The Paleo diet has quickly become a nutrition phenomenon across North America, and while there are certainly some benefits that people are seeing, there are many negatives to this diet craze as well. The diet follows a strict list of ingredients that lack technology and mimic the eating habits of ancient ancestors, but unfortunately much of what is being eaten is nothing like what would have been found by a true hunter-gatherer in the past.
Meat Isn't Always Best
Meat is a great source of protein and helps build muscle and rejuvenate the body, and while the Paleo dieters have the right idea in including it in their meal plan, they are wrong about a few points. People who decide to try this diet are making the assumption that the meat they are selecting now in supermarkets and even local organic farms is what our caveman ancestors ate and this just isn't true. Not only were the protein sources much different then, they were hunting them in the wild, which means that the type of nutrients gained were much different, the number of additives were zero, and the method of cooking would be over an open flame rather than in a Teflon coated frying pan. These modern animals are fed combinations of artificial grains and corn and given antibiotics and hormones, while pastured animals are close to those in the past, but still lack the genetic makeup of what ancestors were eating in the past.
Bread Is Good
Paleo enthusiasts easily dismiss bread as something that the human body doesn't need, but bread has been made for centuries and includes a large selection of necessary nutrients in grains. Breads in the past may have lacked yeast, but a bubbling of mashed grains, fermented microbes and water were enough to feed populations and give the people of that time something to live on. You might not be able to get by on the white flour we use today, but natural bread making methods provide loaves that could be lived on.
Paleo Lacks Nutritious Microbes
Fermented foods like cheese, kimchi, yogurt, bread, and certain pickles are full of microbes, which we have learned over the years play a key role in our digestive system and how healthy our bodies are. These microbes help you to digest your food, keep your stomach working properly, and also help in keeping away a variety of illness and disease.
Raw Is Not Better
The Paleo diet focuses a lot on raw food, and while it's true that eating raw fruits and veggies can be good for you because of the additional nutrients you gain, studies have shown that cooking certain foods increases the level of nutrients rather than destroying them. Women who eat only raw diets have actually shown a decrease in ovulation because while it seems as though they're eating enough to satisfy their nutritional needs, the body simply cannot absorb the nutrients from the raw food.
A safer alternative would be to eat a mixture of cooked and raw foods and to keep all of the food groups available in your diet. Leaving out particular ingredients for too long can have a negative effect on your body and lead to problems later in life.