Macro Myths Debunked: Is the Paleo Diet Healthy?
Once upon a time a newly enlightened Geico customer proclaimed that signing up for car insurance was â€œso easy even a caveman could do it". Naturally many bystanding cavemen became extremely offended by this and gave America a good laugh and thoughts of cheaper car insurance. But what about the cavemen? Nobody bothered to ask for their input on such a derogatory and blanket statement. Well, we are going to tell their story and along the way, attempt to answer the unanswerable: is the paleo diet healthy?
Ask yourself this: was there anything easy about being a caveman? These were days when men had little time to think of anything in their lives other than finding dinner and protecting themselves from ferocious predators (and no, we are not referring to the predators who hack your email or open Krispy Kremes next to the gym). If you are in the know (and let's face it, you are) you have no doubt heard of the paleo (otherwise known as the caveman) diet craze. People far and wide are swearing by this lifestyle and leaving the rest of us wondering what all the commotion is about. Is the paleo diet healthy or is it simply the newest trend?
What is a paleolithic diet? When it comes to demystifying paleo, you only need ask yourself one simple question: what would a caveman eat? The paleolithic diet asks its participants to eliminate grains, dairy, legumes, and processed food from their diets, essentially leaving only meat and produce as viable menu options.
Note: exercise is important too. Cavemen didn't sit on their butts all day!
Reasons to Go Paleo:
1. You have to cook your own food, which is always better than eating something that comes out of a package. (Be careful about the cooking oils you use though!)
2. Paleo is all about eating fruits and veggies, which is GREAT for you.
3. Our ancestors hunted lean grass-fed animals. They did not eat hormone injected, factory raised, corn fed cows that make up most of the meat market these days. Hence, eating paleo requires you to ask where your meat was raised and what is was fed before swiping your credit card.
4. Becoming paleo means that you will also commit to a lifestyle that prioritizes exercise.
Reasons Not to Go Paleo:
1. These days, even fruits and veggies have been genetically engineered. We don't even know what regional fruits are like. So even when you think you are eating the way our ancestors ateâ€¦. you never really are.
2. Cavemen hunted animals that were much leaner and not genetically engineered. Furthermore, many of those animals have gone extinct at this point.
4. Dairy is a prime source of vitamin D and calcium, which we need if we want healthy bones, lower insulin levels, and a chance at fighting off certain kinds of cancers. There are so many health benefits to eating dairy. You can, however, get some of these vitamins from fatty fish and egg yolks.
5. Don't forget that even when you are eating chicken you have to make sure that the chicken was cooked in an acceptable kind of oil. Going out to restaurants is probably a no go. If you order a salad you have to make sure that nothing came out of a can.
6. It can be pricey to go paleo. Then again, it's pricey to be healthy sometimes, considering the â€œSupersize that" pricing doesn't exactly apply to us. Except when it comes to that oh-so-stealthy cheat breakfast McMuffin.
7. It can be hard to live by a diet that is so restrictive. There are so many foods you have to avoid.
8. Can get high in saturated fat. Just be careful.
Why is the sky blue? Would a rose by any other name really smell as sweet? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Like most things in life, there is really no cut and dry answer as to whether going paleo is the answer for you. Understanding your own body and needs is the most important part of concluding whether the paleo diet is right for you. Hopefully we have helped you navigate your way through the paleo lifestyle and shed some light on the secret life of cavemen.
This post was brought to us by 6 Pack's resident blog badass, Jade. Check out her other posts on how to spice up your oatmeal, body types and metabolism, and good fats vs. bad fats. You can learn more about paleo in our How to Meal Prep: Paleo Edition, and make sure to return for our Meal Prep Sunday recipes. Browse meal management systems, gym totes, gym backpacks, and more to find the right 6 Pack Bag for your fitness lifestyle!