Why The Problem With Paleo is one book you should not waste your time on.
The Problem With Paleo Book Review
Do you ever come across those free book offers for Kindle? Yeah I do too. The book The Problem With Paleo was one of those books and after reading the preview of the book which took quite a big shot at the Paleo diet, I had to give it a try.
I truly believe that there is no just one diet for everyone. And I’ve never been a “Paleo is the only way to live” kind of person. But with that said, I am a huge fan of the Paleo diet as a way to help control blood sugars, lose body weight, and control inflammation within the body.
Adopting a Paleo like diet is also definitely an upgrade from the way most of us eat out there through the way it encourages healthy fats, vegetable intake, and a decrease in processed foods. When I came across, The Problem With Paleo, I thought, “alright, great. I will check it out and see what kind of evidence the author throws out there to suggest eating something different.”
The problem is, the author, Joey Lott, doesn’t throw anything out there of the kind. In fact, he has no real nutrition, disease management, or pathophysiological education or training and to market this book like he does have a background, is just plain dangerous. After all, would you take tax advice from a nutrition expert? I would certainly hope not. Use caution when getting nutrition advice from people who aren’t properly trained.
The Problem With Paleo is overall a very short read that takes aim at various portions of the Paleo diet. Lott starts off shortly into his book taking aim at the very people who Paleo has helped: “I have seen profiles of Paleo weight loss promoted on the websites of popular paleo gurus in which the ‘before’ photos looked healthy and the ‘after’ photos looked skeletal. That really ought to raise some concern about the level-headedness of the paleo advocates. They aren’t seeing clearly.”
Who are you to judge? The higher a BMI or body fat percentage the higher the risk associated with chronic illness. Lott, you’re missing the point with specialized diets in general. It’s not just about weight loss. What about the increase in self-esteem from a person feeling like they look better? What about the countless individuals where it’s not about weight loss – it’s about the decrease in gastritis, autoimmune disease, and increasing insulin sensitivity?
However, the very qualities that make the restrictive diets beneficial in the short term are likely to produce problems in the long term
And what problems would these be? These problems according to Lott are, weight gain and symptoms of starvation (mind you he assumes that people are starving just from looking at a picture of them). Yet, throughout The Problem With Paleo Lott never offers up any actual anecdotal evidence suggesting as much. Only that the, weight loss may have come about as a result of calorie deficiency, and continued calorie deficiency. Which is how weight loss is achieved, through a calorie deficit.
Another horrible allegation in The Problem With Paleo:
When we talk about diseases of civilization that are pinned on agriculture, we’re mostly talking about things like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. Guess what the one risk factor for all these diseases is. It’s advanced age……It could simply be that more people survive into adulthood and more people live to be older than during Paleolithic times, creating the illusion of greater rates of disease
Good job Lott, you picked out one risk factor that all those diseases showed in common. The only thing that advanced age does is show an associated risk, not a causative affect. Age is also one thing nobody can change. But you know what people can change? Their eating habits – greatly reducing the risk of having to deal with chronic diseases.
Lott then goes on to attack the way Paleo views carbohydrates. Oddly enough, Paleo isn’t synonymous with low carbohydrates and in fact, doesn’t necessarily equate with a low carbohydrate diet. What Paleo does do, is explain to people just how bad eating the amount of refined carbohydrates that people eat (chips, cupcakes, cereals, breads, etc.) Lott probably has a hard time making the connection to the amount of processed carbohydrates and increase in avoidable diseases such as the ones he mentioned in his book (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.). Especially when he makes statements on his website such as:
Eat frequently. Eat what you want…really, what you really want, even if it is chocolate cake or muffins or ice cream…especially if it is chocolate cake or muffins or ice cream. Trust your body to tell you what you need. I’m not suggesting that chocolate cake is the ideal dietary staple for ever and ever. But if you crave it now, eat it, and see what happens. Stop depriving yourself. And be willing to eat more than you have been eating.
Isn’t that solution the very same solution that has been getting people to the same diseased states that they’re in right now?
Low-carbohydrate diets have been associated with [disease].” Yes, you’re right, our body needs a balanced portion of all three macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates). Good job with that one. You know what else has been associated with disease? Diets high in trans-fats and way too many refined carbohydrates.
Overall: Joey Lott picked up his gun, aimed, and pulled the trigger in an attempt to dismantle paleo but the bullet fell far from the target missing the overall point of the entire diet. The Problem With Paleo lacks any real research and is full of fluff. Use caution on taking any sort of nutritional advice from a person who has no actual medical or nutritional training.