Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What’s the Deal with Paleo?

The Paleo diet is quickly gain popularity and is taking the diet world by storm. It is also known as the “Stone Age Diet”.  What exactly is this diet? To simplify it, it is a diet that focuses on eating like our prehistoric ancestors did. This was back in time when we did not have processed foods, refined sugars, or dairy. The diet focuses on only eating foods that can be hunted, fished, or gathered. The belief behind this diet is that if we eat the way that our ancestors did that we will be healthier, lose weight, and curb disease. As with any diet, there are always going to be pros and cons. You also always want to check with a doctor or dietician before you start any kind of diet or change in your eating habits.

What the diet emphasizes: Meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and eggs

What the diet eliminates: Processed foods, whole grains, dairy, potatoes, sugar, and salt

Pros of Paleo:

  • Cuts out added sugars and sodium.
  • The combination of plant foods and diet rich in protein helps control blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, contribute to weight loss, and prevent type II diabetes.
  • Diet is rich is protein.
  • Emphasis on protein in fiber in this diet helps suppress appetite leaving us fuller for longer.
  • Potassium is still plentiful in this diet.

Cons of Paleo:

  • Expensive: The meats and other foods that are used in this diet can be very pricey to purchase
  • The diet cuts out certain food groups (such as dairy and whole grains) – Cutting nutrient enriched foods out of a diet can be tricky because that can lead to nutrient deficiencies which may lead to other health issues.
  • Low carb: In this diet only 23% of calories come from carbs when in reality it should be closer to 45-60% calories coming from carbs. Diets low in carbs can lower one’s energy source and leave you feeling tired.
  • It can be difficult to keep up with and maintain this diet.
  • It is low in calcium due to cutting out dairy products– We need calcium to keep our bones strong.
If you are looking to start this type of diet, I would suggest to keep eating whole grains and dairy but in moderation. It is never healthy to cut out a whole food group that has benefits to your body. As always check with you doctor or a nutritionist before starting any sort of diet program.

Blog post by Krista Post.

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