10 Reasons Why the Primal Diet is Wrong

Primal Diet is WrongI didn’t get a chance to listen to most of Kevin Gianni’s Great Health Debate last week, but I was able to make room in my schedule for two night lectures. One of those lectures was Mark Sisson and Frederic Patenaude’s debate on low carb vs. high carb diets.

The foundation of Mark’s primal diet (lots of fatty meat, some vegetables, nuts and seeds, limited fruit, and no cereal grains) is that we should eat what our ancestors ate. According to him, this means lots of meat and fat and very few carbohydrates. These are the foods that our ancestors thrived on and these are the foods that we thrive on today.

Let’s start by analyzing the first part of that statement: Did our ancestors really thrive on animal flesh?

Look to Your Ancestors

Here are just a few points that refute Mark’s argument that our ancestors relied heavily on meat:

#1: Humans Were Gatherers First, Hunters Second

If I learned one thing over and over again from the numerous anthropology courses I attended in college (anthropology was my minor), it’s that humans were primarily gatherers. Over 70% of the foods we consumed were plant-based.

And this makes perfect sense. We are not very adept at hunting. We have dull nails, flat teeth, and we aren’t very fast. It took a lot of work for us to track and take down an animal, even a small one.

#2: Heavy Meat-Eating was Limited to the Ice Age

It is very likely that our ancestors (at least some of them, depending upon the region), lived on a large portion of meat. And even though most vegans may scoff at it, this was a GREAT thing for our species.

If we had not created new tools for killing large animals, (such as long spears with sharp, curved points all over the blade that did a great job of taking down large prey while we remained at a safe distance) rather than relying on small tools for scavenging, and if we had not learned how to track and hunt these animals effectively, our species would not have survived the harsh conditions of this particular glacial maximum (aka the Ice Age).

But the fact remains that this was only a portion of our time on the planet. Anthropologists agree that the rest of our existence as hunter-gatherers was spent eating mostly foraged foods.

#3: Wild Meat was Lean Meat

Even if we did subsist on lots of animal flesh during the Ice Age, this flesh came from wild animals (e.g. elk, reindeer, and mammoths). These animals were forced to traverse the land and fight for their food, just like our ancestors did.

As a result, they were fit and lean (averaging 15% body fat) unlike today’s fatty domesticated animals which Mark and paleo supporters promote eating (even when trimmed, beef sirloin is still almost 40% fat).

And really, I’m being lenient when I say that humans likely ate mostly meat during the Ice Age. Anthropologists still argue about this point, some claiming that we continued our plant-predominated diet.

I think the evidence suggests that we did eat quite a bit of animal flesh and that this helped us tremendously during the harsh weather conditions, but I’m no anthropological expert. :)

#4: Low Fat was the Norm

Anthropologists also agree that the diet we lived on as hunter-gatherers was low in fat, staying within the 10-20% range.

Meat was a rarity (and as I already mentioned, these animals were lean) and fatty nuts and seeds were only available for part of the year. Everything else, i.e. fruits and vegetables, are low in fat.

This is very different from Mark’s recommendations of eating 50%+ of total calories from fat, most of this fat coming from animal flesh.

#5: Hunter-Gatherers Ate Meat, Pastoralists Ate Milk, Eggs, and Cheese

While it’s clear that humans have always consumed some meat, it’s also clear that we did not consume any animal by-products (e.g. dairy and eggs) until we became sedentary and began domesticating animals.

Why Mark thinks that consuming butter and cream correlates to a hunter-gatherer diet, I haven’t the foggiest.

Look to Your Anatomy

Regardless of the immense research and fact finding that has been done regarding human evolution, the simple fact remains that we were not there to witness it. We will never know for sure what really happened.

So since the past will never be fully understood, is it really a good idea to base an entire diet around what we think our ancestors consumed?

I don’t think so.

I think it is a much better idea to look at what we do know, and that’s the human body as it exists today. And it just so happens that everything we know supports a high carb lifestyle, not a low carb one.

#1: “The Currency of the Body is Glucose”

This is how Frederic phrased it during his portion of the lecture and he’s absolutely right.

Your whole body runs on carbohydrates, specifically the simple sugar glucose. Everything you eat has to be converted to sugar for you to fully digest it.

This fact alone completely plunders the low carb argument. But there’s more…

#2: You Are Not a Carnivore

Nothing about your anatomy or physiology suggests that the optimal food for you is meat.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Your flat teeth, flat nails, long digestive tract, and inability to produce vitamin C practically scream that the foods which support you best are plant-based.

#3: A Meat-Heavy Diet Causes Cancer

The research is clear. If you want to avoid common cancers (e.g. colon cancer, rectum cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer) and other diseases of affluence (e.g. heart disease and diabetes), you have to limit your consumption of animal products.

Don’t believe me ? Check out The China Study by Colin T. Campbell.

#4: Ever Experience Withdrawal Symptoms From Fresh Fruit?

When a person gives up animal products, particularly dairy, he or she experiences withdrawal effects. Similar to when people give up alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, or cocaine, it is common to experience headaches, fatigue, runny noses, and break outs when transitioning to a meat-free diet.

And after the detox is over, their health invariably IMPROVES! If animal products were good for us, we would not see this kind of negative reaction or the positive results that follow when we eliminate them from our diet.

#5: Ketosis is a Last Resort

Frederic also pointed this out during his lecture. Ketosis is a process by which your body burns its own stored fat for fuel. This is a way for your body to avoid consuming its own vital organs for as long as possible during times of famine. This is specifically why people can fast for long periods of time without keeling over.

Purposely entering into ketosis, which is what Mark’s low carb diet forces the body to do, is not advantageous. Ketosis is a survival mechanism, necessary in times of famine, and should not be viewed as a viable weight loss or health strategy.

Bottom Line

Human beings thrive on whole food carbohydrates, not fatty meats. These are the foods your ancestors thrived on and these are the foods your body thrives on today.

Go raw and be fit,


P.S. I just want to add that Frederic did a FANTASTIC job defending the high carb, low fat lifestyle! And I’m not just saying that because his book was the one that convinced me to give raw a second chance. He was obviously very well prepared and made many excellent points during his lecture.

Great job, Frederic! We need more well-spoken fruit defenders like you. :)

P.P.S And HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I hope you have someone special to share it with.


  1. Mark never advocates going into Ketosis. Read the book. He’s much more relaxed and states different levels of carbs to eat daily depending on what you need.

  2. Hi there Swayze,
    Have you misread the info on Mark’s website or in his book? It doesn’t say “Eat some vegetables”, it clearly states that the bulk of meal emphasis is FROM vegetables. It does say to reduce the amount of starchy tuber vegetables such as potatoes, yams etc. It also goes to say that fat should be enjoyed freely but SENSIBLY to balance caloric intake and provide satiety with meals. I don’t feel the need to link the site as you know what it is but will do if you want me to show you.


  3. I can’t disagree with you there. I don’t like killing animals either, however, I am going to learn to hunt and do what I need to do to provide myself with the food that my body needs for good health. Keep in mind that much of how we feel about things- and this includes hunting, killing, and eating meat, was part of our conditioning and matrix programming. Controlling the food supply and what we eat is the foundation for “the matrix”. Big Agro supports it all. Keeping humans dependent and completely unable to provide themselves with food is very profitable for them. Just giving you some food for thought.

  4. Rayne,

    I am sure that the justifications in Aajonus’s book for adding animal products is quite compelling but I always fall back on instinct when an issue seems clouded. Do you have it in your instinct to chase down an animal, kill it with your bare hands, and eat it raw with fur and all. I would say that most normal people would not. This is why we so easily befriend dogs and cats as pets. Our instinct falls closer to a love for living creatures not a hunger for their meat. It can be very easy to be a “meat eater” when the meat is removed from the animal and cleaned up and presented in such a way that you can forget where it came from thus removing the dirty work of killing but would you be as willing to eat an animal if you had to do the killing yourself every day? I would bet that most people would not. Why do you think that the names of Bacon, Veal, and steak were developed? To help mask the actual source of the product, the dead pig, calf or cow. If you have a chance I would recommend that you watch a docu-movie called “animals” by Jason Young. He, like yourself, decided that it was not the meat that was bad but just the source so he decided to raise his own animals for food. Long story short he still resolved to eat meat but could not kill it himself. There are some very disturbing scenes in this film and even if Jason was not convinced to change I was certainly further convinced that we were not meant to kill and eat animals. I believe it just goes against our internal instincts.

    Just my opinion,


  5. The primal diet is not a low carb diet, and I guarantee you have never read the book “We Want To Live” that describes the Primal diet in detail. As the diet recommends, I drink fresh raw veggie juice a couple times per day, and eat fruit daily. Not to mention drinking raw milk, raw cream, etc. These are all carbs. Like I said, you do not understand the Primal Diet and have lumped it into a group it doesn’t belong in.

    Regarding our digestive system, you conveniently left out the rest of the paragraph, “In their stomachs, the hydrochloric acid concentration is 15 times greater than in humans so that they digest meat in 10 hours (raw), which accommodates their very short intestines. Humans, however, produce an equal amount of hydrochloric acid throughout the stomach and intestines combined, allowing raw meat and other raw animal products to digest easily and efficiently in our much longer digestive tract within 16 hours.”

    I tried the vegetarian diet and almost died. Not to mention that now that I am eating meat and dairy and eggs RAW, my gums are healing and I no longer have any dental problems, monthly cramps, bloating, etc….just as Aajonus has said. Your success with this diet won’t last forever- at some point most vegans begin to dry up and age rapidly. You can read my story here. If


    When the vegan approach stops working for you, remember what I told you.

    The dead animal thing is rather silly btw. The animals happily hunt and eat each other. If it were immoral, nature wouldn’t have made it that way. Raw meat, if it’s raised naturally and is very fresh, is extremely delicious and tender. Don’t try the junk in the grocery store, it’s awful.

    Love and Light to you,

    Swayze Reply:

    “Like I said, you do not understand the Primal Diet and have lumped it into a group it doesn’t belong in.”

    From the beginning of this article: “The foundation of Mark’s primal diet (lots of fatty meat, some vegetables, nuts and seeds, limited fruit, and no cereal grains) is that we should eat what our ancestors ate. According to him, this means lots of meat and fat and very few carbohydrates. These are the foods that our ancestors thrived on and these are the foods that we thrive on today.”

    I think I make it pretty clear that I’m responding to Mark Sisson’s primal diet.

    “In their stomachs, the hydrochloric acid concentration is 15 times greater than in humans so that they digest meat in 10 hours (raw), which accommodates their very short intestines. Humans, however, produce an equal amount of hydrochloric acid throughout the stomach and intestines combined, allowing raw meat and other raw animal products to digest easily and efficiently in our much longer digestive tract within 16 hours.”

    From an evolutionary standpoint, this statement is hogwash. Carnivores’ did not develop high stomach pH to accomodate short intestinal tracts. They developed highly acidic stomachs in response to a meat-rich diet.

    Yes, our digestive tract can handle meat, especially when raw. Our history on this planet has shown that humans can survive on just about any foods. But that doesn’t mean these foods are optimal.

    I prefer to eat foods conducive to my species own anatomy and physiology. Undoubtedly, these foods are fruits and tender greens. They’re easy-to-digest, offer instant fuel, and provide all the nutrients we need, in the forms and combinations that we need them.

    “I tried the vegetarian diet and almost died.”

    I also had less-then-stellar results on a cooked vegan diet and is why I switched to a low fat, high fruit raw vegan diet back in 2007. Just because a diet excludes animal products does not mean it’s healthy:


    “Your success with this diet won’t last forever- at some point most vegans begin to dry up and age rapidly.”

    Again, being vegan doesn’t mean anything other than avoiding all animal products. You could eat nothing but french fries and skittles and still be vegan!

    You might be interested in the book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From People Who’ve Lived the Longest”. All five of the societies discussed in this book consumes a high carb, low fat plant-based diet with very little animal products.

    “The dead animal thing is rather silly btw. The animals happily hunt and eat each other. If it were immoral, nature wouldn’t have made it that way.”

    I was only joking. I never said that meat-eating was immoral. I don’t believe that it is.

    Take care,

  6. 1. All of your info about why meat and fat is unhealthy is based on studies of COOKED meat and COOKED fat. There has never been studies done on the effects of a diet that includes RAW meat and RAW fat.

    Ketosis and cancer are caused by COOKED meat, not raw, ever.

    2. You’re article keeps talking about how Mark Sisson claims that this was the diet of the cavemen. This has nothing to do with the Primal Diet according to it’s real creator, Aajonus Vonderplantiz. He does not claim that cavemen at this way.

    3. Your information about the human digestive system is incorrect and I quote from the article about the real Primal Diet- “Our intestines are 2 1/2 times shorter than most hervibores. We have only one stomach, while herbivores have 2 – 4 stomachs. Herbivores have nearly 60,000 times more enzymes than we have to disassemble cellulose (plant fiber) to obtain the fat and proteins from vegetation and grain. Vegetable fiber passes through an herbivore’s digestive system in about 48 hours. In our digestive tracts, vegetables complete their journey in 24 hours. Only a fraction of the cellulose is digested. Sixty-five percent of the protein and fat are undigested.”

    “Carnivores, such as cats and dogs, mainly eat meat. Our digestive juices are most similar to carnivores. In their stomachs, the hydrochloric acid concentration is 15 times greater than in humans so that they digest meat in 10 hours (raw), which accommodates their very short intestines. Humans, however, produce an equal amount of hydrochloric acid throughout the stomach and intestines combined, allowing raw meat and other raw animal products to digest easily and efficiently in our much longer digestive tract within 16 hours.”

    When humans eat a lot of fruit, they incur health problems, such as osteoporosis, tooth degeneration, anxiety, dryness, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, over emotionality and temperature sensitivity. More than a little raw high carb fruit over alkalinizes the intestines. This destroys our ability to combine many foods and impairs the natural acidic environment of our bowels. A sugar rich environment caused by high carb fruits results in fungal problems, such as candida and other yeast infections. Eating more than a little fruit causes severe fat and protein deficiencies. In women, that causes bloating and menstrual cramps.”

    This information is all based on 30 years of studies and research, not conducted and paid for by Big Food corporations, but by a world renowned nutritionist without hidden agendas. He’s not even getting rich from his work- nothing compared to Big Food, and is the only real help in the area of nutrition and medicine who charges a fee that actually affordable by those without insurance.

    Not only that, but his results have been astounding. 95% of all those who have come to him with cancer have been cured. I saved my own life simply by purchasing his $30 book and didn’t even consult him.

    Like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I am done here.

    Swayze Reply:

    I’m glad that you healed yourself, Rayne, but this information is seriously flawed:

    “Ketosis and cancer are caused by COOKED meat, not raw, ever.”

    Ketosis occurs when the body does not receive enough carbohydrates. On a low-carb diet like Atkins, paleo, or primal, ketosis will occur. It doesn’t matter whether the meat is raw or not. Cooking meat doesn’t change it’s basic carb-free composition.

    “Our intestines are 2 1/2 times shorter than most hervibores. We have only one stomach, while herbivores have 2 – 4 stomachs.”

    You are right, humans are not herbivores. We are frugivores, i.e. animals that subsist primarily on fruit.

    “Carnivores, such as cats and dogs, mainly eat meat. Our digestive juices are most similar to carnivores.”

    Actually, the stomach acid of a carnivore is much stronger than ours, at least 10 times the strength of ours. The pH level in our stomach is most similar to that of non-human primates such as bonobos and chimpanzees (same 3-4 pH range), as well as our dental formula (same 2/1/2/3 pattern), same intestinal length, same tongue texture, on and on…These creatures consume a high carb, low fat diet comprised primarily of plant foods.

    “When humans eat a lot of fruit, they incur health problems, such as osteoporosis, tooth degeneration, anxiety, dryness, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, over emotionality and temperature sensitivity. More than a little raw high carb fruit over alkalinizes the intestines.”

    I’ve been eating a high fruit, low fat diet for over 3.5 years and yet I have suffered none of these issues in that time span. As long as fat intake is kept to a minimum, you can eat as much fruit as you care for.

    Why don’t you give the low fat, high fruit way a go? I promise you, it’s a much healthier, satiating, and delicious way to live than chowing down on dead animal all day long. :)


  7. But you have titled your article “10 reasons why the primal diet is wrong”. However, the Primal Diet (TM) is not wrong. First of all it is not based on what they think cavemen ate, and isn’t that similar at all. When it comes to this diet, you are right- the human race has never tried it, and Aajonus Vonderplanitz, who is the ONLY creator of the trademarked Primal Diet does not claim that this is what cavemen ate. This other guy might be calling his diet the primal diet, but it simply isn’t. It actually sounds like the Paleo diet. Your title is misleading to people who are interested in the real Primal Diet (TM). Do you not see the difference? A more appropriate title would be “what’s wrong with the Paleo diet”

    If you want to know more about the real Primal Diet (TM) please take a few minutes and CAREFULLY read my article I posted previously.

    Swayze Reply:

    You say in the link provided that the primal diet “…mainly consists of raw meat and raw animal fats from organic, free range, grass fed animals (vegetarians, hear me out before you leave), free range organic raw eggs, wild caught raw seafood, raw dairy products from organic, free range, grass fed cattle, raw veggie juices, raw fruit, raw veggies, and raw honey.”

    That’s exactly what Mark Sisson promotes.

  8. Your info about the Primal Diet (TM) is waaaaaaaayyyyy off. The Primal diet is NOT the same as the paleo and caveman diets. It’s different, and was created and trademarked by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. Here is my article about this diet http://www.gaia-back-to-the-garden.com/primal-diet.html

    Swayze Reply:


    You’re right, the Primal Diet and the paleo diets are slightly different. This article is specifically referring to the primal diet promoted by Mark Sisson.

    Mark is big on eating what our ancestors ate, i.e. what’s “natural” for us to eat. But based on the anthropological evidence we have, such a diet (i.e. lots of fatty meat and dairy products, few carbs) has never been followed by any humans. Our ancestors were gatherers first, hunters second. They ate 10-20% fat and mostly plants. And even for the brief period when they did consume mostly meat (there’s still some debate over this), it was lean meat from wild game, nothing like the fattier meats Mark recommends.

  9. George,

    I think you may be misunderstanding what these “scientists” are reporting. If you carefully read both of the articles that you cited above you will find that they are focusing mainly on the individuals and not on the diet itself. Harriet Hall in her article on “the China Study” is merely pointing out some flaws in the way that T. Colin Campbell presents his case for the link of animal protein to cancer. She certainly makes some valid points regarding the study. In the second article David Gorski is again finding fault with the way in which Dr. Couzens conducted his health study on his video “Simply Raw”. In both instances Harriet and David state that they are not finding fault with the diet but more in the presenters they are critiquing. I did not get the impression that either author was being unfair even though they may be a bit biased.

    The real truth is that people are a very complex organism. We have built into us a wide tolerance for variations in our diet. It is honestly amazing to me how long we can live on some of the things that we eat. Our body is so self-repairing that it allows people to think that they can eat almost anything and live forever doing so. As we can clearly see this is not the case. Still some people have made it to their 80’s or even 90’s on some pretty suspect diets. Another thing that many of the so-called expects fail to focus on is the “quality of life” factor. Sure you can live until 90 but is it really living if you are taking multiple medications and confined to a wheel chair. I hear this all of the time from people “Why should I change my diet? My uncle Sam eats just like me and he lived to be 80!” Yes and uncle Sam spent the last 20 years of his life almost comatose, propped in his lazy boy chair in front of the TV. I am sorry but that is not living. Living is being able to be active in the later years of life, not a zombie. This is what the low fat raw foods diet helps us to accomplish. Although I have never seen a clear scientific study done on this subject I can attest from my own personal experience that eating raw foods does increase your energy. I personally switch back and forth between cooked and raw just to see the effects it has. I do see a noticeable difference between cooked and raw. On raw foods I require less sleep, I have more energy during the day, and my digestion and elimination are much smoother. Cooked foods tend to drain some of my energy and my elimination gets more difficult. Certain foods are more energy draining than others. I have noted that legumes and grains like rice tend to take more energy to digest. I also find that the tougher the vegetable is to eat raw the tougher it seems to be to digest cooked. I notice that potatoes and broccoli are slightly more energy using while cauliflower and spinach are not that bad cooked or steamed. I have not experimented with animal foods so I cannot comment on those. There are and have been many societies that have consumed some animal foods without major health issues but they are not using the types of animal foods that we have available at our local stores. They had basically raised their own animals or used wild animals that were raised on their proper diets. Even Chimpanzees do eat some animal meat in there diets. I personally believe that although your body can tolerate this type of food it is not optimal and certainly not our primary food type.

    The bottom line is that although you will find many articles that will poke holes in one aspect or another of the raw food diet the evidence seems to point to it as the best diet for human physiology. It is also true that people can survive on a great deal of variation in what they eat but many of these variations are not optimal and some are very damaging. My personal experience is that all of the problems that most of us suffer from seem to be fixed by switching to a more natural diet of low fat raw plants and vegetables. The main thing is that you need to be patient. You cannot fix 10-30 years of wrong eating with a few days of eating right. It really takes several months and sometimes years to become stabilized on a new diet. If you give yourself the time you will see a lot of improvements. And when you see articles on any health subject, read them carefully to look for the main point that the author is making. It is sometimes different than the headline.

    This is just my opinion,


  10. The thing that bothers me is that intuitively it seems to me that the Raw Food Diet is the best for me. In fact this fascinating site:


    showed that the ‘evo diet’ (i.e. Raw) lead to DRAMATIC health benefits.

    And yet…..the scientists I link to above quell the benefits of raw food.

    Swayze Reply:

    The raw vegan diet certainly can be the best for you, but there are guidelines you must follow. Most importantly, you need to eat enough, you need to get the majority of your calories from fruit, you need to limit your fat intake, and you need to get in your greens.

  11. George,

    My apologies!


  12. I wasn’t asking Swayze to defend…I was asking if she HAD responded/defended. I was just interested in what she may have said.

  13. George,

    I think that I know the point that you are trying to make. I read the article that you referenced in your note and found it to contain some interesting information. I know that David Gorski is trying to represent himself as somewhat of an academic with regard to diet but in reality he only really represents another opinion. It is easy to poke holes into any article or video such as he did with regard to Simply Raw. Without question Morgan Spurlock and Dr Gabriel Couzens are as much promoters as they are health advocates. They tend to make sensational claims in order to help sell their projects. Lets face it “Super Size Me” was not a scientific study but it did bring to light the health degrading nature of fast food. He used a little “sensationalism” to make his point. Again Simply Raw uses some of the same elements. That does not mean that because this video on the raw diet is a little flawed that the raw diet itself is also flawed. That would be like saying that Dr Kevorkean represents all medical doctors. I think that if you really follow what Swayze is promoting you will see that she presents the low fat raw vegan diet in a very reasoned and rational manor. Another point that David Gorski was making was that many of the people introduced to the raw diet by Dr. Couzens gave up because it was too hard to follow. His inference was that the diet is too radical for “regular” people to undertake. I think that he may be looking at this issue from the wrong side. Could it be that our addiction to the standard American style diet is just too difficult to overcome? You could certainly say the same thing about an addiction to heroin. Maybe giving that up is too difficult as well so people should stay addicted because it is easier for them. Relearning to eat properly is an evolving process. Currently the raw vegan diet looks like the best plan that we know about today given our current knowledge. As our ability to study human physiology evolves further we then might make further adjustments if required. I think that you will find that those who are following the low fat raw vegan diet properly have been getting great results. Is it easy? No, not always. Every big change that you make in your life will require a larger amount of effort to accomplish. But does that mean that it is not the right diet? That is up to you to decide. I do not know what Mr Gorski is promoting as the ideal diet as this article is the first of his that I have read. I do know that it is easier to pick apart the work of others than it is to create your own work. That was one of the things that I appreciated about Kevin Gianni’s Great Health Debate. You could listen to all of the differing opinions and decide for yourself which ones you felt were most credible. I can’t speak for Swayze but I think it is a little pointless asking her to defend or comment on all of these articles as they in themselves offer but another opinion in the thousands that exist out there. Any study, article, or book has its flaws. Don’t dwell on the small stuff. Look at the big picture.

    Sorry for the lengthy note,


  14. Swayze

    Have you ever responded – in depth – to this:


    Many thanks

    Swayze Reply:

    Hi George,

    No, I have never responded to that article. What I will say is that the raw food diet the author is critiquing (Dr. Cousen’s method in simply raw) I do not condone. It’s very low in fruit and high in fat, which is unhealthy and unsustainable.

    The main problem with this critique, and many others like it, is that it’s assumed there is only one way to eat on a raw vegan diet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you’re eating raw does not mean you are eating a healthy diet. You could be living on nothing but avocados, just like a vegan could be living on nothing but tofu dogs!

  15. Great article, Swayze!! I enjoyed the Great health debate, but I have to say that I am now a bit worried about my children being low-fat, raw vegan… without supplements…

    Swayze Reply:

    I know very little about raising a child vegan, but I do know young children (prior to puberty) need more fat in their diets than we do (mother’s milk is 50% fat). It’s very important to let them breast feed for several years and that they get plenty of food when they start eating.

    mindy aka ageless raw (low fat) vegan beauty Reply:

    hi catherine
    check out karen ranzi online in regard to raising raw vegan children and she wrote a book, too
    also gardendiet.com
    chef mindy

  16. PLEASE HELP!!! Sorry about the caps, but I’m kinda desperate. I am new to the vegetarian world and my goal is/was to become a vegan. Now, I’m not sure what to do. I was planning to become a high raw vegan (eating about 70-80% raw), but with the “Health Debate” I’m even more confused. Are there any vegans that have been on their current diet for more than 30 years and are healthy? Do we really need animal products? I’ve read alot of ex raw foodist & ex vegans/vegetarians that are now eating meat or including animal products. Can we get all nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and so forth that the body needs on a vegetarian or vegan diet? I read up on Sally Fallon and got freaked out even more. I’m not sure how to eat or what to eat :-(

    Swayze Reply:

    If you want to succeed on raw foods, you need to eat as much sweet fruit as you desire, a good amount of greens, and limit your fat intake. You can learn more by subscribing to my list here: http://www.fitonraw.com

    Douglas Graham has been eating such a diet (80/10/10) for over 20 years.

  17. Swayze,

    I totally agree with you. Frederic did a great job of presenting the reason for being on a low fat raw vegan diet. It does trully make sense on sooo many levels. He presented the known facts in a very fair and honest way which is very refreshing given the many detractors who are not so honest.

    I agree that Mark Sissons diet would be a little hard to maintain in my view. I also think that if you listened to mark carefully the level of animal foods that he was actually consuming was probably small as he did tend to downplay it at times during his discussion.

    I don;t know if you listened to the other debates but the one that really caught my attention was the diet of Dr Robert Young. He said that he eats up to 3 avocados per day and also a lot of salt. As much as I can respect his work at studying blood chemistry under a microscope, that diet does not seem natural to me. I usually do not feel that great with either avocado or salt in excess.

    I appreciate Kevin putting this series of discussions together. It has been very interesting and informative.

    I appreciate your blog as well!


    Swayze Reply:

    Definitely check out Raw Food Controversies for Frederic’s personal experience eating 3 avocados (or more!) during his early days as a raw foodist. I knew that a high fat diet was unhealthy, but holy cow!


  18. I am astonished that you give the China Study as a referral! have you not read about the flaws in the study?

    Jan Horner Reply:

    What are the flaws in the Chinese study? Briefly. Jan

    George Reply:



    Swayze Reply:

    I analyzed Mercola’s views on veganism recently on my blog, as well as his critique of The China Study (including Campbell’s responses). Here are the links:

    Mercola Says a Vegan Diet is Not for Everyone (Part I):

    Part II:

  19. Great info, Thanks, Yeah Fred did a great job in the debate. I agree with you, early humans would gather small plants and herbs for food and berries and other fruits. This is the true human diet. We don’t have the teeth the claws the speed to kill and eat animals. And torn flesh doesn’t look or smell like food to a human. We are definately set up to be herbivores.

  20. Where did my comment go?

  21. Swayze,

    Nice rebuttal! I listened to Kevin’s awesome Great Health Debate also, and you’re right Frederic did a great job for making the case for veganism. I just finished his Raw Food Controversies book (which is great), and after much trial and error, he has concluded that veganism is best, and perhaps raw veganism even though he consumes a very small portion of cooked vegan at dinner time.

    Jeannine, I also believe we are meant to live on Garden of Eden foods. Also remember Daniel when he asked if he could forgo the kings food and instead eat fruits and vegies. At the end of the test, when compared to the people who ate the kings food (meat), Daniel was the only healthy one of the bunch.

    Swayze Reply:

    I just finished Raw Food Controversies and LOVED it! There’s definitely a review coming up in the near future… :)

  22. I know some people don’t believe in God, but I do. And when God created Adam & Eve, he put them in a garden, the Garden of Eden. And He told them to eat of all the fruits from the trees in the garden. They didn’t start eating meat until after they were banished from the garden for disobeying God. So I believe our bodies were made to eat plant-based foods.

    Jan Horner Reply:

    I liked your comment. I had always wondered about the biblical references to eating meat and wonder if it is just a concession for fallen humanity, not really intended. Thank you! Jan

    Barry Reply:

    Amen Jeannine! My mentor TC Fry said it best “God had it right to start with… Eat a diet of Fruits (Genesis 1:29 all the trees of the garden) and Vegetables (Genesis 1:29 all the vegetation of the earth) that is in accord with our biological adaptations!”

    Having studied the book of Genesis extensively(also called the book of Creation) I have found some eye-opening points about the original “Fruits and Vegetables Diet” and the God allowed Post-Flood Meat Diet and there correlations to length of life/our Life Span:
    Genesis 5:5 Adam lived 930 Years on Fruits & Vegetables Alone
    Genesis 5:20 Ja’red (Adam’s great grandson) lived 962 years on Fruits & Vegetables alone
    Genesis 5:27 Methuselah was the longest living recorded human in the bible to 969 years and lived on Fruits and vegetables alone.
    Genesis 6:3 Is when God saw all the “Pre-Flood” wickedness and says that his spirit shall no longer act towards man indefinately and that our days should amount to a hundred and twenty years (120 years.)
    How did he contribute to our living less time?
    Genesis 9:3&4 Man allowed to eat flesh of all animals after the flood
    The next recorded life spans in the Bible (After becoming “Meat Eaters”) is amazing in comparison of what the life spans were when exclusive vegetarians:
    Genesis 25:17 Ishmael’s Life was 137 on Fruits, vegetables and the Meat of Animals
    Genesis 35:28 Isaac the son of Abraham lived to 180 years eating Fruits, Vegetables and the Meat of Animals
    Genesis 47:28 Jacob (Abraham’s other son lived to be 147 years eating Fruits, vegetables and the Meat of Animals.
    I have pointed out these Bible documented facts of life spans related to food consumption and how fast it took effect once we began to Eat Flesh from Animals.
    John 8:32 says “You will know the TRUTH… and the TRUTH will Set You Free!”
    The truth about nutrition and it’s relationship to health and longevity in more documented now than at any other time in history. But as you can see from my Bible research, it’s been well documented since the begining of Man’s creation.
    God said we should live to 120 years and to have a chance at that we must cut out meat as it is a decomposing foreign protien loaded with waste and health-sapping properties.

  23. A very clear rational article!!

  24. Great summary Swayze! I think you would win a debate hands down; thanks for the facts! I missed most of the debates this week also, and this was a very informative recap.

    Swayze Reply:

    Aww, thanks Lori! :D