Oh, The Controversy…

Last week, the quarterly article I write for the Training Peaks Blog spurred some commentary, as the topic of Paleo often does.

The first was from a scientist who, being said scientist, wanted more hard evidence that, specifically, there is indeed proof that even when one does not suffer from Celiac Disease, they are still harming their GI tract by ingesting gluten.

There is also a comment (cut and pasted verbatim from the post, without having corrected spelling/grammar errors) from a gentleman who feels that what I wrote was “…an irresponsible post and the owners of Training Peaks, who by posting it implicitly endorse it, should exercise more caution.”  He goes on to add, “Our daughter has a serious case of Crohns disease. For those who are unfamiliar with the disease it is an autoimmune disease in the colon. She sees among the top specialists in the world who treat her. By inference in the blog post above if the foods listed caused the issues discussed, including micro tears and inflammation, my daughter’s doctors would be aggressively telling her not to eat them. Yet, they say nothing of the course. The allegations made above against certain food types are being made by someone uncertified to make such claims and have no place in a forum such as this.”

To which I replied that his statement saddens me because if, solely due to your doctors not having suggested you eliminate the foods that are not part of the Paleo diet (grains, legumes and dairy), you have not, it does not mean they are safe to eat or healthy to eat, for anyone.

Click the link above to read the rest of the dialogue in its entirety, but you see where I’m going with this.

When I make statements about the health benefits of following the Paleo diet, these are, indeed, factual, both from an observational as well as experimental perspective.

I do not tout the benefits of the Paleo diet for any ulterior motive or for any other reason than the simple desire to want to help people get healthy!

I wrote about this the other day, but felt there was still more to discuss.

Why are people so bothered?  If someone opts to follow the Paleo diet and someone else chooses otherwise, why would the first person’s choice ruffle the feathers of the second person so greatly, unless the second person felt that for some reason, they were personally going to be affected by it?

I simply don’t understand the defensive approach as the go-to methodology in making an inquiry.

Sure, there are going to be those who read something I wrote that suggests endurance athletes don’t need pasta the night before a race and think that sounds odd as it’s so contrary to what we, in the endurance community, are led to believe we need to prepare our bodies for the long haul.  But why wouldn’t that person simply write in and ask for some more information, rather than making a comment (also uncorrected, again) like, “…statement like those better have some good backing, otherwise the credibility of the whole thing goes down.”

Comments such as the last one convey the antithesis of open-mindedness in my book.

If I’m asked a question for which I don’t have an answer for, I have no problem saying so, and then doing whatever research I need to do in order to learn something which will not only allow me to reply to the question, but continue to educate myself .  

Further, if I know that I’ve got valid information about something that I’m presenting and someone doesn’t agree with me, and claims they have information to prove something else,  I’d be curious to see their reference and yet again, learn something new. 

I’m not remotely inclined to use a hard sell on someone or attempt to force my beliefs upon them.

Yes, there are things that make me angry that I feel compelled to say or write something about, such as the idea that Medicare will soon begin to pay for some extreme, for-profit, MD run weight loss clinics while they aren’t paying for the care of others under duress and advanced illness.  But that’s something that is affecting many people negatively.

How and why would Paleo be seen in that light?

Let it go!   Either give it a try and see for yourself, or leave it alone.  It does no harm to anyone and promotes nothing other than what should be common sense: (here is is again…)

Eat food.

Don’t eat things that are not food.


That’s it.