The Warrior Diet vs The Palio Diet
The Paleo Diet’s vision goes back to the late Paleolithic period, using anthropological theories to substan-tiate its ca...
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as these are rather based on speculation with little factual evidence. Let’s take a look at some of the Paleo Diet’s most notable claims:
I’ve been receiving numerous emails asking for my opinion about the Paleo Diet approach, and the differences between that diet and the Warrior Diet. I have lots of respect for the work done by some visionary guys behind the Paleo Diet, Paul Cordain in particular, and for a while I’ve been holding my opinions to avoid this debate. However, since the Paleo Diet has adapted the Warrior Diet’s concept of intermittent fasting, followers of both diets try to combine these two approaches together to only realize that this “mute” will never work. I believe it’s time to set the record straight.
MYTH 1: THE HUMAN BODY HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE LATE PALEOLITHIC PERIOD
While both diets base their protocols on the ancestral diet theory, there are some fundamental differences between their visions. The Paleo Diet’s vision goes back to the late Paleolithic period, using anthropological theories to substantiate its caveman’s diet concept; whereas the Warrior Diet uses anecdotal evidence from ancient warrior societies along with cutting edge research on stress response and evolution biology to substantiate its diet approach.
The problem with this theory is that human beings are constantly evolving. In truth, recent scientific evidence indicates that evolution works much faster than previously thought, meaning that we are not biologically the same as our cavemen ancestors.
MYTH 2: THE LATE PALEOLITHIC CAVEMAN WAS A MODEL OF PEAK HUMAN HEALTH
The Paleo Diet’s mission is to convert people into the caveman diet which assumably accommodates the evolution of humans; whereas the Warrior Diet’s mission is to guide people how to transform their bodies via intermittent fasting to become increasingly resilient to disease and aging in today’s world. And there is more—the Warrior Diet is based on principles that direct people how to select their food; how to combine food; how to separate between daytime food and night time food and how to time their meals. The Paleo Diet offers guidelines based on principles but these seem to lack clarity and cohesiveness when translated into practice.
This assumption is highly arguable. There is no proof that the late Paleolithic caveman was an epitome of human health. Comparing the caveman’s physical state to that of today’s average man (who is largely overweight and sedentary) is like comparing a wolf to a poodle dog… And even if we justifyingly assume that the caveman was pound for pound in better shape that today’s man, it still does not prove anything about his real state of health. What we do know is that the average lifespan at that time period was below 35 and it’s still unknown what the caveman’s healthspan would be if he did not die from infections or injuries.
Here is my take on that. The main issue with the Paleo Diet is the many inaccuracies and contradictions that lie within its principles—issues the creators themselves dispute over. When it comes down to practice, many questions remain unaddressed. For instance, is the Paleo Diet a high carb or a high fat diet? This question still goes unanswered. While the vision is based on an ancestral theory model, the Paleo Diet has yet to figure out what their concept of ideal human fuel food really is—carbs or fat? This confusion is epitomized by habitual consumption of food that does not comply with the Paleo Diet’s principles. Such as for example the use of sweet potato. Although consumption of starchy foods is not recommended by the Paleo Diet, many Paleo Diet followers still credit the sweet potato as a staple fuel food! Which one is it?
MYTH 3: DAIRY SHOULD BE ELIMINATED The elimination of dairy from the Paleo Diet is based on wrong theories and false science. The Paleo Diet’s main argument is that dairy does not fit adult mammal “in their natural habitat adult animals do not drink milk…” Perhaps not, but if you give
The biggest issue though is with the Paleo Diet’s theories. Theories behind the Paleo Diet are often questionable at best
that the human diet evolved away from meat eating; the unique flat wear structure of the human cheek teeth bares proof that our genus rather evolved for a mostly vegetarian diet.
them milk they will certainly enjoy it! Yes, animals can benefit from quality milk, whey and colostrums. I’ve been giving our pasture raised whey protein to my cats and dogs every morning, and have been noticing great positive effects (anti-inflammatory, increased resistance to disease, improved mobility), particularly with my big dogs and 18 year old cat Junior.
Another important factor which is often overlooked is the bioactivity of meat. Apparently compared to plant food, meat is highly bioactive and this bioactivity affects our health whether we acknowledge it or not. The biggest issue is with animal fat— particularly belly fat (favorite among meat connoisseurs). Unlike vegetarian fat which is largely unsaturated and has no inherent bioactivity, meat fat is mostly saturated and pro-inflammatory, as it contains pro-inflammatory cytokines (hormone-like compounds) such as TNF-a and IL 6, both known for their insulin-shattering, obesity-promoting sickening effects.
Dairy seems to benefit all mammals including humans. Note that a large part of the human population has adapted to dairy since millenniums ago, and the gene for lactose tolerance is a dominating gene. This means that milk and lactose tolerance was an evolutionary advantageous trait for our species as it allowed early humans enrich their diet (which was often protein deficient) with quality protein and immune enhancing nutrients. So while dairy may or may not have been part of the caveman diet, it nonetheless has proven to benefit human survival. Numerous reports indicate that dairy consumption has been positively linked to sustainability of a lean healthy body.
And even if meat was a viable source of nutrients to early humans, we cannot deny the fact that today’s farm animal meat is not the same as the wild game meat of millennia ago. We cannot overlook the stats—meat consumption has been negatively correlated with human health and longevity.
MYTH 4: LEGUMES ARE TOXIC AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED
MYTH 6: FALSE FASTING Though the Paleo Diet approach recommends intermittent fasting, many Paleo Diet followers cannot figure out what intermittent fasting means. I’ve been approached by some cross-fit trainers who claimed to follow an intermittent fasting regimen where eating a few “small” meals during the day is ok—followed by a large evening meal; the idea of fasting during the day was thrown out of the window to avoid “muscle wasting and loss of strength”… these guys have made their mind—when maximum muscle is the goal, there is no place for intermittent fasting.
The Paleo diet prohibits legumes apparently due to their naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors and lectins—an argument which, frankly, does not make much sense. Fossil evidence indicates that legumes were actually a successful staple food for early humans throughout the late Paleolithic period, when the main human habitat was open grassland. Beans, lentils and peas were part of ancient diets including those of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Israelites, South Americans and Asians. Soaking, cooking and roasting methods have been used to eliminate potential inhibitors and lectin effects, making legumes one of the safest, healthiest and most accessible food groups to humans—high in protein, antioxidant nutrients, and soluble fiber.
Indeed, one of the main arguments against the Warrior Diet’s intermittent fasting approach is that it fails to accommodate bodybuilding. I was literally accused of violating this secret code of the muscle society… How can I reply to that? Let me phrase it this way: It’s like I was accused that my sister is a whore and I don’t even have a sister…go and argue that…
MYTH 5: THE MEAT FALLACY
And that’s exactly where the issue is. Intermittent fasting is a critical factor in triggering stress response mechanisms. And there is no way around it—you either follow it or you don’t. But let’s be clear—intermittent fasting may not be the ideal regimen to pump freaky muscles; neither can it be translated to another “Diet for Dummies book.” Nonetheless, it is the right protocol to maximize and extend your healthspan. And rather than building beef mass, this is the right regimen to develop muscles with superior fiber quality and a higher capacity to utilize energy and resist fatigue. Consequently, it transforms the body to becoming
The Paleo Diet’s argument that early humans were primarily meat eaters, thriving on a diet that was 60% meat and 30% vegetarian, is based on sheer speculation. In fact, the evolution of the human skull proves the opposite. The reduction in the human jaw and front teeth size (molars in particular), indicates
practice. This cutting edge concept goes beyond the Paleo’s vision so I ask you to read the following paragraph slowly and carefully.
leaner and tougher with increased capacity to sustain alertness and handle hardship. We need to see things the way they are—there seems to be a conflict between two factors that have been previously thought to go hand in hand—maximum performance and longevity. Apparently, physical conditioning regimens for max performance aren’t particularly designed to promote longevity and vice versa—regimens that promote longevity may not grant max performance.
THE STRESS RESPONSE CONCEPT Emerging stream of evidence indicate that nutritional stress and other forms of stress activate stress response genes which increase the healthspan and lifespan of organisms. This biological response to stress is evolved over a billion years old as it is evolutionary conserved from bacteria to humans. So what does it mean in practice?
The Paleo Diet’s cross-fit program was created to make you fit but can it help you extend your healthspan? This fitness protocol aims at maximizing your performance but will it keep your body young? Not necessarily. And here is why.If your immediate goal is maximum performance and that requires you to eat frequent meals along with starchy food (sweet potato and rice for instance), good chance you’ll be able to achieve your immediate goal and even score, but you may have to trade that with something more important—your future health and capacity to resist aging.
We can now use this knowledge to develop protocols that will enable us live longer and better. Stress response strategies can be used to trigger metabolic pathways that counteract inflammation while strengthening and extending tissue viability and resistance to disease and aging.
There is growing evidence that the frequent meal regimen as typically recommended by sport nutrition programs including Cross-Fit, causes inhibition of stress response genes, and related pathways. Meaning: the typical sport nutrition protocol inhibits vital metabolic pathways responsible for keeping your cells’ and tissues’ viability. Frequent feeding induces an accumulating inflammatory effect that will eventually diminish your body’s capacity to resist degradation and disease.
This new concept may change the way we look at human nutrition, health and fitness as we may need to reevaluate our priorities and make our choices accordingly. I anticipate that the stress response concept will revolutionize the human diet the same way that the internet has revolutionized human communications. The Warrior Diet was the first to methodically incorporate this concept in its nutrition and exercise manuals.
This may seem a slap in the face of all those fitness advocates who adamantly refuse to let go of their old muscle building routines. Regardless, frequent feeding and over-feeding have been found to be associated with inflammatory disorders, metabolic syndrome and premature aging.
The Paleo Diet isn’t just falling behind with the implementation of this concept, it fails to even recognize that.
For more information about Ori’s blogs and newsletters, visit www.warriordiet.com and www.defensenutrition.com.
And as for the Paleo Diet, though its fitness approach recognizes intermittent fasting as an important element, it often fails to incorporate that in practice.
FINAL NOTES Given all this—do you still feel the need to drop everything “civilized” and switch into a caveman lifestyle? Will the meat and sweet potato trick make you live longer? Or can you achieve today your ultimate health potential without adhering to a caveman lifestyle? I believe you can. But you need to learn about the concept of “stress response” and you need to know how to put it in