A PROBLEM WITH PALEO
The Paleo diet is not new and we don’t need to go back to the diet of Neanderthals to verify this statement. This way of eating was how I ate as a child growing up on a dairy farm in Australia. And so it would have been for many others. No processed oils, we ate fats from animals, real butter as we made our own, raw milk, meats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with plenty of fat, seasonal vegetables from the garden and fruit from the orchard. Plenty of salt and pepper (not so processed then) and so on, with eggs from our backyard chooks. And many in today’s society have promoted and written and used these principles as health guidance. It is not unique to “Paleo” or Palaeolithic times.
What I am concerned about is the use of coconut oil, flour, sugar and so on to replace the traditional fats and flours of the past. Yes, we all know that wheat is not the wheat of the bible, or yesteryear (staff of life food – see Wheat Belly book which explains why) and it is a toxin in the body and all that jazz. But that doesn’t mean we need to replace all the foods we traditionally used with coconut products to be healthy now.
As a health professional, it is of great concern to me that we are cutting out the broad spectrum of nutrition in these foods. We are losing the diversity of nutrition provided in the different fats (butter, lard, dripping, olive oil) and flour (wheat, spelt, rye, rice, millet) when we substitute coconut instead. Coconut oil’s main benefit is the anti viral, anti bacterial, and anti fungal properties. This is excellent for Candidiasis (thrush). When the virus, bacteria or fungus has cleared then it’s time to stop and use the products as an occasional culinary item. Bring the diversity of fats, flours and sugars back onto the menu.
On the TV program “The Paleo Way with Peter” on 1st November 2015, it was mentioned that it’s ok to use coconut oil for frying because it is ok at high temperatures (no temperature mentioned). And to olive oil is for salads because of the “low” smoke point, no temperature mentioned.. Immediately after the mention of coconut oil, the words “rich in Omega 3” came and it was on the screen. Coconut oil has NO essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6, 9) component. One of the reasons it is able to be used for frying temperatures is because of the lack of omega content. All omegas are heat sensitive and when heated, will destroy the nutrient and the oil will become rancid with carcinogenic properties. Canola oil is marketed for frying also and on the large tins for sale in supermarkets is this: “rich in omega 3”. This is false, misleading and sadly is health destroying for those who don’t have the knowledge to realise this is incorrect. They think they are getting healthy omega 3 fats, and they are getting a toxic man made oil which comes from the rapeseed plant, hybridised in Canada so the plant will produce less toxic chemicals, named Canola oil, and is today one of the most widespread GM grown foods in the world.
The reality is that the Paleo juggernaut educates falsely on the health benefits of coconut in a similar way to the Canola marketers. Essential Fatty Acids are essential for the efficient and proper function of the endocrine glands which produce essential, critical hormones for every aspect of generating healthy cells. When we cause the cessation of the fats that don’t contain these we are creating a generation or two of people who are conditioned to this misinformation just as we have conditioned two or three generations of mind coercion on the low fat, high carb, no eggs (yes, people still have a fear of eating eggs!!), the cholesterol myth and more. It takes a long time to turn the Juggernaut of misinformation around.
Lots of Paleo information is excellent: people stopping refined carbs and correcting blood sugars, losing weight and getting well. But long term, without EFA’s and some grain/dairy input leave them with an imbalance in essential nutrition. It’s the variety of food you eat that dictates your health, and that variety assists with greater diversity of gut microbes. Blood type science (blood agglutination and the effect of lectins in blood and in foods) gives us the selection process for all food groups including grains and foods made from the milk of ruminating animals (cow, sheep, goat, yak, buffalo) and of course direction to eat unprocessed and chemical free.
Become aware, be informed and be well. Lesley Parker ND ANPA.