Okay, so I was sucked into part 2 of Sunday Night’s report on the Paleo diet again last night. If you’ve been living under a rock, reporter Mike Willessee undertook the Paleo diet for 10 weeks with the help of My Kitchen Rules judge and chef Pete Evans (I’ll call him Paleo Pete from here on in).
Admittedly watching the program last night, I was able to learn a little more about this diet. Basically, there are two sources of energy that the human body can use for fuel: carbohydrates and fat. I hear from a lot of people with diabetes who live and advocate for a Low Carb, High Fat (LHCF) diet. I completely respect that, and I’m sure that your body could be fuelled by fat. I myself have seen some merits in reducing “unnecessary” carbs and sugars in my diet, such as bread on my dinner plate and high sugar snacks such as muesli bars or breakfast cereals. But I do still eat carbs. I don’t feel that I could realistically cut them out completely and still be a happy man. But I completely respect those that do make that choice.
I just can’t fathom how Paleo Pete was quick to dismiss healthy, nutritious foods such as Dairy, Legumes and Grains. I also didn’t appreciate the way he referred to all of these carbohydrates as sugar, which is NOT true. And I can’t fathom how you could expect a human being to live without coffee!.
He went as far as suggesting that a diet of “everything in moderation” would cause type 2 diabetes among a string of other threatening diseases. Paleo Pete, you know absolutely NOTHING about diabetes. Don’t make an empty threat on the base of a common stigma. As my Twitter friend Lala brought to my attention, he even suggested that people who follow the Paleo diet are all exclusively healthy.
Paleo Pete is a chef. He is not qualified to provide nutrition or dietary advice. As one Twitter user commented, being around food doesn’t qualify you to provide nutritional advice. It would be like having a passenger fly an aeroplane. The Dieticians Association of Australia is qualified. LISTEN to them.
Paleo Pete also makes a lot of money off of Paleo. He has a series of cookbooks and other money making products that I don’t really care about. It’s a bit hard to take his claims of “speaking the truth” and “never feeling better” seriously.
As I said last week, Paleo Pete also works for the television network that aired this story. He is a judge on cooking show My Kitchen Rules. So is this story just a convenient case of networks keeping their talent happy?
At the end of his 10 week challenge, reporter Mike Willessee said that Paleo had opened his eyes to some of the his food choices. I feel exactly the same way, particularly after watching the similarly themed That Sugar Film earlier this year. What Mike Willessee neglected to mention was whether he’d stick with Paleo or not. I suspect his view would be similar to mine. There are some aspects that I’d take away from Paleo, but I won’t be rushing to clear out the cupboards and fridges of anything even remotely delicious.