But not everyone agrees. Here's an email I got yesterday. While I appreciate the effort and obvious concern that went into it, needless to say that I disagree with most of it. The one part I do agree with is that's it better to eat free range animals eating their natural diets, rather than grain fed. That said, I do not believe it's the issue that some make it out to be. While I do eat a lot of grass fed / finished meat, I still do eat some from decent quality sources that's grain finished, out of convenience. However, my napkin calculations suggest my n-6 intake is not all that high (no processed oils or foods), and I take n-3 in the form of fish oil and CLO, I eat lots of seafood, and so my ratio intake is pretty Paleo even in the face of some less than optimal meat.
Also, legumes are in no way, shape or form part of a Paleo diet (nor are psyllium husks). In my opinion, ingesting toxins from legumes is orders of magnitude worse than eating grain-fed meat. So, here's the email, and I hope it generates some discussion (Monica, Dr. BG, Stephan? Others?).
My brother-in-law turned me on to your website as I'm a Naturopathic physician practicing in Portland, OR who specializes in nutrition and diet. Currently I'm doing a lot of research on the effects of various foods and diet on our endocrine function, especially on insulin. In any event, I applaud your obvious (visual) progress. Good on ye! I did want to comment on your "lipid" profile though. I don't know if the profile you have on your site is your most recent one and/or whether it represents an improvement from a previous state or not, but I wanted to fill you in on a few things.
First, just because the lab has reference ranges doesn't mean they're truly optimal, they often just concur with the average numbers seen by that lab. I don't know what lab your doc uses, but I haven't seen a lab in years that sets its total cholesterol reference range limit above 200 like yours does, and in terms of optimal health even that is too high. Frankly, I find your lipid levels to be of concern, particularly given your ideas about fat consumption.
Know that over half of all heart attacks occur with people who have a total cholesterol levels between 160 and 200, and half of all fatal heart attacks occur in people with no prior symptoms of heart disease, not even high blood pressure! The bottom line is that how you look and feel on your new diet will not warn you if you have a potential MI coming right around the bend. Below 150 (total cholesterol) heart attacks are virtually non-existant. Just telling you to beware that you've got a ways to go if you want to protect yourself from this.
While paleolithic man did consume game regularly and craved fat given the amount of calories consumed by their level of activity and exposure, keep in mind that wild game typically has about 3 – 5% body fat, whereas commercial meats often contain 30% to 50% or more! So make sure you're comparing apples to apples in what you're consuming. Your relationship to fat consumption, despite the weight loss you're experiencing, is off if you're committed to your health as well as your looks – which it seems to me you are.
If I were you, I would cut back on your meat consumption and/or at least consume only grass fed graisers/completely freerange chicken or turkey – ie: animals that are consuming their own paleolithic diet. And I would definitely cut back on your apparently eager fat consumption. Because for what it's worth, if you're eating unhealthy animals that were fed grain, they will pass on poor health to you regardless of your weight.
One other thing I saw on your site about constipation; you suggested consuming more fat. This is very unsound advice to be giving people. In order for fat to cause enough lubrication to promote a BM in someone who has constipation, they would have to consume more than they can properly digest. Typically fat is emulsified by elements in bile, and so it doesn't appreciably improve lubrication of the bowels unless it's not being digested properly. If it seems to do so in your experience, it is a sign that you have less than optimal digestion, and are either eating too much for your body to deal with at one time or that you may have subpar liver or gall bladder function.
But more to the point, in the case of humans the way to maintain healthy bowel tone and function is by consuming large quantities of fiber, period. This is that way nature designed us omnivores who have such long GI tracts compared to the extremely short ones of pure carnivores. Meat, fish, foul, eggs, milk products & fat (all animal based foods) contain ZERO fiber. That's "0" as in none whatsoever. We need lots of fiber to remain healthy and that's just the way it is. Psyllium husks certainly provide fiber and are a much more appropriate choice than increased fat intake which frankly is inappropriate for this purpose and will only increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. But why not consume fiber in the form of actual food – fruits, veggies, legumes, and consume more water to keep your bowels moving as well as prevent future bowel cancer, diverticulitis, etc.?
While a high meat & fat diet can definitely lead to weight loss, looks aren't everything when it comes to actual health. There is no doubt that the more meat and fat you consume the higher your cancer and heart disease risks. So if you're truly committed to keeping your new figure in great health until you die a very old man in your sleep, you should stick to a TRULY paleolithic diet. One that consists of fruit, a LOT, LOT, LOT of vegetables, legumes, nuts & seeds, and wild fish/foul/game (or domestic critters themselves fed a paleo diet, not the grain diet we feed them – even our farmed fish!).
While you didn't ask for any advice, since so many others are apparently reading your blog and you seem authentically interested in optimizing your health I assumed you would be interested. Hope that's the case and I haven't overstepped myself here (something I've been accused of in the past I must admit, though my heart is in the right place). If you're not personally interested, I hope you'll still post this to your blog (although I'm not a "member") for the sake of those who want information from various sources. I was impressed by your sketch about no guru's, so I assume you're willing to consider information from a variety of sources and pass it on to those reading your blog.
Here's to your health!
Carole A Warner, ND, LAc