cavemanThe Paleo Diet, also known as the “caveman diet”, is the latest popular diet.  The reason they refer to it as the “caveman diet”, is that the diet consists of foods that people ate back in the times of the caveman.  These foods include fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and nuts.  The recommended foods are all natural.

This diet is a fairly safe and natural diet.  You cut out all processed foods which means you avoid anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag.  However, the Paleo diet prohibits dairy, grains, added salt, potatoes and alcohol.

K. Aleisha Fetters wrote an article about the Paleo Diet on www.ABCnews.go.com that stated, “Whole grains and dairy can help lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure and promote healthy weight.  Cutting dairy can cause problems because we need calcium and vitamin D.”

So this diet has some good qualities, but I think it’s still important to include dairy, whole grains and fiber in your diet.  Modern healthcare has discovered that many people, especially women, are deficient in calcium and vitamin D.  We have to also consider the fact that life expectancy back in caveman times was much lower than it is today.  A big reason for this is that medical technology has improved and prevents many diseases today, but research has also been done to improve what people eat and how much they eat.  In addition, the types of meat, fruit and vegetables that were available to our ancestors have also changed dramatically over the years.  Plus, our lives today have drastically changed since the times of the caveman.  In prehistoric times people had to spend their day hunting and gathering their food, which meant they were physically active.  Today many jobs involve sitting for long periods throughout the day.  This means we have to adjust what we eat based on how much physical activity we get each day.

To sum up, I recommend that you stick with what modern health professionals consider essential to a healthy diet.  Below is a list of foods that are considered healthy and should make up your main meals:

  • Protein (fish, poultry, beans, nuts, eggs)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits (fresh are best and don’t add sugar)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta)
  • Low-fat cheese/dairy (limit to 1 to 2 servings per day)
  • Water or tea (with little or no sugar)

Don’t get hung up on these special diets with fancy names that somebody thought up as the new big thing.  Stick to the basics that have worked for years.  According to Harvard Medical School your dinner plate should consist of ¼ healthy protein, ¼ whole grains, and the other half of the plate should be 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 fruits.  Plus, you should limit your dairy intake to 1 to 2 servings per day.  I always try to remember that a serving of protein or meat is the size of a deck of cards.

healthy eating plate