Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Considering Cordain

I recently checked out two books from the local library that I have been wanting to read for some time. One is Protien Power by Michael and Mary Dan Eades (both MDs), and The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain (PhD). I found both to be interesting reads and full of good information. One of main reasons I wanted to read Cordain's book was that I wanted to get his take on eating dairy products. (DISCLAIMER: I didn't read The Paleo Diet cover-to-cover this weekend so I may have missed something. I'm going to re-read it before it goes back to the library).

It seems rather obvious that Grok didn't chase down wild animals on the savannah and then take out his milking stool. But I love cheese and Greek-style yogurt, so I was looking for more information in order to make an informed decision. When I read the section on dairy in The Paleo Diet, what I gathered was that Cordain's main objection to eating dairy is based on it's saturated fat content. This is one area where Cordain differs from many others who espouse a "paleo" diet. My readings have led me to believe that our fear of saturated fat is not based on good science. I do make an effort to balance Omega-3s and Omega-6s, but have no problem with enjoying fatier cuts of meat, or my container of full-fat Greek Gods yogurt. Cordain also recommends no restrictions on eating fruit, but it seems unlikely to me that there would have been a lot of the fruit available that matches the sugar content of the stuff we can buy today. I can devour mangoes in mass quantities--but they are potent little sugar bombs.

So who's right? That's a question that all of us have to ask concerning a lot of subjects when we are trying to take control of our own health and well being. I'm sure there are millions of people in the U.S. who would benefit immensely if they followed the advice of either the Eades or Cordain to the letter. All we can do is make informed choices on the information available.

1 comment:

Tony said...

"Who's right" is a great question. I'm just getting into this Paleo stuff on the advice of my doc. My prompting is food allergies. Based on my own experience so far, I'm convinced that I'm right. And you are right. We have to experiment with foods to see how we respond to them, and figure out what is right for us as individuals. As an athlete I've always read that 60% of my calories should come from carbs. Imagine my surprise when I cut out almost all carbs recently and found myself feeling and performing better than ever!