The rationale for the Paleolithic diet derives from proponents' claims relating to evolutionary medicine.:594 Advocates of the diet state that humans were genetically adapted to eating specifically those foods that were readily available to them in their local environments. These foods therefore shaped the nutritional needs of Paleolithic humans. They argue that the physiology and metabolism of modern humans have changed little since the Paleolithic era.:594–95 Natural selection is a long process, and the cultural and lifestyle changes introduced by western culture have occurred quickly. The argument is that modern humans have therefore not been able to adapt to the new circumstances. The agricultural revolution brought the addition of grains and dairy to the diet.
You're not tracking calories. You won't feel hungry. You won't be eating based on a points system. You're going to miss your morning doughnuts, but this isn't like any diet you might be used to. Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig actually doesn't like calling the Whole30 a "diet" at all. “Most diets are spent white-knuckling your way through deprivation, restriction, hunger, tuning out your body’s signals, and obsessing over tracking and weighing your food,” Hartwig says. She doesn't think that type of behavior is sustainable, and if you've ever tried dieting, you probably agree.
Still, many scientists have expressed concern that we do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s health benefits, especially its long-term effects. In fact, in an article in response to the first review, authors Tanis R. Fenton and Carol J. Fenton, from the Cumming School of Medicine in Canada, wrote a letter to the editor in which they expressed their disappointment with the review. (5)
Oils are trickier. Loren Cordain, Ph.D., founder of The Paleo Diet Movement, breaks down which oils are healthy on the paleo diet: olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado and coconut oils are all allowed because they were gathered directly from the plant. While our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably did not consume flaxseed oil, it is allowed because of its content of high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid.
According to the model from the evolutionary discordance hypothesis, "many chronic diseases and degenerative conditions evident in modern Western populations have arisen because of a mismatch between Stone Age genes and modern lifestyles." Advocates of the modern paleo diet have formed their dietary recommendations based on this hypothesis. They argue that modern humans should follow a diet that is nutritionally closer to that of their Paleolithic ancestors.
Foods allowed during the program include meat, nuts, seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. During the Whole30, participants are advised not to count calories or to weigh themselves. After the program is complete, participants are counseled to strategically reintroduce foods outside the endorsed Whole30 list, document the health consequences and culinary value of these additions, and determine if the addition is desired. The program's founders believe that sugar, grains, dairy, alcohol, and legumes affect weight, energy, and stress levels. Losing weight is not a focus of Whole30; calorie-counting and weigh-ins are not allowed.
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?
Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the new “gluten-free!” items popping up everywhere). Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
Sex With Your Pants On (SWYPO) is a term used to describe the idea of recreating treats such as pancakes, brownies, or pizza with Whole30 ingredients, and is strongly cautioned against. The Hartwigs feel that if you’re trying to recreate a pizza made out of cauliflower crust in order to scratch a craving itch, then you’re kind of missing the point. To quote the Whole30 website, “You can tell yourself it’s okay, it’s still pretty good, you’re totally satisfied … but that’s kind of a lie. Because you know exactly how good pants-less sex feels.”
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
You can easily turn this butter and Brain Octane Oil combo into a Whole30 recipe: Simply swap your butter for grass-fed ghee. You’ll still get all the benefits of clean coffee beans and healthy fats while sticking to the Whole30 rules. (Bonus: If you need an extra dose of protein in the morning, blend your coffee with Whole30-friendly collagen peptides.)
Vitamin D is the one supplement that would be paleo. At least it would be for those of us that don't live outside year round. You can have your D level measured. The low RDAs only prevent definable deficiences, not problems that take a long time to develop. Michael Holick, MD is a leading writer on this subject. This is a 10 page PDF: Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis and its companion Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease [change PDF to 100% to read]. Or if you prefer, there is an hour video on YouTube.
Update: So I just finished Day 23 of my Whole30 Journey and I feel good, aside from the fact that I caught a cold. Weighing myself today, I discovered that I lost 19.5 pounds so far! I measured myself and immediately noted that I lost 19 inches over all (I measure my chest, both arms, both legs, waist, and hips). I think when I am done with my first round, I'll take a day off then start a second round. I just feel that great overall.
This traditional legal effort is paired with an aggressive social-media operation run by two men, Russ Greene and Russell Berger. At CrossFit headquarters in Santa Cruz, they are known as the Russes.The Russes assist the company's conventional corporate social-media efforts (running the Twitter handle, promoting company news on the CrossFit Facebook page) while also closely monitoring what they call "the wide world of Internet assholes": chronic complainers, trolls, Wikipedia page editors, cynical bloggers, even the American College of Sports Medicine, which the Russes and Glassman believe has it in for CrossFit. When the Russes feel any of these parties go over the line, their approach is simple: They obliterate them. (See "Social Media, CrossFit Style.")
The diet ranked last among 38 popular diets evaluated by U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 Best Diets Rankings; one of the raters, dietitian Meridan Zerner said: "We want behavioral changes and dietary changes that are slow and progressive and meaningful." David L. Katz said of the diet: "The grouping [of banned foods] is both random, and rather bizarre from a nutrition perspective. If the idea is good nutrition, cutting out whole grains and legumes is at odds with a boatload of evidence." It was selected as one of the worst health trends for 2013 by Health Magazine.
Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie Sullivan Mayfield and Charles Mayfield. Implementing paleo guidelines and principles in this book (no grains, no gluten, no legumes, no dairy), the Mayfields give you 100+ recipes and full color photos with entertaining stories throughout. The recipes in Paleo Comfort Foods can help individuals and families alike lose weight, eat healthy and achieve optimum fitness, making this way of eating sustainable, tasty and fun. The many reviews at Amazon are basically flawless. The sole complaint is over the lack of nutritional information. But there is no counting on the paleo diet and its inclusion would have been inappropriate. Published September 10, 2011.
While no independent research has been conducted on the Whole30 diet specifically, diets like this one that eliminate entire food groups are bound to make you drop weight, experts say. That was the case for 96 percent of 1,600 Whole30 participants, according to a survey by the company. Most Whole30 dieters lost between 6 and 15 pounds, the survey found. But experts worry that restrictive diets with no room for error can set followers up for failure and prompt them to put the pounds back on – and then some – once the diet is over.
We love nuts and they are decidedly paleo diet friendly. Be careful though, as cashews are high in fat and, for some reason, it’s incredibly easy to eat an entire jar of them in one sitting (that’s not just us, is it?). If you’re trying to lose weight, limit the amount of nuts you’re consuming. Otherwise, have at it. I mean, you can’t beat a good almond/pecan/walnut mix, can you?
Ideally one should eat a wide variety of proteins from as many animal sources as possible. One need not and should not avoid fatty cuts of meat, particularly if consuming pastured sources. An often overlooked piece of the paleo diet in popular culture is an over-reliance on standard cuts of meat, at the expense of organ meats, bone broth and other collagen sources. For more information on the historical and practical aspects of consuming a more balanced protein intake, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. If weight-loss is a goal, protein makes you feel satisfied between meals.
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The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.