While the last post discussed reasons as to why the paleo diet may be an appropriate diet for weight-loss, the purpose of this post will be to seek evidence against the paleo diet.
The following is a list of problems the paleo diet suffers from:
- The food eaten in the Paleolithic period varied based on location in the world. Some foods may not have been available in certain regions and the actual foods consume would have varied greatly (UCDavis , 2015).
- The standard diet puts participants at risk for calcium and vitamin D deficiency and as a result, increased risk of bone problems(UCDavis , 2015).
- Saturated fat and proteins are often consumed at a higher level due to the extreme limitations of the diet. This can increase risk of kidney and heart disease as well as some types of cancer(UCDavis , 2015).
- The diet is very difficult to stay committed to due to its extreme restrictions(UCDavis , 2015).
- Increase low-density lipoproteins (Bad cholesterol) over long periods of time(UCDavis , 2015).
- Increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures due to lack of proper minerals(UCDavis , 2015).
- Low carbohydrate diet; may cause the participant to enter ketosis(UCDavis , 2015).
- Overuse of fat for energy can leave the participant at a loss of energy (UCDavis , 2015).
- Very restrictive; the diet should not be followed by anyone with heart, kidney, liver, or pancreatic disease(UCDavis , 2015).
- “One-size-fits-all” diet. All people of all sizes are expected to follow the same diet. This will not work for any outliers which is a problem for diets like this. (Berardi, 2014)
- The diet is too difficult to maintain for longer than a few weeks. Most people are unable to last a month on the diet (Berardi, 2014).
- The paleo diet states that we should not eat legumes. Research suggests that the benefits of legumes may outweigh the anti-nutrients. Eliminating these foods from our diets is not ideal(Berardi, 2014).
- The diet suggests that we avoid whole grains, which does not follow the Canadian food guide and will causes users to miss out on the benefits of grains (Berardi, 2014).
- The diet believes that humans were healthiest millions of years ago. There is no way to prove this. Humans have a much longer life expectancy in the 21st century than any other known time (Berardi, 2014).
- Paleolithic humans suffered from many diseases and infections due to their missing nutrients including atherosclerosis (Berardi, 2014).
- Based on at what point the Paleolithic diet looks at specifically, the diet may be too loose. 60 million years ago our ancestors at primarily fruit, leaves, and insects. The paleo diet focuses largely on animal meat which does not respect its origin (Berardi, 2014).
- The paleo diet ranked 29/29 in a ranking of the most popular diets in “US news and World Report’s Diet Rankings” (Andrews, n.d.).
- Large amounts of red meat consumed can lead to increased heart-disease and cancer risks (Andrews, n.d.).
- You need to go either full-paleo or not go paleo at all. The diet is very strict and bending the diet will ruin its intentions (Andrews, n.d.).
- The diet is too complicated for no good reason. There are many ways to eat healthy without resorting to these extremes (Andrews, n.d.).
As we can see from the list, there are 20+ reasons as to why the paleo diet is in fact NOT a proper diet. The diet ranked last in a ranking of 29 different diets and has had a very controversial response from the public. The diet is too strict and does not represent a realistic modern diet well. The restrictions make the diet too hard to follow and do not offer enough benefits to make the diet worthwhile. The diet is also prone to causing extreme health risks such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. The lack of proper nutrients can lead to an array of health problems that no modern human should be suffering from. The diet’s origins don’t even correspond to the diet as it is today, causing the whole diet to be a mess. Any extreme modifications to the diet will help solve its issues, but will defeat the purpose of the diet. The diet is backwards and should not be something people use to lose weight.
Andrews, J. (n.d.). Nutrition Q&A: Is the Paleo diet really healthy? Retrieved from Men’s Fitness: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/is-the-paleo-diet-really-healthy
Berardi, J. (2014, September 17). The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet. Retrieved from Huffpost Healthy Living: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardi-phd/paleo-diet_b_5774200.html
UCDavis . (2015, June 10). Is the paleo diet safe? Retrieved from UCDavis Health System: https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2014-2015/06/20150603_paleo-diet.html