Dear Pete Evans


Orthorexia-article11
Orthorexia-article11

‘The cause of public health nutrition is not served by a few people achieving dietary perfection; it’s achieved by making small improvements in the diets of the masses’

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Truth be known, I do not administer a lot of my own social media – I do not have time. Rather, my team and I post a number of pre-planned items each week along with new stories as they arise. I enjoy social media but the bulk of my work is writing and seeing clients and only occasionally I log on and have a look at what is going on. So on Tuesday, after seeing a new product in Coles, a breakfast drink, I had a few minutes in between seeing clients and I thought I would share it, and it’s nutritionals for my followers who enjoy product posts.

The post, was relatively innocuous; it simply states the nutritionals with a brief summary and who I would suggest it to. I do not consult to Sanitarium, never have and do not get paid for these product posts. They are simply products that cross my and my client’s paths and I see it as one of my roles to look at some of these products, particularly new products in more detail.

It was not until much later that day, that my ex Fresh cooking buddy and holistic health coach, Pete Evans had decided to use my post as an example of why all nutritionists and dietitians do not know what they are talking about, and the insinuation that this was further evidence that there was a major conspiracy at play, with all qualified dietitians and nutritionists selling their souls to major food companies at the expensive of their clients best health interests. My initial thoughts were, ‘Why on earth would a personality with the huge following and business interests of someone like Pete Evans be the least bit interested in what a dietitian would be posting on Facebook, surely he has more important things to be focused on? – I guess I was wrong.

Now, I do not need to bore you with the rude, nasty, vicious and uninformed comments that 400+ of Pete’s following decided to bombard myself and my team with (you can see those special human expressions for yourself) but seriously, we are talking about a breakfast drink. Does it really warrant such vicious assault? If you do not agree, or do not like it, nobody said buy it but it was the clear manipulation of context that came from this re-post and following insinuation that in turn fueled much hate, abuse and aggression, which is really of no benefit to anyone.

Now, I know Pete Evans. I worked with him for a number of years on the Channel 9 cooking program FRESH, when he was very happy to be paid $ to tell people to eat sugar. I liked him very much as a person and he was great to work with. To date, I have not commented publicly about his recent barrage of disrespect directed towards my profession, simply because I knew him, and would never publicly ‘have a go’ at someone based on sensationalised social media posts, which are not always posted by the personality themselves.

 I also get that Pete and his team are passionate about improving the health of all Australians, but Pete, think outside of your Facebook page, you are not the only one. Any health professional that has spent many years studying health and nutrition feels exactly the same way, except unlike you, we actually work with the real people, in real life clinics, with real medical and health issues and unlike you, we have to be held accountable for our statements and actions. And trust me, there are plenty of Aussies out there who have no interest in eating clean, or Paleo, or preparing all their own food. And those people, and the majority of Aussie’s out there who buy packaged food, can still benefit from information on these foods whether you or your Facebook fans think they should be eating them or not.

So, these diet extremists minus any formal training can ridicule my qualifications and experience; take social media posts out of context to suit their own personal agenda and/or business interests and manipulate my words to try and convince your followers that I have no idea what I am talking about but whether you believe it, we are actually on the same team. There is no conspiracy; no agenda; no personal interest other than educating people to make their own dietary decisions. The post on Tuesday was just talking about a new breakfast drink.

Just as diet extremists may not agree with my approach to nutrition, I do not agree with theirs but you will not see me initiate debate that leads to aggressive online bullying, or using the programs they plug based on their super strong beliefs about what people should or should not eat to promote my own. That is not the energy in which I choose to be associated or way in which I conduct my work or my messaging. And the funny thing is, deep down, I doubt if whether that is really the way these diet extremists want to be working either. Surely this energy is much better spent on improving the health of all Australians, as is claimed, rather than bagging and targeting people who have the very same goal, even though theirs may also contain sugar, or dairy or heaven forbid, a packaged breakfast drink?

Comments

comments

54 Comments

  • Hi Susie,
    Whilst I’m not always tempted by some of the products you analyse, I appreciate that these such products may be great for time poor individuals and a viable option from a nutrition perspective.

    As an exercise physiologist, I prefer an evidence based approach, which is found in several years of studying nutrition and dietetics – hence which is why I prefer to refer clients to a dietitian rather than Dr Facebook or Google.

    I eat grains, dairy and sugar and maintain a stable weight. I also enjoy coconut water, green smoothies and activated almonds. It’s nice to have a good balance.

    Keep up with the reviews and posts, Susie. Don’t let over zealous haters get you down. If only they knew nutrition wasn’t a religion, the world would be a better place.

    Cheers
    Liz N

  • Victoria Hawken says:

    Well said !

  • Sheila Freeman says:

    Well said Suzie, I know a lot of people that are rushing out the door in the mornings, and need to be able to grab something quickly on the way out the door. Yes we would all love to have the perfect diet and mostly know what we should do but sometimes life just gets in the way and not very many of us are perfect (some only think they are !!).

  • Jamie says:

    Very well said!!!

  • Alice says:

    Well written and fair response, I appreciate the information you share with us – and agree that we can all make improvements and help educate others. Incremental changes are easier to make than massive ones, and more likely to stick.

  • Sharon Gibbons says:

    Well said Susie keep up the good work you have inspired me so much thank you

  • Kathryn says:

    Very well said. :)

  • Steph says:

    Very well said!!

  • Phoebe says:

    Well said Susie – your clients know how wonderful you and your work are, even if the extremists do not agree. Keep being your amazing self and helping your clients achieve their goals – we adore you for it! x

  • Joanne says:

    Unfortunately all media I think prints mostly untruths I think if everyone of us everyday just took a little time out to help one another or encourage a motivate just one person the world would be hopefully a much healthier place!

  • Tara says:

    Well done Suzie for speaking out against this, which has been going on for far too long. As a uni qualified nutritionist, I follow Pete simply to stay informed of what info the general public are receiving and of late his information has been dangerous and consistently speaking poorly of qualified nutritionists and dietitians, an almost cultish behaviour with a cultish following which only serves to completely confuse the public. I hope that more qualified professionals start to speak up as you have done and I have been doing.

    • Jenny says:

      Tara I am also a university qualified dietitian and would suggest you do your own research and look outside of what was taught to you at university. I find it disturbing that you believe the promotion of unprocessed nutrient rich foods is dangerous! I think you will find that restricting consumption of highly processed grains and dairy and replacing these with organic fruit and veg and lean meat will do a world of good to most peoples health. After studying dietetics for four years at university, I find it scary that so many student nutritionists take everything they are taught as gospel! Read up..you will be surprised how little you actually know, and how much of the information you are provided is driven by profit!!!

      • Anna says:

        Jenny. Yes the paleo diet follows some good basic rules that suggests a high intake of fruit and vegetables and lean meat is no doubt a healthy inclusion in the diet. Many Australians who have a highly processed diet will lose weight and gain the health benefits of the paleo diet, because it is a dramatic diet improvement- cutting out of high salt, fat and sugar filled processed foods. However, cutting out grains, legumes and other carbohydrates means paleo dieters are consuming an increased amount of meat which means they are consuming an increased amount of saturated fat which increases the risk of heart disease. With the exclusion of grains and legumes, you’re missing out on phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals and the bowels aren’t getting the fibre needed and the cholesterol-lowering effects. Australia also has thiamine depleted soils. There was a time when Australians were developing diseases such as beri-beri because of thiamine depletion, which is why it is now mandatory that all baking flour is fortified with thiamine. Grains and legumes naturally contain thiamine. With the exclusion of dairy, doesn’t osteoporosis concern you, especially in paleo dieters who have not yet reached peak bone mass? I can’t believe Pete Evans promotes this diet to children! As a dietitian, I would think you’d understand what thiamine is and I would also believe that you practice with an evidence-based approach as outlined in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

  • Katy says:

    I’m sick of pete and his super simple solutions. If he worked just one day in either public health or a clinical setting he’d find that his ideas are just not practical and some are downright dangerous. Yes – eating a paleo diet can be dangerous folks!

    • Rob says:

      @Katy – I almost chocked on my coffee at your comment.
      How is eating a tonne of fresh veg along with some healthy fats, wild or pastured animal protein and fruit dangerous?????
      It is comments like yours that show how out of touch with reality people are.

  • Cath Johnson says:

    Pete Evans sold his integrity out the door on MKR.

  • Jennifer Richards says:

    Please, do not assume that everyone who criticises Australian dietitians is neither educated nor qualified to have an opinion.

  • Julian says:

    Hi Susie,

    Congratulations on your reply. Fingers crossed it does not result in further insults to you personally and to the nutrition and dietetic profession. As a student dietitian I am passionate about scientifically based nutrition advice and treatment. I have always firmly believe that nutrition advice should come from appropriate university trained professionals.

  • Natalie says:

    Well said Suzie. Nice to hear some sensible advise in what sometimes seems like a pool of ill advise.

  • FAS says:

    Well said. I particularly liked the reality perspective on where people are at. Information such as you provide helps many people make better decisions everyday, and in the end, it will be these consumer decisions which change manufacturer behaviour. Keep on providing such info, and make sure people know it is without fear or favour – that is where your strength is!

  • Simone Sullivan says:

    Thank you Susie! As a dietitian myself I wholly support you and your work.

    “The best indicator of a sociopathic serial bully is not a clinical diagnosis but the trail of devastation and destruction of lives and livelihoods surrounding this individual” – Tim Field

    Thank goodness there are people like you and other dietitians and nutritionists who are attempting to prevent the destruction of lives by one close-minded opinionated man.

  • Sonja says:

    I just have to say Susie, Oh my goodness. I just read the comments on your wall regarding this drink. I cannot believe the responses from supposed adults whether they want to buy it or not, this behaviour is still disgusting.

    My daughter went to a nutritionist to help her with her nutritional needs as an athlete. One option she offered for after dinner was a paddle pop, which she loved because I never bought them. It’s about providing options and educating children about choices and creating an awareness (which you did, especially about the sugar content). And personally if we had followed fad diets she wouldn’t have coped. I have also used dietitians for assistance with my other daughter who is intolerant to dairy proteins and has been since birth, so you know who I will be listening too.

    I am a firm believer in options and guidance, especially for teenagers because they are usually running out the door to training etc. I provide nutritionally rich food at home for my family especially with two vegetarians and one child who cannot tolerate dairy, but I am also realistic. My 14 year old who has a dairy intolerance does lash out and eat the wrong foods, it won’t kill her just make her feel sick, but the point is she needs to learn to regulate that herself, and believe me she does (after feeling totally awful).

    Honestly just keep doing what you are doing because there are people out there who reading and enjoying your posts.

  • Melissa says:

    Whilst I can appreciate the context of providing options in practice with people who are attempting to make a ‘better choice’ – I disagree with you. I believe people look up to you to provide examples and when you post photos and content of these ‘fast’ options – many misinformed people would take the information and run with it – therefore feeling better about their choice because ‘Susie’ recommended it. It is something worth your consideration at least.

    Thank you,
    Melissa

  • Claire Deane says:

    Beautifully said Susie, your approach towards life and helping your clients is a credit to the results you get in helping people realise how to makes small changes that have major affects on life happiness. The fundamental truth is that humans are not perfect and we all want to be encouraged to do our best rather than being chastised and or judged for not making seemingly ‘perfect choices’. As an evidence based practitioner myself the beauty is in realising that life and our health is not perfect nor does it have to be in order to be fulfilling and satisfying. So heres to more supporting of everyone to help them be the best that they can be – rather than focusing on making everyone the same . . . we all have roles in this life race and they are all supposed to be different. There is no right or wrong there is only the best choice you can make within your capacity.

  • Melissa says:

    Well said Susie. As a studying nutritionist, I see you as a role model and love everything you share. I will continue to support you and share what you have to say.
    I do not agree with Pete Evans at all. I used to really like him, but he has lost all respect from me.
    Apparently now he is going to initiate a ‘school eating program’ aka Paleo promotion which does concern me somewhat. Now we are going to restrict grains and dairy to our children? How about we leave that to the professionals who understand the nutritional requirements of children rather than muck around with their health and wellbeing.

    • Jenny says:

      Melissa I am also a university qualified dietitian and would suggest you do your own research and look outside of what was taught to you at university. I find it disturbing that you are so concerned about the introduction of a school canteen program which encourages school children to consume unprocessed nutrient rich foods. I think you will find that restricting consumption of highly processed grains and dairy and replacing these with organic fruit and veg and lean meat will do a world of good to children’s health. After studying dietetics for four years at university, I find it scary that so many student nutritionists take everything they are taught as gospel! Read up..you will be surprised how little you actually know, and how much of the information you are provided is driven by profit!!!

  • Wendy says:

    Well said Susie! xx

  • Judy PBS says:

    Really! Pete and Susie you have different opinions. It is as simple as that. Please do not disrespect each other by taking public pot shots.

    • Susie Burrell says:

      That was not the aim, more to defend myself as some horrible things were said and to highlight that we all aren’t perfect as I felt it was perhaps being portrayed as. As I concluded, our goal is really the same and it would be best if we all focused on that.

  • Steph says:

    Hear hear Susie! I recently unliked Pete Evans page on Facebook because whilst I am passionate about clean eating and follow a largely paleo style diet, I felt like everything he posted was preachy. There is no single solution to a healthy diet and lifestyle, it’s not one size fits all. Everyone has different lifestyles and needs. Pete Evans needs to tone it down a bit!

  • Raymond Brisebois says:

    Madame, not only have you not stated what is actually nutritionally “good” about this questionably nutritional product (18 g of sugar puts it well into the “un-food” column) you show yourself to be an [unwitting] shill for an industry that is focused only on profit and not on health, which your profession is supposed to promote. Saying it’s good for families rushing about in the morning is _not_nutritional advice. Walk away from the “Dark Side” of the force and help people instead of perpetuating corporate-industrial food simulators.

    • Susie Burrell says:

      I am happy to learn from this and ensure in future, more can be explained. However calling me names is not nice and really not making anything productive is it? I have stated that this was in no way a money making post however you would like to believe I am lying. I also did not make a general statement that it is good for families. How does generalising statements help in any way also? I appreciate feedback and that not everyone will agree but please, keep it constructive and fair.

    • Eric says:

      Agreed. It is hard to believe that a nutritionist would recommend to someone trying to lose weight 18 grams of sugar first thing in the morning. How about a two-egg ommelette with a little cheese and a cup of coffee. Don’t have the five minutes to prepare it? Wake up five minutes early.

    • Daniella says:

      Hi Raymond,

      I’m afraid your nutritional knowledge may be lacking somewhat, as reflected by your post to Susie. It’s ok to not be an expert, especially if you don’t work in this field, however I’m a strong believer in ensuring you have all the correct details before making such an adamant statement. Below is a reflection of how “I” see this product as a dietitian:

      - The energy content of this product is 698kj (very acceptable)
      - The protein content is approx. 10g (excellent, especially considering animal proteins are high biological value proteins)
      - Total Sugars are approx. 19g – there is approx. 15g of lactose (a naturally occurring, low GI sugar) in 250ml of milk, therefore I would not consider the product to be particularly high in sugar
      - It has the same amount of fibre as an apple (with skin on) – This is an important, and often lacking nutrient, in a lot of children’s dietary intake
      - It’s low in sodium (excellent)
      - Its an excellent source of calcium
      - It’s a great source of B Vitamins

      In addition to the above, it’s quick and easy for kids on the go, and most importantly to the kids, it tastes good.

      My only intention for this email is to help teach you how to interpret this type of information, that’s one of the many great things us dietitians do. We don’t judge and we don’t put down, we just advocate learning and up skilling in the areas of nutrition, to assist the general public to filter through all the different thoughts and opinions on nutrition.

  • Eric says:

    Coles? Is this the junk breakfast drink that starts your day off with 19 grams of sugar? That Coles. And you call yourself a nutritionist? If you are trying to lose weight, you are better off starting the day with a Diet Coke, for goodness sakes.

  • kory says:

    I have no idea who Pete is, but when I saw your post as it went viral I was thankful that he shared it. Consider me a radical that I think processed packaged food is killing us all slowly, but that is what my stance has become. I live in the USA and see it every day. When you say that few Aussies have any interest in making their own food, that is the extreme problem! Same thing here. The issue is that you are accepting processed sugar added food as normal – when normality is conditional. Normal in both of our counties is chronically sick. The first problem is the food environment. It is NOT extreme to eat real whole food or to have it prepared fresh. Accepting failure as normal is failure itself. Some of us have higher standard – you can choose to eat processed garbage, you can even call it normal – but please don’t confuse that with healthy, or ideal. (Now I’m off to read about this Pete guy, sounds like I may like him.)

  • Healthy Skepticism says:

    Susie, you have opted to be in the public eye and quoted extensively as an expert on diet and nutrition. Whether you want to be or not, you are therefore seen as a role model on healthy diet and eating. There are many people who are clueless or who have only some idea about nutrition so when they see you post something like Oats2Go even with your disclaimer about the carbohydrate level, they still think it’s a good option because you as a leading nutritionist have posted it on your social media site and even recommended it as an option for non-breakfast eaters.

    While you have said that you are a proponent of wholefoods, if this is really the case, you would have shown the product, made the disclaimer about the carbs level and provided some cheap and quick wholefood alternatives and the comparative nutrition levels in each.

    Pete Evans in his facebook post was calling you to account as the expert and role model in healthy eating that you purport to be and are perceived as being. As a parent, I was horrified that you would recommend such a highly processed “food”, without providing other better options. I might add that I have several dietitian friends who also shook their heads in disdain at your post.

    Pete Evans, whilst Paleo focussed, is really taking the wholefoods message to the masses in a big way. MKR and Masterchef if nothing else have provided the foundation to the masses that there are alternatives to eating out of a packet. As a high profile nutritionist you have the option to really take this message as well in a much more bull by the horns approach. It is a total cop out that “there are plenty of Aussies out there who have no interest in eating clean, or Paleo, or preparing all their own food”. The extremist / no tolerance approach to processed food that Pete is demonstrating is required because of this very lax attitude that the so called experts seem to have had for a long time now.

    I hope you have learnt some big lessons from this exercise. If you haven’t, then thanks to Pete Evans, you are going to continually be held to account.

  • Kate says:

    Brilliant post Suzie!! I wasn’t a “breakfast kid” (and still not a breakfast person), but now I always have an “Up & Go”, or a glass of skim milk with some milo in the morning as I rush around to get ready for work/study, (plus a piece of fruit for morning tea, or vice versa). I am just not hungry enough. and don’t have the time to sit down for a “proper breakfast”. Wish I had your advice when I was at school!!

  • Jenny says:

    I myself have studied nutrition and dietetics at university yet would tend to disagree with the opinion of most other dietitians on this. Without trying to put down the profession, I think many university trained nutritionists/dietitians take any form of ‘peer reviewed’ research as gospel despite the fact that more often than not the research that is or isn’t published is heavily manipulated by the food industry and other government bodies who’s main interest lies in making profit. I think most of us are somewhat aware that we live in a world driven largely by the economy rather than by what is best for humanity. There’s no denying that GP’s are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies so who’s to say that the research dietitians live and breath is not also sponsored by companies with vested interests??

    In regards to Pete Evans, I do disagree with the way he is attacking health professionals, however it would be totally out of context to say that the diet he is promoting is by any means ‘dangerous’ or ‘unhealthy’. It does not take a university degree to understand that unprocessed food in its most natural form is far superior in health benefits than anything that requires any form of processing before human consumption.

    A major example to illustrate my point is Breads and cereals which are endorsed in the dietary guidelines (which are in turn endorsed by dietitians). These are a heavily processed food group which tend to be full of additives and preservatives to increase shelf life and make them palatable and digestible. They are also a major source of wheat and gluten which an overwhelming percentage of the population has an intolerance too, many of which are not even aware but will find by removing grains and cereals from the diet (and replacing these with veg to ensure adequate fibre) their digestion and overall health will improve drastically. This food group also contains phytates which reduce bioavailability of many minerals thus making any existing health benefits of grains null and void.

    The heavy promotion of breads and cereals by nutrition professionals is just one of many reasons why I would tend to side with Pete Evans over the dietitians in this argument (I could come up with a million other reasons but haven’t got all day). I understand that dietitians are trying to help their clients by providing ‘semi healthier’ options which will fit nicely into a busy lifestyle, however I feel that perhaps the focus should be adjusted rather to emphasise to clients the importance of making the time to prepare healthy meals instead, and to encourage their clients to make this an absolute priority. Yes people are time poor, but you will find they will always MAKE time for the things that are important to them. Given the easy way out (eg a processed dairy snack which requires no preparation) most peope will choose this less healthy option everyday of the week.

    At the end of the day obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other dietary related disorders are at an all time high because we are filling our bodies with processed toxins which humans were not designed to ingest. The scary thing is that many of these ‘toxic’ foods fit nicely into the ‘healthy’ food pyramid. If Pete Evans is promoting a diet rich in organic fruit and veg and lean meat and low in dairy, grains and other processed foods then I’m all for it! Something’s gotta give!

  • Shelly says:

    That was a thoughtful and gracious response to a rather vicious attack.
    While I personally would never touch a breakfast drink or endorse it in any way,
    the way you responded to it will ensure that I follow you and think twice about Pete Evans.

  • Mel w says:

    It does unfortunately seem somewhat extremist to personally attack another health professional’s review of one product and manipulate it to suit their beliefs. I really hope that this type of pointed shame marketing stops as we are all (hopefully) working towards the same healthy eating goals. If paleo works for you, great. If clean balanced eating works for you, great. Don’t make me see your point of view by pointing out perceived faults in others. That’s when I stop listening.

  • Dan says:

    Hi Susie

    A well written response.

    Why has the rate of obesity in Australia risen largely in the past 10 years? Having all the nutritionist, dietitians, scientific studies, government studies etc hasn’t helped the waste line of people. So I suppose people now need to look for a better solution to long term health and well being.

    I’m not for one side or the other but I do find it strange that some dietitians support high sugar content products & we all know how bad sugar is for you. Did they teach you at uni that high sugar diets are good? Did they say processed food is good for you? I’m thinking not, so only really one reason why those people would endorse those sort of products $$$.

    Anyway as they say horses for course. The lazy horses will be put out to eat the rubbish paddock and motived horses will be eating lush green pastures.

  • Nicky says:

    Well said Suzie- good to stand up for yourself against the onslaught of misinformed so called experts. As a fellow dietitian, I find it amazing that some people who ” seem to know so much about nutrition ” , are often so damning about well educated health professionals such as us ! Also I agree with your statement about the majority of the time we are helping people who are not well informed about healthy choices, who have multiple health issues, and often do no have vast amounts of money to spend on food. Keep the flag flying for common sense and evidence based information for your followers.

  • Elsie says:

    I disagree.
    People of uneducated backgrounds look to your pages for wisdom.
    A packaged drink based on refined sugars is championing the cause of a choice to take a lax view to taking charge of their own health.
    I have 6 chidren, work part time and know that it’s really not that hard to put together a qui nutritious breakfast for a family of 8, with varying health needs.
    Health takes some effort.
    Prevention is better than a cure.

  • J H says:

    I get that you didn’t mean to ‘promote’ the product but just present it as an option for a specific part of her clientele but I think it’s pretty naive. Fact is, options like that shouldn’t be considered healthy, cos they aren’t. A nutritionist promoting it brands it as ‘healthy’. You got called out on it. People shouldn’t be personal and mean about it, but I think a lot of people are fed up with the junk that is in packaged products, and fed up with being told that junk is healthy.

  • Kate mackie says:

    I have read both sides. I follow Paleo and although not a huge fan of Pete Evens, he was not putting all Nutritionists in one basket at all. He was shocked that You, as a Nutritionist, could endorse a breakfast drink full of crap to kids! I’m sure on the back of a soft drink can there is a nutritional breakdown as well, hope u are not recommending that to your patients! I recently went to a Nutritionist/Natuopath about a couple of issues and she tried to sell me packet shakes for weight loss! What a joke!! I picked up my bag and walked out!! Just like I am leaving your page! When Nutritionist start endorsing pack food – well God help our future generations.

  • Rocky says:

    Hi Susie,

    I’ve been reading a bit of the back and forth between Pete and the DAA, and fair to say I am getting a bit over the disparaging comments being delivered from both sides (I hope you can see that both sides shoulder blame here).

    As a qualified nutritionist who follows a Paleo diet (and have done so for 18 months) I don’t see it as a Fad, and I don’t see it as unsustainable. I also take exception to being called an extremist, cult member or a zealot.

    Let me tell you a bit about my nutrition. I have analysed my diet using foodworks. My carbohydrate level sits around 150g/day, hardly low carb, just lower than the standard western diet. My protein intake is 1.2g/kg/day, higher than the RDI but hardly ‘high protein’ and is certainly acceptable when my exercise regime is also factored in. My fat intake comes from predominately olive oils, avocado, eggs yolks, and a small portion of coconut oil (1-2 tbsp) each day. I eat around 9-12 cups of vegetables/day and 1-2 pieces of fruit. I eat oily fish 4-5 times per week and red meat is only about 2-3 times/week. Does this really sound like a dangerous diet?

    I understand that not everyone has the time, food knowledge or ability to ensure a paleo diet is ‘safe’, but to blanketly label anyone who follows it as an extremist, or a zealot is a bit offensive.

    Now, how does my beliefs affect my ability to help clients? Well, knowing what I know, I analyse their current food choices and then work with my client to replace poor food choices with healthier ones. I have never recommended that a client cut out grains or dairy (but I have supported and advised clients that have requested to, to do so safely). Do I sound like a cult member, or extremist?

    To say that my diet (diet, meaning habitual food choices, as the origin Latin intended) was written by unqualified people looking to sell something, ignores the fact that one of the first authors (Dr. Loren Cordain) has over 20 years of research experience and published over 100 peer-reviewed articles/research papers on various aspects of Paleolithic nutrition.

    I understand that you felt a need to defend yourself, and that your integrity was questioned. I agree we all need to realise we have the same goal, improving the health of others. Maybe if we all focused on that and less on disparaging comments and attacking others (which both sides have done… The DAA cannot claim they haven’t attacked Pete) then maybe we can get back to what’s important.

    Since you know Pete, maybe you should contact him, have a chat, sit with him and each of you can hear each other’s side and then maybe work together rather than all this bickering which does not help our industry at all when people already see it as confusing.

    Lastly, I certainly understand and respect your reasoning behind the oats-2-go review, sometimes, providing small steps towards the best options are needed, however I do question this choice, mainly due to the added refined sugar (by my calculation ~17.5g is added) when the WHO has just closed submissions in response to suggested guidelines of a maximum 25g/day (which I’m certain they based on sound scientific evidence). This product would give 70% of that!

    Anyway, I just hope that we can all work towards the common goal and have less of the personal attacks along the way.

    Regards
    Rocky

  • Jenny says:

    To be honest I am frustrated by nutritionists and dieticians and doctors seeming to endorse processed food. It took me 15 years to get well, and the main reason it took so long was because I followed ‘conventional wisdom’, the advice of an ‘everything in moderation’ dietician and doctors who knew a lot about drugs and very little about food. I now eat a ‘radical’ grain-free paleoish diet with almost no processed food. I applaud Pete’s efforts and willingness to open himself up to attack. I wish I was a really rare weird exception but sadly I’m not. I am more and more convinced (I have a science background and have researched this thoroughly) that what he is advocating is the answer to the plethora of modern diseases that have been caused and amplified by modern food!

  • Matt B says:

    People are rightfully skeptical and distrustful of ‘dietitians’ and ‘nutritionists’, because it’s basically a theory-based profession. You all learn your trade from the people who have come before you, and you stubbornly refuse to even concede that you may be wrong.

    Science and research is now proving that the low fat, high grain diet was, at best, a mistake. At best. At worst, it was an intentionally malicious lie that has affected the health of billions of people.

    The astronomic rise in cancers, neurological diseases and disorders etc. lines up perfectly with the introduction of the prescribed food pyramid. That’s not conspiracy. It’s a fact.

    And now ketogenic diets that have been successfully used for a hundred years to relieve or cure epilepsy are showing huge promise in treating cancers, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Bipolar disorder, Multiple Sclerosis and even Schizophrenia. That’s not a coincidence. That’s real practical research being done by real doctors and scientists, and that can’t be dismissed as a fad used to peddle books or diet plans.

    I don’t follow Pete Evans. I even find Paleo to be needlessly restrictive. I’m not even anti-GMO or pro-organic. But the logical assumption that you should use whole ingredients that need the least processing to eat is one that should be promoted by all interested in human health.

    And when we have organisations and individuals putting ticks on and recommending stuff like margarine and breakfast drinks, there’s a huge problem. Despite mounting evidence, The Heart Association stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that they’ve been wrong in the diet they promote. They continue to put ticks on low fat, high sugar, processed foods just to fit their recommendation model of no-fat, no-salt etc.

    Sorry Susie, but you’re wrong. You just are. We’ve been wrong about our diet for over half a century now, and it is evident in our escalating poor health. Science is finally telling us how wrong we were, but the theory-based education that has been passed down from dietitian to nutritionist through the generations is still out there and being promoted as gospel. People literally believe what a nutritionist clipping in the newspaper says over what science is saying. That’s disappointing and dangerous.

    I get it. Nobody wants to be in the-earth-is-flat group. But clinging to passed down wisdom in the face of real evidence is not heroic or just in the spirit of debate.

    And remember – Pete Evans followed the standard diet for most of his life before seeing (and observing and feeling) the effects of changing things.

    Pete Evans hasn’t drunk any Kool Aid. He just stopped drinking it.

  • Joanne says:

    Hi Susie, I have been in the health and wellness industry for over 18 years and I follow a primal way of eating. This has been in the last eight years. I am sorry to hear that you have been attacked, no-one should be doing this, however I do feel that promoting a drink with that much sugar as an option is not guiding people in the right direction.
    I understand you want to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines however I am seriously interested in your opinion on why you believe grains and sugar are an essential part of the human diet.
    People are really time poor, however encouraging them to have a ‘nutrition drink’ runing out the door is not providing these people with the nutrients that they need. What about offering them a solution and boiling a couple of eggs and eating them on the run, or cooking up egg muffins the night before full of delicious vegetables and eating that.
    Any product that is on a supermarket shelf, made in a factory, full of preservatives etc is not at all suitable for the human diet.
    Why can’t we actually work together, unite and provide the Australian public with the right information instead of all of us fighting. Why don’t health authoritites admit that they have got it wrong and that we don’t need to be eating refined carboydrates and sugar, it is totally ok to do that. Susie, Pete Evans may have come out a bit hard on that particular post, however he is actually right….The science is now proving that we all need to be following a ancestral diet and we can survive and thrive on it.

  • Melita Kidd says:

    What a great post Susie. I was initially sent to your website by one of my naturopathic lecturers (I am studying nutritional medicine) because she said you had some great ideas with helping people choose the “lesser evil” type foods.

    I haven’t found that part yet, but what I have found is an extremely brave and articulate woman who has compassion and dedication to her profession.

    I liked the comments that grouped nutritionists and dieticians together as usually I feel there is a separation. You have helped me see that “we all have the same goal-helping people”.

    Well done.

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