The Paleo concept is new for most people and this newness can spark many questions. We like people to not only read about and educate themselves on this topic but also to “get in and do it.” Experience is perhaps the best teacher and often cuts through any confusion surrounding this way of eating. Now, all that considered, there are still some common counter arguments to the Paleo diet that happen with sufficient frequency that a whole paper was written on it. Enjoy: Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments.
Need a recommendation for a substitution for Golden Flaxseed Meal. It disagrees with me no matter how slowly I try to reintroduce into my diet. Causes painful sleep interrupting churning and cramping in my GI tract, even though I drink three quarts of water daily. Also should not consume GFM because I take a blood thinner and estrogen. Find this bread recipe addictive (especially substituting and doubling quantity B grade maple syrup for the honey + adding 1/4 chia seeds)…but the GFM is a truly painful experience. Help!
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The data for Cordain's book only came from six contemporary hunter-gatherer groups, mainly living in marginal habitats. One of the studies was on the !Kung, whose diet was recorded for a single month, and one was on the Inuit. Due to these limitations, the book has been criticized as painting an incomplete picture of the diets of Paleolithic humans. It has been noted that the rationale for the diet does not adequately account for the fact that, due to the pressures of artificial selection, most modern domesticated plants and animals differ drastically from their Paleolithic ancestors; likewise, their nutritional profiles are very different from their ancient counterparts. For example, wild almonds produce potentially fatal levels of cyanide, but this trait has been bred out of domesticated varieties using artificial selection. Many vegetables, such as broccoli, did not exist in the Paleolithic period; broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are modern cultivars of the ancient species Brassica oleracea.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)
The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man by Walter L. Voegtlin. This was self-published back in 1975. Only a couple hundred copies were printed and distributed to friends and relatives. No one knew the book existed until some years later. In no way is he the father of the paleo diet. It is impossible to purchase. Apparently his descendents are planning a reprint, though the book is poorly written and not based upon factual anthropological information that even was available then. We have put up his Functional and Structural Comparison of Man's Digestive Tract with that of a Dog and Sheep. And a PDF can be found here.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet's core premise. During the 2.6-million-year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.
We cannot time travel and join our Paleo ancestors by the campfire as they prepare to eat; likewise, shards of ancient pottery and fossilized teeth can tell us only so much. If we compare the diets of so-called modern hunter-gatherers, however, we see just how difficult it is to find meaningful commonalities and extract useful dietary guidelines from their disparate lives (see infographic). Which hunter–gatherer tribe are we supposed to mimic, exactly? How do we reconcile the Inuit diet—mostly the flesh of sea mammals—with the more varied plant and land animal diet of the Hadza or !Kung? Chucking the many different hunter–gather diets into a blender to come up with some kind of quintessential smoothie is a little ridiculous. "Too often modern health problems are portrayed as the result of eating 'bad' foods that are departures from the natural human diet…This is a fundamentally flawed approach to assessing human nutritional needs," Leonard wrote. "Our species was not designed to subsist on a single, optimal diet. What is remarkable about human beings is the extraordinary variety of what we eat. We have been able to thrive in almost every ecosystem on the Earth, consuming diets ranging from almost all animal foods among populations of the Arctic to primarily tubers and cereal grains among populations in the high Andes.”
The Paleo diet not only misunderstands how our own species, the organisms inside our bodies and the animals and plants we eat have evolved over the last 10,000 years, it also ignores much of the evidence about our ancestors' health during their—often brief—individual life spans (even if a minority of our Paleo ancestors made it into their 40s or beyond, many children likely died before age 15). In contrast to Grok, neither Paleo hunter–gatherers nor our more recent predecessors were sculpted Adonises immune to all disease. A recent study in The Lancet looked for signs of atherosclerosis—arteries clogged with cholesterol and fats—in more than one hundred ancient mummies from societies of farmers, foragers and hunter–gatherers around the world, including Egypt, Peru, the southwestern U.S and the Aleutian Islands. "A common assumption is that atherosclerosis is predominately lifestyle-related, and that if modern human beings could emulate preindustrial or even preagricultural lifestyles, that atherosclerosis, or least its clinical manifestations, would be avoided," the researchers wrote. But they found evidence of probable or definite atherosclerosis in 47 of 137 mummies from each of the different geographical regions. And even if heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes were not as common among our predecessors, they still faced numerous threats to their health that modern sanitation and medicine have rendered negligible for people in industrialized nations, such as infestations of parasites and certain lethal bacterial and viral infections.
Argh! I’ve literally made 4 different recipes today for yeast free/gluten free breads, and every last one has been a fail. This one is in the oven as I write (please let it be good!). I had to sub a flour because hubby can’t have almond products so I will keep that in mind if it’s not perfect, but seems to at least have potential. I also only had duck eggs, which are large, so used 3 instead of 4 (can’t have chicken eggs either). I will let you know how it turned out! Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you for the recipe and wonderful website. This bread is fantastic! I took the liberty of changing a few things around and used what was on hand: Bob’s Redmill Almond meal, fortunately the texture is excellent, 1/2 cup roasted & mashed Delicata Squash, one tablespoon of Ghee, one tablespoon of Coconut oil instead of 1/4 cup, substituted Hemp Seed for Flax meal and Volia! Delicious.
The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostak and Melvin Konner. This book, published in 1988, was the start of the Paleolithic diet movement. Its recommendations are not in line with what today is considered a paleo diet, as whole grain breads and pastas, legumes and some low fat dairy products are allowed. However, it is still a profoundly important book. Used books are available for a reasonable price.
I’m not a nutritionist, so this is just a rough estimate, but here is the nutrition breakdown for 1 serving (based on 10 servings per loaf): 239.4kcals, 11.4g carbs, 3.4g fiber, 8g net carbs, 19.3g fat, 7.9g protein. You can make the determination based on the macros as to whether or not you can fit this bread into a ketogenic lifestyle. I hope that helps!
I really do hope you read this. It may make a difference to some people. I know it makes a huge difference to me. I tried your paleo bread recipe and several other bread recipes on other websites. I kept tasting a bitter undertone in the bread. Every time it would just make me gag. I finally figured it out that it’s the almond flour. It makes sense now, since almonds DO have a bitter aftertaste. But it usually doesn’t matter when using whole or chopped almonds. So I tried your paleo bread recipe by replacing it with cashew flour. I had to make the flour myself in the vitamix blender, but it worked real well. AT LAST, NO BITTER UNDERTONE! I recommend informing people that cashew flour is an alternative. The only problem I have now is that it still doesn’t have that wheat bread taste. I tried increasing the flax seed meal to 1/2 cup and reducing the cashew flour to 1 3/4 cups but the flax seed meal still didn’t shine through. I know flax seed meal has the potential to create the taste. I intend to increase it further in my next attempt. BTW, I’m not worried about the phytoestrogens in flax seed because my naturopathic doctor says it doesn’t act like real estrogen.
Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils--tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence--stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates--both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
I am allergic to chicken eggs so I have to use duck or no eggs. I will look for lighter flax though. I just thought there was no difference but colour. I did try it with two of the duck eggs only using the whites. It came out a bit lighter but still dense. My 4 year old even loved it and that is a hard thing to do lol! I toasted in a pan with grass fed butter and put maple syrup on, he asked for it the next day (this is a child that hates breakfast food)! So good! Thank you!