Of all the popular diets Paleo seems to have more myths and bad science attached to it than anything else. For some reason, it seems to divide people into Pro and Anti paleo lifestyle pretty effectively. One of the reasons is because Paleo goes against all of the perceived wisdom about eating and nutrition we’ve been getting for the past 50 years or more.
Ever looked at a street scene of people from the 60’s and 70’s compared to now? The one thing that really stands out isn’t the fashion it’s the body shape of the people in the photo. Still think that nutritional advice is right?
The first thing we should address is that Paleo isn’t really a diet, it’s more a lifestyle focused around eating more healthily and who doesn’t want to do that? If you intend to “Do Paleo” for a short while as a quick fix you’ll lose weight but like all other diets as soon as you go back to your old ways you’ll put those pounds back on again.
In this article, I aim to dispel some of the other myths that surround the Paleo lifestyle.
Despite what you may have read or heard regarding Paleo it isn’t all about the meat. Yes, animal protein does play an important role but it is vital that you consider the type of meat you eat. If you can opt for the type where the animals have been fed on grass rather than grain. If this isn’t always possible then substitute some of the animal protein you eat more vegetables.
Most people believe that the only way to get enough calcium in their diet is through the consumption of dairy products. But this isn’t the case. For example, a 4 oz serving of kale contains the same amount of calcium that you would find in a cup of milk. Plus by getting your calcium through eating green vegetables that you include in your Paleo recipes you’ll find that your body is better able to retain it.
When you follow a Paleo lifestyle you will need to drastically cut back the amount of, carbs you consume as you won’t be eating grains and potatoes etc. However you can still obtain unrefined carbs through consuming honey and fruit, but this should be done in moderation. Also eating root vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes (yes white potatoes are paleo) and chestnuts is a way to get your carbs.
This simply isn’t the case you will not only find that eating a piece of good quality animal protein such as grass-fed meat, along with some vegetables and fruit not only makes you feel full, but the feeling lasts for much longer.
The great thing about this lifestyle is that you don’t have to count the calories you just need to eat when you feel hungry, remembering to eat as many vegetables as possible. They actually fill you up more than you might think.
Your life isn’t over, it has just begun. When it comes to following a Paleo lifestyle there isn’t any need for you not to enjoy a normal treat once in a while. It is perfectly acceptable to enjoy the occasional cupcake or piece of cheesecake at your favourite restaurant, just remember to stock up on the veggies and other foods that are acceptable the next day.
If your diet becomes too restrictive then, of course, the chances of you actually choosing to stick with it will become much more difficult.
Last year we did a survey of people doing the Paleo diet and the vast majority rated themselves as 80% Paleo.
As following a Paleo lifestyle means that you need to exclude legumes and grain from your meals, many consider it as being nutritionally unbalanced. However what you need to be aware of is that these foods aren’t actually nutrient-dense foods unlike those that appear on any Paleo diet food list that you then choose to eat when following a Paleo lifestyle.
Both fat and protein are key building blocks for our bodies, whereas carbs simply attach themselves to the fat cells. Before agriculture carbs where very much in limited supply so our bodies learnt to soak them up and store them to provide extra fuel when food supplies were scarce. It is these carbs that cause us to slow down and become fat.
When it comes to following a Paleo lifestyle the one thing you will quickly learn is that our bodies can only function at the optimum levels once we stop burning the carbs and instead starting burning the fat that it was designed to do.
I hope after reading through this article I have been able to dispel just a few of the myths surrounding the Paleo diet that you may have heard about and which is maybe preventing you from following such a lifestyle.
Thank you for reading this post we hope you enjoyed it and it goes some way to helping you to adopt a new healthy (Paleo diet based!) Lifestyle
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