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"Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey": Paleo In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide
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January 15, 2013
11:45 pm
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"This just might be the stupidest fucking thing I've read":

This is the Internet.  I guarantee it's not even the stupidest thing you've read today

May I presume you're a vegan?  A lot of you seem to have anger issues.  Try substituting some fatty meat and egg yolks for that grain-based junk: the vitamin B12 alone will do wonders for your mental state.

Farn:

"what do you mean when you say "[i]f red meat caused cancer, we'd all be dead…because we're made out of it"? This seems rather quick!"

No, it isn't.  Muscles, and other lean tissue, are not static constructions.  They're constantly being broken down and rebuilt -- both at the biochemical level within each cell, and at the cellular level via apoptosis and cell division.  So their breakdown products are continually present in our bodies...most of which are large compared to the di- and tri-peptides which are absorbed by a reasonably healthy digestive system when we eat meat.

"In terms of the problems with associational studies: yes, they have many problems. But, they still provide some evidence."

No, they don't.  Odds ratios of 20-30% are COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS in that amount of statistical noise.  Here's a quote from this paper (hat tip to Sidereal):

In an unpublished study, Meehl and Lykken cross-tabulated 15 items for a sample of 57,000 Minnesota high school students, including father’s occupation, father’s education, mother’s education, number of siblings, sex, birth order, educational plans, family attitudes toward college, whether they liked school, college choice, occupational plan in 10 years, religious preference, leisure time activities, and high-school organizations. All of the 105 chi-squares that these 15 items produced by the cross-tabulations were statistically significant, and 96% of them at p < .000001 (Meehl, 1990b).

In other words, if you have a large enough data set, any correlation becomes "significant". (Note that all the data sets in the studies you mention exceed 57,000 people.)

Then, recall my example in which HRT for women produced a halving of cancer risk according to associational data -- far greater than any effect ascribed to red meat! -- yet actual RCTs showed a 30% increase.

Finally, let's not neglect the fact I already explored at length in my article -- people lie or misremember what they eat when asked to fill out a dietary recall survey.  For instance, the recall of hamburger intake is completely unrelated to actual hamburger intake (6% correlation), a fact which completely overrides any possible conclusion one can make about the actual effects of eating hamburger.  So if the correlation is real (which it probably isn't...see previous paragraph), the correlation isn't between cancer and hamburgers, it's between cancer and lying about how many hamburgers you eat.

Result: the known error terms are so large that odds ratios like 30% have no meaning.  Real scientists don't get excited about associative data until they start seeing odds ratios well above the known measurement errors. 

Nutrition is perhaps the only field in which this sort of noise-shaping gets passed off as "science".  It's quite literally on the level of "throwing the bones", or reading the entrails of the sacrificial lamb, to divine the future.

"(do you have any advice for paleo for a student with not great shared kitchen space? It's a dorm type situation.)"

(I'm assuming you're not forced to eat in the cafeteria.) 

College students will steal anything that isn't nailed down.  Get a mini-fridge and keep the meat, eggs, veggies, and coconut oil in your room.  You can even buy an electric skillet if there's nothing but a microwave...just get some plastic utensils and eat out of the skillet.

JS

January 15, 2013
11:48 pm
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leo d:

"Low carb" can mean anything from "somewhat less than the 50% carb recommended by the government" to "no fruit or starchy vegetables, just greens, so effectively zero carb"...so I'm not sure I can comment without knowing how low you were going.

JS

January 17, 2013
1:56 pm
leo d
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it was the atkins diet and my urine test on the keto stick was a dark purple,,,after 53 years of a high carb diet i think the sudden change to a ketosis state brought on the anxiety attacks as i never experienced these before,,,,i also interrestingly was eating alot of coconut flour which is low carb and the mct fats might of been to new for my metabolism to handle ,,i am now following the phd diet with approved carbs and lost 10 lbs in 1 month,,,the aproval of the recommended starches (potatoes and rice mainly) is very aggreable with me,,,thank you for your response JS........................leo

January 19, 2013
10:46 pm
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leo d:

Atkins induction is definitely VLC...it's nearly zero-carb.

Note that it's probably not ketosis that caused your anxiety...it's more likely the increase in cortisol caused by your liver suddenly needing to create carbs through gluconeogenesis.  

Interestingly, people who are metabolically dysfunctional tend to do better with the transition to VLC.  My guess is that they often have high cortisol already due to inappropriate gluconeogenesis and other issues, so VLC might not actually raise it for them (and might even lower it, due to the decreased stress of not being hungry all the time).

JS

January 22, 2013
6:36 pm
leo d
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that makes alot of sense(especially after researching more on what you said) ive been quite stress free for all of my life and an increase in cortisol probably affected me differently than other people.. like type A personalities ,,as i would rate myself as a type C...........thanks for clarifying things for me JS

January 22, 2013
7:08 pm
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leo d:

Keep in mind that what I said above is my own hypothesis. It's biochemically plausible -- but I'm open to correction, and I wouldn't invest too much in it.

JS

January 27, 2013
2:13 pm
Max
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I don't remember how I first stumbled upon your page, but I had heard of the paleo diet before. I found your article very interesting, but I wasn't sure how eating fatty meat could be healthy, after all, its the antithesis of the 'low-fat' bullshit I've heard all my life! Sounded delicious though, so I just watched 'the big fat fiasco' and related videos, they completely blew my mind! Who knew!? My friends think I'm full of it, but they'll come around eventually! Just wanted to thank you for such a concise guide to eating paleo....can't wait to load up my cart with red meat at the grocery store.
A quick question, obviously grass-fed is better, but is it a terrible crime if I'm eating normal store-bought meat?
Thanks again,
Max

January 28, 2013
5:16 am
Indiana
Gnoll
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Max,

 

Have you had grass-fed beef/pastured pork/chicken, nicely fed/treated lamb/goat before? 

 

If you have the means, you may want to consider a personal experiment and obtain some, eat it (and other humanely sourced/properly fed animals) for a set amount of time. See how you feel. Take notes. =)

 

Localharvest.org has a nice (though not complete) list of non CAFO farmers.

January 28, 2013
10:23 pm
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Max:

No, it's not a terrible crime -- especially if you're concentrating on red meat, which is less sensitive to grain-feeding than chicken or pork (which accumulate alarming omega-6 content on an industrial diet).  Your biggest priority should be finding a source of free-range farm eggs.  (Store eggs labeled "cage-free" aren't the same thing and don't make a meaningful difference: you want hens that get to run around in the dirt and eat bugs and plants.)

So yes, it's much healthier to eat beef raised on genetically engineered corn and soy than to eat the corn and soy yourself.  I started that way myself, and it's basically impossible to ever eat out without eating industrial feedlot meat of some sort...

...but it's even better to buy beef raised and finished on grass.  As you find yourself committing more fully to your new way of eating, it'll start making sense to purchase grass-finished beef -- because you'll feel secure enough to buy it by the side from a local producer, instead of paying exorbitant prices for it by the steak.  

Also, good grass-fed, dry-aged beef is delicious!  The store-bought stuff starts tasting watery and bland by comparison.

JS

January 29, 2013
7:56 pm
Max
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E- Yes, its delicious! Just tough on a college budget is all. Gotta find somebody to go in on a

J- What are your thoughts on carboloading? It was an unconvinced roommate's question...I'm not sure what to think, maybe more starch, or just some fruit post-activity to restore glycogen in the muscles? Are there any paleo 'gus' out there, or do you just run off fat for endurance?
Loved the scramble article, keep the recipe posts coming!

Thanks,
Max

January 30, 2013
1:13 am
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Max:

It's important to not let the best be the enemy of the good.  And it's not like you'll have a chest freezer to store a side of beef in college, so I wouldn't stress about it.  Save that for when you're no longer moving every nine months.

Optimal carb consumption is something you have to figure out for yourself.  Yes, competitive athletes will need more than a sedentary researcher trying to lose a few pounds.  Fruit doesn't have a lot of calories, and much of them are fructose, so I'd just eat more tubers.  (Not that fruit's bad, it's just not the best way to replenish muscle glycogen.)  If you really need a huge bolus of glucose, get some rice noodles from the Asian market.

However, for everyday endurance activity, I just run off my own fat unless it's an all-day epic, whereupon I'll bring lunch.  And I always bring some glucose-based candy (e.g. Sweet-Tarts, Bottle Caps...they're dextrose, not sugar or HFCS) just in case I hit the wall.

JS

January 30, 2013
4:41 am
Madison, WI, USA
Gnoll
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Max,

 

I also think what and how much "carb loading" you do, depends on the type of activity you do.  When my physical activity was just walking/sprinting/cleaning I didn't really need to carb load.  However, now that I practice martial arts (aikido) I find that a cup of mashed sweet potato after or before (depending on how late in the day class is) works well for me.

 

Jen

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

January 30, 2013
6:53 pm
Paul N
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Another good reason to Eat Like a Predator is your mental health will likely be better.

Consider this interesting result from a German study at Andreas Enfeldt's site;

Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey.

Interesting point in there - people often had a mental disorder *before* becoming veg*n. Interesting to speculate what would have happened to such a person in paleo/tribal times - voted off the island?

The comment thread that follows that story is also interesting.

Emily Deans wrote an excellent commentary on this same study here

January 31, 2013
1:29 am
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Jen W:

Exactly.

Paul N:

I remember when that made the rounds.  My personal intuition is that it's a self-reinforcing feedback loop: veg*anism is a great way to socially legitimize one's mental issues, and the resulting poor nutrition makes the mental issues worse.  But I'm not going to push that too hard, as it's just an intuitive hypothesis.

JS

January 31, 2013
2:47 pm
Lisa
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Thanks for this info. I admit I didn't read all the comments, but I'm researching the Paleo diet to see if it's a good fit for me. I'm trying to get rid of very mild, but stubborn and mysterious eczema. I've heard that dairy is the cause; I've heard that wheat is the cause. In fact, I've heard so many conflicting things my head was starting to spin. I went to a doctor about it and he prescribed an ointment that was very expensive and listed lymphoma as a potential "side effect." In the trash, it went. ... I was compelled to consider Paleo after coming across the criticism of the lipid hypothesis. Also, it's hard to deny that those vegetable oil and grain dietary recommendations have coincided with epidemic rises in diabetes, heart disease, allergies, and everything in between. Incidentally, I finally realized that I actually felt better after eating a handful of foods -- fish being one of them. Conversely, it seems that so many so-called health foods I eat leave me feeling blah, like multi-grain bread (which went in the trash after two tries) and dried beans. I realized that I rarely eat red meat and thought maybe I should give Paleo a try. I could never be vegan, so no worries there. I'm a dairy junkie though, so that will take some discipline. ... Sorry for the long post, but thanks for the info, nonetheless!

January 31, 2013
3:20 pm
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Lisa:

The great thing about trying dietary therapy is that it's not an irreversible commitment.  Try it for a few months and see how it works for you!

I personally found that my cheese cravings disappeared after a few months of eating fatty meats, eggs, and butter: once I was getting plenty of saturated fat (and the associated fat-soluble vitamins) from other sources, I didn't "need" cheese anymore.  Yes, it still tastes good...but I don't crave it like I used to.

I wish you the best on your journey.  Let us know how it works for you!

JS

February 1, 2013
8:45 am
Paul N
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I found the same thing in regard to cheese - more (fatty) meat, eggs, avocados and I wasn't so hungry for it.
Also, by not eating sandwiches/toast/crackers, a major avenue of cheese consumption dissappeared.

I also stopped buying supermarket cheese, it became (even more) tasteless, and just buy good, aged cheeses and enjoy a little here and there

I had learned how to do home cheesemaking (and kefir making) months before going paleo, and I still do some of that, to make my own kefir and feta style cheese (for salad toppings), and use whey for doing fermented veg or the occasional buckwheat sourdough.

So cheese has become a pleasure/condiment food, just like chocolate - though my butter consumption has increased!

I suppose I could/should do a 30 day elimination and see if it does anything

February 2, 2013
7:57 am
Saddra
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Just one tiny detail, we are not carnivores, our digestive tract is 5x longer than they of carnivores. Yes, we need animal protein but together with plenty of fruit, vegetables and nuts. I do agree with grain and diary. Common we have more than 90% of genetically material of monkeys and look what they eat, fruits, some veggies, roots and some insect. There is where we should learn from.

February 2, 2013
10:00 am
Madison, WI, USA
Gnoll
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Saddra,

 

If only we had the digestive tract of a monkey, but we don't.  We(humans) are NOT hind-gut digesters like apes are and while we are not complete carnivores, our digestive tact more closely matches that of a carnivore than monkey or an herbivore.

 

Jen

"Often we forget . . . the sky reaches to the ground . . . with each step . . . we fly."  ~We Fly, The House Jacks

February 2, 2013
10:47 am
Max
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J, just a question out of curiosity: what happens to societies eating big amounts of carbs/wheat? Rice is a 'safe starch', but when your diet is based on it (many Asian, Latin/South American diets)? A big generalization, but what about Italy? Pasta, pizza, bread...etc? Wouldn't heart disease have always been a problem? Just thinking...

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