Below is a recent Q&A with Dr. Cordain:
1. Mr. Cordain, what is your lifestyle? Specifically, in terms of nutrition?
I try to eat between 85 % — 95 % Paleo. We try to eat grass produced meats exclusively.
2.Is Paleo the only sensible way for us humans when it comes to food?
Yes, it is the best dietary strategy to improve health and prevent chronic disease.
3. Can you describe the Paleo philosophy with one sentence?
Consume fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and grass produduced meats while avoiding processed foods.
4. Are there current studies or findings that reaffirm the Paleo diet, or perhaps bring with them new insights?
Five randomized controlled trials have tested the efficacy of contemporary Paleo diets on a variety of health endpoints. All show positive effects. What we need are more large RCTs with greater sample sizes.
5. What will happen if we remove more and more of this path and take more and more “modern” food to us?
Consumption of modern, processed foods typically results in ill health and obesity.
6. A Paleo lifestyle is not cheap – meat costs more than bread and butter. Do you think that Paleo for the general public is feasible at all?
In the U.S. and most westernized countries we are suffering from diseases of overconsumption, not underconsumption. In the U.S. health care costs are some of the greatest in our entire economy, hence the costs of preventative nutrition outweigh the costs of healthy food.
7. According to your book “The Paleo Diet”, it is the best if the meat sources are from grass fed animals or wildmeat, whereas most of commercially available meat comes from factory farms. This meat is mostly full of antibiotics and other drugs, but much cheaper. How do you see this problem?
This situation exist primarily in the U.S. where large feedlot operations produce grain fed animals and the subsequent nutritional problems with the meat from these animals. In S. America, Australia and Europe most meat is not produced in this manner. If given the choice, grass produced meats are always superior nutritionally to grain fed animals.
8. According to your book “The Paleo Diet”, we are genetically not created to eat dairy products. But what about breast milk?
Human milk is the food of choice for infants until weaning. After that 65 % of the people on the planet lose the ability to digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. No other species of mammal on the planet consumes the milk of another species after weaning. Bovine milk contains multiple hormones and bioactive peptides that may adversely affect immune function and health.
9. What do we need to do in the 21 Century to still live as hunter-gatherers?
Consume contemporary food groups that mimick the food groups of our hunter gatherer ancestors (Fresh fruits, vegetable, seafood and grass produced meats)
10. What is the most important argument to begin with Paleo? What advice would you give someone who wants to start a Paleo lifestyle?
Modern, processed foods (refined sugars, refined grains, refined oils, salt, and grain produced meats) maintain multiple nutritional problems that adversely affect human health. Avoid these foods to prevent chronic disease and obesity.
11. What do you think of Crossfit? Is a combination of Crossfit and Paleo appropriate?
These two concepts compliment one another.