Is Paleo The Way To Go
Health and Wellbeing | Discover if Paleo is the Way to Go
The Paleo diet otherwise known as the cave man diet is sweeping the nation and becoming increasingly popular. Why is this? Is it just another fad diet currently setting the trend or is it a truly beneficial and better way of living?
|The Paleo diet claims to not just be a diet but rather a way of life. It involves eating as our ancestors did in the Palaeolithic period and eating only what the earth provided us. Things such as lean meats, fish, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds all things that could have been hunted or gathered (Arthurs, 2017). Cutting dairy, grains and processed sugars or oils completely from your diet and any other types of foods that were not available in this period. The concept behind eating paleo is that our bodies are genetically designed to eat this way (Cordain, 2011, p. 1) as thus the paleo diet works with our genetics helping maintain stronger, leaner bodies (Robb Wolf, 2016, para. 1).
|There are definitely some clear benefits of the paleo diet. It promotes increased consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and minerals and can help prevent several different diseases that are becoming increasingly common today such as cancer (Australian Government, 2013, p. 37). The paleo diet also eliminates processed foods and sugars from the diet which research has also shown that by reducing saturated fats and limiting the amount of salt and sugar in the diet and increasing fibre intake can help prevent high cholesterol, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels which in turn helps prevent heart disease (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2015).
|However, it is not just the saturated fats and processed foods it is eliminating. Eating paleo also means giving up all things dairy and grain related. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, a healthy diet is a well-balanced diet that incorporates 5 main food groups, Meat and Fish, Fruit, Vegetables, Dairy and Grains. Each food group provides us with specific nutrients that are essentials for good health (Australian Government, 2015). It is important to incorporate a variety from each food group as the number of key nutrients vary between foods (Australian Government, 2015).
|The Paleo diet excludes two of the five main food groups, which will result in nutrient deficiencies. Grains are a great source of carbohydrates which provide your body with a longer lasting energy, there have also been reports of side effects from low carb diets such as; constipation, headaches, insomnia and impaired cognitive ability (Last & Wilson, 2006, p. 5). Dairy is also our main source of calcium and vitamin D (Fetters, 2017). Calcium is important for maintaining bone density, a lack of dairy in the diet can result in a calcium deficiency which has been associated with osteoporosis and can result in bone fractures (NHMRC, 2014).
So, Is Paleo the way to go?
The Paleo diet is a great starting point for a weight loss diet as it is not suggesting silly diet pills or shakes, but is encouraging the consumption of whole foods while raising awareness of portion size as well as promoting the importance of physical exercise. It has shown good results in weight loss and reducing the chance of heart disease. But cutting out complete food groups is not healthy as it leads to nutrient deficiencies and restricts energy. By adding a small amount of whole grains and some low-fat dairy into the diet it will cover all the food groups recommended by the Australian dietary guidelines making it a more well-rounded and healthy diet. Combining the best of Paleo with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. What you eat now will affect your body in the future so why not provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to ensure the healthiest start to your future.- Alyssa Michel -
Cordain, L. (Ed). (2011). The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were designed to eat [John Wiley & Sons, Inc.]. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.au/books
Arthurs, D. (2017, January). What is the Paleo diet and what can you eat?. Metro. Retrieved from http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/02/what-is-the-paleo-diet-and-what-can-you-eat-6356607/
Australian Government. (2015). Australian Dietary Guidelines. Retrieved from: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5
Wolf, R. (2016). What Is The Paleo Diet?. Retrieved from http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2015). Preventing Heart Disease: Healthy Living Habits. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/healthy_living.htm
Last, A. R., Wilson, S. A. (2006). Low-Carbohydrate Diets, American Family Physician, 73(11), Retrieved from http://www.isdbweb.org/documents/file/569_1.pdf
Fetters. A. k., (2017) Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet. Health. Retrieved from http://www.health.com/health/galleryAustralian National Health and Medical Research Council. (2014). Calcium. Retrieved from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/calcium