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Addressing Disease with Diet

The evidence linking diet to the chronic inflammatory conditions that are overwhelming our healthcare system—metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions—is incontrovertible. While we believe in an 85:15 approach to The Paleo Diet®, if you are dealing with one of these conditions, a stricter diet or even an elimination diet approach may help you.

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Diet is not a panacea.

The healthiest eaters can still get sick, and no one lives forever. At The Paleo Diet®, we believe that diet is the path to a healthier and richer life, but don’t be fooled by dietary snake oil salesman promising immortality.

That said, poor diet can do a lot to damage our health. During the 20th Century, the number one killer in terms of disease, shifted from viruses to chronic inflammatory conditions, or what are known as Diseases of Civilization. These conditions—metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, digestive issues, neurodegeneration and autoimmune disease—now seem almost ubiquitous, to the point that most people expect to contract one at some point in their lives. So, it is hard to imagine that not too long ago, these conditions were rare and, in some places, even unheard of.

What is common to all of these conditions is that they start with chronic low-grade and inappropriate inflammation. As we’ve explained throughout this website, poor diet plays a big part in generating that inflammation. And likewise, a healthy diet can play a big part in reducing it.

The Paleo Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet and we believe that a reasonable Paleo Diet approach following the 85:15 rule will help many of us live healthier lives free of these conditions.

But if you are dealing with one of these conditions, an 85:15 approach may not be sufficient. You may need to be stricter, for example, by employing a short-term, very-low-carbohydrate approach if you are dealing with cancer or multiple sclerosis. And you may also want to try an elimination diet.

An elimination diet involves completely removing known culprit foods such as grains, dairy, tomatoes, nightshades, and egg whites from your diet until hopefully your condition improves. Then you would slowly reintroduce certain foods one at a time to find which cause your condition to flare up. Unfortunately, any food that causes a flare-up is something you’ll have to avoid permanently. But we trust you will agree it is worth the health benefits.

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Paleo Leadership
 
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Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

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Dr. Mark J. Smith

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Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.