The prevailing narrative about nutrition is that everything experts have long thought true has been proven wrong. That narrative is titillating and provocative, but it’s false. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, but not to our own facts.
Here’s some of what’s wrong with the idea that everything we know about nutrition is wrong:
The paleo diet is a panacea.
Eating and living like our Stone Age ancestors actually might be good for us, but not when the paleo banner is unfurled preferentially for bacon, sausage, and burgers. We can’t know how a true paleo diet would support the modern lifespan, and we never will: Everything our forebears ate in the Stone Age is extinct. They lived on wild game and wild plants, not industrially produced burgers and bacon. Most paleo marketing is classic, 21st-century hogwash.
The ketogenic diet offers unique benefits.
The ketogenic diet was once called “Atkins.” Since its inception, it has had ample opportunity to make everyone thin, vital, energetic, and ageless. Sure, there are testimonials, but that was equally true for the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, and every other variant on the theme of quick-fix-pixie-dust; they make excellent fads, but they’re not solutions. There is no evidence that ketosis can be maintained over time by healthy people; no evidence that health persists if it is; no evidence even of its safety. As for its disease-reversal (e.g., Type 2 diabetes) claims? Diets actually known to be sustainable and good for overall health do that, too, as will almost anything in the short term that causes weight loss. Finally, the world has to eat a whole lot less meat, not more, if we’re going to survive as a species. We may safely conclude that the “health effects” of a diet calamitous for the planet cannot be good.