North Carolina Tries to Silence Blogger For Promoting Primal / Paleo Lifestyle

This one comes from John Durant of Hunter-Gatherer.com, one of my favorite blogs. Apparently the state of North Carolina not only wants to ban gay marriage, but they also want to ban paleo bloggers.

Ain’t freedom grand?

For those of you who don’t know, the paleo / primal lifestyle is simple and it’s gaining traction. The basic principles involve living as close to our hunter-gatherer ancestors as possible. You do this by getting sun, exercising, and eating foods that are natural as opposed to processed foods. This includes food like meat, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs, tubers, etc. A primal / paleo diet also stresses eating organic, grass fed meat as opposed to stuff from factory farms. Finally, people who follow a paleo / primal diet do not eat sugars, grains, or food made from chemicals.

Put simply, if you can’t kill it or gather it, it ain’t food. The theory is our bodies evolved in a hunter / gatherer diet, so that is what is optimal. Grains are relatively new, evolutionarily, and now we’re being inundated with stuff like high fructose corn syrup and “foods” that are more just chemicals.

I don’t think any of the paleo diet is too earth shattering. Some have criticized the paleo / primal lifestyle because it’s higher in saturated fats than other diets. Of course, we live in a country where we’ve been told that saturated fat is the root of all evil, though new research suggests that might not be the case. I highly suggest you watch the movie “Fathead” by Tom Naughton or his “Big Fat Fiasco” presentation. There are many people out there who believe that a low carb, higher fat lifestyle is much healthier than one based on grains and sugars.

This brings us to Steve Cooksey, who writes the blog Diabetes Warrior. In 2009, Steve was hospitalized with Type II Diabetes. According to Steve:

I was an obese, sedentary, recently diagnosed diabetic when I began this journey. I was on diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension drugs as well as taking 4 insulin shots per day.

The diet, he said, made him drug- and insulin-free within 30 days. By May of that year, he had lost 45 pounds and decided to start a blog about his success.”

Rather than follow conventional wisdom, and eat “healthy whole grains, low fat, high carbhydrates, Steve adopted a paleo lifestyle and claims he reversed his Type II diabetes. And Steve looks pretty awesome since adopting the paleo lifestyle:

A couple of years ago I tried the paleo diet myself and had fantastic results. I got turned onto this lifestyle by my high school buddy, Tom Legath, who runs the blog Live Healthier. Before the paleo lifestyle, I was following a vegan diet, which was good for keeping weight off but I felt like crap and craved meat all the time. (After getting good results with Paleo, I fell off the wagon last year and it’s kind of sucked. But that’s besides the point. I’ll blog more about that at some point. I’ve just started back up on the paleo lifestyle and I already feel better.) My father was diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which I would also get in the winter. Every winter I would just feel lethargic and kind of depressed. Tom explained that I could avoid the affects of SAD simply by taking adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Boy, was Tom right! I take a few supplements (zinc, magnesium, Vitamin D, and a multi-vitamin) and it makes a huge difference in overall well-being.

Thankfully, there are blogs out there like Mark’s Daily Apple, Hunter-Gatherer, Tim Ferriss, and Robb Wolf who don’t simply accept traditional forms of diets as gospel. Maybe it will work for you, maybe it won’t. It works very well for me. And I appreciate these blogs because they suggest stuff that’s a little different.

Sadly, the State of North Carolina’s diatetics and nutrition board decided Cooksey’s blog — Diabetes-Warrior.net — violates state law. According to the Carolina Journal Online, the nutritional advice Cooksey provides on the site amounts to “practicing nutrition,” the board’s director says, and in North Carolina that’s something you need a license to do. Steve could face up to 120 days in jail.

Here is the report by the dietetics and nutrition board.

It’s one thing to believe a paleo diet is strange, dangerous, or irresponsible. It’s another thing to try and silence bloggers sharing their experiences with it. Under North Carolina law, maybe we should also shut down Brian Tannebaum’s blog? (I bet the social media marketers would love this).

What if the mainstream media and convention wisdom are in fact wrong? Shouldn’t people get to listen to a wide variety of perspectives and choose what works for them?

Isn’t that the point of, oh you know… the First Amendment? So that ideas, even ones that go against the grain, can be evaluated…?

The good news is that Institute for Justice has filed suit against North Carolina, alleging this law is unconstitutional. According to the Institute for Justice:

[T]he First Amendment does not allow the government to ban people from sharing ordinary advice about diet, or scrub the Internet—from blogs to Facebook to Twitter—of speech the government does not like. North Carolina can no more force Steve to become a licensed dietitian than it could require Dear Abby to become a licensed psychologist.

Here is a video describing the situation:

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