Why The Paleo Diet Is Worse Than The Atkins Diet & Other Problems With High Protein, High Fat, Low Carb Diets

The biggest rage right now that the sheeple are into is the paleolithic diet or paleo diet. This takes on many forms and perhaps the most popular is Mark Sisson’s primal diet with the paleolithic dude Grok as the cheerleader, and Tim Ferris’ 4 hour body diet also known as the slow carb diet.

Today I want to give you a layman’s critique of why these kinds of diet, why the slow carb, primal or paleo diet is worse than the Atkins diet.

I’ve been looking into nutrition and health for over 20 years since I became vegan so that I can maintain excellent health as a vegan. A vegan diet is not the magic pill for health or weight loss. But a healthy, whole foods plant based vegan diet is the best diet out there for humanity. End of story.

Now for me, even if a vegan diet was barely as healthy as an omnivorous diet I would still follow it, because it is about ethics rather than health. But today’s post is all about health and the unhealthy high protein, high fat, low carb diets like the paleo diet, primal diet, low carb diet and the many variations of the Atkins diet.

I’m not writing this to convince you. Sheeple can’t be convinced, they only follow wolves in shepherd’s clothing and we have many of them.

What I am hoping to do is to get those of you not smoking the opium of ignorance and who still have the faculty for critical thought to start thinking about these things. Start with a curious mind and investigate the bulk of scientific evidence and see for yourself which diet is best for humanity. I’d ask you to go further though. I’d ask you to consider as well which diet is best at minimizing animal suffering and minimizing the suffering we cause the environment.

Okay, with that out of the way let’s quickly take a look at what kind of a diet these paleo, primal and slow carb diets are.

Despite what they’ll tell you, they are high fat, high protein diets. Mark Sisson recently estimated his daily intake with FitDay and showed that he eats around 10% calories from carbs, 30% or so calories from protein and around 60% calories from fat. That’s high fat and high protein. Same with Tim Ferris who gives an example of a typical daily meal plan that has meat and/or animal products at every meal.

You’ll notice too, that both the slow carb diet and the primal blueprint diet limit calories whether intentionally or on purpose. So yes, they will cause weight loss. The key to weight loss despite all the smoke and mirrors is eat fewer calories than you burn. Simples.

But the main thrust of my argument as to why the paleo diet (and other high protein, high fat diets discussed above) is worse than the Atkins diet is because they include sufficient vegetables and carbs to limit or eliminate the ketosis that Atkins was so famous for.

Ketosis makes you sick. And most folks can’t stand being in ketosis for long periods of time so eventually they come out of the diet and go back to eating more carbs.

On the primal, slow carb diets you are likely to eat sufficient carbs to keep you on the cusp or just out of ketosis and as such you probably feel pretty good. That way you’re staying on a detrimental diet for far longer than is healthy.

The amount of cholesterol and saturated fat you’ll be eating is enormous and you’ll be getting well below the needed fibre for healthy bowel activity too. And the longer you keep that up, the worse damage you are doing to your body.

Science has known for a long time that saturated fat and cholesterol should be limited. Now these paleo dieters are suggesting all sorts of reasons why cholesterol and sat fat is not bad for.

Look at the evidence. I’ve done some looking around and their lack of scientific evidence with well documented studies is either lacking or very limited. As Dr. McDougall has said, folks love to hear good news about their bad habits. Just because something is written and sounds compelling doesn’t make it fact or truth. True for me here and true for anything you read on the internet.

Anecdotal evidence isn’t worth shit. Seek out the valid science and sift it through your faculty of critical thought.

We don’t really know what our paleolithic ancestors ate. We surmise and we guess from the evidence available. We also come to the research with our own biases as we munch on chicken wings while sifting through archaeological bones. Though more objective research seems to suggest that our ancestors ate much more plant foods than animal foods even in Europe 10,000 years ago.

Even the very mainstream US News online magazine puts both the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet behind both vegetarian and vegan diets. The paleo diet comes in dead last, the Atkins diet second to last. Ornish is at 8 and the vegan diet at 12. Not to put much weight in something so mainstream, but if even the mainstream are doubting the efficacy of these diets then you’ve gotta wonder.

The best diet is a plant based diet with a weekly B12 supplement. If you want an idea of how a healthy and filling vegan diet should look like, then you can start with PCRMs power plate.

Stay well, stay plant strong and keep thinking for yourselves. Can a kind diet ever be wrong?


  1. “Science has known for a long time that saturated fat and cholesterol should be limited.”

    Just as science knew for a long time that the earth was flat, smoking was healthy and ulcers were caused by acid.

    Maybe you should Google inflammation or even better, update your knowledge by reading some of the recent studies on heart diseases. There are plenty and they all point to inflammation as the culprit.

    I agree with your ethical argument, but beyond that, the rest of your points seem to be rooted in old myths.

    1. It appears that you’re attacking the scientific argument against saturated fat and cholesterol
      with nothing more than hearsay.

      It is easy to pop onto a blog and add your 2 cents without even the smallest smidgeon of evidence
      to back it up.

      And I would suggest that saturated fat and cholesterol contribute to inflammation as does animal
      protein. So you’re arguing with me about whether the plant or the seed came first.

      In any event. If you agree with the ethical argument, I’m not sure why you’ve chosen to dispute
      the saturated fat argument. You’re either vegan or not. You either choose to be vegan or not, and
      it sounds to me like you might be struggling with an ethical burr.

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