Should we eat like our caveman ancestors? AKA the Paelo Diet

January 14, 2014
Paleo Text

What’s up with the Paleo Diet? Well apparently a lot, Google reported that the most Googled diet of 2013 was the Paelo diet. So what’s with this fad and is this something you should be following?

The Paleo diet also known as the Caveman or Stone Age diet revolves around the idea that if we eat like our ancestors we will be healthier and can lose weight. We will be leaner and less likely to have certain health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  The diet focuses on consuming foods that can be hunted, fished and gathered. Diet options include meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, roots, and berries. But the diet also focuses on excluding grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and salt from the diet.

So what are the pros and cons?

 

Pro

Con

Encourages fruit and vegetables

Eliminates carbohydrates- whole grains, legumes, dairy

Eliminates added sugar and sodium

Possible development of deficiencies

Eliminates processed foods

Difficult to sustain- limited menu

Of course I agree with the aspect of the diet that encourages consumption of more fruits and vegetables, less sodium, sugar, and processed foods. However a typical Paleo diet exceeds the Dietary Guidelines for daily fat and protein intake but also falls short when it comes to carbohydrate recommendations. Excluding whole grains, legumes and dairy can pose concern. These foods are nutrient rich and contain many important vitamins and minerals including Calcium and Vitamin D.

So will you lose weight on this diet? It is difficult to say because there haven’t been many studies and each person is different. But if you eat fewer calories than your daily recommended amount you could potentially lose some weight. And ya, I know some people who followed this diet and were successful in losing weight.

Bottom line. There are some concerns when following this diet. So consider this, instead of eliminating carbohydrates, legumes, and diary from your diet try including them but being mindful of your selections. Choose 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread or nonfat dairy products instead of whole milk products. Moderation and balance are important –you don’t have to eliminate entire food groups from your diet to find weight loss.

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