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Should food be fad…or fab? #mostviewedvideo

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Anyone who follows Balance would know that Deb loves her food. For her, mealtimes are not just about sustenance – but about enjoyment and sharing time with family and friends. Cooking for Deb is a passion. Over the past few years we have interviewed a lot of people – chefs, authors, nutritionists and dietitians – in order to help our followers find a balanced relationship when it comes to food.

In our latest interview with celebrity chef Pete Evans we explore the topic of elimination diets – a trend that is causing concern for many in the nutrition industry. Pete’s latest cook book promotes the Paleo Diet which he claims is the ideal approach to healthy eating.

Given that it’s a time of year when most of us are assessing our diet and setting ourselves wellbeing-goals – we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore food…should it be ‘fad’ or ‘fab’?

Pete Evans is best known for his role on the popular Channel 7 series My Kitchen Rules. He’s also the chef behind six award-winning restaurants. In recent years he has been on a very big ‘health kick’ that has involved adopting the a Paleo Diet.

“Paleo is about embracing the most nutrient-dense food on the planet and eliminating other stuff that doesn’t do your body any good. It’s about eliminating processed foods but also drastically reducing the amount of starches and grains we consume, as well as dairy,” Pete said.

“Seventy per cent of the Western diet is made up of refined carbohydrates. Why? Because it’s a filler. It’s cheaper. Because it’s subsidised by the government. It’s crazy!” he said.

In recent months the Paleo Diet has come under fire by food stylist and cookbook author Donna Hay who likened the diet, as well as sugar elimination diets, to a type of eating disorder. In an interview with the UK-based Daily Mail, she said:

Dairy-free, sugar-free; I think some of them are just a new eating disorder. There’s the ‘I Quit Sugar’ program. And so many people quitting carbs, quitting drinking… It’s ‘I quit’, ‘I quit.’ For me it’s about a lifestyle choice.

Hay went on to say that these fad diets seem to be taking the pleasure out of eating a good meal.

There are rules around everything in life and to put strict, extreme rules on food too makes me sad. They are so extreme which is odd for me. We’re all so serious everywhere else in life, so why put rules on food too? It’s about balance.

Celebrity Chef Pete Evans disagrees that Paleo is just the latest fad. He says that he’s living proof of the power of the Paleo Way – losing a huge amount of weight and gaining a huge amount of energy since he began the diet.

“They call the Paleo Diet a fad diet but if you look at the span of human existence 2-3 million years, the last 50 years would be called a ‘fad diet’ which is heavily processed foods. Eighty per cent of everything available in the supermarket is apparently called ‘food’ but you wouldn’t feed it to a dog,” he said.

Donna Hay is not the only food lover speaking out against elimination diets. Well-respected nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan recently told Balance that she was gravely concerned about the way women are being affected by fad diets.

“Fad diets are really eroding people’s relationships with food, particularly for women. I find they are so caught up and worried about what they should eat, what they should cut out, and what approach to follow, that they’ve forgotten about the fundamentals. This creates body image problems … it’s like some women are almost too scared to eat,” Dr Joanna said.

“We’re making ridiculous associations with food. We’ve been eating bread since biblical times and yet nowadays it is seen as ‘bad’ in terms of our diets. To me, eating goes way beyond what nutrients are in the food. Sharing a meal should be about taking pleasure and being grateful for the food we eat,” she said.

As for the Paleo Diet, despite the media hype about it being a ‘caveman’ and ‘carnivore’ approach to eating, Pete Evans says meat is not the main focus of the diet.

“Longevity studies show that moderate amounts of protein are what we should be having – not copious amounts of T-Bones – just small amounts of protein from an animal that has had a natural diet,” Pete said.

Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.

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