Paleo diets have become a very trendy thing lately. Convincing arguments are being made every day for why this style of eating is the way to go. When I read popular sites like Mark’s Daily Apple, it’s clear why so many are trying this lifestyle.
I read comments about people ridding themselves of lifelong, or years long, ailments like eczema, acne, acid reflux, achy joints, and many more. These health improvements, along with tremendous weight loss testimonials are convincing to say the least.
So what gives? Is the paleo diet the only way to go? Have we missed the mark on true health by dieting in ways other than paleo?
Since the paleo diet is so popular, let’s take a common sense approach and see how this goes.
My Opinion On The Paleo Diet
First of all, I love the idea of eating only natural unprocessed foods. Producers, in order to produce more food, produce it faster, and allow that food to last longer on the shelves, have added chemicals of all sort and kind to what was once a very healthy food. Things like sugar and salt, both very addictive tastes, are added to almost every single processed food item in one form or another. Eliminating these processed foods full of sugar and sodium are major steps in improving health.
Second, how can you go wrong eating a diet high in lean grass fed meats, healthy dietary fats, and a full array of nutrient rich vegetables and fruits.
Paleo Diet – Common Sense
The common sense, this is really more of my opinion still, but since I’m debating the validity of the paleo method I decided to put it here.
I truly believe that it’s not the elimination of grains and dairy that are causing the miracles. Rather it’s the move from processed foods that’s doing all the magic. Let’s think about this, if you were to get rid of EVERYTHING that you eat that’s not 100% natural then you’re going to be eliminating a ton of sugar and sodium from your diet. As well as all the chemicals, additives, and bad fats. Just doing that alone would generate immediate health benefits.
Now let’s go a step further to the biggest reason folks gravitate towards paleo, weight loss. I know there are some health zealots that have gone paleo simply because they feel it’s the best way to eat, and I don’t have a problem with that. But I think most jump on this for the weight loss.
Regardless, let’s tackle this topic. Grains are the most calorie dense food in our diet. Our daily food intake is overwhelmed with carbs of the grain category. Foods like crackers, bread, cereal, oatmeal, pop-tarts, potato and tortilla chips, pasta, and flour make up about 80% of our food intake every day.
Yes, that 80% is a made up number by me, but it’s my common sense blog and I can do that.
Think about it. Think about the foods you eat most commonly every day. How often do you eat without a grain or potato being involved in the equation? Be honest! I bet it’s not often, and on par with my 80% figure.
Because grains and potatoes are so calorie dense, when they are eliminated and replaced with nutritious, fibrous, and very low calorie vegetables, you are left with no choice but to reduce your caloric intake. Why? Because fibrous vegetables with high water content (as veggies are) fill you up like it’s nobody’s business. You can’t possibly match the caloric intake of grains with vegetables. You would explode. Not to mention the fact that you would have to eat almost non-stop.
So here’s the bottom line.
People get healthier on the paleo diet by eliminating sugar and all other processed foods. As well as the chemicals and additives that accompany them.
People lose weight on the paleo diet by reducing their caloric intake.
It’s really that simple. When it’s broken down into the simplest and most basic foundation, that’s it in a nut shell. There are those that make this stuff sound complicated and all sciency (nope, that’s not a real word) just to sell you a cool new method for weight loss.
And yes, there are also those that do it because they truly believe it’s the best thing for the human body and will live no other way.
No matter what you choose, you’re going to be fine. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in and add a touch of common sense to this whole paleo diet philosophy and or lifestyle.
Agree or Disagree? Tell me what you think in the comments. My mind isn’t closed.