‘RD’elusion – Nutrition Pro Questioning Paleo…

73 Comments

As a Registered Dietitian (RD) that is openly paleo and advocates a paleo lifestyle in practice, I often get inquiries from other RD’s questioning the efficacy, safety, recommendations and/or overall idea of paleo.  I recently received an email from one such RD and am going to take this opportunity to address the question and concerns presented.  Here is the note that I received in its entirety: 

Hi Amy,

I read some of your articles and found them to be helpful.  I still have some questions that maybe you might be able to answer.  “Avid Paleos” that I overhear sometimes will say that your body has to shift from using glucose as energy to using ketones as energy; however, how could they be in ketosis while consuming plenty of CHO from fruit, etc?  Is this just misinformation on their part?

Also, one person in particular said that “someone told her” that she must eat copious amounts of CHOs of any kind from morning to noon one day per week to prevent “thyroid burn-out,” which I thought was absurd.  Any insight?

What is the reasoning behind restricting dairy, or natural whole grains (oats, barley?) for that matter?  While I commend many aspects of Paleo, I just cannot see the destruction caused by obtaining calcium from low-fat or fat-free milk, for example.  I’d like a more in-depth explanation as to the physiological implications of consuming these foods as it relates to Paleo.  I also see many Paleo-followers having to consume tons of artificial supplemental nutrition cocktails from GNC in order to meet their nutrient needs, which seems to violate the very principles on which Paleo stands…?

These are the details I’m getting stuck on, and I don’t have any evidence to dispute or confirm these seemingly crazy claims.  I’ve attempted to do my own research, but I have come up with very little.  I’m desperate for more information than that of “layman’s advice” I can get from random Paleo-backing sites.  Evidence-based information would be SO VERY appreciated!  Please help me understand so I can better serve my patients!  Thanks!

Okay, let’s break this down one paragraph at a time –

“Avid Paleos” that I overhear sometimes will say that your body has to shift from using glucose as energy to using ketones as energy; however, how could they be in ketosis while consuming plenty of CHO from fruit, etc?  Is this just misinformation on their part?

This is largely misinformation.  It is true that if dietary carbohydrate is restricted to <10% of caloric intake (usually <30 grams/day) and protein levels are kept moderate; the body will ‘shift’ into ketosis.  However, this may take anywhere from 3-7 days of very low carbohydrate eating to occur.  If the individual is getting higher amounts of carbohydrate via fruit and vegetable sources, entering a ketotic state is not likely.  Often paleo is viewed as a low-carb diet, and while it can be; that is not necessarily always the case.  Not all paleo followers are running on ketones!  In fact, the paleo lifestyle may incorporate starchy vegetable based carbohydrate in the form of sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, and other roots and tubers in order to meet performance and energy needs in certain cases (athletes, lean individuals, etc.).

Also, one person in particular said that “someone told her” that she must eat copious amounts of CHOs of any kind from morning to noon one day per week to prevent “thyroid burn-out,” which I thought was absurd.  Any insight?

Again, this is a case of misinformation – there is quite a bit of it out there and I would encourage you to do some homework before believing what these individuals tell you.  The idea that anyone needs to – or should – eat copious amounts of ANYTHING is absurd!  I would question this individual’s reasoning and dig deeper into her current health/thyroid status and her diet.  If she has been adhering to a very low carbohydrate, calorie restricted diet and/or has been in ketosis for a long period of time it may be more beneficial to remove herself from that state.  And, in a sensible manner incorporate reasonable (not ‘copious’) amounts of plant based “safe starch” carbohydrates.

What is the reasoning behind restricting dairy, or natural whole grains (oats, barley?) for that matter?  While I commend many aspects of Paleo, I just cannot see the destruction caused by obtaining calcium from low-fat or fat-free milk, for example.  I’d like a more in-depth explanation as to the physiological implications of consuming these foods as it relates to Paleo.  I also see many Paleo-followers having to consume tons of artificial supplemental nutrition cocktails from GNC in order to meet their nutrient needs, which seems to violate the very principles on which Paleo stands…?

First, I would like to recommend that you pick up copies of both The Paleo Solution and The Paleo Diet; the reasoning behind paleo recommendations are fully explained AND referenced in both of these.  Additionally, even if you are not sold on “paleo principles”; as a nutrition and health professional I would highly recommend that you learni more about styles of eating other than the traditional USDA Food Plate method.  It is our duty, as educators and practitioners, to provide our clients and patients with information on all types of diets and diet practices.  I read MANY non-paleo research articles, books, and blog posts so that I am able to explain both the pros and cons of ALL eating styles.  You may find this extremely beneficial in the advancement of your career and your success with clients.  To address your questions, I will explain things in simple terms and if you would like a deeper explanation and scientific references the books that I have recommended are great resources as is this handy website.

The foods that are not part of a paleo lifestyle; grains, legumes, soy, dairy, etc, all contain proteins and/or anti-nutrients that our bodies were not designed to handle.  Grains contain large protein molecules called ‘lectins’.  The digestive system doesn’t have the ‘equipment’ necessary to breakdown lectins, which means, they just hang around in the gut.  These ‘loose canons’ have the ability to bind to certain gut receptors and then act as ‘keys’ unlocking a door that lets them out into our bodies.  Unfortunately, lectins were ‘born in a barn’ – not only do they not close the door as they leave, but they also damage the gut on the way out.  This is how the gut gets ‘leaky’ and it doesn’t end there.  Since the lectins are not part of the ‘normal’ environment, the body doesn’t recognize them and the immune system, standing on guard, initiates an attack on the strangers creating antibodies against them.  The antibodies made have a striking resemblance to other proteins normally found in our systems.  This leads to an autoimmune response (the body attacking itself).  The story is similar for legumes and dairy both of which also contain proteins, anti-nutrients and protease inhibitors that irritate the gut in much the same way as lectins.  While many may feel exempt from the whole process, claiming that they feel fine – this may not necessarily be the case.  While some may be more sensitive to these foods than others, it is likely that removing them will have positive effects across the board.

You specifically mention low-fat and fat free dairy.  These are particularly conspicuous as one of the most beneficial components in dairy is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).  CLA has been found beneficial in the prevention of cancer, CVD, hypertension, elevated blood lipids, weight loss, osteoporosis, inflammation, insulin resistance, and immunity.  The CLA in dairy is housed in its fat component.  When the fat is removed, as is the case in low fat and fat free dairy products, you are basically left with insulin spiking sugar (lactose), along with a bit of protein and calcium.  Remember that milk is “fortified” with Vitamins A and D – they aren’t naturally there.  To address the calcium issue, it is well known that dairy is not the only source for this mineral.  In fact, some of the best sources of calcium are sardines, trout, salmon, etc, and these protein rich sea creatures also contain long chain omega 3 (DHA) fatty acids, and a plethora of other nutrients.   Additionally; chard, kale, broccoli, spinach and many other vegetables are sources of the mineral too and are also rich in many other nutrients.

As far as the need to “consume tons of artificial supplemental nutrition”; if the individual is truly following a paleo protocol this should be completely unnecessary.  In fact, this idea is exactly the opposite of what is recommended.  While supplements such as fish oil and vitamin D do make good additions, if the individual is healthy and eating solid, high quality fare there is little need for much else in the way of supplements.  I challenge you to say the same when considering the SAD diet.

I hope that I have answered your questions and I highly encourage you to continue researching on your own.  The books mentioned are a great place to begin – and if you’re up for a life changing experience; I challenge you to give it shot for yourself.  I wasn’t a believer from the word ‘go’, but I did the research, tried it and haven’t looked back since.

 

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  1. Dan
    January 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

    And that right there is the reason the education system needs an overhaul. How can people like this be giving advice to others….

    “What is the reasoning behind restricting dairy, or natural whole grains (oats, barley?) for that matter? While I commend many aspects of Paleo, I just cannot see the destruction caused by obtaining calcium from low-fat or fat-free milk, for example. I’d like a more in-depth explanation as to the physiological implications of consuming these foods as it relates to Paleo. I also see many Paleo-followers having to consume tons of artificial supplemental nutrition cocktails from GNC in order to meet their nutrient needs, which seems to violate the very principles on which Paleo stands…?”

    So so so so so so so so so so so so so so much wrong with that paragraph, I commend you Amy on your patience. I liken it to becoming ordained by the catholic church only to turn around and say God doesnt exist….uphill fights much?

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 5:36 am

      It is uphill right now. There is so much mis-education about the paleo lifestyle and it is not what is taught in college. With some smart teaching we can bring this crowd around though – I’ll keep fighting!!! :)

      • Dan
        January 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

        I should add however, in Australia, a Naturopath friend of a friend (I would never have such friends – witch doctors are more my thing) has discovered paleo and taken it up for a trial. Your right, its slowly becoming more on the radar.

        • Amy Kubal
          January 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

          We’ll get there!!!

    • Lydiamsrd
      July 6, 2013 at 6:07 am

      No need to hate on dietitians. They are taught to be skeptical of research that does not support what they are taught in basic nutrition. Also, nutrition is an evolving science and we learn new things all the time. What is being taught now is different that what I was taught 20 yrs ago. We may discover in another 5 years that paleo is the way to go as a nation, but if that is so,the government agencies will have to go against itself. uSDA spends a lot of money on subsidies to grain producers.

      RDs spend 4 years in undergrad and another in an internship to prepare for an exam to be an RD, many have advanced degrees. Dietitians are also taught about management of disease states, like someone on dialysis or end stage liver disease, or writing TPN orders for those unable to use the alimentary tract. There is more to it than paleo vs. my plate.

      • Robb Wolf
        July 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        If the RD’s got things correct out of the hate we’d have less need for dialysis…

      • Robb Wolf
        July 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm

        And if we started with evolution!!! That’d be a big help.

  2. Jeff Rampino
    January 11, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Amy,

    It seems like we are reaching main stream acceptance. This RD’s line of questioning was well thought out and raised some legitimate concerns considering that she didn’t have all the information. What really excited me was her overall tone was ” I think Paleo is a good thing can you help support this ” instead off treating it like a fad diet. Your response elevated the intelligence of the overall exchange. Kudos to you and the RD !

    Jeff Rampino

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 5:33 am

      Thanks Jeff! We’re getting there – small changes and as more health professionals start looking at this the acceptance level can only grow!! :)

  3. Derek
    January 11, 2012 at 5:34 am

    Awesome write up. Thanks! I’m definitely not a nutritionist, or an expert or anything else. But I sure know that I get a lot of questions from friends and co-workers. I think this is a wonderful piece I can link to people to explain somethings. These are a lot of the same questions I get. Like “oh you only eat whole wheat bread.” . . . Their response is kind of shock when I say, nope, not even that! haha. Thanks for all the work you and everyone around you put forth. And keeping an open mind! You’re changing the world a little bit at a time.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 5:54 am

      Thanks Derek! Let’s all keep educating – there’s no denying the research and the results!! We’re changing lives!!

  4. rick hammond
    January 11, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Hi Amy, the first question sounds to me like the “avid Paleos” are talking about the Leptin reset protocol in which case, switching their metabolism from sugar-burning to fat-burning makes perfect sense to me since the Leptin reset IS a ketogenic Paleo diet.

    This is used for patients with 30 lbs or more of stubborn belly fat which is a strong indicator they are Leptin resistant. To confirm this of course check HS-CRP and compare T3 from a thyroid panel with reverse T3 (patient must ask for this extra) and see if rT3 is elevated. Another way to confirm LR is with a salivary Cortisol assay, it will be elevated as well.

    I know you and Robb talk very often about Insulin resistance but my understanding is that LR always comes first and this reset diet is very popular among the avid Paleos (those looking for optimal health and performance) to restore Leptin sensitivity, reset their hormonal status and head off pre-diabetic IR.

    Chef Rick

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

      Thanks for the feedback Rick and you may be right on – but there is also A LOT of misinformation out there and if the individual doesn’t know why he/she is doing something and can’t explain it, it’s highly likely that lack of education is to blame!

  5. Jules
    January 11, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Thanks for sharing this; it will definitely come in handy!

  6. Karin
    January 11, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I have to say that it doesn’t sound like the original letter author has any idea how to do research!!!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I’m sure the author ‘knows how’, but just hasn’t taken the time!

      • Nichole
        January 12, 2012 at 4:08 am

        That’s what I was thinking… How could you research paleo and not know why we don’t eat grains :). As I was reading her e-mail to you I though, read Robb’s book, I thought it was very nice of you to explain the lectins bit. E-mails like this must be frustrating because of so much missinformation, at the same time I’m glad you get them. I believe most people are going to need to be lead by a hand through the science of Paleo because it differs so much from what we are taught and what was stuffed in our faces our whole life. When I first started paleo (almost a year ago) I cried for days because I couldn’t have potato chips and artisan breads, now I have no desire because for the first time in my life I’m healthy. I’m so glad we have you on our side.

  7. mike karmire
    January 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

    It’s good that you kept your responses to the doctor short and sweet. Longer ones tend to drive people away from learning more about the Paleo life style. Most people out there, who are wanting to make a change, are not the so called ‘Nutrition Geeks’ like a lot of us who follow Rob’s teachings. Keeping it simple makes the above letter and responses very usuable for people who want to provide their relatives and friends with basic information.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Yep, gotta love the K.I.S.S principle!! ;)

  8. Mel
    January 11, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Amy,

    I commend your thoughtful, rational response to this nutritionist. I was glad to see that this person was openly seeking objective data and advice from another qualified professional. I hope this person takes your advice and continues their own exploration and education into Paleo principles and can hopefully help their clients make better choices for long-term health!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

      Thank you Mel!

  9. Mark B
    January 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Amy,

    Great responses to some very common questions/concerns that I hear from my friends (other than that GNC supplement one) who are looking to get healthier. Posts like this one are part of the reason that at the end of our conversations, they’re left nodding their heads rather than shaking them.

    I’m curious what your take is on chelated Magnesium supplements? Even my doctor, who is slowly “seeing the light” agrees that vitamin D and Mg are the two most important supplements that people should take for heart health.

    Thanks

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Mark! As far as the supplements – yep Vitamin D and magnesium are both great! And I am very happy to hear that your doc is coming around!!!

  10. kberg
    January 11, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Has anyone in the Paleo community come up with a “Paleo My Plate” like the one the USDA uses? My son brought home all the “My Plate” information from school and I had to throw it out and re-teach what he learned at school. I wish they had an opt out for nutrition classes like they do for sex ed.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:27 am

      There are a few out there – here’s my favorite: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/6125536089/hey-myplate-this-is-my-plate-by-popular

      • Nance
        January 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm

        I love this plate too! When I showed it to others, though, I got kick-back protests that “grains are plants so this is misleading.”

        I didn’t say so, but I thought if you need to be told that the plate isn’t for you yet anyhow. :-))

        • Amy Kubal
          January 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm

          Awesome Nance! I completely agree – some people just aren’t ready to ‘step up to the paleo plate’. Hopefully, we can get them to come around!

        • Joy
          January 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

          Poison Ivy’s also a plant. Doesn’t belong on my plate! :-)

        • deb
          January 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

          Grains are SEEDS. So are beans/legumes. Plants are green things, their leaves and stems and roots, even their flower buds (think artichokes and asparagus), but NOT their seeds! :-)

  11. JoshS
    January 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Good response! Way to keep it rational, kind, and positive! :)

    I do have a question regarding ketosis though if you don’t mind answering it, this has been on my mind for a while- If a person is consuming carbs, but not enough to completely fuel their bodies ( lets say the 100 grams or so that is most common amongst paleo recommendation)and using fat as their main fuel source wouldn’t they still be using ketones for their main energy source? Would that be considered to be in ketosis or is it only considered ketosis when you are producing more ketones that your body needs and excreting the rest.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Josh, it’s dependent on the individual – and remember protein can also be converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. So intake of both carbs and protein combined must be low in order to effectively keep the body in a state of ketosis. Just because you are eating ‘low carb’ it does not necessarily mean that you are in ketosis.

  12. Tom
    January 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Very nicely done! I will be emailing this to my RD family members.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks Tom and let me know what your family RD’s say!! :)

  13. Steven
    January 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Recommending vitamin D supplementation isn’t a failing of the diet, but is construed that way by others. The RD could rightfully say how difficult it is to meet the RDI for calcium without dairy. Studies such as these demonstrate how influential vitamin D is on calcium absorption.

    http://www.jacn.org/content/22/2/142.full

    The high RDI for calcium is for a population low or deficient in vitamin D. With adequate vitamin D the calcium RDI could easily be halved and calcium from dairy therefore not needed.

    You could have also mentioned the K2 in full fat dairy, but would you first have to explain what it is?

  14. Laura, RD, LDN
    January 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Great post Amy thanks! Very informative. Shared this link on my blog.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing Laura and it’s awesome to see another RD on the Paleo Team!!! :)

  15. Karen Todd, RD, CSCS, HFS
    January 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Amy- great responses. It takes time to open minds, but it is worth it!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 12, 2012 at 6:30 am

      Thanks Karen! And it’s great to have you on the paleo RD team too!! :)

  16. Chuck
    January 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Great to see you so rationally answer these questions and in a manner that I can share with my family as well to help them understand.
    In response to dairy, while not ideal, full-fat and organic would be the best option for those who can tolerate it? And I’ve seen some people use ghee but only just became familiar with it. First, is this a good fat option, and second, is it paleo as the dairy is removed in the clarifying process?

    Thanks!!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 12, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Full fat, organic dairy from grass-fed animals is the best bet IF you choose to have dairy. The question of if you should have it lies in what your goals are, what your health status is and if you are taking more of a primal approach as opposed to paleo. Dairy is not a great option for most though. As for the ghee – the clarified butter is going to be your best bet – it has fewer of the potentially offensive proteins – so ghee is not a bad option. As far as if it’s paleo – not if you’re going hardcore.

  17. Danna Seevers
    January 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

    All I can say is….”BAM”!! Such a great response! Thank you for this information! You really are my hero! I would give anything to have an RD after my name but knowing what I know, I simply can’t put myself through the schooling. I even had an RD program director from a major university tell me that it would be “unethical” of me to enter a didactic program knowing full well ahead of time that I would not follow the standardized recommendations of the ADA. I want credentials, I’m just not sure which path to pursue at this point.

    • Amy Kubal
      January 12, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Danna – I would encourage you not to give up your dreams of becoming an RD – read this post about ‘getting through school’. And depending on the job that you get you may HAVE to follow government nutrition recommendations (National School Lunch Program, WIC, etc.) but, ultimately you cannot call a diet consisting of ‘real’, unprocessed, whole foods unethical!!! Don’t give up!!!

  18. Shari
    January 12, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Wow, Amy – best article I’ve seen responding to the most-oft questioned aspects of Paleo. I can understand why non-Paleo people would ask the questions, given what most people, even RDs, learn, read/watch/listen to about nutrition in the media, etc. I have heard experts saying Paleo is not sustainable for the long term and I would beg to differ! Most people I have spoken to cannot imagine life without dairy and grain – but I can no longer imagine life WITH those things! I feel miserable when I cheat and eat them!

    Thank you so much for your work. I too will use this article for the many people who ask how I’ve lost 65 pounds! :)

    • Amy Kubal
      January 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Shari! Thank you so much for the compliment! It’s amazing how many people – experts included only hear and believe what ‘fits’ their lives. It’s all about education – if we teach them, get them to open their minds and answer their questions they will come around!! Congratulations on your weight loss success!! Paleo For The Win!!! :)

  19. Jamie
    January 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Very inspiring article! I’m in school to be a RD and would love to hear advice on any thing you think might be helpful in learning what I need to to get through school while still learning and growing with a paleo foundation. Thanks for your great response to this gal!

  20. mark
    January 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    anyone with thoughts on this TED talk

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat.html

  21. brusselbrock
    January 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    The comment about GNC is just strange and trollish. I eat so many vegetables it makes other people nervous.

  22. Rob Crosby
    January 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I am a fairly recent Paleo convert, about three months now, and I have never felt better. I experienced the usual benefits… lost weight, skin improved, no more heartburn or gas, etc. My biggest anxiety has been trying to find good Paleo style meals while I’m travelling for business. I just wanted to give props to the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain for their new and improved menu. I recently ate there, and enjoyed a small sirloin steak with roasted spaghetti squash and steamed broccoli and was very satisfied. It is good to know that there are some healthy options out there when you’re on the road.

    Best to all,
    Rob

  23. Wenchypoo
    January 14, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I see the whole system as one big circle of marketers: the CW farmers want more money through more demand, so they put a stranglehold on politicians, who invent this lovely system of subsidies for and guidelines to eat certain foods (which the farmers want us to eat more of in the first place), then the marketing/sales force expands to include our medical community and other ancillary-related health pros (like gym instructors, RDs/nutritionists, etc.), and right down to the school-level with teaching the “Basic 5″ and “Food Guide Pyramid” and now “My Plate.”

    It’s the most pervasive market saturation I’ve ever seen, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with concern for our health, and more concern for propping up demand for farmers, and keeping raw material prices down for processed food manufacturers. To make matters worse, Wall St. is now (and has been for years) making big money from this marketing circle, helping to manipulate prices even more than our simple demand alone could ever do.

    Without this marketing circle in place, our economy would be no better off than it was before the Depression. Now that we’ve headed more or less back to Depression times, what do you think’s happening? Demand’s slacking off in favor of the old-fashioned methods of growing and raising our food.

    Absolutely everything in this country has been done to dizzying heights, and what goes up MUST come down. That’s where we are today, and the marketing has stopped working. It never really worked, but too many of us were going along with the pictures on the colorful brochures.

    To sum up: CW, sponsored by the government, is where the money’s at…or where the money WAS. Now, the money’s gone. We’re no longer buying into the colorful brochures, and starting to look for the fine print.

  24. rob
    January 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Amy,
    great article, and I completely agree about the avoiding ketosis (my source: years of chemistry training). So often we neglect the quantitative aspects of metabolism for the qualitative, it is very good to have a number attached to how much carb intake we need to avoid ketosis.

    Do come by my website, and correct some of the misinformation about Paleo being given out!

    • Amy Kubal
      January 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Thanks Rob and I’ll check out your site!

  25. Kevin Cann
    January 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Dairy is high in IGF-1, and other phytoestrogens that can lead to breast and prostate cancer. I have seen most people do better without it. The calcium talk drives me nuts too. A paleo diet covers what we need to absorb calcium. Calcium is not the only mineral responsible for bone growth and the paleo diet covers other minerals such as magnesium to assure healthy bones. Also, calcium supplementation has been linked to stroke and heart disease in studies (calcification of arteries ring a bell?). There is no need to completely flood our system of calcium. Coconut milk, dark green veggies, and some sea foods all contain calcium. If bone health is a concern do some squats!!! Great article!

  26. Of Goats and Greens
    January 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Great article, and a good solid step by step discussion of the points raised in the letter. I’m bookmarking this.

    While I am doing Primal rather than Paleo, I’ve definitely limited down the dairy, and stick with the whole rather than low fat options. (Butter from pastured cows, and goat cheese.)

    Thanks for the data on magnesium several readers have brought up and expanded upon.

  27. Joy
    January 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Thank you for this, Amy. It would be very hard to be an RD swimming upstream, but thank you for questioning and researching the CW for us layfolk! I didn’t see where I could email you directly, but wondered if this sentence “The antibodies made have a striking resemblance to other proteins normally found in our systems.” would really mean something like this: “Lectins have a striking resemblance to other proteins normally found in our systems, so the antibodies made against them may also attack our own proteins.”

  28. Elke
    January 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Great post Amy… you rock woman!

  29. fat loss
    February 10, 2012 at 5:39 am

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  30. James Wilkers
    February 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Can you provide a peer-reviewed reference that substantiates your following statement from the article:

    “Grains contain large protein molecules called ‘lectins’. The digestive system doesn’t have the ‘equipment’ necessary to breakdown lectins, which means, they just hang around in the gut. These ‘loose canons’ have the ability to bind to certain gut receptors and then act as ‘keys’ unlocking a door that lets them out into our bodies. Unfortunately, lectins were ‘born in a barn’ – not only do they not close the door as they leave, but they also damage the gut on the way out. This is how the gut gets ‘leaky’ and it doesn’t end there. Since the lectins are not part of the ‘normal’ environment, the body doesn’t recognize them and the immune system, standing on guard, initiates an attack on the strangers creating antibodies against them. The antibodies made have a striking resemblance to other proteins normally found in our systems. This leads to an autoimmune response (the body attacking itself). The story is similar for legumes and dairy both of which also contain proteins, anti-nutrients and protease inhibitors that irritate the gut in much the same way as lectins. While many may feel exempt from the whole process, claiming that they feel fine – this may not necessarily be the case. While some may be more sensitive to these foods than others, it is likely that removing them will have positive effects across the board.”

    Thanks

  31. Rachel
    February 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I’m a dietetics student currently, and am battling the idea of the standard recommendations…I spent all fall researching paleo and believe it is the way to go–I felt I spent more time on that than my actual classes but don’t tell :) Do you have any advice for someone who has to jump through the hoops to get her degree but doesn’t believe in what she’s learning?

    Thank you!

  32. paleolithic diet
    February 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

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  33. Jessy
    April 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I love this post. I’m currently taking a nutrition class and the instructor is much like the RD who contacted you. In discussions regarding various food choices, she constantly points to government recommendations and not science. She constantly asserts that glucose is the brain’s fuel, without acknowledging the ability of ketones to supply energy. And I won’t even get started on the discussion she and I had regarding raw milk. It’s a shame that people can be so narrow-minded and in charge of educating people. On a side note, I love your reference to PubMed. Self-education is amazing.

  34. Rob
    March 7, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I get asked all of the time regarding why I don’t eat (much) dairy and when I do it’s always whole milk. This…

    You specifically mention low-fat and fat free dairy. These are particularly conspicuous as one of the most beneficial components in dairy is CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). CLA has been found beneficial in the prevention of cancer, CVD, hypertension, elevated blood lipids, weight loss, osteoporosis, inflammation, insulin resistance, and immunity. The CLA in dairy is housed in its fat component. When the fat is removed, as is the case in low fat and fat free dairy products, you are basically left with insulin spiking sugar (lactose), along with a bit of protein and calcium. Remember that milk is “fortified” with Vitamins A and D – they aren’t naturally there. To address the calcium issue, it is well known that dairy is not the only source for this mineral. In fact, some of the best sources of calcium are sardines, trout, salmon, etc, and these protein rich sea creatures also contain long chain omega 3 (DHA) fatty acids, and a plethora of other nutrients. Additionally; chard, kale, broccoli, spinach and many other vegetables are sources of the mineral too and are also rich in many other nutrients.

    …Very good

  35. Lisa
    May 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Excellent!

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