Tag Archives: Paleo Diet

Interview – Dr. Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet.

SNI: What is the biggest misconception about the Paleo diet?

Dr. Cordain: It is commonly assumed that any diet which eliminates three food groups (grains, legumes and dairy) is nutritionally unsound and will end up causing nutrient deficiencies. As I have pointed out in a number of peer review, high impact factor scientific journals, this assumption is in fact incorrect as contemporary diets based solely upon fresh meat, seafood, veggies and fruit actually are more nutrient (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) dense than the USDA Food Pyramid diet (now called My Plate)

SNI: What is the primary difference between the Atkins, Paleo and Ketogenic diets?

Dr. Cordain: The Paleo Diet does not restrict carbohydrate per se, but rather limits carbohydrate intake to the carbs found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Most people never develop ketosis on the Paleo Diet which frequently causes uncomfortable symptoms.

SNI: Are there dietary supplements that you’d recommend to compliment the Paleo diet?

Dr. Cordain: If fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines etc.) arent consumed regularly (3-5 times per week), then I recommend taking fish oil. I also recommend taking at least 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D per day if regular sunlight exposure is not possible. All other supplements are unnecessary because the Paleo Diet is so nutrient dense. In fact, large meta analyses (multiple population studies) show that antioxidant supplements can be harmful and actually increase overall mortality.

SNI: Have you found that the Paleo diet is compatible with athletes who are in heavy training?

Dr. Cordain: Yes. In my book, the Paleo Diet for athletes, we present numerous delicious Paleo food choices which are excellent sources of carbohydrate (yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, dried fruit, fresh fruit) to restore muscle glycogen. Many world class and national caliber endurance and strength athletes have adopted the Paleo Diet.

SNI: What are the effects of the Paleo diet on health and body composition?

Dr. Cordain: All indices of health and well-being improve when people adopt the Paleo Diet. Initially, people have more energy throughout the day; they sleep better and their mental outlook improves. Digestive and skin problems clear up rapidly and virtually all other typical medical indices of health (blood pressure, blood lipids and cholesterol, etc.) normalize after a few months on the diet. Most people notice that their muscle mass and definition improve despite no higher levels of exercise. For overweight or obese subjects, the Paleo diet is one of the most effective dietary plans to facilitate weight loss because it is a high protein, low glycemic load diet. The largest study ever conducted on weight loss diets in both adults and children concluded that high protein, low glycemic load diets were the best way to get weight off and keep it off.
Dr. Cordain received his Ph.D. in Health from the University of Utah in 1981, and has been a Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University since 1982. He is married and has three sons. Featured on Dateline NBC, the front page of the Wall Street journal, and the New York Times, Loren Cordain is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading experts on the natural human diet of our Stone Age ancestors. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and abstracts. His research into the health benefits of Stone Age Diets for contemporary people has appeared in the world’s top scientific journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the British Journal of Nutrition, and the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition among others. Dr. Cordain’s popular book, The Paleo Diet, has been widely acclaimed in both the scientific and lay communities. His next book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, was published in October 2005, and discusses how the Paleo Diet can be modified for the high-performance endurance athlete, and lead to improved health and performance. His latest book, The Dietary Cure for Acne, is available in paperback and as an instant download ebook. He is the recent recipient of the Scholarly Excellence award at Colorado State University for his contributions into understanding optimal human nutrition. For more info go to http://thepaleodiet.com