Paleo ≠ ALWAYS Healthier

By: Nikki Nies

Many adopt the Paleo diet as a means to reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease or Type II Diabetes.  The diet promotes a healthier, disease free life, while consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and sources of protein.  Also known as the Stone Age diet, Caveman diet, Hunter gatherer diet or Primal diet,  the Paleo diet emphasizes consumption of fresh vegetables & roots, tart fruits, nuts, wild fish, free-range poultry, grass-fed meats, olive and coconut oils. Many have adopted the diet as a means to eliminate refined foods and reduce his or her risk of chronic diseases.

The Paleo diet is compatible with other diets, such as the Gluten Free diet, Low carb and cross fit diet.  However, the Paleo diet has reemerged as a popular diet with the expertise and explanation of Dr. Loren Cordain,

our ancestors were omnivores, eating a hunt-and-gather diet of fresh wild fruits, vegetables, and animals, depending upon the climate in which they lived. The major difference between their diet and our modern diet is the development of agriculture about ten thousand years ago, which brought us grains and legumes (beans).

Aspects of Paleo Diet:

  • 100% whole ingredients that could be found in the wild before the time of agriculture or domesticated animals
  • Opt for healthy fats (i.e. coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, tallow oils,etc)
  • All types of vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts–unsweetened, pecans, coconut, etc.
  • No processed or prepackaged foods
  • No artificial, added or refined sugars
  • No grains or gluten–can use coconut or almond flour if desired
  • No legumes, including peanuts or soy
  • No white potatoes, but sweet potatoes are fine
  • Limit dairy to fermented or raw grass fed dairy products
  • Opt for grass fed meats, pastured free-range chicken/eggs, wild fish and fresh organic produce

Health Benefits of Paleo Diet:

Original Image by zsoolt via Flickr
Original Image by zsoolt via Flickr
  • Burn off stored fat
  • More efficient workouts
  • Balanced energy throughout the day
  • Stabilize blood sugar
  • Low in Sodium
  • Improved Sleep Patterns
  • Alcohol consumption in moderation
  • Provides natural balance of healthy fats, which creates healthy brain cells
  • Limits fructose
  • Very filling through constant consumption of protein and fiber

As with any major diet overhauls, if you’re interested in adapting aspects of the Paleo diet or adopting the entire Paleo diet, consult your physician beforehand.  By cutting out dairy products, one is at risk of developing nutrient deficiencies.  When choosing meats, opt for lean meats, otherwise one can develop heart problems over time.  It’s good to know what’s acceptable in the diet and what is eliminated before a huge overhaul.  Keep in mind, “if the caveman didn’t eat it, it’s not part of the diet.”


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