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Lot's of questions

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  • Lot's of questions

    I'm interested about this paleolithic low-carb diet and have a ton of questions, hopefully someone won't mind answering them.

    1) Mark says that saturated fat (including from butter) is good for you but when I look at his typical meal plan, I don't see any saturated fat at all? It looks like most of his meat is fish and chicken, don't see any red meat?

    2) When olive oil is heated for sautee or a light fry, does it get converted to bad fat? What about using butter for this instead?

    3) I'm really worried about eating high fat (which also means high cholesterol) since every medical study done shows that it causes heart disease? Since this low-carb diet goes back to the 60s, do we have any actual lifespan studies done? Did anyone on the low-carb diet suffer heart disease and for mortality, were their autopsies done to show if the low-carb diet caused severe atherosclerosis.

    4) I think this was on one of the Andrew Zimmern Bizzare Foods episode where he visited the Masai tribe to live with them for a week and found out they hardly ever eat meat or drink cows blood. They only do it for festive purposes (rarely). They however drink a lot of milks and their main meal consist of maize. This contradicts numerous reports where it reports Masai eat lot's of meat and drink blood etc. Also, a study done back in the 60s revealed that most Masai have atherosclerosis but because of the physical activity involved, their arteries have expanded.

    5) In all these diets, (med, okinawa, france, sweden, low-carb, low-fat)....the common thing seems to be cutting out simple carbs, artificial stuff, vegetable oils and eating a lot of fish.

  • #2
    I highly recommend reading The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain. Also, go to Index of /articles and read the Counter Arguments and JANA Final documents... great articles. This will simplify the Paleo diet, while providing scientific studies and evidence. Primal is a totally different can of worms, but the answers to most of your questions can be found by searching the blog or forums. Hope this helps!


    • #3
      1. That wasn't technically a question, but I think you're wondering if he's intentionally avoiding red meat? i don't think so. I get the impression he just prefers leaner meats. personally, i prefer fish and beef myself. Eat what you like, really. Meat is all good.

      2. It doesn't so much make it a different kind of fat, but it can burn, scorch and over time release free radicals into your body. I'm not convinced that some overheated oil will do a lot of damage to you in small doses, but if you eat it all the time or if you eat oil that's gone rancid, it can be bad. That said, olive oil can actually stand up to some pretty good heat, but the extra virgin stuff is best left for salads because heating it will destroy the flavor. If you want to kick the heat up to high, get yourself some lard. it's cheap and it's ideal for cooking at high heat. Another good option is tallow. I personally use coconut oil for sauteing, though it does snap, crackle, and pop at higher temps.

      3. There have been plenty of studies done that show that eating this sort of diet doesn't actually negatively impact cholesterol levels. Cholesterol has a bad rep, when in fact it's a marker and it's actually lipoproteins that do all the bad stuff to you. As Mark outlines on the site, Cholesterol is actually a biological response to a certain type of inflammation (it's your body's way of trying to cover up the damage so it can heal). If you're really worried about it, try to get a decent Omega-3 oil in your diet (the best way is by eating fatty fish). That should help mitigate any fears, though really they're nothing to worry about.

      4. the fact there is that the Masai ate a diet of mostly meat and blood and milk for a long long long time. In modern times they have started to work a diet that is mostly corn and milk and as a result, they are starting to see a lot of problems associated with that (a lot of nutrient deficiencies, in many cases). i'm not an expert, but that seems to be the deal. Much like all of us, what they eat now is not always what they should be eating.

      5. cutting out artificial stuff is always good. eating natural foods (proper food as jamie Oliver says) is always the best starting point. if you are going to eat non-paleo, at least eat that way. it's better for you, the planet, and the economy. it's better for everyone's health ... it's just a batter way to eat. eating paleo, i think, is optimal, but eating "proper food" is better than eating prepackaged crap by far. the standard american diet is almost all grains, processed foods, and foods that are calorically dense and nutritionally sparse. It's the opposite of the way one should eat.


      • #4
        1) IIRC, Mark's wife eats vegetarian + fish, so that would be part of why he has a lot of fish in his diet.
        2) Butter is tasty, but can burn. Ghee (clarified butter) works a bit better. I mix it with coconut oil quite often.
        3) Every medical study does not show that it causes atherosclerosis. If you search through the forums, there are quite a few studies cited and linked.
        4) Who has a link to Griff's Cholesterol Primer? Did you know that they keep lowering the cholesterol number you're supposed to worry about?
        5) That's 'cause it works.
        Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

        If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

        Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly


        • #5
          Griff Cholesterol Primer
          "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."
          J. Stanton


          • #6
            for your third question, either read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, or watch Fat Head. Fat Head is a documentary that, among other things, explains how Americans came to eat the diet they do. Taubes' book is the same, but MUCH more in-depth. Either one will shed quite a bit of light on why you think all the studies show high-carb/low-fat and low-cholesterol diets are healthy.