what is the paleo diet
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Different diets explained: The paleo diet

The paleo diet. Different diets explained is a series of blog posts where I explain all you need to know about different diets. What is the goal of the diet? What can you eat? Should you follow it? And much more!

This is not a diet owned by a company the Paleo diet is more an idea than a real diet strategy, just like vegan and vegetarian. It’s not business-related. (However, there are of course businesses trying to make money off it).The diet is based on foods that were also accessible to our ancestors. 



General idea

The general idea of this diet is eating foods that were available in the paleolithic era. This was before humans did agriculture or domesticated animals. Humans only could eat the foods that were available in their surroundings.

So why would we still eat like this? People who advocate for this diet say that there has not been enough time to adjust to the new western diet. And in some way they are right, obesity and diabetes rates have never been higher than now. Is the Paleo diet really the solution to this?

Honestly, I don’t think so. The biggest problem now is that we have food available on every corner of the street, even if you limit your food choices you can still easily overeat on them.

So what do you eat?

You are probably thinking right now: so what can I eat (1)? If you are eating paleo most of your diet will consist of seafood and lean meat (only grass-fed), the rest you will fill in with fruit, nuts, vegetables, and seeds.

The diet does not only avoid foods that are modern and processed, but it also avoids dairy, almost all grains and the foods that humans ate after the neolithic revolution (2). This is the first revolution regarding agriculture in human history.



History 

The paleo diet is a diet that started around 1975 by Waler Voegtlin when he wrote a book about it. It was popularized by Loren Cardain in 2002 with the book The Paleo Diet.

In 2012 the paleo diet became the latest diet trend it was the most searched weight-loss method on Google.

The diet is classified as a fad diet since there is no research that backs up the supposed health benefits the paleo diet claims to have (3).

The pros and cons of paleo

Pros

The paleo diet is great for people with lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance. This is because you will eat no dairy and almost no grains, following the diet. So people that have these food intolerance’s can safely eat paleo without having to think too much about their intolerances.

It makes you consume more vegetables and fruit. Something that most people lack in their diet, will now become almost the number one focus.

With this, you will consume a greater amount of fiber which can help with digestive problems.

 

Cons

There are a few cons to the paleo diet. The first one that can hold a lot of people back is that is very expensive. For example, eating wild salmon is almost 3 times as expensive as farm-raised ones.

Other foods like nuts and seeds, that are frequently consumed with this diet are not the cheapest foods out there. And having to buy grass-fed meat will also cost you a lot more than normal meat.

Another con is that there is no portion control. Meaning that you can eat as much as you want of the foods in the paleo diet.

On the other hand, you’ll eat mostly fiber and protein which is very satiating, so overeating will be harder. But still, this might not be the best diet choice you can make when your goal is to lose fat.

The last con may be the one that holds most people back from paleo. It is almost impossible to eat paleo in social situations. Unless a restaurant serves some wild salmon with vegetables on the side, there will be no option for you.

Conclusion

The paleo diet can be great when you are trying to eat healthier, but may not be your best choice when you want to lose weight.

There are definitely some advantages of this diet but I don’t know if they weigh out the cons.

Paying a lot more for your diet and having a hard time in social situations does not sound that appealing. But maybe if you find a nice middle ground this can be a very good diet.

When you want to start paleo there are some good sites out there with tips, recipes, grocery lists and much more!

Don’t forget to share and let me know your thoughts on this diet!