Why do people get so offended when you mention that you are Paleo?

As per the title…  I am wondering just why some people seem to take it personally when you mention that you eat paleo or primal.  Why do they get so offended and send you links to articles that say that Paleo does not work/is bullshit/is too hard to maintain/is too expensive to maintain or any of the other anti-paleo information that is out there.

I signed up for a Coursera course recently on the Science of Gastronomy – mostly because it sounded interesting.  And I am fascinated by anything that involves science and food….

As soon as anyone on the forums mentions  Paleo, there are several people who jump in trying to tell people that what they are doing is wrong.

Why is that?  Why do they care so much about what some people choose to put in their mouths or choose not to eat?  I don’t criticise non paleo people for what they are eating, especially not total strangers.  So why are we fair game for criticism from the anti-paleo brigade?

5 thoughts on “Why do people get so offended when you mention that you are Paleo?

  1. Sorry you are having a hard time with paleo-haters, I’ve heard that from others. A lot of people have a hard time being open to other perspectives that are unlike their own. Perhaps, we tend to invest a lot of ourselves in our dietary perspectives, but facts are facts, biology is biology, and science is science. I don’t fully understand myself, why it is so hard for people to understand how our bodies connect to our evolution, but that’s just me. My grandpa had a saying that I think applies here. “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” 🙂 Keep up the great work. Sincerely, Tom

  2. Good topic – I think it boils down to a few things. Those that are somewhat offended by Paleo have possibly tried it in some way and hated it because it was simply too hard.. and they will never tell you – I know some of these people. Or they see you as anal or obsessive about food in some way because they simply haven’t read enough about it – I get this from people in my circles about myself even though i try not to use the terms Paleo too much when discussing food. Lastly, It is also likely that they had an experience with someone or heard from someone in a very negative way (who was maybe a friend) about Paleo… and so automatically adopt their negativity on it too – this is common for people to do. It is clear that whatever the reason, they are not educated on the subjects of nutrition let alone Paleo.

    What those of us should do who follow such diets, is not talk about it in such a way that makes others feel like outsiders in anyway. Just the title “Paleo” is doing this i find, much like the word “Christian” might do for those who are not. Please don’t take offense to this comparison or reasoning, its just a comparison and explanation of the “us” and “them” that tends to come out of some sort of following.

    To a degree, Paleo has become a religion with food for many. Some people have been so desperate… and this has been the answer for them. I understand this and i am happy for them. I also understand that some of these people are likely to be somewhat fanatical about it too compared to many others. Crossfit people get the same wrap for similar reasons in the fitness world. In the end, these things work for those and they love it. I am pleased that these things exist for these people.

    I think that those who follow such diets (and exercise) need to tread carefully with how Paleo (or Crossfit for that matter) is pitched to others. Personally, when i go to someones place for dinner i don’t talk about Paleo, i talk about intolerances to food and allergies. I want people to ‘come along’, not be offended. My friends are very accommodating from this perspective. Lastly, i follow an 80/20 rule. Sometimes what i ingest is not really Paleo .. but at this point being 100% is very hard to do for anyone, anywhere. So.. i don’t freak out if someone cooks me something with a little bit of dairy or some legumes. It isn’t going to change what your doing with your diet or life with one dinner like this. I think the Paleo/Primal diet topic will improve much like Gluten Free has in the last 10 years. Whatever the case, while some of us are excited and very happy to have found this for ourselves, we need to be very careful not to make people feel like they are ‘silly’ for not finding it or following it, let alone understanding it.

    My goal is to help people ask the questions – should i try this? Is it for me? What will it do? To help people self educate about food full stop and how to do it sensibly and sustainably. Thus my long answer – Sorry 🙂

  3. I’ve never had anyone tell me that the Paleo diet is a not safe or harmful ( in my personal life that is), Most people saw what I looked like before I went Paleo so they always ask me for tips, lol. Online it’s so much easier to criticize any diet – raw vegan, WAFP and Paleo.

    • Thankyou for your reply – I too have never had any really nasty comments about my choice of diet (I did once loose a job because of it but that was more down to weight loss – my paranoid about her relationship boss’s husband commented that I had lost loads of weight and 2 weeks later I was sacked….) I think it is easy to criticize online though… you are safe behind your computer screen and the recipient of your comment does not know who you are so you feel safe. (I saw similar actions when I was moderating a parenting website in the UK – women would literally rip each other to shreds with their words (mostly over parenting choices!)… because they were safe behind their computer screens – it could get incredibly nasty, verging on bullying)
      And I do think people don’t like to be criticized for their food choices. Paleo people saying that they eat a healthy diet makes those not eating paleo feel that they are not eating a healthy diet.. but it is not acceptable to lay in to a vegan or a vegetarian or someone who does not eat something because of allergies or religious choices, so why is it acceptable to tell a Paleo person that they are doing it all wrong when they are just doing it for health reasons (actually I am paleo because I am allergic to dairy and have a non celiac gluten intolerance, plus I just feel better this way. Hubby is paleo because he needs to loose at least 100lb – 50 gone, 50 to go….)

      Why is eating food that makes you feel good wrong? – I suspect a lot of the times it is because it makes them feel guilty. We eat healthy while they are chowing down on unhealthy foods and they know that they don’t have the willpower to give up the grains and the carbs, so to make themselves feel better they have to slam us down and tell us we are wrong.

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