Those who are interested in health and nutrition would have noticed lots of talk recently about Paleo, it seems everyone has an opinion. Since Chef Pete Evans has weighed into the story it is getting more press than ever! Last night it appeared on 60 minutes Charles Wooley talked about going paleo since a recent health scare and on Sunday Night, Mike Willesee had a similar story.
The 60 minutes story was ridiculous, referring to cannibalism and knocking women over the head and dragging them back to the cave, give me strength! The Sunday Night program was much more sensible. As usual, social media response and bad reporting has people saying, they would have improved their health anyway because they were now eating a healthy diet. Paleo is a dangerous fad, paleo is about eating loads of meat, blah blah blah.
When I talk to fellow Nutritionists, most of us agree that paleo is a good template for a healthy lifestyle – a clean diet high in fresh vegies & fermented foods that also includes moderate amounts quality protein wild fish/seafood, quality meat and broth (grass fed/finished/free range etc), free range eggs, raw nuts and seeds, quality fats and oils (avocado, coconut oil etc). Seasonal fresh fruit and real whole fat dairy for those who can tolerate it. Paleo is not at all high in meat as the media like to promote it, it is actually highest in vegetables!
It is a good template but each individual needs to embrace what works for them, we all have different needs and some people have food sensitivities that require specific changes to suit them. It is not necessarily low carbohydrate, you can adjust amount of carbs to suit your needs.
It is important to note that the paleo way is not a diet, it is a way of life! It is not about trying to eat like a caveman, it is about eating real, good quality, locally grown food. A great template for a healthy life, that is all! The bottom line is that, yes, if you stop eating junk food and drinking soft drink, you will feel better! Whether you call that the result of paleo or just eating a healthy diet, who cares, it’s the same thing! Call it what you like! But don’t rubbish paleo, it is encouraging people to eat good, real food. If calling it paleo makes more people try it, great, the fact that it is the latest “popular” word doesn’t make it any less valuable to health.
As a Nutritionist, I encourage other health practitioners not to jump to conclusions or get their knickers in a knot about paleo. Surely we are all encouraging the same thing, just eat real food, do what works for you, give it a name, or not, up to you!
Fiona Kane, Nutritionist