Does the Paleo Diet Really Work?
In 2013, the Paleo Diet took the world by storm. It quickly became the world’s most popular diet. But is popularity enough to make a diet trustworthy? Some dietary and nutrition professionals would argue not.
The Paleo Diet takes people back to their roots – quite literally. It mimics the eating style of every person on the planet prior to the Argicultural revolution. Foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat are high in beneficial nutrients and are low in nutrients that often cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems. It’s basic home economics really.
The Paleo Diet encourages dieters to replace dairy and grain products with fresh fruits and vegetables – foods that are more nutritious than whole grains or dairy products. Now this is where the Paleo Diet becomes a little more complex. Just take a look at the food pyramid and you will see why:
Whole grain and dairy products are the foundation of the food pyramid. In fact, it is recommended we have 6-11 servings of them per day. That’s more than the fruit and vegetable recommended servings put together! So did food scientists get it wrong?
So what gives? Is the Paleo Diet a health and nutrition sin? Or should we all start avoiding our local bakeries? It appears after many studies and time, the critics of the Paleo Diet may have been right all along.
In 2014 the Paleo Diet ranked last in the Best Diet Rankings. This is simply because the diet is difficult to follow. Especially for women.
In a Swedish study, researchers tracked the progress of 35 women following the Paleo Diet for two years. After two years they had dropped an average of 6kgs. These 35 women said losing those 6kgs came with a serious struggle on the Paleo Diet.
This is because the forbidden fruit is plentiful and oh so tempting. Participants need to give up cheese bread and wine. This makes nights in with the girls, networking nights or anyplace with appetisers a struggle. This is why after the first year, Paleo dieters lost 8kgs but put back on 2kgs. Resisting these foods is incredibly difficult especially for those who don’t like their greens.
The diet is also quite complex. Women following the diet found themselves constantly asking what they are and aren’t allowed to eat. This makes participants question their ability to stick to the diet. Because confidence is key to weight loss, any diet that undermines confidence may not be the best.
Furthermore the diet is restrictive and not in a good way. The diet is so restrictive and has such little variety, it is hard to keep to it. You want to enjoy life while staying healthy – and I am sad to say the Paleo diet limits your ability to do this.
So what are your options if you don’t think the Paleo Diet is for you? In this day and age, you have plenty of options and I can guarantee you can still enjoy life while dieting. What’s more, you can actually enjoy dieting itself.
In stark contrast to the Paleo Diet is being a flexitarian. This diet is exactly what it sounds like. It involves you being a vegetarian except with wiggle room. This is great for people who have an idea of what they want to do but don’t want to be stuck with too many rules.
Another great diet is the Eco-Atkins Diet. This is similar to the Atkins Diet except it is more plant based. Womens Health Magazine claims, “Instead of loading up on fatty, cholesterol-loaded meats and cheeses, you eat 31 percent of your calories from plant proteins, 43 percent of them from plant fats, and the remaining 26 percent from “good” carbs.”
Does the Paleo Diet work for you? Let me know in the comments whether or not you would try it again.