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The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat

May 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured Products

  • ISBN13: 9780471267553
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
“We can’t recommend The Paleo Diet highly enough!”
– Michael and Mary Dan Eades, M.D.
authors of Protein Power “The Paleo Diet is at once revolutionary and intuitive. . . . Its prescription provides without a doubt the most nutritious diet on the planet.”
–Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., coauthor of the bestselling The Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Revolution Life Plan “Filled with delicious recipes and meal plans, The Pal… More >>

The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat


5 Responses to “The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I would like to write this review for 2 reasons:

    1)I just want to say that I first started to lose weight when I switched to a low-carb diet, but continued to eat lots of dairy and soy, as I was a vegetarian. I have always been a size 12-14, and was quite pleased when I dropped to a size 10 by eliminating bread, pasta and sugar from my diet. I still experienced occasional fatigue and lots of digestive upset, though, and it wasn’t until I took an allergy test and found I was allergic to grains and dairy – and subsequently cut both completely out of my diet – that I started to feel the energy and vitality for which I have been searching for years. I’m also allergic to most beans, so my only alternative source of protein was meat. I started to eat lean, unprocessed meats and fresh fruits and veggies, and my energy was not only soaring, but my depression lifted, my skin became smoother and softer, and I dropped down to a size 4 without even trying to lose weight! (I’ve never been less than a size 10 in my life!) Anyways, I effortlessly maintained that level of vitality and a size 4 until I started to eat rice flour, oats, processed meats and candy. I quickly gained 15lbs and fell into depression once again, leading me to realize that once on a paleo diet, it must become a way of life. The foods that Dr.Cordain describes as detrimental to our health (grains, dairy, legumes) are indeed factors in all sorts of health problems. If you are a possible buyer of this book, please take note of this, you cannot expect to lose weight and then go back to your usual style of eating. Buy this book and undertake Dr.Cordain’s suggestions only if you are ready to change your lifestyle – it will be well worth it, I promise! In any case, I have since started back on the paleo-lifestyle route (feeling better already and have lost 5lbs in one week), with the help of Lauren Cordain’s book, and it has been an invaluable resource for me. I have beeen waiting for him to write a book for a while now, as I have been reading interviews and papers written by him on since I first started on the paleo nutrition route 2 years ago. This brings me to my second point in writing this review:

    2)In response to the reviews that mention disdain at the apparent contradiction with Dr.Cordain discouraging the use of saturated fat while promoting the idea that humans’ natural diet contained lots of meat, known to be rich in saturated fats, I have read research that sheds some light on this, at least for me. It seems that the saturated fat found in lean game meat – buffalo or wild boar that has been running around the jungle or the plains all day – has a different composition entirely than the saturated fat found in your average piece of supermarket meat – cows, chickens, even free-range game. There is a more favorable ratio of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids in the lean game meat, as well as other aspects that I can’t remember offhand, but you can read more for yourself on this subject in interviews of Dr.Cordain on beyondveg’s website.

    One more note for those of you trying to decide between Dr.Atkins or something similar, or a book such as this one or Neanderthin: speaking from the point of view of a person who has developed IBS and multiple food allergies as a result of the Standard American Diet, I wholeheartedly agree with the low-carb way of life, but must offer my 2cents that any diet that fails to caution the consumer on the downfalls of consuming fake foods such as artificial sweetners and salty, processed meats, cannot be healthy for the long-term. I would eat fresh cream or whole milk before I put MSG, nitrates, sulfites or Splenda into my body. I have tried Atkins, and I felt a big difference in my general health from that program to one of eating more natural foods as advocated by Dr.Cordain, Diana Schwarzbein and Ray Audette.

    If you are undecided, please take your long-term health as well as your short-trem weight into consideration. Any of the above-mentioned authors can help you lose weight and feel great, but unlike Atkins or Eades, they will help you do it for life. As far as deciding between the above-mentioned authors, “The Paleo Diet” is written by a well-respected professor and expert in the field of paleolithic nutrition, and if you were to go with one book on low-carbing, this would probably the healthiest, most sane and moderate approach I have seen out there.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Let me begin by saying that I am a 100% believer in the paleo diet/ caveman diet concept. I am a national-level olympic weightlifter and have tried every combination of high/low carb/fat diet to find something that allowed me to stay in the same weight class as I got older. The only thing that has ever worked is the paleo diet.

    For a good, concise description of the paleo diet, search for it on wikipedia.

    Having said that, I will now be critical of this book. I found this book to be very verbose and never provided a convincing argument for the paleo diet. Very little evidence was provided that the diet described in this book was what was eaten 20,000 years ago. Most of the argument for this diet was modern research on how ingredient X (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids) is good for you. I have heard excellent evidence supporting the paleo diet during a few lectures by a scientist that studies coprolites (few thousand year old petrified excrement), unfortunately, similar evidence is not in this book.

    Furthermore, there are a few technical issues I have with what is presented in this book. I have a PhD in theoretical chemistry. Having gone through graduate school, I know that just about anyone can get a PhD or become faculty if they are patient. Because of this, I’m immune to the Doctor/Professor name dropping used throughout this book.

    Repeatedly, the author asserts that chloride from salt causes the body to become more acidic. Offhand, it is not at all clear to me how this could happen. Chloride ions in solution are basically inert. I have to believe that this conjecture is wrong.

    The author also makes repeated comments about how bad salt is for you. A few years back, there was an article in the journal Science (one of the two highest tier scientific journals) about the politics of salt. The article describes a political agenda to show that salt caused medical problems. A few hundred million dollars and a half dozen project leaders later, the program was shut down because the researchers could not prove what the politicians wanted. I’m not suggesting that people should eat a lot of salt, since cavemen ate much less sodium and more potassium than we do today, but I am suggesting the health problems blamed on salt have sketchy research backing them up.

    In spite of this book’s problems, it is worth reading. The description of the paleo diet is good enough to be effective when followed.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  3. t-rone says:

    When I first heard Loren Cordain was finally authoring a book on paleo nutrition I was quite excited, for Cordain has conducted a lot of very insightful research into the eating patterns of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. When I finally got to examine the book though, I was sorely disappointed.

    Cordain evidently seems to have ignored much of his own research. The most alarming error is his frequent recommendation to use flax oil when cooking meat dishes. Recipe after recipe calls for marinating cuts of meat in flax oil before cooking – a very bad idea! For those who don’t already know, you should NEVER cook with any type of polyunsaturated oil. Their high degree of unsaturation makes them extremely prone to oxidative damage, and this process is greatly multiplied by exposure to high temperatures (e.g cooking temeratures). Omega-3 fats, like those found in flax oil, are the most vulnerable polyunsaturates of all. When eaten, these ‘healthy’ fats trigger a chain-reaction of nasty free-radical activity in the body, leaving one open to the development of all sorts of degenerative ailments. Cordain should be well aware that liquid vegetable oils simply did not exist back in paleotlithic times.

    Cordain also denigrates saturated fat in his book, which once again is rather pitiful considering his background. The anti-saturated fat doctrine is a product of agenda-driven 20th century researchers and beaureaucrats, eagerly supported by commercial interests and their cheerleading squad of ignorant nutritionists, health authorities, and authors. Cordain claims that a single experiment where saturated fat raised cholesterol levels in young men is proof that this fat is bad. Big deal! Such an assertion assumes that the cholesterol theory of heart disease is a valid one. Considering the numerous absurdities inherent in the cholesterol theory, that is a rather risky leap of faith. Hunter-gatherers ate lots of animal fat, which is around 50% saturated. And no, just because an animal is wild does not mean it is low in fat – I had the pleasure of sampling some camel steak last week, and you can be sure I enjoyed every bit of the backstrap fat covering the steak! Even the leanest animals have fatty portions of meat, and if observations of recent hunter-gatherer societies are anything to go by, these would have been the most valued and preferentially eaten cuts.

    Cordain also jumps on the anti-low carb bandwagon, even though his own research shows hunter-gatherers were far more likely to consume a low carb diet than a high carb diet. In fact paleo nutrition, with its emphasis on animal foods and starch poor plant foods, and low carb nutrition are a perfect match.

    The whole book reeks of an attempt to squeeze paleolithic nutrition into currently fashionable and politically correct guidelines. Only problem is, back in the stone-age there weren’t any pompous cholesterol researchers who thought they knew better than mother nature, and there were no advertising campaigns to let people know of the `heinous’ health effects of saturated fat – so people ate it, and lots of it!

    Paleo eating is still the ultimate nutrition in my opinion. It is the only eating plan that cannot even begin to be accused of being a ‘fad’. Subsistence patterns that dominated for over two million years can hardly be considered a fad. Cordain’s book does contain some useful info, but Neanderthin by Ray Audette is a far better, and cheaper, book on paleolithic nutrition. Buy that instead.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. Keith Thomas says:

    This is the best book on paleo nutrition since Ray Audette’s Neanderthin. It brings Audette’s information up to date with science from this burgeoning area and will serve as an introduction to the only diet that is totally attuned to our physiology. That’s what’s so neat about it.

    But it is also what is so difficult for people to get their minds around. As Robert Ingersoll said: “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, merely consequences” and we are inclined to regard our dietary preferences as matters of taste (in all senses), or even of ethics – as do vegetarians and those who point out that grain-based diets are far less demanding on the environment than meat-based diets such as those advocated by Dr Cordain.

    But this misses the point. Cordain is telling us what is natural, not what is ethical. If a meat-based diet takes more land for each consumer than a grain-based diet, that is a consequence of human population numbers, it is not a reason for dismissing a paleo diet.

    It also misses the point to say that, if we are to adopt a paleo diet, we should return to stone tools and a totally paleo life. Cordain’s thinking is clearer than this and the book has many stimulating ideas and insights about our evolutionary inheritance.

    Cordain also tells us that the human species has barely altered since grains were first cultivated 10,000 years ago. We are hunter-gatherer bodies in a post-industrial world. Much of the book is devoted to explaining how diabetes, cardiovascular disease, food intolerances, osteoporosis, asthma, heartburn, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and many other modern diseases derive from the extent to which we have departed from the evolutionarily-proven lifestyle. For this reason alone, this book deserves to be taken seriously. As Ingersoll implies, there are natural consequences to our behaviour; our cultural preferences are irrelevant to the truth.

    The author also contrasts modern activity levels with paleo activity levels and presents an exercise routine to complement his dietary advice.

    Dr Cordain devotes a part of the book to pointing out how meat, fish and fresh vegetables can be contaminated and he gives some guidance in avoiding such contaminated foods and whether the contamination levels are serious.

    I’m a paleo eater and exerciser myself and I’ve been looking for a book like this for ages that I can pass to my friends to explain why I eat and exercise the way I do. I bought two copies. Great stuff!
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. K. Russell says:

    Before I found this book, I’d heard of the Stone Age diet and wished I could adopt it. The restrictions–no grains, legumes, dairy products, or processed foods–sounded formidable, as did the requirements–fresh meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, the wilder/more organic the better. But my health problems have recently goaded me into adopting a rough form of this diet, and I’ve needed a diet manual to focus and refine my new food choices. Voila! I found The Paleo Diet just yesterday and am already convinced it’s the right diet book for me. I do feel better since I started eating more animal protein and no starch a few weeks ago, but I’ve been having trouble with fatty meats, and Loren Cordain’s book explains why.

    The reviewers here who argue that saturated fat has been getting a bum rap, that our Stone Age ancestors undoubtedly ate the whole bird and not just the breast, etc., appear to have read the book cursorily, if at all. Cordain clearly explains that the animal protein prehistoric people thrived on had nowhere near the amount of saturated fat found in today’s domestic meats, poultry, and dairy products. Quoting from the book, “Paleolithic people couldn’t eat fatty meats if they tried–they had nothing like the tubby grain-fed animals that produce our steaks today.” Readers who want more science may consult the 20-page bibliography in the back of the book.

    The Paleo Diet is primarily a diet manual, a nutritional primer, and a cookbook, loaded with practical information (e.g. “How to Be a Savvy Shopper for Fish,” “Dining Out, Travel, and Peer Pressure,” etc.) for readers who want to adapt the Stone Age diet to the 21st century. What’s more, the book is engagingly written and extremely readable. Above all, Cordain makes the Stone Age diet seem simple. If I could give his book an extra five stars, I would!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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