The Paleo diet has been in the usual rotation of popular diets for a number of years now. So- what’s all the fuss about, and does it work?


The human diet is a fascinating thing, in the same way that people are wildly unique, so are their eating habits. Sure we may all indulge in some fast food and sweets now and again, but our tastes are refined, we trying to eat nutritiously, the culinary world has expanded so much that we can CHOOSE what we eat for every meal.

Now that may not be crazy to you, but to our early human ancestors, the concept of easily accessible food, menus, and a Big Mac would probably be mind-boggling. Because of this, it makes the paleo diet even more fascinating. Have we been softened by this choice, do we truly only eat empty calories and sugary carbs? But what exactly is the paleo diet, and is there any science that backs it up? Let’s look into it.

The concept of the paleo diet is to take your body back to the prehistoric ages, and eat like what early civilizations ate. The claim is that the human body was never genetically designed to eat heavily processed foods, filled with preservatives and sugary additives. On the surface this seems totally seem like a reasonable thought process, but let’s dig into the specifics of the paleo diet to see if it holds up.

Alright so we’ve got our Paleo diet menu, what can we eat? Well, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Meats, Fish, and oil are all a-ok. These are the types of things that our ancestors with either hunt or forage. However, anything post agricultural revolution is off the table. That means foods that contain any sort of grains like wheat and oats, dairy products, refined sugars, salt, potatoes, and processed foods are kicking to the curb.

In a sense, it sounds like a less restrictive keto, as natural sugars are allowed while the keto diet forbids those as well. Additionally, since we’re not attempting to reach ketosis, there’s a big more wiggle room for cheat days and little uh… mistakes.

In an ideal world where you are able to perform the paleo diet to maximum efficiency, meaning that you’re eating purely grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and avoid all sources of grain and dairy, then you’d likely find some benefits like improved glucose tolerance, a healthier blood pressure, and potentially even weight loss.

However, some drawbacks make the paleo diet a bit harder to pull off than it may seem.
For many, the protein sources coming almost entirely from free range animals and wild fish, the price can be astronomically more expensive than traditional sources. Dairy and beans are great sources of protein but don’t fit the bill, meaning you’ll have to fork quite a bit more money to balance every meal.

Second, the diet focuses entirely on the types of food that you’re eating rather than the amount. While it’s possible to have a caloric deficit on paleo, some participants may struggle with getting all their daily nutrition while staying under a calorie goal, and avoiding their most familiar foods.

With those two points in mind, the Paleo diet is just plain hard to pull off. If you can afford it, and have the diligence to stick to it and ensure you’re getting the right nutrition, then you’ll probably see great results! However, for the general public the cost and complexity of it all may be just a tad too much.



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