The Paleo Diet is Horse Crap
Uga Shaka, Uga Shaka, Uga Shaka Grunt Grunt Shank: We want to know what you think about the Paleo Diet?
The Geico Caveman, Captain Caveman, Fred Flintstone, Encino Man and Frozen Caveman Lawyer (Everybody’s favorite pre historic Rat Pack)
(Frozen Caveman Lawyer. Definitely one of the most under appreciated SNL skits of all time. God rest your soul Phil Hartman.)
Dear Ancient Version of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra,
I had two reasons why I was a little apprehensive about titling this blog “The Paleo Diet is Horse Crap” but then again I couldn’t pass up the attention a controversial title would drum up:
1. Horse crap is natural. It is not composed of white flour, white sugar or dairy products so there is the chance that some Paleo Dieters might mistake this post as a recipe and start eating Equine Poop. I didn’t want that on my head.
2. The Paleo Diet IS NOT really Horse Crap. Actually as far as fad diets go, in theory at least, it can be a very healthy and very effective way to lose weight.
Before we go any further let me explain exactly what the Paleo Diet is to those of you out there who may have no idea what the heck we are talking about.
A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
The Paleo Diet was first made popular in the 1970’s by a guy named Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin who was a Gastroenterologist. Since that time numerous papers have been written about it but much of the credit for it’s modern popularity goes to a guy named Loren Cordain. Please understand that Cordain is not even remotely close to being the only “Paleo Pope” out there he is just one of the more well known one’s.
The whole theory behind the Paleo Diet is this:
You take modern equivalents of foods that where available to prehistoric man and you eat only that. According to one of the Bishops of the Paleo Church, a guy named Rob Wolf “If it’s not meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruits, roots tubers or nuts…it’s a no-go”.
In their defense (as if they need one from me) the Paleo people do emphasize that the Paleo Diet is a lifestyle incorporating amongst other things, stress reduction techniques and an emphasis on proper sleep. Sounds good so far. Also the diet does allow some room for individual “tinkering” after a proposed strict induction phase lasting several weeks to several months depending once again numerous factors one of which is how far gone your health is.
(A sample “Paleo Meal” of fish and some vegetables. Not bad, actually it is really nutrient dense and devoid of empty calories a.k.a. Healthy. Certainly a step up from what Cave People actually ate as seen below)
(That my friends is a giant grub. Grubs and many other insect like creatures formed a good bulk of pre historic mans diet as things like fresh fish and wild game weren’t always so easy to catch as the steak and sea bass at your local Shop Rite.)
This then begs the question why would anybody NOT want to follow the Paleo Diet? Healthy unrefined foods? Check! An emphasis on factors outside of diet but certainly contributing to health like proper sleep, exercise and rest? Check!
HERE IS THE RUB
The Paleo diet is a great idea! There is it, I said it. Still I don’t recommend it to most if not all of my people for the three following reasons:
Reason #1: It is based on horse crap science:
Paleolithic Humans, the Pre Agrarian People this whole diet is based on, roamed the earth between 2.5 million B.C. till about 10,000 years ago. Some of them still exist in small and isolated parts of the world. If you aren’t good at math let me break this one down for you; THAT IS 2.5 MILLION YEARS! Way to narrow it down guys. A lot can happen in 2.5 million years even without public transportation. Over that period of time people lived in many different parts of the globe and they ate pretty much whatever their environment gave them access to including a variety of grains which is just one more food the Paleo people forbid. Further more for some this meant a diet high in meat and for others there might not have been much meat at all.
I once dated the best looking Doctor of Anthropology this side of the Smithsonian and she told me that despite a lifetime of studying these people and their diets even as “recent” as 80,000 years ago, it was still very difficult if not impossible to tell exactly what they ate in one part of the world let alone the entire planet. Sure they had some good ideas on what went down in Barney Rubble’s bely, these scientists aren’t dopes, but to be able to nail the whole thing down and condense it into a 300 page best selling book…no way!
(One thing scientist are sure of…during times of famine Pre Historic People did sometimes snack on their young for survival. Wonder if that made it into the book?)
The other thing I resent is this idea that Pre Historic People were somehow these walking models of perfect health like they were a bunch of pre nose job Bruce Jenners running around and living in caves:
(Seriously Dude, you were a Stud! What the hell were you thinking?)
For the most part Pre Historic People lived hard and brutal lives. Sometimes people lived long and were very healthy but throw in an ice age or two and as stated before a lot can happen over a couple million years especially if you live at the whim of nature with no access to modern medicine, central heat or grocery stores. Pre-Historic people’s health was pretty much at the mercy of their environment (much like it seems with people today sadly enough). To try and emulate that if you don’t live in their environment is when things get tricky.
Reason #2: It is as difficult for most people to follow for a lifetime as eating actual horse crap
I am going to make this one short and sweet since I have already ranted on too long. I have known people who have followed the Paleo Diet ranging in time from six minutes, six hours, six days, six weeks and even six years. You know what winds up happening to almost all of them? They wind of freebasing a loaf of bread at the Macaroni Grill like it was a giant ball of cocaine and they were Richard Pryor:
(Back in the day they had Richard Pryor and Earth, Wind and Fire. Today we have Justin Bieber and ….aw screw it. I am just going to wind up making myself depressed again.)
The bottom line is the Paleo Diet has huge issues with sustainability when it comes to a large majority of the “non-hardcore” population of which I am a member and a really big fan. All the gimmicky excitement aside that means it just doesn’t work for me.
Reason #3: It is horse crap for vegetarians:
I know a lot of vegetarians many of whom can’t feature eating a diet with enough eggs to turn Rhode Island into a Souffle. If that is the case then this is basically what the Paleo diet has to say to them:
(Pissed off old ladies are nothing to trifle with. First they blind you with a face blast of their endless supply of baby powder then they stomp you to death with their walker. I hate when that happens.)
The Paleo Diet. If you are following it because you find it convenient, it makes you feel good or you honestly believe that it is a better way to live then God Bless You and carnavate (not sure if that is a real word or not, actually I think I just made it up) to your hearts content. My only advice would be not to get so anal retentive about it or treat it like it is some kind of religion because then you become really annoying like one of those people who did all the drugs and had sex with everyone on two legs but then finds God and thinks nobody else should even see an R movie. In a nutshell if you want to include some milk, yogurt, wheat bread or God forbid the occasional hot dog or two then go a head. Any diet you cannot live on consistently or exist on without pissing off everybody around you is going to fail over the long term and in the end that is all that matters.
The Caveman eating plan can be a healthy one because of what is NOT on the menu. The benefits have little to do with all the phony Dude Science it is built up on. Any diet that doesn’t include daily hits of Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC, Soda, Doughnuts, cookies, cakes, pies, 500 calorie bagels with 300 calorie schmears of cream cheese, “energy drinks” and chicken parm sandwiches stuffed with mozzarella sticks and french fries (whoa! that sounds like the buffet I am going to have at my wedding) is going to help you lose weight. You don’t need a gimmick to do that.
(Despite it’s Leni Riefenstahl “Triumph of the Will” like propaganda promoting the Cave Man Lifestyle, Fruity Pebbles doesn’t make the Paleo list of approved foods. In retrospect maybe that is a good thing.)
Yours in Chocolate Chip Cookies,