I don't eat a paleo diet, I'm just a saturophile. If it's saturated fat and it happens to come from a neolithic block of butter, that's fine by me. But I hadn't realised going paleo could be actively worse for your health than eating some version of the SAD. You can download Eric Trexler's thesis from here. Catchy title is:
"Paleolithic Diet is Associated With Unfavorable Changes to Blood Lipids in Healthy Subjects"
Some people may have noticed that I have minimal interest in blood lipid levels. I know people angst about them, but I've yet to be convinced that they have anything to do with heart disease other than as a surrogate for how much sugar you eat.
The thesis reports pre and post diet lipids but only gives end-of-paleo-diet food breakdown, and only the fat/saturated fat at that. Go figure. Guess they forgot to ask what folks were eating to have better lipids than their study diet was going to produce! Perhaps they had a defective crystal ball.
I've always viewed HDL as a surrogate for saturated fat intake. The sub population with the best HDL on pre diet lifestyle (around 82mmol/l) dropped it to around 69mmol/l on paleo diet plus exercise and weight loss. My assumption is that these folks actually dropped their saturated fat intake or increased their PUFA intake by so much that even the exercise induced rise in HDL and weight loss induced rise in HDL couldn't offset the fall in HDL induced by the study diet. Impressive.
Triglyceridess rose non significantly. I view trigs as a surrogate for sugar intake. You have to guess how much SAD high fructose corn syrup was replaced by paleo fruit. Or whether fruit juice [Peter vomits quietly in the corner] was allowed. Well, the trigs went up (slightly), not down... Gathering was good that day, every day, for 10 weeks!
OK, so what sort of a paleo diet was this? Quote:
"Subjects were advised to increase their consumption of lean meat [Peter vomits quietly in the corner again], fish, eggs, nuts, fruit, and vegetables and were instructed to strictly avoid all grains, dairy products, and legumes."
Obviously spuds appear to have been on the menu in paleoland and animal fat is the devil incarnate!
What was their source material for these well thought out recommendations? They were based on Eaton and Konnor's 1985 paper:
"Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications"
You can't get at the full text or even an abstract on line. Luckily Anna, over at Lifextension, fills in the details for us. She pasted a copy of her information over on ItsTheWoo's blog here, explaining both where Eaton got the data and pointing out the 2000 correction he published, amending his paleo fat intake estimates (upwards of course). I get a faint impression that Anna may not be best impressed by Eaton's ideas. Or by Taterism in general. BTW, did anyone run through the list of references? Given a year or two I might try one day, but perhaps just sticking with simple saturophilia might be easier.
I rather like Anna's commentary. I like her suggestion that Eaton's ideas seem uncomfortably influenced by politically correct beliefs aligned with the AHA's diet advice. Reading Trexler's thesis I was also struck that it could easily have been written by an AHA cardiologist. The naked fear of LDL cholesterol shines through the whole text.
My take home message is that if you are going to align your paleolithic diet advice with the AHA, people are going to get hurt.