What does scientific evidence say about the paleo diet? – Medical News Today
The promotion of certain eating patterns as a way to improve overall health is very common. In recent years, an eating pattern called the Paleolithic diet — also known as the paleo diet, for short — has taken the health and wellness world by storm.
Despite the popularity of the paleo diet, many researchers and healthcare professionals argue that it is not necessarily the best diet to benefit overall health. In fact, some believe that it may be harmful.
In this Honest Nutrition feature, we dig a little deeper into the research behind the paleo diet to uncover its potential health benefits. We also discuss the risks that may come with following a paleo diet.
A paleo diet, also known as the stone age diet or caveman diet, is an eating pattern that aims to mirror the way hunter-gatherers ate thousands of years ago.
People who follow a paleo diet eat large quantities of meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds but restrict legumes, dairy, and grains.
Foods and beverages that a person following a paleo diet will frequently consume include:
- meat, with an emphasis on meat from wild game or grass-fed animals
- herbal tea
- herbs and spices
- healthy oils, such as walnut or olive oil
Foods that a person following a paleo diet will often avoid include:
- dairy products
- refined sugar
- legumes, which include beans, peanuts, and peas
- artificial ingredients
- processed foods
- soft drinks
- grains, including rice, wheat, and oats
One of the most common misconceptions about the paleo diet is that our ancestors primarily survived on a meat-based diet.
As we learn more about the Paleolithic age, we are discovering that those who lived during it ate a plant-based diet, with merely an estimated 3% of their diet coming from animal-based foods.
Supporters of the paleo diet believe that the change from a hunter-gatherer style diet to an agricultural diet has increased the worldwide prevalence of chronic diseases, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
They believe that the human body is not genetically equipped to consume the modern day foods that farming practices have …….