It is not the intent of this site to provide medical advice. This blog chronicles my fitness and nutrition philosophy based on some combination of my experience, research, and biases. You read, and you decide.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nutrition Philosophy of FuncTrain

I'm not going to spend a lot of time posting on paleolithic nutrition, mainly because I believe other bloggers have already done a great job with it. However, I do want everyone here to have an idea of the concepts that have shaped the nutritional philosophy behind FuncTrain, so I'm going to link to a few articles that will catch a rookie up to speed. with Dr. Kurt Harris is a great place to start: Dr. Harris's 12 steps in order of importance.

I agree with most of the above link, but I'm of the belief that fixing your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio should be a higher priority than #8. Also, I haven't yet read an argument that has convinced me to stop drinking heavy cream. I'm just splitting hairs here, though. PaNu is an excellent resource on my short list of must read blogs.

My opinion of the 3 most important steps in a nice, oversimplified nutshell:

- Eliminate grains and as much sugar as possible from your diet. Fruits are okay in moderation. Just remember that most apples of today have been bred to be sweeter and bigger than anything a paleo-man would have come across. This means more fructose is ingested. If you're trying to lean out and lose fat specifically, I'd recommend very low carbohydrate (VLC) intake. Cut even the fruit. This will force your body into the fat-burning state known as ketosis. More on this later.

- Replace polyunsaturated (read: plant-based) and processed fats (read: trans fat) with natural animal fats. A lot of paleo-dieters avoid dairy. As mentioned above, I think this is way down on the list of priorities if even necessary at all. In the mean time, heavy cream is a great way to supplement the animal fat in your diet.

Saturated fat is not bad for you. Stephan from WholeHealthSource authored an excellent and very readable informal review, Dr. Ron Krauss (a giant in the field of lipid research) throws in his two cents here and to some extent here. Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes, or at least his article, "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat". Or both.

- Start to adjust your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Our bodies evolved in a dietary environment higher in omega 3 and lower in omega 6 than the Standard American Diet (SAD. Don't you love acronyms?). This means either supplementing omega 3 with pills, getting more fish in the diet, only eating grass-fed ruminants and pastured eggs, or some combination of the above.

If someone has a specific question about paleo-ish nutrition that I think is relevant, I'll try to dedicate a post to answering it to the best of my knowledge/research capabilities.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Perhaps you could provide a rough breakdown of what foods you eat throughout the day. I know I'd definitely be interested in knowing a bit more about what a hardcore paleo diet would look like.

    You mention heavy cream - I believe I've also read that Dr. Harris too includes this in his diet. Is it simply a means to meet caloric needs or to stay satiated? I'm wondering what the nutritional benefits of straight up cream consumption would be, except for the intake of pure unadulterated sat fats.

  2. Yves,

    Since I include heavy cream and occasional (usually raw) cheese, I don't technically follow the hardcore paleo diet.

    I recorded my diet breakdown for one day a couple of weeks ago, and it looked something like this:

    4500 kcal
    74% fat
    7% carbs (mostly from a sweet potato and a banana)
    19% protein

    This is about the ratio I'm interested in maintaining. Addressing your question on cream, I'd point out that this ratio would be very hard to maintain without dairy. The high-quality fat content in cream is definitely the main reason I keep it in my diet.

    There are a number of fat-soluble vitamins in milk. As I mentioned in the original welcome post, I plan to delve into pasteurization and milk quality at some point, so I'll have more research to present in the future. As of now, it's my impression based on limited research that the quantity of vitamins found in cream varies based on the type of cow, diet and treatment of the cow, whether or not the milk is pasteurized, and probably the handling processes.


    "Fat-soluble micronutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, are embedded in the milk fat fraction, and this has important implications for their bioaccessibility and bioavailability from milk. In fact, the fat component of milk is an effective delivery system for highly lipophilic microconstituents."

    They mention A, E, D, K, and carotenoids as examples of lipophilic nutrients found in milk.

    Satiating, full of good animal fats, AND full of nutrients. Sounds good to me.