Archive for the ‘Ancestral health’ Category

Dr. David Katz thinks the movie Fed Up missed a couple of things, including that “being hungry is like being horny, but with no rules” and that we need to distinguish “responsibility from blame.” So far, so good!

As far as the CICO vs sugar debate:

The movie made what I consider the misguided decision to argue with Sir Isaac Newton, giving air time to those who contend that calories don’t really count, and energy balance isn’t meaningful. …

Of course calories and energy balance matter, but just as obviously- so do the sources of that energy. Everyone who has ever eaten knows that some foods fill us up more than others, yet we routinely trot out experts to present this as if it refutes laws of thermodynamics. Everyone who has ever filled up a car or lawnmower knows that there is a certain kind of fuel on which the engine is intended to run. A gallon is always a gallon just the same, but of course a gallon ‘of what’ matters.

The fact that we don’t achieve healthy energy balance does not preclude its relevance.

Read the post (see And So What?) for Katz’s take on what we “can and should do.” It’s a longish list that’s pretty much summed up by “eat wholesome foods in sensible combinations.”

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Blogger and occasional Weight Maven commenter Gingerzingi has been writing about her efforts to make it through her second Whole 30. She’s about half-way and has hit a bit of a bump:

Realized that one of my problems this time was not having food prepared, and in sufficient quantity. That’s one reason this is a very demanding regimen—it’s not so much that it’s very restrictive (in my view it’s not)—but that you just can’t get compliant food except by making it yourself. That’s where the real determination and adherence come in: shopping and cooking every week.

Aye, there’s the rub!

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Behavioral psychology blogger Gregory Ciotti explains the concept of supernormal stimulus … and why it suggests your brain just wasn’t built for junk food, porn, or the Internet. In a nutshell, the idea is that things like junk food or porn provide not-found-in-nature stimuli that our lizard brains find hard to resist.

Ciotti doesn’t say that the solution to this is to go all Luddite (or Grok). Instead, he suggests avoiding habituation:

The real enemy here is complacency—you needn’t feel guilty engaging with supernormal stimuli, but you should feel guilty if you allow yourself to become a victim of your habits, instead of the person in the driver’s seat.

Or as Stuart McMillen’s amazing comic concludes:

Only those who can see the supernormal can learn to silence the reptile.

A bit like “all things in moderation” but with a twist?

HT Julianne Taylor.

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Image from PaleoShoppe.com website mockup

Paleo is a diet/lifestyle that is based on how our Paleolithic ancestors ate. For some folks, this means a diet based on what we evolved to eat, foods that were consumed by our ancestors before the dawn of agriculture. You’d probably be forgiven for concluding that paleo was a whole foods diet.

But for many folks, “stone age eating for modern times” is mostly about excluding grains, legumes, and dairy. For them, processed foods like almond flour and coconut oil, or convenience foods with egg white and hemp protein powder, are fine.


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Quote of the day

Exuberant Animal’s Frank Forencich on health and fitness hyperbole:

Most of the time, we can safely dismiss these claims as over-blown rhetoric, the familiar chest-thumping of primates looking to one-up the rest of the tribe or attract a better mate. Alternately, we might conclude that these hyperbolic boasts are merely practical strategies for survival in an increasingly crowded and over-heated marketplace; bigger claims attract greater attention and in turn, bigger sales.

But these exaggerated health and fitness claims are not neutral, nor are they harmless. In fact, they are outright violations of the very nature of health. Even worse, they send a dangerous message to people who desperately need a sense of balance and proportion in their lives. In short, health and fitness hyperbole is not healthy.

Forencich talks at length about the inverse U or Goldilocks effect: a little isn’t enough, but a lot is too much. Even for so-called “safe” things like water.

It’s a great read, especially if you’re feeling at all guilty about how much you’re doing … or not doing.

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Isn’t it ironic?

The Paleo Diet™ Bar is a superior nutrition bar that is gluten, soy, dairy and preservative free. …


Organic Dates, Organic Almonds, Organic Egg White Protein Powder, Organic Raisins, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Sesame Seeds, Organic Hemp Protein Powder, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Non-GMO.

Grok was just chowing down on protein powders, wasn’t he?

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Anthropology doctoral candidate Hillary Huber thinks Paleo-TM folks give legumes a bad rap, arguing that:

  • Paleo researchers tend to lump legumes with grains but only cite sources that discuss grains.
  • Concerns about anti-nutrients come from old sources; in addition, cooking tends to reduce these problems.
  • Some anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, actually have some benefits.
  • Legumes have some health-promoting properties as long as they aren’t eaten raw.

She summarizes:

My point is merely that the exclusion of legumes from the Paleo Diet, or any diet for that matter, is probably ill-conceived. I like to imagine that this negativity toward legumes is intimately tied
to human dislike of flatulence. Why else exclude a food group that is so nutritionally rich, has a deep history of being eaten by hominins and other primates, is one of the most concentrated sources of fiber available to humans, is inexpensive and widely available, and is so very delicious?

Good question! Actually, in his AHS12 presentation, Mat Lalonde pointed out that typical paleo foods are likely higher in nutrient density. However, as this review of his talk shows, legumes score fairly high when nutrient density is compared to calories.

My takeaway? Eat your organ meats regularly and enjoy your hummus or dal ;).

HT Melissa McEwen.

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