It’s official, the Paleo Diet was dead on arrival in the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) February 2015 article ranking the popular diets. The magazine summed it up this way: The Paleo diet came out at or near the bottom in every category, and tied with the Dukan diet as dead last overall. Ratings above a 2 were rare; the experts were especially critical of its nutritional completeness, cost and its applicability for weight loss and for preventing or controlling diabetes and heart disease. Most seemed to agree with one panelist's summing up: "This diet should go back where it came from."
USNWR’s winning diet was the DASH Diet. The magazine summed this one up by saying: Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure. You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasize the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, Veggie, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voilà!
In other words what the magazine suggests is that everyone should eat the same foods they’ve been told to eat for the past 65 years. Changing is too hard, too expensive, entails the unknown, runs counter to the culture, and ignores the recommendations of the government and the medical community (which profits from chronic diseases).
I encourage you to read the story from USNWR. Then look at the anti-red-meat DASH Diet. The official DASH Diet claims it is a “lifestyle change.” The “so-called” change encourages everyone to count calories and eat lots of whole and processed grains, potatoes, no animal fats, peanut butter, margarine, sweet fruit, fruit juices, and even sweets! Check out DASH food choices in my Food Analysis tables. Note that DASH considers salt to be worse than sugar. Yet we know sugar is highly destructive (think fungus) while the body regulates excess salt by merely passing urine. Regarding fat, in the past few years the anti-fat movement has been totally discredited and the fat from grass-fed animals has become recognized as highly nutritious.
When confronted with the dietary suggestions of the mass media, medical community, government, and pied pipers of this land, only individuals capable of independent critical thinking can stand aside from the cultural insanity. I call it insanity because this USNWR recommendation is exactly what Albert Einstein was referring to when he said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Today, after 65 years of the DASH Diet (and very similar dietary guidelines), our nation spends 18% of its Gross Domestic Product on healthcare. Most of that healthcare cost is for treating chronic diseases which are ubiquitous today. All chronic diseases are food related. So tell me, how is eating the same foods of the past 65 years on into the future going to create a different result?
Over the past 30 years literally tens of thousands of modern nutritional studies (our website is loaded with studies) have shown that foods which are high glycemic, have abundant Omega-6 and deficient Omega-3 fatty acids, and are low in overall nutrients damage human body function and contribute to nearly every chronic disease known. The DASH diet totally ignores glycemic measures, Omega-3 fatty acids, and the required full spectrum of nutrients in food choices. It also fears red meat, fat, and salt. Therefore it is exactly where conventional nutritional recommendations have been during the past 65 years.
Unfortunately many Paleo Diet advocates have watered down the actual recommendations as originally outlined by Loran Cordain, its creator. They altered the diet to make it conform to traditional tastes so it would be more “marketable.” Of course, when they recommend improper foods that means more than likely the people who follow that advice will fail to see significant health improvements. That’s too bad since Loran Cordain’s primary emphasis was on the chemistry of food with an emphasis on balancing essential fats, being low glycemic, and hosting a full spectrum of nutrients.
We can’t eat the exact foods of the caveman. But that doesn’t matter. Our bodies require a specific mix of chemicals. What we can do is replicate the required chemical mix by growing and eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy ones. For instance we can grow and eat kale instead of sugarcane or sugar beets. Kale is a perfect super food for man. Sugar is devastating to the body. And we can raise grass-fed beef which is an even healthier food than kale as well as a better food to raise for the health of the planet!
Because Paleo has been watered down by so many advocates, I prefer to emphasize the chemistry of food rather than try to define food choices by what a caveman may or may not have consumed. Therefore I recommend The Real Diet of Man. It is very focused on the fundamentals. At its core is the green leaf which is the foundation food for animal life. Our nutrient intake must have the chemistry of the green leaf at the bottom of its food chain. It’s a simple A, B, C approach based upon recommendations of modern nutritional scientific research. The focus is: A) low glycemic foods; B) a daily diet that balances the essential Omega-6 and Omega-3 EFAs; and C) nutrient diversity that is properly balanced for our bodies’ requirements.
The A, B, C approach strengthens the immune system, optimizes brain function, creates a healthy vascular system, lowers the risk of mycotoxin contamination from internal fungi, and stops inflammation by providing the body with 100% of its required nutrients in perfect balance. The track record is amazing. The primary drawback is that it is a major change. Of course that’s why there is a different result. Unfortunately the change takes time to adjust to. At first it creates discomfort because “comfort” foods are shunned. But in time, for everyone who has the willpower to follow through, the joy returns as the senses adjust to the new reality. And then even a greater joy emerges as one recognizes that their health is restored and maintained.
But the benefits don’t stop there. That’s because the 65-year-old DASH Diet consumes huge resources to produce and it contributes to greenhouse gasses emissions and accelerates the desertification of the planet. The DASH Diet depends on the least natural food production scenario while it denigrates the most sustainable, most perfect food for man. You got it, the finest food for the planet as well as man is grass-fed meat.
February 10, 2015
P.S. My mother religiously followed the DASH Diet for decades. She had arthritis, breast cancer, a pacemaker, high blood pressure, and other ailments. In the months before she died she had no idea who I was or that she had ever had a son. Her very life depended on drugs and operations for literally decades while following the DASH Diet.