"Shun whole grains (and all grains) like the plague"
Conventional wisdom: Called "Staff of Life", grains were included in the Food Pyramid as the foundation of a healthy diet. 6-11 daily servings recommended by the US Government and numerous other experts. They provide main source of energy for working muscles.
Primal Blueprint: "Worst mistake in the history of the Human Race" (UCLA evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond). Drives excess insulin production, fat storage, and heart disease. Allergenic, immune suppressing, nutritional value inferior to plants and animals. Whole grains possible worse due to offensive pro inflammatory, immune and digestive system disturbing agents - especially excessive fiber.
"Eat plenty of saturated animal fat"
Conventional wisdom: Limit intake. Heart disease risk factor. "Eating fat makes you fat." Replace saturated fats (meat, lard, diary) with polyunsaturated fatty acids like vegetable oils.
Primal Blueprint: Little or no association with heart disease risk. (Framingham and Nurses Health studies). Should be major dietary calorie source (from animal foods). Drove human evolution/advancement of brain function for two million years. Promotes efficient fat metabolism, weight control, and stable energy levels.
Major risk factor for heart disease is actually Metabolic Syndrome, driven by excess polyunsaturated fatty acids, insufficient Omega-3's, high carbohydrates/excess insulin, and overly stressful lifestyle.
"Get plenty of sun to avoid cancer"
Conventional wisdom: Avoid the sun to prevent skin cancer. Lather up with SPF 20, 30, 40, 50 - all you got!
Primal Blueprint: Get adequate sun to avoid skin and other cancers. Vitamin D synthesis promotes healthy cellular function. Cover up with clothing, find shade, or go inside after sufficient daily exposure is achieved.
"Weight loss doesn't require calorie counting"
Conventional wisdom: Achieve ideal weight with high complex carb/low fat diet, regimented meals, portion control and long daily cardio exercise programs. Severe calorie restriction coupled with overly stressful exercise effective for "fit into the dress by June" emergencies. Bottom Line: It's all about "calories in, calories out", and lucky genes.
Primal Blueprint: Weight control is driven by a high fat/moderate protein/low-carb diet, intuitive, sporadic meals, and 'primal exercise laws". Don't worry about portion control, regimented meals, fanatical exercise or even family genetic predisposition. Calorie restriction with extreme exercise leads inexorably to long term failure. Bottom line; It's all about insulin to enjoy effortless lifelong weight control.
"You don't need eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily"
Conventional wisdom: Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses a day is somehow "healthy".
Primal Blueprint: There is no reason for prescribing that every person walking the face of the earth consume eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day It's a wive's tale. The human thirst mechanism does pretty darn well if you let it do what it's supposed to do. If you eat healthy, you get most of your water from the food you eat. Over-hydrating can dilute gastric juices so you don't digest your food as well.
"Don't worry about the size or frequency of meals"
Conventional wisdom: Three squares (or six small meals) daily to "keep flame burning". Skipped meals results in slowed metabolism, lower energy levels, sugar craving, and binging risks.
Primal Blueprint: Eating frequency is a personal preference, but it's all about insulin. If you control insulin production even sporadic eating habits will sustain energy without regular meals (it's in our genes). Intermittent fasting is a great catalyst for weight loss.
"Strenuous, lengthy daily "cardio" workouts will keep you fat"
Conventional wisdom: Cardio workout is the centerpiece of fitness program. Promotes cardiovascular health and weight control, minimizes heart disease and cancer risk. Minimum 30 minutes, 3 times per week, (more is better) medium to difficult intensity.
Primal Blueprint: Frequent medium to difficult sustained cardio workouts result in overstress, fatigue, burnout, injury, accelerated again, and increased disease risk. Ineffective for weight loss; calories burned through intense daily workouts simply increase appetite, particularly for sugar. Slow down for better health and performance. You can't exercise off your body fat. It has to come from your diet.
Foods to eat and avoid:
Primal foods: Steak, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, All Vegetables and All Fruits. Butter, Lard, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil all Encouraged
Non-Primal (not allowed): Grains (Cereals, Pasta, Bread, Rolls, Crackers, Cookies, etc), Sodas, Any Foods with Added Sugars, Trans Fats or Hydrogenated Oils.
About Mark Sisson:
Mark Sisson is the founder and publisher of MarksDailyApple.com, one of the Internet's most visited health and fitness blog sites. Mark is a former 2:18 marathoner and 4th place finisher in the Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championships.
Never at a loss for words on the topics of nutrition, health, and fitness, Mark's lively commentary and practical advice has been enjoyed by millions through his many radio and television appearances and Internet articles.
About the book:
Sisson says the secret for optimum gene function lies in emulating the nutritional and lifestyle habits that our hunter-gatherer ancestors practiced exclusively until some 10,000 years ago.
"We have rediscovered a Primal Blueprint for wellness and longevity made up of the eating and behavior patterns practiced by primitive man during a period where conditions like obesity, cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue were virtually unknown," says Sisson.
Sisson's book outlines Ten Primal Blueprint Laws - nutritional and lifestyle guidelines we in the 21st century can use to optimally transform and optimize our innate genetic potential for health.