The paleo or Paleolithic diet was designed based off of what some believed our "hunters-gatherer" ancestors ate before farming began 10,000 years ago. The belief is that our bodies are still not well adapted to farmed foods, like dairy products, grains, potatoes, refined sugar and legumes (peas, beans, soy, for example). As a result, these foods are thought to be causing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.

The Paleo Diet includes:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
  • Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
  • Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil

The Paleo Diet eliminates:

  • Grains (like rice, wheat, and corn)
  • Beans
  • Legumes (like peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Tubers (like potatoes)
  • Nightshade foods (like eggplant, tomatoes)

The Results

When the Paleo diet is combined with daily physical activity and increased water intake, people do have:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Improved blood sugar levels

The Concerns

The absence of grains and legumes can lower fiber, B vitamins and minerals in the diet. Because dairy is not permitted, an important source of calcium and vitamin D is missing. The diet has also been criticized for its rationale, lack of research, and how expensive it can be. 

The Paleo diet is healthy because it cuts out processed and refined sugars, carbohydrates, and oils. Currently, the diet has been adapted for IBD as part of an autoimmune protocol.

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