Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is based on ideas about the kinds of foods our ancestors used to eat. On this diet, you can eat plenty of meat, fish and vegetables, but no processed foods, grains or dairy products. Adopting the principles of the paleo diet could help you to eat more healthily, even if you don't stick strictly to it.

What is the Paleo diet?

People on the Paleo diet don't eat anything that their paleolithic ancestors wouldn't have eaten. That means no processed foods: no ready meals, no refined sugar, no salt and no refined vegetable oils. The paleo diet also bans dairy, potatoes, grains and legumes. Instead, you'll eat a lot of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits on this diet.

Health benefits of the Paleo diet

Proponents claim that the paleo diet can reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Although there is little evidence to back up these long-term health claims for the paleo diet, many doctors advise eating fewer processed foods and more vegetables as a way of improving your health.

The paleo diet contains more fiber than the typical modern American diet, which could improve your digestive health. Regularly eating fish as part of the paleo diet could increase your consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been linked with heart health.

Eating paleo also reduces your consumption of salt and sugar. If your doctor has recommended that you reduce your salt intake because your blood pressure is too high, then the paleo diet may be suitable for you. Meanwhile, eating less sugar could help you to lose weight.

Potential health risks of the Paleo diet

Critics of the Paleo diet claim that it cuts out some healthy foods, such as whole grain foods and legumes. Cutting out dairy can also reduce calcium intake below the amount recommended by the FDA. To keep your bones healthy, you need to eat plenty of alternative calcium sources, such as leafy greens or take a supplement.

Other drawbacks of the Paleo diet

Another criticism of paleo is that such a strict diet is difficult to maintain. You'll need to cook most of your food from scratch and resist the temptation to reach for processed snacks. Eating a lot of meat and fish while shunning basics like wheat and rice can also raise grocery bills.

Conclusion

The Paleo diet has many benefits. For example, it encourages eating plenty of vegetables while cutting back on salt and sugar. However, it also cuts out large groups of foods, such as grains, legumes and dairy, which aren't necessarily unhealthy. If you want to eat more healthily or lose some weight, then eating more unprocessed, whole foods and cutting back on sugar is a great approach, even if you don't decide to stick strictly to the Paleo diet.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/paleo-diet

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardi-phd/paleo-diet_b_5774200.html

http://paleotrack.com/blog/4-most-common-nutrient-deficiencies-on-the-paleo-diet/


CATEGORIES: Paleo Diet, Health Benefits, Pros And Cons, Benefits, Eating Healthy, Healthy Eating