Name: Kiley Chen (8.4)
The Paleo diet is one of the most famous and popular diet plans in the modern world. The Paleo diet was
popularized by a researcher in 2002, Loren Cordain, from Colorado State University, though the exact
origins of the Paleo diet is unclear. The name “Paleo”, is derived from the prehistoric period known as the
Paleolithic period. The food plan of the Paleo diet mimics the food plan of our ancestors that existed
10,000 years ago. The diet allows followers to eat as much as they want until they are content. Supporters
of the Paleo diet argues that the eating plan the Paleolithic people followed did not suffer from heart
disease, cancer, and diabetes. On the other hand, opponents point out that Paleolithic people had a much
shorter lifespan and could not live old enough to develop the conditions. But overall, the main purpose of
the Paleo diet is to promote good health. Many variations of the Paleo diet has emerged throughout the
years but all of them excluded dairy products, legumes, grains, and processed foods.
The list of foods below is what is commonly allowed in the Paleo diet:
– Meat: chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and buffalo
– Fresh fruit
– Nuts, but no peanuts
– Plant-based oils
Foods that aren’t allowed in the Paleo diet:
– Grains: oats, wheat, barley, rice and anything that contains grains.
– Legumes and beans, or anything that contains them.
– Dairy products
– Meats high in fat: salami, bologna, pepperoni, hot dogs, etc.
– Processed foods and trans fats, such as doughnuts, french fries, fruit snacks, and macaroni and
– Salty foods: crackers, chips, pretzels, soy sauce, or any foods that have added salt.
The Paleo diet encourages healthy eating and exercise. Obesity can be countered by the Paleo diet
if it is executed well. The majority of people eating according to the Paleo diet lose weight also because
of the limited food choices. In addition, Paleo diets provides many other health advantages. Because the
Paleo diet includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and free-range, grass-fed meats, the consumer might
experience positive effects on the heart and the carthe diovascular system. The Paleo diet is also rich in
potassium. This is because the high consumption of fruit and vegetables increases the potassium level,
which is vital for healthy blood pressure, a healthy kidney and good muscle function. The consumption of
meat includes high protein content. This is important for growth and maintenance of the body and its
organs. The Paleo diet completely eliminates the consumption of processed and artificial foods. This
results in the reduced intake of sugar and salt and it improves blood pressure and sugar levels. Supporters
of this diet claim that people who eat according to it will feel an immediate rush of energy, as their insulin
and blood sugar concentration will be able to maintain on a healthy level. Loren Cordain, an American
scientist that specializes in nutrition, argues that eating according to the Paleo diet can help resolve the
effects of diseases and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acne, and irritable
bowel syndrome. This is not yet been proven, but some research has shown that the Paleo diet might be
able to regulate glucose levels in blood in people with type 2 diabetes. The Paleo diet includes foods that
has a higher chance of not containing any additives, preservatives, or chemicals, and eating red meat will
provide you with more iron. You may experience more intense satisfaction after each meal, caused by the
higher intake of fats and protein. There are many variations of the Paleo diet, but most of them focus on
encouraging people to do significant amounts of exercise. This is linked to how the Paleolithic people
acted since they spent most of their time hunting and gathering food. The original purpose of the Paleo
diet is to encourage good health and weight loss if needed. Supporters of the Paleo diet believes processed
food are not suitable for humans and we haven’t adapted to consume it. They think that if we cut down on
processed foods and anything that wasn’t consumed in the Paleolithic period will lead to a much lower
chance of contracting many of the diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. But there is
limited research and information on this case.
The cost of a meat-based Paleo food plan, will be significantly higher than a balanced one. The diet
doesn’t give the exact portions of the allowed foods. You might find yourself overeating some of the
allowed foods as there aren’t a lot of it. The Paleo diet is high in protein, which is beneficial for your body
to build up muscle. But an excess of protein means too little carbohydrates, and carbohydrates are the
main energy source for the body. Grains and dairy provide energy and can be good for you health is
excluded. Critics of the Paleo diet say that it is nutritionally lacking and could be hard to continue on the
long-term. All different variations of Paleo diet all exclude the consumption of all dairy products. This
can lead to osteoporosis and rickets from the lack of calcium. Therefore, a Paleo diet follower needs to
take calcium supplements to prevent the happening of the conditions. Limiting carbohydrate intake could
cause lethargy and fatigue, as the human body uses carbohydrates as a main energy source. Having
insufficient carbohydrates could also lead to a serious medical condition called ketoacidosis. This will
also cause liver and kidney damage if not treated. Since the Paleo diet allows the consumption of
unlimited food, healthy or not, it could pose a health risk. Consumption of food high in calories could lead
to obesity and pose a health risk. Many variations of the Paleo diet encourages the consumption of
high-fat red meat could cause this risk. The Paleo diet eliminates entire food groups that contain vitamins
and nutrients that are essential for the health of the body. Despite what advocates for the Paleo diet claim,
it’s been sometime since the Paleolithic period, and we have plenty of time to evolve and adapt to our
The ethical issues of the Paleo diet is mainly based around the Paleo diet including too much
meat. Cheap and plentiful meat is high in demand in the developed world and has led to the reinforcing of
cruel farming methods more commonly known as factory farming. They use methods that severely
restricts the movement of the animals, such as battery cages, sow stalls, and feedlots. A Paleo diet would
encourage more meat consumption, which in turn would increase the demand for meat, and would end up
with the intensification of unsustainable farming practices. There is also the issue of the Paleo diet leaving
its footprint on earth’s resources. More than one third of the crops globally are grown for feeding farm
animals. Land clearing is a threat to wildlife and biodiversity. This will cause psychological damage to
animals who have lost their habitat and later maybe their lives because there couldn’t adapt to their new
environment. Though the Paleo diet restricts the consumption of milk, it encourages eating meat which
will support the growing demands for cheap and unethical meat.
Overall, I believe the Paleo diet doesn’t work. It is lacking in too many nutrients like calcium and
carbohydrates which can lead to diseases like osteoporosis. I think that a balanced diet with everything,
even processed foods, is the most healthy.
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Accessed 13 Dec. 2017.
“Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet.” UPMC HealthBeat , share.upmc.com/2016/04/pros-cons-paleo-diet/.
Accessed 12 Dec. 2017.
Robertson, Sally, BSc. “Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons.” News Medical: Health News and Information , 18
July 2017, www.news-medical.net/health/Paleo-Diet-Pros-and-Cons.aspx. Accessed 14 Dec.