The paleo diet is one of the most time-tested and effective diets in the world. Its popularity has led to a surplus of information available online, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Thus, it's become crucial to identify common paleo myths, and what science really says.
Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet encourages people to eat only the natural foods our bodies are designed to consume. Considering its many benefits, going paleo is an excellent way to maintain good health. If you're considering going paleo, don't let these common misconceptions fool you. What is the paleo diet really about? Here are some of the biggest paleo diet myths debunked.
1. The Paleo Diet is a Meat-Only Diet
The foods included in the paleo diet are the types of food our ancestors from the Stone Age consumed. It’s been known our hunter-gatherer ancestors hunted animals for food, which is why this diet is big on protein. However, there are more items on the paleo menu than meat. Our ancestors also consumed a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are essential in the paleo diet.
Paleo is all about natural and wholesome nutrition. This includes grass-fed meat, free-range and cage-free poultry products, wild-caught seafood, nuts, and plenty of organic fruits and vegetables.
The takeaway? You still have plenty of options.
2. Paleo is Low in Calcium
Dairy is not included in the paleo diet, which has led some people to believe the paleo lifestyle will significantly reduce their intake of calcium — an important mineral needed for bone strength, muscle development, and nerve function. This is not true!
Milk is not the only source of calcium. You can get this mineral from different vegetables too. In fact, the calcium from vegetables is absorbed twice as well as the calcium in milk. Some good sources of calcium are kale, broccoli, and spinach.
3. You Need to Count Your Calories
This is one of the most farfetched paleo diet myths. Unlike other diet trends, the paleo lifestyle does not require you to count macros or calories. Paleo foods are all-natural foods. These are very different from (and are far superior to) the processed meals — which are full of refined sugar, trans fat, and other unhealthy ingredients — most people consume nowadays.
Paleo foods are rich in healthy fats, protein, quality carbohydrates, and micronutrients so you can eat your fill and not worry about your calorie count. The excellent food quality enables you to get the energy your body needs to properly function and makes you feel satiated for a longer period.
4. The Paleo Diet Means No More Carbs
The paleo lifestyle encourages you to stay away from refined carbohydrates, which are found in most processed products. Instead, you get your healthy carbs from natural, wholesome sources like sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash. Eliminating empty carbs from your diet will benefit your health and help reduce the risk of developing various health issues.
5. Going Paleo Means Saying Goodbye to Tasty Food
One of the good things about the paleo lifestyle is it includes a wide variety of good food. Plus, most non-paleo dishes can be adjusted to fit into this diet, with just a few simple ingredient swaps. The internet is ripe with paleo recipes, and the sky is the limit. Unleash your inner chef and get creative.
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So, What is the Paleo Diet *Really* About?
The paleo diet is not a fad. It's not even really a diet. It's a manageable, easily sustainable lifestyle that encourages you to fuel yourself with only the best.
Not everything we read on the internet is true. Be aware of these common paleo diet myths, and always do your homework before forming an opinion. Don’t let unconfirmed rumors stop you from living a healthy lifestyle.
Eat clean, live well, and take your first step to a healthier and happier life.