What to tell my friends

When I tell my friends that I don't eat bread and put copious amounts of grass fed butter with my veggies, they tell me I'll get heart diseases due to the saturated fat. What should I tell them apart from that they are wrong and saturated fat isn't going to clog my arteries?


  • There is this great quote from the film There Will Be Blood where Daniel Day-Lewis says "I don´t like to explain myself". Keep that in mind.

    Personally, I have been on paleo in one form or another since...early 2010 anyway. At first I was super stoked to tell everyone about my amazing new diet and how I didn´t have farts anymore and how I could go a day and a half without eating and...but almost no one cares, especially as this is not something which is explainable in under 10 minutes. There is a reason why at least 50odd % of the broader paleo movement is "libertarian" in one form or another, it takes a certain predisposition to accept that conventional wisdom could be so wrong about something so important.

    I have found that even very smart people are set in their ways on diet. No one wants to be told how to eat. If you start explaining why you load your veggies with butter you will inevitably start an alienating debate over diet. The best strategy is to just say "I have good evidence to think that this is the most healthful way to eat" and leave it at that. If they press, say "Google Art De Vany or Dave Asprey". If you treat your diet as something deeply personal, which you are only slow to open up about, people will either leave you alone about it or become curious and give it a serious look themselves. You want to avoid coming across as invested in spreading the message.
  • At this point I've lost 80 lbs and have a six pack and do some pretty remarkable fitness feats (120 miles per week on my bike, run up mountains, etc).

    So I tell people and they are just like "oh... thats cool".

    But it was harder when I was in transition. It's hard to argue when the evidence is staring you right in the face.

    However, I HAVE gotten people telling me that I will have high cholesterol or some other symptom that they can vaguely point to and claim that I am secretly unhealthy.

    I'm going to get regular blood tests for my own benefit but also so that people can't pull this shit on me...

    I am also collecting studies I can point people to backing up my claims so that if they try to argue I can be like "here, read these 35 studies and 10 books".
  • There are several ways to deal with this, in order of preference:

    Ignore them.

    Get hard data to prove them wrong (HDL, triglycerides, etc).

    Send them articles like those on our site and elsewhere that prove them wrong.

    Find better friends (just kidding image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
  • I use the KISS method (keep it simple for stupid people). I tell them I'm cutting "down" on sugars, grains, and starches. Since sugars are unhealthy and I mention that first, it seems to shut down their brains to other stuff. Who can argue with cutting out sugar??? Only a small percentage make the leap to the next thing--"what, no bread, I could never give up bread". I just tell them "it's easier than you think". Very few make the final leap to what I must be eating instead of sugars, grains and starches. (fats, proteins). Some instantly recognize it as "Atkins" or "Paleo", but since I've been saying "cutting down on sugars, grains and starches" almost nobody starts in on a lecture about how I'm going to die immediately from all the meat and fat. This has worked well for me.
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