The recent surge in Paleo popularity is disconcerting. Promoted as the diet of our ancient forefathers, it advocates weight loss by consuming as much as 35% animal-based protein.
Here’s what you need to know: the diet is completely counter to a vast body of scientific data which links diets high in animal-based foods to a markedly increased risk of various chronic diseases.
Take a look at the link between meat consumption and colon cancer:(i)
There are major problems with the assertion that Paleo is the optimal diet for us today:
- The claim that animal protein was ever a food mainstay runs counter to reality. Hunting wild animals is perilous and it is unfathomable that animal protein was consumed daily by any of our ancestors.
- The diet is not necessarily optimal for longevity. A nomadic tribe constantly hunting and being hunted could not survive if it were slowed by an ever-growing population of seniors.
- When was the last time you hunted anything?
Finally, focus on health not weight loss. Choose an evidence-based eating plan that prevents and, in some cases even reverses, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and dementia. Keep daily protein intake below 10% of calories and maximize fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds — this is the true recipe for health. And you’ll enjoy weight loss to boot. (ii)