The Paleo diet is based on the diet our ancestors followed during the Paleolithic period (from 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago), because we are genetically adapted to it. It consists mainly of grass-fed pasture meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. The acceptance of this diet considerably varies among scientists and govermental agencies worldwide.
- The diet eliminates food rich in simple sugars (which are high in calories and low in nutrients). Given the staggering amount of simple sugars some people consume, this diet can significantly lower overall calorie intake and result in weight loss.
- The elimination of simple sugars greatly reduces blood glucose swings in the blood stream, which is favorable for people with diabetes.
- By eliminating grains, many essential nutrients might be missing from the diet, potentially leading to a variety of health conditions.
- Like any other low-carb diet, it has risk factors of hypoglycemia (because of the absence of carbs in the diet) and ketosis (due to the metabolic change to retrieve energy from proteins and fat cells).
- Requires a selection of very lean (and pricey) meat; choosing otherwise results in elevated levels of cholesterol (total and LDL) that are considered harmful.