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.
Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide and CEO of Paleo Meal Plans. He's a precision nutrition, and Gym Jones Level 1 certified, and helped millions of people get healthy and lose weight since 2012. Joel is also an ultra runner and endurance athlete - and in 2017, he became the the youngest person to run an ultra marathon on every continent in the world to build 7 schools with Pencils of Promise in developing countries.Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Athlinks and read his full bio here.
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)
Is time-restricted eating effective for weight loss? Time-restricted eating is a diet plan that requires people to limit themselves to only eating during specific hours of the day and then fasting outside of this period. Here, we look at what time-restricted eating is, whether or not it works, and what effect it has on muscle gain. We also provide tips for beginners. Read now
We Want to Live: The Primal Diet (2005 Expanded Edition) is a book by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. His basic philosophy is that (a) food is to be eaten in a live, raw condition; and (b) a diet rich in raw fats and raw meats from natural sources is essential to health. However his diet includes massive amounts of raw dairy. From the Planets is a book review by Ralph W. Moss. The Live-Food Mailing List discusses the concepts of this book.
It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.
Craving some spice? This Whole30 recipe delivers with ingredients like red chili flakes and red curry paste mixed into the meatballs — plus, a creamy coconut milk sauce for topping. Make this recipe more Bulletproof with the freshest spices possible, raw almond butter, and pastured chicken. Plus, avoid eating garlic and onion too often, and avoid the peppers if you are sensitive to nightshades.
If you were to eat an unlimited amount of red meat (which the paleo diet technically allows), you may see your heart health suffer. While experts applaud the omission of packaged and processed foods like cake, cookies, chips, and candy — which are well known to be bad for your ticker — they’re not crazy about the fact that paleo doesn’t allow you to eat whole grains, legumes, and most dairy. Whole grains in particular have been linked with better cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risk of stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. (13) These are all comorbidities of heart disease. (14)
Sweden's Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan's has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Here's a book review: Easy to Read, Informative, Packed with Footnotes on Studies.
Two years ago I got formally diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease. You can read more about that and what it means here. In my health journey, one of my goals has been to reduce inflammation in my system. There are a ton of factors that go into this, but one of the things I can control is the food I put into my body. Food, and restoring gut health, is a huge part of reversing chronic illness.
A few days ago I was delighted to learn that Dr. Oz was going to again feature The Paleo Diet on his nationally syndicated television show along with one of my co-authors, Nell Stephenson, of The Paleo Diet Cookbook. I tuned into the Dr. Oz show and was happy about most of what I saw except for Chris Kresser, expounding upon the health virtues of a food group, beans and legumes, that definitely are not Paleo. Please read the following...
2) CrossFit attracts a certain type of person – namely folks who push themselves so hard they actually do bodily harm. Ask any CrossFitter if they’ve met “Pukey the Clown” and they’ll probably tell you yes. Due to the nature of competition, the motivating atmosphere, and people’s desire to do well, many people in CrossFit often push themselves beyond their personal limitations (which can be a good thing)…but oftentimes they push themselves too far.
You may lose weight on the Paleo Diet. If you build a “calorie deficit” into your Paleo plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you. A 2015 review in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Liver Diseases concluded that a Paleo-esque diet “might be an acceptable antidote to the unhealthy Western diet, but only unequivocal results from randomized controlled trials or meta-analyses will support this hypothesis.” On that, we’re still waiting. In the meantime, here’s what has been found about the diet and others like it:
Fattening cattle with corn changes the lipid balance and is clearly not the natural diet for a grass eating cow. In Simple change in cattle diets could cut E. coli infection researchers have found that when cattle were fed hay or grass for just five days before slaughter, much less E. Coli cells were present in the animal's feces and virtually all surviving E. coli bacteria were not acid-resistant and were killed by human stomach acid.
Both feeling hungry all the time and never feeling hungry are common on the Whole30 diet, especially during the first two weeks as your body adjusts to new sources of energy. Eventually, though, you shouldn’t feel those pangs since protein and fiber are filling, and you’ll get plenty of both. Plus, you’re allowed to eat as much as you want and add Whole30-compliant snacks to your meal plan, provided you truly are hungry. One small study of 29 participants published in Nutrition and Metabolism in 2010 found Paleo eaters (who have relatively similar diets to Whole30 followers) felt just as full but consumed fewer calories than their Mediterranean counterparts.
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Glassman grew up in Woodland Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. In the Glassman household, education trumped everything. Glassman's father was a rocket scientist at Hughes Aircraft and an all-around hard-ass who lorded math and the scientific method over Glassman, his younger sister, and their stay-at-home mom. Arguments with the old man inevitably required data sets, says Glassman--"Any point you made had to be measurable, repeatable"--and Glassman clashed with his dad frequently.
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For many years Arthur De Vany Ph.D. has been writing a book called Evolutionary Fitness on "What Evolution Teaches Us About How to Live and Stay Healthy." The diet he follows fits into my core diet definition. He may have been the first one to use the paleo diet to maximize fitness. His current site is Art's Blog on Fitness, Health, Aging, Nutrition and Exercise [archive.org].
The China Study is frequently cited when criticizing the Paleo Diet – focusing on a vegetarian diet and consuming rice is healthier than the Paleo Diet. I respectfully disagree with the conclusions drawn from that book but that’s awesome if you want to go plant-based! , and will leave you to make your own conclusions based on your own self-experimentation.
The Whole30 book is the perfect thing to read while you’re visiting your in-laws or don’t feel like telling Aunt Sue for the 100th time what you do for a living. It’s helpful, it’s clear, and it will get you motivated. Want even more Whole30 recipes? Hartwig's latest Whole30 Cookbook may not have the nitty-gritty plan details, but the recipes are baller.