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Thread: Criticisms of Primal/Paleo Lifestyle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Criticisms of Primal/Paleo Lifestyle?

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    In the interest of avoid confirmation bias:

    What are the major criticisms of our Primal lifestyle, and how do we refute them? I think it would be great to have a discussion stemming from different perspectives here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Walnut Creek, CA
    "you eat too much red meat and fat, its going to give you a heart attack"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I think this has been hashed out to death already, hasn't it?

    It's not sustainable, woah all that fat, you need carbs, what about fiber, whole grains are nutritious, colon cancer, etc. I think it's all on the forum in great detail.
    I'm going to have another glass of coconut milk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    The anti-grain message is met with the most vehement opposition I have ever seen. "our genes have adapted to grains. Our genome has changed". Even if there are changes it doesn't follow that they make grains a healthy food. That would take a complete overhaul of the GI tract and it didn't happen. These people have never gone a month without grains and then tried to reintroduce them. There are biologically plausible mechanisms for why grains are unhealthy and a lot of people who cut them out and feel better, and more importantly feel worse when they reintroduce them.

    *insert epidemiology about beans and rice"

    The world eats junk food or starves. Maybe if you replace wheat bread with beans and rice you get an improvement, but what about eating no grains or legumes? Does any population on the planet eat the kind of paleo diet that most people around here consider to be best? Nah.

    Dairy is contentious. I would say that dairy is contentious and personally can't see anything wrong with butter with pastured butter. Mark and Kurt Harris agree.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Sacramento, California
    This Wikipedia entry lists some scholarly criticisms of paleo. I have not waded through all of them.

  6. #6
    *points finger*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    South Dakota
    I've gotten this one a lot, "Well my Cardiologist says I need more whole grains in my diet". To which I reply, "I'm glad I don't have your Cardiologist."

    I'm amazed at the vigor in which people defend Conventional Wisdom. I started the PB 30 challenge and have probably been a little over zealous in informing people about how great it is. I'm amazed at how quickly I'm accosted for it. People telling me how wrong the diet is, when I ask them what they are basing there info on you get the normal responds of, government/doc/news. But if I ask them specically if they have factual medical data. They don't. It's just amazing how people just go along with the norm without a single independent thought of there own.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Redmond WA
    "Well my Cardiologist says I need more whole grains in my diet". To which I reply, "I'm glad I don't have your Cardiologist."

    I think one of the aims of this style of living is to never have ANY cardiologist
    Last edited by lizch; 10-05-2010 at 06:35 AM.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I have a criticism, however, not from a CW point of view, but from a Primal one.

    I think there is too much emphasis being placed on supplements. I understand that we do not all live in the same latitude, that many of us work in an office all day, and that food has changed from what Grok ate. However, we have changed too, and adapted, to a certain extent.

    I am not saying supplements are bad, however, I feel there is an over-reliance on them. Many people are too eager to prescribe 100g of X and 250g of Y supplement, when a simple salad/organ meat might do the trick. The beauty of the primal lifestyle for me is adhering to as natural a lifestyle as possible (not just with diet but all around), and little packets of condensed nutrients measured out by a monkey in a lab coat seems far from it.

    Again, this is not intended to offend anyone or anything, just my point of view - supplements are convenient and can come in handy, but I for no one do not rely on them, and I still feel and look the healthiest and strongest I have in my whole life.
    - If it was cute and cuddly at some point, eat it. Ignore everything else. -

    - Food is first, and foremost, nothing more than fuel. -

    - The body is animal. The mind, however, is not. -

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Upstate of SC
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    I most often hear: "Eliminating a whole group of foods (usually referring to grains) isn't healthy"

    stabby pretty much covered this one....

    Also: "Eliminating a whole group of foods isn't sustainable (again, usually referring to grains)"

    Some people react to the notion of not eating grains as though you've recommended they stop breathing. They literally almost can't even comprehend a diet that doesn't include grains. I usually respond that I used to feel that way about smoking. Until I quit. Most addicts feel that life can't be lived without <insert drug of choice>. I've also found that most people have no flippin' clue about nutrition. They believe what they hear in commercials and that's the extent of it. Eyes and brains glaze over when you talk about calorie for calorie nutrient density and bio-availability.

    Some people seem to be personally offended at the notion that grains, esp wheat, isn't good for you...
    Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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