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

Is It Primal? – Sprouts, Agave Nectar, Tapioca and Other Foods Scrutinized

Since it seems to be popular with this crowd, and we’re never running out of questionable foods, I figured I’d take the time to put together another round of “Is It Primal?” I got most of these choices from the comment sections of previous posts, along with follow-up emails. As always, feel free to fill in the blanks after the post. I have a strong feeling this will become a recurring series of posts, and I’m going to need plenty of material. Today, we’re talking about seven foods: sprouts of all kinds and origins; agave nectar, nectar of the metabolic syndrome gods; soy lecithin; coconut aminos, what hipsters have moved onto from tamari; tapioca, gummy starch; animal skin, food of the gods; and Quorn, “food.”

Let’s go:

Sprouts

Sprouts are a bit like sprites, in that they’re all over the place, agile, and difficult to get a bead on. Whether it’s pro-sprout or anti-sprout, solid data is tough to pin down. For one, “sprouts” is an incredibly non-specific term. Sprouts can come from legumes, grains, vegetables, and nuts. In other words, if it’s got a seed, you can get a sprout from it. And so you can’t look up the nutritional data for “sprouts,” because that would be like looking up the nutritional data for “meat.” It could be almost anything.

What we need to analyze, then, is the sprouting process. Does it do anything bad? Good? Is it neutral?

Sprouting tends to convert some of a seed’s sugar into vitamin C (to act as an antioxidant for the plant). That’s good. We no longer make vitamin C ourselves, so we need an exogenous source. Not a lot, but some.

Sprouting tends to reduce phytic acid (but not saponin content).

What about specific sprouts? I dug up a few citations:

Sunflower sprouts have anti-glycative and antioxidant effects, due to their elevated cynarin content.

Broccoli sprouts sound great, particularly for type 2 diabetics. In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, they reduced oxidized LDL (and improved the oxLDL/LDL level) and decreased triglycerides in diabetic patients. They also reduced insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. And finally, they reduced oxidative stress in type 2 diabetics.

If you’re making your own, note that antioxidant levels wax and wane throughout the sprouting process, at least in broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane, the potent antioxidant responsible for many of broccoli’s benefits, declines upon germination, then increases slowly until hitting its high point at 48 hours post-germination, after which it declines. But don’t worry; glucoraphanin, which converts into sulforaphane, increases during the first 12 hours, sharply drops, then rises again, reaching the highest levels at 72 hours post-germination. Of course, glucoraphanin requires the enzyme myrosinase for conversion, but broccoli sprouts are particularly high in myrosinase, so you’re ending up with plenty of sulforaphane either way.

I see no reason why sprouted celery seeds, broccoli seeds, radish seeds, or lettuce seeds wouldn’t be perfectly Primal. Lentil, oat, or bean sprouts? Probably not technically, although even those would be far less problematic (bean sprouts go great with spicy Thai food on a hot day). Just be aware that they have been linked to international E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, probably due to the warm, moist growing conditions required for sprouts.

Verdict: Primal, depending on the starter seed.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a favorite whipping child of the Primal set, but we should substantiate our claims, don’t you think? We need to justify those welts, especially since a few of you guys were wondering (hoping?) about its place in the Primal Blueprint.

Agave nectar is insanely high in fructose. Of the sugar present, up to 92% of it is pure, unadulterated fructose. That’s considerably more than table sugar, most honey, and even high-fructose corn syrup. If we want to avoid fructose, agave nectar must also be avoided.

However, the recent honey post shows that not all sugar behaves the same. Honey – a “natural product” – contains a wide range of bee-based phenolic compounds that appear to render its sugar content less harmful than, say, a dose of HFCS with the same amount of fructose. Since agave nectar is also “natural” (it’s gotta be, with “nectar” and an exotic word like “agave” in the name), could it too be different than other sugars. No. A recent study found that while stuff like honey, molasses, and maple syrup all contain significant amounts of antioxidants that potentially mitigate the metabolic damage wrought by the sugar therein, agave nectar – along with refined sugar and corn syrup – has almost none. Even raw cane sugar beat agave nectar out in the antioxidant category.

Verdict: Not Primal.

Soy Lecithin

Many of your favorite darkest chocolates contain soy lecithin as an emulsifier, promoting smoothness and a luscious mouthfeel (whatever that means). Dark chocolate? Great. Anything with “soy” in it? Bad, or so we have been conditioned to react. But is it?

In a previous Dear Mark, I made the case that a little soy lecithin in your chocolate is nothing to worry about, even going so far as to mention the choline content as a benefit. Since the influx of questions on soy lecithin, however, I’ve revisited my stance and found some new evidence. It seems that across a whole host of soy products, soy lecithin was the most estrogenic (though estrogenic activity was found in almost all foods tested, even non-soy ones). And in “frozen rat spermatozoa,” soy lecithin – but not egg yolk (another source of choline) – interfered with mitochondrial function. Contrary to my previous assertion that soy lecithin cannot trigger soy allergy in allergic people, another study found that soy lecithin could contain “hidden soy allergens.”

I would caution any soy-sensitive individuals to stay away from soy lecithin, just to be safe. If you’re worried about missing out on a great dark chocolate, plenty of legit brands contain no soy whatsoever. Just check your labels. I would also suggest that any chocolate eaters with unexplained unpleasant symptoms make sure the chocolate they favor contains no soy lecithin, and try switching to a soy-free brand for a month. If you feel better, you might implement soy lecithin avoidance as a general rule.

Everyone else, don’t shy away from good dark chocolate. Just don’t eat it too often, supplement with soy lecithin, nor feed your baby dark chocolate.

Verdict: Not Primal, but small amounts in occasional chocolate shouldn’t be too bad for most people.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are the soy sauce replacement du jour, a gluten-free, soy-free combination of aged coconut sap and sea salt that tastes somewhat like soy sauce. It’s not an exact match, but it’s not really trying to be an exact match. Coconut aminos are their own beasts, and these happen to be tasty beasts.

That said, there’s nothing really remarkable or magical about them. Its purveyors like to talk about the presence of 17 amino acids, but so what? Trace amounts of certain amino acids in a sauce that you’ll consume by the tablespoonful probably aren’t going to amount to much of anything. Consume it for the unique taste and the lack of soy and wheat.

Verdict: Primal.

Tapioca

I’ve covered tapioca flour in a previous Dear Mark post, in which I gave it a relatively clean bill of health. Tapioca is simply purified cassava starch, with basically everything else removed. My original pronouncement hasn’t changed much. It’s fine as far as starches go, if you’re active and using the carbs. I would’t go overboard with it, especially if it comes in pudding or boba tea form, but it’s definitely a “safe starch.”

The major downside is that it’s just starch. It’s extremely low in anti-nutrients, sure, but it contains almost no nutrients, either. The biggest claims to fame of a cup of the stuff are 2% of the RDI for folate and 2.4 mg of iron. It won’t do you much harm, but it won’t do you much good, unless all you’re after is glucose.

Verdict: Primal.

Animal Skin

I almost didn’t include this one, because I figured it was a no-brainer, but then I figured that if several people are asking about the suitability of animal skin on a Primal eating regimen, it’s likely that a lot of people are avoiding it just to be safe. I think that’s a tragedy, and I aim to rectify and prevent it.

Animal skin is fantastic. In the past, I’ve discussed my love for sockeye salmon skin (bacon) and roasted chicken skin, but not everyone shares my enthusiasm. At restaurants, I often see people delicately remove chicken skin with polite disgust on their faces. At my local seafood market, I’ll often ask the guys behind the counter to save me the Pacific salmon skin that people have removed. I think they’re nuts for doing it, but I’m happy to take advantage of their mistakes.

Although I wouldn’t recommend eating charred, crispy animal skin every day of the week (although braised, gently-cooked animal skin is fine all the time), animal skin in and of itself is highly nutritious. Salmon skin is high in omega-3s. Other animal skin is high in animal fat, plus collagen and gelatin, which are excellent for joints, nails, hair, and skin while providing a nice counterbalance to a regular intake of muscle meat. As long as the animal in question was healthy and fed a good diet, I would never shy away from a serving of animal skin.

Verdict: Highly Primal. If you’re not eating it, send it to me.

Quorn

Until today, I’d always assumed that Quorn was a mock meat derived from corn, a grain. That makes perfect sense, right? I mean, it sounds like “corn.” Now that I realize it’s a mock meat derived from a fungus, I feel betrayed. I suppose I understand the decision – Fusarium venenatum doesn’t really have a ring to it – but it’s not really the origin of the stuff that turns me off (although that doesn’t help). It’s the fact that Quorn (do I have to capitalize that?) is fake meat, and people are presumably eating it despite the presence of actual, real, delicious, nutritious meat.

Vegetarians? Any vegetarian who chooses Quorn as a protein source over pastured eggs is nuts. Oh, and speaking of nuts, I’d eat nuts for protein before Quorn, too. Vegans? Sure, go ahead and eat your quorn for protein. I’m frankly not all that interested.

Before you fill your chest freezer with Quorn Tenders, Quorn Cumberland Sausages, and Quorn Tikka Masala (all real products, by the way), however, read about the allergic reactions people have had to Quorn. Some sources claim 4.5% of people who eat Quorn get sick, while other sources say just 1/140,000 report adverse reactions. I don’t think it’s a huge risk unless you’re sensitive to molds, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Verdict: Not Primal, but not because it comes from a fungus. Just eat some meat, dude.

That’s it for today, folks. I hope I didn’t crush any dreams or ruin any dinner plans (agave nectar marinated Quorn steaks, served with a soy lecithin-emulsification). I just wanted to keep you honest.

Do the same for me and leave a comment. Thanks!

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. Love your work Mark… Thanks!

    Thom wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  2. I have recently joined in on primal eating and have a couple of questions to ask. With all of the talk about fats, I haven’t notice you talk about organic coconut oil, just the greatness of virgin olive oil… don’t you think it is equally as good or better?
    My daughter read parts of a book a Dr. wrote on wheat and how it has changed since the 1940’s and the rise of celiac disease. He himself has that and said that when he made bread from farmers that raised their wheat as it was anciently without modifing it to have more gluten, it didn’t effect him at all. What is your thoughts about making your own bread using ancient grains? I order all my burgers protein style when I eat fast food, but every once in a while a hot, toasted piece of bread covered in butter or organic coconut oil sounds pretty good!
    Any suggestions for acid reflux/hiatal hernia conditions?
    Thanks for all posts and help with my questions!

    Brenda wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I make bread for my family, I personaly dont eat it, but I cant control everything they eat and want especially with 2 small boys and wife that is still on the fence about primal. So I bake. I do sourdough bread, fermented for 3 days. The difference is that I use Kefir for the starter, and I ferment the loaf for 3 days not just the starter. By day 3 most of the bad stuff is preaty much gone. Its a great bread and more like a primal early ansestor to the quick rise 1 hour loafs of today. Even a 16 hour rise isnt enough. Using Kefir is great as I dont have to care for the bread starter. One tip is to put the doug into a bowl and brush with coconut oil to keep stuff from drying. I also grease the pan wit duck fat when I bake!
      Fermented stuff is great for reflux, so I have read. I eat it every day. I used to have reflux only when eating comercial cream, which sux but thats my body telling me to not eat it so I listen, you will probably find what your cause is by experimentation. I have no issues with Kefir and that is the only dairy besides butter that I have.

      Michal wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Michal,
        Question re: Sourdough
        Would you please clarify your sourdough recipe?……we are making good clean sourdough and not having a lot of success with raising a nice loaf…….any assistance would be appreciated……I make my own Kefir from Raw Goasts Milk daily and would really like to make great Sourdough as we have eliminated so much and that includes all grains – this would be wonderful to have for those that miss bread!
        Thanks, Esther

        Esther wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • I sorta do the same stuff but I use a wild starter, do you do the same? I ferment the “dough” for 2 days then make the actual dough. Bake the bread in a dutch oven then it is really good. I use a mixture of almond meal and coconut flour and I only make it when I really need it.

        Michael wrote on May 28th, 2012
    • “I have recently joined in on primal eating and have a couple of questions to ask. With all of the talk about fats, I haven’t notice you talk about organic coconut oil…”

      Here is one of Mark’s thorough articles on all things coconut, including coconut oil:

      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-wonderful-world-of-coconut-products/#axzz1vkF1ITqG

      mars wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I had terrible reflux, medicated, for years — until twice-weekly yoga completely cured it. I don’t think it was the yoga per se, I think it was the improvement in my posture / strengthening of my back.

      rfaill wrote on May 25th, 2012
  3. Never heard of Quorn (and don’t know how to pronounce it) but unless it tastes like bacon I’ll stay clear of it (quorn bread and quorn chips doesn’t sound too bad though)…with you guys on the animal skin…That’s the best part of any animal!

    Isaac wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Pronouced Kworn.

      Never had it. Always thought the idea was vile and never healthy.

      Andy wrote on May 25th, 2012
  4. We LOVE chicken skin at our house. In fact, my 2 1/2 year old gets really upset if I buy skinless, boneless chicken thighs for dinner because they are missing his favorite part! We had roast chicken last night, and I think he ate about half of the skin on there…and would have had more if we let him. We found out the hard way that his stomach really can’t handle any more than that :-) .

    DrMommaLaelle wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  5. Another nasty with Soy Lecithin is that it is extracted with hexane which is neurotoxic. Much of which would be evaporated off but there would still be trace amounts which is enough to make me want to avoid it. It was in my protein powder so I switched to a non emulsified plain one. I then found it was in my dogs food so switched brands. I had no idea how much it is used. Its even a supplement or used in supplements.

    Jamie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  6. Boy am I with you on the animal skin, Mark!

    All those years of boneless, skinless chicken breasts make me cringe now. What was I thinking?! Now I just roast everything and it is divine.

    Kevin wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  7. Just FYI: quorn is nowhere near vegan…it is chock full of egg protein and whey. And yeasts and other not so nice stuff. My guess is the reason so many people have adverse reactions to it is that it is full of some of the top food allergens but folks dont realize that until it is too late.

    Leah wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  8. I’ve never heard of quorn before. I don’t get it. If you want to eat fake meat made of fungus then make a great big portabello mushroom and pretend it’s steak.

    I also find it odd how people struggle with the “is it primal” question so much. Animal skin? How could anyone ask such a silly question. This blog is full of posts about bones and organs so of course skin is primal!

    Basically eat green plants and animals. Avoid reproducing your former foods with fake primal substitutes (aka “candy cigarettes.”) Start there and everything will begin to make sense and soon enough it’ll become obvious that coconut aminos and quorn and agave syrup are unnecessary so why even worry about them.

    Diane wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  9. “…agave nectar marinated Quorn steaks, served with a soy lecithin-emulsification”

    Thanks for the idea! I will incorporate this into our next menu cycle for EliteEATS. I’m sure all my crossfitting clients will enjoy it ;)

    Nikki Ledford wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  10. but is frozen rat spermatozoa primal??

    lol

    mars wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  11. Dude- Thanksgiving I take my free range turkey, cover it in bacon (so the bacon fat leaches into the meat and makes it moist as hell), and roast it. I baste with a mix of white wine and my organic chicken/vegi/herb broth from scratch, and when that bird comes out of the oven, its a freaking free for all in my kitchen. It’s every man for himself- FYI-that bird is STARK NAKED in 45 seconds… Turkey skin with bacon-YUM!!!!!!

    Lisl wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  12. Quorn
    “Now that I realize it’s a mock meat derived from a fungus, I feel betrayed.”

    Hey Folks,
    I just want to let you know that the word “Fungus” is the Asian word for mushroom, which is what a mushroom is. Mushrooms have an amazing amount of good things in them. O.K. so you prefer meat. But don’t write off mushroom, which are as “Primal” as meat.
    Case in point:
    Shiitakes Mushrooms (The bouquet of small long stem ones) :
    Cultivated for more than 1,000 years, these meaty, tender Chinese mushrooms have long served as both food and medicine. They owe their reputation as immunity boosters to a type of carbohydrate called beta-glucans. Unlike other immunity nutrients, beta-glucans don’t create or regulate cells within your immune system. Instead, they act as a kind of decoy, boosting your body’s immune response. When you eat shiitakes (or other beta-glucan-containing foods), your immune system reacts as if a harmful substance is present and kicks into high gear to protect you. In a 2004 animal study of swine influenza virus, the group given beta-glucans before infection developed a much milder case of the flu than those untreated. While the swine flu virus studied was not the same strain as the human H1N1 virus, the results show promise for beta-glucans’ ability to prevent and treat the flu.

    *Got this off the internet.

    Anna wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Wellllllllll fungus is actually the Latin word for mushroom and where the Spanish word “hongo” comes from.

      Barry wrote on May 24th, 2012
  13. Why aren’t you eating what Grok ate? What’s the point, if you eat all the stuff, that he never had?

    Mike wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  14. Too many Australians are living primal/paleo. It’s supposed to be an American phenomenon.

    Micah wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  15. I recently tried some crispy salmon skin after reading the post about it (yum!!) so I’ll be keeping it for myself now. (Sorry Mark) Thanks for pointing out how good it is. I probably wouldn’t be enjoying chicken and pork skin either if it weren’t for MDA!

    Paula wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  16. I replaced all my major carb sources (grains, potatoes) with home sprouted lentils when I seriously went low carb. It was great for the first couple of months, then I started to go downhill. By 4 months I was not in a good space. I was bloated, had terrible gut pain when I ate and knew I had a serious immune response going on. I went deep within myself in meditation and after some time came to the sense that I should give up the lentils. My medical practitioner advisor was a vegetarian and I knew he wouldn’t attribute any problems to lentils so I kept quiet about it. The acute gut pain stopped immediately. The immune response took about about six months to settle down though I’m still not right 2 years later though don’t know if that is due to the lentils or because something else isn’t right too. But I can’t recommend legumes, sprouted or otherwise.

    Harriet wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  17. I’m fairly new to primal. Realizing I can eat the chicken skin. Heaven.

    Rachelle wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  18. Hey guys,

    I haven’t seen it in any posts, and it may be a dumb question – but along the same theme. Almond Milk? In the book it says no to that sort of milk that is flavored, but Blue Diamond has a brand of Almond Milk, and I was wondering if it fell in that same category as the “don’t” in the book? I’m stationed overseas, so I’m limited and this is a big question for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    CS

    crazyscwirl wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Won’t kill you, but it’s high in Omega 6, so a rather poor beverage choice.

      The Primalist wrote on May 24th, 2012
  19. I can’t read 4 pages of comments to see if anyone else mentioned this, but…can’t believe Mark does not address the soy lecithin issue in terms of the GMO factor. If soy lecithin does not bother you, it’s critical to buy a chocolate bar with the Non-GMO Verified label on it. There will be little or no primal food left if we support companies that allow that poison to further infiltrate our food chain. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and incidentally…you don’t want that crap in your primally pristine body.

    Elizabeth wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  20. What about Quinoa? Is it primal?

    Ulla wrote on May 24th, 2012
  21. Dear Mark,

    One thing I noticed you didn’t address with Agave Nectar is that like HFCS, it has small dense LDL, the type that’s very bad for you and leads to arteriosclerosis and heart attacks. All around bad for you, definitely NOT PRIMAL.

    And I eat the discards from my family regarding the chicken skin…along with their grassfed beef fat, if I can get it before they feed it to the dogs.

    Thank you for your informative and fun-to-read newsletters! I love them!

    Blessings,
    ~Diane

    Diane Jarecki wrote on May 24th, 2012
  22. Enjoying the info keep it up!…….

    spiros wrote on May 24th, 2012
  23. I try to buy Chocolate bars without soy lecithin in them. Some of the best bars are make with just cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla. Theo is a popular brand that doesn’t use soy lecithin and there are a few more Organic and Fair Trade brands that do no use it as well.

    Dan Donovan wrote on May 24th, 2012
  24. Love the comment and explanation on agave nectar. I bought it once, and won’t again. I much prefer the taste of maple syrup and honey to agave. And the price is similar!

    The world of food can become so confusing and seemingly complicated with the media and people like Doctor Oz promoting a different product one day, and the next telling us to stay away!

    Thanks for the info. This is my go to paleo/primal site!

    Linds wrote on May 24th, 2012
  25. Is Golden’s spicy brown mustard primal?

    Rebecca wrote on May 24th, 2012
  26. Thanks for the informative post Mark.

    I eat quorn sometimes (though I’m not strictly primal, just gluten / grain free apart from occasional rice) because I’m transitioning back to omnivore from vegetarian, and still don’t digest meat & eggs so well unless in small quantities (e.g. I can only eat 1 egg in a meal, any more and I feel sick – and I get good quality organic, free-range “woodland” eggs).

    I find quorn quite agreeable, but there are some who are allergic to it (and get quite sick from it). I’ve heard that quorn has been vilified in the USA by people with an interest in the soy industry (I heard some even wanted to ban it?), however, here in the UK it doesn’t seem to have that problem.

    I’m not saying everyone should eat quorn or that quorn is wholesome, just saying that I think it can be a transition food for those not used to real meat & eggs yet (and probably better than soy!).

    Rose wrote on May 24th, 2012
  27. Thanks Mark, the Agave Nectar part was exceptionally enlightening. As a former vegan chef, I was using it in many dishes, and pouring over buckwheat pancakes for people, mixing it into Yerba Mate, etc. If they only knew…

    Greg wrote on May 24th, 2012
  28. SPROUT QUESTION here….
    Can’t find anywhere on the net… info about sprouting seeds intended for the garden… A friend mentioned they might be coated with a pesticide or something, otherwise ‘sprouting’ seeds would not be sold as exactly that.
    Any answers from the Gang??

    martha wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • Yes, be VERY careful about this. Seeds intended to be planted out in the garden are often coated in fungicides to prevent damping off (which can happen easily in damp, warm greenhouses), or with chemicals to make them unattractive to birds.

      Barry wrote on May 24th, 2012
  29. I have to confess. I am willing to eat skin and fat but the chewy, grow in your mouth, consistency makes me gag. The same goes for gristle and cartilage.
    My son makes a wonderful Greek meatloaf used to make giros. It’s so finely ground that I don’t notice the addition of a few organ meats or saved bits of fats. The strong rosemary taste covers almost everything else. I eat it with lettuce, tomato and taziki (sp?) sauce and no pita bread. Yummy!

    TruckerLady wrote on May 24th, 2012
  30. Dear Mark,
    Thanks for the article, sorting out the grey areas is much appreciated.
    In your comments on sprouts you mentioned the conversion of sugar to vitamin C, acknowledged we cannot produce it and stated we need “Not a lot, but some.” In fact, our needs are consantly changing; therefore the proper dose does likewise. When under stress or fighting illness we require doses that might be considered “massive” under ordinary circumstances. For further documentation see “The Healing Factor” by Irwin Stone, which can be accessed at http://www.vitamincfoundation.org. Another great site is http://www.tomlevymd.com.

    skeedaddy wrote on May 24th, 2012
  31. I must say that my protein shakes are quite the “lucious mouthful” lol, so I can see why even the best protein powders (like from Optimum Nutrition) still carry this additive. I’ve yet to find a “perfect” ingredient list on an edible protein powder yet but the ones that come close have the soy lecithin. I know a lot of people have questions about protein powders so I hope to do a post in a couple days help pointing out the best ones. Any advice appreciated

    Tony Frezza wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • Natural Factors plain whey powder. It has a nice clean taste – jazz it up however you like.

      Leaf Eating Canivore wrote on February 13th, 2014
  32. I need some help from the paleo community. I don’t mean to side-step, but it’s related to the topic, only not the content.

    Almond milk. In his book he says it’s a no go, but I’m a little confused. There was something about flavoring and other things I’m not entirely familiar with.

    I live overseas and the commissary here has Blue Diamond Almond Milk. Does anyone know if this is pale-ok? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    crazyscwirl wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • I was just bragging to my fellow Marines (also all doing the paleo) how Mark Sisson personally responded to my question! Ha ha. Thanks. I followed the link and it was the exact information I needed. I’ll just eat almonds instead.

        Thanks again. We’re big fans of yours over here.

        crazyscwirl wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • thank you for serving our country! GROK ON

          mars wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • Hahaha, thank you for coining ‘Pale-ok’!

      ikaika wrote on May 24th, 2012
  33. Chicken skin is great if you can get organic free range chicken…. but if you have to eat ‘commercial-grown’ chicken it is best to remove the skin. Most ofthe growth hormones is found in the fat under the skin and by removing the skin you can get rid of 90% of the hormones.

    Elna wrote on May 24th, 2012
  34. Mark, can you please do a write up on Coconut Palm Sugar – is it primal?

    Jackie wrote on May 25th, 2012
  35. We frequently buy Lindt Chili chocolate bars, because my wife likes the ‘bite’ from what the label calls, ‘chili extract.’
    These bars are 70% cocoa, but, as pointed out several times here, contain soy lecithin.
    I have before me a 100g bar of ‘72% Cocoa Swiss Dark Chocolate’. Ingredients are: Chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, natural flavour. No soy of any kind, although there is the disclaimer that it ‘may contain tree nuts, peanuts and soy.’ Cocoa solids: 72% minimum. These bars are made in Switzerland, under licence, for Interprovincial Co-operative Limited, a distribution corporation for many retail co-ops across Canada. In our co-op store, the bars regularly sell for C$1.69; they are frequently put on sale at 2/$3. I like the texture of these bars, and they have quite a hard consistency, like a premium-priced name-brand bar.
    My wife still prefers the Lindt….
    This is apparently an example of a product of a plant without a ‘name’ or an advertising budget, but one whose product is equal, and often superior, to ‘nationally adveertised brands.”
    BTW, the house brand bars at Safeway stores seem to be similar, but I have not compared the bars side by side to see if the molds have the same markins, or if the labels have the same ingredients list. I would not be beyond reason to discover both distributors access the same supplier.

    Barrie Templeton` wrote on May 27th, 2012
  36. I have a question of is it primal? In the UK and I’m guessing a variation in America, there is a thing called Pepperami – a salami stick ‘Made with 37.5g of Pork per 25g finished product as some moisture is lost during curing and drying.’

    The ingrediants are :’Pork (150%), Salt, Glucose, Spices, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium 5′ Ribonucleotides), Garlic Powder, Preservative (Sodium Nitrite)’.

    Is this primal? I would guess due to the glucose and preservative it would be in the 80/20? I would just like some verification because they are really nice meat snacks. thanks

    Molly K wrote on May 30th, 2012
    • I still don’t understand the full biochemistry but basically glucose will cause some damage to the PUFA in pork. Cheap pork (which I assume this product uses) will have a rather high Omega-6 PUFA content due to it being fed grains.

      See http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/10/fats-and-ages-pufas-are-even-worse-than.html and see if you understand it :)

      The Sodium Nitrite is fine, your saliva contains way more than they’ll put in there: http://www.meatsafety.org/ht/d/sp/i/45243/pid/45243

      I would mostly worry about the meat quality and the flavor enhancers like MSG. If you’re prone to headaches glutamates are not a good idea I gather.

      Wout Mertens wrote on May 30th, 2012
      • Thanks for the links. I have found another brand (although I agree the downside is probably the quality of the pork) which hasn’t got glucose but dextrose:

        Ingredients: Pork, Salt, Spice Mix (Dextrose, Chilli, Pepper, Garlic, Caraway, Antioxidant: Sodium Ascorbate; Chilli Extract, Onion Extract), Preservative: Sodium Nitrite, Made using 155g Pork per 100g of finished product, Moisture is lost during the drying process.

        Would this version count of primal (ignoring the meat quality as less primal), I’m not sure what dextrose is and have a limited is it primal knowledge when it comes to items like this – anyway any advice or suggestions would be helpful.

        Molly K wrote on June 7th, 2012
  37. Last night I tried a cold infusion of poppy seeds in pineapple juice. I mixed them in bottles and then shook the bottles a few times over the course of maybe an hour. It tasted good and was relaxing.
    I’ve been refilling the bottles with water to stay hydrated today and it still tastes good. The second infusion, which I downed early this morning, tasted pleasant with some honey and instant coffee added.

    Animanarchy wrote on May 30th, 2012
  38. Agave nectar is great if you let it ferment first, then distill it. Great with lemon.

    John Steakeater wrote on June 18th, 2012
  39. Just eat some meat dude…HAHAHA Hilarious!

    cindyk wrote on October 31st, 2012
  40. So I g=have found green lentils to be the easiest sprouts to grow and very tasty. We ate them as a staple in the winter pre-primal and I really don’t understand why they can’t be considered primal. I am sure primal eaters would have pulled up young plants to eat if they were readily available. My understanding is that one of the ways of judging whether something is prima is whether you can eat it raw
    lentils – no
    lentil sprouts – yes
    Please tell me what is wrong with eating sprouted green lentils as a raw veggie

    LLong wrote on January 2nd, 2013

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