Author: Greg Yau
Ever wanted to eat as our ancestors did? Well, you've come to the right place.
I have to say, this is one of the coolest diets I've heard of. In short, the paleo diet mimics the food that our ancestors might have eaten during the Paleolithic era (around 2,500,000 - 10,000 years ago) and cuts out any food that only emerged around 10,000 years ago when farming emerged (1). These include foods that contain dairy products, artificial sweeteners, grains, processed foods, and sugar. Founders of the paleo diet believed that the human body is incompatible with modern diets that emerged from farming and agricultural practices, a concept known as the discordance hypothesis (1).
According to a study by Lindeberg S., the group of adults on a paleo diet for 12 weeks showed a significant improvement in glucose tolerance compared to the control group (2). According to a study by Johnsson T., participants on the paleo diet lost 3 more kilograms of body weight and 1.6 more inches off their waistline compared to those on a typical diabetes diet (3). The other benefits of a paleo diet also include better blood pressure control, lower triglycerides, and better appetite management (1).
However, the absence of whole grains and legumes might cause a lack of fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, and the absence of dairy products might also cause a lack of protein and calcium (1). To some, the paleo diet could also be too expensive, as it includes foods like grass-fed animals and wild game.
Overall, the paleo diet seems to be beneficial in aiding weight loss, glycemic control, and blood pressure control. There do not seem to be long term health risks, but it might simply be unaffordable for some. If you have the determination and financial resources to do so, or already dislike foods like whole-grain or dairy products, then paleo seems like a pretty good diet.
Recommended foods to include: Nuts and seeds, wild game, grass-fed animals, fish, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Foods to avoid: Grains, sugar, processed foods, vegetable oils, margarine, trans fat, legumes, dairy products, etc.