I just saw a teaser on the LOCAL NEWS about the US News having ranked Paleo at the bottom of the pile… Of the Best Diets of 2014. Here’s a link to a good rebuttal (and the article yourself, if want to read it). Dear local news: You’re basic. Please report about real news. Okay? This article is not news. Thanks. Don’t get me started on the utter inanity of local news….
As for the article itself, yawn. The lists compiled by US News are wildly popular, apparently. College rankings, law school rankings. People like to know where their school placed, and who placed lower. Does it mean anything? Eh. My law school, despite being well known, is second-tier, last I paid attention. Yet I got a decent education, I got a job, I’m doing fine, nobody cares.
As for the “worst of the best” diets of 2014… Once again, I can only speak for myself, but over the years I tried pretty much everything out there, including a number of the diets on the list: I restricted calories and worked out like a fiend. I restricted this and that. I cooked cabbage soup. I tried being a vegetarian. I tried meal replacement and shakes. I tried eating ONLY vegetables (I refrain from saying “vegan” but in effect that’s what it was). I did Atkins. I… well, you get the idea. Those things didn’t work (for me).
On the other hand, this thing I am doing now changed my life, and changed my health. I was in bad shape. My mom confided recently that she had been very worried, but wasn’t sure how to bring it up. *I* was worried! I was having all kinds of symptoms and digestive problems (oh man, I had started getting the craziest hell-fire acid reflux you can imagine). And I was obese, while trying desperately to lose weight.
Then I found this thing I am doing now. Call it “paleo” (I am the self-proclaimed Paleo Lawyer, after all). Call it “just eat real food”. Call it “primal” when you catch me with a hunk of cheese in my mouth. Whatever you call it, for me, it was and is The Thing that allows me to feel healthy, without “dieting”…
Dieting, to me, implies it’s a short term, goal-oriented situation. But I love how I eat now, and I’m not planning to revert to any previous way of eating….. [On the other hand, I must admit that I am currently doing a no-sugar challenge, which is designed to be short term, but which seems to be a good challenge, and one to be oft-repeated…. Sugar (in it’s many forms, including the quasi paleo honey and pure maple syrup), is so addictive. In one week — ONE WEEK — of making a concerted effort to avoid it, I’ve dropped a quick 8lbs of the holiday Egg Nog Weight I put on.]
Back to the article… Why even comment on it? Why does it bug me? Because I think a lot of people in the world are looking for a solution like I was. And I think a lot of those people might be successful with, and really enjoy, the paleo lifestyle if they tried it. Those people may have heard of “paleo” and may be a little wary of giving up grains — I was! It’s understandable, since idea that we must eat them has been “ingrained” in our collective psyche. So when even the local news is talking about this article and playing the “wah wah trombones” for the paleo diet, people on the fence might be scared to try it… and may try to stick with, and will fail with, their SLIM FAST diets, or whatever. Slim Fast, folks. Yes, Slim Fast placed higher than paleo. By 18 places. Gag.
I wholeheartedly endorse paleo, and encourage anyone interested in healthy eating to try it. I’ve spent (almost) no money to do this diet, other than food, and books I have chosen to purchase (the information’s free on the internet, I just wanted to get a particular author’s take on the subject, and/or get a cookbook with pretty pictures…. I am a sucker for a pretty cookbook). I’ve also receive nothing for my paleo “endorsement” other than my personal health that I’ve regained. This blog makes zero-point-zero pennies, so I don’t really have a dog in the fight.
True, my self-reporting is anecdotal. I’ve never been a part of a formal study (one of the complaints of the US News article, though rebutted in the Cordain response). However, if I had been studied from Day 1, the lab results would show that my elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels are now perfect. I no longer have symptoms of pre-diabetes. And I am no longer obese, despite the fact that I have not restricted my calories since June 2012. I don’t get winded going up a flight of stairs. I don’t have hot stomach acid splashing up into the back of my throat after every meal (ugh, it was the worst).
So, the article is not news. It’s just something to get people talking, and I guess it worked. 😛
Side note: I went to my local Whole Foods which is now carrying Epic bars (like granola but jerky instead)… I picked up one of each of the flavors to try (bison, beef, and turkey, flavored with things like habanero, cherries, and almonds). I’ll post my review once the results are in.