Send Me Your Questions on Paleo Nutrition
I have talked a lot recently about my results from eating mostly paleo and my view of Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution. For those unaware I have lost over 70 lbs eating this way.
I have personally always been a big fan of a diet based on meat, seeds, fruits and vegetables and minimal on all white starches specifically potatoes and grains like wheat and rice. As I have researched and experimented with this I have come up with a few rules I have been following. They are actually quite simplistic and easy to live with.
Unfortunately I think they also have created a few misconceptions. Simplicity it seems often creates confusion.
Here are the rules I have been following…
- I only eat foods that would taste good in their natural state as in raw and unaltered. This doesn’t mean I eat them raw, only that I could do so if I choose to. This includes meat which we currently cook due mostly to cultural bias and health concerns.
- I don’t do any regimented exercises as in 1, 2, 3, 4 style things. Mostly I stay very active and I walk a lot 2-4 miles day in rugged terrain, garden, play with my dogs, etc.
- I don’t count calories or let myself get hungry. I eat as much as I want of the foods that I allow myself to eat. When I do eat foods not on my list I eat small amounts and do not do it often. So yes I might eat a few french fries, but it is a very rare thing.
- 70-80% of my caloric intake is meat and fat. This is mostly an estimate because I don’t track it well enough to be 100% accurate. So while I eat nuts, veg, fruit, etc they are small components of my diet. Keep in mind a pile of greens has very few calories, so this is about caloric intake not bulk.
Since I went public with this program I have had some really great feedback, some skeptics and some responses that I can only call “religious veganism”. I have also had people concerned about my cholesterol, me “limiting myself” and plenty of other busy body do gooder type emails of concern. To combat this I have done a few episodes of the podcast on Paleo and tried to explain the actual system vs. the preception.
It occurred to me the problem just might be I am addressing the questions I think people have based on their comments rather then the actual questions at their core.
So I have two shows planned to address subject….
1. A show by me answering your questions directly
2. Dr. Greg Ellis will be on the show on Nov. 16th to discuss carb reduction, glycation and more
So send me your questions to jack at thesurvivalpodcat.com with “paleo” in the subject line, if you have question or concerns.
I will assemble your questions and I will answer the ones that I feel I can do a good job on individually. I will then address your more complex scientific questions and concerns to Dr. Ellis when he comes on the show.
Understand I am doing these shows because after years of my own research and results I feel this topic needs to be addressed and understood. I feel standard nutritional guidelines are actually killing people with the very disease and illness they claim to prevent.
I know this topic upsets some people but the reality is there are mountains of scientific data that support this view and I want the audience to understand it fully so each of us can make our own informed decisions.
I have a concern. What is your risk of kidney stones on this diet.
Best, and thanks for the good shows,
jack can tackle this as well, but Robb has a decent answer to your question here: http://robbwolf.com/2011/06/16/clearing-up-kidney-confusion-part-deux/
I actually like the concept Jack. It’s not really a diet but a lifestyle change and for the better. I may get the book and check this out.
I do love my mcRib sandwiches though!
Jack great call on the show “Luke’s Vietnam” now one of my new favs shows on cooking channel. The horse liver,kidney,intestine and horse blood soup is out of control! I find the show so fascinating.
(1) If/when ketosis occurs on a paleo regimen, what kind of foods are best for supporting optimal liver and kidney function?
(2) Do you consider “diet” colas to be strictly prohibited on a paleo regimen?
According to the book some level of ketosis will occur (and is fine) ketoacidosis does not occur and that is the what you would need to worry about. Also if you are eating fruits then you’re not depriving your self of carbs, you are just depriving yourself of the extra cups of sugar each day.
The drink selection is limited if you are 100% to the diet. Coffee, tea, water, some read wine, carbonated water, and a shot or two of your beverage of choice (intermittently) is all that is allowed. Artificial sweeteners are just more chemicals that you are dumping in your system and are generally forbidden. Note, I had a bottle of my favorite brew, “The Sixth Glass” and I felt absolutely terrible after two weeks on the diet, so much that I have the other 3 away. I have bee sticking to norcal margarita’s (explained in the book) and singles and doubles of crown with great success.
Hope that helps.
What happens when SHTF and you are left with mostly a grain-based-diet (if only temporary)?
(OK, I’ll take a wag at an answer)
– store more meats
– raise more livestock (sucks for us suburbanites)
– store more veggies
This would really affect my food stores as many of my stored calories are currently coming from whole grains, rice and potato flakes (I love potato flakes!).
Also, where does beer fit in on a Paleo diet? Carb city right there, man.
Surprisingly, beer does not have as many carbs as you’d think. A ‘light’ beer or a pale ale (if you wanna go gourmet) only has about 100-150 calories per bottle. This means that even if all the calories came from carbs (which they don’t, alcohol also has calories), you’d have at most 37g of carbs per bottle. The real downside of commercially produced beer is that it may contain wheat, so brew your own pale ale using gluten-free grains.
@Octavian, 37G is more than a coke. One thing we all need to get off of is this net carb nonsense, good and bad carbs, etc. Carbs are carbs they all create the same insulin shutdown of fat burning. When insulin hits 18 microlieters in the blood, all and I mean ALL fat burning stops.
Fortunately you are right that alcohol is not a carb, it is alcohol and it is the only source of caloric intake that isn’t a carb, protein or fat. It is handled differently then all three, I will leave it to Greg Ellis to explain because it will anger a lot of people who demonize it. LOL
Here is the carb and caloric count in many popular beers. As you can see 16gs is really the top end. I try to keep carbs under 60 per day, so it is somewhat beer limiting with some brands.
Hey Jack, thanks for replying. You are right about the carb intake, I also try to limit mine, but I set my limit higher than yours. I find that when I go over 120g/day, I gain weight or at the very best, I don’t lose weight. When my intake is around 100g/day, I lose weight like crazy. Hope you check out my blog, I’m just getting it started. I can’t wait for the Greg Ellis podcast. Keep up the good work.
I would like to know how much of the weight loss is the change in stress level. Has anyone noticed the change in Jack’s stress since the commute pod casts and the new location pod casts. I believe that stress playes ab big part, and Jack will survive many more years with the reduced stress.
@Dave I will address this on the show but yes this is a HUGE component of things. Stress is a big problem but as I phased into paleo I can tell you the stress was gone long before I went full tilt on the cutting carbs thing. The stress reduction though is/was a huge help.
I can certainly tell you that stress releases cortisol. Cortisol is involved in the signalling pathway to increase blood sugars and, thus, insulin levels. Prolonged stress, night shift work, etc.. can have significant effects on body composition.
For the record I’m not “upset” over your choice in diet – I trust your judgment for your own diet. I’ve never said anything to detract from the paleo diet and lifestyle but spoke up about a diet/philosophy that I felt was misrepresented and oversimplified in your podcasts.
I bought the book “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolff based on Jack’s recommendation. I started the diet on October 17th while I was recovering from a torn calf muscle, so my activity was zilch. I have lost 16+ pounds and I am averaging a pound a day. I eat my as much meat (especially in curry) as I want and I am amazed by how good I feel. I was a chronic cracker and snack muncher and my weight was at 281, which is MUCH higher (76 lbs) than it was when I left the service in 05. My craving have gone away, I don’t eat when I’m bored and I feel fantastic. The first week was the worst while my gut got used to the new foods, but the rest of me felt better than it had in a long time. All I say is don’t mock it til you’ve tried it.
Could you give us a few days of a meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Here is a decent example:
Here is what I do:
4-6 scrambles eggs
bacon or sausage or apple and almond butter.
normally leftovers from the night before, but if I don’t have any I’ll grab a cooked chicken breast from trader joes and some nuts and maybe a piece of fruit. or a salad.
some type of meat, fish, chicken, beef, pork or sausage with a bunch of veggies on the side.
I like the Weston Price diet, based on field work all over the world in the decade of the 1930’s, by Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist from Cleveland. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, contains hundreds of photographs giving evidence of the superior health of peoples who were not yet exposed to the “modern” diet, which even then was shown to cause degeneration of people’s health. They lived on the local food available to them in the locale where they lived, so it varied; some had more dairy than others, some had more fish, some had more meat etc., but they all had superior health compared with any type of “modern” diet. It is a fascinating book. You can learn more about it at http://www.westonaprice.org .
I read the book Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes. It is the paleo diet explained. I stayed on the diet faithfully, for about 5 months. I lost 7 lbs. I went to the doc, started on natural thyroid, no synthetic, armour brand. Anyway. I’ve lost another 7. But it has been slow going.
My next tests will be to see if my adrenal glands, and parathyroid are functioning properly. I loved eating paleo, it suits me. I’ve found it is the ideal diet, but that alone doesn’t necessarily solve a weight problem, many underlying conditions can exist..
great concept. People get caught up in crazy fad diets. If they realized all they have to do is cut out the crap like soda and candy and potatoes, they would be better. Great information.
I’m actually doing an experiment with this since I heard you talking about it. I’ve been wanting to start Paleo anyways and you pushed me over the egde. I’m blogging about it at www [dot] fullfat [dot] ca
I’m trying to get my body to follow along and I think I’m getting closer to a balance, though I still have to eliminate/substitute some processed food from my diet (bacon and hot dogs)
Here’s my questions:
What was the typical human diet like before the plow?
Percentage of meat vs. fruits & vegetables….
Which current “primitive” societies live the longest and what’s their diet like?
My family and I have been following the Paleo Diet for the last 2-3 months with a lot of success. I’ve even had good feedback from my patients who are on it as well.
As a personal experience, I can say that the first week was really rough. I was drinking 2L of Diet Coke a day and McDonalds was a staple of my diet given how crazy my schedule is. I really felt bad at the start. I was irritable, fatigued, and generally unpleasant. On day 3-4 it was like a switch went off and I’ve been running fine since. Once I got my wife on board it became substantially easier. My 12 year old son has no complaints and my 1 year old daughter is pretty happy with it. My wife is also 7 months pregnant and has maintained a healthy weight without any issues.
I think that Robb Wolf is spot on. The science is solid and I have far fewer concerns about bias. I think it is awesome that Jack has been drawn to paleo and that Robb Wolf has been drawn to permaculture.
I like raw potatoes, and I’m wondering if you may be mistaken about its uses as a natural starch. If I understand the process, our system will convert the starch to sugar (I don’t know the type) and then to energy. Wouldn’t that make the the potato the “food that’ll stick with you”, as my elders used to say, paleo?
Starch is starch and carbs are carbs, I may leave the science behind this one to Dr. Ellis. Shorty I think you are MSB if so please go download and read The Glycation Factor by Dr. Greg Ellis. It may very well add many years to your life. BTW you are the only person I have ever met that told me you like raw white potato. Like ever, LOL.
I’m very interested in Paleo, but have 3 things holding me back– a. cost of winter veggies. This one is more temporary because my growing schedule got messed up because of the move. Will fix by June next year. b. a massive sugar addiction, how in the world does one get through that? and c. allergies that limit me… I’m egg-allergic… makes a paleo breakfast difficult. My husband can have a 2-egg scramble almost every morning and be happy about it, I can’t.
#1 Veggies: frozen veggies are your friends. If you can’t acquire quality produce from a farmers market, commercially frozen veggies are both convenient and economical. Cold frames can make a big difference in growing winter eats too.
#2 Sugar addiction – I really believe it is a form of addiction. From personal experience, it is tough the first few days, but life gets a lot better in a few days. An added benefit is that a lot of other things taste sweeter and more flavorful when you aren’t taking in a lot of sweets.
#3 Breakfast – Eggs, while delicious, don’t have to be the cornerstone of breakfast. Ham, sausage, leftovers, make for a convenient and rather tasty breakfast.
Might i suggest reading “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”, or at least researching it online? It has done an amazing thing for my health and my fiance’s. The diet has almost all the same foods as the paleo diet, but it has a very specific purpose of healing the gut and gut lining (restoring proper gut flora). Gut flora imbalances are responsible for many things like allergies, sugar cravings, IBS-like issues, lactose intolerance, psychologic problems, mal-absorbtion issues etc. etc….the list continues. I think a few weeks back Bryan from askbryan.com talked about fermented foods on the show as well. Also, sugar cravings are a sign of an imbalanced gut. I relate to you about those sugar cravings, but i can tell you that they don’t exist at all for me anymore.
There are so may stories i could relay to you about how restoring the gut flora (and excluding the things that hurt us) has completely healed my friends and loved ones…It really doesn’t stray too far from paleo.
maybe that was more than you wanted to know, but i wanted to tell you that it’s been significant enough for me to write a paragraph or two to a complete stranger!
Just a partial answer for you. Have you ever tasted anything any better than a bit of honey? Honey is a very versatile wonder. I say wonder because it is a medicinal, a preservative, a sweet(ener), a simulator. You can use it on/in yourself, your animals and your garden. This stuff is just bloody brilliant!!! Oh, by the way, if you use honey within 5-15 miles of your home/work environment, you should experience relief in environmental allergies, however, I am sorry that will most probably not help your egg problem. Now if you can manage to cook eggs in honey or raise your chickens on a source that will mitigate your allergies, I am at a loss to help.
Jack, some Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Diet espousers have different approaches. What’s your take on “safe starches” and saturated fat? i.e. Is some white rice ok if one is physically active and has their blood sugar regulation intact? Do you seek only “lean meats” or do you include the fatty cuts? Does grass-fed/grain-fed matter when it comes to beef?
I think that white rice is likely the least damaging grain. It has a pretty high glycemic index though as it gets converted quickly and easily to glucose. Probably the best time to consume something like that would be in a glycogen depleted state.
Personally, for meat, I love grass-fed. It isn’t always available and can get quite expensive unless you buy a cow-share. The fatty acid profile of grass based protein is more favorable than corn fed. The taste is different though.
Just a partial answer for you. Have you ever tasted anything any better than a bit of honey? Honey is a very versatile wonder. I say wonder because it is a medicinal, a preservative, a sweet(ener), a simulator. You can use it on/in yourself, your animals and your garden. This stuff is just bloody brilliant!!! Oh, by the way, if you use honey from within 5-15 miles of your home/work environment, you should experience relief in environmental allergies, however, I am sorry that will most probably not help your egg problem. Now if you can manage to cook eggs in honey or raise your chickens on a source that will mitigate your allergies, I am at a loss to help.
I had a heart attack on the “Atkins Diet” . How does this differ , If you recommend seeing my Doctor first then Paleo is out because they (my Cartioligists) don’t recommend it.
Atkins focused mainly on carb numbers. Paleo tends to not focus on absolute numbers, rather, it focuses on food selection and quality. I can personally attest that a substantial number of physicians have practically zero nutrition training. I you ask a doctor what to eat the general canned response is ” a balanced diet”. The better question is “what is a balanced diet”. There really isn’t one. I strongly recommend both Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson’s books. Robb’s has a good amount of the science that docs like, but in a non-painful and quite entertaining format. I’m curious what their objections would be. I would venture that they are poorly informed on the subject.
@radar in addition to what Ben said I would add this,
Every day hundreds of people have heart attacks on all kinds of diets including diets that are what only could be called modern nutritionist dogma nirvana. I feel for you and hope you are doing better, my point though is there is no way you can say you had a heart attack due to being on Atkins only that you had one on Atkins, which to be fair is what you said.
Heart attacks are caused by far more than diet, they are also caused by stress, they are caused by genetic predisposition, etc. Also when you say “on Atkins”, were you actually on Atkins or just eating bacon and calling it Atkins? I am not saying that is the case it is just a fact that many people claiming to be “doing low carb” of one flair or another at most certainly not.
For instance my sister-in-law told me not long ago, “that low carb craze is dead”, I asked her how she knew and she said and I shit you not,
“well I order all the lunches at work for people and everyone used to be doing it they all wanted whole wheat back then and like sun chips instead of potato chips, now they are all back to eating normal bread because it didn’t work”
I resisted the urge to say anything and went on about my life. Just some thoughts.
The sad thing is that’s not just your SIL saying that, there’s others with her at her office saying the same thing.
If switching to sun chips and whole wheat bread is the most bold solution you can take up to lose weight, there’s not much hope for you.
On your sister I just won’t comment, wouldn’t be polite.
I still think that dietary fat has a relationship to heart deisease , but sometimes I can be convinced that black is white ect.
Interested in hearing your guest Doctor . The Diets I have been on before were Atkins , Tailer, and one other similar that the name excapes me now. I am certainly for trying things that make sense , but I don’t want to die for the effort.
Thanks to both for your response.
Jack, I am glad you discovered the Paleo diet. It is a logical and sensible step as the more we dig into living a more sustainable way of life in the context of prepping it only make sense to understand how we ate before “modern agriculture” and how people lived. The more you dig into it the more the light comes on that our food, storage plans, and lives need to get back to our origins. For those that question Jack’s thinking here… Here is a challenge for you, get up from your computer and get into your car, drive out to a remote area where there are no people, preferably a patch of woods and go for a walk. Start to identify every possible food source you can and write it down. Now go back home and look up the nutritional content of the foods you found. Let’s see how many carbohydrates you found in nature and what the balance of your nutrition would be if harvested directly from nature. I bet you will be shocked to find that most of what you eat today and are told is a balanced diet is anything but balanced compared to what is naturally available to eat in nature. You will find that in nature only a small fraction of your dietary intake is carbs, but in your modern diet today 60%+ is carbohydrate(ie sugars). In order for our bodies to function normally that balance should reflect something far closer to what you would find out in the real world of mother nature. We can take it one step further and talk about forced variation to diet based on seasonal factors. This is mother natures way of forcing us to adjust our diets, and to get different nutrients into our diets that our bodies need. Today we eat what we want, when we want, and don’t factor in change or seasons. So there is a lot more to Paleo, and this mindset than meets the eye and the more you dig into it the more it will make sense to you.
I started Paleo as a natural progression of this research(I started researching this in July 2010) and started the diet in Oct 2010 and lost 90 lbs to date, and I feel great. I literally got my life back. My doctor was blown away when he saw me after I lost all this weight. I went in for a physical and he was floored. As you get closer to your target weight loss goals you will find you can add lots more veggies, some fruits, nuts and other things back into your diet. I found that to keep the weight coming off I pretty much avoided fruits and nuts until I was closer to my goals. It is a lifestyle change and it is a liberating and exciting feeling. Stuff we think we need we don’t, stuff we don’t think we need… well we do… Conventional wisdom will keep you sick, on medications, and on a path of dependence. Also check out Mark’s Daily Apple blog, web site, and forum.
Congrats Jack! Paleo and even some of the raw food movement stuff is right on the money and it literally saved my life. You will find lots of bits and pieces of truth to many of these so called fad diets, but at the heart of it is natural, wholesome foods that have not been doctored, processed, mutilated, altered, modified, or otherwise destroyed. Now the challenge is adjusting my food storage plans, and changing my focus because this really does change what I will do going forward. Permaculture is going to be a key centerpiece to that effort in my own life going forward from here as I seek out or past, our origins, and sustainable living. It is a constantly evolving understanding which is exciting, fun, interesting, and just makes so much sense. Keep us posted on your progress!
Listening to Steven Harris interview and heard the answer that I think you were trying to show me. A chain of sugars 1000 long, damn man and I call myself living healthy.
“religious veganism”. …I know this topic upsets some people but the reality is there are mountains of scientific data that support this view and I want the audience to understand it fully so each of us can make our own informed decisions.”
@Lance Strish well that all depends on your deffinition of “science”, if you mean that science is the selective presentation of only the data that supports your desired outcome you are correct. However the from “The China Study” to the “The Seven Countries Study” and most of the other supposed “evidence”, when we actually examine the total data we find these “mountains of scientific evidence” to be selective reporting, not science. In fact on fat and veganism, there is more misinformation and pseudo science then even the global warming world has. At least the planet does warm and cool.
My son turned me on to your podcast, I love it! The first show that Listened to was the Paleo show. I’ve read the book and I’m 7 days into a the 30 day program. Thank you!
What types of food can you store for long term storage that work with the Paleo Diet? Most of what I have is beans, rice, wheat, powdered milk – etc.
Great shows. Congrats Jack. I’m glad you have lost the weight, it is a life changer. I am rounding out some weight loss myself and looking for a new eating lifestyle. Your Paleo shows all came at the right time. Thanks.