cavemenCavemen are making a comeback.
Droves of modern-day Bam-Bams are considering a return to their evolutionary "roots." We're talking about the Paleo Diet - a plan that proposes going way back to the paleolithic age for dietary advice.
What did we eat in the days after dinosaurs? Fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables, lean meats and seafood were "in," and refined grains, refined sugars and trans fats were "out" (because they hadn't been invented yet). In the Paleo diet, dairy is also a no-no, as are all types of grains. The reported health improvements attributed to this kind of diet -- improved sleep, reduced bloating, better blood sugar -- do make nutritional sense. But there seem to be very few logical reasons (or long-term studies) provided for omitting nutrient-dense seeds and ancient grains, like hemp, chia, einkorn, millet and rices.
Fad or Not?
Read further and Paleo can start to look a lot like other fad diets: There's a promise of short-term weight loss and health improvements at the expense of long-term health -- both yours and the environment's.
greensFats and Carbs
Here is a quote from paleodietlifestyle.com: "You should eat a diet high in fat, mostly from animal sources, moderate to high animal proteins and low to moderate natural carbohydrates coming from fruits and vegetables and you can include a small amount of nuts. The preferred fats should be saturated fats like coconut oil, lard, duck fat, butter, tallow as well as monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados."
Truth? Neither the Paleo Dino of yesterday nor the Healthy Gal of today will cleanly generate quick energy from fat. Bodies need carbohydrates for brain food and better energy. Yes, those carbs can come from fruit. But why throw out whole grains and legumes that our prehistoric pals also consumed? These types of foods provide plant-based proteins and have been proven by long-term, large-scale studies to deliver optimal health benefits.
Additionally, while many fats provide super health benefits, our bodies don't respond well to excess. Processing becomes harder, and the high caloric contribution becomes challenging in the weight management category.
Duck fat= fat bottom. 'Nuff said!
Tons of animal protein combined with tons of fat? Uh, the 80s called and they want their diet back.
Despite claims that the Paleo diet will keep the body more alkaline with all those veggies and fruit, this seems highly unlikely for a diet rich in animal fat and animal proteins. Furthermore, these proteins and fats, consumed in excess, will tip the body's hormones toward inflammation, increasing risk for chronic diseases.
tigerOh Yeah, The Environment
Another problem with Paleo is that its followers don't often adopt the diet's core principle of eating local, grass-fed, organic beef. So despite claims that Paleo is environmentally-friendly and sustainable, it still inadvertently supports a lifestyle that is harmful to animals and destructive to nature. Not cool in our book.
Can't We All Just Get Along?
So what can a Healthy Gal learn from a Paleo Princess? The same nutritional wisdom shared by experts across the country: quality matters. Yes, we all agree we should skip the refined and artificial stuff, but plant foods can provide the nutrients we need, including healthy fats and proteins. No need to gnaw on a turkey leg for lunch.
Did you learn something new in this article? Still have questions? Leave us your feedback on HealthyBitchDaily.com in the comments section of this article!
Photo Sources: Lord Jim, Sandra Mora, Tambako the Jaguar
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