I am open minded. I like to learn and find the truth. I've recently found myself having to come up with counter arguments to things I've been hearing about through other people. In this post I will mostly be talking about Mark Sissons views on eating Paleo and some of the things I've heard him come out with.
I don't claim to be highly knowledgable in the field of science or any other field relating to this post. I use mostly what I consider to be my logical mind and my experience. I have read a few books regarding Anthropology, and Nutrition on a chemistry level. The purpose of this post is not say which diet is better necessarily but to point out a few inconsistencies I have observed.
Without a background in Science, Nutrition and/or Anthropology all these facts coming at you from these self-proclaimed gurus can be quite overwhelming at times, especially if you're new to this diet and haven't had the chance to experience the benefits for yourself yet. Being open to the idea of 811 means you will most likely be willing to look into the paleo diet also since both focus on a more natural diet free of processed food and grains. I'm sure both have helped a lot of people free themselves of the major diseases we often hear about in this world. When discussing the paleo diet, this is the kind of pyramid I'll be thinking of:http://www.smart-diner.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/primal-pyrami.... The first thing that strikes me about this pyramid is that fruit is on the the bottom as it is with Mark Sissons food pyramid in his book the primal blueprint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgjdMHmZyYk and a few other low carb diets. Now I thought the paleo diet was based around meat but with reasonable helpings of fruits and vegetables. They say that the body should run on fat which I'll discuss more later. It says here that fruits and vegetables are where you'll be getting most of your nutrients. Some paleos would disagree with this saying it was the meat that gave the most nutrition. So the pyramid represents where you'll be getting most of your nutrition? Second up the pyramid is meat, fish, fowl, eggs which it is says "Represents bulk of calories". Hmmmm... Should this really be a pyramid? I think the concept of a food pyramid has been lost here and it is rather confusing. Perhaps an idea of the amount of servings one would typically have from each section might clear things up.
As for the zone diet (a book I got from a sort line at a recyling factory. I think they were aiming for the trash can)pyramid, which is another low carb paleo like diet, it's ordered from bottom to top, Vegetables, Fruits, Low fat protein, mono saturated fats, grains and starches. They call it the low-carb revolution. If you're taking away grains yes you'll be consuming less carbohydrates but if you look at the diet as a whole I'm not sure how it can be conceived as one based on pyramid representation. From the book "10 to 15 servings per day", in reference to fruit intake. Since Mark Sisson puts fruits at the bottom we could assume for a second he allows, or recommends even, a similar amount of fruit. He says his diet is around 60% fat. For it to be possible to get just 54% of your calories from fat whilst eating this amount of fruit (750 - 1500 calories), you would need to eat 5kg of beef according to cron-o-meter which all adds up to around 10, 000 calories :O. Again I don't entirely understand the concept behind these paleo pyramids. Perhaps he means 60% fat in grams? According to cron-o-meter beef (raw yes but shouldn't matter)has more protein in grams than fat so it would be impossible to attain 60% fat that way. However, he might mean low calorie fruits but from what I've heard so far, that hasn't been stated and they are often reffered to as vegetables in the US anyway. You would think he would mention something as important as "don't eat high carb fruits". Maybe I have to buy his book to fully understand these things. Think I'll buy fruit instead.
So why do the low carb paleo diet? Advocates of the diet state the concept is to cosume foods that we have eaten (to their understanding but not mine)for thousands or million of years. So this means no grains, processed, refined sugary or fatty junky food. Doesn't sound too bad. So we're left with meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Now to me that just sounds like "healthy SAD". Which of course is going to improve your health in terms of lack of disease. I'm not going to deny that too much.
Another point advocates will bring up is that we apparently are designed to run on fat/fatty acids/ketones and that we need to reprogram our genes. Firstly I think to adapt completely from running on carbohyrdrates (which I know a lot of folks here are doing rather well)to running on fats just as well, you not only need to reprogram your genes but change the design of your digestive tract, especially when it comes to meat eating. Notice carnivores have shorter digestive tracts as well as many other differences in chemistry. Although we would not need to be fully like carnivores as we eat cooked meat which has better digestibility. Raw paleo is another story. If we're to be talking strictly about running on fat (as in oil or something, bare with me I have a point)then I could maybe come to accept that your body could adapt to it and run pretty much just as well. However we're not just talking about fat here. With the fat comes along a whole load of tough fibres and proteins (in the case of meat)your body has to break down before it can even use the fat. A resource heavy process for the body and slow one. So you won't be getting your energy as fast as you do with fruit and you wont be getting as much net energy. This is what my main point wil be here. Paleos even admit themselves that they don't recover all that well from long periods of exercise without sufficient carb intake.They beleive it's unnatural and non primal and that we should only do intense activity in short bursts a few times a week.
Lets not get wrapped up in what's natural and what's not. Lets find what makes us the healthiest and therefor happiest. The primal/paleo diet might be good at limiting disease but it does not equal thriving health. I personally don't meet many people on the regular Standard Western Diet, here in the UK, that have major health issues so it's no suprise that most primal eaters are reasonably healthy people. But if you want to live on an ethical, vibrant, energetic (physically and mentally)diet good for the planet then high carb veganism, especially 811, is the way to go.
Believe it or not. Mark Sisson had fruit at the bottom of his food pyramid at the time. Perhaps it was fruit and vegetables, but this still implies he's recommending a lot of fruit servings.
Mark Sisson also says his diet is 60% fat. The purpose of the CRON-0-Meter was to show that you can't have a diet anywhere near 60% fat, with so many fruit servings, unless you eat a shed load of meat. Even if you had only 5 servings of fruit a day, on the Paleo diet, your diet would be something like 30 - 45% fat. So he can't even do basic math it seems. That was my point.
no worries, cheers liam - point taken.
Hey although this isn't a book I would most certainly recommend reading through http://paleovegan.blogspot.com.au/
Very interesting! Thank you:)