Alejandro Junger -- Is his diet rebranding Paleo, more or less?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 05, 2011 at 12:14 AM

So I hung out with a girl today who was boasting over how amazing her diet is and how it makes her feel awesome, etc. From some Uruguayan doctor named Dr. Alejandro Junger. Apparently the celebs in Hollywood like Gweneth Paltrow are using his diet, too.

She started describing it to me and it seemed to be 100% identical to paleo, even in the details. According to what she told me: No dairy, no grains, no sugar, nothing processed, meat is good (although he emphasizes vegetables a lot), etc etc... hmmm, sounds familiar!

I'm wondering:

Is anyone familiar with this diet? If so, what are the key differences between it and paleo?

I tried to google him but only salesy detox cleansing pages and I've been unable to come out of it with any useful information. This is probably more a criticism of my poor googling skills than the information available online.

(PS: No comment on the "someone taking paleo and rebranding it" angle: yes, that's the obvious business someone will do out of everything we learn...)

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on September 05, 2011
at 01:46 AM

A cardiologist on this path due to his own health concerns after he came to the United States. His book is called Clean. He does encourage you to eat a mainly plant based diet (cleansing foods) with some animal proteins (post cleansing) with a focus on eliminating toxicity and detoxification.

Yes, products are a part of the 'cleanse' and certainly not in the paleo category. Medical food, Nourish - Ingredients:

Rice protein concentrate, rice syrup solids, rice bran, Dutch processed cocoa, natural flavors, magnesium citrate, medium chain triglycerides, olive oil, L-lysine HCl, calcium citrate,Lglutamine, silica, dipotassium phosphate, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, ascorbic acid, dicalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, rosemary leaf extract, ginger root extract, magnesium sulfate,zinc gluconate, guar gum, niacinamide, stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), L-threonine, biotin, beta-carotene, retinyl palmitate, copper gluconate, pyridoxine HCl, D-calcium pantothenate, niacin, thiamin

Remember, paleo does not have a corner on the market for an anti-inflammatory diet. It was around to any practitioner that has been aware of functional or integrative practices long before it was labeled and became a 'movement'.

While it can be helpful overall it is the lifestyle and habits that need to be changed (cheats or % of compliance) to support these types of cleanses and if you choose to go with a product at all one should be looking for expedient free products at the very least.

With all of the issues around gastrointestinal repair, sometimes diet alone is not the answer and the body needs help for all of the damage and abuse it has taken. This is uncharted territory for us modern folk and our ancestors did not leave any advice for us here.

Ultimately, if we take the paleo principles (of course, even these seem to vary) and apply or overlay them to ANY variation of diets we see, we can discern for ourselves. Yes, as Shari says, eating real foods is a good thing, in any lifestyle ;).


on September 05, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I'm pretty sure he's more of a raw foodist that allows you to eat meat if you must. He sells a boatload of very expensive "cleanse" products. I wouldn't call him paleo in the least but he does emphasize eating real food and lots of veggies and that's almost always a good thing.


on September 06, 2011
at 04:14 PM

The clean program certainly incorporates the benefits of eating paleo and raw, but the cleanse is not about eating only that way. It is a program to help people re-orient themselves to the food they eat, and repair their intestinal flora at the same time. While eating raw and paleo have many of the same benefits, the clean program has been specifically designed to therapeutically re-build a leaky gut- the common cause of so many common problems today. While the website may seem "salesy" there is actually a lot of good resources. From the home page at cleanprogram.com click on resources at the top right. Also check out the community site of 30,000+ cleansers at my.cleanprogram.com. While the cleanse kits can be expensive, it is absolutely possible to do the cleanse on your own. If you are interested in this, send me and email and I will send you some info about how! Also, please email me with any further questions about the clean program! Whether people are doing the program or not, we are all about supporting people with their health goals!

Cheers, Meghan Meghan@cleanprogram.com

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