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Paleo Diet: Is It Safe for Health?

The Paleo diet has been gaining ground in the field of fad diets. It is also referred to as the Stone-Age diet, believe that eating foods similar to that time can reduce modern-day diseases such as diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and hypertension.

1) What Is It?

A modern dietary regime that advocates for lean meats, fishes, shellfishes, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and nuts. It recommends avoidance of processed foods, refined sugars, dairy products, grains and cereals, which became staple food in this modern era. A Paleo diet will usually lower in carbohydrates, higher in protein, moderate or higher in fat.

 

2) Is This Diet Beneficial?

Paleo diet would be healthy as it encourages the consumption of fruits and vegetables, and discourage the consumption of sodium and refined sugar, which can help to reduce the risks of hypertension and diabetes mellitus.

 

3) What Is The Pitfalls?

The exclusion of certain food groups increases the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Limitation of dairy products have shown that calcium intake is well below the recommended intake for adults. Limitations of grains intake also reduces the consumption of dietary fibre and micronutrients such as vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.

 

4) Paleo Diet And Diabetes?

Paleo diet is also believed to be especially useful for diabetes patients, with potential benefits of weight loss and increase insulin sensitivity. However, there were no sufficient evidences to conclude the benefits of Paleo diet on diabetes mellitus. The recommended carbohydrate intake should be 45-60% of total energy intake.

5.) Recommended Or Not?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” dietary pattern suitable for everyone. The restrictive nature of this diet also makes long-term adherence become difficult. Further studies still need to be carried out on this diet. Therefore, it is recommended to have a balanced diet with a variety of foods in the correct portion. Remember, balance, moderation and variety is the key to healthy eating!

 

Conclusions:

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References:

1.)  Andrikopoulos,  S.  (2016).  The  Paleo  diet  and  diabetes.  Medical  Journal  of  Australia,  205(4),  151-152. doi:10.5694/mja16.00347

2.) Fenton, T. R., & Fenton, C. J. (2016). Paleo diet still lacks evidence. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(3), 844-844. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.139006

3.) de Menezes, E. V. A., Sampaio, H. A. d. C., Carioca, A. A. F., Parente, N. A., Brito, F. O., Moreira, T. M. M., de Souza, A.C.C. & Arruda, S. P. M. (2019). Influence of Paleolithic diet on anthropometric markers in chronic diseases: systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Journal, 18(1), 41. doi:10.1186/s12937-019-0457-z

4.) Lindeberg, S. (2012). Paleolithic diets as a model for prevention and treatment of western disease. American Journal of Human Biology, 24(2):110-115. doi:10.1002/ajhb.22218.

5.) Patel, S., & Suleria, H. A. R. (2017). Ethnic and paleolithic diet: Where do they stand in inflammation alleviation? A discussion. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 4(4), 236-241. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jef.2017.10.004

 

Written by,

Dietitian Cheah Chui Fen