo) when she was two years old. Six weeks into it, I dropped 11 pounds and got pregnant. No meds, all natural! The change in my eating was the only change in my life!

 

I believe it when I hear wheat/gluten/grains inflame the body, especially since my infertility was always unexplainable.

 

great it worked for you but not for all (some seam to thrive on a super high carb diet and still multiply and multiply and multiply) http://www.duggarfamily.com/content/duggar_recipes


Kaydove's Avatar Kaydove 12:58 PM 08-29-2011

I'm not sure if this has been said before, since I didn't read all the posts, but one of the main reasons for my DH and I to switch to a paleo diet is because of his health problems. He's half Native American and natives have only been eating industralised food for 100-200 years. Milk and processed sugars weren't in their diets. The processed sugar (not naturally accuring sugar from fruits and honey) wreak havoc on a body not used to processing it. His native family has a history of diabetes and thryoid disorder.

We had our blood tested for food allergies and he came up with a severe allergy to whey, casin, and lactose, which are what make up dairy. He's not lactose intolerant, he's allergic. A lot of processed foods have whey powder or sodium casinate as a preservative, so we have to be really careful. I told him that he's vegan plus meat which is aligned with paleo diets.

 

So the debate that we've been eating industralized foods for so long, so what's the point, doesn't apply to all races. Native Americans were living as hunter/gathers until quite recently in terms of World history and evolution.


arb's Avatar arb 01:13 PM 08-29-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by suzukiaustin View Post


Then I eat you.  :)

 

The question isn't if the paleo diet is sustainable.  We know it isn't with the population we have now.  Maybe start a thread asking if this diet is sustainable for our current population.  I really don't care if it is.  I feel good, I look good, my kids are healthy and that's all that matters to me.  Sorry to be so blunt.

 

 

Breathtaking.


 

 


Krystal323's Avatar Krystal323 04:23 PM 08-29-2011

Such a fascinating thread--thanks to all who've posted so far!  I'm a longtime vegetarian, who's been everything from a junk-food-vegan to a carb-itarian to a nutritarian (a la Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live plan).  

 

My diet over the years has been largely dictated by financial constraints, sadly enough--but I know that I feel best on a vegetable-based diet with lots of raw foods.  I've got a friend who's paleo/primal, and we suspect my husband has grain intolerances...so this is very timely info to read.

 

Several things stood out to me in this thread--the first of which was the assertion that we don't need to follow/find the diet that will help us live to 101 with no health problems...  Maybe this sounds strange, but that's pretty much what I'm going for.  (Within nature/reason, of course).  Really, why should we not try to "eat to live", and live optimally?

 

Second, the sustainability question.  Lots to think about there.  That's all.. eat.gif


sosurreal09's Avatar sosurreal09 06:06 AM 08-30-2011

hmmm Did you see my link about agriculture? I would think agriculture is much less sustainable than our locally farmed meat. Primal focuses a lot on local foods. I mean of course the industrialization of anything seems to be it's downfall (based on quality, sustainability, waste)..


serenbat's Avatar serenbat 07:33 AM 08-30-2011

 

 

Quote:
hmmm Did you see my link about agriculture? I would think agriculture is much less sustainable than our locally farmed meat. Primal focuses a lot on local foods. I mean of course the industrialization of anything seems to be it's downfall (based on quality, sustainability, waste)..

 

 

can you please post a link that proves what you are saying? how is locally farmed meat globally sustainable?

 

going through the other tread mentioned also do not address this 

 

if one only sees what their family can get and thinks others can also access the same then I guess you can believe this can happen globally as well dizzy.gif


keevelish's Avatar keevelish 08:00 AM 08-30-2011

I've been reading through the thread, very interesting :).  We eat primal (well, my daughters and I do, my husband is a slow convert).

 

I don't think this is globally sustainable with the current state of the human population.  So, we eat what we do because we CAN, and because it's the best for my family.  I think another poster mentioned that.  I have to think of my family first, unfortunately.

 

 

Primal eating is sustainable if we cut the global population down to what it was 10,000 years ago.  I don't think that would make many people very happy though. I guess what I'm saying is that the current global human population itself isn't sustainable, if we want to keep everyone healthy with a biologically appropriate diet.


Jett's Avatar Jett 10:21 AM 08-30-2011

I recently read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price. It was written in the 1930's when Dr. Price traveled the world examining primitive populations' health and diets. Although their diets corresponded to foods available in their geographic areas, the one common thread is that their health was good until they were introduced to and began consuming modern processed or factory foods. I think that is key to defining "primal eating", it is anything without modern factory foods and chemicals included. And it's not so easy, just cutting processed sugars eliminates most items found in the grocery store.

 

 


greenmama66's Avatar greenmama66 08:11 PM 09-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamerle View Post

Quote:


This caught my attention because of my personal experience...

 

It took us 16 months of TTC, including six rounds of fertility treatments to get pregnant with our middle child. I switched to a quasi paleo diet (about 80% paleo) when she was two years old. Six weeks into it, I dropped 11 pounds and got pregnant. No meds, all natural! The change in my eating was the only change in my life!

 

I believe it when I hear wheat/gluten/grains inflame the body, especially since my infertility was always unexplainable.



Me too- I used to be infertile (was on a grain based macrobiotic diet) and I tried fertility drugs (didn't work for me) and then changed my diet first by adding  grass fed meat (I got pregnant with twins) then I read about paleo- that was almost 17 years ago and I then got pregnant again on first try. I kept refining my diet and went on to have 3 more (pregnant on first try or lack of trying I should say) and just had my 6th baby on my 45th birthday. I did eat a bit more dairy than I normally do  this time but quit about 6 weeks before he was born ( had 2 primal and one paleo pregnancy along with a raw primal pregnancy) and baby doesn't tolerate grass fed butter I have tried to sneak in so back to strict paleo (that's okay I have some weight to lose).


berry987's Avatar berry987 07:22 PM 09-02-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jett View Post

I recently read "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston Price. It was written in the 1930's when Dr. Price traveled the world examining primitive populations' health and diets. Although their diets corresponded to foods available in their geographic areas, the one common thread is that their health was good until they were introduced to and began consuming modern processed or factory foods. I think that is key to defining "primal eating", it is anything without modern factory foods and chemicals included. And it's not so easy, just cutting processed sugars eliminates most items found in the grocery store.

 

 

Excellent point! Many cultures were eating their traditional foods until 50-60 years ago and living well before industrialized food was introduced. Just returning to our roots would improve health worldwide and would be more sustainable than the "perfect" human diet.
 

 


Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 01:08 AM 09-03-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamerle View Post

Quote:


This caught my attention because of my personal experience...

 

It took us 16 months of TTC, including six rounds of fertility treatments to get pregnant with our middle child. I switched to a quasi paleo diet (about 80% paleo) when she was two years old. Six weeks into it, I dropped 11 pounds and got pregnant. No meds, all natural! The change in my eating was the only change in my life!

 

I believe it when I hear wheat/gluten/grains inflame the body, especially since my infertility was always unexplainable.


Not to be argumentative, but I had the opposite reaction.  We tried for 2 years to get pregnant and I had two miscarriages.  After The Hubby and I went 95% vegan and did a cleanse I was able to get pregnant and keep it.  I was vegetarian for that pregnancy and went vegan when my son was 7 months old.

 

HOWEVER after I had been vegan for ~3 years I started having a lot of brain fog, joint pain, difficulty speaking, blah blah blah.  I'm still trying to figure out how I'm supposed to be eating, but one thing is I like eating meat again.  Oh, and my kids have issues that I think are connected to being vegetarian, so there's that.

 

Sorry for the incoherent rambling, it's midnight over here and I should be in bed.

 


Mom2Es's Avatar Mom2Es 05:10 PM 09-20-2011

We're not full-on paleo eaters, but as to your questions about grains, I recommend reading the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis.  You don't have to look back thousands of years to find problems with modern carb-heavy diets.  The wheat we eat today is not the same as what people were eating even a couple hundred years ago.


luckiest's Avatar luckiest 09:28 AM 09-25-2011
I wanted to add my perspective on paleo. At the foundation is the acceptance that on a genetic, evolutionary level, our bodies are best suited to eat the foods we've been eating for the longest amount of time; the food we ate as cavemen. From there, you can only do your best to recreate that diet. You can really go to the extreme if you want, eating 100% locally and seasonally, never eating out...but even homesteading, growing your own veggies and raising your own meat won't replicate it entirely. That's why I think it's important to not get caught up in minutae and just do as much as fits easily into your lifestyle.

There are some givens - only whole, unprocessed foods, no grains or sugar. From there, there are more preferences than "rules." Pastured meat and organic produce very largely preferred. Dairy should moat likely be avoided, unless you tolerate it well, and preferred raw. Preferred seasonal. The list goes on.

Then the lifestyle stuff. Exercising like cavemen did, fasting like they did during times of dearth, limiting stress, getting enough sun.

Yeah, you can't replicate it entirely, but you can do what you can. There's no getting around that grains, especially modern grains, are harmful to us. Not just not good, they are harmful in the quantities we are told to consume. There's no getting that high insulin makes you sick. There's no denying that lectins cause leaky gut and autoimmune illness. There's no arguing that gluten is a big problem for a large portion of us.

Plus the testimonials are pretty overwhelming.
littlest birds's Avatar littlest birds 09:15 PM 09-25-2011

I eat a relaxed primal diet that is very low-carb.  I am allowed to break rules whenever I want but I don't want to.

 

On the "global sustainability" issue:  I think that grain-based diets result in malnutrition, and I don't think that volunteering to accept malnutrition for my children helps anyone with food shortages elsewhere.  I think that food production should be locally based.  If you are talking global food, then you are talking unsustainable transportation and fuel (and fertilizer) issues to shift resources to other parts of the globe.  Grain production takes a tremendous toll on the long-term ability of the earth to keep producing food.  Agriculture is a lot more complex than diet for a small planet and vegetarian social positions suggest.  Responsible land use would not increase field crops in preference to pasture, but would keep them in a balanced combination that generally favors pasture.  Overpopulation simply does not justify me eating substandard foods if I have any choice at all.  That sacrifice give only short terms gains at the expense of land and fuel losses anyway.  I will eat "starvation rations" such as flour-based foods only if I have to, not to prove my ethics are superior.

 

I am so flicking sick of the cultural bias for vegetarian foods, the one that suggests responsible eating means plant foods and grains are better than animal products.  Totally over it.  I do not need to defend myself nor do I ever feel guilty about food whether I eat steak or bacon or chocolate cake.  I have lost 20 unexpected pounds in the past 4 months after one year on my primal diet and feel awesome.  One of the most important things I have gained from this diet is the disappearance of all munchie urges and the desire to have second helpings.  I just don't overeat anymore.  Overeating makes a far bigger impact that meat eating and American overeat constantly.  I notice it is absolutely normal to eat meals 2-4 times larger than our bodies actually need for instance.  And grains and sugars--guess what they do?  They create blood sugar issues that make us want to snack and overeat.  That's seriously bad for the 7 billion.  Grain and sugar and avoiding fat are the reasons IMO that Americans are overweight and eat too much anyway.  When I am in a public place more than 90% of adults are noticeably overweight everywhere I go.  But then again grains are used to make cattle fatter fast with quick bulking so what do we expect?  I on the other hand eat tiny high fat meals filled out with homegrown veggies and favor local pastured eggs as my #1 perfect food and have completely lost the habit of overeating...  Proponents of "sustainability" need to really get over trying to make people like me feel guilty.  The ethics of the veggie folks simply aren't one-size-fits-all.  And less meat is NOT the first and foremost way to eat healthier or more responsibly and please stop trying to put that assumption on me.  I'm just not interested.

 

I do hope some veggies learn a bit from what I wrote here though.  That anti-fat anti-meat dogma is awfully strong and absolutely pervasive and I think it's time for you to question your assumptions enough to realize how casually so many toss around judgments and assumptions about this subject.  Who needs to "prove" sustainability about whether they eat what nourishes their bodies or what makes their bodies go into foggy decline?  Gee whiz.  I don't even worry that much about the ancient biology of it, beyond getting the basic idea, since the plain fact is that my own present-day experiments are so darn convincing I don't even care about how precisely accurate each component is compared to my ancestors' diets. 


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 01:17 PM 10-23-2011

I am resurrecting this thread because I'm interested in primal/paleo and like many aspects of it, but I'd like someone to explain the limiting of fruit and tubers. Is this just a modern twist to make the diet more low-carb? Because from everything I've read, early hunter/gatherers ate these in abundance. I also don't understand how dairy can be justified, since it's a product of the domestication of animals, and like grains, can be severely harmful to many people.

 

I'm asking these questions to be better informed, not to be argumentative. smile.gif


bodhitree's Avatar bodhitree 07:27 AM 10-25-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

I am resurrecting this thread because I'm interested in primal/paleo and like many aspects of it, but I'd like someone to explain the limiting of fruit and tubers. Is this just a modern twist to make the diet more low-carb? Because from everything I've read, early hunter/gatherers ate these in abundance. I also don't understand how dairy can be justified, since it's a product of the domestication of animals, and like grains, can be severely harmful to many people.

 

I'm asking these questions to be better informed, not to be argumentative. smile.gif



There are differences of opinion on whether it's necessary to limit fruits and tubers. For those who believe it's necessary, yes, I think it's mostly to limit carbohydrate intake. Some also argue that fruit used to only be available seasonally, so we shouldn't be eating tons of it year-round.

 

For myself, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with those foods, and whether you eat them should be determined by how they affect your own body. Some people do seem to need to limit carbs, but I don't think everyone does. People make it sound like it's a one-size-fits-all thing, but it isn't. You just have to do some self-experimentation to figure out what works well for you.


alittlesandy's Avatar alittlesandy 10:40 AM 10-25-2011

Thank you so much bodhitree! I really like the idea of limiting fruit to local, in season choices.


keevelish's Avatar keevelish 03:59 PM 11-12-2011

You typically would stay away from starchy tubers and fruit if you were really trying to lose weight on paleo/primal.

 

Paleo and primal themselves are not necessarily low-carb diets.


Zoeanne's Avatar Zoeanne 10:22 AM 11-15-2011


I'd love to know more about this.  Can anyone point me to a source?  I am planning on starting a Paleo diet for my family soon, in part because my son has a rare bone disorder (Ollier's Disease) and I feel intuitively that a grain-free diet would be helpful for him (we already eat traditional foods and he is mainly gluten-free)

Originally Posted by nmelanson View Post

Grains also lower the pH of our bodies which necessitates that our bodies release calcium in order to buffer the acidity, causing skeletal degeneration.



 


spiderdust's Avatar spiderdust 09:17 PM 11-16-2011

notes2.gif


greenmom4's Avatar greenmom4 02:41 PM 11-17-2011

It's been a long, slooooow day at work, so I'm responding to this.  Although Primal/Paleo is not necessarily low carb, the argument against fruit/tubers is that what is available now would not have even been recognizable to Grok.  Industrial farming has created much bigger, sweeter, starchier tubers and fruits than what would be considere paleo...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

I am resurrecting this thread because I'm interested in primal/paleo and like many aspects of it, but I'd like someone to explain the limiting of fruit and tubers. Is this just a modern twist to make the diet more low-carb? Because from everything I've read, early hunter/gatherers ate these in abundance. I also don't understand how dairy can be justified, since it's a product of the domestication of animals, and like grains, can be severely harmful to many people.

 

I'm asking these questions to be better informed, not to be argumentative. smile.gif



 

 


cristeen's Avatar cristeen 11:41 AM 11-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

 I also don't understand how dairy can be justified, since it's a product of the domestication of animals, and like grains, can be severely harmful to many people.



 

Paleo actually includes complete removal of dairy.  Many people have a harder time with that than the removal of grains though, it's so ubiquitous in our culture.  And some people discover that they don't have any difficulty with dairy, so they wind up adding it back in (often in raw form).  So much of this is figuring out what works for you, and may require tweaking over the course of months or years. 


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