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Paleo Courses and Colleges | The Paleo Diet

Dear Dr. Cordain

I write to you for a little advice and hope that you are able to assist me..

This year I discovered the simple logic and effectiveness of the Palaeolithic diet, with benefits for me personally that have been excellent. This led me to continue researching the subject and I eventually signed up to a course here in the UK, seeking to qualify as a Diet & Nutrition advisor, as I realised my passion for the subject extended beyond my own health.

My question then, is directed to what avenue of education, course, college or university you might be able to recommend that incorporates the principles on which the Palaeolithic diet is based. Essentially I’m looking for the grounding needed to practice this approach effectively with future clients, once I have completed my studies. I intend to apportion several years to learn my trade and would consider anything as long as it provided a comprehensive basis from which to work, this includes studying in the US.

Thank you for your time,
Kind regards
Roberto

 

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Dear Roberto,

Many thanks for your interest in The Paleo Diet.  To my knowledge, nowhere in the world is there either a graduate or undergraduate University or College level program that prepares students specifically  for professional careers in “Paleolithic Nutrition”.  Most major Universities with Anthropology Departments offer courses in human evolution, but these classes typically touch minimally  upon ancestral human diets and their implications for health and disease in contemporary people.  Most major Universities with Nutrition Departments offer courses in human nutrition and diet and disease, but virtually none of these classes even mention the evolutionary basis for optimal human nutrition.

In the U.S.  the most common degree related program leading to a career in professional nutritional counseling is the registered dietician (RD) program.  However, as you can see from this blog (http://plumhealth.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-become-paleo-dietitian-and-is-it.html) from Paleo friendly RDs that the RD program is strictly old school and teaches mainstream USDA Food Plate dogma.  There is hope if you stick it out and continue to educate yourself independently as you pursue your degree.

I can tell you that the time is ripe for just such a program to emerge somewhere here in the U.S. or in the UK at a progressive, eclectic University or College which emphasizes Anthropology, Evolution, Biochemistry and Epidemiology as complementary and underlying disciplines  for the study of human nutrition. I taught one graduate level course in Evolutionary Nutrition (Evolutionary Basis for Health and Nutrition) and has taught one undergraduate level course (Evolutionary Basis for Optimal Human Nutrition ) in the area as well. You may download the course syllabi below:

HES 545 Evolutionary Basis for Health and Fitness

IU 193 – H01 Evolutionary Basis for Optimal Human Nutrition

Best wishes,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

 

Updated Information regarding this blog post (11/25/2012):

Here is the syallabus for two of Dr. Cordain’s courses:

Download Now: 193 Syllabus Spring 2010

Download Now: Syllabus Spring 2011

 

Below is an additional correspondence between Dr. Cordain and a Paleo Diet Fan:

Dear Dr. Loren Cordain,

My name is Saurus E Arneson and I am a registered nurse on the Fort Peck Reservation in Wolf Point, MT.  I have been following the Paleo lifestyle for over a year, although my lifestyle growing up was very similar.  I am very much a research ‘junky’ and am constantly trying to find ways to improve my education and my lifestyle and then in turn trying to help others in that manner.  In our little area of the world, we are ravaged with diabetes and very poor nutrition choices, among many other metabolic linked diseases.  I have looked deeply into getting certification in nutrition based courses to improve in my ability to work with the local populations, such as Integrative Nutrition, but have not started as of yet.  I would definantly be interested in any courses that you have to offer or possible certification/degree programs.  I stumbled across a response you posted to a question concerning Paleo Courses/Colleges on thepaleodiet.com.  You have responded to several replies for the individuals to contact you at this email address.  Hopefully this reaches you.

Thanks for your time and I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyed in happiness and health.

Saurus

 

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Dear Saurus,

Good to hear from you and many thanks for your support of the Paleo Diet.  I have corresponded with a number of native American groups (and Canadian tribes also) over the years who had interest in the Paleo Diet to improve the health and well being of their people by returning them to a diet that more closely resembles their ancestors’ nutritional fare before the coming of the “white man’s” culture.  In native American people, obesity, type 2 diabetes and diet related illnesses now run rampant both on and off Indian reservations.  These conditions were unknown in most of these people as recently as 150-200 years ago or less.  Many tribal elders are aware of the therapeutic health effects of their traditional foods (bison, elk, deer, antelope, salmon, fish, pine nuts, seeds, wild roots, berries, and many other edible indigenous foods).  However, part of the problem, as you have mentioned is in educating the younger generation about the healthful effects of their culture’s traditional foods.  I have taught an entry level (100 level course for freshmen) Paleo Diet course at CSU for many years and which could easily be taught by registered nurses or dietiticians.  A course like this should be required on many American Indian Reservations which suffer disproportionately from obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases of insulin resistance.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

 

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