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What is all the talk about Paleo diet?

THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE

4 min read

What is a Paleo diet?

Paleo diet has been quick to gain popularity; simply because it is about eating like people who came before us in prehistoric and preagricultural times – those who did not need understanding of processed foods, dairy, and things such as refined sugars. A good way to explain this diet is essentially eating only foods that can be “hunted” or “gathered.” The purpose of that is to live a leaner and cleaner eating lifestyle along with possibly reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Which foods does this lifestyle allow?

Anything that can either be hunted or gathered can become a part of this form of eating lifestyle. Some of it may include- 

  • Meat
  • Fish 
  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables 
  • Nuts 
  • Eggs
  • Seeds

    With the typical definition of a paleo diet, of course it restricts you to consume certain items that may include- 
  • Wholegrains
  • Dairy 
  • Processed foods
  • Sugar 
  • Salt 

What are the limitations of Paleo diet?

This diet is ultimately low in sugar and saturated fats, that is obviously a neat thing in terms of leading a healthy lifestyle. Diets do get tricky when you remove foods which can be nutrient dense – options like whole grains and dairy in this situation. Deficiencies can develop and ultimately have an impact on someone later in life. 

Having a diet that is so low in carbohydrates can also lower one’s energy, especially for someone who is an athlete. Another point to say is that diets with strict guidelines can often be difficult to match and maintain. You’ve to also be cautious with picking the right choices like leaner meats. Consuming higher fat meats regularly as a part of your paleo can still promote threat of heart problems.

Which nutrients are you missing out on?

Carbohydrates: On the Paleo diet you receive around 23% of calories from carbs, and the recommended value is 45-65%, so that is significantly below the required load for this food group.

Salt: Consumption is reduced with Paleo because fresh produce is extremely reduced in this nutrient and removing processed foods along with grains lowers one’s intake. It’s vital that you bear in mind that reducing your salt intake to appropriate amounts is a good thing, but your system still needs salt in the dietary plan to properly function.

Protein: The recommended value is 10-35% of your daily calories coming from protein; with the Paleo diet the average is about 38%. If not choosing lean meats this might have the potential to increase fat intake in one’s diet.

Potassium: Paleo is in fact one of the few diets that manage to have enough of potassium – a sample Paleo diet was nearly double the government’s suggested goal.

Vitamin B12: One needs 2.4 micrograms in a day, and those on Paleo will often have no issue getting this because meat and fish, which are heavily emphasised on a Paleo diet, are plentiful in B12.

Fibre: Most on Paleo will exceed the recommended target of 22-34% of daily intake originating from fibre, due to the increased number of fruits and vegetables in this lifestyle.

Calcium:  1,000-1,300 mg each day is preferred, on Paleo you obtain around 700 mg on average. The deficiency is due to the elimination of dairy food and other foods fortified with Calcium.

Vitamin D: Hardly any to none is offered in this lifestyle, a product (though technically this isn’t caveman-like) may be recommended or making sure you get enough exposure to sunlight in a given week.

What can you do?

An effective way to deal with the limitations of the Paleo diet – for instance a possible calcium or Vitamin D deficiency as a result of elimination of milk and fortified grains, is to do it in moderation. You should focus on moving towards a healthier lifestyle by cutting back the quantity of fully processed foods and refined sugars, but not at the expense of eliminating any food groups. 

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