There have been a ton of articles popping up that apparently “debunk paleo” or somehow prove it isn’t scientifically accurate. I won’t even link to them because I’m not going to drive traffic to these agenda fueled articles that are poorly researched and even more poorly written. That being said, I am occasionally hesitant to call myself paleo for a few reasons. The first is that I really don’t like labeling the way I eat and pigeonholing it, and more accurately I follow a Perfect Health Diet. But paleo is more about what you don’t eat than what you do. We don’t eat vegetable oils, toxic grains, gluten, processed food, genetically modified food, etc. As long as you are eating whole foods that are easy on your digestion and are good for you, what the hell is the problem?

The foundation of paleo is simple. Eat unprocessed foods. Eat pastured meat, wild seafood, healthy fats, organic veggies and fruits, some nuts and seeds, bone broth, even grass-fed dairy and white rice. This is what paleo is to me. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s going to be a little different for everyone within the confines of healthy eating. So what exactly is the problem with people giving up processed foods in favor of whole ingredients?

Do people find it too restrictive? Majority of us follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time we eat well, and the other 20% is for less paleo approved foods. Potatoes are still fine, wine, even chocolate and cheese. Do people hate paleo because of the paleo police? The annoying internet trolls who comment on a grass-fed burger with a side salad and say, “The cheese on that burger isn’t paleo!” I don’t think so. There are vegan trolls. And yet, societally, veganism is synonymous with health, with green living, with environmentalism, and is it one of the furthest lifestyles from all of these things. I don’t see mainstream media bashing veganism (although I do see former vegans who found the meat eating light doing it, like myself). So why has a way of eating that emphasizes real, whole, unprocessed foods that are organically grown and GMO-free come under such scrutiny?

Well, I don’t really know, but I have an idea. I think it’s because we challenge what has been so widely accepted for so many years. Low-fat, high grain, processed diet foods are not good for you, America. I think it’s because we eat our steak and our egg yolks and liver. We don’t eat low-fat dairy or wheat based cereal with genetically modified ingredients. I think people are afraid to let go of their antiquated notions of health. If people actually put in the research, they would realize that a paleo based diet is the healthiest. Eat what your ancestors ate. If your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, you should not eat it. And you can bet your boots she wasn’t drinking skim milk.

Let them eat their low-fat dairy. Pass the sustainably raised bacon.

8 Comments

  1. You can eat unprocessed whole foods without being “paleo”, which is what I do. The idea of the paleo diet being based on what humans ate in the paleothilic age seems odd since we have developed and changed a lot since that time. Each culture has evolved to do well with different foods. Some do great with dairy or grains, others don’t. I went years eating gluten free and now I know I do better with gluten in my diet. I don’t think there should be a hard and fast “yes” and “no” list for foods as long as you’re eating whole foods that work well for you personally.

    • dani stout Reply

      I completely agree! I don’t love using the term paleo, to me it just means eating whole, unproccesed, organic food that our ancestors ate. But with all the meat and fat bashing, this way of eating has become unhealthy and people now favor low-fat, processed junk as a healthier option.

  2. I’m so tired of people feeling the need to justify their ways of eating when I pass on the DECADENT (they are ridiculously yummy at some places) dinner rolls and order my 12-oz ribeye with steamed broccoli and pull out my homemade dressing for my salad. I don’t mind the questions, but telling me how rarely they eat the way they are in that moment just tells me that they realize how super-healthy Paleo really is but their addiction to sugar and grains makes defending it easier than changing their lifestyles.
    By the way, I’ve been Paleo for 8 months. I’m 44, have 2 teenagers, PCOS since I was 13 and for just as long have had an unhealthy obsession with my weight, which I’ve been fighting my entire life.

    I’ve reversed my borderline Type 2 diabetes, increased my body temp to normal for the first time ever, my thyroid function is normal for the first time ever and my cholesterol is perfect. My anxiety (I was permanently injured in a car accident 3.5 years ago) disappeared by day 3.

    I refuse to get on the scale for personal rains but my body is changing and clothes are steadily getting larger. I walk 5 days a week and strength-train 3 days a week.

    Paleo is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ll never revert to the SAD and cheat meals don’t happen cuz they make me feel horrible. Nothing tastes good enough to feel like crap.

  3. Why do people find them annoying? Because the fans of the diet come off as judgmental and if they know the only secret to #1 health based on a diet that might be better than the average American diet, but not the holy grail of diets. Because there is none. It’s the fanatics, they’re annoying as heck. Veganism is less scrutinized than “paleo” , so don’t make yourself a victim when you aren’t.

    I personally will get flamed for this here, but it is annoying because it’s based on flawed ‘facts’ as well. Hunter-gatherers hunted their food and collected their food, they didn’t conveniently go to the grocery store. The animals they hunted weren’t our modern-day beef and turkey, they were wild variants, and any domesticated animal is by no means symbolic of what paleo is. Wild game is what they ate, not factory-farmed chickens bred for our convenience. To remove legumes is also absurd, and paleo people far more likely ate legumes than ‘coconut flour’. Their food choice was also seasonal, and only certain diets are eaten in different parts of the world, not everything on a “paleo” person’s table nowadays at any time.

    I am all for making America healthier again and supporting grass fed, naturally raised animals that are best free-range, and it’s better than the average processed American diet, but please, the dogmatics kill it, use flawed understanding of anthropology to justify it, and really make people uninterested in this fad diet. There’s your answer. If you like it, that’s good, if you get offended and bitch around like it’s the only thing that works for EVERY BODY (note also that different races and ethnicities evolved differently), then you’re annoying. You’re welcome

    • dani Reply

      Veganism IS less scrutinized than paleo…I think you meant veganism is more scrutinized than paleo – with the addition of “so don’t make yourself a victim.” I’m not making myself a victim. At all.

      I’ve been paleo and I’ve been vegan. I’ve gotten a TON more flack for eating a more paleo based diet – which humans literally evolved to eat. I agree that different races evolved to eat differently – THAT’S PALEO. That’s a basis of paleo. It’s not about hunting and gathering your own food (although that’s encouraged). It’s about eating foods our ancestors had reasonable access to, like veggies and meat. Not soy and microwaveable meals.

      Paleo is simply about eating real, whole foods from the earth. Foods humans have always eaten, and if you can get more specific and eat what your specific ancestors ate – even better. Your entire argument is basically FOR a paleo diet, you just seem to have some pre-formed ideas about it being a judgmental and dogmatic way of eating (it’s not, unless you’re talking to those annoying people who are like, “butter isn’t paleo!”).

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