The Paleo Diet Delusion: Paleofantasy's Marlene Zuk on Evolutionary and Dietary Myths

"The fact is that organisms are never perfectly suited to their environment," says evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk, "the way evolution works is through a whole series of compromises and jerry-rigged solutions based on what was there before."

Zuk sat down with ReasonTV's Tracy Oppenheimer to discuss her findings in her new book, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live. She says that the paleo diet, philosophy and lifestyle overlook "a lot of really cool stuff that's been happening in evolution."

"It's absolutely true that our bodies didn't evolve under circumstances where we had television and lots of calorie-rich but nutrient-poor food, but at the same time, talking about life 100,000 years ago like it was completely static or like it was the same all over the world doesn't reflect reality either," says Zuk.

Approximately 5:30 minutes.

Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So what am I supposed to do with all these berries and twigs I gathered for dinner? And I suppose now this saber tooth tiger trap won't go for dick on craigslist.

  • Bee Tagger||

    And I suppose now this saber tooth tiger trap won't go for dick on craigslist.

    POACHER!

    I don't care how tired you are of scrambled eggs, stop eating them that way.

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  • eyeroller||

    I think it's funny when people say "nutrient poor" as if calories aren't a nutrient.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Here's the flaw with paleo diets: People aren't chasing down game. That's it. The glaring, total flaw. They should also be fasting and gorging.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Blackadder: If you can't make money you'll have to marry it.

    Prince George: Marry? Never! I'm a gay bachelor, Blackadder. I'm a roarer, a rogerer, a gorger, and a puker. I can't marry. I'm young, I'm firm buttocked, I'm, I'm...

    Blackadder: Broke.

    Prince George: Well, yes, I suppose.

    Blackadder: And don't forget, sir, that the modern church smiles on roaring and gorging within wedlock. And indeed rogering is keenly encouraged.

    Prince George: And the puking?

    Blackadder: I believe it is still very much down to the conscious of the individual church-goer.

  • db||

    And the meat they're eating is virtually parasite-free!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good point. Going into a near coma for several days while your immune system fights off the plague is also figure-enhancing.

  • db||

    South Bronx Paradise, Baby!!

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  • NoVAHockey||

    My wife went paleo. so that basically means I did. but it also means she cooks me bacon and eggs for breakfast. i'm not complaining.

    I told her I'd do whatever she wanted, but I wasn't giving up alcohol.
    I honestly haven't missed most of what's been cut from our diet.

  • ||

    You mean the non-meat items? What's there to miss?

  • NoVAHockey||

    exactly. it's like having "turf-and-turf" most nights.

    we used to eat pasta 3-4 times a week.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Nothing like more steak for dessert.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Chips and salsa.

  • Swarley||

    My wife went paelo too. As the son of an French/Italian immigrant this is devastating. Pasta dinner is down to one night a week.
    Worst part is my wife still steals my beer.

  • Harvard||

    Just succumb and eat your wife.

  • Juice||

    What the hell is paleo about bacon?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Who cares? Eating the whole animal is paleo. Living in Taiwan, I eat pig ears, intestines, hearts, tongues, feet, stomach, skin, etc... Pork bellies (bacon) cooked in soy sauce (爌肉)is primo, but I quit eating brains due to fear of prions. Incidentally, pig skin is also great when cooked with big chunks of pork when making spaghetti sauce.

  • Trespassers W||

    So the paleo diet doesn't work then? Could have fooled me.

  • Lord Humungus||

    exactly this.

    I'm not a Paleo, but I'm a low-carber. It worked for me and it worked for my wife.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I gave up most carbs and stopped gaining weight - upped the exercise and started losing it. Feel better too.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    This is me. A year ago I went LCHF after reading Taubes' book. My husband and sons are low-carbers to a lesser degree. My husband lost 20 pounds effortlessly and my sons both slimed down a bit (they weren't fat). I lost 15 pounds and an 5 pounds away from my goal weight (125lbs)- my weight when I fit into my size 2 wedding dress.

    So, yeah, LCHF and Paleo Good.

  • ||

    She didn't actually talk about whether the paleo diet works, she was just pointing out that the given reasoning behind it is wrong.

  • Jim in Denver||

    Probably the single largest factor in Paleo diet success is cutting out the processed foods. It cuts out a ton of unnecessary calories, fillers and chemicals. And also most people are more conscious and aware of how much crap they're stuffing into their mouths while on a diet, any diet.

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  • CbadCAMom||

    She didn't say that. She said the reasoning behind why paleo works is flawed.

    How are cattle fattened up before slaughter?... Fed a diet of 80% to 90% grain. What's in the center aisles of the grocery store? Processed crap made from grains. Shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store... vegetables (not potatoes,) fruit (in moderation,) meat and dairy. You will lose weight and feel amazing.

  • phandaal||

    It's not the diet itself that people have a problem with, it's the fact that the reasoning is "because we have caveman bodies." The typical paleo adherent's understanding of lactase persistence is essentially that milk is for babies, end of story. There is also evidence that humans' ability to run for long periods of time actually benefitted them from an evolutionary standpoint (example: http://phys.org/news95954919.html).

    I'm a healthy eater who never runs for more than 30 mins at a time myself, but I do it because I've seen results over years of tweaking my diet and exercise to find the right mix, not because I think I'm a caveman.

  • Voros McCracken||

    This is sort of a bizarre digression from what I think most people would assume was the topic: whether the paleo diet works. That seems to not be the subject matter at all.

  • NoVAHockey||

    i've been doing it for about 2 months. but not 100% -- i'm not giving up beer. i've also been doing crossfit 3 times a week for that time. i've lost weight (10-15lbs) and have gotten stronger. i've also been sleeping better.

    it works in that sense that i'm having interesting good meals and i'm not hungry all the time. and i have enough energy at the end of the day to work out.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I gave up beer, but not tequila.

  • Jon Lester||

    I haven't had a carbonated soft drink in over a year, and I rarely touch fast food anymore, too. I'm within 10 pounds of what's probably ideal for my age, body type and size, but I still like my beer every night. My next solution is to get a bicycle, so I can further tone myself, add up the energy savings and keep drinking beer.

  • ||

    I think it's problematic to advertise a diet as being somehow scientifically based when it's often just good advice that works. I remember the Eat Right 4 Your Type thing. I read through it and the "scientific" assertions were spurious at best, but some people did really well on it even if the premise of the book was completely crazy.

    (My parents are frequent consumers of fad health movements so I spent a good decade reading and debunking everything they did in an effort to forestall crazy changes in our household diet)

  • Marla Singer||

    Without Eat Right 4 Your Type, I would never have realized that it was the dairy and wheat that were the root cause of my many, many sinus problems. I ignore a lot of the other advice in that book, but since I read that book, I haven't had a single sinus infection, and I used to have them near-chronically.

  • Brandybuck||

    As others have pointed out, reducing carbs and sugars does help you lose weight. The paleo diet works insofar as it's a high protein low carb diet.

    You're not going to suddenly blow up like a sumo wrestler if you cheat on your paleodiet and have some sushi.

  • Swarley||

    Very true. Diets don't need silly catch phrase names. Just don't eat fast food and candy all the time. Be smart reduce the fats, carbs, and sugars, but elimination is not necessary.

  • albo||

    Most people can't understand how to program their remote, let alone understand evolution and how it relates to diet.

    Hell, Good Morning America did a report on "cupping" this morning without an equal debunking. Most of us think science is something you fail in ninth grade.

  • albo||

    Ha! Just Wiki-ed "cupping." They have it classived under "Medicine in the medieval Islamic world."

    How modern!

  • Voros McCracken||

    I had to google it as well (which I guess outs me as a 'non celeb-watcher').

    Amazing how behavior that would be seen as 'bizarre' for a normal person is a new 'fad' or 'trend' when a celebrity tries it. I wish I was more of a celebrity, because I'd definitely launch the monocle trend.

  • ||

    Haha, you'd see people with cupping marks all the time in Korea. It's been popular there for a while.

  • ||

    Had to look it up too, and what the fuck.

    I hate the term "alternative medicine". It's called "bullshit".

  • ||

    Meh, look at the status of leaches in medicine or maggots. Sometimes we're overly quick to dismiss something as being medieval and we miss out on understanding a mechanism of action because the process seems archaic compared to what we have available. People derive real benefit from chiropractic, acupuncture and whatnot. If they feel better walking out of a chiropractor's office (many of which are cash only so you're not dealing with the third payer problem), who am I to say that's bullshit.

  • some guy||

    True. And some of these techniques have been developed over hundreds or thousands of years. It isn't surprising to see that they have a tangible benefit. The problem is when people try to substitute these methods for modern medicine in cases of serious illness or injury.

  • Brandybuck||

    Never underestimate the power of placebos. ALSO never underestimate the danger of replacing proven remedies with placebos! My mother ended up in the hospital because some fucking homeopath told her to stop taking her medicine and start taking sugar pills.

  • ||

    I'm a little extra judgmental when it comes to homeopathy, but also think it should be used more. There are certain contexts where a physician prescribing medication is worse than if they prescribed a totally inert placebo (I've been given antibiotics for flu, a friend was just given antibiotics for "viral bronchitis"), but if they're prescribing something that's specifically targeting a problem the real thing is better because you've got a proven mechanism of action AND the mental comfort that being prescribed something by a doctor provides.

  • ||

    If you tell people the truth about your phony remedies there is no* "beneficial" placebo effect.

    Homeopathy, chiropractic, etc are based around the deceitfulness or ignorance (or both) of the practitioners.

    *there is actually some research to suggest that small placebo effects can be had even when one knows he's not taking real medicines, IIRC

  • Marshall Gill||

    Homeopathy, chiropractic, etc are based around the deceitfulness or ignorance (or both) of the practitioners.

    This is simply not true. While these things may not replace modern medicine, I have seen and felt the effects of both chiropractic and acupuncture.

    How could someone putting my hip back into place when I could feel it had been out, a placebo effect?

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    There was a time when chiropractic was supposed to cure diabetes, the common cold, etc. Now, most people recognize it as simply physical manipulation to bring the skeletal structure back into a better alignment. That's how I've used chiropractic and it works great.

  • Jordan||

    Holy shit. I saw a medieval French physician doing this on The Borgias and wondered what the hell it was. And now I see there are retards that still do it.

  • some guy||

    If someone does it simply because they like the way it feels, are they still retarded?

    Not all of the people who do these things buy into the hype. They just like it.

  • Acosmist||

    Since agriculture vastly affected human evolution, not sure what the diet of 100,000 years ago really has to tell me about today.

  • SlowburnAZ||

    Not sure where she got the "100,000 years ago" from.

    Agriculture really only started a little more than 10,000 years ago. She's an order of magnitude off!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Until several generations have experimented with a diet in The Sims, I want no part of it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You know who else relied too heavily on computer modeling?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Al Gore?

  • mgd||

    Ever meteorologist since computer modeling was invented?

  • ||

    The kids in Weird Science?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Charles Babbage?

  • Bernieyeball||

    The evolution of female humans could stop with Ms. Tracy O. and that would be fine by me!

  • Ranselaer||

    Amen brother!

  • mgd||

    I hope Dr. Zuk does not suppose that this supports her thesis, or even clearly lays it out. She seems to be saying that the "paleoists" (if I might) base their theory on a misunderstanding of evolution--that species reach a "right place" and stop evolving--and therefore their conclusions are wrong.

    First of all, I've never seen that laid out as their theory. The theory I have read is that we had millions of years with a diet rich in animal proteins and high-nutrient fruits and vegetables, and free of cereal grains, legumes, and dairy products, and only a few thousand years of the agriculture-based diet that is very heavy in cereal grains and foods with high glycemic loads, creating metabolic and autoimmune system problems.

    She also doesn't seem to be applying evolutionary theory correctly. She claims that evolution can indeed happen in a very short amount of time. However, it obviously does not result in changes to every member of a species simultaneously. It is entirely possible that the paleoists are correct that many of the health problems that very many people face are due to a diet to which they are poorly adapted. You can look around and see that there are many people who seem to be doing just fine on agriculture-based diets--but there are just as many or more who do not seem to be doing so hot.

    I'll certainly give her book a read, but I am unconvinced by this short interview.

  • Rasilio||

    "First of all, I've never seen that laid out as their theory. The theory I have read is that we had millions of years with a diet rich in animal proteins and high-nutrient fruits and vegetables, and free of cereal grains, legumes, and dairy products, and only a few thousand years of the agriculture-based diet that is very heavy in cereal grains and foods with high glycemic loads, creating metabolic and autoimmune system problems."

    Or you know, it's just that those cavemen whose bodies were predisposed to autoimmune system problems died out before they reached the age of 35 from any of a million other more pressing causes and no one ever noticed that a shitton of people are gonna develop diabetes and other autoimmune diseases before they turn 50 no matter what they eat. In fact human life spans and medical knowledge did not reach a point to where this became a noticable issue until the last 50 years but it probably had always been there.

  • ||

    Good point.

  • Acosmist||

    A few thousand years can trump the millions of years, though. Certainly vis-a-vis intelligence, it seems to have.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Negatively?
    Perhaps.

  • Brandybuck||

    The theory I have read is that we had millions of years with a diet rich in blah blah blah...


    Except that we did NOT have that diet for millions of years! We have not had a stable climate for millions of years to establish any diet by. The diets of our ancestors in North Africa will have been different from the diets of our ancestors in Ice Age Europe, which will have been different from the diets of our ancestors living in the Russian steppes which will have been different from the diets of our ancestors living along the Mediterranean.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    7 million years of hominins and 2 million years of humans, so "millions of years ago" our direct ancestors would have still been mostly stuck in Africa.

  • mgd||

    The specific components surely differed, but not necessarily the overall proportions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

    Anyway, if you want to debunk that theory, that would be a legitimate attack on the paleoists. But Zuk is debunking a theory that I have never seen them propose, and thence concluding that their claims are fantasy.

  • ||

    You son of a bitch. That nice lady went to all that trouble to construct a perfectly fine straw man, and you go and set the goddamn thing on fire.

  • mgd||

    Research indicates that's what cavemen did to straw men, so I have to do so for my health.

  • ||

    This vid is better http://youtu.be/BMOjVYgYaG8

  • Rasilio||

    Here is the problem I have with Paleo. It says not to eat potatos and other high GI tubers as well.

    I'm sorry but no caveman alive would be without a store of roots and tubers cause fruits and nuts are only available for very short periods of the year and a successful hunt is never guaranteed.

    See cavemen did not eat to maintain their GI, they ate whatever food was available to them. So if you're trying to tell me that eating like a caveman is some sort of magic elixir but then conveniently ignoring the facts of how cavemen actually ate I'm not exactly gonna be predisposed to listen to you.

  • Jordan||

    Did potatoes as we know them even exist back then? I thought modern potatoes were horrible mutant abominations.

  • some guy||

    Most modern foods are "horrible mutant abominations". The fruits, tubers, nettles and such that they were developed from have existed for millions of years. Cavemen ate essentially the same species as we do.

  • Jim in Denver||

    Potatoes were indigenous to South America, they are a "recent" export. You should see the heirloom varieties that grow there still - they're freakish looking, some even poisonous.

  • Paul.||

    I think you're wrong, and we can look to the long, high quality of life the caveman had as proof of their superior lifestyle.

  • An0nB0t||

    Restore the 12-hour work week (we can spend the rest of the week starving, vomiting, shitting on ourselves, or some combination of the three)! Burn the fields and all our possessions--private property and agriculture will be the end of us all! Blot all mention of the Haber process from all books, and then burn the books while you're at it!

    I miss anything?

  • Marshall Gill||

    Something about Gamboling....

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    See cavemen did not eat to maintain their GI, they ate whatever food was available to them.

    Freegans are the true cavemen. I knew it.

  • DaveSs||

    I'm not too sure a caveman would have eaten potatos. Other root plants perhaps.

    The basic potato plant sorta resembles nightshade which I'm sure they would recognize as a poison.

    From what I understand European peasants had to practically be forced to eat them for this same reason.

  • Jim in Denver||

    Potatoes are related to the tomato, similar leaves and flowers. Potato plants even produce a small inedible tomato fruit from the flowers. Cultivators have tried for many years to get a hybrid to produce both products which doesn't taste like shit.

  • Steve G||

    Actually it doesn't. Robb Wolf (author, Paleo Solution) and others are very pro-root veggies, excluding std potatoes. The difference is most will tell you to "earn your carbs", in other words focus your carbs on training days, pre and/or post-workout and minimize on your non-training days. If you're sedentary or other metabolically broken, then limit them until you're better.

  • ||

    He's been irrelevant since the Frey conference.

  • grmderpson||

    Say, speaking of conveniently ignoring facts, most of what I've read about what you can and can't eat on a paleo diet goes along the lines of, "eat this and see how you feel," or, "give up eating this and see how you feel." My wife's doctor told her to try a paleo diet. She said, "potatoes have some qualities which might be causing you problems. do not eat them for a month and see how you feel". The command was to try giving it up, not to never eat it.

  • Paul.||

    Marlene Zuk: we're not trying to become brains in jars.

    Ha! Speak for yourself, Ms Zuk! I for one look forward to my existence as a brain in a jar filled with Vodka.

  • Disgusted Dem||

    That was my reaction, too. And after that we can become pure energy beings so our kids can torment the likes of Capt. Kirk.

  • Adam.||

    This book was very successfully debunked by Mark Sisson (primal advocate)

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com.....z2RD7oeUNU

  • Brandybuck||

    What I don't understand is why so may libertarian are gung ho for the paleodiet. It's a small sample to be sure, but the only people I know (real life, facebook, etc) who are on the paleodiet are libertarians or anarchists. Why is that?

    My initial guess is it's just standard contrarianism, but perhaps there's more to it than that. Perhaps it's genetic to libertarians in the same way granola crunching is genetic to progressives.

  • McSack||

    Because people who are libertarians are often obsessive about finding out the truth, even when it appears irrational to most others on the outside. The reason the Paleo diet is sticking around is because it actually works. If you don't believe me, go to Mark's Daily Apple and look at the Success Stories. Go look at Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods and see how well it's worked for them.

  • Brandybuck||

    You first talk about "finding out the truth", then you bring up Lew Rockwell. Sigh.

    As for looking up success stories, so what? Switching to a high protein low carb diet will cause most people to lose weight. But paleo is just one of dozens of high protein low carb diets.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Paleo is a whole lifestyle. Too much for me. My wife says I preach the Gospel of Atkins, even if I'm more of a Gary Taubes fan.

  • McSack||

    Regardless about how you feel about his views, he is one of the main promoters of the diet to libertarians and has himself transformed his health by following it. So has Tom Woods, which is where I first found it myself.

    Seriously though, even if you don't like him, it's definitely worth listening to some of his interviews with Mark Sisson. It explains a lot about the philosophy and methodology of the diet and why it's not only for weight loss, but optimal health.

    Also, keep in mind that Paleo itself is very diverse and that's one of the redeeming qualities about it. You are responsible for understanding your own body's reactions to the particular foods that you choose. The Paleo diet itself is a template for you to customize. Unfortunately its detractors mostly waste their time claiming otherwise.

  • Steve G||

    Yeah if weight control is the ONLY thing you're looking for, there are many to pick from, but if you're looking for something to help w/ autoimmune diseases or gut health or other "hidden" diseases, the field narrows back down to a few options including paleo. Paleo has some unique features that aren't even addressed in other diets, specifically it's emphasis on gut health. That and you can make paleo high carb very easily...

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I lost 125 lbs. in 8 months. Kept it off since 2004. Cholesterol normal, triglycerides normal, blood sugar normal, blood pressure normal.
    Not exactly Paleo, but low carb/high animal fat. Veggies instead of bread, rice or potatoes. I cook with a lot of olive oil, coconut oil and butter.

  • Super Hans||

    Great diet, although I'd hold off on cooking too much with olive oil. Not too stable when heated.

  • Steve G||

    Its funny you say it. 6 yrs ago, I was your basic conservative/republican white guy who thought if I needed to keep my weight under control, I needed to workout a lot. I thought cardio made me more fit. I also thought my allergies were permanent and I inherited my dad's bad back. 5 years ago I discovered crossfit and learned that everything I thought I knew about working out was pretty much wrong. I got fit and became a stronger runner barely running at all (more like sprinting intervals) and my back resolved it itself (due to squats/deadlifts not in spite of). Then as a lot of crossfitters do, I discovered the zone diet and then later the paleo diet. Then I learned that my body composition had little to do with my exercise routine, a lot less than the first lady would have me believe. And my allergies and acid reflux were gone.
    Somewhere along the line I started thinking most of what I'd been taught was BS and stumbled across libertarianism and while I'm no expert in it, I'm much more skeptical to any conventional wisdom (in general) or partisan politics (specifically). So in my case the common denominator isn't being a contrarian, but to the fact that spending the last few years finding out what I thought I knew was all wrong stimulated a fair bit of critical thinking skills in me.
    It's why I find it amusing when the paleo diet comes up occasionally in comments here, it's often shut down enthusiastically. For me, they are very much linked.

  • Brandybuck||

    So in my case the common denominator isn't being a contrarian, but to the fact that spending the last few years finding out what I thought I knew was all wrong...


    That is in fact the very definition of contrarianism.

  • Steve G||

    The only point I was trying to make is I'm not a libertarian or paleo dieter or crossfitter because I take up the opposite position from the mainstream, I do it because I'm more open to other ideas that aren't particularly conventional. Some conventional wisdom is spot on.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    And my allergies and acid reflux were gone.

    Ugh! I had forgotten about acid reflux! I had one bad day of rotten "sulphur burps" last winter. The first in years. I used to get it all the time.

  • box_man||

    Here's what makes me skeptical about any claims that a diet is superior. I have been diagnosed with a GI disorder commonly known as IBS and that I am prone to high uric acid that creates kidney stones. Prior to diagnosis I had followed diets that preached low carb etc. I didn't have any trouble maintaining weight.

    Now to control my GI disorder I am on a high soluble fiber diet and nearly no protein (only lean white meats or fish) with very limited amounts of fruits/veggies. High soluble fiber foods are basically high carbohydrate foods like pasta and rice. Even after that radical switch (have been on this diet for over a year) I have yet to gain a pound and my blood levels are fine. I only work out 3 times a week (same as before). Yet if you asked nearly any "nutrition expert" out there, my diet should have made me super fat and nearly diabetic at this point.

    My point is really that it varies by individual and most of the time, calorie in vs calorie burned is going to get it done no matter what.

  • Rasilio||

    Thats funny, because while I don't exactly agree with the strict intrepretation of Paleo, my wife also has IBS but made it go away completely by going to a Paleo diet.

    That said in her case at least it appears that the IBS was caused by a Glueten intolerance because it was really the removal of wheat products that got rid of the IBS (she had previously tried Atkins with no benefit because of the occasional wheat product or presence of small amounts of glueten in an otherwise low carb product).

  • Live Free or Diet||

    My point is really that it varies by individual and most of the time, calorie in vs calorie burned is going to get it done no matter what.

    No, if your pancreas over-responds with insulin, fat will be stored even at the expense of general health or other energy needs. Animal experiments clearly and repeatedly show shrunken muscles and organs at the expense of fat deposition. Fat Zucker rats will actually be fatter on a low calorie diet (the same calories a normal rat would eat) than if allowed to eat freely.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    The freedom of these Paleo or Low Carb-High Fat diets is what attracts me. I don't have to be hungry to keep a reasonable weight. That my blood panels look so much better is a big bonus too, but I was sold back when I first lost a third of my body weight.

  • Trespassers W||

    My initial guess is also that it's just standard contrarianism. But just as important is that it happens to work.

    Personally, I strongly suspect that the reason it works is that it's a low-carb diet, and not because it's a paleo diet. But applying the "this is what our ancestors ate, so let's do that" logic, while possibly, ultimately flawed, could have (coincidentally) yielded other good nutritional recommendations as well.

    Gary Taubes converted me to low-carb. I just sort of follow paleo because there are a lot of paleo recipes out there now to choose from.

  • DaveSs||

    Everything you are 'allowed' (encouraged) to eat tastes awesome.

    This in itself is reason enough.

    About the only yuck I can think of is the really dark leafy greens and broccoli.

    Since the government pushes grains as the foundation for every meal it also satisfies our 'fuck you gov' reflex.

  • mgd||

    Broccoli is kind of a problem for me. It's like some fucking miracle food, but I really dislike the taste. I do best by eating it raw (the taste isn't so bad then) drowned in a homemade veggie dip, or roasted and buried in garlic.

    Raw spinach is pretty unoffensive, though.

  • Numeromancer||

    If you're a real libertarian you'll eat the typical american gas-station diet, and if you're not fit for that environment, watch your toes fall off and then die young of gangreen as God-Over-Djinn intended.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Oddly, for someone who has taken up an argument against the foundations of the Paleo diet, she didn't argue directly against anything I know as being typical Paleo concepts.
    Jared Diamond covers the ills of the transition from Paleolithic to Neolithic pretty well in The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race. That meant going from a wide variety of fatty meats and green, leafy, high-fiber vegetables to monocrop starches for the majority of man's diets.
    More recent transitions are on a time scale evolution cannot possibly handle, like the massive increase in sugar consumption in the last 200 years and industrial vegetable oils in the last 50 years, and the lowering of animal fats in the last 40 years.
    Frankly, though, the Paleo argument per se isn't important to me as I know the eating style works well for me. I eat 3000 calories or so a day and stay at a reasonable weight instead of 1500 and gaining weight.

  • Super Hans||

    Yeah, she can argue the theoretical foundations all she wants, the idea is sound and the results speak for themselves.

  • Swarley||

    Anyone see the push for the Cave dog diet nowadays. They push raw meat because dog's ancestors ate raw meat. Of course, the reality is the lifespan of a cave dog eating raw meat was quite low. I suppose this is better than the hippies that put their dogs and cats on a vegan or vegetarian diet, that's just cruel.

  • Steve G||

    Hadn't heard of that but our dog is now on the BARF (bones and raw food) diet and she's leaned up good and is no longer incontinent. When we get lazy we go w/ the grain-free kibble as backup...

  • Fate||

    My Bull Terriers name is Swarley.

  • WarsawPact||

    The only way to determine something's efficacy to your own body is to try it. I tried the Paleo Diet in 2009, and it got rid of my bad skin (I'm 42 and I'd had bad skin since puberty (the cause turned out to be grains despite doctors claiming food had no influence on it since the '80s)) and left me with plenty of energy for life, to boot.

    It's perfectly fine to hold an opinion on something without trying it (I'm pretty sure random axe-murdering is something bad but I'm not going to test it personally) but you cannot convince me that condemning the Paleo Diet without trying it is a terribly strong position to take.

    Add to that that Dr. Zuk in this interview seemingly made no substantive statements about the Paleo Diet in particular.

    I suspect that the contrarian may be the author, herself, finding that no one has yet attacked the Paleo Diet to any great degree so she decided to 'hunt' it because the ground was fresh. I also suspect that the genesis of her book stems more from publishing requirements forced on academia...

  • An0nB0t||

    Dear God,

    Please don't ever let Tracy have any typos in her published works on Reason.com.

    Your bestie,
    AB

  • Xenocles||

    By the way, Mark Sisson (author of one of the displayed books) basically agrees with her.

  • Dweebston||

    To her credit, Zuk doesn’t throw out the idea of evolutionary mismatch altogether (although you could have fooled me). She just rails against “denouncing modern living as unsuitable to our Stone Age genes,” calling for research into “just what parts of that life send us too far out of our evolutionary zone of tolerance,” as if she’s stumbled upon some revolutionary concept.
  • ||

    There may be (there are) a fair amount of bullshit statements made by paleo dieters. However, I have SEEN the results... it works. It's not rocket science. Essentially cutting out a lot of crap and replacing it with wholesome foods that aren't highly processed or deep fried... how is that not a good thing?

    The American typical diet is laden with tons of sugar, white flour, fried food, and a poor profile of fats. Paleo diets are a MUCH better alternative than what the vast majority of people out there are eating.

    Again, the proof is in the pudding. I have seen crossfitters and Olympic lifters (I compete in the latter) make remarkable body comp changes after taking up a paleo type diet.

    So, ignore a lot of the pseudo science surrounding the paleo diet, but embrace the idea of eating simple wholesome minimally processed foods.

  • lizmy||

    I have found that there was a nice shop online last time,how about the product in it,did you ever saw it?
    Jordan High Heels

  • Libertarian Barbarian||

    As I'm looking at the interviewer I'm thinking, "I'd fuck that"

  • Live Free or Diet||

    No kidding. Then again you'd fuck a snake if someone held it down.

  • Question of Auban||

    Here is a good defense of the Paleo Diet.

    http://www.humansarenotbroken......-strawman/

  • aliciasable||

    If you think Don`s story is impossible..., a month-back my daughter in law basically easily made $7007 putting in 10 hours a week in their apartment and the're roomate's ex-wife`s neighbour did this for 4 months and got a cheque for more than $7007 in their spare time on their labtop. follow the guidelines on this web-site, http://www.app70.com

  • Svoogle||

    Mark Sisson has an interesting reply to Ms Zuk:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com.....z2RKpfIfaO

  • C.H.E. Sadaphal, MD||

    Human progress has given us all many advantages, but not without some costs. Accordingly, the main take home point of the paleo diet is sound: we live in a world where much of our food is no longer food, but a food substitute with many industrial by products that are deleterious to our health (high-fructose corn syrup, industrial salt, antibiotic and growth hormone injected meat, etc). So, does one need to take it to the extreme and bludgeon a cow to death for dinner or only eat handpicked strawberries? Of course not. Realize though that the trigger for fat cells to grow and swell is insulin (released from carbohydrate digestion). The world is filled with plant and animal life that when raised naturally, without industrial additives or gene modifications, these foods actually promote health instead of making us all fatter and sicker.

    http://www.chesadaphal.com/the.....-all-time/

  • GregMax||

    It says a lot about the evolution of this group that no one has mentioned how absolutely bangable Tracy Oppenheimer looks. I guess I'm in the wrong place.

    . . . yeah, I can see the brains in jars now. There's a Reason logo on each jar.

  • MSimon||

    Tracy,

    What is the meaning of the key on your chain?

  • juliana89||

    If you think Anna`s story is impossible..., three weeks ago my girlfriends brother also made $7588 sitting there eighteen hours a week from there house and there best friend's step-sister`s neighbour has done this for six months and got a cheque for over $7588 parttime at there pc. follow the guide at this address... hub16.com

  • Super Hans||

    Holy fuck, can someone remove all the spammers that have invaded this site?

  • meridelvittadini@yahoo.co||

    Thanks for your nice blog on Paleo Diet Delusion. I have got idea about this...

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