[QUOTE=Drumroll;1069787]Just have to say it...
Mark had a recent piece about a little concept known as "horemetics" which is when small doses of stress (dietary or environmental) might actually have a positive effect on our bodies and overall health. However, the key words here are "small doses."
So yes, eating crappy for a day or two might actually be good for your body by conditioning it to respond to stress better, kick start certain hormones, ect. But the constant stress of a bad diet is going to take its toll over time and wear down your body. We're talking small targeted doses of occasional stress as opposed to the constant, unending stress put upon your body from eating a shitty diet that causes digestive stress and systemic inflammation, ect.
It's all about being reasonable.[/QUOTE]
Where I was going with the article was that you don't really understand what the acceptable or tolerable level of stress is unless you start tinkering with your diet and actually test it out, that we don't even really understand what is stressful and what isn't, what's too stressful, what's just enough stress, and what isn't enough. You may think you can only handle a day of eating crappy food or not eating at all, but as you adapt to the stress (or as stress in other areas in your life are reduced) your adaptive capacity may be increased past prior limits and you can tolerate more. Simply put, you don't know until you try again.
Additionally, lots of the foods that the Paleo group think are "restorative" are actually secretly hormetic. [URL="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2635914/"]Much like the phytochemicals present in vegetables and fruits[/URL]. The high amounts of iron present in the paleo-friendly foods, like beef, deer or lamb, is another overlooked hormetic aspect of the paleo diet (iron is a major promoter of free-radical generation). Then add on the effects of a low-carb high fat diet, which typically increases the activity of pro-inflammatory markers (IL-6 and CRP, namely) and you've got a system that's subversively experiencing stress. Where the Paleo diet combats this stress is through the intake of foods that are micronutrient/cholesterol/protein/antioxidant dense.
I think as long as micronutrient/cholesterol/protein/antioxidant intake is adequate (and diverse), cellular metabolism is operating functionally, glucose uptake is occurring properly, and a person is undergoing periodic episodes of very low or no caloric intake -- you can tolerate virtually any kind of food so long as you are disease free. Like I said earlier, I study diabetes, and the more I research on the topic, the more I see the disease as simply a state of deficiency and not excess (not enough of X, as opposed to too much of Y, is the true determinant of health outcomes). This is why in my earlier article, I discussed the need to focus on inclusive dietary habits vs. exclusive dietary habits.