The Paleo diet is a way of eating that is extremely popular with those crazy Cross-Fitters.  No doubt these guys are capable of doing things my body never will, but are they getting too much of some and not enough of other nutrients?

The basics... 
The Paleo diet was invented by anthropologist (and carbophobic), Loren Cordain of Colorado State University.  The basis of the diet is that you want to eat like a caveperson (surely there were cave women too, not just cavemen).  If they couldn't hunt it or gather it, you can't eat it. 
1. Eat all the lean meat you want, as long as it's wild, free range, grass fed, and cage free.  Basically, if you hit a squirrel with your car, you should jump out and grab it, because it won't get any fresher than that!  This, I mostly agree with.  I think it's important to try our hardest to avoid additives and preservatives.  I love me some bacon, but it's a health trap with all those preservatives.  The same can be said for ham and its nitrites.  They've been directly linked to gastric and esophageal cancer.  It's no secret that they're no bueno.  The take home message from this rule is that lean meat is awesome, especially if it's free of hormones and preservatives.
2. Unlimited saturated fats.  Too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing.  Yes, we need our essential fatty acids and all our omegas, but fat is fat is FAT... eat too much of it and that's all you'll be.  Avocados and nuts are awesome foods, but more than a small serving and you're setting yourself up for trouble.  Be logical on this one...
3. No beans, corn, or potatoes...  apparently these came into our diet when farming began, and cave people weren't so fond of overalls and pitchforks, so they say.  Yes, these are all starchy veggies, but holy cow, they're nutritious too!  Beans are packed with proteins and a potato has more potassium in it than a banana!  These foods are mostly bad because of how we eat them.  Refried beans and french fries are not the same as plain beans and a dry baked potato.  Again... think about how you're fixing it and let's be logical.
4. NO grains.  No rice, wheat, oats, barley, etc... NONE.  I told you little miss Loren was a carbophobe.  Yes, you can get some carbs from unlimited fruits and veggies, but that's not the same as whole grains.  Minimally processed grains, like long grain brown rice, whole wheat products, and rolled oats are full of nutrients and are a great part of any diet IN MODERATION.  Without a sufficient amount of carbs in your diet, your body goes into ketosis.  This is a metabolic state in which the body cannot get energy from carbs, so it starts to break down muscles and fat.  This is how the Atkins diet produces such profound results in the first two weeks.  It sounds great until you learn what it does with your kidneys!  During ketosis your body is too acidic and it starts to pass these ketones through the kidneys and out in your urine.  If you have ketones in your urine, you can bet that your kidneys are getting really junked up.  This is a quick and crude explanation, but the reality of it is that some strict carbophobes have sent themselves into renal failure and ended up on dialysis forever.  But they're skinny!
5. No dairy products.  Come again?  How do we know the cavewomen weren't milking saber toothed tigers?  No milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, etc... You're supposed to get your calcium from leafy green veggies and the soft bones of small fish.  I'm not too keen on chomping Nemo bones, and my kidney issues knock out that whole leafy green veggies thing.  No spinach or kale for me.  It's true you can get your calcium from these sources, but you had better bring your appetite because you're going to have to eat a ton.  Low fat, minimally processed dairy products aren't from the devil.  They're great sources of calcium that is essential for bone health and muscle function.  Don't be a cheese freak... again... be logical.  

I don't think Paleo is all bad.  I completely agree with avoiding processed foods and preservatives.  Avoiding these things will reduce our risk for various cancers.  I don't believe in eliminating any food group entirely, nor allowing limitless amounts from any other.  That's my opinion backed with a little medical knowledge.  Since Paleo is a huge deal right now, I'm sure I'll catch a little flack for my blunt disagreement, but bring it on.  Please tell me if I'm missing something.  Afterall... I'm trying to become as healthy as possible, and like I said, I don't know everything.
7/12/2012 03:26:17

Thanks, Amanda, for the education. I was kind of wondering about some of the "no-nos" on the Paleo diet. Now I feel justified in not following it completely!


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