Lately it seems like all I am doing is refuting the media.
I was alerted to another media faux pas by a barrage of emails defending the Paleo diet following a poorly written article posted at Today Show Health section regarding superstar LeBron James’ leaner physique achieved by adopting a Paleo diet. Instead of praising King James the author and dietician inexplicably misinformed readers about the alleged perils of the Paleo / low carb diet.
What’s the difference between a Dietician and a Nutritionist? Most nutritionists will argue logic.
Dieticians are spoon fed a curriculum endorsing the USDA nutrition guidelines of a grain based low fat diet they blindly promote, representing the worst ongoing dietary experiment in human history. Despite the explosion of obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes since publicly launching the USDA grain based, low fat nutritional guidelines in 1980, apparently the empirical evidence demonstrating the oversimplified theory we are getting fat because we are eating too much fat is just plain wrong is not convincing the powers that be (the powers that be are the cereal, processed foods and high fructose corn syrup manufacturers who fund skewed studies that dictate the USDA Guidelines).
Back to the article, as virtually every public commentary at the Today site stated (some less politely than others), the author is clearly unqualified to speak on the topic of nutrition.
She was somewhat correct in the basic premise of what a Paleo diet represents:
“Paleo proponents eat meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, roots, fruits and berries — a diet believed to be similar to foods hunted, fished, or gathered by our ancestors. If you eat Paleo, you can’t have grains, dairy, or legumes (beans or peas). Sugar and salt are also no-no’s.”
A real Paleo diet is virtually impossible to follow today, since in its truest form, it would be seasonal and limited to the foods including insects of a geographic region. Modern day Paleo eaters typically consume fruits and vegetables that would not have existed in the Paleo era.
The author throughout the article continually contradicts herself commencing with the dieticians ridiculous mantra “if there’s one nutrition (I assume she meant nutrient) Americans don’t need more of on our plates, it’s protein. It’s recommended that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from protein. Paleo encourages amounts of protein and fat beyond current federal recommendations.”
Wrong on both counts. Americans as a whole need more protein but specifically a complete protein, and Paleo meals do revolve around complete protein and total daily consumption represents an average of 35% of energy consumed in line with the so-called recommendations (however most dieticians I am aware of advise too low of an amount of just 10%)
Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in a healthy body, in fact take away the water and as much as 75% of your composition could be protein. While the dietician food pyramid may not have much to say about protein – let me explain what a ridiculous oversight that is and just how critical a role protein plays in virtually everything about us.
Protein constitutes our muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, even certain enzymes, hormones and some body fluids including hemoglobin is comprised of protein.
Protein is absolutely essential for health and life, proteins act as enzymes, hormones and antibodies, they maintain fluid and ph balance, protein is an essential structural component of every cell in your body and make brain function possible… protein acts as a neurotransmitters or precursors of neurotransmitters – the chemicals that carry information from one cell to another.
Protein makes movement possible…every one of our muscles are composed of motor or contractile proteins that convert energy into animation pushing and pulling our bones to propel us. Structural proteins are what our bones, teeth, hair, and the outer layer of skin are made of. Enzymes and proteins facilitate chemical reactions that make the transport of vital materials like oxygen, vitamins and minerals possible
Immunoproteins are antibodies that defend the body from possible attack of bacteria and viruses protecting us from disease. Hormones are proteins that act as chemical messengers and regulate or balance functions. And last but certainly not least, protein determines and controls the activity of our genes…to what extent is still being uncovered.
Proteins are large, complex molecules that are not actually a single substance, but rather a collective name for a complex chain of smaller subunits called amino acids. There are more than a hundred thousand known protein possibilities in the body… Amazingly they are all made up of different combinations of just 20 amino acids each having a uniquely different structure and performing different functions in the body.
Protein in foods are available in animal and plant forms, protein from animal sources such as meats, eggs and dairy products are complete proteins. Vegetable proteins however are incomplete and lack some of the essential amino acid with the one single exception of soy. For this reason vegetarians are required to be eaten in combinations such as rice and beans to make a complete protein or alternatively consider taking a protein supplement.
In adults a protein deficiency may result in lack of vigor, stamina, mental depression, weakness, a weak or poor immune system, impaired healing and slow recovery from disease. In children it can be far more detrimental including abnormalities in growth and tissue development.
The dietician would also not make a very good defense lawyer for carbohydrates stating: “overloading on pasta, bread and potatoes can contribute to weight gain and diet-related diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes”
In fact carbohydrates categorically are non-essential and provide nothing but a source of energy. Yet the dietician overemphasizes this role also falsely suggesting 3 things people get wrong about carbohydrates.
She suggests that we “need” carbohydrates… when in fact categorically carbohydrates are non-essential. First of all lets make it perfectly clear, Paleo diets include carbohydrates, I am hopeful that the dietician realizes in her opening statement describing the Paleo diet that vegetables, fruits and berries are actually carbohydrates?
The author then speaks on behalf of science (in fairness she didn’t reference which century) using the dieticians reflex response to carbohydrates and the brain saying: “Science says: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the important fuel needed by your brain, red blood cells, your entire central nervous system and even your muscles. When you skimp on carbohydrates, your body uses stored body fat to generate glucose. That may sound great, but eventually going too low in carbohydrate for too long causes your body to use protein from food and your muscles to create glucose.”
“And if you use fat and protein to create glucose, they can’t be used to perform their many functions. According to the National Academy of Science’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), minimum daily glucose needs can be met by consuming 130 grams (520 calories) of carbohydrates. The Institute of Medicine recommends 45 to 65 percent of total daily calorie needs from carbohydrate.”
“For someone who consumes 2,000 calories, that’s 900 to 1,300 calories daily.”
Ok. So which is it? 520, 900 or 1,300 calories worth of carbohydrates… and what source or are all carbohydrates created equal?
Don’t worry not only is this dietician confusing, so is the following three (3) italicized excerpts from the USDA text book on the subject wrongly suggesting and contradicting itself when stating “the brain is the only true carbohydrate-dependent organ” since the section specifically includes the following about fat or protein providing brain fuel:
“The minimal amount of carbohydrate required, either from endogenous or exogenous sources, is determined by the brain’ s requirement for glucose.The brain is the only true carbohydrate-dependent organ in that it oxidizes
glucose completely to carbon dioxide and water. Normally, the brain uses glucose almost exclusively for its energy needs…”
Then goes on to explain how fat can fuel the brain:
When glucose production or availability decreases below that required for the complete energy requirements for the brain, there is a rise in ketoacid production in the liver in order to provide the brain with an alternative fuel. This has been
referred to as “ ketosis.”
Or alternatively how Protein can power the brain.
“The required amount of glucose could be derived easily from ingested protein alone if the individual was ingesting a carbohydrate-free, but energy-adequate diet containing protein sufficient for nitrogen balance.”
The author also spoke on behalf of science saying: “ Science says: It’s about calories. Eating foods low in carbohydrates won’t guarantee weight loss unless you’re cutting the amount of calories you consume daily. A recent review of 19 studies published in PLoS One found that overweight or obese subjects lost similar amounts of weight after following diets that were low carbohydrate (less than 45 percent of total calories) or balanced (45 to 65 percent of total calories).”
First of all, calories don’t exist; they are a unit of measure. Humans don’t burn calories, we burn ATP derived from nutrients and different macro nutrient sources (protein, fat or carbohydrates) yield very different hormonal responses and outcomes. The study she sites is highly flawed, does not measure body composition change (fat loss), instead relies on weight and the antiquated Body Mass Index which tells us nothing. Perhaps what is most egregious is the study defines a low carbohydrate diet containing as much as 45% of energy from carbohydrates. 45% is not low! A Paleo consumption is approximately 10% carbohydrate. Regardless nothing in the reference study provides any accuracy regarding nutrients consumed or outcome.
Lastly, the author tells us once again that: “Science says: Whole grains like oats, brown rice and even popcorn are rich sources of fiber”
Fiber does actually provide some health benefits such as balancing glucose from the over consumption of … you guessed it carbohydrates, so why not just consume a fiber supplement – fiber has no caloric energy so you can consume buckets of fiber if you chose and the percentage amount of carbohydrates you would be eating is zero since the measure she is intent on using is calories.
Fiber is part of the complex carbohydrate group unlike other complex carbohydrates, fiber is so complex that it is indigestible and therefore is calorie or energy free. Fiber is found in all plant foods mainly in the peel, stalk, skin, germ and hull of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. You know … the good carbohydrates that Paleo diets provide in ample amounts.
© 2014 – Copyrights Grant Roberts All Rights Reserved