Low-carbohydrate diets are getting more popular in England as well – newspapers report that sales of bread and pasta are plummeting! This is blamed on the idea that this kind of food is fattening (which it is).
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Some good news for the Paleo community – in a new study, the Paleo diet proved superior to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (outdated low-fat dietary guidelines) in terms of greater improvements in weight, waistline and blood lipids (triglycerides).
- Professor Loren Cordain: Long Term Scientific Verification of the Paleo Diet
- EJCN: Long-term effects of a Palaeolithic-type diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized trial
The advantages were statistically significant after six months, but as always in diet studies the average differences decreases with time, as many people fall back into old habits. After two years the positive impact on blood lipids was still big enough that it was statistically significant. The low-fat diet, on the other hand, provided no benefits at all.
Now there are long-term studies (two or more years) showing that a low-fat diet is worse in many ways than an LCHF-similar diet, a higher-fat Mediterranean diet and the Paleo diet. Thus, it seems that our official dietary guidelines are worse for our long-term health than just about all sensible dietary recommendations. Continue Reading →
Blue eyes and dark skin. This is what one of your ancestors may have looked like before the adoption of agriculture, 7,000 years ago, based on a new DNA analysis of a well-preserved skeleton. Here’s some more information about him:
He was probably lactose intolerant and had more difficulty digesting starchy foods than the farmers who transformed diets and lifestyles when they took up tools in the first agricultural revolution.
For fans of the “Paleo Diet” and other get-back-to-nature notions, the study brings some good news, suggesting that people carry around plenty of genes left over from their primeval forebears.
The news articles are based on this DNA analysis of skeletal remains from a Spanish hunter-gatherer.
More and more athletes discover the advantages of eating good food and avoiding nutrition-poor sugar and bread. The low-carb paleo diet is getting big.
Many people have pointed me to the new article series from CBS Sports on how the basket ball team LA Lakers has changed its philosophy and removed most carbohydrates from the player’s diet:
- Nutrition in the NBA; Part I: Lessons learned in L.A. help Howard’s career
- Nutrition in the NBA; Part I: Dwight Howard Q&A
- Nutrition in the NBA; Part II: Paleo diet takes hold for myriad reasons
- Nutrition in the NBA; Part III: The role of the personal trainer
- Nutrition in the NBA, Part III: My story
Here’s my new home office. I’ve thrown out the chair – instead I just got myself a standing desk. Why? Continue Reading →
I’m at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta at the moment. It’s the Paleo conference of the year.
One of the highlights of the first day was the new lecture by Hamilton Stapell, Ph.D., called “The End of Paleo”. He argues that Paleo will remain a fringe movement and never go mainstream, for many reasons.
I tend to agree, although I hope that some of the most important components will go mainstream (e.g. that excess sugar and flour is bad for our weight and health).
And perhaps there is some cause for celebration. Stapell showed the slide above, demonstrating that Google searches for “paleo diet” worldwide trails the searches for “cupcake”.
Statistics should always be taken with a grain of salt though. It’s all about how it’s presented. Continue Reading →
Are you surprised, even a little bit? Then read the 1939 masterpiece Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (free online). Or just look at the stunning pictures.
There’s been a lot of debate about low carb in the Paleo community lately. Some people look at this debate in full black-or-white mode. Either Paleo must be very low-carb OR macronutrients do not matter at all. That’s sad.
Other people, like Richard Nikoley, are more pragmatic and able to see (50) shades of grey. Nikoley just listed a few good low carb blogs:
Diet Doctor is at the top of the list. Thanks!
Is calorie counting an eating disorder? I think so. When I wrote it quite a few people got upset, including a reader by the name of Brittany. But she gave it some thought – and then she really got the point. In fact, she expresses it more eloquently than I ever could.
Here’s her mail: Continue Reading →
Is the Paleo movement something new, or is it just a repetition of something that has happened before?
The lecture that impressed me the most at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 has just been posted online. Here’s Hamilton Stapell, Ph.D., comparing the Paleo movement to the “Physical Culture” movement of the early 1900’s. The similarities are startling. Better diet with less sugar and processed crap? Check. Strenght training á la Crossfit? Yep. Intermittent fasting? Sure. Sun exposure? Yes. Barefoot walking? Absolutely.
Both movements are about a “return to nature” in a stressful and disorienting new world, according to Stapell. They’re a reaction to rapid social, economic and technological changes.
If the movement of the early 1900’s were a reaction to the Second Industrial Revolution, the Paleo movement of today is a reaction to the Digital Revolution (sometimes called the Third Industrial Revolution).
Stapell’s argument raises some intriguing questions. Will the fast-growing Paleo movement of today go mainstream, or will it stay fringe until it fizzles out? Stapell was asked that in the Q&A (not in the video). He hesitated a bit and then said that… no, he did not believe Paleo will go mainstream.
I think Stapell might be right. This “return to nature” Paleo concept is very powerful today, but in ten years time running around barefoot might feel very passé.
What I believe is truly important is to make some core concepts in the original Paleo movement go mainstream. Like the focus on human evolution for understanding what’s likely to be healthy today (followed by controlled trials to prove it, of course). And most of all, in the middle of a disastrous epidemic of obesity and diabetes, to realize that we are not genetically adapted to today’s extremely insulinogenic processed high carb junk food.