Paleo & Beyond: The Controversial Diet Trend
Sky rocketing up the diet radar over the last few months is the paleo diet. Made popular because of its promise to reduce body fat and offering a healthy and sustainable way of living, it has also faced scrutiny recently when a paleo recipe book for baby food was found to include recipes that could be potentially harmful to children.
Of course this isn’t the first diet to rapidly increase in popularity followed by criticism and health warnings, with many popular diet trends being met with announcements of dangers to health and unwanted side effects.
With the Paleo diet receiving large coverage in the media as of late, is it worth considering?
The paleo diet follows the idea of scrapping our modern day diet habits, with refined sugar, junk food and processed food being an invention of the 20th century. All these things are off the cards, with no such thing as ‘cheat day’ on the paleo diet, in order to fuel the body with only nutritionally dense foods for optimum health.
Studies carried out in biology, dermatology and biochemistry all indicate our modern day diet is causing us huge problems. Full of refined sugars, trans fats, chemicals and preservatives, our diet is considered to be the root of degenerative diseases like obesity, cancer and diabetes, amongst others.
The paleo diet rids us of all these things, and thus is considered to be a far healthier way of living, and mimics the diet cavemen would have followed.
In on paleo: Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy and natural fats, nuts, seeds and fish.
Out on paleo: Anything processed/unnatural, I.e. sugars.
The paleo diet has been around for a long time, so how come all of a sudden we are taking notice? Not so long ago few of us would have even heard of the diet, but 2015 has seen it storm ahead of other popular diets, with paleo featuring regularly in the press and being taken up by various famous faces.
The past three years has seen the up rise of the trend to ‘eat clean,’ with millions of us attempting to eat foods only from all natural sources. This has seen a mass influx of clean eating recipes, with flour, butter and sugar being banished from cakes and treats, being replaced with natural substitutes such as avocado, agave syrup, oats and a hell of a lot of bananas.
Paleo doesn’t stretch too far from clean eating at all, in fact it’s almost exactly the same, with the main difference being how seriously we seem to take it. Clean eating, as great as it is, comes across as more of a fashion thing, with many of us opting to eat clean ‘most of the time,’ rather than sticking strictly to an all clean diet. For many when eating clean, cheat meals probably still slip through and moments of weakness happen to the best of us.
The paleo diet due to it’s completely inflexible guidelines is a little different though. Whilst everything consumed must come from a natural source, there isn’t much room for cheats and treats, and with sugar banned agave syrup would probably be a no no.
To Paleo or not to Paleo…
You have to admit, paleo makes a lot of sense. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds is a fantastic way to live, but of course following a strict paleo diet takes a big life style change.
The paleo diet promises to help with a multitude of things, from relieving allergies and controlling blood sugar levels, to improving sleep quality and of course helping with weight goals, whether that be losing fat or gaining muscle mass.
Paleo so far has been controversial, but there could be a lot of sense in following a paleo diet, high in protein, good fats and fruit and vegetables, and you can’t go too far wrong consuming healthy all natural produce all of great nutritional value.