Raining on The Paleo Parade

I posted yesterday about my response to the Scientific American article that the Paleo Diet is Half-Baked.

The article contains this quote from anthropologist William Leonard of Northwestern University: “Too often modern health problems are portrayed as the result of eating ‘bad’ foods that are departures from the natural human diet…This is a fundamentally flawed approach to assessing human nutritional needs. Our species was not designed to subsist on a single, optimal diet. What is remarkable about human beings is the extraordinary variety of what we eat.”

Given that fact, I can’t understand why variety is frowned upon by mainstream dieticians. Sure, variety is emphasized in terms of what fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, and meats we should eat. But perhaps variety in terms of food groups is also advantageous. Perhaps a diet higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbs is indeed more beneficial to me than the mainstream recommendations. Why is this concept not acknowledged?

Finally, the article ends in a veritable symphony of negativity. It describes one group of modern hunter–gatherers, the Hiwi, and states that they are, “not particularly healthy,” yet doesn’t bother to identify the diet as the causation of their unhealthiness. Even the most hardcore Paleo nutjob won’t claim that a Paleo diet is ALL you need for optimal health. Sanitation and modern medicine come in a bit handy as well. ;)

I used the phrase “symphony of negativity” because that is how the closing of the article really felt. I felt like the author was saying the Paleo diet is silly. It’s based on scientific principles that are flawed and downright silly. You will NOT be healthier eating Paleo. It’s impossible to eat Paleo anyway because you won’t be eating exactly like your Paleo ancestors did (you can’t, because plants are different, and we don’t even know for sure exactly how they ate.) It’s stupid for you to try. rain+on+parade1292539657

Really?

Is it really stupid to try? Increasing intake of veggies and eating organic meats isn’t stupid. Eliminating processed foods and sugars, being more active and doing more high-intensity workouts isn’t stupid. I know many nutritionists think eliminating legumes & unprocessed whole-grains is indeed stupid, but all the rest of it? No. Not stupid.

The fact is there are indeed many threats to our health and much is yet unknown about the best ways to reduce your risks of various diseases such as cancer. Paleo isn’t the magic bullet. I want to smack people who claim they never get a head cold because they eat Paleo. Seriously? Give me a break. What a load of wooly-mammoth doody. ;) But there’s no reason to act as though our health can’t be improved by eating Paleo. Heck, or even just eating more veggies & less sugar!

If, like me, you feel better and look better eating Paleo, then THAT’S GREAT! I just feel like I want to tell the author of this article to ‘bite me.’ Hehe… yeah, real mature, Meg! I know! But the negativity and hopelessness of that closing of the article just ticked me off.

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