Monday, June 28, 2010

To Each His Own

I was recently talking with some friends about my paleo diet.  I guess I was paleovangelizing a bit; I tend to do a lot of that these days.  One of my friends said, "Well I think diet is personal.  To each his own you, know?  Do what works for you."

This got me thinking.  Is the paleo diet for everyone?  I think of my close friends who have taken on paleo eating along with us.  We all have very different activity levels and body compositions and yet we all find things we love about this lifestyle.

How do you find out the right diet for you?  There are so many diets out there and miracle drugs.  My parents are dealing with this right now.  My Dad was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  So my Mom has begun reading a lot about nutrition to try to get him on the right track.  She was telling me one book will claim low-carb high-fat diet, another a high-carb low-fat diet, etc.  They are all seemingly contradictory.

I have to believe, truly, that primal eating works for EVERYone.  I really believe that.  I think there are some things that may not work for you specifically- for example my husband is allergic to walnuts so, naturally, he doesn't eat them.  That type of personal diet choice seems different to me than the South Beach Diet works for me or Weight Watchers doesn't work for me.

I have to believe none of those will work for you in the long run- YOU aren't designed for them to.  Eating the way your ancestors have for 2 million years, how could you possibly think it wouldn't work?  It definitely won't harm you.

What are your thoughts- is the paleo diet for everyone?


  1. I think you are absolutely right in that it is certainly not going to hurt you, and that it is a VERY healthy diet. And I think that the majority of people could easily follow some sort of paleo diet 80% of the time and not even notice that they are eating certain non-paleo foods.

    Plus, I tend to think that the "paleo diet" isn't the same thing as the "South Beach Diet" or "Weight Watchers" in the sense that it is more of a nutritional guidebook. I think you can follow almost any "weight loss diet" and still eat paleo foods. (Paleo South Beach would certainly be possible, and Paleo Weight Watchers would be boring, but do-able.) It seems like it is more about an over all healthy approach to nutrition and lifestyle...

    As a committed paleolith, I feel very good eating this way, but my body hasn't exactly responded the way I had hoped it would--(ie., I haven't lost any weight) But, I do feel good--and am working toward making this work for me on all levels. It does take a lot of dedication, which is why I think Cordain, (and others) really focus on making the right choices overall, but still having a little room for exceptions several times a week--sometimes life just throws a brick wall at you...If I allow myself to not be perfect 2 or 3 times a week, I can do it forever. :)

  2. Sara I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth! If I couldn't cheat, I don't think I could keep up with this. Sometimes it is even the little cheats that keep me going- today I am making chicken in my crock pot and I used really healthy BBQ sauce, but it is commercially made and has fairly high sodium and sugar. But I figure, it's the little things that will keep me going. :)

  3. I think that regardless of what someone eats or in what macronutrient ratios, there is nobody who wouldn't benefit greatly from minimizing or eliminating the "neolithic agents of disease" (grains, excess sugars esp fructose, excess omega-6 in vegetable and seed oils). Past that, it's a question of context -- everyone has different degrees of metabolic damage to contend with, genetic backgrounds, medical problems, and hierarchies of value. Most people aren't willing to change unless they have to, and some will continue even in the face of death to lower themselves into the grave. The best we can do is be the change we want to see, and as much as possible, let that change speak for itself.

  4. This diet is definitely a "to each his own" diet. So many people have trouble with giving up grains, processed foods, sugar, etc. It used to bother me that my friends and family noticed the changes in me but didn't want to make the necessary changes themselves. Now, I just live and let live.

  5. AGD- Holding your tongue takes a lot of control. :) I find it so difficult not to say anything, especially when I see friends and family struggling with weight loss. For me, the change was/is realitively easy but I know that is not the case for everyone. Thanks for your comment!