What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo Diet?

Clyde Katzmann

The Paleo Diet is a specialty diet that focuses on eliminating grains, dairy, refined sugar, legumes, starches, and processed foods from your diet. It is named after the Paleolithic era, and is supposed to be based off of the way humans ate before modern farming when humans were hunter-gatherers.  There is a HUGE emphasis on the consumption of animal protein and lots of saturated fats, such as eggs, pork, red meat, beef tallow, lard, and coconut oil. Generous amounts of vegetables are also recommended, but only a little bit to a moderate amount of fruit and nuts.

Many recommend the paleo diet as a form of weight loss or management.  Some benefits of the Paleo Diet include the fact that since the diet emphasizes fresh foods, home cooking, and organic, pasture-raised foods, you are more likely to be eating a cleaner, healthier diet as compared to the Standard American Diet. Other benefits include anti-inflammatory benefits due to the high intake of plant foods in the diet, and the lack of processed junk foods. Due to the high fiber content of the vegetables, it will also aid in digestion and prevent constipation.

Despite the pros, there are also cons involved with this diet. For instance, it excludes beans and legumes, which are healthy and beneficial foods.  While it eliminates dairy due to the impacts dairy can have on health, it doesn't eliminate red meat, which can have negative health consequences if eatenin large amounts.  Also, many have noted that people following the Paleo Diet can suffer from Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, although that can be prevented by taking a simple multivitamin.

The Paleo Diet blew up in popularity and is followed by many body builders and online bloggers.  Although the Paleo Diet promotes some really healthy and beneficial eating habits, like eliminating processed foods, sugar, and refined oils, and eating a lot of vegetables, it fails on other areas, like promoting high amounts of saturated fats or eliminating otherwise healthy foods like beans. A Paleo diet has been shown to be healthier than an Standard American Diet, and has been shown to benefit in some metabolic processes as well.  In the end, everybody is different and responds differently to different ways of eating.  So, if you want, give Paleo a try and see if it works for you.

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