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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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May 10, 2017

What’s the Difference Between Primal and Paleo?

By Mark Sisson
196 Comments

Inline_Primal_PaleoThe paleo diet and Primal Blueprint way of eating (a.k.a. Primal) are both based on similar evolutionary science. The story goes something like this. Our modern Western diet bears little resemblance to the eating habits of early humans throughout several 100,000 years of evolutionary history. Instead, since the Agricultural Revolution some mere 10,000 years ago, we’ve adopted a nutritional regime to which our physiology is poorly adapted. When the basics of our diet return to the patterns of our pre-agricultural ancestors, we work with, instead of against, our physiology. More simply: eat as our ancestors ate, and we’ll be healthier for it.

The paleo diet and Primal Blueprint both recommend limiting carb intake (especially grains) to only as many as you require for performance, eating more protein and fat, and including lots of veggies as a base. But in the midst of this common ground are some key differences.

Back when Primal was just getting started (around the time I was writing the first edition of The Primal Blueprintthe evolving template of my vision for the Primal Blueprint way of eating and living), a fundamental difference of opinion between paleo and Primal centered on the role of saturated fats in the diet.

Loren Cordain and many within the paleo community toed the conventional line on saturated fats as the bogey that raises cholesterol and instigates heart disease, while the Primal Blueprint as I envisioned it was quick to recognize it as a neutral, stable source of fat important for energy, neurological function, hormone manufacture, and cellular structure. Paleo supporters recommended focusing on lean meats, avoiding butter, and limiting coconut oil. The Primal community did not, pointing to the many examples of hunter-gatherers who preferred higher-fat portions of animals, the extensive evidence of bone marrow consumption by paleolithic humans, and the trove of modern research exonerating saturated fat. The paleo stance has since changed, so there’s not a significant distinction in that regard anymore.

Another big difference is our treatment of dairy. Paleo restricts dairy, considering it maladaptive, if not downright toxic. They home in on the dairy proteins, specifically casein, as allergens and primary troublemakers. Primal takes a different view. While we grant that dairy can be problematic for people intolerant of its lactose or its protein, we maintain that full-fat dairy, preferably raw, fermented, and/or from pastured-raised animals, is a fantastic source of healthy fat, immune-boosting and muscle-building protein, and bioavailable calcium.

Another difference is how we approach the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. I love them all. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but if I’m going for a dense source of starch and the purple sweet potatoes aren’t in season, I’m grabbing a basic white potato. And don’t get me started on the joy and ease of turning cooked and cooled Russets into french fries in under five minutes. But chili peppers and tomatoes are staples in my diet. Paleo takes a more cautious stance on nightshades, fingering them as a potential initiator of leaky gut and low-grade inflammation. They’re especially hostile to the white potato.

Primal is huge on coffee, and paleo isn’t.

Legumes are less problematic than I’d originally assumed, while paleo still restricts them. I say eat them if you like and tolerate them. Paleo does not.

When you get past the contrary position on coffee, the legume agnosticism, and the stances on potatoes and nightshades and dairy, there aren’t a lot of differences between paleo eating and Primal eating itself. The biggest difference is in the name: the paleo diet is a diet, while the Primal Blueprint is a lifestyle. You’ll often hear “make it a lifestyle shift, not a diet,” and it’s great advice. Diets don’t work. They come with built-in endpoints, “goal weights” that, once reached, people use to justify quitting.

Meanwhile, the Primal Blueprint works as a broad, holistic approach to living, not just eating. While I’m on board with the majority of the underlying assumptions and suggestions of paleo eating, diet is only one cog in the machine. Health, happiness, and wellness depend on many other factors like sleep, exercise, social contact, mental stimulation, nature immersion, life fulfillment, and light exposure. It’s rare to find people who understand and attempt to embody all these essential aspects of the human experience—who can put it all together and trace the lines running between each seemingly disparate piece. The Primal Blueprint does that far better than most other “diets.”

Still, there are other important distinctions between Primal and paleo as approaches to health.

Skepticism, Not Dismissal

Cordain is a resolute and honest man of science, couching his recommendations in his perusal of the literature. Even if I don’t agree with everything he says (and I agree with most of it), he’s not just throwing stuff out there. He’s not a paleo re-enactor. But some of the stricter adherents to paleo do practice a priori dismissal of anything that even sniffs of the neolithic. That’s dishonest, and it means you’ll miss out on great things.

Primal is a great starting point, a generator of hypotheses and experimentation and questions. Modern things with limited evolutionary precedent get a skeptical eye in the Primal Blueprint, not a priori dismissal (well, maybe not everything).

Pragmatism, Not Absolutism

Primal folks are not primitive literalists. We are pragmatists. If it works, it works—even if it’s modern.

For example, the Primal Blueprint recommends wise supplementation appropriate to counter the stressors and toxins unique to our life today. Grok dealt with acute stressors—like an intense hunt, an encounter with a venomous snake or big cat, or a battle over resources (or mates). Grok didn’t deal with the kind of chronic stress that modern folks must contend with—the long commutes, the bills piling up, the mortgage, the stress of a sensationalist 24-hour news cycle. Grok’s world was relatively pure, free of industrial contaminants, pollution, heavy metals, and xenoestrogens. Ours is rife with it. Supplementation can help mitigate some of these unavoidable, modern stressors.

Grok didn’t eat whey protein powder, but it sure is helpful and convenient if you want to increase muscle protein synthesis after a workout or boost glutathione status. Additionally, own experience with collagen supplementation has resulted in noticeable improvements in mobility and tendon strength, suggesting that, unless I start doing bone broth or copious amounts of offal almost daily, I’m probably better served taking a collagen supplement.

Primal folks recognize the danger of spending too much time in the digital realm to the exclusion of the physical one. But they’re going to use modern technology to enhance health, not hamper it. These technologies are all just tools, and you are a tool-making ape reading this on a device connected to a global network.

Everyone Can “Join”

Tons of people love the great outdoors but eat terrible food. Millions are exercise fanatics who genuinely enjoy hoisting barbells and running sprints but spend all their free time staring into their phones. Practically anyone you ask will admit that “real food” is better than “processed food.” For as many people who say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” there are more who love and treasure a good night’s sleep. Meditation and other stress relief modalities are exploding all over the place. Almost everyone likes socializing with people they love and like. A good portion of people prefer going barefoot, at least around the house.

Primal has the tendency to ensnare people who’d otherwise turn up their noses at the thought of doing “that paleo diet thing.” Maybe it attracts the hiking vegetarian, and maybe that person will learn about the importance of lifting heavy things, eating unprocessed foods, and ditching gluten. Maybe they’ll eat a steak now and then (no pressure).

Primal Is Fluid, Not Rigid Ideology

No one’s perfect. We make mistakes. And sometimes the “mistake” isn’t a mistake. Sometimes we just want to eat that slice of pizza and have the beer and stay up late watching the game. That’s fine. You may not feel great the next morning, but you prepare for and accept that. Informed consent is everything.

Fluidity also allows the Primal Blueprint to account for the progression of science. Not that we have a choice here. Science unfolds. It doesn’t stop or stand still. It doesn’t slow down for your preconceived biases. It moves, man. And Primal moves with it. For instance, I’ve adapted my stance on protein intake throughout the years, suggesting that we may not need as much as I once thought or advocated, based on the research available at the time. 

Another good example is how the growing science of population genetics is quickly revealing that human evolution didn’t stop 10,000 years ago, nor are humans from one part of the world genetically identical to humans from another part. From nutrient requirements to macronutrient metabolism to muscle fiber composition, your personal genetic variation may partially determine the best health, diet, and exercise practices. Now, this field is still in its infancy and we don’t have good answers yet. But I’m watching with bated breath. 

I designed The Primal Blueprint for the purpose of offering a guide for all elements of healthy living, and with the help and input of the Primal community over the last decade, it accomplishes that better than ever. Let’s face it, some days life makes it particularly difficult to have the perfect diet. Some people might not even want to worry about their food at all. We like to think of the Primal Blueprint design as a comprehensive cover, so to speak. The knowledge and efforts you exert in each area (diet, fitness, supplementation, stress management, sleep, etc.) can make a difference when the realities of day to day life keep you from doing a 100% in a given area.

Paleo is a good prescription for how to eat. It works. Don’t get me wrong.

It’s just not enough.

Primal is on one level a guideline for how to eat, live, and move in congruence with your physiology. On another level, it’s an operating system for asking questions about health, making good choices, and discovering best practices for enriching one’s existence.

I know which one I prefer.

So, now we’ll ask you about your experiences with the Primal Blueprint and how you came to it? Did you come to the PB from a paleo perspective? What are your thoughts on the differences and the added dimensions of the Primal Blueprint? Thanks for reading today.

This post was originally published in 2008. I’ve revised it substantially to reflect the evolution of both the paleo movement and the Primal Blueprint philosophy in the last several years.

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196 Comments on "What’s the Difference Between Primal and Paleo?"

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Another Mark
Another Mark
8 years 6 months ago

I learned about Paleo years ago, but didn’t really get motivated to make significant changes until I started reading this and a couple other blogs. I always assumed that the PB was Paleo. Thanks for pointing out the differences.

And the links are fine in my opinion. I mostly ignore them unless I want deeper information.

Ron
8 years 6 months ago

Mark, I just recently discovered you PB site through a link from Jimmy Moore. I had no idea such a plan existed, but you’ve answered my question concerning the contrast/comparison between PB and Paleo with this post. As a newbie to your site I really appreciate this timely article. Look forward to more informative posts from you…you’re now on my Google Reader! Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie.

Chris - Zen to Fitness
8 years 6 months ago

Very cool post and something I think needed to be addressed. I think one of the main things to take out of this is the more flexible approach of the primal blueprint which makes life far more relaxed and allows for the lifestyle to be easily integrated into our everyday lives.
Looking forward to the book!

Tony
8 years 6 months ago
I just finished reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes. I thought it was very informative, and plan to read through it again. Still trying to figure out what is best for me, an aspiring ultramarathoner, in terms of the carb/fat/protein balance, so all the info I can get helps. After moving closer to a Primal diet I have realized that carbs have a somewhat negative impact on me, so I need to figure out how to balance that out with the needs I have for post-exercise recovery. I will say I was skeptical of the Paleo Diet’s stance on saturated… Read more »
Andrew R
8 years 6 months ago
Hey Mark, To answer your questions, yes, I came to MDA and the Primal Blueprint from a Paleo Diet perspective (as far as nutrition is concerned). I had actually stumbled on the Paleo way of eating as a result of my research to find a more complete diet that would help people to change the way they eat for good. That is, I thought to myself: “Is there a diet out there that can lead people to live a healthier lifestyle indefinitely?” The added dimensions of the Primal Blueprint provide a completely different level of interpretation with regards to overall… Read more »
primalman
primalman
8 years 6 months ago

So what are the differences between the PB diet and the Westin Price diet?

Don Wiss
7 years 2 months ago

The Weston-Price diet encourages dairy, preferably raw. And they recommend whole grains, which they have you soak, sprout, or ferment to neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.

John Campbell
John Campbell
8 years 6 months ago
Excellent post – I had not really sat down and analyzed the important differences you pointed out. I agree with your assessment and I find myself much more on the Primal side than the Paleo. I started with this several years ago with Atkins – I cut back on sugar and less bread etc – I lost some weight and definitely knew there was something to this, but drifted away. I considered Atkins too extreme – scraping the toppings off of pizza? Crazy. As I approached 50 and saw my aging parents deteriorating, I stumbled upon Art Devany’s site and… Read more »
Steve Watkins
Steve Watkins
6 years 5 months ago
Totally agree with you. I am a 46 year old man and what drew me to PB is the more balanced, less-hardcore approach. I found immediate good results by changing my workouts and incorporating occasional sprints. I play with my kids and go for a good old-fashioned evening stroll every night. The diet works great for me. I started buying really good quality butter and meat, and changed my cooking style (I do most of the family cooking) to be a bit more French e.g. saute veggies in butter rather than olive oil, slow cooking meats. I just avoid the… Read more »
Ryan
8 years 6 months ago
Mark, One thing I have always questioned about the PB is your use of butter, and less so, eggs. I know you aren’t saying to put butter on everything, but Grok hardly had access to butter, nor the means to make butter. I’d even argue that he had limited access to eggs, and probably just as limited way to cook eggs. I am not arguing the benefits of both, just why they are held so highly in the PB (unless its to educate readers on the benefits of them) if they weren’t readily available to Mr. Grok. As for the… Read more »
Robert M.
Robert M.
8 years 6 months ago

The combination of saturated fats and carbohydrates may be harmful, especially if carbohydrates are hydrogenating the fats to make them transaturated. I would, love, love to see a study of animal fats from ranched grass-fed cow compared to caged, corn-fed cow and the composition thereof.

Medical science (which is just statistics applied to observations) is typically poor at separating variables. This is because most medical doctors are poor at math and don’t understand what they are doing when they apply various statistical methods.

Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later
To be honest I have always regarded the term ‘Paleo Diet’ as a generic one that refers to a diet that mimics what our hunter gatherer forefathers ate, rather than something proprietary to Cordain and others. This may just be my own flawed perception. Since you mention the use of supplementation. I have a question. Whilst I recognise that we are exposed to more toxins in the modern world that Grok would have been, I have always considered that we also have more consistent access to quality fruit and vegetables – far more than Grok would have been lucky enough… Read more »
Christine
Christine
8 years 6 months ago

The whole allowing artificial sweeteners would have put me off of Paleo if I had managed to come across it before PB… The fact that it’s all essentially chlorinated sugar and impossible for our bodies (or the rest of the environment, for that matter) to break down makes it one of those things I avoid like the plague. If I’m going to bomb a diet or lifestyle for something ridiculously sweet, it’s going to be real.

j d wilson
j d wilson
8 years 6 months ago
As attractive as the Paleo Diet is, I find it subject to one big logical fallacy. Wikipedia defines the fallacy as “Denying the Antecedent.” They give a good example: “If Queen Elizabeth is an American citizen, then she is a human being. Queen Elizabeth is not an American citizen, therefore she is not a human being.” The Paleo Diet maintains “that if Grok ate it, its good for you. Therefore, if Grok didn’t eat it, then its bad for you.” This seems more like dogma than science. There are many foods which Grok didn’t eat simply because they weren’t available.… Read more »
Ben
Ben
6 years 2 months ago

*very* good remark about “denying the antecedent”!

Donna
Donna
8 years 6 months ago

Since i’ve been eating primal, i’ve felt better than i ever have before, wish i would of eaten this way all my life, but unfortunately, i didn’t. It’s never too late to change from eating bad foods and start eating primal and feel your best.

SuperMike
SuperMike
8 years 6 months ago
I came to PB via Art De Vany a little over two years ago. At that time I thought I was eating the right way, egg whites, oatmeal, not much fruit, whole wheat bread and lean meats. But I always felt sluggish and could never really get lean enough to see my abs clearly (a long time goal.) Being 53 years old didn’t help either. My metabolism slowed down a lot after 40 and even more after 50. So I would work out even more and that would just make me hungrier and cause me to eat more of the… Read more »
Mike
Mike
5 years 3 months ago

I am new here, yes believe it or not coming from a fruitarian point of view. Do the feast and famine days help alleviate thyroid issues from low carb? I have read over and over low carb diets lead to the thyroid slowing metabolism thinking the body is dying. Has Mark covered this?

primalman
primalman
8 years 6 months ago

SuperMike! – your one of my idols.

I can say the same things as you. I know that it is not high science, but I tried it in a simple “A-B” design and I feel and look waaaay better.

Kloep
Kloep
8 years 6 months ago

I was unaware of the discrepancy between paleo and primal. Thanks for clearing that up.

I also like the links. I’m relatively new to MDA and constantly find myself following those links.

Thanks

Son of Grok
Son of Grok
8 years 6 months ago

Thank you for the clarification Mark. Before reading this, I would have sometimes describe my diet as paleo. But now I know taht it is not… it is truly primal. Especially due to the saturated fats, coconut, and most importantly EGGS!

The links are good. I try to scour the archives as much as possible but i miss things and they certainly help me catch up.

Mark
8 years 6 months ago

Fantastic article Mark! I came to the PB lifestyle via the Paleo community and can only now really appreciate the differences. Keep the links coming! I’m sure it adds to production time but they create a ton of value for your readers!

Nick
8 years 6 months ago

I like all the links throughout the article! Great stuff as usual.

Tal
Tal
8 years 6 months ago
Hi, a long time lurker here but this article intrigued me. I do not remember how I stumbled on your fantastic website/blog but I am glad I did. From my understanding of the Paleo diet I notice a few other differences as well. Firstly the Paleo Diet (Dr Cordian) severely limits all dairy products (milk butter yogurt, etc…) as well as legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts etc…) and even yeast containing foods (baked and fermented foods). Now I do not necessarily agree with this (I like raw cheeses and enjoy olives and sauerkraut from time to time) but it is a… Read more »
Elizabeth @ The Young Retiree
4 years 9 months ago

I just started what I thought was Paleo, and my very first recipe had shredded coconut and coconut oil in it. I also cut out diet soda and the like of artificial sweetener. Just like you said, I thought that’s what Paleo was… so I guess I’m somewhere in between PB and Paleo since I’m not too keen on eggs without cheese so I’m not giving that up… I guess I’m just making it up as I go with the PB/Paleo as my guide!

Carla
Carla
8 years 6 months ago

I LOVE all the links! It helps me catch up with all the older articles I’ve never read… 🙂

dragonmamma
dragonmamma
8 years 6 months ago

Never knew there was a difference. I went straight from a body-builder’s diet (tons of protein, carbs surrounding the workout) to the stuff I’ve learned from you.

Never too many links–I love links!

Dr Dan
8 years 6 months ago
Well I guess I am a bit of a paleo groupie. However, I find your postings very interesting. I do have a huge battle in my head about the saturated fats dilemma. But the fact remains, that even though our ancestors went for these fats, they would have been extremely low in wild game. As a result they would never have obtained as much saturated fat as we do and the saturated fat content would still be low. Based off this I just don’t go there and trim the fat off of meat. I would be interested also in a… Read more »
Dr Dan
8 years 6 months ago
Sorry I just checked his website and this was a summary of his reply to Sally Fallon who also stated that hunter gatherers always preferred organ meats. Quoting “There is no doubt that hunter-gatherers ate the entire edible carcass of animals that were hunted and killed, and the fatty portions of the carcass were relished more than the lean muscle tissue. We have pointed this information out in many of our scientific papers.” “Studies of caribou over a 12-month period show that the total carcass (organs and all) fat by weight for 7 months of the year average less than… Read more »
Danielle Thalman
8 years 6 months ago
I gave up wheat, dairy and sugar because I just get sick as a dog with a variety of symptoms when I eat those things. I can get away with about 80 grams of carbs per day, out of my 4K calorie diet. A doctor at a famous university hospital said to eat more carbs even if they gave me the runs and caused sinus congestion and weight loss, but that didn’t make sense to me. Another doc told me to just keep on doing what I was doing. He said it was called the Paleo Diet and I was… Read more »
Steve Liberati
8 years 6 months ago

I said it several times before on the CrossFit forums…and I repeat:

Mark is the new Art Devaney!

and…

Primal is the new Paleo! (i kick myself in the butt for calling my kits Paleo, and not Primal. (ohh well too late!)

Art D and Paleo are etched in most of our minds as a result of being the first true messengers of the information. I remember in business class, they referred to it as the first mover advantage. I think Primal is quickly starting to take over though and becoming more widely accepted.

Kudos to Mark for his fine work!

Amanda
8 years 6 months ago
I love this post! Thanks so much. I came to the PB because of a) my “I want to live like a cavegirl” approach to life (which I now realize was incomplete) and b) because MDA helped me realize what my previous approach was missing. I’m not perfect about the PB, obviously, but the mentality behind living as our ancestors (or, rather, their ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors) did is almost spiritual to me and allows me to approach my life with a greater calm than fumbling around aimlessly for a healthy lifestyle, which changes by society’s definitions daily. Following the PB?… Read more »
Shaun
Shaun
8 years 6 months ago
I consider myself a pretty hard core paleo eater (and have been for years) and I do not agree with most of the differences that you have highlighted. If you eat based upon the paleo philosophy (what man ate in paleo times), then sweeteners and sodas are not allowed and you eat any fat that gets in the way. I think that pure paleo and the PB eating are identical, as they both come from the same starting philosophy. I use the following to define my paleo diet: No • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) • Refined foods… Read more »
Dr.Pierre Debs
Dr.Pierre Debs
8 years 6 months ago

To Tony,

Hi Tony, I am also a paleo/primal Ultra Marathoner ( Mountian Biking) To fuel my training, I simply replaced all grain-based carbs with dried fruits: apricots, figs, dates. For races, I inject with a needle, honey into the same fruits and put them into a a small ziplock baggy and stuff it in my trikot. For training, I eat Halva which is sesame and honey.

Works great!

good luck,

Pierre

Mary
8 years 6 months ago
I don’t remember how I found your site – it was linked on someone’s blog and I just started checking it regularly because the articles are interesting. I started with a Zone diet, I tweaked it into a version of the athlete’s Zone (less carbs, more fat), started eating only Paleo foods in those proportions, and then tweaked it a little further by eliminating nightshades, eating more sat fat and lots of eggs. Now, I eat a Zone-ish Paleo/Primal diet with about 8x Zone fat blocks. I usually keep track of how many Zone blocks mainly so I can tell… Read more »
Earth Beauty
8 years 6 months ago

Great Blog Mark. I just quit sugar two days ago, and when I was offered me sugar free cookies I said no thank you! To me that is worse than eating ice cream with sugar in it. I love my coffee with half and half, in fact I crave it in the mornings. I plan on being sugar free until December 12th…

TrailGrrl
TrailGrrl
8 years 6 months ago
Mark, Great website. I used to be bummed on the weekend when there wasn’t a new MDA, but then I started looking forward to the new links on Weekend Love Link that took me to some other great sites. I like the links to previous stuff because sometimes it’s hard to find what you want in the archive. The first books to get me thinking about eating good food was the French paradox stuff and Real Food by Nina Planck, as well as a link to the Weston Price foundation from Ross Enamait’s boxing page (since he obviously is built… Read more »
Timber
Timber
8 years 6 months ago
I like all the links- I can remember concepts but always have to waste time tracking the articles down when I want to get a refresher or the specifics. One of my good friends awakened the whole lifestyle to me via DeVany’s site (and I still thank that friend everyday). Now its become an obsession and I check about 30 health blogs a day (with yours, Eades, modern forager, The IF Life, and T-Nation at the top). The more I read, the more I started to see flaw from DeVany and Cordain- especially after I was introduced to the whole… Read more »
Donna
Donna
8 years 6 months ago

Mark,
We all thank YOU for having MDA to come to every day and educating us to better health, you are “appreciated” by all us apples!
And you make this site so much fun, as well, totally “UPBEAT!!!!”

Donna
Donna
8 years 6 months ago

Aaron,
Thank you also for all your hard work researching to bring us the best of knowledge, YOU are appreciated, also!!!

wflnc
wflnc
8 years 6 months ago
I started reading various health blogs about a year ago when DH’s bloodsugar was slightly elevated. The doc’s weren’t sure why – he’s fit, trim, ate right and exercised. We already eat well – organic & grass fed, belonged to a CSA, etc. many tests later, he seems to be gluten/casein sensitive, but not celiac. This got me reading about Paleo, but I was also reading Hyperlipid and Whole health Source (these 2 make more sense) and ended up here. Drop the grains, drop the dairy (wow- wicked casein withdrawals!) and things are much better. The links are very helpful… Read more »
Brian PCF
8 years 6 months ago

Love the article and especially the links.

Larry Sloma
Larry Sloma
8 years 6 months ago

I went from not walking (wheelchair) to walking with change in diet from junk to gluten free, organic, fats, proteins, milk from goats, organic eats (little), no chemicals, no drugs, nothing artificial in drinks, eats, treats, no sugars and lots of supplements. I am not primal not paleo consuming the way God made it naturally. It works.

JMC
JMC
8 years 5 months ago
I think you guys should read the Q&A section of Cordain’s website, because many statements that have been made here are just not true. For instance, regarding diet sodas: “In the typical western diet refined sugars comprise 16-18% of the total daily energy. Clearly, there are numerous health problems associated with this enormous intake of empty calories. However, for many people it is difficult to make sudden behavioral changes, particularly when it comes to comfort foods, such as highly sugared processed foods (ice cream, cake, cookies, candy etc). Although fruits would be a much better choice for taming the sweet… Read more »
pnwtrillium
pnwtrillium
6 years 3 months ago
I know this is an older post but with all the new books out this xmas season I think I shall about the autoimmune version Cordain is advocating. He says that grains, legumes and dairy all cause leaky gut by breaking down cell membranes. Now he is suggestion that folks with autoimmune conditons take out eggs and nightshades based on the fact they too brake down cell membranes. If that is the case why is he not advocating that we all take nightshades and eggs out? Also he labels nightshades as tomatoes, potatoes, egg plant and all those peppers. Why… Read more »
Amadeus
Amadeus
3 years 7 months ago

Thank you! I wish I would have read all the comments before posting mine. 🙁

Rose
Rose
7 years 10 months ago
Had never heard of Primal Blueprint until I came across this blog. As a 60 year old (diabetes 55 years) and recently discovered I am gluten intolerant, I have some observations of my own. If you’re young, aware of the damage that grains and other food intolerances can do, saturated fats are probably fine. However, if the damage is already done I don’t think eating saturated fats is wise. In my opinion, a long-standing gluten intolerance is what damages the arteries, roughs them up so to speak, so that any fat you eat collects in those roughened up areas, creating… Read more »
Kettlebellwitch
7 years 6 months ago

Seems that I’ve eaten and lived pretty much the Primal Blueprint for quite a few years now, but never called it that or heard of it. I still haven’t read the book, but plan to as soon as it can get it. I didn’t come to it through Paleo, but through Diana Schwarzbein and the Schwarzbein Principle. She has several books on the subject and a website: http://www.schwarzbeinprinciple.com. She gets into endocrinology as well as nutrition, stress management, avoiding toxic chemicals (which include artificial sweeteners) and exercise. Well worth reading her books to expand your knowledge.

Kevin
Kevin
7 years 4 months ago
Hey Mark, I think you’ll find that a lot of Paleo advocates have taken Cordain’s base work and taken it further. The whole saturated fat, diet soda, eggs etc… Is a thing of the past for most followers. The way I see it, or what I can tell, is that followers of the newer Paleo guidelines ala a Robb Wolf type approach are pretty much in line with the Primal way of eating, don’t you think? Here’s a brief summary: SUMMARY All of the lean meat, fish, seafood, eggs you can eat All of the non starchy vegetables you can… Read more »
CT Olson
CT Olson
7 years 3 months ago
Mark your articles and site are always a wealth of information. Thanks for this. I do appreciate the links in the article but I am an analytical type (being an engineer by trade). I am a little interested in the promotion of supplementation. I also happen to be a moderate proponent. It’s important to remind people at some pt the difference between that and drugs or straight out performance enhancers. It kind of doesn’t fit the PB ideal in some way but so what as you point out we have a lot of environmental factors Grok didn’t. Also if technology… Read more »
Blanche Scharf
7 years 3 months ago

This is one best blogs on this topic. It is so important that this information gets out there is a big way. I watch people on the(sad)diet and have worked with the frutarian diet.Basic common sense goes out the window, when people approach healthy eating.

We lost our way, this blog brings us back to the basics of health.

Thanks for the great job!

Blanche Scharf

Don Wiss
7 years 2 months ago
“the so-called Paleo Diet, for which Loren Cordain is the most recognized voice.” Yes, this is true, he is the most recognized voice today, but the paleo diet was around before Cordain, and most of the differences you point out between Cordain’s diet and primal are also differences between Cordain’s diet and what others consider to be paleo. Many of us follow the Neanderthin take on the diet. In Neanderthin there is no limit to saturated fat (at least if from grass-fed animals), there is no limit on eggs, there are no artificial sweeteners, and no seed oils are allowed.… Read more »
Leon
Leon
7 years 20 days ago

Mark,

I love your blog. I’ve been following it for a few months now and find the information useful, love that it is actually backed up with peer review research (the more links the better!), and am always passing articles on to others.

I came to the Primal Blueprint while searching through the many blogs on Paleo, with a CrossFit and The Zone diet background. I’m adding more Primal ideas to my way of life every day. It works for me!

Keep up the good work,

Leon

Stephanie Speros
Stephanie Speros
6 years 9 months ago

First, I was learning about Paleo challenge. I have been lectured the Paleo challenge with deaf lady. Also, I learned how to track the Paleo logs. Also, I would pick good recipes.

Pam
Pam
6 years 9 months ago

I still don’t get it. Cheese is ‘processed’ food. As is butter.
Paleo is not raw, I get that too. The recipes seem to use dairy or not at the whim of the cook. Beef makes my knees ache; indicative of inflammation and not a good thing nor a good lifestyle choice.
So is this just another ‘make bucks on a theory’, a philosophy, if you will (think Marxism, Socialism and standard religion), rather than an actual reasoned and realistic lifestyle choice?

Cathie McGinnis
Cathie McGinnis
6 years 7 months ago

Are you eating grass-fed beef or conventionally raised beef. It makes a big difference.

Donnersberg
Donnersberg
6 years 28 days ago
I just take the best from whatever makes most sense and apply it to myself. I eat according to the PB… but add raw goat’s milk… and add WAPF odd things to my diet such as bone broths, lots of organ meats, including eyeballs. My only supplement is a red mineral clay and Fermented Cod Liver Oil / HV Butter Oil Blend as suggested by WAPF. I can tell ya, my hair and nails are growing like nuts. My teeth are hard and strong and I can only imagine my bones are, too. Hair, Nails and Teeth are kind of… Read more »
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