This spring, Dr Cordain did an interview answering ten questions about the basics of the Paleo Diet@. To start your New Years out right, we wanted to share his answers with you. We hope you enjoy! - The Paleo Diet Team 1. The Paleo diet can be traced to a 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin, but, correct me if I’m wrong, you are responsible for bringing this diet to popularity in your 2002 book “The Paleo Diet.” Can you me about your research...
Glassman is proud of his role in all this, but the system puts him and CrossFit at a very real risk. As the world of CrossFit grows, as more businesses enter and profit, and his share of it becomes smaller, CrossFit's greatest success--gaining mainstream acceptance as exercise and a sport--could turn it generic, like baseball or skiing. "One of our greatest fears is becoming escalator," says Dale Saran, CrossFit's general counsel, referring to what was once a trademarked name brand of Otis Elevator. So, although Glassman keeps the CrossFit business model radically loose and open, he protects the brand name with an iron fist.

LOREN CORDAIN, Ph.D., is one of the top global researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. Generally acknowledged as the world's leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, he is a professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Colorado State University. Dr. Cordain and his research have been featured on Dateline NBC and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media. He is the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, among other books, and makes regular media and speaking appearances worldwide.


Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books

The good news is that you'll find yourself craving your junky favorites less as time goes on. But that first week can be notoriously tough as your body transitions to a cleaner way of eating. Now more than ever, make sure you're eating regular, balanced meals and keeping approved snacks like plantain chips with salsa and celery sticks with almond butter on hand. It's always easier to say no to cookies or chips when you're satisfied from eating something clean and delicious—or have another snack or dish to look forward to.

When the 30 days are up, you can continue eating this way or gradually add some of the foods back in one by one to see which may have been causing your issues. Many people who become devotees of the lifestyle stick to a Paleo diet afterward (The Paleo diet is interpreted differently by different people, but in general, it’s a less strict, long-term lifestyle version of the Whole30).
But human populations in different regions of the world ate a variety of diets. Some ate more; some ate less. They likely ate meat only when they could get it, and then they gorged. Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, says diets from around the world ranged greatly in the percentage of calories from meat. It’s not cooked meat that made us human, he says, but rather cooked food.
Originally, teams were awarded the "Affiliate Cup" for having the best overall score from the individual athletes that had come from the same CrossFit-affiliated gym. In 2009, the Games began having a separate set of events for affiliate teams and consisted of four to six athletes from the same gym.[27] The next season, the format was finalized to teams of three men and three women. In the 2018 games, each team was changed to four members, two men and two women.[17] In 2019, CrossFit removed the stipulation that team members had to be from the same affiliate. Teams are subject to a similar qualification process as the individuals.
^ Ramsden, C.; Faurot, K.; Carrera-Bastos, P.; Cordain, L.; De Lorgeril, M.; Sperling, L. (2009). "Dietary Fat Quality and Coronary Heart Disease Prevention: A Unified Theory Based on Evolutionary, Historical, Global, and Modern Perspectives". Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. 11 (4): 289–301. doi:10.1007/s11936-009-0030-8. PMID 19627662.

So you can imagine that their stance on cheating in the program is very stringent. If you cheat, you’re supposed to start again at day one with no exceptions. As an intense perfectionist in life, this scared me more than any other rule or dietary restriction. And to be fair, I think that any dietary change is hard. Maybe it’s not like quitting heroin, but it’s also not like a spa massage. Did I mention that I also don’t like when people tell me what to do? As a really small child, I stabbed myself in the eye with a fork because my mom told me not to. Yeah … tough love isn’t my love language. Life is complicated.
Similarly, any foods that were not easily available to Paleolithic humans are off-limits in this diet, Holley explains. That means processed foods — many of which contain added butter, margarine, and sugar — should not be a part of the paleo diet. The same goes for dairy, which may not have been accessible to Paleolithic humans, and legumes, which many proponents of the diet believe are not easily digestible by the body.
Meetup has a growing number of paleo groups, now numbering in the dozens. Each has a local message board. They have a map of Paleo Diet Meetups around the world. Initially I tried listing them all here. The number grew and Meetup wasn't letting me find groups in newest order, except for my zip code. You now have to go there to find the one nearest you.
Lutein/Zeaxanthin and Macular Health is an article discussing antioxidents and protection against the oxidizing ultraviolet radiation of the sun. The best dietary sources of antioxidants in general, and carotenoids specifically, are fruits and vegetables ­ and the more brightly colored, the better. Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow pigments found in high concentrations in yellow fruits and vegetables as well as in dark green, leafy vegetables. In particular, spinach, kale and collard greens contain high levels of these two carotenoids.
It was within this context that Glassman began ramping up his affiliation program. This was growth without a safety net: Anyone who passed his two-day seminar could apply to open a box, call it CrossFit, and then rush paying customers through squats and snatches or whatever crazy WOD they dreamed up. To Glassman, himself a passionate libertarian, this was the right thing to do: He wants his affiliates to be free to open up a box in a garage or a warehouse or wherever else, and train how they want, and charge what they want. They should have the opportunity he had. He detests supposed experts who say their certification or education makes them better than him or his people. At the end of the day, he believes, the free market will provide all the necessary quality control.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet's core premise.[4] During the 2.6-million-year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.[4][5]
Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved cholesterol. However these studies were of short duration (6 months or less) with a small number of participants (less than 40). [4-6]
The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. "By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being," says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. He says the diet lessens the body's glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increases vitamin and nutrient consumption, and contains an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
You never, ever, ever have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. You’re all big boys and girls. Toughen up. Learn to say no, or make your mom proud and say, “No, thank you.” Learn to stick up for yourself. Just because it’s your sister’s birthday, or your best friend’s wedding, or your company picnic does not mean you have to eat anything. It’s always a choice, and we would hope that you stopped succumbing to peer pressure in 7th grade.
In making the case for meat, Cordain presents anecdotal evidence of Eskimos who lived their full life without a heart attack. The Eskimo diet consists of 97% meat, which he concedes causes all Eskimos to develop atherosclerosis—a common precursor to heart disease. But Cordain says Eskimos never die of heart disease. He discusses one Eskimo who lived 45 years and another who lived 53 years, both without heart disease! He then jumps to the conclusion that because these Eskimos didn’t get heart attacks, even with severe atherosclerosis, meat must have protected them from heart disease. So Cordain’s best case for lots of meat is that you can live to the ripe age of 45 or even 53 without a heart attack. But do people—even unhealthy smokers or the obese—generally get heart attacks before age 53?

Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement. For example, there are some nondairy calcium-rich foods that are absorbed well by the body such as collard and turnip greens or canned bone-in sardines and salmon, but you would have to eat five or more servings of these greens and fish bones daily to meet recommended calcium needs. (Note that some greens like spinach that are touted to be calcium-rich also contain oxalates and phytates that bind to calcium so very little is actually absorbed.) One small, short-term intervention study of healthy participants showed a 53% decrease from baseline in calcium intake after following a Paleo diet for three weeks. [8] Furthermore, the exclusion of whole grains can result in reduced consumption of beneficial nutrients such as fiber and thus may increase one’s risk for diabetes and heart disease.

The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.
After the Internet fitness community began talking about an Ohio State University study that described relatively high injury rates among CrossFitters, the Russes mobilized. They had Glassman's father, Jeffrey Glassman (now "chief scientist" at CrossFit), write a comprehensive rebuttal to the study for the CrossFit website. Berger called each and every research subject who had been reported as injured, to conclude that none actually were hurt, and then added an entire stammering Q&A with one of the paper's authors, kinesiology professor Steven Devor. Here's the kicker: The actual subject of the study was the great improvements in fitness the researchers found in CrossFit athletes. Aside from a handful of sentences, it was all positive.

The good news is that you'll find yourself craving your junky favorites less as time goes on. But that first week can be notoriously tough as your body transitions to a cleaner way of eating. Now more than ever, make sure you're eating regular, balanced meals and keeping approved snacks like plantain chips with salsa and celery sticks with almond butter on hand. It's always easier to say no to cookies or chips when you're satisfied from eating something clean and delicious—or have another snack or dish to look forward to.


The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.
The top CrossFit Open performers for individuals and teams in each region advance to the regional events, held over the following two months around the world. Each regional event qualifies a specified number of its top finishers to send to the Games. The Games include divisions for individuals of each gender, co-ed teams, and a number of Masters and Teenage age groups.[46]
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