Paleo f(x) recap with me, Emily Maguire & Erynn Kay on the LLVLC podcast

Do you want to listen to me and three other participants discuss the highs and lows of the recent Paleo f(x) conference? Check out the latest episode of the LLVLC podcast:

The LLVLC Show (Episode 957): 2015 PaleoFX Recap With Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Emily Maguire, & Erynn Kay

What did we end up discussing? Take a deep breath and then read what may be the longest sentence in the history of mankind:

From the Livin’ la Vida Low-Carb Blog

Listen in as Andreas, Emily, Erynn and I talk about Andreas’ experience attending Paleo f(x) for the first time, how Emily appreciated seeing the variety of products available for Paleo consumers, the observation by Erynn about how big Paleo f(x) has gotten and how the scientific presentations have become more scholarly, Andreas’ concerns about the products that were featured at the event, why the Paleo community should look out for these inferior products lest people don’t improve their health, the skin product vendors who were doing things the right way with real food, natural ingredients, how the mainstream Paleo movement seems to be trying to move away from the low-carb message now, Paleo could be a force for good in people with obesity and diabetes if they supported low-carb, why Andreas thought the “why ketogenic diets are dangerous” lecture by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne was the best talk at the conference but a bit “over the top,” why a ketogenic diet should be used strategically for the right client or patient within a Paleo template, why it’s so surprising that there is such friction between the Paleo and low-carb community, why you don’t really attend Paleo f(x) necessarily to hear all the talks (because you can’t), the most memorable talks and experiences from this year’s conference, how the video presentations will be online later, the diamond in the rough talks that were surprising, the varying levels of talks available at the conference, why low-carbers need to “just go” and see what Paleo f(x) is all about, many of the attendees are actually quite low-carb in their nutritional approach, how the Paleo and low-carb communities could learn a lot from each other and remove the barriers working together, the enthusiasm of so many new people coming into Paleo, and how the low-carb community can leave their own footprint on Paleo.

Listen to the episode


  1. Michael
    My next door neighbor is an RN.she stated that LCHF is bad for your liver and kidneys. I didn't believe her. Am I wrong or right to assume she is wrong.
    Replies: #2, #3, #9
  2. Lori Miller
    I'd ask her, based on what? If she starts talking about cleansing, detoxing, alkaline balance, or plant-based diets, she's quoting from the holy church of veganism, not anything scientific.

    I'd also ask her if people with only one kidney or a damaged liver are specifically told to avoid low-carb diets because of their condition. (AFAIK, they're not.)

  3. Nate
    Dr. Bernstein in his Diabetes Solution explains that high blood sugar begins the damage to your kidneys. The very small glucose molecule in large quantities in diabetics causes the first tears in the kidney structures. These tears allow the slightly larger amino acids to push through causing more damage. Then larger amino acids can do more damage. So, it is the high blood sugar (probably along with high blood pressure) that starts the damage. And people with existing kidney problems need to consult a doctor about how much protein to eat.

    I've been T1 for 50 years and LCHF for 11 years. Before starting LCHF my kidneys were just starting to allow the smallest amino acids to pass though. Now, my kidneys have more or less stabilized. That means sometimes my urine has slightly elevated amino acids and other times not.

  4. KDM
    Too bad about the vitamin supplement sponsor. That's really unnecessary if you have a healthy diet, and likely detrimental to health.
    Reply: #6
  5. Lori Miller
    Not true--some of us need supplements even on a healthy diet. I eat red meat almost daily and still need to take iron.

    Dr. Atkins was a proponent of vitamins back when almost every other doctor rejected them as being for kooks.

  6. Andi
    I my opinion the paleo folks tend to come off a bit snobby and I'm not the only one who thinks that way. The products they use/recommend are often very expensive and limits those who could be helped by paleo eating. From my experience, low-carb tends to be more welcoming to all types and less intimidating. I'm not saying that Coke Zero is good for you but the low-carbers wouldn't beat you up about it like the paleo folks. Ha ha
    Reply: #8
  7. Murray
    Andi, I get the same impression.

    It seems many in the Paleo mold are driven primarily top-down from a doctrinal position, and secondarily from scientific evidence of metabolism etc. Like the biological slogan "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", "Paleo" should be treated as only a plausible starting presumption, subject to adjustment issue-by-issue as the evidence is gathered. One might say if a food is "new" (post-Paleo), the burden of evidence should be to show it is healthy and not a significant acute or long-term stress. Many people are sensitive to "new" foods, many are not. With gluten, I think the Paleo presumption is prudent (in view of the work of Dr. Fasano), and so I avoid gluten grain because I cannot tell whether I am sensitive enough to gluten to suffer chronic disease over time without noticing symptoms until the matter has progressed. So I wait for a reliable test for degree of sensitivity, but since I have no strong evidence that I am especially sensitive to gluten-induced leaky gut (and since I eat colostrum regularly) I don't fuss much about the occasional consumption of a modest quantity of gluten. My wife on the other hand, has through successive experiments of elimination and reduction determined that she gets migraines from gluten. One lapse and she has a migraine the next day.

    The Paleos can also be religiously doctrinaire about dairy, ignoring the fact that the most strongly selected gene in the distinctly human genome post-Paleo is the adaptation for lactose tolerance. So the evolutionary evidence supports consumption of dairy as conferring a significant health advantage (in terms of natural selection). I would have thought that shifts the burden of evidence to showing that dairy is harmful. However, I see Paleo types citing highly ambiguous correlation type data (diseases of civilization started with consumption of ruminant dairy), which is only convincing to those afflicted with strong confirmation bias. The grand Paleo narrative fuels the confirmation bias, and in this sense it can be quasi-religious. Almost as religiously doctrinaire as the worshipers of the plant-only religion. By contrast, the Weston Price-inspired people are more nuanced about dairy, raising issue-by-issue evidence-driven concerns about the effects of pasteurization in denaturing proteins and enzymes, the different casein peptides in Holstein milk, etc.

    Low-carb seems to me the opposite of Paleo and Vegan. No one set out to be low-carb for political or doctrinaire purposes. Who didn't like carbs at one point? Rather, the low-carb, high-fat approach arose bottom-up from empirical experience and shaped into a dietary approach through engagement with metabolic science. The low-carb approach is more relaxed than either Paleo or Vegan because it is result-driven. What is low carb?--low enough to reduce insulin load, which depends on factors such as how much exercise you do, etc.--so there are no hard and fast rules. What is very low carb?--low enough to raise ketones--again, no hard and fast rules. What foods must you avoid? None; however, you need to stay within your individualized carb "budget" and to get adequate nutrients, you will need to spend your carb budget wisely. Would grass-fed beef or wild-caught Alaskan salmon be nutritionally better than feedlot beef or farmed salmon? Sure, but where is the evidence that justifies the incremental cost of achieving perfection over "good enough"? Thus Paleo tends to be doctrinaire and expensive, whereas LCHF has built in to it a lot of "play" in the joints.

    So an LCHF shouldn't beat you up about eating anything, even zero Coke, unless you start complaining you want to lose weight and LCHF just isn't working. Then the discussion turns to evidence of the insulin-stimulating effect of zero-calorie sweetened beverages, however marginal.

    Reply: #12
  8. Zepp
    Renal function following long-term weight loss in individuals with abdominal obesity on a very-low-carbohydrate diet vs high-carbohydrate diet.

    Limiting Carbs, Not Calories, Reduces Liver Fat Faster

  9. Stephen
    Kudos to Murray for a well-thought out, intelligent comment. I think he's exactly right: LCHF is driven by evidence, not by some political or ecological agenda. As such, it is subject to constant improvement as the data pool deepens and adjustments are made.
  10. Andi
    Well said Murray.
  11. BobM
    Well put, Murray.

    My wife and I tend to eat "paleo" (assuming this can be defined), but I am not against things like cheese. I do not see much evidence that omitting cheese (or other dairy) helps, although there is some evidence that dairy causes a higher insulin response than the grams of sugar/carbs would seem to cause. Nonetheless, without cheese, things can get boring at times.

    Personally, I avoid all whole grain products. If I have any wheat products, for instance, I can have acid reflux and other effects, which I never have on low carb/paleo. While I'll have a pizza or a tortilla every once in a while, I avoid them as much as possible.

    Also, I avoid eating any fake food, including anything sweetened with artificial sweeteners. When I started low carb, I drank artificially sweetened beverages, but these awakened too many urges in me for other carbs. After several years of low carb, I've slowly gotten over my additions, but they're still there. I therefore avoid any semblance of "sweet" if I can. If I want to have "sweet" for certain events (such as our daughter's first communion this Saturday), I eat the real thing and suffer the consequences for the next several days (yes, it really affects me for several days) and steel myself against withdrawal symptoms.

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