Bookmark and Share

Don Sorchych

Try the Stone Age diet

My diet epiphany occurred while listening to Lance Dreher’s radio program on KFYI on Saturdays from 5 to 6 p.m.  Dreher was twice Mr. Universe, once Mr. America and is highly educated in exercise and nutrition.

A few months ago, Dreher’s guest speaker was Loren Cordain, PhD. Cordain is considered to be the world’s expert on the Paleolithic diet and is a professor of Diet and Exercise Science at Colorado State University.

I had heard about the paleo or Stone Age diet for years and discarded it as another fad diet. The concept is that we are genetically inclined to the hunter gatherer diet.

Cordain’s two books I purchased were, “The Paleo Answer” and “The Paleo Diet Cookbook.” To prove that the Paleo diet is scientifically based, there are about 50 pages of resources and footnotes in "The Paleo Answers" and the book itself is comprehensive.

bil canfield editorial cartoon
One fascinating story is about an experience Dr. Odea had in Australia. He selected 10 Aborigine men who had been raised in the outback in a hunter gatherer group. They had migrated to western society later and all became overweight and had type two diabetes.

The doctor convinced them to return to their area of youth and to live for seven weeks foraging, hunting and gathering. So they dropped the western diet rich in processed food, carbohydrates (carbs) and sugars and hunted kangaroos, crocodiles, turtles, birds, shellfish, crawfish, yams, figs, fish and bush honey. All of the foods were fresh and as hunter gatherers they could not be sedentary and survive.

Their blood results were impressive as was their weight loss of an average of 16.5 pounds; cholesterol dropped 12 percent and their triglycerides dropped 73 percent. Insulin and glucose metabolism became normal and their type two diabetes was gone. All this in seven weeks by dropping the western diet in favor of the rapidly diminishing Paleo diet as hunters and gatherers are headed toward extinction.

Hunter gatherers still exist in Australia, South America and Africa and similar studies have produced similar results.

I have been diet conscious for a long time. When I had a heart event in 1978, Cleveland Clinic taught me their protocol which was no eggs, no saturated fats, margarine instead of butter and on and on. At least they convinced me to stop smoking cigarettes.

But as the years went on my diet consisted of lots of carbs: pizza, pasta, tortillas etc. Everything I read promoted whole grains and I was a disciple for it. When you hear Dr. Fitness, Dreher’s nom de plume, you will hear repeatedly that carbs are sugar and to avoid them. He is right and his approach is very close to Cordain’s diet.

I was diagnosed with type two diabetes about ten years ago and take Glyburide and Metformin to reduce blood sugar, which I measure twice each day. Since I started the Paleo diet I have lost 10 pounds and reduced diabetes medication by half. I believe when I lose ten more pounds I will be off diabetes medication.

We are fortunate that my daughter and grandchildren in Florida are hunters. Alexandra killed a deer and sent venison and Nick killed two alligators and sent meat. I drew an elk permit in Arizona this year and grass fed beef, chicken, fish and most all varmints are suitable food.

After years of avoiding eggs, three eggs for breakfast is a typical Paleo breakfast. After years of dodging coconut oil it is encouraged. Certain saturated fats are encouraged and some are not. It is basic to eat fresh unprocessed foods and not canned or other processed foods. There are many foods listed to avoid and plenty which are acceptable foods. The diet is rich in vegetables and light on fruit because of the sugar content. Cordain’s books give you all the guidance you need.

Dr. Fitness offers a diet and exercise program and the center of their advertising is a former client that lost over two hundred pounds, has kept it off for years and was so impressed he started a fitness program in Glendale using Dreher’s principles.

The Fitness centers have an exercise regimen, they say, which fits your age and health capacity. The diet sounds much like Cordain’s. I have never joined their program because their marketing is insulting. Dreher often says there is 50 percent off the subscription price. Hello? What is the price? Never mind the 50 percent off. That is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the word and it's offensive.

Anyway, the Cordain books and exercise work for me although I do miss the carbs. But I miss cigars too. Such is life. Also, Shari Jo was pretty much carb free when I met her but she adopted my carb rich diet. She is delighted with the carbless Paleo diet and I am too.