I recently recieved an email from Karl, a strength and conditioning coach in Edmonton, Canada. Here's what he wrote:
I am a strength and conditioning coach in Edmonton who has recently (9 months) transitioned to a Paleo Diet and have experienced many wonderful changes in the process. I have also helped some of my athletes/colleagues move away from the food guide and closer to our genes, which is exciting.
Recently, I had someone comment on a friend's blog as a skeptic, wondering what a 'Real' dietitian would say about the Paleo Diet...which is why I am emailing you.
If you could spare a few minutes, I would love to hear what you have to say about eating Paleo. I have read your blog and haven't come across a specific post on this subject. I have linked your most recent post in the hopes of promoting some common sense in the scientific world.
Thanks for your time,
I get this type of question A LOT!! Since I am a Registered Dietitian, and a member of the American Dietetic Association, people tend to think that I am a pro-food pyramid, anti-fat, whole grain pushing professional. Well, that's not the case and here's why...
In college the Ancel Keys' studies, China study and many others were hammered into my brain. I will be the first to admit that I WAS sold on the whole low-fat, high carb, food pyramid way of thinking. I ate the text book 'dietitian' diet for a LONG time (7 years), and guess what it got me. Uuuhhhh.... nothing. I take that back - a whacked out thyroid, overtrained, train wreck of a body. With the constant prodding of my friend Scott, I started thinking about the Paleo way of eating. I saw him doing it and watched his performance get better and better while mine seemed to ebb and flow in between injuries. I started digging into the research to see what the pros and cons of this 'Paleo' thing were. (A little background here, I got my bachelor's and master's degrees from Colorado State University, home of "The Paleo Diet" author Loren Cordain. Now, back when I was at CSU general consensus in the nutrition department was that Dr. Cordain was a "little off his rocker".) Once I actually read "The Paleo Diet", "The Paleo Diet for Athletes" and a whole lot of research papers, I was left with one conclusion. I needed to try this 'Paleo thing' for myself.
That leads me to where I am today. I know that the Paleo way of eating makes me feel GREAT, perform better than I ever have, and I rarely if ever get sick. There are a lot of people that think I'm a "little off my rocker", but I'm alright with that. I know how I feel. I also know all the benefits I am getting, from a health and disease prevention standpoint, by eating this way. When I am questioned by others in my profession I simply stick with the facts. It is extremely difficult to argue a diet that promotes eating lean meats, vegetables, fruits and heart healthy fats. It's all there; (carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.), it's all unprocessed, and it's all backed up with research and most importantly 'real life' experiences - not just mice and monkeys!!
So, what does a 'real' dietitian have to say about the Paleo lifestyle? "Try it, you'll like it!"