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Diet Evolution

Posted Apr 12 2009 11:51pm

I have been reading Dr. Gundry's Diet Evolution, a book that is based on Paleo diet principles.  I didn't have any expectations for the book, but it really has some unique and inovative ideas.  The book looks at many things from the perspective of our genes, saying that while something may be good for our genes (in terms of reproduction), it is not very good for us as individuals.  For example, our genes may direct us to sugar, fat, and salt.  These things may help us reproduce while young but may hasten our exit from the planet.

The dietary plan is problematic in my view.  The initial "Teardown Phase" might as well be a starvation phase.  You eat only green vegetables along with mostly lean meat.  Looking at the sample menu, a person would be lucky to get 1,000 calories a day with this plan.  Of course a person will initially lose weight with this type of setup, but so what!  1,000 calories is simply not enough.  The long-term maintenance plan has a person phasing out meat in favor of even more vegetables.  This is not because meat is "bad", but precisely because meat is "good" in an evolutionary sense.  H e reasons that the foods that may help you reproduce are not the same foods that will increase longevity.

There is a neat section on hormesis in the book.  Gundry lists a few of the intermittent stressors that may increase longevity - exposure to hot and cold, fasting, etc.  He also points out how vitamin dosage might be related to hormesis - vitamins are helpful in lower doses but become toxic in higher doses.

Overall, I recommend this book, not because I agree with all of it, but because the book contributes a number of unique ideas.  As with any book, a person should take what is useful and leave the rest.  I think any reader will find a useful idea or two in this book.

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