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

Why Does the Paleo Diet Continue to Receive Low Points from “Established Authorities”?

Thumbs DownYou may have heard the big news: the paleo diet ranked dead last in the US News and World Report diet rankings. When my inbox floods with links to the latest paleo bashing in the media, I don’t even get surprised or annoyed anymore. It amuses me. The one downside of this stuff is that work grinds to a halt for a few hours because a popular pastime around the Primal headquarters whenever one of these reports comes out is to see who can pick the ripest, most ridiculous misconceptions or blatant falsehoods. The big upside is even more publicity, more notoriety, and more laughter. Laughter is always a good thing.

Initially, you may weep at the ignorance on display. That’s how I was when I first started out, along with a bit of teeth gnashing. But it gives way to deep belly laughter that resonates through every bone in your body and plucks at the ligaments holding them together to create a sweet sonorous melody filling the room and reaching up to the skies above. At least it did for me.

So let’s laugh together. I’ll draw on three of the best statements and quotes we’ve been passing around and provide a bit of translation and/or commentary. Bonus: you can use these as quick replies whenever someone smugly thrusts the US News diet ranking in your face.

Does it have cardiovascular benefits?

While some studies have linked Paleo diets with reducing blood pressure, bad “LDL” cholesterol, and triglycerides (a fatty substance that can raise heart disease risk), they have been few, small, and short. And all that fat would worry most experts.

Translation: Although actual studies on the Paleo diet in live human subjects result in improved risk factors for heart disease, including lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, “all that fat” worries our expert panel. We’ve got a hunch that those results are invalid and do not reflect reality. Because reasons. Just trust us. Hey, who’s up for a SlimFast shake whose third ingredient is heart-healthy sugar?

In reality: They say it right there, don’t they, and somehow choose to ignore it? And “some studies” haven’t just “linked” Paleo diets to lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Randomized controlled trials have legitimately shown that Paleo diets can directly cause the improvements in traditional cardiovascular disease markers. You can argue that they were too small to draw overarching conclusions about the population at large, and that would be fair, absolutely, but the studies show causation, not just association.

Will you lose weight?

No way to tell.

Translation: There’s absolutely no way to tell if you’ll lose weight on this diet. None. We’ve racked our considerable brains, combed through the scientific literature, and consulted with several dozen different experts on human metabolism and nutrition. We’re all absolutely stumped. There is literally nothing present in the extant body of human knowledge that would indicate the Paleo diet can help you lose weight. The likely, if unfortunate, answer is that we will never – absent divine intervention – truly know if this diet can work for weight loss. We strongly suggest that you abandon your futile pursuit of weight loss on the Paleo diet and turn to one of the weight loss diets with extensive support in the scientific literature, like the Cookie Diet. Oh, and if you think “trying it out for yourself” can help you learn whether or not you’ll lose weight on Paleo, think again! Your inherent bias toward wanting to lose weight on the Paleo diet may induce hallucinatory delusions whenever you step on a scale to track your progress. Your weight will only appear to be lowering, and you’ve always worn that same size pant. What, you had to buy a new belt because the old one wouldn’t fit? How do you know you didn’t just imagine buying a new belt – ever think of that? Exactly. Don’t be fooled by the placebo effect, people.

In reality: Randomized controlled trials of the Paleo diet have shown it works for weight loss. And when compared to the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet has been shown to be more satiating per calorie. More recently, the same thing happened when they compared a Paleo diet to a standard diabetes diet in type 2 diabetics. Being able to eat fewer calories – spontaneously – without getting any hungrier is pretty much the defining characteristic of a successful weight loss diet. Paleo is also pretty good at helping you lose fat where it matters most. A recent study showed that postmenopausal women eating Paleo lost liver and waist fat, improving their waist-to-hip ratio and lowering their ApoB (a good approximation for LDL particle number) among other improvements.

Even if those studies didn’t exist, you always have the ability to determine if a diet works by trying it out yourself.

Are there health risks?

Possibly. By shunning dairy and grains, you’re at risk of missing out on a lot of nutrients. Also, if you’re not careful about making lean meat choices, you’ll quickly ratchet up your risk for heart problems.

Translation: By embracing eggs, beef, wild salmon, chicken, lamb, pork, kale, chard, romaine lettuce, spinach, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, oranges, sardines, organ meatsshellfish, fennel, onions, garlic, asparagus, seaweed, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, almonds, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, and tuna, you’re at risk of missing out on a lot of nutrients. All those foods might taste nice and look pretty on a plate, but they are incredibly nutrient-sparse.

You won’t just increase your risk of heart disease. You will “quickly ratchet up” your risk. Let’s take this apart, because it’s a sneaky choice of words. “To ratchet” is “to cause something to rise (or fall) as a step in what is perceived to be an irreversible progress.” So not only are you increasing your risk of heart disease, you are setting out on an irreversible path toward heart problems. Each bite of 85/15 ground beef you take, each morsel of lamb chop you swallow, each time you fail to make a lean meat choice – these are death contracts upon which you can never renege.

In reality: I actually won’t quibble on the notion of dairy being a good, dependable source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, protein, and healthy fats. It is, which is why I support the consumption of dairy as long as you’re not intolerant of any of the components and suffer no ill symptoms. That said, you don’t need to eat dairy to get calcium, potassium, protein, or fat (besides, I highly doubt US News and World Reports count “dairy fat” as one of the benefits). In fact, leafy greens like kale, collards, mustard greens, and spinach and other vegetables like bok choy are excellent sources of calcium. Edible bony fish like canned sardines are also a great Paleo source of calcium, while protein and potassium are easy to come by on Paleo (in fact, the US News and World ranking committee admitted that Paleo provided nearly 10 grams of potassium, or double the recommended amount). As for general nutrient density, basic Paleo meets or (more commonly) exceeds the USDA recommendations for most nutrients (PDF).

Meat, whether lean or fatty, has never been consistently linked to heart disease. The most recent epidemiology actually vindicates fresh red meat, while condemning only processed meats like hot dogs and bologna. And even those associations are likely confounded by variables like the healthy user bias.

I was disappointed to see that they’d removed the reader response section, where readers could vote on whether a particular diet had worked for them or not. In 2011, when Paleo was similarly trashed by US News and World Report, the reader response overwhelmingly indicated that the diet worked for people (who were possibly experiencing a collective hallucination). This directly contradicts the opinion of the experts that Paleo is just too hard to follow (even if it were effective). Same goes for the way “paleo diet” is trending on Google. As Robb Wolf illustrates in his recent rebuttal to the diet rankings, if Paleo was “too hard,” we wouldn’t see the consistent upward trend of Google searches. We’d see a big drop off in interest – and we just aren’t seeing that.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. What about you? How many relatives and friends have you heard from regarding this? Does it change your mind at all?

Thanks for reading, all!

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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. Isn’t it better if less people appreciate Paleo? Keeps the price of butter normal. Norway had a butter crisis when many people turned to Paleo recently. Hard to imagine the horror if more than 7 bln on this planet ditched grains, sugar and seed oils.

    Stan wrote on January 14th, 2014
    • Think of all the money currently wasted in the medical system…

      Roy wrote on January 14th, 2014
    • This one always puzzles me. While it may be true that the world cannot sustain 10 billions of human carnivores, I think the analysts are totally missing the point. That’s because they are not doing a “root cause analysis”.

      The root cause is not “people are eating too much meat”, but “there are too many people”. That said, agriculture cannot provide food for 10 billions vegans neither, no matter how much you exploit the soil (which btw causes desertification).

      Primal_Alex wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • The Norway butter crisis had nothing to do with Paleo. they had a bad, rainy summer and cows produced less milk as a result of affected grazing. Norwegians’ diet is very much like the Swedish one ( where I am from ) – BREAD potatoes, more bread and more potatoes, pasta and “hearty” wholegrain stuff to keep them warm in the winter. oh and loads of milk ( and brittle bones for some reason! ). not to mention obsession with chronic cardio and fear of anything fat.

      Jacob wrote on January 16th, 2014
    • Actually, butter use in Norway had only gone up 7% and I doubt that’s entirely due to people going paleo there (but if you have data to prove this, please share :) ). Articles point to TV chefs promoting real butter use over margarine and an increased interest in making meals from scratch, but that doesn’t mean these meals are paleo.

      The cause was lower milk production with lower fat content, because of lesser quality feed, because of periods with high precipitation. So there was simply less butter than usual, with a somewhat increased demand.

      Source (in norwegian, sorry – try an online translator)

      yes, as long as paleo is the exception instead of the rule, certain products (like offal and bones) will be cheaper, but others are hard to find expensive specialty products, because there is little demand. Two sides of the same coin…

      Feather wrote on January 19th, 2014
  2. good point stan.its also amusing to eat lunch in front of everyone with stares at your bacon,oils and fats sure those rice crackers are nice though!

    duck wrote on January 14th, 2014
  3. I wrote a lengthy blog post in response to this last week also. I touched on some of the same points mentioned above and a few more. Check it out!

    Lindsay wrote on January 14th, 2014
  4. And all “these” people vote…

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 14th, 2014
  5. Well, let everyone else continue to do what the sponsored national media tells them. I will continue to feel ’25’ in my ’39’ year old body as I maintain my low BP, increase my strength, have fun playing outdoors, lower my body fat, AND enjoy my favorite meals like grass fed beef, broccoli, sautéed bitter greens and a glass of red wine!

    This would all be fine if I did not also care about other people and helping them achieve greater physical mobility and overall health…

    JB wrote on January 14th, 2014
  6. Another indicator of the upward trend of paleo; any book with Paleo in the title has a waiting list at the library and the library where I work has a boatload of new paleo titles on order just to keep up with the demand.

    Rebecca wrote on January 14th, 2014
  7. Like many other commenters, Paleo has from day one for me been totally achievable in a very busy lifestyle including a lot of work functions and dining out. Once the discipline of kicking my sugar habit had formed I am healthier and feeling better than any other diet had ever made me. I’ve been losing weight since day 1, and it is a slow, steady sustainable loss. Especially in the Primal Blueprint form, there is the flexibility to do it my way, not in a dogmatic and restricted fashion. I’m personally so grateful for having found this site for the guidance and structure it has given my entry into Grok world.

    Polly McGee wrote on January 14th, 2014
  8. They conveniently miss the fact that the Paleo diet and the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet are the most popular diets of 2013 based on Google searches.

    Also, apparently anecdotes from hundreds of thousands of people who lost weight and improved their lipid profile on paleo lifestyle just cannot trump one randomized controlled trial with an “n” of 100.

    I count myself among physicians who educate people about absolute necessity to eliminate processed foods, 99% of acellular carbs and ignore all diet fads.

    The other day, though, one woman known to me professionally said she gained weight after heeding my advice of eating more vegetables and fruits. When asked she replied she’s been eating watermelon and bananas.

    Let’s just say she will not be “Riccing” any time soon :) (latest fad apparently, very funny)

    paleocrush wrote on January 14th, 2014
    • Haha just looked it up… sounds weird & pointless… I’ll Def have to give it a go!

      michelle wrote on January 15th, 2014
  9. Mark,

    Where do these websites get their revenues from? That’s the first thing I would ask. You know, TED was bought out by Monsanto to not speak about health related issues… It’s really sad in my opinion, but why are people so unaware of sketchy business practices? Honestly, the people who figure out their health are those who deserve it, whether it’s now or in the future. All we can do is be authentic in our own health and those who can see will follow

    Jack wrote on January 14th, 2014
    • Wow I didn’t know that about TED! Scary. There was a story in the LA Times Sunday last about an all-digital library and my first thought was, oh great, now some entity or other can easily re-write or delete history…nah, that’s just a paranoid fantasy…like the NSA spying on law abiding Americans…

      Corey B. (Long Beach, CA) wrote on January 15th, 2014
  10. I read Wheat Belly while DH was away on a business trip in March 2013. He returned to a wheat-free pantry. We haven’t looked back. My ONLY regret: not discovering this WOE a decade ago! All those icky pretzels I could have spared my innards. U.S News & World Report won’t tell me how to “diet”.

    Sialia wrote on January 14th, 2014
  11. Hard to take any report seriously when it scores the Slimfast diet anywhere but dead last. Unfortunately, there’s no telling how much credence the general public places on this annual report. I’d laugh too if I didn’t know that so many people will continue to destroy their health based on these farcical recommendations.

    Fritzy wrote on January 14th, 2014
  12. They can quibble and bash all they want. I don’t need their results from clinical trials. I’ve experimented on myself and have seen nothing short of great results…weight loss, cholesterol drop, BP drop, energy increase, etc. They can continue mulling over research articles while they down their lattes and donuts. I’ll whip up some fisherman’s eggs and go for a bike ride.

    KPaul wrote on January 14th, 2014
  13. So if I were to purchase this newspaper do you think I would find more ads for pro-paleo products or anti-paleo products?

    We can’t expect them to run off the very companies that keep them in business, do we? Even at the expense of their reader’s health!

    Redbearx wrote on January 14th, 2014
    • So, bad eating is some capitalist conspiracy? Let’s grow up.

      Sure, there’s crony capitalism in the world…just like there are bad parents, and bad drivers on the roads of life. But that crony capitalism cannot exist without government. If you’re looking for a nutrition conspiracy beyond human stupidity, you will find it lurking in the halls of government — beginning with the USDA and the FDA.

      Freelancelot wrote on January 15th, 2014
  14. I think the biggest issue with the paleo diet are those who cannot get it right but still pretend to be doing it.
    Some people, as soon as they hear that they do not have to fear saturated fats, that they can finally eat pork and must reduce calories from sugars, just go and eat 1 pound of bacon per day.
    Other wonderful examples of bad publicity are the bread and muffin recipes with almond flour (rancid omega-6), or the meatza. This last one in particular is utterly grotesque… why not just make Turkish meatballs in tomato/oregano/cilantro sauce, instead?

    When people ask me what I eat, I usually say “I do the Mediterranean diet, but without cereals”. This pleases everybody, except hardcore vegans who will wish me to die because of the mercury from seafood 😉

    Primal_Alex wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • No need for the “holier than thou” attitude, dude. Meatza with pastured ground beef covered with lots of veggies is a great easy primal meal, and almond flour pancakes with fried eggs is a lovely Sunday breakfast. Sure beats the alternative. Also, bacon is so satisfying, I doubt anyone would eat a whole pound in one day, unless they are running a marathon. I have read that a champion long distance runner eats floppy bacon during his runs, and does very well.

      Maxmilliana wrote on January 15th, 2014
      • Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say that meatza is bad for health, it is just grotesque. It looks to me like those fake meat substitutes. This weekend I am preparing moussaka so as you see, I have nothing against baked ground meat with lot of vegetables, it is the presentation that makes a huge difference.
        Some months ago, in a French reportage, they compared a number of diets, and they spoke about benefits and disadvantages of each (zone, low-fat, weight watchers, etc). Last came the paleo diet, but since apparently there weren’t disadvantages to mention, all they did was to show some exalted college students preparing a overburnt meatza. There are many ways to discredit something, partial truth is probably the best.

        Almond bread, similarly, is a replacement for SAD commodity food, but the rancid PUFAs make it unhealthier than regular bread. Take 1 ounce of almond flour, bake it for 20 minutes, then compare the taste with some which is unbaked, you’ll see what I mean.
        Some people think of paleo not as a quest to health, but as a challenge to see how far they can go without grains, which is sad (lowercase).

        > I doubt anyone would eat a whole pound [of bacon] in one day

        Not only, they are also proud of it.

        Primal_Alex wrote on January 16th, 2014
    • What! I can’t eat a pound of bacon? …I mentioned “paleo” to a vegan this morning and she was horrified until I clarified, “actually, the “primal” version. For some odd reason that was more acceptable…

      Corey B. (Long Beach, CA) wrote on January 15th, 2014
  15. Thanks for this Mark

    As a Paleo/Primal newbie it was really hard to read all that crap about a lifestyle that really seems to be working for me.

    Today is my 15th day of proper Paleo eating (I have been gluten free since September 2013) and I am really starting to see the benefits!

    Jennie wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • And it’s being 15 days only.

      I’ve been doing it for a little more than 2 years and still see improvement.

      Primal_Alex wrote on January 15th, 2014
  16. I’ve had the save the planet argument from my sister-in-law, a wanna-be hippie. With near debilitating IBS, constantly sick, constantly missing work (she works for NHS here in England so, hey, it’s ok she misses loads of work, they’ll never sack her and it just means we the taxpayers pay for all the sick days off) What about the cost to the country one is paleo in, in terms of missed work, cost to the healthcare system for diet related disease (the top ones being those)… save the planet, or save your country’s economy? Of course, if big Ag & Pharma went out of business, that’d be bad too as Mark stated in the youtube interview w/the diet doctor I watched yesterday. Oh and BTW he had the same response- sacrifice my own health and my family’s health over saving the planet?

    michelle wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • We are saving the planet in fact… from agriculture!

      Primal_Alex wrote on January 15th, 2014
      • Hmmmm….I wouldn’t be too quick to demonise agriculture. Modern agribusiness, perhaps, but not agriculture. There’s a difference between cash crops, and subsistence and small-scale agriculture.

        One can argue that, throughout history, innovation has originated in agricultural societies, rather than hunter-gatherer, tribal societies. Not that all innovation is necessarily good; in fact a great deal of it is detrimental to the health of, well, pretty much everything on the planet!

        As Oscar Wilde observed, “The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.”

        SumoFit wrote on January 15th, 2014
        • Totally agree. I will never renounce to my veggies. In weight, I eat more vegetables than meat or fish.
          But in order to feed the world on soy as many propose, you need to terraform a second planet.

          Primal_Alex wrote on January 16th, 2014
  17. Living in Florida I see too many examples of what the SAD will do to a body. Our weekly community meeting offers coffee with powdered creamer and sweeteners and donuts for a quarter. They don’t understand why I decline as they discuss who’s in the hospital now. Truly SAD.

    sumdei wrote on January 15th, 2014
  18. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed eating wholegrains and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Primaland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes

    Storm wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • Nice one :-)

      Mitch wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • AHAHAHAAAAAA… it’s funny cuz it’s true.

      Vince G wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • All the way down to a tasty rabbit stew! ^^

      Sofie wrote on January 15th, 2014
  19. On primal, I can eat skip breakfast, go to work, skip lunch, come home and workout (cardio + strength), then finally get around to eating dinner. Rinse, repeat if I feel like it. A vegan etc. would fall into a coma by noon just trying to meditate. Guess which diet millions of years of hominid evolution would have selected for.

    Evolution is the backbone of all the biological, botanical, and medical sciences. How does it not even come up as a topic in the nutrition world from all these experts with degrees in these areas?

    NakedDrummer wrote on January 15th, 2014
  20. Sustainability of carnivores…

    When I drive through my upper Midwest, you can drive for hours, if not days (literally), and see little but fields of corn and soybean. If you’re not from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin etc it might be hard to grasp just how vast our flat, fertile plains are. Those could just as easily be animal pastures or produce fields.

    Subsidies are responsible, in part, for this train wreck.

    Percy wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • Thanks for that. It’s a good response to those who question the sustainablilty of a Primal/Paleo diet.

      Maxmilliana wrote on January 15th, 2014
      • Although in fairness, Wisconsin also has plenty of cows hanging around in fields doing their thing. It wasn’t THAT long ago that I did not know the feed lots existed. I assumed they were all like the cows you see in Wisconsin from the interstate. Seemed like the only logical way to do things.

        I guess not.

        Percy wrote on January 16th, 2014
    • I spent a month in Minnesota in 1971. All we could see were fields of corn (ask high as an elephant’s eye)and soybeans growing. We also saw grass fed beef and there were pig farms. I agree, let’s just grow grass in those fields and raise meat.
      For all the people who think we can’t feed the earth on the food we make now, take a look at how much rots on the docks and warehouses because the right people didn’t get paid to distribute it. Sigh.

      2Rae wrote on January 15th, 2014
  21. Something I am surprised isn’t being discussed is the comment section of the article. I read for a quite a while before I found a comment that wasn’t TEARING THAT ARTICLE A NEW ONE! People are finally figuring out that “conspiracy theories” aren’t actually what mass media, the govt, and whoever else purports them to be. All of the backlash against the Paleo diet is because the sugar industry and other food industry monopolies are feeling the pinch. Money rules this world, and the “elite” that run it are getting scared. People are waking up and realizing that their best interest are only going to be met by themselves, not any other entity. So mass media will begin trying to counter this self-reliance with subterfuge. This is not a new concept.

    The good news is that, at least right now, we are making progress, people are getting healthier, and they are spreading the word. KEEP IT UP!!!!

    Vince G wrote on January 15th, 2014
  22. LOL. So glad you wrote on this Mark. When I read it I just sighed and laughed. However, your response make me laugh even more. Always good stuff Mark.

    Sterling wrote on January 15th, 2014
  23. I sent the “unconquerable Dave” success story to my father in law and brother in law who are both very overweight and they thought it was a hoax. They have both been doing the same diet for over 30 years but expecting different results. People believe what they want to believe. They refuse to think differently, they refuse to question, they refuse to analyze, they refuse to research, they refuse the change… You can lead a horse to water…

    Ara wrote on January 15th, 2014
  24. Dear Mark,

    I am a woman of 72 years and besides renal fatigue and asthma I have Hypothyroide. The last problem is the worst. Since my menopause I have gained a ridiculous amount of weight and my worst weight ever was 84kg. think about 160 American pounds. I got that down to 74 kg. (145 Am pounds). It slowly went up again to 82.9 kg. All my life I have felt pretty lousy, although I was able to lead a pretty normal life, but since my Hypothyroide became active, I feel really awful. Enter Paleo. I like to eat it. As I am always exhausted, I hate to prepare it, but my husband helps a lot. I hardly ever miss the sweets. Since I am on this diet everythings tastes too sweet anyway.
    Ass I have only lost about 2 kgs. in nearly a year of eating this way, I should perhaps say that your diet does not help. But, nearly imperceptibly, I have started to feel a bit better. I now can do maybe 3 different small tasks on any given day. I can do the shopping, take a rest, take care of a load of washing after having prepared lunch and cleared it away , take a rest, do the cooking, which is the most difficult of all, and after that go to bed. When I write it down like this, it does not seem much, but it is still improvement for me. Before this you could find me four out of five days in bed! I call it baby-steps. So, although the stupity of this sort of organizations makes me furious, I will try to laugh with you. Thank you and Robb Wolff and the many other authors on your good work. And long live the Internet! Leonie, the Netherlands

    Leonie Falger wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • Sounds like you are doing a LOT for your condition. It may seem like baby steps to you. I know when I had a low thyroid issue I remember thinking that I could do anything as long it didn’t involve moving my arms and legs, so you are doing more than that. :-)

      2Rae wrote on January 15th, 2014
  25. I went from low-fat vegetarian to mostly paleo and even though I started with pretty good blood values all of my markers of inflammation and good fat values improved dramatically! If they base their evaluations on their bias’ of course it’s going to look awful in their eyes. I am lucky enough to have a doctor who encourages a whole foods diet and more of a paleo lifestyle because he sees how it works in his patients.

    Teri wrote on January 15th, 2014
  26. I love the “follow the money” arguments, posted on a clearly profitable website. That doesn’t mean the paleo approach is wrong (though clearly it doesn’t fit everyone, or compliance would be better), of course.

    Rick wrote on January 15th, 2014
  27. A huge error. Under Calsim (and Vitimin D as well, by extension) it says:
    “Because you’re not allowed dairy or fortified cereals, you’ll likely only get about 700 mg. from a Paleo menu.”

    Dairy is not forbidden. It is defined as personal preference with the author being on the side of abstinence. I include milk and cheeses, to good effect.

    James wrote on January 15th, 2014
  28. Only stating the obvious, but the overwhelming response by the “paleo community” to expose bad science and reach those who might benefit from paleo is the exact reason the readers response section was removed from the article. If you can’t shout down the opposition, just plug your ears and yell “I can’t hear you” over and over until they go away.

    Mike L. wrote on January 15th, 2014
  29. NHLBI, Mayo Clinic and Jenny versus a caveman, who do you think the “experts” are going to go with!

    Jim wrote on January 15th, 2014
  30. I really wonder why medical doctors seem so opposed to this diet. I recently read an article which was pure authority-based bashing with little or no scientific basis.

    Is it that people are afraid to give up bread? I mean if they accept that the paleo diet is good, it would be in their best interest to follow it – and I know from experience that bread and pasta are a close kin of crack cocaine. I used to spend above $10 on single loaves of hand-knead bread from boutique french bakeries… 😀

    Or is it about fat? Cardiovascular disease prevention seems to be all superstition and little science nowadays.

    Is it some kind of social agenda or vegan bias against eating more meat?

    Sigmoid wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • By the way I’ve so far learned that a random medical doctor is potentially the worst source of half-assed, unscientific health superstition you can potentially get. :)

      I mean come on, most of them support homeopathic drugs. WTF?! (No offense to homeopathic believers, but it’s literally magic. Shaman medicine. I guess it’s primal in that aspect.)

      Sigmoid wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • Here in the USA most medical Docs must adhere to rigid protocols (including dietary advice they might give) or risk malpractice lawsuits based on “best practice–standard of care.” That standard is defined by USDAand FDA policy which, in turn, is beholden to big pharma and big agriculture.

      Corey B. (Long Beach, CA) wrote on January 15th, 2014
  31. I try to avoid labelling how I eat, partly because of this anti-FAT-bias pounded into the minds of the feeble by the telly, the gov’t and the doctors.
    So I say “fatty meat, no wheat” and they look confused but accepting.

    Ulfric Douglas wrote on January 15th, 2014
  32. I think all the proponents of the various diets need to get together, have comprehensive blood work and a physical exam done, do a push-up contest, and then a bathing suit contest. We’ll see who wins.

    Slim Fast and Jenny Craig are better diets than Paleo? Has the whole world gone mad?

    Tina wrote on January 15th, 2014
    • I once saw a campaign video made by raw vegan proponents showing various food gurus who support primal-like diets with high meat and fat intake, elaborating on how fat or unwell they themselves are, and showing some fit and cool old people who are raw vegans for contrast. XD
      So I guess it’s all up to selecting the right examples for what you want to prove. My personal experience with raw veganism left me feeling washed out and weak, so I kind of doubt the truth or objectivity of it.

      Sigmoid wrote on January 15th, 2014
  33. WE WON!

    Last place from the a panel of “experts” from institutions that gave us the Food Pyryamid is proof of the diet’s success. Notably nowhere do they explain the obesity crisis of the 80s and 90s that got progressively worse after the FP. I am doubling down on fat tomorrow, after a nice IF today.

    tf wrote on January 15th, 2014
  34. Honestly, the paleo “diet” is firmly rooted in science. Every diet that ever existed has really tried to find a scientific backing, but paleo was just born with it. Why? Because if you understand evolution even a tiny bit, it makes perfect sense. It just fits, like a piece in a puzzle. What do you feed a cat? Meat. What do you feed a horse? Grass. What do you feed a human? Meat, vegetables, and some fruit.
    If you study physiology or biochemistry, the rest makes even more sense. I’ve convinced several people that paleo was the way to go (without realizing I was trying to convert them), simply by explaining scientifically why I eat the way I eat. It helps to be a biologist. But it also helps to point them to MDA, because Mark is a scientifically-minded person who cares about facts and research.
    I’ve found that those who simply shun the diet and the lifestyle altogether simply don’t understand science or don’t trust it. Which is sad, because for all the “pseudoscientists” out there who give all of us a bad name, there are thousands of scientists who are doing great work that has and will continue to benefit society. Not all of them are the guys from Better Off Ted, or worse.

    Natalia wrote on January 15th, 2014
  35. Jenny Craig? SLIMFAST??? When I saw those ranked ahead I burst out laughing and dismissed the whole thing. Absurd.

    Jeanne wrote on January 15th, 2014
  36. The name and basis is easy to mock. “Eat like a caveman”. “Don’t eat that because caveman did eat it”. It’s pretty similar to Atkins at the core though.

    John wrote on January 15th, 2014
  37. Actually raw vegan was probably what Grok ate when he couldn’t get any game, insects, or start his fire.

    Corey B. (Long Beach, CA) wrote on January 15th, 2014
  38. What’s funny is that Atkins was ranked 6th overall and Paleo 32nd. Paleo and Atkins are so similar, but Paleo is more inclusive than Atkins and yet the gap in the rating is 26. Nonsense. It’s actually laughable… “… panel of experts…”

    Ade wrote on January 15th, 2014
  39. THANK GOD !…FHEW! – the fact that the “recognised” authorities and experts have rated it as the lowest is good news. A rule of thumb is that if you take what the experts say and reverse it completely, you get the correct advice.

    Storm wrote on January 15th, 2014
  40. Who said that natural selection wasn’t still alive and well for the human race – everyone reading this is here because all your ancestors, right back to a single cell organism had the right luck and choices, resulting in you. Will you continue this chain by making the right choice as well ?

    Storm wrote on January 15th, 2014

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