What is the Paleo Diet? Rules for the paleo diet:
It is much more straightforward than it sounds. The early humans, over 2.5 million years ago had diets that couldn’t be more different to ours. The Paleo diet goes back to the foods that were available in this age – grass-fed meat, fruits and vegetables. It’s also known as the caveman, Stone Age, or steak and bacon diet.
What to eat on the Paleo Diet:
The Paleolithic era was long before the agricultural age so a lot of the foods that we consume now were not available back then.
People who follow this diet believe that our digestive systems have not changed in the time that has passed, and therefore the following foods put a strain on our gastrointestinal tract:
- Legumes (including peanuts)
- Cereal grains
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- Refined vegetable oils
- Root vegetables
Is paleo diet the healthiest diet \ Is the paleo diet healthy?
There are not really long term studies on this diet however it CAN be healthy. By following the paleo diet properly, you focus on naturally raised meat and fish, as well as vegetables and fruits. However as you avoid dairy and grains, it can also put you at risk for deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D. This can be dangerous as these are both critical to bone health. If you focus too much on meat, you may also consume saturated fat and protein far above recommended level. The impacts of this could be an increased risk of kidney and heart disease and certain cancers. So while it can be healthy when done right, like anything, it can also have it’s risks.
What are some benefits of the paleo diet?
By following the paleo diet properly, you will be consuming high-fibre, potassium and antioxidants while also being low in simple carbohydrates, sodium and sugar can be a healthy eating plan. The really good thing is that it also discourages foods that are highly processed or have artificial ingredients and colourings.
A paleo eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables allows you to take in plenty of important nutrients and it may kick-start weight loss and, at least in the short-term, improve blood sugar and lipid profiles.
The risks of the paleo / caveman diet
A restrictive diet like this, or other diets such as the keto diet are hard to stick too. For that reason, the paleo diet isn’t effective for continued weight loss.
Due to the nature of this diet, it is high in saturated fats. This is because of the increased intake of protein from animal food sources. Over time, people following the diet may see increases in cholesterol. This could increase the risk of heart disease.
As mentioned above it may also result in reduced calcium and vitamin D intake. This increases the risk of osteoporosis, rickets, and bone fractures.
Continued low carbohydrate intake may lead to an overuse of fat for energy, or ketosis.
So is it worth it? Is the Paleo diet worth it?
In my opinion, NO. All diets are short term solutions and once you return to your regular eating habits, weight tends to shoot back up again. Instead of focusing on these short term solutions, why not make the lifestyle changes to achieve sustainable weight loss, while improving your health in the process?
WeightMatters with Jenny
WeightMatters with Jenny is an online weight loss programme. Although I am based in Cavan Ireland, I have members all over the country from Roscommon to Longford, Sligo to Dublin and as far down as Kerry and Cork. I have members in the UK, Spain and other parts of Europe as well as in the United States!
Because my programme is completely remote, it is open to anyone who wants to lose weight, work on weight control and receive daily support! As part of the programme, you’ll get to join my weekly live zoom meetings (there are 3 a week) and also have full access to the recipes and resources on my site. You’ll join the closed WhatsApp group and send me weekly weigh-ins. I love helping my members reach their goals and help them to become Diamond Members.
Want to see some of my members before and afters? Click here