The Latest Diet Trend: The Paleo Diet. It’s worth a try? Article: The Paleo Debate: Pros and Cons of Eating Like a Caveman in 2021
The Paleo diet is based on the idea of eating like our Paleo caveman ancestors. The idea is that we are not genetically adapted to modern foods such as cereals, legumes, and dairy. These foods have only been available since modern agriculture began and therefore the belief is that we would not be able to adapt to those “new foods” so quickly because the change in food availability occurred.
Increasing the number of whole foods and reducing the amount of packaged foods
No one can argue that increasing the amount of whole, unprocessed foods in the diet can be a bad thing. Incorporating whole foods on the spot from packaged, ultra-processed. Nutrition-deprived foods can be a real pro of the paleo diet. By replacing nutrient-poor, energy-dense foods like light bread, chips, and cookies with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You are likely decreasing your energy intake but increasing your micronutrient intake (think vitamins &minerals!). This is likely to be a victory, considering that the majority of society is consuming quite a bit of its energy needs but not meeting its micronutrient needs
Increasing your vegetable consumption
While the Paleo diet is considered by some to be a diet rich in meat, there is actually a great emphasis on eating vegetables. Considering that the most recent statistics show that 93% of Australians do not meet the recommended daily intake of 5 servings of vegetables (1). Increasing vegetables should be a priority for many people. Incorporating a good type of vegetables not only provides fiber for a healthy gut but also a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Creating a love for diet
If the Paleo diet gets people interested in improving their health through dietary means, this will be considered positive. Getting people to require an interest in what their bodies are fixing and thus the potential health benefits/consequences is the lead towards a healthy diet.
Grain, legumes, and soy are all vilified as foods to avoid.
The needless demonization of whole food classes is one of the Paleo diet’s greatest flaws. The Paleo diet removes wheat, legumes, and dairy, based on the fact that our caveman forefathers did not eat these foods. These foods are rich in dietary fiber and are often supplemented with nutrients such as folic acid in Australia.
The exclusion of dairy from the Paleo diet is also a possible problem. While there are other sources of calcium available in the diet. It is very difficult to meet the recommended daily intake with just these foods. For example, 1 cup of spinach contains 29 mg of calcium, compared to 1 cup of milk at 300 mg. A 90g can of sardines can provide about 400mg of calcium. But this is not usually a popular dietary option for many people! We all know that most Australians don’t get enough calcium (2), so ablation, our biggest dietary source of calcium, is not a great movie.
Excessive meat consumption
The Paleo diet can be a great advocate for a high meat intake. The Australian Heart Foundation has proposed for the first time a limit of 350g per week for meat, to mitigate the risk of heart disease. While meat provides valuable nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. There are also links between high meat consumption and bowel cancer. You don’t have to eliminate it, but excessive intake is not recommended!
Excessive fat consumption
A diet with such a heavy emphasis on meat and nuts will likely be high in fat, particularly saturated fat. We all know that saturated fat can contribute to heart disease, and fat contains more calories/kilojoules per gram than protein or carbohydrates.
When carbs are ablated, the energy has to come from somewhere else. Probably an increase in fat on the paleo diet. While protein is also likely to spread, most Australian adults are already exceeding the recommended protein intake.
Most people in Western culture will profit from consuming more fruits and vegetables and avoiding refined and canned foods, but this does not have to be a Paleo diet! The Australian Dietary Guidelines are based on thousands of trials and rigorous testing. The Paleo diet, on the other hand, might be a recent craze with no long-term research to back it up. According to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, a healthy diet will (and should). Contain dairy products, legumes, and whole grains.
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