A paleo diet consists of eating foods that would have been consumed in the prehistoric ages, before the time of mass farming and food processing. You would largely be consuming lean meat and fish, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, whilst avoiding dairy, refined sugars, grains and potatoes. The paleo diet has become extremely popular in the last few years, so let’s have a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks to see if it’s right for you!
A paleo diet is generally low in fat and sugar, meaning that it assists you in losing weight. The focus on more natural and nutritious foods will result in weight loss and subsequently a reduced risk of serious illness. Health issues such as strokes and heart attacks are a result of high cholesterol and blood pressure which comes with being overweight, so if you are wanting to lose weight and improve your overall well being, try paleo. The reduction of heavy carbs in the diet can also make your appetite healthier, as your body will adjust to feeling full after eating nutrient dense foods rather than carb dense foods such as bread and potato.
Reduced Skin Inflammation
The nutrient dense nature of the paleo diet can also help to improve the skin. Dairy, fatty and sugary foods are known to cause flare ups when it comes to acne or eczema, so when these are cut out, you’re bound to notice changes in the appearance of your skin. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone, however if you are struggling with your skin and haven’t found anything that has helped to improve it so far, give the paleo diet a try!
More Energy and Improved Mood
When someone consumes a lot of processed sugar, the body struggles to digest it slowly, meaning you are likely to experience extreme highs and lows when it comes to your energy and mood. Yet, paleo diets encourage you to stay away from processed sugars, meaning your body will have access to foods that can be absorbed slowly to provide a consistent energy source to the body throughout the day.
Carbohydrates contain amino acids that assist the brain when it comes to sleep, so when these are mostly cut out of the diet, there are likely to be issues. This limit of carbohydrates has been linked to disrupted sleep, meaning although you feel more alert in the daytime, you will also find it more difficult to sleep.
Reduced Range of Nutrients
Whilst the paleo diet is nutrient dense, the range of vitamins and minerals you will be consuming as a result of the restricted diet may be reduced. Carbohydrates are packed full of important nutrients such as fibre, calcium and iron, whilst dairy products provide the body with calcium, potassium, vitamin A and probiotics. This isn’t to say that you won’t be accessing these vitamins and minerals at all through a paleo diet, however when the group of foods that you do consume are restricted you will have to either look at taking health supplements or carefully track your intake to make sure you are consuming enough of each nutrient.