Fitness professionals who teach their clients about nutrition must understand the Paleo diet. The diet has been the subject of intense criticism by health professionals because of wellness bloggers’ and celebrity chefs’ exaggerated claims about its purported effects – for example, that the Palaeolithic diet could prevent or cure polycystic ovary syndrome, autism, mental illness, dementia and obesity. The Paleo diet was born in academic circles in the ’70s. According to the book Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald, the idea of eating Paleo started to emerge in the 1970s. A doctor and academic named Walter Voegtlin thought his modern kinfolk would be much healthier if only they returned to the pre-agricultural food habits of the Paleolithic era, which ended about 11,000 years ago, and he began to write about his theories. Eating nothing but lean protein, veggies, nuts and seeds and healthy fats is great for weight loss and managing blood sugar but consuming no amount of fruit, for example, could deprive you of the phyto- (plant) nutrients that are unique to certain fruits. Learn more at NESTA

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