Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

About Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Dr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of six popular bestselling books including The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

Further Evidence Against a High Sodium Paleo Diet

An ongoing controversy about dietary salt (either refined salt or sea salt) in human ancestral diets represents a significant point of contention for the Paleo Diet community.  Some popular bloggers contend that ingested high levels of dietary salt have no adverse effects upon our health and wellbeing1-10.  My scientific colleagues and I disagree with these conclusions11-34.   The Table below clearly demonstrates that high sodium diets (greater than 2300 mg/day) are virtually impossible to achieve when eating a 2000 to 2500 kcal/day diet consisting of normal selections of un-adulterated, non-salted wild or domesticated foods. References [1] Kresser C. Shaking Up

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The Sea Salt Controversy: Important Updates for Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution

Introduction: The Belief that Added Salt is Paleo Look no further than the increasing number of bestselling “Paleo” diet cookbooks1-7, or “Paleo” diet website recipes8-16 and you can fully appreciate the near unanimity of authors whose recipes embrace sea salt or salt as fundamental ingredients in an otherwise Paleo-friendly meal. Somehow, somewhere most people in the Paleo community have been led to believe that added sea salt or salt can be safely included in contemporary Paleo diets with no long-term, adverse health effects, and that high salt intakes were a normal part of ancestral, hunter-gatherer diets. At least, this is

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Pomegranate: Perhaps, Paleo’s Healthiest Fruit

Introduction In Colorado, late fall will shortly be upon us and we will fade into early winter and beyond. For many Paleo Dieters throughout the U.S., this time of season represents the closure of fresh farmer’s markets and the end of the delicious local fruits and vegetables they produce. Nevertheless, late fall and October also signify the beginning of the Pomegranate season, which in California (the major U.S. producer) runs from October through January1. I am eagerly looking forward to munching down on this succulent and health-giving fruit. In fact, pomegranates are so healthful that they have been described as

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Eliminating Non-Paleo Foods Improves Nutrient Density

[Part Three in our Series on Why the Paleo Diet is a Nutrient Dense Diet, by Trevor Connor, M.S. and Loren Cordain, Ph.D.] Possibly the biggest criticism made against the Paleo diet is that by eliminating multiple food groups (grains, dairy, legumes, and starchy roots) the diet can cause nutrient deficiencies. In fact, this argument is a major reason why the Paleo diet remains at the bottom of the US News and World Report’s Best Diet Rankings. In their rationale, US News stated “slapping the diet with multiple low ratings, the experts couldn’t accept that entire food groups, like dairy

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Dr. Cordain Responds to Critics of a Recent Paleo Diet Study

[Part One in our Series on Why the Paleo Diet is a Nutrient Dense Diet] In April, news of a recent two-year study exploring the effects of a Paleo diet on postmenopausal women was presented at the 2016 Endocrine Society Annual Meeting. Soon afterwards, an article hit the web detailing the positive results, but quickly shifted its focus to interviews with members of the nutrition community who focused more on their issues with the diet. In this part 1 of our Nutrient Density Series Dr Cordain addresses these critiques and shows that when you just delve a little deeper into

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Quinoa and Saponins: Dr. Cordain Responds to a Reader’s Question

Some people following the Paleo diet eat quinoa and other pseudo-grains as grain alternatives based on the encouragement of others in the nutrition community who tout quinoa as a “super-food.” Dr Cordain answers a reader’s question about why the high saponin content of quinoa can cause digestive issues and why we should be careful about reading too much into any single study. Dave Chiasson on August 24, 2016 wrote: I just read this: “What the Science Says Emerging research appears to contradict the idea that saponins from quinoa cause inflammation. Researchers examined the inflammatory effect of saponins from quinoa. Contrary

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Revisiting Sea Salt: Dr. Cordain Responds to a Reader’s Comment

As the Paleo movement has grown, many within the community have broadened the original template to include other ingredients that we at ThePaleoDiet.com do not feel should be included as a Paleo staple.  This is not to say that these additions should never be consumed, we have always agreed, that for most people, non-Paleo foods can be included in a healthy diet with an 85:15, Paleo:non-Paleo ratio.  But even if an ingredient can be argued as natural, one should still assess the likely availability, and hence its evolutionary influence upon humans, while also examining the current scientific literature with respect

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One More for the AGES: Dr Cordain Responds to Reader’s Questions about Advanced Glycated End Products

More than most sciences, the nutrition world is rife with debate and wildly different recommendations. Normally the debates center around our common knowledge of nutrition: macro- and micronutrients; glycemic index; caloric balance; etc. But sometimes it’s what we don’t know – or at least what few know – that’s important. One example is Advanced Glycated End Products or AGEs. Still new and not well understood within the nutrition world, these molecules can have a big impact on our health. And they are found in our food. Loren Cordain, PhD explained AGEs in a recent post, but you our readers asked

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Obesity in the Paleolithic: The Odd Case of the Venus Figurines

Introduction: Obesity in Western Societies Unless you’ve been camping out for the past 20 years, you are probably aware that Americans are the fattest people in the world.  The latest National Institute of Health (NIH) survey indicates that 68.8 % of all American adults are overweight or obese.   The easiest way to determine body composition and weight classification is to calculate the body mass index (BMI). Simply divide body weight in kilograms (kg) by height in meters squared (Table 1). Table 1.  Body Mass Index (BMI) categories where BMI = [body weight (kg)/height (m2)].  World Health Organization (WHO), 2004

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Pemmican: A Plains Indians Staple Food that Prevented Protein Poisoning

Introduction In a previous blog post (//thepaleodiet.com/north-american-plains-indians -tall-and -robust-meat-eaters-but-not-a-milk-drinker-among-them/) I demonstrated how the diets of North American Plains Indians during the 19th century allowed them to become the tallest humans in the world. All available evidence indicates 1-4 that they ate a very high (76–85% of total calories) 1 animal based diet throughout their lives, primarily from consumption of buffalo (Bison bison) meat and organs, as I have shown in my last blog post. With a high animal based diet, one of the inherent problems that these peoples surely must have known was that unlimited and high consumption of lean

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