The Roundup - Edition 22

The Roundup


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Here is The Roundup, Edition 22, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!

Hot Topic

Recently, US News and World Report released their annual Best Diet rankings, and the Paleo diet ranked dead last. This kind of mainstream media report doesn’t surprise me, and neither does the amount of concern that comes from my followers on Twitter and Facebook, who ask for my opinion on the rankings, and wonder what it will mean for the popularity of the Paleo diet. Personally, I don’t think this report is suddenly going to turn people away from Paleo, especially considering the great success so many people have had from following the diet. But I understand the frustration that comes from seeing yet another news source completely missing the point of what a Paleo diet really means.

While I wrote my own critique of “no Paleo science” claim, I’m not sure if I’ll get around to addressing this specific report. Fortunately, there are a few great rebuttals written by other authors that you can check out. Robb Wolf slams the US News ranking of Paleo as the worst diet, specifically addressing the major points made by the rankings, such as a potential “lack of nutrition”, difficulty in adhering to the diet, and “lack of science” supporting the diet. Mark Sisson wrote a point-by-point critique as well, addressing the claims by US News that Paleo may not provide cardiovascular or weight loss benefits, or that there are health risks associated with shunning grains and dairy. Laura Schoenfeld, one of my staff nutritionists, chose to focus on the incredible fact that US News ranked Slim-Fast at #13 (compared to Paleo’s ranking of #31) even though the product is full of non-food, processed ingredients that have been associated with health risks such as cancer, heart disease, metabolic dysfunction, or cognitive disturbances. And Loren Cordain wrote his own second rebuttal, because apparently the first one wasn’t compelling enough.

Ultimately, I’m not concerned that this report will damage the credibility of health professionals like myself who promote a Paleo diet, and most evidence would suggest that the Paleo diet is on track to be one of the most popular diets of 2014. The fact is that there are thousands of people who have experienced the health benefits of switching to a personalized Paleo diet, and no amount of mainstream media backlash can change that.

Research Report

  • A systematic review of randomized controlled trials assessed the long-term effects of low-fat diets compared with diets with high amounts of fat on blood lipid levels. Neither diet could be unequivocally recommended for heart disease prevention.
  • An interesting new fiber delays release until the colon, which would make it easier to tolerate for SIBO/IBS folks.
  • A study in mice finds that kefir improves the effect of fatty liver syndrome body weight, energy expenditure and basal metabolic rate by inhibiting the lipogenesis pathway.
  • A randomized control trial found that light physical activity, such as walking for 90 minutes per day, decreases insulin resistance, improves lipid homeostasis, and reduces visceral fat in overweight/obese and physically inactive individuals with a high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Worth a Look

  • Butter, bacon, and bone broth: a writer spends a week on the LA Lakers’ new diet.
  • Dan Pardi is interviewed by Dr. Mercola on how to improve sleep quality, and particularly the importance of proper light exposure.
  • Check out my new article rebutting Paleo critiques at The Daily Beast.
  • Here’s the video from my appearance on Fox & Friends.
  • Does wheat cause heart disease? This website explores some of the evidence.

For the Foodies

  1. I must admit, until a little over a year ago when I started to genuinely focus on my health I didn’t read much of anything in terms of studies, rankings, etc. in terms of nutrition, medicine or exercise. When I first got started, things like the US News and World Report ranking list would have really bothered me since I was trying to “figure out” the perfect diet and exercise routine prior to doing anything.

    What I found is that while research is nice, there is A LOT of bad research out there. Even some peer-reviewed papers I’ve dealt with have been very poor quality with very bad testing methods and really suspect conclusions.

    At the end of the day the reason I follow a paleo-style diet is because I’ve seen the benefits in myself through experimentation. I’m 45lbs. lighter, all my normal markers look good and I feel wonderful. I’ve used what I’ve learned on myself to help improve the health of multiple family members, some of whom have drifted between other methods with little to show for it.

    The point I want to make is, studies are nice but the only thing you can really trust are your own results. I was fairly dogmatic about paleo when I started, but I found that my results improved many months in by adding quality dairy (in pretty fair quantities) and carbs via a lot of sweet potatoes. The latter helped me push through a weight plateau despite the fact that I began with a mentality of “carbs are the devil.”

    My daughter had a diaper rash from candida the other day and while there are a number of articles online saying coconut oil works really well for dealing with candida, it was my own application that confirmed, “Yep, works like a charm. Thanks for saving my baby’s butt.”

  2. Dan seems to recommend the Go lite BLU for light therapy. As faith would have it, I purchased this same device acouple of months ago, and I’ve been very pleased so far. However, I’ve read concerns that bright blue light can be damaging to the retina, and that in fact using this device might set you up for eye problems later on in life. Any thoughts?

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