Dear Editor of Primal, Paleo, Low Carb Diet

Paleo Meal

Dear Editor,

I noticed that you are promoting a Primal, Paleo, Low carb diet. There is much discussion between low carb, high animal protein diet advocates and higher carbohydrate plant based whole food diet advocates who promote a way of eating that is also rich in protein but also contains the full array of nutrients the body needs to succeed.

First I applaud your desire to help people and I’m sure using this diet you have helped many people eat healthier and lose weight weight and I salute you. I am even a fan of your work! We have a common objective here. But what concerns me, are the health implications of such a diet beyond weight loss, even though I’m sure it’s a better diet than the standard American diet.

There is substantial evidence that people consuming high animal protein and therefore high fat diets, do not sustain their weight loss for simple reasons, we need carbohydrates for fuel and the array of nutrients that come packaged with plant based whole foods, such as for instance phytonutrients (which play primary role in protecting cellular health) cannot be found in foods of animal origin.

I know you promote the consumption of vegetables and small amounts of fruit, but the basis of your diet is animal protein.

There is also ample evidence from studies such as The China Study that confirm the role that animal protein plays in tumor growth and cancer promotion when animal foods are consumed beyond 5% of total calories and up to 20% of calories which is still substantially less animal protein than what most people consume.

There is no doubt you can lose weight on a low carb diet. The mechanisms are widely understood. They are great for short term weight loss, but come with consequences in cellular health, artery health and in advanced aging…

To eat plant based, nutrient rich whole foods, that do not contain dietary substances (such as cholesterol and saturated fat and animal protein itself which occasions the increase of the bodies own cholesterol production… (ref: The China Study) does mean that you will consume substantial amounts of carbohydrate and simply get fat. As part of an active lifestyle (assuming one is not eating for the wrong reasons), that fuel will be utilized, resulting in a person living at or near their ideal weight.

I am wondering why and for what nutritional reasons you are promoting such significant quantities of animal foods, other than their affect on short term weight loss, perhaps taste and culture fascination with getting enough protein…? In the sports world they promote protein, protein, protein in meat, eggs, dairy, whey, soy you name it! Now we know so much more and today we have insights paleo man did not have, to what degree are you really factoring that in?

I am not suggesting that one must be vegan or vegetarian, or that small amounts of animal products (less than 10, or better yet 5%) would be that detrimental to health, but with more than enough credible data available demonstrating the ill effects of consuming substantial amount of animal products, not to mention the environmental affects of it’s production, why would you be promoting such a diet?

I would love to address some of these points with you, and understand that you’ve built your business around this idea and have products and advertisers supporting you. I realize that objectivity might not even be possible, but I would like very much to have this discussion with you and would be willing to have a public debate if you are open to it.

John Allen Mollenhauer

PS: one of the subjects I would like to come up in said debate, if you are open to it, is the subject of ancestral influence on our modern day eating practices. Thousands of years ago, I too would have eaten whatever I could get my hands on. That doesn’t mean it was healthy. Today we have insights paleo man did not have, to what degree are you really factoring that in?

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