Well, as has previously happened, the Paleo “diet” has landed in a health “news” article. This time the culprit was Dr. Melina Jampolis on CNN Health. In a sad case of SAD diet advice (most likely bought and paid for), the “Is the Paleo diet healthy” article run on CNN Health and discussed by “expert” Dr. Melina Jampolis not only missed the mark…it made no sense! Yes, I am a Paleo lifestyler. I believe in the Paleo/Primal ways of life. What these are might be a bit different per person, but they are generally backed by science…basic science such as endocrinology, biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology. It only takes one trip into these sciences to realize the basics: food affects the body in a variety of ways, the body is a complicated place, and there is a lot to understanding how the external affects the internal. One thing seems for sure to me: eating REAL, WHOLE, UNPROCESSED foods in a fashion that satisfies and fulfills much of the body is much healthier than eating some processed crap created by chemists in labs or buying such things from so-called experts who offer their own SAD brands and prescribe poor advice along with their expensive services!
Where is all of this coming from and where is it headed, you might ask. Good questions! As I said earlier, there was an article in CNN Health written by this so-called “expert.” It wasn’t as much of an article as it was an “expert” answer to an important question. The basic gist of it was that the girl writing in was obese and trying to lose weight. She wanted to know if the Paleo diet was a healthy lifestyle change “despite the promotion of saturated fat and cholesterol.” The response was incredibly sickening to many people, including me. In fact, not only was this Dr. Melina Jampolis’ response mis-guided, but it was also closed-minded and confusing. This CNN “expert started out answering the question by applauding the questioner for staying away from “fad diets.” While the Paleo lifestyle has gained momentum recently, I wouldn’t say that it is a “fad diet.” How can a way of eating that is based on the body’s needs throughout history be a “fad”? How can eating for optimal growth, as has been successful in our evolutionary past be a “fad”? How exactly can eating as history and science have shown us works well for human beings be a “fad”? I see a problem here. By definition, a fad is ” a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal; craze” (Merriam-Webster Incorporated, 2011), and the definition of a fad diet is “a weight loss diet that becomes very popular (often quickly) and then may fall out of favor (sometimes just as quickly)” (Everydiet.org, 2004). What is the problem when calling Paleo a “fad”? Well, Paleo is short for Paleolithic, which is an era that consists of a long period of time. It is a period of human pre-history beginning at least 2.6 million years ago and continuing up to at least the development of agriculture c. 10,000 BC (Conjecture Corporation, 2003-2011). The idea behind the Paleo lifestyle (considered a “fad diet” by this so-called CNN expert) is that we humans have evolved from these ancestors. This evolution created a system of processes in the body that were designed to help us survive…and survive we have. For thousands of years we survived by moving specific ways, eating a variety of natural foods, and growing our bodies through such processes. With the advent of industry within agriculture, we began to notice problems. Health issues became more prevalent. At the time we may not have understood the processes of the body or the reasons these things were beginning to crop up; however, history shows us that something happened to cause more problems. The subject of just what has been hotly debated, but, to me, one thing is certain: illness shows up when processing and toxins used as foods show up. Science of the body shows that many people tend to have problems with certain foods and so-called foods. More disease and chronic illness occurs now than ever before…and it is on the rise. We no longer, as a society, promote eating as our ancestors ate. Our society tends to support money before it promotes healthy living. Well, I have seen the other side, folks, and I can tell you that our Paleolithic ancestors seem to me to have the right idea…eat whole, real, unprocessed foods. Eliminate those things that just aren’t viable or reasonable in the human system. That includes grains and legumes, in my opinion. Why is this? Well, have you ever tried to just pick a piece of wheat or a bean and eat it right there? I have, and I can tell you that I couldn’t even keep it in my mouth without having issues, let alone imagine what it would do inside my body. Now, have you ever picked something like lettuce or eaten raw meat? Again, I have, and it was much more palatable. I could see it being feasible food for my ancestors.
But, I digress…
On to more of this CNN article and this so-called “expert” who has chosen to ignore the science and confuse people.
Dr. Melina Jampolis goes on to tell this person information that was obviously not researched well at all. She seems to believe that the Paleo lifestyle is a high-protein diet that excludes several foods. Yes, the Paleo community generally does promote avoiding grains, legumes, processed foods (including processed oils), and potatoes. My problem with her response here is that she got it wrong in two places. It is not high-protein and it does not necessarily exclude sweet potatoes (which she states in parentheses in her response). If you are a reader of my blog, you might know that I am a fan of raw dairy for some and that I do occasionally eat a sweet potato. I have no problem with these things as long as they do not appear to be food sensitivities to the person consuming them. Also, you will realize that I do not promote high-protein; rather, I feel a Paleo lifestyle is more about eating whole, unprocessed, real foods and not fearing the good fats! That is the key. Fat from avocados, coconuts, animal sources, and olives are not unhealthy fats and they will not make you fat…body sciences show this well. So, this “expert” got her message mixed up, possibly because she did not fully research the lifestyle before attacking in her response.
I do have to give this woman a bit of credit for stating that sugar and refined grains can cause obesity and a host of other issues. Kudos for putting that in, as many other “experts” would not even go that far. But, with that said, I think she screwed up terribly with her cons and overall response.
In her cons, she states that typical OLD and WASHED UP response about saturated fat and cholesterol…further propagating the false “wisdom” put forth just 40 or 50 years ago due to money and fear. If the research an “expert” relies on is outdated, the advice may well be too…and we see that here. There have been any number of studies regarding the falsity of the saturated fat and cholesterol myths (for more, do a search on this blog for these subjects or visit any number of research sites such as Pubmed or others referenced throughout my many blog posts). The outdated response relating these foods to cancer and other diseases shows how much this “expert” researches on her own. So, basically, you can see from her response that Dr. Melina Jampolis does not tend to research well for her responses. I certainly wouldn’t want a doctor telling me how to live if she doesn’t continue to learn through her life, would you?
So, this CNN “expert” has already proven herself as a person who does not do her research, subscribes to old ideas, and keeps the population in the dark and unhealthy. She has told this person who needs help to avoid a lifestyle that encourages eating REAL, WHOLE, UNPROCESSED foods, and she even adds that one of the reasons this should be avoided is because it is expensive! Are you kidding me?! Last time I checked being unhealthy and having to go to the doctor who prescribes medications for symptoms that one would have to take for life because the lifestyle was not fixed is EXTREMELY expensive! Hmm, pay a cent or two more for grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs and organic veggies from local farms and ranches (hence also supporting my own neighborhood) or eat crap and pay a rich doctor to get richer while I get sicker…which option would I recommend? That answer is obvious…I choose my health…I choose my community….I choose happy animals with good lives…I choose freedom from drugs and disease.
Finally, I need to bring your attention to something one more time. I have said before that we need to follow the money with our choices and beliefs. This is no different. Sometimes you may not realize that these “experts” recruited by corporations and media sources often have another agenda. Rather than being proponents for your health, they are more proponents for their own pocketbooks. Dr. Melina Jampolis is no different. This lady actually sells her own terrible version of protein bars. I have to say, these bars have a long, strange ingredient list. They are definitely not made of whole, real, healthy foods. Some of the things in them don’t make sense as ingredients for a “healthy” bar. The above picture is a screen-shot of these bars. I have highlighted strange things in these ingredients. These are certainly questionable in my book! They are things that show me that this “expert” does have an agenda in her responses…and that agenda does not include healthy living for you!
One final thought: In trying to debate openly with this “expert” through the CNN blog, my comments were denied. I was blocked by her on Facebook, as were many of my healthy living advocates in the Paleo community. Even those who gave her research links were put down and denied by her. Someone that is not open to debate, research, and conversation with those whose opinions differ is not someone I would want as my “expert” or doctor, would you?
Dr. Melina Jampolis and CNN, I have this to say: FAILEO! Start researching, listening, and learning with an open mind and health in mind rather than your own bottom line and then you can be called an expert! Until then, you are just a paid lackey for Big Agri, Big Business, Big Pharma, and Big Brother…I see you as not concerned about the health and well-being of mankind…and only concerned for the health of your own bank accounts!
Readers: BUYER BEWARE! Keep your life in mind! Remember to question and learn all you can…look at the science and consider the history. You will be healthy, wealthy, and wise for it!
Have a healthy day!
References and thanks:
Conjecture Corporation. (2003-2011). What is the Paleolithic era? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-paleolithic-era.htm
Everydiet.org. (2004). Fad diets. Retrieved from http://www.everydiet.org/fad_diets.htm
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2011). Definition: Fad. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fad
I’d like to send a big thank you to my Paleo peeps! You all are amazing and supportive! May we heal even more!
People to look up:
Karen Pendergrass: Paleo Approved: http://paleoapproved.com/wordpress/about-us
Tim Swart: Big Tim’s Primal Journey: http://bigtimsprimaljourney.wordpress.com/
Robb Wolf: The Paleo Solution: http://robbwolf.com/
There are tons more to visit as well. If you want more info, let me know! We love to help!