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Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is based on the idea that many of the gastrointestinal and health issues so common in modern day society are creations of the modern diet. While man’s diet quickly shifted to grains and processed foods, man’s evolution couldn’t keep up. Thus, the Paleo Diet tries to go back to eating what early humans presumably had available to them, primarily meats, fruits, and fresh veggies.

What’s allowed on the Paleo Diet:

  • Fish, seafood, and lean meats
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Nuts and seeds (although some like peanuts are excluded)
  • Plant-based oils
  • Eggs

What’s not allowed on the Paleo Diet:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Processed foods and sugars
  • Legumes
  • Starches
  • Alcohol

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

No counting calories: Most diets require you to count calories and keep track of macronutrients, which is not only a hassle but often times impossible when you’re eating out. The Paleo Diet relies on your extra fat and protein intake to keep you feeling full, while its prohibited list of foods keeps your carb count naturally low and stimulates weight loss.

Eliminates many minor food allergies: Dairy. Gluten. Processed sugars. Many of the foods banned on the Paleo Diet are common minor allergies that have simply gone undetected over the years. After starting the Paleo Diet, many people report better breathing, clearer skin, greater energy, and other such benefits simply from the elimination of certain foods they didn’t know were giving them an adverse reaction.

No junk food: You won’t find much junk food capable of fitting within the Paleo requirements. Simply eliminating caloric dense and nutrient sparse foods such as french fries, potato chips, and pizza goes a long way towards better health and losing weight.

Drawbacks of the Paleo Diet

Bad for vegetarians, worse for vegans: With dairy, beans, and soy eliminated from your diet (both are legumes), there are few protein sources for vegetarians. Take out eggs and there are even fewer for vegans.  

Low carb intake can be bad for athletes: Those engaging in intense physical training require a lot of carbs to keep going and to build muscle. Those carb levels can be hard to hit without grains and starches. Many Paleo athletes offset this carb deficit by adding sweet potatoes to their diet, but as potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, they can still result in allergic reactions and/or lack of weight loss in some people.

Consumes a lot of time and money: Eating strict Paleo means you’re cooking most, if not all, of your own meals. That takes a lot of time. And now that you’re passing on the cheap carb options like pasta and bread in the grocery store, you’ll be spending a good chunk of change as well.

In Conclusion

Like most diets, the Paleo Diet has its benefits, but can also be tough for many people to adhere to 100%, especially if you’re a vegetarian or an endurance athlete. If stomach or digestive problems persist even after changing your diet and eating more clean foods, if you still experience gastrointestinal problems or any other stomach-related maladies, please contact Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health today.

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