Reactions to the Paleo Diet

kAll diet programs tend to stir up ardent supporters as well as vehement detractors. The Paleo Diet is no different in this respect. The thing to understand about the Paleo Diet though is that it is more accurately described as a way of life as opposed to a “diet”. As such, the Paleo approach to burning fat or losing weight continues to attract a lot of attention in the media and on the internet.

If this is your first time reading about the Paleo Diet, it can briefly be described like this: lean, healthy bodies are achieved through eating like paleolithic human beings. Eat only meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and eggs. Avoid whole grain products, dairy, legumes(beans), and processed foods.

Any person who begins a new diet or lifestyle change should look at it with a discerning eye and thoroughly contemplate both the advantages and disadvantages. Consulting with a physician or healthcare professional is never a bad idea either. Then, once you decide to proceed, remain up to date with evolving information.

With the objective approach in mind, here are a few typical reactions to the Paleo lifestyle:

Paleolithic human beings didn’t live very long. Therefore, the Paleo Diet isn’t a very good lifestyle choice.

This is usually the first objection that people have toward the Paleo Diet once they grasp that it is about mimicking the eating habits of Stone Age humans. Believers in the Paleo Diet ask that you look at all the information in total before jumping to this conclusion.

Obviously, cavemen didn’t have access to the same medical techniques that we do today. This factor, more than diet, contributed to the decreased longevity of Stone Age people. Some anthropologists believe that the conditions we see at high rates today in young people, such as diabetes, celiac’s disease, or acne, were virtually nonexistent in Paleo era people thanks to their natural diet.

The short answer then to the caveman lifespan question is that Paleolithic people would have lived just as long as modern humans or even longer had they had access to the same medical solutions we have today and that their overall health was better over the span of their life due to the absence of the diet induced diseases of modern humans.

The Paleo Diet lacks adequate fiber intake:

At first glance, many of us assume that the Paleo Diet is devoid of fiber since whole grains are not allowed on this diet plan. Everyone from doctors to food manufacturers constantly push the idea that we must intake fiber for health and that the best way to get it is through oatmeal or whole grain cereals.

Fiber is indeed very important however there are plenty of foods on the Paleo Diet plan that have just as much fiber content as whole grains. A typical serving of whole grain cereal has 4 grams of dietary fiber. Here is a very short list of foods that have just as much or more fiber per serving:

Raspberries = 8 grams of fiber

Apple = 4.4 grams

Pear = 5.5 grams

Broccoli = 5.1 grams

Artichoke = 10.3 grams

Broccoli = 5.1 grams

In other words, fiber does not exist in whole grains alone.

But bread and dairy are my favorite foods!

Yes, you do have to sacrifice something. On the Paleo Diet, you don’t have to count calories, portion sizes are not a major concern, and you don’t have to avoid foods with a high fat content. You can eat plenty of prime rib and ground chuck on the Paleo Diet. To lose that stubborn belly fat though, you’ve got to eliminate dairy and grain based products from your diet.

So, you’ve got to decide what you want more of: to eat bread and cheese or to look and feel healthy again? Some people who have found success with the Paleo Diet allow themselves to indulge in a cheeseburger every now and again. Others who swear by the it find that they don’t even enjoy fattening foods anymore. Either way, anything worthwhile does require a certain measure of discipline, even the Paleo Diet.