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Nutritionists Question the Paleo Diet

Nutritionists Question the Paleo Diet


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As the Paleo diet grows increasingly popular, many people have begun wondering whether or not a diet that advocates "eating like a caveman"” is truly good for your health.

The diet was introduced in 2002 by exercise physiology professor Loren Cordain and promotes eating simple foods like lean meats, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, and nuts while rejecting processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive salt, grains, and dairy.

The diet is named after the Paleolithic period and urges its followers to eat as their ancestors did 10,000 years ago in order to avoid Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, among other ailments. Certain Americans swear by the diet, also crediting it as a lifesaver that can alleviate persistent heartburn, albeit at an expensive cost.

Certain public health entities are objecting to the diet’s health claims, however, as the U.S. News & World Report ranked the paleo diet 28 out of the 29 currently popular diets. The report argued that replicating a caveman’s diet is impossible today, especially because the meat produced today bears little resemblance to the fresh game that was hunted 10,000 years ago.

Further, Alicia Fogarty, a nutritionist with Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte warns that people following the paleo diet need to make sure they are getting adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, which the diet’s dairy restriction can limit.

For a diet that imitates cavemen who lived by such simple means, it’s surprisingly expensive and thus not accessible to all socioeconomic groups.

In light of this research, nutritionists suggest that consumers take the core principles of the paleo diet — eating simple, whole foods as much as you can — without feeling the need to stick firmly to the diet’s restrictive, pricey guidelines.


What a Nutritionist *Really* Thinks About the Paleo Diet

Your bestie credits going Paleo (aka &ldquothe caveman diet&rdquo) for her newfound weight loss and surge in energy. But is ditching grains, legumes, processed foods and most dairy actually healthy? We tapped nutritionist Melissa Kelly to find out.

What are some of the potential benefits of the diet? &ldquoThe Paleo diet seeks out fresh fruits and veggies and nuts, while recommending organic and grass-fed proteins. This may lead to a decreased intake of artificial flavors, additives and chemicals. Also, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is often associated with a higher daily intake of dietary fiber.&rdquo

And what about the downsides? &ldquoFollowing a restrictive diet that eliminates whole food groups can lead to deficiencies in calcium or vitamin D. And having a very high intake of protein may lead to kidney issues or a change in blood lipid levels.&rdquo

So, would you recommend the Paleo diet? &ldquoWhile the increased fruit and veggie intake is always a plus for overall health and wellness, I do not support a diet plan that eliminates full food groups. This emphasis on restriction and elimination can lead to disordered eating. In addition, health professionals agree that there is no resounding evidence or research to support all the health benefits that Paleo supporters tout.&rdquo

Bottom line: While the Paleo diet includes nutrient-dense whole foods and nixes many highly processed foods (including those with added salt, sugar and unhealthy fats), its restrictive nature makes it a difficult eating plan to sustain long-term. And while anecdotally, the Paleo diet may help some people shed pounds, there are very few large, high-quality studies to support this. Still interested in giving the diet a go? &ldquoI always recommend that people considering Paleo consult both their physician and a registered dietitian to evaluate potential risks,&rdquo says Kelly. Sounds like sound advice to us.


A Guide To The Paleo Diet (+ Who Should Follow It & Recipes To Get You Started!)

Written by Health experts, this article is fact-checked by nutritionists and based on scientific evidence.

Our team is comprised of unbiased licensed nutritionists, dieticians and health professionals. All articles posted are factually true and present both sides of the coin.

This article is backed by scientific facts. Click on the numbers to see the peer-reviewed scientific journals that we used for reference.

The paleo diet has gotten a bit of a bad rap in some circles over the years, with people perhaps misinterpreting the ‘caveman’ description. Some initially thought it involved eating just berries, meat and literally only the foods a caveman had access to. However, there is a bit more to it than that. The diet is based on eating whole, unprocessed foods that resemble their natural form. While some think it’s over the top, it is a good idea in theory. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?

We take a look at the concepts of the paleo diet, explore ways to follow it and find out who it might suit…

Is A Paleo Diet Suitable For Everyone?

There has been some confusion about the evolution of humans and whether the same foods cavemen and women ate are what humans today need. Genetically, we modern humans are the same as our ancestors. They did not suffer from some of our common food-related chronic illnesses, like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

One of the reasons a lot of people are against the paleo diet is because it is perceived as being extremely restrictive. However, if you think about it as eating natural foods, it’s not necessarily all that restrictive. The other problem some people within the world of nutrition pick out with the paleo diet is its ‘one size fits all’ mentality. This can be problematic, because everyone’s nutritional needs are different. Men and women are different, and individuals are all different. Some people lack in certain nutrients, and things like blood pressure, lifestyle and natural metabolism impact how much and what you should eat.

Having said all that, it is still a healthy diet option in general. For example, if an overweight diabetic man was looking to make a lifestyle change to benefit his health, it would not be harmful for him to choose a paleo diet. It would result in him being healthier. Of course, it’s not the only option to him, and it’s not even necessarily the best option. (If he went to a dietitian who created a meal plan specifically designed to his needs, for example, that would be ideal). However, if he decided to follow the paleo diet on his own, it would still be an improvement on his health.

What Foods Can I Eat On A Paleo Diet?

To put it very simply, paleo diet followers can eat meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy natural fats, herbs and spices. To delve a bit more into the basic foods paleo followers should base their diets on, let’s take a look at each group.

Protein

In relation to protein, the usual meat, fish and eggs are allowed. That includes beef, lamb, pork, turkey and chicken, salmon, trout, cod and other white fish, shrimp and shellfish, as well as eggs. If you can find free-range, or even better, organic eggs and meat, that’s the best option. In relation to fish, try to go for wild-caught options. If you can’t find, or can’t afford organic meats, make sure you are not buying processed options. And when talking about meat, or animals, the paleo approach involves basically eating the whole animal. That means organs, bone marrow and cartilage, just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Fruit & Vegetables

You can eat any natural vegetables you like on a paleo diet. Examples include broccoli, spinach, kale, bell peppers, carrots, onions, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips – the list goes on! Same with fruit – go nuts on anything that’s in season. The usual apples, bananas, pears, oranges, avocados, strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, pineapple and cantaloupe are all good – plus any we’ve forgotten!

Healthy Fats

Nuts and seeds are all in the ‘yes’ category. Almonds, macadamias, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed etc is all good. When it comes to healthy fats and oils, you can use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, natural animal fats and, in some cases, butter.

Herbs & Spices

All natural herbs and spices are fine. Choose sea or Himalayan salt, cracked pepper, garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, coriander and everything in between.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of foods included in those categories, and we weren’t even able to list half of them in some cases (like herbs and spices). However, it still may be looking a little restrictive. Don’t worry though – you are not necessarily limited to these foods. We’ll take a look at what is definitely out of bounds, and then take a look at the questionable options…

The No Go Zone

There are some foods and ingredients that you need to steer clear of if you want to follow a paleo diet. They include processed foods, refined sugar, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial additives, vegetables oils, margarine and soda. Let’s take a more in depth look at what you cannot eat on a paleo diet…

Sweeteners

In relation to sweeteners, avoid refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. That includes fizzy drinks, fruit juice, table sugar, generic chocolate brands, candy and sweets, pastries, ice cream, diet sodas, cakes and buns, and sugar free chocolate bars that use artificial sweeteners. That is a broad overview but there are many, many other packaged and bakery foods that are in the no go zone. Avoid anything that has sugar, sucrose, corn syrup or sweeteners like saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, sucralose and neotame as a general rule.

Grains, Legumes & Wheat

In relation to grains and legumes, avoid bread, pasta, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, beans and lentils. This is one of the questionable out of bounds food groups, because beans and lentils are extremely healthy. The reason paleo followers avoid this food group is because of the antinutrients in legumes and beans, such as lectins and phylates. Some believe the antinutrients cancel out the nutrients. However, that is not true. A number of studies prove the health benefits of legumes outweigh their antinutrient content. It gets more and more complicated, but to put it simply, washing and cooking them significantly reduces the impacts of the antinutrients. It also ensures your body soaks in the beneficial nutrients.

Dairy

Most dairy is avoided in paleo diets, including anything low-fat. However, some paleo dieters include full-fat butter and cheese. In general, avoid anything that is described as low-fat, fat-free or diet.

Vegetable Oils

As far as oils go, stay away from vegetable-derived varieties. That includes sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed, to name just a few. Trans fats are also avoided in paleo diets, which means no margarine or processed butter substitutes.

Muddying The Waters

As mentioned, there are some exceptions and questionable foods available to paleo dieters. The list has evolved over the years, and different versions of the paleo diet have emerged. For example, some paleo followers argue that certain modern foods have been scientifically proven to be healthy. In that case, they decide they can include them in their diet.

Some examples include quality bacon from organically raised pigs, butter from grass-fed cows and certain gluten-free grains, such as rice.

Then, to throw even more fuel into the fire that is the paleo controversy, some people use the diet as a starting point. They choose to base their diet on the paleo foundations, but not restrict themselves to that alone. For example, they may enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner or a black coffee in the morning. Quality dark chocolate is also considered by some paleo dieters as an acceptable exception to the rule. Some might also say the dairy products are outside the strict paleo diet.

When it comes to ingredients, modern humans can also create delicious paleo-friendly desserts and sweets that taste as indulgent as the sugar and refined-carb options!

What Are The Benefits Of A Paleo Diet?

There are a number of undisputed benefits of the paleo diet. They include the likelihood that you’ll be eating clean food and cutting out unnatural additives, artificial preservatives and potentially harmful chemicals. You will also be unwittingly consuming more plant nutrients, which come with a number of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory components. Natural red meat is full of iron, which is, of course, a bonus. However, there are risks with consuming too much red meat, so it’s important to make up the bulk of your diet with plants, rather than animal protein.

Evidence-Based Benefits

While this diet is still considered extremely controversial by some, there have been many studies done on its health benefits. A number of them have concluded it is beneficial. However, some have also concluded it is harmful to have a ‘one size fits all’ mentality when it comes to diet. And some within the world of nutrition believe paleo diets, in some cases, can actually be harmful to certain people.

A study of 29 men with heart disease or type 2 diabetes on either a paleo diet or Mediterranean-type diet looked at weight loss and glucose tolerance. Both groups lost weight on the diets but the paleo group saw a significant improvement in glucose tolerance.

A 2008 study of healthy male and female medical students found the paleo diet helped them lose weight. In particular, it resulted in them losing belly fat. The research lasted three weeks and resulted in an average weight decrease of 2.3kg. Body mass index also decreased by 0.8. Waist circumference reduces by an average of 0.6 inches (1.5cm). And systolic blood pressure went down by 4 mmHg. Researchers concluded the paleo diet had some “favorable effects”, but that further studies were needed.

Does It Benefit Everyone?

No, is the short answer. Something that perhaps some paleo followers forget is that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were not necessarily the epitome of health! Infectious diseases, atherosclerosis (artery problems) and parasites were all issues suffered by Paleolithic humans. But the biggest concern is the one size fits all issue, which we’ve mentioned briefly earlier. There are a few problems with listing foods in definitive ‘allowed’ and ‘not allowed’ categories. To begin with, food restriction can become problematic on a mental level. That type of dieting can cause unhealthy relationships with food. That can lead to obsessions, bingeing and guilt. A paleo diet can also be difficult to sustain long-term. It will only suit a small minority of people for the rest of their lives.

Some scientists go further and say it’s not even beneficial if you do it correctly, like this 2016 paper. It suggests a low carbohydrate, high fat diet is unlikely to reduce hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetic patients.

If you’re thinking of starting the paleo diet, ask yourself if it’s something you can sustain. If not, it may not be a good idea to start, because when you give it up, it can be more harmful than not starting it in the first place. There is a way around it, if you do want to try a paleo-type diet, however. That is to consider using it as your base diet, but not being fully restrictive. Or you can simply attempt to eat appropriate portions of food. Cut out as much processed and refined foods as possible and up your fruit and vegetable intake.

Paleo Recipes

Whether you want to full-on attempt the paleo lifestyle, or substitute some of your meals and snacks with paleo options, here are some recipes to get you started…

Homemade Turkey Sausage – We know you’re waiting to get to the delicious sweets, but it’s handy to have some savory options up your sleeve! This sausage recipe is a little bit sweet, spicy and the perfect addition to your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Thai Sesame Red Cabbage & Carrot Salad – This bright, beautiful salad is refreshing, crunchy, tangy, sweet and savory all in one! The recipe calls for red cabbage, carrots, fresh mint, fresh basil, cilantro, sesame seeds, lime juice, fish sauce, honey, sesame oil and ginger… Those turkey sausages would be great accompaniments!

Paleo Almond Butter Molasses Ice Cream – If you have a nice paleo ice cream option in your freezer, you’re doing alright! This smooth, creamy, rich frozen sweet tastes just as good as any indulgent sundae or iced dessert, but it’s make with all-natural ingredients.

Three-Ingredient No-Bake Junior Mint Cups – You can’t go wrong with three ingredients, and this dessert is not only paleo, but it’s vegan as well! All you need is peppermint extract, paleo chocolate and coconut butter.


High protein diet risks

A very high protein diet is anything more than 30 percent to 35 percent of calories from protein. Some people worry a high protein diet could damage kidneys, but scientific research has not shown this to be true. If you have healthy kidneys there is no reason you can’t eat a high protein diet. (7)

If you have a pre-existing kidney condition, talk to your doctor before trying a high protein diet. Women who are pregnant should also consult their doctor, as they may not break down protein as well as non-pregnant women.

References
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11838888
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16469977
3. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/19927027
4. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/jbmr.2000.15.12.2504/full
5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11874925
6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18974721
7. http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/3/657.full

Credentials: Internal Medicine Physician • Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner Training Institutions: Summa Cum Laude Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania • Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons • Internal Medicine Residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City • Institute for Functional Medicine Clinical Interests: Thyroid & Adrenal Health • Autoimmune Disorders • Gastrointestinal Health • Biology of Stress • Cancer Prevention • Fertility Optimization Previous and Additional Positions: Founder and CEO of Parsley Health. Co-founded the&hellip

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A success story of effective, healthy weight loss

There are countless stories of people successfully losing weight on The Paleo Diet. We’ve selected this one from “Dr. Steve” because it epitomizes the type of story we love to hear. For more success stories on many aspects of the diet, including weight loss, here are some of our favorites.


Clinical Nutrition

I was Board Certified as a CCN (Clinical Nutritionist) in 1989 by the elite IAACN Association of Clinical Nutritionists. I was already in practice, had multiple testimonials and passed their rigorous exam so I could be certified without a medical degree. After 1990 all CCN’s must have Masters in Health or medical degrees.

Clinical Nutritionists are not nutritionists or dietitians. Our specialties include sophisticated lab testing and interpretation, the use of highest grade professional supplements (there IS a difference) and working to find causes of body dysfunction rather than just symptomatic support.


Are Potatoes Paleo? Here's How to Eat Potatoes When You're Cutting Carbs

If you're a newbie to the paleo diet, you might only know a few things. It's trendy, for one. And it's supposedly based on the diet our paleolithic ancestors would have eaten. That means eating like a hunter-gatherer, and it excludes a bunch of foods. Packaged foods are forbidden, of course (cavemen certainly didn't have Oreos). But so are a lot of foods we'd generally consider "healthy." And if you're wondering whether potatoes are paleo, well, we might have some bad news in store.

As the thinking goes, the paleolithic people from whom we came didn't have access to foods that were harvested by agriculture, so they wouldn't have eaten things like grains, legumes, dairy, or cane sugar, because they didn't grow or farm those foods. The paleo diet posits that if they didn't eat those foods, neither should we, because we're genetically predisposed to eating the same way as cavemen.

Intrigued? Depending on your feelings about potatoes, you may no longer be interested.

So, are potatoes paleo?

We're sorry to tell you that the paleo diet doesn't approve of your favorite spud—but the reason might surprise you.

"White potatoes are not considered paleo because they are high in carbs and low in protein and fiber," says Beth Warren, RD, a dietitian in New York. Even though white potatoes are a whole food that might have existed when our ancestors roamed the Earth, they don't make the cut because of their nutritional content.

More than simply eating like cavemen, people who subscribe to the paleo diet limit themselves to foods that are high in protein and low on the glycemic index. Paleo diets also tend to be low-carb.

White potatoes, meanwhile, are starchy and high in carbs. They're also high on the glycemic index, even if they're boiled, baked, or mashed (ie, not just French fries). That makes them a no-go for paleo eaters.

Now, are sweet potatoes paleo?

Surprisingly, sweet potatoes are OK to eat on the caveman diet.

"Most people who are on the paleo diet consider sweet potatoes to be paleo," Warren says.

Confused? That's understandable, and there's honestly some debate. Some people who eat paleo think both types of potatoes are OK to eat on the caveman diet. But even some people who eschew white potatoes are good with sweet potatoes because they do have a different nutritional profile.

Sweet potatoes are still low in protein, but they aren't as high in carbs as white potatoes are. They're also lower on the glycemic index, which makes them more favorable to some people who follow the paleo diet.

OK, but what are you supposed to do about your mashed potato craving?

First, thanks to the debate about what does or doesn't count as paleo, you can decide that your version of paleo includes white potatoes. Potato craving fixed (just eat those potatoes!).

But if you want to follow the rules strictly, there are some good alternatives, Warren says. You could just eat sweet potatoes. Mashed cauliflower and mashed celery root also have very similar textures, so that could satisfy your craving.

And if you're looking for a roasted potato flavor, other roasted veggies are just as tasty. Again, cauliflower or celery root are good options, as are roasted turnips, Warren says. Each of these veggies, plus carrots, can also be baked into a version of fries. So maybe it's not too hard to live in a potato-free world on the paleo diet.


What the heck is the Paleo Diet anyway?

In a nutshell: it’s a diet where you try to eat the way humans ate when they were in the Palaeolithic era.

A diet that suggests eating everything we ate when we were hunters and gatherers, or any food before the agricultural revolution.

That excludes all grains, legumes, dairy (except for butter and ghee for some people), hydrogenated oils as well as refined sugar and anything containing refined sugar. Basically, all processed food.

The motto here is: eat real food!

To read more in depth info about this check out this article.

A healthy Paleo breakfast for your Paleo Meal Plan – pan-fried bacon, tomato, mushrooms, eggs and parsley.


Question #5 “Should I avoid grains?”

Answer: No most people trying to stay lean do best with a reasonable amount of whole grains.

Grain discussions are really trendy right now, as many people have suggested they’re dietary enemy #1 and should be completely eliminated. This is hot news as, just ten years ago, they were supposedly one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

From our perspective, grains aren’t as evil as they’ve been made out to be by the Paleo and Whole30 camps. At the same time, they aren’t the superfood vegans and macrobiotic eaters suggest either.

Bottom line: While you don’t need to eat grains, unless you have celiac disease or a FODMAP intolerance there is absolutely no need to avoid them. (And even in those two scenarios, it’s only specific grains you need to worry about).

Most people follow a better, more health-promoting diet if they’re allowed grains in reasonable amounts, along with a wide array of other non-grain carb sources like fruit, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, etc.

Remember, it’s the ability to follow a diet consistently over time that provides the greatest results, regardless of what that diet is. And unless you’re intolerant, there’s no good reason to totally exclude certain foods, especially foods you enjoy.


What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet, or Caveman Diet, is gaining momentum in the fitness world as a healthy way to lose weight. My trainer is all about the Paleo Diet -- a meal plan based on the dietary habits of our Paleolithic, cave-dwelling ancestors. We're talking wild game, meat, and seafood, and vegetables, fruit, seeds, and nuts. What you won't find as part of the Paleo Diet are foods that developed during the agricultural and industrial eras like grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugars, and any other processed foods.

Given the Paleo Diet's low-carb leanings, it makes sense that it's gaining popularity as an effective way to lose weight. On the calorie meter, protein, vegetables, and fruit give a lot of bang for the buck, and the elimination of grains, refined sugars, and legumes can dramatically drop a person's daily calorie intake. The big question is whether or not the Paleo Diet is healthy and can be sustained for the long run.

Despite its growing popularity, the focus and underlying philosophy of the Paleo Diet is not weight loss. Developed in the '70s by a gastroenterologist, the Paleo Diet is touted for improving a person's general overall health. Paleo Diet proponents say the human body has not evolved to handle the foods developed since the rise of agriculture, and, because of this, we've become more susceptible to health problems, especially digestive (IBS, indigestion, and both gluten or lactose intolerance, to name a few). To curb these disorders, it's argued that we need to move back to our hunter-gatherer roots. Both nutritionists and those in the medical field are split on the validity of this argument, and making the merits of this back-to-nature diet fuzzier are numerous studies, which show support for both sides.

Evolutionary arguments aside, weight loss has been a common (and sometimes welcomed) side effect of those following the Paleo Diet. Let's be real, when's the last time you saw a cave painting of a fat Neanderthal? Studies continue to show that a diet high in protein and low in carbs is optimal for weight loss, and, unlike the bacon-fueled low-carb diets of the '90s, the Paleo Diet promotes a wide range of healthy proteins without being too meat-centric. Since hunting and fishing are not viable options for most of us, the emphasis is put on store-bought grass-fed meat, wild seafood, and organic eggs. Compared to factory-farmed meat, grass-fed is leaner, free of antibiotics and hormones, higher in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, and less likely to carry E. coli strains.

While all fruits and veggies are allowed (unlike earlier versions of the Paleo Diet), it's encouraged to avoid fruits with a high glycemic index rating. Besides animal protein sources, fats in the Paleo Diet come from seed-, vegetable-, and nut-based oils and fruits like avocado and coconut. What the Paleo Diet does continue to exclude are dairy, grains and pseudograins (like quinoa), legumes, starchy vegetables, processed foods, fruit juice, refined sugars, and high-sodium foods. Beyond weight loss, the Paleo Diet may also be a good elimination diet to follow if you're looking to see if you have any sensitivities to gluten or dairy. (Make sure to reintroduce gluten and dairy slowly so you can see how it may or may not affect you.)

In terms of sustainability, I'm on the fence, mostly given the incredible benefits of whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy. There are some approaches to the Paleo Diet that allow for a small amount of grains, but, even in these instances, the diet is no dairy and very low grain. If you do embark on the Paleo Diet, be diligent about eating high-fibrous, calcium-rich fruits and veggies and taking a multivitamin to help supplement the RDAs for nutrients (like vitamin D) that you may fall short of on the diet. It's also important to make sure you are getting enough calories since it's likely that calorie counts are going to be much lower when your diet is composed mainly of lean protein and plants. Like any restrictive diet, the Paleo Diet will require a little more thought when it comes to dining out or meal planning.


Foods You Should Avoid on the Paleo Diet

If you are following a strict paleo diet, you should avoid the following foods. These foods are not permitted on the paleo diet:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (peanuts, beans, lentils, tofu)
  • Refined sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Soda & sweetened beverages
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Salt
  • Artificial sweeteners

Grains

Say goodbye to cereal, crackers, rice, pasta, bread and beer. Yes, beer. All grains are forbidden on the paleo diet. Why? First, grains are a product of modern agriculture cavemen didn&apost nosh on bread. Second, grains are high in carbohydrates, which can spike your blood sugar.

Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal-whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity. Learn more about the science behind lectins.

Legumes

Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soy foods, and peanuts. This also includes peanut butter and soy sauce. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are full of the rest of the no-no&aposs on the paleo diet: refined sugars, salt, refined vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners. Our ancestors didn&apost eat these foods. Plus, there is little argument in the scientific community that refined sugars and excess salt contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

There is some disagreement, however, over vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners. The American Heart Association recommends consuming corn, safflower and canola oils, but paleo plans say these are "not allowed" because of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the way the oils are processed.


Watch the video: 5 για την υγεία σου - Νικόλ Πηλείδη, (November 2022).