Paleo diet has become more popular recently. As it is very common, along with large number of followers of such diet, there is also high number of its opponents. One group praises paleo as loud as they can, others criticize it. Who is right?
Let's start with a few words on paleo diet. It is also called the diet of our ancestors. Despite the fact that there is the word 'diet', paleo is closer to lifestyle or way of nutrition, rather than strictly diet. The main assumption of paleo is acquiring the nutrition habits close to those of our ancestors before starting to settle.
What is recommended in paleo?
You should eat meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, seasonal fruits, nuts, fats of natural origin, honey, herbs and spices. You should turn down milk and dairy products, grains, legumes, potatoes and refined sugar.
It has to be underlined here that our ancestors based their diet on what they could hunt or gather.
Is paleo diet good or bad?
It depends – for whom and how you understand it.
If someone thinks that they can eat unlimited amount of eggs with fried bacon and it will be healthy, they may be wrong. The same is with choosing fatty kinds of meat, especially from mass production, because toxins are cumulated in fat. Paleo also means simple baking. Of course, such products can appear in diet, but they should not be its base. Have you ever seen a caveman eating gluten-free chocolate cookies?
What is good in paleo?
There's no doubt that eliminating processed food, including refined sugar and trans fats, is a good rule of this diet. You can also mention having large amount of vegetables, moderate amount of fruits and not avoiding good kinds of fat.
These are the rules, which are worth including in a nutrition plan.
What's the problem?
In my opinion, the problem is not about paleo, but about people's fanatism and going to extremes, as well as lack of thinking.
Who can benefit from this diet?
Paleo diet does not have to be equal to low-carb diet. However, its pure version allows only vegetables and fruit, therefore, it's poor in sugars. Such diet may be useful for the obese people who have problem with sugar economy or autoimmune diseases. Diet poor in carbohydrates should be only the mean, not the constant dietetic system.
In case of sports people, slim people or those suffering from hypothyroidism, the diet should be enriched in other sources of carbohydrates.
None of the diets should be treated like a religion and follow its assumptions without any limits. The best solution is to use various assumptions from different diets which are the most beneficial for you and adjust them to your individual needs. No matter which nutrition system you decide on, you should never stop thinking and observing the reactions of your body.
Diet has to be adjusted to you and your requirements, not the other way round.