First large study on paleo diet shows no benefit to ditching grains

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When I think of the paleo diet, I think of Christianity – many variations built off of the same basic tenants. With Paleo, you’ve got avoidance of grains and dairy, and from there you get a lot of variation – whether modern oils are allowed is questionable, many don’t consume but some are okay with legumes. Given this variability, Paleo falls into a feelings pool where most fad diets for me fall – it’s a religion, not a prescription.

Alan Aragon notes in his NSCA presentation on the topic that for a diet that claims superiority due to its removal of grains and dairy, no study has really isolated these factors.

I was particularly surprised to see a recent meta-analysis of the Paleo diet in AJCN this upcoming issue. One study, by Boers and Mellberg, included 32 individuals in the study (Paleo n=18, Dutch diet n=14) that had 2 components of metabolic syndrome – The Paleo diet participants had a significantly worse metabolic profile at baseline (MetS score: 3.7/5 vs 2.7/5). The diets were supposed to be isoenergetic but the Paleo diet lost about a few lbs more over the 2 week study. Not surprisingly, the more metabolically unhealthy ‘Paleo’ intervention group saw more beneficial effects on blood pressure and lipids. But nothing about this study says that removal of grains/dairy are uniquely beneficial (the main tenant of Paleo). Note that this study saw no effect on inflammatory markers or intestinal permeability, two big accusations that many Paleo’ers make against grain-containing diets.

Read full, original post: The Paleo Meta Analysis That Somehow Was

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