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Pete Evans vs Dietician Association

imagesThe debate over the Paleo Diet Heats Up 

The Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA) has responded with vehemence against Pete Evans’ backing of the Paleo Diet. Labelled as potentially dangerous, the DAA has made firm its stance against Australians following the Paleo lifestyle via a press release titled “Don’t Go the Paleo Way“.

Yet Paleo advocates, of whom celebrity chef Pete Evans has become the public face in Australia, have returned criticism with questioning the agenda of DAA.

It is known that the DAA are sponsored by food producers Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, Dairy Australia, Kelloggs (Nutri-Grain, Special K, Cruncy Nut cereals) Nestle (Uncle Tobys, Maggi, Allens, Wonka, Sustagen, KitKat, Nesquik, Milo) and Unilever (Continental, Streets Ice Cream and Flora margarine).

As part of their dietary recommendations, the DAA state that including some processed food in our diet is acceptable.

“Australians eat from a range of foods from the entire food supply and the reality is that includes many processed foods, so we can’t ignore this part of the food supply.”

This has Pete Evans fuming stating that the “DAA should be about real, whole food, in the true sense of the word and they should find other sponsors like cooking utensils, equipment and appliances” rather than “having financial ties to multinational processed food corporations that litter the supermarket shelves with so-called ‘healthy foods’?”

Further Pete Evans has responded to the DAA criticisms of the Paleo Diet.

  • Eating Paleo is expensive  – it isn’t
  • Eating Paleo is hard – it isn’t
  • Eating Paleo is high in protein and low in nutrients – it isn’t
  • Eating Paleo does not mean eating like a caveman (so becomes a moot point)


Like with any diet, each individual needs to determine if the requirements of the nutritional program are relevant and appropriate to their needs and expectations. This means understanding the inclusions and the omissions for each diet right from the onset.

One of the DAA criticisms stated that “Some proponents of ‘paleo’ suggest avoiding all grains, legumes, certain dairy products, conventionally raised meats, non-organic produce, and genetically modified and processed foods making it not practical for many people”.

Is this a realistic goal?

In the article The Paleo Diet – Revival of the Caveman? Emed explored the Paleo diet outlining the positives and the criticisms attached to it.

To recap, below is the list of foods to enjoy and those that are excluded in the Paleo diet.


Paleo foods to enjoy:

  • Vegetables (avoid potatoes)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Organic or free-range grass-fed lean meats
  • Nuts and Seeds (best soaked or sprouted before eating)
  • Coconut products including oil and milk
  • Oils including olive, coconut, avocado, walnut and flaxseed
  • Herbs and spices
  • Some alcohol and caffeine is usually permitted, but only in small amounts or until you can completely phase them out of your diet


Foods to exclude:

  • Processed and packaged foods- basically anything containing artificial additives
  • Dairy (some flexibility with dairy products depending on which guidelines you follow)
  • Sugar
  • Canned foods that are high in salt
  • All grains (ie. wheat, rye, barley, oats)
  • Grain-like seeds (ie. quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth)
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Soft drinks


These guidelines can be tweaked slightly to achieve different health goals.




From the above list the Paleo way of eating is not about depriving yourself of tasty foods or calorie counting- it’s about eating fresh, nutritional foods our bodies can utilise in a positive way – without allowing for processed foods.

For those that are determined to follow the Paleo lifestyle than this diet is indeed realistic and ‘do-able’.

By having an understanding of these specifications from the beginning, a person can enter into the Paleo lifestyle with both eyes opened.

If you have health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome, there is scientific research providing growing evidence of benefits of the Paleo diet in preventing or improving these conditions.

Other preliminary trials have revealed promising health results from individuals following a Paleo-based diet as measured by body weight, waist circumference, blood inflammatory markers, blood pressure, lipid and cholesterol profiles, glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.

By taking emotive language out of the argument and acknowledging a possible conflict of interest in the DAA guidelines (via its processed food corporate sponsors), the Paleo diet is a valid lifestyle that can bring health and vitality to many people.


To hear some additional discussion from Pete Evans on the Paleo diet and its health benefits watch the short video below:



 Further Reading


  • Anna K says:

    Amazed that you mention the corporate sponsorships of the DAA but completely ignore Pete Evans’ many sponsorships and potential conflicts of interest, including the fact that he has now launched a $99 10-week diet program, despite the fact he has no recognised nutritional training whatsoever.

    • AdamN says:

      Pete’s commercial activities are aligned to his paleo positioning while the DAA’s force it to take specific positions, with a clear conflict of interest. Pete is funding his own activities, not relying on large corporate sponsors. Regarding his program, I think the world wide obesity and health crises driven by the typical food pyramid endorsed by the DAA completely undermines the so-called value of dealing with recognised nutritionists.

  • gh says:

    The DAA is yet another example of corporate influence and people who cannot face that they are wrong about so much, and have done much harm. Most people who adopt a paleo diet, or Weston Price diet, or a diet similar to those, find that their health benefits from it in a big way. Yet organisations like the DAA ignore all the inconvenient evidence.

  • Elizabeth R says:

    Love Pete Evans, he has it all together, he’s just a regular Aussie guy who cares about his health. I am also in agreement with everything he says, the corporate giants are not happy because they’re driven by money and not food that we need. Good on Pete for standing his ground and telling it like it is. I too like to eat ‘real’ food, as nature intended, and it’s not expensive like they’re trying to prove, with a little common sense we can eat the good of the land! meat included!

  • Mel Cann says:

    It really is all about balance – I found the paleo diet quite difficult to follow and for me, expensive and repetitive. However, I completely align with its philosophy of eating wholefoods with minimal or no processing, and so while I still include things like natural yoghurt, wholegrains and legumes (when I re-introduced these things back into my diet after a period of trialling the Paleo diet I felt amazing after a complete lull in energy and mood) I adhere to a diet very similar to the Paleo diet. However, I did read some recent findings into how legumes were actually eaten during the Paleolithic era…food for thought!

    • Heather Murrin says:

      My fecal test showed my gut bacteria to be low in the beneficial form of e-coli. My holistic GP told me to eat legumes to feed it.

  • Gillian Dent says:

    No mention of the ethics of eating animals which has many people turning to veganism. The Paleo diet will go the way of most fad diets I suspect, while veganism and vegetarianism is here to stay.

  • Heather Murrin says:

    Humans have eaten animals and animals have eaten animals since time began. Dr Mercola has excellent articles on why humans need some animal protein and fat in their diet. His research shows vegan and vegetarianism is not healthful resulting in nutrient deficiencies and increased cancer rates.


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