Paleo Diet: The Big Fat Paleo Lie

Written by James Gormley, Natural Products Industry Writer

Plus 5 Myths and Facts About Meat (and Plants)


  • Myth 1: Our Paleo ancestors ate massive amounts of meat. They didn’t.
  • Myth 2: Humans only started eating plants 10,000 years ago, when farming began. Try 2.5 million years.
  • Myth 3: Meat has the most protein…and the best quality protein. Soy may just be our winner.
  • Myth 4: Meat is the healthiest source of protein. Not with today’s processed, industrialized food supply.
  • Myth 5: I have to give up all meat to eat more plant-based diet. Nope. You just have to move plants to the center of your plate.

Meat is good. Don’t get us wrong. In moderation, good quality meat gives us a burst of protein and minerals.

But if we were to buy into all the Paleo diet hype and misinformation out there, you’d think that humans evolved with diets that were 75-80 percent fat, and loaded with protein, to boot.

You’d also think that our ancestors only started eating plants 10,000 years ago, when agriculture began.

We didn’t.

Which is why we wanted to share with you “5 MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT PLANT-BASED DIETS.” We’ll also show how it’s possible to be pro-plant without being anti-meat.

After we share these myth-busters, we’ll also let you in on a great addition to a more plant-friendly diet, Almased’s revolutionary low-glycemic, and high-protein formula … but more on this below.

MYTH 1: Our Paleo ancestors ate massive amounts of meat.

Fact: False. Ever since anthropologist Raymond Arthur Dart discovered — and examined — the very first fossil of an early relative of humans in 1924, the popular image of early man as a vicious, blood-thirsty, red-meat-devouring carnivore began.

While hunting and eating meat was important in our evolution, this obscures the fact that we also co-evolved with plants, fish, nuts, roots, tubers and herbs.

Even the best Paleolithic hunters were only able to reliably get about 30 percent of their yearly calories from meat, and were only able to share meat around the fire a few times a week.

Hunting is hard, especially when you have to literally chase your next week’s meal.

All we have to do is look at today’s descendants of our hunter-gatherer ancestors to get a good idea of what the Paleo diet really was.

The Hazda of Tanzania gets nearly 70 percent of their diet from plants. The Kung bushmen of the Kalahari depend on tubers and mongongo nuts. The Pygmies from the Congo rely on yams. The diets of Amazonian Tsimane and Yanomami feature manioc and plantains. And the First Peoples of Australia often depend on nut grass and water chestnuts.

On top of that, today’s most popular, and extreme, variation of the Paleo diet — the ketogenic (or keto) diet — calls for fat levels in our diet to be 75-80 percent. No matter how good the fat is, and no matter how you slice it, that percent of fat is just plain dangerous.

MYTH 2: Humans only started eating plants 10,000 years ago, when farming began.

Fact: False. Dr. Amanda Henry and her colleagues from the Center for advanced Study of Homonid Paleobiology, in Washington, D.C., published a study in 2011 where she showed, based on tooth fossils, that, 100,000 years ago our Paleo forebears were eating a diet that featured grass seeds, dates, legumes and root vegetables.

In fact, our Paleo forebears were eating plant-centric diets as early as 2.5 million years ago. But if we look at our apey ancestors and even earlier human-like progenitors — say for the last 30 million years — our guts evolved, and are designed, to mainly eat plants.


What is true is that when crop farming began, 10,000 years ago, the diets of agricultural communities did become more predictable, and less varied. But the diet remained heavily reliant on plants.

MYTH 3: Meat has the most protein … and the best quality protein.

FactNot necessarily. By weight, meat has a maximum protein level of 26 to 27 percent.

Soybeans, by comparison, boast 36 to 38 percent protein.

As to protein quality, while meat does have a high protein efficiency ratio, soybeans score higher than beef on a measure of protein quality called the “Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score.”

Cultivated in China more than 4,850 years ago, soybeans have a complete amino acid profile — meaning they have all nine essential amino acids — and they are considered a “high biological value” protein source.


In addition to being rich in protein and branched-chain amino acids (BCAs), soybeans are also high in fiber, low in saturated fat, naturally free of cholesterol and lactose, and are good sources of healthy monounsaturated fats (specifically oleic acid, like the kind found in olive oil), omega-3 fats and antioxidants.

In fact, each serving of our Almased meal-replacement formula is packed with 27 grams of high-quality protein.

Compare this to the pound-watching and fast-slimming products out there, which not only max out at 10 grams of protein per serving but are also loaded with gums, low-quality oils, and artificial ingredients.

MYTH 4: Meat is the healthiest source of protein.

Fact: False. Again, we’re not trying to bash meat, here, but there are pros and cons to meat consumption, and not much attention has been devoted to the downsides.

In fact, some of us may remember the lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey brought by a cattleman’s association?

After Oprah and her guest expressed concern, in a 1996 show, about how feeding livestock to cattle could cause “mad cow” disease to happen in the U.S., she was sued by the association under a 1995 Texas law which was basically written to prevent people from criticizing beef and other “perishable” food products!

And after ABC aired a series of reports in 2012 about “pink slime” beef products, the network was sued by a South Dakota meat producer.

Oprah won her case, but ABC wound up having to pay out a whopping $177 million dollars in a 2017 settlement.

Any wonder why we don’t hear about the dangers of too much beef?

A beef against beef?

The biggest problem with consumption of too much meat is that it brings on disease-causing inflammation and immune responses where we don’t need it.

For example, a 2016 study showed that a weird non-human sugar molecule in red meat, called Neu5Gc, brings on chronic inflammation that causes cancer and cardiovascular disease. They call this “Neu5Gc” a “significant health hazard.”

A recent 2019 study found that people who eat a lot of red meat are also 20 percent more likely to develop colorectal cancer.

And a 2013 study shows that the carnitine that we get from excess red meat eating makes the body produce a lot of an unhealthy compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).

This winds up causing heart disease and increasing our risk of a heart attack.

Heavy meat protein consumption also forces the body’s pituitary gland to signal the liver to produce the growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (or IGF-1). Consistently high levels of this hormone, in adults, lead to cancer.

MYTH 5: I have to give up all meat to eat more plant-based diet.

Fact: False. Most experts agree that having some high-quality meat, fish, poultry in your weekly diet is healthy.

However, if you want to be more plant-forward or plant-centric, the goal then should be to eat less meat every week, whether that means shooting for a few fewer servings of meat or to only eat meat a few times a week.

By moving plants to the center of your plate, you’ll be able to treat meat as a side dish — not the starring attraction for every meal.

Some of the advantages of being more plant-centric include:

  • Potential weight loss
  • Better pH balance in your body---if you are less acidic, your body is more resistant to disease
  • Less inflammation in your body
  • Healthier liver and kidneys, since they have fewer toxins to remove
  • Healthier cholesterol levels
  • Less risk of cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart attacks
  • More energy

Soy should be a big part of your more plant-focused diet

Forget about all of the misinformation you read about soy.

First, current research shows that moderate soy consumption is not linked to breast cancer; in fact, it appears to offer a protective effect.

Second, also forget everything you read which says that only fermented soy foods are healthful, and that unfermented are not.

While fermentation may unlock some additional nutrients, there is little evidence that fermented soy products (like natto, tempeh and miso) are superior to unfermented soy products (like tofu and soy milk), provided the soy source is non-GMO.

Make sure to read our “Soy Myths Debunked” and “The Truth About Soy.”

And Almased should be your go-to soy source!

Almased is the low-glycemic high-protein meal replacement formula that provides superior non-GMO soy, in addition to the exact amino acid profile the human body needs for optimal function.

Boasting a full 27 grams of high-quality protein per serving, Almased helps you keep muscle and stay satisfied for up to 6 hours.

Almased is also diabetic-friendly and supports healthy blood sugar levels to support fat breakdown.

It is made from three high-quality ingredients: non-GMO soy, yogurt, and enzyme-rich honey, all combined in a unique fermentation process with an ideal 2:1 protein and carb ratio.

It provides vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids that nourish your body.

The exclusive, natural formula contains NO artificial fillers, flavors, added sugars, preservatives or stimulants. Almased is also gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians.

So, if you’re going to try to make your diet more plant-forward, adding Almased to your diet, as a complement, will make it much easier for you to make sure that you’re getting the right protein and the right nutrients every week (or every day).

So, go ahead and have that pasture-raised steak — every once in a while — feeling confident that you can enjoy the fruits (or is that veggies?) of your more plant-powered diet!

Don’t fall for the myths and “fake news” about plants and soy.

Be more plant-forward with Almased today!

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