Paleo, It’s a “No-Grainer”

By Jordy Acevedo

Paleolithic diet, an ancient way of eating, is gaining modern followers but it comes with risks.

Paleo diet—also known as the caveman, hunter-gatherer or Stone Age diet—is a way of eating that dates back to 2.5 million years ago when humans obtained their food by hunting and gathering, hence the name Paleolithic. Following the diet means eating only what our early ancestors ate. The diet is high in protein and fiber, moderate in fat, low-to-moderate in carbohydrates, and low in sodium, processed and refined sugars.

A meal plan for the day might looks something like this: salmon and cantaloupe for breakfast; lean pork loin and salad for lunch; lean beef sirloin, steamed broccoli, salad and strawberries for dessert for dinner.

According to International Sports Sciences Association, “The basic premise of the diet is that the body is genetically mismatched with the modern diet, which has led to a rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The Paleo diet is made up of lean meats, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Forbidden foods include dairy products, legumes and grains. Potatoes are sometimes listed as a vegetable to avoid because it falls into the starchy vegetable category and is high in carbohydrates.”

“The Paleo diet puts an added emphasis on drinking water,” according to ISSA. “Soft drinks, including the sugar-free variety, are off limits as well as juices due to the high sugar content. Coffee is also prohibited.”

According to Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, “Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity and improved cholesterol.”

The International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2018 annual Food and Health Survey stated 36 percent of Americans reported following a specific eating pattern or diet within the past year with 7 percent following the Paleo diet.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “Eliminating whole grains is not necessarily the ticket to ending disease and ensuring weight loss. Whole grains contain dietary fiber, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well as other health complications.”

Additionally, according to the Academy, “As with any fad diet, the Paleo diet might also be hard to sustain and by eliminating entire food groups and types of foods, increases risk for disordered eating. We live in a society where it is not possible to eat exactly as our ancestors ate.”

Chelsea Zaharopoulos, CSN student, said, “I am a huge advocate of the Paleo diet. I’ve been on the diet for over a year now and I’ve never felt any better. I’ve lost about 50 pounds on the diet and I want to keep going. This may sound weird, but I feel closer to our early ancestors just by being on this diet.”

Allen Ortega, CSN student, said, “I had slight problems with the Paleo diet. I needed to lose weight so I found out about this diet but after two years, I did not lose much weight even while exercising. I found out that carbs were the reason for my weight gain and Paleo sort of asks that you eat it every now and then, especially potatoes. I ended up doing a strict Keto diet instead and lost the weight I needed to lose.”

CSN student Lianna Colemen isn’t too familiar with the Paleo diet. She mentioned she would not be willing to do it as she loves her processed foods too much. “In a certain way I see how this diet can be viewed as pointless when it comes to losing weight. You might as well try the Keto or Mediterranean diet to lose a bunch of weight quicker.”

When considering dieting, it is always important to consult a doctor first and choose an appropriate meal plan to achieve weight-loss goals while protecting one’s health.