The paleo diet was founded by Loren Cordown, PhD. The idea of this diet is to eat like our ancestors from the palaeolithic era who mainly hunted and gathered their food. The paleo diet advocates the eating of eggs, seeds and nuts, lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables and healthy oils for example olive oil and coconut oil.Processed food are not permitted. Added salts (sodium chloride), refined sugar and vegetable oils, alcohol, potatoes, wheat and grains, dairy and legumes (peanuts and beans) are strongly advised against. (McMillen, 2016)
Loren Cordown says that by following the paleo nutritional diet guidelines, one's diet gets to be in line with pressure that was evolutionary in nature that helped shape current genetics, which in the long run helps to influence well being and health in a positive manner. Some benefits alluded to this diet are (Fetters):
Food types that are recommended in the paleo diet can be found under guideline 2 (Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2013). However, this dietary guideline advocates for more food types than the select few found in the paleo diet:
The paleo diet adheres only to a small degree to the dietary guideline 2 as it excludes a lot of foods that might be otherwise nutritious and good for one's health, for example, legumes and beans which are low in energy and are considered to be good sources of dietary fibre, proteins, minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C , magnesium and folate. ("Is paleo diet safe?", 2015)
Guideline 3 (Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2013) encourages a 'limited intake' of foods that contain refined vegetable oils, refined sugar, added salts and discourages pregnant and breastfeeding women from taking alcohol. On this, the paleo diet takes a zero intake stance.
In this matter, the paleo diet meets and supercedes the Australian dietary guidelines because foods and drinks that are high in saturated fats, added sugars, added salt and alcohol, are highly associated with the increased risk of chronic diseases and obesity, type 2 diabetes and maybe some cancers.
Although the diet has huge potential of being a healthy diet, a strict adherence to this diet would put many people at risk because of deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium which could increase the risk of rickets, bone fractures or osteoporosis. Such vitamins are very important in ensuring healthy bones and they are usually found in dairy products such cheese and milk. ("Is the paleo diet safe?", 2015)
The paleo diet has high fiber content, antioxidants and potassium while being low on sodium, sugar and carbohydrates which are unnecessary as they add little to no fibre, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Artificial ingredients and processed foods are strongly discouraged meaning one would lead a more healthier lifestyle.
To ensure a more healthier lifestyle while following the caveman (paleo) diet, one should add lentils, beans, low fat dairy products, whole grains and some extra calcium sources like tofu, almond milk or soy milk to the diet. ("Is the paleo diet safe?", 2015)
Department of Health and Ageing. 2013. Australian dietary guidelines: Providing the scientific evidence for healthier Australian diets. Retrieved from https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n55
University of California Davis. 2015. Is the paleo diet safe? Retrieved from www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2014-2015/06/20150603_paleo-diet.html
McMillen, Matt. 2016. Diet & weight management: The paleo diet. Retrieved from www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/paleo-diet
Fetters, K.A. Health/Nutrition: Everything you need to know about the paleo diet. Retrieved from www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20786451,,00.html#the-paleo-premise-0
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