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The Devil’s Advocate and the Paleo Diet

Found this on Pinterest
Found this on Pinterest

In this post I am playing devil’s advocate. I am looking at The Paleo diet, most of us have heard about it, but what exactly is it?
According to the internet and others that know, it is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, it excludes dairy or cereal products and processed food.

Found this image on foodandweightloss.com. It is a Paleo man
Found this image on www.foodandweightloss.com. It is a Paleo man

From all the reading I have done, people following the paleo diet are doing really well and seeing results. They are losing weight and feeling healthier, one or two testimonials I read before starting this post, is that those with diabetes and cholesterol and even blood pressure problems have found their condition improving.
The foods that you can eat are meat, this includes red meat and chicken as it helps maintain an acid / base balance, according to Dr. Loren Cordain PhD, when you eat certain foods they turn to acid in our system, if the food is too acid, alkaline stores are release to bring this acid back to base, the greatest stores of this are in the Calcium salts, which you will find in your bones. The Paleo people therefore do not allow a lot of high acid producing foods and have recommended that you cut out dairy, grains and cereals as they are very high acid producing foods.

They have allowed meat and fish to remain on your approved list. Meat I think because you need protein to build muscles.
Fish has also been allowed due to the fact that most fish, especially oily fish like anchovy, mackerel, tuna and salmon are all very high in Omeg-3 which has long been known to reduce heart disease and has many other health benefits.

Omega rich fish, image courtesy of vertihealth.com
Omega rich fish, image courtesy of www.vertihealth.com

Fruits, Dr Cordain recommends that people who are not either diabetic or insulin resistant, can eat whatever fruit they want, while those with diabetes or insulin resistance refrain from eating fruit with a high sugar content, like grapes, mangoes, apples, cherries and pineapples to name a few, until your health improves and their have stabilised their weight.
I had to try and find another source for the topic of fat and fatty acids as Dr Cordains explanation made everything as clear as mud, it was very technical, so here is the link so that you may read it for yourself. http://thepaleodiet.com/saturated-fatty-acids/#.VtA2GH194dU.

There isn’t much except that grass fed butter (butter from cows fed grass and not grain), avocado’s, coconut oil and olive oil are all good.
Vegetables are also allowed; in fact it appears that you are allowed any vegetables, except potatoes.
Here are the links to the sites that appear to be the most comprehensive, http://thepaleodiet.com/, http://www.nerdfitness.com/, and http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/.
Anyone who would like to go on this diet, here’s what you need to know about why I will never be on this diet.
If you are a vegan, don’t bother, you can’t do this diet!

Half of what is on the plate is not on the paleo diet. oshehglow.com
Half of what is on the plate is not on the paleo diet. www.oshehglow.com

I hope you like meat, lots of it, as from the meal plans I have found, that is pretty much what you will be eating for every meal. As most plant proteins seem to be on the forbidden list.
If you don’t like meat, then you are stuck with fish, so I hope you have money, because at the moment fish is more expensive than meat. The fish you should eat, whether you Paleo or not are Tuna, Salmon, Anchovies and Mackerel. You can always buy the Omega oil capsules instead.

Omega capsule take the place of actual fish. www.healthline.com
Omega capsule take the place of actual fish. www.healthline.com

I am good with their fruit and vegetables mostly! Apples while they have fairly high sugar content are very low GI, this means that it keeps your blood sugar levels on an even keel and therefore helps you not feel hungry. The diet didn’t mention watermelon, which is also very high in carbohydrates and has 30 Calories per 100 gm, sugar has 16 calories per teaspoon.
They don’t allow potatoes, I am assuming it is because, well I don’t know why, I couldn’t find the reason. It is important to note that 100gm of a normal potato has 77 calories and is very high on the GI chart, meaning it gives your body a sugar spike, baby potatoes on the other hand have 52 Calories per 100gm and maintain your sugars better and are considered low GI.
This is my personal opinion and does not have anything to do with my knowledge of nutrition or my nursing experience. I believe in moderation and calorie control, combined with exercise is what will keep us all healthy.
Please remember when making a choice to lose weight, consult with a medical doctor and do the research first.

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