The link between processed food and several diseases is closely looked up by many scientists today. As more research uncovers the potential problems that might occur due to a diet high in processed foods and low in fresh foods, many people have become to make changes in their ideas and consume more fresh or minimally processed foods. Those who are looking for similar principles to be able to shed a few pounds might have heard about the Paleo diet plan.
This diet plan focuses on promoting the benefits of the Paleolitic diet, the alleged eating style of our ancestors from the hunter-gather era. As a result, the diet recommends eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and organic meat, while excluding potatoes, legumes, dairy, coffee, alcohol refined sugars, oils and salt. Authors of this diet plan promote the idea that the development of agriculture and industry has caused a myriad of modern day illnesses.
This eating plan is considered a variation of the Blood Type diet which employs a similar logic for its recommendations for the 0 blood type or even a milder version of the Atkins diet which is essentially also a high protein diet. Unlike, Atkins diet where fruits are restricted, this diet encourages a moderate consumption.
Eating organic, locally produced food is also highly recommended. This gluten free diet can be a good choice for those suffering from celiac disease. The diet advocates getting about 56–65% daily calories from food and 36–45% from plant based foods. However, this plan does not require calorie counting.
And, due to the high protein intake, low energy levels are typically not a problem. Grilled meat, fish and eggs are the main sources of protein while tomatoes, apples, strawberries and pears are among the most popular choices in terms of plant based foods. Nuts, also very recommended in this diet, provide a myriad of essential fatty acids that are necessary for proper body functioning.
Proponents of this diet believe that this diet can help prevent modern diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes and depression. On the other hand, there are also many voices which are rather skeptic about the concepts this type of diet is based on. One of the main arguments is that it is impossible to know exactly what our ancestors ate, so the principles are highly speculative. Also, because it eliminates many popular sources of carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and desserts, this diet can prove to be highly restrictive for certain people.
Also, because it encourages the consumption of meat in fairly large quantities, this diet is not suitable for vegetarians and much less vegans. Furthermore, such high protein diets might promote kidney damage, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or constipation. The fact that it encourages cutting out entire food groups with many proven health benefits based on assumptions about what our ancestors ate is another red many nutritionists point out. Other people also question the validity of this diet due to the fact that the average lifespan of our ancestors was much lower than it is now and think that diet might have been a contributor.
Credit: Thinkstock Photos