The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

If you have not heard of the Paleo Diet by now, you must have been living in a cave. And if you were, great! This diet is right up your alley, since it’s also known as “the Caveman Diet”. 

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet was developed by Dr. Loren Cordain, a former college athlete who had always been interested in diets to improve his performance. While teaching at Colorado State University in 1987, he was introduced to something featured in the New England Journal of Medicine about “Paleolithic Nutrition”. He was fascinated by the concept and has been writing about the Paleo Diet with the piece’s original author, Dr. Boyd Eaton, ever since. 

The Paleo Diet focuses on eating foods like “our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors“. On this diet, you’re encouraged to eat foods like grass-fed meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthful oils (olive, macadamia, walnut, flaxseed, avocado, coconut). Foods like grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt and refined oils are a no-no. 

Paleo Diet and Your Digestive System

Leaky gut is a term you have probably heard me and other wellness experts use many times. It’s when things like toxins, microbes and undigested food leave your digestive system and enter into your bloodstream. You know when you have a leaky gut when you experience symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome.

The problem with leaky gut is that it’s not only uncomfortable, it can also lead to autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue, headaches, skin issues, diabetes, or weight gain.

Many believe that the standard American diet (SAD), which relies heavily on grains, dairy, simple carbs and sugars is to blame for leaky gut syndrome. You can restore your gut health by eating more foods – like those on the Paleo Diet – that will reduce inflammation. 

Paleo Diet and Weight Loss

The Paleo Diet is considered a better alternative to any diet that has you counting calories. This is because when you count calories and eat less, your body will find ways to use less calories than before, reducing your metabolism and you’ll still be hungry. By eating foods on the Paleo Diet, you will naturally eat fewer calories because the types of food you are eating are more satiating per calorie. This means that the food is more filling for the same number of calories.

Cons of the Paleo Diet

One of the reasons I tend to not recommend the Paleo diet is because it focuses on consuming large amounts of animal fats. 

So what do I recommend? I am a huge fan of doing a detox of your digestive system. Now before you close out this tab, hear me out – my detox program is not about drinking some juice or eating only cabbage for a week. I’m talking about taking some of the positive aspects of the Paleo Diet, but limiting the amount of meat protein you eat.

Large amounts of animal protein have been linked to cancer growth.  And it’s recommended that most people only need about 40-70 grams of protein per day. So my 10-Day Detox Program is centered around eating real food that your body needs to survive, but also enjoying what you’re eating. 

Have you ever tried the Paleo Diet or a detox? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!

Click here to join my monthly Paleo recipe program and get 30 days FREE.

Click here to learn about my 10-Day Detox Program.

Leann Forst, MBA, CHC, CEOC — Holistic Health Practitioner

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Essential Oils Coach, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t”. And take Leann’s Nutrient Deficiency Quiz here.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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