Transcribed from televised segments of The Dr. Oz Show© "Paleo Diet Craze: Does It Work?" which aired on Monday, April 22, 2013 and part of which is available as a three part video segment on THE DR. OZ SHOW website.

Click section heading to view that segment.

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The Paleo Diet Craze, Pt. 1

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Dr. Oz - Today, a diet that is gaining huge buzz and momentum, The Paleo Diet®. Now followers say they are shedding drastic amounts of weight and are warding off debilitating diseases but what's the trick? You have to eat like our stone age ancestors. If you think that means having to eat hunks of meat off the bone or this sounds like man food, well think again. Even I was surprised to learn what it means to eat Paleo.

It spawned dozens of books, nearly all best sellers, and hundreds of blogs, message boards and magazine articles. So what has everyone so excited about a diet based on caveman and stone age times? The Paleo Diet promises you'll easily lose your unwanted pounds and it could ward off debilitating diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.

Dr. Loren Cordain, a researcher of evolutionary medicine, has spent his career studying the diet of our ancestors and spun the phenomenon into motion. He focused on the connection between living off the land and longevity. Dr. Cordain believes eating wild plants and animals is your prescription for optimum health. But if you're worried about eating hunks of meat and think this is not for you that's where Paleoista® Nell Stephenson comes in. She's adapted The Paleo Diet® for every modern woman and says she can help you get the weight off, no hunting gear required.

Dr. Loren Cordain author of The Paleo Diet® and Nell Stephenson author of Paleoista® are here.

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So Dr. Cordain, you argue that every single woman in America ought to be on The Paleo Diet so what is it about The Paleo Diet that excites you as a scientist and why should it work when so many other diets have failed in America.

Dr. Cordain - It's got many characteristics that combine all the best ideas we've ever had about nutrition. So for one, it's a high protein diet, a low glycemic load diet, and we know that those characteristics of diet are perhaps the best way to get weight off and to keep it off. Secondly, it's very high in fruits and vegetables that contain healthy phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals which tend to promote immune function and make us a lot healthier. It's also very high in long chain Omega 3 fatty acids which help to calm down inflammation and there are multiple characteristics beyond that but those are the major ones.

Dr. Oz - So Nell, show us what kinds of foods are on The Paleo Diet. I've brought some samples here. Just walk us through what would typically be on this diet.

Nell Stephenson - Yes, absolutely. Lovely protein. We have free range poultry, grass fed meats, wild salmon, local organic produce. Lots of veggies and fruit and then healthy fats from coconut oil, olive oil and avocado and also some raw nuts in moderation.

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Dr. Oz - So if I compared this to a typical low carb diet and there's several out there, how's this different?

Nell Stephenson - To be clear it's not the Atkins diet. You're not walking around all day eating hunks of bacon and pieces of cheese. It's actually really balanced and you're getting a nice amount of local produce in every meal.

Dr. Oz - Well, I must say I've often thought The Paleo Diet was Fred Flintstone.

Nell Stephenson - Yeah.

Dr. Oz - You know taking that big hunk of meat that rolled over his car.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly.

Dr. Oz - So I see the meat part of it but there's no dairy on here.

Nell Stephenson - No.

Dr. Oz. - Is there dairy on this program?

Nell Stephenson - No, there are no inflammatory foods so there is no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no refined sugars. Basically everything you're eating should be whole fresh food. Nothing in a package or a wrapper and the reason I say that is because most of the things you're going to find in a wrapper are highly processed.

Dr. Oz - Well let me ask Dr. Cordain a question. Go have a seat here. When I come back to this idea of The Paleo Diet, and I've been asked about it so much recently, I'm generally surrounded, even in my own case, by misconceptions. You know, people trying to explain it to me but not quite getting it right. So what's in your opinion, you're probably the world expert in this diet, what is the biggest misconception about The Paleo Diet.

Dr. Cordain - Well, thank you for that, the nice compliment, but I think probably the biggest thing that people think is that it's a fad diet and if it is a fad diet, it's the longest living fad we've ever had. (chuckles) It's goes for two and a half million years up until about ten thousand years ago.

Dr. Oz - It actually helps reduce heart disease, helps reduce diabetes, high blood pressure, These are big claims. I mean is there really enough data to back that up. You even challenge the concept that the Mediterranean Diet may not be as healthy as this.

Dr. Cordain - That's absolutely right, if we look at the endpoints for cardiovascular disease. We can look at blood pressure. We can look at blood cholesterol. The Paleo Diet is superior in those in the seven or eight randomized controlled trials.

Dr. Oz - So Nell now let me reduce this to practice because the big question for most of our viewers is can we lose weight on this diet.

Nell Stephenson - Absolutely.

Dr. Oz - So how much and how long and how difficult?

Nell Stephenson - I've seen in some cases people have lost tremendous amounts of weight. Sometimes about 75 pounds in about six months. Granted, it's going to depend upon how much weight someone has to lose in the first place. If you're somebody who's trying to lose that post baby weight, you've got that last 10 lbs., it may not be as dramatic, but it will be slow but steady.

Dr. Oz - So Nell practices Paleo with her clients and I would like you, if you can, walk us through the five rules you argue, we have to appreciate to truly practice The Paleo Diet.

Nell Stephenson - Sure.

Dr. Oz - So Rule No. 1 and we're going to build a plate for everybody, is to understand what foods are in this and how much of these foods. So, build me a plate of food, if you don't mind.

Nell Stephenson - Absolutely and it's really simple. So first we're going to start with a plate and we're going to add about 2/3rds fresh veggies. The more variety the better. The more color the better.

The Paleo Diet Craze, Pt. 2

Then we're going to add roughly a palm sized amount of protein and then again variety is good, local, organic, and then we're going to add a little bit of, a healthy dollop of fat and some fruit. That's balanced. That's the plate you should look at for every meal of the day.

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Dr. Oz - Okay so normally when I give advice I say to eat seven fistfuls of fruit and vegetables. I don't divide them up yet you specifically say a little more than half of your plate needs to be vegetables and you make the fruit portion much smaller. Why is that.

Nell Stephenson - Yeah the reason is really simple. If I don't specify to clients to make the fruit part of it, they tend to eat only fruit and to eat fruit all day long and no veggies and I really want to stress how important it is to get lots of veggies into your diet.

Dr. Oz - Even more than the fruits?

Nell Stephenson - Yes, definitely.

Dr. Oz - Alright so those of you who are eating big bunches of bananas and you think that counts you're actually saying to be a bit more rational about that.

Nell Stephenson - Balanced, exactly.

Dr. Oz - Inflammatory foods. So what are they. Define what we can't eat that's inflammatory.

Nell Stephenson - The inflammatory foods are all grains, all dairy, all legumes and that's beans including soy and peanuts, and all refined sugars so that's basically nothing in a wrapper.

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Dr. Oz - Honestly I tell people all the time to eat 100% whole grain foods, to have legumes, beans, which I always thought was a pretty good source of protein and that's on your don't touch list.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly.

Dr. Oz - Doctor that brings up the obvious question I have to ask. What about vegetarians? Weren't prehistoric men and women primarily vegetarians?

Dr. Cordain - Actually not. The data from our laboratory.  We've looked at 229 hunter-gatherer societies and it shows that the average meat intake was about 55% of calories and the balance came from plant foods.

Dr. Oz - You are kidding me!

Dr. Cordain - Nope.

Dr. Oz - So prehistoric humans were primarily meat eaters despite what we might think according to what you are telling me.

Dr. Cordain - That's exactly what the science is showing, so it's kind of reversing some of these concepts that we've had over the years .

Dr. Oz - I'm going to have you call my wife right after the show. You can break the news to her.

Dr. Cordain - (laughs)

Dr. Oz - Okay, no calorie counting. Maybe the best news of all. Why not bother counting calories.

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Nell Stephenson - Well let's just be straight. I'm not recommending that someone sit down and have 5 steaks at one sitting or eat 10 bananas. The idea is if you follow the Paleo plate, template for all your meals during the day, you're going to have small balanced meals. Your energy is going to be through the roof. You're not going to have those blood sugar spikes and crashes and everybody can identify with that. They get busy and ending up eating the rest of their children's goldfish crackers so you're actually going to be ahead of that curve and keep everything balanced so you're not going to actually be in a position where you're going to want to get those junky foods in the first place and if you do, you know, overdo it on a little bit too much broccoli, it's not going to be the worse thing.

Dr. Oz - It's probably a good thing.

Nell Stephenson - Yeah. (chuckles)

The fourth rule, we're getting to the end here, is to eat breakfast that's more like your dinner.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly.

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Dr. Oz - Now why is that such an important issue.

Nell Stephenson - Well, most of us are raised with the idea that breakfast is a grain festival, so we're doing refined carbohydrates in the form of bagels and cereals. We need to throw that out the window because it's not getting us anywhere. So ladies don't be afraid of meat for breakfast. Take advantage of leftovers from dinner. Maybe use some of the leftover steak in your breakfast. Take the chicken. Take the turkey. Have that as part of your breakfast. It's really, really important.

Dr. Oz -Anything really that you have on this table right here could be a reasonable breakfast alternative rather than what we've gotten accustomed to.

Nell Stephenson - Absolutely.

Dr. Oz - Okay and the fifth rule. Now listen very carefully, this is the favorite part for many of you, is you get to have three cheat meals per week. Now how are cheat meals part of any kind of a program.

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Nell Stephenson - Well this is the idea, and to be clear, I do recommend everybody gives it at least a 30 day try. I think it's less daunting that way so that you can really reap the benefits of it but if you think about the fact that we're eating 21 meals per week and if you have three of them as non Paleo meals if that's part of your process to get Paleo then that makes it more approachable for a lot of people. Try the 30 days. See how you feel and then if you want to test something afterwards, see how your body reacts. You might actually find that lots of the things you've eaten all of the time are actually making you feel quite ill.

Dr. Oz - Up next Paleo does not get more practical than this. We've built up all the meals for you. They're easy to make and can help you start changing your body today. Stay with us.

[commercial break]

The Paleo Diet Craze, Pt. 3

Dr. Oz - We're back with a modern take on The Paleo Diet and we've put together meals that can help you shed the pounds and ward off disease without hunting for slabs of meat in your camouflage. Nell Stephenson is back with meals every woman can make. So just remind everyone real quickly about this Paleo plate. What should be on the program.

Nell Stephenson - So again don't forget it's 2/3rds vegetables, and then roughly a palm sized amount of protein, then a healthy dollop of fat and some fruit.

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Dr. Oz - So it's easy to make. We're going to start off with a breakfast today and show you what you can do and again the whole point here is you can go hunting for food in your high heels.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly, exactly. So again ladies don't forget, protein is going to boost your metabolism. You may have already been eating a Paleo breakfast without even realizing it. This is a Paleo version of steak and eggs. Throw in some veggies and you're set.

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Dr. Oz - And they've got a smoothie here.

Nell Stephenson - Yes. This is one of my favorites and I recommend it for clients who are moms on the go. I make it out of tea instead of what traditionally would have been milk. Throw some spinach in. Different herbs and spices which also have their own health benefits and, Dr. Oz, it has eggs in it, but you can't taste it, I promise.

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Dr. Oz - You put eggs in your smoothies.

Nell Stephenson - Yes. You've got to have the protein and you'll love it. Taste it.

Dr. Oz - (to audience) Who wants to have eggs in their smoothie? Nobody.

Nell Stephenson - Cheers.

Dr. Oz - Cheers. Did you cook the eggs?

Nell Stephenson - You can actually soft boil them. You can use raw eggs or you can use pasteurized liquid egg whites. Whatever is easiest for you.

Dr. Oz - (chuckles) Alright. (takes a little sip)

Nell Stephenson - I think it's good. You just taste the blueberries.

Dr. Oz - You know you're right. You can't taste the eggs.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly. Dr. Oz - It might be a bad thing I can't taste them though. It's good. Walk us through a typical lunch on The Paleo Diet.

Nell Stephenson. Okay. This is a Paleo version of a Cobb Salad so you don't have the Blue Cheese Dressing. You don't have the bacon. You have just crisp turkey. You use leftover turkey from last night's dinner. A nice olive oil mustard dressing and then this is really always a hit with the kids because you may be wondering and thinking oh it's going to be plain, boring chicken, missing that crunch but you can actually use breaded chicken but instead of using the flour or cereal you use walnuts.

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Dr. Oz - Perfect. Dinner. For dinner these look like pretty traditional meals that you'd normally eat.

Nell Stephenson - Exactly and I've heard from a little bird that you love Blackened Salmon so that's Paleo. Paleo Blackened Salmon with a nice little mango salsa and some rapini and then you might be wondering what about if you're a pasta lover, can I still eat spaghetti ... squash. So spaghetti squash. It's really easy to make if you haven't seen it before.

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Dr. Oz - Alright now the part that I think folks will really be surprised about, because I am, is desserts.

Nell Stephenson - Yes.

Dr. Oz - And you talk about three cheat meals but these aren't actually even cheat meals.

Nell Stephenson - No, and there's definitely a place for a Paleo treat once in a while. These are Paleo truffles and I make these when I'm hosting a dinner party as a parting gift and if you find chocolate, ideally higher than 85%, I actually like the 95% and if you take chocolate, coconut oil, almond butter and a little bit of honey or agave, they're delectable.

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Dr. Oz - Alright you can find all the Paleoista's recipes, great name by the way--

Nell Stephenson - Thank you.

Dr. Oz - --at the Dr. Oz website. Coming up we've got two women who say going Paleo turned their health around. That's by the way, why I'm most passionate about this. I'm curious can we get better health from chronic illnesses. Could their secrets help you. Hear how they did it when we return.

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Dr. Oz - We're back talking about The Paleo Diet, a national phenomenon that has people eating like their stone age ancestors to lose weight. There's a whole group of people out there who are using The Paleo Diet to treat their symptoms of chronic disease. I'm joined by two viewers, Christina and Marie, who going Paleo changed their health and they're sharing their secrets with us today. So Christina why did you decide to try The Paleo Diet.

Christina - Well Dr. Oz I was struggling for many years with thyroid issues and I wasn't getting the symptomatic relief that I was hoping for in the drugs and I was feeling sluggish, I was depressed and I was gaining weight and I was just feeling sick all the time. So, I started doing some research to look for natural approaches to healing myself and discovered The Paleo Diet.

Dr. Oz - Did it work and how much weight did you lose?

Christina - I lost 30 pounds.

Dr. Oz - 30 pounds. There you are. Look at you before. That's a big difference.

Christina - I have a tremendous amount of energy now that I really never had in my life. I'm talking about not even in my twenties.

Dr. Oz - How'd you do it? Was it hard?

Christina - It's not easy at first because you're really shifting your mental attitude about it. We need to be prepared. I'm a busy mom, I'm a professional and I'm always on the go so we need to plan ahead. We need to preplan meals and one thing I always want to do is always have jerky available because it's lean, it has protein in it.

Dr. Oz - Beef Jerky?

Christina - Beef Jerky.

Dr. Oz - I have never recommended this before on this show, ever! But you made this yourself I understand?

Christina - I did, I make this frequently. This is about three pounds of beef. Can you believe it?"

Dr. Oz - My goodness. (

Christina - It's very lean and it doesn't have all the additives you normally find in the Jerky that you find in the bags in the store. It's very simple to make. You just season it, let it marinate overnight and when you're ready to cook it you put it in a low temperature oven, about 175 degrees. Keep it cracked open. Layer it on racks and about 7 hours later, jerky.

Dr. Oz - I feel prehistoric eating this.

Christina - You should.

Dr. Oz - It's really good.

Christina - Good.

Dr. Oz - Thank you very much for sharing your story.

Christina - Thank you.

Dr. Oz - Marie what prompted you to try The Paleo Diet.

Marie - Well about four years ago I was diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Oz - Sorry.

Marie - Thank you and my doctor, immunologist, recommended that I go on drugs. Basically she explained to me that I would be on them for the rest of my life and I just couldn't. I didn't like that idea and I thought just let me find a more natural way to allow my body to heal itself because I always just believed that my body can heal itself. So I started reading everything I could get my hands on. I researched and actually came across Dr. Cordain's work and started to try The Paleo Diet almost immediately.

Dr. Oz - And what happened? How debilitated were you by the MS?

Marie - Well at the time of my diagnosis I was completely numb, from the waist down, so I could. You could punch me in the leg and I literally couldn't feel it. It didn't keep me from walking but I did walk with a limp.

Dr. Oz - Hmm.

Marie - So after about, you know, four to six months of eating Paleo it started to fade and it's been four years and not a single symptom.

Dr. Oz - You can walk normally now?

Marie - Oh yeah. I can walk. I can run. You know, I can do stuff.

Dr. Oz - Can you go walk to Dr. Cordain and come back.

Marie - Sure.

Dr. Oz - That is unbelievable.

Marie - Hi. Thank you.

Dr. Cordain - Congratulations. Thank you.

Dr. Oz - That is remarkable.

Marie - Yeah. It's amazing.

Dr. Oz - Dr. Cordain when you hear stories like Christina's and Marie's what do you think about our ability to treat ourselves from what seem to be incurable ailments.

Dr. Cordain - Well, first off, I think these are just absolutely wonderful stories and this is more important than any research paper I've ever written. This is about people and how it changed their real lives so just wonderful. I have one final comment here is that our scientific group is actually working on a method to this madness and we believe that a leaky gut is underlying many chronic autoimmune diseases and so by removing these foods, the whole grains, the legumes, the dairy and the processed foods you tend to heal up a leaky gut and then that stops that immune stimulation and inflammation.

Dr. Oz - What I don't understand is-- We have two very common problems that I'm reflecting with these two wonderful stories by these women and what I don't understand is how we can maybe have a treatment and we not actually have proof behind this. What is actually holding this all up?

Dr. Cordain - Well we haven't had sufficient scientific studies. We need what are called randomized controlled trials and the notion that a leaky gut underlies autoimmune disease has only been around for maybe the last five or six years so this is very exciting new science and I would hope that we would see good scientific trials to help people and do what these ladies have done for themselves.

Dr. Oz - Thank you very much for sharing your stories.