In what’s been deemed as one of the healthiest diets of all time, the Paleo Diet is becoming a popular solution for those who are trying to stay lean, strong and energetic. Have you heard of it? If not, here are some commonly asked questions about this particular diet.
What is the Paleo Diet?
According to thepaleodiet.com, the Paleo Diet is “the world’s healthiest diet.” This diet plan is based on the hunter-gatherer eating patterns of long ago before convenience foods and modern day farming was available.
Often referred to as the Caveman Diet, the mindset goes: if a caveman couldn’t eat it, you can’t eat it.
Advocates of the diet suggest that the agricultural revolution is what spurred the change from the learner physique of our hunter-gatherer ancestors to the current overweight and unhappy physique we see in the average American today.
According to these advocates, our genetics have never really adjusted to the higher grain content of our diet. The goal of the Palo diet is to go back towards the way we are “biologically” supposed to eat.
Meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds are all allowed in the Paleo Diet. Grains, sugar, dairy and legumes are all excluded from the plan.
The lower sugar fruits are accepted in moderation. Alcohol is discouraged, but acceptable in moderation.
What are the benefits and health claims associated with the Paleo Diet?
What are the cons to following the Paleo Diet?
Very low carbohydrate and low sugar intake can be problematic over the long-term because it’s possible you might get a lack of much-needed nutrients from the lack of dairy and whole grains in the diet.
Because of this, there is a potential increased risk for heart problems, depending on your choice of meat.
The Paleo Diet can also be more time consuming due to the amount of food preparation involved.
Would I recommend it to my patients?
The diet plan is a fine choice for those who are willing and able to follow the strict guidelines that come along with it.
For the average American, or potential patient, I would not recommend it because of the inconvenience factors and the likelihood of non-compliance.
I think the basic principles of the diet, leaner meats, more vegetables and less refined grains and sugars, are well founded and healthy things to incorporate into any diet.
However, there is no need to completely exclude entire food groups or to feel bad about an occasional splurge.
This blog post was contributed by Megan Moore, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator.