Skip to main content

Food Trends: Eating Like a Caveman? (The Paleo Diet)


Everywhere you turn, people are talking Paleo! Here at Kindred Nutrition, Paleo is the eating plan clients ask about most.

What is Paleo?

Websites, magazines, even entire books are devoted to Paleo. The diet is especially popular among people advocating the Crossfit exercise plan. But what, exactly, is Paleo? Well, descriptions vary depending on who you ask. But most advocates generally define the Paleo diet as those foods eaten by our hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic) ancestors. This translates to lots of animal protein and lots of plants (veggies and fruits). The rationale for the Paleo diet, loosely explained, is that we should eat those foods humans evolved eating, as opposed to the grain-heavy, processed diet of more modern times. The argument seems logical enough, and lots of fresh produce is a no-brainer, right? Let’s take a closer look.

Paleo Basics
To “eat Paleo,” avoid all processed foods and sugar, and limit (but do not eliminate) carbohydrates. Specifically, avoid grains (wheat, corn, etc.) and focus on animal protein, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits. Paleo advocates often differ on whether any starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc.) are appropriate. Some Paleo eaters embrace beans and lentils, while others do not. 

A Paleo diet is likely to be full of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and low on the Glycemic Index. It’s entirely possible that many people will feel great and lose weight eating this way. I am somewhat concerned with the long-term, however. Eliminating dairy and grains means eliminating main sources of calcium, fiber, and other nutrients, which opens the door for nutritional deficiencies. And, this diet is restrictive and will require advance planning to maintain day in and day out. The burnout potential is high. If you haven’t been practicing portion control and continually are “sneaking” non-Paleo foods, weight maintenance is likely to be a problem.

So, what’s the takeaway on the Paleo diet?

Ø  Advantage: The diet dramatically reduces sugar and sodium consumption, which is a great benefit. Another plus is that there is a lot of support for this diet. A quick Web query will bring up tons of information, book titles, sample diet plans, and forums for followers to share experiences.  And, protein is filling, so it’s unlikely you will go hungry on this diet.

Ø  Challenge: The Paleo diet prohibits dairy and grains. Restrictive diets are difficult to adhere to long-term and require monitoring to ensure your diet provides vital nutrition. For example, whole grains provide much-needed fiber and are also fortified with nutrients. You’ll miss out on all of that by eating Paleo. As a dietician I’m always concerned when a diet eliminates entire categories of foods like this.

Ø  For Your Consideration: If you choose to follow the Paleo diet, be sure to identify your calcium sources and consider a Vitamin D supplement. Also, have a plan for how you will handle eating when you can’t easily supply or control your meals (e.g., social dining situations, restaurants). If possible, consult a dietician. He or she can review your Paleo food choices and help tweak them to ensure optimal nutrition.

 

For More Information

 
 

Comments

paleoaholic said…


I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next..



healthly meals

what is paleo

paleo guide

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth Behind Clean Eating

A quick trip to the grocery store or chain restaurant and you will likely be bombarded with the concept of “clean eating” foods that claim to be “organic”, “natural”, “non GMO”, and “gluten free”. There is also the laundry list of foods you should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and various toxins or chemicals. As a consumer it can be very overwhelming and intimidating to choose which foods are best for you.
While clean eating is not a new sensation, it has become increasingly popular in part due to misinformation on social media. Fear mongering is the latest marketing strategy in which companies are deliberately arousing fear in consumers to help sell their product. For example, products claim to be non-GMO when in fact it is not produced as a GMO food in the first place. There are only 8 genetically modified crops commercially prepared in the U.S. Products that have never contained gluten have a “Gluten free” label on them. Then there is the irrational conce…

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

Interesting read about OCD & #EatingDisorders

Interesting read about OCD & #EatingDisorders