"paleolithic" diet?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by bgjyd834, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. bgjyd834 Registered Member

    There are scientists that propagate this theory, the premise is that there are anti-nutrients in grains, dairy and legumes. Seems like they have sound evidence backed with publications which I can post upon request. Does any one know or ever tried this "paleo" lifestyle, is this how we should be eating?
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  3. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Tell you what - post it on up here with links and details. Give us a good look at precisely what it is you are asking about so we can address specifics.

    You have used some words that need some explanation, like "anti - nutrients". Please elaborate, if you would be so kind. Thanks!

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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I used to subscribe to the Paleolithic diet newsgroup back when newsgroups were all the rage and we all typed in courier font - it was very popular for some time, the hunter gatherer diet. You ate only stuff that was considered food by Paleolithic humans. This movement is actually the precursor for the organic food rage. I'm out of touch with what they are doing right now

    some new stuff:

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  7. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    Remember that paleolithic people also lived far different lives than many people today. Lots of outdoor time, activities, staying warm, fewer medicines, etc — but mostly, did they really live longer, healthier lives than us? All that can really be said is that they lived long enough and were healthy enough to reproduce (because here we are!).
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The Cro-Magnons were taller and stronger, with better teeth.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I echo the question, what the heck are "anti-nutrients"? Grains, dairy and legumes (as well as nuts and other seeds, which are not mentioned) were the food sources people turned to for protein, in the Iron Age when cities became too large for the surrounding farms to provide enough meat for everyone. (Remember that the fastest freight transportation was an oxcart and there was no refrigeration, so they couldn't ship their food from another time zone.) We now understand that protein sources from plant tissue contain only protein and starch, with very little vitamin and mineral content. As a result, malnutrition was rampant in Iron Age civilizations and life expectancy plummeted.

    I know some of the strident "vegans" insist that milk is not good for humans. But as far as I'm concerned they are either:
    • Harkening back about ten thousand years before humans evolved the ability to generate the enzyme lactase, which we need for the digestion of milk
    • Or else talking about populations outside of Europe and western Asia where milk was not a common food until recently so they had no survival pressure to evolve lactose tolerance.
    Milk is similar in its nutrient content to meat or most other animal tissue: it has almost the exact proportion of protein, vitamins and minerals that we need in our diet.

    Some of them also insist that eggs are not good for us. Eggs are baby chickens that haven't hatched yet so they too have essentially the same nutrients as other animal tissue. Although they have a higher fat content, which may be a problem for today's more sedentary population.

    Homo sapiens is a predator, the only species of ape to make the total transition from herbivore to carnivore. Meat is a complete diet for our nutritional needs. Many of the things that the other apes eat, such as raw leaves, are indigestible for us, or nearly so.
    We could do worse. Fire was not tamed until late in the Paleolithic Era so the classic "hunter-gatherer diet" cannot contain grains, which are indigestible raw, and leaves, which are nearly so. They used herbs for flavor and medicinal properties, but not for nutrition. Fruits, of course, were treasured because of their high calorie content and sweet flavor, but before the technology of farming was invented, launching the Neolithic Era, most Paleolithic tribes did not have access to abundant sources of fruit.

    And since they had no cooking fires, all meat was eaten raw. It's been estimated that the simple act of eating enough food for survival took a Paleolithic human three hours per day, when consumed as raw meat, with flint knives as the only cutting tools.
    Someone asked me about this yesterday and once again here I sit at my office computer, whose servers block my access to many websites. I can't find the reference for this, but I have read reports of archeologists who re-examined Paleolithic skeletons using modern instruments, finding information that their predecessors could not see. They said that the average age of an adult skeleton was in the low fifties. (Infant mortality was as high as 80% until the invention of vaccines and antibiotics, so prior to the 20th century life expectancy statistics come with the footnote, "of adults who had managed, against all odds, to survive childhood.")

    Furthermore, they discovered that more than half of these dead adults had been killed by violence. In other words, being killed by another human was not only the leading cause of death, but it killed more people than all other causes combined. As I noted in another thread, these people might very well have lived almost as long as we do, if somebody didn't come along and whack 'em.

    The whacking, of course, was due to the famine cycle in an era without agriculture when there was no surplus food. In a bad year, tribes would invade each other's hunting and gathering territory and make war for the sake of survival. As I theorized on the other thread, the oldest people would obviously be the first casualties of war, and once they had killed off each other's elders they probably stopped to catch their breath and observed, "Hmmm. There's probably enough food for everybody now. See ya later." They may have even killed off their own elders--the people who were the least productive hunters and so were probably assigned to gathering duty with the children.

    There are many factors which presumably would have contributed to their longevity. They didn't travel widely so natural selection would have evolved antibodies for immunity to the local pathogens. They were very skillful hunters and their only "job" was to find food, so it's estimated that by the end of the Paleolithic Era they had a twenty-hour "work week" with plenty of time to rest, play and heal. And the emotional comfort of a tight-knit Paleolithic extended-family unit probably reduced the stress in their lives.
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I think we still do eat a paleolithic diet, lots of greasy red meat.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yeah, I take exception to the premise that a "Paleolithic diet" would be centered around lean meat. Those people were no dummies and would have known that fat is a richer source of energy than muscle tissue. The leader of the tribe, the nursing women and the young children probably had first dibs on the fat, but everyone else would have wanted their share.

    But we cook our food and that makes a huge difference. We can get protein from grains and legumes. And since about one-third of the earth's population (Europe, west Asia and north Africa, where milk-rich cattle were domesticated) have evolved adult lactose tolerance, we can get complete nutrition from milk, which in an agricultural civilization is a much more resource-efficient food source than meat.

    The "greasy red meat" in your diet was ground up by electrically-powered steel blades, formed into a patty, cooked, and placed between two slices of bread comprised of cooked wheat protein. Probably topped with a yellow square of solidified, fermented milk from a large domesticated animal. Not quite so Paleolithic.

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  12. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Make mine a cheese burger. 21 essential amino acids to make a protein , except the soybean don't need grain coupled to it . Big fat Rib eye steak works for Me
  13. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I recently began subscribing to this diet when I read about it in a book called 'The 4-hour Body'. The author of the book has a pretty good blog article that explains the concepts of the paleo diet. The name of the article is 'How to keep feces out of your bloodstream'.

    The idea is that, as the OP mentions, grains contain anti-nutrients and they behave like irritants to the immune system of the gut, which cause all kinds of problems related to nutrient absorption. He says that grains contain lectins, which are a class of proteins which have amino acids, which the gut's immune system registers as antigens. They then produce antibodies for these amino acids. The ensuing activity causes havoc, supposedly, including auto-immunity. It affects some more than others. Gluten, is supposedly the most deadly lectin. In fact, Tour de France cyclists avoid gluten because of its inflammatory affects on the body.

    I've tried this diet, and I now avoid grains--although I eat legumes, whose antinutrients can be removed mostly, by soaking them with baking soda.

    I have noticed a large number of differences. The biggest difference I've noticed is that my mental clarity is greater. The second is my mood is much better. I've trimmed down quite a bit. I used to be about 16% body fat. Now I'm about 12%. I have a lower alcohol tolerance. I get buzzed much more easily. The other thing is, when I go without food for beyond six hours or so, I experience a crash that is like nothing I've ever experienced. You can do two things. Eat, or sleep. When I try to talk or think, I'm almost unable. This could be something to do with my lower body fat, although it seems 12% should be enough.

    Overall, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I was thinking more of BBQ.
  15. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Make mine a fat rib eye please , and a beer , Gots to get me whole wheat some how . Wheat beer Good yum Yum , Me like beer
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    I get that when I push workouts to over an hour daily...an educated guess it's hypoglycemic in nature for me.Sounds like your metabolism is speeded up?

    Apropos of nothing...I understand carbonization bonds with vitamins and renders them inert.

    Dairy wasn't good for my asthma...but I'm a special case.
    Hot food helps me, I eat a lot of spices.
  17. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I tell you what People underestimate the value of greens , herbs and spices . That piece of parsley on a persons breakfast plate .I eat it. Flowers too . Essential trace elements to be had here is what I believe . Me Grandma she knew what ones to pick out of the natural wild fields . Things that looked like weeds to us were food to her and her generation . Now my Wife's Mother she would drive for miles looking for a certain type of red dirt and when she found it she would eat it for the iron content. That was strange to Me , but I guess they didn't have store bought vitamins or could not afford to buy them if they were available. Eating red dirt !! Can you imagine ?
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Anti-nutrients are substances which interfere with the absorption or availability of nutrients. This is a generic term for all such substances and includes both natural and synthetic substances. However, those who subscribe to the raw food paleo diet, focus on those anti-nutrients that naturally occur in foods. e.g. trypsin inhibitors in beans.

    Some people also include hemagglutinins found in foods - although they act by coagulating red blood cells. These are lectins which like trypsin inhibitors act by inhibiting enzymes.

    There are also tannins [found in tea and wine] which had a poor reputation for a long term as metal chelators before it was discovered that some of these polyphenols also had antioxidant porperties and they have now been regenerated as anti-cancer agents [though to be fair to the Paleo people, tannins found in fruits and nuts are not associated with toxicity - probably because it is hard to OD on fruits and nuts to an extent where the tannin intake will be appreciable [tea, I think, is the only exception where tannin toxicity is concerned]. Tannins act by precipitating proteins, which is probably related to their ability to chelate metals.

    Another antinutrient is phytic acid - found in the seed portion of plants - so bran, hull, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains. It forms insoluble complexes with minerals like calcium and reduces their availability for absorption. One of the advances in food science is the use of probiotic bacilli to break down phytates and make the minerals available.

    Like every other food fad, there is a lot of non-science mixed up with the science in Paleo diet. One of the primary problems I have with this kind of thinking is the assumption that the body is a static entity which responds to only one kind of food. The fact that we live longer and healthier lives than most of the Paleolithic humans - so that our diseases now are those that come from living long enough for age to be a factor in disease speaks for itself. The body adapts and it is singularly geared to survival.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  19. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    I've tried Sainsbury in the UK and Kroger in the US and neither of them stock mammoth meat. What should I do?
  20. Pinwheel Banned Banned

    Try your local corner shop. Some of their meat is so far past its use by date you might be lucky.
  21. Edmilson Registered Member

    Yes,this thing is right about the paleo diet.I have noticed plenty of people losing weight by using this diet plan.It is a widely used Diet plan that most of the doctors and trainers suggest these days.For verification you can read several success story on different sites of health.
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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  22. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    That link came from before they had found and inspected the debris between neanderthals teeth, which included many grains and vegetable matter.

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    The 'paleolithic diet' in actuality contained those as well.

    But no baking soda, sadly. That crash sounds like hypoglycemia to me - dangerous as well. Get your blood sugar checked when you have an episode.

    As I have suggested elsewhere, finishing high school would be a great start on an education.
  23. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Isn't it normal to "fail" when you go for more than 6 hours without food? Seriously, 6 hours? I feel weak, dizzy and malcoordinated if I go more than 3. Sometimes crash in under 3 hours if I'm moving around a lot.

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