What Are The Drawbacks Of Paleo Diet ?
A caveman didn’t consume candies, pastries, pasta, noodles, bread, cheeses, and surely didn’t have access to all the junk products we eat today, so these are forbidden in the Paleo diet. Consumption of potatoes and sweet potatoes is also forbidden by some Paleo theoreticians, and beans – including kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, peas and snow peas – should be avoided as well.Refined vegetable oils, such as canola oil, are forbidden. Peanuts and cashews should also be removed from your menu if you decide giving this regimen a try (adieu peanut butter sandwiches). As for milk, opinions are different: some say raw milk is ok, others believe milk was only consumed by kids in ancient times, so no adult should drink it.
At this point you may not be convinced the Paleo diet works, and it you only want to try it for a week or two, I’d suggest to forget about it, as in order to get results with this eating regimen, you need to turn it into your lifestyle for a couple of months, not days.
If your current diet consists of lots of carbs and junk or processed foods, it’s very likely to experience some unpleasant symptoms at the beginning, mostly due to the sudden decrease of daily sugar intake. The caveman diet doesn’t allow for typical desserts, so once you switch to this eating plan, your main snacks and treats will be made of fruits, nuts and seeds.Let me translate this: no more chocolate bars, unless they’re paleo. No more doughnuts, muffins and candies, birthday cake, buttery pancakes, cheesecake, no more of these. Unless they’re paleo. As you ca see, the caveman regimen is a tough one for those with a sweet tooth, but sounds like a good choice for meat lovers.
It’s excellent for those who don’t like scheduled meals, as it allows one to have a more consistent breakfast, then skip lunch and eat a larger dinner. Also, it’s a good pick for those who want to try intermittent fasting for a couple of weeks or months (we’ll discuss this strategy in a future article as well).To conclude, the main disadvantages of this eating regimen are:
- Highly restrictive, may not be suitable for grain lovers
- Difficult to eat if living with someone else and / or at social occasions
- Requires some planning, especially when on a budget
- Based somehow on speculation, see the peanut and cashew comment
- Unpleasant side effects in the first weeks, due to sugar and carbs withdrawal
- Not suitable for vegetarians / vegans
- No packed foods, might be difficult to follow by those with office jobs
- No peanut butter
Verdict time: to paleo or not to paleo?
I’m a peanut butter addict so I don’t follow the Paleo trend, but I do believe it promotes some valuable ideas with regard to one’s eating habits, and these are:
- Dairy products are inflammatory in lots of people, thus it’s a smart idea to consume them in lower amounts, or avoid them completely. You can get the nutrients they provide from paleo foods as well, and these come with no lactose included.
- A higher protein and fiber intake is great for one’s health.
- Veggies and fruits provide minerals and vitamins, so they’re a great source of nutrients for a well fed body.
- Lots of people are intolerant or sensitive to gluten, so removing grains from their diet might be a good idea.
- The caveman diet discourages the consumption of junk foods and sugar.
The caveman diet is definitely healthier than the SAD (Standard American Diet) one. It’s easier to follow than the vegetarian or vegan regimens, and less complicated than all those diets out there than require one to count calories and nutrients all day long.
Contrary to popular belief, the caveman diet is not designed for bodybuilders or crossfitters, and can be followed by men and women alike, regardless of their age.