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The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat [Hardcover]

Loren Cordain
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 7 2001
"The Paleo Diet is at once revolutionary and intuitive. . . . Its prescription provides without a doubt the most nutritious diet on the planet. Beautifully written, The Paleo Diet takes us from the theory to the day-to-day practice of the native human diet."
– Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D., coauthor of the bestselling
The Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Revolution Life Plan,
Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Sydney

"Dr. Loren Cordain’s approach to nutrition is logically compelling, readily understood, and at the cutting edge of health science. Not all scientists can translate their concepts into a straightforward, accessible format, but Cordain has accomplished this feat brilliantly."
–S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Emory University,
coauthor of The Paleolithic Prescription; former Medical Director,
Olympic Village Polyclinic, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games

"Finally, someone has figured out the best diet for people–a modern version of the diet the human race grew up eating. Dr. Loren Cordain’s easy-to-follow diet plan cuts right to the chase and reminds us that the healthiest foods are the simplest ones."
– Jack Challem, coauthor of Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional
Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance

"The Paleo Diet is a landmark book, written by one of the most brilliant and respected nutritionists in America today. It could save your life. Read it, live it, and buy a copy for everyone you love."
–Robert Crayhon, M.S., author of The Carnitine Miracle

"The Paleo Diet not only lays out the basic nutrition plan for weight loss and good health, but also for peak performance in athletic competition. It works."
–Joe Friel, author of The Triathlete’s Training Bible and endurance coach

"In a world where we’re surrounded with an information overload on dieting, this is a commonsense and effective weight-control approach that’s easy to follow."
– Fred Pescatore, M.D., author of Thin for Good and Feed Your Kids Well

"If you want the real lowdown on why the protein-rich diet of early man is the best diet for modern man, this is the book for you. We found Dr. Cordain’s scientific writings indispensable in the writing of The Protein Power LifePlan. Filled with delicious recipes and meal plans, The Paleo Diet will open your eyes, trim your waistline, and improve your overall health."
– Michael R. Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D., authors of Protein Power

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

According to author Loren Cordain, modern health and diet problems didn't start with the advent of packaged snack food, but much earlier--back at the dawn of the agricultural age many thousands of years ago. As humans became less nomadic and more dependent on high-carbohydrate diets, we left behind the diet we had evolved with, which is based on low-fat proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Sugars, fats, and carbs were rare, if they were present at all, and survival required a steady, if low-key, level of activity.

Cordain's book The Paleo Diet blends medical research with a healthy sprinkle of individual anecdotes, practical tips, and recipes designed to make his suggestions into a sustainable lifestyle, rather than a simple month-long diet; he even includes cooking recommendations and nationwide sources for wild game.

Claims of improving diseases from diabetes to acne to polycystic ovary disease may be a little overstated, but in general the advice seems sound. Can any of us really go wrong by adding lots more vegetables and fruits to our daily regimen? One recommendation on safe tanning with a gradual reduction in sunscreen is surprising and not much detail is provided for safety issues that can accompany increased sun exposure. Still, Cordain's assertions have helped many people, and could provide exactly the changes you've been looking for to improve your health. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

Like Ray Audette's Neanderthin (St. Martin's, 1999), this is another "if you can't find it in the wild, don't eat it" diet that takes the germ of a useful idea and runs with it. According to Cordain (health and exercise science, Colorado State Univ.), Paleolithic humans were fit and lean because, as hunter-gatherers, they ate what was available: meats low in saturated fats, fresh fruits, and nonstarchy vegetables. Nor did they suffer from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, the byproducts of our poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Then again, the average Paleolithic life span was about 30 years, not long enough to develop most chronic illnesses. Still, the author asserts that by eliminating grains, dairy, refined sugars, and processed foods from our diets, we, too, can thrive as our ancestors did. Three levels of diet and six weeks of sample menus, with recipes, are included.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Is How The Cavemen Ate? Uh, I Don't Think So! Sept. 30 2002
By t-rone
When I first heard Loren Cordain was finally authoring a book on paleo nutrition I was quite excited, for Cordain has conducted a lot of very insightful research into the eating patterns of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. When I finally got to examine the book though, I was sorely disappointed.
Cordain evidently seems to have ignored much of his own research. The most alarming error is his frequent recommendation to use flax oil when cooking meat dishes. Recipe after recipe calls for marinating cuts of meat in flax oil before cooking - a very bad idea! For those who don't already know, you should NEVER cook with any type of polyunsaturated oil. Their high degree of unsaturation makes them extremely prone to oxidative damage, and this process is greatly multiplied by exposure to high temperatures (e.g cooking temeratures). Omega-3 fats, like those found in flax oil, are the most vulnerable polyunsaturates of all. When eaten, these 'healthy' fats trigger a chain-reaction of nasty free-radical activity in the body, leaving one open to the development of all sorts of degenerative ailments. Cordain should be well aware that liquid vegetable oils simply did not exist back in paleotlithic times.
Cordain also denigrates saturated fat in his book, which once again is rather pitiful considering his background. The anti-saturated fat doctrine is a product of agenda-driven 20th century researchers and beaureaucrats, eagerly supported by commercial interests and their cheerleading squad of ignorant nutritionists, health authorities, and authors. Cordain claims that a single experiment where saturated fat raised cholesterol levels in young men is proof that this fat is bad. Big deal! Such an assertion assumes that the cholesterol theory of heart disease is a valid one.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Paleo dietary theory is looking better and better as time passes. I've been successfully losing weight by following principles similar to Cordain's, even before I read his book. Cordain should be commended for defending a thesis that is politically incorrect on many levels.
The Paleo theory offends Creationists, because it assumes an evolutionary explanation for human origins and why our bodies seem to thrive better on hunter-gatherer foods than on "our daily bread."
It offends free-market zealots, because it implies a criticism of the way American capitalism produces the toxic waste it calls "food."
It offends the charlatans in the weight-loss industry, who offer the simplistic explanation that Americans are getting obese because they are "eating too much," instead of scientifically looking at the consequences of WHAT they are eating.
It offends the American medical and pharmaceutical industries, because it argues that a proper diet to prevent cancer, "Syndrome X," and other degenerative diseases makes more sense than developing exorbitantly expensive (i.e., profitable) therapies and drugs to treat them after the fact.
It offends the social-engineering goody-goods (mostly on the Left) who had the government dictate carbohydrate-heavy nutritional guidelines to us which have proved disastrous in practice.
It offends vegans, because it argues that humans need to eat animals for optimum health.
It offends technological cornucopians of the Julian L. Simon school, because it challenges common beliefs about "progress," and whether our planet can produce enough of the proper sorts of foods for human well-being. Cordain points out that with current technology, only about ten percent of the world's population could be adequately sustained on a Paleo-compatible diet.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the paleo diet, 3 for this version Jan. 29 2012
By Jodi-Hummingbird TOP 50 REVIEWER
I'm a big supporter of the Paleo diet concept and the idea that we need to eat the traditional foods our genes need to be healthy.

This book claims to be the last word in explaining what our ancestors ate, and to not be just another book full of fads, but it is seriously flawed. The author seems to be trying to merge information on what the caveman diet consisted of with as many modern food fads as possible. He is particularly ignorant about healthy fats and oils.

The book is also not very convincing in the way it explains the scientific basis for the Paleo diet.

I disagree with the authors very-low salt stance and would advise them to read about unrefined sea salt and the work of Dr Brownstein on the many myths about salt and low-salt diet scaremongering, and the cholesterol scaremongering as well. The author has also been grossly misinformed about saturated fats. You should probably ignore what the author says about fats and oils in this book, as most of it is just plain wrong.

Liquid vegetable oils did not exist in paleolithic times and cooking with flax oil is very unhealthy! Saturated fats are also an important part of a healthy diet, and eating eggs does NOT raise your cholesterol levels. The 'very high' cholesterol levels mentioned in the book of 208 are also not high at all, and well within the healthy range of 200 - 240 according to lipid expert Mary Enig PhD.

The healthiest oils to cook with are ghee (unless you're 100% dairy free), lard, tallow, coconut and palm oils and olive oil. Oils should never be heated to very high temperatures such as in deep frying. These are the traditional fats to cook with, not flax oil!

The book is also very inconsistent and vague when it comes to talking about supplements.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great beginning book
This is a great beginning book. I found other books to have different information that is great as well and is more focused on what you are trying to do the diet(which is a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lucy
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
many of the recepies are too much thinking for me. I like the premis of the book and am shareing some of the information with others.
Published 17 months ago by Lelah Ngeruka
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paleo Diet Book
This is a great book to help explain what the Paleo Diet does & how it works. It gives beginners 2 weeks worth of menus to try which are varied & not boring.
Published 21 months ago by Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is an excellent book for anyone wanting some solid nutritional advice. I particularly like how it is all backed by science. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2011 by Kumar
5.0 out of 5 stars A diet based on scientific research
The book is supported by a great wealth of research from the author's web site. I have been on it for 1 month now and intend to stay on it as i find it easy to follow. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2010 by W052
5.0 out of 5 stars At least one of the 'editorial' reviewers didn't read it
... or maybe s/he simply didn't understand what s/he read. I'm talking about the one that made the stupid statement about the lifespan of paleo humans being only 30 years. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by Howard Harkness
1.0 out of 5 stars horribly misguided, error-filled, and toxic
Cordain's book is long on speculation and error and very short on data.
He would have you eat protein at levels just a hair short of toxicity for your entire life! Read more
Published on Dec 17 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Another miracle diet, sigh
I'm very interested in natural nutrition, but I was a bit disappointed with this book. There are so many "musts" in it. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2003 by "gunillam"
5.0 out of 5 stars A Major Milestone in Nutrition
This book is about the diet of man from 2 million years ago until modern hunter gatherers today, and is the diet we evolved with. It's easy to read and gets great results. Read more
Published on May 21 2003 by Ben Paleo
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
Since I'm not a nutritional anthropologist, I can't swear that the author's theories are solid science. However, I can say for certain that the Paleo Diet works. Read more
Published on May 6 2003 by Flying Code Monkey
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