I thought I would take a look at the Paleo Diet. It’s so popular right now. I think the Whole30 is sweeping over it but the Paleo is definitely still riding high. So a little investigation into what’s so great about it is worth some time.
The Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.
When you adopt the Paleo Diet you may:
- reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and most chronic degenerative diseases that affect people in the western world
- lose weight if you are overweight
- improve your athletic performance
- slow or reverse progression of an autoimmune disease
- improve or eliminate acne
- sleep better and have more energy throughout the day
- enjoy an increased libido
- improve your mental outlook and clarity
- enjoy a longer, healthier, more active life
The first thing I’m going to say is…yikes. That’s a lot of almost promises. Note, they aren’t promising. But they are saying it is a good possibility if you are on this diet your life may be improved in these ways.
Let’s narrow it down to what you can have and what you can’t have.
What you can have:
- vegetables mostly.
- fruits, but if you’re watching your weight…watch how much you intake these
- meats (grass produced…however most things I’ve read say don’t stress about this. Do what you can)
- Eggs! (I love eggs so…yeah. I could live on this diet)
- nuts and seeds. But again…watch your intake if you’re trying to lose weight.
- olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil…etc.
What you can’t have:
- canola, corn, soybean oil, etc. No refined oils.
- refined sugar (think…no refined anything)
- if it’s processed or looks in any way delicious…no.
- potatoes (you can have sweet…just not regular)
- cereal grains
- dairy (true Paleo diet eliminates dairy. Some people say that is your choice)
I love everything about this except no sugar.
Let’s face it. I need it like some people need coffee. Huh. Can you have coffee? ::researching now::
Coffee is supposed to be excluded…but if you find it difficult to do that you should start to wean yourself off by switching to green tea. Huh. Interesting. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t really say. I do know a lot of people that swear they can’t give up their coffee though.
I could probably give up SOME sugar. I’ve gone off candy for a very long time but my body (as we have recently discussed) actually seems to need it. I do wish I liked fruit more. I like it okay but it’s no substitution.
I am always willing to try things though. And the Paleo website says you are allowed three non Paleo meals a week.
Some links to a ton of great information if you choose to traverse this particular path.
So the PROS:
fairly easy to do because you do all the cooking
And the Cons:
The average daily calories from fat is a little higher than the recommended allowable 35% (39%)
daily recommendation of carbs is significantly lower
virtually no vitamin D…you’ll need to supplement
It can be really expensive. It’s going to take some shopping to find the deals to keep it within reason
US News & World Report rated it a 2 out of 5 stars based on the reviews of about 22 experts. Sadly, that is not a score I’m impressed with.