Is the Paleo Diet healthy? Is it sustainable and practical to eat like this? What health conditions can this diet kick to the curb, and why this diet might not work for you just yet.
Part Two of Paleo Diet: The Pros and Cons of Paleo.
Today's Food as Medicine we're covering part two of Paleo Diet: The Pros and Cons of Paleo. To review, Paleo is one of the oldest diets. Paleo is short for Paleolithic; it is called the original diet. Back in caveman times they were hunter and gatherer eaters, they ate nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables and pasture raised meats, eggs and healthy fats. They did not suffer from the chronic diseases that we're suffering from today. Of course, we all know cavemen only lived between the ages of 25 or 30, but that was not due to their food, it was due to their stressful life factors, lack of medical treatment and things of that nature. One way to look at Paleo is that it is a partnership between east and west. Having western medicine resources and then taking accountability with diet and lifestyle.
What Foods Are on Paleo Diet?
The kinds of foods you eat on Paleo diet are really simple and are foods we are all familiar with. Paleo helps us get healthier because it has us eating more vegetables, including root vegetables. It also includes lots of nuts and seeds, fruit, spices, healthy fats and oils and meats. Paleo is pretty heavy on the meat, which can be a con because a diet heavy in meat is not for everybody.
Anytime you consume meat it is necessary to make sure the sources of the meat is of the highest quality which would include meats and fish that are pasture raised, wild caught and free of any hormones or antibiotics. Us Wellnes Meats is our favorite source to get high quality, inexpensive pasture-raised meats. Pasture raised organic eggs are the way our grandparents eat, they did not have factory farms. The difference between pasture raised eggs and factory farmed eggs is very noticeable in the appearance of the yokes of the eggs. Yokes from an organic pasture raised chicken are a resplendent orange color instead of the kind of pale sickly yellow color you see in factory farm chicken eggs. The eggs of organic pasture raised chickens have more nutrients because they have been raised on bugs, worms and flies versus genetically modified corn and soy. Factory farming that we have in our society these days is thrashing our health, not to mention the cruelty of how the animals are being treated.
Where do you buy foods on Paleo Diet?
Shopping for Paleo Diet is very easy and you can get most things at your local health food store like Whole Foods or Jimbo’s. What we are eating in modern times are things that don't work for us. Most of the food you find in the grocery store is all packaged. Paleo is made up mostly of what you would find around the perimeter of the grocery store. With the Paleo diet you are undoing what we've done with modernizing our food supply.
Is Paleo Easy to do?
Paleo is easy to do. Because you are buying a higher quality of meats and eggs that have more nutrients and health benefits you are going to have to spend a little more. It can be a big change to what you are used to in your grocery bill but if you look at spending more money on your food as an upfront invest in your health, it really is an investment that is worthwhile.
What are the Health Benefits of Paleo?
The Paleo Diet has been shown to help cure chronic sinus infections. Paleo is really a wonderful diet for autoimmune disorders, for people with IBS and digestive distress. How do you digest is how you live and having healthy digestion is key to being healthy.
How would I start a Paleo Diet?
Two great books if you're really interested in “going paleo” or if you have any of the conditions mentioned above is “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo and “Modern Guide to No-Nonsense Paleo”. These books are great guides that will take you step-by-step through the Paleo diet. The first step to Paleo is going gluten-free, second step is you must balance blood sugar and insulin and the third step is you have to heal your digestive system to heal your whole body.
Ideas to Make Paleo Easy
Planning is always helpful when adopting a healthier lifestyle. To help be prepared for a week of meals that are Paleo friendly is easy! It just takes a couple of hours on a Sunday night to get things ready. For example, buy some almond milk and some coconut milk to make smoothies with your fruit, protein powders and chia seeds. Then you could hard cook six eggs. These two simple things could be your breakfast for three days! Or you could cook up some turkey bacon in ten minutes and you have bacon and eggs for breakfast just ten minutes! For lunch and supper for the week you can cook a bunch of pasture raised steak or pasture raised chicken. For veggies you can take 4 or 5 organic sweet potatoes, wash them, poke holes in them and bake them at 375 for 30 minutes, just like that you have sweet potatoes for the week! Of course, salads and green juices are always great and Paleo friendly. For a great Paleo snack idea you could have and organic apple with a handful of nuts.
Cons of Paleo
One problem with the Paleo Diet is it can be a little restrictive. Yes, it pulls out food sensitivities, but it kind of restricts people. For some people, Paleo may not be something sustainable for the long haul. A good approach to have is to heal what's going on and then strengthen your digestive systems so you are able to handle the rest of food from time to time and you don't have to be so restrictive. There are a lot of diehard paleo people who would disagree but I have seen if you look at lab work, get on the Paleo Diet, heal digestive issues with supplements and nutrients you are able to later handle grains and legumes again, which are not allowed on the Paleo diet. This is a good approach to think about for someone with thyroid problems or adrenal problems that may need more carbs. Strengthen your digestion and then you can handle grains and legumes again.