Differences Between the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet and the Paleo Diet

We are posting this information to clear up the considerable confusion about the Weston A. Price Foundation dietary principles and the “paleo diet.”  We feel it necessary to do this because we often hear the two diets mentioned together—“the Weston Price Paleo Diet”—and we feel it very important to notethat the principles of these two diets are not the same.

Rest assured, we are not doing this to “attack” anyone personally; we are posting this information because we have a duty to provide accurate information about nutrition.

We are aware that many people experience short-term benefits from the paleo diet, especially people coming off the Standard American Diet (SAD) or vegan/vegetarian diets. However, in the long term, the paleo diet can lead to cravings and serious deficiencies.

We also appreciate the fact that many people who have adopted paleo diets are supporting farmers and ranchers who produce pasture-raised animal foods; and many paleo dieters are members of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

We also realize that there are many versions of the paleo diet, some of which incorporate some of the WAPF dietary principles.  Nevertheless, the principles proposed by the two main spokesmen for the paleo diet—Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf—have virtually NO points in common with the WAPF principles.

For reviews of these two books, see

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain: www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-down-reviews/paleo-diet

The Paleo Diet Solution by Robb Wolf: www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-down-reviews/the-paleo-solution-byrobb-wolf

A Google search for “Paleo Diet” brings up first the Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf websites, along with the Wikipedia entry for the paleo diet; The following analysis compares the WAPF diet with the paleodiet principles expressed in these websites and the books by Cordain and Wolf

WAPF DIET PALEO DIET
Animal Foods Eat the whole animal, including the meat, fat, organ meats, bones, cartilage and skin (poultry, pork). Only lean muscle meats, no added fat
Meat Should be pasture-raisedfor higher levels of minerals, and vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins and minimal hormones, antibiotics and other harmful chemicals; always eat meat with the fat.  If the meat is lean, prepare it with added fat. Prefer pasture-raised because it is lean.
Organ Meats More important than muscle meats, should be consumed frequently No mention of organ meats
Poultry Always eat with the fat and skin; make pate with the livers and hearts; eat the gizzards also Skinless; no organ meats
Pork OK to consume when cured (bacon, ham), marinated in an acidic medium before cooking, or with a lacto-fermented food such as sauerkraut No special preparation needed.
Seafood Wild seafood, particularly shellfish, oily fish, fish heads, fish liver oils and fish eggs.  Prepare seafood with added fat. Eat the skin of the fish. Wild fish and shellfish, no added fat
Raw Animal Food All traditional cultures consumed some of their animal food raw; so it is important to include raw dairy, raw meat, raw fish and/or raw shellfish in the diet on a frequent basis. Not mentioned.
Eggs Preferably pastured-raised; emphasis on egg yolks rather than egg whites Allowed; no emphasis on pasture-feeding; extra egg whites encouraged.
Vegetables Raw or cooked, always with added fat, such as butter Raw or cooked, no added fat
Fruit Raw or cooked, some fruits more digestible when cooked; add fat (butter or cream) or consume in the context of a meal containing fat. Raw, no added fat
Grains Recommended on the observation that many healthy primitive and traditional peoples included grain in their diets; need to be properly prepared to neutralize anti-nutrients and improve digestibility. Individuals who have trouble with grains may be able to eat them (properly prepared) after following the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) protocol No grains, based on the theory that paleolithic peoples had no grains in their diet, and also because grains contain various anti-nutrients.
Legumes (beans, lentils, etc.) Should be included in the diet; need proper preparation to neutralize anti-nutrients.  Legumes are consumed as a major source of calories by many healthy traditional cultures throughout the world. Not allowed, because they contain anti-nutrients
Nuts Good to include in the diet after careful preparation to neutralize anti-nutrients. Allowed, even though nuts also contain anti-nutrients (just like grains and legumes). No special preparation recommended.
Starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes) Can be included in the diet.  Should be well cooked and consumed with a fat, like butter Potatoes/carbohydrates not allowed, although Wolf includes sweet potatoes in some of his recipes
Dairy (milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt, kefir, etc.) Should be raw, whole, full fat. Wonderful foods for growing children. Not allowed
Butter Consume liberally Consume only occasionally (Wolf) or not at all (Cordain)
Meat fats—lard, tallow, etc Consume liberally Not recommended.
Oils No industrial oils (corn, soy, canola, etc); Olive oil and coconut oil allowed, but the diet needs to also include liberal amounts of animal fats. No industrial oils (corn, soy, canola, etc).  Very small amounts of olive oil and coconut oil allowed.
Lacto-fermented foods Include with every meal. “Not worth the hassle” and a source of “too much salt.”  Take a probiotic pill instead.
Bone broths Consume liberally Not mentioned
Fat-soluble activators, Vitamins A, D and K Most important WAPF principle; consume liberally of foods that contain them. Wolf:  “Vitamins A, D and K, Who Cares?”
Vitamin D Needs to be consumed as part of food, in balance with vitamin A. Take 2-5000 IU per day as a supplement, with no supporting vitamin A
Vitamin A Animal form of vitamin A vital to health; vitamin A-rich foods need to be balanced by foods containing vitamin D. Precursors (carotenes) in plant foods are a poor source of vitamin A for humans; many lack the enzymes needed for conversion. Avoid animal form of vitamin A. Claims adequate vitamin A can be obtained from the pre-cursors in plant foods.
Calcium Best source is raw dairy foods; cultures that don’t have dairy foods made use of bones (fermented fish bones or bones of small birds and animals ground up and added to food). Paleo diets provide only about half the RDA of calcium, virtually all from plant foods. Oxalic acid, phytic acid and other mineral blockers make assimilation of calcium from plant foods difficult.
Protein No more than 20% of calories 30-35% of calories. Protein levels this high will deplete vitamin A.
Fats Can be anywhere from 30-80% of calories, with saturated fat predominating.  When fat intake is low, balance of calories needs to come from carbohydrates (which the body can turn into saturated fat). 39 % of calories, with monounsaturated fatty acids predominating
Saturated Fat No limit.  Saturated fats are critical for good health. Only 7% of calories (about 3 ½ teaspoons per day). No carbohydrate foods in the diet that the body can turn into saturated fat.
Carbohydrates Some carbohydrate in the diet is necessary.  Avoid refined carbs. Carbohydrates not necessary.  Avoid both refined and unrefined carbs.
Processed Foods No industrially processed foods; eat liberally of foods prepared by artisan processors (lacto-fermented foods and beverages, naturally cured meats, cheese, sourdough bread, etc) No processed foods
Fish liver oils Recommended as a daily supplement for vitamins A and D Not recommended
Fish oils Not recommended; can overload the body with omega-3 fatty acids and interfere with arachidonic acid.  Human requirements for omega-3 fatty acids like DHA are actually very low. Recommends up to 2 tablespoons fish oil per day.
Salt Very important; adults need at least 1½ teaspoons per day; we consumed up to 3 teaspoons per day in the past Little or no salt
Cholesterol Very important to have enough cholesterol for hormone production, production of bile salts, healing and repair, protection against cancer.  For men under 60, no additional risk for heart disease with cholesterol levels up to 300 mg/dl.  For women at any age, and for men over 60, higher cholesterol levels are associated with longevity; no need for these groups to reduce cholesterol levels even if very high. Total cholesterol should be kept at 120-140 mg/dl.  Very low levels of cholesterol in this range are associated with increased rates of cancer, intestinal diseases, violence and depression, accidents and suicide.
Chocolate Not recommended Allowed
Coffee (and tea) Not recommended Allowed
Alcohol Wine and unpasteurized beer in moderation with meals Tequila on an empty stomach.
Pre-Conceptual and Pregnancy Diet Nutrient-dense diet, rich if fat-soluble vitamins, extremely important to ensure the health of the next generation. No special diet recommended.

RECOMMENDED READING

Letters on the Paleo Diet:  Link

Guts and Grease by Sally Fallon Morell:  http://www.westonaprice.org/traditional-diets/guts-and-grease

Precious Yet Perilous by Chris Masterjohn: http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/precious-yet-perilous

On the Trail of the Elusive X Factor by Chris Masterjohn: http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/x-factor-is-vitamin-k2

The Right Price: http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/the-right-price

The Cod Liver Oil Debate: http://www.westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/cod-liver-oil-debate

BOOK REVIEWS
 Tending the Wild by M Kat Anderson: http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-up-reviews/tending-the-wild-by-m-kat-anderson

The Biggest Estate on Earth by William Gammage: Link

30-35% of calories. Protein levels this high will deplete vitamin A.

Sally Fallon Morell is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the author of the best-selling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (with Mary G. Enig, PhD) and the Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care (with Thomas S. Cowan, MD). She is also the author of Nourishing Broth (with Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN).

69 Responses to Differences Between the Weston A. Price Foundation Diet and the Paleo Diet

  1. caramelos says:

    There are sugar-free chocolate chip cookies which use an
    equally sweet sugar substitute. The food pyramid breaks foodstuffs down
    into carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Nowadays, obesity is getting worse and several people are troubled from
    diabetes, several individuals are starting to turn to sugar free
    chocolate as a favorable choice to the calories and
    fat in the normal kind.

  2. Joe Mills says:

    I think anyone interested in health wouldn’t be eating cookies — sugar-free, gluten-free, Paleo-approved, or otherwise.

    • I love cookies! I don’t think it’s fair to say I don’t care about my health because of cookies.

      I have been a dedicated WAPF fan for six years.

      I eat homemade cookies, with real butter. No industrialized oils. No artificial sweeteners. Just real sugar, or one of those less-refined versions — Demerara, etc.?

      Not saying anyone should make a meal out of them. I don’t think a little dessert is such a bad thing, though.

    • Erik says:

      Cookies really aren’t unhealthy if they are prepared with the right ingredients. My wife is diabetic but she eats some cookies that I make for her that do not spike her blood sugars. They aren’t even sugar-free, just prepared properly with whole ingredients.

    • Deby says:

      Cookie – a variety of ingredients, shaped into a small form and baked.
      Opening the mind to understand “cookies” as being a convenient way of consuming food, it’s what is in them that matters, not the word “cooky / cookie”

  3. Angel says:

    I am disappointed by the lack of research in this article. This is a good site to refer to
    http://paleoleap.com/ . Here you will find that the big difference between these diets is the
    consumption of grains. This article is based on only the ideas of 2 men.

    • Erik says:

      I believe that is because those two are the ones that coined the paleo diet. It has long since evolved from there but the “faithful” still refer to the rules set down by those two.

  4. Natalie says:

    I think whoever wrote this article is more than a bit biased against paleo. Maybe what those paleo recommendations say would have been true in it’s early conception, but most -if not all- paleo blogs and authors have adapted their views to suit what we now know about nutrition. Just from reading blogs such as MDA and Robb Wolf I know exactly what the WAPF teaches- Paleo now means sustainable real food, organ meats and bone broths are widely acclaimed as excellent for our heth. Also I don’t know many paleo blogs which wouldn’t recommend raw milk for those who can digest it- I started drinking it on the advice of paleo practitioners. Some more research done would have been nice rather than painting all those paleo with the same antiqutated brush.

    • Rene Forestier says:

      “Paleo” has evolved and adapted DUE to the influence of WAPF. In most circles, “Paleo” now resembles the WAPF diet.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I agree with Natalie. These claims were not well researched by the author (or they were excerpts from books that were written years ago, and author’s viewpoints/recommendations have changed). WAPF and PD do have many overlapping recommendations (I have heard from the main Paleo sources on numerous occasions how sprouting grains/legumes and consuming raw dairy is of benefit to those who can tolerate it). Also, Paleo is not a “minimal fat” diet. Quite the contrary; they suggest that people consume ample fats for optimal health.

  6. Christine says:

    I am somewhat surprised by this article. I have been following a paleo-ish diet for sometime, and everything I have come across seems to promote much of what weston price promotes. Going through the list, it all seems so wrong, not paleo at all. At least not the paleo diet that I have come to know through tons of food blogs and friends. I definitely think this needs more research, especially branching out from those two people, who btw, I have never heard of.

  7. Paul says:

    The comparison table in this article is poorly formatted thus difficult to read and neither of the links provided above are valid as they both get page not found. This alone is enough to cast doubt on the rest of the information contained within because it obviously was not reviewed by anyone with a lick of sense prior to publishing.

  8. Frank says:

    As a supporter of the Price foundation whose dear wife is exploring paleo, I look forward to a continued conversation about these two, true allies in the support of our health.

  9. Well, everybody who posted here, including Frank, supports Paleo, apparently. I wish more WAPF folks would post.

    As far as the allegedly poor formatting on the table: – I think there may be some tech-phobic folks at WAPF, which doesn’t really have anything to do with the contents of the table. Formatting in HTML is a horse of a different color from formatting for a hard copy.

    WAPF is based on decades of research and travel, as well as dedication.

    One of the above paleo fans claims that there is no minimal fat requirement for paleo. Yet, the front page of the “paleoleap” website specifies that you should keep healthy butterfat in dairy to a minimum.

    Another (or maybe the same?) post claims that the only difference is that paleo does not include grains, but the more important main difference I can see is that paleo does not advocate the consumption of cholesterol.

    Further, isn’t it obvious that paleoleap has some big corporate backers? I can tell that as soon as I see the website.

    Paleo is for weight loss. Nobody at WAPF ever talks about losing weight.

    Paleo is a theory of two contemporary guys. WAPF is based on the true lives of real traditional people, many of whom HAD BEEN (at the time Dr. Price visited them) maintaining their tradition since the paleolithic age. There’s a little bit about that in a book called, The City in History, by Lewis Mumford, who was the art and architecture critic for the New Yorker in the ’30’s.

    • Kris says:

      “WAPF is based on decades of research and travel, as well as dedication.”

      As is the paleo lifestyle

      “One of the above paleo fans claims that there is no minimal fat requirement for paleo. Yet, the front page of the “paleoleap” website specifies that you should keep healthy butterfat in dairy to a minimum.”

      Ok, I’m sorry this statement does not even make sense…Those are two different things – no minimal fat requirement and keeping butterfat in dairy to a minimum(you’re singling out one specific form of fat here not all fats). Some people who do not tolerate dairy well and still have an issue with consuming butterfat (some do not) and may need to keep consumption to a minimum. You are also basing your judgement on one bloggers site – not paleo as a whole. The wonderful thing about the paleo lifestyle is that the goal is finding what works best for YOU, its not just about following a set of rules. We work from a template to find what works best for us – some people tolerate dairy and feel fine consuming it some do not. Some can eat nightshades while in others that can cause some pretty uncomfortable issues. Its really about finding what works best for each individual.

      “Another (or maybe the same?) post claims that the only difference is that paleo does not include grains, but the more important main difference I can see is that paleo does not advocate the consumption of cholesterol.”

      What??? The may be some paleo bents that do not consume a ton of fat but most paleo people I know consume plenty of healthy saturated fats. You seem to have chosen one site as being representative of paleo as a whole.

      “Further, isn’t it obvious that paleoleap has some big corporate backers? I can tell that as soon as I see the website.”

      Really?? I don’t get that feeling at all from visiting the site – but many bloggers do have sponsors/affiliates – most often carefully choses to fit with the message they are trying to get across or for products that they have found helpful/useful.

      “Paleo is for weight loss. Nobody at WAPF ever talks about losing weight.”

      Paleo is not for weight loss – its is a welcome side effect for many but that is not the ultimate goal – optimum health is…which is why the paleo lifestyle puts strong emphasis on sleep, stress management and exercise as well

      “Paleo is a theory of two contemporary guys. WAPF is based on the true lives of real traditional people, many of whom HAD BEEN (at the time Dr. Price visited them) maintaining their tradition since the paleolithic age.”

      I don’t know where you get your information but Paleo is not a theory of 2 contemporary guys – where did you even get that?? I’m sorry I really don’t mean to be argumentative but your response to the article seems to be just as uninformed/poorly researched as the article itself. There really isn’t a whole lot of differences between WAPF and paleo and I just don’t get the us vs. them mentality that seems to be happening at WAPF. We really should be working together to get the message out there rather than playing this ‘we’re better than them’ game.

  10. Really disappointing to see this kind of disparity of WAPF & Paleo Nutrition when it is very clear and has been made clear to Sally that both Loren & Robb have changed their POVs since their books were written YEARS AGO! Disappointing and definitively not in the best interest of anyone to put this type of comparison in writing on the internet, least of all WAPF. The Paleo Lifestyle, it is NOT a diet, it is a long term sustainable lifestyle that reaps long term health benefits and it’s very disappointing that such lack of care, disregard of research and responsibility for facts was taken in posting this comparison. For real facts about the paleo lifestyle, my suggestion is to attend many of the Paleo experts workshops, read their books or come to one of the Paleo f(x) events to see many of them in person. http://www.paleofx.com This comparison is NOT remotely accurate by any stretch of the imagination. My comment is in response to someone who saw this and was very confused and questioned me about it. All this article has done is lead to much confusion with NO ANSWERS, whatsoever.

    • I wish very much that I had time right now to do enough reading to show how incorrect Michell Norris’ statements are. I did click the link she includes in her comment.

      What I read at that website only confirmed everything I’ve already said. I feel more confident than ever before now that I have checked out her link. It’s a slickly produced corporate marketing website.

      I see no mention of soaked, sprouted or fermented foods.

      Yes, Paleo IS a diet. They mention weight loss frequently — not just once or twice, in passing. They call people “obese.” They also recommend supplements — something that WAPF NEVER does, except for supplements that are made of actual food. They also have muscle-building products.

      They say nothing at all about cholesterol. I don’t see any way in which they directly support small farms —- which WAPF does do, directly and legally, with the — is it the “Family Farm Defense.” (That’s not the proper name, I don’t think, but can’t think of it right now.) The only mention of family farms I can see on this Paleo website is “Get more veggies at the farmers’ market.”

      They have a book that they sell, which is supposed to show you what your individual physiology “needs.” (For what? — Weight loss, apparently, although it’s a little unclear.)

      I’d like to go into all these issues a little more, but I have study and work to do right now.

      Paleo is a fad and a cult. They’re not a non-profit organization, like WAPF is. They are trying to present themselves as a mini – WAPF, but if they were really as SIMILAR to WAPF as they keep claiming here, then why not just join WAPF? Nobody at WAPF is going to force you to eat grain, if you don’t want to.

      Paleo is not similar to WAPF at all. They are trying to profit from Dr. Price’s hard work. I don’t think Dr. Price made any profit from anything, but I’ll have to look that up to be sure. I know WAPF does not make a profit.

      I intend to write a longer article about this. It makes me really nervous the way these Paleo fanatics are logging in here to criticize Sally’s article. They have nothing specific to say, really. (Except the table is not formatted correctly. What about the contents of the table, though?)

      They seem to be on some sort of rampage. Maybe they’re not getting enough cholesterol? Or Vitamin K? Or fat?

      • Erik says:

        Someone is apparently raging…

        The problem is trying to compare Cordain and Wolf’s originating ideas with the current state of Paleo because Wolf and others have progressed it beyond Cordain and Wolf’s original ideas. Right now the primary differences with the WAPF diet seem to be the exclusion of grains, legumes, and possibly dairy, the specific goal to target a 1:1 O6:O3 fat ratio with no more than a 4:1 ratio, and (according to this chart) the lack of restriction against tea and chocolate. Otherwise they are pretty similar now.

        Sally’s article is supposedly a comparison of the differences between the two diet recommendations. The recommendations she references are out dated even for the date her article was written. People who see that have the right to comment and point out that discrepancy.

      • Victoria says:

        Thank you Diana for your well reasoned comments. I too wish WAPF folks would comment but perhaps they actually have important things to do.

      • Kris says:

        “I see no mention of soaked, sprouted or fermented foods.”

        You may not find info on soaked or sprouted grains and legumes because for the most part paleo followers don’t eat much of those – we do however eat fermented foods – it may not be mentioned on the website Michelle linked because that is a website for a big paleo event not necessarily meant to be an information source for the paleo lifestyle.

        “Yes, Paleo IS a diet. They mention weight loss frequently — not just once or twice, in passing. They call people “obese.” They also recommend supplements — something that WAPF NEVER does, except for supplements that are made of actual food. They also have muscle-building products.”

        The word ‘diet’ does not necessarily mean weight loss – it just refers to a way of eating and is often used for lack of a better word (you could call it a way of eating). Weight loss may be mentioned but it is not a weight loss ‘diet’ many people do lose weight when they ditch the processed junk and remove gut irritating foods from their ‘diets’. Some people may use the paleo lifestyle as a way to lose weight but most of use eat this way because its healthy and makes us feel better. And weight lose is often a natural side effect of that. There may be some paleo advocates that recommend supplements (or supplement use in certain cases) but supplementation is not a large part of the paleo lifestyle – same goes for muscle building products.

        “They say nothing at all about cholesterol. ”

        I’d really like to know who this ‘they’ is that you keep referring to because your source particularly on this issue is incorrect.

        “I don’t see any way in which they directly support small farms —- which WAPF does do, directly and legally, with the — is it the “Family Farm Defense.” (That’s not the proper name, I don’t think, but can’t think of it right now.) The only mention of family farms I can see on this Paleo website is “Get more veggies at the farmers’ market.””

        Are you serious?!!? One of the main things that the paleo lifestyle promotes is buying humanely raised meats from local farms whenever possible.

        “They have a book that they sell, which is supposed to show you what your individual physiology “needs.” (For what? — Weight loss, apparently, although it’s a little unclear.)”

        Again you’re way off base here – and again with the ‘they’ who is the ‘they’ that has a book to sell? Paleo is not an organization or an entity or a business it is a bunch of individual people that are part of a movement to spread the word about eating real, well-raised, unprocessed food (very much like WAPF). Yes, there are paleo books as an information source on the whys and hows to the lifestyle (you might want to read one) and many many cookbooks out there – so what? Thats how people get this information and there are so many cookbooks because people buy them for the very same reason they buy any cookbook – for ideas on how to make yummy dishes. Didn’t Sally write a book? Nourishing Traditions? How is that any different?

        “Paleo is a fad and a cult. They’re not a non-profit organization, like WAPF is. They are trying to present themselves as a mini – WAPF, but if they were really as SIMILAR to WAPF as they keep claiming here, then why not just join WAPF? Nobody at WAPF is going to force you to eat grain, if you don’t want to.”

        I’m not even going to address the cult statement as that is just ridiculous coming from someone that makes WAPF sound like a cult (though I know its not!). Why all the animosity? Why do people that follow the paleo lifestyle bother you so much? I at one time did consider joining the foundation until I read Sally’s anti paleo rant and decided that wasn’t the type of organization I wanted to be a part of – I respect the work of Dr. Price very much but the ‘us(WAPF) vs. them(paleo)’ really turned me off. I always considered WAPF as a close cousin to paleo and there is a lot of good info to be found here I just don’t understand the animosity. And for your information there are many, many paleo advocates that are WAPF members and refer to Dr. Price’s work (leading more people to the foundation).

        “Paleo is not similar to WAPF at all. They are trying to profit from Dr. Price’s hard work. I don’t think Dr. Price made any profit from anything, but I’ll have to look that up to be sure. I know WAPF does not make a profit.”

        Nobody is trying to profit from Dr. Price’s work rather we are trying to spread the word so that more people can become informed about how what we eat can help or hurt us.

        “I intend to write a longer article about this. It makes me really nervous the way these Paleo fanatics are logging in here to criticize Sally’s article. They have nothing specific to say, really. (Except the table is not formatted correctly. What about the contents of the table, though?)”

        Really? Nobody that wrote here had anything specific to say?? Or you just don’t consider it relevant because they don’t happen to agree with you? People are being critical of the article because there is a lot of false or outdated info in the article. Why do you have a problem with people pointing that out? What’s wrong with correcting the false information?

        “They seem to be on some sort of rampage. Maybe they’re not getting enough cholesterol? Or Vitamin K? Or fat?”

        It seems like you are the one on a rampage – the paleo comments I have read here have been very civil and well thought out and informative…

    • TheresaS says:

      These comments and debate are rather..exhausting. I will have to throw in though and say that there is more value to the WAPF eating style than the “Paleo diet.” There are countless articles and amounts of research that disprove the basic foundation of “paleo.” (I honestly don’t have time to go back and list links…but I have been researching various diets/eating lifestyles for over 4 years because I have an autoimmune disease.) I give credit to the founders of Paleo that they have built such a devout (and often malevolent) following. That said, the basic principals of eating healthy, whole, organic, REAL food is one that we should all follow and not argue about. For the Paleo evangelists on this thread- yes Paleo does get a bad rap. It is associated with cross-fit and getting SUPER lean (which is not healthy). It also advocates the elimination of entire food groups- which is foolish…and your dear founders have realized this and have relaxed their stance/boundaries on it….so yes, the Paleo followers out there who adhere to a more WAPF style..great…to the rest..it is only a matter of time before you relax your stringent beliefs. Also, for either camp WAPF or Paleo…people who have found healing through Ayurevedic diets or those who have found health through genetic based diets…or traditional Chinese medicine diets (or others) can put up a pretty good argument too.

      • TheresaS says:

        Also if we could ONLY band together and fight against the people who REGULATE our food and food production in the US then we may have something here….instead of fighting amongst ourselves. I would really rather see all this fervor change the construct of what is deemed as ok to be sold and distributed as FOOD in this country (mass production, GMOs, pesticides, terrible farming practices (animal and produce), processed foods, lack of raw foods being sold and people getting arrested for trying to sell it..)….than us fight this losing battle and with each other.

  11. Tyler says:

    I agree the paleo diet began overly restrictive but they have now reversed many of their positions on fat, cholesterol, starch and dairy is considered grey area. This is directly off of Loren Cordains site.
    “Despite its blood cholesterol raising effects, recent meta analyses (combined, large population studies) show that saturated fats have little adverse effect upon the risk for heart disease. We recommend that you should choose free-ranging or grass-produced meats over feedlot meats whenever possible. These meats are more healthful because they have nutritional characteristics similar to wild animals”.
    I listen to Rob wolfs paleo solution podcast and he frequently recommends bone broths, sauerkraut. He frequently talks about eating bacon and coconut oil and recommends it to listeners as breakfast.
    Chris Kresser is now one of the most influential people in the paleo diet and he has written many articles on the benefits of organ meats, starches, raw dairy, fermented foods and even did a piece on Dr Oz about how legumes are okay if well tolerated. I believe many of these ideas were pulled from WAPF that has help perpetuate the diet forward to a more sustainable long term diet such as WAPF diet.

    • You say, “paleo diet.”

      You and these paleo shills keep saying “paleo diet”. You keep talking about “WAPF diet” —- as if there even WERE such a thing. (Thus revealing your own already obvious lack of knowledge or facts.)

      There is no WAPF diet.

      WAPF is not for weight loss or bodybuilding. It’s quite obvious that Paleo is marketed for bodybuilding and weight loss. Why else would they call people “obese”?

      • LBSAdams says:

        It’s fairly evident the term diet (noun) is being used to refer to “a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed; or b : habitual nourishment.” (Webster’s)

        Keep up the name-calling. It really adds credibility.

  12. Tom says:

    I guess it is natural that ‘best selling’ popularisations be taken as defining a diet by the examples the give of what the author approves of. I had felt that Cordain’s fear of saturated fats came through in his book but thought it simply reflected an influence on his thinking because of current fashions of thought. I suspected that in fact presenting an assessment of traditional diet more in line with Dr Price’s observations might have been as difficult to get published as it was for awhile for modern dentists to not dismiss Dr Price’s warnings against root canals as based on shoddy work – the word ‘shoddy’ seems most bizarre to associate in any way with a careful scientist and observer like Dr. Price. Dr Timothy Noakes, a leading expert in exercise and sports science [in particular in connection with distance running, in his description during interviews of his positive experience with ‘Banting’ describes his regimen as consisting of very very low carbohydrates and healthful fats. I suspected this wording helped avoid the issue that saturated fats in fact could be part of his diet.

    I am not sure if this is the case but assumed this was an attempt to avoid having one’s message lost in the fuss over offending another sacred bias (how many biases can one step on before one’s entire message is lost?). Given Cordain’s suggestion of what ‘Paleo’ meant it seemed to me it could not mean excluding organ meat or full fat foods. I cannot really picture my ancient forebears carefully skinning an animal before eating it or discarding any fat at all.

    I remember when decades ago I was in the Far East and generally trying to follow a supposedly healthful diet as per Pritikin, a Chinese friend of traditional background expressing very strongly her astonished horror at the idea of wasting chicken fat and chicken skin and all sorts of other delicious affordable sources of beneficial nourishment. Given memories of what my grandparents apparently were accustomed to eat when they could get it in the villages they grew up in and remembering Chinese I knew who had grown up and lived most of their lives in very traditional settings I guess the thought of our Paleolithic forebears being so freaky about food as it comes to us naturally as to avoid organ meat or saturated fat never really occurred to me.

    So for years now I have assumed ‘Paleo’ not to mean at all what perhaps most people think it.
    means.

    I find the proportion of meat suggested in some versions of the Paleo diet staggering. Is the assumption that our ancestors managed to kill a buffalo and eat one every week? I find it difficult to believe given the bodies we have evolved with that too high a proportion of protein and omega-6 fatty acids did not also make our Paleo forebears feel rather sick… especially in a low carbohydrate diet it seems to me our bodies can feel horribly ill without enough saturated fat whereas having the fat seems to me at least to make my body feel better in my 70’s than I did in my 20’s.

  13. Suzanne says:

    Clearly the two books cited for the authors research are INCREDIBLY outdated. I would say those books were a mere starting point for the paleo I know (I follow marks daily apple). The paleo I live by is pretty much W.A.P. minus the sprouted grains dairy as I am allergic to milk and celiac. I can understand wanting to distance WAP from the old and outdated “idea” of paleo…but why not research what is really, currently happening in all the blogs with their millions of followers? That would be a better comparison, and would provide unity among two groups who really are trying for the same thing…whole food diet, local sustainable farmers, high quality NONindustrialized meats. This article just makes the people who wrote it seem biased, uninformed, and frankly, a little small.

    • Renee Katz says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. I think the paleo writers are the ones who seem uninformed and ‘a little small.’ Bluntly, the ‘paleo diet’ is completely irrelevent after Weston Price’s writings. (paleo should be renamed ‘the whole foods diet). The entire premise of paleo was false to begin with. They didn’t know and never knew what ‘Grok’ ate. The ‘new’ paleo was rewritten to fit Weston Price’s observations of primitive cultures, and WAP was not concerned with what our paleolithic ancestors ate anyway. His whole point is we don’t have to know what Grok ate, cause he found out what healthy human beings were eating in his day, which often included grains and dairy foods!! Also paleo tends to promote protein powders and fish oil pills, they are way too obsessed with o6 and o3s – while they ignore the fat soluable vitamins. All in all, paleo is an unprincipled, haphazard approach to nutrition. WAPF has principled, rational guidelines on how to eat, and they give good explanations for what they believe. Weston Price was a scientist and a genius. Wolf and Cordain are neither. They are just popular writers trying to cash in on Weston Price’s work.

      • Ana says:

        Cordain is actually a University academic…

        • Apparently you have never read anything by or about Dr. Price.

          First, he was a DENTIST — AND, he did his OWN research, paid for by himself, personally. He wrote HIS OWN book, which will never be out of print because of a trust (I don’t understand all the details, really) that he created, to ensure it stayed in print forever, so that people could learn about what TRUE health is.

          His last words were, “You teach. You teach. You teach.”

          The traditional peoples that he traveled the world to interview (at a time when it was considered insane for a white man to learn from people with brown skin — although some of the traditional cultures did have lighter skin, as well) were following their own traditions FROM the Paleolithic period, but they had also learned other things from beyond the Paleolithic period, and they had incorporated that knowledge.

          It’s ridiculous to claim that another person is somehow better than Dr. Price because the other person is a university academician. University academicians are a dime a dozen, if that much. More like one penny a dozen.

          Sheesh!

          • Kris says:

            I think the comment about Wolf being a Univerity Academian was in reference to to Renee’s comment:”Weston Price was a scientist and a genius. Wolf and Cordain are neither. They are just popular writers trying to cash in on Weston Price’s work.” She said they weren’t scientist but just rather 2 people out to make a buck – clearly that statement was incorrect.

          • Sprittibee says:

            Agreed – PHD = Piled Higher and Deeper. I don’t see what the problem is in comparing these versions of nutrition (Paleo “diet” and WAP Nutritional Info). If your version of “Paleo” is more like WAP, then great! If it isn’t, then maybe you should consider making some changes.

            When my friends ask me what “diet” I’m on, I just tell them I’m not on a diet – I’m making healthy food choices for good nutrition and trying to eat very little processed foods. I tell them that everything Americans believe about nutrition (the Standard American Diet and Heart Association’s Low Fat Diet) is a lie. Then I educate them on the things I’ve learned.

            I still eat chocolate. I don’t eat near enough organ meats (still can’t bring myself to do it). I can always use improvement… but …

            I DON’T see Paleo as an enemy – rather a friend – because now days, it’s great to have Paleo and Gluten-Free choices popping up on menus all over the place. Even burger joints have “protien style” burgers wrapped in lettuce now. We are all working TOGETHER to eat better. Can we just get along and take what we learn with a grain of salt (preferably pink hemalayan)? ;)

            I dare yourselves to call your “diet” a Weston A. Price Paleoish Non-Processed Health and Living Nutritional Lifestyle Choice. ;) WAPPNPHLNLC Diet. hahaha

      • Thanks, Rene. Way to go! I completely agree.

        These Paleo people are definitely trying to cash in on Dr. Price’s work.

        Please note that none of the Paleo fanatics here have addressed the issue of why Paleo website is so corporate and slick, with “high-end” graphics.

        Obviously NOT a non-profit corporation.

        • Kris says:

          Again which paleo website are you referring to? Paleo is not an organization with just one website – you keep referencing the corporate aspect to ‘the’ website. I’m still trying to understand why you are so angry…

      • Kris says:

        Loren Cordain is an American scientist who specializes in fields of nutrition and exercise physiology. Robb Wolf is a former biochemist.

    • Suzanne ~~~ Ok, so riddle me this: Why are you out here shilling for Paleo?

    • Suzannee, thanks so much for making the WAPF case.

      You admit the paleo books are incredibly outdated, even though they were published ca. — IDK? — about four years ago?

      Yet, Dr. Price’s work, published in the ’20’s, is not outdated at all — except for the style of writing.

      Glad you pointed that out.

  14. Renee Katz says:

    I love this comparison, but I wonder why the WAPF says some carbohydrates are necessary? I thought one of the most interesting things about Weston Price’s research was that there were cultures who had almost 0 plant foods who were very healthy. I eat a WAPF version of the ketogenic diet, with cod liver oil, beef liver, bone broth, probiotic foods, all that good stuff (no dairy cause of leaky gut issues). I mainly started avoiding carbs cause of the GAPS diet, but it works for me so I have just been zero carb for almost a year now.

    • Yes, I’m not at all surprised. My son in-law had some rather disturbing and serious symptoms lately. Very scary! it seemed that his tummy was not working properly. He was anemic, and could not digest things well. He’s only in his 30’s, and they have two little boys and a teenager.

      My daughter studied Nourishing Traditions and making bone broths and fermenting veggies.

      One morning he woke up and said, “I feel human for the first time in five days!”

  15. Brian Wilson says:

    This article seems to have caused a lot of emotional responses. Not surprising since those who “follow” a lifestyle often imbue it with religious zeal. All told, those posting with support from the paleo camp are correct. Much of what falls under the paleo label has a close resemblance to the Weston Price material. This is especially true of the Auto Immune Protocol developed by Sarah Balantyne, PhD. Her work is well researched and backed by hundreds of studies. It is nearly identical to the WAPF. It varies in places due to the necessity of treating an autoimmune disease.

    I’ve noticed a hostile attitude within the WAPF in the comments and book reviews. Rather than denigrate anyone who espouses a diet that varies from the WAPF I think it would be of greater value to celebrate and support those who make their contribution to nutrition science. Their work may not jibe 100% with WAPF but does support what Weston Price found so many years ago.

    The “you don’t believe exactly what I do so you are wrong” camp is a childish religious notion. It doesn’t seem to be prevalent in WAPF but it does seem to exist.

    • Nice straw man, Brian.

    • Diana says:

      WAPF is not a diet.

      Paleo is a diet. You keep chanting, “WAPF diet,” as if that would make it true. Then, you say it’s “like” the Paleo diet.

      WAPF is not “like” anything, because it’s not a diet at all. It’s the NAME of a non-profit organization.

      The non-profit organization does many things to promote health on the deepest levels — not only for people, but for the earth, the environment, and society in general.

      Paleo is a hyper-simplistic, shallow, unscientific CORPORATE, MONEY-MAKING fad.

  16. Molly Malone says:

    Wow. I have to agree with Brian Wilson, there seems to be a lot of emotion surrounding this Paleo vs WAPF issue. There’s no need to take any of this personally, and there’s no need to be condescending or ‘snarky’ either. People really do have the right to make their own choices!

    I guess a lot of people missed this direct quote from the above article:
    “We also realize that there are many versions of the paleo diet, some of which incorporate some of the WAPF dietary principles. Nevertheless, the principles proposed by the two main spokesmen for the paleo diet—Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf—have virtually NO points in common with the WAPF principles.”

    It seems obvious to me that Sally Fallon (the president of WAPF for those of you who don’t know who she is) is acknowledging the ever-changing face of this modern diet, giving it credence, and is simply presenting the WAPF counter-principles to the ORIGINAL Paleo inventors’ principles. Nothing more. I found the chart easy to read and understand, and extremely helpful.

    People, choose the lifestyle and dietary regimen that seems best to you after reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price. If Paleo works for you, fine. Everyone has some health issue that they need to address, don’t sweat it, just do what works for you.

    The only caveat to “do what works for you” is to first read and research both sides of the issue before you decide, in order to be able to make a fully informed decision.

    Good Health to all,
    Molly

    • “People really do have the right to make their own choices!”

      So true.

      They can choose to tell the truth , or they can choose to lie, and scam the public for profit.

      Isn’t THAT condescending, personal, and snarky?

      I think it is.

    • Natalie says:

      I personally agree that it’s really silly that people are getting so mad about it (seriously WAPF people, we’re on the same lines as you! We aren’t the margarine-loving, sugar endorsing enemy.) I personally just think it might be a good idea to have the revised view of Paleo for people to look at? I don’t know any paleo fan that still believes in those antiquated ideas about sat fats and cholesterol and everything. But really, people who are calling out paleo bloggers for stealing W.A. Prices’ work… it’s not a competition. We’re all just trying to moving forward in our health and wellbeing, so why not do it together?

      • Diana says:

        Paleo folks have made it a competition by using the WAPF name and reputation to make a profit.

        BTW, so far I’ve seen no denial that Paleo is a corporate profit-making entity. I’ve mentioned it many times. If it were not true, surely someone would have mentioned that by now?

        No matter. It can be readily verified.

  17. Of course I know who Sally is.

    I first read her book, *Nourishing Traditions*, in 2008. I first joined my local WAPF chapter as soon as I read NT.

    What’s your point?

  18. Chris says:

    This article is inaccurate in it’s claims about what the paleo diet represents. The most preposterous being no added fats, only lean meats. This is simply not true. Also, paleo writers talk immensely about pastured raised animals. I could provide many more inaccuracies, but they have already been mentioned and I think anybody who has been in this scene long enough knows the bias in this article.

    What is the motivation? I suspect jealousy. The paleo diet has a much larger following than WAPF. I personally love both hand take ideas from both sides which suit my needs. Paleo writers give plenty of credit to WAPF, but it seems this writer is in competition and there is some hate involved. As said already, just looking at the chart shows the incredible bias and misinformation about what paleo represents.

    This isn’t a competition for followers so more money can be made. This is a world wide change in our habits which affect health. There’s no need for this kind of misleading article.

  19. Robbie says:

    This article seems to be written by a bitter person over all the attention paleo is getting. Paleo is not your enemy. Proctor & Gamble and Monsanto are. The WAPF and Paleo both want the same. Healthy people and both are very, very much in line with each other.

    I support the WAPF. I donate to the WAPF, but if you insist on keeping this article up without revision then my support will stop.

  20. erdoke says:

    I am not sure why high quality chocolate is banned, or why coffee and tea are categorically not recommended. Also, I don’t see the strong evidence behind the suggested level of salt consumption. Is there any firm report on how much healthy groups consumed like the Masaai or Kitavans?
    Just to avoid confusion, I am more on the WAPF side in this case, except for above.

  21. Snowleopard says:

    I visit this site and some paleo sites from time to gather ideas to improve my health. I consult other sources as well. I’m not selling anything, don’t have a dog in this “fight”, and doubt paleo has a definable orthodoxy.

    Dr Price was a genius, well ahead of his times. Nonetheless times move on, and if mankind is lucky, the truth is adopted in many forms. Nobody owns the truth.

    IRDK about who has the purest motives, or about who’s on top in a petty turf war. Paleo “followers” and “testers” shouldn’t feel like they need body armour to read your commentariat. Sniping, for those who must, would be better directed at the poisoners. Perhaps this thread is an anomaly; I hope so.

  22. John Nemati says:

    Hey guys,

    You do the argument, but I follow both.As far as I know, paleo diet recomend eating meat with the fat. I been on paleo diet for about 6 years and about one year following the WAPF nutrition requirement.I confess I crave sometimes.

  23. Brandon says:

    I was very absorbed in some articles here and considering donating. Then I come across this inaccurate and biased list from a link off the home page no less. What a way to turn people off. Why not rewrite it with a truthful representation of general paleo viewpoints and point out the real differences you recommend and why. You’ll have many more supporters by embracing similarities and researching reasons for modifications, rather than viewing paleo communities as a threat to your organization.

  24. I am saddened to see this article presented in such a manner. There is no reason to fight or point fingers between WAPF and Paleo/Primal. The books cited here are some of the first to appear on the Paleo market…in the meantime numerous books have been published which further align the Paleo recommendations with WAPF recommendations (loosening up on restrictions for legumes, gluten-free grains, carbohydrates and white potatoes, as well as adding essential components such as saturated fats, organ meats, bone broth, cholesterol, natural salts, etc).

    The main thing is that both WAPF and Paleo/Primal have taught real people to eat real food – the whole animal, the natural fats, the yellow butter oil (found in clarified butter from grass fed animals), foods cooked at home, bone broth, fermented foods, the list goes on and on. Followers of either protocol truly understand how health and healing are directly connected to feeding the body the proper nutrients. Any bickering between these two groups will only discourage others to pursue either one of these valid, health-promoting lifestyles. In my opinion, this article is a disservice to those still caught in the Standard American Diet.

  25. JLM says:

    As I’ve been reading through these comments, I have been thinking, “At least they are ‘for’ eating meat and hopefully real foods rather than processed rubbish or vegetarianism.” I appreciate the WAPF research, but I don’t think I’m going to die if I indulge in a cup of coffee. Anyone who blindly accepts any diet, no matter its name, without his/her own research is going to be disappointed.
    Also, it does say in the title alone that these are just the differences not the similarities. Perhaps it would have helped to have a third column for such info.
    And, Rachel, I so agree that either would be a vast improvement over the Standard American Diet.

  26. Sam says:

    What’s funny about this article is that I actually heard about Sally Fallon through a friend first, then found Paleo/Primal (which I stick to to this day) because of this very controversy. I love Sally and I love Mary Enig and the WAPF, but obviously this issue was not handled well at first; I see that it has been updated appropriately and am glad that it goes after the very overly-restrictive versions of Paleo that don’t even include tubers, animal fats, or raw dairy as real food (which I eat almost at every meal), and that also overemphasize the idea that grains are so bad that no one should ever eat them despite the lack of real evidence for that, given how many cultures eat them that have been around for quite some time. It has more to do with the crumbling of food traditions being passed down and the relinquishment of proper agroecological farming practices, i.e. the cheapening of the food system, and also the lack of understanding of human digestion and physiology. Today Paleo/Primal is really just grain- and legume-free, with dairy as an option if it’s raw and grass-fed and well-tolerated, but other than that it’s very much centered around Weston A. Price principals.

  27. Sasha says:

    Interesting, I have been following the WAPF diet for almost five years battling chronic pain and inflammation due to psoriasis. I’ve had arthritis in my joins since the 3rd grade. Following the WAPF diet modified for sensitive eaters has taken away joint pain.(not due to climate change)
    Now that I am not able to live on a farm I am not able to afford everything on the list, the paleo diet feels like a cheaper imitation- literally for people without the flow to feasibly follow a more realistic diet, I had no idea, the guys behind the book were recommending supplements. you know, paleolithic diners didnt have that. Maybe they liked to pretend they did…. we like to imagine a lot in our forward moving society of freedom of thoughts and ideas…
    that being said, for myself I cannot recommend alcohol, or wine, but an Ayurveda doctor told me I should in fact eat chocolate… and part of me thinks its due to where I was born, genetics, and the fact that my parents gave me chocolate at a young age….. It makes me wonder even more about the details of evolution and adaptation.
    we are not immune.

  28. Mary Sue Laing says:

    I can see that the paleo diet is extremely dangerous. I have a friend who was obviously on a paleo diet given to her by her doctor for weight loss. It was a low fat, high meat diet with Vitamin D supplements and a small amount of dairy. She told me that she was eating a pound of meat a day. I begged her to stop doing that. About three months ago she fell and broke her femur lengthwise. The bone just fell apart. She’s now in a nursing home rehab, unable to place any weight on this leg.
    On the other hand, I’ve been following the WAPF diet very strictly for ten years, including a large amount of raw dairy and liver every day. I have poor balance, so I’ve slammed my body on hard surfaces several times. None of these falls has resulted in any injury. At age 73 I do many hours of part time teaching 7 days a week. I take care of my yard, including weeding, mulching and pruning of bushes and trees. I firmly believe the researched opinions of WAPF.

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