By now, most people have heard of or are familiar with the Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet due to the way it is meant to replicate how people ate thousands of years ago prior to the existence of processed foods.
The diet encourages people to step away from eating anything that would be considered unnatural such as dairy and grains, replacing it with whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, eggs, and fish.
Though grains are technically found in nature, in today’s food industry, they are so heavily processed before consumption that they are not deemed natural within the paleo diet. Because these grains are discouraged, paleo falls into the category of low carb diet with emphasis on a higher consumption of fats and proteins, however, fruits and vegetables that are higher in carbohydrates are still encouraged within the diet.
Since processed grains and dairy are highly inflammatory in the body, the paleo diet shows many health benefits by eliminating them. It can improve heart health and reduce inflammation. Whole and unprocessed foods are also more rich in nutrients and void of any added chemicals which makes paleo a cleaner diet and can help those who are trying to lose or manage their weight.
Sustaining a nutrient-dense diet along with regular exercise can drastically reduce the likelihood of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes which didn’t exist in the times before processed food. Paleo was designed to emphasize the quality of foods consumed and not to be restrictive with calorie counting, making it more sustainable as a lifestyle, not a fad diet.
In its development, Paleo may not have intended on being focused as a weight loss diet or place heavy restrictions, but there are certain foods that are not allowed such as dairy and grains.
This could become an issue for certain groups including kids that require higher intake of calcium while they are growing.
It has been proven that those who follow a strict paleo diet have lower levels of calcium in their system than is recommended, which could result in slowed bone growth in younger people. The diet is also rich in fats and while it should be healthy fats that are consumed, cholesterol levels can increase in a high-fat diet which is linked to heart disease. Lastly, by eliminating grains in your diet, you could see a drop in your energy levels which could be dangerous for those who are highly active including athletes who require fast acting energy sources.
As a whole, the paleo diet encourages a cleaner way of eating which can have many health benefits. The tricky part is ensuring that you are getting enough calcium and proper carbohydrates from other sources while monitoring your fat intake. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.