You’re a dietitian, what do you know about the Paleo diet?

The first time I ever heard about the “Paleo diet” I thought it was ridiculous. We are not cavemen anymore. We drive cars, we sleep in heated houses, and most of us had our first slice of Wonder Bread at age 4. We don’t exactly do the hunting and gathering that the hunter-gatherers did either…so why on earth should we eat like them? It doesn’t make sense. I chalked it up as another fad.

I’m opening my mind and looking into it now, and generally, the Paleo diet is a pretty healthful way to go. It cuts out processed foods entirely – including refined grains and sugar – as well as salt, and definitely reins in the excessive carbohydrate intake of a good chunk of the population. I don’t think that really anyone could argue that those are bad changes to make. My first concern with Paleo, however, is that two food groups have been eliminated entirely – grains and dairy. Food groups that have been eaten by successfully healthy humans for quite some time and have nutritional offerings of their own. My other concern is the high amount of saturated fat I’m eating by cooking with coconut oil and eating so much red meat. Each of those concerns touch on hot-button topics in nutrition right now. First, gluten intakes and avoidance of grains. Second, processed vs. raw. vs. low fat vs. no fat vs. full fat dairy. Third, whether or not saturated fats even increase your risk for heart disease. I’d have to know all these answers to be able to fully evaluate this diet.

I’ll be honest – I have opinions, but I do not yet know the answers. In fact, I’m not sure that really anybody actually knows, knows all of those answers. We do the best we can with what we have. These were all reasons I wanted to start this blog – I get asked about these topics all the time, and I need to be the informed expert. So I’ll work through them (or slog through them, depending on how interesting they are) and let you know what I find. I can’t promise to find the answers or research each topic even in it’s full detail, which is why I’m recruiting you all to help me.

I want to know what you’ve heard about these issues, what questions you have, and what other topics might be good for me to look into. My best sources of “up and coming” diet info are usually not my dietitian peers, but my friends and family who ask me about something they saw on Dr. Oz. or some juice their best friend started. So commence to comment in 5, 4, 3, 2…

2 Comments

  1. Jolyn said:

    As you probably know, I tend to follow the same general way of thinking as Weston A. Price – full fat dairy, coconut oil, “real food,” etc. I am by no means an expert and have limited knowledge to begin with, but that’s pretty much what I tend to follow. I’d be interested to hear your take on Weston A. Price and his ideas. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I agree with a good chunk of it.

    February 25, 2014
  2. Carla said:

    I think that beyond the obvious facts of watching the processed foods, as individual as we each are so is the diet that is best for each one. There have been people that say the Eat Right for Your Type has been their answer, or Weight Watchers, or South Beach, or………the point is that we need to find what works best for ourselves and your body confirms that point. I for one have tried many different “types” of eating styles, although I have not tried the Paleo (yet I was told how wonderful it is…for that person), and for my body I keep coming back to the high protein diet along the line of Atkins. My blood work, energy level, and bonus of weight loss are affirmations for me that this is what is best for my body. Now I just need to get back to eating that way. So I guess I am saying that each person needs to find what works for them. Listen to your body and verify that with your doctor and lab tests. I hope that is some help for you Becki.

    February 25, 2014

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