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Thread: Criticisms of Primal/Paleo Lifestyle? page 6

  1. #51
    Phil-SC's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    My shrinking waistline is proof enough...I just point at it.

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    That its an expensive diet that most people cannot afford.

    But that is where planning and creativity come in

  3. #53
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    I don't find it very expensive, unless I choose to make it that way (when I am flush I will buy fish, hard cheese, and fresh produce). And I eat a lot, more than many men. I either buy my veg and fruit frozen or grow it myself, and I base my diet on the least expensive natural proteins and fats (ground beef, eggs, butter). As long as I don't eat out, I can eat primal on about $40 per week... not bad for a whole food diet with the prices in this area. I'm not saying anything about people in such dire straits that they can't afford adequate food for the family all month - that's different, and complicated. But most people I know have enough money that they don't have to curtail their spending on food, and from what I can see they spend more than I do on food, mostly on eating out and shitty packaged foods.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by bblean View Post
    That its an expensive diet that most people cannot afford.

    But that is where planning and creativity come in
    Or not buying processed, packaged crap. That is absolute BS that real food costs more than packaged crap. A quick look at unit prices dispels that one right away.

  5. #55
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    Reading through the Wiki site linked above is quite interesting. According to that article, most of the debate is questioning whether the actual diet of the paleo man did or didn't include grains rather than based on any merits of eating grain-based diets. The primary argument against the paleo diet is that it cannot be scaled worldwide.

    I like how the Wiki article sites references such as a 30,000 year-old mortar and pestle as scientific fact (the cited study is based on radiometric dating). However, there is so much logical criticism against these dating techniques I don't know how anyone can refer to them as fact...but it sounds scientific.

    Nonetheless, the Wiki article is interesting in that it lacks any substantial criticism of the Paleo diet.

  6. #56
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    Exactly, floid! What matters to me is how clearly this works for so many, so easily, with such great results for weightnand blood work... When other approaches have all failed.

    Of course I do find research on our ancestral history interesting, and I think "Grok" can be a handy analogy... But details of what we perhaps did or didn't do then is not the primary foundation of this for me.
    "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karma View Post
    "you eat too much red meat and fat, its going to give you a heart attack"
    Ruin your kidneys...

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jspradley View Post
    Or not buying processed, packaged crap. That is absolute BS that real food costs more than packaged crap. A quick look at unit prices dispels that one right away.
    Remember what a box of "healthy cereal" costs? Add bread, cookies, syrup, jam, jelly, milk, pasta, sugar and there is a bunch of stuff we don't buy any more. I'm thinking it balances out.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bblean View Post
    That its an expensive diet that most people cannot afford.
    It is not near as expensive as heart attacks, medications and surgeries but oh wait! People have insurance for that so rather than change their lifestyles, they just eat crappy food, don't exercise and let the insurance pickup the tab.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Exactly, floid! What matters to me is how clearly this works for so many, so easily, with such great results for weightnand blood work... When other approaches have all failed.

    Of course I do find research on our ancestral history interesting, and I think "Grok" can be a handy analogy... But details of what we perhaps did or didn't do then is not the primary foundation of this for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by floid View Post
    Reading through the Wiki site linked above is quite interesting. According to that article, most of the debate is questioning whether the actual diet of the paleo man did or didn't include grains rather than based on any merits of eating grain-based diets. The primary argument against the paleo diet is that it cannot be scaled worldwide.

    I like how the Wiki article sites references such as a 30,000 year-old mortar and pestle as scientific fact (the cited study is based on radiometric dating). However, there is so much logical criticism against these dating techniques I don't know how anyone can refer to them as fact...but it sounds scientific.

    Nonetheless, the Wiki article is interesting in that it lacks any substantial criticism of the Paleo diet.
    I think these two posts get to the heart of the most legitimate criticisms of the PB diet. It seems that there are two main justifications for the PB diet. First is the general argument that pre-historic humans ate differently than we do now and that the way that they ate is better adapted hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. This argument is essentially a scientific one. Second is the common sense argument that so many people seem to have had really notable success, i.e. that the adherents to the diet are the best evidence in favor of it working. This argument is anecdotal at heart.

    The problem with the first justification for PB has already been brought up in this thread, basically it amounts to, how can you eat like a caveman when we don't know how cavemen ate? This get's to the heart of the weaknesses in the scientific justification. There's a fundamental problem with relying solely on the scientific arguments when they're based on our current levels of understanding which are inevitably incomplete and imperfect. I assume that most people who frequent these forums have read this recent NYT article, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/science/19bread.html

    I think the scientific arguments are much more effective when we look directly at foods and set aside the "eating like a caveman" justification. As someone said earlier in this thread, just because scientists now think that pre-historic man ate grains doesn't mean that grains are healthy for us. Well, the argument applies in the opposite direction too, just because we think that pre-historic man ate plenty of vegetables, nuts, fresh meat, etc. doesn't mean that it's healthy for you. The bottom line is that it's not really that important what pre-historic man did. It can serve as a useful guideline to a certain extent, but eventually we need to evaluate foods on their own terms and not based on what people did ten thousand years ago.

    The problem with the second is that, as mentioned, it's a fundamentally anecdotal one. It's a great justification on the individual level, but it's hard to extrapolate to the general population. There are plenty of great success stories by PB adherents, but it's hard to weigh the evidence effectively when there's clear selection bias at work. Obviously people who try a diet and see no result are less likely to make their voice heard than people who try a diet and see great results.

    I think the solution for PB advocates comes down to being careful in how we state our case and being sure to not make our claims more aggressively than can be supported by the evidence. There's some good scientific evidence for the PB diet and there's some good anecdotal evidence for the PB diet, but I think that there can be a tendency to overstate the benefits of the PB diet and make claims more confidently than the existing evidence justifies.

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