HEALTH

Pete Evans Denies Promoting Camel Milk, Despite The Paleo Way Website Endorsing It

Evans says he wasn't aware of the advice on the Q&A section of his page.

08/09/2016 3:10 PM AEST | Updated September 8, 2016 21:50

Chef Pete Evans has denied his paleo program endorses camel milk as a substitute for breast milk, which health experts warn could harm babies' lives.

The recommendation remained on the paleo program's website on Thursday night.

Speaking out for the first time since The Daily Telegraph suggested he claimed camel milk was almost identical in composition to human milk, Evans said he did not endorse camel milk in "any way, shape or form".

"Human breast milk should always be the number one choice to feed babies," Evans told The Huffington Post Australia.

"I personally do not promote any other type of animal milk for humans. I've probably said that one thousand times, if not ten thousand times. I do not promote dairy or any other type of milk, in any way, shape or form for our species."

However, Evans' 10 week health program, called The Paleo Way, disputes this and suggests camel milk is "nearly identical in its composition to human milk".

The suggestion is included in the 'common questions' section of The Paleo Way website, in an answer directed to pregnant women interested in the program.

In a very confusing paragraph, Evans begins by advising pregnant women to avoid all dairy except camel milk and ends advising parents camel milk is useful "where supplementing regular breast feeding might be necessary".

Here is part of the answer:

The Paleo Way

When this statement was read out to Evans, the chef responded: "And where is that part?"

"I'll have a look at that but again, in The Paleo Way, we never -- if you read every piece of advice that we have on there -- promote animal milk in any way, shape or form."

"We only promote breast milk. If that isn't clear then I'm not sure what is."

The reason behind the controversy over this recommendation is that camel milk contains three times more protein than breast milk, which is too high for breastfeeding infants, according to accredited dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia Margaret Hays.

"It would put a big strain on their kidneys which can put the babies at risk and potentially cause kidney damage," Hays told HuffPost Australia.

"Breast milk is lower in protein, calcium and sodium. It is higher in mono and polyunsaturated fats, carbohydrates, folate and vitamin C."

The Dietitians Association of Australia said breastfeeding is the best option for mothers, which is something Paleo Pete can agree with. However, the DAA promote infant formula as a substitute, while Evans promotes ordering fresh breast milk from a breast milk bank.

After publication on Thursday night, Evans clarified that the advice on The Paleo Way page was written by program nutritionist Nora Gedgaudas and claimed the advice on camel milk was directed at mothers not babies.

"We say to avoid gluten, grains and dairy for breastfeeding mothers except for possibly camels milk if they -- the mothers -- need supplementing because of regular breast feeding as well as a non-immune reactive dairy alternative," Evans claimed on Thursday night.

"Nora, in our post last week that I shared, also says it is probably a very good idea to ditch the dairy, but if you don't want to then camel's milk is probably the better choice if you were to choose between the two for health reasons."

On Thursday, Evans shared naturopath Helen Padarin's advice on his Facebook page that if breast feeding was not possible, ordering milk from a breast milk bank was the next best option.

You can read the entire Facebook post here:

"I'm standing by the comment that we promote breast milk first and foremost," Evans told HuffPost Australia.

"If that cannot be translated into a headline that 'Pete actually promotes breast milk is best' then I'm not sure what else you can say.

"Obviously that's not going to be a headline for a sensational story."

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