Change An Older Parent’s Eating Habits

Change An Older Parent's Eating Habits | The Paleo Diet

Dr. Cordain,

I started The Paleo Diet about two years ago because the low-fat vegetarian thing that I’d been doing for 20 years just wasn’t working. Within weeks I’d lost 3 dress sizes (not so many pounds but who’s counting) and my muscle tone had visibly improved. But the most amazing change was in my personality and health. It was as if someone had lifted a dark veil from my head. I sleep less but better, wake up happy and look forward to my daily challenges. My hair loss and skin problems have vanished. My teeth are stronger and my gums don’t bleed. My thyroid (which I claimed was enlarged, but doctors disagreed) has gone back to its normal size. I don’t need glasses anymore. I could go on and on…

Then I tried the diet out on my 10-year-old son. We decided to “eat like cavemen.” I noticed an immediate improvement in his concentration, his problem solving skills and his ability to deal with stressful situations. When he “falls off the wagon” at his grandmother’s house or with his dad, who thinks this diet philosophy is a crock of boloney, my son becomes cranky, difficult and indecisive. He makes mistakes on his homework and his test grades slip. This only confirms my agreement with the concept of the Paleo Diet.

One more story: I visited my 73-year-old father last year for 3 weeks (I live in Germany; he lives in Virginia). I said, “Sorry, dad. No more pizza for me.” He said, “Fine. You cook. I’ll eat.” Well. After 3 days he woke up and said “Gee whiz, I haven’t slept this well in years.” The next day, “Gee whiz, my sinuses are free.” The next day, “Gee whiz, there’s no pressure behind my eyes.” And on and on. By the end of my stay he was so revitalized that he decided to continue with the diet. Two months later he had a check-up and low and behold…

His “critical” sugar level was absolutely fine. His HDL/LDL ratio had swung from bad to great. His blood pressure had lowered so much that he was able to stop taking his medication.

A few months after that he called me and said that his gout had not acted up in weeks – no more medication necessary. The icing on the cake was his visit to the eye doctor, who was astounded that my father’s glaucoma had receded. Thank you, Dr. Cordain, for your research and hard work. You’ve improved and prolonged 3 lives. We are grateful.


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“1” Comments

  1. I’m 70 years old. I was a vegan for 3 & 1/2 years (Forks Over Knives) but it absolutely did not work for me (lost muscle mass, developed hyperparathyroidism, my osteopenia progressed to osteoporosis, and I began losing my hair–even my eyebrows–and thought that I’d have to wear a wig). I switched to Paleo about a year ago after reading Loren Cordain’s “Cereal Grains: Humanity’s Double-Edged Sword.” Since then my hair and nails have come back gang-busters, my hyperparathyroidism has reversed, and my osteoporosis seems to be reversing too (last test showed increased bone in the hip joint). In addition, my IOP dropped from 26 to 13 and there was no more talk of the likelihood that I’d have to begin taking eye drops for glaucoma. The pressure stayed low for more than 6 months, then suddenly jumped up to 27 in each eye. I thought that perhaps it was because I had begun eating a lot of dairy (yogurt and cheese) which I had not done before (I realize that these aren’t paleo). Then I read that the casein molecule from dairy is very similar to the gluten molecule from wheat and that sometimes the body treats them both the same so I stopped all dairy cold and went back to strict Paleo. Two months have gone by since then but, as of today, my eye pressure is still high –25/26. So it wasn’t helped by the Paleo diet and I think I’m going to start drops (though may have SLT–Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty done so that I don’t have to do the drops). Bottom line, Paleo didn’t work for my incipient glaucoma I’m very sorry to say. So even though the those other people had good results, it may not be maintainable.

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