Why NOT Paleo?
There are many things ‘wrong’ about the Paleo or AIP diets
There are many things ‘wrong’ about a Paleo or AIP diet to me. Out of all the things that are wrong and perhaps even downright irresponsible to people who are struggling with chronic inflammation, the biggest ones to me are:
- Advocating for meat and animal products consumption, claiming that they are nutrient dense.
- Eliminating many wholesome plant foods and whole grains, claiming that they are inflammatory.
Animal foods are high in saturated fats, animal hormones, and contain no fiber. Even the iron from meat is in an oxidized form, and is not the best form of iron we can acquire. Animal foods alter the good bacteria population in our gut. It doesn’t matter if the meat and animal products come from grass fed or free range animals, they still contain saturated fats, animal hormones, arachidonic acid, and various things that cause and exacerbate chronic inflammation.
Wholesome plant foods contain no animal hormones, are low in fats, and contain various types of fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants which greatly benefit our immune system.
You just need to remove processed foods and dairy (plus animal products and oil)
The Paleo and AIP diets have a long list of foods to eliminate, for the reason that they may cause sensitivities and inflammation for some people. This is a highly symptomatic approach, as sensitivity to healthy plant foods itself is just a symptom of chronic and malfunctioning immune system. Eliminating them, therefore, does not go to the root cause of the problem. Instead, it is merely an approach of avoiding symptoms.
The only possible reason anyone can feel or get better from following the Paleo or AIP diets is if they have been consuming a lot of processed foods and/or dairy in their diet prior. Eliminating processed foods is already a given, and is indeed a step in the right direction. But consuming animal products while taking out a long list of wholesome plant foods doesn’t get one to a point of optimal health.
Excuse me… grains, beans and nightshades are inflammatory (but meat is healthy)?
In this post, I want to focus on the elimination of complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes, certain vegetables and fruits in the Paleo or AIP diet.
Complex carbohydrates always get a bad name from the Paleo diet. This is due to a misperception of what the carbs do when they get inside the body.
In a healthy body, complex carbs – grains, vegetables and fruit – make you healthier, not less healthy. Avoiding grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits is only putting bandaid on the underlying inflammation.
Beware of diets that promote the consumption of animal products, free range or not
Adopting a Paleo style diet, especially for a long time (more than weeks) can deprive you of crucial micronutrients that you need for health, healing and longevity. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and colourful grains — wild rice, red quinoa, black quinoa etc. — contain interesting fibre structure, anticancer properties, and all the other nutrients that are increasingly rare in typical western diet.
Don’t need to back up all the way to cavemen era to find a healthy eating style. Stick to real foods, wholesome foods, plant foods, and focus on variety and colours, and you’re good.
Be wary of diet trends. There’s usually an industry built around diet fads and diet trends.
Not convinced by Paleo. Not interested to adopt it. More interested in addressing the underlying inflammation instead of putting bandaid on it by avoiding foods.
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