I mentioned yesterday that I wouldn’t be following the paleo diet in full. While I went over some of my reasons, I have to admit that the paleo diet downsides and risks are part of the reason why I’ve decided to focus on it but not making it a full-time lifestyle.
As I do the research into the diet, I wanted to share with you the downsides that I’ve found. I’m not saying the diet doesn’t have its benefits but I want you to be fully informed to help you make a decision for your health.
The Paleolithic People Didn’t Live That Long
There was a comment yesterday that point out the good point that the people of the Paleolithic times didn’t live that long. That is certainly the case. Over the centuries, our lifespan has increased to the point where people now live into their 90s and even to 100+!
But the diet wasn’t the only reason for early death. This was a time with little knowledge about food. They would become prey to larger animals and have to deal with no knowledge about medicine. There was also the problem of being limited in the way food could be cooked and the truth behind poisonous fruits!
The diet isn’t completely to blame, but it may have contributed in some way.
We’ve come a long way since then and now have methods of cooking and creating food. Our bodies have adapted over the centuries and we’ve come to accept some of the food that wasn’t possible in the Paleolithic period.
We are not the same people our ancestors were.
There Are No Detailed Records of Our Ancestors
Unlike now where medical problems are documented and researched, this didn’t happen in the Paleolithic period. There are many people who believe that the legumes, cereal grains, and other similar types of agricultural foods are the reason for chronic issues and obesity.
The truth is that we don’t really know. Sure, we now see these chronic diseases, but were they definitely not around during the Paleolithic period. There isn’t the evidence to definitely say no.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I’m a big believer in everything in moderation. I don’t think in small amounts that cereal grains are the big issue they’re made out to be. I actually think that some of these problems were noticed in the past, but it was a time of kill or be killed. You either pushed through pain and problems or you were left to die. It was as simple as that, but we’ve moved on from that.
I also believe that some medication causes issues that we notice on a regular basis. After all, we just have to look at some of the ingredients and see the side effects to know that they can cause problems. It’s not just our diets but our overall lifestyle that causes some of these chronic problems.
That’s not really a downside of the paleo diet, but it’s a look at why I’m not going to follow it full-time.
It Cuts Out Dairy
I’ve actually found that some dairy can be added to the diet. I suppose this depends on the strictness of the paleo diet that you follow, but I’ve read a few sites that say grass-fed dairy is okay, which would include milk and yoghurts.
Why are there so many paleo diets? Well, it’s because the diet would have depended on where people lived. People relied on the food that they could get in their local area. For some it would have been mostly animal meat, but for others it would have been mostly fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
But if you were going to follow the paleo diet completely then you would need to cut this out. This just isn’t something I can do. I’m telling myself that I definitely can’t have something and that causes me to go off track. I’m not very good at being told no…
We’re Cutting Out Many Carbohydrates
While the paleo diet gives us plenty of protein and fiber, it’s missing out one very important food group: carbs.
Yes, our body needs some carbs. It just needs the right type of them! This is why so many health experts will recommend that you get some whole grains in your diet. These include brown rice and pasta or some potatoes. The carbs are starchy and complex. They break down in the body slowly, so there isn’t the same insulin response as with the simple carbs.
But grains are banned on the paleo diet.
Unless you suffer from celiac disease or you have found that grains are causing stomach upsets and chronic diseases, they still need to be added to the diet in a small amount. Carbs help to give us energy to burn.
The Paleolithic people lived in a very different world. Sure the diet has some benefits and I’m not trying to tell you not to follow it. I just want you to be aware of both sides, which I’ve researched over the last few days. I like to be as informed as possible to make sure I’m doing the best for my health.