Are you thinking about the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet (also known as the Caveman diet or Hunter-Gatherer diet) has been in existence for over 40 years and has recently resurfaced as the latest diet craze that has both health and diet experts buzzing. The diet is based on the way our primal ancestors ate over 10,000 years ago before processed foods became a main staple in our diets today. Resembling certain characteristics of the Atkins diet and including restrictions such as low-carb, no dairy and no sugar, the Paleo diet promises to promote weight loss, healthy skin and increased energy.
Paleo is about eating whole foods:
★ Eat from nose to tail: When we consume all parts of the animal, we avoid potential nutritional imbalances. Intake of lean meats should be balanced with liberal amounts of organ meat, bone (broths) and skin.
★ Just one egg contains 13 essentials nutrients – all in the yolk. Now ask yourself: why you would bother with an egg white omelette?
★ Eating a healthy amount of some fats is important for bone health, support healthy immune function and has been shown to have beneficial impacts on cardiovascular function.
Here is a quick break down of what you can and cannot eat.
★ Grass-fed meats
★ Fresh fruits
★ Fresh vegetables
★ Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, avocado)
★ Vegetable made products like Slendier!
It’s not about eating ridiculous amounts of meat it’s about getting creative:
Many believe that the Paleo diet is extremely meat heavy. This isn’t the case. Instead, Paleo advocates consuming adequate amounts of great quality, pasture-fed and organic meats – and with good reason. Like most diets, it’s important to keep things interesting, get creative with alternatives to the foods to those, which are off the menu. For instance using vegetable based pasta alternatives like Slendier or Zucchini spirals to replace those heavily processed and carb-laden pastas, noodles and rice in evening meals!
The good and the bad, what does the evidence say?
Although the advocates for this diet say that the history of human kind is enough to give light to this style of eating, there is very limited current research to suggest that the Paleo diet is beneficial to health. In fact there is extensive research to support the consumption of wholegrains, legumes and dairy in preventing chronic disease and improving health, hence why they continue to live in our dietary guidelines. These food groups offer an enormous amount of essential vitamins and minerals for good health and people should be cautious before totally eliminating these from your diet.
Do we need to accept that we have evolved from the Paleolithic era?
The Paleo diet does have some positives: advocating for more plant foods such as vegetables, nuts and seeds, not to mention avoiding most processed (high fat, salt and sugar) foods in certainly a step in the right direction. However, unnecessary avoidance of food groups can be harmful to your health. So take from this diet what you will, like including Slendier at mealtimes as a pasta, noodle and rice alternative, but remember; as my mother always says- “everything in moderation”. Always consult your healthcare professional before making any dietary changes.