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Primal diet - Pros and Cons?

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  • #76
    I started this in another thread before I saw your post but I think it applies to your situation. I believe what we think is Paleo might be off somewhat. The Paleo approach attempts to simulate our ancestral diets as much as possible. As we all know the human genome has hardly changed since the emergence of behaviourally-modern humans in East Africa 50,000 to 100,000 years ago; genetically, man remains adapted for the foods consumed then. The best available estimates suggest that those ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein. Saturated fats contributed approximately 7.5% total energy and harmful trans-fatty acids contributed negligible amounts. Polyunsaturated fat intake was high, with omega 6: omeg 3 approaching 2:1 (v. 10:1 today). Cholesterol consumption was substantial, perhaps 480 mg/d. Carbohydrate came from uncultivated fruits and vegetables, approximately 50% energy intake as compared with the present level of 16% energy intake for Americans. High fruit and vegetable intake and minimal grain and dairy consumption made ancestral diets base-yielding, unlike today’s acid-producing pattern. Honey comprised 2–3% energy intake as compared with the 15% added sugars contribute currently. Fibre consumption was high, perhaps 100 g/d, but phytate content was minimal. Vitamin, mineral and (probably) phytochemical intake was typically 1.5 to eight times that of today .There have been few subsequent genetic changes despite the agricultural and industrial innovations of recent millennia. Hence, I believe optimal human nutrition in the present should reprise the essentials of what it was for the earliest behaviorally-modern ancestors. It seems to me that perhaps most Paleo followers may be cosuming too high a ratio of fats and proteins and not enough carbs.

    Here is a good research paper on the topic - http://www.gregdavis.ca/share/paleo-...yd%20Eaton.pdf
    Recent Blog: http://www.peakperformanceradio.net/...y-john-saville

    https://www.facebook.com/PaleoJourne...?ref=bookmarks

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    • #77
      pros: food's pretty good

      cons: food is becoming religion here
      beautiful
      yeah you are

      Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
      lol

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      • #78
        where?

        Comment


        • #79
          This is somewhat difficult for me to answer, so in segments:

          Cutting out gluten and dairy six years ago (but not being paleo) made MS flares mild and fewer, lost a few lbs, acne disappeared.

          A couple of years ago, going low-carb and low-fat paleo (Cordain's version) and later adding a ton of fat and switching to high fat paleo (Mark Sisson's version), the issues that started while being low fat, and continued to worsen with high fat:

          CONS: progress in the gym was completely stalled for 1 year
          had the worse, most crippling IBS attacks of my life
          gained about 10-12 lbs (mostly fat) in my lower body
          hair started falling out in HANDFULS in the shower
          was cold all the time, body temperature got steadily lower until I was practically a corpse
          my low average blood pressure dropped too low and started giving me problems
          debilitating fatigue
          reduced quality sleep
          depression, unstable mood, anxiety attacks

          Pros: I actually can't think of any. I have not had any flares in 2.5 years, but I've had 'forbidden' food items since then with no problem, so I don't it's due to my diet. For me, I think the flares have more to do with stress and other issues in my life, but there's no way to know 100%

          Switched to high-carb, low-fat Perfect Health Diet WITH some Ray Peat tweaks (organic sugar cane, more gelatin and less muscle meat, pregnenalone supplementation) AND used cold thermogenesis:

          Pros: my body comp has been slowly shifting to where I want it
          significantly more energy and therefore I able able to be active again
          I make progress in the gym on a regular basis (I increase the weight on something every week)
          depression disappeared, my mood is awesome, anxiety attacks decreased
          my body temperature is steadily improving, I'm rarely cold anymore, and I generally feel like my body is warm and toasty
          my hair isn't falling out in handfuls anymore. It's still thin, but it seems like there is new growth, so I'll have to wait to see how that improves
          my blood pressure is back to low average, I'm not having orthostatic hypotension everytime I stand up anymore
          since ditching most of the vegetables I was eating on paleo/primal, and making some other changes, my IBS is gone
          my desire to binge eat completely disappeared

          No improvment: sleep quality. My sleep is very inconsistent. Some nights it's great, some nights I wake up every hour. However, I no longer experience complete insomnia, where I can't fall asleep at all and am awake the whole night, which was somewhat frequent on low-carb/high fat. Not sure if there is a connection to diet on this one.
          Last edited by BestBetter; 12-23-2012, 07:54 AM.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
            And later adding a ton of fat and switching to high fat paleo (Mark Sisson's version), the issues that started while being low fat, and continued to worsen with high fat:
            Where in the PB does Mark ever advocate eating a ton of fat? If you took the plan to that extreme and it didn't work for you, cool. Lesson learned. That is not for you. I agree. But don't try to blame that on Mark. His approach is really very moderate. It's all the hacks, tweaks, etc. of the forum that are extreme.

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            • #81
              I agree that it is the tweaks that are extreme.

              I would say that Mark's assertion is quite simple: 1. calculate protein needs; 2. determine carb needs; 3. the rest is fat. This means that the diet could be "low carb" (less than 40% calories from carbs) or "VLC" (less than 50g net carbs per day) or "high fat" (40% or more from fat) or "low fat" (less than 40% calories from fat) or even "very low fat" such that it would be under 30% (which CW says is "low fat").

              It's easy enough to adjust to the carb and fat ratios that you want. It's just the protein that basically stays the same.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                I agree that it is the tweaks that are extreme.

                I would say that Mark's assertion is quite simple: 1. calculate protein needs; 2. determine carb needs; 3. the rest is fat. This means that the diet could be "low carb" (less than 40% calories from carbs) or "VLC" (less than 50g net carbs per day) or "high fat" (40% or more from fat) or "low fat" (less than 40% calories from fat) or even "very low fat" such that it would be under 30% (which CW says is "low fat").

                It's easy enough to adjust to the carb and fat ratios that you want. It's just the protein that basically stays the same.
                Would you care to explain why you define VLC in terms of an absolute quantity of carbs per day regardless of weight, activity yada yada, while you define low carb more scientifically in terms of % calories from carbs? The two don't marry up.
                F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                • #83
                  Pro's:
                  Looking at photos and not seeing myself as fat.
                  Feel better
                  Better skin
                  Less episodes of reflux
                  More constant energy
                  Less working out

                  Cons:
                  Expensive....beans and rice are cheap, as is pizza. Grass fed meats, not so much.
                  Expensive- constantly buying new clothes
                  Hard to eat out
                  Have to cook pretty much every meal - gets old

                  http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                  Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by BestBetter View Post

                    Switched to high-carb, low-fat Perfect Health Diet WITH some Ray Peat tweaks (organic sugar cane, more gelatin and less muscle meat, pregnenalone supplementation) AND used cold thermogenesis:

                    Pros: my body comp has been slowly shifting to where I want it
                    significantly more energy and therefore I able able to be active again
                    I make progress in the gym on a regular basis (I increase the weight on something every week)
                    depression disappeared, my mood is awesome, anxiety attacks decreased
                    my body temperature is steadily improving, I'm rarely cold anymore, and I generally feel like my body is warm and toasty
                    my hair isn't falling out in handfuls anymore. It's still thin, but it seems like there is new growth, so I'll have to wait to see how that improves
                    my blood pressure is back to low average, I'm not having orthostatic hypotension everytime I stand up anymore
                    since ditching most of the vegetables I was eating on paleo/primal, and making some other changes, my IBS is gone
                    my desire to binge eat completely disappeared

                    No improvment: sleep quality. My sleep is very inconsistent. Some nights it's great, some nights I wake up every hour. However, I no longer experience complete insomnia, where I can't fall asleep at all and am awake the whole night, which was somewhat frequent on low-carb/high fat. Not sure if there is a connection to diet on this one.
                    Actually PB is quite close to the Perfect Health diet. Also the PHD is not low fat, how did you reach that conclusion? - The Diet | Perfect Health Diet
                    Recent Blog: http://www.peakperformanceradio.net/...y-john-saville

                    https://www.facebook.com/PaleoJourne...?ref=bookmarks

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Zach View Post
                      Otzi, i didnt say that this would happen to everyone, i simply posted my cons from a paleo diet and yes my story is very real. Go check out Matt Stones book "How to live better then a caveman". There are over fifty real life experiences just like mine, all of whom read and followed MDA.

                      And to say that it wasnt the diet, it was the way i implemented it is correct but the reason i am here is to show people the dangers of blindly following advice from gurus and random people who are so enamored with a diet that thy will say anything to protect it.

                      I did this diet years ago when low carb was the holy grail so no i didnt know i could just up my carbs. It was also a time when meat, fat and veg was it and i didnt know i could limit those and eat more starch or fruit. Infact all the guru's specifically said otherwise. I know now exactly what ruined my health and no amount of tweaking an already failed diet would have brought me back. What did bring me back was the supposed neolithic agents of diseases (laff) and avoiding the three pillors of paleo (fat, meat, plant).

                      If mine was just a complete anomaly then i wouldnt be here, but in the years since i have come across literal hundreds of others just like me.

                      In closing, i could care less if the hardcore primals of this forum dont believe me, think im a troll or whatever, i will continue to give advice how i see it. Almost all of my posts are trying to be helpful, im not hating on anyones success, i only offer help to people who seem to not be doing well and are only getting one sided advice.
                      Zach I find your comments interesting and I'm curious as to why it doesn't reflect my experience or results at all. So I'm wondering how different your diet was from mine. If you don't mind I'd be curious as to what you ate in a typical day that resulted in all the negative effects you outlined...Thanks

                      FYI here is a typical day for me:

                      Breakfast - usually IF until about noon - but have a black coffee and a large glass of water at day break.

                      1st Meal - Brussel sprouts, Kale, onion, red bell peppers, cabbage sauteed in coconut oil and then scrambled with 3 or 4 eggs. A couple of days a week I'll also have 3 or 4 pieces of bacon. Also typically have an avocado.

                      Mid Afternoon - Can of sardines or tuna or salmon salad mixed with Paleo friendly mayo and chopped onion

                      Dinner - Meat, Poultry or Fish with a large mixed vegetable salad and a cooked vegetable (rotate cauliflower, yams, beets, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts for variety). Salad dressing is ususally 1 part olive oil/1 part balsamic vinegar mixed with mustard.

                      Treats - Red Wine and Dark chocolate a couple times a week.

                      I try to make sure everything is organic, pastuered, free range and local when possible.
                      Last edited by canuck416; 12-23-2012, 05:28 PM.
                      Recent Blog: http://www.peakperformanceradio.net/...y-john-saville

                      https://www.facebook.com/PaleoJourne...?ref=bookmarks

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Pros:
                        Lost "the last" 10 pounds
                        No more Prilosec

                        Neutrals: other people see improvement in this, I did not.
                        No "boundless energy"
                        No change in monthly cycle
                        No change in sex drive
                        No help with depression

                        Cons:
                        Expensive (I make decent money so it doesn't matter as for me, but it does for others)
                        Social issues -- I'm really tired of explaining to people that I can only have a little bit of cake.
                        I have to stay very strict for primal to work.

                        I do not follow the fitness. I have tried several times to institute a fitness component, but I each time I get sidelined by work stress or some other depressive moods and I just go back to sleep. Overall, it's worth it to stay primal if only to keep off the Prilosec. But at the moment I'm having a very hard time staying strict, and yes, candy binging is becoming a problem.
                        5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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                        • #87
                          Canuck,

                          My health declined over several years and several variations of paleo so i cant really give you a typical day. I can give you a timeline of diets and the trends that happened.

                          Started out with The Zone because of Crossfit. The Zone actually wasnt to bad and i learned a lot about food quantity from it.
                          Started Paleo/Zone after Robb Wolf came on the scene.
                          Removed zone aspect and started real Paleo after Wolf left crossfit and stopped pimping Zone.
                          Added in fasting, leangains and warrior diet
                          Went to VLC paleo because that was THE thing for health and fat loss
                          Did strict carnivore for a bit until i felt like i was gunna die.

                          That was the general timeline although there were other variations and times where i binged. Also tried a more relaxed paleo like PB afterwords but nothing helped until i abandoned it altogether.

                          The general theme was gradually removing carbs, replacing them with LOTS of protein and fat.

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                          • #88
                            JUst like to say I am finding this thread really enlightening, so please keep posting your pros and cons! It's fascinating how differently everyone is responding to the same basic concept.

                            Originally posted by canuck416 View Post
                            Zach I find your comments interesting and I'm curious as to why it doesn't reflect my experience or results at all. So I'm wondering how different your diet was from mine.
                            Canuck, the conclusion I'm coming to is that the genetic factor is massive. Each person responds differently to foodstuffs, depending on what they're genetically predisposed to. This is why the Food Pyramid has been such a disaster for people - the one size fits all approach doesn't work, no matter how much "science" there is to back up certain claims.

                            It seems to me that people who do best on Primal are those who have issues with glucose metabolism, whereas those who have a genetic predisposition to thyroid problems can't handle low carb.

                            I'd love to do a whole separate thread on this...
                            "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                            In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                            - Ray Peat

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                            • #89
                              Paleo does have wide room for variety and there is some credence to genetic variance. I think the most easily ascertained information to determine your particular macro predisposition would be to have a look at your amylase copy number:

                              Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy ... [Nat Genet. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI

                              So looking at this..... "Starch consumption is a prominent characteristic of agricultural societies and hunter-gatherers in arid environments. In contrast, rainforest and circum-arctic hunter-gatherers and some pastoralists consume much less starch.".....may give you indication of your personal disposition.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                                Would you care to explain why you define VLC in terms of an absolute quantity of carbs per day regardless of weight, activity yada yada, while you define low carb more scientifically in terms of % calories from carbs? The two don't marry up.
                                Because of how the terms are generally used both within and outside of these boards.

                                In general, "low carb" is often understood to be anything below 40% calories from carbs. When people look at primal/paleo, they *assume* that it's "low carb" because we do not eat breads, pastas, etc. This isn't necessarily true.

                                On this board, "low carb" means below 100g/day, and then "VLC" is less than 50(net)g/day. Many people are doing "low carb" to help with weight loss and VLC for weight loss, ketosis, or special needs (mentioned before). Because people on these various gram amounts (which comes right from Mark's blog), consume a different number of calories per day, it wouldn't add up in the percentages as an "exact percentage."

                                For example, I eat an average of 1600 calories per day (across a month). If I eat 100 g of carbs, that's 400 calories, or 25% of my diet. If I eat 2000 calories per day and have 100g of carbs, that's 400 calories or 20% of my diet.

                                Thus, in terms of how this board, in particular, uses terms like "low carb" and VLC, I refer to the gram amounts as per Mark's book/blog since that's usually what *this board* means.

                                In terms of how this fits into the common percentage understandings, obviously, if I wanted to consume 40% of my 1600 calories from carbs, I would need to get 160g of carbohydrate to meet that amount. It's not that difficult, because according to the internet, that's 4 bananas.

                                It's also outside of Mark's own "carb curve" -- but if I were more active than I am at the moment, it would probably be no problem. Right now, I put my carbs around 100g (some days it's down near 80, others it's up near 125), because that keeps the "easy to maintain" zone, which I have noticed in my own body.

                                As such, the two *DO* marry up in terms of how an individual wants to do things.

                                If you want to do primal/paleo that is not low carb, you can -- in my case, by eating 4 bananas (and no other fruit/veg). So, it's not difficult for me to get 40% of my caloric intake from carbs, and I don't necessarily think that Mark's curve there is gospel, and he even says as much. . . htat individuals will vary.

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