U.S. News Ranks the Diets

      93 Comments on U.S. News Ranks the Diets

It’s January, which means millions of people are either already on a weight-loss diet or considering one.  If you watch TV this time of year, you can’t help but see ads for Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Weight Watchers and all the other usual suspects.  So many options out there … which one should people choose?

Well, let’s suppose you were offered these choices:


That brew in the glass contains 18 grams of sugar, by the way.

So which meal should you choose?  Why, the glass of Slim-Fast, of course.  (How many of you guessed it from the list of ingredients?)

I know the Slim-Fast is a better option because a group of (ahem) experts says so.  Here are some quotes from an article on the NPR site, and from an article in U.S. News:

Despite the buzz about paleo and raw food diets, a new ranking of the 35 top diets puts these two near the bottom of the list.


I’m guessing it’s because the list was created by a bunch of nutritionists who still believe the same old anti-fat, anti-salt, hearthealthywholegrains nonsense they’ve been preaching for years.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on evaluations by a panel of doctors, nutritionists and other health experts. For each diet, the experts evaluated short-term and long-term weight loss, ease of adherence, and how the advice stacked up against current dietary guidelines.

… and how the advice stacked up against current dietary guidelines.  In other words, the diets may as well have been ranked by the guiding lights at the USDA.

One expert concluded that “a true paleo diet might be a great option: very lean, pure meats, lots of wild plants.” But the problem, according to the report, is that it’s too difficult to follow in modern times.

Well, yes, if you tried to go out and track down a Megaloceros giganteus, you’d be sorely disappointed.  But the paleo diet is about eating nutrient-dense whole foods and avoiding Neolithic foods, not recreating the exact diets of our caveman ancestors.

The experts say that in avoiding dairy, grains and other mainstays of the modern diet, paleo followers may miss out on key nutrients.

Yeah, that’s why Custer kicked ass at Little Big Horn.  The Sioux and Cheyenne were perpetually weak and sick from a lack of dairy, grains, and other mainstays of the modern diet.

The paleo diet, by the way, was ranked 35th out of 35 – you know, because it lacks those mainstays of the modern diet.  The Slim-Fast diet – which requires consuming shakes that contain all those ingredients I listed above, including hydrogenated soybean oil –was ranked 13th.

Meanwhile, a  vegetarian diet was ranked 11th … because while we shouldn’t give up grains and other mainstays of the modern diet, giving up a mainstay of the modern diet is fine and dandy if the mainstay is meat.  And while the paleo diet was ranked last largely because it’s “too difficult to follow in modern times,” apparently switching to a vegetarian diet isn’t difficult at all.

Here’s what the U.S. News article said about the vegetarian diet:

As a health diet, vegetarianism is solid. It’s decent at producing rapid weight loss, according to experts, and is strong in other areas, such as heart health and nutritional completeness, that arguably are more important.

But if you take a vegetarian diet and remove the grains while adding meat, it’s no longer nutritionally complete, according to the (ahem) experts.

As for heart health, well geez, that must explain why vegetarians don’t die of heart disease.  No, wait … I seem to recall that they do.  As I recounted in a previous post, Bill Clinton’s own vegan-promoting doctor warned him against eating bread:

When Caldwell Esselstyn spotted a picture of him on the Internet, eating a dinner roll at a banquet, the renowned doctor dispatched a sharply worded email message: “I’ll remind you one more time, I’ve treated a lot of vegans for heart disease.”

And in another post, I quoted from a study titled Mortality Among British Vegetarians:

The mortality of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study is low compared with national rates. Within the study, mortality from circulatory diseases and all causes is not significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters.

Hmmm, kind of makes you wonder if these diet rankings are a bunch of poppycock.

The U.S. News article included a link to the panel of experts who ranked the diets.  I’ve never heard of most of them, but I have heard of Dr. David Katz.  He created something called the NuVal system, which is supposed to help shoppers choose healthier foods at the grocery store.  Foods are ranked from 100 (excellent) to zero (might just kill you.)  I wrote about NuVal in a previous post.  Here are how some foods rank on Dr. Katz’s NuVal scale:

Post Shredded Wheat ‘N Bran – 91
Silk Soymilk Light – 82
Silk Soy Milk Chocolate – 68
Chicken Breast (boneless) – 39
Turkey Breast – 31
Ham – 27
Coconuts (husked) – 24

So according to Dr. Katz, a big bowl of wheat is an excellent choice.  A cup of chocolate soy milk containing 17 grams of sugar is a good choice.  But a chicken breast, a turkey breast, a slice of ham or a coconut is a bad choice.  No wonder he thinks Slim-Fast is better for you than a paleo diet.

The #1 ranked diet was the DASH diet.  Here’s what U.S. News has to say about it:

DASH was developed to fight high blood pressure, not as an all-purpose diet. But it certainly looked like an all-star to our panel of experts, who gave it high marks for its nutritional completeness, safety, ability to prevent or control diabetes, and role in supporting heart health.

The theory: Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure. You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasize the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voilà!

But if you take way the whole grains and low-fat dairy and add in some red meat, it’s now a paleo diet and the ranking drops from first to last — 22 spots lower than the Slim-Fast diet.  Yeah, that makes perfect sense.  And the extremely low level of salt allowed on the DASH diet is not only unnecessary for most people, it might actually be bad for your health, according to a study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

So here’s what we’ve got with the U.S. News diet rankings:  the same group of idiots who’ve been pushing low-fat, low-salt, low-meat diets for decades were asked to rank diets and – surprise! – they chose the low-fat, low-salt, low-meat diets as the best … which means ordinary folks looking for advice to help them fulfill that New Year’s resolution to lose weight will read that a diet of meats and vegetables isn’t good for them.  Nope, a decent diet is based on meal-replacement shakes that include FAT FREE MILK, WATER, SUGAR, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), CANOLA OIL, MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, FRUCTOSE, GUM ARABIC, CELLULOSE GEL, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MALTODEXTRIN, SOY LECITHIN, CELLULOSE GUM, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SUCRALOSE AND ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (NONNUTRITIVE SWEETENERS), SODIUM CITRATE, CITRIC ACID.

Head. Bang. On. Desk.

And that’s why the same people will be making the same weight-loss resolution next year.  And the year after that.  And the year after that.


93 thoughts on “U.S. News Ranks the Diets

  1. Justin McCullough

    “And the year after that.”… well, until they either develop heart disease or change gears. I recently read that a Mr. Bob Harper of the Biggest Loser tv show switched to paleo and recommends it. My wife watches the show and so I asked her if Bob touts this. Apparently he has been relegated to a studio off the main campus, gives the people that get booted off a second chance, and doesn’t have any sound bytes about diet. Meanwhile, all the others show the group how to eat hearthealthywholegrains by Kraft ™ and such like that. Do you have any web links on measuring subliminal hypnosis, because I can’t figure out why the show is so popular.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I doubt we’ll ever have a network TV show where people lose weight by eating whole foods that can’t be brand-identified.

  2. Garry Lee

    Well, exactly.

    You all these professory types giving you advice and then you have a comedian and Bob Briggs giving you the other. And, the irony is that the comedian and Bob Briggs are spot on. It just goes to show one thing…
    Take an initial wrong step (after Ancel Keys) and it can take you anywhere, except somewhere correct..

    My new year’r resolution was to stay on my current track which has me on exactly the regime I started Last New Year’s day. This was LCHF diet. I lost all my excess weight in 5 months and have been exactly my correct weight since. I actually lost a pound, uninentionally over Christmas, so maybe I should heed the warnings of all those “experts”.

    Tom, you don’t post enough!
    Happy New Year.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      It’s been years now since I’ve woken up on New Year’s and felt the need to make a big weight-loss resolution. Usually my resolution is to tweak a bit around the edges to see what happens.

  3. Tammy

    Tom it’s funny you bring up Slimfast specifically. The other day when I read this article, Slimfast was the one diet that I picked out that is listed way above paleo, or any of the low carb for that matter which is completely absurd. The other thing I wondered was, other than grains how is paleo different than Mediterranean? And that was ranked really high!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s what’s so strange and arbitrary about their rankings. Paleo is actually pretty close to some of the highly-ranked diets — a helluva lot closer in nutrient values than some godawful Slim-Fast shakes. But these goofy panelists see “red meat” and think “heart disease, cancer, heart disease cancer.”

  4. Sue from Australia

    Well, Tom, it looks like all we have to do is turn this list upside down and look at the bottom five on the list.
    We can make our choices from there, can’t we?
    If we follow lchf, Paleo, Banting etc. the people who make millions from crappy processed food,will be suitably rewarded with falling returns. There are some signs that this is already happening.Two years ago,you could only buy one or two brands of gluten free bread. Now there are at least eight in our major supermarkets in Australia.
    They do taste better than the original brands, but I still can’t eat them.
    They give me indigestion like nothing else in my mainly Lchf/Paleo diet.
    Glad to have you back! I missed you,too.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, these goofs can make all the eat-your-grains recommendations they want, but fewer and fewer people seem to be listening to them.

      1. eddie watts

        which just means, as always, they’ll say it louder and for longer!

        the upsurge in gluten free options makes me happy.
        I don’t eat them myself but it is a good sign overall I suppose

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I consider it a very good sign. It means more people are avoiding cereal grains, despite the official advice.

  5. Bruce

    The problem with the Slimfast diet for children is, they don’t get enough servings of fruit. That’s why you should always include a heart healthy Sunny D with their meals.


    1. Firebird

      It reminds me of Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks that we use to drink as a kid. I’d be hungry 1/2 hour later. No way a kid or adult could have that for breakfast and be satiated.

  6. Be

    When I saw it ranked at the bottom for preventing Diabetes, I stopped reading. I know too many people having too much success controlling their own health issue through diet. And actually, their diets are even more restrictive than a Paleo diet – more like Whole 30 all the time. N=1? Sure, but seems to be more 1s on the no grains side of the ledger everywhere we look. Great rebuttal.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      And I think as more people give up grains, we’ll see more “you need grains to be healthy!” articles in the mainstream press.

    2. Piper

      My last two pregnancies, I had gestational diabetes. I had to take their education classes on how to manage it with diet–both times I was praised for already being very low carb because the goal in pregnancy is to avoid insulin and I was able to control with just diet most of my pregnancies. However, my dad developed T2 and they pushed hearthealthywholegrains and he had to use insulin and blood pressure meds. He went low carb, lost weight, lost the insulin, lost the bp meds……and they are pushing him to go back to his hearthealthywholegrains *sigh* I’m just surprised (well, not really) that the advice is so polar opposite between gestational and T2 when the goal is the same…

  7. Justin

    I was watching the new VH1 show “Hindsight” last night, about a woman who time-travels back to the 90s. In the show, after she goes back to the 90s, her mom had a seemingly-shoe-horned-in line, something like “If you give her even one pretzel, I’ll kill you. You know we’ve been watching our salt and saturated fat for 6 months now!”. It was so oddly placed and specific, and surrounded by references that show how silly and outdated things from the 90s are, that I couldn’t help but wonder if it was one of the writers commenting on how silly and outdated that should seem.

  8. Scott

    Thanks for speaking to this article, Tom. I saw the headline on Yahoo and started to chuckle. I knew even before reading it where the LCHF/Paleo diet would be ranked. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, the “experts” will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, away from their low-fat, hearthealthywholegrains dogma.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I don’t believe we’ll have to drag them anywhere. More and more people are just leaving them behind.

  9. Ulfric Douglas

    There’s a new push on British telly to stop eating the evil suger.
    The problem is … without sugar … and if fat and salt is already forbidden … it doesn’t leave much food left to actually eat. They are wheeling out fruit (ahem …sugar mostly), veggies (fine) and … low-fat yoghurt 🙁

      1. Elenor

        Wasn’t there, for a short while, a whole lot of (mostly paleo?) flag waving about “deliciousness of food being the/a cause of obesity? That is- if only you made your diet … you know … tasteless, then you’d lose weight? Big long vitrioloic online and in seminars (ahem… AHS…) arguments about whether ‘how good something tastes’ was or was not what they meant by… “tastes good causing weight gain”?

        Kinda-sorta disappeared completely, didn’t it?

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Well, I believe Stephen Guyenet still promotes that idea. It’s not exactly taking the world by storm, however.

  10. Craig Rich

    Love the post. You stated exactly what I thought, just more eloquently and better argued. For some reason the media is bent on making Paleo into some sort of diet that will kill you, but a vegan diet or a diet rich in sugar is ok. I’m just glad that most posts I see online also point out that these diets are terrible and low-carb and paleo are superior. The wisdom of crowds is getting out there and drowning the noise of the “experts”. There is hope. I still thank you again for “Fat-Head” because before I saw that, I would be agreeing with the “experts”. You started me on a good path and I’ve learned so much, and I know lots of other people are grateful for you and people like you. The word is getting out.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Most media health (ahem) experts have been told for years that meat is bad for your health. So to them, that automatically makes paleo a bad diet.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Keep on being a moron obsessed with Jimmy, Charles. It’s working out way better for you than having a clue or a life.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Based on his comments, I’m pretty sure Charles has been a life-long moron, statins or no statins.

  11. Kim

    “Slim-Fast is a sustainable diet, according to experts, and there’s a decent chance dieters will maintain significant weight loss for two years or more. The popular meal-replacement program pulled in more than 3 out of 5 possible stars, outperforming a large majority of other diets.”

    Yeah, a “sustainable” diet consisting of 2 meal replacement shakes or bars and a regular meal.

    Easy, and maybe will take off weight during the short term, but your health won’t get much of a boost. This is all about convenience and fast results. That’s really all they care about.

    “Slim-Fast conforms relatively well to government nutritional recommendations, and experts gave it middle-of-the-road reviews on how nutritionally sound it is. The company’s products are packed with various nutrients, but dieters only get a low 1,200 calories a day.”

    “Packed with nutrients”…”nutritionally sound”…(snort!)


    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The fact that Slim-Fast conforms relatively well to government recommendations tells you all you need to know about government recommendations.

  12. Opus313

    The concept of “diet” as a tool for weight loss is outmoded. You have to have an approach that you can do permanently. Longterm weight control should be the goal and actually will result in the type of weight loss that can be maintained. Over the past five years I have lost 30 lbs by making it a permanent goal to eat right (probably Mediterranean would be closest to what I do), exercise regularly (daily for me), track my daily calorie count (I use a free app called Myfitnessplan.com) and try to skew my calories in/calories out balance in the right direction. If I gain a 2-3 lbs. as I did over the holiday, I am more disciplined for a couple of week until I lose the gained weight. I don’t obsess over every single calorie, but I also use my food diary to make sure I don’t go too far in the other direction. I still lose 1-3 lbs a month if I pay attention and I don’t drive myself crazy. Slimfast etc., I think encourages the yoyo effect and makes things worse for many people. My 2 cents.

  13. Gina V.

    Are you telling me that Slim Fasr isn’t healthy? Next, you’re going to tell me that the deposed Prince of Nigeria doesn’t need my help getting his funds out of the country!

    Seriously, the original article reminds me of the Brawndo scene in “Idiocacy!”


    Thanks Tom for fighting the good fight! Hopefully, the wisdom of the crowds will prevail!

  14. Don in Arkansas

    I don’t care what the rankings are. When I eat Paleo/Primal/HFLC I feel good. When I don’t, I don’t feel good. And, at the end of the day if one ‘diet’ is going to kill me, I’d rather go out with a mouthful of medium rare ribeye topped with butter than gag on a big chunk of shredded wheat.

  15. Arturo

    I see shades of the intro to the movie Fed Up (2014), a distinctly anti-sugar [aka, table sugar] documentary, whereby it tells the viewer that popular fad diets may actually be harming us more than helping us (okay, not altogether untrue, especially with Slim Fast). And yet they prominently list Atkins and the Paleo diet as examples of these harmful diets, and yet never explain what these diets are, why they’re ineffective, and why they’re not relevant to this movie given they also call for the elimination or reduction of [table] sugar.

    Instead, it proposes……….. something………… as a solution to their ethereal portrayal of obesity, and this……….. something……….. only appears to help out just one of the four or five children paraded around throughout the film.

    Although it touches on some good points, the mixed messages and dishonesty left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended); and this report is pretty much in the same vein, just the latest in a string of attempts to discredit real and viable solutions (and with no comments section of its own).

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I kind of figured that’s how Fed Up would play out. That’s why I haven’t bothered to watch it yet.

      1. Angie

        I wanted to throw the remote at my TV at the end of that movie. It builds up a case for…who knows what? Anti-sugar, yes, but it gives no real advice for anything else. Waste of 90 minutes.

          1. Gina V.

            Actually, it’s not bad. Where Dr. Listing and I part ways is in the government’s involvement. He feels the government should be MORE involved in sugar consumption, or the lack thereof. Evidently, we mere mortals are too lazy or stupid to arrive at that conclusion ourselves. After all, the government is all knowing and knows best…..

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              That’s where I part ways with him as well. As soon as you pass a new law, you turn some people into criminals. I don’t believe people who sell you a 42-ounce Big Gulp that you want to buy should prosecuted.

            2. Gina V.

              Sorry that should be Dr. Lustig. I’m not sure if it is in “Fed Up” or another video of his, but he compares sugar consumption to handguns. Government needs to address both. Yeah…..

              By the way, Dr. Katz, who weighs in on the original article, appears in “Carb Loaded.” If he wore a short dress and fishnets and peddled his wares on a busy street, we would have no problem seeing him for what he is. However, because he has a MD behind his name, we forget that doctors can be bought too.

            3. Tom Naughton Post author

              I believe government regulation would be equally successful in both cases. Which is to day, spectacularly unsuccessful.

      2. Justin

        I agreed with this sentiment after I initially watched it, however, then I saw what happened with Kevin Smith. It seems that what happened with me about an hour into Fat Head, that light bulb moment, happened with him during Fed Up. I guess that while a reminder of how science works was clicked for me, for some people, its graphics and stern-toned experts saying stuff.

  16. Angie

    Argh, I just got that article shoved at me by an online friend who’s begging me to quit LCHF before I have a heart attack. When I told her she’ll probably have one before me because of how worked up she’s getting…well, let’s just say it’s been much quieter today. 😉

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s the unfortunate part of having a population that’s largely scientifically illiterate. People see an article like this and think it’s scientific gospel.

      1. Angie

        I’ve come to seriously hate the phrase, “But my doctor says…”

        Yeah, and your doctor also has you on 15 different drugs, some of which are only prescribed to deal with the side effects from the others. *sigh*

  17. Nick S

    I struggle when I see stuff like this, because I generally want to believe that people who dedicate their careers to the study of a given subject should be treated as experts and considered authoritative, but in the case of nutrition science, it seems like nutritionists simply haven’t read the damn science! I know there’s a natural lag in updating the teachings of any field, but can it really be forty-five years?

    What are informed lay-people like me missing? Why do the ‘experts’ seem to contradict all of the available evidence? It seems impossible that ethical people would persist in propagating wrong beliefs when actual, literal lives are at stake, and yet there’s no other conclusion I can draw.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)” is quite enlightening on that subject — not nutrition science specifically, but why scientists and other “experts” rarely change their minds once they’ve taken a public position.

    2. Elenor

      Oh, and read Nina Teichioltz’s “The Big Fat Surprise”; it is SO worth the time! It’s half action-adventure story (no, really!) and half filling-in the informational (historical) gaps of Taubes (and our beloved hero, Naughton!). If you want to know WHY (and who) created this disaster — her book is amazing!

      Watch the “experts” buy into the Mediterranean Diet because they want to keep being sent to conferences IN the Med! (And lots of them bought property there!) See the Med-based olive growers (create a commercial consortium to) support (and pay for) folks to come to the Med and “decide” to believe that olive oil is THE answer. Discover to your horror that Ansel Keyes — with his “research” into healthy diets by studying “lots of folks” in the Med — ended up with just THIRTY-THREE food logs he could use (well, mis-use!) to “formulate” his claims that “men on Crete don’t eat much meat.” Find out that this was because he “tracked” them DURING LENT when, yup, you got it: they weren’t eating meat for religious reasons (and they were wistfully complaining about the lack of meat). But yes-indeedy, old Ansel used THAT (non-science) to recommend cutting out meat! (If you’re a parent? See how the (bad) advice directed at adult men was immediately directed at women and CHILDREN!) And, just one more: See what the food processors are doing today because so many people won’t buy trans-fat-laden “foods” (and won’t return to buying saturated-fat-laden products) — it made me actually throw out a half-full (Costco-sized) box of Cheezits! (Apologies to my local raccoons for putting out that poison.) (Yeah, the Cheezits were a cheat, but now, having read Teicholtz, I may still crave Cheezits — but I will not EVER touch them again! {shudder} Built-in disgust reaction (perfect motivation!) to what they’re doing to make them!)

      I thought, when Teicholz’s book came out that I “didn’t need” to read it. (I’ve read everyone else’s!) In his blog-review of Teicholtz’s book, Mike Eades answered Dana Carpenter’s similar comment, that HE had learned some stuff he didn’t know in Nina’s book, so, yes, by all means — those of us who’ve “read everything” need to read her book too!’ (Geez, I should post this to Amazon as a review for her… {wink})

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        She went way deeper into the sordid history of anti-fat hysteria than Taubes did. (If Taubes had covered the history to that extent along with everything else he covered in Good Calories, Bad Calories, the book would have exceed a thousand pages.) Very much worth the read.

  18. Jacq

    In Australia we have a new programme on TV. “The Paleo Way” with chef Peter Evans.
    Its on mainstream Tv and has proved very popular, maybe it’s the beginning…..
    It’s certainly been creating a stir!

      1. Nads

        Well, it’s on midday Sunday, so don’t get too excited. But Pete Evans sure is stirring some pots in the nutrition world. Dieticians hate him because he is so popular!

  19. Chris in Oregon

    I listen to people talk about low-fat, dash diet, etc. I try to talk about the low-carb, Paleo diet, and I get these looks like I’m promoting eating babies or something. What is wrong with these people?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      They’re still convinced meat, butter and eggs cause heart disease. Most of the media haven’t caught up to the recent science yet.

  20. Remy Scott

    I should be a scientist. Want to read my study on “Mortality Among British Vegetarians”?

    Conclusion: Still 100%, as it is with EVERYONE.

    I know it’s a 140 character world, but is “rate” such a frivolous word that they can’t include it in the title of their study?

  21. Sandi Percell

    In the book ‘Black Elk Speaks,’ Black Elk, who by the way was at the battle of Little Bighorn, describes in several passages what he ate as a young man. Raw liver and fat feature prominantly. Prairie turnip was eaten fresh seasonally and then dried and stored for winter. At one point when he and another man had slaughtered the fattest cow buffalo from a herd, they had to flee suddenly. Did they quickly carve out lean meat to take with them? A nice London broil perhaps? No. They took as much fat as they could carry.
    In another passage, as a boy he and his family went to visit relatives who had decided to stay permanently camped near one of the white forts. The purpose of the visit was to feast on the white man’s food, which Black Elk had never tasted before. They dined on bread and coffee with sugar in it. Black Elk describes being sick all night after having eaten the white man’s food.
    Here is an online version that you can keyword search for liver, fat, turnip, dried meat…

  22. Randal L. Schwartz

    Have you caught “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead 2” on Netflix yet? Obviously the sequel to Joe Cross and his wonderful health and weight turnaround by juicing the heck out of everything. Turns out that Joe Cross goes in for a carotid artery scan, and has some serious amounts of plaque. Surprised? I wasn’t. 🙂 Joe blames it on “genetic predisposition”. He also blames his weight gains entirely on stress in his life. Sad. Very sad.

  23. Michele

    Tom or anyone else on here – can you direct me to some studies? I know they are mentioned here from time to time. I work at a sports chiropractor’s office, and my boss is trying to convince me that all of the reputable studies show that a plant based diet is healthier than a meat based diet. I disagree but I need hard facts to back it up! Also, he is using the documentary Forks over Knives to support his position.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Studies, yes. Reputable, no. The best the vegan zealots can come up with are some cherry-picked observational studies. I wrote about one of those here:


      As for clinical studies — the kind that matter — this post contains a video of a lecture by a researcher who compared the effects of four diets over two years. Notice that the Atkins diet produced the best changes in health parameters:


      Here’s Denise Minger’s critique of “Forks Over Knives” — a film she actually liked for its emphasis on unprocessed foods, but criticizes for the sketchy science employed to claim meat is bad for us:


      I wrote this nearly five years so I could just send our vegetarians trolls to this post instead of answering the same nonsense arguments over and over:


      If you need a convenient site where you can look up hundreds of studies by topic, this is a great one:


  24. tony

    “Well, yes, if you tried to go out and track down a Megaloceros giganteus, you’d be sorely disappointed”

    You are too much Tom. You really crack me up. I’m gonna borrow your line except I’ll substitute Megaloceros giganteus with woolly mammoth or woolly bully. My detractors are not that sophisticated. Probably too many carbs and meds have impaired their brain among other things.

    Keep sending them!

  25. Gerard150

    Don’t know whether you have seen it or not (I havn’t and I follow these things), here is a good (and short) discussion between Dr. Eades and Bill Oreilly

  26. Michael Cohen

    I put it this way to a friend who asked me about the diet rating article ; Suppose you took a roomfull each of Christians, Jews and Moslems and gave them a survey asking them which religion was best. What kind of answers would you expect from each group?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup, the anti-fat hysterics are pretty much like religious zealots at this point. Logic and evidence have nothing to do with it anymore.

  27. lemoutongris

    I remember seeing my brother drinking one of these shakes. SInce it was in Canada, there was sugar instead of corn syrup, but there was still at least 20g of carb per scoop. Yummy… NOT

  28. Michael Steadman

    I love how U.S. News writes that Paleo is hard to maintain; really, eating butter, eggs, meat, poultry and vegetables is harder to maintain than eating fake food like the worthless shakes, counting calories and letting blood sugar yo-yo all day long every day? Plus, paleo is flexible and nowhere near as dogmatic as the other higher ranked diets in the list.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, that was a dumb excuse to give it a low rating. Do they really think it’s easier to eat vegetarian than paleo?

  29. Margaret

    I read this post back when it was published and since then have thought about it a lot, because even though I’ve been primal for the last 3-1/2 years, this month I decided to cut out all dairy, even butter, to see if I have any kind of dairy sensitivity. Turns out I don’t – no difference in the way I felt during the elimination nor after I reintroduced cheese and cream. But here’s the thing, I actually went PALEO for a period of time, and it was excruciating to me. Being able to put butter on my veggies and have cheese as a snack makes eating low carb so much easier! So was putting cream in my coffee (versus homemade almond milk or eh..coconut milk). So in a way, I can see what they mean when they say Paleo is hard to follow, however, I imagine vegan would be hard to follow and raw vegan the hardest of all. I image US News’s dietitians don’t really know what Paleo is. They may think it’s eating only wild caught game and wild gathered nuts and berries and such.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, that’s what was silly about it. Their criteria seemed to change depending on whether they personally liked the diet or not. You can’t tell me being a vegetarian or especially a vegan is easier than going paleo.

      I tried cutting out dairy awhile back to see if it made any difference in my weight or how I felt. It didn’t.

  30. LizinOregon

    A late comment from marathon session of catching up with blogs. Anyway, I heard or read recently the Bill Clinton has switched to Paleo – maybe in the NYT. If true, one really has to wonder why.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If so, I wouldn’t be surprised. Most people who try vegan or vegetarian diets eventually quit.


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