I think on the whole, people in general concerned about their health have focused on farm fresh, local sourced foods. Paleo nor Atkins have a claim to that.
Just a thought . . . I think maybe it is less about different principles, but that Atkins and Paleo came from different times and had different followers.
Atkins came out during the low-fat/cholesterol diet craze (70s), and was an alternative for people who wanted to lose weight without giving up their meat/eggs/cheese. It was also presented as kind of a "manly" diet for that reason, since dieting is/was girly--all those salads and fruit--this was a diet for people who wanted to eat "real food."
Paleo came out more during the toxins/organic craze (90s), and is marketed more toward the Whole Foods crowd--wealthier, more able/willing to spend more time/money shopping and preparing food.
We are worried about more stuff than we were in the 70s . . .
I apologize because I wasn't really very thorough in my original post in terms of my own experiences and such--I was at work and didn't want to take the time to go into more detail.
I have actually given a more-or-less paleo diet a go in the past--I did the Whole30 approach, though I didn't cut out dairy entirely (still had greek yogurt a few times as well as aged cheese, but nothing else beyond that) mostly because I've literally never had any sort of adverse reaction to any milk products. I did exclude ALL grains, including my beloved oatmeal, which was tough for me, haha. I felt pretty good after about a week--energized and light. Nothing I hadn't felt before, but all was good. Then the second week to 10 days the digestive issues started. I'm not going to go into details but suffice to say that things were not "right" and I started feeling more or less constantly bloated and uncomfortably full any time I ate more than a small amount of fruit or veg (as in, more than a few carrots sticks). I stuck it out for a bit longer--I think I made it to 20 days--before I caved and ate a slice of bread (good bread, not the plastic-wrapped crud from the grocery store--I agree that most of it is pseudo-food at best) with my lunch salad. And oatmeal with nuts and dried fruit for breakfast the next morning (my pretty standard go-to). Within 2 days I was feeling normal again.
Now, while I love bready carbs, I do make an effort to limit them--I don't really ever buy processed foods of any sort, and when I want cake or cookies, I made them myself. On a normal day, my servings of anything containing wheat are in the 1-2 range, and some days I consume none, though I do have other grains like rice, oats, or quinoia. I actually feel better when I include these foods in my diet--I almost feel as though my body needs the "smoother" roughage of a grain to help the fiber in produce digest properly, if that makes sense.
Sure, if I eat tons of sugar or go on a processed food binge (which happens on rare occasions) I feel like crap. But as long as I remind myself to eat all things in moderation, with an emphasis on fresh produce and lean protein sources--I feel great. Light, strong, and energetic.
So maybe I'm a genetic weirdo. I definitely do agree with you that many people have issues with wheat that they aren't even aware of, and that inflammation is a real thing that contributes to illness. I also agree that refined, modern wheat is nutritionally pretty empty--though I still wouldn't go so far as to proclaim it poisonous for the average person.
I'm a big believer in figuring out what works best for you, and that no REAL food is really universally "evil." I hope I didn't sound like an a$$hole in my initial posts--I just naturally bristle when I see people who follow pretty narrow lifestyles/diets piously insist that THEY are the ones who have found the "real" way to eat, and that everyone else is really just dying a slow death because they aren't listening. Look up the "30 bananas a day" girl--she believes that human beings aren't evolutionarily evolved to eat anything but fruit, with some vegetables thrown in. She looks great and claims she's never been healthier--but obviously, it's not a diet for everyone. I feel the same way about low carb/paleo/gluten-free and so on.
I struggle with the convenience of it all.
There really aren't many quick things to eat.
There is no question that my health is improving, but I end up skipping a lot of meals because I did not have time to plan out and shop for all of my meals.
I also considered myself a "foodie" before, loved to eat at restaurants, order the special. Not anymore - they might have used a forbidden ingredient. Social eating was a big part of my life and now it is an awkward uncomfortable limiting experience.
You really ought to, just for another viewpoint, read the Wheat Belly book. It is footnoted and written by a doctor. He explains it way better.
In many parts of the US, it's quite economical to raise grass fed beef. In the winter they eat hay and I plant winter rye for them to graze. They cost me quite a bit less than my horses. A steer ready to slaughter is worth over $2000 to me in meat through direct sales and mine are processed at about 18 months.
Pigs are more expensive if you have to keep them penned up (versus the old way of turning them out to forage on mast) but they are very efficient in laying on muscle and are ready for market at 6 months. I've been shocked at how little food they need to grow quickly. I know the profits again on pork are way higher than poultry...another reason I'm going in this direction.
I try very hard to source my foods locally as I also believe in doing that. I do drink coffee and use some almond flour and some other stuff that is brought in from other regions but a good 80-90% of my diet is either local or off my own farm/out of my garden. You can do both.
I'm looking into using some other nut flours for cooking to see how it works...ie pecans or walnuts which are native to our area. I also am thinking of growing almond trees here. I realize the limitations of sustainability but I will/can live without both coffee and almonds if I have to but I am pretty sure I can't live healthy any other way than what I'm doing.
I do wish you the best of luck and don't' mean to be difficult but just trying to show that some of your conflicts with pale might not as limiting as you think they are.
The point I always make to people like my Mom (older folks will. not. get it. about this!) is that the ingredients in the foods are all much, much different than when we were growing up. In fact, a friend said to me just this morning that when she tries to make recipes from her vintage 1960's Betty Crocker cookbook, they don't come out right because the very nature of the flour, sugar, baking soda, etc. isn't the same.
Maybe my estimate for meat is too high - one person said they were eating 1-2lbs of meat at dinner but I am confused as to whether that was deliberately following Paleo or because they couldn't gain weight? However, of the people that listed a typical day's food, many of them reported eating meat 3 times a day; they would have to be small portions indeed, to be less than 1lb per day. And my thoughts were that growing children (e.g. teenage boys, haha!) would struggle to feel *full* enough eating <1lb of meat in their days diet and no grains & minimal carbs.
However, the agricultural sustainability with a diet like this would be very hard. As I did my barn chores I tried to imagine how many grass-fed cows I could raise on my newly purchased 8 acres of pasture. Even excepting the fact that it cost ~$10K per acre, it would be very expensive to raise beef...I'd probably have to devote more than 1/2 into hay, and the rest might not be enough to feed even 2 animals. I think a "paleo" diet might work well for a small population of nomads, but not a larger population, unless we traded pork and beef for rabbits and lamb...much more practical than pigs and cows.
I have read Wheat Belly, and actually do read labels - we are not as far apart as it may seem. I already said that other cultures that are not unhealthy eating "grains" don't eat refined wheat and corn, but grains like rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, etc. and in whole form.
I just think that it would be more practical and much more agriculturally sustainable to eat a mixed diet of "paleo" foods, as well as whole grains (buckwheat, millet, oats, etc.) , legumes and "starchy" vegetables (carrots, beets, potatoes) in moderation. And I highly doubt that people who eat a diet like this would suffer from the main negative effects of the western diet.
I'm not sure the research in "Wheat Belly" concentrated on anything other than the modern varieties of wheat that are typical in the U.S.?
I think the people on low-carb have been pretty active about healthy foods and I think it comes a lot from all the negativity that used to be and sometimes still is out there about low/lower carb eating. A defensiveness to show that they really are healthy maybe, or a realization that the food can taste extremely good! Maybe a defiance from going against the grain (so to speak :)) in their food choices, I don't know!
I also wanted to say earlier:
Tabula Rashah Good job! Of all the posts on here YOURS motivates me the most! I'm going to take a page out of your book and try to crack down and do some more exercise too; you've inspired me. My horse thanks you. :)
At this point, I am only raising veggies and powder puff ponies (they do their part by contributing fertilizer). However, I am going to expand into chickens shortly. I want to get into cows, the problem is I live in the desert which makes growing grass expensive and tricky. I think my solution is going to be growing fodder. It will use far less water and probably be more affordable than feeding straight hay. I've also looked at raising meat rabbits and sheep since they are more economical.
I went and looked up a couple of articles on what wheat does that is bad and how it's digested, etc...in an attempt to support my statement that wheat is a bad for everyone and not just those of us who have Celiac or Gluten Sensitivity...in other words it has adverse affects on anyone who eats it which manifest in more ways than most people can imagine.
A lot of people think it's just gluten...nope..there are other nasties in it that can really mess you up. Some of the numbers in these articles are startling...one says this:
"How Many People are Affected?
In the latest study, one in three people were found to be gluten sensitive, even though they were showing no symptoms at all. They were pre-symptomatic. Of people with any kind of digestive disorder (gas, heart burn, diarrhea, consitpation, or what have you) one in two were found to be gluten senstive. And if any blood relative was gluten senstive, the chances were a near certainty that they were, too.
So let's say that half the people in the country have some kind of digestive problem (a very conservative estimate). If the studies are accurate, then half of those folks are gluten sensitive (25%), as are a third of the remainder (17%). That would mean that something like 42% of the population has a problem with gluten.
So as much as half the population could be affected--but we don't know how big the problem really is, because doctors don't typically test for it. But in the DVD, Unlocking the Mystery of Wheat and Gluten Intolerance, Dr. O'Bryan gives a lecture that consists entirely of quotes from medical journals. There is no excuse for the fact that doctors are by and large ignornant of this material, and no excuse for failing to test for gluten sensitivity in every medical checkup. If they did that, we would have precise numbers in very short order."
This article says that way more people suffer from inflammation of the gut as well as develop antibodies...and that nearly everyone has the potential to develop antibodies.
"Gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population and another 30% of the population develops antibodies against gluten proteins in the gut. Furthermore, 99% of the population has the genetic potential to develop antibodies against gluten. Antibodies acting in the gut can actually be good news, because when the body doesn’t react against gluten right away, gluten proteins can enter the blood stream more easily, especially if the gut is already leaky, and trigger immune reaction elsewhere in the body."
Last a very articulate interview of Dr William Davis, author of Wheat Belly. He discusses the issue in depth and again discusses the multiple negatives of wheat as well as a discussion of the marketing of wheat.
That last article won't work as a link but you ought to be able to copy paste it. No idea why it's being contrary.
S1969...I'm sure that a non wheat grain food would be fine for a lot of people but they are pretty empty carbs. Filling perhaps but with the higher glycemic index they just make you want to eat more and are pretty fattening also.
I've been surprised at how full I'll feel with a veggie and meat and I stay full for a lot longer than when I used to eat grains in general.
Interesting trivia-on the Lewis and Clark Expedition each man ate an average of 9 lbs of meat a day when they could (and that included horses and dogs).
Interesting to read what they ate when they were living comparably, maybe the most documented comparison, to what the Paleo intent seems to be:
Well, it's an interesting discussion, anyway. I would think that this would be the sort of diet a lot of older (meaning adults) people would be able to live on quite easily, but not sure about growing people or very active adults....
S1969...could you serve them bacon, eggs, and some fruit as a side to the meal rather bread...or even hash browns? Potatoes are not damaging like wheat bread and while high carb, that might fill the kids up better?
I honestly think once they break the addiction to wheat, just like everybody has to if they do a diet/lifestyle like this, they will feel better and not feel so hungry.
Would someone mind sharing some good links for learning a out the paleo/primal diet thing? I'm curious. Feel free to PM
Just scroll through the thread. there have been many links and book suggestion posted already.
The best books: Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes; Wheat Belly has been already mentioned; Natural Health and Weight Loss and Trick and Treat by Barry Groves; and
Primal Body/Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas.
See also (don't MISS!) www.westonaprice.org
For high-performance athletes, google Dr. Peter Attia, an ultra-marathoner who has partnered now with Taubes in the Nutrition Science Institute. His blog about the performance aspects of low-carbing is quite remarkable. The evidence grows that this is the way humans were supposed to eat. (Sorry, vegans!)