The paleo diet is a modern diet trend that has swept the country. Maybe you know someone that has tried this lifestyle that avoids processed foods and focuses on “Paleolithic foods?” However, we will look at the paleo diet to determine if this way of eating is truly healthy for you.
It can be challenging to determine what is suitable for you with so many fad diets and some with very little science to back them up. Yet, at its heart, the paleo diet is simple, and it’s a return to the eating habits of the “hunter-gatherer” in Paleolithic society. Think about how much of our modern food is heavily processed and reliant on grains, sugars, and modified fats. So, naturally, this diet declares that many of our current day foods contribute to our general ill-health.
When you hear someone is on the paleo diet, what do you think about it? It often conjures images of someone eating steak for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
However, contrary to popular belief, this diet is primarily plant-centered, and it includes many vegetables — mostly non-starchy — and plenty of fruit in moderation. Also, the diet consists of unprocessed meat (the wilder, the better). Eating locally and seasonally is also encouraged, and the diet includes eggs, nuts, seeds, and seafood. Cut out the coffee and alcoholic beverages — the paleo diet encourages water, some tea, or herbal infusions. Eating Well has curated a paleo diet recommended foods list if you’d like to learn more.
Now that you know more about the paleo diet, is it right for you? Let’s take a list of the pros and cons.
Deconstruct the Myths
It’s important to realize that the paleo diet is NOT an “eat as much as you want” diet. Don’t throw on an extra slab of bacon for dinner. That’s not what this lifestyle habit encourages! In fact, the ideal ratio of meat and carbohydrates seems to vary between each individual.
It’s important when implementing any diet to pay attention to how you feel and talk with your doctor about tracking cholesterol and blood sugar changes to make sure this lifestyle change is proper for you.
The paleo diet requires time and resources to buy fresh, local products and prepare food at home and the time and energy to be physically active. This can be a barrier for many people, and it is also nearly impossible for vegetarians or vegans to do well, as legumes are an essential protein source for them.
For most people, switching to this lifestyle change will mean increasing vegetable and fiber intakes, essential for gastrointestinal health and overall inflammation levels. Many people have had positive results following the paleo diet, especially in blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Remember, however, to check with your doctor before starting any significant lifestyle shift.
One More Thing
Is there something that I missed about the paleo diet? Did it work for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to reach me at email@example.com. Also, if you’re looking to learn more about diet trends, please check out “Keto Diet: Is It Right for You.”