You’ve probably heard: there’s a new study supposedly showing that a high (over 20% of calories) animal protein intake is as dangerous as smoking. That sounds like bad news on the Paleo front!
But before you throw out your eggs and start stocking up on tofu, take a look at the problems with this particular research:
Zoe Harcombe points out that…
- This is a survey study. It identified an association. Association does not prove causation. Wearing snow pants is associated with wearing mittens; this does not mean that the mittens cause the snow pants.
- The study reports relative risk rather than absolute risk.
- The lead researcher has a massive conflict of interest: he’s the founder of a plant-based meal replacement product.
Dr. Briffa also focuses on…
- The imprecision of dietary recall surveys. Everybody lies on dietary recall surveys – and not intentionally; most of us just struggle to remember precisely what we ate and in what amounts at every meal in the past 24 hours. So how do we know this study was actually an accurate measure of anything? We don’t.
- The plot twist at the end of the study: in people over 65, protein was actually associated with a lower risk of death.
Supplement evaluation site Examine has an even more nitty-gritty breakdown if you’re still worried.
The upshot: this is a very interesting piece of preliminary survey research which may or may not point to any kind of causal association. It doesn’t demonstrate causation as it stands. And it doesn’t present any serious reason to change your diet, start restricting protein, or stop eating meat.
With that out of the way, take a look at what else was going on this week:
- From Robb Wolf’s blog: The ‘perfect diet’ should NOT be directly linked to your self-esteem, self-worth or value. Very true! Food is important, but it’s not a religion.
- Hunger is one the biggest weight-loss saboteurs around, so take a look at this post from J. Stanton (actually the text and slides from his AHS 2012 presentation) about what hunger actually is and why we get hungry.
- Melissa Joulwan presents a homemade substitute for coconut aminos – if you’ve ever winced at the price of this Paleo-friendly soy sauce replacement, try making it yourself!
- SuppVersity offers 9 tips for losing weight without destroying your metabolism.
- Wondering how to squat properly? Nerd Fitness explains.