The Paleo diet is the modern nutritional movement using the logic that humans should eat like our hunter-gatherer, pre-agricultural ancestors. The diet consists of eating “caveman-like” food sources which is said to help reduce chronic disease, optimize your health, and help you lose weight. This diet claims to be the “world’s healthiest diet” because it is one in which humans are adapted to. The Paleo diet suggests that one should eat a high protein, low carb diet, which excludes all grains, dairy, and legumes. However, there are some paleo diet myths that have been proven wrong.
The Paleo lifestyle is flawed because: (Paleo Diet Myths)
- There was no set way the caveman ate in the Paelolithic era. Depending on what part of the world these people lived in would determine what types of foods they would eat.
- It suggests a diet high in meat protein (especially red meat) and low in carbs. Studies have shown that high protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, and kidney damage.
- Whole grains are an important part of a long-term, healthy diet. They provide ample doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
- Also, there is no strong science to prove that Paleo-eaters live longer, or are healthier than those who don’t follow the diet.
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Although the Paleo diet has its flaws, there are some nutritional take-a ways from the Paleo logic:
- The Paleo diet suggests eating natural foods, not processed foods, which can promote a healthy lifestyle.
- The diet suggests eating a large amount of fruits and vegetables, which are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Salt intake is dramatically reduced and potassium is increased. Low levels of potassium in the body can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. High amounts of salt can dramatically increase the risk for high blood pressure and can result in weight gain, kidney stones, and bloating.
- Refined sugars are off the menu with the Paleo diet. High amounts of sugar in diets can cause weight gain and diabetes.
The Paleo diet has some excellent ideas for eating healthy, natural foods. Unfortunately the logic behind the “caveman diet” is flawed and unrealistic. If you are trying to make a lifestyle change to benefit your health and change your diet, do your research. Many diet fads, like the Paleo diet, have some great ideas, but the diet as a whole has its problems.