“Food is medicine” is one of chef “Paleo Pete” Evans’ favourite catchphrases, but does he really think he knows more than the doctors?
Once again the TV cook has caused a storm of controversy after claiming that “calcium from dairy can remove the calcium from your bones.”
Throwing decades of medical scientific research into the wind The My Kitchen Rules judge was doing a Facebook Q&A with his followers at the weekend when he told a woman with osteoporosis to remove dairy from her diet, suggesting it could be doing more harm than good.
“I would strongly suggest removing dairy and eating the Paleo way as calcium from dairy can remove the calcium from your bones,” Pete advised the woman.
The woman sensibly said she might need more proof and responded: “I’m obviously going to need to read some more about this.”
Which is when the Paleo guru seemed to boast that he knew more than medical experts and wrote: “Read my comments below on calcium – most doctors do not know this information.”
Pete added: “I haven’t given my kids dairy for over five years and they are thriving.”
Many came out to slam the chef – including one doctor who sought to remind Pete that is a chef – and not a health expert.
Dr Brad Robinson, who has been practising medicine for over a decade, took to Facebook to call Pete out on his bizarre claims.
“Dear Pete Evans, I presume you have forgotten (silly you!) so please allow me to remind you.
"You are a chef, NOT a doctor. Further, you are not someone who magically knows things that the sum total of generations of medical research has determined. You do not have access to information that we uneducated doctors do not.
Your astounding advice about osteoporosis would be amusing if it wasn't so potentially damaging to anyone at risk who actually believed you. Even worse, your advice to the user of an anti-cholesterol medication to cease its use is - through an increased risk of stroke and heart attack if your advice were followed - potentially deadly.
Can we make a deal? You don't give medical advice and I won't tell you how to best shuck oysters. Agreed? Regards, Dr Brad.”
His comments also drew comment from the medical director of Osteoporosis Australia, Professor Peter Ebeling, who told the Daily Telegraph: “He shouldn’t be saying these things. It’s really bad and just not true.
“The keystone to preventing osteoporosis is adequate calcium intake and this is achieved by three (daily) serves of calcium-rich foods like dairy. Dairy is the most easily available source and has the highest calcium content in it.”
While Pete is copping a lot of flak for his latest opinions the Paleo evangelical is still getting loads of support from his fans.
Pete told one Facebook fan that “no attention” would be given to the haters, but did seemingly try to defend his earlier advice with another post on Monday morning.
The cook tried to hold is position with a lengthy post about dairy being bad for human consumption based on the findings of Nora Gedgaudas. Pete called Gedgaudas a “nutritional expert” but she has the sum total of zero Phd degrees, Masters degrees, Graduate diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, but is qualified as a “holistic nutritional consultant.”
Nora is also the co-author of Pete’s book, Going Paleo.
Last year when The Weekly published its yearlong investigation into Pete Evans and his claims behind the Paleo diet, we consulted with experts – with actual qualifications – who were not entirely convinced of the celebrity chef’s statements about Paleo and it's links to healing medical ailments.
Dr Rosemary Stanton’s view is that some of the claims about the Paleo diet could be dangerous.
“If people think they can just follow Paleo and they don’t need treatment for medical conditions, there could be serious consequences,” said Dr Stanton.
Dietician Susie Burrell also told The Weekly that she was particularly sceptical about paleo claims when it came to children's nutrition.
Specifically with kids, who are burning a lot of energy, wholegrains are important because they are a great source of fibre, essential acids and B vitamins,” she says. “Dairy, of course, is important for bone development.”
Nutrition Australia advises children have between 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 serves of dairy a day based on their age group.
Susie told The Weekly: “Every dietary recommendation out there is there for a reason.”
“It’s not there because someone thought it was a good idea. It’s based on hundreds of years of evidence.”
The Weekly has reached out to Pete Evans for comment.