Why do people diss Paleo?
To Grok out or not to Grok out. The question has been a bone of contention among nutrition experts ever since the Paleo diet seized global limelight. Heated debates over health hitches vs. gross gains behind specific nutritional regimes are nothing new of course. However, neither are diet myths, and these are all too real a hurdle modern cavemen have been trying to clear for a few years now. Simply put, the only problem with Paleo is its vilification by would-be nutrition experts, wary of ‘radical’ eating agendas. But should you really side with caveman-hating critics? You by all means can. Still, before you start throwing rocks at the caveman diet, take heart: the legs the armchair vocal Paleo critics are standing on are pretty shaky, at least when it comes to the central arguments anti-caveman know-it-alls commonly quote.
1. The lacking scientific backing
Lack of scientific evidence to support the benefits of individual eating plans is the oldest trick in the nutrition critic’s book. Sorry to burst your bubble there: although the Paleolithic diet went pop relatively recently, a few studies into its effects on human health have already been carried out, and their findings came back positive, at least for modern cavemen.
In a 2007 trial, patients suffering from heart disease, diabetes type 2, and elevated blood sugar managed to improve glucose tolerance and stabilize blood sugar levels after switching to the Paleo regime. For cool bonus points, subjects on the caveman regime also sliced total daily calorie intake and waist circumference and lost more weight compared to the control group on the Mediterranean diet.
Other studies into the health effects of the Paleo diet have shown that the regime holds potential to lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reduce quantities of liver fat and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. No dietary guidelines are set in stone
“Do we actually know what Grok ate back in the day?”
This is another argument commonly listed by Paleo opponents, and it does hold water – like a sieve. Our ancestor from the Paleolithic era didn’t exactly carve his food journal on a stone slab, but we do know that early hominoids were foragers by menu.
Grok’s diet was centered on fruit, nuts, roots, eggs, and other edibles which didn’t require cultivation, but it’s taken long for our proud predecessor to figure out that animal flesh and fish are yummy too. In fact, even Lower Paleolithic humans knew that sharpened bifaces can be used for carving, and by the Middle Paleolithic, our ancestors had managed to master fire and put it to good cooking use. Daredevils among hominoids living in the Middle Paleolithic Era hunted on ground and in water, helping their contemporaries add an occasional fleshy banquet to their menu.
3. Humans should not be meating at all
Some diehard vegans and animal rights activists claim that the human gastrointestinal tract isn’t designed for meaty feasts, and that modern cavemen aren’t doing their digestive system a favor by sating their carnivorous tooth. This sounds solid granted you’ve been living under a rock since the Paleolithic: medical analyses of the human digestive tract have shown that we do have the long small intestines, short colons, and hydrochloric acid required for animal protein breakdown.
And not only do we have the stomach for Paleo ingredients – our gut is made for lovin’ them. In essence, the caveman diet advocates the avoidance of processed foods, refined sugar, salt, and vegetable oils, artificial colorants and flavorings, and all other modern-day additives which have a negative effect on digestive functions. Clean of hazardous edibles, the Paleo menu promotes tummy health, and healthy gut is a solid guarantee of stable energy, good mood, peak immune functions, and overall health.
4. Should you take a grain-free diet with a pinch of salt?
The downsides of a grain-free diet are the final point on the list of common arguments against the caveman diet. Whole grains may be rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals – but then again, they’re also high in gluten, and that one’s the culprit behind food allergies, sensitivities, and celiac disease.
And if negative health effects of a grain-full diet aren’t convincing enough for you, the flavor gains may just change your mind: you can still have your cookie and eat it on the no-grain diet, granted you’ve made it from Paleo-compatible substitutes for standard grain-derived flour.
Let’s be brutally honest here: humankind may have come a long way since the Paleolithic, but that still doesn’t mean that the caveman menu isn’t viable. As per its health hitches, these are few, if any (far fewer, in fact, than can be said of some other regimes on the trending diet wagon). So, is there any good reason not to go Paleo on your plate? Sadly for Paleo diet’s critics, there isn’t. Nobody can force you to Grok out – and nobody can stop you either, especially not a would-be nutrition expert with little medical knowledge under their belt.
Cut Paleo some slack, and give it a go – you can pass judgment only after you’ve walked a few miles in Grok’s shoes. But be warned: once you go Grok, you won’t want to go back, because it’s truly that good.