This book provides an excellent introduction a very healthy version of the Paleo diet in a very easy to read and engaging format.
The idea that modern diseases are caused by traditional foods is just nonsense!
Don't believe the myth about those eating traditional diets typically dying young, the truth is very different. I'd recommend reading information from Weston A Price for more information on this topic if you can. (See Nutrition and Physical Degeneration or the WAPF website.) This is the way we have all evolved to eat and to be healthy.
The author advises us not to be afraid of trying something that is old. No matter how much you read, there is no better substitute for trying the diet yourself for a few months to see how much better you feel.
The author explains that:
* Much of the conventional wisdom on diet that we have accepted as fact is wrong.
* Our primal ancestors were likely stronger and healthier than we are today.
* Excessive fibre (eg. from grains) is not good for you.
* Lectins and phytates in grains can cause real problems. Going grain free for 30 - 60 dayts to see if you notice any improvements is a good idea. Not everyone does well eating grains. Even if grains don't seem to cause you problems they should only be eaten in small amounts.
* Cholesterol, saturated fats and eggs are good for you.
* We need to eat lots of animals and plants.
* We need to eat when hungry and stop when we are satisfied.
* We need to avoid poisonous things (e.g. processed foods, processed grains, unnatural fats and sugar).
* If you exercise more you will be more hungry than before so exercise is not a weight loss aid. Low calorie diets and exercise programs work for a while, until the adrenals burn out, but are not a long term solution for 96% of us or more.
* 80% of weight loss is about diet and the rest is down to genetic factors.
* Ultra low carb diets are to be avoided. For one thing, they cut down the nutrition from fruits and vegetables.
* A high fat, moderate protein and a fairly-low-carb diet is best. Most people will do best with losing weight by eating 50 - 100 carbs a day. Some may need to stay at this level longterm while for others 100 - 150 carbs a day will work well as a maintenance level.
* Protein should be eaten until satiety and no more, and carbs should be eaten at the above amounts which leaves fat intake as the main variable. High fat foods should be eaten when you still feel hungry.
* There is no need to count daily calories.
* Foods such as wild rice, coffee, dark chocolate and starchy tubers should be eaten in moderation. Juices should only be consumed if fresh, and vegetables juices are best.
* Organic and grass-fed meats are best.
* Use butter, palm oil and coconut oil for cooking and EV olive oil for salad dressings.
* Some people may benefit from intermittent fasting but it is not for everyone.
* Live with the earth's circadian rhythms if you can and go barefoot sometimes if you can.
* Optimal genetic expression is the goal of his program.
The author provides a good introduction to the topics of epigenetics and nutrigenomics and provides a very high quality eating plan too, along with some tips on how to reasonably exercise and to make sure we get enough rest and sleep too.
The authors advice and views tally very well with my own. I have a severe neurological disease with some similarities to MS and I have found that a very low carb diet of 20 grams or so of carbs a day, makes me feel unwell after a few months. It seems like maybe my liver and kidneys cannot handle the extra strain. I have felt so much better staying around the 50 - 75 gram mark. It is also a far more pleasant diet to eat by far. This lower-carb diet also greatly helps my hypoglycaemia symptoms, makes me feel more satisfied after meals (and not starving hungry right after each meal due to blood sugar surges) and has treated my PCOS as well. I also do far better avoiding grains, legumes and dairy products too. I am using this style of diet, along with other supplemental nutrients and detoxification methods, to slowly improve my severe neurological disease - which had been slowly worsening for more than a decade.
Ideas for improvements for future editions of the book (requested by the author in the book):
* The benefits of going barefoot are mentioned but there is no accompanying discussion of the benefits or earthing and grounding.
* The part at the start of the book which talks about people with happy and positive dispositions suffering less illness should be deleted!
* Protein shakes should not be listed as health foods.
* The section on supplements could be far more complete.
* The bits at the end of the book which contradict the previously given information about not counting calories, ignoring the calories in and calories out myth, and that recommend quite extreme fasts and a low calorie eating plan should be removed or edited.
There is no need to buy the author's brand of recommended supplements but I would urge readers to buy good quality brands of supplements (Jarrow, Carlson's, Thorne Research etc.) and avoid crappy supermarket brands like 'Centrum' which have been shown to do more harm than good!
As Dr Sherry Rogers writes, it is better to have good quality supplements and take them only every second day than take harmful ones with the cheap and wrong forms of some nutrients in, every day!
Other good books on this topic include Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food and Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats and best of all, Primal Body Primal Mind. This last book is the best there is on this topic, in my opinion, bar none. It has far more of a focus on treating disease than this book has and far better information about supplements.
Mark's website and books are far superior to most Paleo books and websites, including 'The Paleo Diet' book. You can get a ton of information on this topic free from this author on his excellent website. The article on the site about whether or not to avoid dairy products, was the best I have ever read on this topic and I highly recommend it.
(Finally someone who understands that negative studies on milk drinkers have used ONLY pasteurised and homogenised milk, not raw milk! And that even though raw milk may solve the problem of milk intolerance for some, some of us are still better off avoiding dairy products completely.)
To me an author that will give away so much high quality information for free, instead of just having a basic website that gives away little and urges you endlessly to buy the book, is the sign of someone who is genuinely motivated to help people and is not just about serving their own vested interests.
A lot of work has gone into making this book very simple to read and to follow. It is very well put together and well illustrated and designed as well. Thank you to the author for all the work here. I hope this book is very successful.
(I'm using a dairy and grain free version of this diet to slowly heal a severe neurological disease that I have had for over a decade, along with additional nutritional and detoxification supports, etc. I just wish so much I had found this real nutrition advice earlier, along with information on real healing vs just symptom suppression.)
Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME)