We got some very valuable indirect feedback today from a viewer who follows the Primal Diet (similar original concept as the Paleo Diet, while having a few varying points). Although this feedback was quite inflammatory, it has made us realize that our recommendations may not be as clear as we first thought, as we are reviewing the site content now to ensure clarity.
Toned-down summary of visitor’s negative feedback: Animal fats should not be excluded from the Food List because fats are key to the Primal Diet. The goal of the Primal Diet is to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, and you must eat fat to burn fat. Also, eating fat is what makes you feel full. Finally, excluding dairy is more Paleo than Primal, and unnecessary unless you are intolerant to dairy.
The viewer also mentioned that she eats the Primal Diet and it works incredibly well for her. We are happy to hear that she has found a diet that works for her and is living a happy and healthy lifestyle!
First we want to thank this viewer for providing feedback for the website, although indirectly. Without hearing from our viewers, good or bad, we can not improve the site or ensure its purpose is clear. Your feedback is helping us do both of those things.
We are assuming that because the viewer is already successfully eating the Primal Diet and extremely happy with her results, that she skimmed the site and assumed we promoted the Primal Diet purely because of our website’s name. After all, our content is targeted to people who are looking to learn about healthy ways to eat, exercise, and live, and less toward people who already feel they understand these things fully and are successfully executing them. We are reviewing the site currently to ensure our recommendation specifically for the Paleo Diet is more clear.
The viewer made a number of claims about the Primal Diet. We recommend eating the Paleo Diet on this site for one reason: we have found incredible success with it and want to help others find health the way we know how. As our experience is with the Paleo Diet, and that is what we recommend on our site, we are unable to comment on the goals of the Primal Diet or its teachings. What we can comment on is the validity of the statements with regards to the Paleo Diet.
Although we make a note to cut the excess fat off of meat in our Paleo Diet Food List, this does not mean we are excluding animal fats from the “yes” foods. Cutting off excess fat does not totally remove the fat content of meat. Below you will see the fat content of common meats, trimmed of excess fat, taken from the Fat and Protein Content Table in The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain.
Pork tenderloin: 28% fat, 72% protein
Sirloin beef steak: 35% fat, 65% protein
Skinless chicken breast: 37% fat, 63% protein
Lean beef flank steak: 38% fat, 62% protein
Broiled salmon: 38% fat, 62% protein
Lean pork chops: 38% fat, 62% protein
Hopefully this will clarify the concern that we are excluding animal fat (or fat period) from the diet. Consuming lean meats still provides you with a large content of fat in your diet, and hence fuel for your body. In addition to animal fats, you can consume things like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and walnuts to get “good fat” in your system.
Fats are indeed more satiating than carbohydrates, but protein is even more so. Eating protein (which for the Paleo Diet, means lean meats) satisfies your hunger faster than eating either fats or carbs, which is why the Paleo Diet recommends you get a majority of your calories from lean meats.
Our viewer is correct: excluding dairy is Paleo. We do recommend the Paleo Diet, and the reason that the Paleo Diet excludes dairy is because it was not a common part of our diet until 9,000 years ago when dairy cows came about. If we have not had time to adapt to the influx of grains that resulted from the Agricultural Revolution a mere 10,000 years ago, it can be assumed that 9,000 years is not enough time to have adapted to drinking milk other than that from our mothers and during infancy. Here is a some great information about dairy’s place in the Paleo Diet from PaleoDietLifestyle.com.
This was not asked, but just to be as clear as possible: The reason we are PrimalHealthyFit.com instead of PaleoHealthyFit.com is because the Paleo Diet is only one aspect of our philosophy (and the Paleo Diet is based on a primal philosophy). Best results come from making diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices that align with those of our Paleolithic ancestors (see the Exercise and Lifestyle sections of our website).
Again, thank you to our viewers who continue to give us feedback, both good and bad. By responding to these comments publicly, we hope to clarify related misunderstandings and avoid similar confusion in the future.