Diet Diagnosis: The Paleo Diet
So here we are, at our 4th installment of Diet Diagnosis. And guess what? This diet, like the first three I’ve reviewed (Atkins, Zone, South Beach) is also written by a doctor, this time Dr. Loren Cordain.
Dr Loren has a PhD in Health, and is a professor in health and exercise science at Colorado State University. So is his diet worth trying? Let’s see…
Okay – time for some common sense! This diet plan is right up my alley and the premise is ultra simple – eat food as Mother Nature intended, and as our ancestors did before the agricultural revolution. I preach some similar ideas and really the diet is very easy to follow. It excludes milk and dairy products, as well as cereals and grains that are man-made. Basically, if you can’t find a food growing on the planet, in nature, or anywhere else- then put it back.
So what does that mean? It’s simple – the foundation for this diet are meats, seafood, and unlimited amounts of fruit and vegetables. Nuts and other plant based foods are also acceptable, but in moderation. The Paleo Diet has also been called “The Stone Age” or “Caveman” diet for its simplicity. And that’s the diet’s beauty – though truthfully, Dr. Cordain gets a bit too serious for me and includes what I think is just too much detail when describing the ideology behind the plan. He gets into ratios, different healthy fats, ancestral history and a lot of other things that will push people away.
Like all diets on the market, Cordain cites health benefits including better cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and improved overall health. This diet is also high in healthy fats (omega’s), antioxidants, phytonutrients, flavonoids and lots of other funny sounding terms that we know to be health promoting.
The Paleo Diet is a high protein diet when compared to its counterparts which I don’t think is a bad thing. I am of the belief that higher protein and lower carbohydrate diets are better in the long run for health, energy, and maintenance of bodyweight. Dr. Cordain speaks of only eating “in season” foods, genetics, and macronutrients of various food groups. Personally, I think it’s too much to swallow – pun intended. At the core this is a very solid and sound philosophy – don’t eat man-made processed food, and stay away from flour, grains, wheat, breads and the like. Eat healthy sources of fat from nuts, seeds, and fish, and eat lean sources of protein from meats. Plus, eat unlimited fruits and vegetables.
I’m not so sure I agree with the idea of unlimited fruit, but everything else I’m totally on board with. How can these recommendations be bad? In my opinion they can’t and this diet is very easy to cope with and sustain. It may take a few weeks to get used to, both mentally and physically as your body “switches” over and adopts new energy system processes, but it’s very doable. I eat very similar to this diet, so of course I’m going to suggest everyone who’s healthy gives it a go.
Listen, as a species we ate like this for millions of years, and survived. Trust me, there weren’t any obese cavemen, or cavewomen. As I’ve stated before, man is the only species that prepares, makes, or engineers food for consumption. And look where that has gotten us!
DIAGNOSIS: Very, Very Good (that’s two Very’s)
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