The Paleolithic Solution – Episode 17

Back with episode 17. Robb and I were relatively calm this week which I think led to a really solid show.  I’m starting to think the audio sounds pretty good so please give feedback on how it sounds to you.  We are still working on the supplement and intro to Paleo show, but had to delay those just a bit to give Robb some time to work on finishing his book.

Download a transcript of this episode

Show Topics:

  1. Fruit intake
  2. Degenerative bone disorder
  3. Health/longevity vs sport/performance
  4. Hypersinsulinemia & growth
  5. Mass gain
  6. Exhausted
  7. Ulcerative colitis
  8. Dogs & Paleo diet
  9. Butter & cream
  10. Constipation
  11. Vegan Athletes

Show Notes – The_Paleolithic_Solution_Episode_17

Download Episode 17

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Categories: Podcasts


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Steve says

    Sweet question on Dogs/Paleo; I had the same ? but thought it was too out in left field to pose. Can’t wait to listen to the ‘cast later. I’m guessing a dog’s diet requires even far fewer carbs than our own…

  2. Space says

    Pleaaaaaaaase, you must put a written version of your podcasts. I bet we are thousands that cannot listen to them for many reasons (on the web only at work, no time to ipod etc etc….)
    Please put a written transcript of your podcasts online…
    I’m never able to listen to them and it is very frustrating.

  3. Kevin Burns says

    Thanks for tackling my topic Rob !!

    The hip dysplasia thing is pretty interesting. I’m still gathering information and will forward along anything I can find. has lots of good information.

  4. Josh Bryan says

    In addition to the “intro to paleo” podcast I was wondering if Robb and Andy might do an “Allow myself to introduce……myself” podcast. I’ve been following since the first podcast, but only stumbled into the paleo world since November 09. What I would like to see/hear are things like educational background, primary research done for Masters/PHd, potentially a chronological account of how you guys arrived to paleo. For example, I know Robb was standard American diet, Vegetarian, vegan, etc. I would just be interested in knowing some background and what personal experiences or revelations directed you to follow and advocate the Paleo diet. Thanks!


  5. JD says

    Hey Robb what are ur thoughts on a Low Carb Diet 50 grams a day from veges and moderate protein high fat diet with one treat meal a week, of all strict paleo foods, i was doin the NHE eating plan with 4 carb load meals a week my tummy cannot handle all that starch

  6. Duncan says

    Hi Robb, Andy,

    Have been following your work for a few years now (I’m loving the podcast, by the way) and am hoping you can help.

    I’m based in London, UK, and have recently had a blood test that has given the following result:

    Cholesterol (Fasting) : 4.8 mmo1/1
    Trigliceride : 0.62 mmo1/1
    HDL : 1.37 mmo1/1
    LDL : 3.15 mmo1/1

    My doctor is now telling me to take Benecol daily to reverse the HDL/LDL numbers as he says the ratios are currently not good.

    I have two questions:
    1 – how good/bad are theses results in reality?

    2 – is there an alternative to Benecol, something with less additives?

    Thanks in advance for any help,


  7. Steve says

    Great podcast Rob.. Question I bought some Carlson Fish Oil and I put it in the freezer and it froze. Should I be concern?? thanks

    I have a Super Mario update . Looks like a interesting matchup….

    Tim Sylvia vs. Mariusz Pudzianowski set for April 23rd

  8. lisa says

    Just my opinion on the osteo but in addition to what you mentioned, if her hormones are out of whack, ie. estrogen she will develop osteoporosis. I only mention this because I feel many women are deceived by the whole heavy lifting, Vit D3 solely being responsible for strong bones. If you are amenorrheic or continued low estrogen levels you will most likely develop osteoporosis. (no one really addresses this and it drives me nuts) :o)

    Thanks for taking the time in answering questions and continuing providing the podcasts in the midst of your book. Can’t wait!

  9. lisa says

    Just my opinion on the osteo but in addition to what you mentioned, if her hormones are out of whack, ie. estrogen she will develop osteoporosis. I only mention this because I feel many women are deceived by the whole heavy lifting, Vit D3 solely being responsible for strong bones. If you are amenorrheic or have steady low estrogen levels you will most likely develop osteoporosis. (no one really addresses this and it drives me nuts) :o)

    Thanks for taking the time in answering questions and continuing to provide the podcasts in the midst of your book writing. Can’t wait!

  10. Tony says

    Regarding “natural calm” how much and how are you guys taking it? Anyone can chime in. Also on the digestive enzymes; start at 1 pill per meal and keep upping the dose until you feel warmth then start toning it down? How long should you be taking it? And the weaning off process? Thanks

  11. Sue says

    Robb, I think you mentioned in the podcast about how hyperinsulinaemia can cause some kind of growth disease on the skin. You were going to mention it but didn’t. Are you talking about psoriasis?

  12. Sue says

    Thanks for answering the vegan athlete question. I just wanted to know what you thought – I’m not thinking of becoming vegan.

  13. Branko says

    More on dog/paleo question… As mentioned by Robb there’s been a comparable movement to paleo diet with the dog and cat diet in recent years. The only real difference is that the pet food should be raw.

    Here is the list of books, web-sites and e-mail discussions on the subject:

    Bigger cities have organized groups that order meat in bulk from local business and farms. Like that bottom line isn’t much more expensive then what you’d pay for kibble. I’m a member of San Francisco Raw Feeders ( and have been feeding my dogs raw paleo diet few years now. Both my dogs are exceptionally healthy, high energy, never sick.


  14. Kevin Burns says

    Why doesn’t Tim Sylvia just fight a lion next. He might have a better chance of winning. Mario is a beast.

  15. Jamie@CFA says

    Robb here is an excerpt from a ost I made on our nutrition blog @ our gym. “When you hear people talk about Okinawans being the longest lived people on the planet and attribute it to their diet they are talking about the traditional Okinawan diet, the staples of this diet were, fish, pork and of course SWEET POTATO’S!!! Rice was not a staple of the okinawan diet until they were invaded by the Japanese and forced to grow rice as payment of taxes.” Okinawans do not eat like this anymore .. in 100 years they have gone from one of the healthiest societies in the world to the most obese prefecture in japan with the highest rate of diabetes… hmm western diet anyone… Also most Okinawans (true okinawans) are pretty small ( I am talking about the pre western colonization ones). Not sure where the data is coming from that they are taller than mainland Japanese. There is really no historical data regarding this, The Chinese/Okinawan mix tend to be taller on average though..

  16. says

    Robb, Andy –
    Lovin’ the podcasts, guys – fantastic information being disseminated (for free!), and an easy to listen to, on-air chemistry between the two of you. Wondering if either of you have run across any studies concerning the leaching of plastics into food from the vacuum-seal bags used in the sous-vide cooking method. Personally, I view the risk as being on par with the Teflon leaching problem — which, in the grand scheme of things is probably fairly insubstantial — yet, I’d rather be able to more accurately define my hesitation to employing this cooking method, something a little more firm to base my somewhat negative sous-vide risk-benefit assessment upon. Any thoughts?

  17. says

    Andy/Robb, solid episode! The sound quality is getting better, but shoddy in some spots.

    And I agree with the health/longevity/performance paradoxes. Nice topic, and well-tackled.

  18. says

    BTW, I’ve been talking a bit on my own blog about the growth effects of milk/dairy and I still have many questions. I’d be game to be a lab rat for you if you want to do a study on Paleo + Dairy.

  19. Lee says

    Another exception to the rule? Edwin Moses, a US 400 meter hurdler won 122 consecutive races between 1977 to 1987, several gold medals and set the fastest time record 4 different times. He was reportedly a vegetarian. Obviously, just a supreme athlete. I think he still holds about 25% of the 100 fastest times. Would have been interesting to see if he could have done better on a paleo diet. I tried vegetarian for almost 2 years. It possibly was the unhealthiest/unhappiest two years in my adult life.

  20. Matt Lentzner says

    Just a note on corn:

    My personal interpretation is that nixtamilized corn is okay, but corn meal is crap and should be avoided. Nixtamilized corn is the traditional mesoamerican process of treating corn with akaline solution that turns the corn into hominy. The hominy is then ground to make corn tortillas and other stuff. This process makes the nutrients bio-available and probably removes the anti-nutrients as well (still need to look into the removal part more).

    Corn meal is just the whole dry kernel ground up into a course flour. Mesoamericans did pretty well on a nixtamlized corn diet while whites eating a corn meal diet ended up with pellagra due to a niacin deficient diet.

    The article in Wikipedia on Nixtramlization explains it all quite well.

  21. Matt Lentzner says


    Can you comment on sugar versus HFCS. Some people say they are basically the same thing. Sugar is 50/50 glucose/fructose while HFCS is 45/55 glucose/fructose. From that perspective they seem pretty similar.

    I have also heard that the big difference is that Sucrose is a real molecule that requires the enzyme sucrase to break down. Conversely, HFCS is a gemish (mixture? first time I heard this word) that requires no enzymatic action to digest. The implication is that HFCS is taken up as glucose and fructose much faster than sucrose can be and shocks the liver and pancreas much harder than an equivalent amount of sucrose.

    Any comments on this would be helpful.

    BTW: really enjoying the podcasts. Looking forward to meeting you in person this Saturday.


  22. Michael says

    I am sure in the first ever episode, Robb mentioned he types at 12 words a minute…on espresso…hence the delay on the book and podcasts being more efficient :p

  23. Ben Wheeler says


    Right now I am just taking one teaspoon of it (natural calm) in the evenings. I would just start there. If you have to hit the washroom right after drinking it you will know your dose is too high…its VERY self limiting that way! I use to take two 250mg tablets of magnesium before, but now I can only handle the one teaspoon (205mg) of it. This stuff seems to absorb MUCH easier than the tablets.

    For the superenzymes-

    These would be useful if you have digestive issues or your going through a Mass Gain and eating a ton of food so you won’t get mistaken as a runner.

  24. Shilpa Gandhi says

    I know some people were hoping that the podcasts would be transcribed, which obviously would be valuable, but would also be time-consuming and difficult to do. While I was listening to the podcast, I made a note of at what timepoint within the podcast each question was brought up. Hope this helps!
    1.Fruit intake (2 minutes 35 seconds)
    2.Degenerative bone disorder (9:09)
    3.Health/longevity vs sport/performance (22:53)
    4.Hypersinsulinemia & growth (31:40)
    5.Mass gain (36:27)
    6.Exhausted (42:10)
    7.Ulcerative colitis (45:15)
    8.Dogs & Paleo diet (54:17)
    9.Butter & cream (57:50)
    10. Constipation (1:04:50)
    11. Vegan Athletes (1:07:09)

  25. DS says

    This is the best podcast yet in terms of sound quality. Thanks for your continuing efforts to improve the quality of the sound.

  26. Mathieu Lalonde says

    Keith Norris,

    I’m a chemist and I was waiting for someone to bring up this issue. I was personally horrified when I first read about “Sous Vide”, which means “under vacuum” in French. Take food, place it into a plastic bag, place the bag under vacuum, seal it, then heat it. I cannot imagine a better way to leach plasticizers into food. Especially with fatty foods. I would love to see someone study this. The phthalates would be trivial to detect by mass spec. Many plasticizers, including phthalates, are endocrine disrupters. I don’t care how good “sous vide” food tastes, I’m not touching it until the plasticizer issue has been studied and/or resolved.

  27. Mathieu Lalonde says

    Andy Deas,

    Regarding sound quality. Everything is great until a few minutes before the end of the podcast where you seem to be getting bored and start to breathe really heavily into the mic. What….were you…..doing exactly……

  28. Mathieu Lalonde says

    Matt Lentzner,

    There is an enzyme in the gut called sucrase that cleaves the glucose–fructose ether linkage of sucrose before it gets absorbed by the villi. The enzyme is very efficient. Both sucrose and HFCS enter the bloodstream as essentially a 1:1 mixture of glucose and fructose. After processing by gut enzymes, there is an insignificant difference in the glucose to fructose ratio obtained from table sugar (sucrose), HFCS, honey, or maple syrup. Mollasses has more glucose than fructose. Agave is greater than 90% fructose and should be avoided. I can’t get into the biochemistry here but it turns out that a little bit of fructose with glucose (i.e. sweet potato) activates glucose metabolism by activating glucokinase (i.e. activating glucose uptake and metabolism). However, too much fructose, provided by sucrose, honey, HFCS, maple syrup, agave, will fill liver glycogen rapidly and shuttle the rest of the sugar toward de novo lipogenesis. I’m assuming a fed state here. The effects would not be the same in a hypocaloric state (where all sources of energy are used for cell metabolism and repair), or a ketogenic state (where higher amounts of fructose are tolerated due to depleted liver glycogen)

  29. Vinnie says


    Thanks for covering my topic! Just to let you know, Ive gotten back to paleo gluten-free, and halfway through the first day, UC symptoms were gone (that fast!). Now after two weeks, skin is clear and my body composition has turned a huge 180! It blows my mind how quickly the benefits come from following such simple nutritional wisdom!

  30. Ben Wheeler says

    Mathieu Lalonde,

    During Robb’s brief leave of absence to finish the greatest book in pseudo-science history, I vote you right some new blogs here!! Obviously, only if you have the time. Your posts are ALWAYS very informative. Maybe a full-blown up-date on your low-carb/ketogenic approach and how this has effected bodycomp and performance. I have read in the comments here about you and Robb talking about it a bit (massive CFT, crushing CF Football WODs) but it would be great to get a full update since you’ve been at it for awhile now.

    I am sure you have plenty of interesting topics to cover! And we would all love to read them!

  31. says


    One quick comment on cats, dogs and paleo. I gave the information re Pottinger’s cats to my future brother in-law and his diabetic cat now requires less insulin and is hopefully of it now. Since Susan has started feeding her 4 cats paleo food and no cat “regular” food (yes, I am marrying a crazy cat lady), they are CRAZY for meat. They now take food, my f-ing grass-fed steaks and bacon, off the counter if we aren’t watching. They never used to touch any food on the counter. I know nothing about nutrition or cats but by just looking at their teeth, it doesn’t seem like grain would be very good for them…

    Super sad that I found out about the hip dysplasia too late. My sister’s German Shepard had to be put down because of her hip issues within the last year. People get a lot of love from their pets, thanks for your help…. But I’m still billing you for my grass-fed steaks. 😉

    Bachelor party late summer, in Yosemite/Tuolomne backcountry, exact dates coming soon.

    Oh yeah, we are just finishing our Look Better (Almost) Naked Challenge today. Holy Hannah some people made a lot of changes! Thank you for posting about about the challenge last Dec.


  32. says


    I’ll gladly weigh in on your spinal degeneration discussion, since I’m not at risk of being fired 😉 Actually, I’m in my second-to-last day at my full-time PT job before I quit that to do Whole9 workshops and individual consulting full-time. (Yay!) It’s terrifying, of course, to go full-bore with that, but Melissa and I are really, REALLY excited about the stuff we’ve got going on.

    I totally agree with you as far as the dietary factors that play into osteoporosis, and we talk about acid-base balance and the concept of bones as “mineral reservoirs” at our workshops. Well said.

    Let me throw my comments out there regarding spinal degenerative conditions, specifically degenerative disc disease (DDD). Since the client in question is an active duty police officer (can I jump on her patrol car?), I’m going to assuming she’s 50 or under, just for the sake of discussion. Given that I don’t have any real info about her, I’m also going to assume that she doesn’t have any history of spinal surgery, spinal trauma, overt instability of the spine, or compressive neurological conditions/symptoms. Lots of people have degenerative changes (often inaccurately lumped under the general term of “arthritis”) in their spines and have no symptoms, but even if she has some spinal pain from degenerative changes of the discs or vertebrae, there’s no reason that she can’t still continue to train for her physical fitness test. As people age (or simply abuse their spines with poor postures and insufficient muscular strength to stabilize their spine under load or at velocity), the discs, which act as “cushions” between the vertebrae, can become drier and more brittle, and can actually become substantially thinner as part of this “drying out” process. This means that there is less space between the vertebrae, and can cause pain in a couple indirect ways (one of which is shifting more of the compressive load to the facet joints between the vertebrae). But for this discussion, let’s mostly talk about what the trainer who sent in the question could/should actually do with this client to help her prepare for her fitness test (and the rest of her life!). As already mentioned, it’s totally okay to work on big, heavy movements with clients like this, but maintaining a neutral spinal position during any of the movements is extra, extra important for them. One of the worst things you can do for a disc (especially one that is already less than bombproof) is to change spinal position under load, i.e. loss of lumbar lordosis at the bottom of a squat, lumbar hyperextension at the lockout of a DL, etc. So pay special attention to the quality of movement, and realize that you may have to dial down the intensity for a while to really dial in the technique. (I wrote about this on our Whole9 site: ) The other thing I’ll comment on is shock absorption strategies, since additional impact on an already compressed and/or irritated disc or facet joint (especially with suboptimal positioning) can really fire things up. I’d look at her footwear and running technique, because the long-stride-and-monster-heel-impact kind of running, especially with poor hip strength or funky foot mechanics, can really transmit impact from the ground up to the back, and that can be distinctly un-fun for your client. So maybe get her working on a POSE-type running pattern with less impact, though I wouldn’t steer most people towards Five Fingers-type footwear just yet. Also, think twice before prescribing high-rep box jumps, depth jumps, double unders, long runs, or other higher impact activities unless the client is pretty damn strong and good at keeping good spinal and lower extremity positioning when doing these things. At least for now, while prepping for her fitness tests, teach her how to maintain midline stabilization (neutral spinal position) with a variety of big, strong movements, and avoid the long, high-rep metcons that in my observation end up degrading into a whole pile of ugly movements in the name of “intensity” (Read: ) Anyway, I hope this was helpful for some of the trainers who have clients with degenerative spinal conditions that aren’t flared up to the point that it limits participation in exercise. Feel free to shoot me an email or drop a comment on any of our Whole9 posts, too.


  33. RatherRipped says

    Our dogs have always been fed veggies as in carrots, broccoli, and similar. They also have unlimited access to apples in season because there is a tree in the back yard. We do not feed them table scraps with the exception of chicken, and other lean meats – not to excess. Apple cores too.

    This diet evolved over time by chance and it seems to make a huge difference in their health. Their dog food does contain sorghm and corn meal which is a disapointment. But otherwise its pretty good food.

  34. Becky says

    Hi Rob,

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts since the beginning, and first I want to say thanks so much for all that you do. I have a question about cortisol, and I’m hoping you can help me out because I’m at the point where I’m not sure what else to do!

    I’ve been doing paleo for about 8 months now, but my body composition (BF%) still isn’t where I want it to be. I feel like I’ve tried everything I can think of – eliminated fruit, under 30g of carbs a day (which is usually cauliflower or broccoli at dinner only), went off birth control pills – but I haven’t seen much difference. I feel like the one thing left that could be a problem is cortisol levels. I do Crossfit workouts about 4 times a week and play indoor soccer 2 times a week. My sleep is definitely less than optimal. Do you think that’s my problem, or is there something I’m missing? These changes have only been within the last month, so do I need to wait longer to see results? Should I just try sleeping longer or are there supplements to take to help lower cortisol levels?

    Thanks so much for any help you can give!

  35. RatherRipped says

    Regarding UC. I had a sudden onset in September, which has not gone away. I train hard at Crossfit and wonder if fatigue not diet is the problem. I know that auto-immune conditions can be stress and fatigue related.

    But, I began the Paleo diet in May/June with phenomenal results, and I am following a very simple program. Compliance was and is quite good, but I do eat a high amount of fruits.

    I wonder if at my age, 56… am I over training. I know that my sleep is disrupted by the CF routine and my recovery is terrible. At 4 days per week maybe I am doing too much? Maybe I need to scale more. I love the lifting and strength aspects of CF, mainly because it makes me look better and it facilitates natural weight loss.

    I would like to hear feedback on this – health longevity performance. Everything is great except for the UC, which represents ill health.

  36. Brandon says

    Can you give your thoughts on stevia. I only use it in my coffee and have used the liquid for over ten years.

  37. David says

    Robb –

    Wow, thanks for pulling my question from the blog (re whey in lieu of cows milk for mass gain) which you already answered and elaborating even more.

    That was super cool, and very good info.

    I just came across goat’s milk for the first time at the supermarket and will give that a try as well!

    Thanks again!

  38. Preston says

    Mat- trying to understand this: so are you just saying that it’s easier to overeat calorically-dense foods containing fructose than it is to overeat starchy tubers? If so, no argument there.

    Or are you saying that in a fed state eating sweet potatoes will still activate glucose metabolism and that there is something different about the sugar in a sweet potato that does not make it get stored as glycogen/fat if we are in a hypercaloric state? If so, please explain/provide evidence. Thanks.

    Do you agree that in an isocaloric/hypocaloric state, if we are eating within our energy requirements, that eating HFCS, sugar, honey, agave, etc. will not be stored as glycogen/fat and will be used for cell metabolism and repair? This seems to imply that one could stay lean if he/she eats HFCS and the rest in moderation within caloric requirements. Something critics of fructose alarmism regularly bring up. Interested in your take on this because I’ve seen others label fructose as a hepatotoxin to be avoided/minimized across the board but I see no evidence for being this extreme if fructose is eaten in moderation. Thanks.

  39. Preston says

    Rob- the Okinawan vs. Japanese diet is really interesting. Does anyone have any solid papers on this you can link us to? The only paper I found so far is here:

    It is an epidemiological study looking at the possible benefits of calorie restriction on longevity for the Okinawans. I find there are so many confounding variables in determining what is enabling Okinawan longevity, that it is problematic to claim that eating less rice/grains and more sweet potatotes is responsible or even relevant. If you look at the paper, the Okinawans studied get most of their protein from soy and legumes and very, very little from fish, pork, eggs, or dairy. Furthermore, the pork is boiled to remove most of the fat before eating. So one could just as easily state that eating less meat/animal products and getting most of their protein from soy and calories from starch is the key to their longevity.

    I find that when you ‘construct a model and then go look for data to support it’ you set yourself up for confirmation bias where you will find what you looking for because you are looking for it. I prefer the ‘construct a model and then look for data to DESTROY it’ method.

    Enjoying the podcasts thanks!

  40. Darren says

    ANOTHER sick podcast. Yeah, with Ben re: the guest blog posts. Mat L. , need more from you big guy! Quick question re: one of my “vices”. Y’all covered off on beer, what about dark chocolate? I know we are cool with it in moderation. But what about as a fat source EVERY DAY ( while still staying within my caloric/fat intake goals). I eat an organic 85% cocoa brand. Could seriously eat it every day. Have had it for breakfast often. Per 25g serving is 15.5g Fat, 3.9 carb, 2.4 Prot. Feel free to podcast this/ berate me for not searching archives.

  41. Matt says

    While doing a very low carb diet, at what point should I be concerned with consuming too much protein (and being kicked out of ketosis via gluconeogenesis)? For example, today I had a meal consisting of roughly 80 grams of protein (give or take) and an equal amount of calories from fat (no carbs). I felt a little crappy afterwards (almost like I had just eaten a massive bowl of fruit). Usually I feel great after a protein/fat meal. I suspect that I really overdid the protein. Do you have any ideas regarding how much protein is too much (when trying to stay in ketosis)? Also, what are your thoughts on the reasonable upper limits of protein intake/day (I know the recommendation is 1gram/lb of bm, but would 2g/lb be too much)? If it helps at all, I’m an 18 year old male. 5’8″ 135ish. Thanks
    P.S. LOVE the podcasts

    • says

      If the goal is to STAY in ketosis one must be moderate with protein, high with fat…unless we are fasting, but that is a whole other discussion. I’d keep the protein feedings in the 30-50g range, with similar or higher fat intakes. This should all but ensure ketosis. We can certainly look closer at this later.

  42. Michael says

    Preston: Just my n=1 2c.
    Fructose in any form screws me over regardless whether I am in iso/hypo/hyper caloric even when everything else is totally dialled in.

  43. Patrick says

    Hello. Thanks for the crazy amount of good info on the site and the podcast, it’s made my morning commutes far more enjoyable! I just wanted to leave some quick stuff on the dog food question. A couple years ago I actually did a fair amount of internet research/talking with as many people as I knew regarding the whole canine diet. I’m obviously no expert, but as was said in the podcast, dogs have historically been fed pretty bad stuff, usually the leftovers/garbage from the human food industry. If you read the back of most dog foods (even the ones the vet recommends like Science Diet), you’ll see at the top of the ingredients list stuff like corn meal and other cheap fillers. So, not only are they low quaility, but they really are detrimental to canine health. Corn seems to be particularly nasty for them from what I’ve found.

    This is an awesome website that actually rates and reviews virtually every dog food you can think of on a scale of 1 to 6. It’s fairly straightforward in that it simply analyzes the quality/amounts of the ingredients. Not too surprisingly, grain free options like Innova Evo (also mentioned in the podcast) rate among the highest. Hope this is helpful!

  44. Mathieu Lalonde says


    No and No. That is not what I’m saying. It all depends on the body’s glycogen stores, both in the muscles and in the liver. Sweet potatoes are mostly starch (glucose) with a little sucrose (glucose + fructose) and a little free fructose and glucose. If you eat a sweet potato, the glucose will serve as fuel for your body’s cells. Any cell in the body can use glucose for fuel. The unused glucose will make its way to the liver. On the other hand, fructose can only be processed by cells in liver. A phosphate group is attached to either glucose or fructose when they enter the liver. This prevents the molecules from leaving the liver so they can be processed (think of the phosphate group as a leash). What is interesting is that fructose activates glucokinase, the enzyme that phosphorylates glucose. As a result, a little bit of fructose increases liver uptake and metabolism of glucose. This is important because the activity of glucokinase is much lower than that of fructokinase. This means that in the presence of higher blood fructose concentrations, the liver will preferentially metabolise fructose over glucose. The fructose will be used to replenish liver glycogen. Once that is full, all of the fructose and glucose will be directed toward the mitochondria where the Krebs cycle will generate energy for the liver cells. If the Krebs cycle is overwhelmed, one of the intermediates in the cycle called citrate will exit and will be used for denovo lipogenesis (new fat creation). However, de novo lipogenesis is nothing to be worried about if it occurs only to a small extent or if your glycogen stores are low and your sugar consumption is adequate (at which point the glucose and fructose will probably not make it to de novo lipogensis).
    There is nothing different about the sugar in a sweet potato. What is different is the ratio of sugars in the sweet potato (a whole lot more glucose than fructose). When you regularly or chronically consume things like sugar, maple syrup, honey, HFCS, agave, etc… within the context of a diet that is not necessarily calorically restricted, the fructose load becomes a problem because it gets converted to triglycerides and it also deactivates IRS-1 by phosphorylating at a serine residue. When IRS-1 is phosphorylated at a tyrosine residue, which is promoted by insulin, IRS-1 prepares the liver cells for glucose metabolism and de novo lipogenesis. However, fructose does not stimulate insulin and serine phosphorylated IRS-1 is inactive (does not prepare for glucose metabolism). This causes insulin resistance.
    In the end, stick to starchy tubers, bulbs and roots, minimize fruit (we have selected for fruits that have increasingly higher concentrations of sucrose) and forget the sweet stuff like sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave and HFCS. Can you tolerate a little bit of the stuff on a ketogenic diet without doing too much damage? yes. But a little bit is hard to come by. Most people go way off the band wagon. Stick to real food, the fiber content will slow down the absorption of the sugars.
    Fructose is a hepatoxin when consumed chronically in the long term. Some folks cite studies that have been funded by fructose producers to support the notion that upwards of 50 to 60 grams of fructose can be safely consumed on a daily basis. I think the study is biased, not just because of the funding, but because all of the studies culled in order to make that claim are focussing on the acute, short term effects of fructose.

  45. Warren says

    Just saying thanks for taking my question. And for these podcasts. The concept of food quality vs macronutrient ratio is taking me a while to adjust to. (As someone who arived here via low-carb dieting) I have banished the stevia to the back of my spice shelf and I’m doing Whole9’s challenge after their great workshop last Sat in philly.(dairy is out) Your info concerning degenerative spine condtions spoke to me. I have had two ruptured disks and have been leary of taking on an intense fitness routine. Actually spoke to Dallas about this. Sorry Andy for my poorly phrased question making you toung-tied: ) and yes “Thrashin”.

  46. Preston says

    Robb- What data was I cherry picking in my comment?? I’m confused.
    Ironic as I pointed out you seem to be cherry picking supportive data in citing Okinawans traditional diet when many other factors in their diet that do not gel with the paleo approach could be providing their health benefits.

    Michael-my n=1 2 cents: fructose in any form does NOT screw me over when I am in a iso/hypocaloric state. So the personal anecdote thing is moot.

    Mat- you said: “When you regularly or chronically consume things like sugar, maple syrup, honey, HFCS, agave, etc… within the context of a diet that is not necessarily calorically restricted, the fructose load becomes a problem…”
    So you basically agreed with my comment that excessive fructose can certainly be a problem. I am familiar with the details of fructose and glucose metabolism and with the sugar composition of a sweet potato. Sorry if I misinterpreted your original comment- thanks for clarifying.

    On the topic of eating fructose in moderation you said:
    “Can you tolerate a little bit of the stuff on a ketogenic diet without doing too much damage? yes. But a little bit is hard to come by. Most people go way off the band wagon. Stick to real food, the fiber content will slow down the absorption of the sugars.
    Fructose is a hepatoxin when consumed chronically in the long term”

    So again you agree with me that fructose in moderation within one’s energy needs will not be harmful. I do agree with you that many overweight people have problems limiting their fructose intake especially when eating processed junk foods. I think every sane person would advise folks to stick to real food most of the time- this is obvious.
    I would be super interested to read some clinical studies connecting moderate long-term fructose consumption with liver toxicity. I may just not be aware of this- thanks.

    You wind up with: “Some folks cite studies that have been funded by fructose producers to support the notion that upwards of 50 to 60 grams of fructose can be safely consumed on a daily basis. I think the study is biased, not just because of the funding, but because all of the studies culled in order to make that claim are focusing on the acute, short term effects of fructose.”

    These ‘some folks’ are not me so this is a strawman if it was implying that this is where I’m coming from. I never cited any of these studies and I’m not in bed with fructose producers. I do have a lot of girls wanting to hump my pants off, but they probably aren’t reading my geeky comments on a ‘paleo’ blog. at least i hope they aren’t or that situation may change soon :)

    Let me be clear- I am not trying to attack or argue with either of you personally! I have been following Robb’s stuff for several years, subscribed to pmenu, and have learned from a lot of Mat’s contributions as well. I really appreciate the work you put into this stuff and hope it continues. I took it to heart when Robb said on a podcast that he hopes this does not become a goose-stepping religion. And I HAVE found some holes in the paleo approach when it becomes too dogmatic or hangs it hat on claims that cannot be verified. The main point of my comment was to be clear that there is a difference between saying fructose=evil vs. recommending people limit/avoid sugary processed foods. Though many people struggle with eating it moderation, there are many others who stay lean and healthy and are able to do just that.

    Not here to piss anyone off and if this isn’t the place to sound out this stuff let me know and I’ll clam up :) Cheers.

  47. Mathieu Lalonde says

    A few things to add to my previous comment. Phosphorylated fructose (fructose-1-phosphate) stimulates an enzyme called C-jun Kinase-1 (Jnk-1 for short). Jnk-1 triggers inflammation as well as phosphorylation of IRS-1 at a serine residue. Interestingly, Acyl-CoA that is part of de novo lipogenesis in the cytosol of the liver cell can also stimulate Jnk-1.
    When I say that someone on a ketogenic diet can tolerate more fructose, I’m talking about a higher fructose to glucose ratio and not more carbs. Keep in mind that the fructose load my take you out of ketosis for a while. Let’s look at an example: Someone is consuming 2000 Cal/day (most of us consume more than this) and 60% of those calories are carbohydrate. Just what the authorities recommend. That means that 1200 calories are coming from carbs. Assuming that we are getting 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, that means 300 grams of carbs per day. Now the liver can hold, on average, about 400 calories of glycogen. Let’s assume the liver glycogen is half full. That leaves 200 calories. If 50g of those 300g of carbs are fructose (that means fructose is 16.6% of total carbs), then liver glycogen is full and any glucose that is not consumed by the cells of the body will be turned into fat and may lead to metabolic syndrome. On the other hand, if someone is on a ketogenic diet and consuming < 50g of carbohydrate per day on a 2000 calorie diet, then the percentage of fructose can be much higher without doing any damage. Let's say the percentage of fructose is 50% (this would mean eating mostly sugar, HFCS, honey, or maple syrup) anf the total carbs are 50g. That amounts to 25g of fructose and is much less problematic. Liver glycogen will be replenished by the fructose, the body will use the small amount of glucose for it's needs and there will be barely anything, probably nothing, left for de novo lipogensis. The body will probably still need to make glucose from glucogenic amino acids and glycerol via gluconeogenesis. So a higher fructose to glucose ratio is much less of a problem when you are on a ketogenic diet. The kitavans seem to confirm that you can pull of a high carbohydrate diet (69% of calories), as long as the fructose load is low (sweet potatoes and some wild fruit) and that neolithic foods (omega-6 rich grains and legumes, gluten, lectins, pytates) are absent.

  48. Nick Cruz says

    I started taking Vit D in the AM (5000 iu) but when I went to go buy Magnesium I was left a bit daunted by all the choices out there. Which type of Magnesium should I be taking to supplement the D? Is the 5000 iu of the D sufficient? I am in SoCal, but I am indoors all day except for the weekends when I play soccer. How much of the magnesium should be taken with the D. And most importantly, did you get Rad in the mail yet?

    Also, in regards to feeling exhausted. I started feeling that way a few weeks ago after being 90-95% strict in paleo for over a month. I also started leaning WAY out, more than I wanted to in fact. I dropped down to about 180@ 6’2″. I thought I was eating plenty, but when I calculated the protein numbers out I found I was pretty deficient (170 grams / day) I have since upped it to 200grams / day approx and I feel MUCH better when I get a good nights sleep. Weight is coming back on too, back up to 187!

    Oh, one more thing, if I may. In regards to muscle soreness and cramping, is there anything in the diet that I should make sure I am getting enough of to prevent muscles from cramping up? I went snowboarding over the weekend and my quad locked up on me towards the end of the day. It normally doesnt do that.



  49. Wanita says

    Awesome podcast! My favorite, of course! You’re obviously beyond 6 listeners now.
    I have a personal discovery more than a question about chocolate cravings seeing that just came up above and it was in a previous podcast re: Rachel’s chocolate cravings especially with period.
    I noticed my chocolate cravings went away for longer than a month after I switched from a cal-mag-zinc supplement to a calcium with D, separate zinc and no magnesium.
    Quite contrary to the belief that chocolate cravings are a magnesium deficiency. A rare burger or steak does always work better than chocolate can.
    I hope Chico has more sun now and you’re feeling less like doing a Kurt Cobain. A Rolling Stone article I read about Kurt Cobain was somewhat telling to me once I learned about gluten after and of course gave it the boot. Kurt Cobain had constant severe stomach pain no doctor could put a diagnosis to and no U.S. pain med could kill. He found one that worked in China but it couldn’t be imported into the U.S. Heroin worked. I wouldn’t be surprised at all that gluten was involved considering his northern European ancestry. It was only 1950 that gluten grains were found to be the cause of celiac disease. Hypochondria was the diagnosis 20 years ago and it still can be.

  50. Peter says


    On your question regarding the native japanese diet. I lived in Japan for a number of years and researched many of the “real” native diets. I am baffled how these researches in this study and many other studies actually got their information from as it is far from the truth.

    It may also be worthy to note that the Japanese have some of the highest cancer and CHD rates per head of capita. Why, because of the change in their diets towards more of what is mentioned in the study that you quoted. The people that are referenced to have lived the longest was recorded initially some 20 years ago, which would mean that more than half of their lives would have been influenced by the west. Soy (fermented only) is used minimally if at all in the true native diet. Some of the islands I visited actually never ate soy in their lives and these people were in their 80’s.

    As far as rice is concerned, this is a modern trend. You need to remember Tokyo is THE most expensive city to live in the world (Hong Kong a close second), rice is cheap, animal protein is expensive. As stated earlier their cancer rates are high, and actually currently could be even higher than the US.

  51. BenJ says

    My wife and I (both paleo) were cracking up this evening listening to the podcast in the car at your anti-stevia mojito description — guilty as charged. We make ’em exactly as described — with stevia — and they’re delicious!

  52. Bill Strahan says

    Thanks, Robb, for the unreal expectations.

    I’ve been super-strict paleo for almost weeks now, starting shortly after attending your talk in Chico. And for the last 5 weeks, every time I repeated a workout I PR’d. EVERY TIME!

    Fran down from 6:12 to 4:58. Grace down from 3:55 to 3:32 then 3:09. A 31 pound increase in OHS from 174 to 205 (just over bodyweight, a 2 year goal!). Added a few inches to my box jump. Increased my dead hang pullups. Etc. etc.

    I track my stuff pretty closely and when I say every time, I’m being 100% accurate.

    Then yesterday, I tried for a bench press PR. I know, why bother, but it was the thing for Friday. So I only TIED my previous PR. Sure, I weighed 15 pounds more when I set that, but only a TIE.

    Then I ran a mile and once again I only tied my previous PR. Talk about frustration, sheesh!

    When I can only set PRs consistently every trip to the gym for 5 weeks and then suddenly have a day without a PR, that’s gotta be pseudo-science. Sorry to break it to you.

    I’m going to spend some time with my therapist to make sure I can handle another day like that. I now have to accept that It may happen periodically.


  53. D says

    Love the podcast. Love the paleo dog cat stuff. Any more info would be great. Also, look forward to the supplement podcast!

  54. Preston says

    Robb- I was referring to your earlier comment above of:
    Mat has been talking about this a ton…the need to not go cherry-picking supportive data. too true.”
    My bad if I misinterpreted! I realize now you may have been agreeing with my initial comment about Okinawans. I think I was being sensitive the other day- too much fruit :)

    Mat- It seems I completely agree with you now that you have clarified. I guess I just find your two examples above to both be on the extreme end of things. I certainly don’t subscribe to the view of any ‘expert’ who thinks everyone should get 60% of their calories from carbohydrates and I also don’t think everyone should eat a ketogenic diet comprised of <50g/day of carbohydrate. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. But I DO think there is a middle ground in which the kind of moderate fructose intake that you mentioned in a diet that is otherwise not filling glycogen stores, can work just fine and keep someone lean and healthy. Great further elucidation of the metabolic machinery- I'd be into attending a seminar if you make it down to socal someday. I'm always up to learn more or hear other perspectives.

    Peter- yes, I'm with you on the Japanese diet and you make good points. The comparison with the Okinawans is interesting and there is definitely less grain/rice consumption by them in comparison to the Japanese. I just found it interesting that there was way less animal protein consumption and more soy consumption in the Okinawans who lived longer than their Japanese counterparts. The dietary intake they reported in the study was from 1949/1950 when the participants were about 30 years old. I realize that 1949 is still not REALLY the traditional diet we'd like to know about but I assume it's closer than what they are eating today.
    Given all of that, the paper I linked to is still just an epidemiological study (not ideal). But I haven't found any metabolic ward studies or any solid papers on exactly what the traditional diets were and most of the information published is from conjecture, folklore, and anecdote. I also think things that are hard to quantify/study like happiness, social connections, sexual activity, reduced stress, meaningful traditions, are all confounding variables that could affect health/longevity.

    People like Alan Aragon and Lyle McDonald have been challenging some of the claims about 'ancestral diets' and I had to admit they had some good points about cherry picking and folklore on some of the paleo 'evidence'. Those guys are not anti-paleo, they are anti-paleocult, and after talking to Alan about it, I understood where he was coming from.

    Good stuff guys, thanks for responding. Time to get off my computer and stop being so neolithic. doh

    • says

      Yep, I was agreeing with you!

      Funny thing about the Lyle camp: I do not see him working with anyone with autoimmune problems, fertility issues or a host of other ills. “Anti-Paleo-cult”? I’m stumped how “Try it for 30 days and see how it works for you” qualifies as a cult, but if it makes those guys feel more solid in their position, fine with me. I do not really see these guys challenging claims so much as being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. If you have a better model, throw it out there, let’s start tinkering with it.

  55. says

    Whey protein and constipation.
    After being dairy free (apart from a drop of cream in coffee) I had a whey protein shake the other day. After months of no constipation due to being strict paleo – I bunged up completely the next day.
    Interesting experiment and not one I’ll try again.

  56. John says

    I am wondering how electrolytes fit into the paleo diet, particularly for days that last 1-2 hours. I know high levels of sodium are not something are ancestors would have been into, but given the length of some of my training days, I feel electrolytes might be rather beneficial. Any thoughts as to which ones would work best?

    I think Mark Twight mentioned Endurolytes.
    However, they contain rice flour which makes me hesitant. Any thoughts?

  57. John says

    Thanks for the reply. Any ideas as to keep it as close to paleo parameters as possible? Would extra sodium intake be more beneficial than an electrolyte powder with rice flour? What sort of long term effects might either invoke?

  58. Dan says

    Hi Robb,

    You mentioned doing some LSD/work capacity type workouts. Can you please give me some more guidelines or workout suggestions besides what you already said in the podcast? I’m looking to do something at home that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.


  59. says

    Re auto-immune and fertility issues.

    I wish I’d discovered Paleo 15 years ago! Yes the Zone diet improved my lot by 80%, but being fertile never happened. I am left wondering what if I had gone Paleo while trying to get pregnant? Especially considering there was no obvious cause and I have a history of auto-immune issues.

    The upside is that 2 gorgeous Russian orphans have a family life with us, and are not doomed to the misery of a Russian orphanage, kicked out to a life on the streets at 16.

  60. says


    This podcast is awesome. I do have one criticism. You say “I do not know” too much. I totally understand that when you say this, you do not know, because no one knows. The systems are too complex and the data availabile contradicts itself. When you say this you are showing your humility, which is a rare thing today. But, please say “no one really knows”, instead.

    Keep up the good work.


  61. Chad Newby says

    Robb & Andy, One of the original 6 listeners here… Thanks for all the info. love the podcast. Just wanted to throw out a shameless plug for Blue Buffalo brand dog food and Wellness treats, gluten free all natural and you can pronounce all the ingredients, and thanks for the Carlson’s fish oil suggestion. I’m ordering the orange in a few minutes.

  62. says

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually suppose this web site wants far more consideration. I’ll probably be once more to read rather more, thanks for that info.

  63. Kate Irwin says

    FYI…this may not have been the case when this episode first came out, but PetSmart now offers two grain free, gluten free brands of dog food. Blue Wilderness and Nature’s Recipe Grain Free. The Blue Wilderness also comes in a variety for cats.

    Just to let you know!


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