Outside Online topic: comparative meals


adabeie

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I was wondering if anyone had read this recent article on Outside. Not all of it surprises me, except for the Okinawan diet making his cholesterol go 'through the roof' and talking about Paleo as though it was interchangeable with macrobiotic. There's not a big emphasis (or any at all, that i recall) on raw vegetables in the W30 plans..

 

I guess (since I can't afford to ask a nutritionist to work me over and analyze my DNA) certain reintroductions for me have had reasonable success where others' effects were more pronounced: more mucous and phlegm when using dairy (I think it's coconut milk in coffee for here on out for me), and more noticeable spikes and troughs in mood and energy levels when eating more grains, even if I'm doing my best to make sure they're whole grains..

 

My family has expressed concern about the number of eggs I go through, though I do balance them against other protein sources when possible, and for the first time in my life I'm eating the "right" amount of fish, and it tends to be wild caught, generally not-overfished stocks. But then, I haven't had blood work done in a while and I wonder if following the amount of 'good fats' and higher cholesterol foods like eggs (I might be mixing things up here, even though I've been doing this for - only - two months, and this vacation is my first break from the W30 regimen after the selective reintroduction period, I'm learning more with every meal)..

 

I'm probably worrying about nothing. But I did think the article was very interesting, not that one person's experience is a full data set, though the author and I happen to share ancestry. 

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“But one thing is certain—in the case of nutrition and health, the science can be confusing and can lead to “paralysis by analysis” (a state in which you take no action because you’re not sure what to do).” 
― 
Melissa HartwigIt Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways

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I'll admit up front, I've only skimmed the article, I didn't read the whole thing in depth, but I can tell you that what he describes as the paleo diet is NOT Whole30. Whole30 started with a basic Paleo framework, but the Hartwigs have chosen to focus on what makes you most healthy, regardless of whether our ancestors ever ate it. If the author of the article had been doing a Whole30 and came here saying he was hungry all the time, we'd have told him to eat more. We'd have told him to eat starchy vegetables, at least a serving a day, probably more based on his activity level. We'd say raw vegetables are all right, but would have encouraged him to have them cooked if he preferred them that way, and would certainly have encouraged him to have them cooked if he were experiencing any kind of digestive issues, as raw vegetables often exacerbate those. We would never, regardless of how much he exercised, have said eat a granola bar. What he's reviewing is not really reflective of Whole30. I can't really speak to whether it's really representative of Paleo, because there are a bunch of different ways of eating out there that have been labeled Paleo. 

 

I will say that his conclusion -- "Eat lean protein, good fats, and healthy carbs" -- sounds very much like Whole30, although it doesn't necessarily specify lean for the protein, and it assumes your healthy carbs will come from vegetables and fruit, not grains. His recommendation to do an elimination diet and see how different foods affect you when you reintroduce them is exactly what Whole30 is designed to do. 

 

If you're interested in the science behind why the Whole30 rules are what they are, I'd highly recommend reading It Starts With Food if you haven't already.

 

If you're concerned about cholesterol, you might want to read through this previous discussion -- there are a lot of links there that you may find helpful.

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I'll admit up front, I've only skimmed the article, I didn't read the whole thing in depth, but I can tell you that what he describes as the paleo diet is NOT Whole30. Whole30 started with a basic Paleo framework, but the Hartwigs have chosen to focus on what makes you most healthy, regardless of whether our ancestors ever ate it. If the author of the article had been doing a Whole30 and came here saying he was hungry all the time, we'd have told him to eat more. We'd have told him to eat starchy vegetables, at least a serving a day, probably more based on his activity level. We'd say raw vegetables are all right, but would have encouraged him to have them cooked if he preferred them that way, and would certainly have encouraged him to have them cooked if he were experiencing any kind of digestive issues, as raw vegetables often exacerbate those. We would never, regardless of how much he exercised, have said eat a granola bar. What he's reviewing is not really reflective of Whole30. I can't really speak to whether it's really representative of Paleo, because there are a bunch of different ways of eating out there that have been labeled Paleo. 

 

I will say that his conclusion -- "Eat lean protein, good fats, and healthy carbs" -- sounds very much like Whole30, although it doesn't necessarily specify lean for the protein, and it assumes your healthy carbs will come from vegetables and fruit, not grains. His recommendation to do an elimination diet and see how different foods affect you when you reintroduce them is exactly what Whole30 is designed to do. 

 

If you're interested in the science behind why the Whole30 rules are what they are, I'd highly recommend reading It Starts With Food if you haven't already.

 

If you're concerned about cholesterol, you might want to read through this previous discussion -- there are a lot of links there that you may find helpful.

 

I was really hoping W30 would make the author's list, since it's been in the news a bit more lately and, to my mind, seems more stably established than some of the other diets (again, it's a bit weird to call it a diet except in the sense of 'diet' meaning 'what you consume' rather than 'temporary fix to a long term problem')..

 

I think the one thing that stuck out in my mind was a) a firm inclusion of grain based carbs for the author, and B) a wariness of some of the fats and protein sources that I've used in the W30, ie eggs, that I do wonder about being linked to elevated cholesterol. But I'd need routine bloodwork about that, and frankly, I feel great on the W30, and going off of it during this vacation has emphasized that more. (I did take a stand and am including far more vegetables in every meal.. I'd apparently completely misjudged the health of my family's eating habits, which I had recalled being far more wholesome than they are in practice)..

 

But indeed - I feel like a "W30 for athletes" would have likely annihilated any of the author's concerns.. I wonder if there's a dietary shootout to be organized here. Wouldn't that be interesting? 

 

And yes, the friend who turned me on to the W30 is lending me her copies, both, of It Starts With Food and the other one.. I'd love to buy my own, and actually.. being temporarily in the US might be a good chance to do that and avoid the 200% premium Korean bookstores stack onto imported books, especially best sellers..

 

Thank you for your input. At least I don't feel paralyzed by the plethora of information out there. 

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