It seems that there are a lot of trends in terms of diets, exercise plans and the like. Right now the Paleo diet is trending in the healthy eating world and some people are singing its praises. Before dissecting the pros and cons of the Paleo diet, let us first take a look at what it is.
What Is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is essentially a diet based on the way our ancestors ate. The Paleo diet stresses avoiding processed foods the way our ancestors did in the caveman days. In the modern take on the Paleo diet, the guidelines as to which foods to eat or avoid are the basis of how to eat to be healthy. Take a look at most any Paleo diet and you will likely see the following list of foods to eat and those to avoid:
Foods to Eat
Nuts and Seeds
Foods to Avoid
Processed Food and Sugar
Dissecting the Paleo Diet
According to Men’s Health, all but one of the items on the list of foods to avoid is consistent with what they think. The only food on the ‘avoid’ list that they agree with is processed foods and sugar. It should be said that they are aligned with all the foods on the ‘eat’ list. In fact, Men’s Health says that there are foods in the ‘avoid’ column that they believe are fantastic for you. So why the discrepancy?
There are some benefits to each of the foods (sin processed food and sugar) that the Paleo diet tells us to avoid:
Legumes- a great source of fiber
Starches- ‘resistant’ starches have been shown to heal the colon, prevent cancer and diabetes
Dairy- excellent source of protein
Grains- eating the right types of grains, like high fiber grains, offer a lot of fiber and other nutrients
Alcohol- in moderation, alcohol has been shown to have healthy benefits to the heart
The Takeaway on the Paleo Diet
Demonizing entire food groups means that you are ignoring the details. With many foods, the devil is in the details. The Paleo diet may indeed work well for many people but this does not mean that outcasting good foods that have a bad rep when used improperly is the right thing to do. The bottom line is that people need to make smarter decisions when presented with the foods they can eat. In reality there is no magic diet that will make you healthy and lose weight. Don’t look at diets as so black and white or you just may miss out on the true benefits of the foods you are avoiding.