If you’re looking for the newest diet to try or want a fresh start, there are plenty of diets out there to choose from. We’ve got alkaline diets, vegan diets, raw food diets, etc. One that has caused a lot of buzz recently is the paleo diet. Your CrossFit friends may be trying to convince you that this is the diet you should be on. Let’s talk about going paleo.
The main points that make up the paleo diet are high protein, low carbohydrate, high fiber and high fat.
Their website touts multiple health benefits including causing a net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid – the alkaline diet is bulls***. But that’s a different topic for a different day. They claim that the paleo diet decreases the risk of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks and cancer. This claim can be made for many diets that promote the intake of fruits and vegetables. So don’t believe the hype that one specific diet is the answer.
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The paleo diet is acceptable in the sense that it promotes high fiber intake. However, a diet with a moderate amount of protein and a moderate amount of healthy fats (not focused on coconut oil) is more in line with a plant-based diet. Not to mention the paleo diet recommends eliminating legumes (beans, lentils), dairy and potatoes. There is nothing wrong with those foods! Beans and lentils are great sources of fiber and protein as part of a plant-based diet. Dairy provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Potatoes provide fiber and are a good source of vitamin K. Just like any other good dietitian I recommend all foods in moderation.
If you wanted to try the paleo diet I would make a few moderations. Don’t eliminate legumes, dairy, and potatoes and be mindful of how much fat you are using even if it is considered a healthy fat.