The Paleo Diet under fire: A look at the positives

Recently, a study was published about how paleo diets are just as bad as smoking. Hit the brakes! What? With all this talk about paleo this and that, I want to say there are pros and cons to this diet. This week I am going to discuss the pros.

High protein diets have been around since the 1970s. Starting with the Zone and Ketogenic diets, then in the 1990s it was Atkins and 40-30-30, followed by South Beach. Gut healing diets like Simple Carbohydrate Diet (aka SCD, which is making a comeback) and Body Ecology Diet also came in vogue. Now we are seeing blends of these diets such as GAPS and Paleo.

I’ve been studying these diets since college. It all comes down to not eating junk and start eating real food. It is plain and simple, yet we tend to complicate things because everyone wants a quick fix.

Let’s take a look at the pros of Paleo:

Paleo gets you to eat more fruits and veggies. Need I say more?

Paleo gets you to eat less junk food. Last year I asked a kindergarten class: “Does Mac and Cheese grow in our gardens?” To which they chuckled and shouted “nooo-uh!” “Does chocolate chip cookies grow from our trees?” They giggled and said, “nooo-uh!” As silly as this sounds, even adults have to think the same way. If it comes from a box, a can, the frozen food section (unless frozen fruits and veggies), we should just say no.

Paleo gets you back into the kitchen to actually cook your foods. *GASP!* What? You mean you have to take the time to cook the food? (and it doesn’t come from a package?) Yes!

Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which means that calories from protein tend to keep you full longer than calories from carbohydrates. Protein helps stabilize blood sugars, meaning you won’t feel hungry an hour after eating. This can be very helpful in controlling calorie intake and managing your weight.

Paleo is a diet full of good fats from avocados, olive, coconut oils, raw nuts and seeds. Most oils in our foods today are oils that increase inflammation in the body such as canola, vegetable, soybean and cottonseed. These oils also increase our cholesterol and our risk for heart disease, strokes and cancers. In case you missed my Detox Your Kitchen Series, read how to rid the bad fats from your cabinets here.

I get that we are all strapped for time. Believe me I am busy too, but if you can spend time watching TV, pinning recipes on Pinterest or even 30 minutes on Facebook during the day, you can make a homemade meal.

For me, it is important that my family gets a homemade meal. Each week, I will pick up a rotisserie chicken and make a meal that will last for two days. I make meatballs or meatloaf that also will last a couple of days. Like my mom did, I make enough so there are leftovers so I am not cooking daily. Crockpot meals are awesome for those hectic days. Just throw it all in your crockpot and dinner is made when you come home.

We all have the same time in our day, we all have a choice in how we use that time. So what are you waiting for? Make a meal that will knock your family’s socks off.

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