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  • Low carb paleo- a neolithic fantasy?

    Hurray, someone saying what I've been saying, only much better lol Low-Carb Paleo Diet: A Neolithic Fantasy « Uncategorized « Repair, Recover, Restore.

    I ust finished a book about a guy who stayed with 15 different tribes around the world. Some had a bit if basic agriculture, others were hunter-gather, but all of them ate starches as a mainstay of their diet (manioc for example). I just don't believe that paleolithic people didn't eat plenty of whatever roots, tubers and fruit they could find.

    I tried low carb for 9 months and went steadily downhill with energy and mood. Last winter, my SAD was hell, never been like that before, even pre-lightbox. Some days I couldn't get out of bed and my husband had to take the kids to school. I kept going, because I was convinced by what everyone was telling me, low carb was the way to go, especially if you're overweight, I just needed to keep going and it'd come good. Never again! And lately a lot of others have been coming out of the woodwork sayng they have similar issues.

    I can't eat starch as I am on a no starch diet for an autoimmune disease (AS), but am working on ways to get carbs without the standard sweet potatoes and so on. I do not believe that not thriving on vlc is a sign of a "broken metabolism". Just because some people do, that doesn't mean we all should. And I'm not here to get super lean, I'm here to get healthy.
    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

    Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

    Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

    "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
    Harold Whitman

  • #2
    not sure what your question is but nowhere is it stated paleo or primal diet is a low carb diet. and when i say diet i mean way of eating, not weight loss plan. those of us who do have a bunch of weight to lose can use a low carb version of the paleo diet as it has been proven time and time again that it does work for the majority of people out there who do it correctly
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

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    • #3
      Interesting article. Thanks for posting. I do have to wonder though how important carb cycling and caloric deficit were in the context of these diets. I can't imagine that there was always an abundance of starch sources or food in general. So it seems to me that humans would have had times of high fat, high protein, VLC and times of higher carb diets. There would likely also have been periods where there were very few calories available.

      So perhaps carbs and calories and best consumed in cycles? I think I naturally do this to some degree and sort of feel I don't do as well eating primally if I force myself into a specific macro ratio.
      Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

      http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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      • #4
        I think before we discovered or began using fire though our choices for starches and such were limited... fruits sure, but uncooked potatoes?
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          Thanks for posting the article - I didn't know that about Eskimo diets. Like you, I'm tired of the anti-carb/insulin dogma that has latched onto paleo. I don't think it deserves all the credit it gets as part of a paleo diet for fixing health problems. And it doesn't help that I completely crashed and burned with it after a few weeks of feeling fantastic. Everyone should read "The Catecholamine Honeymoon" (which is linked on this article). It makes sense of why different strategies of weight loss work until they don't.

          I think jammies has got the right idea - carb cycling and calorie cycling seem like they are important to body composition and metabolic health in general.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
            I think before we discovered or began using fire though our choices for starches and such were limited... fruits sure, but uncooked potatoes?
            Who cares? I'm sure we couldn't do a lot of things without our technological prowess.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Horsewoman View Post
              Hurray, someone saying what I've been saying, only much better lol Low-Carb Paleo Diet: A Neolithic Fantasy « Uncategorized « Repair, Recover, Restore.
              A Neolithic fantasy? People in the Neolithic were not "fantasizing" about the Palaeolithic. They weren't even aware of it. Those are modern classifications.

              ... a [man] who stayed with 15 different tribes around the world. Some had ... basic agriculture, others were hunter-gather[ers], but all of them ate starches as a mainstay of their diet (manioc for example). I just don't believe that paleolithic people didn't eat plenty of whatever roots, tubers and fruit they could find.
              What any of us "just don't believe" has nothing to do with anything. The question is what was available to those people, given their location, the climatic conditions, and the season of year. So far as I know no-one has ever alleged this did not ever include roots or fruit. But how on earth could you know that would mean "plenty" of both, or either, at all times and in all places across this vast period? And just by sitting there, without conducting palaeobotanic surveys, and so forth? Have you got a time machine?

              As for this gentleman, if he just stayed with them, then by definition none of them were Palaelothic. (Sometimes I just wish some people would drop these tiresomely mis-used "Palaeolithic" and "Neolithic" labels, which have nothing to do with either age in the way that they use them.

              And, yes, I'm sure some of these tribal peoples hie visited ate starchy foods. So what?

              I tried low carb for 9 months and went steadily downhill with energy and mood.
              Then don't do it. But what has this to do with what people ate in the Palaeolithic? Nothing.

              I can't eat starch as I am on a no starch diet for an autoimmune disease (AS), but am working on ways to get carbs without the standard sweet potatoes and so on.
              Basically, what you have left is fruit and honey. If you want carbohydrate but you don't want to eat starch, then you must eat simple sugars. That means fruit and/or honey.
              Last edited by Lewis; 09-22-2011, 12:21 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by donjon View Post
                Who cares? I'm sure we couldn't do a lot of things without our technological prowess.
                that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point is it's unlikely that before fire we were eating too much starch. For the record, I eat plenty of starch. I was arguing against the "we probably ate starch all the time" point. I say not until we started cooking shit.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lewis View Post


                  What any of us "just don't believe" has nothing to do with anything. The question is what was available to those people, given their location, the climatic conditions, and the season of year. So far as I know no-one has ever alleged this did not ever include roots or fruit. But how on earth could you know that would mean "plenty" of both, or either, at all times and in all places across this vast period? And just by sitting there, without conducting palaeobotanic surveys, and so forth? Have you got a time machine?

                  As for this gentleman, if he just stayed with them, then by definition none of them were Palaelothic. (Sometimes I just wish some people would drop these tiresomely mis-used "Palaeolithic" and "Neolithic" labels, which have nothing to do with either age in the way that they use them.

                  And, yes, I'm sure some of these tribal peoples hie visited ate starchy foods. So what?



                  Then don't do it. But what has this to do with what people ate in the Palaeolithic? Nothing.

                  Of course none of the tribes were paleolithic lol. I still found it surprising that very starchy foods were such a mainstay even for the hunter gatherers. The point I found interesting was that ALL the tribes at considerable amounts of starches as a staple, except for one who are reindeer herders in frozen Russia (Nenets).

                  The connection with the paleolithic is that we call this paleo eating. It doesn't make sense to argue the paleolithic is of no relevance. If considerable portions of people don't do well on vlc, that supports the theory that we didn't evolve eating vlc, as some claim. The basis of eating "paleo" is supposed to be that it is returning to the diet we evolved to eat, which is therefore the most healthy. But I assume you know this.

                  As for "believing", I was referring to a belief based on surveying the available information, not something nebulous sucked out of thin air. Maybe that's a British turn of phrase, I don't know. If you read my post you will see I said they would have eaten "plenty of whatever... they could find", not "plenty". Roots, tubers and/ or fruit would have been available in much of the world, my point is that it seems unlikely that people would have overlooked or turned down a ready source of calories.

                  I'd much rather hear what people actually think about the article, rather than a blow by blow attack on what I said. I'd be interested to hear your views if you feel like sharing them.
                  Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                  Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                  Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                  "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                  Harold Whitman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jammies View Post
                    Interesting article. Thanks for posting. I do have to wonder though how important carb cycling and caloric deficit were in the context of these diets. I can't imagine that there was always an abundance of starch sources or food in general. So it seems to me that humans would have had times of high fat, high protein, VLC and times of higher carb diets. There would likely also have been periods where there were very few calories available.

                    So perhaps carbs and calories and best consumed in cycles? I think I naturally do this to some degree and sort of feel I don't do as well eating primally if I force myself into a specific macro ratio.
                    That's an interesting point. Seasonal variations could be important I think.

                    Originally posted by weird fish View Post
                    Thanks for posting the article - I didn't know that about Eskimo diets. Like you, I'm tired of the anti-carb/insulin dogma that has latched onto paleo. I don't think it deserves all the credit it gets as part of a paleo diet for fixing health problems. And it doesn't help that I completely crashed and burned with it after a few weeks of feeling fantastic. Everyone should read "The Catecholamine Honeymoon" (which is linked on this article). It makes sense of why different strategies of weight loss work until they don't.

                    I think jammies has got the right idea - carb cycling and calorie cycling seem like they are important to body composition and metabolic health in general.
                    Thanks, I will look at that.
                    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                    Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                    Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                    "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                    Harold Whitman

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                    • #11
                      I think the important thing to keep in mind is that starch eating HGs generally live in environments where they get a lot of sunlight, hence vit D, which would counteract the inflammatory effects. That said, someone following the other tenets of paleo/primal, the exercise and sunlight parts, and avoiding the damaging starches, most will be able to fit some quite easily into their diets. When contrasted with SAD it is low-carb.
                      Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                        I think before we discovered or began using fire though our choices for starches and such were limited... fruits sure, but uncooked potatoes?
                        Evidence shows that the discovery of fire pre-dates homo sapiens--homo erectus is generally accepted to be the first human ancestor to control fire, about 400,000 years ago, with widespread use common by 125,000 years ago for sure. I think we can safely assume that paleolithic homo sapiens had a pretty good grasp on the idea.
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                          I think before we discovered or began using fire though our choices for starches and such were limited... fruits sure, but uncooked potatoes?
                          Raw white potatoes, especially with salt and pepper, are very good. As a kid I got into trouble for "stealing" raw potatoes as my mom peeled them for dinner.

                          Even raw yams/sweet potatoes are good.

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                          • #14
                            Many come to primal from veganism, vegetarianism or just being told to limit meat to one card deck sized piece of meat per day, no bacon and eggs only x times per week. For them, meat and saturated fat are literally healing. They may get a bit carried away ranting about meat and fat, and ranting against all the brown rice, etc. they had eaten.

                            I have to keep carbs under 100 to lose fat. I do eat potatoes daily though.

                            Mileage may vary.
                            Ancestral Health Info

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Horsewoman View Post
                              Of course none of the tribes were paleolithic lol.
                              If they were using small stone points (perhaps with extensive secondary pressure-flaking) for the smaller and fleeter game that's been more abundant since the retreat of the Ice Sheet (though not so abundant nowadays perhaps, modern conditions being what they are), then they were using Mesolithic technology. If they were using bows and arrows, then they were using Mesolithic technology. If they were farming, in however "basic" a manner, then they had a Neolithic lifestyle. If they were trading for any goods with the outside world at all, then I guess one would have to say they were making use of the technology of industrial society.

                              No contemporary society, unless it were in the depths of the Amazon, would be operating in a territory and exploiting the resources of that territory in a way independent of what others were doing in contiguous areas—how they were occupying territory, using resources, and impacting wildlife (and over centuries) in any case.

                              The connection with the paleolithic is that we call this paleo eating. It doesn't make sense to argue the paleolithic is of no relevance. If considerable portions of people don't do well on vlc, that supports the theory that we didn't evolve eating vlc, as some claim. The basis of eating "paleo" is supposed to be that it is returning to the diet we evolved to eat, which is therefore the most healthy.
                              But "I saw a bloke in New Guinea eating sago" is not evidence about the Paleolithic.

                              This is evidence about the Paleolithic:

                              While the isotope signature indicated that the Cheddar people were certainly high up the meat-eating food chain compared with a contemporaneous arctic fox also sampled, the signal expected from the consumption of grass-feeding horses was not present, and suggested instead that deer, giant ox or perhaps even other carnivores were the regular prey of these people ... there is one extra complication: if human flesh was regularly eaten, it might have overprinted an isotope signature from the consumption of horsemeat.
                              http://www.amazon.co.uk/Homo-Britann...dp/0141018135/

                              As it happens, it doesn't support the assertion that Palaeolithic people were eating "plenty of fruit and tubers". But that not the point (and no-one need eat in that fashion, which is a totally different issue). The point is that it is genuine evidence based on scientific methods.

                              In truth I find the find loose use of terms like "Palaeolithic" a little tiresome. If people want to eat more starchy foods, I say go ahead. But why should it be necessary to decide what one wants to eat and then project that onto the past? This is effectively what Cordain did, also, taking some contemporary diet shibboleths and projecting them onto the past. And if health's supposed to be the point, you can find healthy populations without going that far back anyway (as Weston price, for example, did), so there's need.

                              Frankly, what was available in periglacial environments thousands of years ago interests me in and of itself, but doesn't direct how I eat.

                              Olive oil, wine, air-dried ham, cheese, butter, eggs from chickens (i.e., jungle fowl), black pepper, apples (cultivated as opposed to crab), lemons, coffee, tea, chocolate ...

                              I probably eat some things off that list every day.

                              None of the above is meant as a criticism of you. I just find the "Palaeolithic" pretence a bit tiresome sometimes. And if someone is now saying that what people leading a Neolithic lifestyle are doing is supposed to be one in the eye for "Neolithic Fantasies" then the "Paleo" ideology has become ridiculous.
                              Last edited by Lewis; 09-22-2011, 10:47 PM.

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