What’s Wrong with the “Best Diets”?

Hand with a white pencil writing: Rank blank listEvery year, it’s the same thing: U.S. News and World Report ranks 38 of the most popular diets from best to worst. And every single time, the paleo diet—or some variant, in this case the Whole30 plan—comes in dead last. I’ve written about this before. You know my stance. You know how silly the whole thing is, and why you shouldn’t care about a ranking, especially when you’ve transformed your health eating the “worst diet in the world.”

Frankly, I’m skeptical these reports have much impact anymore.

But I got another barrage of emails about the rankings, so I’m going to address them. Instead of defending ancestral eating, which I’ve already done plenty of times before, I’ll scrutinize the two so-called “best diets.” The pair that wallop paleo and Whole30. The ones you’d apparently be fools not to adopt.

The most ironic part of all this is their descriptions of the “best diets” have the least citations supporting their ranking. In bashing paleo, they had to acknowledge five studies and clinical trials that found the diet works, inserting weasel words like “one tiny study” and parentheticals like “even the scientists called their study ‘underpowered'” to diminish the impact. To boot, several of the studies show that paleo compares favorably to the Mediterranean diet (number 2 overall) and DASH diet (number 1 overall).

The DASH diet

DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, and that’s exactly what it sets out to do: reduce blood pressure. It does this by reducing sodium and increasing intake of foods high in potassium, calcium, fiber, and protein.

As U.S. News and World Reports puts it, “just emphasize the foods you’ve always been told to eat,” like lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Isn’t that what people have been trying to do for the last 60 years amid our growing and seemingly unending obesity epidemic?

You could do worse, if you can actually stick to a low-flavor (no salt?) diet like that. But you’d do a lot better if you did high-fat dairy, meat both fat and lean, and other sources of carbs besides whole grains without missing anything. Sounds familiar somehow.

They even did a study looking at this. Patients were randomized to eat either a high-fat DASH diet or a low-fat DASH diet. Both versions improved hypertension, but only the high-fat DASH diet improved triglycerides, increased LDL particle size (which, all else being equal, means reduced particle number), and lowered VLDL.

The Mediterranean diet

I have no beef with the Mediterranean diet, except having to type “Mediterranean” over and over again. Is it two Rs, two Ns? I never remember.

Mediterranean diets emphasize monounsaturated fats from olive oil and nuts, seafood, cheese, vegetables, legumes, red wine, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Except for the last two, it’s quite familiar. It’s not explicitly low-fat, and is usually higher-fat than most conventional diet plans.

You wouldn’t know it from the ranking report, but there’s something called the low-carb or ketogenic Mediterranean diet. To make a Mediterranean diet low-carb or ketogenic, you ditch the grains and legumes and increase the seafood, olive oil, and veggies. And guess what? It works really well. Low-carb Mediterranean diets consistently outperform higher-carb Mediterranean diets, improving fatty liver, treating metabolic syndromeincreasing weight loss without damaging blood lipids, and dropping waist circumference.

Anyway, it’s a decent way to eat. But it’s a better way to live. And that’s the thing: the importance of lifestyle, exercise, and community is baked into the Primal Blueprint. Half the articles on here have nothing to do with diet at all. Meanwhile, popular advice about the Mediterranean “diet” focuses on the whole grains and the olive oil and the beans and the supposed lack of red meat, yet totally ignores everything else that makes the Mediterranean home to a disproportionate number of centenarians:

Periodic fasting: A major religion in the region, Orthodox Christianity, prescribes regular fasting. Some researchers even consider Orthodox fasting an integral part of the classic Cretan diet.

Low stress: One study even examined the effects of Mediterranean eating in the context of high stress, finding stressed-out women had negative metabolic responses to a Mediterranean meal.

Socializing: They’re not cramming food in front of the television or on the commute. They’re sitting down to a leisurely meal with friends and family. They’re savoring the food and enjoying the company.

Physical activity: Zorba the Crossfitter? No. Constant low-level physical activity is the norm, though.

U.S. News and World Reports say almost nothing about the various lifestyle components integral to the real Mediterranean diet, though they do recommend Jazzercise.

If you read the reviews of each diet closely, it sounds quite positive. Both diets emphasize whole foods. Both diets are “hard to follow,” just like paleo and Whole30. It’s difficult to eat out on DASH and Mediterranean and paleo/Whole30, according to the report. They both promote satiety and weight loss; so does paleo. I’m just reporting back what U.S. News said, mind you. I’m not extrapolating. If you took away the number rankings, it actually sounds like they’re fans of paleo eating.

There’s nothing horribly amiss with the DASH diet or the Mediterranean diet. I just don’t see how they score so high and paleo/Whole30 so low, especially when we see how Mediterranean/DASH diet studies that test more “paleo-esque” versions of the diets get better results than the standard versions themselves. Well, I mean, I do, but you know what I mean.

What do you think, folks? Do paleo and Whole 30 deserve such terrible rankings? Are the rankings justified by the text? Are the Mediterranean and DASH diets clearly superior to everything else? Those of you who have tried other diets, what would your rankings look like?

Thanks for reading. Be well.


TAGS:  Hype

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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65 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the “Best Diets”?”

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  1. I would put the US News article firmly in the fake news category.

    1. I think there are just certain elements of the population that still don’t want to admit Paleo really works. I’m not sure why that is. Stubbornness? Powerful grain and sweets lobbies? The word of doctors and dietitians who would rather preach what doesn’t work? I’ve always seen this silly shortsightedness by these so-called experts as THEIR problem, not mine.

      As far as I’m concerned–and I’ve tried a lot of diets over the years–Paleo/Primal 80/20 (or 90/10) is the keeper. It’s the absolute best way to eat for good health and normalizing weight. It’s incredibly easy to stick with and gets great results. My body loves it, and that’s reason enough for me.

      1. I don’t even know that it has to do with lobbies. I mean, objectively, bread is amazing! It’s still my absolute favorite food. I was completely flabbergasted that when I first heard of the concept of giving up bread. Just couldn’t believe that anyone would be “that stupid”. Then I started reading the science on it, saw the success stories on this site, and gave it a try. I saw how much better my health is without bread, and although I do waver for a few weeks sometimes, I ultimately keep going back. I guess the point is that I can totally see how paleo keeps ranking at the bottom of the list. Giving up grains just seems unfathomable until you actually try it.

  2. I know I have tried to lose weight counting calories and following the DASH diet and I just gained more weight and that I am down 8 pounds following the primal blueprint in less than two weeks.

  3. And don’t speak too soon
    for the wheel’s still in spin

    for the loser now will be later to win
    and the times they are a changin’

    -Bob Dylan

  4. Vegan? The hardest to follow eating out and lets be honest, the traditional low-fat diet is too. Starving to death choking down tuna wraps made with whole grain tortillas, fat free ranch, and spinach sucks. Egg whites and plain “low fat” oatmeal for breakfast, and dry boneless skinless chicken breast and broccoli and whole grain rolls with faux butter for dinner? I’ll take primal any day.

  5. My only trip to the Italy (a month of cycling) and I fell in love with the Mediterranean Diet. Seems there is lot of high fat cheese and delicious preserved meat for breakfast, plenty of red wine and great coffee.

    1. That’s the real Mediterranean Diet. Lots of fatty cheese, fatty sausages, cured meats, lard and butter. The “Mediterranean Diet” that most people think of was based on a peasant diet at the end of World War 2 when economies were in ruins. The people studied at the time didn’t base their diet around grains, legumes and olive oil because they though it was healthy, they ate like that because it was all the could afford.

  6. The main reasons I’ve been reading for NOT doing the Plaeo/Keto diets has nothing to do with health and typically highlights just that it is hard, expensive, or restrictive.

    1. Matt, you don’t say whether this is your own opinion as well, or just what you’ve read. Either way, I don’t find Paleo to be hard, expensive or restrictive. (Keto is probably a different story.) I guess if a person doesn’t like fruit, vegetables and high-quality protein, they would find Paleo difficult to stick with. Expensive? Not really. The foods you do buy might cost a little more, but that’s usually offset by all the foods you don’t buy. As for being restrictive, that’s only true if you can’t live without a lot of grains, sweets, and junk food.

      1. Hi Shary, do you work at home, or are you retired? In my own kitchen I agree it’s very easy to stick to Primal. (Been Primal for two yrs, love it, no question it’s best, have read the whole site, have the book, with Mark’s autograph, the cookbook, etc. I’m sold. ). But at work it requires *considerable effort* compared to what my colleagues do. I’m not talking about resisting the office “goodies”, which I no longer want. I have to buy veggies, wash and peel or cut them, bring them to work, cook and bring meat or cheese for some fat/protein, wash my Tupperware, etc. And that’s just for my snack. I enjoy going out to lunch to change my environment and re-calibrate my stress during the day, but every restaurant wants to sell us the fillers like pasta, bread, or rice because that increases their profit. It’s nearly impossible to just get meat and veggies except at a sit down restaurant and even that is hard. My only choice seems to be a salad with meat on it (and bad oils), or soup with meat and veggies in it (bad oils and flour thickeners and not filling enough) or “naked burrito bowls on greens” (which is, in fact, a salad with meat on it). Sometimes I ask for a Philly Cheesesteak no bread which is good for the meat, but the veggies are scant (chips and a pickle are not veggies.). I don’t even consider going to most sandwich shops since the meat is so processed. Sometimes I bring my own EVOO/ACV dressing. Is it worth the effort? Of course! Who ever said feeding ourselve was supposed to be easy. Grok spent most of his day doing that. Yesterday I witnessed my 400 lb colleague walking to his car after work, parked in the handicapped spot, for apparently no other reason than his limited mobility. I don’t want to be there. But I will be the first to say, it takes a GREAT deal of effort to eat right (Primal), and that’s in Boulder, CO. Much harder in small towns with fewer choices. Any ideas on eating out at lunch would be appreciated.

        1. See, I never really compared the “effort” involved between my lunch and co-worker lunches. I brought my lunch long before I found this site, so for me, it was normal. Besides, we only get 30 min for lunch where I work, so most folks spend that whole time driving to and from some fast food place, and eating at their desks. It always seems like less hassle to bring my lunch than it does to go out for something, even on the days that we get an extended lunch, when the whole office goes out to eat together – there are only 8 of us.

          I guess the effort level is mostly a mindset thing. I never really viewed bringing my lunch, that I prepared the night before, to be *considerable effort* compared to going out to lunch. I’m also a bit of an introvert, so that could be part of it. For me, it’s “you mean I have to leave the office, go someplace crowded, and deal with people to go out to lunch??” Then there’s the whole deciding where I want to eat thing. No thanks. I’ll keep bringing my lunch. For me, it’s not a great deal of effort – and that’s in a city about 2/3 the size of Boulder.

          1. Since I discovered the Sunday cook up, prepping lunches has been marvelous. In fact I’ve found depending on primal choices has made meal planning super simple. I highly recommend Mel Joulwan “Well Fed Weeknights ” for starters.

          2. +1. Also I find cooking & preparing healthy meals for me & my husband to be therapeutic, I enjoy having control over what goes into the meals that we consume & knowing that “all that effort” I’m going to is so beneficial for our health & wellbeing, I would never go back to not preparing our own lunches for work

        2. Amy, you’re making the whole idea of being Paleo at work way too hard. You do cook dinner, don’t you? Why not just take leftovers from last night’s meal for lunch? Or make a big batch of soup and freeze in individual containers. Bring your Tupperware home dirty and wash it with your evening dinner dishes. Eat lunch out only when you feel like eating a salad with meat. What’s wrong with taking an apple for your snack? No cutting, peeling, or Tupperware needed. You don’t need to peel or cut your veggies either. Rinse a large batch all at once and keep them in your crisper so you can just grab a bunch when needed.

    2. I read the Paleo description in the list that Mark linked to, and burst out laughing when, after describing all the amazing meat, fruit, and veggies that are allowed, they say “If that sounds too restrictive…..”

  7. You described the DASH diet perfectly. I’ve always maintained the opinion that the DASH diet is nothing more then a low sodium version of the USDA pyramid diet. Which I guess is why it’s always number one on top ten diet lists. Either that or the Ornish diet. Which ever is at the top the other is number two. Usually followed by Med. diet at number three. Then number four is normally a pescetarian swiftly followed by vegan at number five. Mainstream nutrition really likes to beat on the Paleo diet or paleo type diets. I’ve always thought it’s just because the word “paleo” is in it, lol. Maybe if Stanley Boyd Eaton and Cordain could go back in time and name it the “Common sense diet” instead critics wouldn’t harp as much haha.

    1. The Ornish Diet. My absolute favorite. It really does work except for one little problem. Not a single person that I have ever met can stay on it for more than a month because it’s so God-awful. You see pictures of people eating a green bean with nothing on it and fat free wraps. Just brutal. Deep down, these diets are “preferred” because they have an element of “sacrifice” that traditionalists believe must be part of a “diet”. Paleo feels like “cheating” to them somehow.

  8. I’ve been meaning to start doing the MIND diet, but I keep forgetting …

  9. I’ve tried a lot of diets and, for me, it comes down to carb content. The more carbs, the fatter I get and worse I feel. What totally blows me away about this list is the ranking of the vegetarian and vegan diets. The number one reason people stop eating vegetarian is health. Strict vegan diets are very unhealthy (B12 anyone?). Vegetarian diets don’t have to be, but are difficult to get right, and usually end up the same. I have never heard anyone say, with data, that Paleo / primal / lchf diets are unhealthy (lots of people say it, none have real data – I am a scientist, so I know fake data vs. real data).

    I gave up reading the list when the writeups starting sounding very similar and the ranking seemed to be subject to whimsy rather than reason. When they ranked Whole30 last, and it worked really well for me, that was the last straw.

    1. +1. After scanning the list, it appears to come down to that same old bogus crap about it being “unwise” to eliminate entire food groups. Since when is junk food a food group? Are sugar-laden sweets and desserts a food group? Is pasta Alfredo? I don’t think so. More like a heart attack on a plate.

        1. I’ve had actual vegetarians give me this same line without a hint of irony.

      1. That “unwise” to eliminate entire food groups is one of my personal favorites. What are you supposed to do in a household where one has celiac and the other is allergic to dairy and has a gluten intolerance?

        1. Point out that gluten and lactose act as poisons to us.And if necessary, enummerate the symptoms – although I try not to do that actually at the dinner table – for their sake not mine !

        2. You patiently wait for the people to tell you that it’s all in your head. Gluten intolerance is a fad. Yep. I agree, it’s “unwise” to eliminate entire food groups for the sake of health and well-being.

  10. Today we need a winter diet: It is official. Six more weeks of winter

    Groundhog Day 2017: Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow, Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

  11. I’d be curious for Mark’s thoughts on the IIFYM craze (counting macros). I do it because it puts more quantification to the 80/20 construct that I think many of us strive for, without over-eating, but like anything, it seems like it would allow you to try to hit your macros with a lot of pre-packaged junk that is easy to track. Regardless, it does seem to have really taken over the Crossfit community of late.

    1. I’d never heard if IIFYM, so I looked it up–briefly. Might be fun for some, but way too many calculations involved for me. One of the many benefits of Paleo is that you don’t really need to bother with counting calories, macros, grams, or any of that sort of thing unless you really want to. 80/20 is (IMO) meant to be an approximation, not an exact amount. I’ve always just guessed at it, erring toward 90/10 if anything. It all depends on whether one’s goal is rigid implementation of the diet itself or the results achieved.

  12. Mark, I wonder why you don’t talk about or bring it up the Total Cholesterol level that Paleo community an average has? I wonder why!!!

    1. I don’t want to speak for Mark, but if you were asking me that question I would say, “because Total Cholesterol Level doesn’t matter.” It’s pretty much a junk number having nothing to do with the quality of your health. Hope that helps.

    2. Total cholesterol doesn’t tell you much. I’m really actually surprised you even mentioned that. I figured you would mention LDL not total. In which case LDL doesn’t even tell you much either. You need to get what’s called a VAP test to really understand if you have bad LDL or good LDL, because not all LDL is the same. The most important markers for heart health is your triglycerides and CRP(c-reactive proteins). Blood pressure and blood sugar are also important as well.

      1. Agree! I’m currently working on my Primal Coaching Certification, and going over all those blood markers for cholesterol now. It makes your head spin. Total cholesterol, and even total LDL is almost meaningless.

    3. Fact #1 : Every cell in your body is partially made out of cholesterol. If you don’t eat enough, your body makes it, it’s a critical part of your biology. Number may vary greatly from one person to the other, and as others say these numbers are nearly insignificant, except maybe for Big Pharma and the billions of dollars of statin drugs they sell yearly, crippling peoples lives and making them believe they can eat anything and the drugs will do the job for them.
      On my last blood test they didn’t like my numbers and handed me a pamphlet telling me to avoid all nutritious good fats (saturated, natural ones) and use chemically processed vegetable oils, margarine and such oddities, like avoiding eggs… what nonsense! They wanted me to see a government paid nutritionist. Big Agra and Big Pharma, your answer lies there, billions and billions in the pockets of phat cats who could not care less about people lives. Cholesterol is a key component of your biology, end of story.

    4. As a nurse practitioner for almost 10 years now (and I just finished my primal health coach certification) I can tell you that total cholesterol levels are meaningless. I’ve seen people with heart disease with all different types of cholesterol panels–some were “perfect” levels and some not. The advanced lipid and metabolic testing is much more relevant but not commonly performed in allopathic medicine. In addition, several studies have shown INCREASED all cause mortality the LOWER the total cholesterol level. One study was the Honolulu Heart Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11502313/

      1. Ryan, as a nurse practitioner and Primal coach, I am curious to know what you would do in my situation. I just had a blood test done (my first) and found that my total cholesterol was pretty high. I know I’m not supposed to worry about that – my HDLs and trig were good and small lipoprotein was good but LDL-P was quite high. Because of this my doc and cardiologist are pushing for statins. I am pushing back, but should I be concerned about the LDL-P?I keep reading that it is the most important marker.

        1. Well, although the elevated LDL-P is of concern, it is just one piece of a large and complex puzzle. What is your fasting glucose and insulin levels? HS-CRP? Lipoprotein A? Family history…does metabolic and cardiovascular disease run rampant and people have early onset disease, or do people live healthy until their 90’s? What about your eating habits and stress level? There are so many more questions I would have for you and would investigate before drawing any conclusions. The problem with allopathic medicine is the focus on treating numbers instead of people and individual situations. The benefits of taking statins in regards to the side effects are often quite dismal. I would seek out a reputable functional medicine practitioner for further workup and a second opinion on all of this. Hope that helps.

          1. Thanks Ryan. That is just what I would like to do. While I guess I can’t say that I will never take statins, I feel it should be a last resort and not the first course of action. Unfortunately, finding a functional medicine practitioner in my area who will accept insurance is proving difficult. Thanks again for your input!

          2. No problem Vicki. You could also ask your PCP for a more in depth panel, such as Quest diagnostics Cardio IQ panel which will provide more information than just cholesterol levels. It also provides an easy to interpret report. I used this on som of my patients when I was doing family practice. I don’t believe it’s too expensive and insurance often will cover it.

    5. Well, my levels are all well within the healthy ranges! I think the way cholesterol is tested now probably be considered primitive 10 years from now. But my levels went from unhealthy to healthy after I started taking fish oil 10 years ago. Eating primal hasn’t changed anything, other than lowering my tryglicerides.

  13. How I remember how to spell Mediterranean is that the “terra” originates from “land.” I can just remember that terra has two Rs, therefore Mediterranean has two Rs. And I just remember that there is only one double letter. HTH! 😉

    As for articles like the one you’re referencing (and honestly I didn’t go look at the article because I’m tired of reading them!), to me it seems like the Paleo diet ends up near the bottom maybe because of it’s “difficulty.” The “experts” usually don’t seem to be able to come up with anything particularly horrible about them (especially with saturated fat making it’s comeback). But in today’s modern world, the Paleo diet can be difficult. I think people are hesitant to try something hard that they believe *might* help their health issues, especially with the amount of voices and conflicting information that’s out there.

    As for me, eating Paleo is A LOT easier than having ulcerative colitis. Not to mention the added benefits of having energy, being able to go hours and hours without food and not feeling hungry, being happier in general, feeling like I’m living my life and not just watching it go by, feeling confident and in control, AND eating delicious things!

    BTW, going Paleo didn’t just instantly cure my UC, I had to stick with it, change my microbiome over time, trouble-shoot little things here and there…but it definitely worked in the end! I hate that some people dismiss Paleo because they “tried it, didn’t work,” without ever tweaking things like macronutrients, individual food sensitivities, etc…

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, Mark, and don’t often comment. But THANK YOU for running it. I’m in love with information and research (and being healthy!), and you give me all that and more, multiple times a week!

    And after a couple of years of eating this way but not pressuring my husband to do the same, he is finally changing the way he eats and asking me TONS of questions and I feel like I’m constantly referring him to articles on your site. It feels great to be on the same (web)page ;)!

    1. +1 on the husband front… I’ve never pushed it on him, just prepared healthy meals for us both and he has slowly drifted over to the “Primal side” on his own after seeing my own results with primal. I think that is saying a lot about the PB diet.. whoever heard of someone naturally drifting over to, say Weight Watchers, by themselves!?

  14. I think any diet that restricts grains will do poorly in popular ranking systems – it’s so deeply entrenched in the modern psyche that wholegrain carbs are good and fats are bad, people with no personal experience of the benefits of going against the grain (pun intended) will dismiss it out of hand.

    1. I love going against the grain. Especially with a marinated grass-fed skirt steak. Mmmmmm.

  15. I can follow the “logic.” Paleo violates common sense that fat is bad and grain is good. DASH is low fat and high grain so it’s a common sense plan. Go a step further and look at results. Some people can’t even stick to paleo, so that proves it’s a bad diet. Then look at DASH: once you throw out all the people who didn’t stick to the diet or else they secretly cheated (you can tell those people because they don’t succeed), then the success of those who remain proves that it really works. It’s like that diet advice I’ve heard over and over: “Any diet like paleo that restricts a whole food group is bad. All you need to do is eat a healthy balanced diet that’s low in fat. And red meat. And eggs of course.”

    1. Agreed! Even if one day it was somehow proven that there’s nothing wrong with grains, and giving them up is a waste of time, paleo still puts you miles ahead of everyone else by simply eating real food instead of processed junk food.

    2. You nailed it. The real food diet is hard to sell because there is no markup on it. Paleo is a real food diet. The only attractive packaging is the bodies of those of us who eat this way. Extended shelf life food producers and the grain growers lobby have enough profits to buy a best diet study in a popular sellout magazine.

      1. “The only attractive packaging is the bodies of those of us who eat this way.” Wow, YOU nailed it! Quote of the week!

  16. I guess a lot of people are afraid of paleo/primal because they just can’t buy that pre-made, pre-packaged food and may actually have to learn to cook. Scary! For some others, like modern diet pushers, it would mean to acknowledge the fact that they were wrong and that might be the big thing, nobody likes to admit being wrong. As some mentioned as well, life without bread, chips, crackers and such may seem impossible… “How am I gonna eat that without holding it between to slices of something?” “You just can’t eat a dip without dipping material!” It requires imagination and, mostly, a mindset change. Most are not ready for that, even if it could save their lives.

  17. I think the real question here is who sponsored this crap ‘ranking’ list in this crap ‘news’ magazine in the first place? Follow the money. It’s never about logic or common sense, it’s about selling; magazines, brands, and products. I don’t even think this ‘ranking’ is real, I think someone was paid to make it up, paid by grain, sugar, and dairy lobbies and brands like Weight Watchers.

    Since (most) people are generally unmotivated to take responsibility for themselves, of course nutrient dense whole food diets get ‘ranked’ last. Good health requires TIME AND EFFORT AND SACRIFICE. And since when are sandwiches and milk and cookies a food group? Sheesh. The first thing people ask me about PB/Paleo is “what do I have to give up? Oh! I couldn’t do that!” I say give up the excuses and procrastination, or stay sick. Good health is SIMPLE but not easy.

    1. JenK, I agree 100%. Takes a lot of work. That is why at I work I proposed they allowed a fixed number of sick days. Since I am motivated to actively care for my health with proper nutrition, and expend the requisite effort, I should be rewarded by being able to use the days to go skiing (or whatever) since I never get sick. Unfortunately they thought I was joking.

    2. Join the discussionI think why “we” continue to get these ratings is about not wanting to admit to guilt. What is the G’ovt/ADA/AHA et al going to do? Sorry my bad, the advice that we’ve been given is wrong. Oh and if you followed our advice and got sick and/or died, well we just couldn’t go back on spewing the same bulls#4t. That would mean culpability and the loss of billions of dollars. So just like they’re trying to find the “cure” for cancer, we’ll just have to take the status quo for dietary advice. Or maybe just find a better alternative than the nanny state, like MDA Grok on! JD

  18. I actually live in Southern Spain and as you can imagine there are plenty who choose to follow a Mediterranean diet as they’ve been told that it good for them. Yet I see plenty of people who still have weight issues as they fail to take into account exercise or eating the right size portions.

    I chose to follow a Paleo diet and lifestyle around 4 years ago and love it. Even though my friends know I follow it they still think I’m a little crazy because I choose to omit conventional bread etc. from my diet. But it really has helped me cope with my situation (I’m going through the menopause).

  19. My version of low carb, high fat primal probably not that far from a Mediterranean diet, at least the higher fat, lower carb version, but I can tell you: people do not want to give up those grains! In any form. They just don’t see bread as a processed food. And any “diet” that gives permission to eat it, well, they will go with that. (Who decided that grain was a food group anyway?)
    For me, a high fat low carb (pretty much keto) blueprint has allowed me to finally lose that annoying belly roll and lean out. At 56 years old. And post-menopausal. No bread, no grains, no grain oils, good quality everything. Made from scratch. Kind of like my grandma cooked and ate.
    It’s annoying how sheeplike we are whenever the media comes out with the latest spin, on diets or anything for that matter.

  20. “Useless News and World Distort” (as Scott Rubel aptly calls it) is NOT on my list of credible sources. So glad I found my way to the Primal Blueprint, Gary Taubes, Phinney & Volek, Eric Westerman,& Jimmy Moore, etc!

  21. The only thing I find hard about eating Primal/paleo or even ketogenic is other people! I don’t eat cake, obviously, but am constantly pressed to eat it because so-and-so made it and it’s delicious. And why not just try one slice? If I were diabetic they wouldn’t say that, but I’m not and don’t want to be. Should I pretend to be, just for peace and quiet? I was a fish-eating, calorie-counting vegetarian for 26 years, and went first ketogenic then ketogenic/Primal because I was persuaded by the science, and my body felt it needed liver! After nearly two and a half grain-free, sugar-free, fatful years, I feel great and look forward to every meal. I’ve maintained my weight without counting a calorie or feeling hungry. Yet my friends still regard me as an oddity, and still press the cake on me! And don’t listen when as inevitably happens, someone (also inevitably overweight) asks why I don’t eat grains. Stuff the ratings!

  22. Mark. Dealing with typing Mediterranean all the time led us US Navy Sailors to just call it the “Med!”
    Embrace simplicity!!

  23. I never pay attention to the diet du jour. It’s all major hype to sell something. I do what makes sense from a health standpoint, and Paleo with emphasis on alkalizing foods makes most sense to me.