Image by Micheile Henderson

PALEO DIET

 

WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?

What is the Paleo diet? The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet, also known as the "caveman diet" is a diet that reflects that of which is thought of our prehistoric human ancestors. The concept of this diet is to eat foods that could be obtained through hunting and gathering. This concept is said with the idea that eliminating the modern-era's highly processed foods, you can lose weight, avoid or control Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other preventable health conditions.  The diet focuses on whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats and proteins. This means foods that emerged with farming, such as dairy, refined sugar, legumes and grains are excluded from the Paleo diet.

WHAT DO YOU EAT ON THE PALEO DIET?

This is what to eat on the Paleo diet:

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Lean meats (especially wild/ grass-fed animals.

  • Fish (rich in omega-3 like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel)

  • Oils from fruits and nuts (olive oil, coconut oil)

  • Vegetables like sweet potatoes and cassava (yuca) can be consumed in moderation.

WHAT DO YOU AVOID ON THE PALEO DIET?

This is what not to eat on the Paleo diet:

  • Grains (such as wheat, oats, and barley)

  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts and peas)

  • Dairy (such as cheese, milk, butter, cream)

  • White potatoes

  • Refined sugar 

  • Processed carbs

  • Alcohol

PROS OF THE PALEO DIET

What are the benefits of the Paleo diet? There are many advantages of a Paleo diet. In terms of weight loss, eliminating carbs and processed foods and sugar may not be such a bad idea, especially processed carbs. A large portion of the American diet today comes from carbs and we live in an age where many of those carbs are processed. Cutting out sugars helps suppress sugar cravings over time.  Eliminating empty calories like cookies, potato chips, sweets, butter, sugary foods and drinks, and alcohol, weight loss can be definitely achieved.

There are many journal publications that note the Paleo diet let to medical benefits as well including: improved blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and triglycerides which increase risk of stroke, heart attack and death. Of course, if you're considering any diet, it is always best to consult your doctor. 

CONS OF THE PALEO DIET

What are the harms of the Paleo diet? There are thought to be a few negative side effects of the Paleo diet. Common concerns of the Paleo diet are that it eliminates entire food groups such as whole grains and dairy, which are considered essential in a wholesome diet. Although carbohydrates aren't needed for survival, they do aid in the quality of life being the primary source of our energy. (Our bodies can also utilize fat as the main energy source, which is called ketosis, foundation of the Keto diet)

Other concerns of the Paleo Diet eliminating dairy and whole grains are possible deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins and fiber. Like a Vegan diet, there are nondairy foods and supplements to help bridge any deficiency gaps. Eating fibrous foods and vegetables and taking a fiber supplement can help as well. 

SHOULD I TRY THE PALEO DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT?

In conclusion, a Paleo diet can help you lose weight or kick-start your weight loss goals. It's high in protein, low and carbs, eliminates processed foods & refined sugar. As a very clean type of eating with nutrient dense foods, the Paleo diet also naturally lowers your calories and the potential for weight loss is great. In fact, I attribute my grand weight loss success of 75 pounds to a low-carb Paleo diet. However, my experience might not translate to everyone. Not all bodies are the same and not all diet types work for every individual. If you think this diet may be right for you and wish to give it a shot, I'd be more than happy to work with you to reach your goals. As always, consult your doctor before engaging in any type of diet, exercise and weight loss plan.

*Consult your doctor before engaging in any diet & fitness program*