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I like the author's logical approach, his clearly-stated conclusions (his is careful to label them as opinion and not facts), and his use of scientific references (versus other authors who tend to cite other authors, who in turn cite others...and on and on, with no actual research or studies being cited).
There is, to me, much to be said about some "paleo" books only going back to "recent" hunter/gathers ( the Innuit and Australian aborigines, for instance, or Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons) while ignoring the previous couple of million years. I'd like to hear Dr. Cordain - whom I admire and respect as an original researcher and "truth-teller" - address that topic in a paper or future book.
Too bad this author has died recently. I'd have contacted him and asked that he research and write a comprehensive book on the risks/benefits of all the foods we eat - one based on the natural nutrients and anti-nutrients each food contains and his conclusions on each.... I think he'd have been the perfect person to do this.
Anyway, Roy, wherever you are now, thanks for the book!
Mankovitz's research impressed me plus he has a very straightforward way of presenting his ideas. He backs up everything he recommends with solid facts.
As a born-again low-carber, I will not follow his dietary recommendations because I know from life experience that fresh organic sweet fruit leads to cravings and binges for me.
He is also a very generous correspondent. I sent him some questions in a post and he answered promptly with wit and charm.
He'll hate me for this but one of the most important things I learned from this book is using inexpensive old-fashioned milk-of-magnesia as a deodorant. It is gentle, works perfectly (even through multi-hour sweaty workouts at the gym) and, in addition to preventing odor, it makes the skin smooth and silky.
I saw some (scientific) errors - which surprised me for someone who is a scientist. Things like his comparing the body and it's diet with the octane level of gasoline.... specifically his comment that since all MODERN cars will run fine on 91-octane, if you weren't sure which to use then always go with the high octane (why not ultra high, like 93-octane). That just isn't true.
Also, the emphasis on fruits over vegetables.
First, both fruits and vegetables - once one leaves the Tropics - are only ripe SEASONALLY (and for a brief window at that). In the Semi Tropical zones one can readily get two seasons of "production". In the warmer Temperate zones, two seasons MAY be possible for some items. In the more milder to cooler Temperate zones, one season is pretty much it! So one season of a small window of ripeness for a large part of our Paleolithic ancestors? I doubt that much fruit or vegetables or nuts were eaten. (Eat several green apples or several "over ripe" - rotting - appless and see what happens) It was primarily meat, meat, and more MEAT. (Interestingly , in those colder areas - where Neanderthal and later Cro-Magnon peoples seemed to thrive - these carbohydrate items ripened prior to the onset of cold weather which allowed early humans to put on some moderate bodyfat for the upcoming winter; something that it is not necessary for pretty much all of us to have to do).
Secondly, fruits not only contain large amounts of fructose (which is worse for you than sucrose - white table sugar) but its sweet taste is literally addictive (just as are the starches in grains, legumes, and most tubers... only more so with fructose). Paleolithic Man would have "jonesed" on fruit as did his primate ancestors who remained behind in the Tropical jungles while the first australopithecines and (more so) the habilines ventured out into the Savannah areas and beyond (check out pictures of the Savannah areas - hundreds of miles of tall grasslands dotted with clumps of brush and small trees, with most NOT fruit or nut tries... and containing huge herds of herbivores!). Paleolithic peoples did not eat the diet that they did based on research and studies and intellectual arguments... it was what they had to eat and what they (we) evolved to eat - and the fact that it contained large amounts of animal meats (high quality protein and, especially important, saturated fats) allowed us to gradually become more and more human and eventually full scale Modern Man. The advent of cooking accelerated that process (*).
A number of other aspects are covered that I basically cringed at... Regular mercury, and other heavy metal poisoning (so not sure where his "research" came from). Vaccine toxins. Other environmental / food toxins. Eating clays (as in dirt clay) to remove those toxins. Etcetera. As there really isn't any credible research verifying those things, again, not sure where his "research" sourced from (For example, I have read TONS of material on Early Man, Paleolithic peoples, and have never seen even once ANY evidentiary material that they "ate clay" for ANY reason!).
Which is another MAJOR problem that I have with both books actually. Studies, research references, clinical footnotes are basically completely ABSENT! For a (literal) rocket scientist who has undoubtedly read numerous "scientific" books (which he claims this to be), he would know that those things are VITAL when claiming a "scientific basis"! Yet what we get is "based on my research" and "based on my readings" (and a LOT of non scientific anecdotal "evidence", much based on his own life!!!).
There IS good information in this book (as with The Original Diet)... but one has to already be well-versed in this topic in order to (no pun intended) "separate the wheat from the chaff"!
While the author himself points out examples of what he believes to be Junk Science, ironically he then turns around and (IMO) uses a lot of it himself!
(*) See Comments for recommended books on diet
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