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When I first read the opening paragraph of this story, I thought they were joking. After reading the rest, I'm not so sure.

New Dietary Guidelines Issued

Cave men lived a healthy lifestyle: Their calorie intake stayed low because food was hard to find, and they exercised regularly to bring home the bacon. The government wants Americans to follow that approach.

Was it Ayn Rand, or am I thinking of someone else, who wrote about the left's "worship fo the primitive?"

For a little comic relief, here's Cox & Forkum's take on the story: Caveman Diet

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I particularly liked this comment, "But to say cavemen "lived a healthy lifestyle" drops a little context, such as that life expectancy was extremely short due to disease, starvation, and "biggie sized" mammals."

I don't know if I buy that article. I have been eating about 4000 calories a day for the past 3 years, and I don't pack on any extra body fat. I would venture to say I am probably stronger, quicker, and in much better health than your average cave man (although they would probably woop me in regards to endurance). My diet has always consisted mainly of protein and fat. Sugar is sugar, and fruits are loaded with sugar. If one ate 13 peiced of fruit a day, then it would make sense to reduce your overall calories, as thats about 325 grams of sugar right there (25 grams per peice of fruit makes a good average), not to mention all the other sugary products a typical American eats.

IMO if the typical American wants to lead a healthy lifestyle they need to stop sitting around watching reality TV all day, and do very intense aerobic, and anaerobic exercise, coupled by a clean diet high in protein. I don't think many people realize that lean body mass helps to more effectively utilize energy, and hence they focus their exercise routines on cardiovascular training, which burns less calories than something anaerobic, like HIIT. 30 minutes of a brisk walk everyday is quite useless, unless one is entirely out of shape and trying to get on track.

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I don't know if I buy that article. I have been eating about 4000 calories a day for the past 3 years, and I don't pack on any extra body fat. I would venture to say I am probably stronger, quicker, and in much better health than your average cave man

From your diet, I assume you lift weights regularly? That makes things different since a lot of your excess calories will actually find a use, (namely repairing muscle, and hypertrophy). For the average person who isnt following a weights program, eating significantly over maintenence calories will generally cause an increase in bodyfat regardless of whether the food is clean - this is part of the reason why bodybuilders often put on fat if they stop training for several months without adjusting their diet accordingly.

I agree with you regarding the exercise though, but its probably easier to convince people that eating cake is bad for them, than it is to persuade them to join a gym.

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From your diet, I assume you lift weights regularly? That makes things different since a lot of your excess calories will actually find a use, (namely  repairing muscle, and hypertrophy). For the average person who isnt following a weights program, eating significantly over maintenence calories will generally cause an increase in bodyfat regardless of whether the food is clean - this is part of the reason why bodybuilders often put on fat if they stop training for several months without adjusting their diet accordingly.

I agree with you regarding the exercise though, but its probably easier to convince people that eating cake is bad for them, than it is to persuade them to join a gym.

Sorry I wasn't very clear. My point is to show that calorie intake is dependent on the person, and their particular levels of activity. Once cannot except to get away with eating a typical American diet if they do not exercise regularly, and intensely.

If I didn't exercise, and ate the way I did, I would probably put on some fat.

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...life expectancy was extremely short due to disease, starvation, and "biggie sized" mammals.

Very funny. Yeah, seems like everything was biggie-sized back then, except us...

I have been eating about 4000 calories a day for the past 3 years, and I don't pack on any extra body fat.

You are fortunate. And I would venture a guess that you are one or more of the following:

A. Under 40 years of age

B. Exercise lots

C. Are 6' or taller, i.e. large

D. You just have a metabolism that allows it

At 43 I run an average of about 20 miles a week all year and I can't consume much over 2000 without gaining. Used to be able to eat anything.

30 minutes of a brisk walk everyday is quite useless

Depends on your age and condition. Not everybody can train like an athlete, but 30 minutes walking is still exercise.

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I think both the article and the cartoon are right on, if you consider that the emphasis is to watch calorie intake and make sure you exercise. If the author were saying that I should actually wear a loin cloth and roam suburbia hunting for my next dinner (my neighbor's dog?), then I'd have a basis for complaint...

I should amend that slightly. If we assume you're a caveman with a balanced diet, good hygiene, and modern medical care. Then, they'd be living a healthy life. :P

If you don't get vigorous exercise from your modern life, you need to create exercise in your spare time, or I think your body is going to atrophy and create health problems for you later on in life. We no longer have to get out there and take down that mastodon for dinner, so we have to fabricate a level of exertion to make up for it.

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While the journalist actualy comes out in support of cavemen, I wouldn't be too rash in condemning the science behind a paleolithic diet. When getting your scientific information from a news source, remember that they're newswriters, and usually understand very little about complex topics like nutrition.

I for one, and nearly every person I've consulted on Supertraining (Dr Mel C Siff PHD's email list) has been begging for a change to the food guide for years. The old food guide did not differentiate between carbohydrates which are high on the glycemix index or insulin index (developed before we had researched much in this area). It said to use less animal fats, but the recommendations were vague and based on 70's research, now we have tonnes of studies on essential fatty acids.

The amount of diabetes today is a good reason to look back on what went wrong with their carbohydrate recommendations. Before, it was believed that complex carbohydrates were superior to simple sugars, and that they produced steady insulin release. Now we've realized that a complex carbohydrate can be worse, or better, than a simple sugar, it all depends on glycemic and insulin indices. A simple sugar like fructose is in the 30s while white bread is near 100. This means it will cause a sharp peak and drop in insulin release.

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