Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

Lime Sweet Chicken Chilli - Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet - Lime Sweet Chicken Chilli - Nutrition Kickstart

The Paleo diet is an incredible approach that has 1000’s of followers all around the globe. Books on this topic have developed into bestsellers. Tons of people have lost tons of weight, decreased allergy symptoms, gained better control of health issues like cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, etc. with the Paleo approach. In actual fact, it’s widely considered to be one of the most effective diets around.

Nevertheless, no diet is ideal and the Paleo diet is no exception. It has its pros and cons, which we’ll cover in this article. Ultimately it’s up to you whether or not the pros outweigh the cons. Many 1000’s of people have found that they did and have gone the Paleo route.

The Requirements

First, you’ll want to wrap your head around the Paleo diet.

The approach is more focused on food quality rather than nutrient timing, carb cycling, total calorie consumption, and so on. In concept, it’s a pretty straightforward dietary approach. Eat these foods and don’t eat those different foods. All you have to do is comply with the list of permitted foods. In practice, on the other hand, the Paleo diet can be quite tough at first as it requires sacrifice. And no one likes sacrifice.

You’re encouraged to choose grass-fed meats like turkey, poultry, beef, bison, pork, etc. Fish is great, too, particularly small fish like sardines and anchovies which are rich in omega-3 fatty oils. You’re allowed to eat fruit and non-starchy vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, and so on. You can also have nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews. Peanuts, however, are off limits (they’re not really nuts).

Foods that aren’t permitted include grains (oats, wheat, barley, rice, corn, etc.), refined sugar, processed meats and other foods, and dairy products.

Check out our primer here for more info.

 

The Pros

Elimination of unhealthy foods

This eliminates an enormous chunk of options that we are usually used to consuming. This is without doubt one of the largest pros of the Paleo diet. A lot of the foods not permitted are unhealthy and a few items like soya beans and grains simply don’t sit well with most individuals anyway.

Anti-imflamatory

Many people on the Standard American Diet often complain of aches and pains for no apparent reason. This is often due to inflammation from unhealthy foods. No such problems exist with the Paleo diet.

Inexpensive

Sure, you can spend a pile of cash on high end cuts of meat and exotic imported veggies and fruits, but you don’t need to break the bank to stick with the Paleo diet.

You don't need to break the bank to stick with the Paleo diet. Click To Tweet

You don’t need to eat a rib steak every night. Cheap cuts of meat are easy to come by (ask your butcher about parts that don’t sell and you might get a deal). Shopping for in-season fruits and vegetables will keep your grocery bill down, too. Also, check out farmers markets in your area. There are often great deals to be had.

 

The Cons

For all the benefits that come with a Paleo approach, it isn’t without its cons.

Elimination of unhealthy foods

Yes, this is a duplicate of one of the Pros above, but that’s for good reason.

Many of the foods on the “do not eat” list are things that people grew up eating. They’re comfort foods. And they’re also often just plain tasty! Being diligent with your diet can be a challenge, but it’s definitely possible.

Managing cravings

We have a whole article on managing cravings because this is perhaps the most difficult thing to deal with: physical cravings for foods you’ve removed from your diet. However, the cravings are temporary and there are strategies you can use to get through it.

 

Done properly, the Paleo diet is rich in protein, maintains blood sugar levels steady, and avoids insulin spikes. This goes a long way to preventing unhealthy weight gain and keeping you healthy overall.

You’ll need to evaluate your objectives and weigh your choices. If you decide that better health and well being are worth your effort, the sacrifices you’ll make on the Paleo diet will definitely be worth the effort.

Do you have a Paleo story to tell? Leave it in the comments below.

And don’t forget to share!