Is the Paleo Diet Worth all the Hype?

If you’re clued in to the fad diet scene at all, you’ve probably heard of the newest entry in to the market, the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet. Simply speaking, the idea of the Paleo Diet is to consume only foods that our caveman ancestors would have consumes because our bodies are most equipped to process these foods. For an in-depth overview of the diet, you can visit the Greatist website.

Just as with any new diet that comes along claiming to fix the world’s obesity epidemic, the Paleo Diet makes us want to research some of the details and weigh out the pros and the cons. So, we did! Here’s what we came up with.

Pros:

  • Weight Loss: The Paleo Diet has produced many great examples proving that weight loss is definitely a benefit of the diet.
  • Healthy Choices: By participating in the Paleo Diet, people are more likely to make healthier decisions when choosing their foods, especially when it comes to fats, carbs, calories, etc.

Cons:

  • Sustainability: Due to the rigid structure of allowed foods, the likelihood of the average person maintaining this diet is slim.
  • Variety: Again, because this diet is so strict, participants will lose a lot of their food variety. Not only can that be boring and hard to stick with, it also increases the likelihood that they will miss out on important key nutrients found in foods that aren’t allowed.
  • Dairy Deficit: This diet completely removes dairy from your diet. Dairy is one of the biggest sources of calcium and Vitamin D in our diets. Although there are other ways to get these important nutrients, it will be a culture shock for most to continue to get these nutrients without consuming any dairy products.

The bottom line is that there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to determine the long term health risks and benefits to the Paleo Diet. This diet seems eerily similar to the Atkins Diet, and we all know where that went! According to NCES dietitian, Carrie Mark, “My main concern is the long term sustainability for a diet such as this one. Sure, people will lose weight because they are focusing on making healthier food choices. But, will they be able to maintain the diet and their weight loss long-term? I don’t know.”

What do you think? Have you seen any other pros or cons not listed here. Our list is brief because there is still a lot of research to be done. But, we look forward to seeing where this diet goes in the future. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Paleo Diet right here on the NCES blog. Or, visit us on Facebook to share your thoughts.

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One thought on “Is the Paleo Diet Worth all the Hype?

  1. I know at times I find myself seeking more variety, but if you have access to the internet there are tons of recipes that are out there to help mix it up. A little creativity can go a long way.

    I don’t follow the Paleo diet, but rather the Anti Inflammatory diet which is quite similar. I would add to your list of pros the reduction of inflammation in a persons body. Also, many people with Auto Immune issues like fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and others have found relief in their symptoms.

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