The “caveman diet” is an eating plan that incorporates only the foods that would have been hunted / gathered by our early ancestors. These foods would include things like meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and mushrooms. Grains and dairy are not allowed and it is recommended that only wild meat or grass fed meat be ingested
- High consumption of vegetables and fruit is in line with recommendations of the American Heart Association for preventing cardiovascular disease.
- Paleo diets high in fatty fish will also heed benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids that may help decrease cholesterol.
- The body will be cleansed of preservatives and chemicals associated with modern processed foods
- Emphasis on lean proteins will help build muscle, reduce food cravings and assist in weight loss
- Prohibition of fruit and grains makes it naturally gluten and casein free
- A diet centered on meat is a diet high in saturated fats. Too much saturated fat can lead to increased cholesterol and increased risk on heart disease and obesity.
- Without grains in the diet, you risk eating too few carbs. This can lead to feelings of tiredness, weakness and sluggishness as well as drops in blood sugar.
- Banning all dairy products makes it harder to maintain healthy levels of calcium intake. If you do not eat green leafy vegetables (spinach, okra, broccoli) on a regular basis while following the diet, you risk calcium deficiency.
If you are interested in discussing new approaches to your eating habits, the UAB rec center now has a registered dietitian on staff to provide nutritional counseling to members.
Email Elizabeth Milne, RD at Epmilne8@gmail.com for more information on scheduling appointments or stop by the membership desk!
Read more on this topic at any of the following sites:
- Vanderbilt University; Are There Any Side Effects Associated with Low-Carb Diets?; Kathie Hanlon; 2010
- MedLine Plus; Fats; Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA; August 2009
- Raw Paleo Diet: Anti-Raw Myths Debunked
- CDC: Escherichia coli 0157:H7 Infections in Children Associated with Raw Milk and Raw Colostrum From Cows
- The Paleo Diet: High Protein, Low Carb Diet
- Every Diet: Paleo Diet
Do you think the Paleo/Caveman diet is just another fad? Let us know what you think!