The Reasoning Surrounding the Paleo Lifestyle and it’s Benefits and Drawbacks
By: Clara Perez
What is Paleo anyway?
Simply defined, Paleo refers to only consuming food that would have been available during the Paleolithic era. The Paleolithic age refers to about 2 million years ago, so yes, we are talking cavemen.
The lifestyle is based around a high protein diet that is inclusive of meats of all kinds, nuts, vegetables, fruits and plant or animal based fats and sugars. For instance, to make cookies you may use almond flour instead of wheat flour and use honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugar.
Even though these substitutes do change some flavors and textures of the foods we are used to eating and snacking on, the product can be just as good if not better! Paleo friendly food items are becoming more and more available and convenient for buyers.
This means that your typical routines don’t have to be interrupted to be Paleo conscious. Everything from coffee creamers to chips to salad dressings can all be found online and in-stores, making this lifestyle as accessible as ever!
What you can “fuhgeddaboud” eating is dairy, most complex carbs and artificial or refined sugars. The diet also works best if you eliminate as much non-organic, GMO and essentially “fake” foods as your budget and spare time allow.
Eating as naturally sourced and grown as possible only assists in helping your body to run on Paleo-esque foods and ideals. Now that may sound like a nightmare, but there is an easy solution to every non-Paleo food you may be craving.
Paleo tips/tricks and recipes can be found in abundance from a number of online resources like the Paleodiet.com, Paleoleap.com and Paleodietsuccess.com.
Replacing your conventional sugars, fats and dairy with plant and animal based substitutes have amazing benefits.
Eating a diet that promotes high protein, healthy fats, high vegetables and some fruit can assist with weight loss, blood sugar, digestive health and food sensitivity issues.
Having the body run on all natural food (or as closely natural as you can get) and removing digestive and allergy stimulants can also help with energy level and focus. If hunger is your biggest vice, the Paleo diet can help to curve that issue and lessen your cravings, since proteins can help a body feel fuller for longer.
The disadvantages of the lifestyle is that although the foods are low in carbs and artificial content, they are often high in fat. Now, the idea that the fats are naturally sourced and “healthy” does not mean that the high fat content of a Paleo diet will not affect things like cholesterol levels.
If you are not focusing on lean meats as the main source of your protein intake, fat content may be something to be taken into account when planning around the diet.
Lastly, sugars from fruits and sweeteners like syrup can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar so they too should be considered in monitored amounts.
If you have ever heard, or never heard, about the Paleo diet before this article and you are struggling with weight, food related allergies, digestion or fatigue, this ever-growing popular lifestyle may be the answer to your problems!
The paleo diet was the answer to my weight related issues and has been the driving force in my weight loss of over 35 pounds since October 2016.
The only negative that has come from being Paleo has been a recent increase in my cholesterol readings, but they are not dangerously high as they are just a few points over the healthy range provided by most physicians.
Eating within these parameters has also aided with my energy levels and fatigue post-workouts. If the Paleo diet sounds appealing to you, start with online sources as mentioned above and get healthy today!