Monday, 25 March 2013

Musings on the Paleo Diet.

Would you ask the man below for advice on how to give up alcohol?


I recently read Patients less likely to trust and listen to overweight doctors, which mentioned Mark Sisson. Sisson and Robb Wolf are good representatives for the Paleo Diet. Some are bad representatives for the Paleo Diet due to poor physical condition or abrasive personality.

The Paleo Diet gets flak from scientists like Marlene Zuk and Christina Warinner and it was criticised in The Paleo Diet (hat-tip to Melissa McEwen).

The thing is that people don't need to eat a Palaeolithic diet to be 90% free from degenerative diseases. A mere 150 years ago, Mid-Victorian Brits who didn't die in childhood managed to live to a ripe old age, as cheap sugar imports, junk food, labour-saving devices and horseless carriages hadn't yet been invented.

Just Eat Real Food.

13 comments:

Kade Storm said...

First off: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice subject for the post! Ah. I'm on drugs and easily amused today.

As per my response to Harry on Evelyn's blog:

The validity of the message should not necessarily be judged upon the shape of the messenger. Practice what you preach is all fine and dandy but ultimately, a weak axiom of old-world superstitious thinking.

When I used to play basketball in school, our entire team was given some of my best training and conditioning advice by a guy who was way past what he considered his prime. He literally could not give a damn about his shape or following his own advice but sure as hell, his advice worked.

I certainly think the man in that image--once sober--could probably provide a very accurate and personal account that would motivate a level-headed listener to quit alcohol. I mean, nothing says 'Stop!' more than 'you'll become like this fuck-nut'. Now the real question the entire world's been waiting for: would any of you take the same advice from me? HAH HAAAA! ;)

praguestepchild said...

A mere 150 years ago, Mid-Victorian Brits who didn't die in childhood managed to live to a ripe old age, as cheap sugar imports, junk food, labour-saving devices and horseless carriages didn't exist.

I love how you accept this unconditionally on the basis of one hand-waving paper.

I think that sugar was a huge detriment, but I'd like to see some hard evidence that the mid-Victorians didn't suffer degenerative disease, especially CHD and the like. Unfortunately they weren't into mummification, despite Egyptology being hugely in fashion.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

@Kade: People shouldn't judge a book by its cover - but they do!

@Sean: Re-read the study. Record-keeping was good and medical diagnostics could distinguish between heart failure and angina pectoris.

praguestepchild said...

Re-read the study. Record-keeping was good and medical diagnostics could distinguish between heart failure and angina pectoris.

According to what? Most people didn't get autopsies, and even if they did things were poorly understood. Bloodletting was still in vogue FFS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodletting

"Nevertheless, in 1840, a lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians would still state that "blood-letting is a remedy which, when judiciously employed, it is hardly possible to estimate too highly""

How dare I question the records and medical diagnostics of such as these?

Gary Taubes and GCBC with it's thousands of references, well that guy is full of shit, but mid-Victorian doctors had degenerative disease nailed down--except for the pesky leach stuff.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Sean, are you not aware that blood-letting & medical leeches are used today? Those Mid-Victorians were more medically advanced than you think.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I appreciate that most blood-letting was done for the wrong reasons and was harmful. However, you can't use that as an excuse to dismiss their knowledge of anatomy.

praguestepchild said...

I'm not dismissing their knowledge of anatomy. As Newton said, "If i have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

I'm dismissing the fact that they were experts on degenerative disease and it's diagnosis.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodletting

"One reason for the continued popularity of bloodletting (and purging) was that, while anatomical knowledge, surgical and diagnostic skills increased tremendously in Europe from the 17th century, the key to curing disease remained elusive, and the underlying belief was that it was better to give any treatment than nothing at all."

Treatments relied on Eminence Based Medicine!

George Henderson said...

We still practice bloodletting today, we just euphemise it as "blood donation". Probably does some good if you're male and accumulate ferritin easily.
If phlebotomy is bad for you than a lot of people are being misled and endangered at the moment.

I tend to agree with Nige; much the same message is in "The Meat Fix" which is fully Paleo - you don't have to go way back to find healthy diets.
Just go back to your last healthy ancestors.
Eat only what they ate but chuck out anything that's mutated since their days (bread with soy flour? WTF?) or that you've since become allergic to or intolerant of.
You wouldn't do too badly.
And you'd probably be pretty close to Paleo.

Galina L. said...

I remember reading "All creatures great and small"
http://www.amazon.com/Creatures-Great-Small-James-Herriot/dp/0312965788
It was an episode in the book where a veterinarian successfully treated a pony which suffered from a laminitis with a blood letting procedure. He explained that the old retired veterinarian whose practice he bought and whose bloodletting tool he used told him that for unknown reason it was often the trick to deal with hopeless cases of such decease.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I enjoyed the James Herriot stories. Blood-letting may work by hormesis i.e. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Galina L. said...

My guess is on getting iron down which should contribute positively to the cooling of inflammation. It is what body does itself "In response to a systemic bacterial infection, the immune system initiates a process known as iron withholding"according to the Wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_iron_metabolism.

Galina L. said...

I first read Jemes Herriot in translation, than had a double pleasure to read it in English and was delighted to find out more stories.
@Sean, just in case - there are great book for a child to read.

Another author of good books about animals is Gerald Durrell, somehow I read it only in Russian.