Sunday, November 29, 2009

Answers to Questions Posted by Blog Readers - 11.29.09

Dear Readers,

Here are answers to some of the questions we've received recently. We hope they are helpful to you. We read all comments, and we are very interested in hearing your thoughts, learning about your experiences, and understanding what questions you have.

Blog Q: In the book The Paleo Diet Dr. Cordain do not allow yams and sweet potatoes. In the blog they are recommend to those who are underweight (11-November-09). I am a patient with Multiple Sclerosis and am underweight. May I eat these vegetables?

A: In The Paleo Diet Dr. Cordain recommends avoiding high starch foods because they are usually high-glycemic load foods. Those foods cause hyperinsulinemia, which is at the root of many western diseases such as acne, myopia, polycystic ovary syndrome, male vertex balding, early menarche, certain epithelial cells carcinomas, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, etc.

In your case, high glycemic load foods like yams shouldn’t be a problem, but use them in moderation--especially after exercising, as the muscle will more efficiently absorb glucose. However, potatoes are not allowed for MS patients, as they are sources of harmful substances--namely saponins (Chaconine and Solanine). Saponins can increase intestinal permeability which is one of the factors involved in almost all autoimmune diseases.

Blog Q: I want to start on the Paleo Diet, but I live in a medium sized town and have not been able to find a source for pastured meat. I wonder if New Zealand lamb--which always seems to be available at my supermarket--is okay? Is it pastured? Also, is farmed Atlantic salmon acceptable, no one carries wild.

A: We have not studied the efficacy of New Zealand Lamb relative to the Paleo Diet, but a quick online search seems to indicate that you could consume this as part of the Paleo Diet.

Regarding farmed Atlantic Salmon: it is not the best choice. Maybe you can find another kind of cold water fish, such as sardine, anchovy, mackerel or tuna, which has not been farmed. We suggest you inquire at your local fish market.

Blog Q: I've never used coconut oil, and I'm hesitating because I can't stand the taste of coconut. Is the coconut taste very strong in coconut oil?

A: Yes, coconut oil’s flavor is quite strong.

Links to papers pertaining to Maelán's blog comment reply of 9 December 2009:

LDL Cholesterol: “Bad” Cholesterol, or Bad Science?

Dietary Intake of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids during the Paleolithic

The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups

Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets

Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century

Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X

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