Are you following a Paleo diet? Have you noticed that it might not be fixing the health problems that first led you to start following this dietary doctrine in the first place? Have new health complaints arisen since you went Paleo? Have you wondered how your Paleo diet might actually be contributing to your health concerns? Maybe you have a friend or a family member that has gone Paleo, and could really use this info.
What you are about to learn are the scientifically proven pitfalls of the Paleo diet, and it might surprise you. Make sure to read this important article so that you can learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones before it is too late.
Let’s face it; most health professionals are caught up in something we refer to as the “macronutrient wars.” They fight about whether a low-carbohydrate diet is better than a low-fat one, whether you should follow a vegan or Paleo diet, or whether or not calories matter. And sometimes they even fight about choosing the foods you eat based on your blood type.
It is a sea of confusion that is easy to get lost in, leaving you both confused and frustrated. It’s a war that I (Jayson) know all too well, and it’s one that I was actively caught up in when I first met Mira. But, as we stated in all of our books, (Naked Calories, Rich Food, Poor Food, and The Micronutrient Miracle) what we have come to learn is that the diet you choose, the number of calories you eat, and whether you have type O or type B blood really are NOT the most important factors in determining your health. In fact, we always say that putting your dietary philosophy before micronutrient sufficiency is like putting the proverbial cart before the horse.
Nutritional science is often confusing, but we can be sure about one thing – deficiencies in specific micronutrients lead to specific health conditions and diseases. Take osteoporosis, for example; it comes from being deficient in a very specific list of vitamins and minerals that everyone must have to build and maintain strong bones. So, if an individual was following a Paleo diet and was deficient in the bone-builders calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K, that person would be at risk for developing osteoporosis. Similarly, if a completely different individual adhered to a vegan diet and was deficient in the same bone-building micronutrients, that person would also be opening the door to osteoporosis. Dietary philosophy is completely irrelevant. AND THE SAD TRUTH IS THAT NO DIET MEETS SUFFICIENCY, WHICH LEAVES THE DOOR OPEN TO NUMEROUS UNWANTED HELATH CONDITIONS AND DISEASES.
THE PREVALENCE OF MICORNUTRIENT DEFICIENCY IN POPULAR DIET PLANS
Does it surprise you know that no diet meets micronutrient sufficiency? Well, you can imagine how surprised we were when we tested 4 of the most popular diets in the world, designed by health professionals and trusted by millions to make them healthy and discovered just how deficient in the essential vitamins and minerals they left their followers. In fact, it was the research we did for Jayson’s 2010 article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition titled “Prevalence of Micronutrient Deficiency in Popular Diet Plans” that opened our eyes to the potential dangers of popular diets. 
In the study, we examined the sufficiency levels of 27 essential micronutrients as recommended by the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) in four popular diet plans to see if the very act of dieting itself could be creating a micronutrient deficient state in the average American. In order to be fair to all the dietary philosophies, we included Atkins (a low carbohydrate diet), the South Beach Diet (a Mediterranean diet), and the Best Life Diet (a low fat diet). The fourth diet we chose was the DASH diet—a medically founded diet plan written by an amazing group of researchers from some of the country’s top institutions, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Harvard Medical School; Duke University Medical Center; Johns Hopkins University; Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. The best part about the DASH diet was that it was created to reverse disease, not merely lose weight. The entire concept of the DASH diet (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was that one could lower their blood pressure through becoming sufficient in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Surely a diet focused on micronutrient sufficiency would perform well in our study. Later, we decided to add both the Primal and Paleo diets into the mix in order to include two of the hottest diet crazes in the bookstores.
In order to evaluate each diet plan’s ability to reach micronutrient sufficiency, we measured the amount of every micronutrient in the respective suggested menu plans, right down to the very last gram of salt. After all the computations were completed, it was revealed that not a single one of the popular diet plans we examined reached anywhere near micronutrient sufficiency for the 27 essential micronutrients we evaluated.
The vitamins evaluated included vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, iodine, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, sodium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Here are the studies results of our study:
Does it shock you that these diets fell so short of reaching micronutrient sufficiency? It shocked us! Mostly because the overwhelming war cry that we hear from the Paleo and Primal communities is that because their diets are so micronutrient dense, supplementation is simply not necessary. Well, in this blog we wanted to share a few new studies that furthered our research and agreed as to the likelihood of deficiency in the Paleo diet.
NEW STUDIES LINKS PALEO DIET TO IODINE DEFICIENCY
While we have been shouting about micronutrient deficiencies from the mountaintops for years now, the worlds’ obsession with different dietary philosophies including the Paleo diet is only increasing. In fact, foods labeled as Paleo increased 8% this year alone (2016-17). And while we support the Paleo diet for decreasing anti-nutrients (by eliminating wheat and legumes) as well as increasing awareness of micronutrient-dense high quality foods, such as grass-fed, local and organic products, studies continue to support our findings that this diet, like all others, still falls short in reaching micronutrient sufficiency.
The first study out of Australia revealed that one very real and dangerous pitfall of the Paleo diet is iodine deficiency.  Iodine, which is a very important micronutrient for proper thyroid function, is involved in the synthesis, activity and function of the thyroid hormones T4 and T3. The thyroid hormones control a variety of biological and physiological activities including body temperature, physical growth, reproduction, neuromuscular function, the synthesis of proteins, and the growth of skin and hair.
Do you suffer from symptoms of iodine deficiency?:
- Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism?
- Do you experience fatigue?
- Do you struggle with weight gain or a sluggish metabolism?
- Do you get muscle aches or cramps?
- Is your skin dry and lack “that special glow”?
- Are your nails or your hair brittle?
- Have you been told your cholesterol is too high?
If you answered yes to a couple of those questions above than perhaps your diet has caused an iodine deficiency. Both our research into dietary deficiencies and the research of Australian scientists agree that iodine deficiency is a problematic pitfall for Paleolithic dieters. But, it doesn’t end there. This diet leaves other micronutrient missing as well.
MANY MORE MICRONUTRIENTS MISSING FROM THE PALEO DIET
In this second study out of Perth Australia, scientists found that while the Paleo diet was effective for weight loss, it left dieters deficient in numerous essential micronutrients. Along with the weight loss came significant reductions in the intake of numerous B vitamins (including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), and folate (B9)), as well as reduced levels of iron. Scientists also determined that this dietary doctrine also supplied alarming lower amounts of iodine, sodium and calcium. Several other short-term clinical studies also found that calcium intake in subjects following a Paleo diet is shockingly low, ranging from 355 to 395 mg/day. [4, 5] That is only 1/3 of the daily requirements of 1000 mg (up to 1300 mg for adolescents and women over 50) of dietary calcium daily.
If you look at the foods eliminated from the Paleo diet, it is no wonder that these essential micronutrients are missing. Without dairy one would expect calcium levels to be at risk. And grains are often a main dietary source of the B vitamins. But, the real problem lies in the fact that the Paleo communities think they are following a dietary philosophy that is providing them with at least the minimum amount of the essential vitamins and minerals they need, and because of this they are not supplementing properly.
Think of it like this: If you eliminate specific foods when following the Paleo diet (or any diet) you have to make sure that you are somehow replacing the no longer available micronutrients that are often found in those specific eliminated foods.
YOUR HEALTH REQUIRES YOU SUPPLEMENT MISSING MICRONUTRIENTS
It’s really that simple. If you are vegan and eliminate animal products then the micronutrients delivered in animal products, such as B12 and Omega-3, are going to have to be supplemented. If you are on a low-fat diet, which greatly reduces overall fat content, you should be aware that you are greatly decreasing your chances of reaching sufficiency in the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. It is not our intention to pick on the Paleo program. In fact, as you can see from the chart above, it did better than nearly all the other diets in our study. However, better does not mean sufficient and becoming and maintaining micronutrient sufficiency in all of the essential micronutrients we need to maintain our health is our goal.
The bottom line is that no diet, in and of itself, can protect you from becoming micronutrient deficiency and ultimately contracting a micronutrient deficiency disease. To put it differently – THERE IS NO PERFECT DIET! If you are deficient in any of the essential micronutrients, regardless of your dietary profile, you are at risk. So it makes no sense to have the diet you choose be the basis of your nutritional philosophy. But if you turn the nutritional equation around and make micronutrient sufficiency your main dietary objective, then everything changes.
ARE YOU A NUTRIVORE?
Because this shift from focusing on ones dietary philosophy, to focusing on micronutrient sufficiency is so unique, we coined a new term to describe the person who embraces this goal. By reading this blog now and embarking on a journey to achieve micronutrient sufficiency, you are officially welcome to call yourself a nutrivore.
So what is a nutrivore? Nutrivores are people, like you, who have decided to take control of their health and stop blaming it on genetics or searching for it at the bottom of a prescription bottle. Simply stated, a nutrivore is someone who recognizes that micronutrient deficiency equals poor health and disease and that micronutrient sufficiency is the foundation of optimal health, regardless of one’s preferred dietary philosophy.
Our vision is to empower everyone to come together behind one core nutritional belief that holds true for all people, regardless of dietary philosophy—the health-producing, disease-preventing power of micronutrient sufficiency. By doing so, we hope to create a workable environment where we can stop the arguing, fighting, and finger-pointing that has held us back from being able to slow down, stop, or reverse the ever-increasing deluge of chronic health conditions and diseases that are now plaguing all nations of the world. We hope that through respect, patience, and a true understanding of the role micronutrients play in the prevention and reversal of today’s chronic health conditions and diseases, humanity may one day soon usher in an age of optimal health.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO INCREASE YOUR MICRONUTRIENT SUFFICIENCY TODAY?
Becoming micronutrient sufficient is easier than you might think and we want to give you three simple steps you can take right now to help set you on that path.
STEP 1: TAKE THE TEST. The first thing that we do with every client is to give them the very same micronutrient sufficiency analysis that we want you to take now – for FREE! The online test will examine your dietary, lifestyle, and supplementation habits along with information on your currenp0t health status to identify your personal micronutrient sufficiency score. All you have to do is answer the questions honestly. It takes less than 3 minutes and it really is the best place to start. After all, you can’t start to improve a problem unless you area aware of what is holding you back. Take the quiz here.
STEP 2: START SUPPLEMENTING. Our best solution to the micronutrient deficiency pandemic was to create a completely different kind multivitamin, one that is so technologically advanced that it not only represents a true step forward in supplemental science, but was also awarded a US patent. That multivitamin is called nutreince. Our AM and PM liquid formulation will help you to fill the gaps in all of the essential micronutrients that you may be deficient in so that you can become the self healing, super machine you were meant to be. You can learn more here at nutreince.com
STEP 3: GET MORE INFORMATION. Hopefully by now you might be getting our subtle hint that micronutrient deficiency is likely a real condition in your life that is holding you back from living a healthy, dynamic life. Well, it’s time to learn how you can eradicate these deficiencies in your life by following our 3-step plan, and making modifications to your diet, your lifestyle habits and your current supplementation program. And don’t worry! We’ll be with you every step of the way. Grab a copy of our best-selling book, The Micronutrient Miracle, today and start on this exciting new journey with us. You can grab a copy either here at Amazon or from us over here.
 Calton JB. Prevalence of micronutrient de ciency in popular diet plans. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010. Jun;7:24. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-24. PMID: 20537171. Retrieved 2010, from the National Center for Biotechnology Information: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC2905334/
 Genoni, A., Lyons-Wall, P., Lo, J., and Devine, A. Cardiovascular: metabolic effects and dietary composition of ad-libitum Paleolithic vs. Australian guide to healthy eating diets: a 4-week randomised trial. Nutrients. 2016; 8: 314–327
 Jonsson, T., Granfeldt, Y., Ahren, B., Branell, U.C., Palsson, G., Hansson, A. et al. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc. Diabetol. 2009; 8: 35–49
 Osterdahl, M., Kocturk, T., Koochek, A., and Wandell, P.E. Effects of a short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet in healthy volunteers. Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 2008; 62: 682–685