Diabetes expert warns paleo diet is dangerous and increases weight gain! proclaims the press release from University of Melbourne. It says:
A new study has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.
The surprise finding, detailed in a paper in Nature journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has prompted University of Melbourne researchers to issue a warning about putting faith in so-called fad diets with little or no scientific evidence.
Lead author, Associate Prof Sof Andrikopoulos says this type of diet, exemplified in many forms of the popular Paleo diet, is not recommended – particularly for people who are already overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles.
Hmm, I thought to myself as I was reading this. I have been on paleo diet for the last four years. Within the first six months I lost 20 pounds of fat. But perhaps I was simply a lucky individual. So I read on:
Researchers at the University of Melbourne’s originally sought to test whether high-fat and low-carbohydrate foods would benefit the health of people with pre-diabetes.
They took two groups of overweight mice with pre-diabetes symptoms and put one group on the LCHF diet. The other group ate their normal diet. The mice were switched from a three per cent fat diet to a 60 per cent fat diet. Their carbs were reduced to only 20 per cent.
I was laughing so hard, I almost fell off the chair. Now mouse is a decent model for human health if you want to study genetics and biochemistry that is generic to all mammals, and there is a lot of that. But this doesn’t apply to our diets! Since the mouse and human lineages have separated, I don’t know how many tens of million years ago, mice have been busy evolving adaptations to eat seeds. Yes, they can eat poisonous wheat and thrive on it!
Meanwhile, humans have been eating seeds for at most 10,000 years, and some populations (including ones from which I got my genes) much less than that. To make matters worse, two million years ago we sacrificed large guts together with their detoxification capacity for the sake of growing large brains. So most humans have very little ability to thrive on seeds.
This simple idea that different mammals evolved to thrive on very different diets is clearly beyond Assoc. Prof. Sof Andrikopoulos, President of the Australian Diabetes Society.
I suppose you don’t need to understand evolution if you want to be a medical researcher. Mr. Andrikopoulos concludes:
“There is a very important public health message here. You need to be very careful with fad diets, always seek professional advice for weight management and always aim for diets backed by evidence.”
I don’t think any comment is necessary.