Paleo Diet Review and Other Current Questions

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I give seminars or discuss topics online, I get a lot of questions about various popular diets and what I think of them. Almost any “diet program” will have something good to it. That’s where I start, so that I don’t jump right into offending anyone!

However, just about all commercial diet programs (most programs are commercial money makers!) make some false statements about nutrition and overstate the science behind their theories. This is the case for the hugely popular Paleo (“Caveman”) diet. I won’t spend the whole post reviewing it, because I think WebMD did a very good job.

I do like this statement from the review: David Katz, MD, the author of Way to Eat, tells WebMD by email
that “eating more foods direct from nature is far better than the
typical American diet, but how the Paleo-type diet compares in terms of
long-term outcomes to an Asian, Mediterranean, vegan, or other optimized diet, we just don’t know.”

My take on the Paleo Diet: The foods they recommend you eat are very healthy. I can’t argue with eating less processed foods and more foods in their natural state. However, we know that legumes and whole grains are great sources of cancer fighting phytochemicals. It would be a very rare situation that I would advise someone to avoid them.

High Fructose Corn Syrup:

The American Medical Association did a review of current evidence on HFCS to determine health effects and whether a warning label would be appropriate. Here is their executive summary. This is the bottom line from their results: “it appears unlikely that HFCS contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose…there is insufficient evidence to restrict use of HFCS or other fructose-containing sweeteners in the food supply or to require the use of warning labels on products containing HFCS.”

My take on High Fructose Corn Syrup: Eating too much sugar from any source is not good for you. Based on what we know so far, I don’t believe HFCS to be more detrimental to health than other sugars. Avoiding it is not a bad thing, however simply replacing it with another type of sugar is not going to be beneficial.

For example, if you decided to drink a soda made out of sugar syrup rather than HFCS, I don’t think you’re doing anything to help yourself out! However, if you decided to replace sodas with an unsweetened seltzer water, I would give you a gold star. :)

Gluten Free Diet
Here’s a 2 part series I did in 2011 on the gluten-free craze:

  1. Is a Gluten Diet for Everyone? Should I be on it?
  2. Feedback on Gluten-Free Diets: Comments from Nutrition Experts!

Good Articles to Read!
And, if nothing else has intrigued you today, here are a few articles I read over the last week that I thought were worth sharing!

Do you have suggestions on topics I should cover? Email me, or my facebook page! I’d love to hear your thoughts!
– Julie

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