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Mark Sisson – Primal Nutrition

by jenny sansouci on March 6, 2012

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Paleo Diet. I’ve been hearing so much lately about the concept of primal nutrition, and I heard about it once again over the weekend at the Mega IIN Conference!

Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, came to the conference to give us an overview of his recommended way of eating for “effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy.” Bold claims, right!?

Mark’s primal eating plan has the following goals in mind:

  • Burn off stored body fat
  • Build or preserve muscle
  • Increase energy
  • Improve strength and power
  • Get sick less often / never
  • Less discipline, structure, sacrifice, pain, calorie-counting, portion control — but more health benefits!

Mark says we all possess the DNA “recipe” to be a healthy human, but the key is switching the healthy genes on and switching the disease-causing genes off based on the signals we give them through the foods we eat. Cool! He claims that with this way of eating, we can become lean, strong, fit, smart and disease-free.

Mark’s main dietary recommendation?

NO SUGAR or GRAINS! Mark highly recommends reducing our dependency on carbohydrates as a food source, and focusing on protein, healthy fats and vegetables. If we do this, we can “control insulin and become a fat-burning beast.”

To quote Mark exactly (which I know probably ruffled a few feathers of the whole-grain lovers in the crowd): “There are NO requirements in human nutrition for ANY carbohydrates! Grains are totally unnecessary.” Whoa!

Mark recommends to try cutting out sugar and grains for 30 days and checking in with how you’re feeling.

Some of the best fats that Mark recommends are macadamia nuts and coconut oil. Mmmm.

He also recommends that if you’re eating animal products to choose organic, grass-fed, free-range, hormone-free whenever possible.

Check out Primal Blueprint and Primal Blueprint Cookbook

What do you think? Do you think sugar or grains are a necessary part of the human diet? Chime in!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda March 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

This guy scares me…. 😡
Eliminating a macronutrient? Is he serious?
Carbs are essential to the cells in our body to produce energy.
There’s no chance this diet is sustainable in the long run. I imagine it can cause serious damage… but…he’s making money I guess. 🙁


Steph E April 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

He just means carbs from grains. He’s all for getting complex carbs from fruits and veggies.


Mercedes March 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I actually think there’s something to it. Our genes haven’t changed, grains are fairly new to our diet and throw off the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio in our bodies. More and more research is finding this to be one of the biggest predictors of chronic disease. Our genetic make up isn’t different from our ancestors and they thrived on the primal/paleo/innate diet. Plus, grains aren’t the only source of carbs, so it’s not exactly true to say this philosophy encourages the total removal of carbohydrates. I think it’s worth exploring.


Erin March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I’m experimenting with the Paleo Diet now after being a vegan for 6 years and a raw vegan for 2. I didn’t eat grains while I was a raw vegan and obviously still don’t eat them now based on Primal/Paleo philosophy. If you read the book and understand the relatively new history behind grain consumption, it’s easy to understand why we should NOT be eating grains whether you follow Paleo, Primal, Vegan , or any other diet. They aren’t good for us, plain and simple. I agree that folks should go 100% grain free for 30 days and see how they feel – it’s much easier to pass judgement when it’s something you’ve actually done. And Amanda, you are right, carbs are necessary but we can get all that we need by eating fruits and vegetables – we don’t need grains to get our daily carbohydrate requirements.


Zippy March 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Technically, there is no requirement for carbs in the diet. When you stop eating carbs, your body will begin using fat as it’s energy source. How do you think Eskimos live in the dead of winter? Whale blubber, etc. This type of “dieting” has been around for a very long time. More to the point however, Mark recommends small amounts of quality carbs tailored to one’s weight and level of activity. No grains or legumes, except occasionally, small quantities of white rice if you tolerate it. His philosophy is very flexible and informed by science at every turn. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!


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