Thursday, June 9, 2011

Paleo Diet Ranked Last at U.S. News and World Report

Too funny:

"One small study comparing a Paleo and a traditional diabetes diet in 13 type 2 diabetics showed the Paleo diet resulted in lower levels of hemoglobin A1C, a measure of blood sugar over time. The approach needs to be studied more before strong conclusions can be drawn, but most diabetes experts recommend a diet that includes whole grains and dairy products."

As Stephan summarized that study, in part, the paleo diet "[r]educed HbA1c more than the diabetes diet..." If you want to follow the advice of the people who've been succesful in getting us to a 10% diabetes rate in the United States, you go right ahead.  I tried their approach, and gave it up, and my pre-diabetes went away on the paleo diet.

I don't have time to make a lot of comments on this, but wanted to note it.  They're using Cordain's The Paleo Diet, which I'm not a big fan of. I'd suggest The Perfect Health Diet, or The Primal Blueprint instead.

I'll also note that journalists typically don't make any effort to verify claims made by experts, they just report the pro and con, and let you struggle through the dreck that results. 

When journalists do verify claims made by experts, you wind up with books like Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, which both offer the science in support of an approach like the paleo diet.

Happily this result appeals to the contrarian side of me, which believes that what I'm doing can't be correct if everyone else is doing it. ;)

Thanks to Robb Wolf.

P.S.  Wolf posts Prof. Cordain's response:

"...It is obvious that whoever wrote this piece did not do their homework and has not read the peer review scientific papers which have examined contemporary diets based upon the Paleolithic food groups which shaped the genomes of our ancestors. Accordingly the writer’s conclusions are erroneous and misleading. I feel strongly that it is necessary to point out these errors and make this information known to a much wider audience than those reached by the readers of the U.S. News and World Report. You have my permission to syndicate my response and or your write up for the CSU Collegian to any of the major news services including AP and UPI. Additionally, I will copy a number of colleagues and scientists worldwide with this message to ensure that it will be widely circulated on the web, blogs and chat groups.

"The writer of this article suggests that the Paleo Diet has only been scientifically tested in 'one tiny study'. This quote is incorrect as five studies (1-7); four since 2007, have experimentally tested contemporary versions of ancestral human diets and have found them to be superior to Mediterranean diets, diabetic diets and typical western diets in regards to weight loss, cardiovascular disease risk factors and risk factors for type 2 diabetes...."

Read the whole thing.  Thanks to Sean for pointing this out.

P.P.S. Updated: "US News 'Best' Diets: Rebuttal 2".