Paleo Diet – Yay or Nay?

Have you heard about the paleo diet?

The paleo diet is based on what our paleolithic ancestors ate: meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats- avocados, olive oil, nuts,

It eliminates: grains, legumes (beans, peas, peanuts), dairy, alcohol, added sugars, processed foods

This means no more ice cream, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches, or adult beverages. Well, that makes a lot of sense. Those are calorie-dense foods that no one would call health foods. It also means no oatmeal, black beans, or yogurt. Hmm…

According to the paleo diet, grains and legumes are not allowed, because they came about after the agricultural revolution and were not part of the “wild human” diet. After grains were introduced, humans started having dental problems and gaining a lot of weight. Grain and beans also have “anti-nutrients” called lectins, to scare off animals from eating them. The lectins can damage your gut, which impairs your immune system, causing diseases like diabetes, celiac disease, and lupus. Yikes. Lectins are now to blame for lots of health issues. But not everyone is convinced they are worth giving up for the nutrients and fiber you’ll find in grains and beans.

Read more about it on one of my favorite paleo blogs:

Mark’s Daily Apple Blog

What about dairy? We’ve been taught since childhood that milk is good for bones and teeth. Humans are the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal. According to the paleo diet, cow’s milk should be left to the baby cows. You can get plenty of calcium from seafood and dark green veggies, like kale and broccoli.

Here’s what a meal might look like:

Grass-fed hamburger (no bun, no cheese), Half an avocado, sliced, a half cup of baked sweet potato, Salad of romaine, tomato, carrot, and homemade dressing- olive oil/vinegar.

The paleo diet is meant to give your body the highest quality food possible. Think of it as what humans are “supposed to” eat- food either comes from the ground or has a momma.

More reading:

Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain, Ph. D, founder, and author of the Paleo Diet

Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Diet

Nom Nom Paleo – excellent recipes!

If you have minor health concerns, like acne, chronic joint pain or gastrointestinal issues, this could be a solution for you! Over the last ten years, I have eaten about 80% paleo. I have been amazed at how eating the right foods has cleared up my acne and stomach problems. I’ve also noticed that I have knee pain when running if I’ve been eating a lot of refined carbohydrates. If I’m following the paleo diet pretty closely, my knee doesn’t hurt and I have much more energy for working out. It’s good motivation to stick with a diet when you can see improvements in how you feel, within just a few days or weeks.

Have you considered changing your diet to help your health issues? Would you try the paleo diet? Leave a comment below with your experiences or ask questions! I’m here to help.