As the name suggests the Paleo diet takes you back to caveman days, no preservatives, no processed grains and no fast food at all... Assignment Radio's Hayley Thornton explored what it means to go Paleo.
Emily Groff: From my point of view it’s a very nutritious kind of back to natural way of eating, which is why the certain foods are included and I have read a lot of books and done a lot of research into it, and its really about eating what’s best for your body.
Emily Groff has followed the Paleo diet for nine months. She plans her whole day around the restrictions and rules of the diet.
Groff: No wheat or corn, bread, tortillas, cereals, oatmeal. No processed foods and obviously no Doritos and that kind of stuff, and no dairies so like milk and yogurt. I think of more what I can eat, fruits vegetables, lean meats.
The biggest argument against the Paleo Diet is the lack of whole grains. But Groff says the way grains are processed now makes them worse for you.
Groff: If you eat two pieces of whole wheat bread it raises your blood sugar as much as eating two spoon-fulls of plain sugar, and so I was kinda like what, and so, its just kind of things like that, that I never really stopped to think about the science behind it and it talks about how you know what we ate back then wasn’t processed, and that’s a big part about why certain foods..
U.S. News and World Report ranked the Paleo diet near the bottom of its 2014 rankings of Best Diets Overall. The survey looked at how easy the diet is to follow, how nutritious it is, and how effectively it prevents diabetes and heart disease. Nutritional Sciences major at the University of Oklahoma Lindsay Malbec doesn’t believe the Paleo diet is balanced enough.
Malbec: People think that carbs hurt us when in reality it’s a huge part of our diet, about around 40 to 60 percent of our diet is carbohydrates and we need them
And she says cutting out an entire food group can be extremely harmful to our bodies.
Malbec: A lot of the foods that your not eating have a lot of vitamins that we need and you can get lots of heart problems from that, yeah you’re losing weight but you’re losing a lot of muscle and yeah vitamin deficiencies are a big one.
But Jo Elen Giddish, a certified nutritionist working in the field since 1987 based in Southern California says the Paleo diet is not the same as the other fad diets and she suggests the diet as a lifestyle change to her clients.
Giddish: If you were to look at all the new diets right now, for some reason we feel like there always has to be a new fad diet that comes to town, I like the concept of it mostly, I feel that we are definitely, as a society in America, we eat way a lot of processed carbohydrates including white flower. !!!!!
The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the US Department of Agriculture and the US department of Health and Human Services says that refined grains such as white flour have to have extra nutrients put into them to make them nutritious enough to eat. It also states that eating these refined grains is like eating the added sugars and solid fats in cookies, cakes and doughnuts. Even though Giddish suggests the changes recommended in the Paleo diet to avoid these vitamin deficiencies, she says that everyone’s body is different.
Giddish: I think we are all biochemically unique and that you have to work with that individual, I am a strong believer in staying away from processed carbohydrates, thinks like that and some people can even digest legumes and have a really strong digestive tract and they can handle that in moderation, I’m also not a big proponent of dairy so I do take most of my clients off dairy products.
In fact, the dairy cut suggested in the Paleo diet is more natural than you’d think.
Giddish: We are human beings and I really doing believe that milk is meant for our bodies, the milk is, it has a lot of junk in it in the way its processed and the way the cows are fed all that. I’ve also never met so many children who have constant eat infections or people that have so much sickness and bloating and gas and clearing their throat and sinus congestion and so often when I take them off of dairy products that all clears.
Giddish suggests doing a 80/20 Paleo where you can eat the whole grains and even dairy 20 percent of the time, so that you are getting your B-vitamins and fibers you need from grains.
Every lifestyle change can have drawbacks, but Emily Groff figures, ‘if it feels good, do it.’
Groff: I mean feel great, I go to bed, I’ve never slept better, I go to bed at night and I don’t wake up until the morning. UM When I work out I love to run and its helped running so much. I went off of all my acne medications because I’m not eating foods that enflame my skin and so I just feel great I feel more energized.