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Sunday, April 21 - 12:59pmSanction this postReply
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Debunking? That was a terrible case of a troll headline. She is a total asshole, saying that the paleo diet is a fad, but then she went on to promote all of paleo's tenants.

She says the evidence shows that paleo people didn't eat mostly meat. But then when it came time to present the evidence, she didn't show any evidence that humans didn't eat mostly meat, she only showed that the evidence is inconclusive. But she did say that she found evidence of grains in the plaque of paleo teeth... I'd not deny that paleo people didn't eat any grains/legumes, I'd just claim that they eat grains/legumes in no near proportion to what people eat them today. Say closer to just being the fringe/sparing part of their diet.

Its a misconception that the paleo diet is only eating meat. Rather, the paleo diet says meats are good, especially from animals that eat their natural diets (not corn/grain fed). Furthermore that eating organs is probably more natural too. And that the natural meats are much more lean. And guess what, the lady's description of the kinds of meats that paleos ate is the same as the paleo diet!

Furthermore, paleo promotes eating lots of vegetables, some fruits, and then nuts sparingly... Hey, that's what she said. She didn't explicitly say that eating fruits all through the year is unnatural, although she did point out that paleo people's diets varied through the year.

She says to eat fresh foods... not preserved ones... That's agreeing with paleo too!

She says not to eat refined sugars, but instead to eat things that have their natural fiber. What do you know, paleo says the exact same thing!

She even went on to say that eating a diet full of corn, soy, and wheat isn't good, that we should have a more diverse diet... just like paleo! (Paleo just goes further and says to exclude grains & legumes... yet its true that for most people eating them sparingly is prob ok!)

=======

I'd agree that its probably true that most people can eat grains and legumes as a fraction of their diet (maybe up to 25%)... and still have optimal health. Most people & their bacterial digestive flora can handle the harmful effects of gluten and other lectins.

On the other hand, I enjoy mostly not purchasing and not eating corn/wheat/soy in protest to FDA food recommendations & farming subsidies. I also like the idea of promoting eating local sustainable distributed foods rather than eating foods that require the huge centralized government subsidies & processing in order to be economically viable... in preparation for future economic calamity.



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Monday, April 22 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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She recommended a diverse diet of fresh, whole foods. 

I agree with what I saw presented. I do not see that she argued against the Paleo diet broadly, only its specific (if unspecified) popular variants.  

I agree that peole ate pretty much whatever they found and moved on to find more and different, including grains, nuts, and legumes.  And they seemed to eat mostly vegetables and meats and then fruits in season, not because fruits are especially beneficial, but simply because they were available.

By the way, I remember when bananas had seeds.  Also, I have not found grapes with seeds for over five years now, maybe ten.




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Monday, April 22 - 11:24amSanction this postReply
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Genetic evolution's concerns regarding "longevity" only go so far as the end of child-bearing years. In evolutionary terms, old people are a waste of resources.

But as individuals we value longevity far, far beyond those years and most of us don't see our function in life as competing to see who leaves behind the most offspring.

So, I'm not sure that assumptions regarding evolution's imagined role in forming early diets, or forming our biology, is the best way to determine what to eat to live to an old, old age.

I'd guess that the greatest evolutionary determinant in our diet is in being omnivores. Evolution would show our distant ancestors its greatest favor if they could eat just about anything and survive. That doesn't mean I'm arguing in favor of going out for a nice steak... or arguing against that. I'm just saying that I'm not sure we have a good handle on the fundamentals, yet we squabble over details.



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Tuesday, April 23 - 8:35amSanction this postReply
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It is doubtful that anyone here will be persuaded to change their opinion as a result of new facts.  Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, "You have a right to your own opiniion. You do not have a right to your own facts."  However, we do have different facts. 

Reading some of the old debates cited below, Bill Dwyer challenged Ed Thompson to compare blood pressure and cholesterol.  Bill claims that his diet makes him healthier, therefore, Ed's theories are suspect.  Ed replied that Bill might be healthier, but the scientific evidence is that Bill is wrong... which is a curious claim about what "science" is.

From about a thousand years ago:
My article Against Agriculture here:
http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/GeneralForum/0924.shtml

 Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning, my reviewe here:  http://rebirthofreason.com/Spirit/Books/264.shtml
discussed here:
http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/Books/0264_1.shtml
 
The crux of the controversy is the quantity of fat and carbohydrates that we consume and how it influences our cardiac health. As a recent review of the latest research in Scientific American pointed out, ever since the first set of federal guidelines appeared in 1980, Americans heard that they had to reduce their intake of saturated fat by cutting back on meat and dairy products and replacing them with carbohydrates. Americans dutifully complied. Since then, obesity has increased sharply, and the progress that the country has made against heart disease has largely come from medical breakthroughs like statin drugs, which lower cholesterol, and more effective medications to control blood pressure.

From "City Journal" article here.
cited by Robert Malcom in "Egg on Their Faces" here.
Steve: As easy as it is for us to disagree, allow me to suggest....  I agree with what I take to be your literal meaning about "genetic evolution" that absent volition, "dumb animals" simply breed to replace adults and once children are grown, adults are unnecessary burdens.   

Obviously, with humans, the matter has been different from that, perhaps for 100,000 or maybe even a million years. We value the wisdom of old age because it is the accumulated wisdom that allows survival.  Neandertal remains show old cripples, kept alive by the tribe (or someone in it).  We can only speculate...   

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/23, 9:08am)




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Tuesday, April 23 - 9:02amSanction this postReply
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Michael, you wrote:
It is doubtful that anyone here will be persuaded to change their opinion as a result of new facts.
If you think that no one here has the sense to recognize new facts, then why do you keep posting? And why do you issue these gratuitous insults?



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Tuesday, April 23 - 9:24amSanction this postReply
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Steve, the easiest solution, obvious, I would think, is just for you to cite an example where someone here on RoR showed you a new fact contrary to your expressed opinion, which caused you to change your mind on a point of Objectivist philosophy, or its application. Did I miss a post?
Michael, you wrote:
It is doubtful that anyone here will be persuaded to change their opinion as a result of new facts.
If you think that no one here has the sense to recognize new facts, then why do you keep posting? And why do you issue these gratuitous insults?
I intend them as humor.  You find them insulting. 


As for Dean, Bill, and Ed - and the rest of us - my opinions on nutrition are fairly broad, flexible, and subject to change.  My diet is rather steady over the decades.  I eat a mix of foods, organic, natural, locally produced, or closely approximating that.  I am aware of the benefits of genetic engineering, of course.  Our "heirloom" tomatoes are in no way "natural" as Dr. Warinner pointed out. Our foods are better than our ancestors enjoyed.  Yet, for all of that, we must pay special attention not to be seduced by them.
  
As for the organic foods, I myself posted two studies. (See my "Organic Voodoo" and the replies here.)   One showed no difference in health outcomes between organic and other foods.  Also, more interesting, perhaps, another showed that workers who apply pesticides are healthier than the local populations.  I still prefer organic and avoid pesticides.  Just sayin'....

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/23, 9:35am)




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Tuesday, April 23 - 9:45amSanction this postReply
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Michael, why would you think an insult is humorous?

If you really think that posting a statement that says the readers can't recognize new facts is funny, then you should make an honest inquiry into whether or not you are harboring some passive/aggressive tendencies that you aren't owning.




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Wednesday, April 24 - 10:16amSanction this postReply
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... meanwhile, back in the kitchen....

Bill has touted his nut butter sandwiches.  I like them, too, but I think that he eats "too much" of it.  What that means is that it is more than I eat.  I believe that the "answer" here is that there is no one single answer for everyone.  Yes, it is true that eating good food is better than eating junk.  Ultimately, however, we are individuals. 

In his book, The Same and Not the Same, Nobel laureate chemist Roald Hoffmann says that in your own body, no two hemoglobin molecules are identical. Individualism is inherent.  So, whether and to what extent you are intolerant of "natural" cow's milk, peanuts, soy, or of "artificial" bread, beer, or wine,  depends on very specific heredity. Yet, much is under your control. My paternal grandfather looked like a grape on toothpicks.  I am taking a different route. 

Speaking on The Merv Griffin Show long ago, Durk Pearson said that Leonardo Da Vinci knew about arterial plaque from anatomical dissections. Da Vinci reasoned correctly that they were caused by animal fat in the diet.  So, he was vegetarian.  That is why his face is wrinkled. 



Christina Warinner's "paleo-diet" challenge is cogent.  You would not be happy with it in its real form, even if you could find enough wild foods.  That said, though, the fact that modern blueberries are twice the size of paleo-berries only underscores their value.   She pointed out that cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are merely cultivants of the same specie.  It is no accident that the Arabic word for "lemon" is "laimon."  Lime-on.  Tangerines come from Tangiers. You can still enjoy them. -- And they are better for you than a bottle of Orange Crush. 

Basically, I fail to see the validity of the argument. The truth is pretty clear, but very complicated. 


Pentagons and hexagons with stars. A soccer ball.

Speaking of cultivants: On the phone the other day, my daughter touted Ugly fruit.  From the conversation, she was speaking of something much larger than I know of. My wife found them in Whole Foods, rebranded as "Uniq" fruit -- and they are bigger than they were a few years ago, a consequence of the marketplace, no doubt.

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/24, 10:29am)




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Wednesday, May 1 - 7:09pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

You write some interesting posts! (Steve, with all due respect, I think you are too quick to take offense at Michael's comments and to interpret them unsympathetically.)

Michael said, "Bill has touted his nut butter sandwiches." Yes, I did. But now I'm second-guessing that tout! :-) Nut butters are too high in advanced glycation end products (AGEs), as are meats. So I'm off the nuts and butters. Plus, I can't control my consumption of nuts; they are too much of a snack food. I eat too many; I'm no good at moderation, so it's best that I not buy them. I'll still eat my sardine sandwiches, however, if only for the omega-3 fats, but only half a can at a time. I'm also trying to reduce my consumption of bread, which I tend to overdo, and increase my consumption of vegetables.

Fructose also causes advanced glycation end products within the body, so it's probably wise to limit one's consumption of fruit, especially dates and dried fruit, which are high in fructose. Of course, high fructose corn syrup should be avoided altogether.

Advanced glycation end products (or AGEs) cause one to age more quickly, as the acronym suggests, so the fewer AGEs one consumes and produces, the better one will age. I'm including a link to a discussion of AGEs, which includes tables listing the amounts in various foods. You will see how high meats are in AGEs relative to carbs (at least carbs cooked under moist heat). This may be something to consider for those who follow the "Paleo" diet and think it's the best thing since sliced bread! ;-)

http://www.mysticmedicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ada_ages_in_food_reduction11.pdf





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Wednesday, May 1 - 7:24pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,
Steve, with all due respect, I think you are too quick to take offense at Michael's comments and to interpret them unsympathetically.
On any single comment, taken by itself, you might be right regarding the interpretation. But not when the pattern of comments over time is kept in mind. However, there is no obligation for me to point out what are clearly condescending and insulting comments. I do find them offensive, but if I'm the only one here that feels that, then maybe I should just let it go.



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Sunday, May 12 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
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Mike,

============
I do not see that she argued against the Paleo diet broadly, only its specific (if unspecified) popular variants.
============

I disagree. She specified popular variants and put them all on trial as 'joint-defendants'.

While making at least some good points about nitrogen isotope analysis and sundry other fun food facts, Dr. Warinner mainly set up a series of straw man arguments and non sequiturs -- dabbling in something other than science: sophistry and illusion.

She presented the issue so as to solicit the viewer to create implications (in their own minds) that some scientists, such as Loren Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet), actually do promote the fervent ingestion of modern-day, commercially-prepared, grain-fed beef (which is just not true).

Coming from an expert like herself, that behavior comes off as being intellectually dishonest.

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Bill claims that his diet makes him healthier, therefore, Ed's theories are suspect. Ed replied that Bill might be healthier, but the scientific evidence is that Bill is wrong... which is a curious claim about what "science" is.
============

Mike, you missed the point, which is that science is not tantamount to a "case study." Whenever possible, science is the endeavor to move ... beyond ... the case study (the "study of one instance of something").

You seem to be equating 'facts' with 'science', such that even just seeing a sunset -- because you are witnessing 'facts' -- is ipso facto some kind of a "science". This equivocation allows you to view Bill's personal data as a data set of which should be referred to as a scientific data set (because it includes facts).

A better approach is to establish the objectivity (generalizability) of the facts. Would they transfer to other humans? Fact: Bill got healthier by switching diets. If other humans did what Bill did, would they get the results that Bill got? Besides the Pritikin diet Bill adopted, is there something better (even for Bill, himself)?

The facts Bill presented to me do not adequately address these questions. But the (scientific) facts I presented back to him do.

Ed
(Edited by Ed Thompson on 5/12, 6:50pm)




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