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Thread: Primal Confusion...Different "Paleo" diets?

  1. #11


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    I don't believe that Cordain recommends grass-fed. If you are going to eat industrial meat; Low fat cuts might be a good choice.

    It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    San Jose, CA


    The Paleo diet (aka Caveman diet or Neolithic diet) isn't a diet in the way that the Atkins or South Beach diets are - there's not different versions or different "rules" that you must follow. There is only one rule - eat foods that paleolithic people would have eaten.

    Unfortunately, not everyone agrees on exactly how paleolithic people ate, and that's where the problem lies. The biggest "disparity" is with saturated fat. Many older written materials still hold to the belief that it's bad for you. Also, it's only recently that the O-6 to O-3 ratios have come to the forefront, and have been linked to grass-fed vs. grain-fed meat. Cordain's book is among these "older" ones.

    Some followers of Paleo-eating go so far as to not eat any fruits or veggies that would not have grown in the areas where paleolithic people lived (ie: Tomatos only grew in the "new world" and thus would have been unknown to paleolithic people.)

    But basically, it's accepted that a paleo-people ate only fruits, veggies, nuts and meat. No dairy, no grains, no legumes, no sugar (although limited amounts "natural sweeteners" like honey would be fine) and no alcohol.

    "The Primal Blueprint" is Mark's take on Paleo, but with a few modifications, and some non-diet stuff added in (like advise on getting sun and types of exercise.). The Primal Blueprint isn't so strict on dairy.

    The eating of more fat vs. carbs (ie: fruit) is mostly a weight-loss thing. Many people following either a "generic" paleo way of eating, or following Mark's Primal Blueprint are trying to loose weight. Also, many have found that eating more fat vs. carbs keeps people satiated longer and keeps away cravings for things like donuts and french-fries. But either way is just as valid.

    Nether advocates soy, or any other type of processed food.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    The Paleo Diet, with a capital P, is as defined by Dr.Cordain - lean meat, no saturated fat, canola oil OK. Paleolithic diet or paleo for short is what our ancestors ate in the paleolithic times and no neolithic food is allowed. Primal is just a less restrictive paleo diet. This site provides a good summary of the paleolithic diet:

  4. #14


    Weston Price Foundation on Cordain:

    If this sounds absurd, it's because absurd things happen when a professor of exercise tries to write a diet book that captures the current interest in the so-called caveman diet and adheres to political correctness at the same time. This book is as pc as pc can be--and totally ignorant of what we know about hunter-gatherer diets. Everyone who has described the diets of primitive peoples--Stefansson, Samuel Hearne, Cabeza de Vaca, Weston Price--has detailed the great emphasis these groups put on animal fat. Animal foods rich in fat were the basis of these diets. Animals were hunted selectively to procure those richest in fat. In good times, only the fattest parts were eaten, the lean meat was thrown away. In fact, the one thing Paleolithic Peter would never have eaten was a skinless chicken breast. He wanted the fat, the entrails, the bones, the contents of the stomach... the lean meat went to his dogs.

    IMO, there is justified controversy about carb intake through tubers, but saturated fat? Using canola to cook? diet sodas?

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Las Vegas


    So there is another "extreme" with Paleo in relation to PB. I like the PB better as I&#39;ve already gotten used to it and the food is I can still have some cheese and milk...and chocolate.

    Thank you to everyone for your insight!

  6. #16
    nina_70's Avatar
    nina_70 Guest


    I&#39;m w/ SS. The Paleo Diets that promote very lean meats and no saturated fat just don&#39;t make sense to me. As SS quoted from Western Price most primitive people, incl. &#39;modern&#39; hunter-gathers highly prize the fatty cuts of meat. The lean meats are generally disregarded and for good reason...they are less nutritious. There&#39;s no doubt that today&#39;s grain-fed cows have more fat(and in different ratio&#39;s) than grass-fed or wild meat, but if you&#39;re eating grass-fed I think you&#39;re getting close.

    Mark&#39;s definitive guide on saturated fats is a good summary

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


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    That&#39;s a very timely post. I was just researching paleo-types of diets in Russian language for my mother to help her grasp the understanding a little nit better (she&#39;s currently eating Primal). To my great disappointment, anything remotely close to paleo was Cordain&#39;s version and another version of some dude that claims to be a personal nutritionist for Madonna and DeNiro (gotta put a marketing spin on it).

    It&#39;s a good thing I never told my mom to search for a version of the diet in Russian because it would&#39;ve confused her even more.

    Also, I&#39;m frustrated with marketing diet spins such as Paleo and Mediterranean diets. They have very little to do with what actual cultures were/are consume as they diets.

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