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The Strength of Evidence Podcast Episode 4 – The Paleo Diet

By March 6, 2013January 11th, 2014The Strength of Evidence Podcast

Get ready for what is sure to be our most controversial show yet! In this episode, Jon and Bret welcome special guest Dr. Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic to weigh in on The Paleo Diet and its recent review in US News & World Report’s “Best Diets” issue.

Before you listen to the podcast, take a look through the two documents that we evaluated in our discussion: the US News report on The Paleo Diet, and the rebuttal at Robb Wolf’s blog:

US News & World Report: Paleo

Rebuttal: Robb Wolf’s Blog

We review the claims and evidence provided by both sides to find out who has the science to back up the claims!

Click Here to Download or Just to Listen

Click Here to Download on iTunes

What do you think? Is Paleo right, or is it more theory vs. fact? Join us in the discussion by giving us a “like” on our Facebook page!

As always, if you like the podcast, please click on THIS LINK, go to iTunes, click on “ratings and reviews,” and leave us some feedback and a rating! Then share this with your friends and anyone that might like to hear the debate.

If you’re unaware of The Paleo Diet or want to learn more about it, THIS Wikipedia link is worth checking out.



  • Dylan says:

    There’s nothing quite like lying down and listening to well informed people discuss an interesting topic.

  • Don says:

    My vote goes with the Paleo diet. You can never go wrong with betting against the writers of US News and World Reports 🙂

  • James says:

    I normally enjoy the SoE podcast, but this episode was low on intellectual content and high on relativism. You kinda like Paleo, but you’re kinda turned off by its “cultishness”. No food group should be excluded from one’s diet, because they all have something good to offer. No-one loses, everyone wins – if just a bit.

    That’s a remarkably middle-of-the-road, mellow, off-target, low-key attitude to health and nutrition. Fair enough – I’d rather be cultish about having meat & nuts for breakfast than mellow about having Kellogg’s for breakfast and lining the pockets of the agro-industrial complex.

    Throughout the entire podcast, you fail to address the fact that Paleo isn’t really a diet – it’s a nutritional framework based on food quality, nutrient density, biochemistry, and evolutionary anthropology. So the fact that it occupies the last position on whatever nonsensical list is compiled by mainstream media speaks *in favor* of Paleo. As is the fact that no Massive Large-Scale Perfect Randomized Control Trial Study has been performed involving Paleo.

    Instead of propagating intellectual mediocrity and relativism, take your biomarkers of health & disease, eat Paleo for a month, then repeat and compare. N = 1 is the best science sometimes – small scale but you can trust it.

  • sean says:

    Good discussion.
    Regarding the question you posed: “why would we expect fat loss with paleo?” As James mentioned, it’s the nutrient density and satiety. It’s not just the rules. Weight watchers has rules, IIFYM has rules, but those diets are very difficult to maintain because the rather indiscriminate calorie deficit can induce hunger. Paleo leads to better short and long term satiety, whereas cheerios do not, even if they “fit your macros.”

  • JR says:

    I like this podcast, but, like mentioned before, I was quite unhappy with this constellation. here my points:
    1. Your were all – more or less – biased towards paleo
    2. You did not make a distinction between the paleo ideas, which can be mainstream and low carb (Cordain) or more anthropologic-historical with more carbs included ( e.g. Staffan Lindeberg).
    3. You basically discussed a low carb diet and did not discuss the more specific rules of mainstream paleo regarding e.g. dairy products and legumes.

  • R says:

    Alan Aragon did a fantastic presentation on this. His slides, which don’t tell the entire story as these are a part of a presentation he conducted, give some detail that’s interesting. Go to the link below to download the slides:

    Alan’s points are great and, quite frankly, Paleo is kind of silly. There is one good thing about it: the advocation for minimally processed foods. The vendetta against grains, legumes, and nightshade veggies, though, isn’t entirely founded (Alan’s slides discuss this).

  • Carmon says:

    Incredibly awesome article, i absolutely love this website, keep it up.

  • Ben says:

    Its not just about calories, some foods create different metabolic effect in the body than others right?, calories in calories out works to a point, but then what?
    Food quality matters, and when you increase the quality you can eat more without gaining as much fat as you would on SAD diet with comparable calories.
    Also, if you think a calorie is a calorie, you are probably nutrient deficient in a number of ways. There is way more to the story of eating for health and fitness than simple calories!

  • Lily says:

    Interesting discussion, but no mention of whether this is for vegetarians – is there such a thing as a vegetarian Paleo diet? If it is, where should the macro nutrients come from?

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