Nowadays, it seems as if fad diets are everywhere, and it seems as if people follow diets not to improve their health and fitness and to help them lose excess body fat, but rather to simply look fashionable and trendy instead. There are faddy diets popping up everywhere at this moment in time, and whilst most of them are not practical or even effective for that matter, occasionally we do come across a diet plan that does appear to be the real deal. You’ve probably heard people talking about ‘paleo diets’ over the past few years, yet unless you’ve ever tried them for yourself, you probably don’t have much of an idea as to how these diets work. Studies have found that paleo diets can provide a whole host of benefits for people who follow them correctly, yet like all things in life, they aren’t without their downsides in the process. To help you get a better understanding as to what these diets are and how they work, here’s an in-depth look at the pros and cons of paleo diets.
First off, what are paleo diets?
Before we look at the pros and cons of paleo diets, we first need to tell you exactly what paleo diets are. Paleo diets are basically dieting principles that can be traced back to ancient paleolithic times, when cavemen roamed the earth. In actual fact, paleo diets are sometimes called caveman diets, because essentially you eat the same types of foods that your caveman ancestors used to eat in the past. The basic idea behind this diet is that you alter your lifestyle and change your dietary habits permanently, rather than just for several weeks/months until you lose weight. In fact, the diet isn’t designed to simply help you lose weight at all, it is instead designed to promote optimal health and well-being. Cavemen used to consume foods that basically had to be hunted, foraged, or scavenged, so you eat the same types of foods. Staple paleo diet ingredients include:
• Healthy natural fats
Paleo diet pros
As we like to start things off on a happy tone, we’ll begin by taking a look at some of the primary pros and benefits associated with paleo diets. These include:
No food allergies or intolerances – Statistically, a large percentage of the human race suffer from at least one type of food allergy or another, with wheat, gluten, and lactose allergies and intolerances topping the list. What do these ingredients all have in common? – They’re all produced as a result of agriculture. Humans have only been farming for around 10,000 years or so, and whilst that is a long time, from an evolutionary standpoint, we haven’t quite adapted properly. Our bodies aren’t always able to process and tolerate these foods because evolution hasn’t quite allowed us to do so, which is why people follow paleo diets. Foods consumed on paleo diets, have been consumed for millions of years, so our bodies have better adapted to be able to process and digest the foods properly.
Improved absorption and digestion – Again, sticking with the same theme, as you will consume foods that human beings have been eating for millions of years, your digestive system will be able to process and break down the foods far more efficiently, plus your body will therefore be able to absorb more nutrients, which again, is all thanks to evolution. The more nutrients you can absorb and extract from the foods, the healthier you will become.
Burn fat – Another key benefit to paleo diets is the fact that they allow you to burn fat. Whilst these diets are not strictly for weight loss, you will still lose weight, or rather, fat, as an added bonus, which is always nice. This is because the foods you consume are healthy and all natural, plus your metabolism, and your body in general for that matter, works better as a whole, so you burn more calories and lose more body fat as a result.
Improved immunity – The foods you consume on paleo diets are all natural and are therefore packed full of nutrients and are free from artificial ingredients. Many of the foods you consume are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as other nutrients, so your immune system improves greatly as a result. This in turn means that you become fitter and healthier, and that you’re able to ward off illness and disease much more efficiently.
Paleo diet cons
Before we wrap things up, we’ll finish up by taking a look at a few potential cons associated with paleo diets. These include:
Price – Sadly, if you want quality, you do have to pay slightly more, and although paleo diet ingredients are far from being overpriced, they can be pretty expensive, and they are much more expensive than processed junk foods. The best thing you can do is to shop smart and to keep a look out for great deals.
Lacking in certain minerals – Most paleo diet plans do not allow for the consumption of diary produce, which as you know, is packed full of calcium, which is a very important mineral when it comes to bone health and development. Whilst green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are packed full of calcium, it can be tough to consume enough to feel the benefits, plus not everybody enjoys green leafy vegetables at all.
Tough for vegetarians – Sadly, vegetarians and vegans will struggle greatly on a paleo diet, due largely to the fact that the diet places such a huge emphasis on the consumption of meat and fish. On top of that, beans and legumes are also off-limits on the diet, so that really leaves you with nuts, fruits, and some vegetables.