What are some misconceptions about dieting

Paleo criticism - common questions and misunderstandings about the Paleo diet

// by Michaela Richter // 25 comments

Before we go into the Paleo criticism in detail: The Paleo diet is actually less of a diet, but more of a lifestyle, since the diet is permanently changed and is not eaten "normally" again after reaching a certain weight loss goal. The idea is to only eat those foods that our bodies are genetically designed for.

In short: processed foods and grains are taboo, but there are plenty of vegetables, along with high-quality meat, fish, eggs, fruit and nuts.

The whole thing is also called the Stone Age Diet, because none of the foods on the “taboo” list were found in the Stone Age and only found their way onto our plates when agriculture began. From a purely evolutionary perspective, our genes did not have enough time to adapt to this radical change in diet. As before, 70% of mankind is lactose intolerant and many grain products are a problem.

Is there any criticism of Paleo? We clarify the most common questions

Paleo Misunderstanding: The Paleo Diet is mostly about meat

Paleo is often viewed as overly meat intensive. Even though you hear everywhere that meat is incredibly unhealthy. One scandal follows the next here. One reason why the vegan lifestyle is so trendy right now.

The truth is this: yes, meat is part of Paleo and the majority of the protein consumed comes from animal sources. However, the Paleo diet is mainly based on vegetables, to which a protein source is added, which is often meat. The high proportion of vegetables in Paleo is often suppressed by critics.
This is also what sets Paleo apart from the Atkins diet. Paleolans fill their plate about 2/3 with vegetables and add 1 piece of meat. Nowhere in the Paleo Principles does it say that Paleo is mainly meat-based. The meat that is consumed at Paleo is of high quality and mostly from pasture animals. In this respect, Paleo supporters pay very close attention to animal welfare. That some vegans get annoyed with Paleo is almost ironic, because hardly any other diet is so careful to eat the “right” meat.

Paleo reproach: You have always eaten cereal grains

Recently, there have been increasing numbers of studies showing that many ancient civilizations ate certain types of grain, as long as 100,000 years ago. But Paleo says that this has only been the case since the beginning of arable farming. The fact is: nobody was there in the Stone Age. We can assume that people ate pretty much anything to stay alive. The large selection of a modern supermarket was unfortunately (or: luckily?) Denied them. The point is: grain products have been a main part of our diet for around 10,000 years - and they were never before due to their seasonal availability alone. There is a difference between chewing a handful of grains and making tons of flour for mass nutrition. Some studies also show that large quantities of grain are not good for us. Paleo is about avoiding processed foods. Food in boxes, cans and bags. No matter how far back in history you will not find a person who has devoured white bread or cereal. We need to focus on real food again. Common sense and instinct help enormously here!

Paleo review: A stone age lifestyle is not possible these days

A major criticism of the Paleo Diet is that nowadays you can't live the way you did 200,000 years ago. We no longer live in caves, we have got used to heating, we no longer hunt our food. So what? Sticking to the principles of the Paleo Diet doesn't mean you have to travel back in time. One tries to translate as much as possible into the present day. Instead of hunting mammoths, the modern Paleolan focuses on pasture-fed beef, free-range chicken and wild-fished fish. You don't have to throw the conveniences of modern life overboard for this.

Paleo and Evolution: We're still evolving

Paleo criticism often points out that milk can now be tolerated well in certain regions and the argument that humans do not develop genetically, so it cannot be kept.
That's true, of course, we are always developing. In Northern Europe, milk is no longer as much of a problem as it is in Asia or Africa. But it is a fact that many people are gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant. Often without realizing it, as the symptoms are always attributed to other things, such as stress. The Paleo Diet focuses on 2 food groups that many people have problems with. Interestingly, it is precisely these 2 groups that have only recently appeared on our menu from an evolutionary point of view.

Is Paleo just the next diet hype?

That is exactly what Paleo is not - a classic diet with a yo-yo effect, abandonment and frustration. The only goal of a classic diet is of course weight loss. When you have finally lost the desired five kilos, the diet is ended. We know from our own experience that you could not have been able to endure starving while counting calories. Therefore, the term “paleo diet”, if used incorrectly and then taken literally, is misleading. Rather, it is a nutritional concept, a long-term change in eating habits with the aim of improving health and fitness. And the pretty side benefit of losing weight is a bonus. The question “How can you stand it?” Can be answered with a clear conscience: “After the changeover, it's very easy. Without sacrificing and with a noticeable improvement in quality of life. ”Of course, that doesn't mean that some foods don't have to be deleted from the daily schedule. Sugar, grain products, and over-processed foods are the no-gos along with a few others. But rightly so: they have no positive effects on the body, on the contrary, they are often even harmful. Therefore, one cannot speak of renunciation. It is logical that you do not have to miss food that is harmful to health. So far so good. The attitude is the most important thing, but the desire for sweets or a hearty dinner remains. Here's the good news: There are Paleo-compliant sweets!

Is Paleo jumping on the organic bandwagon?

A central aspect of the Paleo diet are natural and unprocessed foods. However, if it is organic bread, for example, it is still a processed product and not Paleo-compliant. Of course, organic products often offer a certain degree of security that they are not ingesting pesticides and other harmful substances in their diet. But not everything that says organic is also organic! Lately the declarations of organic products have become more informative, but that's not enough to fully rely on the fact "organic = high quality and pesticide-free". Of course, organic should not be excluded. It is only about a conscious examination of the respective product. Another possibility would be to buy regional products at markets or from surrounding farms, which also has the advantage that you automatically eat more seasonally. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is the best way to get natural and unpolluted food.

Does Paleo mean “low carb”?

Equating the paleo diet with "low carb" is another misunderstanding. By reducing the carbohydrate intake via sugar and grain, the daily value naturally decreases. But if someone does not necessarily want to eat “low carb”, which is often the case with competitive athletes, in the Paleo diet you can get valuable and natural carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, fruit and other vegetables, for example. So whether someone wants to eat "low carb" in addition to the Paleo diet is up to them.

Prejudice: Paleo is one-sided and inflexible

“If I have to do without so much, what can I still eat? Meat and vegetables, great. It's one-sided and inflexible. ”Misunderstanding. The paleo diet is by no means one-sided. Vegetables don't always have to be cooked the same way. How about a delicious celery puree with the lamb chop? Or a carrot and ginger soup in winter? There are also ways to make otherwise forbidden foods Paleo-compliant. For example, flour made from cereals can be replaced with nut flours (almond flour, coconut flour). So if you can't always strictly ignore foods like bread or pancakes, you simply reinvent them. An incredibly good feeling to be able to enjoy dinner with a clear conscience!

You can find inspiration in our Paleo cookbook.

"Paleo is disappearing like all fads"

Let's take another look at what paleo nutrition actually means: Stone Age nutrition. It is not a new kind of fad, but rather a "back-to-the-roots concept". She was already there. And it worked. The instinctively correct and species-appropriate diet for the human body. In contrast to most newfangled concepts, which are either extremely complicated, not permanently practicable or even unhealthy and therefore often quickly disappear from the scene again, the Paleo diet based on research results on evolution and medicine takes a different approach. It has proven itself for us over hundreds of thousands of years. In our further development towards a civilized and modern person, she just got lost for a time between all the baked goods and pieces of sugar. So it is not a newly invented fashion diet, but the species-appropriate diet for which evolution has prepared us and to which we are now returning. It leads to the ideal weight for humans, to ideal health and performance. So why should it go away like the real fads?

Our tip is as always: Just try it out. Many of the biggest critics would never try Paleo because they panic at the thought of skipping pasta and sweets. It's called addiction. Replacing bread and pasta with vegetables and sweets with fruit can't be that unhealthy. Do this for 30 days. Do you feel good afterwards and wake up happy in the morning? Excellent, then the Paleo effect worked for you too.

© Nastia11 - istockphoto.com
Rate this post:

Do you like this post? Then sign up for our newsletter or follow us on facebook.

Posted by Michaela

Michaela has a sweet tooth in the Paleo360 team and is therefore always on the lookout for Paleo-compliant sweets. Maybe that's why she developed the excellent ability to combine exotic salads with various delicious fruits. She is also a big fan of nature and the Munich foothills of the Alps. Michaela likes to sleep late, which is why her blog posts are published more often in the afternoon.
Read more articles by Michaela