People all around the world are dealing with obesity and various other dietary issues all because of the unhealthy lifestyles they are following. These issues have led dieticians to the evolution of the Discordance Hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, our bodies have evolved to digest food related to the Stone Age also known as the Paleolithic Era. In those times, people mostly ate what they hunted and gathered during the day.

The Discordance Hypothesis states that a mismatch was created between today’s food and the digestive system when humans started farming grains and legumes and introduced processed foods and dairy products into their diets. This shift of the human eating habit causes a mismatch or “discordance” in the digestive system which leads to a variety of dietary issues, heart problems and diseases such as diabetes.

Proponents of Paleo diet advocate that if we shift our eating patterns back to the caveman era, we can overcome most of our diet-related health issues. This is the main concept and driver behind the Paleo diet. Here is some helpful information about the Paleo Diet plan:

Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet (eating plan)

Pros

There are various health benefits associated with the consumption of a Paleo diet. We have listed a few of them below:

  • Additive-Preservative-Free
    Most of the food that we consume contain additives, preservatives, and chemicals. However, as far as the Paleo diet is concerned, there are no such contaminations involved and the Paleo food is mostly whole, unprocessed, clean and fresh. This is especially true with Organic whole foods.
  • Anti-Inflammatory
    The Paleo foods obtained from plans, fruits, and seeds contain high anti-inflammatory properties. According to medical studies, the Paleo eating plan is considered one of the best diets for people dealing with inflammation or auto-immune diseases.As per Medical News Today the AIP diet:
    Also known as the paleo autoimmune protocol, the AIP diet is a much stricter version of the Paleo diet (which is based on meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, and seeds). It advises eliminating foods that may cause inflammation in the gut and eat nutrient-rich foods. The AIP diet is based on a belief that autoimmune conditions are caused by something called a “leaky gut”, which is medically now referred to as altered intestinal permeability.Medical News Today
  • High nutrient content
    The Paleo diet mostly consists of naturally available ingredients and thus offers a variety of nutrients in abundance.
  • Weight loss
    One of the benefits of the Paleo diet is weight loss. Due to the consumption of fewer sugars and processed foods, calorie intake is reduced and weight loss is achieved.

Cons

  • Cost
    Due to the need to consume whole, and preferably organic foods, the Paleo diet can be more expensive than a conventional diet.
  • Nutrients
    Due to the elimination of grains and legumes, some nutrients provided by those foods need to be replaced by other means. Such important nutrients include calcium, carbohydrates, fibers and more. Thankfully, through over the counter dietary supplements and vitamins, these deficits can be addressed.
  • Endurance
    Due to the absence of food with significant amounts of carbohydrates, endurance athletes and people requiring higher amounts of carbohydrates will find it difficult to follow this diet. Adjustments can be made to obtain additional carbohydrates through fruits and vegetables like banana or broccoli.

Who is the Paleo eating plan for?

The Paleo diet is a healthy way of consuming naturally available nutrient dense foods. Most people ask whether this diet is suitable for a particular group of the population or if it can apply to everyone. Research has shown that the following groups of people can definitely benefit from the Paleo diet:

  • People with inflammatory diseases
    As stated previously, people within this category can highly benefit from the anti-inflammatory benefits of the Paleo diet. This also includes people with auto-immune diseases. Most foods in the Paleo eating plan have very strong mitigating and anti-incendiary qualities.
  • Diabetics
    According to many studies, Diabetics, especially the type 2 kind greatly benefit from low sugar qualities of the Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet greatly aids in keeping sugar blood spikes under control.

    Every Day Health
     states that:
    A study suggests that people with type 2 diabetes who followed a ‘caveman’ diet were able to improve their blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol by significant amounts in just two weeks. Other study participants who followed a traditional diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association saw little to no improvement. The participants were given enough food to prevent them from losing weight, eliminating the possibility that the health improvements came simply from shedding pounds.

What are some of the foods on the Paleo plan?

There are different types of Paleo diets. Here is a general guideline:

Paleo allowed food list:

  • Lean meats including grass fed beef, chicken, pork, buffalo, and turkey
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fish and Shellfish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vegetables with low or no starch content like Asparagus, Lettuce, Cabbage, Broccoli, etc.
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds including Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Cashews, Pistachios, etc.
  • Oils obtained from plants and seeds including, olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, grape seed oil, etc.

Paleo prohibited food list:

  • Farmed grains and their products like wheat, rice, barley or oats
  • Vegetables with high starch content including potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Legumes and Beans
  • Meat with high-fat content including, hot dogs, pepperoni, rib roast, salami and many more.
  • Refined sugars including candy, syrup, jelly
  • Processed foods
  • Salt

What are some of the medical benefits of the Paleo Plan?

There are various medical benefits associated with the Paleo diet including:

  • Better brain functions due to high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Better digestive and gut function
  • Reduced weight gain, obesity, and diabetes
  • Better digestive function with consumption of fruits and vegetables.

According to Health Line there are many accredited and peer-reviewed studies done on the benefits of the Paleo Diet.

Famous athletes that follow a Paleo eating plan

Many famous athletes have integrated the Paleo diet into their routine regiment, they include:

  • Kobe Bryant – 5 times NBA Champion
  • Phil Michelson – 5 Major Championship winner
  • Frank Mir – Professional MMA Heavyweight Champion