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The Paleo Diet: Is It Right For You?

By Stepy Kamei

It seems that every year brings about a new fad diet, doesn't it? One of the latest is known as the Paleo diet. You may have heard this name before, but do you know what the Paleo diet is all about? Why are some people touting it as one of the healthiest dietary plans around, while others are calling it "minimally effective"? Read on to learn more about the latest diet trend, and whether it could benefit your health or harm it.

All About the Paleo Diet

Perhaps one of the reasons why the Paleo diet became talked about so quickly is because it has a basic yet rigorous principle rule: Follow the eating habits of our Neanderthal ancestors who lived in the Paleolithic era. Therefore, the idea is that any food that wasn't available to our ancestors shouldn't be consumed by us in the present day.

So, what food does this include, and what does it exclude? Meat, including poultry and fish, as well as fresh fruits and veggies, are all on the table. However, grains, dairy, legumes, potatoes, and refined sugar are all excluded. Basically, the idea is to remove "modern" foods which are highly processed in favor of whole, fresh ingredients straight from the Earth. Paleo diet enthusiasts believe that by eliminating processed and modern foods, the body will be only consuming the healthiest of foods, and therefore will be less susceptible to many ailments and diseases.

What Do Experts Say?

On the surface, this all sounds like it makes sense when it comes to protecting your well-being. However, many experts actually claim that the Paleo diet is ultimately bad news for the body. The biggest concern cited by nutritionists, dietitians, and other healthcare experts is that the Paleo diet is too restrictive to allow the body to obtain all the nutrients it needs from food. For instance, beans and dairy products are both excluded from Paleo eating. However, beans provide beneficial fiber, while dairy products tend to include calcium and vitamins. Furthermore, both beans and dairy are also great sources of protein that can substitute for fatty red meat.

Ultimately, there is currently no scientific evidence showing that the Paleo diet is effective in reducing or eliminating the risk of disease or illness.

Should You Try It?

If you're planning to start up with any new dietary plan, it's always a good idea to meet with a healthcare professional such as a nutritionist first, to make sure it's the right plan for you. Still, it might be best to not jump fully into the Paleo lifestyle all at once, especially if you haven't been given the all-clear by a nutritionist.

It's not a bad idea to borrow elements from this diet, though. Reducing or even eliminating your intake of added sugars packaged and processed foods, and red meat, can benefit your health. Basically, it's in your best interest to create a balanced meal plan that's providing you with the nutrients your body needs to thrive.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denton, Tex.

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