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Thread: "Long-term" effects of Primal Diet

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  1. #1
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    "Long-term" effects of Primal Diet

    I've been mostly eating primal for about a year now and it's gone very well. But some questions are still lingering in my mind and I'm really starting to question if I should continue to eat this way.

    Our ancestors evolved eating a particular way and what they ate is likely closer to what is best for our bodies. However, our ancestors only lived to perhaps 30 years old or so. Since we are living far past this age, how do we know that primal eating is optimal for us past the age of 30?

    It's possible that certain types of foods don't take a toll on us until later in life and that our ancestors never reached an age where they would come across these issues.

    In the end, is there any evidence that eating primal is optimal into our older years?

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    i think you're getting hung up on how life expectancy is calculated. life expectancy was lower in the paleolithic due to the incidence of infant mortality, viruses & infections, and becoming a sabertooth tiger's breakfast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    i think you're getting hung up on how life expectancy is calculated. life expectancy was lower in the paleolithic due to the incidence of infant mortality, viruses & infections, and becoming a sabertooth tiger's breakfast.
    But the question still stands. To our ancestors, the greatest threats to survival/causes of death were not longevity-related, but rather illness/accidents/other dangerous aspects of everyday life. The upshot of this is what was critical for our ancestors was being strong, agile, and disease-free into middle age - and thus things that might have negative long-term effects once one reaches 50(or older) were really not all that important from an evolutionary/adaptation perspective.

    So I think it's a fair question - the odds are very good that such a diet is great for health/viability over the short and moderate-term, but I'm not sure the question of long-term effects has really been answered. Though in fairness, I don't believe the same questions have truly been answered regarding long-term effects of some components of the "standard" american diet, nor certain "safe"(as declared by the FDA) food additives, either.

    But just for the sake of inclusion:

    You can play with the macros all you want, but I don't see how you could ever want to step outside the "eat real food" paradigm, except for planned cheats.
    I wholeheartedly endorse this. I think one can argue about dietary breakdown, but it all probably still falls within this realm with the occasional supplement for micronutrients - if it means eating a bit more fish and a bit less red meat, or other similar variations, that would hardly be surprising(and probable, in fact).
    Last edited by jsa23; 04-05-2012 at 03:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsa23 View Post
    But the question still stands. To our ancestors, the greatest threats to survival/causes of death were not longevity-related, but rather illness/accidents/other dangerous aspects of everyday life. The upshot of this is what was critical for our ancestors was being strong, agile, and disease-free into middle age - and thus things that might have negative long-term effects once one reaches 50(or older) were really not all that important from an evolutionary/adaptation perspective.

    So I think it's a fair question - the odds are very good that such a diet is great for health/viability over the short and moderate-term, but I'm not sure the question of long-term effects has really been answered. Though in fairness, I don't believe the same questions have truly been answered regarding long-term effects of some components of the "standard" american diet, nor certain "safe"(as declared by the FDA) food additives, either.
    I agree, it still stands.

    The question of long-term effects cannot possibly be answered with hard scientific data until decades down the line. Until then all we have to go on is theory, plus limited evidence for short to medium-term benefits.

    So the pragmatic thing to do is eat and live 'primally' based on practicable traditional diets/ways of life for which solid supporting data are available. Also, as with most things in life, it's sensible not to take things to extremes.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsa23 View Post
    But the question still stands. To our ancestors, the greatest threats to survival/causes of death were not longevity-related, but rather illness/accidents/other dangerous aspects of everyday life. The upshot of this is what was critical for our ancestors was being strong, agile, and disease-free into middle age - and thus things that might have negative long-term effects once one reaches 50(or older) were really not all that important from an evolutionary/adaptation perspective.

    So I think it's a fair question - the odds are very good that such a diet is great for health/viability over the short and moderate-term, but I'm not sure the question of long-term effects has really been answered. Though in fairness, I don't believe the same questions have truly been answered regarding long-term effects of some components of the "standard" american diet, nor certain "safe"(as declared by the FDA) food additives, either.
    Getting back to the original point of this post. Does anyone know of any data regarding the long-term effects of a primal diet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASC View Post
    Getting back to the original point of this post. Does anyone know of any data regarding the long-term effects of a primal diet?
    Isn't that covered under the study of hunter gatherer societies and archeological findings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Isn't that covered under the study of hunter gatherer societies and archeological findings?
    I'm looking for studies that show long-term effects. When I say long-term, I mean for those that live into their 60's, 70's, 80's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASC View Post
    Getting back to the original point of this post. Does anyone know of any data regarding the long-term effects of a primal diet?
    I mean here is some research Published Research | The Paleo Diet If your answers aren't there read some more. Follow the citations of every paleo book ever written. They all have quite a few of em. Then there is always this Google Scholar

    BTW this thread coulda stopped right here IMO

    "I think your question is backwards, since primal doesn't introduce new foods. More accurately, the question you seem to be asking is "Does gluten, seed oils, excessive fructose, pesticides, unfermented soy, etc. somehow prolong life?" -Apex Predator

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    I mean here is some research Published Research | The Paleo Diet If your answers aren't there read some more. Follow the citations of every paleo book ever written. They all have quite a few of em. Then there is always this Google Scholar
    I still can't find anything data for long-term effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASC View Post
    Getting back to the original point of this post. Does anyone know of any data regarding the long-term effects of a primal diet?
    We made it through to the industrial age without becoming extinct?

    Whether we can make it from here is just a guess. If we do survive, I'm thinking it'll be due almost entirely to scientific advances that keep mortally ill people alive virtually forever.
    My sorely neglected blog - http://ThatWriterBroad.com

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