pork

Lovely, marbled meat.
The paleo diet could lead to rapid weight gain and increased susceptibility to diabetes, a new study has found, but the findings were attacked as "comic" by devotees of the caveman-style diet.

Warning the public to avoid "putting faith in so-called fad diets", researchers at Melbourne University said the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet had been tested on mice for just eight weeks and found to cause weight gains of 15 per cent and health complications.

"We are told to eat zero carbs and lots of fat on the paleo diet," said associate professor Sof Andrikopoulos.

"Our model tried to mimic that, but we didn't see any improvements in weight or symptoms. In fact, they got worse. The bottom line is it's not good to eat too much fat.

"Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are becoming more popular, but there is no scientific evidence that these diets work."


Comment: Really? There are plenty of studies on the benefits of the paleo diet.


The paleo diet first came to the public's attention in 2001 when Loren Cordain, published The Paleo Diet, widely popular in America.

The professor in the department of health and exercise science at Colorado State University argued that humans consume what cavemen ate - meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts - and avoid grains, along with anything that prehistoric man wouldn't have recognised, such as dairy, pulses, sugar and obviously, processed food.

The latest study found that mice on the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet - which is said to assist people with diabetes - were left with greater glucose intolerance, higher insulin levels and an increase in fat mass from two per cent to almost four per cent.


Comment: This brings to mind the same shoddy science that lead to the connection between cholesterol and heart disease. In that case the test subjects were rabbits. Guess what? Rabbits are herbivores and have no business eating cholesterol. Likewise, mice are herbivores and have no business eating meat and fat. Is it any wonder the mice didn't fare well?


The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.

But the findings were disregarded by fans of the diet, including celebrity chef Pete Evans, who is notorious for his claims about the virtues of paleo.
paleo plate FB post
The chef, who has been criticised for releasing a cookbook which recommended feeding infants bone broth as baby formula, questioned the study's testing of the paleo diet on mice.

"The media and also the health organisations are once again clutching at straws," he wrote on Facebook.

"This time it is a study done on mice - yep you heard that right ... mice! You do have to ask the question ... who is funding this study, does this university or the professor have any ties with any pharmaceutical or multinational funding?"

Prof Andrikopoulos, a diabetes expert, defended the study, saying mice and humans shared genes and had similar physiologies.

"I don't think you can make a blanket statement that it's going to beneficial for everybody and I think people's circumstances, their living style, their exercise regime differs, their genetic make-up is different," he told ABC News.

"For example, Pete Evans is a thin guy who exercises daily and he has the time to go out and source organic stuff."