Over One Million Subscribers -- including tens of thousands of health professionals -- read and trust the Mercola.com "eHealthy News You Can Use" e-newsletter -- and that number is growing by an average of 1,000 subscribers per day!
Let's take a look at what Dr. Mercola advocates.
Dr. Mercola's website has been live for 19 years this month. It's full of new articles written (or at least signed!) by Dr. Mercola. I was surprised to see so much content! I felt good writing so many new blog posts the last couple weeks, but Mercola is pumping out 4 or 5 a day, well-written, with cites.
I assume his creativity and the volume of articles is related to the number of ads and high-volume internet traffic, this website must be making a ton of money. He has an on-line store with numerous products, many with his name on them, and most are pretty expensive, lol.
It's hard to decipher from the opening pages exactly what kind of website this is. It's not "Paleo," Vegan, or even a blog. There is no "start here" button. Just lots and lots of articles and a good search function to help you find what you are looking for. But I see a theme!
There are lots of articles on ketosis. And the questions I have been getting relate to Mercola's "anti-grain" stance and his low-carb diet recommendations. Indeed, Mercola seems to be an advocate of very low carb diets. For his 19th year anniversary of his website, he put up a little Day in the Life of Dr. Mercola story.
Here's his diet.
My day typically begins around 6 a.m. The first thing I do is prepare my breakfast meal for the day. Many believe it is very hard to eat a high-quality high-fat diet, but I will share my secrets with you today.
My Chocolate Fat Bomb recipe is a delicious mix of avocado, cocoa butter, and several other nutritious ingredients. This meal provides me 15 grams of protein, less than 10 grams of net carbs, 30 grams of fiber, 90 grams of fat and about 1,000 calories. I typically split it in half and eat it over two hours.
My primary meal of the day is my fitness salad. Sunflower seed sprouts, oregano, fennel, rosemary, red peppers and Malabar spinach — all of which I pick straight from my garden — make up the bulk of my salad, to which I add some healthy fats and protein.
On this day, I added ground organic lamb, salmon roe and anchovies...
Unlike most people, I typically will not eat dinner. If I'm hungry, I may have a high-fat snack. In the video, I show you how I make one of my favorite snacks, a macadamia nut fudge, made with all-natural healthy ingredients. Rather than being loaded with sugar, it's nearly 90 percent healthy fat and tastes great.
In addition to this high fat/low carb eating routine, Dr. Mercola walks 7 miles per day, visits a personal trainer at a local gym for a couple hours, wears blue-blocking sunglasses at night while working on his computer at a stand-up desk.
He has some good qualities, he recommends whole foods and eats lots of veggies. He gardens, he exercises. But I think he is quite out-of-touch with the average person.
Mercola on Grains
I typed "grain" into the search bar at Mercola.com, and got 13,000 hits going back to the '90s:
The Awful Truth about Eating Grains, 2008:
All grains have nutritional deficiencies. Moreover, as we eat more and more grain products we tend to eliminate other nutritional meats, fruits, and vegetables.
The Low Grain Guide to Health
...limiting the intake of carbohydrates, (especially as cereal grains and starches), will improve human health.
And don't get me started on what he says about spuds!
But on other hand, he says his nickname is "Dr. Fiber," and he talks lots about gut health. Where do you suppose he got this idea?
Examples of foods high in resistant starch include underripe banana, rolled oats, white beans, lentils, seeds, and products like potato starch...
I firmly believe that most people benefit from a diet that includes meat, starches, and grain alongside ample other plant matter. Vegan diets are "do-able" if one supplements with vitamin B-12 and focuses on eating lots of high protein plants. Low carb diets are also "do-able" if a person has access to loads of fresh vegetables and eats numerous high fiber, nutritious plants daily. I do not agree with Dr. Mercola that we should strive to eat a bare minimum of carbs, no starches, and no grains just so that we maintain a constant state of ketosis.
Most vegetarian diets benefit with the addition of animal products, and most low carb diets benefit from the addition of grains and starches. The average person simply cannot adhere to the rigorous demands of a diet that excludes grains, starches, and meat. If you want to eliminate things, eliminate refined sugars, oils, and flours. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors.
Whole grains contain micronutrients and metals, ie. copper, manganese, that fall short when we "cut carbs." Whole grains and starchy foods are also an important source of fiber.
While almost ANY diet is better than the SAD diet, think really hard before completely eliminating grains and starches from your life. I can find virtually no evidence that whole grains are in any way damaging to human health. Some folks have trouble with the higher gluten grains, but very few people ever eat wheat in its "whole" form, mostly just flour in various degrees of "wholeness." But there is a world of grain out there! Oats, teff, buckwheat, quinoa, rye, etc... Think outside the (bread)box for your grains.
My impression on Mercola and others (like Loren Cordain) who advocate zero-tolerance on grains and starches, is that they missed the boat when designing their anti-SAD diets. They should have focused on removing refined foods and left whole foods on the menu. Had Dr. Mercola done so, maybe now, 19 years later, he would not be such a slave to his lifestyle.
Any long-time Mercola fans here? Tell me about him! Has his advice helped you?