Can The Paleo Diet Be Harmful?

The Paleo diet can be called the caveman’s diet. “Based upon scientific research examining the types and quantities of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, the foundation of “The Paleo Diet” is lean meat, including ostrich and bison as well as organ meats, seafood, fresh fruit, and non-starchy vegetables — a far cry from the standard American diet.” Unfortunately, when we try to adapt it to our modern environment – dangers lurk in the background.  Below are important excerpts of the concerns explained in the article article – you should click here to read the entire article.

The primary concern is that I believe the Paleo diet calls for too much protein for most people. Protein is freely substituted for carbs as being a healthy choice. But you must be mindful about the amount of protein you eat. Your body only needs so much; when consumed in excess, you may run into problems again.

Noted researcher Dr. Ron Rosedale recommends limiting yourself to one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body weight is because of the stimulatory effect protein to be largely responsible for the pathology seen in cancer growth. When you limit protein to just what your body needs, you lessen your chances of cancer growth. Most people rarely need more than 40-70 grams of protein a day.

Another common objection to the Paleo Diet is that it’s too low in carbs for some people. Generally speaking, if you’re on a high-carb diet and suddenly reduce your carb intake, your blood cholesterol profile will improve. Typically, your triglyceride levels will be sharply reduced. However, if your carb intake is below 25 percent (the Paleo Diet is about 23 percent carbs), your body will have to adapt to a scarcity of glucose, which can cause hormonal changes that may negatively impact your blood lipids.

Dr. Paul Jaminet, a trained astrophysicist and author of the book Perfect Health Diet, claims you may be able to tolerate an extremely low-carb diet if your health is really good, because your body can manufacture some glucose from protein. Others may not fare as well. According to Dr. Jaminet: “The biggest problem is it’s not a robust diet. If you get infections (which will raise your body’s glucose needs), then you can really get into trouble on a zero carb diet. In general, it’s a stressful thing for your body.”

While some experts, such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, believe you can’t have too little glucose because it’s always going to cause some adverse metabolic consequence, Dr. Jaminet, on the other hand, believes that once you get below a certain threshold of glucose in your diet, you can start experiencing certain health challenges.

The low-carb, low-to-moderate protein, high healthy fat diet is appropriate for most who are insulin or leptin resistant. Once that resistance resolves, then it may become counterproductive to maintain a low-carb approach. Once your weight, blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol normalize, you can then increase your carbs again. If your weight goes up or other symptoms return, then it would be wise to use that approach again.

Replacing carbs with too much protein can actually cause health challenges similar to eating too many grain carbs and sugars. The Paleo Diet calls for about 38 percent protein and 39 percent fat, which may actually be too much protein and not enough fat for optimal health.

The key thing to remember is that when you reduce carbs and protein, you need to replace the lost calories with high-quality fatssuch as avocados, butter, coconut oil, nuts, and eggs. Your healthiest option is to ensure your carbs come primarily from fresh, organic non-starchy vegetables like greens; eat limited amounts of high-quality protein; and eat primarily a high-fat diet. Depending on the type of carbs (high fiber or not), most people need anywhere between 50-85 percent fat in their diet and sometimes even higher for optimal health.

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