Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons

By Kara Greenwood

The Paleolithic (Paleo) diet is continuing to become more popular. The idea behind the Paleo diet is that you only eat the foods that were available to our ancestors in the hunter-gatherer age.  If the caveman didn’t eat it, than neither can you. This means no dairy, processed sugar, boxed or canned foods, grains, or legumes.  The diet consists of an abundance of fruits, seasonal vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and meat that do not contain hormones or antibiotics. Scientists believe that our human genetics have barely changed since the hunter-gatherer age, even when our environment, food options and diets have completely evolved. Our society now has agriculture, factory farming, and more foods with chemicals and unnatural additives. Lisa Sundstrom, founder of GABBY & IZZY; health, fitness & wellness, believes there are both pros and cons to the Paleo diet.

Pros

A benefit to the Paleo-style eating is that it cuts down on processed foods and refined sugar. The top diseases in the nation such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are largely due to the processed and refined diet in Western culture and can be prevented or even cured with proper nutrition. “What I do like about the diet is that there isn’t any calorie counting,” says Sundstrom.  With a culture that is overly obsessed with both calorie and fat counting, it offers a refreshing perspective. Instead of counting, you can enjoy your food and not stress over numbers. “I like the idea of the Paleo plate portions because vegetables carry the biggest portion on the plate,” says Sundstrom. “I also like that all foods should be organic and antibiotic free.”

Cons

Although this lifestyle movement has great health benefits, it lacks components that can be essential to a proper diet.  Sundstrom also adds that is isn’t vegetarian friendly and it cuts out whole grains and legumes, both of which are high dietary fiber. Dairy, legumes, and grains have great nutritional benefits as they are high in calcium and fiber.  Cutting food groups out of your diet is not always necessary and could result in a deficiency of vitamins or minerals. Another problem with the diet is that it is challenging to consistently eat meat that is grass fed and poultry that doesn’t contain antibiotics. Even labels that say free range or organic can be deceiving. However, this challenge is definitely worth it because eating meat with hormones and antibiotics will eventually be detrimental to overall health.

As challenging as this diet can be, it is definitely worth a try to see if it works best for your health. Take the pros and cons into consideration and make individualized modifications when needed.

Photo Credit

http://paleomg.com/dill-smoked-salmon-and-red-pepper-scramble/

Categories: Your Nutrition

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2 Comments on “Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons”

  1. Lisa Swan
    February 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    This is a very interesting article- great reporting!
    I love your website…

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