We’re used to ‘Paleo’ Pete Evans coming up with some unusual dietary health advice. After all, he’s the guy that’s advised against wearing sunscreen, reckons autism can be cured by a paleo diet and that bone broth is good for babies – all of which quickly earned him slap-downs from doctors.
But the celebrity chef is irrepressible, as his latest claims show. In a recent Facebook post, Evans said that he had introduced a fasting section into his 10-week health program called The Paleo Way, and claimed that he “intermittent fast[ed] pretty much every single day”.
He went on to claim that the commonly-accepted habit of eating three meals a day and snacking in between was invented by the food industry to keep the population in thrall to carbohydrates.
“The whole notion of 3 small meals throughout the day and snacking in between (recommendation of the Dietitians Association of Australia) is not based on evolutionary science but created to help the multinational food industry stay in business by keeping the population craving carbs and not being able to maintain a healthy weight or to stay healthy,” he wrote.
“These days I generally eat two good meals a day and sometimes just one depending on how I feel (I eat when I am hungry). ”
Doing so helped stop “hunger cravings for food,” the chef added, and could play a part in preventing Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
But he warns, “Note that fasting is not recommended for babies, children, teenagers, elderly people, pregnant or breast feeding women, type 1 diabetics or those with hypoglycaemia”.
The DAA, unsurprisingly, disagreed with Evans’ views, telling The Daily Telegraph that Evans’ three-meals-a-day conspiracy theory was nonsense, while other dietary experts said it was the size of meals that mattered, not the frequency, because one meal could still contain far more than the recommended number of calories. And skipping meals could be dangerous for some people, such as those that had diabetes, they said.
The Australia Medical Association has previously slammed Evans for his claims that a paleo diet – eating based on what cavemen had available to eat – could treat diabetes, cancer and autism. He reportedly makes the claims in a documentary called The Magic Pill, which Evans is screening in cinemas around Australia.
AMA president Michael Gannon told The Courier Mail that elements of the film were “just plain hurtful, harmful and mean”.