Primal Wisdom


I've thought about this post on conventional wisdom for awhile. Do I explain everything behind the primal lifestyle? Do I summarize the latest research behind the rejection of so much conventional wisdom? Do I even have the right to speak on the subject considering I haven't been 100% in following all the parts of the primal lifestyle yet? I decided the best thing to do was to link to folks who had done a much better job of this than I could ever do. See my sidebar of favorite blogs? It's there. See my sidebar of favorite books? Even more information in those, with research citations to boot. I don't need to reinvent the wheel here. 


I decided a better use of this blog article would be to list some conventional wisdom (a.k.a. nonsense) that I have rejected in favor of what turns out to be true according to as much research as I can gather and interpret (albeit through the hard work of others). If you want to read the research, it is all in the books and blogs listed, especially Taubes' (scientific, harder read) and Sisson's (well-presented, easier read).


Conventional Wisdom #1: Grains are a necessary part of your diet. You will be malnourished without them. You will lack fiber and vitamins. You need grains in your diet every day. 


Truth #1: Grains are poisonous to humans. Our digestive systems were never meant and have never evolved to digest grains. There is no nutrient in grains that is not available from a good primal diet. Grains are inflammatory. Grains can make you fat, make you bloated, give you migraines, cause arthritis and muscle pain, etc. Again, grains are poison.


Conventional Wisdom #2: A low fat diet is essential to health. A low fat diet is the only way to lose weight. Vegetable fats are good for you and animal or saturated fats are bad.


Truth #2: Almost all vegetable oils are horrendous for your health. Vegetable oils are full of Omega-6 fats which are inflammatory. Saturated fats from animals raised as they should be (pastured or grass-fed or whatever way is most natural to that animal) are full of Omega-3 and excellent saturated fats which are non-inflammatory. Coconut oil (a saturated fat) is also good for you. Olive oil is OK. It does contain some Omega-3s, though it is not nearly as good as you have been led to believe. When in doubt, stick with good animal fats. All of this nonsense about saturated fats goes back to a fudged study by Ancel Keys that started the cholesterol myth. The myth led to an entire nation being told that low fat is good, high cholesterol is bad, and nearly everyone should take statin drugs to artificially lower cholesterol. The fact that the statin drug industry is a $20 billion dollar a year business may have something to do with this myth being perpetuated through several decades. Is it any surprise that the new guidelines, backed up by "studies" from Big Pharma, are now recommending that statins be given to even more people, including children, to reduce inflammation? Grains and Omega-6 fats cause inflammation. Where is the cry to take those out of the standard American diet? Oh, but wait, that would not make anyone $20 billion dollars, would it? We were lied to for decades and are still being lied to today. Eat that good meat and coconut, ghee, and lard, folks, and feel better, lose weight, and be healthy.


Conventional Wisdom #3: The only way to lose weight is to eat low fat (addressed above) and exercise like a Biggest Loser every day.


Truth #3: Go to Mark Sisson's blog: www.marksdailyapple.com and read it. He knows his fitness information. Lift heavy things once in a while, play, move slowly and often, run really fast once in a while. I can live with that and more importantly, I can do that without injuring myself or getting burnt out in two weeks.


Conventional Wisdom #4: Slather on sunscreen every day and avoid the sun like the plague because you will die of skin cancer or go blind from cataracts.


Truth #4: You NEED Vitamin D! Your skin makes Vitamin D from the sun! Go out in the sun and expose your arms and legs for at least 15-20 minutes per day in good weather. If you start to burn, get out of the sun, duh! People in most of the United States are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D protects you from cancer, helps build bones (can you say "rickets?"), protects you from infections, and is linked to so many normal body processes that it's hard to list them all. Get your pale, sickly children out in the sun and away from their video games and computers. At least buy them a wireless laptop and make them sit outside for 15-20 minutes in full sun. If you don't live above Florida, take a Vitamin D3 supplement. I take 4000-6000 IU of Vitamin D3 from fall through spring. I get lots of full sun on skin in summer, so I don't need supplements during that time. 


Ok, I am wisdomed out for today. I'll do another post on this sometime in the future. Go read those books and blogs (in the sun if you can) and learn the truth. 


And one last hint: Follow the money when it comes to conventional wisdom and you will find the source of the lie.