Have you heard of the Paleo diet? It’s yet another fad diet, often practiced by Crossfit enthusiasts with similar cult-like devotion as they have to their stupid Crossfit workouts. Well, I’m here to tell you: the Paleo diet is a load of shit.
According to the all-too-frequent facebook posts from Crossfit/Paleo people who I went to high school with but don’t talk to anymore, Paleo is a diet that’s supposed to be like what cavemen ate, before we humans discovered all these other foods that we eat nowadays but our bodies didn’t evolve the ability to fully process. Also, they eat lots of bacon, which they think they can do on Paleo.
I’m pretty sure cavemen didn’t have fucking bacon in their diets.
(You shouldn’t eat bacon on Paleo, according to the Paleo diet’s own website.)
When you first read about the Paleo diet, it seems like it makes sense. The premise page on their website says,
The Paleo Diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. The following seven fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets will help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and lose weight.
Why yes, I do indeed want to optimize my health, not get sick, and lose weight! Sign me up!
Beware any diet plan that makes such bold claims. They want you to spend money on stuff. As long as there are fat people who want to lose weight but can’t, there will be other people trying to make money promising to help lose weight.
The Paleo premise page goes into more detail and mentions several nutritionally sound ideas like higher protein, lower carbs, more fiber, more whole (unprocessed) foods, sticking to the good kinds of fat rather than the bad ones, and getting more vitamins.
These are all healthy-sounding things! So how does one achieve these goals? According to the Paleo guidelines, here are things you can eat on the Paleo diet:
Fresh fruits and veggies
Nuts and seeds
Healthful oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
Sounds good so far. These are all wonderful, healthy foods. Eating them in the right proportions is good. But what about foods to avoid? Here’s what you can’t eat on Paleo:
Legumes (including peanuts)
Refined vegetable oils
Now this is where we encounter some problems. Some of the things Paleo encourages avoiding are in fact bad for you, like refined sugar, processed foods, salt, and refined vegetable oils. But Paleo also forbids too many things that are actually really good for you and are part of a proper, healthy, balanced diet.
Grains, legumes, dairy, and potatoes are not evil. You do not need to avoid them. They have been the staples of healthy diets for thousands of years. A bowl of brown rice and beans is one of the healthiest things you can possibly eat, but Paleo has a bunch of bullshit pseudo-science claims about why you need to avoid these things.
To put it as simply as possible, here is why Paleo is fucking stupid.
Extremely anti-Paleo meal: