media rips tom brady and wife gisele for anti-inflammatory diet

MEDIA RIPS THE BRADYS OVER THEIR DIET
ONE MORE PROOF THE MEDIA IS CLUELESS

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“Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is basically eating a diet heavy in plants and low in junk food.   And that’s about as far as the science goes.  Anything more is overkill.”  Cherry-picked from Belluz’ piece we are discussing today

As I sit here and type this, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is getting ready to lead his team against the upstart Kansas City Chiefs — a team that has now won ten games in a row after starting 1 and 5.  Growing up in Kansas, I have been a Chiefs fan for as long as I can remember, although there were some lean years when I was young.   Can the hottest team in the NFL pull through and beat the Patriots — especially considering the game is at Foxboro?   We’ll find out Saturday at 3:30.  Much of it depends on whether KC’s vaunted defensive front can put some serious pressure on Brady.

Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.  You might not like him, but you can’t debate his four super bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVP’s, two NFL MVP awards, 11 Pro Bowls, numerous passing records, and more division titles than any other Q in the history of the game.  His wife Gisele — a Brazilian of German descent — has been the world’s highest paid supermodel over the course of the past decade.  Needless to say, a family with this sort of curriculum vitae lives under a microscope.   The latest aspect of their life to be brought to the public spotlight is their diet.

Just the other day, Vox published an article by Julia Belluz called “Most ‘Anti-inflammation’ Diets are Overkill.  Tom Brady’s is a Case in Point“.  There have been any number of other authors publishing similar (yesterday was “My Husband and I Tried Gisele and Tom Brady’s Ridiculous Diet” from Woman’s Day).  Most of this is the result of an interview he did for Boston’s Sports Radio 97.3 (WEEI) back in October.  Along with ripping Frosted Flakes, Coca Cola (he correctly called it “poison”), and the FOOD PYRAMID, Brady had this to say (I’m cherry-picking)…..

“Much of my diet is based on an acid-alkaline principle, which for me does reduce inflammation in my body. When you run around and take hits all day for a living, that’s a really positive thing for me. I would love to encourage all my teammates to eat the best way they possibly can, to have high school athletes do the same.   I think we’ve been lied to by a lot of food companies over the years, by a lot of beverage companies over the years. But we still do it. That’s just America, and that’s what we’ve been conditioned to believe. We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food. … You just keep eating those things, and you keep wondering why we have just incredible rates of disease in our country. No one thinks it has anything to do with what we put in our body.”

Although I can’t really argue with what he’s saying here, this led to an interview with the family’s personal chef (Allen Campbell) over at BOSTON.COM.  Of course Campbell avoids feeding the Bradys processed foods, SUGAR, and white flours (their children — ages 6 & 3 — eat the same thing they do).  Among other things, he also avoids serving them NIGHTSHADES (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, etc).  It’s not difficult to see that the Brady’s diet is essentially a PALEO DIET.  Interestingly enough, Dr. David Seaman prescribed a similar diet in the pain journal Practical Pain Management several years ago, promoting something similar as a way to solve Chronic Pain caused by Inflammation (HERE).  About their diet, Campbell stated……

“80 percent of what they eat is vegetables.  I buy the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon. It’s very different than a traditional American diet. But if you just eat sugar and carbs—which a lot of people do—your body is so acidic.”

Again, sounds pretty good to me.  I do think, however, that Campbell might benefit from a lesson in mathematics.  If 80% of their diet is vegetation and 20% is lean meats, I’m not sure how much grain they are really consuming.  My personal opinion is that the GRAINS and beans (lectins) might be more inflammatory for the Bradys than the nightshades — unless they have an actual nightshade sensitivity.  Although you can get tested for this in several different ways, the best is one than anyone can do on their own, and it doesn’t cost them a thing —- an ELIMINATION DIET.  Nightshades can be extremely good for you — even anti-inflammatory — if you are not sensitive to them (most people are not).  However, I have treated any number of patients for which nightshades are a nightmare.  This is especially true in those with chronic, severe, all-over joint pain. 

Belluz is not too hip on diets like the Bradys.  After sharing with us that there is not much science backing these sorts of “restrictive,” diets, she lets us know that for the average person, “cutting out junk food tends to be enough to do the trick.”  On some level I would agree with her.  At the very least it’s a FANTASTIC START.  But who is ‘the average person‘ here in America?  They are are sedentary, OVERWEIGHT, fighting some sort of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE, DEPRESSED, and extremely INFLAMED (take THIS simple test to see if you have too much Inflammation).  The Brady’s are different.  They aren’t average in any sense of the word.

Each relies on their body to make a living.   And while Gisele has “retired” from modeling, Tom has said that he wants to continue playing professional football until he’s 45.  Although I personally believe this is wishful thinking, more power to him.  The only way he could conceivably accomplish this is by taking extraordinary care of his body.   Think about it this way.   With the tens of millions of dollars Brady makes each year between football and endorsements; if an ultra-strict diet can extend his career by even one year, he has paid for their personal chef and organic food a thousand times over.  Worst case scenario, he missed out on some ice cream sundaes — eating in this manner is not going to somehow make him worse.

The biggest problem with Belluz’ article is not about what the Brady’s are doing with their diets, but the terrible advice being promoted by some of the experts she used to refute them — namely one Christopher Cannon, a Harvard cardiologist.

“Many of the popular diets out there  — Mediterranean, low-carb, low-fat — all help reduce inflammation.  In any of these diets, people are cutting out saturated fat, doughnuts, french fries, all the bad things that promote inflammation. So that helps reduce inflammation very quickly.” 

Belluz goes on to talk about the basic principles set forth in a book that Cannon wrote a decade ago called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Anti-Inflammation Diet.  Much of his advice is great.  Some of it is terrible.  For one, he actually tells readers to, “eat only unsaturated fats.”  This goes hand in hand with him telling readers that LOW FAT DIETS are equal to LOW CARB DIETS (not surprising once you grasp THIS SAD FACT).  We’ve KNOWN FOR QUITE SOME TIME THAT SATURATED FAT is not the great pariah is has been vilified as, and that following such advice is dangerous.  It is the low fat / fat free era that helped dramatically speed up the demise of our national health (HERE).

Other advice like, “eat lots of whole grains” sounds like a revival of the Food Pyramid — or our government’s recommended diet — DASH.  Because of hybridization, GMO, and OTHER FACTORS, grains — and particularly WHEAT and CORN —- are nothing like they were 100 years ago.   And never forget that grain is what you feed farm animals to make them fat.  And as for his advice to, “eat plenty of fruits and vegetables” — vegetables are distinctly different than fruits (HERE), and depending on what you are trying to accomplish with your diet (weight loss or ANTI-CANDIDA are two that come immediately to mind), you might want to all but totally avoid fruits — at least for awhile. 

On top of all this, Cannon is one of the researchers — a true industry insider who has heavily promoted any number of drugs, including EZETIMIBE / VYTORIN — whose stated mantra, “lower is better” when it comes to cholesterol, actually changed governmental guidelines (HERE).  On his Amazon biography he goes on to talk about the, “benefit of lowering of LDL cholesterol to even lower levels than the currently revised guidelines using a new type of cholesterol-lowering medication in addition to statins.”  As you can see from THIS POST, the lower-is-better thought process is another of the ideas that puts serious amounts of money in Big Pharma’s pockets, even though it goes directly against the “EVIDENCE“.

For those who want to understand why a Paleo Diet is the best overall diet for controlling inflammation, helping create your own personalized EXIT STRATEGY for getting out of pain or solving your chronic illnesses, or even LOSING WEIGHT and building lean body mass, all you need to do is follow THIS LINK (here is more about “WHY PALEO?“) 

We can’t all afford a personal chef, but eating healthy is MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU REALIZE.  Instead of bashing Tom and Gisele for the way they eat, we might all take a couple of lessons.  For those of you who are truly struggling with Chronic Pain and Chronic Inflammatory Degenerative Diseases or Autoimmunity, HERE is the post you need to read.

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