The Paleo Diet
Diet books fill the bookstore shelves for various reasons including weight loss, lifestyle choices and the reduction of disease risk. A diet that has recently garnered interest is the Paleolithic Diet (Paleo Diet). Before adopting this diet latest craze, learn the facts.
What is the Paleo Diet? The Paleo is based on what a “caveman” would have had available to eat and places the blame of many chronic diseases on modern cuisine. Foods allowed on this diet include: lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, carrots, beets, nuts and seeds. The diet prohibits the consumption of processed foods, added sugar, salt, grains, legumes, and dairy. There is poor evidence to suggest the elimination of the grains, legumes, and dairy products from the diet is beneficial. In fact, these Paleo-taboo food groups have been shown to have possible health benefits, when part of a well-balanced diet.
The Good: The Paleo Diet recommends cutting added sugar and salt, which supports the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eliminating sugar and salt from one’s diet may help decrease empty calorie consumption and the risk of developing hypertension.
The Bad: The Paleo Diet restricts all grains, legumes and dairy. However, calcium from dairy has been shown to strengthen bones to prevent osteoporosis. Also, research suggests that the addition of cereal grains and legumes to the diet may aid in the prevention and management of Type II Diabetes and the fiber in grains is essential to a health colon.
Try these healthy options in the dining hall to satisfy both the Paleo Diet and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines:
- Build a salad with romaine lettuce, spinach and various vegetables. Top it with nuts and grilled chicken breast.
- Try any steamed or baked vegetable such as bok choy, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or zucchini.
- Create an egg omelet, no cheese, with mixed vegetables.
Remember: Complete dietary restriction of entire food groups (ex. dairy and/or grains) is not recommended unless advised by a medical doctor or a registered dietitian. It is important to include a variety of foods from all the food groups in your daily diet. No one food is bad for you, but all should be eaten in moderation.
Hunt and Gather the Facts Before Jumping on Nutrition Trends
Author: Cody Magulak, Reviewed By: Dr. Malcolm Watford– Department of Nutritional Sciences References: Should We Eat Like Our Caveman Ancestors? Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471551&terms=paleo+diet Accessed on: October 14, 2012 Calcium and Weight Maintenance. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=3781&terms=calcium Accessed on: October 14, 2012. Venn, BJ et al. Cereal grains, legumes and diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Venn%20BJ%2C%20Mann%20JI.%20Cereal%20grains%2C%20legumes%20and%20diabetes.%20Eur%20J%20Clin%20Nutr.%202004%3B58%3A1443-1461. 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Available at: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DietaryGuidelines.htm Accessed on: October 19, 2012.