Why Paleo Falls Short, And What You Should Eat
December 27, 2013 0 Comments
Paleo is the new Atkins diet. Except a hell of a lot better. Why? Well, it focuses on real food. Unprocessed food. Food that you can eat a lot of and still be healthy. Food that feeds your body. Paleo is a really great starting point… but it also misses the mark on some things. I think this is just because Paleo tries to oversimplify a very diverse array of foods.
It’s not that simple. But it is. Here is why Paleo falls short.
Why Paleo Falls Short – No Grains
Here is the first case of oversimplification. Whole grains are put in the same category as processed carbohydrates. Processed carbs are full of carbs/sugar and little else… and they are terrible for you. Grains on the other hand have complex carbohydrates, protein, and even omega 3’s… when digested in tandem, make a VERY worthy food… especially if you are exercising. Unless you have a grain allergy, ignore this Paleo rule. Eat quinoa and brown rice (sparingly of course)… and ditch the processed breakfast cereal.
Why Paleo Falls Short – Unlimited Meat
And no limit on red meat, which contains more fat than chicken or fish. While we are learning that fat from animal protein is less harmful than we once thought, opening the floodgates to eating tons of meat is just misguided. Eat meat sparingly, lean toward healthier proteins like chicken and fish, and always try to eat organic. The commercially raised red meat that is available in most stores is much lower in nutrient density and higher in omega-6 fatty acids (from being forced to eat corn instead of grass) than the cows of yore. So most meat is not as healthy as it once was… and that is definitely not “Paleo/caveman”… and eating a ton of it is definitely one of the reasons why Paleo falls short.
Why Paleo Falls Short – Lack Of Variety
Variety is what will help you stick with a successful diet. You have to be able to change it up. Plus, who wants to gnaw on a yam and kale leaves for the rest of their lives. While the Paleo diet is a HUGE improvement to most diets out there… it discounts the biodiversity of food and what those foods have to offer in their purest form. Eating the healthiest foods most of the time is great, but you will be deficient in some key elements that your body will require if you don’t veer away from the same basic things. So eat off menu once in a while. Eat fruits and veges that you don’t normally eat from time to time. Not only will your taste buds thank you, you will possibly be feeding your body stuff it needs!
Why Paleo Falls Short
Just about any diet based on real, whole foods will be a successful one. So my advice is this. Don’t base your diet on a list of foods you can and can’t eat based on some “cavemen” analogy (which is flawed, but don’t get me started). Eat whole, real foods and give up anything processed. This is the key. Limit your meat intake, focus more on vegetables, eat limited whole grains, and strive for variety.