[Warning: before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle consult your qualified doctor. This Nugget is for information purposes only and is not a recommendation to change your lifestyle or diet in any way. Only your doctor is qualified to diagnose, prescribe and recommend a therapy.]
A few days ago I listened to a medical doctor who offered good results he is achieving by placing his patients on the Paleolithic Diet, (Paleo Diet), in his medical practice as a rebuttal to a vegan program which emphasized minimum amounts of animal-sources of protein. Because these debates are moderated based on time rather than substance all the facts are never brought to light and people like me are left confused.
I’ve known for a long time that great success in the short term is obtained with a vegan lifestyle and that great success is obtained in the much longer term as well. I did not know that the Paleo Diet could offer up similar positive results on a sustainable basis in the long run. In my mind, I immediately thought, if people could continue to eat plenty of animal-sources of protein they’d certainly want to do that. But where I fall off a mental cliff is when I ask myself, “If these patients developed diabetes, heart attacks, damaged arteries, strokes, and each of the many diseases associated to diets moderately high in animal-sources of protein, then, how can eating those same foods arrest and cure the very disease it causes?” So, now you may be able to understand my confusion.
I immediately suspected a few things:
- The Paleo Diet may help people lose weight in the short term. But can it succeed in the long term? But I define long term as beyond several decades, and not merely 5 to 7 years which appears common in many medical research studies. Does it arrest and cure disease after decades and decades?
- Has research been thorough enough regarding what the lifestyles and especially diets of our cave-people ancestors really was like? If something is missing from the study of ancestral diets according to the book(s) that popularized the diet recently. I would hope that authoritative researchers would have come forward to provide corrections or provide missing information by now, if any information was in need of shoring up.
To learn more about the Paleo Diet, I turned to one doctor, of many, who address chronic disease with improved nutritional plans for their patients using vegan types of foods. Dr. John A. McDougall’s newsletter on this subject is perhaps one of the most succinct and informative I could find for this Nugget. For those of you who need an introduction to Dr. McDougall, he’s one of the good doctors who is arresting and even reversing diseases caused by the American and Mediterranean Diets, which, in my opinion, are not far removed from the Paleo type of diet.
“The Paleo Diet Is Uncivilized (And Unhealthy and Untrue)…The longest living populations on planet Earth today live on starch-based (low-animal food) diets. These include people from Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California, who live in what are called the ‘Blue Zones.’ …The most effective diets ever used to cure people of common day illnesses, like coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, arthritis, and obesity minimize animal foods and require people eat the bulk of their calories from starches, including grains, legumes, and potatoes (foods forbidden to Paleo eaters).” [Source: Dr. John A. McDougall’s newsletter. Click anywhere in this quotation to read the full newsletter at DrMcDougall.com ]
As you read Dr. McDougall’s newsletter, excerpt above, allow me to add a few more points for you to keep in mind:
- Ancient hunter-gatherers often died much sooner than we’d deem desirable these days.
- Cannibals do suffer from a disease similar to “Mad Cow’s Disease” which occurs in almost every species that eats it own species.