Still, some in the nutrition community question the validity of Liponis’ claims. For example, some of the rules are controversial, such as making it optional for Hunters to eat breakfast and indulging in ice cream over sorbet because of its ratio of fat, protein and sugar, and most especially, for asking followers of the diet to identify themselves as being in one category or the other. “This immediately causes issues because many people fall into both categories, and the diet does not provide guidelines for these ‘hybrids,” says Karen Congro, R.D., director of the Wellness for Life Program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. “In many ways, this is more of a philosophy than a diet.” (Liponis is quick to admit that people aren’t always going to fall to opposite sides of the scale—there are plenty in the middle with a slighter tendency one way or another—but again, maintains that they tend toward one or the other.)
More importantly, Congro worries about the practicality. “While many of the recipes in the book look delicious, they are not quick and easy,” she says. “Some use unusual and expensive ingredients, such as fish stock and veal demi-glace.” Also crucial, she points out, is that “the diet says that Hunters can skip breakfast. But people who are on medication should never skip breakfast.”
The bottom line: We’re big fans of eating plans that encourage consuming healthy foods such as whole grains, lean proteins and vegetables, but it’s hard to call this diet scientifically conclusive. For now, we’ll take the Hunter-Farmer diet with a grain of (healthy Celtic Sea) salt.
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