Foods not allowed on the diet include: grains, dairy products, beans, legumes, potatoes, sugar and processed foods,including processed meat. The only beverage allowed is water. The only supplements allowed are Vit D and fish oil, if fish is not eaten regularly.
Some people think that this way of eating is useful in the treatment or prevention of many conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, acne, obesity, gastrointestinal disease, depression, migraines, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Some Paleo diets are versions of the high-protein diets, like the Atkins Diet. Other versions encourage the eating of raw meat and fat. Sometimes the Paleo diet is combined with calorie restrictions or fasting. Some even recommend the consumption of insects. On the whole, the diet is usually 65 percent animal-based and 35 percent plant-based foods.
The benefits of the Paleo diet include:
- The diet is usually high in fiber and anti-oxidants, if plenty of fruits and vegetables are eaten.
- The diet, which prevents large amounts of glucose from entering the bloodstream at one time, may help to prevent the development of obesity and insulin resistance.
- Since the Paleo diet is low in sodium, it can be helpful in the prevention/treatment of hypertension.
- The diet does not include any processed foods, which is a key to living a healthier lifestyle.
- Many of the diseases that were mentioned as benefiting from this diet are better treated with scientifically proven dietary approaches, such as the carbohydrate-counting diet for diabetes, or calorie restriction and exercise regimens for obesity.
- The Paleo diet could cause harm to people with medical conditions, including liver disease and kidney disease, because of the high protein content of the diet.
- Be aware that people in the Paleolithic era were not concerned with losing weight - they were trying to gain weight and survive. It is not a weight-loss diet.
- The Paleo diet is very strict and difficult to follow for a long period of time.