Let’s talk Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet, a current fad diet similar to the popular Atkins Diet, is based on the way hunter-gatherers likely ate 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic period. These cavemen and caveladies enjoyed pure, unprocessed animal-based protein and plants. Considering the nearest fast food place was quite a few thousand years away, gluten and junk food wasn’t really on the menu for these folks. All in all, Paleo is pretty simple to follow: if a caveman didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either.
So let’s break this down. The Paleo Diet claims that you will live a healthier, fitter, disease-free life if you eat a diet based on animal protein and plants, lacking of grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and processed foods. Instead, the Paleo should eat only meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies. Alright, that sounds sort of reasonable. We all know carbs are the enemy, so one could presume this sounds great.
Despite the recommendations of pop diet advocates, I am firmly against the Paleo Diet.
Here’s why I cannot recommend the Paleo Diet:
- Animal-based protein is not the best form of protein for muscle growth and toning. Dairy-based protein, such as milk, and eggs are a more efficient source of protein.
- Fruits are high in sugar. Despite not being refined sugar, the sugar in fruit can really add up. By replacing other foods with fruit in the Paleo diet, you’ll be taking in more calories and carbohydrates than you expect.
- Animal-based protein is high in fat. This fat can build up in your arteries and can lead to heart disease, including stoke and heart attack, as wellas high blood pressure.
- Your body needs complex carbohydrates from grains to function properly. Low-carb diets are great for weight-loss, but solely eating simple sugars in fruits instead of complex carbs in things like whole wheat bread is just, very simply, bad for you. Complex carbs keep you full longer, and require more energy to break down in your body. On the other hand, sugar from fruits break down quickly, making your body hungry very shortly after eating.
- Without dairy and grains, you’re missing important nutrients your body needs. If on the Paleo diet and not taking daily supplements of vitamin D, calcium, and fish oil, you’re likely going to be deficient, resulting in an array of health problems.
- Studies have shown that eating too much animal protein can cause cancer and diabetes, in addition to the heart diseases mentioned earlier.
- There is no actual published research evidence that the Paleo diet even works. Sure, there are celebrities promoting it, plenty of books with nice pictures of food, and Dr. Oz has talked about it, but if you search for a scholarly article in which the long- and short-term positive and negative effects of the Paleo diet were tested, you will not find one.
- It’s expensive to maintain!
So, before tossing out your cheese and bread for the steak and spinach, read up on all your diet options. There are smarter, more effective, easier diets out there. There’s a reason we aren’t cavemen anymore: we’re too smart for it.
A breakdown of the diet proven by trained researchers to be the #1 diet currently out there will be posted shortly!