I recently was "ganged up on" by few health nuts. I know I know, I should NOT have gotten involved with a FB thread titled, "If I hear another comment about Gluten Free, I'm gonna freak!" but it was just too tempting. lol
Anyway, these days, I'm trying to take more of Robb Wolf's approach and just focus on those that WANT to be helped or WANT to learn more....
However! How would any of you respond(ed) to someone that says, "The VAST MAJORITY of the population THRIVES on grains/wheat, so please give it a rest Craig (GF/Paleo/Realfood talk).
I just laugh,
"The vast majority of the population thrives on grains/wheat!" Over the 5 decades of my life I learned to always respond with a question if confronted with an empty slogan like that. So in this case I would just ask what population, where, and when (what ethnic group where and when).
If told nowadays in the USA I'd question if he/she has ever looked outside the window or turned on the TV these past decades. I'd also have them define the term "thrive".
It also took me half my life until it finally made click in my head about grains not being species appropriate for us, picturing how long it would take me to collect grass seeds in the wild to come up with the amount needed to bake and cook all grain foods the average Westerner eats daily.
When I was growing up in Europe in the 60's our traditional diet was very paleo"ish", the occasional oatmeal in winter, a slice or two of bread per day, and a piece of pastry on Sunday. Much, much less than what is being consumed today. And my home nation's health is going downward, not upward since then.
I myself never get into discussions like that, but if I have to I like to stick to simple answers and counter questions because I also understand where those slogans come from and that for someone who doesn't immediately react to his wheat bread (yet) it is hard to grasp the idea of bread being foreign food to our species although it's actually so clear as can be.
I think we need to realize that all this Paleo business is all one huge n=1. I think that the Paleo diet is a very good baseline to get everything back in working order. Once you get inflammation and weight regulated, there is a lot of room for variation. Be it high fat/low carb/moderate protein, High carb/Low fat/Moderate protein, ketogenic, Paleo+dairy, or whatever. Human beings are beautifully unique. I have a friend that thrives on a high fat, lowish carb paleo diet. I, however, feel tons better with a high carb (55-60%), lower fat paleo diet. I did 2 months strict paleo to get myself feeling 100%. Then I started adding things and seeing how I reacted.
Now that I've done some playing around I've come to what I call my "Optimal" diet: Lean meats (no red meat-makes me bloated), fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, Goats milk/kefir, and some gluten free grains.
I refuse to believe that all grains are inherently evil. But I do believe that gluten is a filthy, dirty wh#re.
Eat Real Food. Avoid twinkies, ho-ho's, dingdongs, alfredo sauce, and McDonald's. Also avoid most people wearing croc's and shape-ups.
I have a hard time when I see one of my friends vegangelizing on facebook. I just start asking about the need for b12 supplements and the internet implodes into nothingness along with their mind. It's actually quite a liberating feeling watching it as I kick my feet up eating my steak.
I think the burden of proof for such statement is placed upon the person making it. How do they conclude that the majority of people are thriving on wheat? You certainly couldn't look at the wheat eating Americans and think that with the vast quantities of people with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that that is evidence that we're "thriving" on wheat. Sure, I doubt wheat is solely to blame for this, but it doesn't back up such a claim about the majority of people thriving on wheat.
And interesting that asian populations like Japan have such low rates of obesity and appear much healthier than other industrialized countries while consuming much less gluten containing grains. Again, this doesn't prove anything, but it doesn't bolster such claims about people "thriving" on wheat.
So I would respond by asking: where is the proof? Is this based of studies? Observations? Or just the misunderstanding that the word "thrive" means scraping by on with meager health, ignorant to how much better you could feel.
It's been a long day, so that turned into more of a rant than I had planned. I probably would have gotten involved with such a thread as well. Though I think Robb Wolf's approach is a good one; not everyone wants to hear everyone bang the drum of the newest diet fad and it might allow people to be more receptive if it isn't being crammed down their throat.
I found that happening to me today after reading this article:
Even though I knew better, I found myself responding to some ignorant comments.
I never tell anyone about the paleo diet because I cannot be bothered with ignorant comments.I simply say that I don't eat gluten and leave it at that.
I would ask their definition of "thrive". Grains have allowed the planet to become over-populated, sure, but how could you say that even the US is "thriving", considering how many people are sick with diet and lifestyle-related disease? It's a ridiculous statement on its face. Then I'd go and lift some weights. :)
I would say this according to Mayo Clinic gastroentherologist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKwKQ7W9qlM the celiac disease is increasing at an alarming rate. One person out of 100 has celiac disease now. It has become 5 times more common now then it was 50 years ago.
The scary part is that most gluten sensitive people HAVE NO IDEA that they need to stay away from gluten. Silent/undiagnosed celiac sufferers are more likely to die from other causes and those deaths could be prevented by eating gluten free diet.
And Paleo is a perfect example of a gluten-free diet.
As a matter of fact, if another doctor out there will suggest eating whole grain wheat, I will probably bite his head off. Or not, if it is not gluten-free :)
If I read a comment about that on FB, I would ignore it. When I discuss my diet with people who ask, I basically tell them that I've never felt better in my life. I don't feel compelled to explain the science behind it because, quite honestly, I don't know if I fully understand it or believe it all myself. I can't be bothered to read this stuff all the time. All I know is that when I eat this way I feel and perform my best. I think it's best to lead by example and let them eat their words.
I'll agree with the anti-anti-gluten gang to a point: Most people do just fine eating gluten. I know Robb Wolf and other paleo gurus say otherwise, but it just doesn't make sense that something as ubiquitous as gluten is making everybody sick (without symptoms).
Now, is gluten/wheat optimal for health? Hell no.