Paleo Diet – The Finale

In this blog post, I will look back at my initial thoughts about the diet and make a final decision about the diet.

Original thoughts

 

My personal belief is that the diet is a radical answer to modern medical issues. While it may be true that in the Stone Age humans were more fit and suffered from less medical conditions such as diabetes, altering our diets to this extreme is not the answer. Surely we can survive off of meat and vegetables alone, but why would we shoot ourselves in the foot like that? It isn’t hard to eat healthy without resorting to following what our ancestors did. To me, this diet is not a progressive answer to our current health problems. The paleo diet has so many flaws and can be devastating if not done properly. With so many restrictions, it can be very easy to miss out on vitamins and minerals needed to fuel our daily lives. Sure processed foods have their own issues, but restricting almost all foods from a diet in 2016 is not going to be easy to follow or appropriate for many of our health goals. While the diet may be innovative, I do not believe it is the true answer to cancer and diabetes. Perhaps if the diet could be tweaked a little it could be a viable and healthy option; in its current state, it falls short and any drastic changes would destroy the roots of the diet.

 

Final decision

 

After several posts looking at details of the paleo diet, I would like to state that my view on the paleo diet is the same as my opinion in my first blog post. I still believe that the paleo diet is far too extreme of an answer for modern dieters. While the diet may be effective in terms of weight-loss, it is far from perfect. The diet may be innovative, but it is far from being progressive due to its backwards nature. Sure we can avoid modern health risks by reverting back to the diet our ancestors ate, but that can also be achieved by simply living a healthy lifestyle. The diet has far too many restrictions to be considered valid by many. The diet makes things harder than they need to be by limiting what we can eat just to be innovative. The concept makes sense, but in practice it does not make the cut as relevant. The creators of the diet do not properly demonstrate the burden of proof and as a result have a flawed end result. Sure this diet can help me lose weight and prevent diabetes, but so can many diets and lifestyle changes without the need to limit my food choice so drastically. Focusing on the few health benefits our Paleolithic ancestors had over us without looking at their health problems is misguided from the beginning. Our ancestors back then were lucky to live anywhere near as long as we do in the 21st century. As a result, does going backwards with such a drastic dietary change really seem like the answer? The diet is still fairly new and not studied very heavily, so we must tolerate that there may not be a definitive answer. The data that is displayed and claims being made leads to be state that the diet is NOT and effective dietary choice. This is due to the diet being: too difficult to maintain, cutting out complete nutrients, high cost, and aggressive change. I would not recommend this diet to anyone, as there are far more effective options available that do not limit the dieter to such backwards choices.

The Paleo diet – Verdict

 

 

This blog post will focus on deciding whether or not the paleo diet is a viable diet or a waste of time. I will look at both the benefits and drawbacks and come up with a final decision as to how effective the diet is. To start I will review the previous blog entry, which focused on how cons of the paleo diet

 

Why the paleo diet is bad

 

In the previous blog entry, I constructed a list of over 20 reasons stating the issues with the paleo diet. To review, they were as follows.

1. 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).

  1. The standard diet puts participants at risk for calcium and vitamin D deficiency and as a result, increased risk of bone problems (UCDavis , 2015).
  2. 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).
  3. The diet is very difficult to stay committed to due to its extreme restrictions (UCDavis , 2015).
  4. Increase low-density lipoproteins (Bad cholesterol) over long periods of time (UCDavis , 2015).
  5. Increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures due to lack of proper minerals (UCDavis , 2015).
  6. Low carbohydrate diet; may cause the participant to enter ketosis (UCDavis , 2015).
  7. Overuse of fat for energy can leave the participant at a loss of energy (UCDavis , 2015).
  8. Very restrictive; the diet should not be followed by anyone with heart, kidney, liver, or pancreatic disease (UCDavis , 2015).
  9. “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)
  10. 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).
  11. 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).
  12. 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).
  13. 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).
  14. Paleolithic humans suffered from many diseases and infections due to their missing nutrients including atherosclerosis (Berardi, 2014).
  15. 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).
  16. 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.).
  17. Large amounts of red meat consumed can lead to increased heart-disease and cancer risks (Andrews, n.d.).
  18. 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.).
  19. The diet is too complicated for no good reason. There are many ways to eat healthy without resorting to these extremes (Andrews, n.d.).

 

The diet is extremely controversial in the public eye and does not represent a modern diet well. The vast array of health concerns from the diet makes it overall very risky, but perhaps the benefits can outweigh all of these issues?

 

Why the paleo diet is good

 

Going back two blog posts, I looked at how the paleo diet can be beneficial. Many studies have been conducted testing the validation of the paleo diet in various different age groups and weight categories.  After reviewing several sources, I came up with a list of evidence supporting the paleo diet.

  • Blood pressure reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Waistline reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Cardiovascular risk reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Lower cholesterol (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Liver fat reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • BMI Reduction (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)
  • More effective than diabetes diets (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)
  • Weight loss (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)

Overall the diet’s strong points focus are weight loss and prevention of more modern diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which were likely not common in the Paleolithic times. Several studies were conducted looking at the diet, all of which focused on the weight loss aspect. The diet’s strong point is its weight loss properties, with waist line reduction also being common.

 

 

SEAR

State the claim, example evidence, assess other factors, and rate the claim

S – The paleo diet is an effective diet for weight loss and disease prevention

E – Multiple studies conducted support this argument, all participants (100+ total) lost weight

A – Exercise and caloric deficit may be a factor, not just the food being organic

R – The paleo diet is an effective weight-loss method

 

Final Verdict

 

For anyone looking to lose weight in a healthy way, the paleo diet may be a viable option for you. The diet has many drawbacks as a diet itself, but as a short-term weight loss method it can be very effective. While the diet may cause one to miss out on important vitamins and minerals, it is useful only in short-term use. The diet can be modified to meet these needs but it would defeat the statement of the diet. This diet should not be conducted without proper research on a case-by-case basis. I would recommend speaking to a dietitian before going forth with the diet.

 

The paleo diet is an effective and viable diet if followed correctly and only done short-term

 

References

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

Cordain, L. (2014, February 7). Scientific verifitcation of the paleo diet. Retrieved from The Paleo Diet: http://thepaleodiet.com/long-term-scientific-verification-of-the-paleo-diet/#.VsAO-PIrKUk

Gunnar, K. (2015, July). 5 Studies on The Paleo Diet – Diet it Actually Work? Retrieved from Authority Nutrition: http://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/

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

The problems with the Paleo Diet

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:

 

  1. 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).
  2. The standard diet puts participants at risk for calcium and vitamin D deficiency and as a result, increased risk of bone problems(UCDavis , 2015).
  3. 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).
  4. The diet is very difficult to stay committed to due to its extreme restrictions(UCDavis , 2015).
  5. Increase low-density lipoproteins (Bad cholesterol) over long periods of time(UCDavis , 2015).
  6. Increased risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures due to lack of proper minerals(UCDavis , 2015).
  7. Low carbohydrate diet; may cause the participant to enter ketosis(UCDavis , 2015).
  8. Overuse of fat for energy can leave the participant at a loss of energy (UCDavis , 2015).
  9. Very restrictive; the diet should not be followed by anyone with heart, kidney, liver, or pancreatic disease(UCDavis , 2015).
  10. “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)
  11. 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).
  12. 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).
  13. 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).
  14. 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).
  15. Paleolithic humans suffered from many diseases and infections due to their missing nutrients including atherosclerosis (Berardi, 2014).
  16. 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).
  17. 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.).
  18. Large amounts of red meat consumed can lead to increased heart-disease and cancer risks (Andrews, n.d.).
  19. 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.).
  20. 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.

 

References

 

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

 

 

 

Is the Paleo Diet actually good?

Today I will be looking at support for the paleo diet. As a health claim, there is potential for the diet to be a successful belief with credible sources from studies. I have found two articles in support of the paleo diet with proof that health improving concepts are present.

 

Part 1:

 

The following is evidence found to be true for the paleo diet

  • Weight loss (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)
  • Blood pressure reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Waistline reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Cardiovascular risk reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Lower cholesterol (Gunnar, 2015)
  • Liver fat reduction (Gunnar, 2015)
  • BMI Reduction (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)
  • More effective than diabetes diets (Gunnar, 2015) (Cordain, 2014)

 

Part 2:

 

5 Studies on The Paleo Diet – Does it Actually Work?

 This article focuses on 5 studies looking at various aspects on the paleo diet. The studies look at the following areas: weight loss, blood pressure, waistline, cardiovascular risk factors, cholesterol, and liver fat. The studies are all completed by medical professionals within the past 10 years.

 

  • A study by Lindeberg S, et al. looked at 29 men with heart disease, elevated blood sugars, or type 2 diabetes. The study lasted 12 weeks and had two groups, one on a paleo diet and one on a more modern diet. After 12 week, it was found that men on the paleo diet lost around 11lbs and on averaged 2.2 inches off their waists. The study concluded stating that the paleo diet can reduce waist circumference and glycemic control.
  • A study by Osterdahl M, et al. looked at 14 healthy students in medical school (5 male and 9 female). The students were instructed to eat a Paleolithic diet for 3 weeks with no calorie restrictions. After the 3 weeks, it was found that the students lost 5lbs on average, BMI dropped 0.8, waist circumference dropped 0.6 inches, and systolic blood pressure dropped 3mmHG. The study concluded stating that the paleo diet can reduce waist size and systolic blood pressure.
  • The third study was done by Jonsson T, et al. 13 people with type 2 diabetes were played on either a paleo diet or a diabetes diet. After the 3 month period, it was found that those on the paleo diet lost 6.6lbs more than those on the diabetes diet with a 1.6 inches dropped from their waistlines. The study concluded stating that the paleo diet has stronger weight loss properties and several improvements in cardiovascular risk factors in comparison to a diabetes diet.
  • The fourth study was constructed by Frassetto, et al. in 2009. This study was conducted on 9 healthy individuals. They were instructed to partake in a paleo diet for 10 days on a strict calorie count to ensure they did not lose weight. The purpose was to look at cholesterol differences in the body. After the 10 days, it was found that students had: LDL cholesterol reduction of 22%, Triglycerides down 35%, insulin AUC down 39%, diastolic blood pressure down 3.4 mmHG, and total cholesterol down 16%. The study stated that the paleo diet will lower your cholesterol.
  • The final study was conducted by Reberg, et al. The study looked at 10 healthy women with a BMI of 27+. They were instructed to eat on a Paleolithic diet for 5 weeks. The women lost, on average, a total of 10 lbs. The women also noticed a 3 inch waist circumference reduction on average. The main purpose of this study was to look at liver fat; the women saw a 49% reduction in liver fat.

 

The tests all show positive factors for the paleo diet. The users are noticing massive weight loss and cardiovascular risk reduction. Overall the studies are all supportive of the fact that the paleo diet does work and people trying to lose weight should consider this diet. All data from this section was retrieved from: http://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/

 

Long term scientific verification of the paleo diet

 This article is a report looking at the paleo diet and how it has improved over the past few years. At one point, the paleo diet was ranked last in a rating of 32 diets by the U.S. News and Worlds Reports. The paleo diet has since been tested over many different length studies and has found that it is an amazing method of weight loss. Experiences have found that the paleo diet is superior to the standard diabetes diet in almost every way. Studies conducted in the past two years have also found that the paleo diet can reduce cancer risk and metabolic syndrome diseases. Overall the article states that the paleo diet will improve your health and well-being. All data from this section was retrieved from: http://thepaleodiet.com/long-term-scientific-verification-of-the-paleo-diet/#.VsAO-PIrKUk

 

Closing

 Both articles agree that the paleo diet is an effective weight-loss method. We can we that the paleo diet has many perks and has proven successful in every study visited in this post. Even when compared to more modern diets it is shown that the paleo diet comes out on top.

Works Cited

 

Cordain, L. (2014, February 7). Scientific verifitcation of the paleo diet. Retrieved from The Paleo Diet: http://thepaleodiet.com/long-term-scientific-verification-of-the-paleo-diet/#.VsAO-PIrKUk

Gunnar, K. (2015, July). 5 Studies on The Paleo Diet – Diet it Actually Work? Retrieved from Authority Nutrition: http://authoritynutrition.com/5-studies-on-the-paleo-diet/

 

 

Will the Paleo Diet prevent cancer ?

 

Background information 

The paleo diet is a diet trend that began at some point the in 1970s. The diet requires the partaking person to consume food that only existed during paleolithic times (over 20,000 years ago). If the food could be hunted or gathered thousands of years ago, it is considered fair use for the paleo diet. While there is no official listing of what is and isn’t allowed, it is generally accepted that the following may be eaten: meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. The diet also bans anything developed after the agricultural period; salt, sugar, grains, and dairy are all on the chopping block. As a result of the diet’s conditions, it is often known as the “Caveman diet”. The diet claims to be able to prevent diseases and medical conditions from occurring that did not exist in the stone age, such as cancer and diabetes. Follower of the diet believe that humans should only eat what was meant to be eaten by our ancestors.

Personal views

My personal belief is that the diet is a radical answer to modern medical issues. While it may be true that in the stone age humans were more fit and suffered from less medical conditions such as diabetes, altering our diets to this extreme is not the answer. Surely we can survive off of meat and vegetables alone, but why would we shoot ourselves in the foot like that? It isn’t hard to eat healthy without resorting to following what our ancestors did. To me, this diet is not a progressive answer to our current health problems. The paleo diet has so many flaws and can be devastating if not done properly. With so many restrictions, it can be very easy to miss out on vitamins and minerals needed to fuel our daily lives. Sure processed foods have their own issues, but restricting almost all foods from a diet in 2016 is not going to be easy to follow or appropriate for many of our health goals. While the diet may be innovative, I do not believe it is the true answer to cancer and diabetes. Perhaps if the diet could be tweaked a little it could be a viable and healthy option; in its current state, it falls short and any drastic changes would destroy the roots of the diet.