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Don’t Eat Like a Caveman

Fad diets tend to promise a lot, but they really rely on one thing: short-term weight loss and health. The Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet is a very popular diet based on Dr. Loren Cordain’s book, which asserts that the diet our ancestors may have followed more than two million years ago must also be the best diet for us today. The Paleo Diet consists of foods that can either be hunted (meats and seafood) or gathered (eggs, vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts). It excludes grains, legumes, dairy, salt, refined sugar, alcohol and processed oils.

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The Paleo Diet claims to be “the world’s healthiest diet.” This is a pretty fantastic claim — if it was true and could be substantiated. As Food Safety News reported in June, the diet has not received particularly high marks for being backed by research.

Though consuming more vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts, and cutting down on sugar, salt, processed oil, dairy and alcohol is always a good idea, I do not agree that people should exclude whole grains and legumes from their diet. Nor do I agree that people will become healthier by consuming large amounts of meats, seafood and eggs.

To say that we should eat like cavemen is short-sighted considering that we are much different today, as is our environment. Ancient man most certainly exercised more, had less chronic stress, drank and inhaled fewer pollutants, was exposed to fewer toxic chemicals and had a different genetic makeup (just to name a few).

The Paleo Diet promulgates the diatribe against carbohydrates. To set the record straight: whole grains (i.e. complex carbohydrates) do not make people fat or sick — assuming you stick to whole grains. Refined grains on the other hand are stripped of nutrients and fiber and are often enriched with a mere fraction of the nutrients they once possessed. Whole grains are an important part of a long-term, healthy diet. They provide ample doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Legumes are also an important part of a long-term healthy diet, and include foods like beans, peas, lentils, soy and peanuts. Legumes are a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium and potassium. Whole grains and legumes like quinoa, beans, steel-cut oats and edamame will not make you fat — as long as you don’t over do it. Any diet that advises against consuming whole grains and legumes is focused less on your health and more on selling books.

Another problem with the Paleo Diet is that it’s not environmentally sustainable if adopted on a mass scale — not to mention expensive (grass-fed, pasture-raised meats that the Paleo Diet encourages are more expensive and less available than conventional meats). Ninety-nine percent of farmed animals bred, raised and slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. don’t roam on grassy fields, but are confined in factory farms – -a far cry from the animals that our ancient ancestors hunted and consumed. Animal agriculture is also considered the greatest contributor to global warming — producing more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined.

A final problem with the Paleo Diet is that it promotes a high protein, low carbohydrate intake ratio, which puts stress on the body. High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and kidney damage.

Based on the evidence available today, it’s smart to stand by a plant-based diet. Consuming more whole, plant-based foods benefits everyone’s health. The phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are abundantly present in plants are essential components of a long-term healthy diet. A whole foods, plant-based diet includes liberal quantities of vegetables, fruit and legumes, hearty amounts of whole grains, nuts and seeds, and sparing amounts of dairy, eggs, seafood, meat and refined sugar.

I wish everyone who is jumping on the Paleo Diet bandwagon the very best of health, but hope that in the end the “cavemen” will go for a more balanced approach and add legumes and whole grains back into their diet.

———————

Melody Cherny is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied psychology. She lives in Washington, D.C. and works at the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Melody has been a long-time advocate for public health and nutrition, and has volunteered with the National Eating Disorders Association and the Vegetarian Society of D.C.  

© Food Safety News
  • pixel

    There are vegetarian paleo people too. they just want to be healthy and not eat animals, which isnt hard to do.
    Im much healthier paleo than i ever was as vegetarian, vegan, and raw vegan. all my allergies went away. i used to get sick every 2-3 months which is now gone, better sleep, more energy when i want, but i dont get randomly hyper anymore. the best part is my mysterious heart pains went away. maybe im just allergic to grains (whole or not) and legumes, but even rice doesnt sit well with me.
    eating meat is not nessescarily harmfull. we have full carnivores, and i have yet to meet one thats sickly or even pudgy. as long as you get your nutrients (in this case from organs instead of vegetables) youll be fine. and no, fiber is not nessescary. enough fat and water will do the trick.
    paleo doesnt have to be low carb. even eating a kilo of fruits and vegetables a day, which i do sometimes, its easy to still come in under 100 grams of carbs. yet, this is concidered low. i suspect the standards are just set high on this one. there are high carb paleo, mostly either roots and tubers, or fruit. Some go as high as 70% carb, and some paleo raw vegans go 80 – 90% but i dont know if thats healthy in the long run.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egqf7k5Lzhk Scientific Review

    If you are thinking about going on the Paleo Diet, or are already Paleo, there is an excellent Guide, all about the paleolithic diet and the science ‘behind’ it.
    Before you go paleo, or if you are on it, you’re going to want to view this. It has information on the paleo diet that you aren’t going to find in other paleolithic or primal diet places.
    This is an informational science-based set of videos on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egqf7k5Lzhk
    PrimitiveNutrition 01: The New Barbarians
    There’s actually a set of 71 videos in all, explaining all about the caveman diet that you are going to want to see first. It has news on the paleo diet that you may not know.
    If for some reason the link is not showing, you can put the words “PrimitiveNutrition” into your favorite search engine.
    This may also be important for vegetarians and vegans to see as well.

  • http://www.paleofx.com/ KC

    Melody, with all due respect, you make outlandish claims and references with zero – none, nada citations and simply repeat rhetoric w/o any substantiation. Dr. Cordain’s book has 50+ pages of citations from scientific literature and contrary to your article is well researched.

  • jeff

    As someone who claims to be a “long-time advocate for public health and nutrition” perhaps you should actually spent the time to look at the research before writing. It might have prevented the numerous factual errors in almost every paragraph (including the intro paragraph).

  • Steve

    As an occasional meat and fish eater I’m not a Paleo Diet advocate but this reasoning is something we all need to work against:
    “Another problem with the Paleo Diet is that it’s not environmentally sustainable if adopted on a mass scale — not to mention expensive (grass-fed, pasture-raised meats that the Paleo Diet encourages are more expensive and less available than conventional meats). Ninety-nine percent of farmed animals bred, raised and slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. don’t roam on grassy fields, but are confined in factory farms – -a far cry from the animals that our ancient ancestors hunted and consumed.”
    I’d say that this cheap “Factory-Farmeo” diet that US meat eaters are subject to is the one that is non-sustainable — with well-proven linkages to environmental destructiveness and negative health impacts for animals and humans alike. The entire industrialized system also depends on sub-therepuetic use of antibiotics to keep the animals alive in the squalid factory conditions.
    Further, there’s plenty of land if you get it out of GMO corn and soy factory animal feeds. Converting over-farmed cropland to pasture is actually a viable long-term best use practice to remedy agricultural nutrient dumping into dead zones and ramaant soil erosion.

  • https://paleoworks.wordpress.com Mike Paleo

    This article is ill informed and misleading, it is inaccurate and the personal opinion of an individual demonstrating their lack of knowledge and understanding, it is totally without any evidence to supprt it’s claims. On the other hand and what really matters is an evolutionary diet aligned to the foods man has evolved on is supported by biology and reams of scientific and historic evidence. Not surprising when the author is an advocate of the damaging fad that is vegetarianism.

  • Ann

    Low carb diets do not raise cholesterol or, more importantly, LDL particles. Legumes are avoided due to their phytate content. The paleo diet can still be plant centric without grains and legumes.

  • http://www.paleorunners.blogspot.com mark

    not scientifically proven yet ‘science suggests whole grains…’. funny how the definition of ‘proof’ changes whether it supports your point.
    we shouldn’t eat that way because we’re more sedentary? how about we should eat that way AND be more active. hmmm, that’s what i’m trying.
    its a question of how we look, feel, perform, and track disease markers.
    try paleo for a month and if you’re not happy with the results then go back. it’s simple – as we are all an experiment of one.

  • sharon

    how do you “set the record straight” here:
    “To set the record straight: whole grains (i.e. complex carbohydrates) do not make people fat or sick — assuming you stick to whole grains. Refined grains on the other hand are stripped of nutrients and fiber and are often enriched with a mere fraction of the nutrients they once possessed. Whole grains are an important part of a long-term, healthy diet. They provide ample doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.”

  • http://www.rebelspatula.com Matt

    I have never, EVER been as healthy as I am right now. It is thanks to a “caveman diet” and an avoidance of grains, legumes, and processed foods. My family eats this way too. I find your lack of research for this article irresponsible and sad that you are in some position to provide information and do it so poorly.
    I have lost 80lbs, gained amazing energy, removed my risk of diabetes, cured my gout, and massively increased my resistance to sickness! Have not even had a sniffle in 10 months!

  • http://edibleintelligence.blogspot.com/ Sam Vance (@samvance)

    Actually, refined grains are fortified with more nutrients than they lose. The nutrients that are lost are easily picked up in the rest of someone’s diet.

  • Charlie

    Great article! I totally agree!

  • Susanna M.

    Paleo is obviously a fad diet just like Atkins was. Good for you if Paleo is working for you but the author makes some great points. Also, she never purports to be an expert – just states her opinion, which is shared by a lot of advocates for plant-based diets.

  • Brandee

    Sorry, but the proof in paleo is in real people’s results. Hundreds of conditions and diseases reverse themselves while following a grain free diet. Grains are loaded with mycotoxins (fungal by-products) because we mass produce, pick them and store them wet in a dark, damp silo. The mold proiferates and is turned into our food supply. Add this to a high sugar, antibiotic laden lifestyle which just feeds the mold overgrowth, and we are going to have some health problems. Sorry…but I must agree..try paleo or Doug Kaufmann’s phase 1 lifestyle for 30 days and see how you feel. There is no arguing with the results. We can easily get ALL the nutrients our bodies need from other food sources. A good balance of healthy, free range grass fed meats, eggs, an ample supply of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables coupled with several servings of nuts, seeds, and coconut products every day will meet our bodies needs and then some. When grains are “fortified” with extra vitamins, that means they are added back in and usually from a source other than nature. Usually they are chemically manufactured and from coal and tar derrivatives, so I would steer clear from anything “fortified” …the closer a food is to it’s natural state, the better our bodies break down and absorb the nutrients in it.

  • Lisa

    If the Paleo diet is a fad diet, then it’s the oldest fad diet in the world.
    I’m a nutritional therapist and I see what the effects of grains, processed foods, rancid oils, low fat dairy, soy and sugar does to the body. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise.
    I also work with people with brain issues in my clinic. The vegans/vegetarians seem to have the most damaged brains of all.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    As most nutritionist would agree, eliminating legumes from our diets is foolish, indeed.
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sc-health-0420-palos-diet-20110420,0,7758445.story
    Meat, especially beef and pork, are inefficient protein sources compared to the protein you can get from legumes. Fish and chicken are better sources, but no longer sustainable approaches given the present world population.
    Frankly, I find the premise of eating like out ancestors did several thousand years ago to be absurd. Should we also get rid of our cars and planes, and only walk, too? That would be healthier, but sure would put a crimp on our lifestyles.
    Let’s also eliminate most if not all of our medical advances–after all, didn’t have those 12,000 years ago.
    We could eliminate most of our art, too, as well as are technology.
    Silly. Just plain silly.

  • Brandi

    Another sad example of delusions caused by a lack of iron, B12 and just general awesomeness.
    Wheat is poison.
    Paleo for life!

  • http://paleovegan.blogspot.com/2011/11/its-curtains-for-expensive-tissue.html The Humane Hominid

    There’s nothing “paleo” about the paleo diet. Like veganism and SAD, it’s a product of purely modern advances and conveniences. If you really want to eat like your ancestors, you’d stuff your face in situations of food abundance, to store up fat deposits for the lean times. Which, if you think about it, is what most people already do anyway. That’s the problem: too much ancestral eating, not too little. Living as we do in an environment of virtually perpetual food over-abundance, it’s instinctual for us to stuff our pie holes until we feel like we’re gonna burst. It doesn’t help that the foods which give us the biggest bang for the least effort (another paleo strategy: conserve energy stores) are also the most refined and the worst for us.
    Any diet or eating lifestyle that countermands this instinctual drive and restricts calories — and this includes most diets, including paleo — is the result of a modern understanding of biology, not a primal drive. This is a good thing.

  • Mick

    link bait plain and simple. I’d rather believe Dr William Davis (Cardiologist) the author of Wheat Belly than you

  • Sharon

    The author is a psychologist, not a medical doctor or a nutritionist. Enough said.

  • Miriam

    Since switching to Paleo and dropping grains and legumes from my diet I have had so, so many POSITIVE changes, both physically and mentally, that I wish I had started eating this way years ago.
    I can’t fathom how anyone would say eating this way is BAD unless they were working for the industries that I have now removed from my diet and are therefore no longer supplying with money.

  • http://www.sturdyblog.blogspot.com/ Chris Sturdy

    @Shelly: You said:
    “Frankly, I find the premise of eating like out ancestors did several thousand years ago to be absurd. Should we also get rid of our cars and planes, and only walk, too? That would be healthier, but sure would put a crimp on our lifestyles.
    Let’s also eliminate most if not all of our medical advances–after all, didn’t have those 12,000 years ago.
    We could eliminate most of our art, too, as well as are technology.
    Silly. Just plain silly.”
    What’s “silly” is your (il)logical leap from advocates suggesting that people eat a biologically-appropriate diet to suggesting that those same people are also suggesting that we turn our backs on all the amazing advances we have made that actually help us. This is utterly false and in mu opinion, silly, plain and simple.

  • Jeanmarie

    Anything that most nutritionists would agree to is probably a good thing to stay away from, as most of them are stuck in the lowfat, anti-cholesterol, “healthy whole grains” paradigm. If it works for you, go for it, but many of us have found it doesn’t. Plants want to avoid being eaten, too, which is why they’ve developed an array of defenses against animals (trypsin and other protease inhibitors, saponins, gluten and gliaden, phytic acid, salicylates, oxalates, goitrogens, phytoestrogens and other antinutrients. (That doesn’t mean don’t eat plants, but don’t eat just plants, and prepare them properly, and rotate. See http://bit.ly/rHlxiI.
    As to sustainability, pastured animal-based, nontoxic small-scale farming is not only very productive, it nurtures the soil, promotes biodiversity, sequesters carbon, and provides a healthful environment for animals, plants, humans and the invisible microflora we all depend on for life. Cows and pigs can eat plants, such as grass and corn stalks respectively, that humans can’t, and they help rebuild the soil while they’re at it. Grass farming systems such as Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, are extremely productive and actually build topsoil, while conventional monoculture agriculture destroys topsoil and wildlife habitat, pollutes groundwater, etc etc. Pastured farming is more productive per acre of land than conventional, partly because multiple species can graze at the same time or in sequence under an intelligently managed rotational grazing system that combines herbivorous ruminants and omnivorous poultry.
    Eating like our ancestors has nothing to do with whether we use cars and planes. Our species evolved on a diet far different from the Standard American Diet, and our genes are adapted to that diet, the point of paleo/primal eating. Our ancestral diets are big clues as to what is optimal for modern humans to eat as well.
    What’s silly, just silly, is conflating a return to our ancestral diets with rejecting all the trappings of civilization.

  • Hina

    Great article! I agree that trying to imitate our ancestors (in terms of what we consume) to achieve health is outlandish. People are more sedentary than ever and a “quick-fix” diet is not going to be the answer. When will people actually start using their brains and stop being lulled by an “eat lots of meat and other cholesterol-laden foods” diet?
    For all those Paleo supporters crying out for references, why not be proactive and look up some information for yourself about the proper way to achieve good health? Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health are two places you can begin.

  • http://ancestralizeme.com Laura

    @Shelley:
    “Meat, especially beef and pork, are inefficient protein sources compared to the protein you can get from legumes”
    Um… what?
    Can you please cite SOME sort of scientific reference for this claim? How did you come up with that statement?

  • Kelly

    It is ridiculous to say that there is no research backing up the Paleo diet….most of the credible nutrition research out there substantiates eating in this way.

  • http://www.primalnorth.com Danny

    I LOVE the comparison someone made to paleo being a fad diet like Atkins.
    Atkins has been in consistent and constant use for 60 YEARS LOL With wonderful success and in every single study including ones run by Penn State School of Medicine widely available on Youtube it performed better than all comers.
    How long does a diet have to prove itself before it is no longer a fad anyway? Since Atkins first appeared we have the Fonz come and go, leg warmers, two types of roller skating (4s and inline), Sony walkmans to iPods to iPhones, the rise and fall and rise again of the electric car, over 12 Presidents, the entire war on terror and drugs. That is QUITE A FAD DIET!
    The fact that numerous indigenous populations were found and documented by Dr. Weston Price to be in amazing health eating this way without legumes or whole grains shoots the idea in the foot that either of these are needed for health, PERIOD. Scientifically you must objectively admit that in the presence of entire populations that disprove your grain is needed for health theory the theory is wrong. Yet they never do…
    What has never EVER been found is an indigenous population in perfect health that was vegan. A primitive population of vegetarians has not existed since we were chimpanzees.
    We even have examples of populations in amazing health that eat meat, and only meat almost the entire year. This suggests that all plants are optional for dietary health if you eat abundant quality meat and its fat and organs.
    The low fat, high carb diet serves the processed food industry not the public. Its wonderful to feel we are being healthy buying food with labels that say low fat, high fiber, no animal products, environmentally friendly, organic, etc…
    The fact is the healthiest food on earth needs no health label AT ALL. You certainly do not need whole grains to be health as populations have demonstrated this over and over.

  • http://www.EatMoreFat.com Michael McGrath

    Melody,
    As someone who has tried weight watchers, calorie restrictive diets, chronic cardio, etc… a paleo/primal diet is really the only thing that has worked for me.
    I suggest you watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc
    At the same time, there are much better sources of many of the nutrients you mentioned were necessary to be procured from the consumption of legumes and whole grains.
    Fiber—> vegetables.
    magneiusm—> spinach
    potassium—> spinach again
    folate—> oh look…spinach
    iron—-> care for a guess? spinach.
    Meat and vegetables are PACKED with vitamins and minerals. They’re much more nutritionally dense than legumes and whole grains and typically have a wider spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
    I suggest you do a followup to this article.
    Best,
    Michael McGrath
    http://www.EatMoreFat.com
    http://www.facebook.com/eatfatgetfit

  • Christen

    I challenge you to try Paleo for one month and see how you feeI before you start making bogus claims. I have never in my life had more energy, better mood, nicer skin, flatter stomach, ZERO digestion issues (which I have suffered from forever). Friends and family were constantly asking what I was doing because I was literally glowing from the inside out. I could care less if this is considered a “fad” or not…it WORKS! How can u knock eating CLEAN and REAL food???

  • Stephanie

    Hmmmm…. eat whole grains that raise my blood sugar and have to take medication, or cut out all grains and keep my blood sugar normal (actual normal, not the “normal” approved by the ADA) without medication… think I’ll take the latter. Cutting out grains has restored my fertility and seen me through three perfectly healthy pregnancies with three beautifully healthy children…it’s improved my cholesterol and my blood sugar…think I’ll go with what works and not some abstract idea based on faulty research.
    I’m sure omnivores all over the world are dropping dead from heart disease and diabetes…need to tell the bears and chimps to add more brown rice and quinoa to their diets. I mean, we are omnivorous animals after all…

  • http://www.lowcarbcookery.wordpress.com Michelle

    Opinions that advise on diet should be well considered and researched before lambasting a way of life you clearly do not understand. The statement that whole grains are harmless is clearly untrue based in research coalesced in the work of Gary Taubes, who wrote Good Calories, Bad Calories, William Davis, who wrote Wheat Belly, and Malcolm Kendrick, who wrote The Great Cholesterol Con. Whole grains we eat now are very different than whole grains consumed 50 years ago. They contain an over abundance of c and d glutagen, which are linked to Celiacs disease, wheat intolerance, and diabetes. The new bread of wheat, developed in the 1960s and 1970s raises blood sugar levels to fantastic heights, leading to greater insulin production and thus insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.
    Furthermore, lowering consumption of carbohydrates was a known method of weight loss even before these grains were modified. Obesity was thought to be a disease of malnutrition. Look at the research on the Pima and on children during the great depression. The over reliance on cheap carbohydrates for nutrition, and these were from unmodufied wheat, caused extreme weight gain.
    High-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are alive and well, if not reported on. The bulk of these diets focus on nutritious veggies and seasonal fruit. They concentrate efforts on eating high concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids, good fats and cholesterols that the body needs to develop strong and plastic cell walls. Summarily dismissing these types of diets and accepting the diet status quo with a pithy response such as yours.
    Whole grains cause obesity in some individuals and this is doubly so for modified wheat. Low-carb, high-fat diets contain fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and fruits, and protein and good fats. Many people have found success with these diets and there is over 100 years of modern research to support these choices. Give them a try.

  • Michelle

    Avocados, grassfed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, loads of vegetables, some fruit for sweets…yeah, that’s so unhealthy!
    Yet another point of your article – the cost – well yeah it’s more expensive, but that just means you’re more conscientious about what you’re eating. We gladly pay five dollar per pound of grassfed beef, but we eat less. We portion it out and bulk up the meal with vegetables. We certainly don’t waste it, and we have a greater appreciation for where our food comes from. I’ll pay four dollar per dozen for my local pastured eggs gladly. They are more nutritious and taste better.
    Anyone who tells me that eating meatballs made with conventionally raised beef over “whole grain” pasta (still processed) is more nutritious than eating meatballs made with grassfed beef over zucchini noodles is off their rocker.

  • http://ancestralizeme.com Laura
  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    Chris, it is silly, primarily because the paleo folks are ignoring the fact that diet can’t separated from other aspects of life.
    “Eat like a caveman”, they pant–ignoring the fact that people 12,000 years ago did not have access to the abundant food sources we do and therefore ate whatever they could, whenever they could. And they had to work a whole lot more for it, too, which probably accounts for any perceived health benefits.
    Laura, start with the following (PDF), let me know when you want more:
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~choucc/environmental_impact_of_various_dietary_patterns.pdf
    Danny, Price was a dentist who lived half a century ago, who formed his hypotheses, and then ignored any facts that ran counter to his beliefs.
    And what does being skeptical of the Cave Man diet have to do with a vegan lifestyle? You can be skeptical of the Cave Man diet all by its lonesome.

  • Jeffers

    Aren’t’ those whole grains we eat to be healthy, the same ones we feed cows to fatten them up for better marbleization?
    I eat relatively low levels of carbs to begin with, and higher levels of proteins. My doctor is often confused at my blood work. I do moderate amounts of exercise regularly. I know any time I eat carbs, I feel tired, and sodden. Moreover, I am at risk for Alzeihmers, parkinsons, and dementia. My grandfathers doctor had him increase his fat and protein intake, and his symptoms lessened. Drug regime didn’t change.
    I don’t disagree that our environment has a large part to play, but that doesn’t mean I need to eat lots of bread. Sure, there are people win the world who eat bread and are thin and healthy. They probably aren’t Americans.
    Also, the research behind the diet, its called the fossil record. Look at teeth of hunter gatherers, vs an agrarian society. The difference? Tooth decay starts to show up with the agrarian society.
    Just sayin’

  • Michelle

    Avocados, grassfed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, loads of vegetables, some fruit for sweets…yeah, that’s so unhealthy!
    Yet another point of your article – the cost – well yeah it’s more expensive, but that just means you’re more conscientious about what you’re eating. We gladly pay five dollar per pound of grassfed beef, but we eat less. We portion it out and bulk up the meal with vegetables. We certainly don’t waste it, and we have a greater appreciation for where our food comes from. I’ll pay four dollar per dozen for my local pastured eggs gladly. They are more nutritious and taste better.
    Anyone who tells me that eating meatballs made with conventionally raised beef over “whole grain” pasta (still processed) is more nutritious than eating meatballs made with grassfed beef over zucchini noodles is off their rocker.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    I didn’t think any group could be more obsessive than the raw milk crew.
    I stand corrected.

  • Susan

    This article is irresponsible and completely inaccurate. I find it appalling that a *psychologist* calls herself an authority on nutrition and spouts her *opinion* as fact. You are in a position of trust and authority. Get the facts straight before you publish.
    There’s no FAD involved in eating the purest forms of vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, and poultry and in refusing to consume processed foods of any kind. It’s just called eating REAL food.
    Try it. You’ll feel better than you ever have and your good health will glow from every cell of your body.
    So far the majority of your commenters have been paleo community members pointing out your errors. I only hope hundreds more chime in. Maybe then you’ll actually do some unbiased research on what you’re so ignorantly criticizing.

  • http://www.stickitmedia.com Ron

    It’s always been my impression that writers ought to strive to do enough research on a subject before they submit an article to the masses. What little research that was proferred here was pretty basic and sloppy. There are literally thousands of successful N=1 paleo experiments, and that number is constantly growing. Paleo is about self-experimentation, because no two body types are alike. There is no one-size fits all. There are also healthy disagreements in the paleo community, but also a shared value in seeking the truth. The author should interview a few successful paleo adherents, and also a few of the noted pioneers in the field.

  • AR Hogan

    Milton R. Mills, MD, a graduate of CA’s Stanford University Medical School and internal medicine specialist, is researching and writing a book with the central point that the original human diet in Africa was vegan, or close to it, and the further we have strayed from that, the worse we humans have trended diet-health-wise. Dr. Mills, based in the DC area, served for years as assoc dir of preventive medicine at the DC-based intl. Physicians Committee for Resposnisble Medicine, founded by Neal D. Barnard, MD, in 1985.

  • Cherish

    It seems to me that it would be worth it to take the time to actually research a subject before you go on the internet and criticize it. In order to graduate college you would have needed to do a research paper or two, so I don’t know why you think you can get away with not backing up your spurious claims. I suggest before writing your second article that you take the time to do some thorough research and learn what it is really about before trying to denounce a “fad” diet that has been around for more than 2 million years.
    I am a modern “cavewoman” who has gone back to this life-altering way of eating. In 2 months I have lost 18 pounds WITHOUT changing my activity level. I have also lost that asthma wheeze whenever I walk up the stairs or from the bus stop to my house. the arm acne that I’ve had all my life and doctors didn’t know what was causing it…gone. the IBS that they also didn’t know what was causing it…gone. The arthritis that bothered me when it got below 68 degrees, well now it has to hit the 50′s. the headaches that I get every week, yep you guessed it, gone. the moodiness and severe pms…gone. and all that dang gas has gone!!!! and whenever I slipped up and ate that pseudo-food all them problems come crashing back down and it takes a good week to get it all gone again.
    I do have to ask do you have any ties to the agricultural or pharmaceutical industries? because that is the only reason I can think of why you would spout this kind of unfounded biased drivel. those whole grains you seem to be so fond of seem to be affecting your mental acuity.
    here are some links to get you started in your research. of course reading the books that you criticized would also be a good place to start since they have done what you chose not to…cite actual studies and anything else that helped them come to the conclusions that they have.
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/11/paleo-goes-mainstream-cbs-news-reports.aspx
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3009971/
    however if you have some longitudinal peer-reviewed studies to back up your claims I would love to read them…

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    Susan, the author was not critical of people who avoid processed food. Legumes and whole grains are not “processed foods”.
    As for the people who criticized the author because you personally can leap tall buildings on your paleo diet…disagreement with you is not the same as being wrong.
    And again, the author wasn’t against eating meat, or fish, or eggs. What she stated was her concern with the paleo diet because of it’s reliance primarily on meat, fish, eggs, and it’s rejection of other good foods, such as legumes and whole grains.

  • http://www.healthy-transitions.com Misty

    When one understands the detrimental effects that phytates, lectins and sapponins, as well as the gluten proteins have on the body, we understand the elimination of them.
    I have too many success stories with my clients to ever believe grains to be a healthful addition to any diet vegetarian or not.
    The Paleo diet is the most conscious diet there is and the Atkins diet while not the original low carb diet (Look up Banting) is a fabulous option for long term health.
    I’d have a bit more respect for this article had the author mentioned soaking/sprouting/fermenting of grains to make them more bio-available.

  • Jerry Friedman

    The Paleo and other flesh-eating diets ignore that it’s wrong to hurt and kill other animals. There are no nutrients in flesh that humans need, so eat plants and leave the animals alone.

  • Chris

    Melody;
    I feel embarrassed for you because I believe you sincerly have the best of intension. However, your article does little but demonstrate a very poor understanding of the paleo/Primal diets.
    The contents of your article are mostly strawmen arguments–similar to every other article I’ve read that criticises this diet. I suggest you start doing a little more research before writing another article on any particular diet so as not to embarrass yourself by demonstrating a poor understanding of the subject you’re discussing in such a public forum.
    People who follow this diet do not avoid grains and legumes because our ancestors did not have access to them. They avoid them because these plants contain antinutrients (phytates, lectins, gluten etc) that our bodies are not evolutionarily adapted to consume. These foods make us sick over time.
    Yes, it’s been a long time since we ate like paleolithic humans but your claim that our genes have changed since the advent of agriculture is inaccurate–we have changed very little, genetically, over the past 10,000 years. There have not been any selective pressures that have forced our species to adapt to consuming these plants.
    As far as the sustainability of this diet; our current agricultural system is destroying the planet and at an alarming rate; it is not sustainable. And this has nothing to do with the healthiness of the Paleo/Primal diet at any rate.
    Our lack of activity and increased stress as compared to our ancestors again has nothing to do with the healthiness of this diet. Incidentally, most people that are Paleo/Primal go out of their way to be very active and decrease the stress in their lives as well.
    Your claim that “any diet that advises against consuming whole grains and legumes is focused less on your health and more on selling books” is based on what evidence? Such statements border on libel: Be careful.
    What do you have against people trying something like this for a month and finding out for themselves? Why is this so threatening, Melody? Obviously, as you can see from most of the responses here, many people have found health in this approach. What do you say to that?
    Go ahead and keep eating your “healthy whole grains.” Meantime, I’ll take my colon that is no longer stricken with IBS, and my joints and muscles that no longer ache to the store to buy some more grass fed beef and organic veggies. Better yet, join me and give this diet a try–you might be surprised. Eating crow is better than eating grains ;)

  • Chris

    Shelly, regarding your comment:
    “I didn’t think any group could be more obsessive than the raw milk crew.
    “I stand corrected.”
    How many comments have you made on this article? Does the irony of this statement at not make you giggle at yourself, at least a little?
    And, incidentally, being obsessive about your diet is not a bad thing, me thinks.

  • Chris

    “Any diet that advises against consuming whole grains and legumes is focused less on your health and more on selling books.”
    Melody; watch this TED talk and tell me; is this MD curing her MS by “selling books?”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

  • LisaVA

    Here is a very well researched series of videos that will give people the facts about paleo. http://www.youtube.com/user/PrimitiveNutrition

  • Scientific Review

    PALEO DIET MEAT LINKED TO ESOPHAGUS & STOMACH CANCER
    NEWS: UN-processed Red Meat Consumption found linked to Esophagus and Stomach Cancer – NATURE
    “Red meat intake was positively associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma”
    “heme iron intake (the type of iron found only in meat, and found in plain red meat, including hormone free grass-fed meat) had a suggestive increased risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma” “Individuals in the highest intake quintile of 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline DiMeIQx, (a compound formed in ALL meat, including non-processed, grassfed beef and organic meat as well) had an increased risk for gastric cardia cancer”
    http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ajg2010415a.html
    Unprocessed meat -the very type advocated by “the paleo diet” is positively associated with human esophagus and gastric cancers. Note that you cannot avoid it, or haem, with grassfed beef, not even organic meat. You can’t ‘cook it out’, get rid of it by ‘raising it in a pasture’, nor claim ‘its ok just make sure its unprocessed’-ALL of these red meats are carcinogenic.
    [Note that this is confirmed, source is provided, and it is one of the most concrete, thorough, and prestigious peer-reviewed journals in medicine and Science.]
    [Also, watch for any individual attempting to make claims about "refined" grains. This person will be attempting to use conflation in order to dupe the public. Author of FoodSafety article, and vegan and vegetarian diets recommend whole grains. A red-flag for a fad-diet scammer will be if an individual cites a list of 'symptoms' from refined grains, then conflates it with whole grain, simply implicating "all" grains, and uses the scheme to lump it all together as the word "grains" and then issue a statement that "'grains' are bad". This will be a klaxon alarm of a fad-diet scammer. Watch for it in the comments.
    ---
    WHOLE GRAINS NOT LINKED TO CANCER IN WOMEN. REDUCED THE RISK OF STOMACH CANCER IN MEN. MEAT FOUND LINKED TO CANCER.
    ACS: A prospective study of diet and stomach cancer mortality in United States men and women.
    "Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been associated with a REDUCED risk of stomach cancer in the majority of case-control studies" "A high overall plant food intake (a sum of vegetables, citrus fruit, and whole grains) was associated with reduced risk in men." "Of individual foods examined, Liver [meat] consumption greater than twice/week was associated with an increased risk of fatal stomach cancer” Men vs Women: The study affirmed that whole grains do Not increase risk of stomach cancer in women, but also could not be depended upon by a meat eater to reduce it.
    “This study supports a role for plant foods in reducing the risk of fatal stomach cancer in men.” Some vegetables increased risk, but probably by displacing the consumption of whole grain which was found to benefit. Summary: Whole grains did Not cause cancer. In women grains had No effect, but liver, a paleo diet meat, did increase the risk of fatal stomach cancer in women. The results showed that Whole grains even modestly reduced the risk of human stomach cancer in men.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11700269
    [Meat was affirmed linked to stomach cancer. Whole grains were NOT linked to stomach cancer. Eating meat (liver, an organ that the paleo diet teaches people is good to eat) was linked to FATAL stomach cancer in women. Eating whole Grain even showed a modest beneficial effect for men.]
    RESULTS:
    1. MEAT FOUND LINKED TO STOMACH CANCER.
    2. WHOLE GRAINS NOT LINKED TO STOMACH CANCER.
    3. WHOLE GRAIN REDUCED RISK OF CANCER IN MEN.
    4. “PALEO DIET” MAY END IN FATAL STOMACH CANCER IN MEN & WOMEN.

  • http://www.stickitmedia.com Ron

    I don’t understand the obsession that paleo critics have about paleo adherents avoidance of grains & legumes. So what? I avoid grains strictly because I don’t want my blood sugar to spike. I don’t care that grains are a neolithic creation. Speaking of which, the proper description of paleo, thanks to Kurt Harris, is the avoidance of the so-called neolithic agents of disease… grains, added sugar/fructose, industrial seed/nut oils. Look, I was highly skeptical before I went paleo well over a year ago. I lost that skepticism when I found that I was easily able to manipulate my blood lipids to outrageously healthier levels. Many maladies completely disappeared such as asthma, chronic sinusitis and chronic bronchitis. I’ve also seen drastic improvements in dental health, hair/skin/nails & energy levels. I’ve made my personal physician look absolutely foolish… she can’t believe my blood test results. Quite frankly, I’ve tired of the debate. There is no debate for me. My health is light years better & I really don’t care why or who I offend in doing so. My regimen works and is highly sustainable and easy to implement. Why on earth would I screw that up by following the advice of my doctor and others who cling to their mantra?

  • http://www.paleodietnews.com Brian Cormack Carr

    To the immediately previous poster: you really need to learn how to read scientific review papers. The conclusions you draw from the papers you quote are erroneous at best and scare-mongering at worst. Shame on you.
    To the article writer: it’s unfortunate that your article makes so many unsubstantiated conclusions. It would be interesting to read a genuine, balanced critique of the range of diets (including the paleo diet) that are currently in vogue. Sadly, this article isn’t it.

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    Chris, the same reliance on unsubstantiated assertions underlies the paleo diet, just as much as the same type of assertions underlie the case for raw milk.
    Reliance on superstition, half truths, and junk science made sense years ago, but not today when anything thinking person can fact check any assertion online. It fascinates me that, even when presented with solid facts to counter the food myths, people continue to make the most outrageous claims. What fascinates me even more is virtually the same types of claims are being made about the
    paleo diet that have been made about raw milk–yet the one absolutely forbids the consumption of the other.
    To return to the paleo diet: the premise behind the diet is that it reflects what humans have been genetically predisposed to eat before agriculture began its evil ways. It completely ignores fossil evidence that shows the use of grinding stones to make flour dated to at least 30,000+ years ago.
    The premise states that this form of diet is healthier, supposedly because early Man didn’t suffer the diseases we suffer today, completely discounting the fact that early Man most likely didn’t survive long enough to develop these diseases–not to mention that early Man’s lifestyle differed in ways far beyond what he ate.
    If one follows the logic of the paleo diet, we have to assume then that paleo diet followers live in caves, and goes daily to hunt that grass fed beef with crude spears.
    Speaking of grass fed beef, this type of meat also doesn’t match what was available to early Man, either.
    As for the claims that it isn’t natural for us to eat whole grains and legumes because of evil lectins, well guess what: all foods have lectins. That beans have higher levels of lectins is the number one reason why _we don’t eat them raw_.
    (Oh my goodness, you mean…we have to cook something? Well that’s not acceptable. Cave man didn’t have fire. Bad fire. Bad.)
    The paleo diet hysteria over lectins just shows the inconsistency underlying the premises of the diet: lectins are _bad_ when lectins are a pervasive component of our entire food system.
    The same inconsistency applies to gluten and whole grains. Some people have a gluten sensitivity so therefore all people should avoid gluten. Well, huh.
    More importantly, any diet that can’t be followed by a seven+ billion people isn’t a viable human diet. It isn’t a sustainable diet.
    Sure, some wealthier folks can indulge their eating habits without worries about costs to the environment or other people–but doing so should not be encouraged.
    We need to start thinking about food in a global sense–not just what we can stuff into our own mouths. I’ll even go so far as to say that paleo diet followers are inherently selfish.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egqf7k5Lzhk Scientific Review

    LOREN CORDAIN, THE PROGENITOR OF THE PALEO DIET, AND HIS “REFERENCES” HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE FALSE.
    How Did the Paleo Diet get exposed?
    Among our ancient ancestors are hominids such as “Australopithecus afarensis”. The bones of man’s ancestors that have been unearthed are actually very rare. One of the most-famous discoveries in history was “LUCY”, man’s hominid ancestor that was discovered by DOCTOR DON JOHANSON, archeological paleo-anthropologist, in Africa. Lucy is heralded as one in a long line of man’s ancestors. Lucy’s hominid skeleton was one of the key discoveries of the 20th century.
    MANKIND’S ANCESTOR AUSTRALOPITHECUS AFARENSIS WAS A VEGETARIAN
    As part of the team working with Dr. Leakey, paleoanthropoligist Dr. Don Johanson is credited with Lucy’s discovery. Lucy’s own discoverer confirms that mankind’s ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis was vegetarian. He is the discoverer. And a paleo-anthropologist.
    Paleo-anthropologist Dr. Johanson affirmed “Lucy represented a species called Australopithecus afarensis..she was a Vegetarian.” He spoke as the man who FOUND “Lucy” in Ethiopia nearly 4 decades ago.
    “If there is any legacy here it is that we have an African legacy,” he said. “We have a common origin, we have a common beginning, and I think it’s about time we recognized that we all have this common ancestry.”
    http://www.newarkadvocate.com/article/20111209/NEWS01/112090310/Discoverer-Lucy-speaks-Denison
    -
    PALEO DIET’S LOREN CORDAIN WAS DEBUNKED BY REAL PALEONTOLOGISTS:
    Loren Cordain is the author of a “diet book”. Loren Cordain is not a paleontologist. Loren Cordain is not an archeologist. He has not discovered anything regarding Australopithecines. Cordain has never participated in an archeological dig resulting in any hominid fossils.
    Dr. Loren Cordain is not a Medical Doctor. Loren Cordain uses the word “Doctor” because he has a college degree. Any person who completes a PhD, even if it is in yoga, or personal training, can put the word “Dr.” in front of their name. “Dr.” Loren Cordain has a degree in “gym” (also known as “Exercise Physiology”). Loren Cordain has a degree as a Gym teacher/Phys Ed trainer. Loren Cordain is not certified as a Paleo-Anthropologist.
    Loren Cordain wrote the book: “The Paleo Diet”. Loren Cordain is the author of a ‘diet book’. In his book Loren Cordain, without a PhD in paleontology wrote the following:
    The Paleo Diet’s Loren Cordain wrote: “The Notion that humans were meant to be vegetarians runs contrary to every shred of evolutionary evidence from the fossil and anthropological record.(found incorrect)”-Loren Cordain.
    Notice that Loren Cordain, who is the author of a book on the paleolithic diet, and has no degree in paleontology, has just been debunked by actual real paleontologists. And not just ‘any’ paleontologist, but Cordain and his statements in his book are now refuted by the man who discovered Australopithecus afarensis himself, Paleo-Anthropologist Dr. Don Johanson.
    Notice that Cordain, an exerciser, has not only erroneously claimed that humans weren’t meant to be vegetarians when real scientists, paleontologists and archaeologists, including a hominid’s actual discoverer have refuted this, but Cordain tied this statement to the words “contrary to every shred of evolutionary evidence from the fossil and anthropological record”.
    This idea is also “easily-absorbed” by the general public who often don’t know any better, and believe it. The Paleo Diet and Cordain use the fact that most people ‘think’ this, and not only find it ‘plausible’ but also a large number of people ‘want’ to believe it because they enjoy hearing any justification that allows them to continue eating the way they want, hamburgers, SAD diet, etc. So it’s easy for Cordain to get people to believe this because his audience already wants to believe it, even though it is known and proven scientifically incorrect.
    This erroneous statement by Loren Cordain is printed and cited right in the diet book “The Paleo Diet” and is now known and exposed as being wholly fallacious. As this erroneous statement comprises one of the fundamental underlying principles of The Paleo Diet, the very underlying foundation of the paleo diet is now revealed by real paleontologists to be fallacious.
    In other words, The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain, with a degree in “exercising”, has been proven fallacious by actual real Paleontologists.
    SUMMARY:
    1. MAN’S ANCESTOR AUSTRALOPITHECUS AFARENSIS WAS VEGETARIAN.
    2. THIS IS AFFIRMED BY PALEONTOLOGISTS & LUCY’S OWN DISCOVERER HIMSELF.
    3. THE PALEO DIET’S LOREN CORDAIN IS NOT A PALEONTOLOGIST & MERELY HAS A DEGREE IN “GYM”.
    4. THE PALEO DIET HAS NOW BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN MATERIAL AFFIRMED TO BE FALLACIOUS.
    5. THUS, THE BOOK, CORDAIN, & THE PRINCIPLE FOUNDATION OF THE PALEO DIET HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE FALSE.
    And this has been confirmed by actual scientists, paleontologists, and the discoverer of Australopithecus afarensis himself.
    (Sorry, if anyone believed it, bought it, or thought the paleo diet was based on Science–although it’s been quite well ‘doctored’ to appear that way, it’s not. It’s what’s known as “pseudoscience”, starting with a real study of some sort, which people can quote in order to make it sound and look believable, but then extending it using inaccurate misinformation, myths, and other false material in order to fool the public. Some individuals know it’s wrong and are doing it intentionally in order to propel sales of diet books, although many others often actually believe it’s true (true-believers) and even defend it and fight for it. Unfortunately much of the Paleo Diet, including its principle foundation, has been found to be inaccurate.)

  • http://www.blaklabl.blogspot.com BLAK_LABL

    Love how you say there is no science behind it, but yet cite no research of your own? Did they not teach you the importance of citing sources during your studies to become a PSYCHOLOGIST (not a DOCTOR)?

  • Karen

    Dr. Cordain is a tenured professor at Colorado State. Melody studied psychology and volunteered for a political vegetarian organization, yet she is trying to claim the scientific point of view…? Amazing. I went mostly paleo over a year ago and the changes to my health and body have been nothing short of astounding. I didn’t have to buy a single book to do it; there are plenty of good, free online resources available. As someone with an MPH and in my last year of a PhD in public health, I have seen firsthand how flawed most “scientific” health studies are. Dr. Cordain and Robb Wolf present the most well-researched, well argued, cogent, intelligent arguments for why the paleo diet is healthy than ANYTHING I have ever seen written up by the vegan/vegetarian/whole grain crowd.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If-Y0jI0_zc Scientific Review

    THE PALEO DIET TEST:
    Take this test.
    Test to see if “The Paleo Diet” (the diet claimed to be paleo in the 21st century diet-books) is what Paleolithic Man ate.
    QUESTION 1:
    Do you drink tap water, in your house, or bottled water?
    DID YOU ANSWER CORRECTLY?
    Well, if you are a true “believer” in paleo, the answer is None of the Above.
    Why? Because according to The Paleo Diet (the books sold to you), you aren’t supposed to eat ANY grain. Because “Cavemen didn’t have it.” – And, you’re not supposed to ingest ANYTHING that is ‘processed’ (note, not ‘refined’, that’s different, but processed. Such as processed meats) Cavemen didn’t have it, and therefore the very principle of the paleo diet says not only to avoid it, but states that you’re not even “EVOLVED” to handle it. You aren’t even genetically designed for it. Therefore if you eat it, you’ll get diseased, or sick.
    ON PALEO? THEN YOU’LL NEED TO DRINK UP POND-WATER
    Well, according to the principles of “The Paleo Diet” (books), that means you’ll need to drink POND WATER. You can’t drink bottled water, that’s treated with chemicals, filtered, and processed. Cavemen didnt’ have it. And you can’t drink tap water either, while in your house. That’s treated water from the substation, man-made, artificial, treated with chlorine, chemicals, disinfectants, etc. And no pitchers either. Oh, and no waterfountains or water dispensers in the Office. Cavemen didn’t have it.
    According to the rules of The Paleo Diet, you’ll need to go outside and lap up from a puddle. Or water from a pond. Or a stream, perhaps infested with Giardia, Cryptosporidia, etc. Or perhaps an animal watering-hole? With the bathing results of animals in it, animal feces, etc. “Don’t worry! According to The Paleo Diet (books), not only will it Not hurt you, but apparently you’re even “designed” for it! Afterall, shouldn’t you and all humans be immune to ecoli, novovirus, nematodes, giardia, and cryptosporidia already? Obviously, according to the Paleo Diet, having been drinking it for thousands (millions?) of years, you are clearly precisely evolved and designed for it. Cavemen did it. It’s genetically inter-woven right in your DNA to drink from puddles. Afterall, water IS a nutrient, and by filtering out all that bacteria, dirt, feces, parasites and nutrients washed off of wet animals in their bath-water, and vital minerals that might be in there, you might be deficient.
    So, welcome to The Paleo Diet, you can’t drink any sports drinks, coffee, tea, (processed), you ca’t drink treated water, tap water, bottled water, no sports drinks while exercising, Grok didn’t have it. You’ll need to go outside and find a mud puddle, possibly infested brook, fishy river, open your mouth for rain, or go for a nice sip of larval Pond Water. If it’s a stagnant one, it also may be a little warm, from being in the sun in the African savannah. But nevermind drinking warm stagnant untreated water, according to The Paleo Diet, that’s exactly what you should find precisely ‘delicious’. And don’t worry, according to The Paleo Diet, you won’t throw up, get infected, or get sick from it, even if it’s brown.
    Afterall…remember you are designed and evolved for it.
    IF YOU’RE ON THE PALEO DIET YOU CAN’T DRINK TREATED WATER. CAVEMEN DIDN’T HAVE IT.

  • Nolan

    1. The study into the links between meat and stomach – absolute crap. “In a study it was found that observational studies had less value than the paper they were printed on. Fact.”
    2. Melody Cherny is a vegetarian psychologist. Although I respect her rights to her opinion I cannot and will not respect the opinion presented. It is completely devoid of scientific understanding or study. The fact that you, Melody, have a lifestyle choice specifically opposing this diet** speaks volumes. This article is a product of your personal beliefs and is heavily biased towards them. I am fortunate that I do not live by any such constraints and have made my dietary choices based on facts and not misunderstanding. For your benefit I’d advise you to read up on Tom Naughton and his findings, particularly on what vegetarians have to say about the low carb approach to dieting. Even THEY cannot deny the hard facts.
    **although I acknowledge the paleo diet as a choice for vegetarians and omnivarians a specific to this diet is animal meat and fat comsumption.

  • Kevin

    @Scientific Review – Citing studies that use Food Questionnaires” to obtain their data is not scientific. Funny also how you when you dig deeper, the partners of the publishers include “The AGORA program, set up by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) together with major publishers, enables developing countries to gain access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. AGORA provides a collection of 845 journals to institutions in 113 countries.” Funnily enough they are concerned with the promotion of agricultural products… mmmm!

  • http://www.yopaleo.com Danny Haydock

    After one week of slight hell detoxing of of the sugars I started to loose weight effortlessly. I also lost my chronic headaces, the pains in my lest knee and shoulder, and I got a lot happier! I now after 8 months lost 25 kilo’s and I’m feeling great!
    Don’t listen to this woman, give paleo a try it will change your life!

  • LC

    Melody,
    You are just a total ignorant (or grain industry rep).
    Sorry.

  • http://www.crossfitelevation.com Jason

    Hi Melody – Thanks for writing this.It seems to come from good intentions.
    I am glad it is at least posted under the heading of “Opinion” because I don’t see a lot of science going on here. Regardless of which side of this debate you fall on, we need to view nutrition as what it is – a hard science. So when you, as a journalist, say make a statement like this:”A final problem with the Paleo Diet is that it promotes a high protein, low carbohydrate intake ratio, which puts stress on the body. High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and kidney damage.”, you need to cite that. It’s basic journalism. Not doing so is extremely irresponsible.
    Nutrition is a filed full of hucksterism, false promises, and bogus products. Science is the only ally the consumer has to prevent being lied to. If you want to make a statement just based on opinion, make it clear that it is just your opinion and you have no science. If you have science, post it. This makes the debate clearer and more helpful for everyone.
    Secondly, you’re out of your depth and seemingly unwilling to admit it. You’re a psychologist by training but you seem to have no problem making broad claims like “whole grains will not make you unhealthy”. It’s not your area of expertise (or mine) but you throw it out there with no proof like it’s the gospel. You’ve made some claims here that are simply poorly thought out or not thought out at all. Grains won’t make you unhealthy? What if you’re Celiac? Soy is healthy? Not if you’re a man! Google it!
    I think what you wanted to do here “set the record straight” on diet – you’ve utterly failed at because you didn’t do your research, and you’ve confused opinion with fact. If you want to participate in debates like this one, learn how to debate. All you did here was set yourself up to get picked apart, and you have likely gained few if any converts.

  • Alan

    There were so many assumptions and false statements in this article that it makes me want to pull my hair out. Paleo is not low-carb and in fact it is macronutrient agnostic. The focus is on the quality of food, not macronutrient ratios. Grains and legumes are problematic for many people and can contribute to a host of health problems later down the line. Why would I consume grains (which are problematic for me) that would displace nutrient dense vegetables, fruit, and pasture-fed meat? If you do a side by side comparison of supposedly healthy whole grains with say yams or sweet potatoes you would quickly see how devoid of nutrients grains really are. Paleo doesn’t mean eating tons of meat and no veggies or fruit. Quite the contrary. I bet I eat more vegetables and fruit than most vegetarians and vegans! I spent 4 years as a vegetarian and ruined my health. I became hypoglycemic from eating all of those “healthy whole grains” and developed high blood pressure. The paleo lifestyle reversed my blood pressure, I no longer have hypoglycemia, and I went from 26% body fat down to 9%. And please don’t try and tell me this is all water weight. lol

  • Amanda

    Wow, at best this article is irresponsible. At worst it is as harmful as the unresearch half truths regularly spouted in the media. I don’t talk much about the way I live my life because that is a choice I make, but for the people that are looking for good information and are trying to do the right thing it is articles like this that send them back down the same track they have been on – toward obsity and disease.
    And really whole grains are not processed? Have you grown a loaf of bread or a box of cereal in your garden recently? That was just dumb.

  • http://www.houseofskip.blogspot.com Skip

    Grass fed and free range meats would be more sustainable if our government cared more about making sure the products available to Americans were healthy and less about catering to big business. We could start letting them know how important this is if there was more demand for the product.

  • Julia

    I’ll preface this by saying this is my view and my experience, I’m speaking for myself alone.
    I am a 43 year old woman who suffer(ed) chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 10 years. Up to September 2011 in order to function I was taking 9 different tablets and an injection every day. Most of my life I spent trying to get by with this awful degenerative disease.
    In August/September 2011 I happened on Robb Wolf’s website and started to read, I liked his approach, bought his book the Paleo Diet Solution. In the book Wolf advises giving Paleo 30 days and if it doesn’t work then fine, go back to eating as you were before.
    14 days into eating Paleo, I felt absolutely fabulous and made a decision to stop my meds right there and then. To cut a long story short, I have not had to resort to meds since 15th September 2011. I am also a 4 times a week Crossfitter, the fact that I can Crossfit 4 times a week, is in my opinion due to eating Paleo.
    So Ms. Cherney, I respectfully say to you that if a Paleo diet is a fad, bring on the fad is what I say to you, your opinion is not my reality and if you haven’t read The Paleo Diet Solution or visited Wolf’s websit I recommend you do.
    Oh and I should just mention that prior to Paleo I was vegetarian for 13 years, eating pulses, grains etc…
    Thank you.

  • Sue

    Can you explain then if the Paleo diet is bad that when eating a Standard American Diet people are sick but when changing to a paleo diet they get well?

  • Sharon

    I lost 35 lbs in 6 months with minimal effort on Paleo. I feel 10 years younger, my aches and pains are gone and I look and feel great. For those of you who do not believe, you can have my share of killer soy and grains. I will never go back to being fat, achey and miserable.

  • WellnessPunk

    “Scientific Review”
    “Also, watch for any individual attempting to make claims about meat. This person will be attempting to use conflation in order to dupe the public. Author of The Paleo Diet, top athletes and educated people recommend animal protein. A red-flag for a fad-diet scammer will be if an individual cites a list of ‘symptoms’ from a type of iron found only in meat, then conflates it with red meat, simply implicating “all” meats, and uses the scheme to lump it all together as the word “meat” and then issue a statement that “‘meats’ are bad”. This will be a klaxon alarm of a fad-diet scammer. Watch for it in the comments.”

  • http://rosecoloredflesh.blogspot.com/ ash

    ” High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and kidney damage” what is your source for this?
    it is possible to raise all the meat we need in their natural living environment, it just means not overeating meat, and a little more effort on humanity’s part. so much of society is based around quick convenience and money. Plus factory farm’s stats mainly come from cows, there is a variety of other meat out their, including organ parts.

  • Tyler

    “Scientific Review”:
    You warn others against the conflation of widely different food groups (processed and whole grains), yet the first study you linked to does exactly that. “Red and processed meats could increase cancer risk…” RED AND PROCESSED MEATS. Are you kidding me?
    Here’s a study in the same vein as the one you posted that’s actually free to read:
    http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/5/345.full
    You might notice it says something different. I, personally, based my decisions studies that I can intelligently evaluate, rather than just taking every abstract I read as unquestionable fact.
    The same thing comes up in your second study–a study based on questionnaires, no less! From the second study: “smoked meats, frankfurters/sausage, fried bacon, and ham”. Confounders the second study did not take into account: “exercise level, use of snuff or chewing tobacco, alcohol use, menopausal status, and history of estrogen use”. Uh, what?

  • http://www.itspaleo.com Rich Carr

    Doctors giving ‘economic’ advise: “the Paleo Diet is that it’s not environmentally sustainable if adopted on a mass scale — not to mention expensive (grass-fed, pasture-raised meats that the Paleo Diet encourages are more expensive and less available than conventional meats)”
    I’m sure reading articles like this can somehow be linked to Cancer. What needs to happen is change. Grow your own, Co-Op, and more. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states “FOOD” as being the most important thing. Perhaps we should make that the most important thing rather than heed your poorly researched paper advise. I hate reading hack posts showing nothing but drivel from somebody who needs press.
    Stick to baby care Doc…

  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/206999.php Rob

    This study does not prove that red meat triggers esophageal and/or stomach cancers, the scientists stress. For the moment, they say that their findings add to accumulating evidence of a link. For example, the link they identified which increased gastric cardia cancer was with the intake of DiMelQx rather than the red meat itself.
    The scientists were surprised that HCA consumption was not linked to esophageal squamous cell cancer risk, but red intake was. They had presumed before their study that red meat consumption and HCA exposure could not be separated.
    In order to determine whether the risk of these two cancers and red meat consumption is real, further large studies are required, the researchers said.
    The authors concluded:
    We found positive associations between red meat intake and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and between DiMeIQx intake and gastric cardia cancer.
    “Meat Consumption and Risk of Esophageal and Gastric Cancer in a Large Prospective Study”
    Amanda J Cross PhD, Neal D Freedman PhD, Jiansong Ren PhD, Mary H Ward PhD, Albert R Hollenbeck PhD, Arthur Schatzkin MD, DrPH, Rashmi Sinha PhD and Christian C Abnet
    Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication 26 October 2010; doi: 10.1038/ajg.2010.415
    Written by Christian Nordqvist
    Copyright: Medical News Today
    Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

  • Veronica

    I started the paleo “lifestyle” being classified pre-diabetic. My glucose was 120, & my weight 185. On the BMI range I was obese type I. This coming from a very active mother of 3. My joints before paleo hurt so bad I could not move. Had headaches all the time and got sick constantly. I dreaded my periods! I used to bake my own bread, do my own pasta, you name it! It turns out I was wheat sensitive! Paleo changed my life! I move faster, jump higher, in the 6 months have not even had the sniffles. Our autistic son’s outburst have diminished, and his focus has increased. Our oldest (15) has developed lean muscles, & his skin is clearer. My husband’s ankle and shoulder no longer hurt! Myself? Lost over 40 lbs, gained lean muscles, glucose went down to 81, and I enjoy my periods! I never thought I would ever say I enjoy my periods. From bad cramps, bloated stomache, long periods (over 7 days) all of these are gone!

  • Quincy

    I am into the Paleo/Primal Lifestyle. It’s not just about eating healthy foods, excluding most of what is deemed unhealthy at least 80% of the time or better, and the results speak for themselves. Weight loss. Feel better. Not walking around hungry, or spending hours at the gym.
    It’s clear to me now that when I see critics like these, I can’t help to wonder if they are just too firm of a believer of what they hold bias, or a number of industries in the U.S that see this kind of lifestyle threatening to big business.
    After all, we Paleo types look for heathly food at the store. No more diving in the middle of the isles. Fruit with great fiber, Veggies, nuts and fresh meat are in order. All that processed box foods, sodas, cookies, treats, chips, dips filled with gluten-instensifed sugary laden items and veggie oil are just for starters what could get unpopular.
    Now that we Paleo types are seeing the proof first hand, and hearing it from others, not only are many food industries impacted, but whoops, we are getting better sleep and normal excercise, so now we need less medical help from over strained muscles, or non-used muscles, less need for all those funky drugs that require more drugs to get around the side effects of the other drugs. Heart disease, diabetes, and all these funky ailments are going away. This kind of lifestyle should not be the cure, because it would be better for some to have it all in convienant pill form that has us counting calories, and getting us more unheatlhy.
    As for unsustainable, this whole idea that paleo people cannot eat the other 99% of factory farm food is unrealistic. You know, I use to have the same feeling about processed foods, that eating healthy was not tasty or cheap, what I have found is that the factory stuff is the cheap stuff, and it has put blinders on us about what is actually good and achievable. To assume the factory food industry cannot adapt and find better solutions to what problems they all ready bring to the table (pun included) is unsustainable. Red meat is unhealthy not because it’s red meat. It’s unhealthy because the cattle are eating crappy feedlot food, which is some cases is the entrails from other slaughtered cattle. The corn and grain is off the charts Omega-6, the heart unhealthly stuff when out of balance with 3 and 9. The same goes for Chicken, and even seafood.
    Since I have seen my own personal benefit that did not require much investment except buying healthy foods, and learning how to cook them better in coconut oil, I am not buying all this sceptic talk anymore. The benefits outweigh the risks.
    Some call the Paleo/Primal just another fad diet. Good for them. I don’t call it a diet. I have done those, and I always failed. Paleo is a lifestyle. Healthy foods, normal carbohydrates that you can get from fruits and nuts is well enough for me, good sleep, and not too stressful excercising with mild burst to excite the body is just sound living, whatever you want to brand it as.
    There are many who are trying to profit off this “New Fad,” but if you have an Internet connection, you need not buy a book. You can simply go to the YouTube or look up some blogs to get the meat of the eating part. Sure, you can buy really helpful books and supplements, but they are not necessary. Grok didn’t have them 10,000 years ago, nor do we.
    So let these people scare you if you want, or try to make you feel like you have to have a Gym membership and a guilt based calarie counting diet if you want, I would suggest if you want to keep it simple, learn to find your inner Grok. Your genes and body will tell you how to do it, at least after a month away from what is commonly called food, or rather that processed cheap stuff being called food. Once you get your health back, as I did a 100 pounds ago, you will be upset that all these bright minds led you down this destructive path.

  • Michael Johnson

    How about N=1? 30 days, as written, Paleo diet. Take pictures of everything you eat, and put it all in FitDay to keep record. Get blood work done before and after. As someone who has optimal health and 0 health issues you should see massive problems crop up in 30 days. Money where your mouth is? Or are you “all talk”?

  • http://mydragon.greenthing.net Jolene

    I have been on this “fad” diet for over a year. My cholesterol dropped 11 points, lost over 50 lbs and gained muscle AND I get to eat meat 5 times a day and eggs EVERYDAY. I agree at first I was worried about not getting my fiber and nutrients I’d get from grains but when I eat bread now I feel like my stomach is dying. I admit this diet is not for everyone as it’s restricted but it makes the most sense out of all the diets. I mean I have never felt so good in my life! I mean I ran my first marathon this year! I am eating more vegetables in a day then I use to eat in a week. And it’s real vegetables! Maybe if our vegetables and fruits weren’t sprayed with all the crap chemicals we have today we wouldn’t have so many sick people. I really don’t care what your research says, I know I am eating all natural items and natural meats that are not processed or produced in a factory. Last time I checked back 1,000s of years ago they didn’t have boxed foods or factories. WE USED FARMS.

  • http://www.blackjaq.net Jacqui

    ok in the 6 weeks I have switched to paleo, my hives are gone, I have no allergic eczema, I have eliminated zyrtec, advair, and only require rescue inhaler in extreme temp changes or exertion in the cold. My strength has improved in 6 weeks more than it did in 6 months of body for life’s 40/40/20 (40%protein, 40%carb, 20% fat) and I’ve lost 18lbs of FAT in those 6 weeks. I sleep through the night. My sinuses aren’t filled with concrete. I don’t need coffee, mega b-complex, or 5hr energy shots to stay awake through the day. I’ve gone from daily prilosec down to every 36-48 hrs. The 3 aleve a day I’ve taken for PTTD in my ankles is maybe 1 every couple days. My blood pressure was 110/75, now it’s about 100/65.
    you’re right, paleo has definitely left me suffering and ill health. Clearly all these changes in just 6 weeks are terrible and bad for me.
    how much brainwashing or $ do you get from the industry?

  • Ray

    God this article makes me want to punch someone. STOP PROMOTING WHOLE GRAIN NONSENSE. HIGH PROTEIN DIETS DO NOT STRESS THE BODY. This article is full of lies. plain and simple.

  • John Parker

    How can you ignore the following facts and still call yourself an advocate for nutrition:
    1. Grains causes the body to use insulin
    2. Insulin causes the body to store ATP as fat
    3. Obesity is the number one killer in America
    Just because there is no money in healthy people doesn’t mean you should be giving people bad advice about what they should be eating just so you can keep getting a paycheck.
    Also, if you take offense to the above statement, GOOD. : )

  • http://crunchyprogressiveparenting.blogspot.com/ Deb

    If you think I should eat foods that make my chronic joint pain worse, increase my thyroid symptoms (causing me to need meds that spike my BP and give me migraines), and cause me to gain weight while taking in less protein and fewer other nutrients (vitamins and minerals) than when I still ate whole grain stuff, you can get on the same boat as the one my now-former-doctor is on. Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I *should* according to conventional medical science be 15-20 pounds heavier than last year instead of 15 pounds lighter; I should be on thyroid meds and/or have thinning hair and brittle nails and likely a return to and increase of the anxiety and depression that made it hard to parent and impossible to hold a job. (Of course, my doctor also though that coconut oil would kill me even as she was telling me how good my cholesterol numbers were. :P )
    No, thanks, I’ll have my crock-pot pork curry with TONS of veg in the stew and more on the side; I’ll get MORE iron and MORE vitamins and minerals and better-quality protein than I can with even fortified whole grains; and I’ll avoid the inflammation and other symptoms I was getting from them. Thanks, but no thanks.

  • http://Www.facebok.com/primallunchbox Crystal

    Ive been Paleo for six months now. I’ve lost close to 15kg, seen my health greatly improve and I no longer suffer from a number of minor ailments. I don’t get sick, my skin and hair literally glow with vitality and I’m incredibly happy.
    The science and common sense behind the diet is what attracts me to it, and it is certainly not a ‘fad diet’. A fad diet is something unsustainable long-term, like a cabbage soup diet, or a maple syrup diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, meat etc isn’t restrictive. To say that is simply a reflection of our overly-processed society.

  • Lee Robinson

    I think that whether a person is on the Paleo, weight watchers, atkins or whatever is doesnt really matter that much. No diet plan will ever be perfect but they are all step in the right direction do very little harm if any. Not everybody is going to be on the same diet, that just wont happen. They are all answers to peoples problems and people select which one appeals best. I have 2 older sister who both developed food intolerances in their 30′s. I turned 30 last year, when i read more about Paleo it just made sense. My sisters follow diets that are very similar to Paleo though they’d never heard of it till i mentioned it. I never followed any paticular diet plan i just tried to have a moderate intake of everything but i was getting issues with my digestion.9 months ago when i went paleo. Im not 100% paleo as it is hard to find the comfort foods but i’m getting there and being a yorkshire man i cant give up Tea! However i’ve noticed and so has my girlfriend that my gut is a lot better, i’ve had no issue with my energy levels apart from the first couple of weeks they seemed to be low. My poblems with it is finding the food that is properly Paleo. When i first heard of Paleo i thought it was just another fad diet now i know better. If someone could base their day to day eating on Paleo they could do far worse. Having attended seminars and heard from nutritionists that work with Athletes and hearing what they fed them i thought it was very much like paleo without the name. Take away the name and its just natural eating and everyone should know where their food comes from and what it is fed on before they eat it themselves. You are what you eat or better yet you are what your food eats.

  • http://knightofnothing.blogspot.com/ Sam

    @Scientific Review – I read the abstract carefully (the study itself costs $32 to read). It uses terms like “could” and “associated with”. In other words, this study does not assert causality. On the other hand, all grains, whole grains included, *definitely cause* blood sugar to rise. Your (and the author’s) holy grail – whole wheat bread – is metabolically equivalent to Skittles, because it has the same glycemic index. And insulin resistance, caused by continuously spiking blood sugar, is an enormous risk factor for many of biggest health problems that the U.S. faces: heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, and general inflammation of many body tissues. So please, dial down the ALL CAPS hyperbole.
    @Shelley – are you arguing that a paleo/primal diet is nutritionally unsound, or globally unsustainable? At first, you seemed to be arguing the former. Later, however, a link you posted to “prove” your point resorted to the latter.
    Regarding the piece in the Chicago Tribune, that article merely quotes straw man arguments against it, and allows none of its space to actual scientists who advocate for a paleo diet. The simple truth is that scientific consensus is slowly beginning to emerge: (1) compared to organic vegetables and grass-fed meat, grains are nutritionally barren, and (2) grains, sugar, and dairy pose many, many health hazards.
    As for the latter argument, that is the more challenging question. Certainly, most agricultural practices in use today are unsustainable. The chemicals and fossil fuels used to plant, fertilize, grow, harvest, medicate, slaughter, process, and transport industrial farm products, whether wheat, corn, soy, or cattle, are killing our planet. You’d get little argument on that point from advocates of a paleo diet. There are, however, case studies suggest that widespread, small-scale organic farming of vegetables and pasture animals may be effective and sustainable.
    @Melody Cherny – I echo the statements of many of the posts here: do more research!

  • Holly

    I’ve never been overweight but have always watched my diet. In high school I watched my calories, in college I watched my fat intake, through most of my adulthood I’ve eaten mostly low fat meat, low sugar, lowfat dairy, and whole grains. All those years I felt okay, but I was always low on energy and was sick often. Since Dec ’10 I was nearly Paleo, as I still ate legumes, but I felt better, slept better, was faster, more agile, & had way more energy. That said, I dropped the legumes 4 months ago and now my Reynaud’s Syndrome that I have suffered with for years is greatly reduced and nearly gone. I’m still waiting on blood work but I put my husband on this diet and he is the healthiest he as been since we were married 21 years ago and has blood work to prove it. At my 20 year reunion, everybody asked me what my secret was. I started my teens on it in the late fall and am astounded the difference in their mood and performance in school, sports, and overall health-all better than ever. My doctor approved of this way of eating and I am quite positive that the health of my kids will be proof enough to their doctor too. Many professionals in the scientific and medical community are on board with this lifestyle for a good reason. Feel free to not do it, but please do not discourage others at a change to be the healthiest they have ever been in their life.

  • http://www.idahokettlebells.com Jim

    Whenever I have someone try to argue against Paleo eating, I just challenge them to argue their position in a bathing suit or without a shirt on. I am willing to show those results any time. I have yet to have a vegan willing to do that.
    I wonder if this author has any photos or videos showing her physical stature as a result of her “healthy” eating?
    We can talk all we want and pick and choose which studies we want to believe, but the proof is in the results. Put up or shut up!

  • Fred B

    “High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and kidney damage. ”
    LIE. If it’s true, include some science please.
    Not like I need to beat a dead horse here, but are you suggesting that since our Paleo ancestors “inhaled fewer pollutants and were exposed to fewer toxic chemicals” that somehow means it’s ok for use to eat unhealthy foods? The Kidney damage/high protein lie is SOOOOO tired. Every study I’ve read shows high protein diets can cause problems for people with EXISTING kidney disease – it’s not causal. Nice try though.

  • http://www.idahokettlebells.com Jim

    Whenever I have someone try to argue against Paleo eating, I just challenge them to argue their position in a bathing suit or without a shirt on. I am willing to show those results any time. I have yet to have a vegan willing to do that.
    I wonder if this author has any photos or videos showing her physical stature as a result of her “healthy” eating?
    We can talk all we want and pick and choose which studies we want to believe, but the proof is in the results. Put up or shut up!

  • paleowannabe

    I started reading the article with an open mind. When the recommendation, Yes, recommendation, to eat soy came up, I was done.
    I’m going to assume the author hasn’t read about Monsanto. On the pure reason of the naturally occuring estrogen in soy and then soy being in everything, I won’t allow it in my house. Add on top of that the political craziness of large agriculture running our lives into the ground for a few bucks, how can anyone read this article and feel that research was done?
    The other part I don’t agree with is that it says paleo advocates high protein and low carb. You can eat all the carbs you want if they are veggies! And your protein is based on your lean body mass, you don’t just go eat meat until you die.

  • Huw

    Coming up, mid January, I will have been Paleo for two years. To put it briefly, it cured my ‘incurable’ acne. The dermatologists wanted to put me on Doxycycline for the rest of my life, I chose the healthier option…

  • Jeff

    Wow – Someone has not done their research…actually no – someone has done no research. Get your head out of the sand, try reading and triangulate your data. You might actually learn something.
    Good luck – you need it!

  • Kate

    It’s obvious Melody never read Dr. Cordain’s book, or Robb Wolf’s book, so it’s unfair to judge her for being ignorant. On the other hand, Food Safety News should be ashamed they allowed this piece to be published, opinion or not.

  • tersh

    This article has no scientific backing, just the ramblings of someone too steeped in “conventional wisdom” to look outside the cereal box and see that the research IS there and that it DOES support a grain/wheat free diet.
    Yes, grains provide nutrients. But, technically, so would eating dog crap. Yet no one is arguing that dog crap is healthier for the body, because there are OTHER THINGS that exist in dog crap that make it unhealthy. Same goes with wheat and grains. Grains spike the blood sugar and cause a dramatic release of insulin, which drops blood glucose and sends you diving for as much of the cheap energy in carbs as you can handle, increasing caloric consumption. Even if you meticulously count every carb, the end result of a wheat based diet is insulin resistance. Instead of your body processing the sugar as it should, the muscle and liver storage cells could care less about what insulin has to say, and sends the blood glucose straight to fat storage. Even worse, the process leads to your body ceasing to utilize these storage cells, and start breaking down proteins (muscle).
    Anyone out there that has ever said “I count my calories, i work out at the gym, but i cannot lose ANY weight!” should be hearing alarm bells going off in their head right about now!!!
    Additionally, the paleo diet has been around in concept for over 35 years. Even “The Paleo Diet” from Dr. Cordain, one of the initial seeds of paleo diet information, has been out since 2002. Just because you haven’t heard of it recently doesn’t make it something new or a fad. It takes time to change people’s habits, and our culture is obsessed with wheat and carbs.
    For anyone still reading this, I urge you to look over the previous posts, and listen to the testimonies yourself. Find the resources and read for yourself. Do what many of us have – try it for 30 days. If it doesn’t work, at least you still ate a healthy diet for 30 days. But, like anyone who has gone paleo, I suspect you’ll discover how good you can feel and never look back.
    And for the author especially, read a little bit before you start spouting off on something you obviously don’t know anything in depth about.

  • Julie

    My relationship with food has completely changed since starting the Paleo diet last June. I no longer obsess about or crave food. I eat much less than I have historically, usually not wanting snacks between meals most days. I buy much less food than I used to, and therefore have more money to spend on higher quality foods. My diet now includes chicken, eggs, fruits, and vegetables (all from my garden), as well as organic beef from a local ranch. I had been a vegetarian for 25 years prior to starting this diet, and always thought I had made good food choices. In the past six months, I’ve lost 20 pounds, I sleep soundly, and I have much more energy. My bloodwork is all within the normal range.
    I’m sure we’re going to hear next about how the Paleo diet is going to put hardworking Americans out of work if we don’t do our patriotic duty and buy Doritos and soda, but I for one am not going back to my old habits anytime soon.

  • Cassie

    Prior to going Paleo I tried going gluten and dairy free. By trying I mean I did not know how much gluten was used in almost all processed foods including fruit punch, salad dressings and even sliced deli meats. I have battled anemia, extremely high estrogen levels, low thyroid function had painful arthritis, difficulty sleeping and extremely painful stomach pains, excessive bloating and crazy constipation that would last for days and watery blisters on my face and arms. With my hormones out of whack I also started having panic attacks in the evening and would have a period every two weeks. Learning that all grains also have similar indigestible proteins like gluten that destroys my intestines and was the cause of my leaky gut. It really made sense to me. Then I find out that hormones used in dairy, and given to animals affect my hormone levels as well as me consuming soy products I knew I was on to something. I have been on progesterone and thyroid medicine for almost 7 years spending an average of almost $1800 per year. Just 2 months on Paleo and barley even exercising… I know I need to work out!… I have lost 10lbs, my stomach bloating is gone and I don’t look pregnant anymore, NO More hormones or medications needed, I sleep great, pain is gone, and I have daily bm’s my periods are regular and my skin is softer and clearer than ever. The greatest part of all of this, I do not crave bad food!

  • Mandie

    If this website is trying to promote awareness about food safety, this opinion piece ought to be removed. It contains untruths that can be detrimental to those searching for answers to their food-related health concerns.
    The writer seems exceptionally biased and uninformed about the latest research on nutrition.

  • http://rolfdevinci.blogspot.com/ George

    Lord have mercy!Wait…belay that comment. Last thing we need to do is bring religion into this debate(wink).
    Wheat,sugar,low fat dairy, legumes and industrial seed oils are evil(oops…bringing religion back into it….sorry).
    Want proof? Eliminate them from your diet and see how you feel. Then reintroduce them after a month and (then) see how you feel.Couldn’t be easier unless you are afraid to face the truth.

  • Angel

    My husband is pre diabetic and before Paleo his fasting glucose was 120, he is now down to 90 just by following Paleo for the last 30 days, he used to have terrible night sweats and that’s gone now. My PMS symptoms are nil, no more afternoon crashes, I don’t have to have my daily energy drink anymore. No more indigestion, bloating or gas. I have never eating so many veggies before but now its takes up the majority of my dinner plate (what can be more healthy?).

  • http://burningbird.net Shelley

    @Sam, I would respond but the site did not post my last comment, so I will not leave another since I don’t know why it wasn’t posted. I’m not going to spend enormous amounts of time responding in comments only to have them hit some comment barrier.

  • Demi

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which this article is mostly comprised of. There is a lot of research about the health benefits of the Paleo Diet. As many people have already shared in their commentary, the results of eating a Paleo diet are amazing. I rarely get sick, and when I’m eating Paleo I can feel the difference in my overall mood and performance at the gym.
    Paleo doesn’t exclude grains/legumes for weight loss reasons- the primary reason is that these foods are hard for our bodies to digest and weigh us down (they fall heavy and we FEEL heavy when we eat them). Nevertheless, someone eating Paleo will lean out and look and feel great! I personally lost 60 pounds.
    I have never been a believer in fad diets, I love food and believe in balance. Because cooking Paleo is so delicious, it’s pretty easy to sustain an 80-90% Paleo diet. This is a long term option for those who want to feel healthy.
    My Crossfit coach was a vegetarian when I met him. He was a lanky, skinny guy. When he tried the Paleo diet, he began to look healthier, developing muscle tone and performing better at the gym.
    While everyone is entitled to their opinion, Melody should be careful about putting down a diet that has so many health benefits.

  • James Howell

    Your post is only Conventional Wisdom and, like the government, is usually wrong.
    You really lost me when you stated that tired old claim that animals contribute to glowbull worming. Man, if you know anything about cattle raising vs fields of wheat, rye, etc., you would know more animals are killed on farmland than has been killed on cattle pasture. Not to mention the diesel/gasoline/grease/fertilizer/etc. used on a farm that contributes to your beloved Global Warming.
    As for the paleo diet, it’s only a framework, a guideline. Some people do okay on today’s mutant wheat; I do not. Two months after having deleted all carbs, except for a bowl of berries a couple of times per week, my blood pressure went from an average of 140/110 down to 110/60. My blood glucose went from the of 160 – 200 mg/dl to its current 75 – 87 mg/dl. Since giving up fruits, and all other foods containing fructose, I have not had a gout attack.
    Six months after having gone “paleo” I was taken off all medications. I have lost 40 pounds in the past 18 months and I am jogging 3 miles/day, 4 days/week.
    I do believe grains, legumes, etc., are harmful. Just because there is not a ton of research does not mean the paleo “diet” is invalid. You take Global Warming as factual with little data, why not accept Paleo as valid also?

  • http://primaltoad.com Primal Toad

    A fad…
    If eating like our ancestors is a fad then sex must be a fad, no?
    We have been having sex since day 1. We have been eating meat, veggies, fruits, roots, tubers, nuts, seeds since day 1. We added certain foods a short time ago. These foods have made us sick. We continue to get sicker.
    Eating primally is only a fad if sex is a fad.
    Are you willing to accept that?
    Thought so.

  • http://www.paleofx.com/ Kevin

    Anyone interested (especially lost or deluded vegans or vegetarians who love the China Study and refuse to believe its bunk) would be well suited to read Cordain’s chapter. Google Books has it all – 50+ pages of references. Excerpt here. http://books.google.com/books?id=aMyNiIDIekcC&pg=PT49&lpg=PT49&dq=cordain+Paleo+answer+vegetarian&source=bl&ots=h0fIFLYmD4&sig=IYEmSs5vDHltHi0-nUbZr7f6D6k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_6YDT9moCo3oggfSnu2kAg&ved=0CEMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

  • Peter

    No sources. How embarrassing.. Just a rant about keeping the status quo. The comments are more informative than the damn article.

  • Paige

    The author makes some great points here. I agree that the paleo diet points people in the right direction by moving them towards a whole foods diet and minimizing processed foods – a goal anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle should strive for.
    The point about the animal meat available to our ancestors so many years ago being very different from the animal meat available today is an important one. For example, science has shown us that environmental pollutants and toxins are stored in the fat cells of animals – increasing in concentration as you move up the food chain. Comparing the levels of harmful toxins that are found in animal meat today versus what our ancestors had available so many years ago, you may want to reconsider if a “paleo diet” really makes sense.

  • Darrell

    @Paige If those animals are eating grass (as they’re supposed to) then I’m not concerned about pollutants. The liver’s job is to remove toxins that grass might have in it. However, if those animals were being fed grains then yes I’d not eat their pesticide, herbicide, antibiotic laden meat. In the 30 to 60 days they stuff those animals with that poison, it’s a race to fatten and slaughter that animal before it dies of disease.

  • http://crossfitcatcave.blogspot.com Sabine

    Wow, psychologists are now nutritionists too?
    Useless, poorly written article, based on Coventional Wisdom. The Paleo diet is not based on a book, fyi.

  • http://Www.thischris.net Thischris

    Ha! You’ve been pwned, Melody. Now, go get a drumstick! Seriously, I hope this has opened your eyes a little. Similar claims by ill-informed or plain maliciously ignorant “experts” like Mark Bittman and yourself have been similarly slammed by scores of people for whom the Paleo/Primal lifestyle (not a DIET) has made a hugely beneficial impact. Scientifically and anecdotally, the evidence is there. Ignore it at your own loss.

  • mcherny

    Dear Readers:
    Thank you for your interest in my opinion article. Based on personal research, I believe that the Paleo Diet focuses too heavily on animal-based foods, and that a largely plant-based diet more effectively promotes long-term health. I would like to share some of the sources that I drew upon in writing this article:
    • Whole Grain: The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has examined the health benefits of whole grain (not refined grain). Whole grain provides micronutrients, fiber and phytochemicals, and reduces one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For more information, visit the HSPH website:
    • Legumes: Legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, soy, peanuts) are high in protein, and provide ample amounts of micronutrients and fiber. They also play a role in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additional information on the health benefits of legumes such as beans and peas can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website: and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University website:
    • Fiber: Fiber is essential to a healthy diet. Fiber has been shown to reduce one’s level of blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is filling, and reduces the risk of constipation and diverticulosis. Plants foods, including whole grain and legumes are abundant in fiber. For more information about fiber:
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 1: The Nurse’s Health Study II found that premenopausal women who consumed high amounts of animal fat had a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least amount of animal fat.
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 2: A diet high in red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs, bacon and deli meats) was found to increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer (World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007)
    • Meat and Carcinogens: In some cases, carcinogens called heterocyclic amines form when meat is cooked or burned. One study, Heterocyclic Amines, Meat Intake, and Association with Colon Cancer in a Population-based Study, found a positive association between red meat consumption and colon cancer.
    • Diet and Cancer Prevention: In an article about diet and cancer prevention, the American Dietetic Association stated the following: “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At this point, it’s not clear which components in vegetables and fruits are most protective against cancer. So enjoy a variety of whole foods naturally-rich in nutrients. Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Also, eating a diet rich in these plant-based foods can help you stay at a healthy weight.” The article also stated that, “Red meat is an excellent source of protein plus several vitamins and minerals. But eating too much red meat may increase cancer risk, especially for certain types. Eat fish, poultry and beans more often. When you do eat meat, choose lean cuts and limit your intake to no more than 18 ounces (cooked weight) of red meat like beef, pork, lamb per week. Studies show this amount does not raise cancer risk. Downsize your meat portions and flavorfully fill your plate with beans, grains and vegetables.”
    • Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: The human body makes all the saturated fat it needs; therefore consumption of saturated fat is unnecessary. Saturated fat has been shown to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat comes primarily from meat, seafood and full-fat dairy. There are also several plant foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, including coconut and palm oil. One problem with saturated fat is that it increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. No, fat is not unhealthy, but saturated fat is best kept to a minimum. The CDC cites heart disease, cancer and stroke as the top three killers of Americans, claiming more than 50 percent of all deaths each year. Additional information about the role of saturated fat in cardiovascular disease can be found on the Harvard School of Public Health website:
    • Human Protein Requirements: Humans require approximately half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. The CDC cites that women between the ages of 19-70 require around 46 grams of protein per day, and men between the ages of 19-70 require around 56 grams per day. This modest requirement can be easily met without consuming large amounts of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy.
    • High-protein Diets: Based on a short article by Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., high-protein diets should not be followed for long periods of time. High-protein diets may be harmful to one’s long-term health, including an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, and heart, liver and kidney disease.
    • Sustainability: The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report titled, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, states that, “The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and presents an unacceptable level of risk to public health and damage to the environment, as well as unnecessary harm to the animals we raise for food.” This finding suggests that animal-based foods should account for a smaller portion of the average American’s diet, not a higher portion.
    • Plant-based Diet and Lifestyle Programs: A growing number of individuals, such as former president Bill Clinton, are successfully reversing heart disease through plant-based diet and lifestyle programs, such as the Ornish Spectrum and McDougall Programs, and through the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. The recent documentary, Forks Over Knives, while biased towards vegetarianism, explains how these programs work and explores the benefits of a plant-based diet.
    • A Quote from Dr. Marion Nestle: To quote Dr. Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, “…it is not necessary to eat meat. Meat is not an essential nutrient. I can think of plenty of advantages to eating no meat, eating less meat, or eating meat produced in ways that are far better for the health of animals, people, and the planet. Why anyone would question the benefits of eating vegetarian diets, or diets that are largely vegetarian is beyond me. People who eat vegetarian diets are usually healthier – sometimes a lot healthier – than people who eat meat.”
    • Quotes from thepaleodiet.com: The Paleo Diet “About” section boldly claims that the Paleo Diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.” The site also states that the Paleo Diet is “supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles.” I do not deny that there are many testimonials to support the Paleo Diet, nor to support the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Vegan Diet, Raw Food Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet, but testimonials do not constitute scientific data.
    • Characteristics of a Fad Diet: Fad diets (i.e. diets that promise a revolutionary concept and instant change) rely on short-term weight loss and health. Here is a 2001 article from the Medical Journal of Australia titled, Quick Weight Loss: Sorting Fad from Fact, which touches upon low-carbohydrate diets: In addition, here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association on identifying fad diets:
    • Article on the Paleo Diet from CNN’s health blog, The Chart: Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist, argues that the Paleo Diet is indeed a fad diet. To review her reasoning, see the following article from September 9, 2011:
    I applaud the Paleo Diet for recommending a lower intake of sugar, salt, processed oil, refined grain, dairy and alcohol. But to recommend the restriction of whole grain and legumes when large bodies of evidence point to their benefit to human health is irresponsible.
    I am pleased that there has been so much interest and debate on this issue. Again, I would like to clarify that my article, Don’t Eat Like a Caveman, was an opinion piece. I am delighted that the Paleo Diet works for many readers, but I stand by the benefits of a largely plant-based diet.
    Sincerely,
    Melody Cherny

  • Tyler

    Paige:
    [citation needed]

  • Jiim

    This article is so wrong in somany ways. First the claim that whole grains are good for you is absurd. A carb is a carb. The end result is the raise in blood sugar. Albiet, the spike rate is determined by the glycemic load, complex carbs vs. simple carbs. Wouldn’t you know it that veggies have the same effect. Root veggies are higher in simple carbs than your dark leafy counter part. So, why exactly do we need grains? If you can get your carb intake through veggies, and excape the unhealthy effects of grains, such as fermentation within your digestive system, plaque build up in your arteries to name a couple, why hate on Paleo exactly? Fresh veggies (vitamines, minerals and carbs), meat to include fish and poltry, fruits (again vitamines, minerals, and carbs). Yep, totally unhealthy!

  • DanielleinDC

    One more thing: Cavemen typically died in their 20s and 30s and didn’t live long enough to worry about heart disease and such.

  • Gina

    I don’t care what the haters say, it’s Paleo all the way for me. I have, since the end of September 2011, lost 35 pounds, gotten my wildly out-of-control blood sugars into the normal range (not the ADA’s definition of “normal,” either — I’m talking actual normal), lowered my blood pressure, and improved my lipid profile drastically. I also suffered for years from compulsive overeating, and that urge has completely disappeared. If this is a fad, I’ll take it. It’s way better than I ever did eating a low fat/high carb diet.

  • Emm

    Um, with all due respect, perhaps you should research what the diet is before you make false claims against it and write an article. It’s actually completely and totally based on scientific and biological research.

  • mcherny

    I am re-posting my previous comment from January 4, 5:38am, as it doesn’t appear that my URL links went though. I sincerely apologize for any confusion.
    Dear Readers:
    Thank you for your interest in my opinion article. Based on personal research, I believe that the Paleo Diet focuses too heavily on animal-based foods, and that a largely plant-based diet more effectively promotes long-term health. I would like to share some of the sources that I drew upon in writing this article:
    • Whole Grain: The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has examined the health benefits of whole grain (not refined grain). Whole grain provides micronutrients, fiber and phytochemicals, and reduces one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For more information, visit the HSPH website: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/health-gains-from-whole-grains/index.html
    • Legumes: Legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, soy, peanuts) are high in protein, and provide ample amounts of micronutrients and fiber. They also play a role in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additional information on the health benefits of legumes such as beans and peas can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dry_beans_peas_table.html and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University website: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/legumes/#disease_prevention
    • Fiber: Fiber is essential to a healthy diet. Fiber has been shown to reduce one’s level of blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is filling, and reduces the risk of constipation and diverticulosis. Plants foods, including whole grain and legumes are abundant in fiber. For more information about fiber:
    http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 1: The Nurse’s Health Study II found that premenopausal women who consumed high amounts of animal fat had a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least amount of animal fat. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/14/1079.short
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 2: A diet high in red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs, bacon and deli meats) was found to increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer (World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007)
    http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/4841/1/4841.pdf
    • Meat and Carcinogens: In some cases, carcinogens called heterocyclic amines form when meat is cooked or burned. One study, Heterocyclic Amines, Meat Intake, and Association with Colon Cancer in a Population-based Study, found a link between a positive association between red meat consumption and colon cancer. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/157/5/434.full
    • Diet and Cancer Prevention: In an article about diet and cancer prevention, the American Dietetic Association stated the following: “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At this point, it’s not clear which components in vegetables and fruits are most protective against cancer. So enjoy a variety of whole foods naturally-rich in nutrients. Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Also, eating a diet rich in these plant-based foods can help you stay at a healthy weight.” The article also stated that, “Red meat is an excellent source of protein plus several vitamins and minerals. But eating too much red meat may increase cancer risk, especially for certain types. Eat fish, poultry and beans more often. When you do eat meat, choose lean cuts and limit your intake to no more than 18 ounces (cooked weight) of red meat like beef, pork, lamb per week. Studies show this amount does not raise cancer risk. Downsize your meat portions and flavorfully fill your plate with beans, grains and vegetables.”
    http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=9904
    • Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: The human body makes all the saturated fat it needs; therefore consumption of saturated fat is unnecessary. Saturated fat has been shown to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat comes primarily from meat, seafood and full-fat dairy. There are also several plant foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, including coconut and palm oil. One problem with saturated fat is that it increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. No, fat is not unhealthy, but saturated fat is best kept to a minimum. The CDC cites heart disease, cancer and stroke as the top three killers of Americans, claiming more than 50 percent of all deaths each year. Additional information about the role of saturated fat in cardiovascular disease can be found on the Harvard School of Public Health website: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/index.html
    • Human Protein Requirements: Humans require approximately half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. The CDC cites that women between the ages of 19-70 require around 46 grams of protein per day, and men between the ages of 19-70 require around 56 grams per day. This modest requirement can be easily met without consuming large amounts of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html
    • High-protein Diets: Based on a short article by Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., high-protein diets should not be followed for long periods of time. High-protein diets may be harmful to one’s long-term health, including an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, and heart, liver and kidney disease. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-protein-diets/AN00847
    • Sustainability: The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report titled, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, states that, “The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and presents an unacceptable level of risk to public health and damage to the environment, as well as unnecessary harm to the animals we raise for food.” This finding suggests that animal-based foods should account for a smaller portion of the average American’s diet, not a higher portion.
    http://ncifap.org/bin/e/j/PCIFAPFin.pdf
    • Plant-based Diet and Lifestyle Programs: A growing number of individuals, such as former president Bill Clinton, are reversing heart disease through plant-based diet and lifestyle programs, such as the Ornish Spectrum and McDougall Programs, and through the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. The recent documentary, Forks Over Knives, while biased towards vegetarianism, explains how these programs work and explores the benefits of a plant-based diet. http://www.forksoverknives.com/
    • A Quote from Dr. Marion Nestle: To quote Dr. Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, “…it is not necessary to eat meat. Meat is not an essential nutrient. I can think of plenty of advantages to eating no meat, eating less meat, or eating meat produced in ways that are far better for the health of animals, people, and the planet. Why anyone would question the benefits of eating vegetarian diets, or diets that are largely vegetarian is beyond me. People who eat vegetarian diets are usually healthier – sometimes a lot healthier – than people who eat meat.”
    http://www.foodpolitics.com/2009/11/are-vegetarian-diets-ok/
    • Quotes from thepaleodiet.com: The Paleo Diet “About” section boldly claims that the Paleo Diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.” http://thepaleodiet.com/about The site also states that the Paleo Diet is “supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles.” I do not deny that there are many testimonials to support the Paleo Diet, nor to support the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Vegan Diet, Raw Food Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet, but testimonials do not constitute scientific data.
    • Characteristics of a Fad Diet: Fad diets (i.e. diets that promise a revolutionary concept and instant change) rely on short-term weight loss and health. Here is a 2001 article from the Medical Journal of Australia titled, Quick Weight Loss: Sorting Fad from Fact, which touches upon low-carb diets: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/175_12_171201/roberts/roberts/html#suba5 Also, here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association on identifying fad diets: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6851
    • Article on the Paleo Diet from CNN’s health blog, The Chart: Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist, argues that the Paleo Diet is indeed a fad diet. To review her reasoning, see the following article from September 9, 2011: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/09/is-the-paleo-diet-healthy/
    I applaud the Paleo Diet for recommending a lower intake of sugar, salt, processed oils, refined grain, dairy and alcohol. But to recommend the restriction of whole grain and legumes when large bodies of evidence point to their benefit to human health is irresponsible.
    I am pleased that there has been so much interest and debate on this issue. Again, I would like to clarify that my article, Don’t Eat Like a Caveman, was an opinion piece. I. am delighted that the Paleo Diet works for many readers, but I stand by the benefits of a largely plant-based diet.
    Sincerely,
    Melody Cherny

  • Brian Kurtz

    The idea of “healthy whole grains” is a myth propogated by the establishment who refuse to acknowledge that they got it 100% wrong when implicating fat (and particularly saturated fat) as the cause of heart disease.
    We now know that it’s chronically high levels of blood sugar and the resultant chronically high levels of insulin that cause heart disease. Anything that spikes blood sugar contributes to this deadly cascade.
    (un)Healthy Whole Grains are on this list of insulin spiking foods. Whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than table sugar. Two slices of whole wheat bread will spike your blood sugar higher than two TABLESPOONS of table sugar (sucrose) and you want to say that this is healthy?
    Read two books and correct your thinking. 1) Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis…this one is short and written with a sense of humor so it’s easy reading and 2) Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. This one is a bit larger because it takes a while to pick apart the complex web of abuse to the scientific method that was propagated over the last 50 years in order to foster the idea on us from all angles that “whole grains” (which just so happened to be subsidized by the government and then promoted by the same government as a way to get a return on their investment) are good for us.
    As to the “paleo eating is unsustainable” argument. This is a side issue. If we had a worldwide famine and everyone but the 1% were eating wood chips, we wouldn’t start saying that eating wood chips is a “healthy choice” because it’s the only thing there to eat. This type of thinking is an roadblock to innovation. Instead of saying “It can’t be done” we need to be saying “How can we feed everyone in the world on a Paleo Diet if it’s the way we were designed to eat?”. (Hint, hint, it has to do with abandoning our traditional super-market driven paradigm of buying food and returning to buying ALL of our meat and MOST of vegetables from local farmers)

  • Danna

    I agree this article is poorly written.
    For the record, I’ve been a vegetarian for 17 years. I’m healthy, athletic, and no, I don’t suffer from any chronic problems, or frequently get sick. I’m tired of generalizations that being a vegan/vegetarian is somehow the complete opposite of the paleo diet. We may not agree on every detail, but do we have to be so polarized? I eat a diet centered around whole foods, with lower than average carbs, no processed soy, and little if any wheat, flours, or sweeteners. Eating or not eating animal products does not inherently make one healthy or unhealthy. There are poor ways to go about any diet. We can all agree that a healthy diet is based on high quality food and the elimination of the processed garbage that sadly dominates the modern industrialized food supply. Its absurd that the author calls the paleo diet unsustainable, as if to say that the status quo of monoculture agriculture by comparison is sustainable. We all have the most to gain in terms of health and the future of our societies if we focus on what we have in common and rally around a more natural, more sustainable future.

  • Jim

    DanielleinDC, if that figue is considering the infant mortality rate. If a caveman survived infantcy, he/she had a good chance of surviving into their 50′s. Thanks to modern medicine the infant mortality rate is significantly lower in today’s world.

  • Melody Cherny

    Dear Readers:
    Thank you for your interest in my opinion article. Based on personal research, I believe that the Paleo Diet focuses too heavily on animal-based foods, and that a largely plant-based diet more effectively promotes long-term health. I would like to share some of the sources that I drew upon in writing this article:
    • Whole Grain: The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has examined the health benefits of whole grain (not refined grain). Whole grain provides micronutrients, fiber and phytochemicals, and reduces one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For more information, visit the HSPH website:
    • Legumes: Legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, soy, peanuts) are high in protein, and provide ample amounts of micronutrients and fiber. They also play a role in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additional information on the health benefits of legumes such as beans and peas can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website: and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University website:
    • Fiber: Fiber is essential to a healthy diet. Fiber has been shown to reduce one’s level of blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is filling, and reduces the risk of constipation and diverticulosis. Plants foods, including whole grain and legumes are abundant in fiber. For more information about fiber:
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 1: The Nurse’s Health Study II found that premenopausal women who consumed high amounts of animal fat had a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least amount of animal fat.
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 2: A diet high in red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs, bacon and deli meats) was found to increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer (World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007)
    • Meat and Carcinogens: In some cases, carcinogens called heterocyclic amines form when meat is cooked or burned. One study, Heterocyclic Amines, Meat Intake, and Association with Colon Cancer in a Population-based Study, found a positive association between red meat consumption and colon cancer.
    • Diet and Cancer Prevention: In an article about diet and cancer prevention, the American Dietetic Association stated the following: “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At this point, it’s not clear which components in vegetables and fruits are most protective against cancer. So enjoy a variety of whole foods naturally-rich in nutrients. Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Also, eating a diet rich in these plant-based foods can help you stay at a healthy weight.” The article also stated that, “Red meat is an excellent source of protein plus several vitamins and minerals. But eating too much red meat may increase cancer risk, especially for certain types. Eat fish, poultry and beans more often. When you do eat meat, choose lean cuts and limit your intake to no more than 18 ounces (cooked weight) of red meat like beef, pork, lamb per week. Studies show this amount does not raise cancer risk. Downsize your meat portions and flavorfully fill your plate with beans, grains and vegetables.”
    • Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: The human body makes all the saturated fat it needs; therefore consumption of saturated fat is unnecessary. Saturated fat has been shown to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat comes primarily from meat, seafood and full-fat dairy. There are also several plant foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, including coconut and palm oil. One problem with saturated fat is that it increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. No, fat is not unhealthy, but saturated fat is best kept to a minimum. The CDC cites heart disease, cancer and stroke as the top three killers of Americans, claiming more than 50 percent of all deaths each year. Additional information about the role of saturated fat in cardiovascular disease can be found on the Harvard School of Public Health website:
    • Human Protein Requirements: Humans require approximately half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. The CDC cites that women between the ages of 19-70 require around 46 grams of protein per day, and men between the ages of 19-70 require around 56 grams per day. This modest requirement can be easily met without consuming large amounts of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy.
    • High-protein Diets: Based on a short article by Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., high-protein diets should not be followed for long periods of time. High-protein diets may be harmful to one’s long-term health, including an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, and heart, liver and kidney disease.
    • Sustainability: The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report titled, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, states that, “The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and presents an unacceptable level of risk to public health and damage to the environment, as well as unnecessary harm to the animals we raise for food.” This finding suggests that animal-based foods should account for a smaller portion of the average American’s diet, not a higher portion.
    • Plant-based Diet and Lifestyle Programs: A growing number of individuals, such as former president Bill Clinton, are successfully reversing heart disease through plant-based diet and lifestyle programs, such as the Ornish Spectrum and McDougall Programs, and through the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. The recent documentary, Forks Over Knives, while biased towards vegetarianism, explains how these programs work and explores the benefits of a plant-based diet.
    • A Quote from Dr. Marion Nestle: To quote Dr. Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, “…it is not necessary to eat meat. Meat is not an essential nutrient. I can think of plenty of advantages to eating no meat, eating less meat, or eating meat produced in ways that are far better for the health of animals, people, and the planet. Why anyone would question the benefits of eating vegetarian diets, or diets that are largely vegetarian is beyond me. People who eat vegetarian diets are usually healthier – sometimes a lot healthier – than people who eat meat.”
    • Quotes from thepaleodiet.com: The Paleo Diet “About” section boldly claims that the Paleo Diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.” The site also states that the Paleo Diet is “supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles.” I do not deny that there are many testimonials to support the Paleo Diet, nor to support the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Vegan Diet, Raw Food Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet, but testimonials do not constitute scientific data.
    • Characteristics of a Fad Diet: Fad diets (i.e. diets that promise a revolutionary concept and instant change) rely on short-term weight loss and health. Here is a 2001 article from the Medical Journal of Australia titled, Quick Weight Loss: Sorting Fad from Fact, which touches upon low-carbohydrate diets: In addition, here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association on identifying fad diets:
    • Article on the Paleo Diet from CNN’s health blog, The Chart: Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist, argues that the Paleo Diet is indeed a fad diet. To review her reasoning, see the following article from September 9, 2011:
    I applaud the Paleo Diet for recommending a lower intake of sugar, salt, processed oil, refined grain, dairy and alcohol. But to recommend the restriction of whole grain and legumes when large bodies of evidence point to their benefit to human health is irresponsible.
    I am pleased that there has been so much interest and debate on this issue. Again, I would like to clarify that my article, Don’t Eat Like a Caveman, was an opinion piece. I am delighted that the Paleo Diet works for many readers, but I stand by the benefits of a largely plant-based diet.
    Sincerely,
    Melody Cherny

  • MC

    Everyone realizes that the paleo diet is essentially a vegan diet right? The meat just needs to be switched for the grains. I’m vegan and I’ve never felt better. Its the lack of dairy that are making all of you feel so fantastic. And how can meat be fantastic? Its literally chopped up animal. The paleo diet is just an excuse for meat-eaters to eat more meat.
    My brain is not poisoned and I am not wasting away or sick.
    And what evidence is there for wheat to be “poison”? As the article states, its the white breads that are unhealthy, not whole grains. Some of the best athletes in the world are vegan.

  • http://craigkilham@gmail.com Craig Kilham

    Clearly you have much to learn about the role of saturated fat in CVD. Do yourself a favour and pay the $31 for this study.
    http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/PIIS0899900711003145/fulltext#sec2.1
    Also the book by Mary Enig http://www.amazon.com/Know-Your-Fats-Understanding-Cholesterol/dp/0967812607
    And here for more info http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats

  • Elizabeth

    “Humans require approximately half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. The CDC cites that women between the ages of 19-70 require around 46 grams of protein per day, and men between the ages of 19-70 require around 56 grams per day. This modest requirement can be easily met without consuming large amounts of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy.”
    make up your mind, please, Melody:
    according to your last comment, as a woman between 19 and 70, according to CDC, I should be eating 46 grams of protein.
    However, according to your previous calculation about 1/2g protein per lb of bodyweight, I should be eating between 60 and 62 grams of protein – and I’m 120ish pounds, hardly the average. So if I am smaller than the average female between 19 and 70 years old, then the amount of protein consumed by such a female should be MUCH higher than 46g. Like in the range of 80 or so. And therefore should be equivalently higher for males.
    So I don’t know where you got 1/2 a gram per pound of bodyweight, but I think I like THAT number much better.
    Paleo forever!

  • Melody Cherny

    I am re-posting my previous comment from January 4, 5:38am, as it doesn’t appear that my URL links went though. I sincerely apologize for any confusion.
    Dear Readers:
    Thank you for your interest in my opinion article. Based on personal research, I believe that the Paleo Diet focuses too heavily on animal-based foods, and that a largely plant-based diet more effectively promotes long-term health. I would like to share some of the sources that I drew upon in writing this article:
    • Whole Grain: The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has examined the health benefits of whole grain (not refined grain). Whole grain provides micronutrients, fiber and phytochemicals, and reduces one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For more information, visit the HSPH website: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/health-gains-from-whole-grains/index.html
    • Legumes: Legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, soy, peanuts) are high in protein, and provide ample amounts of micronutrients and fiber. They also play a role in reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additional information on the health benefits of legumes such as beans and peas can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dry_beans_peas_table.html and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University website: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/foods/legumes/#disease_prevention
    • Fiber: Fiber is essential to a healthy diet. Fiber has been shown to reduce one’s level of blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is filling, and reduces the risk of constipation and diverticulosis. Plants foods, including whole grain and legumes are abundant in fiber. For more information about fiber:
    http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-why.html
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 1: The Nurse’s Health Study II found that premenopausal women who consumed high amounts of animal fat had a 40 to 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to women who consumed the least amount of animal fat. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/14/1079.short
    • Animal Foods and Cancer – Study 2: A diet high in red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meat (hot dogs, bacon and deli meats) was found to increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer (World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007)
    http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/4841/1/4841.pdf
    • Meat and Carcinogens: In some cases, carcinogens called heterocyclic amines form when meat is cooked or burned. One study, Heterocyclic Amines, Meat Intake, and Association with Colon Cancer in a Population-based Study, found a link between a positive association between red meat consumption and colon cancer. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/157/5/434.full
    • Diet and Cancer Prevention: In an article about diet and cancer prevention, the American Dietetic Association stated the following: “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, including beans, is linked with a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and colon cancer. At this point, it’s not clear which components in vegetables and fruits are most protective against cancer. So enjoy a variety of whole foods naturally-rich in nutrients. Fill at least two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans. Also, eating a diet rich in these plant-based foods can help you stay at a healthy weight.” The article also stated that, “Red meat is an excellent source of protein plus several vitamins and minerals. But eating too much red meat may increase cancer risk, especially for certain types. Eat fish, poultry and beans more often. When you do eat meat, choose lean cuts and limit your intake to no more than 18 ounces (cooked weight) of red meat like beef, pork, lamb per week. Studies show this amount does not raise cancer risk. Downsize your meat portions and flavorfully fill your plate with beans, grains and vegetables.”
    http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=9904
    • Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: The human body makes all the saturated fat it needs; therefore consumption of saturated fat is unnecessary. Saturated fat has been shown to increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat comes primarily from meat, seafood and full-fat dairy. There are also several plant foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, including coconut and palm oil. One problem with saturated fat is that it increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. No, fat is not unhealthy, but saturated fat is best kept to a minimum. The CDC cites heart disease, cancer and stroke as the top three killers of Americans, claiming more than 50 percent of all deaths each year. Additional information about the role of saturated fat in cardiovascular disease can be found on the Harvard School of Public Health website: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/index.html
    • Human Protein Requirements: Humans require approximately half a gram of protein for each pound of body weight. The CDC cites that women between the ages of 19-70 require around 46 grams of protein per day, and men between the ages of 19-70 require around 56 grams per day. This modest requirement can be easily met without consuming large amounts of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html
    • High-protein Diets: Based on a short article by Mayo Clinic nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., high-protein diets should not be followed for long periods of time. High-protein diets may be harmful to one’s long-term health, including an increased risk of developing nutritional deficiencies, and heart, liver and kidney disease. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-protein-diets/AN00847
    • Sustainability: The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report titled, Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, states that, “The present system of producing food animals in the United States is not sustainable and presents an unacceptable level of risk to public health and damage to the environment, as well as unnecessary harm to the animals we raise for food.” This finding suggests that animal-based foods should account for a smaller portion of the average American’s diet, not a higher portion.
    http://ncifap.org/bin/e/j/PCIFAPFin.pdf
    • Plant-based Diet and Lifestyle Programs: A growing number of individuals, such as former president Bill Clinton, are reversing heart disease through plant-based diet and lifestyle programs, such as the Ornish Spectrum and McDougall Programs, and through the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. The recent documentary, Forks Over Knives, while biased towards vegetarianism, explains how these programs work and explores the benefits of a plant-based diet. http://www.forksoverknives.com/
    • A Quote from Dr. Marion Nestle: To quote Dr. Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, “…it is not necessary to eat meat. Meat is not an essential nutrient. I can think of plenty of advantages to eating no meat, eating less meat, or eating meat produced in ways that are far better for the health of animals, people, and the planet. Why anyone would question the benefits of eating vegetarian diets, or diets that are largely vegetarian is beyond me. People who eat vegetarian diets are usually healthier – sometimes a lot healthier – than people who eat meat.”
    http://www.foodpolitics.com/2009/11/are-vegetarian-diets-ok/
    • Quotes from thepaleodiet.com: The Paleo Diet “About” section boldly claims that the Paleo Diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.” http://thepaleodiet.com/about The site also states that the Paleo Diet is “supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles.” I do not deny that there are many testimonials to support the Paleo Diet, nor to support the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Vegan Diet, Raw Food Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet, but testimonials do not constitute scientific data.
    • Characteristics of a Fad Diet: Fad diets (i.e. diets that promise a revolutionary concept and instant change) rely on short-term weight loss and health. Here is a 2001 article from the Medical Journal of Australia titled, Quick Weight Loss: Sorting Fad from Fact, which touches upon low-carb diets: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/175_12_171201/roberts/roberts/html#suba5 Also, here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association on identifying fad diets: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6851
    • Article on the Paleo Diet from CNN’s health blog, The Chart: Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist, argues that the Paleo Diet is indeed a fad diet. To review her reasoning, see the following article from September 9, 2011: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/09/is-the-paleo-diet-healthy/
    I applaud the Paleo Diet for recommending a lower intake of sugar, salt, processed oils, refined grain, dairy and alcohol. But to recommend the restriction of whole grain and legumes when large bodies of evidence point to their benefit to human health is irresponsible.
    I am pleased that there has been so much interest and debate on this issue. Again, I would like to clarify that my article, Don’t Eat Like a Caveman, was an opinion piece. I. am delighted that the Paleo Diet works for many readers, but I stand by the benefits of a largely plant-based diet.
    Sincerely,
    Melody Cherny

  • http://menonlyweightloss.com Wendy Meyers

    I run a fantastically successful Paleo/Primal weight loss company for both men and women. My jaw literally dropped when reading this article. Hmmm, let’s see: the AVERAGE weight loss for my clients is 7-7 lbs the first two weeks on my 90-day program, then 1-3 lbs per week thereafter. My LONG-TERM (3-5 year) sustained weight loss rate is well over 75% and at one year 95% across a large practice located in both San Antonio and Houston (and Dallas coming next year).
    Additionally, close to 100% of my clients are able to successfully d/c their blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, antidepressants/anti-anxiolitics, gout meds, thyroid…you name it. When you let the body heal itself through proper nutrition, pharma is usually unnecessary.
    For such a “fad” diet, Ms. Cherney, I guess maybe…after all these years, and all of this unmitigated, documented success and ummmmm, SUPER HAPPY CLIENTS….we just got lucky?? Wow, I should go out right now and buy a lottery ticket!
    May I suggest you do your research a bit more thoroughly before spouting off again? Check sources like Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, Robb Wolfe, Melissa McEwen, et al for a more ACCURATE understanding of what the Paleo/Primal life actually is. While Dr. Cordain certainly pioneered the Paleo effort, there are many other individuals who have, and continue to contribute substantial amounts of peer-reviewed, evidence-based SCIENE which (yes, Virginia)…Paleo and Primal eating does, in fact, WORK for lean body mass and optimum health.
    Wendy Meyers
    BA,BSN
    Nurse Nutritionist
    Men Only Weight Loss
    Just For Women Weight Loss
    p.s. you need to understand, that just because a food has nutritive value, DOES NOT mean that it does not cause harm to the body and should therefore be avoided (i.e. grains and legumes).

  • 18

    I’m beginning to think that the pro-paleo crowd is emulating more than just the supposed dietary habits of our prehistoric brothers and sisters. The flagrant use of bad rationale to counter-argue this op-ed piece is astounding.
    Someone’s bringing into question our panacea claims? How dare they?! Must hit critic!!
    Not only are most of of the rebuttals to the author poorly written and based on personal experience and not on empirical evidence, they are riddled with fallacies (how does someone link mammalian reproduction with dietary choices?), meaningless mantras (“wheat is poison”), and emotionally-charged diatribe.
    Paleo reasoning to say the least. This is not a thesis or scientific article, and because the author doesn’t provide the readers with a list of sources in the article does not mean there isn’t science behind her argument. It’s really quite simple to perform an internet search on all of the author’s points.
    Everyone needs to relax, nobody is taking away the right to eat disproportionately large amounts of animal flesh and forcing you all to eat chili.
    I can hear the sound of throbbing forehead veins from here and it’s driving me crazy. I’m going for a beer!

  • Frank

    Ugggh you Paleo-tards sound like cult members. Why are you so offended by a view different from your own? Melody laid out a respectful disagreement with the Paleo Diet and cited several sources of evidence that challenges its nutritional basis. Quit taking it so damn personally!