Paleo Pete: Try camel milk instead of breastfeeding

Health officials have slammed Evans' recommendations, saying his advice could put babies at risk. Photo / Supplied
Health officials have slammed Evans' recommendations, saying his advice could put babies at risk. Photo / Supplied

Paleo Pete has done it again.

The celebrity chef, who is perhaps better known for his paleo-preaching agenda rather than his actual cooking, has been accused of putting babies' lives at risk by suggesting breastfeeding mothers could give camel milk to their infants.

The My Kitchen Rules judge reportedly claimed on his online website that camel milk is "nearly identical in its total composition to human milk" and could replace regular breastfeeding.

Pete's post said camel milk was "expensive and a bit hard to come by but is generally safe from an immune reactive standpoint".

"It's nearly identical in its total composition to human milk and as such may prove useful where supplementing regular breastfeeding might be necessary, as well as a non-immune reactive dairy alternative."

But health officials have slammed Evans' recommendations, saying his advice could put babies at risk if they used any milk or formula that wasn't approved for infant consumption.

READ MORE: • Paleo Pete tells woman with osteoporosis to stop drinking milk

President of the Public Health Association of Australia Professor Heather Yeatman told the Daily Telegraph that camel milk was "not a substitute for breast milk".

"Camel milk has three times the amount of protein that breast milk has and could cause kidney damage," Prof Yeatman said.

While camel milk does have a similar makeup as cow's milk, Prof Yeatman said pregnant mums could consume the milk if it was pasteurised. But just like cow's milk, it should not be given to babies under 10 months old.

"You have to be super careful with infants," she said.

A spokesman for NSW Health said if mothers wanted to use formula over breastmilk, they should only use commercial infant formulas that met food and safety standards. Doing otherwise "could be putting their babies at risk".

"Breastfeeding is universally recommended as the most beneficial method for feeding infants because there is compelling evidence that breastfeeding protects infants and mothers against a wide range of short and longer term health problems," the spokesman said.

Advocates of camel milk claim it can help with a range of disorders, such as diabetes, autism and allergies, but nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said there was no big difference with cow's milk overall.

"Claims about more iron and vitamins don't seem valid, lactose is pretty much the same as cow's milk and claims about benefits for autism don't hold up at this stage," she told the Daily Telegraph.

Evans' comments about camel's milk come after a string of other controversial comments made by the chef.

Last month, Pete told a woman with osteoporosis to remove dairy from her diet and eat "the paleo way", after she asked for help managing her condition during a Facebook Q&A, stressing that "doctors don't know the truth" about the mineral.

Many experts pointed out that his suggestion goes against standard medical advice, which recommends people with the condition ensure they have enough calcium in their diet through foods such as dairy.

The medical director of Osteoporosis Australia, Professor Peter Ebeling said Evans "shouldn't be saying these things" because they are "just not true".

- news.com.au

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