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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Stay away from the Paleo Diet

Pete Evans

Pete Evans is the co-host of Australia's most popular reality show - My Kitchen Rules, and when he says he's a devotee of the Paleo diet, people listen.

But a cookbook for infants about to be released, co-authored by Evans, has been put on hold because of grave health concerns. 

It's called Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way.  In the book, there is a recipe for baby formula made from liver and bone broth, one of Evans' Paleo creations, and health professionals are saying that it will stunt the growth of babies and and impair their development. But it gets worse, the Health Department says it could even kill a child.

"In my view, there is a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead" said Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia.

"While adults have the choice to follow the paleo diet, which excludes dairy and grains, parents are responsible for the diet of their children and it would be unfair for parents to force unproven beliefs on them" she said.  "That's the really troubling thing, the infant is totally at the whim of their parents when it comes to feeding, and if the wrong decision is made, they may be seriously affected."

The cookbook is a joint venture between Evans, baby blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin and not one of these authors has any medical training or qualifications.

The Health Department has released this statement:

The Department is aware of this publication and has concerns about the inadequate nutritional value of some of the recipes, in particular, the infant formula, and has been consulting with experts and will continue to investigate the matter.

Speaking for myself, I think the paleo diet is crazy.  Common sense tells you that if you cut out grains, legumes, dairy, conventionally-raised meats and all non-organic produce, you are asking for trouble.  And the authors' disclaimer at the back of the book backs this up. 

It says that recipes will lead to a healthier life but 'relying on the information contained in this publication may not give you the results you desire or may cause negative health consequences.'

This diet is a ticking time bomb, especially for babies and infants and for a celebrity chef to sing its praises, without sufficient medical evidence to back it up, is totally irresponsible.