As we’ve found out over the past several months, there are good diets and bad diets. There are good ways to exercise and some that are not so good. The Paleo Diet is a method by which weight loss is obtained from going back to a system of nutrition that our prehistoric ancestors used. The fact remains that looking at what the guidelines are, its hard not to think that this can’t be good for modern-day humans nor our forefathers who had no choice but to eat it.
The Paleo Diet consists of eating large quantities of red meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts and some dairy products. The key is to consume lean meats in combination with “good fats” in order to force the body to burn off damaging carbohydrates.The principal is to eat as humans did during the Paleolithic period which was between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. This period was well before any agriculture or farming crept its way into the human lifestyle so the diet specifically bans any processed, refined, or specially prepared foods which eliminates things such as milk, peanuts, beans and almost all bread products.
The principle of eating nothing that our hunter-gatherer predecessors couldn’t eat has some genuine basis in good dieting habits. Processed foods are harmful where large amounts of sodium and preservatives are added during the processing stage which causes much of our current heart diseases. Lots of lean protein, fish, vegetables (again nothing in cans or packets) and some nuts are viewed as valuable core foods. The elimination of certain food groups reportedly controls the intake of some saturated fats, a known cause of a higher propensity for stroke and heart failure. Supporters of the Paleo Diet claim that there is no shortage of daily fibre or vitamins and that there are sufficient quantities of each food group to formulate a balanced diet.
My own reservations with the Paleo Diet stem from a common sense outlook. Any diet that depends upon the intake of large quantities of red meat are flawed. Red meat is a great source of protein but it carries such a downside in terms of its effects on blood pressure, heart failure and many other problems. The other main concern is that we’re assuming that our bodies are constructed in exactly the same way that they were 10,000 years ago, which is a fallacy. Our digestive systems have evolved over time to be able to process dairy products rather than large quantities of seed vegetables. No longer do we have to ‘chase” our food to kill it so there is no need for such large quantities of food during the course of a 24hr period.
Finally, there are certain informed dietitians in the USA who have ranked the Paleo Diet as the “Worst Diet of 2013” out of a revised list of 30 diets. When you have such an overwhelming rejection of a diet’s core principles by a learned and informed group of medical experts, in my view its time to head for the hills. There are too many much better diets available to waste any time trying to behave like Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone.
Toss out the Paleo Diet. It’s for your own good!