The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet is one of the most popular diet’s in America today. The Paleo Diet, also known as the cave-man diet or hunter gatherer diet is based on the idea that before modern agriculture (Paleolithic era 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 B.C.) the human body evolved and adapted to eating a diet consisting of wild plants and animals.
Many Crossfit athletes are now following the paleo diet to get stronger, leaner, faster, and improve recovery time.
Why I DON’T Eat a Paleo Diet
I recently did a radio interview with my friend Mark Sisson who is one of the leading experts on the Paleo Diet and runs a company called Primal Nutrition. While I don’t believe in many of the evolutionary theories of paleo, I do think that our bodies adhere better to a diet high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and wild meats which fall into the hunter gatherer lifestyle.
Here I want to discuss the Good and Bad about the paleo diet…
First, What Are Paleo Foods?
The paleo diet consists of foods that can be hunted or fished like meat, organ meat and seafood and foods that can be gathered like eggs, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
Foods that are not on the paleo diet are anything processed, grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), raw dairy, salt, and oils.
Raw Dairy is considered by some experts to be paleo while others believe it doesn’t make the list. A paleo diet with dairy added in is called a Neo-Paleo diet.
The Good and Bad of the Paleo Diet
I believe there are 3 major positive aspects of the paleo diet.
1. Nothing Processed – One of the major upsides of the paleo diet is that it rescripts ALL processed foods and recommends mostly raw foods. In America today 80+% of the foods we eat are highly processed genetically modified foods. So any diet that recommends you eat foods in their natural state is a positive.
2. Wild Caught Meat – A paleo diet is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and lower in Omega-6 fatty acids. According to paleo experts 60% of food energy should come from animal foods like wild caught fish, bison, deer, turkey, and eggs. All of these foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids in which the Standard American Diet is greatly deficient. Omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation, improve neurological function, aid in digestion, improve focus, and restore healthy skin just to name a few.
3. Raw Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds – A paleo diet recommends 40% of food energy come from Raw nutrient dense foods. As the saying goes in American, we are overfed, but undernourished. So consuming larger amounts of nutrient dense foods like vegetables is far superior to a diet primarily consisting of low nutrient grains.
I also follow a diet of minimal grains and when I do consume grains on occasion those grains have been sprouted. By not eating grains you are also eliminating gluten in which many american’s have developed sensitivities to.
Why I DON’T Eat Paleo
The foundational reason I don’t follow the paleo diet is because it stems from a belief system based on macroevolution, while I personally am a creationist. Also, the Paleo diet eliminates Raw cultured dairy like Yogurt, Kefir, and Amasai which I believe to be one of the healthiest foods in the world if done right.
In addition, here are some foods that I don’t consume but are recommended on the Paleo Diet:
If you’ve read my article on Pork you will known that some of these animals are common carriers of parasites and are bottom feeders like shellfish and catfish.
The Healing Foods Diet
So what eating plan or diet should you follow? I recommend eating “healing foods”. Foods that both follow a hunter-gatherer like lifestyle but also follow science and kosher/biblical eating principles. These foods are nutrient dense and free of toxins.
Healing Foods include:
- Nuts (sprouted)
- Seeds (sprouted)
- Organic Grass-fed Meat and Wild Game
- Free-range Poultry and Eggs
- Wild Caught Fish
- Pastured Raw Dairy
This isn’t the full list but you can find whole list here: Healing Foods Shopping List
Please keeps your comments friendly and uplifting. I welcome debate, but please do so with respect to others. I know that there are some philosophical and religious views that have been addressed in this article.
What are your thoughts on the Paleo Diet?
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