5 Reasons The Paleo Diet Is Healthy And Effective When Done Correctly

By Pablo J. Gutiérrez F. III

You might have heard or read about it by different names: the Paleolithic Diet, the Primal Diet or the Caveman Diet.

Yet, they all refer to a growing health trend that emphasizes eating food that could’ve been found in the early days of human history. It was popularized by Dr. Loren Cordain in his 2002 best-selling book, "The Paleo Diet."

In 2013, it became the most-searched weight loss method.

Since the original release of the book, the Paleo Diet has gone through a series of modifications.

Though these are variations to Dr. Cordain's original outline, these facts still maintain the essence of his original ideas.

You can call it a fad diet, but it is here to stay. The Paleo Diet is healthy, and it works.

Here are five facts about the Paleo Diet:

1. It will make you eat real food.

The Paleo Diet, as mentioned before, is based on eating food that has existed for thousands of years (more specifically, the food our ancestors ate before the Neolithic Revolution).

Back then, there wasn’t food containing high fructose corn syrup, added sugars, unnatural chemicals, artificial colorants, etc.

You would eat what was available and without much processing: berries, leafy greens, mushrooms, different kinds of fish, birds and the like.

There were no French fries, pizza, sushi or any other of those deliciously fattening and harmful products that are so common nowadays.

So, if you were to follow this diet, you would be eating real, healthy and energizing food. You would be eating food your body is made to consume, process efficiently and nourish itself with.

So, if you were to follow this diet, you would be eating real, healthy and energizing food. You would be eating food your body is made to consume, process efficiently and nourish itself with.

2. The Paleo Diet is not the same everywhere.

There are three main macronutrient groups: protein (eggs, poultry, fish, meat, etc.), carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, tubers, grains, etc) and fats (oils, lard, nuts, etc). We eat these macronutrients to obtain energy.

The common folk usually believe the Paleo Diet is just meat, meat and more meat with a side of bacon. And, they are right (to some extent).

Depending on where you are from, you’ll find different fruits, vegetables and sources of protein in different proportions.

Our ancestors who lived up in the north part of the globe (with Jon Snow and his buddies) probably consumed more meat and fat than the people who lived near or in the rainforest.

This group probably consumed more fruits and vegetables than meat and fatty foods.

Therefore, assuming the Paleo Diet is always a low-carb diet is false. What you should consider, though, is the Paleo Diet is lower in carbs than the Standard American Diet (or SAD, pun intended).

On the Paleo Diet, you don’t consume grains, which includes rice, beans, lentils, bread or pasta. Just by avoiding these foods alone, you are significantly lowering your carb intake.

(In case you are wondering what you should and should not eat, here’s a nifty infographic detailing the dietary rules of the standard Paleo Diet.)

Having said that, most people who follow the Paleo Diet, particularly the Primal Diet or the Primal Lifestyle, tend to consume more protein and fat than carbohydrates.

Mark Sisson, the creator of Mark’s Daily Apple, explains why this is so.

This particular form of the Paleo Diet (which, full disclosure, I adhere to) has its own set of rules you should follow in order to live a happy and healthy life.

3. It will help you lose, and keep off, weight and body fat.

People who adhere to this diet say you can eat, eat and eat and not get fat. And, it's true.

Once you start eating what you are supposed to be eating, you'll shed that extra weight and body fat. This happens because, among other things, your body is efficiently using real food to obtain energy.

Thus, it will not store the food as fat. Another factor to consider is the food you are supposed to eat is much more filling than the food-like products you can purchase at your traditional restaurant or fast food chain.

Just have a look at this one example, which pretty much explains itself.

And, just in case you want some hard facts, here are several randomized, controlled trials depicting how the Paleo Diet, particularly the low-carb one, is better than traditional diets, such as low-fat diets.

4. It improves your health markers.

It doesn’t matter if you consider observational studies or randomized control trials; the Paleo Diet makes you healthier. It helps lower “bad” cholesterol; it lowers blood pressure, and it helps prevent and fight diabetes, among other things.

I’m going to let science speak for itself here.

5. Wine and chocolate are good to go.

Believe it or not, you can have those two slices of heaven while following the Paleo Diet. Okay, it may be the primal version of it, but you can.

In fact, a Spanish study proved a diet of green vegetables, olive oil, red meat, fish and red wine is an effective way to lose weight and improve several health markers.

Dark chocolate is an amazing piece of food. Not only does it taste incredible, but it is also great for your health.

If you decide to go Paleo, you won’t have to relinquish this terrific indulgence.

So, yes, I’m saying you can watch Netflix while eating dark chocolate and drinking red wine.

Going Paleo doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?