Because of all the hype about the Paleo diet in the past few years, many people are asking themselves if the diet is really as beneficial as others claim. This diet originated from the eating habits of our forefathers who lived over 10,000 years ago during the Paleolithic era. The menu for this diet includes foods people hunted and gathered: vegetables, fruits, seafood, nuts, seed, eggs, poultry and grass-fed meats. For example, you can use healthy oils, but a lot of the processed foods, dairy products and grains that dominate today’s diet are not acceptable foods on a Paleo diet. If you are still a bit undecided about embracing the Paleo diet, just check out the facts below about the Paleo diet and decide if the caveman’s eating plan is right for you.
Why choose a Paleo diet?
Because of the rapid evolution of today’s foods, Dr. Loren Cordain, creator of the Paleo diet, believes the human body is incapable of properly digesting these foods. The side effects of this inability doubles our risk for chronic illnesses and increases body inflammation. However, the Paleo diet decreases the risk for chronic illnesses commonly found among people who consume the standard Western diet, and here’s why.
Advantages of being on the Paleo diet
The Paleo diet is natually gluten-free and is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, low-glycemic carbs, antioxidants, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals. Many of the salts, trans fats and sugars found in the modern diet are not present in the Paleo diet. There’s no need for portion control or calorie counting, and there’s no room for binging because you can’t eat things like cookies or chips anyway. So the energy boosts most people get from being on the Paleo diet may actually be a result of eliminating processed foods that contain a lot of calories instead of coming from the foods allowed on the diet.
There are some negative things that you need to be aware of if considering the Paleo diet. For starters, this diet relies on high meat consumption, but we have to remember that meat is not like it used to be during the Paleolithic era. Today’s animals raised for consumption are confined to tight locations and are fed hearty diets. This produces meat high in fat concentrations. Also, we have to considered the average lifespan expectancy differences. People live a lot longer than they did during the Paleolithic era (where life expectancy was around the 20s) thanks to foods enriched with vitamins and other nutrients, which should make us question whether this diet is a healthier alternative. For instance, vitamin D, calcium and other micronutrients are lacking somewhat in the Paleo diet.
The Bottom Line
To get the most out of the Paleo diet, you need to consume lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also, try to find meats that are lean and grass-fed. Another added bonus of the Paleo diet was the frequent exercise the caveman got from handling everyday responsibilities, so try to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. You may even want to start a training program or go to the gym.