Leanne Morgan: The Problem With the Paleo Diet

I just spent an hour laughing at Leanne Morgan videos at YouTube. Her humor is not for young people, but instead for women over 40 who have children. I love her accent.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Did Grok Have Eating Utensils? No!

“Me Grok”

DailyMail has an interesting article that promotes eating with your hands instead of forks, knives, and spoons.

Those who are sticklers for etiquette should look away now.

That’s because we’ve all been dining the wrong way and should be eating with our hands, according to a psychologist.

Professor Charles Spence, from the University of Oxford, said giving up cutlery is the secret to enjoying food.

He says eating with our hands can ‘heighten the dining experience’ – even for meals like pasta and messy curries.

The professor also claims that hand-feeding improves food flavor and texture while having myriad health benefits.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t Splendid Isolation

Alcohol: Sometimes Less is More

Jameson’s in a hotel bar near Chicago

A few months ago I ran across a thoughtful article by Morris van de Camp titled Love Drinking Less. It’s well worth a read if your alcohol consumption is out of control or heading that way.

Alcohol is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it makes life fun and turns strangers into intimate friends in the course of an evening; on the other, it makes a person dysfunctional. Very dysfunctional. Productive time is lost, relationships are damaged, and health is harmed.

I cannot say that I’ve “struggled” with alcohol in the truest sense. I’ve never been arrested for drunk driving, and I’ve had no serious relationship trouble from drinking. All of my drinking has been in an appropriate time and place — but one drink inevitably would lead to another. I’d wind up accidently drunk when I really wanted a light buzz. I also found that when the time came up when I’d be free to drink, I looked a bit too much forward to it.

If you’re a tippler, this is the time of year to consider a “Dry January.” You may learn something about yourself. Be kind to your liver — you only have one.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: It’s also time to decide on your weight loss program for the new year.

Nearsightedness Isn’t as Benign as You Think

Steve Parker MD, paleobetic diet,
Should have spent more time outdoors

Myopia, aka nearsightedness, is extremely common and can start in childhood or young adults. I myself have had to wear glasses since ~age 9, when I was astonished to see individual blades of grass and leaves on trees. Myopia over time it can lead to early-onset cataract, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. MedPageToday has an eye-opening article on treatments that can prevent myopia progression and complications. For example:

Common evidence-based treatments that offer both statistically significant and clinically meaningful efficacies include daytime multifocal soft contact lenses (MFSCL), overnight orthokeratology (ortho-k), and topical low dose atropine (LDA). Novel spectacle lenses also showed a promising myopia-inhibiting effect, albeit with limited availability in U.S. at the current moment. On average, these options slow myopia progression by 30-70%compared to conventional single vision glasses or contacts. With properly selected early interventions, not only the development of myopia stabilizes at younger ages, the endpoint of the progression is also much lower, resulting in significantly lower risk of complications. Furthermore, with lower level of myopia at stabilization, many myopic patients could be good candidates for refractive surgery with given corneal thickness.

I get the impression from the article than treatments need to be started in childhood.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Black Tea Consumption Reduces Risk of Death by 10%

according to an article at Annals of Internal Medicine. The study was done in a U.K. population over decade of observation. The 10% or more reduction in all-cause mortality was seen at a habitual consumption level of two or more cups of black tea daily. Most prior similar studies I’ve seen focus on green tea.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Steve Parker, M.D.

Time-Restricted Eating: Better to Restrict Earlier or Later in the Feeding Window?

Chinese researchers reviewed the literature on time-restricted eating and metabolic effects on humans. I’m not paying $31.50 USD for the full text article, but here’s the abstract:

Time-restricted feeding (TRF), a feasible form of intermittent fasting, has been proven to benefit metabolic health in animal models and humans. TRF restricts the daily feeding window to 3 to 12 h for eating ad libitum, with fasting for the rest of the day. To our knowledge, specific guidance on the appropriate time period for eating during TRF has not yet been promoted. Therefore, the aim of the present review was to summarize the current literature on the effects of TRF with different eating windows in humans and compare their effects on metabolic health–related markers. Early TRF (which restricts food intake during the early period of the day) and delayed TRF (which restricts food intake during the later period of the day) studies have shown that both TRF regimens improve metabolic health in terms of reducing energy intake, decreasing body weight, improving insulin sensitivity, reducing blood pressure, and reducing oxidative stress. Differences between the consequences of early and delayed TRF were found, including differences in changes in blood lipid factors. These preliminary findings may help to provide guidance for choosing suitable eating windows during TRF. Future studies with rigorous designs and direct comparisons between the effects of TRF regimens with different eating windows on metabolic health markers are still needed.


Steve Parker, M.D.

Paleo Theory: Dietary Changes Over the Millenia and Effects on Human Health

Three Europe-based researchers have attempted to summarize what we know about dietary changes over the course of human and cultural evolution, and the effects on our health. Well worth a read if you have the time, intelligence, and interest in the paleo diet. A quote:

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the present concerns the relationship between nutrition and health. Increasingly, more and more people around the world are suffering from various diseases of civilization, from diet-related intolerances, and are suffering from malnutrition despite the wide range of food available. At least in Western countries, there are fewer and fewer people in recent decades who must perform strenuous physical labor, but they still eat as if they worked in heavy industry. In addition, the calories supplied from processed foods have a high energy density but provide hardly any fiber and micronutrients. The failure to adapt diet and caloric intake to predominantly sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise has consequences, the roots of which today often lie in childhood. Nutrition today is about its quality. Food should predictively promote health and help avoid diseases. This is why countless food trends and concepts are promoted, such as the veggie boom, the paleo diet, volumetrics, the Mediterranean diet and superfoods. Healthy living means consistently decimating or eliminating risk factors. But far too often we end up eating highly processed fast-food dishes and are addicted to sugar. However, the medical effects of our current diet in the form of CNCDs [chronic non-communicable diseases, aka diseases of civilization] are much more extensive than the most common diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, as well as caries, periodontal disease, and others. For example, the consumption of predominantly soft, highly processed food has made the teeth’s job of grinding food almost obsolete, with fatal consequences that have not really been recognized. Since we no longer abrade our teeth, like we do all other body tissues, they may be causing diseases whose causes remain unrecognized because we lack a view into the past. 


Steve Parker, M.D.

How Long Do Hunter-Gatherers Sleep?

Paleobetic diet
Probably needs 8 hours a night, if not more. And why is the light on?!

From The Lancet Neurology:

Prospective epidemiological studies in industrial societies indicate that 7 h of sleep per night in people aged 18 years or older is optimum, with higher and lower amounts of sleep predicting a shorter lifespan. Humans living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (eg, tribal groups) sleep for 6-8 h per night, with the longest sleep durations in winter. The prevalence of insomnia in hunter-gatherer populations is low (around 2%) compared with the prevalence of insomnia in industrial societies (around 10-30%). 

Fun fact: Adult horses only sleep for 3-5 hours per day. And in a herd, there’s usually one “standing watch” for predators while the others sleep.

Steve Parker, M.D.

At Least One Neanderthal Was a Carnivore

…based on analysis of zinc isotopes in a tooth sample from the Iberian peninsula.

Click for details.

Not too many folks eat rabbit these days

Steve Parker, M.D.

Are Falling Testosterone Levels Related to Modern Lifestyles?

Ilana Mercer reminded me that testosterone levels in men have been falling for the last several decades. It’s unclear why. May be related to pollution, overweight and obesity, or decreased incidence of smoking. Not mentioned by Ilana is the dramatic drop in sperm counts.

From Ilana:

It is very possible, even likely, that the feminization of society over the past 20 to 30 years is changing males, body and mind. It is very possible that the subliminal stress involved in sublimating one’s essential nature is producing less manly men.

Consider: When they are not twerking tush with transexuals, today’s tykes are required to hack their way through page-turners like One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads. Boyhood today also means BB guns and “bang-bang you’re dead” are banned.

Boys are hardwired for competition; the contemporary school enforces cooperation. Boys like to stand out. But team-work obsessed, mediocre, mostly female school teachers teach them to fade into the background. Boys thrive in more disciplined, structured learning environments; the American school system is synonymous with letting it all hang out.

Sons are more likely to be raised without male mentors, since moms, in the last few decades, are more inclined to divorce (and get custody), never marry, or bear children out of wedlock. The schools have been emptied of manly men and staffed by feminists, mostly lacking in the Y chromosome. Although boys (and girls) require discipline, the rare disciplinarian risks parent-driven litigation.


Steve Parker, M.D.