Not a Scientific Approach
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 February 2021
NOT a scientific approach as he CHERRY PICKS studies to suit his agenda, completely unbalanced.
I analysed it from the perspective of meat, to see whether there was any merit to what he said. He is certainly not keen on meat. Part of his agenda is to debunk diets such as Paleo and Keto.
1. I said I would look at his research on the Paleo diet. I genuinely looked at the research with an open mind, willing to be convinced either way. I actually wanted, or at least hoped, Bulsiewicz would be proven correct. To add, I am neither for, nor against, the Paleo diet. But I said I would check out his claims. From my review, studies on Paleo are low in number and of the low number, have fairly low scientific merit due to lack of controls in some cases and low numbers of participants / are not lengthy in duration in all cases. However of the few studies, he points to one of the very few (and I mean very few) studies with adverse findings for the Paleo diet, a small 2019 study from the European Journal of Nutrition. Completely overlooking all the other studies pointing towards health benefits. So unbalanced. In fact that SAME year, the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to the opposite conclusion, that followers of the diet demonstrated improved biomarkers of insulin levels, blood pressure and lipid profiles. That is only the same year, many studies (of low scientific value) point towards Paleo improving biomarkers. A 2019 study of studies on Paleo published in the Nutrition Journal concludes that "The Palaeolithic diet may assist in controlling weight and waist circumference and in the management of chronic diseases. However, more randomized clinical studies with larger populations and duration are necessary to prove health benefits." But what does my friend Bulsiewicz do? Cherry picks a single weak study out many weak studies (that come to the opposite conclusion) to "prove" his point.
2. He makes claims re the Hadza people, that they eat 600 different types of plants. He does also say they eat meat, but not in the context of the claim of 600 different types of plants, which is a remarkably high number. But a quick google shows his claim to be false re 600 different types of plants, they eat 600 different types of plants and animals, in particular birds. Even if you Google image search "Hadza", you will see no shortage of bows and arrows pics and meat slung over their shoulder, not quiet the avid plant eaters he makes them out to be!
3. On the keto diet, he points to the following study (I have taken an except from the study):
"Subjects on the animal-based diet ate eggs and bacon for breakfast, and cooked pork and beef for lunch. Dinner consisted of cured meats and a selection of four cheeses. Snacks on this diet included pork rinds, cheese, and salami"
Cured meats, salami, pork rinds, cheese? Those aren't encouraged on the keto diet.
Yes eggs are, but so too are salmon, nuts, olive oil, avocado, high fibre low starch vegetables such as broccoli, kale, celery etc. I mean I could easily pick a processed plant diet and get the same or even worse results. Like the paleo diet, I am neither for nor against keto, but how he can call that study useful as a fair reflection of a keto diet?! He again is notably silent on the many studies that come to the opposite conclusion on keto.
I have fact checked a fair few other of his claims, they are simply manipulative or a biased look at diet.
My own personal experience on the high fibre diet with reduced meat, over the course of three months, was:-
Weight - very slight weight gain.
Sleep - no discernible difference.
Satiety - this was the worst, not good satiety. Felt hungry way more than usual.
Gut - like he said there would be, some initial abdominal pain and flatulence but that went away after a few weeks, but was replaced with heartburn (something I never get), that didn't go away. Heartburn went away when I returned to my regular diet.
Focus - no discernible difference.
Mood - slightly more irritable.
Heart - very, very minor heart palpitations once every few days. A thing I usually never feel.
I agree with him on reducing processed foods and increasing fibre. I didn't need his book to prove that to me.
In particular in my view we should reduce processed plants from our diet: soda, french fries, cookies, chocolate, white bread etc, and eliminate or significantly reduce plant drugs from our life: alcohol, marijuana, caffeine, tobacco etc.
Where we disagree is meat. Manipulates data to suit his agenda.
Oh and we disagree on caffeine. I think that plant extract is terrible for our health. It causes hypertension, insomnia, anxiety and all sorts of nasty things. He says that he is not opposed to caffeine, I am completely opposed to that drug. Google caffeine and health, there are hundreds of studies out there with very strong scientific merit on the adverse affects of this drug. But this Bulsiewicz guy wouldn't be against the drug caffeine. Why not? Because it's a plant of course!!
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