Diet fads come and go, but the paleo diet has rapidly grown in popularity, especially as we head into the 2020s. With veganism, vegetarianism, pescetarianism and other diet types showcasing their ability to stick around, there is certainly room for innovation and new types if it will have similar health benefits to people all over the world. What exactly is the paleo diet, and what are the benefits of following it? Let’s explore the topic further, before making an estimation as to whether it is actually good for you in the long run.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleolithic diet, commonly known as the “caveman diet”, refers to a fad that asks modern humans to adopt stone-age eating principles. This involves only consuming food that was available to human beings during the paleolithic era, roughly 2.6 million years ago. Typically, the diet includes lean meats, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. All of these are common among hunter-gatherers and allows humans to survive and evolve through far more difficult living conditions than we have become accustomed to in the 21st century. This diet effectively limits the number of dairy products, legumes, and grains you can have, particularly as they are more recently available, namely 10 000 years ago.
Known Benefits of the Paleo Diet
While eating like our ancestors may have a spiritual benefit, there are also some health benefits you can bank on when adopting the paleo diet. Firstly, these foods are particularly nutrient dense, meaning they are loaded with healthy nutrients that are good for us. The food is typically process-free, cleaner and leads to an overall healthier lifestyle. Weight loss is a common side effect of undergoing this diet, so if you’re looking to shake up a few pounds from the end of year feasts, this could be a great way to go in the short term.
Disadvantages of the Diet
As with all things, there are some cons to keep in mind too. The diet is typically considered tremendously restrictive, implying that it is hard to get your hands on the types of foods you can consume and that the restrictiveness discourages long term adoption and sustainability. It can also be more expensive to follow this diet, which will put your grocery budget into the read especially if you’re used to following a vegetarian lifestyle. Lastly, there is an environmental impact to consider. Eating meat is always going to have an effect on the world, so perhaps this diet is most criticized for its negative effect on the environment in this regard.
Ensuring You Pick The Correct Diet For You
All diets come with their share of pros and cons. The paleo diet is good for you in certain senses, while it also has its drawbacks to consider. When it comes to picking a diet and the willpower to stick to it, you have to really consider what you can do, afford, and how your brain operates relative to food. For some, easing into a new diet gently helps with sustainability. For others, going cold turkey and trying it is the best approach. It is, therefore, best to try something new with the help of a nutritionist or consultant, factoring in your own eating habits, and setting yourself up for a better chance of success, and a generally happier engagement with food altogether.