Paleo diet is the abbreviated form of Paleolithic diet, which is one of the modern diet regimens, made popular during the last few decades. The Paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet and the hunter gatherer diet. These terms refer to the nutritional plan that this diet is based on, which takes after the ancient wild plants and animals diet that Stone Age humans consumed during the Paleolithic period. The said era was the one that ended thousands of years ago as agriculture developed, reducing the need to hunt for food before eating. This diet primarily consists of fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and roots. While it excludes legumes, grains, refined sugar, salt, dairy products and processed oils.
While this diet has been here since quite some time, there is still a debate about its health benefits among nutritionists and health experts. However, there is also no dearth of people who are all for it. The following section discusses the good and the not-so-good points of the Paleo diet.
Upside of the Paleo Diet
The proponents of this diet dub it as world’s healthiest diet. It is based on the natural diet adopted by earlier humans to keep themselves healthy and energized. It is said to produce life improvements in terms of better health and increased energy. More specifically, it provides the following benefits:
1. Weight Loss
The Paleo diet is considered to promote weight loss due to the kind of food intake it involves. While one is not necessarily eating a low carb diet with this type of diet program, the carb requirements are rather fulfilled using lots of vegetables, fruits and meat. Refined sugar and oils are completely eliminated and raw food intake is preferred. This eventually leads to better metabolism and thus weight loss.
2. Better Skin
A clearer skin is yet another most reported benefit from the Paleo diet. With the decreased oil and sugar content and increased fiber intake, the body gets a much improved digestive system, which when disturbed may lead to problems like acne etc.
3. Less Allergies
Many people, who are allergic to casein and gluten found mostly in dairy products and wheat, find this diet very useful. Since the Paleo diet completely eliminates Milk and Wheat from one’s intake, which are responsible for up to 90% of all allergies caused, this diet proves to be great for a lot of people.
4. Improvement in Overall Health
Studies have shown that even a short spell of Paleo diet improves an individual‘s energy levels. Not only that, it is also said to decrease the risks of cancer, diabetes and heart diseases due to the fact that the food intake is closest to basic human nature and bodily requirements.
Downside of the Paleo Diet
Where there are many who will vouch for the effectiveness of this diet program, there is no dearth of people who do not consider it viable due to certain reasons:
1. Difficult to Adopt as a Lifestyle
It is not normally possible to stick to a diet that completely eliminates the basic types of foods like milk, grains, beans etc. While it can be adopted for a while, it may or may not be possible for everyone to take it on as a lifestyle. Consider, for example, the times when you go out to eat. Not many restaurants offer Paleo-compatible meals.
2. Can be Expensive
With all the legumes, beans, dairy and grains eliminated, you will need to rely more on certain expensive foods such as meat. This may prove to be difficult for some.
3. Lacks Calcium
The only source of little calcium that it allows is the green vegetables.
Due to all the factors discussed, it is best to assess one’s own situation, habits and requirements in order to decide for or against the Paleo diet program.