The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat
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The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  2,107 ratings  ·  144 reviews
As seen on Dateline NBC Healthy, delicious, and simple, the Paleo Diet is the diet our genes were made for. This book presents readers with a program that causes weight loss in overweight people - up to seventy-five pounds in six months while normalizing blood cholesterol, and increasing energy levels.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by John Wiley & Sons (first published September 7th 2001)
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Elf M.
This book is a long list of statements that should all end with [citation needed]

In order to distinguish his work from competing diets, Cordain spends an inordinate amount of time in the early chapters dumping on the Atkins diet, but he does so in a way that skews the research. He complains that the Atkins diet does away with fruits and vegetables, "Cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables![citation needed]" A lot of the book is like that. He goes deep into anti-salt and anti-fat, which I supposed...more
Jodi
I'm a big supporter of the Paleo diet concept and the idea that we need to eat the traditional foods our genes need to be healthy.

This book claims to be the last word in explaining what our ancestors ate, and to not be just another book full of fads, but it is seriously flawed. The author seems to be trying to merge information on what the caveman diet consisted of with as many modern food fads as possible. He is particularly ignorant about healthy fats and oils.

The book is also not very convinc...more
Stella
I've been following Mark Sisson (marksdailyapple.com)and Robb Wolf's (The Paleo Solution) advice about how to do Paleo. Since the author of this book is a mentor to Robb, and I really enjoy what Robb has to say, I figured I would like this book. Not even. I think a lot of what he's advocating is outdated. No salt? Really? I'll keep my sprinkle of Celtic sea salt, thank you. And I will cook with saturated animal fats and use some butter in moderation. I've only been following the Paleo way of eat...more
Roslyn Ross
One of the most disappointing books of the year. I loved the idea of it, eating the way our ancestors did but this... isn't it. This is a DIET book, a how to lose weight book, not a how to be healthy and eat the way your body was designed to eat did book. I was looking for a reason that Paleo was "better" than Nourishing Traditions / Weston A Price's ideas on eating native diets and this doesn't hold a candle to WAP.

He doesn't even address things like raw milk and soaking grains! He claims the...more
Shilpa
Jan 25, 2010 Shilpa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anu
I've been doing Paleo diet (or some milder variation thereof) and it has completely changed me. Because of the diet (and Crossfit), I'm in the best shape I've ever been, and I'm even seeing muscle development I've never seen before. Highly recommend this book.
A word of advice: kicking high glycemic index foods (e.g. "bad carbs") is hard, especially for those accustomed to having desserts. Other people I've talked to who've changed to the Paleo lifestyle say that it takes 1-2 weeks to really "we...more
Celeste
My husband has decided to (mostly) follow the Paleo diet, and I wasn't satisfied with what he could tell me about it, so I bought this book to read on my Kindle.

There's a certain level of persuasion to be expected when one reads a book about a diet, but this one slides into condescension pretty quickly. I wanted to shake the author and tell him, "Tone it down, man! Don't you realize that the people who read this book aren't on the Paleo diet yet?!" It wasn't very welcoming. I plowed on, and some...more
Margaret
While there is merit to the general idea behind eating like our Paleolithic ancestors, many of the extreme ideas behind this book have been called into question by recent research. For example, the suggestion that a protein calorie is not equal to a carbohydrate calorie has not been verified by real-world studies.

But the real failure of the book is clear in its ridiculous portrayal of a vegetarian diet: yogurt and carbs. In this "case study", the person is portrayed as weak and sick because of...more
Marc
In my opinion, the most important book on nutrition ever written. There are, however, problems with it. For one thing, it is written in that stupid lose-weight-on-this-diet genre (which, I understand, was not entirely Cordain's decision) and it can be really grating to read. Second, it is a little fluffy, at least for a geeky analytical fellow like me.

But even so, the basic tenant and program of the book is fantastically important. Here is how to think about the picture. Nutrition and health st...more
Bethany
I was hoping for more from this book. I'm very interested in the paleo diet (since I have gluten, carb, sugar, etc. intolerances), but after reading this book I've decided not to follow it so extremely. I was excited for the menu plans included in one of the chapters, until I read through them. Most did not sound appetizing to me and/or are quite pricey.

I realize the author was just spelling out the actual diet, but it was not motivating to me at all. For those wanting a clear-cut book about th...more
Dawn
Not a bad book just not great either if you want a diet book something akin to the Abs Diet book then this is for you. Not a great read but not dry either.

The biggest negative for me is his reference to research but not really follow through, I guess think was intentional as some may feel intimidated by hard science. For me I just felt it was to general.

The recipes did not look that great so I left them alone completely.

I have started reading other Paleo books because I think there is somethin...more
Andrea
Hmm...read this in order to understand what some of my patients are following.....and found yet another biased food fad based on obsessivly and blindly marching down a path marked out by dogma and cherry-picking the literature.
It does deserve a couple of stars in that a portion of it is sensible and clearly better than the current North American highly processed diet of frankenfoods.....but the so-called genetic basis for us today still needing a grain and dairy free diet is just a theory. Plus...more
Auggy
After being diagnosed with celiac disease but not responding to a gluten-free diet, I ended up with a medically prescribed diet that is pretty much Paleo (though a bit stricter). The new diet is working amazingly well, so I thought I'd read a bit about it to educate myself as to why.

Sadly, this is more of a "try this diet" book than a "why this diet works" book. There is some good information to it but it is more infomercial than what I hoped for, particularly with the "you will lose weight!" bi...more
Kimberly
Yes, I jumped on THAT bandwagon and read this book. Was curious about they hype since several friends and acquaintances have tried this with grand success in terms of feeling better and getting lean (but not mean). This books makes comments about "research" and "my teams" and "statistics show", but doesn't footnote it so the reader can cross-check. That's a big issue for me since I like to trust but verify things (yeah, I just pulled a Reaganism). I'm not convinced of the validity of the few stu...more
Sue
Nov 28, 2007 Sue rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I have recently learned I am gluten intolerant and also have sensitivity to dairy, eggs and soy. Yikes! This is a diet I can actually live on and it's designed to give you all the nutrients you need. From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense to me. I thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, but after a couple of weeks wheat free, I am free of the pain!
Tom
The idea behind the Diet posed in this book is logical and sound. It has interested me for awhile now. The book itself was disappointing. You can grab all of the information you need on the diet off of the internet, in a zillion places. I was hoping the book itself would have a little more Science behind it.
Jennie
Too much focus on lean, lean, lean -- not really breaking away from the low-fat mythology (this is, of course, my opinion) and not enough of a focus on getting activity. Still a good resource and interesting reading, but I have a feeling I'm going to like Primal Blueprint more.
Sara Kenyon
I am a huge fan of the Paleo Diet and this guy is one of it's main proponents. However, the book was boring, unmotivating and uninformative. I recommend the Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.
Isabel
I was not expecting to read this book, but it crossed my path in a bookstore and intrigued me, and I ended up reading it in one sitting. Someone who I highly respect practices this diet and attributes her being healed of Parkinsons to her following the paleo diet. As far as this actual diet goes, I'd say it has something better, more reasonable and more credible to offer folks than, say, the Atkins diet. I like how it promotes the eating of more vegetables. And I liked how this book went into th...more
Kris
Eh. Some things bothered me. The premise of eating like our ancestors makes perfect sense to me. But the idea that you should only eat skinless chicken, for instance, seems to contradict that. Another example, on page 106, eggs are listed as something to avoid. On page 108, it suggests you can eat up to twelve eggs a week. Not exactly avoidance.

There are more current ancestral diet books out there that treat the science behind it better. And the book seems to largely miss out on the exciting sci...more
Lynda
Problem is I am allergic to half the food I am supposed to eat.
Kevin
Not scientifically detailed but the idea checks out and makes sense.
Becca
I really like the concept of the diet. I've known so many people who had tremendous results by going on a strict 30-90 paleo plan that I've really wanted to try it - weight loss, drastically improved health, huge strength increases. I'm not sure that going completely grain-less is right for me (I've come close in the past and felt better after adding a little back in). It seems a hard plan to stick to long term with our culture, but some of the health improvements that the book talks about (espe...more
Renée
Two words: citation needed.

Look, I came at this some months back (a borrowed copy) hoping to find something I could use even though it's way outside my "lifestyle" of choice, at odds with an ethical, humane way of consumption. But I hoped to find something, healthy diet-wise, that I could adapt, something I could use to help others. I thought there must be something to it, something interesting and unique... What I found was juvenile and lacking in evidence. I should have expected more "broscie...more
Jack
I think this book should have been titled, "The Paleo Solution for Celiacs". It's a new year, and I've been wanting to drop some pounds, so I decided to give this book a look-see. The premise of the Paleo diet (or 'primal' diet-- There's a few books with these words in their title) is that our distant hunter-gatherer ancestors over
5,000 + years ago ate mostly meat, seafood, fruits/veggies and were healthier than their farmer counterparts. It was only after the agricultural revolution with the i...more
cathepsut
"The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era, that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. Centered on commonly available modern foods, the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetable...more
Daniela
The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain is convincing, so worth reading, especially if you have never looked into a diet book before and need some principles explained. It is however very repetitive, at times annoyingly so.
Want a summary to move straight on to the recipe book? Here you go:
Repetitious rules #1:
- Eat NO grains (this includes legumes), NO milk, No milk products (stone age people didn't)
- Eat LOTS of protein (stone age people did)
- Eat LOTS of fruit and non-starchy vegetables (stone age pe...more
Ellen
So not convinced. I could see certain aspects of this diet, but I am just not convinced. It felt kind of like the author had dumbed down the information so much that we, the readers, are supposed to be like lemmings and just follow along. The author really doesn't go into a good explanation of why to do this. I mean, so what if our ancestors 333 generations back or whatever ate this way? Their lives were TOUGH. They ate that way because it was do or die. Eat or be eaten. Not quite the same now....more
Michael Hentrich
This book was well worth the read. Although I don't necessarily agree with the entire Paleo Diet concept, there are a lot of great points in this book. The general guidance that the author offers is that we are a nation of incredibly unhealthy and malnourished people, and we should look to those who were/are healthy, namely paleolithic hunter-gatherers, and try to copy what they do/did.

The author talks about many important points, including the need for large amounts of vitamins, minerals, anti...more
Rebekka Steg
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain is one of the first books on the subject, and one of the few I've been able to get from my library. Personally, there are things in the book that I don't agree with, based on the readings I've done (the focus on lean meat, warning against saturated fat, fear of salt and complete elimination of dairy products), but I'm also more of a Primal Blueprint / Mark Sisson kinda gal (Check out Mark's...more
Dreama Lee
Another tool to utilize and further understand how to be the healthiest possible.
My only concern with this book is that the true paleolithic many ate about 80% vegetarian diet and about 20% (on a lucky day) protein (this consisted of bugs and small rodents most days).
The modern day interpretation is more of a "healthy" atkins philosophy allowing for processed meats (as long as they are nitrate free and if you can afford to buy them direct from a farmer) and most practitioners of the diet have a...more
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Loren Cordain, PhD, is one of the world's leading experts and researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. He is on the faculty of Colorado State University and the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. He has been featured on Dateline NBC, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media."
More about Loren Cordain...
The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat Maximum Paleo

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