"If you read any medical school biochemistry textbook, youâ€™ll find a section devoted to what happens metabolically during starvation. If you read these sections with a knowing eye, youâ€™ll realize that everything discussed as happening during starvation happens during carbohydrate restriction as well. There have been a few papers published recently showing the same thing: the metabolism of carb restriction = the metabolism of starvation. I would maintain, however, based on my study of the Paleolithic diet, that starvation and carb restriction are simply the polar ends of a continuum, and that carb restriction was the norm for most of our existence as upright walking beings on this planet, making the metabolism of what biochemistry textbook authors call starvation the â€˜normalâ€™ metabolism."
This is a little more interesting. He's suggesting that today, starvation is defined as lack of carbohydrates, and by saying carb restriction and starvation are in fact polar opposites that eating carbohydrates is somewhere between starvation and normal metabolism. At least as near as I can decipher the last sentence. I agree that starvation should not be defined as lacking carbs, but the last sentence doesn't make a lot of sense. If the current description of what happens metabolically during starvation is not correct, then what does happen during properly defined starvation?
that's a good point. i didn't read that passage all that clearly before. guess that's what happens when you're just looking for confirmations.
i think it's more like
abnormal --- normal --- abnormal
starvation --- ketosis --- elevated insulin, unusable fat stores
i think that makes more sense with respect to how fat is utilized by the body.
it's abnormal to waste away obviously. but it's abnormal also for your belly to be growling when you have a beer gut. ketosis is more like a steady state where you're using the fat stores in your body like rechargeable batteries and not really feeling hunger. so it would be closer to starvation than not. but it's much better than your body's hormones going haywire into uncontrolled obesity and type 2 diabetes.
It seems like much of the justification for the paleo diet is mankind having gotten it right way back in prehistory. While this may be true, human beings were a lot dumber and shorter lived back then. And it's difficult to say that diet played absolutely no part in either the brain development/chemistry or in the life span. Is there any proof that paleo man was living the optimal way, so that we should return to his habits?
the argument about lifespans isn't relevant due to the drastic difference in environment and technology. i made the same argument also when i first saw this thread.
"Life expectancy increases track more closely with economic prosperity and sanitary engineering than with strictly medical advances. Notable achievements in the past century--the decreased incidences of epidemic infections, dental caries, and stomach cancer--are owed to virologists, dentists, and (probably) refrigeration more than to physicians [and i would add dietitians]."
as far as if the paleo diet is better than other known diets? it is.
the Atkins diet (not quite paleo, but close enough), in a year long study, showed most improvement in weight loss and keeping weight off. in fact, favorable metabolic changes in all categories including better numbers in blood pressure, higher (good) HDL-Cholesterol and lower (bad) LDL-Cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and glucose.
Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women
The A TO Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trial,
Christopher D. Gardner, PhD, JAMA 2007
Video: The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?) by Christopher Gardner for the Stanford School of Medicine
and this is just a theory, and i already linked this before, but here it is again:
"Meat eating made us human. The anthropological evidence strongly supports the idea that the addition of increasingly larger amounts of meat in the diet of our predecessors was essential in the evolution of the large human brain. Our large brains came at the metabolic expense of our guts, which shrank as our brains grew."