The trouble with fad diets is…………..

I was chatting to someone, who works for a medical company, about the Paleo diet, we’d talked in the past about what constitues being Paleo & he had a general understanding of the principles. He mentioned that he’d had chance to speak to an endochrinologist who worked for the same company as he does & had asked his opinion of the Paleo diet. The endochrinologist hadn’t heard of the Paleo diet per se but his recommendations for what he thought constitued a healthy meal was a piece of meat the size of your fist with plenty of vegetables and a small portion of carbs, not a million miles from what most Paleo folks would eat on a fairly regular basis, of course there was no mention of dietary fats, grains, legumes or dairy. The conversation then continued along the lines of “but the trouble with fad diets is…………..” at which point a figurative light bulb went off in my head. How ironic, I thought, that the person I was talking to & his endocrinologist colleague both viewed Paleo as a fad diet.

Well let’s have a look facts for a minute – the Paleo diet is what the genus homo has subsisted on for over 2 million years. Our forebears lived off what they had close at hand, obviously geography dictated variations, for example fruits & vegetables would vary between the tropics & colder more northerly climes but the diet would’ve comprised of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables with some nuts, seeds & eggs, all based on the season. The agricultural revolution happened very recently, around 10,000 years ago, and the massive explosion in the consumption of refined carbohydrates, processed foods & massively increased sugar intake has happened in only the last 100 – 150 years.

It’s certainly no coincidence that the decline in health that we have seen in recent years is inversely proportional to the increased consumption of processed foods, which is, in turn, leading to a strain on health services and a miserable existence for those people suffering from the consequences. Framed in this context Paleo is not a “fad diet” but an efficient fuelling system that has enabled us to thrive and evolve into who we are today, the real “fad diet” is the the over-processed, sugar rich diet which is, sadly, all too common today.


4 Responses to The trouble with fad diets is…………..

  1. Michelle Davis January 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Hi, I’m following a paleo diet for M.E. Lately I’ve been veering towards the autoimmune protocol and this is how I found your blog. I then discovered that you are from Birmingham like me!! I see a wonderful doctor in Wales called Dr. Sarah Myhill for my M.E. She advocates a paleo diet for her patients and supplements focused on restoring mitochondrial function and healing gut issues. Check out her website – she is so far ahead of the beliefs of modern medicine, it’s unreal!! Anyway, I’m in the process of changing my husband and children over to a paleo diet. They take food flasks to school and have lovely paleo stews, curries and such like. It’s a lot of hard work for me because my energy is limited due to my M.E. but I’m determined that they will not succumb to autoimmune illness like I did – I think M.E. is most likely an autoimmune illness you see. Anyway, best wishes for your paleo future and good health xx

    • Marcus March 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      Hey Michelle, Birmingham, no way! Keep in touch!

      I have come across Dr. Myhill before, she seems so ahead of the curve that it’s just a shame the rest of the medical establishment are stuck in an unhelpful rut! My wife has pretty much given up on the docs, she takes no drugs, despite there best efforts and we are in what can only really be described as rude health.

      Well, I work in the centre of birmingham so if you ever fancy a coffee and a chat about Paleo give me a shout! :)

  2. mark January 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    Hi Jase,

    Great website and good to see a UK based team providing much needed information to the public! I’m about to transfer from Paleo to AIP. Having tried a very similar protocol (put together myself a few years ago) it seems like the ONLY time I have been free of auto-immune symptoms in 12 years. I hope it works this time around! Fingers crossed…

    • Marcus March 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Hey Mark,

      My wife has MS and has currently got it in full remission with a Paleo diet so give the AIP a shot! We find that eggs and even some spices are okay for us really and there is not a lot of the AIP specific stuff we can’t tollerate in some doses. The point is though, this will be specific to you and you alone so do the full AIP for a few months and slowly reintroduce certain foods.

      Keep us posted on how you get on!
      Marcus

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