It seems there is a continuous debate going on regarding the pros and cons of the Paleo diet – a diet based on the food our most ancient human ancestors have most likely eaten, such as meat, nuts and berries, and excludes foods they probably wouldn’t be able to access such as dairy.
Nutritionists and others often speak against the Paleo diet for various reasons; whereas those that are actually on the diet give their reasons on why it is good. The following article focuses on four Paleo myths that will be busted based on the evidence.
1. “I’ll Develop Heart Disease”.
A series of twenty-one studies were conducted which involved tracking nearly 350,000 people for a period of 14 years. The results showed that there was no correlation between saturated fat and the occurrence of a stroke or heart disease. The findings were published in the February 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The bottom line is that if you will continue using the oils and fats that are suggested by the Paleo diet, then you have a good chance of avoiding heart disease and becoming healthier. Remember to avoid margarine, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil and any processed foods that contain them because these oils actually tend to contribute to heart disease and other medical issues.
2. “If I eat all of those eggs, then I will increase my cholesterol”!
Image by Brenda Gottsabend
The misconception is that when you eat cholesterol that it will automatically raise the level of cholesterol in your blood stream. The reality is that the choline found in eggs, (which is a B vitamin), actually keeps cholesterol from entering your bloodstream in the first place. Unless you happen to have an immunity issue or allergy that eggs tend to agitate, then you should have no real reason to limit your egg intake. In fact, eggs have 13 necessary nutrients for your good health that are all found in the yolks. Be sure to buy pasture-raised eggs that are organic when possible such as from a farmer’s market or other reputable hen house. Eggs that are commercially raised should be avoided if possible because they tend to be higher in Omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation.
3. “It’s a Low-Carb Diet”.
Although the modern-day Paleo diet is normally lower in carbs than the average U.S. diet, there is no actual limit on the number of carbs that you can consume. The key is that the carbs that you eat should only be chosen from fresh nuts and produce. The low-carb misconception is often quoted as a reason why the Paleo diet is only for athletes. However, since Paleo is low in processed sugars, tenacious athletes simply replace the refined carbs with organic options like dried fruits and bananas to provide the necessary energy for longer athletic sessions.
4. “Whole grains are required in order to be healthy”.
Image by Christian Schnettelker
Many nutritionists reject the Paleo diet because it avoids “healthy” whole grains. The reality is that for the past two million years, people did not even eat grains. In fact, extensive consumption of grains did not even begin until the agricultural revolution came about. Modern studies prove that grains are one of the food groups that have the least amount of vital nutrients. One example is a study in which researchers observed seven main food groups and 25 subdivisions, which categorized foods based on the presence of 23 nutrients including protein, minerals, and vitamins. The results, which were published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007, showed that all forms of legumes, meat, dairy products, fresh fruits, seeds, nuts, and all forms of meat, fish, and poultry contained more important nutrients than whole grains.
As outlined in the article, there is sufficient evidence that supports the benefits of the Paleo diet. If you are looking for a diet that works for many people and can help you become healthier, then why not explore the Paleo diet today?
Featured image by Lord Jim