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November 11 2015

Blindspots Even Informed Paleo Enthusiasts Often Have

By Mark Sisson
63 Comments

BlindfoldYou read Mark’s Daily Apple every day. Paleo health, nutrition, and fitness folks populate your Twitter feed almost exclusively. You’ve got several PubMed alerts set up, helping you stay on top of the emerging evidence. Everyone in your immediate circle knows to come to you with questions about diet and exercise. You’ve been living like this for the better part of a decade, and things are going well. But what if there were a few blindspots you didn’t know about, or assumed you didn’t have to consider?

I’ve been doing this for a long time. Over the course of 10-odd years, I’ve realized that many Primal and paleo enthusiasts have a few glaring blindspots. They may not be cataclysmic, but addressing them—or at least acknowledging their existence—can certainly improve your health and happiness.

Let’s look at three of them.

Feeling their diet and lifestyle makes them immortal.

It’s easy to get caught up in the rapidity of initial health improvements accompanying a Primal lifestyle. You lose a dozen pounds and several inches off your waist. You stop falling asleep at your desk once 2 o’clock rolls around. You’re no longer ravenously, constantly hungry. Foods that used to be pleasantly sweet are now cloyingly so. You read about the relative dearth of degenerative diseases in even long-lived hunter-gatherer peoples, figure you’re “eating just like them,” and assume you’ll also live long and well without having to see a medical professional or worry about cancer or heart disease. After all, you’ve eliminated refined sugar and grains, get plenty of physical activity, and adhere to all the Primal laws (and even some of the runners-up). What could go wrong?

That’s not how it works.

We’re all mortal. We’re all going to die. And it’s not always going to be a pleasant subtle shift into non-consciousness. It may very well hurt. It may very well involve a long, protracted degenerative process. The fact remains that maintaining a relationship with a health professional can actually help stave off some of these unpleasant complications. I absolutely, wholeheartedly maintain that diet, lifestyle, and exercise are the most important factors in determining how one lives and dies, but don’t write off modern medicine.

Ignoring the role of genetics.

I’ve often said that the key to determining how genetics affect our health is through epigenetics: the turning on and turning off of genes in response to certain environmental stimuli. If we can just expose our bodies to the right environmental stimuli, we can. The “cancer gene” only becomes cancer-promoting in the wrong environment.

That’s probably true, but it’s also true that we don’t know all the environmental-gene interactions going on inside our bodies. Sure, eating healthy, lifting weights, getting adequate sunlight—these behaviors have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, even in those prone to developing it. But those with a familial history of cancer, heart disease, or other illnesses shouldn’t ignore it just because they’re seemingly doing everything right.

Heeding genetics doesn’t mean submitting to the slings and arrows of destiny. I want to make that clear. But the guy with the “obesity genes” is more likely to become fat in response to food. To avoid obesity, he’ll have to eat cleaner, limit junk food forays, and train harder and more frequently than those jerks with genes that allow them to stay effortlessly lean. At a population level, genetics tell accurate stories. In the individual, genetics identify predispositions.

The difference here is that in our genes we have a static, immutable recipe that doesn’t change over time, but is profoundly affected by the epigenetic inputs we decide to present. And that’s where the power of paying attention to your genetic makeup lies: as a roadmap for potential epigenetic triggers we ultimately control. If you ignore your genes, you’re flying a little blind.

Ignoring recent ancestry.

Humans are all built with the same basic physiological machinery. We use the same enzymes to process fats, carbs, and protein. We make the same endogenous antioxidants. Some of us don’t produce insulin, but we all respond to it.

And that’s why the basic Primal plan works for just about everyone. Because at the heart of it, eating Primal means ditching processed junk food and eating nutrient-dense animals and plants instead. It’s hard to go wrong with that. At the very least, it’s a great start.

But sometimes things stop working as well. And people get disillusioned. They get desperate and flail about, trying anything. Maybe they just need to get specific.

We know that humans are still evolving. A couple years ago, I even wrote a post describing some of the basic changes that the human genome(s) have undergone in the years since agriculture. Although personal ancestry-based dietary and lifestyle advice is years out, and we’re still figuring out the details and limited to making educated guesses, it might be worth it to think of your health and eating practices in terms of ancestral expectations.

Consider what I discovered after getting my genes analyzed. Much of what I was already doing—avoiding chronic cardio, eating more fat, taking more vitamin D (or sun) and omega-3s—was vindicated by the DNAFit results. It turns out that since I’m of Scandinavian stock, I’m adapted to and likely need a diet higher in fish and vitamin D for optimal health. I have the genetic predisposition to excel in endurance athletics, but my genes also predicted I’d be a strong power athlete; that explains why I was an elite marathoner in the old days and more recently have found decent success lifting and sprinting. I’d already figured all that out through trial and error, but not everyone does. Using your recent personal ancestry as a rubric for making lifestyle and diet modifications can be helpful. You don’t even have to go get a genetic test, although that can make it easier. You could simply ask your grandparents about their grandparents, or track your surname(s) and determine where in the world they likely originate.

It’s a fun detective game that can really pay dividends for your health and happiness. Later, I’ll probably write more in depth about using one’s recent ancestry to find clues about optimal lifestyle.

If these aren’t blindspots for you, cool. I don’t expect these to be issues for everyone out there. But they aren’t rare, isolated examples. Look within and ask if you’ve been ignoring some of these blindspots.

What else do paleo or Primal people tend to miss? What other blindspots are there?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

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63 thoughts on “Blindspots Even Informed Paleo Enthusiasts Often Have”

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  1. “Later, I’ll probably write more in depth about using one’s recent ancestry to find clues about optimal lifestyle.”

    Please do! This would be a wonderful and intriguing read. I’ve always wondered whether ancestry plays into all of this, and now that I know it does, I’d love to learn all I can about it.

    1. I second this! I’ve ascertained that much of my body’s preference for seafood and red meat over white meat poultry, cooked vegetables over raw, gluten intolerance and relative dairy tolerance goes back to my very strong British roots. I’ve also got a rather recent strain of solid Cherokee that I think may be responsible for my corn tolerance (which my son did not inherit. My husband has NO Native American lineage and is primarily German), and how my dairy tolerance is still less than my husband’s.

      I also respond better to strength-based fitness, so I wonder how that plays out.

    2. I agree. Would also like more on this subject. Years ago was given the simple advice to eliminate any food your grandmother wouldn’t have learned how to cook. (Might have to make that great or great great depending on your age to get back before industrial refined and processed foods.) Then if that didn’t clear up ones diet/digestive issues go back 500 years, i.e. Precolumbian, and only eat foods your ancestors would have eaten then.

  2. My biggest blind spot is for sure ignoring genetics. My father died of a heart attack at the age of 40. His side of the family has a ton of heard issues. My mother has diabetes. It scares me to think about all of this, and I do everything I can to make sure I mitigate my own risk. But still. It is terrifying at times, especially as I watch my mom get older.

  3. The biggest blind spot is thinking the meme of paleo, primal, ancestral is actually a THING. It is not. It is a metaphor for a simple concept: eat real foods that optimize health and happiness.

    Just about everything we eat except for wild fish has been hybridized by humans over many millennia, primarily to be bigger, more attractive and to last longer.

    Virtually nothing we eat anywhere, including home grown food, is actually primal at all.

    And for me I have a particular issue with 2,000 mile food, and in particular internet food shipped by UPS. The real food movement does not seem to have intersected the climate/fossil fuel movement. Why is that?

    1. Very true, Josh. A lot of people, mostly detractors, tend to read too much into the name. Paleo/Primal could just as easily be called the Back to Basics lifestyle.Of course we can’t eat and live like Paleolithic Man did, and why would we even want to?

      Personally, I like living in a house that’s warm and dry in the winter and cool and dry in the summer, with a bed to sleep on, running water, flush toilets, and a stove to cook my food on. I’m grateful for many things I have that Grok and his kin never even dreamed of. However, I do try to eat as close to nature as I can by sticking with fresh whole foods and cooking from scratch. I do mostly avoid grain products and sweets–not because Grok did or didn’t, but because that’s just what works best for me.

    2. “And for me I have a particular issue with 2,000 mile food, and in particular internet food shipped by UPS. The real food movement does not seem to have intersected the climate/fossil fuel movement. Why is that?”

      This is definitely an important issue, and it is indeed strange that those movements don’t seem to intersect. Me and my friend who’s also paleo have come to the conclusion that “locally grown” trumps “superfood” (like quinoa) so we decided to give up certain foods no matter how healthy or delicious they are (avocado :'( ). But it’s perfectly possible to maintain the lifestyle this way in most places on earth I gather (hehe, “gather” :p).

    3. Tame fish and wild fish are getting it on. Thus even wild caught salmon can have hybrid genes. Pity.

  4. This is a great point that we all need to be reminded of. Eating primal, staying active, and practicing good lifestyle behaviors help influence our genetic expression in our favor–but it doesn’t entirely negate the influence of some of the shortcomings lurking in our own personal genetic codes. It’s a hard fact that some of us will have to fight harder to maintain lean muscle mass, fight insulin resistance, and ward off particular degenerative diseases because of our genetic stock. But that should encourage us to cut ourselves, and others around us, some slack if we’re not always achieving our “A” game despite a good effort. It’s all about doing your best and getting the most enjoyment out of life!

  5. I like the recent ancestry angle. Perhaps a blind spot is trying to go too far back in time. It is unrealistic to crave an extinct species like a cave bear steak. However, indigenous regional foods of our personal bloodline may have more in tune with our recent geneset than an unattainable prehistoric diet. My maternal grandfather’s bloodline was from Bremen,de. Perhaps that is why I’m one of the few people I know that craves pickled baitfish and kale sautéed in brown butter. My Vienna Austrian bloodline leans my palate towards smoked meats and pickled cabbage. I have a batch of red cabbage and shredded horseradish root fermenting away at the moment. I could eat chicken with root vegetable stew every day. Perhaps that’s because my Nove Mesto, nad Vahom farm family blood line had no other option. Food became unhealthy when it was altered for mass commercial consumption and extended shelf life. So if one finds it difficult to eat like a caveman, simply try to eat like your great grandparents

    1. Good points, Jack. Like you, I couldn’t care less what the cavemen ate. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all cooked from scratch, and that’s what I try to emulate. That’s not to say that they didn’t eat their share of grains and sweets; they certainly did–wonderful European desserts. But maybe it was better junk food in those days since it was always homemade with high-quality ingredients, and they didn’t stuff themselves with it. These days I avoid the desserts, even the homemade ones, but I do cook real food like my mother did.

      1. Very true! However, sugar and chocolate were expensive and sweets were more of a once-a-year holiday tradition three generations ago. My family still practices the tradition of gifting marzipan pigies at Christmas. Today, were bomarded with sweets. Great grandma never had the option of 50 different candy choices in the checkout line.

        1. Riri, its nice you have discoverd your dietary roots. I understand, The Maasai from Kenya and Tanzania subsist off of bovine blood, milk and meat almost exclusively. Their genes have adapted to a diet that would be most unhealthy by Western standards. However the outlying tribes that stay true to their ancestral diet remain free of Western disease. You make the case that genetic adaption to diet may be more localized in nature.

        2. Jack, the Maasai of Kenya comprise of only 2% of the entire population. And blood is actually only drank on special occasions not daily. The reality is that their diet is more like the rest of the country – Maize/corn flour, rice, other grains, legumes, potatoes, veggies, fruits etc.

          Milk is drank daily by many/most Kenyans because we love our tea with milk and sugar. As for meat, excluding the urban areas where many people are eating western style diets high in meat and fat(with corresponding rates of diabetes and overweight), traditionally, meat is either eaten in very small amounts or eaten infrequently. We used to use it to flavor the stew for example, as opposed to having a large steak each. I’d say less than a tenth of what the average American eats. The concept of eating 3 eggs for breakfast every day, like I was doing here in the US, was unheard of. I don’t even recall eating cheese. My relatives who live in the cities and eat like this are overweight and getting diabetes. That’s why I’ve gone back to eating a more traditional diet that’s heavily plant based.

    2. My recent ancestors are from Africa. Their diet was high in grains, tubers, legumes, veggies and fruits. Low in added oils and meat. I’ve abandoned the meat based paleo diet and started to eat like my parents and grandparents. None of them ever got diabetes or cancer or heart disease or obesity.

      1. Interesting. I am not a decedent of anyone from Africa, but I have realized of late that I do better with a slightly higher carb content too. I was trying so hard to do high fat, but I was gaining weight & my lipid profile was suffering.
        I kind of gave up for a minute. Not back to Standard American Diet, I’d come too far for that, but sure, pass me the potatoes, serve my chili over rice.
        Next thing I know, my belly fat is decreasing & my lipid profile goes back down. Weird, right?
        I’m still off wheat & most other grains, but I’m learning to listen even harder to the signals my body is giving me than when I first started my primal journey.

        1. Beth, me too. After years of low-carb and high fat, my cholesterol was way up. It’s only recently (this year) gone down to normal for the first time after years on paleo. My diet is now over 75% carbs, whole foods of course. And my fasting blood glucose was 70 on my last test. I also finally dropped to my ideal weight of 125 lbs.

        2. Glad to hear you’ve found what works for you. As I always say, Primal is a solid template, but run your own personal experiments to find the best fit.

      2. You tell them Riri. Most people eat far too much animal product. It’s plain irresponsible and unsustainable. That’s why they are fat, immobile, unhealthy and die miserably and early. It is why the planet is dying. I looked in great shape eating meat(primarily paleo), 5’9″ 170 lbs strong, well built, but with 15 to 20 lbs of dead weight, unusable muscle and hidden fat stores. Transitioned to a plant based diet after my axillary nerve ruptured. Dropped 20 pounds. All health issues related to the nerve have receded. Some do say, wow you’re too skinny. No. My body is optimally functional. My focus is razor sharp. My Spirit is aware. Again the Paleo community has good ideas, but they are blinded by physical lusts.

        1. The planet is dying because there are 7 billion odd human beings living upon it, most taking more than they give back, full stop end of story. Human population is the issue, what they eat is only a small part of that

  6. I’ve heard that blood type gives a good idea of one’s evolutionary adaptation to food (O is oldest hunter-gatherer type food; B is nomadic…add dairy and fermented food; A is agricultural…plant-based is best and older grains (not modern wheat or GMO corn) are fine. (I forget what AB, the most recent blood type, is supposed to eat.) O is the largest group population-wise, so eating paleo/primal will be right for the largest number of people. But some people really do feel better eating mostly vegetable-based foods and slow breads…maybe these are type As?

    Any thoughts, Mark? Anyone?

    1. Not sure about blood types– I abhor breads and grains– don’t do well if and when I indulge. But I love meat and the hunter-gatherer fare, yet I’m A+. My wife won’t eat fish, pork or red meat, only chicken and she eats a ton of grains, pasta, breads, and veggies–and her blood type is O (rh negative) very rare.

      I probably should have kicked a long time ago as sometime for days on end all I eat is red meat, and a lot of that is raw ground round. Been doing that since I was 5 and my dad turned me on to “cannibal sandwiches”.

      I’m 65– feel like I’m 19, I run hill sprints, life a bit, and hike a lot. Blessed!

        1. Extremely rare because of the RH factor. But have not studiedwhy

    2. I have A+ blood and I do well with some oatmeal, but no flour-based products because they make me crave sugar something fierce. I live in Western-Europe and have no reason to assume my family originated anywhere else, and my last name suggests my ancestors were farmers. I do need dairy. Don’t know if that clears up anything at all, but I didn’t want to leave your question hanging 🙂

      1. Thanks Sope, Mark, and Barb for the links. After reviewing them, I would add after “I heard that….

        …but it turns out that this is false.”

        Sorry for spreading a dumb idea that has been debunked 🙁

        Now Pastor Dave and trillie’s counter-examples make perfect sense. So glad to be on a site where people actually know things, are patient and generous enough to share, and are kind and tactful when I’m flat-out wrong. (Plus I love the mayonaise!)

    3. I’m an O Negative blood type. I HATED meat (all kinds) as a child. I lived on milk, cheese, fruit, and peanut butter sandwiches. Now as a 40+ woman, I eat a fair amount of meats, although my preference is seafood. I’m not sure blood type is a great way to plan your eating style, but like Mark says, self-experimentation is important.

  7. Blood sugar regulation is an area that I believe is missed with any diet. That dysregulation feeds right into hormones.

  8. Really like your mention of how sometimes, to see sustained, optimal results, people “just need to get specific.”

    Eating and living within broad paleo-primal parameters is of course an excellent starting point…but individual needs vary (and change over time). A few tweaks–made through self-experimentation or with trained support and guidance–can make such a tremendous difference.

    For some, other huge shifts can come by adding in herbs and supplements and/or getting regular holistic bodywork or other treatments.

  9. Simple, effective and concise article Mark.

    We’ve definitely witnessed the pendulum swing to what I’d consider anti modern medicine.

    The pendulum doesn’t have to go the other way, but we definitely have to be a bit more realistic with ourselves and our clients about the “benefits of XYZ vegetable”..

    Blindspot?

    The fact that skipping meals causes a spike in cortisol which causes even more adrenal stress than they are already under. (everyone I’ve tested has some level of adrenal stress).

    EAT!

  10. Yep that’s my blind Spot! I am completely arrogant and even caught myself thinking “that won’t happen to me” (regarding cancer). Thanks for catching me out Mark.

    1. Yes, me too! I’ve been avoiding an annual check up, thinking my diet and lifestyle will save me, so this is giving me pause for thought!

      Ancestral genetic influences is fascinating. I’m thin, pre-diabetic, eat a very low carb diet. Every now and then, I try adding carbs, and always end up feeling worse and having cravings. I wish I were one of those people who needs more carbs!

  11. A blind spot I see with a significant number of Paleo dieters is the over consumption of fructose. Recipes that have 3 or 4 tablespoons full of honey, plus 2 bananas & other fruit, all in the one cake . And I agree shunning the medical profession to too greater extent could be to the detriment of one’s health. Better to seek the advice, consider it & the angle the medic is coming from, their rational & their ability to source good quality scientific research. If you don’t feel the advice is right you don’t have to take it. But it’s a hard one as too much conflicting advice can be so muddling eg WHO’s latest rant about meat & bacon.

  12. We are all trying to eat well but many of us are being knocked down with cancer….. Perhaps stress and enviromental poisons that are out of our control are killing us.
    I’m now 63 and lived through the many decades of ‘the pill’, margarine, vegetable oils, no fat, vegetarianism, jogging, pesticides, air pollution, plastics etc etc.
    We can only do our best with the information we now have to make the best decisions for our bodies.
    I feel so fortunate to found MDA, having followed it now for 6 years and send it to everyone who is concerned about their health and fitness.
    Thinking about your ancestors gives you a reference point to follow or dismiss.
    I’m definitely the one at the back of the cave needing total blackout for sleep. I hate hotel rooms with all their little lights shining down..

  13. My own blindspot is my tendency to gorge on raw food treats. “I’m Paleo!! I love life!” I tell myself as I stuff my face with gluten-free brownies, and sob a little.

  14. My grandma lived to be 93, & literally dropped dead. I try to think back and remember what she ate and did. She did teach me how to garden and butcher a chicken. However, on the other side of the family, I have a small percentage of first Nation blood. So, primal living is the optimal way for me to live. I will continue to chop wood and hoe garden like a central European, an do some Hunting & gathering for fun. With any luck I will drop dead in the garden or in the woods.

    1. It’s the true Primal dream…dropping dead in the garden or the woods. 🙂

  15. I find cooked veggies replusive, but love raw veggies and have ‘big ass salad’ every day. Also get meat cravings and salty food. Starchy foods not so desirable anymore even sweet potatoes- they were my favorite post workout carb, now I take a swig of molasses after my work out,AWESOME!

  16. “With any luck I will drop dead in the garden or in the woods.” my dad is still farming at 79-that means outside at sun up doing hard labor. he does take over more of the tractor duties now and gets around on a quad instead of his on two feet. he said he hopes he’ll die in the field. not a bad way to go if you are just losing consciousness and not gasping for breadth. you’d be looking up at the sky, listening to the birds; you’d smell all the smells of the farm…

    i am wondering why 23andme was shut down for giving health related advice, but that gene testing company Mark used wasn’t. 23andme is only $100. if you get it now, you just get ancestry information, but you still have access to all your raw genetic info. you can go to snpedia.com and search areas you are interesting in (like ‘diabetes’) and lots of short summaries and links to research papers will pop up. after reading the summaries and finding a specific risk allele you want to know more about, you search for that gene/allele, which brings you to a page where you can link to you 23andme account. then you can see if you have that risk allele or not.

    on another note, people involved in this lifestyle rightly understand the importance of not just clean air and water and soil, but being out in nature. what some don’t realize is that they have to be actively involved in protecting natural areas from being bulldozed over. i live in new jersey, so i’ve seen land just gobbled up like crazy. once that forest is gone for a walmart super store, it’s gone. i used to be very active in my local open space group, but then needed to devote more time to raising my children. now that they are starting college, i need to get back to working to protect what we have. if you’ve never grown up around nature, maybe you think you don’t need it, but your innate human nature knows that you do.

    mark, please get to work on some books about aging in america for people who don’t have a lot of money (ie shrinking middle class). again, looking into meds for the aged might not be a concern for you readers now, but it will be. the dangers of anticholinergics are what i am focusing on right now.
    lastly, could you please get to work on that paleo menopause book? i would love to have advice that really works from women who were suffering but found a way to turn things around for themselves using non hormonal options. i have some methods i could contribute, but they are still tentative.

  17. Great article Mark. I admit I often feel immortal since going Primal. You actually just gave me an idea for a future blog post of my own. I also realized I have a glaring blindspot in the area of genetics. I think I’m going to take up your referral on getting my own DNA tested to see how I might be able to further optimize things. Thanks again for the great read.

    Keep the blue side up.
    Joe

  18. Interesting, I came up against this about a year ago. Thinking I was invulnerable, I had not even contacted my doctor in 6-7 years. Passing through a supermarket pharmacy, waiting for my wife, I sat down and put my arm in one of these auto blood pressure measurement machines. I was shocked to see my pressure was very high.
    This motivated me to call my doctor for an appointment, imagine my surprise to find that they had taken me off his patient list thinking that I must have died (I am 64 so I guess that was the reason)

    Anyway happy ending, even though my pressure was slightly elevated it was nothing to be concerned about. It was a wake up call though, as I have scheduled annual checkups now and have established a great relationship with my doctor who knows and understands my lifestyle choices.

  19. One other blind spot I’d like to add is the lack of awareness of the histamine content of paleo staple foods, and that many people that adopt a paleo lifestyle discover intolerances to many of these foods. On this journey, we end up reaping some of the obvious benefits (like weightloss), but also end up with other problems that end up being tricky to solve. For many people, too much fermented and aged food just isn’t tolerable. I think this “histamine awareness” is the next frontier in ancestral living that will emerge in the next few years. Thoughts anyone?

  20. I definitely want to get my genes analyzed, once I can afford it. My father was constantly sick (mental illness, 3 heart attacks, a stroke and then died of an aggressive colorectal cancer that spread to 3 other major organs at 57. Although he was very overweight most of his life, it was more than that i’m sure. It may indeed play into my final decision on whether to have kids, when the time comes.

  21. Claudio, I couldn’t agree more! I went primal / paleo and ended up feeling completely horrible like I got hit in the face with a 2×4 after I ate! I suddenly had to go to sleep everyday after I ate lunch and felt tired all day long , it was awful! I couldn’t figure out what it was . checked for all kinds of food intolerances, etc. long story short it ended up being histamine intolerance. quit eating aged cheese, yogurt, and fermented foods, switched to non histamine producing probiotics and started taking Dao supplement when eating leftovers, now I feel great, but it took a long while to figure it out.

  22. nice write up. 🙂

    most of us did not grow up eating ancestral diet (or lifestyle). i dont’ know which generation i am as a “Pottenger’s Cats”. (my guess is 3rd or 4th. so i may need to more careful.

  23. Living with a chronic illness, I sometimes cringe at the smug health enthusiasts (many of them Paleo) when they tout about how their lifestyle will ward off health issues. At times it almost crosses the blame the victim line. I am much better off eating a Paleo diet than not, but no diet would have prevented me from contracting Lyme disease, having it in my body undiagnosed for years and having it turn neuro before I was diagnosed. Diet is certainty not a cure. It helps, but its not the be all end all.

    1. i agree it is certainly not a panacea; i still get cold/flu just as often. but normally they just don’t last as long. (may have something to do w/ not being breast-fed) no amount of lifestyle change can change the fact.
      (sometimes reading too much of these blogs make me worry too much)

      stay healthy,

    2. Carla, I relate – I don’t have a diagnosed disease – just a ‘situation’ with auto-immune antibodies which are alive and kicking. Would I have this situation if we’d always eaten Primal at home? Who knows. I do think I had symptoms for a long time which were never recognised. There’s a great group on Facebook – the Paleo Approach – where you won’t find any sanctimonious attitude. Rather, a passionate, encouraging, explorative and supportive group (of mostly women), who are all experimenting with Paleo to find relief from AI. Check it out if you haven’t already, they’re a fun bunch!

      1. Hi Angie,

        Thanks for the heads up about the group! I will check it out for sure!

  24. I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for dairy. My grandparents and greats on the Italian side would never have survived if they hadn’t had their cows and their ability to make cheese. That and corn. It was polenta that got them through the famine periods. But the northern Italians who ate only polenta developed a deficiency disease known as ‘pellagra’. Those who combined it with a little meat, fish or cheese were okay. Not to say they lived long and were healthy. Just long enough to reproduce.

    On the Irish side, potatoes.

    I like to ‘honour’ my gene-pool every now and again. Polenta and some fresh cheese in summer when the cattle are out feeding on mountain grasses – seems to connect me with my father’s side. And when I go home to Australia, or to London for a weekend, yes, to be in the food-culture of my Mother – it nourishes – maybe not so much on the physical level, but definitely with regards to the heart.

  25. By going paleo and doing HIIT you are already in better health than 99% of the population. However one other potential blindspot which Jack Kruse talks about is that paleo enthusiasts embrace modern technology, leading to lower melatonin and higher estrogen (potentially increasing your risk for breast cancer and T2D, as T2D is highly correlated with chronodisruption). Use F.lux people!