The Paleo Diet Revised

Wow – this was a good read!

Basically just finished pouring through, page by page, the long awaited Revised Edition of The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, PhD.  Not sure if it’s because I’ve been doing this a while or recently finished a fantastic webinar with Matt Lalonde (the Bill Nye of Nutrition) – but this was a much easier read than Dr. Cordain’s first book written in 2002!  The revised edition is definitely “new and improved”:  it’s informative, provides thorough explanations of the science behind the diet, and cites numerous studies as they apply to the Paleo Diet.

I strongly encourage those who are interested in better understanding the science and research behind the Paleo Diet to order this book.  His presentation is convincing.  By following the Paleo Diet you will not only lose weight, but also prevent future disease.  Sounds like a great Christmas gift for someone you love!

A couple of highlights from the revised edition include:

  • Mark Sisson would be proud to read Dr. Cordain’s revisions on “recommended oils” – he now puts canola oil on the “foods to avoid list”.   Allowed oils are basically culled down to four:  olive, flaxseed, avocado and walnut oils.
  • Dr. Cordain has “softened his stance” on saturated fat.  Based on the latest research he now believes the original view of “artery-clogging saturated fat” is incorrect even though he states saturated fat, specifically lauric acid, myristic acid and plamatic acid (but not stearic acid), elevates blood cholesterol.  New research points to the role inflammation plays in artery-clogging plaques and heart disease.  Unless your immune system is chronically inflamed, atherosclerosis from saturated fats “will not likely kill us from either heart attacks or strokes”. He continues to drive home the point that by following the principles of The Paleo Diet, you will be protected from dangerous low-level inflammation that has been shown to occur from eating a diet of grains, vegetable oils, sugar, legumes, dairy products , salt and/or processed foods (Neolithic or Modern Foods).
  • Dr. Cordain discusses the connection between anti-nutrients found in modern foods (grains, legumes, dairy products, and nightshade vegetables) and the role they may play in auto-immune disease.  Referring to the numerous mysterious autoimmune diseases that have baffled researchers in the past, Dr. Cordain shares that through new research we can now better understand  how following the Paleo Diet can “protect us from these one hundred or more illnesses.”
  • Dr Cordain also discusses at length the mechanisms that contribute to the development of Metabolic Syndrome and concludes time and time again that by following the Paleo Diet you can halt and in many cases reverse the progression of Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Dyslipidemia.
  • As a woman, I especially enjoyed his in-depth discussion of the role high carbohydrate diets may play in breast, colon and prostate cancers.  A high carb diet results in high insulin levels which increase IGF- 1 (a powerful growth hormone) and decreases IGFBP-3 (which regulates out-of-control cell growth).   In other words, high insulin levels can promote the unregulated growth of cancer cells.
  • And the most exciting meaningful part of the book to ME?  Wine is now “allowed” in moderation citing health benefits that may result from an occasional glass of wine.  But don’t go overboard; we’re talking a 4oz glass on date night!  If you have an auto-immune issue of any sort, alcohol is NOT permitted.  Alcohol has been known to increase gut permeability.

I also received  The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages.  Again – another highly recommended book.  We ate the “Beef Stew with Vegetables” for dinner tonight and had “Lorraine’s Strawberries with Creme” for dessert.  Everyone left the table happy and satisfied –  that’s not bad when you’re feeding two teen boys!

Further reading:

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