Dangers of the Paleo Diet by Tandi Hartle

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  Dangers of the Paleo Diet by Tandi Hartle http://www.vega-licious.com   © Copyrighted content If you wish to quote any part of this article, proper credit has to be given to the author with a link to www.vega-licious.com srcinal articles. Tandi Hartle received her Bachelor’s  degree in Natural Health Science from the University of Natural Medicine and then went on to get a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. Tandi has also received certificates in Nutritional Herbology, Aromatherapy, and Raw Culinary Arts. She is the author of “America’s Health Crisis” and her work has been published in Natural News. She is a highly sought after lecturer and speaker and has presented for Utah Valley University, New Mexico  Midwives Association, Balance Wellness Center, and Vitality Natural Foods. Her research is focused on how plant based foods affect the physiological aspects of healing. www.thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com   Dangers of the Paleo Diet Low carb fad diets continue to resurface under the guise of new names, new faces, new sets of rules, and for some odd reason, every time they become all the rage. Why do these carb-fearing diets attract such a large audience?    Rapid, initial weight loss (from glycogen and water loss)    The illusion of better blood sugar control    They lull people into a false sense of security with research funded by special interest groups    Short-term health improvements after eschewing processed foods and sugar Unfortunately, these seeming initial benefits come at the expense of future health. Paleo diet gurus use the same “scientific research” funded by the National Dairy Council, The National Dairy Promotion Board and other special interest groups as the low carb guru's before them. Let’s delve into the arguments presented by the Paleo promoters and see if they really stand up to scrutiny.   The “Science” Behind the Madnes s   Let's start out with the idea that tens of thousands of years ago the majority of our ancestors were hunters and ate primarily meat-centered diets. On page three of Loren Cordain's book he claims that every human being for the last 2.5 million years up until the beginning of the agricultural revolution ate the way he prescribes in his book. An article published in the American Journal of Clinical  Dangers of the Paleo Diet by Tandi Hartle http://www.vega-licious.com   © Copyrighted content If you wish to quote any part of this article, proper credit has to be given to the author with a link to www.vega-licious.com srcinal articles. Nutrition 1  gives a very detailed account of the flaws in the studies used to promote these inaccurate claims. The hunter-gatherer atlas used by Cordain and others in the Paleo community is actually an index of information from 20th century sources . I thought this diet was supposed to be based on our ancient ancestors? The study was conducted by ethnographers who did not have any nutrition related educational background. During the study they had very little contact with the women in the communities they studied, which is important because it is women who are generally the ones in societies who gather plant foods and prepare meals, so already we have a bias toward the masculine 'hunting' side of the story in this atlas. They are trying to tell us what our ancient ancestors ate based on a collection of data from modern day primitive cultures . While there may be some similarities in modern primitive cultures to ancient ones this does not give an accurate account of the large majority of ancient peoples and their dietary trends. Giving isolated accounts of the typically small meat eating cultures in the world does not give an accurate account of the much larger population of people who eat predominantly plant-based diets. If we look at our own modern world, the majority of people do eat predominantly plant-based, including most traditional Asian diets, Indian, and other cultures. The design of this atlas was highly biased and was not based on ancient societies as is commonly presented. Even in Western cultures in history the majority of the population ate predominantly plant-based diets. It was the kings and wealthy who ate high meat diets and they were also the ones who suffered gout and the same diseases of affluence we suffer today. Human Physiology   Physiologically we are not carnivores and, in fact, our digestive systems and physiology have little resemblance to that of even an omnivore. The fact that people actually eat meat does not mean they ARE carnivores or omnivores physiologically. As the famous Oprah episode on mad cow disease brought to public awareness the fact that farmers fed ground up cows to other cows shows us that a species that is herbivorous can be fed meat and still thrive does not mean it is healthy for that species to do so. This fact was well explained in an article found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and it states: Humans come from a fairly generalized line of higher primates....There is general agreement that the ancestral line (Hominoidea) was strongly herbivorous. Modern human nutritional requirements such as the need for a  Dangers of the Paleo Diet by Tandi Hartle http://www.vega-licious.com   © Copyrighted content If you wish to quote any part of this article, proper credit has to be given to the author with a link to www.vega-licious.com srcinal articles. dietary source of vitamin C, features of the modern human gut (haustrated colon), and the modern human pattern of digestive kinetics (similar to that of great apes) suggest an ancestral past in which tropical plant foods formed the basis of the daily diet, with perhaps some opportunistic intake of animal matter. 2  We are physiologically herbivorous but do have a capacity to survive on animal based foods in times of food scarcity. The reality is, without carbohydrates the body relies on its starvation mechanisms for self-preservation including a reduction in the basal metabolic rate to conserve energy until carbohydrates are available again to adequately supply blood sugar and energy requirements . The body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscles to provide energy when needed and that is the first source that is accessed, body fat is then used if food is still not available but this produces a lot of metabolic waste including ketones, lipid peroxides and other wastes that are damaging to the body, whereas the waste created by the metabolism of carbohydrates is merely water and carbon dioxide. Carbohydrates are a clean burning fuel for the body, fat and protein are not.   Tracing the History We cannot adequately determine what the ratio between animal to plant based food consumption was tens of thousands of years ago  because plant food consumption leaves very few obscure traces; tools and weapons used for hunting leave very obvious traces and therefore provide the majority of evidence we have about previous dietary patterns and unfortunately this gives a very inaccurate picture . Even if some societies in history consumed a predominantly animal fat and protein based diet this does not imply that this is the ideal way of eating for humans.  Throughout history humans suffered from a variety of difficulties ranging from travel through desert climates, famine, and periods of time with severe lack of food. After these periods of famine or harsh times habits of eating could still linger which can alter the natural diet of man even if these changes are not optimal . Early humans had to eat whatever they could find, this does not indicate an optimal diet  —  it is just merely survival. In our modern world we don't have to “just survive”, we actually have an opportunity that no other people in history have enjoyed  —  an abundance of food. We don't have to eat whatever we can scrounge up from our surroundings, we can choose a diet that is based on our physiological make up  that provides optimal health and longevity.  Dangers of the Paleo Diet by Tandi Hartle http://www.vega-licious.com   © Copyrighted content If you wish to quote any part of this article, proper credit has to be given to the author with a link to www.vega-licious.com srcinal articles. Warning Signs of Paleo Failure Those who are new to Paleo eating are warned about the severe fatigue, brain fog, and other difficult symptoms that will surface initially and… just to ignore this, they are told that they are “training” their body to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates and it will go away. The scientific truth is that you don't and can’t “train” your body to use fat for fuel, it does this during times of starvation and lack of food as a survival mechanism. Y ou aren't training it to do anything! These initial symptoms are due to severe lack   of energy producing food (carbohydrates), and when Paleo dieters claim they start feeling better this doesn't mean their body is now all “trained” to run on fat for fuel and all is well, in fact, it is because the metabolism is slowed  to allow the conversion of fat into “blood sugar” so that the body can survive.   Converting fat into fuel is difficult and does not provide efficient fuel  and so the metabolism must slow down in order to allow the body to function properly. Once the metabolism slows, energy returns and the individual starts to feel better but this is only temporary . The length that an individual can run on stored body fat and continue to feel well varies widely but it is temporary none the less. It could be weeks, months or even a few years. A great example of how this works is our knowledge of exercise. We are told that if we exercise at a slower pace the body burns more fat and less glycogen and carbohydrate, this is because the body has time to access the fat stores, convert them into fuel, and use them for energy. However, during high intensity exercise the body uses glycogen or carbohydrates because they can quickly be burned as they are and do not need any conversion in order to be utilized as fuel, whereas fat has to be converted into fuel first  and the body does not have time to do so as the muscles are working so hard they need immediate fuel. So, you don't “train” your body to do anything! The body naturally goes into this state of being during lack of fuel at any time  —  you may start feeling better for a time but eventually the body runs out of fat stores and it begins burning other tissues and this is where these diets really become damaging . Dietary fat cannot be used as fuel. For example, if you consume dietary fat in the form of olive oil, lipase enzymes, produced by the pancreas, breakdown the long fatty acid chains into smaller molecules consisting of just a couple carbon atoms. Glucose, the sugar molecule found in the blood that provides energy and fuel for the body and without which you would DIE, has 6 carbons atoms, 12 hydrogen and 6 oxygen. As fat is broken down into fatty acids which contain only a couple of carbon atoms the body cannot convert these directly into glucose and therefore they are stored in the fat cells as triglycerides.
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