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  • Confused about different types of diets...

    I'm a confused about different types of diets at this point. I've been following the primal diet for some time now but today I somehow found myself reading blogs and watching youtube videos of different types of diets (for example, fruitarian and high starch vegan). What I noticed is that the "other side" has similar people like Mark Sisson and Rob Wolf running pretty websites with articles, forums, studies, videos, amazing success stories based on diets that are the polar opposite of what the paleo diet dictates. There are well education Drs. (same way there are Drs. who advocate the paleo diet) that advocate that meat, animal fat and dairy is the devil with their own studies and observations supporting their views. Both, paleo and the other side claim improved health, weight loss, increased energy, reversal of diseases, etc. There are some similarities obviously. For example, the paleo diet and someone from some version of a high starch vegan diet might agree that wheat and soy is no good. One thing I noticed is that two different types of diets work (high carb/low fat and high fat/low carb). But, when you start eating high fat and high carb, thats bad news for health and fat loss. And even if you set other diets aside and just examine paleo, there are two different schools of thought (high fat vs. moderate to high starch). Half the people claim that they can run a marathon and lift weight for 3 hours just on coconut oil alone and they advertise how their body is fat adapted and they don't need anything but fat. Other half claim that safe starches are absolutely essential to their well being, daily life and long term health.

    I don't even know the point behind this post. I guess just confused about how I should be eating for long term health/disease prevention/staying lean.

  • #2
    You eat how you feel best. Everyone is different. I once tried a vegetarian diet ~ lasted about 8 weeks. Gained weight, serious mess with eczema and I kept dreaming about pot roast. Wasn't right for me.

    The only way know is to try. There is no *one size fits all*. If you already feel great with what you're eating, then you're set. But if not, try something else.

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    • #3
      Really all you have to do for maximum health is avoid sugar and flour and eat a balance of fats. Eat real food, get enough protein and Omega 3 and you're pretty much good to go.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        There's thousands of thousands of diets out there and most of them have a lot of research, health benefits and lots of success stories. If you're really curious you could give them a go for a few weeks to see how you feel.

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        • #5
          Any "diet plan" that makes you think about what you are putting in your face is going to have some benefits over the SAD way of munching mindlessly. This is why all the various plans claim success. Raw vegan is probably healthier than SAD. Mindful not mindless eating is the key. Find the mindful way that works for you.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lardomuncher View Post
            I'm a confused about different types of diets at this point. I've been following the primal diet for some time now but today I somehow found myself reading blogs and watching youtube videos of different types of diets (for example, fruitarian and high starch vegan). What I noticed is that the "other side" has similar people like Mark Sisson and Rob Wolf running pretty websites with articles, forums, studies, videos, amazing success stories based on diets that are the polar opposite of what the paleo diet dictates.
            Why would you believe them?

            These "polar people" recommend what they do because these diets appeal to them for extraneous emotional reasons. They also (falsely) claim they're good for you, as well, as an ex post facto, but that's not what's driving it.

            There are well-documented and researched downsides to these diets. Serious ones:

            Vegetarian diet and mental disorde... [Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

            Robb and Mark simply recommend what they believe to be healthy for you in and of itself with no extraneous reasons actually driving their food choices. I think anybody who follows Mark's daily posts for long enough, reads them carefully, thinks about what he's saying, and applies his or her own judgment to what he's saying, would be able to see that. It's not the design of his website that matters.

            If you want to get deeper into the scientific reasons for the Paleo Diet, I'd recommend this book:

            Amazon.com: The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young (9781118016084): Loren Cordain: Books

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            • #7
              Mostly, avoid poisonous things. Your body can, indeed, run well on starch. Should it? Nobody knows. I know if I were dropped in the woods today, I'd be eating tons of greens and medium-sized animals, some fruits and roots, and not much else. Extrapolate for different habitats and evolutionary history, and build your ideal diet on your ancestry and what you think they were best adapted to eat. And even then, with mutations abounding, it's still a roll of the dice.
              Crohn's, doing SCD

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              • #8
                Just wanted to add that you absolutely CAN'T be healthy on a high carb/low fat diet. Been there, done that, never gain. Messes with your sexual hormones.
                Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
                (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

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                • #9
                  I think one should avoid all the dieting hype and eat real food, not crap that comes packaged in plastic and which is unrecognizable from its original form. If you can't understand or can't pronounce the ingredients, don't eat it. The exception being foreign foods :P
                  F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                  "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                  • #10
                    I think that the confusion partly comes from the fact that there is no one right way to eat; people thrive eating in a variety of ways.

                    Ultimately, it's up to you to use some common sense and to experiment to find what's right for you. It might be primal, it might not.

                    The common sense part comes in when considering something extreme like fruitarism. Is there any evidence of societies who have ever eaten this way? Are there even people who have eaten this way most of their lives? Are these people emotionally and mentally stable? Are they able to meet basic dietary needs? What are the possible dangers of eating in this way?

                    If you read sites like the 30bananasaday, it's pretty easy to see that the folks runing it are off their rocker - the so-called 'scientific facts' they publish are actually factually incorrect and prove that they have no understanding of basic human nutrition needs or even how digestion occurs. They routinely delete and ban users who aren't 100% pro fruit all the way

                    ...contrast that with a site like this one. Here you have everything from people thriving on high fat, very low carb to vegetarians who want to eat a more primal diet by excluding all the fake soy and gluten based imitation garbage. And everyone in between. The common denominator is finding the way to eat that works for you, using high quality, tradiationally prepared foods that are grown sustainably. For some people this means lots of meat, for others it's less meat more fruit and starches...There is a lot of flexibility here, which in my opinion is important.

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                    • #11
                      I agree with a lot that has been said before: 1) any mindful, real food approach will be much better than standart, mindless SAD, and will probably solve enough problems (at least in short-medium term) to get people excited about it; 2) everyone should listen to their body when starting/following a certain diet - no size fits all - I can't run on 30 bananas a day but I am sure there is somebody who can; 3) any scientific data about the effects of nutrition is bound to be not very precise because it is mostly based on epidemiological data (surveys, not enough control for other factors) ir lab experiments on animals. You really can't take a bunch of people, put them into a lab for the rest of their lives and feed them according to a certain protocol.
                      I also was confused at the beginning and it too me about a year to be "sold" on the primal/paleo above others. For now I am more than happy but I would never say never. May be in 5 years time I will want to be a vegan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Damiana View Post
                        I think one should avoid all the dieting hype and eat real food, not crap that comes packaged in plastic and which is unrecognizable from its original form. If you can't understand or can't pronounce the ingredients, don't eat it. The exception being foreign foods :P
                        This.

                        I hate the word "diet" but I am a serial dieter, always screwing around with my system to find the cure-all. I was omnivorous for most of my life, then calorie-counted and restricted fat until I lost 30 pounds, then I went lacto-ovo vegetarian because it was "cool" among the hipster friends of mine in the city I used to live in. That evolved into veganism when I met my vegan-hippie-yoga-instructor-PBR-drinking friends. I was 95% vegan (I still ate honey and cheese if I wanted to) for a number of months because, well, my vegan friends said it was great and that meat-eating is evil.

                        I think we focus too much on the "diet" we're on. Paleo. Primal. Vegan. Raw vegan. Octo-lavo. Vegetarian. People (including the original poster of this thread) need to stop caring about the labels and get back to basics:

                        Cook.
                        Avoid things that come from a plastic bag, unless you can read all of the ingredients.
                        Buy produce from a farm you know (and, if you can't, buy domestic and/or organic).
                        Buy meat/poultry/etc. that has been fed a natural (not corn!) diet.
                        Buy wild fish.

                        Most importantly: listen to your body. If eating a crap-ton of bacon every morning gives you the shits, stop and rethink what you're doing because obviously that's not working. If eating no meat makes you feel weak and sleepy, stop and rethink that. Find your happy place.
                        >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
                        >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

                        >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
                        >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

                        Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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                        • #13
                          I agree with what most people have said - the Primal way of eating makes me feel good, and I finally feel like my appetite is under control. I have become extremely reactive to eggs and all dairy (reeeeally bad eczema on my hands, stomach pain, migraine), even raw whole dairy, goat dairy, etc. Boo HOWEVER! On fish, poultry, meat, fruits, veg, nuts and seeds I feel pretty awesome. My mood has improved, my cycle has improved, and now that the whole dairy thing is resolved I am hoping inflammation will improve.

                          I am not melting the excess fat away, but I expect that to follow my body getting well, absorbing nutrients properly, etc. It's all a process.

                          FWIW, I am 30, female, 5'6", 225 lbs and have a stocky build.

                          My dear husband, on the other hand, who is 6'1", no weight problems, resolved all of his health problems by becoming (whole food, wheat-free, minimal soy) vegan. His joint pain disappeared, his digestive problems disappeared, and he is now weight training and gaining muscle like he never has before. I cringe at the vegan-hate I sometimes see on this forum. Not all vegans are pale and weak, and my husband is living proof of that.

                          I have tried the vegan diet, and I gained weight. My appetite was out of control, I was bloated, and I felt terrible.

                          People come in all shapes and sizes, and we each have different dietary needs. Find what makes you feel the best and stick with it while remaining respectful of others.

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                          • #14
                            You really have to base your diet on blood labs. There is no other way. I get labs drawn every 4-6 months and compare with previous labs. Look at markers of inflammation (hs-crp), lipids, thyroid, fasting glucose, A1C, liver function, all that. The sicker you are the more you need to check. You can't go by feelings or what feels good to eat. Going low carb could be killing you, same as low-fat. Different people react in different ways. If you are just going by weightloss you could be doing a great disservice to yourself. A good doctor and good labs are what's called for for everyone. Once you are where you want to be, maybe check labs once a year to be sure you are on target.

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                            • #15
                              We are omnnivoirs so we can survive off a wide range of foods. Any way of eating that focuses on real foods will help a body - the real question is what way of eating and what lifestyle do you THRIVE on.
                              Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                              PS
                              Don't forget to play!

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