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Thread: Help me understand the science page

  1. #1
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    Help me understand the science

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    I'm a newcomer and I've read the Primal Blueprint and numerous threads on the board here. I understand the concept of "eating primally" but after reading the board, it seems that there are various interpretations to this. Mark's book says to keep carbs below 150 g / day and less if trying to shed weight. There are various interpretations as to how much fruit, rice, dairy, etc. people are eating and some are eating grass fed beef/pastured birds and others are eating supermarket meats - although I understand that each person is different. But, at the end of the day, it appears that what everyone can agree on is that we should avoid grains, sugar, and legumes.

    So, here's my question: how does the avoidance of grains, sugar, legumes, but the increase in fats and cholesterol (with veggies remaining constant) have a positive impact on weight control and, more importantly, blood work (overall health). I guess what I'm asking is I'm having a hard time shifting away from CW. I've read numerous studies, seen the success stories, and I believe in the idea of eating primally, I just can't understand the science as to how avoiding a select few types of food can have such a dramatic effect on overall health.

    Is it the O6:03 ratios? If so, then in theory, the primal plan wouldn't be effective for individuals who aren't eating grass fed beef, right?

    Is it that grains/legumes/sugars are so toxic that they provide such a detrimental impact on our health?

    I apologize if these questions have been asked in the past or if they are so juvenile as to show that I've "missed the concept entirely," I'm just trying to understand how the process works from a biological standpoint. It just seems that everyone's definition of "eating primally" varies to some extent but everyone claims to be having good results with their goals.

  2. #2
    Neckhammer's Avatar
    Neckhammer is offline Senior Member
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    Are you looking for the neurophysiological and biochemical model or the epidemiological studies? The latter are easier to provide. The former are not completely understood, but there is enough there to substantiate suspicions gleaned from the epidemiological evidence. Have you read The Paleo Solution, Primal Blueprint, Perfect Health diet? I think PB is a great how to, but Paleo Solution and PHD show a bit more science.

  3. #3
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    Neckhammer, thanks for the book recommendations, I will look into them. Admittedly, much of the physiology is going to be over my layman understanding but I am trying to learn as much as I can and get away from CW. I guess my concern is that I've followed CW thus far and I'm in great health. I just want to do better and enhance performance. I'm buying into the primal concept from a logical standpoint, I just don't fully understand the biological process yet.

  4. #4
    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is online now Senior Member
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    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  5. #5
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    Very interesting read. This person lowered carbs < 50g per day. I'm now "splitting hairs" but does anyone know if the results are the same for 100 -150 g per day?

  6. #6
    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is online now Senior Member
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    100-150g carbohydrates is still quite low. You will certainly see improved heart disease markers. But it's not only going to be from the reduction in carbs. Don't forget you need to eat the healthy saturated animal fats as well. It's a packaged deal, really, and the biggest mistake you can make is to think you can get a double-whammy if you reduce both fats and carbohydrates. That will result in disaster.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  7. #7
    jb0055's Avatar
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    Yeah 50g per day will shed weight if you're not active, but I had to bump mine up to around 100-150g because of my workout routine. Everybody is different though, you'll probably have to tweak your eating some to find what works best for you. I've lost 40 lbs and don't want to lose anymore so now I'm trying to find the right balance with diet and exercise. Good luck! This site is a great resource for information.

  8. #8
    gopintos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    100-150g carbohydrates is still quite low.
    I am so glad to see this actually typed out. I know the curve and all. By heart. But it still helps something mentally in my head, to visually see that typed out in b&w. I know I read every day on the forum to eat sweet potatoes and potatoes etc but I just couldnt wrap my brain around such a large chunk of my daily carbs in one place, not while I am trying to lose weight anyways.

    I am enjoying that link also (and the subsequent links it has taken me to) I have been there before, but sometimes I have to see things over and over before it starts to sink in.

  9. #9
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Read his article about how Weight Watchers is actually a low carbohydrate diet. That one is pretty good.
    Why Weight Watchers is actually a low carb diet | Peter Attia | The War on Insulin
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  10. #10
    jfreaksho's Avatar
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    Weight management seems to be all about hormone control- insulin, leptin, ghrelin. It just so happens that paleo foods seems to put a person's body in a healthy state, while seed oils and grains push those hormones in the wrong direction over time.

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