Paleo vs. Vegan

Most people in the vegan camp think paleo is nuts, and most people in the paleo camp scoff at vegans. Yet, there are stories of people who have gone to either “side” of the diet spectrum, and have seen amazing, life-changing results. What gives?

I myself have been following the paleo diet for a few years. It has stabilized my weight, as I had been putting on the pounds due to my injuries preventing me from exercising. I feel less ravenous and hungry most of the time, but still don’t feel “superhuman” like most of the vegans or paleos claim to feel like. What gives?

Let me tell you about a dude I found on the internet named Danny Roddy. He’s been both vegan and paleo (no-carb paleo, that is) for a substantial amount of time. He did it all in the pursuit of preventing hair-loss. Neither seemed to work out for him, and both diets left him less than optimal – he knew this by looking at his blood-work results.

We’ll return to Danny in a sec.

I want to address something in regards to both diets. A major factor with the vegan diet is that it labels fats as evil – the paleo diet regards fructose as evil. When people in either camp remove their respective “poisons”, they become healthy and begin to “heal”. One write-up (from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, LA) claims how bad fructose is for you, and another study (from the Journal of the American Medical Association) claims that vegans out-live meat-eaters.

If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, I’m saying that vegans eat a lot of fructose and paleos consume a lot of fat.

Back to Danny Roddy – he discusses the research of Ray Peat and uses his works as a template for longevity and health. He explains how physiological stress due to hormonal imbalance (which is caused by diet), leads to decreased resilience and longevity.
In terms of diet, and this is grossly over-generalized, PUFA (poly-unsaturated fatty-acid) consumption leads to impaired aerobic respiration of sugars, making our cells less vital and efficient at producing energy.  This means our bodies aren’t producing enough energy when it needs it, making us “stressed” hormonally.

See how two compounds – PUFA (a fat) and sugar (which includes fructose) – are part of the equation? In either the vegan or the paleo diet, one of those compounds are cut out. For vegans, it’s fat, and for paleos, it’s fructose. Cutting out one part of the messed up equation alleviates the problems. But for how long does the “relief” last? Who knows.

Maybe it should be a good idea to cut out PUFAs and hold onto some fructose?

Maybe, the vegans should reintroduce some saturated and mono-unsaturated fats into their diets. How does coconut sound? Maybe, the paleos should bring back fructose into their diets. How does citrus fruit sound?

If you’re interested in what Danny Roddy has to offer, check out his blog at check his blog out at dannyroddy.com.

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