Is The Paleo Diet Healthy?

Why-You-Should-Always-Opt-For-The-Paleo-Diet-1Does eating like a caveman really do a body good? According to the Paleo Diet, yes. According to experts, no.

By eating like our distant, hunter-gatherer ancestors, the Paleo Diet promises a healthier lifestyle, leaner bodies and fewer health problems. But can the Paleo Diet really deliver on that promise?

To go Paleo, it means eating lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and olive oil, eggs, nuts and seeds. It’s basically those foods to which our ancestors had access. Not on the diet would be dairy, refined sugar, beans, potatoes, salt, refined oils and other foods that weren’t readily available or are otherwise manufactured. It also means no bread, including whole wheat. Peanuts are also not on the list.

For a lot of people, the idea of giving up cheese, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, bread, hummus, soy, sweet potatoes or alcohol is unimaginable. And thus, one of the weakness of this diet is exposed; it’s unsustainable. Even though some “open meals” of cheating are allowed depending on your stage with the diet, it’s truly a dramatic dietary change - and one that most people will find unsustainable.

Of course, just because a diet is unsustainable for most people doesn’t make it intrinsically unhealthy.

However, a diet devoid of whole grains and legumes can increase the risk for certain nutritional deficiencies like B vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Because we know that whole grains and legumes are nutritional and are associated with health benefits, what’s the advantage in removing them - especially if it makes a diet exponentially more difficult to sustain long-term? Though it’s technically possible to make up the nutrients in other Paleo-friendly foods, it’s certainly improbably for the average dieter. And it results in lots of effort for no gain.

It’s for these reasons that the Paleo Diet was actually ranked last on the “Best Diets Overall” list in 2014. Of the 32 popular diets evaluated by nutrition experts, the Paleo Diet came in… number 32.

Bottom line: While reducing salt, fatty meats, refined sugars and processed foods is a great step in creating a healthier lifestyle, there are easier and more sustainable ways to do it without eliminating other healthy foods.

For more information about healthy eating, check out Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

About Davey Wavey

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  1. Katherine Lashley says:

    I actually tried Paleo for a while. And while it did work in losing weight and inches, I found that it became too difficult continue.

  2. Brandon S says:

    Sigh…bangs head on desk.
    Any thoughts on Paleo’s distant cousin, Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet’s “Perfect Health Diet”?

  3. I do love the paleo diet. But at the same time, I think it’s important to have everything wether it’s in a diet or not in moderation.

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