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Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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Chris Kresser Podcast

I will be interviewed by Chris Kresser of Healthy Skeptic this friday morning, March 18.

Submit any questions on his blog post here. I can't diagnose or treat you over the internet, but general questions are welcome.

Reader Comments (3)

I left the following questions at Healthy Skeptic but am reposting them directly here as well for your reference:

PaNu is an excellent health blog. I greatly respect Kurt's approach, which is dispassionate, scientific, intellectually curious, undogmatic, accessible and practical. Questions for him:

1. Animal vs. (Good) Plant Fat. You obviously favor saturated fats generally, and saturated animal fats in particular. Can you expound a bit on your view of GOOD plant fats (coconut, palm, olive(?), cocoa butter(?) and to a lesser extent unprocessed nut fats)? Are they comparable to animal fats? A second-best and less than desirable alternative? Use only if animal fats not available? Etc. If one's main sources of animal fats are not necessarily ideal from a PaNu perspective (e.g. they are not grass-fed), would that change your recomendation?

2. Omega Ratios. In terms of self-monitoring for "paleo compliance", eliminating sugar is easy, eliminating grains and other carb-heavy foods is relatively easy, eliminating processed vegetable oils is doable although trickier unless you prepare all food yourself. What I have found is not easy is ensuring the proper Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios. If one is eating a relatively good basic paleo approach, but without consistent access to grass-fed meat, non-farmed fish, etc., do you have any rules of thumb for maintaining good 3:6 ratios?

3. Tea. Do you have any views on tea (including green vs. English) as far as human health?

4. Genetics and PaNu. Do you have any view on diet in the context of different ethnicities / races? Is there any scientific merit to the idea that, say, Chinese are on average better suited to non-gluten grains due to longer experience with agricultural? Put another way, does a study like Cochran and Harpending's 10,000 Year Explosion provide any "meat" for paleo advocates to chew on as far as evolutionary effects on diet?

I look forward to the broadcast!

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Dr. Harris:

Didn't you also have an interview with Rob Wolff? What date was that?

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersteve

Hi Kurt, I enjoy your blog immensely.
I have two questions:
1) What is the impact on long term health of the speed at which one habitually ingests food? I read Malcolm Kendricks' Cholesterol Con book and he seems to suggest that the slow, relaxed way the French supposedly eat has more to do with their lower rates of heart disease than what they actually eat. Timothy Ferris did an experiment and found his blood sugar spiked higher when he ate more quickly. A doctor suggested to me that eating quickly leads to incomplete digestion which somehow leads to vascular injury. What are your thought on this? And if eating quickly is something to avoid, that might suggest that using a Vitamix or other blender to "prechew" your food might be a mistake. For example, I can eat 4 whole carrots a lot more quickly after vitamixing them than if I chewed them myself.

2) From the blender I'll segue to the microwave. Chris mentioned the founder of the GAPS diet on his last podcast and I believe she (but can't find the reference now) strongly opposes microwaving food because it supposedly destroys nutrients and possibly creates toxins. What are your thoughts on that? I look forward to your response. Thanks.

KGH: I doubt if eating speed is a major cause of heart disease. Can't think of why you would need to put anything in a blender other than a margarita. I have no opinion on the hazards of microwaving - I don't do it often myself. I have noticed that meat tastes awful microwaved but I sometimes re-heat potatoes that way.

March 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
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