The Paleo diet has a multitude of fans and is probably one of the most instantly recognizable names in the dieting world. Its proponents vary from celebrities and athletes to medical professionals.
So it must be fantastic, right?
Well, while there is no doubt that there are many health benefits to this particular diet, there are also some negative issues as well.
What You Should Know About the Paleo Diet
If you’re thinking about trying this particular diet, here’s what you should know:
The Paleo diet discourages a diet of processed foods, while encouraging a natural, organic eating regimen. This includes seafood, proteins, fruits and vegetables, at the same time avoiding legumes, grains, dairy and processed foods. The biggest issue here, and one that most people should focus on, is processed foods.
Convenience and processed foods have rapidly become a staple in many homes and in many people’s daily diets. Processed foods are typically loaded with saturated fats and sugars that have been proven to be harmful.
This, in turn, has also led to an international weight problem that threatens to become one of the biggest health issues society faces. Since the Paleo diet advocates clean, healthy foods rather than processed products, this is not only a benefit from a health perspective but helps significantly with weight control. Weight control is a central focus of the Paleo diet and for good reason, because its methods work.
However, it is not fair to say that everything about the Paleo diet stands up to scrutiny. As mentioned earlier, the Paleo diet avoids legumes (dry fruits that come in a shell or a pod, like peas or beans). The reasoning for this is that they are rich in anti-nutrients. Modern research, however, indicates that cooked legumes are very low in anti-nutrients and that avoiding them entirely is of little to no benefit.
Furthermore, this diet, when followed strictly, can result in an imbalance in nutrition that can cause more problems than it solves. It’s important if you choose to go Paleo, that you make the proper adjustments nutritionally in order to stay healthy. Adding the appropriate supplements and substituting certain foods will generally be adequate.
As with any diet, this eating system is not a one size fits all method even though it is often marketed as such. Ultimately, an individual’s diet should be tailored specifically to their health needs.
The Paleo diet has benefited many people and is still quite popular because of its ability to dramatically affect weight loss and motivate people to good health. Today, there are many die-hard Paleo fans who enjoy good health and would never go back to traditional eating patterns because of the benefits they’ve experienced.
If you have any concerns or questions about whether or not the Paleo diet is right for you, it’s helpful to check with your healthcare professional, fitness trainer or nutritionist.