Paleo diet tips


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Paleo Diet Tips

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Paleo diet tips

  3. 3. HOW TO FIND THE BEST PALEO DIET FOR YOUR SELFThere are misconceptions and unproven facts about whats healthy or not thatcirculate in the paleo diet community and that lead people to mistakes,confusion or frustration when it comes to eating the healthiest diet possible.The quasi-omnipresence of some of those myths and misconceptions hasbecome so strong that some bloggers now feel bad about being associated withthe paleo diet community and prefer being on the side of organizations such asthe Weston A. Price foundation, who gets things right at places where someearly paleo authors are wrong.Other authors, like Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet from the Perfect Health Diet,have decided to take the best science and facts about healthy eating and createdtheir own spin of a diet adapted to our species, good health and longevity.As a movement gets bigger and starts getting popular in the mainstream,mistakes and misconceptions are bound to be spread and the phenomenon isunavoidable. When that happens, the community should unite in teaching theright information and poking open some unfunded facts that prevent themovement from being fully credible.Some have decided to talk openly about common misconceptions in order toexpose the truth and change the way people think about a healthy paleo diet.One such authors, Dr. Kurt Harriss from the popular PaNu (recently renamed toArchevore) blog, proposed the term Paleo 2.0 to differentiate old and unprovenpaleo diet sticking points from the real science and anthropology about foodand its relation to our health.
  4. 4. This website is fully on board with the ideas brought forward by the Paleo 2.0concept. In other words, we could say that this website is Paleo 2.0 compliant.Something to always keep in mind is that trying to imitate our past is futile andimpossible so we should always consider things through multiple lens. Science,anthropology and common sense are three such lens. The idea of eating likecaveman shouldn’t be viewed negatively because it’s what instantly madesense for many people. Other recent and fad diets like the standard Americandiet aren’t rooted in any history, ancient tradition, thorough science andhaven’t endured the test of time. GET YOUR RECIPES HERESome of the wrong things that are taken as fact by many people about the paleodiet have already been discussed in previous articles. For example, the place ordairy on a paleo diet and the many virtues of butter try to dismantle some of themyths around dairy. Other articles, like my article on the health benefits ofsaturated fat try to break the myth about our ancestors eating only lean meat.I think that it’s in good order though to discuss those sticking points all atonce in order to explain why some early paleo authors are wrong in theirassumptions and why some of the diet recommendations on this website differfrom the earlier writings about the subject.The most important concept and one thing that should be kept in mind throughany endeavor into the paleo diet is this one: The goal is and has always been optimal health and well-being, not sticking todogmas just for the sake of being righteous.
  5. 5. The three main ideas that need to be tackled are the idea that healthy meat islean meat, the idea that all dairy is bad and the idea that potatoes and otherstarchy vegetables are bad or suboptimal.Paleo and lean meatLean meat There are a lot of people in the paleo community who think thathealthy meat is lean meat. Most of those people base their assumption aroundthe fact that grain-fed muscle meat tends to contain much more fat than grass-fed muscle meat. Those who can’t afford or can’t find a reliable source ofgrass-fed meat often also think that the fat of grain-fed meat shouldn’t beconsumed and that only lean grain-fed meat should be bought. Some earlierPaleo authors have pushed the notion that healthy meat is lean meat so muchthat a large part of the community now associates Paleo with eating lean meat.This assumption is completely false and shows that the lipid-hypothesis is stillalive and kicking even in the Paleo community and that trying to imitate ourancestors can lead to fundamental mistakes. GET YOUR RECIPES HEREIt should be noted though that lean meat is not unhealthy per se, only thatexcess protein from eating only lean meat is.The thing is, the body isn’t able to metabolize more than about 30% of ourcalories as proteins and the absolute need for proteins is much lower. Proteinsare a bad source of energy. Carbohydrates and fats are the real fuels for ourcells. Instead, proteins are used for growth, repair and many enzymaticfunctions, not direct energy production.To metabolize proteins, the body creates toxic by-products like ammonia andurea. In excess, this can be detrimental. Protein poisoning, also called rabbit
  6. 6. starvation, is possible in the most extreme cases of protein over consumption.Saturated and monounsaturated fat, for their part, are an excellent and reliablesource of energy, so good that our own bodies stores extra energy as thosekinds of fats in roughly equal parts. In addition to being a great source ofenergy, saturated and monounsaturated fats have many important functions inthe body. Contrary to metabolizing proteins and carbohydrates, no toxic by-products are created with those fats and they stay neutral in high amountinstead of becoming toxic and detrimental.The fallacy of cavemen eating mostly lean meatFirst of all, our ancestors probably didn’t eat much lean meat. The muscletissues of wild ruminants might be lean for many species for a good part of theyear, but most studies that look at the fatty tissue composition of wild animalstend to overlook the fat outside muscle tissues like subcutaneous fat, marrowfat, brain fat and fat around organs like the kidneys.Traditional cultures were well aware of the importance of fat as a great sourceof energy and went out of their way to seek out the fattest animals and utilizeevery bit of fat found in them. They knew which animals to hunt and in whichseason they were at their fattest state. For example, Eskimos are good atspotting fat caribous in herds just by looking at the horns.In addition to that, some wild ruminants are especially fatty and those wereoften the most hunted and prized animals. Many hunters will tell you that wildgame is often far from being lean.So, if today we eat steaks with much more marbling than the steaks of animalsliving in the wild, it only compensates for the fact that we don’t eat the other
  7. 7. sources of fat that were available in those animals.Fatty grain-fed meatAnother subset of people accept the fact that saturated and monounsaturatedfat are healthy in high amount, but still tend to think that the fat of grain-fedanimals is highly problematic and too high in polyunsaturated fat.While it’s true that sourcing grass-fed meat is beneficial and desirable becauseit’s more nutritious, it’s not a reason to shun and believe false facts aboutgrain-fed meat. The elitist attitude that only grass-fed meat should be eatenscares away a lot of people who first become interested in the paleo diet.The fat composition of grain-fed animals isn’t higher in omega-6 fat, ratherit’s lower in omega-3 fat. That simply means that those who regularly eatgrain-fed meat might need to make sure that they regularly eat fatty fish likesalmon or sardines to bring their omega-3 fat intake in balance with theiromega-6 intake.A lot of people are also scared by the amount of some hormones found in thefat or grain-fed animals. While it’s true that the fat of grain-fed animals usuallycontains more hormones like testosterone, it’s nothing compared to theamount of those hormones found in ruminant bulls, which our ancestors used toeat much more.To summarize, grass-fed meat is always the gold standard, but you shouldn’tshy away from fatty cuts of meat even if you’re budget or geographic situationonly allows for grain-fed options.Paleo and dairy
  8. 8. Even though this point has been discussed before on this website, many peopleare dead stuck in believing that any dairy from any source is inherently bad andthat it should be avoided at all cost. Here again, we’ve focused our attention into imitating our ancestors insteadof looking at what’s really going on and what’s really important. The mainfocus should always be on elimination the biggest sources of malnutrition andtoxicity in our diets: grains (especially wheat), legumes (especially soy), sugarand vegetable seed oils.Dairy cowThe main undesirable element in milk and the sugar lactose, but many dairysources contain very little to no lactose at all. Aged cheeses, properly fermentedyogurt, butter, clarified butter and heavy cream are good examples. In additionto that, although lactose is not properly digested by most people, raw milk stillcontain the lactase enzymes that help break it down and should be welltolerated.The second undesirable element in dairy is the protein casein. Some peopleseem to have issues with that protein present in milk. Here again, butter andheavy cream are two choices that contain extremely low amount of the proteincasein. Also, many people who can’t tolerate cow’s milk end up doing justfine with dairy from other sources like sheep or goats, mainly because their milkcontains a different form of the casein protein. Finally, some react to casein as across-reaction linked to wheat consumption. This means that they no longerhave a problem with casein once their body is healed from the damages ofwheat and other gluten-containing grains.
  9. 9. Not many traditional cultures have been noted for consuming milk, but manyhave been noted for consuming high amounts of dairy fat or fermented dairy ofsome kind. Those cultures were most often really healthy and thriving.Additionally, by shunning all dairy for ideological reasons about imitating ourpast, we miss on a great source of healthy fat, butter fat. Of course, dairy is notnecessary at all on a healthy diet and its products should still be avoided bypeople with digestive issues or an autoimmune disease.Paleo, starchy vegetables and potatoesPotatoes Another misconception running around in the Paleo community is thatstarchy vegetables are unhealthy and that regular white potatoes are especiallybad. The bias against starchy vegetables probably comes from the low-carbideas about a healthy paleo diet.It’s important to understand that our ancestors probably enjoyed caloric-densestarchy vegetables as much as they could once they knew how to cook themproperly, which dates back a very long time ago. The amount of amylase, anenzyme that digests starch, in our saliva is much higher than in most othermammals, showing that we became adapted to eat and digest starchyvegetables.We now know than an optimal diet is not a long-term zero or very low carb dietand that some amount of carbohydrates is healthy and desirable. In fact, in adiscussion about the perfect macro nutrient ratio, it has been established that20% of our calories as carbs is probably optimal. Obtaining that amount ofcarbohydrates by eating only non-starchy vegetables is very difficult if notimpossible and is not necessary at all. Many people understand the need for atleast some carbohydrates, but choose fruits instead of starchy vegetables to
  10. 10. fulfill that need. This is fine as long as fruits are eaten in very moderate amount,but the fructose content of most fruits makes them problematic in too highamount.Contrary to the simple sugars like glucose and fructose found in fruits, starchyvegetables are often mostly starch, a polymer of glucose molecules. Starch isbroken to simple glucose molecules in our digestive systems and our bodiesends up only dealing with glucose, which is a sugar that can be used by all ourcells for energy, contrary to the toxic fructose.Therefore, as a source of carbohydrate, starchy vegetables, provided that theydon’t contain toxic proteins, are often healthier than most fruits. They are alsooften very nutritive and contain high amounts of some key minerals andvitamins.Of course, the story is almost never all black or white and two main subgroupsof people might want to take it slow on the starchy vegetables: Metabolically deranged people: Those with a broken metabolism that isn’tinsulin sensitive anymore might find it hard not to overeat starchy vegetablesand might struggle to lose weight if they eat just a little too much of them.Those people often do better if they go on a lower carbohydrate diet for a whilein order to heal and help their body learn to use fat as a source of energy. Somepeople might never be able to go on a higher carb diet, but most people end upbeing able to include healthy amounts of carbohydrates without problems aftera while. People with digestive issues such as bacterial overgrowth: Some people withdigestive issues and IBS-like symptoms, especially those suffering from bacterialovergrowth in the small intestine, have a hard time breaking down starch and
  11. 11. should limit their overall starch consumption.White potatoesRegular white potatoes are a vegetable that has received its load of hatred fromthe Paleo diet community in general, often without reason. It’s alreadyestablished that, like eggplants, tomatoes and bell peppers, potatoes are in thenightshade family of vegetables and can create problems for those alreadysensitive to other nightshades. Unlike other nightshades though, most of thetoxins are found in the skin of potatoes and not in their flesh. We now haveaccess to simple tools to detoxify vegetables such as potatoes: potato peelers.Potatoes, especially green potatoes and those with green spots (try not to pickthose), also contain saponins, mainly solanine and chaconine, which are alsotoxic in high dose. Once again, the major part of those compounds is found inthe skin and is easily removable. Many studies have failed to demonstrate thatthe amount of those compounds found in commercially available potatoes couldbe detrimental to our health.It’s very important to keep in mind that virtually all vegetables contain someamounts of toxins. Potatoes are no exception, but are often not any worse thanother commonly eaten vegetables. This is why it’s a good idea to eat a dietthat’s diverse when it comes to plants.I myself have been dealing with digestive issues and many otherwise healthyfood choices are still off limits for me. In spite of that, I tolerate potatoes prettywell and include them as a source of healthy carbohydrates in my diet. Manypeople are in similar situations where they struggle to properly digest manysources of carbohydrates while peeled and cooked potatoes are just fine.
  12. 12. Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 andmagnesium. Potatoes are also a source of complete protein and can be eatenexclusively in periods of scarcity without the risk being protein deficient. Manycultures have thrived on diets very high in potatoes.I’ve abstained from including recipes with regular potatoes in the past in ordernot to confuse people, but I can not stay on the safe side anymore and have tospeak the truth in what’s really healthy and what’s not. I’ve already doneso in showing that most nuts and seeds are often suboptimal, even if manypeople swear by them. The association against potatoes is strong and will take along time for some people to break.Some people with digestive issues might still want to abstain from potatoes, likethey should already do for other nightshade vegetables like tomatoes orpeppers, but most healthy people can eat potatoes, without the skin, and benefitfrom them. Starting now, some of the recipes on this site will feature potatoes. Ifyou’re still not sure about eating potatoes from everything you’ve heardaround the Paleo diet circles, now is the time to practice your skeptic muscle,try them for yourself and see how it goes. GET YOUR RECIPES HERE
  13. 13. GET YOUR RECIPES HERE other recipes