Diet trends come in and out of fashion daily it seems, but the Paleo Diet has stuck around in diet cultures since the ’70s. Does this mean it really works? Experts say that no diet works if you can’t stick to it forever, so we set out to see how feasible a Paleo Lifestyle really is. To follow a Paleo plan, you’ll have to reach way back to your caveman roots and eat what was available 10,000 years ago (legumes, veggies, meat, nuts) and forget about anything processed.
While natural foods will always be better fuel for the body, the paleo diet may not be the right way to incorporate them. Here’s what we found might work about eating like a caveman and what eating habits are better left in the stone age.
Pro: Processed or sugary foods of any kind are not at all an option, which is fantastic for your body for countless reasons. And you can still have fruits for sweet cravings.
Con: The diet also cuts grains and dairy since these items weren’t available to cavemen, but they are essential food groups for people who live past age 20. In fact, the diet does not allow for carbs, and though we may not be great at having our bread foods in moderation, carbs are entirely necessary for exercise.
Pro: The diet depends heavily on iron-laden red meats—and iron is great for energy.
Con: Meats today aren’t as lean as they were in the caveman era. An excess of fatty meats can be detrimental to our heart health and weight.
Pro: Dieters will eat nuts, eggs, and beans for a majority of protein.
Con: Since there are not a lot of food options in the Paleo Diet, you won’t be able to avoid overeating certain foods. Overeating nuts and eggs is an easy way to acquire way too much cholesterol.
Pro: Paleo dieters eat plenty of fish which easily incorporates heart healthy omega 3 into your diet.
Con: Being a Paleo dieter is definitely not healthy for your budget. Buying organic lean meats, unprocessed foods, nuts, and fish will quickly empty your wallet.
Pro: You will feel fuller between your meals since you’ll get a lot of protein while still eating an entirely clean diet (no chemicals or preservatives).
Con: Finding Paleo standard foods isn’t as simple as going to a farmer’s market. It takes time to find and restock these perishable foods as well as prepare them in Paleo fashion.
Pro: If you can stick to this diet, you’ll cut out the many restaurant and packaged foods, as well as fried or baked goods, that lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Con: The Paleo Diet is strict, so it’s extremely difficult to stick to for a long period of time—although some people do. It also may not provide the proper nutrients to sustain a healthy lifestyle beyond the years of our Paleo ancestors—who rarely made it to age 40.