The Disadvantages Of The Paleo Diet
You’ve heard about the Paleolithic diet by now, and you’re intrigued. With today’s fast-paced, tech-dependent world, anything that goes back and triumphs our cavemen ancestors is quite a change. It’s often a welcome change, too. Lots of people want to try the Paleo diet because it seems to make perfect sense – eat like our ancestors did when they were at their healthiest, and stop eating in the modern ways that have made us all overweight. Doing this is said to be a low-stress way to lose weight and feel healthier, especially because you don’t have to count calories or restrict your eating in any way.
Just as many people who love the Paleo diet, however, don’t support it. As with any way of eating, there are problems with the Paleo diet and disadvantages to it. I’m not trying to say that you should or should not try the Paleo diet, I’m just giving you the other side of the story.
It’s Difficult – If Not Impossible – to Follow
The main disadvantage of the Paleo diet is that it’s really hard to follow. You’re supposed to entirely cut out grains from your diet, as well as dairy and legumes. Our modern society is all about grains – pasta, bread, etc. – so staying away from them truly is a big challenge. You’ve eaten a modern diet for your entire life, so it’s not going to be easy to suddenly revamp your entire menu and ways of thinking about food groups. Even when you do it, just try going out to a restaurant and ordering a meal that doesn’t come with some type of grain. To truly follow the Paleo diet, you have to be very disciplined, and you have to do a lot of careful meal planning.
One of the reasons our society loves grains is because they’re cheap. It doesn’t cost much at all to buy a loaf of bread or a box of pasta, and that bagel from the coffee shop is a lot cheaper than the omelet. Processed foods are cheap and easy, and the bulk of your weekly grocery shopping bill probably comes from meats, fruits, and vegetables. Now you have to buy ALL meats, fruits, and vegetables. The truest Paleo diet will eat only grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and organic produce, and those items are even more expensive. If you have a modest food budget, the Paleo diet will stretch you thin. You might have to great creative and step outside the supermarket (think farmer’s market) to really save.
It Goes Against the Grain – Figuratively
The Paleo diet is contrary to everything we’ve been taught about food, and for that reason it is met with a lot of skepticism. With a Paleo diet, you’ll be going against conventional wisdom on significant points. Society says fat is bad – Paleo says it’s good. Society says our ancestors were dumb cavemen who didn’t know anything about health – Paleo says they really had it all right. If you aren’t concerned with dueling experts or condescension from others, then go ahead and go against the grain – literally, too.
Alisha Hunt is a medical student at the University of Texas who has a fondness for writing about nutrition and health. She covers everything from fitness and exercise to the nutrition in nuts.
Photo Credit: dinamopoker