7 Reasons Why I Can’t Get on Board with The Paleo Diet

by Heather

The Paleo Diet. It’s everywhere. Blogs, Pinterest, Crossfit, Facebook, parties, and more. Paleo, Primal, Stone Age, Caveman… Frankly it’s driving me nuts. It’s like the low-fat and low-carb crazes all over again. Now, much of my gripe is with the general population’s interpretation of Paleo, but that’s what really matters anyways, right? Not what the exact facts are, but how people apply them. {Kind of like how being vegan doesn’t mean don’t gorge on junk food. Also, how come being vegan makes you a tree-hugging hippie weirdo, but being Paleo makes you cool?}

Paleo Diet cons

Here are a few reasons why the Paleo diet makes me want to crawl out of my skin:

1. Plants are Best

The Paleo Diet is not a “meat diet”, but most people are taking it that way. I’ll be the first one to tell you that views on nutrition & nutrition research change all the time. It’s one of the things that I both love and hate about my profession. That being said- are we supposed to toss decades and decades of research that shows plant-based diets are superior? Those that eat a vegetarian, vegan, or even just “plant friendly” diet have lower cancer rates, decreased autoimmune disease, less heart disease, and more. Meat-based diets can place stress on the kidneys and leach calcium from your bones; not to mention hormones, antibiotics, and fillers found in so many conventional meat products. Let’s not even talk about saturated fat…{And yes, you can follow a vegetarian paleo diet.}

2. It’s Expensive

Fruits and veggies may not seem cheap, but compare them to a cart full of animal products: you’re bank account will come out way ahead on the former. Let’s not even talk about the price of “grass fed” {etc.} meats- holy cow! {Pun intended.} Grass fed, organic, hormone & antibiotic free meats aren’t required on the Paleo diet, but they are preferred. Even if you can find a local source or farmer’s market that provides these options, you still need to cough up a bit of dough. Again, you don’t HAVE to eat a ton of meat, but look at the food diaries of most Paleo-ites: meat, meat, and more meat.

the paleo diet loren cordain

3. Beans Aren’t ALL Bad

I appreciate the Paleo advocates acknowledging that phytic acid and lectins interfere with nutrient absorption and can aggravate certain diseases, but beans aren’t all AWFUL- they’re a good source of fiber, iron, and folate. Lumping them into the “bad” category with dairy and sugar makes this a very confusing issue, especially for non-meat-eaters. Perhaps a distinction between beans and properly soaked & sprouted beans would be helpful. Ditto to the above on grains, but I have less hate against the no-grains thing since so many people have issues with gluten and go over board on grain-based carbs anyways. I wouldn’t mind a distinction between gluten and non-gluten grains, as well as the whole soaked and sprouted thing again.


4. Eliminating Entire Food Groups is the 1st Step Towards Disordered Eating

Categorizing foods as “good” and “bad” is one of the prime ways to head down the path towards an eating disorder. Saying you CAN’T have something is the best way to make sure you crave it and feel neglected. I agree we can live without certain food groups {cough, cough dairy}, but saying you can never have these things is just a way to create obstacles and struggles in when it comes to “lifestyle change” vs. “diet”. Which leads me to my next issue…


5. Lesser Evils Are Still Up to No Good

When you eliminate any food, you have to replace it with something. I’m not talking artificial substitutes here, I simply mean calories. I’m all in favor of the incredible, edible egg getting it’s rep back after a serious bashing a few years back, but “Paleo-fied” recipes tend to load up on the eggs in order to replace a whole laundry list of ingredients the Paleo Diet eliminates, like gluten and other grains. Is a loaf of bread with 15 eggs in it really doing your digestive system any favors?

Add to that, just because you Paleo-fy something doesn’t mean it’s “healthy”. A cookie made of almond flour, dates, and eggs is still a cookie.

paleo diet review

6. Natural vs Processed

While most processed foods will automatically be eliminated on the Paleo Diet due to other guidelines, there’s still not enough distinction to make me satisfied. I don’t really care what else you’re eating, if you have sodium-laden, nitrite-filled bacon every morning, you’re not better off than Sally No Name eating a bowl of oh-so-bad oats.

7. “It’s What the Cavemen Ate”

I don’t give a crap about the cave men. They lived til they were like 20*. How are we ever supposed to know what diseases they’d have in their 70s?

And cavemen didn’t sit around playing video games all day. Until we change our exercise problems, we can’t compare ourselves to them.

*I have no idea the actual lifespan of a tried and true caveman but it certainly wasn’t old.

Now, I know I’m hating on the Paleo Diet here, but there are actually a few {a FEW}things I like too. But just to tease you {and give you a chance to yell at me}, I’ll save that for another post.

So. What do you think about the Paleo craze?

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica { EricaDHouse.com } January 28, 2013 at 8:04 am
MIz January 28, 2013 at 8:25 am
Im a mindful eater and really for me it's all about listening to my bod. my bod? close to paleo :) but not quite.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:35 am
Listening to your bod is ALWAYS the way to go :)
Danielle @ Clean food Creative Fitness January 28, 2013 at 9:06 am
Love this! I've experimented with Paleo myself and still do to this day but my issues with how so many people are following it are so similar to what you listed! I always say that Paleo is meant to be a plant based diet! I try to focus on getting in as many vegetables and fruits in as I can and really probably only have meat once a day, sometimes none. I also agree that cutting out entire food groups is not so great. Especially since once I tell myself something is off limits I want it more! I have to agree with the Paleo "treats" too. I blog recipes for them because they happen to be great gluten free alternatives too but try to keep them decent, (limiting the eggs and nuts) and yet still don't understand how some people think that just because it's a "paleo cookie" it's somehow healthy and great to eat on a daily basis! Sorry for the rant but bottom line: I totally agree with you and love this post!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:36 am
I love a lot of paleo recipes because they're gluten and dairy free! But yeah, everything you said :)
lindsay January 28, 2013 at 9:06 am
how the 'general public' interprets paleo/primal bothers me too. however i don't see anything wrong with the eating lifestyle if you don't apply it to an extreme. eating real food - meat, veggies, fruit - and skipping on all the boxed products at the store - surely that is healthy for all! the people who see it as high protein - ugh. that's not what it is! (at least to me)...
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:37 am
Absolutely! It's just the misinformation and the extremes that are the problem, not the lifestyle in itself.
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie January 28, 2013 at 9:21 am
I love this post. I think you are very brave to post this.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:37 am
Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous to do it...
Kim January 28, 2013 at 9:28 am
I totally agree. I am trying to cut out white flour products and sugar just because I don't think they're good on any diet, so I tried making paleo pancakes the other morning. Over 650 calories in them. (Granted it was 2 servings, but still). That's not good for anybody. I also couldn't agree more that their life (especially lifespan) was so different that it's compaing apples and oranges. Thank you for this post!
Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family January 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
I really like this post. You've touched on a lot of things I have felt myself!
Cara January 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
I really like your point about cavemen not having long lifespans (and how do we really know what they died of?) and the fact that they got a lot more exercise. I do not eat paleo, but I guess I can't argue with the fact that it really does work for some people! I think we are all built a little differently and I wish more people would spend time figuring out what kind of diet helps them feel best and reach their goals, instead of just jumping on a wagon.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:38 am
Exactly! It matters the most what works for YOU, not just something everyone's doing.
Linz @ Itz Linz January 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
i don't like any "diet" where it says you CAN'T eat something. eat what you want (in moderation)!!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:40 am
Rebecca January 28, 2013 at 10:06 am
The Paleo diet irks me to no end. Our ancestors (and us) have been successfully eating grains since the Neolithic Revolution - 10,000 years ago! Without the establishment of agriculture, civilizations would not have been able to expand/migrate because grains provided mass, accessible nutrition - think about the challenges involved with procuring meat vs. growing plants. For Paleo-followers to justify their diets with the claim that "that's how the cavemen ate" is entirely unfounded - their diets served them well when operating under completely different pressures (for example, they needed animals' body fat to protect themselves under duress from extreme weather conditions) but that in no way means that their diet is superior to a plant and grain based diet.
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 28, 2013 at 10:25 am
Thanks for voicing all of this! We need to hear opposing viewpoints. I'm a plant based eater as well, and find the paleo books very compelling, but personally, my body does not do well with that much meat. It has encouraged me to add a little meat back in (a few times a week) but your right that high quality meat is so expensive! And not very sustainable... we could never have enough grass fed beef to feed the world. Not enough land! As for grains, I just read Paleo for Athletes which confirmed my assumption that endurance athletes still need some carbs (even, gasp, grains!) to recovery more quickly. I'm with you- cutting out something just makes me want it all the more!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:42 am
I love your point about it not being sustainable. And you're right- the books are very compelling and make some great points. I'll have to check out that Paleo for Athletes book!
Marissa January 28, 2013 at 10:25 am
Thank you so much for this post! I've been wanting to try the diet for some time now, after hearing SO many great testimonials about it. But, I'm not a huge meat eater and most meats make me gag. Thanks for showing the OTHER side of the Paleo craze! Now I don't feel like I HAVE to try magical-cure-all diet.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:44 am
It's hard not to jump on board when EVERYONE seems to be doing it, but you just have to be realistic about what works for YOU!
Sarah January 28, 2013 at 10:53 am
I agree! Thank you for posting this!
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life January 28, 2013 at 11:36 am
I loved this. A refreshing look at the other side of Paleo!
Kammie @ Sensual Appeal January 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm
TOTALLY agree! Especially with number 4. I don't see it as being a lifelong choice. Plus, you're right cavemen did NOT live long so ha. Take that paleo-crazed people. :)
Shanna, like Banana January 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm
What gets me is how adamant people are that this is the "best" way to eat and often 'push' their views on you. If it's working for you, cool. It would never ever work for me. I eat a lot of grains, beans, tofu, oats (!!), fruits, etc. And I'm not a fan of meat. So if I went paleo, I'd probably pass out in a few days. Excellent post!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:45 am
Yeah, it's the pushing that gets me too.
Penny Parsnip February 4, 2013 at 10:29 am
Right there with you! I'm more or less a vegan, but I learned long ago that the best way to alienate your friends is to make them feel guilty and defensive about their food choices, which is what most paleo-followers I've met tend to do.
Lisa @ I'm an Okie February 8, 2013 at 10:17 am
I "eat Paleo" about oh....70-80 percent of the time. And people assume b/c I post pictures of some of my Paleo meals that I'm some Paleo nazi who ONLY eats that way and will give them the stank eye because they eat a different way. Not true. I hope that people take that judgement away as well. Not all advocates for paleo are crazy about pushing their "diet beliefs" on others. We have pasta about once a week, sometime beans once a week, and "junk food" once a week too. I've got the best of all worlds! Also, if meat is dominating your plate in a paleo diet, then you're doing it wrong.
Heather February 8, 2013 at 10:54 am
That's the best way to do ANY "diet"--> figure out what works for you, don't take it to extremes, and just enjoy what's on your plate!

Emily January 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm
AMEN!! Thank you so much for posting this. As someone who's in recovery from an eating disorder, I stay far far away from any kind of diet that eliminates one food group entirely. You are 100% correct - it's the first path to a disordered view of food/eating. (Now, eliminating something due to food sensitivity or some other medical reason is another thing. Obviously people need to do what's medically neededfor them.) Love love love.
Jennifer @ Eat With Knowledge January 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Love this post Heather!! As a dietitian I CRINGE when I hear false information out there about any fad diet. The restrictions and rules annoy me so much--and needless to say start disordered eating in some people :( I have to say as much as I don't like Paleo my least favorite and most annoying fad diet is wheat belly!!!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:46 am
UGH Wheat Belly!!!!
Rachel January 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Here here! This particular diet craze drives me insane. I'm anthropologist and the whole "eat what cavemen ate" thing is so bogus! Just the use of the word "paleo" is offensive. All those reasons you listed above are absolutely right-on.
Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm
This is a great post Heather! I played with idea of trying the Whole30 and then realized it wasn't right for me for the many reasons you described above. Love hearing your professional insight on diet trends!
Becky January 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm
Tried the uber-Paleo Whole30 challenge and said hello to disordered eating. So I totally stand behind that point. Not going to say to myself that anything is "not allowed". Less favorable perhaps, but still allowed. Now I just eat what I want in terms of types of food. Maybe I'll live shorter, but rather that then depriving myself. It was refreshing to read this after all the "pro-paleo" sounds I've been hearing.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:47 am
I think learning why some foods are better for you than others is the main takeaway- not that anything should be completely off limits, that's just asking for trouble.
Allison January 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Well said Heather! If only Paleo's would focus on more veggies/fruits - only if we all would! Thanks for posting such an enlightening view on Paleo!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:48 am
If only! That'd be such a great start for so many people!
Rebecca Bond January 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm
Its an interesting take on everything but it does rather presume that people are following it wrong. Paleo is 3/4 plant based those who follow it completely as they should do eat like that. It also kinda presumes that some are a bit stupid - thinking paleo treats are healthy? I've not come across one person who thinks that way but I'm sure they are there in a minority. I'm not 100% paleo but it has helped me really redefine what is healthy for me. I've lost my IBS and gained a better relationship with fruit and veg and water. I have a binge eating disorder and have found it enormously helpful in combating it. What I hate is the stuff about cavemen. It's massively flawed and that I agree with but it's a quirk of what is for some a very healthy and happy diet choice. Lets face it, everyone is following someone's idea of what is or isn't healthy, just because some have a more specific name than others puts them out there for criticize. Its an issue that divides fitness communities everywhere but what I don't understand is where is the live and let live on Paleo? People are keen and quick to criticize it, call is stupid and ignorant,not here per say, all over the web and maybe they forget that they are calling the people who eat that way stupid and ignorant too. I don't call anyone dumb or misled for eating grains despite how I see them effect my body. Similarly I don't know what cavemen would have developed, like I said that is flawed hugely, but we do know that since the recommended "plate" has been considerably balanced towards low fat and considerable grain we are facing a boom in obesity, coupled with the rise in the use of refined sugar.
Lisa C January 29, 2013 at 11:22 am
Great comment. I 100% agree with you. I would hope anyone interested in trying a Paleo diet would do their research (which does not just include reading a few blogs here and there...no offense to the awesome bloggers.) Read books, listen to podcasts, (try to) understand the science and the little nuances that come along with the Paleo diet. I think this post is interesting and makes good points, however, it certainly comes off as everyone who does the Paleo diet hasn't done thier own research, which may be true for some but not all.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:58 am
Certainly don't mean to assume people don't do their research, although sadly, many don't. And I definitely hope people don't count this as research- just my opinion from what I see in my practice!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:56 am
Nope, definitely definitely not assuming people are stupid! I'm talking more about the people I encounter that simply hear about it and jump on board without truly learning about it. Kind of like people that "go vegan" and eat fried foods and packaged goods just because there's no meat in it-- it gives the wrong impression of veganism. I think it's great for helping people with a specific condition that's troubling them, such as IBS or other gut issues. If only everyone would take the time to figure out what worked for their own body- be it paleo, veg, whatever- and do it because it makes them feel good, not because it's popular or debated or whatever. The low-fat, grain-based plate is a whole other pet peeve of mine! ;) And I'm glad to hear it helped with your binge eating disorder!!
Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's January 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm
I love this post. While I am interested in the Paleo lifestyle, I also right away told my husband I am interested in a modified Paleo lifestyle. I want to show my son that all food is okay, and some foods should be in moderation, but witholding things isn't always good, and now especially since he is in the phase where he wants to eat exactly what we are eating.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 11:59 am
It adds a whole new dimension when you're trying to model your food behavior for someone else. Good for you for keeping your son in mind while still finding what works best for you!
Elle January 28, 2013 at 4:59 pm
I think our differences are what makes the world go round and leads to interesting disuccusions. I don't believe that nitrate laden bacon is Paleo - from what I have read, at least. I am doing the Whole30 Paleo Challenge right now as an elimination diet and quite honestly, I have never felt better, and I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for many years. I am finding this way of eating to be quite a lot less expensive because I am only purchasing lean meats and canned fish, fruit veggies, nuts and dried fruit and healthy oils, and tea and coffee... no processed stuff of any kind, no fancy grains and Greek yogurts, no alcohol and etc. And if you have read the 'sciency' stuff you will see that saturated fat in our foods is not the enemy it was once considered to be. And I am not trying to Paleofy anything. I am eating real food. Period. But like I said... each to their own. I won't try to make you eat Paleo if you don't try to make me give up meat! See, we can be friends. :) Personally, I dislike all the labels and think people should just eat what makes them feel good. I do agree that it seems to be a fad... but hey, so is Lululemon and coconut water!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm
We can definitely be friends :) Your approach is how I would be on board with Paleo- no junk, eating real, paying attention to how it makes you feel. If only that's how everyone went about it! I'm the first to admit I'm being broad with my generalizations in this post. And HUGE yes: "Personally, I dislike all the labels and think people should just eat what makes them feel good."
Heather @ girlyeverafter January 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm
I totally agree!
GiGi Eats Celebrities January 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Each to their own! It seems like you know exactly what works for you and that's GREAT :) I myself am a Paleo girl though... But it definitely isn't for everyone!!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 12:02 pm
If it works for you, that's all that matters!
Erica January 28, 2013 at 6:48 pm
Haley January 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm
Thanks for this! I love reading blogs and know that I can stop whenever I want...but, it bothers me to no end that people become pretentious because they changed their life with x diet or y diet. To me, the Paleo diet has also almost taken on a cultish feel and in my opinion, no way of eating should ever come across that way. Just my two cents...
Emily @ runningmyliferace January 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm
I enjoyed your post and you definitely hit on a lot of good arguements against Paleo. I'm about 80/20 Paleo now and when I was closer to 95/5 I felt amazing. In my reading of blogs, not so much research per se, I have definitely found that true Paleo followers do focus on eating a large amount of green, leafy veggies but acknowledge that majority of calories must come from meat and healthy fats. Paleo is trending big time right now, but I do feel that it has been a lifestyle switch for me and is benefiting my health. Just like any other style of eating, if it makes you healthy and happy - go for it!
Heather January 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm
"Just like any other style of eating, if it makes you healthy and happy – go for it!" ---> YES!
Sarah @RunFarGirl January 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm
I totally agree with you on #4. As someone who has overcome an eating disorder I think that any extreme, where you eliminate entire food groups, is unhealthy. I do like the general principles of the paleo diet and for the most part cook and eat with some of the guidelines in mind: no processed foods, few grains etc. I think when "diets" become popular they get distorted and I think that is what is happening with the paleo diet.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm
Agree with the popularity thing distorting the true core of a "diet"!
Sarah @RunFarGirl January 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm
I totally agree with you on #4. As someone who has overcome an eating disorder I believe that eliminating entire food groups can lead to disordered eating. But I do like some of the principles of the paleo diet and follow them: no processed foods, limit grains etc. I think that anytime a diet becomes popular it gets distorted and that is what has happened with the paleo diet.
Erika January 29, 2013 at 11:44 am
I'm really against any "diet" that is trendy or restrictive or short-term. Obviously the cavemen didn't eat that great or take care of themselves since they didn't live very long so why would we want to be like them? However, I don't think meat is bad for you either - you seemed a little harsh about that one :)
Heather January 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Perhaps a little harsh;) I don't think meat is BAD, I do think too much or making it the core of your diet can be though.
Roni January 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm
This post has been brewing in my for some time too. I totally agree. Why do we find the need to "name" our diets anyway. Just eat mostly whole foods the best you can. It's not that complicated.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm
Jenny January 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm
I totally agree that you can't slap the word Paleo on something and believe it is healthy, although I would say I'm "leaning into" a Paleo lifestyle. Mostly I have spent the last four years focusing on eating clean and there are a lot of awesome sites for Paleo recipes that are also clean. I do still have an occasional grain, but for the most part I do crave sugar less when I limit processed carbs and dairy (and eating a "Paleo cookie" would probably only cause a sugar craving, honestly.) Ultimately, I totally understand the point of your post. But I also think you are generalizing as much as those who worship Paleo without really understanding it. It's not really Paleo = good or Paleo = bad.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm
I'm totaling generalizing. ;) Nope, not good or bad, just making points. My "pros" come next!
Mallory January 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm
"Eliminating Entire Food Groups is the 1st Step Towards Disordered Eating" If this is true, why become a vegan or vegetarian?
Heather January 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm
Same argument. :)
Crystal January 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm
I'm so glad to see a blog post on the cons of the paleo diet for once! I'm an RD, and see so many patients who go on this diet to lose weight. I don't care how healthy it may be, it's still a DIET. Unless someone is willing to give up grains for life, it won't change anything long term, except maybe cause disordered eating. Sigh...
Tina @ Best Body Fitness January 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm
The whole Paleo thing drives me crazy too. Mainly because its become almost like a glorified Atkins type diet. Some well informed people do use it in a healthy way, but in general, as you said, there is so much imbalance. I also can't stand anything that is all or nothing and elimates so many things. That never bodes well for me.
Shari January 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm
Great post! Can you recommend a good source on the soaking/sprouting issue with beans/grains?
Tempie @ The Texas Peach January 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Shari, here are two good resources on soaking and sprouting grains/beans. Hope this is helpful! Soaking Grains Proper Preparation of Grains and Legumes
Leslie January 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm
I look at this post and cringe. Paleo is definitely not just meat based. In fact, it actually is very focused on plants as a source of nutrition. I would actually put it closer to Vegan (- beans and grains + meat and eggs) than any other diet in terms of its veggie centric focus. It might be a shame that people make it out to be meat only, but that's no reason to hate it. If you based your reasons on legitimate beefs with the diet, rather than how a few people incorrectly follow it, I'd be more inclined to agree. Anyone correctly following a paleo lifestyle will eat plenty of plants, and many, many more than the average American ever will. Do you hate Vegans because a few people get unhealthy only eating pizza and fried mushrooms? I thought not.
Heather January 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm
Woah never said I hated people that follow a Paleo diet, or vegans, or anyone for that matter. Just pointing out some things *I* disagree with based on SOME people perceive the diet- that's why I said it's not meant to be a meat-based diet, just that some people go down that road. It's EXACTLY the same as vegans eating pizza and fried food. :)
Sarah S January 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm
It's not really paleo if you aren't hunting and gathering your own food. Cavemen did not have grocery stores.
Tempie @ The Texas Peach January 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm
I'd like to first say that I do not follow the Paleo diet. However, my husband and I do eat a diet similar to Paleo. We've eliminated beans, but do still eat some dairy and occasionally some grains. I use a lot of the Paleo recipes because they are grain-free. I've done a lot of research and think that there are a lot of good things about the Paleo diet, although it seems like so many people have their own ideas about what is and isn't Paleo. The best book I've seen on the diet is Practical Paleo, which includes a ton of health information, as well as some recipes. Also, not everyone who does Paleo is gorging themselves on meat. They eat normal size servings that are recommended by non-Paleo experts. Plus, they are eating a ton of veggies and healthy fats. I think that we all just have to do our own research, and decide for ourselves what is best for us. I think that people should read up on all the reasons and research behind a certain way of eating before writing it off as bad. I don't really consider Paleo a "diet", but more of a lifestyle.
Coco January 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm
Is Paleo that different from South Beach? or Atkins? It seems like every few months a new diet makes the headlines but when you look closer it's a lot like a diet we all tried and gave up on a few years ago. :-) Personally, I can't get over the "paleo" name. We have evolved since the paleolithic age, and whatever paleo man was "designed" to eat, our digestive systems have adopted to our more agrarian diets.
Andrea @ From Florida to North Dakota January 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm
Great post! I love #7. I say the same thing to people.
Briana February 8, 2013 at 10:42 am
You can't really ignore all of the scientific proof and empiracle data that prove the ill effects that sugar, grains, and dairy have on the body. I agree paleo is not for everyone, but it's hard to argue against scientific proof of the benefits this way of eating has on health.
Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections February 8, 2013 at 10:58 am
I couldn't agree more with #4. I HATE the concept of eliminating whole food groups. I understand if someone can't do dairy or gluten. But of course you will seemingly lose weight at first, because you no longer have calories coming in from that source of food. Duh. I just hate this diet altogether because it doesn't seem "whole." It seems half-done to me, and it's too "clicky" if you will. I feel like people who do paleo think they are right and everything else in the diet world is wrong. And that's just not true.
Jenn @Be YOU at Be Me February 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm
Thank you for this!
Kloe @ Running Shoes & Chocolate Mousse February 14, 2013 at 10:52 am
Hi there, I'm a massive fan of your blog, I've just stumbled across it and have really enjoyed flipping through it and reading your posts- I've learned so much from them, they're all so informative and invaluable! I've recently adopted more of a plant based, vegan lifestyle (while still including fish, eggs and chicken occasionally) and can definitely say I feel so much more energetic and healthier for it. it's amazing what this switch can do for your body! I totally agree with everything you've said about the paleo diet, it's such a passing fad too. Keep blogging! Kloe x
Jamie February 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm
I started whole30 because of an auto immune disorder that I have and I am only on day 4. Yes I do notice a difference already with some of my symptoms and I will continue as long as I can heal and experience relief of my symptoms. However, I am a Christian and I don't believe in "cave men" and Paleolithic time periods. I believe in eating clean the way God intended for us. I think grain and honey and potatoes get a bad wrap. It is my personal belief that the reason this diet is working is not because it's how the cave men ate but rather because of the over processing and modifying of the foods which cause us to have a leaky guts and the diet eliminates these foods and helps to heal our guts by reducing inflammation while nourishing us with vitamin and mineral rich foods. Despite what the paleo diet advocates say, I don't think that we can never eat honey or organic potatoes or clean grains if our body has healed or accepts it. I did not come from an animal, I don't believe my ancestors just sat around like an animal and ate whatever edible thing they could find or gather. I believe I was made in the image of God. It's nice to see that you have spoken up. It's rather freeing. Just my two cents. :)
Courtney @ Translating Nutrition February 25, 2013 at 10:22 am
Great post! As a dietitian, I really dislike the black and white debate that comes up around Paleo. I avoid beans because of my own personal GI issues but that doesn't mean beans are bad. In fact they're quite healthy! And I completely agree that eliminiating whole food groups is not the way to go. Unless, of course, that "food group" is fast food or junk food.
JJ April 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm
This is the best diet i've ever did. I not only lost weight but i got my life back. I've never felt so healthy. I'm not tired, bloated, depressed anymore.
rufiooooooooo June 16, 2013 at 10:28 am
personally, I don't think the paleo diet is stupid but how people interpret it really is. Its like when people start crossfit they're automatically gung-ho paleo because some coach of theirs with little to no credibility tells them to eat this way. I'll use an example, I love sriracha sauce, another member of my box said "You can't eat that its not paleo it has sugar in it!" Boo hoo Sriracha sauce has natural sugar in it from the peppers, from that perspective you might as well not eat any fruit either because that has natural sugar in it either. If I was to say I'm paleo, It'd be about 70% I really just eat quality foods, spending time measuring the amounts and what is and isn't paleo is too time consuming. Key to eating healthy, don't eat fast food.
Pet June 27, 2013 at 9:54 am
I had no issue with diets as I don't follow any, but each diet may benefit certain people who have no sense of a healthy balanced meal. I do follow a low processed food diet, and opt for a sensible meal (balance proportion). I had no issue with Heather's article until the end, where she Male bashed men in the comment. "And cavemen didn’t sit around playing video games all day".... she should have include "or sit around all day watching soap operas, and reality tv". Because lets face you can't stuff your face with chips, pizza and soya laced crap if you have a game controller in your hand, compared to a tv channel changer(one hand free). It's about balance. I have 3 nephews. ALL play video games. One is skinny, one is a muscled jock, and the youngest one is obese. The youngest one was born large, and obese as my sister was hospitalized for a good portion of her pregnancy but ate, he was born with a strike against him. I sit here wondering how in the hell did I get here, and it was checking my email, seeing a article on good vs bad food and it led me here, sitting on my butt typing away thinking what distraction.... but my interest in good health got the best of me..... Then I look to the adds on the sides and think $$$$$$$$ its all about money.
Jeff August 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm
Great article! I do agree that the cost of meat - especially grass fed can really add up. I think the important thing to take away from Paleo is to eat more natural foods and stay away from processed, sugary and deep fried foods. Unfortunately that seems to be the normal diet in today's society.
Deb December 18, 2013 at 9:49 am
I liked this article. Seems most people will gravitate toward a diet they are in alignment with. If they want an excuse to eat fat and lots of animal-protein, or a fast track to weight-loss, they may try Paleo. I know some do it for health reasons, which I take less issue with if it's working for you. But I worry about alot about long-term ramifications for health, animals and our Earth. Though I have no doubt that protein-focused diets contribute to weight loss or increased energy levels (which I attribute to the avoidance of refined flour products less than the prevalence of meat), having read "The China Study" (extensively researched book by T. Colin Campbell) I learned that populations heavy on animal proteins have highest rates of degenerative disease. Several esteemed docs are reversing degenerative diseases by putting their patients on plant-based diets. Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Gabrielle Cousins, Dr. Neil Barnard among them. People don't reverse cancer by eating beef or bacon daily, but by consuming vast quantities of plants. Dean Ornish reverses heart-disease in his patients with vegan diets and meditation. These are the true heroes we need to pay heed to, and diets that have shown over long periods of time, create lasting results. Beyond health: 1) Care about our earth being destroyed? Meat, esp. beef, requires vast amount of resources (land, water, grain) to produce a small amount of food and if you are eating out, or buying supermarket meat (which of course the majority of meat-eaters must do) you are contributing toward global warming. 2): Extreme, inhumane treatment of living beings: Go visit a factory farm or read any book on the topic...it's too horrible to imagine, what cows, pigs or chickens endure before slaughter. Any time an animal ends as food, it is at risk for ill treatment. 3) Antibiotics in your food? Meat is laced with antibiotics and/or growth hormones unless it is locally raised and organic. Shocking that 75% of antibiotics produced in USA go into livestock feed! This will contribute to large-scale health problems as people become resistant to antibiotics. 4) Our precious earth: Meat-production contributes more to global warming than pollution from automobiles. Going meat-based Paleo is adding to the problem, not working toward a solution. I eat healthy fats from avocado, coconut, hemp, etc and with avoiding most refined sugar, refined carbs, etc. I consider myself a "Paleo-vegetarian" which I pray solves most of the above problems. Lost 20 pounds avoiding refined carbs and adding nuts, etc!
Becca January 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm
Personally, I'd say I'm maybe 75% paleo. I make exceptions in places where others don't, but I feel like don't go too crazy with stuff either. I still belief meat is meant to be more a side dish, and half the plate should generally consist of veggies. I have quite the sweet tooth (and I'm a pastry chef, yikes!) so I do like to experiment with paleo-friendly desserts, but of course, they're still sweets so I have to remind myself not to overload. I've been at it for about 5 months now and lost 23 pounds, but ore importantly I FEEL GREAT! Since giving up dairy, my skin is clearer, and I don't have issues with mucus as much. And I find that when I do slip up and have dairy, my digestive system gets REALLY mad at me. So at this point, I prefer to avoid it. And I prefer the taste of almond milk :D Also since giving up peanuts (because they're legumes) I discovered upon cheating one day that I've been living with a slight allergy to them and now know that if I avoid them, I don't itch all over the way I used to. I always assumed my skin dried out easily, but all along it was the peanuts. And after giving up wheat, I find I have more energy :D
rio March 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm
i have been following Paleo for about 3 weeks. i feel amazing because ive given up dairy and gluten. ive replaced them with fruits and veggies. i love the fact that i can eat unlimted amounts of fruits and veggies. i use meat as a side dish. and i make sure its natural. my grocery bill has acutally went down cause im not loading up on junk! im 62 and i love to cook. and bake. ive tryed every "diet" known. including weight watchers which is a joke. the one i had the most success with was the zone, but i could manage to sneak in processed carbs as long as i followed the general guidelines. since ive went strict paleo i have more energy and ive lost 5 lbs while never being hungry. i guess what our mamas told us was true, eat your veggies.
Tom April 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm
The Paleo Diet is healthy, and pretty easy to follow. I do not believe in evolution, but it is basically the diet of Native Americans before we started them on processed foods. I, personally, use a combination of the Paleo Diet and The Maker's Diet (Jordan Rubin). From the Maker's Diet I use dairy (milk from pastured, grass fed cows, whole and un-homogized), wholemilk yogart, and sprouted grain bread. Both, of course, recommend meat from wild or pastured animals, along with raw fruits, vegies,and seeds. Every day I drink a smoothie made with carrots, wild blueberries, mangos, pineapple, strawberries, yogart and honey. To this I add a raw, organic, mega3 egg, Raw Protein Powder (Garden of Life), and Perfect Food Raw (Garden of Life). I cut out french fries, potato chips, plus other processed foods, cut way back on deserts (almost none), and went from 4 to 2 cups of coffee per day (and I love coffee). With this change over to the Paleo/Maker's Diet I have lost 10 pounds, and ,at 72, I feel better than I have in years. A far cry from almost dying 2 years ago from a bladder infection, and kidney failure.
Francie June 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm
I follow The Primal Blueprint which is a much more liberal version of Paleo while incorporating many raw fruits and veggies as well. I think the phrase "the paleo diet" is misleading because its not really a diet. It's a lifestyle change. You can also get meat from smaller sustainable sources where the animals are pasture raised and grass fed. I've been eating this way for several months and use improved my health greatly after increasing my meat intake which is mostly pasture raised. We've made up for the cost of the meat by not buying any grain products. So that debunks the myth that grassfed isn't affordable. It's all about choice. As for the studies, well, you can find a study to support any position regarding diet. Most studies are flawed and biased anyway. As for me, I prefer quality of life over quantity any day. I never want to go back to eating grains ever again. Even gluten free products cause me issues. As for legumes, they cause me issues as well and I simply dont have to s of time to soak or sprout them. and do you know how much sprouted grain products cost at the store? or gluten free breads? Its astronomical. I don't eat paleo breads or treats and I don't crave grains at all. Sorry, but the claims you make here simply are untrue. For many many people, paleo/primal is a lifestyle change. Btw I have never read "the paleo diet". I've winged this by reading a few websites and following some of the great paleo blogs out there that you mentioned here.

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