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  • Primal vs Paleo

    What is the difference between primal and paleo? I use them interchangeably on my blog but am getting annoyed with it. I think they are the same and want to read what YOU think.

    I can't wait to read all the different responses...
    Find me at aToadontheRoad.com. Cheers!

  • #2
    My opinion, paleo is eating only what the caveman had access to. Primal is eating what is good for us based on our (caveman) genes. Some of these items the caveman may not have had access to, but they are nontheless still high quality foods.

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    • #3
      I believe Primal is like Paleo except Paleo is a bit more restrictive. Paleo tends to shy away from dairy, nightshades, eggs and sometimes goes more with leaner cuts of meat than fattier cuts of meat. (Robb Wolf, Loren Courdain) But Paleo is interpreted differently depending on the author, Robb Wolf/Loren Courdain or Art DeVany. Primal is more of Mark Sisson's interpretation of Paleo which I believe he coined and adjusts to the modern day. Both paleo and primal are both subject to change as I have seen all the authors make amendments as new evidence and studies emerge.
      "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

      People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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      • #4
        In my experience, the main difference has to do with the treatment of dairy. Paleo = against dairy, whereas primal-eaters tend to be fine with it as long as you are not intolerant to it. Robb Wolf has said that he is fine with some butter though.

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        • #5
          i see paleo as more strict -- literally meat, vegetables, and a bit of fruit. spices allowed, of course.

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          • #6
            Paleo I see as the umbrella term for diets which aim to eat only foods that prehistoric man was eating, or at least simulate it. Primal is a version of paleo with its own emphases within that paleo umbrella. To me, MDA/Primal are more interchangeable than Paleo/Primal. I'm pretty much doing my own version of paleo, I use this site as a resource, not a standard. For that reason, and because I tend to see 'Primal' as a sort of brand, I never really use it.

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            • #7
              There is no "one paleo" diet or author, while Mark S. is the sole arbiter of "Primal". I think of Primal as version, a less restrictive one, than most other versions of Paleo, and I don't think there are too many differences worth fussing over - individual differences (allergies, etc.) count for more than anything once you've gone whole foods, highish protein, pro-sat fat, etc. In other words, there is really nothing a "paleo" person could cook me that I wouldn't probably eat, and more or less vice versa.
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                There is no "one paleo" diet or author, while Mark S. is the sole arbiter of "Primal". I think of Primal as version, a less restrictive one, than most other versions of Paleo, and I don't think there are too many differences worth fussing over - individual differences (allergies, etc.) count for more than anything once you've gone whole foods, highish protein, pro-sat fat, etc. In other words, there is really nothing a "paleo" person could cook me that I wouldn't probably eat, and more or less vice versa.
                I don't think Mark has an exclusive claim to "primal". I have another book....Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Teresa Gedgaudas which has some very similar principles, though she comes from a traditional foods standpoint (e.g., more emphaisis on grassfed/pastured/wild meats, no protein powders/man-made foods, more fermented foods), basically a Weston A. Price Foundation/Nourising Traditions diet without the grains.
                Last edited by Mistizoom; 02-27-2011, 10:41 PM.

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                • #9
                  I think you guys pegged the diet portions. Primal is a bit less restrictive.

                  I have not read Wolfe's book so I can't comment on it, but I did read Cordain's and another difference is that The Primal Blueprint focuses on a specific full lifestyle, eating, playing, sleeping, sun, exercise, etc. It is a full on plan of how to live, not just a way to eat.
                  Meghan

                  My MDA journal

                  Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                  And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mistizoom View Post
                    Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Teresa Gedgaudas ... <snip> ... basically a Weston A. Price Foundation/Nourising Traditions diet without the grains.
                    Interesting! Is the book any good?

                    Stats as of 3/1/12:
                    5'10" female, 38 y/o
                    Currently 140 lbs., approx 25% body fat
                    WEIGHT GOAL: lose a bit more body fat and tighten up the rear end...basically, I want to look great naked. Everywhere else is looking great, but my ass/hips/thighs are being a bit stubborn. TMI?
                    DAILY MACRO TARGETS: Cal: 1,857. Protein: 100g (400cal). Carb: 75g (300cal). Fat: 128g (1156cal).
                    EXERCISE GOAL: incorporate 2-3 strength training sessions and 1 sprint session per week.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ommmmaggie View Post
                      Interesting! Is the book any good?
                      Yes, I liked it, but I was already coming from a traditional foods standpoint moving to primal, so none of what she said was too shocking (though it might be if you aren't used to some of the "traditional foods" tenants). I saw on her website that she is updating it and a new version that should be out this summer.

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                      • #12
                        I've always found Paleo to be a lot stricter on fat. I was always hungry on Paleo and found that I was much more likely to cheat as I was never satisfied.

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                        • #13
                          I think of Primal as Mark's "brand" or version of paleo...not exactly interchangeable as paleo is more strict.

                          I always forget about Nora's PB-PM book....listened to her podcast a few times and didn't care for it. I was always like, well, WTF *can*I eat that won't kill me or give me a disease? To many "no's"...I love the really positive approach Mark has to most things.
                          Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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                          • #14
                            from huntgatherlove

                            ad astra per aspera

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheFastCat View Post
                              from huntgatherlove

                              I like that diagram, fastcat. Its a great visual.

                              I personally came to Primal from Paleo after reading both books from Dr.Cordain and Robb Wolfe. And for me, they basically are one in the same. Its a matter of the person applying it that makes the difference. For example, I choose not to eat dairy. Robb Wolfe & Dr. Cordain make excellent arguments against it in both of their books. But that isnt my reason for not eating dairy. I dont eat dairy because I know from past experience, for my body, dairy is insulinogenic (and thus promotes fat storage). Some people are much more "lucky" and dairy doesnt impact them in that manner. So, they can eat it. So my primal/paleo blueprint does not include dairy because I desire fat loss. Someone else's may include it and they dont desire fat loss....does that mean we both aren't following the same PB/Paleo lifestyle? NO! We are both following it because we are eating in a way that follows our genetics and makes the most sense for each of our desired lifestyles.

                              Now, one caution within this approach is that somewhere there does have to be some boundries. Someone who tolerates grains & processed food better than a different person is not eating Paleo/Primal because they aren't having a "reaction" to their CW diet. They are just more able to tolerate crap than the other person ("good" genetics?). I would argue that certain aspects of PB/Paleo are requirements: aviod processed food, avoid grains, avoid sugars and eat fats in the healthy ratio of 3:6. And both PB and Paleo support this approach. So, again, its the person that makes them different.
                              If you can just get your....mind together....then come on across to me.....
                              James Marshall (Jimi)Hendrix

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