Weighing the Paleo Diet

paleo-plate

Have you ever considered what it was like to live in the Stone Age? Why not try eating this way? Some say, it’s far healthier than how we eat today. You’ve probably heard of the paleo diet, which suggests that we eat like our ancestors did in the Paleolithic era. The reasoning behind it, they mostly ate fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. Few grains, legumes, and hardly any sugar, salt, or fat was included. Today’s diet has a lot of carbs, unhealthy fats, and foods laden with sugar, salt, and chemical preservatives. Practitioners believe that going back to how we originally ate is more in line with our biology, and therefore more healthful. Paleo’s say they are fitter, stronger, have better skin, more energy, and less digestive problems. Practitioners swear they consume more fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, lean protein, and less unhealthful fats. In comparison to the average, modern American diet with lots of yeast-breads, refined grains, junk food like pizza and fried chicken-based meals, and a high caloric content in general, you can see how different our modern diet is to what our ancestors ate. No wonder obesity and diabetes have increased in recent years.

In this diet, nuts, seeds, animal products including organ meat, marrow and so on, eggs, honey and other animal products, and raw fruits and vegetables are all on the menu. Grains, legumes, and dairy are not. Though there are many benefits, those who subscribe to this diet often forget to weigh the negatives as well. There is no evidence that dairy, legumes, or whole grains promote any sorts of diseases. In fact, most dieticians find these healthy if eaten in moderation, and if milk fat is avoided. Though there are some negative compounds such as phylates and lectins in legumes, research shows the advantages of eating them outweigh the drawbacks. Paleo practitioners say grains induce inflammation within the body and cause health problems. But most studies agree that whole grains are good for our health. In fact, nutritionists say it is not healthy to completely leave out grains from our diet. There are other problems. It can be hard socially to keep up the Paleo diet, for instance. It takes a significant amount of preparation, time, and planning. There is also higher cost involved. Instead, nutritionists suggest adding elements to this diet such as more fruits and vegetables, to gain significant health benefits. But of course it’s important to eat a well-rounded diet with lots of different foods.

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