Fact or Fiction: 4 Myths Associated with the Paleo Diet

In my previous article, I discussed “The History of the Paleo Diet”. Now, I’d like to address some common myths associated with the paleo diet. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what the paleo diet is or isn’t, which can sometimes scare people away from trying a diet that could greatly benefit them!

 

Myth #1 – You won’t get enough calcium

The paleo diet calls for dairy to be cut out. For a lot of people, they may be concerned that this fact means they won’t consume enough calcium, because they believe the only way to get calcium is from dairy products. There are plenty of other foods containing calcium, with the added bonus that they aren’t full of hormones that can upset your system. Some of these foods include: kale, spinach, seaweed, salmon, sardines, nuts, dates, and olives. Also look at this list for other foods with calcium and the amount. Getting 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight every day is also important to your calcium absorption. You’ll get Vitamin D from the sun, which helps your body absorb calcium.

 

Myth #2 – You’re more likely to get heart and kidney disease from all the protein

Many people fear that they’ll develop heart or kidney problems later in life from following a paleo diet. It is possible to have kidney issues when consuming high levels of protein, but the paleo diet suggests protein balanced out with other types of food. Paleo is by no means a high protein diet; it recommends moderate amounts of healthy protein. Paleo ranges “from low protein (about 10% of calories) to high protein (25% of calories) depending on individual needs. (As a reference, the average protein intake in the U.S. is 15% of calories.)” Like other types of protein, eggs are also healthy. For years, eggs were blacklisted as an unhealthy food that will raise your cholesterol, but it’s lately been discovered that’s not true. Eggs are a wonderful source of nutrients and can actually raise your good cholesterol.

 

Myth #3 – Paleo is too expensive to follow

While the paleo diet does encourage purchasing organic and naturally raised foods, you can shop smart and minimize your grocery bill. If you normally buy the cheapest processed foods available at the store, then the money you spend on groceries will rise, but you’ll save money on medical visits. By no longer purchasing junk food, snacks, and unhealthy drinks, you might realize you’re actually saving money. Other ways to save is through research. Look at The Clean 15, so you can familiarize yourself with the food you can buy conventionally, then shop local! Head to a farmers market or stand near you, because organic produce is usually much cheaper at these locations. You can also make purchases in bulk of some paleo foods, or buy healthy meat in bulk and freeze it.

 

Myth #4 – There aren’t any nutrients in the paleo diet

The paleo diet abounds in nutritional sufficiency, because the foods consumed in the diet hold deep nutrition, which benefits our bodies the most. The foods are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, while also lacking the unhealthy toxins that so many processed foods contain today. Grains don’t have great nutrient benefits; those nutrients (and more) can be found in vegetables, fruit, and grass-fed, natural meats. So many health issues in our world today are caused by a nutrient deficiency or the lack of one specific nutrient. Instead of consuming grains and processed foods that are rich in empty calories, carbs, and sugars, many people could benefit by switching to a paleo diet that allows them to get the nutrients they desperately need. Check out these paleo-approved foods.