A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post titled Health & Happiness about some of the super-restrictive diets that seem to becoming the trend these days. I mentioned a friend of mine who had adopted one of these diets and suggested that I try it too. Well this morning that same friend shared an article on Facebook regarding the diet she follows [Paleo] that I thought was a helpful follow-up to my post. The article is from Men's Health magazine and can be found here. It's a pretty long and detailed article that explains the historic rationale behind eating primarily meat, vegetables and fruits and it makes a compelling case. However, it also includes information that questions this style of eating as the be-all-end-all for health and longevity that it claims to be. I'm just going to share a few excerpts that I found to be particularly interesting since they provide information that suggests perhaps this type of diet is not quite as necessary for health as its proponents might claim. But by all means read the full article if you're interested in the reasoning for eating a diet like this.
I highlighted points I thought were of special note and added my own comments in red.
This is the first article I've read about one of these diets that wasn't written by someone pedaling the diet [i.e. someone who has written a book or plan or blog on following one of these diets] and for that I feel like I can give it a little more weight. When you read articles on the caveman/primal/paleo diet blogs and websites they will convince you that you have one foot in the grave and will never be able to achieve any kind of physical fitness so long as you eat foods as poisonous to the body as peas [insert eye-roll]. You can see why I have a hard time buying the philosophy.
I'll reiterate that I have no doubt that there are benefits to a diet like this, especially if you have a food intolerance that is relieved by avoiding all of those foods. However, I remain unimpressed by extremist ideas of any kind because they're usually kind of a joke. This diet in my opinion is categorically no different from the Twinkie diet that a nutrition professor famously tried a couple of years ago. He ate only Twinkies and various other junk foods every 3 hours and every single number by which human health is measured improved for him. It worked because it was a form of extreme calorie restriction, you guessed it..... just like every. other. diet. Nonetheless, it was a goofy idea that would be absurd for someone to attempt to use as a means of losing weight and being healthier. So maybe a diet of meat, vegetables and fruits is a little more reasonable than Twinkies but the results will be the same. You'll probably lose weight and one day you'll probably break down and eat something you "can't have."
Thus I stand by my philosophy of everything in moderation. Eat. Run. Play. Sleep. Repeat.