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No Research Behind Paleo? Excuse Me?

on January 8, 2013 | In: Current Affairs, Exercise Approach, Fitness Tips, Food and Drink, News, Nutritional Approach, Nutritional Tips | 1 Comment

I am always pleased when my google alert directs me to an article that I believe will be accurately discussing Paleo, or someone who’s had success with Paleo, or a great new source for Paleo recipes.

So yesterday, when I received an alert to read a piece in the Tampa Bay Times about Paleo ‘gaining support by those who want to get healthy and lose weight’ I expected to read an intelligent article about the merits of Paleo.

While there was some of that, there was also some glaring errors.

The following paragraph, and last statement (from an RD) in particular,  is perhaps one of the worst:

“Even with a growing legion of adherents, the Paleo diet has its detractors. Some nutrition experts are concerned with increased consumption of saturated fat from the meat-centric diet and a lack of calcium from the elimination of dairy. Also, there is much research that shows legumes and whole grains help fight some diseases of aging and keep blood sugar at appropriate levels. Neither is part of the Paleo diet.”There’s no real research behind it,” Lisa Sassoon, a registered dietitian and assistant clinical professor of nutrition at NYU, told the Huffington Post last year. “And it eliminates things that do have research behind them: grains, beans and low-fat dairy.”

Pardon me?

I had to reread it: “There’s no real research behind it.”

Perhaps what should have been written was that “There’s no real money behind it.” (As there is behind the Dairy Board and the entire agricultural industry.)

It’s one thing to say one doesn’t agree with the principles of the diet, but please, get the facts straight.   What about the decades of research from Dr. S. Boyd Eaton, Dr. Cordain, The Doctors Eads and Gary Taubes, just to name a few?

To say there is no research behind Paleo would liken it to some gimmicky fad diet created by someone with zero knowledge or expertise and that’s simply not fair. It does a huge disservice to anyone interested in learning about how to follow this healthy lifestyle.

How can it be argued that the idea of eating plenty of fresh, local, organic veggies, along with lean, wild meats and healthy, natural fats and avoided processed, refined junk be a great idea?

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1 Comment.

  • Go_Paleo January 13, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Thank you so much Nell for this article. The “nutritionist” at NYU that they interviewed clearly hasn’t read the research if she thinks that eating legumes and low fat dairy has proven science behind it. I am the person that the food critic interviewed for the accurate parts of the article (Wendy Schwartz @Go_Paleo) and when I read what someone wrote from my alma mater, I had to laugh because I always joke that I want my money back for all of the misinformation that NYU peddled back when I was in college there.

    Anyhow, I am a big fan of yours and will be sure to mention your work both in my upcoming book Go Paleo! A Shopper’s Survival Guide, and on my website http://www.gopaleo.com in our Paleo Resource Center.

    No research behind Paleo, seriously!

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