Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
22 Feb

Dear Mark: Paleo Diet Fattening?

Fattening finalFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one question. It’s a burning one, though, judging from the deluge of emails I’ve received in the past few days. A new study has just come out purporting to show the deleterious effects of a “paleo diet” on weight gain, fat gain, and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetics. It sounds alarming, so today I’m going to explore just how relevant this study is for you guys following a Primal eating plan. Should you be concerned with the results? Is it time to start radically restructuring the way you eat? I’ll evaluate the study, and its larger implications, to let you know.

Let’s go:

Mark,

The media is abuzz with reports of a new study claiming to show that the paleo diet leads to rapid weight gain. Care to respond? It’s getting hard to ignore my skeptical friends’ chorus of “I told you so”s.

Oh, man. The lead author of the study, one Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos, makes some of the most amazing quotes I’ve ever read. I can’t single out any single quote, so let’s examine them all one by one.

He claims that a low-carb, high-fat diet is especially risky in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. “There is no evidence they work.”

LCHF diets are risky for diabetes or pre-diabetes, meaning they put your diabetes at risk of disappearing outright or never showing up at all. But for diabetics or pre-diabetics, it’s risky not to try a low-carb diet. Here’s one recent study of Japanese men with pre-diabetes in whom a low-carb diet normalized blood glucose and prevented the progression into full-blown type 2 diabetes. Those were human men, by the way, not mouse men.

More quotes:

“We are told to eat zero carbs and lots of fat on the Paleo diet.”

No, we aren’t. I don’t know anyone saying that.

“Our model tried to mimic that, but we didn’t see any improvements in weight or symptoms.”

They didn’t try hard enough, because they managed to slip 6% of calories as pure white sugar into the diet. Funny how that stuff just has a mind of its own. Nope, totally impossible not to add that sugar in. Completely out of their hands.

“The bottom line is it’s not good to eat too much fat.”

Well, okay. It’s not good to eat too much of anything. It’s not good to eat so much that you gain weight and body fat. It’s not good to eat too much fat in the context of a refined diet of isolated ingredients, pure table sugar, and a genetic propensity to get severely obese on such a diet. Don’t believe me?

Just look at the diet composition for the low-carb group.

Cocoa butter—Cocoa butter is a legit fat, particularly combined with cocoa fiber and polyphenols. In other words, chocolate.

Casein—Hmm. An isolated dairy protein wouldn’t be my first choice when constructing a wholesome paleo diet, but I’m not the scientist!

Sucrose—Table sugar, eh? I’ll allow it. You need to make this refined slop palatable enough to get the mice to eat it.

Canola oil—Hold on a minute. Canola oil doesn’t belong in my idea of a paleo diet.

Ghee—Interesting choice. I love me some ghee.

Cellulose—Okay, stop right there. You’re basically feeding these mice paper. What’s going on here? I’m sure there’s a more prebiotic type of fiber coming next. Right?

Calcium carbonate—You do realize you could have simply omitted the isolated, refined casein, ghee, and calcium in favor of some actual whole food dairy.

AIN-93G vitamin mix—You could give them vitamin pellets, or you could give them actual food. That’s just me, though. I’m weird.

Potassium dihydrogen phosphate—If you wanted the mice to get potassium and phosphate, you could have given them a little meat and banana.

DL methionine—An essential amino acid that appears frequently in animal foods. It’s important for health but must be balanced with adequate glycine to reduce inflammation. No glycine appears in the study diet, though.

Sodium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate—More minerals.

Choline chloride—At least they added choline in there. It’s very important for maintaining liver health, particularly in the context of high fat diets.

AIN-93G trace mineral mix—In the absence of food, you need to add these back in.

Delicious, right? I’m salivating just typing this.

So the experimental diet was made up entirely of refined, isolated “ingredients.” Not even foods, but ingredients. Its sole carb source was white sugar. Meanwhile, the control group got an actual real-food diet consisting of wheat, wheat germ, fish meal, soybean meal, beef fat, vegetable oil, molasses, milk powder, yeast, and added trace vitamins and minerals. Not the “best diet,” but way better than the experimental diet. The two are not comparable. We already know that the refinement of a rodent’s diet determines in part how that diet will affect its health and cognitive abilities, irrespective of that diet’s macronutrient ratios.

In reference to the Mediterranean diet: “It’s backed by evidence and is a low-refined sugar diet with healthy oils and fats from fish and extra virgin olive oil, legumes and protein.”

Reduce/drop the legumes, and what diet is he really talking about? Sounds pretty familiar to me.

Other niggles: These weren’t humans. These weren’t even normal “wild-type” mice, who are already bad proxies for studying the effects of high-fat diets in humans. They were New Zealand Obese (NZO) mice, a type of mouse genetically-engineered to get quickly and severely obese on high-fat diets. That makes them useful for studying obesity.

The good doctor has made questionable recommendations in other venues, like if you’re going to eat fast food, make sure you have a sugary soda with it.

But perhaps the most egregious and pernicious aspect of the doctor is his penchant for Hellenic nationalism. There’s his last name. There’s the fact that he concocts imbalanced study designs to promote the Mediterranean diet. What next, Sof? Will you stop at nothing until Greek war chariots pound the streets of every city across the globe and boys and girls have bowls of kalamata olives (pit-in) with red wine instead of cereal for breakfast?

I jest, of course…

But next time, design a study that actually mirrors a Paleo diet. Then we’ll talk.

So if you’re eating Primally and you’re not getting fat (or you’re actively losing fat), the results of this study do not apply to you. The study displays the negative health effects of getting really fat really quickly. That the diet used to get the mice fat was a bastardized version of a high-fat, low-carb diet has little bearing on how we eat around here.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’m glad to see you write about this. I figured there was a angle somewhere, but didn’t know where. Thanks for clearing that up for us Mark! Why the high fat group gets picked on more then any other I’ll never know.

    barry wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • Seriously! Do you know what else, if anything, this author has tried to pull? Mark makes it seem like he’s a repeat offender.

      BJJ Caveman wrote on February 25th, 2016
  2. So they’d rather see more of Pizza Rat and Doughnut Rat antics in the subways of NYC? THAT’S an acceptable diet to them? This goes to show you who is in real need of the diet, and it ain’t the mice!

    Wenchypoo wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  3. Not that I had any doubts that Mark’s our best health writer, but, you know…I was already pretty happy with this even before the war chariots showed up. Well, this old man’s getting on his longboard, going down the hill, and is going to eat some real food, real viscera, topped with a little war-chariot evoo.

    grey wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  4. Each year my husband and I spend 3 to 4 weeks travelling in India eating lots of carbs (easily 70-80% of total calories), dubious oils, street food, not much protein – what one would consider the standard Indian diet. Erratic sleep, hardly any exercise.

    Then we get back home and revert back to a primal diet (still with a decent amount of carbs – about 20% of total calories) and activity regimen.

    For the past three years we’ve tried to track our lipid panel numbers. When we go to India, our triglycerides are in the high 20s/low 30s, HDL in the 70-85 range. On our return, it’s in the 55-65 range. HDL is in the 55-65 range as well.

    That’s all the evidence we need.

    nutrivore wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • Just to play devil’s advocate here: overall good health is not all about lipid numbers, and there are a lot more to lipid panels than just tri and HDL (particle size, ratio, etc). And depending on age, higher total cholesterol can actually be *beneficial* for many, especially as we age, and genetics play a role in specific diet that works for you.

      I’d like to know what your version of primal consists of? I went from vegetarian to primal many years ago and my total cholesterol hovers around 220, with HDL often as high as 95 and triglycerides at 30 (body fat hovers between 9 and 11%) When I was vegetarian, my total cholesterol was dangerously low for my age: about 170. Yikes. Doctors would scoff 220. But I’m healthier than I’ve ever been.

      Just saying, it’s not simply about just those numbers or as easy as a one-size-fits-all mentality. Plus, 3-4 weeks doesn’t seem like a long enough sample size for you to base an entire diet on. Your body needs a longer adjustment period. Cholesterol is a just one factor in a huge equation. What are you glucose numbers? Iron? Vitamin D stores? Healthy gut bacteria? The list goes on.

      Chris wrote on February 22nd, 2016
      • The India diet is pretty bad. Maybe it wasn’t a hundred years ago, but the modern India diet is terrible. Eating for a longer period of time would only cause more problems not less. You don’t adapt to a bad diet. It just makes things worse. If it we could adapt to a bad diet, then Americans would do just fine, if not improve, the longer they ate the standard America diet.

        And the numbers do matter. No matter how you slice it, an increase in TG and a drop HDL is a worsening of your health.

        Clay wrote on February 22nd, 2016
        • Oops! I misread her cmoment! I thought she was saying the reverse, that her triglycerides dropped upon going to India and continuing the Indian diet. Sorry about that. Disregard my reply.

          Chris wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • What’s your activity level when you are traveling and when you are at home ? Larger than that it depends on the food choices you make. Do you eat street food at home ?

      Shobhit Choudhary wrote on February 23rd, 2016
      • No street food in the U.S. High quality fat and protein with some rice, teff, fruit, potatoes and sprouted beans/lentils for carbs.

        I have a moderate to high activity level in the U.S. – taekwondo, crossfit, swimming, kettlebells. In India not much other than walking around.

        nutrivore wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  5. Yes!!

    ShaSha wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  6. There is too much junk science spewed by the general media. Thank you Mark for simply seeking the truth and sharing your research.

    Jack Lea Mason wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  7. What about the fact that the LCHFD contained almost twice the “digestible energy”, 24 MJ/kg vs. 13.5 MJ/kg. Talk about stacking the deck!

    Aaron wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  8. This is what I like about the primal diet, it makes me sleep better. I believe a lot of the fat or weight gain comes from running with a cooler body temperature. This can happen from a number of things but the main one being not sleeping enough or having poor quality sleep.

    In almost all the cases I see from people whom make diet switch from SAD to primal all stated they sleep better, which in turn from my belief, would cause someone to drop weight and in turn increase insulin sensitivity.

    No where does it ever state that primal is a LCHF eating plan. It depends on the person what they need to fuel themselves. Carbs tend to generate internal heat quicker than fats. Somebody running cooler can use more carbs. Ironically exercise, and chronic exercise overall cause a drop in body temperature (outside the initial rise). So the idea that carbs do well with people whom exercise make sense.

    Brian wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  9. Ah, I understand now. Next time I go to set mouse traps, I’ll be sure and bait them with AIN-93G. And to think I’ve been using peanut butter all this time. Silly me!

    LoriK wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • Haha good one! 😀

      Emily wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  10. Until they can line their pockets with it. Paleo will never be accepted no matter what the evidence.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  11. There’s a saying that just because something is published in Nature doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. And the conclusions in the study are supported by data: the mice on the diet that was higher in fat did indeed get fatter. But let’s give the journal a little credit here: despite journalistic reports of the author’s anti-paleo rhetoric, and despite the extra attention that such rhetoric would garner, the word paleo does not appear in the journal article itself. My guess is that peer review prevented such claims from publication because they cannot be supported by this data.

    investigator wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  12. How these are called ‘scientific studies’ is beyond me…

    On another note… I’m newly pregnant with my second baby, and I’m still breastfeeding my first one almost exclusively who just turned 1. I was wondering if you could do a post on any specific things to consider concerning nutrition/fitness/general health while pregnant and nursing. I’ve been really lethargic (starting full on primal/paleo today because I just found out I’m pregnant this morning and it was the motivation I needed), and I’m hoping that’ll fade a little with healthy eating, and I think eating too much fruit makes me more tired, but I’ve really been craving fruit… Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Thank you.

    TF wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • unfortunately the craving for fruit is actually a craving for carbs, and this craving will likely not subside for a week or so. under normal circumstances I’d say drop your carbs to 50 or below for a week to initiate ketosis but considering your pregnant you just need a well rounded diet. substitute the fruit for something lower in carbs and sugars like parsnips, beets, carrots, butternut squash. also unless you are trying to lose extreme amounts of weight 1 or 2 servings of fruit a da is perfectly acceptable. your lethargic could be coming from not enough fat in your diet as well, shoot for 80-100 grams of carbs a day and the rest of your energy coming from fat.

      barry wrote on February 22nd, 2016
      • Thanks for the advice. I eat lots of fat though, I’ve never gone fully primal yet, but adding in more fat is something I’ve pretty much mastered (love me some fat). I don’t have any weight to lose, but I can’t seem to eat *just* one or two servings of fruit a day. If I eat one it’s like a chain reaction and I want to eat all the sugar… I’ll try replacing the fruit with vegetables as you suggested.

        TF wrote on February 24th, 2016
    • Use the google search button top right for pregnancy, Mark’s covered the topic a number of times.

      Kelda wrote on February 22nd, 2016
      • Thank you for the advice, I have already read all of his pregnancy posts. I was wondering if he had any specific suggestions for pregnant women who are also breastfeeding. I feel like that’s quite a bit different from pregnancy alone.

        TF wrote on February 22nd, 2016
        • I too have been pregnant and nursing a couple of times. Your lethargy could just be due to the fact that you are pregnant and your body is transitioning into a human making machine. It requires a lot of energy and I think it’s natures way of telling you to slow down and take a nap and really take care of yourself. Plus, this isn’t like your first pregnancy. Your nursing and taking care of a one year old. Your craving for fruit might have something to do with a vitamin deficiency. During my pregnancies which resulted in 5 healthy babies I craved citrus fruit which I think was a calling for vitamin c. Just something to think about. Keep nursing that baby and or both for as long as you want! Our youngest is still at it. He turns 5 next month and he has only been to the doctor for an impetigo infection he picked up at a wrestling tournament. I love to see happy, healthy, breastfed babies!

          Stephanie wrote on February 22nd, 2016
        • Breastfeeding while pregnant won’t change the dietary tips as much as you’d think. I’ve been pregnant while breastfeeding twice and early fatigue was a bit to be expected. It’s usually my only pregnancy symptom, and I’ve had it with all three. Thankfully it disappears completely by 12 weeks. Sleep more and rest more–especially while you are still comfortable and not too big to get a good night of sleep without a run to the bathroom every 3 hours. That sounds kind of idealistic with a one year old though! You do need carbs. I usually add in more squash, sweet potatoes and fruit (to what my glucose levels can handle, and not first thing in the morning). Every body is different, but I seem to do well following paleo/primal guidelines during pregnancy. It’s really the only time I crave/eat dairy products like crazy (only grass-fed aged cheese!). My first was still nursing day and night when I was pregnant for my second. My second was fully night weaned and weaned by the time I was 4 months along (she was 4 though). I *always* take my supplements and cod liver oil while nursing and pregnant. Otherwise, I feel like I just get depleted of everything over time! Since I dislike liver, I take dessicated liver capsules too. Not fun, but I’ve tried other things (frozen chopped liver, anyone?!) and it’s not nearly as easy as the pill version. Liver definitely keeps my iron and b vitamins in a healthy range and I haven’t had problems with anemia (which I was prone to when I was younger and not so astute to my nutritional requirements for basic survival!).

          Good luck! Your body can do amazing things!

          Jennifer L. wrote on February 23rd, 2016
        • Stephanie – Thank you for sharing your experience. I think I need to rest more. I don’t do any heavy exercise, but I’m still ridiculously tired anyway, so I should probably nap when my baby naps, and go to sleep earlier… I too love seeing healthy breastfed babies! My sister has an almost 4 year old who was formula fed, but she has a 5 month old now who she has been breastfeeding almost exclusively with the exception of some formula when she wasn’t producing enough milk. That’s awesome that your son has only been to the doctor once. My baby’s completely unvaccinated and super healthy. 😀 I’m so proud.

          TF wrote on February 24th, 2016
        • Jennifer – I remember being fatigued last pregnancy, but not to this extent. I guess it should be expected, and maybe mine’ll clear up by 12 weeks too. It didn’t last too long last time. I’ll definitely make a note to take it easy and get more sleep. I know I’ve needed it, I just have this tendency to want to enjoy my free time whenever I get it (when baby naps and for the first few hours he sleeps at night). I think my body does best on a low carb lifestyle, because anything carb heavy seems to make me lightheaded soon after, and I feel pretty great when I eat very low carb. I guess I’ll have to experiment with that and take notes. I loooved me some pasture-raised milk in my last pregnancy. I’ll definitely be investing in some supplements, probably cod liver oil and magnesium at the least, but I may invest in liver capsules too, since I also dislike liver. Such a strong taste, I may try chicken liver instead.
          Thanks for sharing your experience with me, I appreciate it!

          TF wrote on February 24th, 2016
  13. I’m so glad you addressed this. Just as I’m getting back on my bandwagon personally, the news personalities are salivating about yet another useless diet article. And they know, THEY KNOW, that next week they’ll get another contradicting one. They can’t even fake taking it seriously anymore. They start to chuckle as soon as they lead into one (cf. KTLA-5).

    Julie wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  14. Ugh, I hate seeing these studies. How can anyone compromise their ethics far enough to provide “absolutist” statements like that off an obviously biased study on rodents?
    The canola oil adds an interesting spin based on Dr. Mike Eades’ recent post on vegetable oil and insulin sensitivity.

    Becky D wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  15. So all that weight I lost in the last six years eating high-fat low-carb didn’t really happen. Funny stuff.

    jack wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • Right, and my A1C (I’m T2 Diabetic) that has been below 5.4 for 8 years solely on HFLC didn’t really happen, either.

      Jan James wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  16. Topic-ignorant researchers create a topic-ignorant study and get topic ignorant results.

    Tuba wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  17. Ahhhhhh the voice of reason, as ever.

    Long live Mark Sisson

    Kelda wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • Indeed.

      Janet wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  18. This type or so called research, plays into the hands of naysayers (opposing Paleo) and naive readers, who take everything they read in the paper, as the words from god if there was one.

    It reminds me of article I ran into recently, that also claimed that families switching to gluten free diet gained weight. But the researchers played down the fact, that the participants were guzzling down gluten free snacks, bars and other foods, that were loaded with carbohydrates and sugars.

    Time Traveler wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  19. Love the way you eviscerated this guy. He really had it coming.

    maidel wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  20. The scariest part of the study Associate Professor Sof Andrikopoulos is president of The ‘Australia Diabetes Society’!!

    peter mason wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  21. Mark, thanks for looking at this study. This study led to several articles in the papers in the UK yesterday. The most damaging thing I find, is that these types of headlines discourage people from trying Paleo even though the studies may be questionable at best. People who don’t prioritise food won’t dig deeper to find out. Sometimes to me (without meaning to sound superior) Paleo feels like an informational advantage when it comes to choosing food, I just feel lucky to have the mindset in my life to help make choices.

    David John wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  22. I sometimes don’t want to get into a detailed discussion with people I don’t know that well when they make a comment along the lines of “boy it looks like you eat pretty healthy, what kind of a diet are you on?”. I basically tell them I’m on a Mediterranean diet but no beans and a tad more protein.

    HealthyHombre wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  23. Hilarious! Thank you, Mark! Love the humour, and of course, the common sense.

    MIssJelic wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  24. There are no doubt people who claim to have gained weight rapidly while eating a Paleo diet. In all likelihood they either didn’t have a good handle on what Paleo actually is, or they tried to combine high fat with high carb, which would definitely pack on the pounds.

    Shary wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  25. This study was done in Melbourne where I live has been big “news” here. People in media etc are quoting the results like it was a human clinical trial. Mice are designed to eat grain. Experiemental mice in study were actually on a low carb and low protein diet due to the amount of fat in the mice chow. The authors in interviews etc support a Mediterranean like diet as that has been shown to be healthy…….. Tweak up the Mediterranean a bit and voila…. primal – paleo like diet there you are.

    ob wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  26. This is the same guy that said that we should all have a soft drink with our burger instead of water. Research at its finest!
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/how-sugar-with-a-burger-could-be-healthier/news-story/b806e60ee1ded5da9b1c248a498c3a0a

    Graeme wrote on February 22nd, 2016
    • From theheraldsun article:

      “They found that those that had coke instead of a healthy drink with their meal were more likely to feel fuller for longer and perhaps stop them from over-eating later on.”

      I’m not sure if it’s possible to headdesk so hard that you knock yourself unconscious, but I’m pretty sure I just did it.

      Ziva wrote on March 1st, 2016
  27. I almost look forward to the day where I read a study that seems to fly in the face of reality and find out that it isn’t totally flawed from top to bottom. These sorts of “studies” are one of the biggest problems in health and nutrition (and probably everything else). You have a title that has nothing to do with the actual content and you provide rigged data that isn’t even meaningful. However, this has turned into such a contentious issue where factions are more interested in their diet being blessed as the best that media outlets pick up this nonsense and parrot it like crazy. Why? Page hits.

    I don’t know why they even bother with putting together a sham study. Why not just make up a paper and call it a day.

    When I started on a primal diet, I lost a huge amount of weight, 50 lbs over the course of about 9 months. However, my wife—who was in much better shape than me—actually gained weight early on. Why? All that fat and my new cooking methods were simply more caloric compared to how she had eaten before. Although she ate grains and legumes and the like, her diet was relatively “clean” and nutritious compared to my disaster. We tweaked things and as my health and appetite leveled out, it was all good. (Also, I became a way better cook.)

    It was interesting to see the difference between how I was affected as a “competitive eater” and a lover of snack cakes and donuts, versus someone who had been health conscious for years prior in one way or another.

    Joshua Hansen wrote on February 22nd, 2016
  28. Great explanation, Mark. I thought it a bit unnecessary though. Surely anybody familiar with your blog is aware of the hundreds of success stories all because of eating and living primal.
    No need for a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

    ben wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  29. The protein content of the LCHF group was quite low as well, only 13 % which hardly imitates a primal diet of meat, fish, eggs, etc, the control group had a somewhat more reasonable 20% protein, I assume mostly from the fish meal.

    Alex wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  30. I love MDA and the primal lifestyle, but the part on carbs should be modified, I think it’s best to do a primal lifestyle + diet PLUS pasta, noodles, rice, bread… Otherwise the info provided here is just gold

    hh45 wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  31. One of the things that I love most about the primal/paleo lifestyle is that the focus is on health, not weight. Other than grains and legumes, I was a pretty clean eater and had lost excess weight, and then some, in my pre-paleo days. In my case the paleo diet did lead to a 20 lb. weight gain, but that weight has come with denser bones, stronger muscles, and the leanest and healthiest body I’ve ever had. So much for “rapid weight gain.”

    Paleo4life wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  32. There was one interesting result – despite the high fat diet causing weight gain and increasing glucose and insulin, there was no deterioration in beta cell morphology.
    I wonder, if these results had been achieved by overfeeding refined carbs, would the beta cells still look pristine?
    Whatever happened to these mice, which are designed for it, the diabetes looks reversible with weight loss.
    I’d like to suggest a ketogenic diet for that, it’s something that does work in obesity mice.

    George Henderson wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  33. This scientist is calling for retraction of the paper – https://www.facebook.com/richard.feinman.7/posts/959579280793676

    AG wrote on February 23rd, 2016
  34. “Will you stop at nothing until Greek war chariots pound the streets of every city across the globe and boys and girls have bowls of kalamata olives (pit-in) with red wine instead of cereal for breakfast?”

    That’s a freaking glorious breakfast if you ask me. Add in some feta stuffed grape leaves and some bacon/eggs and I’m in. That being said, thanks for dissecting this used toilet paper (err…. research).

    Myles wrote on February 24th, 2016
    • “bowls of kalamata olives (pit-in) with red wine instead of cereal for breakfast?”

      That’s a freaking glorious breakfast if you ask me. Add in some feta stuffed grape leaves and some bacon/eggs and I’m in.”

      I’ll happily join in, that sounds divine! (Signed, the person who recently discovered feta…)

      Ziva wrote on March 1st, 2016
  35. Ah, Mark, I knew I could count on you to write an intelligent rebuttal to this study – thanks for giving me fuel for my arguments to defend Paleo!

    Rose wrote on February 24th, 2016
  36. This was an encouraging read for me. My motto since 2012 has been, “If it does not make since, then there is money involved somewhere”. I know that sounds jaded, but after following the medical “rules”, I have Type II Diabetes, had stage 2 uterine cancer, and had a quadruple by-pass in May of 2014. I met a doctor of pediatric oncology over a communal dinner table, heard about his success with Paleo, found your blog, and never looked back! I take no statins, eat a LCHF diet, work full time and my cardiologist cannot believe my numbers. I have not dropped any weight and have managed to get my A1C down to 7.4. My heart is perfectly healthy, my lipids are great. I am getting the best sleep of my adult life and feel thankful everyday. Sure, I would like to drop about 30 pounds, but I am working that out. I feel great, look great, and have built a terrific testimony with my two doctors. When I get tired of the cooking, I see the results and keep going. My new thing is that I find I can go almost 12 hours on one meal and have no desire for any food. That is a bit worrisome to me. I am also quite cold a good part of the day and that I really hate but figure I am just re-adjusting my body. Thank you for all you do.

    Patricia wrote on February 24th, 2016
    • Hey! Have you had your thyroid tested? It sounds as if you might have hypothyroidism. Get your doctor to test not only your TSH levels but your T4 and FT3 levels too! The latter two should be in the top 1/3 of the reference range! Make sure to actually get your test results with the reference ranges and take a look, do t just let the doctors tell you that it’s all ‘OK’!

      Amazon07 wrote on February 25th, 2016
  37. Hahahaaaa great response Mark! I just *love* it when some idiots who have absolutely ZERO idea about what paleo is, carry out experiments and try to prove that paleo doesn’t work! Maybe they should read some of your books first and try it for themselves…

    Amazon07 wrote on February 25th, 2016
  38. Dear Mark, thank you for defending the paleo/pre-mesolithic diet.
    Besides the offensive national slurs about names, Kalamalata olives (naturally fermented, BTW), etc, There is a skewed vision of the Mediterranean diet. Growing up all over rural Europe and North Africa (Archaeology research) we found that subsistence “peasant” diet is more “Paleo” than you would expect, plus a lot of fermented dairy, eggs from their own animals if lucky to have them, plus loads of veggies and mushrooms, roots, either foraged or cultivated. We were often offered simple fare of yogurt, stewed or preserved fish or meat, vegetables and fresh or dried fruit in those mountain villages in the early seventies, just as the Homeric heroes were way back when! These folks were forever too isolated and poor to buy fancy packages of refined carbs and sugar! That is the real Mediterranean diet of these dirt poor, taste rich cultures. Modern City folk scientists then try to pass off their pet theories with bogus studies against the competition, but the truth was always there. As Dr. Weston Price discovered, the ancient wisdom of fit survival was integrated into the invading cultures to preserve what worked, not replace it. Now all is different there, of course, thanks to “progress.”

    Elsie Harrington wrote on February 25th, 2016
  39. There’s an easy explanation for his theory about drinking soda with fast food, and it has nothing to do with the actual nutrition of any of it. We’re raised drinking soda with fast food, so we have that psychological association of fast food and soda. Much like willpower is a finite resource, if you expect to have a certain combination of foods and don’t get what you expect, you’re likely to overeat to compensate later. So, maybe he was onto something, but not for any nutritional reason. Sugar and fats eaten together are a powerfully addictive combination, so it makes sense that satisfying the “fix” could prevent overeating later. But continuing to eat that way isn’t the solution – changing our taste associations is.

    K W wrote on February 27th, 2016
  40. That was nothing more than mouse abuse.

    gabriella kadar wrote on February 27th, 2016

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