The paleo diet first started getting noticed in 2001 when Dr Loren Cordain published The Paleo Diet. By 2013 it was Google’s most searched-for health term. But what exactly is the paleo way of eating? To separate fact from fiction, naturopath, raw food expert and 80/20 paleo convert, Jules Galloway is helping us debunk five of the most common paleo diet myths. Jules is also one half of the team behind Paleo Health Retreats, a new fitness getaway in Byron Bay for women that’s kicking off with its first retreat from 13-19 November 2014. So, if anyone is going to know a thing or two about paleo, it’s Jules!
Five Common Paleo Diet Myths…Debunked
With the paleo diet getting a lot of attention in the media right now, it certainly feels like everyone is talking about it! On one side you have enthusiastic paleo advocates, who won’t touch even the slightest bit of processed sugar, grains or even legumes, saying they’ve never felt or looked better. On the other side, you have reports that it could be dangerous, that it isn’t nutritionally balanced, and some even call it a fad.
So what’s the truth when it comes to the paleo way of eating? And what’s the paleo way all about? Here’s 5 common paleo myths, debunked, to help you understand the facts.
Paleo Diet Myth #1:
Paleo diets are all about meat, meat, meat
Sure, meat is a part of the paleo diet. But in a healthy paleo regime, it only takes up a third of the plate in most meals, and sometimes doesn’t even feature at all! A healthy, well-balanced paleo diet also includes loads of fresh vegetables, some fruit, plenty of raw or activated nuts and seeds, eggs, and fermented vegetables.
Paleo Diet Myth #2:
Paleo diets don’t contain enough fibre
Just like any diet, whether is be paleo, vegan, gluten free or otherwise, there are healthy ways, and very unhealthy ways of doing it. An unhealthy paleo diet would be full of meat, bacon, eggs and fats, but not enough fresh veggies or fruit. Balance is the key! When paleo is done properly, fibre is not an issue. Make sure you include loads of high fibre foods like nuts, seeds, fruit (with the skin on) and vegetables, and you’ll be fine. If you need a quick fibre boost, there’s always psyllium (a high fibre supplement which is a seed and therefore allowed).
Paleo Diet Myth #3:
When you eat paleo, you end up in ketosis or get kidney damage
Ketosis is a state where the body is starved of carbohydrates and then starts burning fat as fuel. It’s often recommended for weight loss, but needs to be carefully monitored, otherwise the kidneys can suffer. The only way to reach ketosis is to drastically restrict your carbohydrate intake. A ketogenic diet is not just paleo, it’s more restrictive than that. It also contains absolutely no fruit, very few vegetables, and almost no natural sugars. Also, portion sizes are kept extremely small. So if you don’t want to end up in ketosis, just eat good portions, lots of veggies, and some fruit.
Paleo Diet Myth #4:
Paleo diets are boring
Not true! The paleo diet can include all your favourites, including bread (made from ground nuts, coconut flour or banana flour), desserts and cakes (sweetened with natural alternatives to sugar like honey and coconut syrup), and pasta (made from zucchini noodles). There are so many options for fresh, vibrant, healthy and exciting meals, and with more cookbooks and websites coming out all the time, the choices are endless and exciting.
Paleo Diet Myth #5:
Paleo diets are only good for weight loss
There are so many other great reasons to adopt a paleo approach besides weight loss. I’ve personally seen a massive range of ailments resolved with a diet that’s gluten, dairy and cane sugar free, including:
- Digestive issues
- Skin problems
- Hormone imbalances
- Autoimmune diseases
- Mood disorders
- Poor immunity
If you do want to lose weight in a steady, healthy way without feeling deprived or hungry, then the paleo approach may be just what you’re looking for! But be prepared – you may experience added benefits you never even dreamed of!
Join Jules and weight loss expert, Candice Briggs, for the women’s Paleo Health Retreat which is taking place on 13-19 November. Over six days they’ll provide tailored exercise and nutrition guidance to help meet your weight loss and health goals. Between exercise, cooking classes, massage and reiki, you will also have plenty of ‘me time’ to make the most of beautiful Byron Bay. You can find out more here. Or you might like to check out a whole stack of health inspiration and gluten free recipes that Jules is dishing out over here.