The Paleo Diet

Written by Lena Schellenberg, Crowfoot YMCA Strength and Conditioning Instructor

You may have been hearing about a diet that is becoming quite popular among cross-fit athletes, those wanting to increase their athletic performance and those suffering from celiac disease called the Paleo diet.

Also known as the Paleolithic, Caveman, Hunter-gatherer, or Stone-Age diet, Paleo is a diet that converts us back to our prehistoric ancestors and how they ate and lived. There has been scientific research and hundreds of studies done on this particular diet with little evidence to support many flaws in it. What makes the Paleo diet so beneficial is that it’s rich in fresh produce, tons of essential oils and fats, and meat (which is recommended to be grass fed). It is free from processed and packaged foods, refined sugar and salt, as well as many of the carbohydrates we view to be “healthy” but contain many toxins.

Foods to avoid on the Paleo diet include: rice, wheat, oats, potatoes, legumes, dairy, sugar and “fake” foods. The whole point of this diet is not to starve yourself but to eat when you are hungry, and eat the things that will TRULY keep you satiated throughout the day. Things like avocados, green leafy vegetables, root vegetable(excluding potatoes) and fattier cuts of meat will keep your blood sugar stable where as many carbohydrates, even complex, will cause a spike in your blood sugar to some degree.

How am I going to get enough fiber? Don’t you need carbs for energy? I thought whole wheat was good for you? 

The fact of the matter is that in 80% of people today have gastrointestinal inflammation from wheat and even rice. Wheat and rice still had to be processed in order for us to eat them and they still have to be cooked in order for them not to be toxic to our system. After cooking even some toxins remain, hence why so many people react badly to them.

If you want to see further information on the Paleo diet, there are many published books written by reputable authors such as Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain and Art De Vany all talking about Paleo and varying approaches to the diet. It’s worth looking up if you suffer from conditions like acne, diabetes, obesity, MS, depression, autoimmune disease and many others.