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Paleo Diet on ABC Nightline

March 2, 2011

flintstones-ribs

Did you watch ABC Nightline’s story on the “Caveman Diet?” last night? It was part of their “You Are What You Eat” series. I must say I was actually pleasantly surprised. I was expecting another one of those caveman re-enactment pieces, that just treats Paleo like a fad, and a silly one at that. The story wasn’t perfect of course, but I think in general it was a win for the paleo community.

Yabba Dabba Do…

For starters, there wasn’t too much in the way of caveman jokes and such, which made it seem like there was some genuine interest in learning what the paleo diet is actually about (I guess they couldn’t help themselves with the Flinstones clip and that campfire scene, but I think it could’ve been much worse). Also, Art de Vany and Robb Wolf got some decent air time (although the interviewer, John Berman, did keep asking Art wacky questions).

“It balances meat with a lot of fresh vegetables…”

Even the nutritionists didn’t knock it, saying that it’s great to avoid processed foods and to balance meat and veggies. It felt like everyone was doing a bit of a tap dance around fats, though. The nutritionists voiced their obligatory warning to eat lean meat and avoid fats, and John Berman asked at the table if it’s okay to consume the fat on the meat he was eating (Art gave him the go ahead). I imagine high fat consumption must’ve come up during the tapings, and I’m guessing it was edited out to not open up a can of worms? I think it’s too bad that it wasn’t mentioned, just for general awareness. But if that’s what it takes to get a fairly positive review of paleo in the mainstream media, then I’ll take it – baby steps, I guess. All the people that will now research paleo as a result of the show will inevitably end up reading that fat is good. Other than the fat, they did a fairly good job of summarizing what to eat and what to avoid (meat, veggies, and nuts versus anything processed and anything agricultural including bread, grains, and rice). It would’ve been even greater if they had gone into the health/nutrition aspects of Paleo, but again, one step at a time.

Where did all the cavewomen go?

Megan Fox came up again, of course. Seems like every diet needs a celebrity endorsement (although I haven’t actually ever seen it come directly from her, it’s just been rumoured to be the case). This may be a positive, though, since at least it’s a female celebrity. Seems like the diet keeps being stereotyped as a caveMAN diet, or at least one might think that due to the lack of paleo women being interviewed (luckily they showed a lot of women in the gyms).

Move naturally. No gym required.

Speaking of gyms, I think that the Crossfit connection will attract the fitness crowd, and expose them to Paleo that way, which is good. And it was also nice for Paleo to finally be portrayed more as a lifestyle than just a diet. But on the other hand, the Crossfit section took up almost half the segment, and it’s not like everyone who eats Paleo does or believes in Crossfit and vice versa, so that seems misguided. At least Robb spoke about “full body functional movements” rather than just focusing on Crossfit.

Go ahead, dig in..

Lastly, it was entertaining how John Berman appeared fearful of consuming too much meat. Several times he emphasized that he only wants “a small, a very small piece.” He’s clearly new to this whole caveman thing…

Did you watch the segment? What did you think?

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