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PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

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  • PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

    I was hoping to start this new thread later on, with a more fleshed-out version of my thesis, but due to the interest in the topic, I'll get it started with a reader's digest version so those unfamiliar know what we are talking about.

    I enthusiastically welcome serious commentary, questions and criticism.

    Those who are vegetarians for ethical or religious reasons, or who believe in a "macrobiotic" diet as a political plank, will probably not be persuaded.

    PaNu - A modified paleolithic diet that can improve your health by duplicating the evolutionary metabolic milieu.

    How do you do it?

    I have patients that that don't care about the details, they just want to to cut to the chase about what to do. Here is the heirarchical list I give them. I tell them to go as far down the list as they can in whatever time frame they can manage. I tell them the further along the list they stop, the healthier they will be. There is no counting, measuring, or weighing. They are not required to purchase anything specific from me or anyone else. There are no special supplements, drugs or testing required. I have yet to charge anyone a penny for this advice. I already make a good living as a practicing radiologist and private investor, so I have zero financial incentive in this.

    1 Eliminate sugar (including fruit juices and sports drinks) and all flour

    2 Start eating proper fats - animal fats and monounsaturated fats like olive oil - substituting fat calories for carb calories. Drink whole milk or half and half instead of skim.

    3 Eliminate grains

    4 Eliminate grain and seed derived oils (cooking oils) Cook with butter, coconut oil, olive oil or animal fats.

    5 Get daily midday sun or take 1-2000 iu vit D daily

    6 Intermittent fasting and infrequent meals (2 meals a day is best)

    7 Fruit is just a snickers bar from a tree. Stick with berries and avoid watermelon which is pure fructose. Eat in moderation.

    8 Eliminate legumes

    9 Adjust your 6s and 3s. Grass fed beef or bison avoids excess O-6 fatty acids and are better than supplementing with 0-3 supplements.

    10 Proper exercise - emphasizing cross-fit or interval training over long aerobic sessions

    11 Eliminate milk (if you are sensitive to it, move this up the list)

    12 Eliminate other dairy including cheese- (now you are "orthodox paleolithic")

    If you can do step 1, that is about 50% of the benefit and alone a huge improvement on the standard american diet (SAD) By about step 6 you are at about 75% , by step 9 about 80% and at 10 you are at 99% for most people.

    Here is the skeleton of the theory:

    Insulin is a phylogenetically old hormone. It is a biological messenger that in excess, is metabolically saying the following to your tissue and organs: Go ahead and store energy, and go ahead and mature, reproduce and die. Excess insulin in humans is linked to diabetes, alzheimer dementia, metabolic syndrome, obesity, coronary disease and cancer.

    We did not evolve under conditions of insulin excess. Food was intermittently available and not superabundant like today. Scarcity and famine were frequent everywhere until recently in evolutionary time. Preferred foods were available year round and dense in calories and nutrients. Animal products, including organs and bone marrow of mammals, fish, and invertebrates (insects) were the staples, supplemented by edible plants (not grains) until the dawn of agriculture. Fruit was seasonal and not yet bred for maximum sweetness. Food was eaten less frequently, had lower carbs than the typical american diet which is about 60%, and was supplemented by often involuntary periods of intermittent fasting and lower calories overall.

    We are not adapted to chronic hyperinsulinemia.

    We are also not adapted to eating grass seeds, to which we have been exposed for only about 10,000 years. They contain molecules that are specifically designed to discourage consumption, as well as other problematic chemicals.

    The diet is not about eating like a caveman, or killing your own food. It is solely about duplicating what I believe are the key elements of the internal hormonal metabolic milieu that we evolved under from especially less than 1 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago. It is not about eating specific things, it is about not eating specific things.

    Calorie restriction is a severe, uncomfortable way to have low insulin levels and if calorie restricted (starving) your insulin levels can be reasonable even if your carb percentage is high. However, with calorie restriciton you can get muscle wasting, fatigue and weakened immune function. In animal models, calorie restriction increases longevity substantially. Remember the metaphorical message of insulin? It says, increase your metabolic rate and then die. This message is attenuated by having low insulin levels.

    Is there another way to live in a world of abundant food without being hungry all the time, yet avoiding the risk of immune dysfunction associated with eating grass seeds that cannot even be eaten without mechanical processing and cooking ?

    Yes, you can work your way down the list.
    Last edited by rogermexico; 05-16-09, 01:49 PM.
    My educational website is linked below.

    http://www.paleonu.com/

  • #2
    Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

    Reflecting on the changes in 1939, nutritionist Jean Bogert noted, "The machine age has had the effect of forcing upon the peoples of the industrial nations (especially the United States) the most gigantic human feeding experiment ever attempted.

    Bogert was also disturbed by the growing use of refined cereal grains and sugar...
    Getting way off topic of the original thread here, but the pet food industry did the same thing with cat food. Cats don't eat grains and sugars in the wild, but most dry food products are loaded up with that stuff. The crappiest dry cat foods are almost identical to dog food!!! The result is obese and diabetic house cats.


    detailed: http://www.catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf

    Yes. Go to a house where they feed the dogs potatoes and bread from the table or carb-laden dry dog food - they look like barrels with legs, and they have bloodshot eyes and excema- dog allergies from all the grains.

    Cats and dogs are further along the carnivory scale than humans but none of us is designed to live on grains. Actually, even bovines are fed corn specifically because it makes them gain weight abnormally and increases the fat content of the meat quickly. Grains are maladaptive even for herbivores.
    My educational website is linked below.

    http://www.paleonu.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

      The nutritional doctrine you espouse has just recently hit my radar. I'm just finishing The Great Cholesterol Con in which the author states the exact same case repeatedly; agriculture introduced grains into our diets much too recently for us to have adapted to them. We evolved as hunter-gatherers and that is how we should be eating now.

      I wish I had realized earlier in life that everything the government tells you is bullshit. Whether it is nutritional advice from the USDA or Surgeon General, economic evaluation from the Fed or Treasury, everything they represent is disingenuous, influenced by money and self interest.

      Other books that parallel your argument include Neanderthin and The Paleo Diet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

        Did cavemen drink red wine? :p

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

          interesting. thanks for posting. i'm curious about your insulin-level theory of aging in relation to the calorie restriction data. do you see this is as opposed to, or complementing, the sirtuin theory?

          btw, the same hypoinsulinemic benefit can be attained with a very different diet, albeit with some overlaps in the recommendation, that of joel furhman.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Fuhrman
          Originally posted by wikipedia
          Fuhrman recommends a vegetable-based, whole-foods diet of raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, and whole grains, while severely limiting or eliminating animal products, all oils, refined grains and sugars, and salt. Though he does not promote a strict vegan diet as ideal, he does restrict all animal products to less than 10 percent of total calories, the threshold at which he claims epidemiological data indicate increased risk of disease. At the same time, he emphasizes that a vegan diet rich in junk foods is less healthful than an omnivorous diet based on nutrient-dense plant foods with a modicum of animal products. For Fuhrman, the cardinal issue is not abstinence from any particular foods (although some, e.g. nitrite-containing processed meats, have such a clear link to disease that they should be avoided altogether), but the "nutrient density" of the overall diet: maximizing the essential vitamins, minerals, and protective phytochemicals in the minimum number of calories to maintain a healthy weight. He claims that the more nutrient-dense the diet, the lower the risk of developing chronic disease, or as he expresses it mathematically, "H=N/C" ("Health = Nutrients/Calories").
          i suppose we could make this an evolution-based theory by asking whether or when our distant ancestors were very good hunters, and when in the evolutionary past they were by necessity more vegetarian.

          i find your discussion of insulin far more appealing scientifically than arguments based on history, i.e. what diet we evolved with. it reminds me of discussions i sometimes have with older female patients about the pros and cons of hormone supplementation.

          they'll sometimes say "it's not natural," to which i reply that there is nothing natural about a menopausal woman, in 2 senses. first, most of our ancestors didn't live that long. second, evolution doesn't care about the old - there is no selection pressure to optimize or improve the health of individuals beyond the time of having and raising progeny. so, health-wise, once we've passed the age of child rearing, we're on our own; we can't appeal to arguments based on what's "natural" or what evolution did or didn't do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

            JK - from your posted link re: PHYTOCHEMICALS - I gorge on this stuff - eating two large platefuls of cruciferous vegetables a day, along with nuts, fruit, berries, dark leafy greens. Throw a small thin cutlet on a barbecue as a side order twice or three times a week, and fress it up with one of a dozen olive oil based home made dressings I learned from rural farming families in the Tuscan region of Italy, where I was born and raised, and I am doing very well indeed. Don't need any "paleolithic primer" to understand what foods, and what proportions of foods give me optimal health. I'm a year and a half away from 55 years old and these simple ingredients have left me with a blood chemistry which won me praise from my plan doctor.

            I am back in school, and taking weekly exams with kids half my age who are faster than I am. I'm getting A's but the stress is high. Due to this I had a bad blood pressure spike the other day. But within two days I was back at my regimen of excercise and getting exemplary blood pressure readings, with a resting pulse rate close to athlete level (115/72 - pulse 56). But here is the insight - I accomplish that by simply TAKING LOTS OF 4-5 MILE WALKS, some simple SWIMMING and EATING LOTS OF GREEN VEGETABLES. What do I need Roger's book for?

            Why do I need to heed someone like Roger, who is enthusiastic on this topic because he's working on a nutrition book and between exhorting me to read more about the paleo diet to understand the hidden store of health it can unlock further for me, suggests with concern, that I am likely "already" on the cusp of "early stage hyperglycemia" but can abate this dire event by clambering onto his diet? The guy's earnest admonitions give me a headache.

            Out of 3000 patients my doctor told me my blood chemistry and organ function markers were"outstanding". What's more, my father, who lived to 88, got similar praise from his doc when he as past 80. Doctor told me he had the blood profile of a "much younger man". We eat the same simple, vegetable rich meditteranean diet which Roger apparently has missed acknowledging entirely.

            All these "engineered" food fad books are so uniquely American - Americans obsessed with why their food regimen is so profoundly unhealthy, then "compensate" for this dysfunction by enlisting one doctor after another to "parse" or "deconstruct" some "new grand unified nutrition theory" every six months. The book gets published, works it's way up the book sales rankings, gets reviewed - author gets lionized. Etc.

            Meanwhile, people of modest means the world over in countries where wholesome diet has long been a cornerstone of their cultures (they simply can't afford to eat lots of meat!), look at our earnest health seeking antics with bemusement. I get so freaking weary of the whole American song and dance about "nutrition". Why don't they just pack up this whole circus, jettison the American burger and hot dog buns diet, and copy wholesale any of a wide variety of perfectly healthy vegetable rich diets, painstakingly evolved by deep pools of culture and tradition from all over the world?

            Americans flailing about trying to discover the font of good health are culturally arid when it comes to understanding simple "duh" insights about eating - when it comes to inherited cultural food wisdom, we are like children - living in a cultural cocoon, incurious to discover the wealth of healthy diets which peoples of many, many other cultures have developed over thousands of years. Instead, we feel we need to delve into ever more "advanced" nutrition books. It is pathetic how many nutrition books get written in America. Why are they not writing hundreds of nutrition books in India, or in Japan, eh?

            Here - I eat three portions of cruciferous vegetables a day. Look at all the free healthcare I'm packing into my diet just doing that much. Did I need to read a nutrition book to understand this? Doctors laying claim to all of the dietary wisdom of the world from an insular US vantagepoint - now talking down to me about my understanding of healthy eating - I need this to expand my horizon on the topic?

            Phytochemicals as therapeutics

            Phytochemicals have been used as drugs for millennia. For example, Hippocrates may have prescribed willow tree leaves to abate fever. Salicin, having anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, was originally extracted from the white willow tree and later synthetically produced to become the staple over-the-counter drug called Aspirin. There is evidence from laboratory studies that phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer, possibly due to dietary fibers, polyphenol antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Specific phytochemicals, such as fermentable dietary fibers, are allowed limited health claims by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[3]

            An important cancer drug, Taxol (paclitaxel), is a phytochemical initially extracted and purified from the Pacific yew tree.

            Among edible plants with health promoting phytochemicals, diindolylmethane, from Brassica vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts) may be useful for recurring respiratory papillomatosis tumors (caused by the human papilloma virus)[citation needed], is in Phase III clinical trials for cervical dysplasia (a precancerous condition caused by the human papilloma virus)[citation needed] and is in clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of the United States for a variety of cancers (breast, prostate, lung, colon, and cervical).[citation needed] The compound is being studied for anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties through a variety of pathways[citation needed] and has been shown to synergize with Taxol in its anti-cancer properties, making it a possible anti-cancer phytochemical as taxol resistance is a major problem for cancer patients.[citation needed]

            Some phytochemicals with physiological properties may be elements rather than complex organic molecules. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, selenium, for example, is involved with major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism and immune function.[4] Particularly, it is an essential nutrient and cofactor for the enzymatic synthesis of glutathione, an endogenous antioxidant.[5]
            Last edited by Contemptuous; 05-09-09, 06:28 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

              Originally posted by swgprop View Post
              The nutritional doctrine you espouse has just recently hit my radar. I'm just finishing The Great Cholesterol Con in which the author states the exact same case repeatedly; agriculture introduced grains into our diets much too recently for us to have adapted to them. We evolved as hunter-gatherers and that is how we should be eating now.

              I wish I had realized earlier in life that everything the government tells you is bullshit. Whether it is nutritional advice from the USDA or Surgeon General, economic evaluation from the Fed or Treasury, everything they represent is disingenuous, influenced by money and self interest.

              Other books that parallel your argument include Neanderthin and The Paleo Diet.
              I generally agree with Colpo. His hang up about the metabolic advantage is unfortunate and a point of contention between him and Michael Eades. I personally believe there is a metabolic advantage but that self -regulation of caloric intake may be the primary way low carb in general "works". To understand metabolic advantage, all you have to know is that Type I diabetics who do no get enough insulin lose weight, no matter how many calories they put in their mouths. No, insulin, no fat storage, period. Taubes and my view are pretty similar.

              Of course, following either Eades or Colpo will put you on the same path. They are just arguing about angels on the head of a pin, for most people.

              Neanderthin is good as I recall it.

              Paleodiet is defective. Although Cordain has published great academic research about the evolutionary non-role of grains, he is phobic about saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. Neither SatFat nor dietary cholesterol is linked to heart disease, cancer, or anything else. Taubes, an award winning science journalist, spent 7 years researching this exhaustively. Good data for Keyes' diet/heart hypothesis, (that posits sat fat and dietary cholesterol cause heart disease), is nonexistent.

              The reason this is significant is it is basically impossible to avoid high carb intake and grains (including seed derived oils) and not eat saturated fat. So Cordain is paleo in the sense of eating more specific evolutionary foods, but not in getting as close as you can to paleolithic metabolism.

              PS There is another good book with the same title as Colpos', by Malcolm Kendrick. This is a good deconstruction of the diet/heart hypothesis, but his alternative explanation of atheroscelerosis solely due to stress is weak. Worth a read, though.
              My educational website is linked below.

              http://www.paleonu.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                Originally posted by rogermexico View Post
                I generally agree with Colpo. I personally believe there is a metabolic advantage but that self -regulation of caloric intake may be the primary way low carb in general "works".
                Yeah. Self regulation of caloric intake works beautifully all over the world. Just move to a poor country and try launching a book extolling the health benefits of caloric intake restriction there. :rolleyes:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                  Originally posted by Jay View Post
                  Did cavemen drink red wine? :p
                  No, but I do and I just bought a case of good 05 Bordeaux through WSj wine for only ten bucks a bottle

                  To eliminate grains and sugars, avoid anything ending in -ose. The maltose in beer is converted straight to glucose and gives a pretty big insulin response - the word "beer gut" is in the lexicon for a reason.

                  Whiskey and Rye are grain derived but less troublesome than beer.

                  Red wine is good but the resveratrol thing is hype, just like the fascination with acai berry and "antioxidants" in pill form.
                  Last edited by rogermexico; 05-09-09, 04:44 PM. Reason: error again
                  My educational website is linked below.

                  http://www.paleonu.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                    L-

                    I am happy your diet conforms so closely to what I advocate.

                    Please stop with the name calling.

                    Thank you in advance.
                    My educational website is linked below.

                    http://www.paleonu.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                      Originally posted by Lukester View Post
                      Yeah. Self regulation of caloric intake works beautifully all over the world. Just move to a poor country and try launching a book extolling the health benefits of caloric intake restriction there. :rolleyes:
                      If you read the post, you will see I am not advocating caloric restriction for anyone. The point about self-regulation is related to satiety. You are not hungry on low carb because fat is more satiating and in an environment of abundant food, you will desire to eat less, and thereby self-regulate your intake without having to measure it.
                      My educational website is linked below.

                      http://www.paleonu.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                        Roger - No "name calling". Mostly just suggestions as to why your paleo-diet might benefit from packing it's suitcase and traveling the world for a few years, to broaden it's perspective on the many other wholesome cuisines out there already in existence.

                        If one discovered many near Paleo-Nutritious cuisines from other cultures have been around a couple of hundred years already, then the Paleo Diet book might consider evolving into a gastronomic travel almanac maybe? Something like "Paleo Nutrition Recipes from Around the World"? (they already exist).
                        Last edited by Contemptuous; 05-09-09, 06:52 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                          Originally posted by Lukester View Post
                          Roger - No "name calling". Mostly just suggestions as to why your paleo-diet might benefit from packing it's suitcase and traveling the world for a few years, to broaden it's perspective on the many other wholesome cuisines out there already in existence.

                          If one discovered many near Paleo-Nutritious cuisines from other cultures have been around a couple of hundred years already, then the Paleo Diet book might consider evolving into a gastronomic travel almanac maybe? Something like "Paleo Nutrition Recipes from Around the World"? (they already exist).
                          Calling me a "pompous fart" is definitely name calling and not your first.

                          I lived in Naples myself for three years, and have been to at least eight different countries if you count Lichtenstein.

                          Thanks for the edit, though.

                          Please stick to civil argument.
                          My educational website is linked below.

                          http://www.paleonu.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                            Originally posted by rogermexico View Post
                            I lived in Naples myself for three years, and have been to at least eight different countries if you count Lichtenstein.
                            You may have traveled, but your Paleo Nutrition thesis has not. Your thesis, and planned book, are a response to an American epidemic, and skate blithely over the incongruity of advocating a diet rich in protein to a world where for two thirds of the globe's population that is not quite as discretionary as your recommendations assume. This is at the core what irks me about the plethora of diet books being written in America today. All these people really have to do, is eat and live as though they were the rural poor, and most of their health issues would disappear - but that crude and rudimentary notion hardly constitutes enough to fill out a book. Meanwhile we will get another learned doctor parsing America's dietary woes as though they were the woes of the entire world.

                            Maybe you could consent to put a chapter at the end listing the many delicious foreign dishes which perfectly satisfy your Paleo guidelines, and have been around three or four hundred years?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: PaNu - The paleolithic nutrition argument clinic

                              rogermexico, found your views on diet quite intriguing

                              Was wondering if you could clarify your views on the differences between grains and starches, i.e., although they are both packed with carbs, the former may have the vitamins and fiber that have been hyped for the last generation - I myself am a fan of wheat fiber (insoluble) in that it appears to regulate bowel activity (e.g., prevent contstipation) - do you see any issues with wheat fiber?

                              Also, how does the basal metabolic rate figure into your views on diet. I've long been convinced that the calories in/calories out is not a sufficient metric to gauge weight gain/loss. I believe there is a genetic component involved; we all know thin people who appear sedentary and load on the food as well as those who seem perpetually chubby and don't appear to over-indulge.

                              Any views of vitamin C?, Coffee?, EtOH?

                              Comment

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