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A Superficial Understanding Of The Paleo Diet Can Have You Running Into The Grip Of Powerfully Pro-inflammatory Main-ingredients

Paleo Diet Basics Part Two: Points of Contention

PUFA-Free Paleo Proves Powerful at Reversing Diet Driven Disease

The Paleolithic diet, abbreviated Paleo diet and also known as the primal diet or the ancestral diet, has been the most popular diet in the US at the time of this writing. Roughly described as a low-carb, high-protein diet, the Paleo diet is helping people all over the modernized world rid themselves of excess pounds and prescription medications—as I wrote in my prior post. If you don’t have friends or relatives following a Paleo diet now, chances are you will soon.

Today’s post is designed to air out some of the points of contention about Paleo, to best assure your Paleo plans result in you enjoying the success you are hoping for.

These differences of opinion emerge not out of any conflict of interest or maliciousness. They simply reflect the reality that, unlike so many other previous popular diets, the Paleo diet is not the product of a single person’s perspective. It’s a collaborative effort, and that leads to different folks generating different lists of forbidden and approved foods.

My own take on Paleo is less about mimicking the same food list of our ancestors, obviously impossible, and more about mimicking the the strategy of our ancestors, which was, simply put, to extract as much nutrition as possible from their surrounding environment.


Fatburn Fix Saves Life of Type 2 Diabetic

I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic. 

Leontyne Tompkins

I feel free

For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it! 

Robert Kirkendall

I feel so much better

I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you

Mike Deb Wootan Burcin

Better than ever

I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.

Marnie Robinson, MD

My allergies disappeared

The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district].  In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.

Erica Turrell

Heart Palpitations have Stopped

I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.

Mike Wright
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion

I’ve lost over 50 pounds

I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food

Mitzi Wilkinson Champion

Knowledge I didn’t know I needed

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Fatburn Fix reader

Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great

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Missy Cramer
FatBurn Fix reader

Lost 20 lbs I could never shed

I love your Fatburn Fix!  Has helped me so so much!  I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed.  I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils.  It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.  I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!

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Richard Janelle
Completed Dr Cate's online course
Kent Matthes

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Kent Matthes
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Ken D Berry

Dismantles the lie

Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.  

Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
Dr. Drew Pinsky

She knows the chemistry

Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.

Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
Kelly Starrett

No one is better at communicating nutritional truth

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Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Brian Lenkzes

Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix

Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!

Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Chris Kaman

Respected in the sports world

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Chris Kaman
NBA Player
Mark Sisson

Brought seed oil issue front and center

Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.

Mark Sisson
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Dallas Hartwig

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Dallas Hartwig
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Dwight Howard

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NBA Player
Paul Grewal

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Paul Grewal, MD 
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Joesph Mercola

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Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.

Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Dave Aspery

Pull up a chair…

I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.

Dave Asprey
Author of the Bulletproof Diet

The key to unlocking my fatburn

I love your Fatburn Fix!  Has helped me so so much!  I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed.  I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils.  It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.  

Lauren Smith

Saved my life

I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. 

Leontyne Tompkins

Tears of joy

 I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.     

Penni Wicks

So here’s some of the Paleo Diet Beginner Issues I hope to prevent you from experiencing:

1. Restricting your diet more than necessary. This makes eating with non-Paleo friends tough, and can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

In my view, the reason Paleo works for so many is that it encourages home cooking, makes it fun, and gets you away from the two biggest toxins you can eat, which I will review later in this post. But I’ve met so many people who end up eating repetitively because the list of foods to avoid can, in some cases, get pretty long.

I do not tell folks to restrict any foods other than the Two Big Toxins (see below) unless they have experienced a specific problem from eating the food in question.

That means even grains, legumes and dairy can be part of a healthy diet. This bears repeating: yes, grains, legumes and dairy.

Remember, it’s the strategy of our ancestors we want to mimic, not food lists.

After all, many of the plants and animals our ancestors ate are extinct, and most of the foods in the grocery store—even Paleo staples like almonds—did not exist in anything like their current form until modern agricultural breeding and selection brought them into existence. Breeding has, in many cases, increased the digestibility (a good thing) by reducing anti nutrients and plant toxins designed to drive away plant eaters, even as it has increased the sugar content (not so good). So there are plusses and minuses and in the end I think the best policy is to figure out what works for your body. Of course, a trained clinician can help with that.

2. Too many nut flours.

While so many popular and delicious recipes include nut flowers, if you find yourself running through bag after bag of almond, coconut, or any of the other popular paleo substitutes for grain-based flour, you may be consuming more calories per day than you realize. Nut flours have a good deal of fat, which can make them two to three times as calorie dense as the grain flours you are subbing them for, and eating more calories than you need is obviously not a good thing.

3. Overlooking three of the four Pillars of World Cuisine.

In doing the background research for our first book, Deep Nutrition, we identified four nutritional strategies that enabled traditional people the world over to survive and thrive. Of the four, only one—fresh foods—is fairly universal to the modern version of a Paleo diet. Indeed, most every cookbook will include an abundance of delicious fresh food recipes. However, not many include recipes that incorporate the other three—fermented and sprouted, meat on the bone (including bone stocks) and organ meat. While not always as easy to make as a salad, they are just as essential.

How does failing to include these pillars matter to your health? In a nutshell, fermented and sprouted foods support a healthy gut and immune system. Meat on the bone supports healthy collagen, which forms the backbone of your skin, joints and arteries. And organ meats are superfoods, each of which provides a high concentration of a unique blend of vitamins and/or minerals.

4. Overexposure to the Two Big, most toxic ingredients in our food chain: sugar and vegetable oils.

One could write a book about the health consequences of our overproduction and overconsumption of sugar, and many have. But suffice it to say that every doctor who studies nutrition (for more than the two minutes we get in medical school) soon comes to the realization that sugar is a toxic molecule.

Sugar, no matter whether it comes from fruit or high fructose corn syrup, brown rice or brown sugar, interferes with normal function of many hormones and accelerates the aging process. Like potassium, the compound used for lethal injections, we do need some in our body all the time, but too much is deadly—of course in the case of sugar, manifestations of the toxic effect takes a few years longer than in the case of potassium.

Toxin number two are the refined, bleached and deodorized oils: corn cottonseed canola soy sunflower safflower and grapeseed. These make their way into a shocking number of grocery store and restaurant foods. They affect us very much like edible radiation, in that they incite molecular damage. In my opinion vegetable oils are responsible for more sickness than cigarettes, which primarily make contact with our body via the respiratory and circulatory systems. Vegetable oils enter every cell in the body and promote inflammation. Perhaps most tragically, they profoundly impact the brain and consumption during early development make normal nerve growth impossible, seriously impairing a child’s cognitive and emotional development.

If you can avoid these four Paleo pitfalls, you are well on your way to enjoying lasting health and long term success!

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

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