Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
3 Nov

Introducing the New Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

When I got involved with this blogging thing, I figured I’d stick with it for a year or so and then run out of things to say. 365 posts in 365 days seemed like a tall order by itself, let alone maintaining such a schedule into perpetuity. I felt I had something to offer people, and I knew what I was talking about, but that there were limits. Yeah, 365 posts would do nicely. I could get some stuff off my chest and maybe help some folks in the process. Why not?

So much for that.

A year passed and I just kept writing without even noticing. Yeah, I had exhausted all the topics for which I’d originally planned, but new ones kept popping up and grabbing me. Sometimes as I researched a topic, I’d discover something totally unrelated (but extremely interesting to me) to that topic. Little niggling thoughts about health/fitness/nutrition tend to embed themselves in my brain and wiggle around until I acknowledge them, so once I was finished with the original piece I’d usually dig into the new one and come up with a new post. Other post ideas arose organically, usually from some offhand comments by a reader.

As my readership grew, I started receiving a lot of feedback via email and comment sections. They’d bounce ideas off of me and each other, and I off them, and it was like this great big undergrad setting with ideas rattling around (inside and outside my head). There was no shortage of post fodder, but best of all, my ideas about health, fitness, and nutrition were evolving day by day. You guys proved to be the deepest source of ideas and innovation. Or, put another way, knowing I had an ever-growing team of sharp readers watching and judging my ideas kept me from slacking off.

Which brings me to the new Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid, published in the recently released Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

The old one was working just fine. Its basic message – eat lots of plants and animals – is still my basic message, and you’d be hard-pressed to eat poorly while following its recommendations, but is that good enough? Is “just fine” good enough for you? It isn’t for me. I want (and expect) simplicity, succinctness, both of which the old pyramid has, but also clarity and thoroughness (gosh, “thoroughness” just sounds awful; is there a better noun form of “thorough”?). The old pyramid left a lot up to the reader to figure out, and I think it could have been more clear and thorough. With the new pyramid, I addressed those and other concerns.

Well, before I explain the differences, let’s take a look at the two so you can see for yourself.

Here’s the old pyramid (click to enlarge).

Old Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

Here’s the new pyramid (click to enlarge).

New Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

The most noticeable change is making meat/fish/fowl/eggs, rather than produce, the base. It’s actually not a huge thematic change, as I’ve always suggested that animal products comprise the bulk of calories, but now it’s clear. Before, I’d often have to clarify to people that yes, vegetables may often make up the bulk of your food by sheer volume, but no, they will probably not make up the bulk of your food by caloric content. The repositioning of the two sections makes that clearer and less confusing.

I added an entirely new section: “Moderation Foods.” My thinking on certain foods has changed over the years, and this is my acknowledgment of that. Fruit, while an awesome, delicious method of seed dispersal that I’m glad plants employ, may not be right for everyone in unlimited quantities. Dense carb sources like starchy tubers and wild rice, while probably worth limiting and outright avoiding for people trying to lose weight, can be useful in the right situations. Dairy is another tool that many find extremely helpful (and tasty), and I’ve realized that nuts/nut butters/nut oils aren’t like other sources of fat, and that moderation is probably prudent. When thinking changes, so to must the products of that thinking.

You’ll also notice that I’ve added more sub-sections. So, instead of fruits and vegetables (including starchy tubers and roots, presumably) being lumped together, I separated them. Why? Well, a fruit is not a vegetable is not a potato. They all rely on photosynthesis, leaves or leafy-like things, water, a good loamy, nutrient-rich soil, and the caring hand of either Mother Nature or a grizzled farmer to come into existence, but they confer very different metabolic and health effects. In the old pyramid, rice is a grain (and therefore not allowed) and a sweet potato is a vegetable, but the new pyramid acknowledges that they share more commonalities than differences. For athletes looking to increase their carb intake, both are good ways to do it. The old pyramid didn’t make that clear, while the new way of classifying foods makes it obvious.

I also sacrificed brevity for clarity. Consider what the old pyramid said: “Approved Fats and Oils.” Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, and I still stand by the fact that you should only consume “approved fats and oils.” But what is an example of an approved fat and oil? You might know it off the top of your head, but what about the person who’s just getting into this? The pyramid isn’t just for the person who can bust out a list of every animal fat arranged in order of omega-6 fat content on the fly. It’s also for the person who still has a tub of margarine in the fridge. It’s also for the guy whose browser doesn’t autofill “Paleohacks” when he so much as thinks about typing a “P.” And for those folks, for the beginners (and the curious who want a quick idea of this Primal Blueprint nonsense without reading blogs or books), giving a rough idea of what I mean by “approved fats and oils” is extremely helpful. “Oh, butter, coconut oil, and animal fats for eating, and avocados, macadamia nuts, and olives/extra virgin olive oil for eating? That’s easy enough for now, and if I need more info, maybe I’ll check out the articles on the website,” is what we’re shooting for here. I still think it reads well and reads quickly. I don’t think the brevity “sacrifice” was a crushing one.

I also included a nice serving of “why” along with the “what” and the “which.” See, the Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid is a lot of folks’ introduction to the PB. And people want justification. They don’t just want to be spoon-fed rules, or be given blanket prescriptions without knowing why they’re being given out. Especially when it’s telling you to eat the bulk of your calories in the form of animals and animal fat. I mean, this could be the first time they’ve ever read the words “saturated fat” without the “artery clogging” modifier. We’ve got some ‘splainin to do; we can’t just gloss over it and assume they’re aware of the current science of saturated fat.

I tossed in “Sensible Indulgences,” because I realized that those indulgences weren’t just some throw-away option that a few people take advantage of. And it’s not just cause I wanted to justify my own red wine and dark chocolate habits. They were actually crucial parts of the Primal Blueprint, and in my experience dealing with thousands of people over the years, I’ve learned that the red wine and the chocolate (among others) are often what makes following the PB a realistic, sustainable alternative to conventional wisdom.

With all that said, the pyramid remains essentially the same. The focus is still on the importance of eating whole, real food. Grains, vegetable oils, and sugar are still woefully underrepresented. And the dietitians are still going to hate it (heck, they’ll hate it even more than before!). The thinking is more refined (or, gasp, processed), but that just means it’s even better than before.

If I didn’t make it abundantly clear already, I’m always open to refining the new pyramid, either because something is more confusing than helpful, or if new research dictates that changes be made. Lay into me (and it) if you must. And that’s a standing offer.

Okay – I’m done for today. If you have any questions about the new pyramid, leave them in the comment section. Thanks for reading.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Definitely going to be my go-to guide.

    Obey the Badger wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  2. Brilliant! I love this updated pyramid. Thanks, Mark, for continuing to share great information and your enthusiasm for learning.

    Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  3. What makes nuts/nut butters/nut oils different from other sources of fat?

    Jasmina wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Extremely high omega-6 content (highly inflammatory) and high lectin (antinutrient) content, worse than grains in some cases, are the two main differences that spring to mind.

      That, and the huge amount of anecdotal evidence that indicates nuts are uniquely fattening and tend to stall weight/cause weight gain in many people.

      Uncephalized wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Well said. Nuts and seeds are best avoided then eaten in abundance. I recommend people use them as a condiment.

        Eat more macas than any other nut or seed!

        Primal Toad wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • Yup. Too many almonds or almond butter gives me bloating. Macadamias don’t. Butter, coconut oil, and animal fats don’t. I think there’s something to be said to limiting most nuts and their butters.

          Aaron Blaisdell wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • Guilty! I will be going on nut free GAPS….will be interesting to see how the muffin top responds, lol! I must be sensitive to nuts as I crave them.

          Julie wrote on October 29th, 2012
        • When you say avoided and then eaten in abundance, how long are we talking? A day, week?

          … or do you mean than?

          That’s sad to hear though, as I have a genuine love for Almond butter and meal. :(

          Michael wrote on November 21st, 2012
  4. A great improvement – the clarifications and tweaks here make perfect sense. Thank you!

    Kathleen wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Yes, always interesting to see how this develops!

      Abel James wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  5. Love this updated pyramid. Ordering the new book pronto!!

    Tony wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  6. A very helpful update. I particularly appreciate the straightforward explanation of the changes. Creativity, transparency, and open mindedness are my favorite virtues of the MDA blog.

    Timothy wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  7. Thanks so much for this, Mark! It’s at a very opportune time, too – in my Health, Safety & Nutrition for Kids class, we’re covering the SAD Food Pyramid, and I’m constantly squirming and cringing. The teacher did let me have five minutes to talk about how fat is not bad and we should all eat more of it and less of the actual bad things, but she still tests straight from the text. Sigh…but at least this gives me hope that real health information is still being disseminated at some level, if not in all classrooms yet!

    Nelly wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • baby steps… conventional wisdom will become irrelevant one classroom at a time :)

      Becca wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  8. Ding dong the CW is dead! I’ve waited a long time for someone with both the clout and brass pair to speak the truth.

    Grokitmus Primal wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  9. Much better than the old in my opinion.

    Jason wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  10. Love the New Pyrimid! Printing it off now. It will be going right on the fridge!

    Jeff Witt wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • haha, currently doing the exact same thing!

      Becca wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  11. Go meat! When I started Primal ten months ago I tried eating big-ass salads and more veggies, but I just don’t like veggies very much and found that I placed a lower priority on them. So Mark must have read my mind and changed his pyramid accordingly!

    HillsideGina wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Careful. The new pyramid suggest meats/poultry/etc is the bulk of CALORIES. You will find that if you “visually” eat more meat/poultry etc and much less veggies…you’ll be woefully lacking in that dept.

      Peter wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I must say that’s exactly the reaction I was expecting to read :).
      For me though, I must say Mark that I liked the emphasis you put on veggies in your first pyramid. The big difference between you and other paleo guys or diets such as atkins was exactly that… Yes in terms of calories in your big kick ass salad the meat is the primary source, but the volume is veggies and that’s what people may not see anymore when they look at this pyramid. That’s too bad because I think that’s why your way of eating works so well and is so healthy. If people think primal means eating tons of meat and having a decorative leaf on the side, not sure it is going to give the same results..I am still pushing my brother to eat more primal but I will keep on showing him your previous pyramid, as most guys, he doesn’t need any hint that veggies are not that important :)

      Anais wrote on November 4th, 2011
      • I thoroughly agree with this comment. I think most people will judge quantities of food by volume not calories. Grok could not have consumed more protein foods than veggies and fruit while still maintaining the important alkaline balance in his body.

        Pauline Drury wrote on November 5th, 2011
        • I agree.

          whitney wrote on November 6th, 2011
      • I agree. This pyramid now has better text explaining the foods, but VISUALLY it has gotten worse. it’s easy to imagine the real foods stuffed into those spaces, so since the bottom of the pyramid has the largest area, it looks like a mostly meat diet.

        Have you tried doing this as a pie chart, representing a plate of food?

        Loren wrote on November 8th, 2011
        • I agree that the visual emphasis on vegetables is preferable to an emphasis on meat. To me, a food pyramid always seemed to suggest portion size as opposed to amount of calories. Maybe a pie chart on the side to clarify the calorie distribution?

          Eric wrote on November 17th, 2011
        • I too think a dinnerplate model would be much clearer as it is of more practical use to be able to see what proportions of actual meals should be than the caloric values of each, although that info could be included somewhere on the chart too, just not in a way that confuses people about optimal food bulk ratios, and perhaps there should be a dotted line and a gray area somewhere showing that athletic people can eat a greater proportion of starch and sugars than sedentary folk should. So hard to be all things to all people, isn’t it.

          saltysiren wrote on December 1st, 2013
      • I agree… most people look at the quantities on their plate, so I would recommend that vegetables be the base of the pyramid.

        Sue wrote on January 8th, 2012
        • As a visual person I agree that the plate method to describe what and how to eat is invaluable.

          I also use my hand [nature’s convenient measure comes with me everywhere and doesn’t warrant a glance but if I pulled out a scale or a deck of cards or a baseball when eating out…my hand my portion; your hand your portion; Grok’s hand Grok’s portion] to measure my food so when dining out I [discretely] place my hand over the food and eat accordingly.
          Fist = Size of empty stomach.
          Palm = Protein;
          Hand with fingers spread = Salad;
          Hand with fingers closed = Dense vegetables;
          Thumb = Fat;
          Fist = Fruit or starchy food each day [optional];
          Fingers = Number of glasses of water and herb tea a day;
          Thumbs = Coffees a day [I do like my coffee and I KNOW Grok would too given the opportunity]
          Number of fingers = Size and number of [little] treats I allow myself each week if I am on track and feeling good [one piece of cheesecake sans the pastry = one hand = all my treats, and some, for the week; one glass of wine = 3 fingers up the glass or 4 for a big glass = 2/3 remaining treats for the week, 15 fingers = bottle of wine = no treats for three weeks].
          5 fingers = Number of famine days each month…days without meat and treats and if I am strong without coffee…just fruit and vegetables…I am not too sure how often Grok didn’t eat.
          Spread hand = Size of plate
          2 hands = Number of meals a day and, if needed the number of snacks = palm.

          There is more but you get my drift…this is just a guide to keep me focused and accountable…because there are sooo many non-Grok foods that I love…mmmm Chocolate…how many fingers do I have again?

          I never did enjoy counting calories, carbs, fat or grams, in fact it bores me and I imagine Grok too however I am forever grateful to those that have done it for me. I would rather just enjoy my food. And that’s my story…

          Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
        • Agreed. When I saw your first pyramid, I thought, oh, okay. Maybe I can do that. But, I’m still hesitating on the butter and saturated fats because I am on an extremely low saturated fat diet for MS. But, I thought, maybe I could adopt your other ideas.

          The new pyramid, however, scares me off, for fear I will let go of more veggies in favor of the easy and satisfying meat – just because of the psychological suggestion implicit in your diagram. I know that is not what you intend, but the visual really does matter. I don’t count calories or measure. I see that my portions are good for me. A plate full of veggies looks bigger. Whereas that little side of fish is the size of a small soap bar.

          The rest is okay – except that you seem to give more permission for starches and nut butters than I think you intend. But, I think it is a huge mistake to move meat to the bottom of your pyramid. If your taking calories for position, then the nut butters might end up below veggies, too! Of course, I think you should get away from the pyramid all-together. Like another poster said, a round plate makes a whole lot more sense – by spatial volume.

          When diagnosed with MS, I went vegan and no gluten and a lot of other limitations – based on a combination of Swank, McDougal, some blogs, and others. I quickly had intestinal issues, which I am still dealing with after 2 months. So, I got rid of legumes and some other grains, and added a very little bit of meat daily – based on the Best Bet Diet by Ashton Embry. Still having problems because I didn’t follow the diet in its strictest form, and have decided to remove all grains, including rice, and nut butters. Can’t yet find enough information to adopt your high saturated fat and butter, but I’ll be thinking on that. I think that is your intent. So, I suggest a 3rd revision of your pyramid – to help people like me along. Don’t know if I’ll come over to the “dark” side of fat and dairy or not, but at least it will seem more plausible if veggies are prominent. And, it might be more plausible for someone without M.S. and severe Irritable Bowel or other unidentified gut pain.

          Good luck.

          Susan Mintz wrote on April 3rd, 2013
      • Maybe Mark could leave the protein on the bottom of the pyramid keeping the importance and increase the height of the vegetable and other sections to reflect the recommended volume of food. Or better still for the visuals amongst us [or the formula-challenged] have a diagram of the Perfect Primal Plate for breakfast lunch dinner and snacks….I for one would put that on my fridge and in my wallet.

        Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
  12. I use coconut oil for cooking but also will eat a couple of spoonfuls sometimes as an afternoon snack. Does anyone else do that? Looks like the new pyramid allows it only for cooking and not snacking.

    Peter wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • The “cooking” and “eating” designations are general and common-use guidelines. Eat away, Peter.

      Mark Sisson wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • “Oh, butter, coconut oil, and animal fats for eating, and avocados, macadamia nuts, and olives/extra virgin olive oil for eating?”

        First instance should be “cooking” instead, no? (Just for the sake of clarity, as this will probably be a go-to post for posterity.) :-)

        Sigi wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • Oh yeah. Every morning before my workout I greedily, lustily savor two tablespoons of the stuff… nectar of the gods, my friend… 😉

      Siren wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I mix a spoonful of coconut oil with some cocoa powder to satiate chocolate cravings!

      FoCo Girl wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Me too! If you get the mix right, it’s fantastic. Also- try a scoop of Mark’s chocolate primal fuel with coconut oil- mmmm.

        Fez wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I use coconut oil for tons of things:

      1) Drizzling on fruit

      2) Adding a bit to herbal tea

      3) Rubbing on my body post bath/shower

      4) Conditioning my hair (pre-shower) and then shampooing it out

      5) Exfoliating my skin (a 50-50 mix of coconut oil and kosher salt)

      I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but you get the idea :-)

      Susan Alexander wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • This is a great list. I also use coconut oil on my face and occasionally use salt to exfoliate. But I started using coffee grounds instead when I heard the caffeine really acted to tighten and lift the skin. Love it!

        Primal Recipe wrote on November 4th, 2011
        • The coffee grounds is a great idea! I’ve heard caffeine tightens your skin as well. What kind of coffee grounds do you use and do you brew them first?

          Brooke wrote on November 4th, 2011
    • I have snacked on extra virgin olive oil (2 Tbs) or one Tbs of unprocessed peanut butter, or once slice of cheese. I use butter or peanut oil for stir frying/saute veg. and meats.

      laura wrote on November 13th, 2011
  13. Thanks for the update, Mark! I bought the 21-Day Transformation for my mom, and she’s been reading it ever since I started making her breakfasts and packing her lunches (the child becomes the parent haha!). The new pyramid makes it easy for her to see what’s okay to eat in abundance and what’s better in moderation (or not at all), so I’m hoping she’ll eventually catch on and start making her own meals. Not that I mind all that much; I’d just like to see her really “get it” and make a conscious decision to go fully Primal. BTW, I love the books, especially the PB Cookbook! Thank you SOOOO much for that one; it’s made my tastebuds, my stomach, and my mitochondria very happy! =)

    Siren wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  14. “Thorough”….Hhmmm, how ’bout “assiduous” or “scrupulous”??

    Love the new pyramid, I’m thinking t-shirt!

    Ashley North wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  15. Definitely an improvement over the previous version!

    It offers a nice balance of detail and conciseness. You may have sacrificed some clarity for brevity, but it’s still brief AND clear. Thanks!

    Mark Ellis wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  16. I like the new food pyramid…it makes a LOT more sense.
    Trying to eat primally for the last 1.6 years on heavy vegetables resulted in lingering digestive problems that I could not get rid of until I completely went carnivore.
    It was so bad (even though PB healed a lot of my other ailments) that I had to switch to RAW carnivorism (is that a word?) and loads of probiotics to heal my gut.
    Now, I am slowly introducing vegetables again for the last 3 weeks, but I make them an extremely small serving with my meals.

    I’m also on my own 30-day challenge, eliminating ALL dairy including butter for a month. I’ve been a milk addict my entire life. It’s been about 7 days, so far so good :-)

    For cooking I use bone marrow now. To quench my thirst I’m down to mineral water. Lost about 3-4 lbs since dropping dairy, making me wonder if dairy caused me water retention. Also, my belly hasn’t been bloated.
    And I used to be obsessed with raw milk, to the point of temper fits when I didn’t have it. Now I’m calmer and sugar cravings have gone away.

    Arty wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I found dropping dairy was my final piece of the jigsaw, for me it was understanding that dairy protein (not just the sugar) has a big insulin effect, when I realised that, the penny really dropped.

      No cheese, no cravings. Simples!

      Kelda wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Yeah, I just recently found out about this A1 versus A2 casein problem.
        Some say it doesn’t matter and it’s just propaganda, others claim it a serious health problem.

        Either way, after 1.6 years of drinking 2 gallons of raw goat dairy (which is A2 and should be biologically correct) I finally had my fill.
        I was tested for lactose and everything else coming from dairy and all came back negative…but the swellings and bloating and tiredness, not to mention no motivation to do anything physically was starting to get on my nerves.
        Now I feel leaner and more alert.

        Arty wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • I am lactose intolerant and I crave dairy and I too gain weight but I get all teary if I have too much. Or as someone told me I am teary therefore I crave it because I am wanting nurturing/looking after/Mother’s milk. So I nurture/look after/”mother” myself and it sorts itself out.

          Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
        • Do you think that is our problem we think a little is good therefore lots is much better. I read somewhere that anything that is HI = Human Interfered and not as nature presented it, should be used as a condiment not a staple. Works for me.

          Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
  17. Hi, will a new poster be made that will reflect the changes? I’d love to get one if it’s coming. :)

    Dracil wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  18. thuphaer wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  19. Love it! Also so happy to see dark choc on there. I agree that it’s important to acknowledge sensible indulgences b/c it makes this lifestyle so much more enjoyable & sustainable. No guilt!

    sara wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  20. Interesting… I wish protein was cheaper!

    Meagan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • go for cheap grass fed cuts of beef, ground beef, wild fresh sardines, and chicken breast, eggs, i calculated they are the cheapest at $1/20+g’s of protein

      Max@flavortogofast wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Yeah, I kept trying sardines until one time I decided that I now like them.

        Around here, in the Mexican food section Goya sells sardines in tomato sauce for about $2.50/lb

        Steve wrote on January 7th, 2012
  21. Typo on the oils… one is for cooking the other is for eating. Both right now say eating.

    katie wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  22. Yes, we all know that. Mark is very open that he used to lead the chronic cardio/high carb lifestyle he now assails. Only idealogues never change their minds.

    Also kind or hard to criticize him for trying to make a few bucks when he posts daily on a free web site.

    Jeff wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  23. Jeff, the knowledge Mark purveys is not new. He was just not intelligent enough to see the woods from the trees ten years ago when he was churning out high carb, excess cardio books. When info started mounting that his former approach was wrong, he changed his tune and tried to capitalize.

    pete smith wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Grok is not afraid of trolls…

      Siren wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Do trolls taste like chicken?

      Johannah wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • trolls inhabit cyberspace and thus are not edible, or primal for that matter. And according to J.K. Rowling, they smell unpleasant too.

        Milla wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • But, if shove a wand up its nose you might just be able to defeat it 😉

          Emily Mekeel wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Most persons consider the ability to alter one’s beliefs and opinions when confronted with new information as a sign of intelligence.

      And most persons consider the inability to an idiom correctly (It’s can’t see the woods for the trees, and it doesn’t even make sense here) as a sign of a lack of intelligence.

      Duncan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • “Most persons consider the ability to alter one’s beliefs and opinions when confronted with new information as a sign of intelligence.”
        Heartily agree.

        “And most persons consider the inability to an idiom correctly….”
        …But I did have to chuckle at that. 😛

        Sudenveri wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • Yeah, its best to avoid grammatical errors when going after someone for an offense-against-the-language crime. Kind of blunts the impact . . . .

          Duncan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  24. Yay! Quick go-to guides like this are great! Thanks, Mark.

    Although, I do think the distinction between animal proteins/fat making the bulk of your CALORIES and that vegetables making up the bulk of your food VOLUME is an important one. One I haven’t really gotten balanced quite yet.

    Abby C. wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I agree – most people look at the pyramid and think “volume” – i.e. this is what I should have most of on my plate. I think it’s a little confusing.

      Gydle wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • I’m with you on this one: the whole volume/calorie thing is tricky, and I can SEE my plate, but not the nutrient breakdown of what’s on it. I like veg on the bottom with a note.

        Lauren wrote on November 3rd, 2011
        • That’s why it would be nice to mention in the vegetable part that these are the bulk of volume, IMHO

          Karen wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  25. Why are macadamia nuts different than the other nuts? And does this mean you can eat more of them? Thanks!

    Karoline Sheppard wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • To my knowledge, Macadamia nuts have the lowest O6 PUFA and is mostly saturated and MUFA. This makes it better overall than other nuts. Check out this article:

      Ryan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Thank you!

        Karoline Sheppard wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Exactly. Macas are best. Use the others as condiments!

        Primal Toad wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • Macadamias are delicious, but personally I have to avoid them. I can eat 2000 calories of macs and still feel hungry for more, which doesn’t happen with any other primal food.

        So approach with caution. If you do well with macadamias, I envy you. They taste amazing with pink salt.

        Timothy wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  26. The key word in there is “years.” Mark himself has explained in BOTH books that he was once immersed in the world of CW during his years as an elite long-distance runner. PB was born out of his personal experiences, and is backed up by his background in biochemistry, along with the research of many others in the scientific community. On a more personal note, “huckster” or not, everything he and his contemporaries support in the way of diet & lifestyle WORKS and has worked for thousands of people around the world. We’re living happier, healthier, richer lives, and what’s wrong with that? Nothing.

    Siren wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  27. Whereas Mark may have advocated the CW diet once long ago, if you’ve read his book you would know that he readily acknowledges that and has since researched, “seen the light,” and changed his diet and lifestyle to what is most healthy for humans (a.k.a. The Primal Blueprint and this blog). He will continue to refine based on solid research. How is any of that a bad thing? What are we if we don’t constantly strive to better ourselves and our world? I also don’t appreciate you insulting not only my intelligence but everyone else’s who follow this lifestyle as well. You’re entitled to your opinion but don’t need to be a jerk about it. The End.

    Ryan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • +1

      PrimalGrandma wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Amen.

      Kim wrote on November 3rd, 2011
      • …it is all a process….not good not bad….ditch the labels and focus on results…..

        Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
  28. Love the new Pyramid, Mark. Thanks for always refining to make things that much easier, clearer, and healthier. I was please to see that I’m pretty much already right in line with the refined approach. Awesome! Haven’t dug into the new book yet but will be soon – it’s sitting on my bookshelf ready to go!

    Ryan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  29. Love the new pyramid, love the new book!

    Andrea wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • The book is awesome. I’ll be recommending this book over the first one. If one wants a more in depth read then they can read the original book. If they want more then I’ll point them to The Paleo Solution and other books!

      Primal Toad wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  30. Well, this is interesting — I’ve actually been following the new pyramid all along ever since going Primal. Meat and eggs were/are my main food source followed by lots of veggies and healthy fats. But the protein source has always been the largest portion on my plate and nutritional intake.

    And I’ve moved fruits up to the tip-top of the pyramid – hardly ever touch them anymore because of the high sugar content — but that’s just me. Once in a great while I might have some blueberries or a strawberry or 2.

    PrimalGrandma wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I have been craving fruit after a long absence from my daily eating plan. Surprisingly a full plate of fruit salad with a dash of cream doesn’t elevate my blood glucose at all and I can last till well after lunch…so I did the guinea pig and tested myself. For three days I had Fruit salad at breakfast and lunch with a primal meal at night and I lost 2kg…not sure what that’s about.

      Jo-Anne wrote on February 19th, 2012
  31. Too bad trolls are inedible, even if soaked and fermented.

    Karsten wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  32. First of all, Pete, you really are not going to find anybody on here that will listen to you.

    Secondly, the changes people have actually seen in themselves while following this lifestyle are the only requisite proofs of its validity.

    And lastly, nobody needs to spend a DIME to get the information Mark freely offers. He offers great products (I have the quick meals cookbook and love it), but there is no need to buy them. Most of the information is free on this site.

    What, exactly, do you have to gain from your pointless (and unsurprising) attacks?

    Bruce wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  33. I’d like to see that in a poster. I can see it hanging at my Crossfit…

    Dave, RN wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I was going to comment about that but you beat me to it. A poster would be great. Maybe one that’s more colourful though :p

      Vivian wrote on November 5th, 2011
  34. I love the new pyramid. It makes it so much clearer. When I first went Primal, almost a year ago, I ate too many nuts, and snacked on nut butter too much. I of course didn’t lose weight, but I told myself that’s what I had to do to get rid of the carb cravings. All that to say, I really try to stay away from nuts and nut butters now, or just eat in moderation (a lot of moderation). I also found that I just have to stay away from fruit. As I have gotten more Primal, I have veered towards eating mostly meat, eggs, fish, fowl, some veggies, no fruit, a few nuts, and yes, I love my dark chocolate (in moderation of course). One more thing, I have also become very sensitive to wine. In other words, I cannot drink just anything….it has to be good wine or it tastes absolutely nasty, and my body lets me know when I am going overboard, and I have to quit. One glass is usually about all I want. This is new since going Primal. Has anyone else experienced sensitivity with alcohol since going Primal? I’m not complaining….it’s a good thing, just curious.

    Michelle wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • I had the same experience:
      Two glasses of red wine accompanying a large meal (!) made me really dizzy, to the point that my eyes were still moving intoxication-style for a while when I woke up next morning :)

      I’d really like to see an alcoholism therapy trial that doesn’t control alcohol intake, but only insists on LCHF…

      them wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • Yes, I have experienced the same thing. I think I may be allergic to it. I wonder if it’s the preservatives. Wish I could find good organic wine, but I haven’t really searched for it.

      Rindy wrote on April 8th, 2014
  35. Refreshing that we can all continue to grow and evolve and not hold on to dogma and be stubborn in our beliefs because at one point time we believed or said one thing. With new info comes new knowledge.

    Love the new pyramid! Right on line with how I come to alter my diet in the past few years too!

    pbo wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  36. Seeing the new pyramid makes me wonder —

    For about the past two years, I’ve had the same exact thing for breakfast almost every day: A whey protein shake and a couple of handfuls of unsweetened shredded coconut.

    Anyone have thoughts on whether this is too much protein powder? It’s the only serving of whey I eat all day, so it only represents about one-tenth of my total daily calories — but then again, I am eating it almost every single day.

    Felix wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • im also interested in this

      Max@flavortogofast wrote on November 3rd, 2011
    • As long as you’re getting most of your protein from food I don’t see a problem with it. I supplement with whey once or twice a day to help me get enough protein in. I also eat 5-7 eggs and 9-12oz of meat/fish.

      MightyMouse wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  37. Being more carnivore than vegetarian I already ate according to the new one. The last stir fry I made I did pour the coconut oil I fried in on top of the food. Yum. Next time I might add wild rice.

    Vance wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  38. It’s also for the guy whose browser doesn’t autofill “Paleohacks” when he so much as thinks about typing a “P.


    Nice one, Mark.

    Evan wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  39. This is great! I was just trying to explain to someone on another site this morning the amounts of each food we should take in on Primal Blueprint. I’d said vegetables, then meat, etc. I’d mentioned that wine and dark chocolate are okay in moderation. I’d even said that I think that they are okay in moderation because Mark likes them 😉 Then I came in here this afternoon and saw this post. I’ve posted the new pyramid on the other site along with the old one and, just for giggles, posted a pic of the U.S. food pyramid. Both the old and new PB pyramids are far superior to the U.S. food pyramid :)

    Emily wrote on November 3rd, 2011
  40. This is excellent, I always found it slightly odd that vegetables and fruit were at the bottom and then meat!

    And, to separate fruit out, even better, many, many of us are realising the perils of too much fructose, so less of and the lower sugar ones :-)

    Thanks for all the hard work. I’ve sent the 21 to my daughter and ex-husband, half way through reading my copy and it makes for an excellent reminder.

    Kelda wrote on November 3rd, 2011

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