Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

06:26 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
Since the Paleo diet gained prominence, it attracted advocates as well as detractors. Naturally, the advocates will only sing praises and heap accolades for this new dietary regimen. On the other hand, its detractors will be quick to point out perceived flaws in its logic. For your consideration, we are enumerating here all the arguments pro and against the Paleo concept coming from both sides. We shall leave the final call to your better judgement.

pros and cons of paleo diet

The Pros

Paleo diet reviews advocates proclaim that the diet provides a host of significant health benefits among which are:

The Paleo diet protects against weight gain. Since the diet prescribes only non-starchy fruits and vegetables as its main source of carbohydrates and not from grains and sugar which have high glycemic indexes, the insulin levels in the blood are lowered thus preventing carbohydrates from being converted and stored as fat. It actually leads to significant weight loss in the long term.

Despite having high levels of saturated fats, the Paleo diet has been shown to improve blood lipid profiles. It increases the good cholesterol (HDL) levels while decreasing the TG or triglycerides thus, effectively protecting the heart from atherosclerosis and stroke. It also has been shown to convert low density bad cholesterol (LPL) into high density good cholesterol (HDL).

The Paleo diet is gluten free since it leaves out wheat and other cereals from whence gluten is made from. It enhances digestion since the food intake is limited to the type of food the human
body has been accustomed to for millions of years.

The Paleo diet eliminates blood sugar spikes and maintains stable energy levels in the body. You generally won’t experience afternoon fatigues as what happens often when you eat a lot of cereals and sugar during the day.

It prevents bloating and promotes well being since there is more fiber intake in the salt less diet. All of the food and beverages in Paleo diet are organic. People on the Paleo diet feel better, sleep better, and are not prone to depression.

The Cons

Critics of the Paleo diet have not wasted time to post their criticisms. Among the many objections they have so far published are the following:

The Paleo diet is too difficult for the simple person to follow as it entails tremendous change in one’s lifestyle. It would take herculean efforts to see it through to success. With so many food restrictions, it will require changes not only in your eating habits but in shopping for food items since you need to select only organic food products and meat from livestock that has been raised and grass fed in pasture lands. It will entail taking a closer look at food labels to make sure they contain only natural and organic ingredients.

The shift to a Paleo lifestyle may be more expensive than usual. The fruits and vegetables have to be organically grown and this definitely will cost you more than the regular fruits and vegetables sold anywhere. The meat must be from livestock that has been grass fed or fed with corn or grains. Paleo detractors also claim that the Paleo food list includes foodstuff that are not only in short supply but are also more expensive.

Critics of the Paleo diet feels that by leaving out grains and cereals, the diet is in effect depriving the body of much needed fiber intake and carbohydrates. They consider the Paleo as an unbalanced diet. They also feel it is absurd to use contemporary foodstuff to reconstitute man’s original ancient diet. They believe that Paleo advocates would have difficulty to stay on the diet since critics believe that because it is hard to locate purely organic and natural food sources. They predict that Paleo advocates are going to be discouraged and are likely going to abandon the diet not long after they have tried it.

There is however, a common ground among the advocates and the critics of the diet. Both parties do not question the fact that man should eat foods as natural and as fresh as possible. This is actually the very essence of the Paleo lifestyle and it appears that the above criticisms are more like excuses not to adapt the diet than reasons to invalidate the efficacy of the diet.