The paleo diet is all about eating like a caveman. Paleo is a modern term that was first used in the early 20th century to describe ancient diets that mainly consisted of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The modern-day paleo movement came about as more people became interested in what our ancestors ate so that they could achieve better health. Today, you can find an almost endless amount of foods labeled as paleo so it can be difficult to know what’s what. However, most of them are based on a grain or dairy-heavy formula and not really how our ancestors would have eaten. The truth is that the paleo diet is not really a balanced diet because it is heavily focused on animal protein and not much else. In fact, most books about the paleo diet will tell you that you should cut out dairy and grains because they don’t contain enough nutrients to support long-term health or weight management. Instead, they argue that if you eat fatty cuts of meat and rely on low-fat dairy products such as Greek yogurt or cheese as your main source of calcium. Let’s take a look at why the mainstream version of the paleo diet may not be such a great idea after all.
What Happened to the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet has been called everything from a fad diet to a great way to improve your health. However, the truth is that the paleo diet has been around for a long time and has changed over the years. Originally, the paleo diet was simply a way of eating that was based on the diet that our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten. So, it consisted mainly of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. The few dairy products that were available at that time were not a major part of someone’s diet. A more recent incarnation of the paleo diet refers to the idea that we should eat like cavemen. This means that you eat a lot of meat and fish, drink a lot of fresh fruit, and avoid grain-heavy products such as bread and pasta.
The Benefits of a Real Food Paleo Diet
The real paleo diet is not a diet that is based on restricting certain foods. Instead, it is a way of eating that focuses on real food and cutting out processed foods. By cutting out the processed foods that are typically found in many modern diets, you are left with more time to prepare your meals. This means that you are more likely to eat healthy meals as opposed to snacking on processed foods. Real food paleo diets are also better for your health because they eliminate processed foods that are laden with sugar, sodium, preservatives, and other additives. Moreover, while foods that are labeled as paleo can vary quite a bit, a core part of these diets is cutting out dairy products. Milk is particularly problematic because it is among the highest in saturated fat and has been associated with numerous health risks. For example, dairy products have been linked to obesity and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
– Healthy Eating – The paleo diet is a healthy eating plan that encourages you to eat fresh, unprocessed foods. And you don’t have to worry about counting calories or what to eat on a specific day because you can eat anything you want as long as it fits within your macros (protein, fat and carbs).
– Weight Loss – Some people claim that following a paleo diet will help you lose weight because you’ll be eating leaner cuts of meat that are high in protein. And because you’ll be eating more fat, your body will have to burn more calories to digest and store them.
– Healthy Immunity – You’ll also get more nutrients if you follow a paleo diet because you’ll be eating a lot of healthy bacteria-rich foods such as raw veggies, fermented foods like yogurt and cured meats like bacon and salami.
– Best for Athletes – The paleo diet, in particular, is great for athletes because it is high in protein and low in carbs. This will help you build lean muscle and recover from intense training sessions faster.
– Helps Prevent Disease – Some research also shows that following a paleo diet might help prevent certain diseases because it is high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Selenium.
– Saving Time – You can also eat paleo if you’re busy because you don’t have to spend time prepping ingredients or cooking. Plus, if you can afford to eat out a lot (which most people can’t), you don’t have to worry about consuming too many carbs that will slow you down.
– In-depth Knowledge Required – While following a paleo diet might sound like a great way to lose weight and eat healthier, you’re going to have to spend time educating yourself on the Paleo diet. You will find plenty of paleo diet resources online but you can also read books about paleo diet. Plus, you will have to learn how to identify paleo-friendly foods because there are many paleo foods that don’t fit the diet’s definition.
– More Expensive – Most of the foods that are labeled as paleo are high in fat and have a relatively high price tag. And if you’re not careful, you can also overindulge in foods rich in fat, sodium and sugar.
– Another con of the paleo diet is that most of us aren’t adapted to eating paleo foods. That means that you’ll have to spend time preparing food that’s high in fat and salt. And if you don’t have the time, you may end up overindulging in unhealthy foods.
The Paleo Diet Is All About Restriction
The paleo diet is all about cutting out certain foods that are prevalent in modern diets. However, many people who follow the paleo diet are not restricting anything. Instead, they are just eating more natural foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed. The idea is that when you cut out all of the unhealthy processed foods from the typical Western diet, you are left with a more natural diet. This is especially true for paleo diets that are focused on cutting out grains and dairy. When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and protein, respectively, then you can eat as much of both as you would like without worrying about gaining weight. However, if you eat a diet that is high in refined grains or dairy products, then you are likely to gain weight.
Why the Paleo Diet Might Not Be a Good Idea
The paleo diet is marketed as a diet that is high in protein and fat and low in carbs. But, this doesn’t really make sense because our ancestors’ diets were also very high in fat and protein. Unfortunately, it looks like our bodies weren’t built to consume that much fat and protein. To put it simply, a paleo diet is not really a balanced diet. Instead of eating a wide variety of whole foods that are high in fiber and low in salt, sugar and refined carbs, you’ll be focusing on fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, eggs and fish. This, however, makes it difficult to get enough vegetables, vitamins and minerals that are important for good health.
Why You Shouldn’t Cut Out Grains and Dairy on a Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is often promoted as a way to lose weight and improve your health. However, many people who follow the paleo diet fail to understand that it is also a way of eating that is high in saturated fat. Many paleo diets are grain- and dairy-heavy. This means that you are likely to consume large amounts of saturated fat when you eat these foods. One of the most common grains found on paleo diets is barley. This is because it is high in beta-glucan soluble fiber. However, barley is also high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Also, when you eat barley, you consume a lot of indigestible dietary fiber. This may not sound like a good thing, but it has been shown to have a number of health benefits. Other alternative solution if you feel it’s heavy burden to do paleo, it’s intermittent fasting. With intermittent fasting, you had your own restriction simply in timeframe not in food ingredients.