Paleo: many have dismissed it as a fad diet, claiming that it is not realistic, and unhealthy. Others have taken a more cautious approach, saying that the diet is useful, but too drastic, such as this article from The Huffington Post. However, these negative reviews come from a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Paleo diet is really about. The confusion stems from the fact that Paleo refers to our ancestor's lifestyle, and that the diet mimics that lifestyle. Scientists and anthropologists argue that there is no way to know exactly what our ancestors ate, and that fruits and vegetables have evolved drastically over time. This is true, but the essence of the Paleo diet is not to eat exactly what Bob the Caveman ate thousands of years ago, but rather to go back to what humans have always gone to for nutrition: wholefoods.
When you eat Paleo, you eat fruits, vegetables, meats from quality sources, and a selection of raw nuts and seeds. After doing a Whole30elimination diet, many Paleo guru's encourage people to try to include other foods back into their diet, such as whole-fat dairy, to see how their individual body reacts. The Paleo lifestyle also encourages plenty of exercise, such as crossfit, to balance the high-protein, high-fat content. This kind of eating and exercising is the basis of many diets, and has incredible lifestyle benefits that go far beyond losing weight. So what will happen if you try to eat Paleo?
1. You will lose weight! Many find that they lose weight on Paleo without ever feeling hungry. Since there is no "boredom eating" of useless chips or candies, you can snack away on healthy carrots, nuts, or fruits, and still drop pounds.
2. It will change your health risks. A study published by the National Institutes of Health showed that eating Paleo reduces the cardiovascular risks associated with type 2 diabetes. Heart health and regulated blood sugar are huge benefits to eating Paleo.
3. You will FEEL better. Say goodbye to the "food coma." Rather than feeling tired after eating, you will feel a boost of energy that comes from eating good nutrition.
4. You will enjoy food more. Eating Paleo means that you have to be very conscious of your food choices. You will put more time and effort into planning your meals, but you will also find that your meals will be 100% more satisfying.
5. You will break your relationship with unhealthy foods. The hardest part of eating Paleo? The first 2-3 weeks. You will have to go through withdrawals from your favorite sodas and sugar buzzes. But once you have made it through? You will have a much healthier relationship with food. You will eat when you are hungry, and no longer experience the roller coaster of mood swings that come with poor eating.
Do you want to learn more about cooking and eating Paleo? Looking for recipes or guidelines? Try these resources: