The Paleo or Paleolithic diet (also called the Caveman or Stone Age diet) has become quite popular. It is based on the idea that eating the types of foods that our early ancestors might have eaten is healthier for our bodies. The Paleo diet includes mainly meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts (not including peanuts). Foods that come from agriculture (or farming) such as grain products, dairy and legumes (beans, peas and lentils) are avoided. So is sugar, salt and processed foods. The Paelo diet claims that eating these foods leads to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Does the Paleo diet work?
In the short term, the Paleo diet can help you lose weight because it cuts out foods, which means you will likely eat less. In the long term, most people will regain the weight lost on the Paleo diet because is it hard to follow. Avoiding major food categories like grain products, dairy and legumes is difficult in the long term. It also makes it difficult to get enough fibre, iron, calcium and vitamin D.
The bottom line
Humans have evolved on many different eating patterns based on the foods that were locally available. Like other fad diets, the Paleo diet is not a long term solution for weight loss. A better approach is to eat well and be active in a way that you enjoy and can maintain. Use Canada’s Food Guide to help you plan for healthy eating.
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Last Update – October 18, 2017