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The paleo diet has become wildly popular over the past few years, but the question remains, is it an easy-to-follow, doable, long-term diet? This new fad is certainly not the only diet to gain a following recently, but many of the diets are short-lived because they are hard to sustain long-term. To begin, the paleo diet is modeled after our ancestors from the Paleolithic era, also known as the stone age. The general idea of the diet is to stick with foods that can be hunted or gathered. Essentially, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds were accessible food items during that time. Dairy products and grains are not part of the paleo diet as these foods were developed many centuries later.
The foundational belief of the paleo diet is that the modern body has not adequately evolved to process certain foods, such as grain products, legumes, and dairy items. According to paleo enthusiasts, eating these products increases the risk of metabolic conditions, heart disease, and obesity. So, to follow the paleo diet, the key is to avoid grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugars, and other sweeteners. It is also encouraged to exercise regularly, as the cave people were believed to be active individuals while hunting and gathering. Those who follow the paleo diet also believe in reducing or eliminating processed foods. This is a good rule of thumb to live by as man-made, chemically altered foods introduce numerous chemicals and toxins that can have detrimental effects on overall health.
The foundational belief that dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and grain products increase particular health concerns is true. Still, the all-or-nothing approach to this diet might be hard to live by for long periods. While the reduction of these products should be encouraged, completely abiding by these rules long-term could be discouraging. The paleo diet is not the only one that can help you achieve desired results, such as weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The medical community believes that a well-rounded diet, eaten in moderation while participating in the exercise, is the ideal way to stay healthy and reduce the risks of many chronic medical conditions. While certain positives can be taken away from the paleo diet, it might not be a conventional diet to incorporate unless you have plenty of time to meal plan and prep. Adequate prep time is encouraged for this diet to take full advantage of the benefits.
However, if you do have the time to pour into this diet for a month or two, it is a good one to try. These types of diets are fantastic to push your body to the limit and see noticeable changes. It can also give your digestive tract a reset, and you could determine if it could be a diet you could do try long-term.