Debunking the paleo diet | Christina Warinner | TEDxOU



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TED Fellow Christina Warinner is an expert on ancient diets. So how much of the diet phad the “Paleo Diet” is based on an actual Paleolithic diet? The answer is not really any of it.

Dr. Christina Warinner has excavated around the world, from the Maya jungles of Belize to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, and she is pioneering the biomolecular investigation of archaeological dental calculus (tartar) to study long-term trends in human health and diet. She is a 2012 TED Fellow, and her work has been featured in Wired UK, the Observer, CNN.com, Der Freitag, and Sveriges TV. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010, specializing in ancient DNA analysis and paleodietary reconstruction.

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46 Responses

  1. 22darius22 says:

    What is her point exactly? Arguing that modern fruits and vegetables would not have been available supports the argument that paleo humans did not eat much meat? Is she arguing that the paleo diet was mostly grain, in a time period that is by definition pre-agriculture?

  2. James samson says:

    So instead of Paleo more like “Unprocessed diet”

  3. IL MOSTRO says:

    If anything the paleo diet is absolutely better and healthier because it eliminates all corn syrup and chemical filled processed foods that have little to no nutritional value in terms of vitamins and minerals. The standard American diet is killing us, just look at the obesity epidemic.

  4. Paul Willow says:

    If that's the best the opposed side has to paleo, I know in on the right track! Thanks for a woeful job putting up a counter argument it's very reassuring for my chosen path.

  5. Two things: if you don't eat carbs You wouldn't need so much vitamin C, and eating raw meat will be enough.
    Second: no-fiber carnivore diet is one of the easiest ways to improve diabetes and obesity.
    Telling people that diversity in diet is a key — is misleading, at best.

  6. punkrrrock says:

    Debunking the majority of Debunking paleo

    On vitamin C; Meat prevents scurvy because it bypasses the need for vitamin C. Vitamin C is required to form collagen in the body… Vitamin C’s role in collagen formation is to transfer a hydroxyl group to the amino acids lysine and proline. Meat, however, already contains appreciable quantities of hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, [thus] bypassing some of the requirement for vitamin C. In other words, your vitamin C requirement is dependent upon how much meat you do not eat

    Carnassials are for biting, killing, and removing skeletal meat. Tools solved this problem thousands of years ago

    Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope; dismiss it if you like but humans chart at or above normal carnivore levels in every era

    If ancient humans sprouted, ground, and ferment grain.. They did it in an absence of meat (as in they would always choose meat over grain or veg). Notice how modern humans eat GMO non sprouted non fermented grain. Most times industrially processed grain.

    The healthiest tribes had no dental plaque. Dental plaque is evidence of a non-ideal diet

    All ancient veggies and fruits that have been modified by humans are a major flaw in unrefined paleo diet recommendations

    All the nutrients you require are plentiful in nose to tail animal product consumption

    Don't eat processed food.

    Plain and simple fiber is not good or necessary for you in anyway.

  7. vitamine c is not only in plants it is also in liver and raw milk

  8. Paleo diet worked for me, I lost 5kg ( what I needed) and didn’t put on weight afterwards! It is working to maintain my weight and I feel much better healthy wise. My skin and my hair look great!

  9. Will Clayton says:

    Whole food, oil free, vegan is the way to LIVE.

  10. She has no idea what she's talking about

  11. It's a plain fact that the "majority" of paleolithic societies did not consume much or any grains or beans. Grain amd bean are hard as rocks and most of these societies didn't know you could grind these seeds up into a powder or boil it in water long enough to make it editble. They got most of their carbs from fruits, carby veggies, and tubers. This is not a statement as to if it is healthy or not, just a fact.

  12. Idk where she got the idea that paleo focuses on red meat (that can still be filled w hormones). Paleo focuses on eliminating grains and refined foods. Its pretty obvious that meat was a treat back then, as they hunted or gathered berries seeds etc., Paleo is not a fad because it doesnt push a product like a low carb Atkins diet or a Dr. Axe keto diet. Theres a difference between a fad diet and an alternative approach to a modern American diet. Lol

  13. Will.J says:

    "Take for example vitamin c"

    Goes on to say nothing about human vitamin c requirements.

    Classicaly misinformed

  14. Larry Putra says:

    she taste like cheese

  15. Marlon Diaz says:

    Very educational but I don't see the point on saying "debunking a diet" no one (or at least people with common sense) is saying that we should eat like a Neanderthal, there's simply actual evidence stating that carbs and sugars are killing us.

  16. 23K Soy Boys liked this video

  17. Simply Human says:

    Dr Miki Ben Dor would beg to differ. You neglected our own physiology/stomach acid/colon as proof.

  18. A real , well planned paleo diet contains 100-200 gms of carbs! It is NOT a high protein diet. Does make good case for how our plants have been changed

  19. C says:

    Big Agriculture is scared. No matter how much they try to push the narrative that paleo is a fad diet, people are educating themselves on foods and the food industry. It's not a fad diet it's a way of life.

  20. Space Ghost says:

    Her FIRST THREE POINTS ARE WRONG. Stopped watching after that.

  21. owelic says:

    meat also preserves well salt/smoke…

  22. owelic says:

    lol old fake information keto is key 😉

  23. John VW says:

    Gee, all those old cave paintings of animals, and humans with spears and arrows..

  24. "The paleo diet is another fad diet… then recommends pretty much the same diet as paleo people do, eat whole foods". Great talk though

  25. Nancy M says:

    Eggs from China – really? What the heck kind of eggs are you eating?

  26. Gregory King says:

    The only thing more unhealthy than “junk” food is constantly worrying about what you eat.

  27. Very interesting lecture

  28. Eat like a hero and die young.

  29. ddskimmer says:

    BECAREFUL…YOUNG PEOPLE ARE IMPRESSIONABLE…AND WANT TO MAKE A MARK…AND THAT'S WONDERFUL…THE WAY IT SHOULD BE…BUT THEIR TEACHERS ARE NWO! WHO TAUGHT THE BEAR TO EAT MOOSE, DEER AND SALMON…WHILE EATING HONEY, BERRIES, EVEN GRASS? HAS THEIR TEETH CHANGED? NO! HOW LONG THEY BEEN DOING IT? FOR EVER!! IT IS THEIR DESIGN!
    WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE COMPARING HUMANS TO ANIMALS AS TO WHAT WE HAVE AND DON'T HAVE! WE ARE THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN…YES..OUR INTESTINAL TRACT IS MUCH LONGER BECAUSE WE ARE OMNIVORES! OUR SENSES TELL US WHAT IS FOOD AND WHAT IS NOT FOOD! IF WE CAN DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A WILD HEAD OF LETTUCE AND POISON IVY…WE ARE DOING GOOD! WE CAN ALSO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A DEER, RABBIT, FROM A MOUSE, SNAKE OR SLUG.
    Human beings all over the world eat and keep eating meat! NO BODY POINTS TO GENETICALLY ALTERED MANUFACTURED MEATS! AND FAKE FOODS THAT HAVE AN ALL VEGETABLE LABEL! THE WHEAT WE ATE BACK THEN DOES NOT EXIST TODAY…CORRECTION…IT DOES EXIST BUT THEY HAVE STORED IN BUNKERS IN THE NORTH POLE SOME WHERE FOR THE DAY WHEN THEY DECIDE TO BLOW US UP IN NUCLEAR WAR! THEN ALL THEIR ORGANIC PRISTINE SEEDS THAT ARE NON GMO, WILL BE ENJOYED BY THEM!
    What about animals like the Bear, Monkey, and other omnivores of nature…did their teeth changed? No! Why? Because that is their design! WE ARE OMNIVORES! THEY HAVE BEEN MESSING WITH OUR FOOD SUPPLY FAR TOO LONG!! WHAT WE NEED IS INDEPENDENT FARMING PRODUCING HEALTHY FOODS LIKE COOPS. WE NEED TO OPEN THOSE VAULTS AND GIVE THE PEOPLE BACK THEIR SEEDS…AND BLOW UP MONSANTO!!

  30. Steve Bell says:

    Sticking with the diet that helped me lose 45 pounds even while drinking craft beer or wine and my homemade wheat bread every day, the one and only Mediterranean Diet. Dentition calculus is a great proof that we should eat agricultural products and I know that I lost weight eating good quality products in abundance.

  31. Clearly I'm watching a different video than others who love her talk. She spent the first half straw manning about the paleo diet then tells people to eat paleo….lean meats, fresh vegetables in season….etc..etc.. the very definition of paleo.

    Mayo clinic paleo

    A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering.

    Paleo is not just a red meat diet…not even keto is…contrary to many beliefs. Paleo focuses on food type keto focuses on being in ketosis. But I digress

    I liked a few of the notes but her argument collapses under it's own weight.

  32. Amazing talk and well worth watching twice! Delivered in such an eloquent and interesting way.

  33. Mello.B33 says:

    One of the worst TED Talks ever, full of pseudoscience. One of her first sentences was "a fad diet" which should give you an indication of her bias. All of her arguments againt meat have been debunked many times already. Essentially nothing she says when it comes to diet is supported by scientific evidence. Her understanding of nitrogen isotope ratios is also flawed, because she is blinded by her ignorance and lack on knowledge in this area. She doesn't understand that some herbivores also have meat and large amounts of bugs in their diet.

  34. Great presentation,
    Based on the research of Dr Antoine Bechamp is theory of " pleomorphism "
    Bacteria adapt to the Chemical changes.
    That's means when you eat food full
    with preservatives and Chemicals like we do today, the Bacteria in our Microbiome is going to adapt to this chemical change and that's how we are getting sick!!!
    The infectious diseases and even some of the chronic ones are caused by our scientific advancement..
    Science could save life or ended, seeing that we became the sickest species on earth i think science is going to cause the death of us…
    "Ignorance is bliss"
    The more i know, the more depressed i get..
    Thank you..

  35. Matt93312 says:

    All your science is bunk because these herbivorous molars chew the fire out of rare steak.

  36. Gostei imenso desta palestra !

  37. Listen just eat what your ancestors ate about 500 years ago. One diet does not fit all it is gonna be based in your genetics.

  38. Eric K says:

    Yeah, the paleo diet is gimmicky. But if we had a mass transformation from the SAD to paleo, our healthcare costs would plummet. So in other words, your entire premise is nonsense.

  39. Shane says:

    How come no one mentions BUGS. Those were a huge source of food back then, and I guess almost no Paleo-dieter eats those these days.

  40. Polak Busna says:

    Our digestive tract is closer to a carnivore then a herbivore.Meat contains Vitamin C

  41. Kaeben says:

    I don't think anyone is under the illusion that the "Paleo diet" is the ACTUAL food Paleolithic man ate…