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The LeBron James Diet: A great way to make fun of Registered Dietitians. And the media. And your mom

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Over the past few weeks, I've begrudgingly imbibed quite a bit of media coverage on the topic of LeBron's recent low carbohydrate diet. Initially I laughed off the blatent nonsense, but I can't do it anymore. I've officially caved. Like a parent well-schooled in behavior psychology would say to their child that just got caught trying to put out an on-fire cat with the expensive bottled water, instead of tap water, I'm delivering the message that, "I'm not pissed, I'm just really disappointed".

But this isn't about his diet, this is about the way it has been covered; not only by the media, but by nutrition professionals that should damn well know better.

The article that pushed me over the edge can be found on Business Insider here, and I'm going to break it down piece by piece for you. Largely on track with the entirety of the media coverage on the subject, let it be known that I'm not picking on BI as a sole entity, they're just the unlucky ones who ran the most recent piece of shit article I've read on the subject.


“LeBron didn't eat sugar, carbs, or dairy for 67 straight days this summer. He subsisted on meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables”

Fruits and vegetables are carbs. You can actually eat a very high-carb, high-sugar diet while consuming no other carbs than fruits and vegetables. It seems that the media (and likely the average reader) are confusing grains with carbs. Grains will always be carbs, but carbs don’t have to be grains.


"So, how many bags of apples would I have to eat to get a carb?"

As far as the dairy thing, eliminating dairy is no secret to weight loss. It is completely unnecessary unless you are intolerant to it. And on that note, as it is a common intolerance, eliminating it for two to four weeks to see how you respond could certainly be beneficial. If you don’t notice any improvements, keep eating dairy.

A few years ago I had a couple of inflammatory blood markers that were elevated and I didn’t know why, as I had already controlled for the likely diet and lifestyle related culprits. So I pulled dairy out to see what would happen. Within a week I had lifelong sinus issues clear up and I felt less fatigued and more clear-headed all the time. Follow up blood work showed the inflammatory markers had decreased back to optimal ranges.

Every time I attempt to re-introduce dairy, I become congested and foggy-brained right away (unless its small amounts of raw or goat dairy). So for me, removing dairy was a good thing. But I likely have a sensitivity. Point being, it irritates me when nutritionists give this as general blanket advice that everybody should be doing, claiming that it increases cancer risk, causes excess fat storage and bloating, etc…its all bullshit in direct discordance with the published data.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, in this article, the theme of the RD’s interviewed is that dairy is something you should “never eliminate entirely”. This is just as stupid as saying its bad for everybody.

Dairy is unncessecary to optimal health. It is something you can absolutely include in your diet if you tolerate it well and enjoy it, but you certainly won’t be any less healthy without it.

What about calcium? For starters, the insane focus on calcium in mainstream nutrition advice has likely, if anything, caused an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, as without adequate Vitamin K2 your body does a poor job of keeping calcium out of the arterial walls.

Calcification of the arterial walls is super bad news.

Guess where vitamin K2 comes from? Egg yolks, organ meats (liver), salami, and high fat ground beef, to name a few (green veggies contain K1, not K2, which has little to no effect on preventing calcification of the arteries). Ahh yes, the same foods that most of the nutritionists preaching high intake of calcium filled low-fat dairy are telling us to avoid. You can get plenty of calcium from green veggies and fish.

So like many things when it comes to nutrition, dairy is optional. When somebody tells you everybody should avoid it or everybody needs it, stop listening to them and seek advice elsewhere.