Meet Mark

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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November 03 2011

Introducing the New Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

By Mark Sisson
201 Comments

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

So much for that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Old Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

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

New Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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201 thoughts on “Introducing the New Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid”

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  1. What makes nuts/nut butters/nut oils different from other sources of fat?

    1. Extremely high omega-6 content (highly inflammatory) and high lectin (antinutrient) content, worse than grains in some cases, are the two main differences that spring to mind.

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

      1. Well said. Nuts and seeds are best avoided then eaten in abundance. I recommend people use them as a condiment.

        Eat more macas than any other nut or seed!

        1. Yup. Too many almonds or almond butter gives me bloating. Macadamias don’t. Butter, coconut oil, and animal fats don’t. I think there’s something to be said to limiting most nuts and their butters.

        2. Guilty! I will be going on nut free GAPS….will be interesting to see how the muffin top responds, lol! I must be sensitive to nuts as I crave them.

        3. When you say avoided and then eaten in abundance, how long are we talking? A day, week?

          … or do you mean than?

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

  2. A great improvement – the clarifications and tweaks here make perfect sense. Thank you!

  3. A very helpful update. I particularly appreciate the straightforward explanation of the changes. Creativity, transparency, and open mindedness are my favorite virtues of the MDA blog.

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

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

    1. Careful. The new pyramid suggest meats/poultry/etc is the bulk of CALORIES. You will find that if you “visually” eat more meat/poultry etc and much less veggies…you’ll be woefully lacking in that dept.

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

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

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

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

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

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

      3. I agree… most people look at the quantities on their plate, so I would recommend that vegetables be the base of the pyramid.

        1. As a visual person I agree that the plate method to describe what and how to eat is invaluable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Good luck.

          1. Have you researched “The Broken Brain” by Dr. Mark Hyman? They completely reversed a patients symptoms by using MCT oil!

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

  6. I use coconut oil for cooking but also will eat a couple of spoonfuls sometimes as an afternoon snack. Does anyone else do that? Looks like the new pyramid allows it only for cooking and not snacking.

      1. “Oh, butter, coconut oil, and animal fats for eating, and avocados, macadamia nuts, and olives/extra virgin olive oil for eating?”

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

    1. Oh yeah. Every morning before my workout I greedily, lustily savor two tablespoons of the stuff… nectar of the gods, my friend… 😉

    2. I mix a spoonful of coconut oil with some cocoa powder to satiate chocolate cravings!

      1. Me too! If you get the mix right, it’s fantastic. Also- try a scoop of Mark’s chocolate primal fuel with coconut oil- mmmm.

    3. I use coconut oil for tons of things:

      1) Drizzling on fruit

      2) Adding a bit to herbal tea

      3) Rubbing on my body post bath/shower

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

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

      I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but you get the idea 🙂

      1. This is a great list. I also use coconut oil on my face and occasionally use salt to exfoliate. But I started using coffee grounds instead when I heard the caffeine really acted to tighten and lift the skin. Love it!

        1. The coffee grounds is a great idea! I’ve heard caffeine tightens your skin as well. What kind of coffee grounds do you use and do you brew them first?

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

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

  8. “Thorough”….Hhmmm, how ’bout “assiduous” or “scrupulous”??

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

  9. Definitely an improvement over the previous version!

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

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

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

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

    1. I found dropping dairy was my final piece of the jigsaw, for me it was understanding that dairy protein (not just the sugar) has a big insulin effect, when I realised that, the penny really dropped.

      No cheese, no cravings. Simples!

      1. Yeah, I just recently found out about this A1 versus A2 casein problem.
        Some say it doesn’t matter and it’s just propaganda, others claim it a serious health problem.

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

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

        2. Do you think that is our problem we think a little is good therefore lots is much better. I read somewhere that anything that is HI = Human Interfered and not as nature presented it, should be used as a condiment not a staple. Works for me.

  11. Hi, will a new poster be made that will reflect the changes? I’d love to get one if it’s coming. 🙂

  12. Love it! Also so happy to see dark choc on there. I agree that it’s important to acknowledge sensible indulgences b/c it makes this lifestyle so much more enjoyable & sustainable. No guilt!

    1. go for cheap grass fed cuts of beef, ground beef, wild fresh sardines, and chicken breast, eggs, i calculated they are the cheapest at $1/20+g’s of protein

      1. Yeah, I kept trying sardines until one time I decided that I now like them.

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

  13. Typo on the oils… one is for cooking the other is for eating. Both right now say eating.

  14. Yes, we all know that. Mark is very open that he used to lead the chronic cardio/high carb lifestyle he now assails. Only idealogues never change their minds.

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

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

      1. trolls inhabit cyberspace and thus are not edible, or primal for that matter. And according to J.K. Rowling, they smell unpleasant too.

        1. But, if shove a wand up its nose you might just be able to defeat it 😉

    1. Most persons consider the ability to alter one’s beliefs and opinions when confronted with new information as a sign of intelligence.

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

      1. “Most persons consider the ability to alter one’s beliefs and opinions when confronted with new information as a sign of intelligence.”
        Heartily agree.

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

        1. Yeah, its best to avoid grammatical errors when going after someone for an offense-against-the-language crime. Kind of blunts the impact . . . .

  16. Yay! Quick go-to guides like this are great! Thanks, Mark.

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

    1. I agree – most people look at the pyramid and think “volume” – i.e. this is what I should have most of on my plate. I think it’s a little confusing.

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

        1. That’s why it would be nice to mention in the vegetable part that these are the bulk of volume, IMHO

  17. Why are macadamia nuts different than the other nuts? And does this mean you can eat more of them? Thanks!

      1. Macadamias are delicious, but personally I have to avoid them. I can eat 2000 calories of macs and still feel hungry for more, which doesn’t happen with any other primal food.

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

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

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

      1. …it is all a process….not good not bad….ditch the labels and focus on results…..

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

    1. The book is awesome. I’ll be recommending this book over the first one. If one wants a more in depth read then they can read the original book. If they want more then I’ll point them to The Paleo Solution and other books!

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

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

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

  22. First of all, Pete, you really are not going to find anybody on here that will listen to you.

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

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

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

    1. I was going to comment about that but you beat me to it. A poster would be great. Maybe one that’s more colourful though :p

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

    1. I had the same experience:
      Two glasses of red wine accompanying a large meal (!) made me really dizzy, to the point that my eyes were still moving intoxication-style for a while when I woke up next morning 🙂

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

    2. Yes, I have experienced the same thing. I think I may be allergic to it. I wonder if it’s the preservatives. Wish I could find good organic wine, but I haven’t really searched for it.

  24. Refreshing that we can all continue to grow and evolve and not hold on to dogma and be stubborn in our beliefs because at one point time we believed or said one thing. With new info comes new knowledge.

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

  25. Seeing the new pyramid makes me wonder —

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

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

    1. As long as you’re getting most of your protein from food I don’t see a problem with it. I supplement with whey once or twice a day to help me get enough protein in. I also eat 5-7 eggs and 9-12oz of meat/fish.

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

  27. It’s also for the guy whose browser doesn’t autofill “Paleohacks” when he so much as thinks about typing a “P.

    LOL.

    Nice one, Mark.

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

  29. This is excellent, I always found it slightly odd that vegetables and fruit were at the bottom and then meat!

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

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

  30. I wanted to add that as humans we have an amazing capacity to learn new things. When someone insists on remaining stagnant in old belief patterns–being dogmatic–one ceases to grow and thrive. When we learn something new, and upon further research and investigation discover that it is correct or an improvement upon our previous knowledge, this indicates that we are adaptable and eager to learn. So, Pete, you really are barking up the wrong tree. Additionally, what is so wrong about “capitalizing” upon an idea, when you are so passionate about it that you make it your life’s work??? I say, more power to Mark and the Bees, and thanks for making your vast knowledge available to us.

  31. What about cheese?

    Is cheese part of the “High-Fat Dairy”?

    I love grated cheese on my huge salads.

    1. If you’re lactose tolerant and dairy doesn’t really cause problems for you, cheese is fine. Mark has a big post on cheese selection. “Play it snooty” and go for the aged, good cheeses. I have yoghurt, cream, and cheese and all’s good and rolling. 🙂

      1. Milla, I agree with you on the aged cheeses (also the full fat yogurt and cream). I had read that aged cheeses had no lactose, that it was converted by the aging. Sure enough, when I got my next 18 month aged cheddar, the nutrition label reported 0 grams sugars. So, lactose tolerance is not an issue.

    2. As a condiment it is ok – Grok didn’t have access to cheese….

  32. anyone got any info on the wild rice vs tubers portion? I thought white rice was the least offensive grain and that roots/tubers were still better.

  33. Hmmmm. I’m undecided. The new pyramid is right on the money for those who understand caloric values, but unfortunately so many do not. The new chart, to a casual observer (and dare I say the bulk of Americans on the SAD), would look at it and their takeaway will be “Eat mostly meat/poultry/fish etc.” And not eat nearly enough veggies. The chart is correct in stating it intends to convey bulk of calories, but most people (not us) will infer it means “mostly meat/poultry/fish/eggs” from a “servings” perspective.

    Before going primal, had I glanced at this chart, I would think I could cut back on the servings of veggies and eat more meat. When in fact, from a “serving size” perspective, the salad I am eating at this very moment is a HUGE bowl of greens and veggies, with about a cup of grass-fed ground beef. A lot of people would read the chart and feel it means its better to have a huge pile of ground beef, with a little salad on the side.

    I think to not be “attacked” by the doubters, it needs some tweaking in the explanation of what you mean when you put the base as meat/poultry/fish/eggs…staress that you are talking about CALORIES, not portion size.

    Just my initial thought, keep up the great work.

    1. Even if people did misinterpret the “volume vs. calories” issue, I don’t see that being a problem. Animal protein is almost universally self-regulating from a satiation standpoint, therefore making it difficult to overeat.

      Better to eat the base of the pyramid to satiety–with vegetables to taste–than the other way around.

      Further, one proposed health promoting mechanism for vegetables is via hormesis (see Kurt Harris’ article). If this theory is true, too much plant food may even be harmful.

      Nice job Mark. Looks similar to the Jaminets and JStantons recs- which is a good thing. Nice to see continued alignment among the paleo “pillars”.

    2. I agree. When I look at food pyramids, I see the different tiers of total VOLUME of food eaten, not calories. I don’t count calories, but I can easily eyeball how much of something I am eating.

      On the whole, the new pyramid is more helpful, but I would switch meat and vegetables, perhaps with a note on the bottom stating that the pyramid represents volume of food, not calories consumed.

  34. Ressembles more the book I am reading: Primal body-Primal Mind! GREAT BOOK

  35. This is fantastic – as someone who has been Primal for 2+ years and constantly tries to share the info with almost everyone I meet, this revised tool will be of great help in that endeavor!

  36. I’ve been following the PB for 6 months now, I love the new pyramid and can’t wait to show it to my husband. It’s quick and concise, and clears up a few questions I had- good job!

  37. Thanks Mark, to me this is much clearer than the former pyramid, definately makes a good “handout” and I like following your evolving thought processes and your very thorough posts. Super job as always!

  38. Soak your raw organic nuts in filtered water for 8 hours. Dry them out at 105 degrees in a dehydrator for a couple days and eat a handful or 2 a day – every day. They are super good for you and will not stall weight loss efforts. Pecans, almonds, brazil nuts…..it’s
    ALL GOOD…and good for you!

    As far as reasonably priced free range meats: Find a friend that hunts and they will gladly give you lots of free deer, elk, or whatever they hunt.

    Cook it in a crock pot – add plenty of grass fed butter and it’s every bit as good as beef!!

  39. The new pyramid is mostly an improvement. It gives the basic ideas in just one picture. Nice.

    I was wondering whether the title “Moderation foods” would be clearer as “Optional foods”. Someone above already thought he *had* to eat wild rice, while it would be better to communicate that you could try eating rice. You also do not have to eat dairy, potatoes and nuts (in moderation), but you may try them and see whether is works for you.

    If you call it “Optional foods” this may also be a better place for the “Sensible indulgence” and personally I would also see “Supplements” as optional.

      1. “optional” seems like a great idea. People seem to define “moderation” very differently.

  40. Exactly, Bruce. There’s no need for someone to be a hater on here… I have only been Primal for 3 weeks so I’m still one of the newbies (I think I still even have a tub of margarine… I really need to clean out my fridge!) so my opinion might not count for much, but one thing I have truly appreciated about MDA is that information is freely available and that while there is huge benefit from purchasing the book, the supplements, etc, there is no “buy my products and I’ll tell you the secret to my success” that is so prevalent among “fad diets” and “commercialized weight loss programs.” I truly appreciate Mark’s passion for sharing the knowledge and wisdom that he has WITHOUT COST. Besides, isn’t there something absolutely fulfilling and rewarding in being able to make a living doing what you love and are passionate about? Thanks, Mark, for everything you do!

  41. I wish I loved macadamias as much as I love almonds, pecans & walnuts. I just can’t stand them, and I cant do anything about it! I really can’t keep them down, macs literally give me gag reflex. I don’t know why. But I’ve always been very moderate with nuts, so I suppose, no problem…

  42. I’ve already got the new book with the latest pyramid in it. Well done and I don’t mean the way I like my meat (that would be rare). This is pretty much how I have gravitated to eating over the past 10 months, and it seems to be keeping my energy and mood at a constant harmonious level. Also, no cravings for any food in particular. I just eat when I feel the need and as much as I want without any repercussions. Reveling in the FREEDOM that comes with following a primal/paleo lifestyle.

  43. Is there any way to get the pyamid in poster size? I would like to frame it and put it in my kitchen. It would give people something to conversate about too.

    1. You could probably print off the image of the pyramid and take it in to a UPS Store/Staples or some sort of print shop and have them do it. Not sure but it’s worth a try.

  44. I would just like to say that I don’t think herbs should be lumped in with spices. Herbs are closer to a vegetable, for instance, when I go and pick greens for a salad (rocket,spinach,mizuna,lettuce etc, I always pick mint/s, basil/s, coriander, parsley etc in very liberal quantities as well. Also in cooking I use herbs in quantities similar to vegetables.

  45. Thanks Mark…As always your insight/information is greatly appreciated…Rock Out with you Grok Out!!!

  46. I will take this to work. It will definitely confuse and frustrate those who have personal trainers and “nutritionists”. You know, the crooks who tell overweight women to eat “gel packs” during their workouts? What is gel, anyways?

  47. I like the updates. The new pyramid is more inline with my dietary intake…which insures me that I have been doing in right from the beginning. Thanks again Mark!

  48. what makes macadamias so much better than all other nuts? i must have missed that post! i have heard time and again that they are king, but was never sure why exactly…

    1. Unlike most nuts, they have low PUFA omega-6 content. PUFA=Poly Unsaturated Fat. Those are the bad guys because they’re easily oxidized (rancid).

      The Mono-Unsaturated and Saturated fats are better for us because they’re stable.

  49. Mark, I love these updates! The bulk of what I do is teach patients how to eat. Now I can point them to your pyramid to simplify things. Thanks for making my work easier.

  50. what do you think of maca? it’s a tuber that grows around south america that it’s believe to raise testosterone levels.

    1. Seems to be very good stuff. It raises testosterone levels indirectly – that is it provides all sorts of micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, etc.

      Supposedly, it can also help prevent prostate overgrowth.

      Found some at a local Hispanic supermarket in the spice section, which I like better than the local supermarket since they have a lot more varied fresh food, and even have a fresh fish stand. So you probably don’t need to order it from a specialty place if you look around.

      I do like the effect, but don’t over do it, or you won’t get any sleep. 🙂

    2. Grok probably ate what he saw [it’s been a while since I read the book] and did he see tubers other than what he pulled up with the greens. Use as a treat or a condiment not a staple.

      A Naturopath told me to imagine a flower in three sections, including the root system….Flower, Leaves, roots….see it?
      In nature the leaves [greens] are more prolific….eat abundantly.
      The flower [the fruit and vegetable] is seasonal….next in abundance.
      The root [tubers etc] and seeds….eat sparing and only if there is no leaves or flowers…..they are there to grow the next crop of greens, fruits and vegetables or as a back up and we modern Groks don’t really need backup because we are carrying it around on our belly, hips and thighs.

      And that’s my theory….

  51. Well done, Mark. The new pyramid groks! Very clear. I’m happily all moved into it. It’s nice to see a graphic of what I essentially follow every day.

    And, of course, I love how I feel – never sick, a lovely state of equilibrium, clear skin, no cravings. It’s nice to both (a) love the food I eat on a daily basis; and, at the same time, (b) not be super food focused.

    What I mean by that is that food is important to me when it’s time to eat. Otherwise, I’m not all distracted by it like a lot of people are.

    Sure does leave a lot of time and mental energy open for other interesting things.

    Well done 🙂

  52. Please make this into a poster we can download and print. Puhleeeeeez?

  53. Mark, as usual this information is way too concise. Pyramids, pie charts, and other infographics are SO Microsoft Office ’03, and there is NO WAY anything as simple as this could possibly be correct and helpful. Way to pollute the blogosphere even more with your “common sense” and “reason”. Shame on you, Sir. Shame!

    1. Yes. Heaven forbid that something simple might actually BE correct and helpful. Mark goes “back to the basics”. This is healthy, sustainable and very enjoyable way of life. Read the success stories on this site. You will find a common theme. People reversing all kinds of chronic diseases (including ones that most people think aren’t curable) by doing something SIMPLE!!
      Love this Pyramid, Mark!! I was gravitating toward this, too. I found a lot of veggies were giving me digestive distress, too. Am slowly weeding out the “bad” ones.

  54. How are macadamia nuts with weight loss? Also what about palm oil?

  55. Good question as Bread/Pasta are shown on that pyramid as “infrequently” – seems to me they belong in the “never” category. Although to be fair, it does say in the blog text that this is Mark’s way of eating so I’m assuming it doesn’t act as a model for the rest of us—–

  56. Anyone having trouble viewing the images? I’m so keen to see what the pyramid looks like but unfortunately am getting a broken link 🙁

  57. I picked up a copy a few days ago, and I am almost finished with it. I had already read the Primal Blueprint, and while I felt like it was pretty clear. I am enjoying this guide and call to action a lot. Even when I reread material I am familiar with, I pick up new things. It also motivates me to keep going with my weight loss. I have lost 20lbs this year, but I was slacking off a bit. I may have a sugar addiction. Anyways, it’s a great book and I really love your approach to fitness. I like the new pyramid as well!

  58. @Mark, When you use the word moderation, especially when referring to fruit, how often is one to eat fruit in order to still eat them in moderation?

  59. This is helpful, Mark. Now that I’m tracking blood sugar levels because of gestational diabetes, I’ve learned I need to be careful about the quantity of vegetables I eat. (And I can only eat very small, rare portions of fruit.) But all the stuff on the bottom of the food pyramid is great! So this pyramid clarifies things for people who want to lose fat/weight or have glucose-level issues.

  60. great clarification with fats on the new pyramid. was getting sick of seeing in the forum how some primal peeps advocate most calories should come from fats!

    1. But doesn’t the new pyramid actually say that?…
      If the bulk of your calories are coming from meat, fish, fowl and eggs, then most of your calories will be from animal fats and protein. So unless you are only eating lean meats, you will most likely still be getting more calories from fat than protein.

      @Mark have you also added new suggested ratios of fat:protein:carbs?

  61. Mark, thank you for simplifying my “simple mind,” I was FAT…6’1″, 257 lbs of fat, crappy feeling, SAD living, looking forward to my next craving of fat and sugar.

    That was one year ago. On October 24, 2010 my wife got me to try a program called “Medifast.” Google it if you want, the premise was 5 (bars/shakes/prepackaged soy products) and 1 “Lean and Green meal. I told my friends about it and I started dropping weight IMMEDIATELY, to the tune of 35 lbs by early January 2011. Not something for others to try but it got my mind going in the right direction…I needed a kick in the pants to get healthy and this helped me get started on the right path to understanding how food affects my body.

    The weight loss began to slow to 2-3lbs/week but during that time, a friend told me I was doing it all wrong and losing too fast…I should check out this website called MDA. I did…and Mark, you opened my eyes to all of my FOOD sensitivities. As I transitioned off of the Medifast Program and read every Paleo/Primal type of book I could I bought the premise totally. BECAUSE of the way food made me feel…or the way it helped me AVOID feeling.

    Sadly I can’t do as much activity as I would like due to an auto accident in February of 2010 but what I can do is eat right and listen to my body.

    I’m now down at 188 lbs, down from 257 lbs one year ago and feel GREAT!. If I have a bowl of pasta, I feel like I’m comatosed (sp) about 15 minutes later. I’ve had maybe 4 sandwiches in the past year. I love my gelato and an occasional oatmeal cookie while shopping at Whole Foods or Mom’s. I’ve gone from wearing all XXL clothes, a 40″ waist pants pushing a 42″ waist to 34” waist pants. My wife took me to a store in the Annapolis mall called “Lucky” the other day for jeans and I fit into a 33″!!! So now I have 1 pair of jeans that fits. I couldn’t believe it, I haven’t been in 33″ waist pants since I was 19, I’m 36 now.

    I remember when I started reading about all of the Whole Food/Organics…I thought, what a “crock” and probably a ripoff and it’s sooo expensive. Then I began incorporating and replacing those type of foods in my families diet and realized how much better they taste and better I feel after eating them. Even the kids responded (my 10 y/o daughter required a little more effort than my 7 y/o boy) positively, now they usually reach for the “right” food without a second thought (mental note…get the Halloween candy out of the house). Then I noticed how I felt and how much BETTER the food tasted. We tend to keep less food in the house, shop more often for the freshest meat/veggies and hardly anything gets wasted. Most garbage cravings began to subside…with the worst week being the “Carb Flu” week. Once I got past that, I was in cruise control.

    It’s the sensitivities my body feels to ALL different types of foods that stands out the most! The positive ones that make me feel great and many negative that will make me feel ILL immediately (ie. I had a sip of a milkshake from my daughter the other day and my throat felt like it was swelling closed and I couldn’t stop trying to clear my throat).

    Like I said before, I physically can’t do as much as I would like because of my back and hip, but after seeing what my body is capable of, I tell you this from experience…90% of it is what you put in your mouth and NOT necessarily what you physically do. Now, don’t get me wrong, when I am able to go to the gym and lift a little…do some light cardio or take a LONG fast paced walk, I feel europhic (sp), but because of the pain eating in line with the above principles has changed my life and my families. That’s why I’ve been up since 1:40 am (now 4:49 am) because of back/sciatica pain, that and sorry for my notes/ideas and train of thought being ALL over the place!

    Mark, your guidelines are definitely the easiest to understand and follow. I get friends and acquaintances all the time who either haven’t seen me in awhile or know that I’ve lost a ton (69 lbs) of weight and say how did you do it. First thing I tell them is get rid of the bread and rice! It’s the single easiest thing, a side from that…sugar falls into place because the desire is no longer there (for me at least). Most are interested immediately…then when explaining the premise, that’s when the “DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS LOOK KICKS IN,” my wife usually nudges me and tells me to stop preaching. Maybe I just get too excited and lose them, but I can’t help it, IT WORKS…I tell her. She’s a very emotional eater and if she so much as tries something that isn’t good she has the potential to fall off the wagon IMMEDIATELY.

    I wish I had known this about my body 10, or even 20 years ago when I was younger…this lifestyle has had the greatest impact on me, greater than anything else I’ve experienced.

    Thanks Mark and to the rest of you, the MDA Community!

    JLHDU

    Jason, Leanne, Hayley and Drew U.

    1. It’s posts like these that make me glad that I scroll through the comments. Congrats on your progress… and keep preaching the good trooff!! haha

    2. This is a great story. I would love to read some more.

      Why don’t you send this in to MDA with a photo as a Friday success story, reach a wider audience and inspire even more?

      1. Thanks, I’m going to have to look…I’m sure I have plenty of FAT pictures (ha ha).

        After looking at the write-up again, I was all over the place.

        Mark may use anything I wrote above, I ordered the new book off of Amazon the other day, it should be here my 11/9 and I can’t wait.

        Thanks all, the MDA community is a great family to have!

        Jason

  62. Don’t know if anyone mentioned this already, but this would be an awesome and simple app. PBF Pyramid, and click on any level to see the best examples or recipes. Just saying. Love the site.

  63. Hi Mark,
    thx for the update!
    This is much better, and for me, it narrows the gap between Paleo and LCHF.

    And by that it makes it easier to understand/belive that this is the right way to look at the human diet.

    The old conventional diet will soon have to give in and accept that change is coming.

    //Daniel

  64. Mark, I know you would disagree with the distribution and servings of foods on the “Healthy Eating Pyramid” (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/files/Healthy-Eating-Pyramid-handout.pdf), but do you think you should also show the importance of maintaining a Primal exercise routine while eating Primally on your pyramid? I know the importance of the exercise portion of the Primal Blueprint to living healthfully on the Primal diet, so this addition would make the pyramid complete and people who saw it would realize ALL that goes in to being their best and most healthy (and make it poster ready).

  65. I’m genuinely happy that the food I love is all on that pyramid. Although, I would have made a own major, separate layer for bacon 🙂

  66. My question is about plums, they are a pitted fruit so are those suggested on the same level as peaches or should they be eaten less?

  67. Yes, new poster please!!! I’ve had the older one hanging in my classroom for a while now (and one in the faculty room) and I would love to replace them with the newer version. The posters spark a lot of good discussion and questions! Of course, I would like to have my new poster signed as well (like my older version). 😉

  68. Calories still count. I will probably be counting forever, but now with lower insulin levels.

  69. I already eat like this, have six pack abs, etc etc. I was sitting outside this morning thinking. Thinking about what I would eat if there were no supermarkets this winter. Knowing, that I would be eating meat, and thinking how silly vegetarians are in their convoluted thinking.

  70. The new one looks a lot better to me. Much more similar to how I eat than the previous one.

    How as your take on rice, potatoes and starchy vegetables (such as bananas) changed in the last year or so? After reading some of the stuff on the PHD blog, I’m starting to become somewhat convinced that starches are a good idea.

  71. Love the new pyramid. The idea of including sensible indulgences (for me the dark chocolate and coffee with heavy cream) was what made me think I could actually do this. I agreed with the science, but looking at the more rigid versions of primal/paleo, I just couldn’t see living the rest of my life without ever eating chocolate! Your more moderate version of Primal was what gave me the impetus to jump in 🙂 Thanks Mark!

  72. Good perspective. I needed the reminder to go easy on the nuts and dairy.

  73. Mark, I’m so glad to read this post! I was kind of confused by the previous pyramyd, so the new one it’s REALLY great! My best wishes for you and thanks for sharing!

  74. Wow. I have been a long-time reader and practicer, but never once commented until now. Mark, in my opinion, this new pyramid is your best work yet! Thank you so much, and I will continue to put it to good use.
    Effing sweet…

  75. Sounds like a great diet, but I would still consider going few days per week meatless. I think, there are some excellent vegetable protein sources that don’t raise much blood sugar, like tofu, beans, peanut butter.

    1. Tofu? Beans? Peanut butter? Soy? Ewww!

      Seriously? Those are all chock full of harmful toxins and anti-nutrients. Despite the protein content, some of which is toxic, they’re about 50% carbs, so don’t look at them as low carb. There’s absolutely nothing healthy there.

      I’d rather go on an all meat diet! I’m not sure who came up with the idea that eating less meat is good idea, but they either had an agenda or were seriously misled.

      We humans have been eating mostly meat for hundreds of thousands of years during the ice ages and we did just fine. In fact, if we hadn’t adapted to carnivory, we would have gone extinct.

  76. So I noticed high fat dairy was added to the plan but in moderation. I’ve read a lot on dairy’s negative effects and cut it out in result. I used to be a big muscle meal candifate for after workouts… What is the consensus on such?

  77. I’m super bummed that fruits went from a solid 30 pt. font at bottom of pyramid all the way to a 9 pt. font under moderation foods! Fruit is what keeps me sane! Now I’m just going to feel terrible every time I eat a piece of fruit . . . especially when it’s not a berry!

  78. Three cheers from my corner on the new pyramid. I am new to the Paleo/Neander Thin lifestyle (I have done the low carb for a long period a few years back and it did make all the difference in my body weight, etc.) So, finding your pyramid makes things much more doable for the long haul, which I personally hugely appreciate. Something that I can’t live with “forever” isn’t worth all the beginning efforts and worry. You’ve made it doable…yay, now I will not feel guilty when friends invite us over for dinner and a glass of wine. Thanks for your blog, it has given me renewed hope that this new lifestyle can last.

  79. I am not grizzled.

    I am voluptuous, hourglass shaped, clear-eyed, Ivy League-educated, and with the complexion of someone 20 years younger.

    Enough with the stereotypes about farmers, please. We aren’t all grizzled elders, bovinely huge males, and “apple cheeked farm wives.”

    In fact some of us are black, queer, disabled, and even very very young.

  80. Great article! I think you meant “cooking” instead of “eating” for this part “Oh, butter, coconut oil, and animal fats for eating”.

  81. How about a nice A4 size printable version with pictures of food to be coloured in and cut out and arranged to counteract the pretty USDA pyramids that come home from school ?

  82. How can you justify the environmental impact of this pyramid with meat and fish as the base? How can earth support 9 billion of us eating such a diet? It sounds like this pyramid is intended for the cushy fiscally-fit nations. Certainly in 50 years it will not be sustainable when China and India emerge.

  83. I’m glad to see meat as the basis of the new pyramid! I get so tired of people telling me I’d lose weight, feel better, be healthier if only I’d fill my plate with yummy veggies. The fact is, I don’t like vegetables much, and I don’t feel very good if I eat a lot of them at once. They make me gassy and leave a bad taste in my mouth, and even eating a whole plateful leaves me hungry. I lose weight easiest and look and feel best when my diet is mostly meat and fish, animal fats and tropical oils. Other people may love vegetables and do well basing their diets on them, but I wish they would stop trying to convince me that I should too. Whether they’re coming from Primal or CW, it sounds the same.

  84. Like most of the refinements, but my vote goes to reversing the two bottom layers (leaving in the comments about calories). Even through this thread, it is clear some people are interpreting it on a quantity (not caloric) basis.

  85. I love the increased clarity and simplicity.

    I’d like to see more said in the vegetables section about low glycemic index, colorful, etc. vegies.

  86. ditch the wheat, corn, and white potatoes, keep the rice and oats

    after like six months if you dont eat rice you will get bad headaches and confusion, probably from low blood sugar… you can eat vegetables and fruit all day but they arent digested well and most people tend not to get enough carbs from them no matter how much you eat… try to get an imported rice which avoids arsenic, basmati is a good choice and has the same glycemic as sweet potatoes

  87. Not to get hung up on details, but I really think fruits should be back at the base of the pyramid. Fruits are the best source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. A tomato has more than 10K phytochemicals, which far exceed the few chemicals isolated in even the best supplements. Unless you’re trying to lose major weight, its really important to incorporate a range of low/medium-GI fruits into the diet. Moving nut butters to a higher point makes a lot of sense, as they are processed into a form that allows massive carb/fat consumption- a really bad combo.

  88. Too many comments to sort through and see if anyone suggested this, but if the pyramid is based on pure calories instead of volume, then wouldn’t fats technically be at the bottom? That said, I do love this new pyramid 🙂

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  91. Hi Mark,

    That’s the same Paleo pyramid that I am following as well. I eat mostly vegetables now with smaller portions of fruit and lean meats and sea food as well. I enjoy readying all your articles very much. Cheers Mick

  92. Mark I dig this! I love seeing quinoa on this list- I’ve never had an issue with it and even though you’ve suggested it for athletes, I eat it twice a week, hasn’t hindered my weight loss efforts. But I don’t over do it. I always go with how my body feels and it sure loves quinoa ????

  93. I wish you’d stop talking about “the evolutionary process” as if it’s something. Just say “our bodies were designed that way”. You don’t have to add that we’ve evolved to secrete insulin .. just say that our bodies secrete insulin when there’s too much sugar in our system . . as an example.
    Otherwise, awesome stuff !!!

  94. Not a big fan of coconut oil. Way too much saturated fat. Unhealthy