You’ve probably heard of the Paleo Diet, it’s all the rage right now. Even Time magazine ran an article on it. The whole idea is that if you eat like a caveman, you’ll lose weight and be healthier. Who wouldn’t want that? So, is the Paleo Diet for me?
The paleo (Paleolithic) diet, invented by Loren Cordain and further developed by Robb Wolf, is one of the most popular diets today. It is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early (Paleolithic) humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy, grain products, and processed food.
What It is
The Paleo Diet follows these basic premises:
- Higher protein intake (the protein in a paleo diet is 19-35% of what a person eats)
- Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index (30-45% of daily calories)
- Higher fiber intake
- Moderate to higher fat intake (dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats)
- Higher potassium and lower sodium intake
- Net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid
- Higher intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals
What to Eat
- Grass-produced meats
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
What Not to Eat
- Cereal grains
- Legumes (including peanuts)
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- Refined vegetable oils
Will This Work?
Whether the Paleo Diet will work for you all depends on why you are following it. Are you on the diet simply to lose weight? If so, please realize that diets don’t work because inherent in a weight-loss diet is a start date and a stop date. Once you to back to eating what you ate previously, the weight will return. The Paleo Diet, along with all other successful eating plans, must become a lifestyle in order to maintain weight loss.
What if you’re following the Paleo plan to improve your health? If you look at the What Not to Eat list above, you will notice that the crap food of the Standard American Diet isn’t included. This alone should improve one’s health.
If you have a serious health problem, there are other eating plans (as opposed to diets) like the Traditional Diet (a very good overall eating plan), the Be in Health Eating Plan (a Bible-based eating plan for healing leaky gut, which is the primary cause of most sickness, and identifying food intolerances), GAPS (designed specifically for children with autism and epilepsy, and adults with depression and anxiety symptoms), low FODMAP (for severe digestive issues), gluten-free (for celiac disease and gluten intolerance), etc., to address specific problems.
Pros and Cons
The pros of the Paleo diet are that it focuses on eating real food, not processed food. Foods like wild-caught meat, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Foods that are not on the paleo diet are anything processed, including grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), raw dairy (such as cultured dairy products like Yogurt, Kefir, and Amasai), salt, and oils. A variation called the neo-paleo diet allows cultured dairy.
The cons are it’s not focused on organic and non-GMO food. Also, people on the Paleo diet tend to eat a lot of pork/bacon as well as shellfish. These animals are common carriers of parasites and are bottom feeders like shellfish and catfish. The problems with pork and shellfish like shrimp are well documented.
After looking at many different types of eating plans, including Paleo, I decided to develop my own, which is called the Be in Health Bible-Based Eating Plan. Following the dietary recommendations of our Creator is important to me, and the Paleo diet does not do that.
Learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.