Paleo diet: Benefits, Challenges And More

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

The Paleo diet is one of the most popular forms of diet nowadays and it may be followed worldwide.

In this, the way of eating is just similar to the paleolithic era, where foods are eaten by hunting or gathering the natural and available eatables by our ancestors.

By following a paleo diet you could avail yourself of many health benefits as it promotes a healthy lifestyle.

Before planning for a paleo diet finding the purpose is crucial because it may help you to be consistent throughout.

With ambiguity and a lack of information about the paleo diet, people may not continue this in long run. In this article, you will get to know all about the paleo diet. 

Firstly let’s get into the food items that you should have to eat while on the paleo diet

    1. Fruits And Vegetables

      If you are following a paleo diet then you could include fruits and vegetables. Because they contain various nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

      They have minimum calories which may help you to reduce weight. Fruits are fibrous and healthy which could improve digestion and also the whole-body metabolism.

      They are readily available and also one of the best sources of energy.

      But there are few restrictions while eating fruits, if you are solely focusing on losing weight then you could avoid fruits that have more sugar content.

      Here are some suggestions for fruits that you could consume on the paleo diet:

      • Apples
      • grapes
      • bananas
      • plums
      • citrus fruits
      • melon

                           Here are some suggestions for vegetables that you could consume on a paleo diet:

    • Cabbage
    • Spinach
    • Brussels sprouts
    • sweet potatoes
  1. Meats

    Another recommended food item that you could include in the paleo diet is meat. These food items are rich in protein and may help you to build strong muscles.

    Also, they could satisfy your appetite which may help you to remain full throughout the day.

    In the paleo diet, it is suggested that you should consume grass-fed meat or grain-fed meat because they provide omega-3 fatty acid which is great for the heart and body.

    Here is the list of meats that you could eat on a paleo diet:

    • Chicken
    • beef
    • salmon
    • pork
    • bacon
  2. Seeds And Nuts

    Seeds and nuts are a must for people who are on the paleo diet. They are rich in proteins, fibers, and many other nutritional compounds.

    It also helps to cure the body of acute and seasonal diseases. There are preferred because of the health benefits associated with them.

    It could prevent heart stroke and maintains body blood pressure and sugar level.

    Seeds and nuts are high in calories, so it helps you to stop emotional eating which may eventually aides in healthy weight loss.

    Here are some seeds and nuts that you could consume on the paleo diet

    • Almonds
    • Cashew
    • Chia seeds
    • Walnuts
    • Pistachios
  3. Healthy Oils

    Choosing a healthy oil for the paleo diet is important because it may affect your whole diet and even the proper functioning of the body.

    Before the paleo meal plan, choose paleo-friendly oils which are packed with mono-saturated fats and antioxidants. They could help you maintain your cholesterol level and promotes a healthy heart rate.

    Look at these healthy oils before you go with your paleo meal plan

    • Avacado oil
    • Olive oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Walnut oil
  4. Eggs

    You could eat this unprocessed and highly nutritious food while on the paleo diet if you are not allergic to it. In addition, the variety of nutrients in it promotes healthy body functioning.

    Eggs also contain amino acids and higher omega-3 content, which is good for the body. So including it in your paleo diet may give you many health benefits.

    As no specific amount of egg intake is recommended, make sure you don’t consume it in higher quantities. As a result, if one is following an egg diet, they will benefit from the paleo diet.

Food Items To Avoid In The Paleo Diet

There are a few food items that you should avoid while being on the paleo diet.

  1. Grains

    If you strictly follow the paleo diet, you should have to avoid grains completely from your paleo diet.

    They have a high amount of carbohydrates which may increase the blood sugar level in the body.

    Apart from this grains are the result of modern agriculture and hence do not belong to the paleolithic era, therefore it is not included in the paleo diet.

    Refined grains consumption could create more health problems even, it may stop the absorption of other proteins in the body.

    Let us see the grains which you have to avoid while on the paleo diet.

    • Rice
    • cereals
    • bread
    • crackers
  2. Legumes

    Legumes are also excluded from the paleo meal plan because of the lectins and phytic acids present in them.

    They might affect the healthy body but some of them contain low fat, iron, and high fiber and hence they could be consumed on the paleo diet.

    Here is the list of legumes that you should avoid:

    • Peanuts
    • Lentils
    • Beans
    • peas
  3. Processed Food

    Processed food is not suitable for health and also they are completely avoided in the paleo diet. Processed foods are packed with high amounts of calories, sugar content, and salt.

    In the paleolithic age, artificial sweeteners and processed food items were not available and hence they forbid to be eaten in the paleo diet. Its consumption may cause health issues.

    Here is the list of some processed food that you should avoid being on a paleo diet:

    • Refined sugar
    • Refined vegetable oils
    • Artificial sweeteners
    • salts
  4. Dairy Products

    You should avoid some dairy products if you are on a paleo diet. Here is the list of diary products that you should avoid:

    • Yogurt
    • Milk
    • Butter
    • Sour cream
    • cheese
  5. Alcohol

    You should highly avoid alcohol while being on the paleo diet. Alcohol does not have any health benefits, its consumption may be harmful to the whole body and its functioning

    Alcohols have almost no nutritional components in them. It could only contribute to health hazards such as increased blood sugar levels, liver damage, and many others

Paleo Diet Health Benefits

There are many health benefits of the paleo diet but let’s briefly understand the three most important health benefits.

  1. Strong Immune System

    One of the important benefits of the paleo diet is that it makes our immune system stronger. As in the paleo diet, you have to eat many fruits and vegetables, along with seeds, nuts, and eggs.

    They are rich in nutrients and provide our body with the required nutritious compound along with vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C.

    These food items are rich in fiber which helps in digestion and also enhances the immune system function.

    With a stronger immune system, our health doesn’t get affected by diseases easily. So following the paleo diet could help you to build a stronger immune system.

  2. Weight Loss

    Another better health benefit of a paleo diet is that helps in healthy weight loss.

    The food you are consuming in the paleo diet is generally low in calories and helps satisfy your frequent hunger, resulting in healthy weight loss.

  3. Low Sugar Level

    Cutting down on modern food items which contain sugar and salt in higher amounts may help to maintain blood pressure and lower sugar level.

    So paleo diet is the most beneficial for maintaining a healthy body.

Some Challenges In A Paleo Diet

There are possible challenges that you might face while being on the paleo diet. As it has a lot of restrictions that make it difficult to follow in the long run.

Apart from this if you are strictly on a paleo diet your carbohydrate consumption could be extremely low. That may make your body less energized and you might feel lethargic.

Also, you have to make sure that there should be a proper amount of protein intake because an excessive amount of protein intake could cause health issues and also may contribute to chronic diseases.

In the paleo diet, you may get affected by vitamin D and calcium deficiency due to minimum intake. So, these are some challenges that may affect your body while being on the paleo diet.

Bottom Line

A paleo diet has ample health benefits such as it helps to lose weight, maintain low blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and many more.

But at the same time, it has various challenges due to food restrictions. Paleo diet pros and cons could best be decided by you only. Whether you want to go for it or not.

Apart from this, you could also choose a partial paleo diet, in which you have to follow a few restrictions and also may get most of the health benefits.