In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
As of 2016 there are limited data on the metabolic effects on humans eating a paleo diet, but the data are based on clinical trials that have been too small to have a statistical significance sufficient to allow the drawing of generalizations.[not in citation given] These preliminary trials have found that participants eating a paleo nutrition pattern had better measures of cardiovascular and metabolic health than people eating a standard diet, though the evidence is not strong enough to recommend the paleo diet for treatment of metabolic syndrome. As of 2014 there was no evidence the paleo diet is effective in treating inflammatory bowel disease.
I was very excited to get this book but am putting this in the "just ok" category. That said, I'm normally a huge Whole 30 fan and use the recipes from the Whole30: 30 Day Guide... all the time. Something that I appreciated from the 30 Day Guide was the simplicity of the recipes, most were kid friendly and included lots of one pot meals that work for busy people. That is not the case with the new recipe book.
The main benefit of Whole30 though is to see how certain food groups affect your body. If you normally eat everything, you'll never really know if dairy may be making you bloated or if grains may be upsetting your stomach. By cutting out most of the food groups and processed foods for 30 days and slowly reintroducing them into your diet, you'll be able to spot which foods are doing what to your body.
Looking back on my lifestyle before the Whole30, my personal recipe for making unhealthy food choices typically consisted of being hungry and on a time crunch, which meant I'd choose whatever was most convenient (read: something overly processed from the vending machine). "Whole30 requires you to plan ahead, mainly so you stay 'compliant' and don’t go hungry," explains Liz McMahon, RDN. "Planning out meals and batch cooking ensures you have healthier food available and won’t constantly be reaching for fast food options." Making pre-planning a habit — even when I'm dining out — helps keep me on track even when I'm not following the Whole30.