The Paleo Diet vs. the Primal Blueprint
The Paleo and Primal diets both advocate eating more like our ancestors did. So where do the two diets diverge? Here we’ll outline each diet and explain what makes them different.
Understanding the Basics
First popularized by Loren Cordain (in our home town of Fort Collins, Colorado) in the early 2000s, the Paleo Diet harks back to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. It advises a diet of lean, pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish and seafood, eggs, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthful oils such as olive, coconut, macadamia, and avocado. Grains, legumes, dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, and processed foods are off-limits.
The Primal Blueprint is very similar and also emphasizes pre-agricultural foods. “Eating primal” means choosing meats, vegetables, nuts, fruit, and healthy fats, while cutting out all grains, excessive carbs, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils. Protein and fat macronutrients form the cornerstone of this diet.
The Paleo Diet and the Primal Blueprint differ on two main issues: saturated fats and dairy.
While the Paleo Diet suggests that lean cuts of meat are key to optimal health, the Primal Blueprint encourages followers to enjoy fattier cuts of meat, citing the benefits of “a diet rich in animal fat and cholesterol.”
The two diets also differ on their attitudes toward dairy. Strict Paleos avoid dairy altogether, whereas the Primal Blueprint places dairy in a gray area. Primal Blueprint founder Mark Sisson sees dairy as a viable nutritive source and highly subjective food with no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
At Wild Zora, we believe that not all dairy is created equal. Our family drinks milk from a local farmer who never gives her cows antibiotics or hormones. Similarly, the Wild Zora Parmesan-Beef recipe uses only cheese made from milk from cows who aren’t given antibiotics or hormones, especially the quite-controversial rBST hormone (administered to conventional cattle, which causes them to lactate continuously). The Organic Dairy Farmer’s association sued the FDA in 2008 and again in Federal Court in 2010 to win the right to put “rBST-free” on their labels (it was deemed that the FDA violated the First Amendment of the Constitution by trying to prevent this) -- but unfortunately, because our products are produced under the USDA, not the FDA, we still aren’t allowed to write “rBST-free” on our Parmesan-Beef package. We’ve already asked our Congressman why the USDA is still allowed to violate our First Amendment rights… and we’re waiting to hear back from him.
The Good NewsWe make Wild Zora snacks that are safe for both diets! Our meat and veggie bars are made from 100% natural and pasture-raised meat and organic fruits & veggies that are minimally processed. All our products are grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and never contain added sugar or chemical preservatives. Our Cheese recipe is Primal-friendly, and all our other recipes are milk-free and Paleo-Certified. Whether you live Paleo or Primal, we’ve got you covered!
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