Eating Pattern Series
This week we will be exploring a very popular eating pattern known as paleo!
The Basics: The eating pattern, paleo, has been widely talked about in mainstream media during the past decade. It was first covered when Crossfit dominated the news cycle and fitness industry. The style of eating relates to Crossfit because it provided a “nutrition guide” for athletes who wanted to train even harder than before.
The major focus of paleo is to eat the way our “hunter-gatherers” ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago. This “hunter-gatherer” style of eating places an emphasis on meat, fish and seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, various potatoes, nuts and seeds, spices, and oils such as olive and coconut. Foods to avoid include sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, grains (like wheat and barley), legumes (beans), dairy, soybean oil and corn oil, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and highly processed foods.
Around the World: Today, people all around the world choose to eat this way as a lifestyle, but paleo is widely popular in the United States to aid in weight loss.
Pros: With the focus of paleo being on “whole foods,” there is a lower intake of sugars and saturated fats which may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The eating pattern also emphasizes fruits and vegetables which can fill you with essential vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. Additionally, the frequent intake of fish can increase omega-3 fatty acid consumption for better brain health.
Cons: Due to the avoidance of grains and legumes, there may be an issue of insufficient daily fiber intake which may lead to gastrointestinal distress. The elimination of dairy may also reduce calcium and vitamin D consumption, and this may have a negative impact on bone health later in life. Considering the elimination of major sources of these nutrients, it may take some extra planning to ensure that you are still getting them from other foods.
Potential Health Benefits: There are several studies that show the eating pattern may lead to weight loss and improved blood sugar levels even without counting calories! The reduced saturated fat intake can also improve long-term heart health.
Recipe: Cool off this weekend with this raspberry lime fruit dip! Just grab the five ingredients and chop up your favorite fruit. Bring it to the lake, pool, or beach, or even have it to yourself at home.
Resources to Learn More: To find more delicious recipes, check out Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger!
Be on the lookout for the next eating pattern, keto!