Is the Paleo Diet a fad diet? To quickly answer your question…no.
However, let’s dig a little deeper and discover why.You may have heard of the Paleo Diet already, but is it just the Atkins Diet in a rebranded name? If you haven’t heard of the Paleo Diet before, or the Atkins diet for that matter, then the above sentence probably doesn’t make much sense.
Starting with the Atkins diet, just to separate the two because there are some similarities, it is based around a high fat and protein diet that avoids carbs. The Paleo (or Palaeolithic) diet is based on foods that are presumed to have been consumed by early man.
You might be grateful to learn that this does not mean running through the woods wearing just a loincloth and carrying a spear. You could, but it is not recommended, although I do remember a similar episode in college.
So, considering the Paleo Diet is based on what early man would have eaten – what does the diet consist of? Essentially followers of this diet are permitted:
- Nuts & seeds
- Tubers (potatoes, yams, parsnips, etc.)
At first glance, you may be wondering what the difference is between that and what is considered a healthy diet today. Looking a little more closely, you will see some notable items are missing. The first thing that you should notice missing is dairy. On the Paleo Diet, dairy is not permitted – especially low-fat dairy. So, this means no milk, butter, cheese, etc.
Some variations of the diet do allow high-fat butter, but the stricter variants do not. Put all of this together, and you can see that this might be difficult for most people to follow..
Is The Paleo Diet A Fad Diet?
So is The Paleo Diet a fad diet? Keep in mind that fad diets are short-term endeavors that promise quick weight loss. The Paleo Diet by comparison is simply an old way of eating and makes no promises of weight loss.
And again, it is very difficult for most people to follow.
If you were to decide to try this diet, and you think “Monday, let’s start there” and you go to bed Sunday evening looking forward to getting started… you might want to think first about breakfast. This is because if you were considering some toast or perhaps a bowl of cereal, then you are going to be disappointed.
Since early man had not yet created bread, or cultivated wheat or other cereals, then things like bread and breakfast cereals are very much off the menu. This also means that processed meat is gone. As are sweeteners, soda, fruit juice, candy, legumes (such as beans and lentils), ice cream, and highly processed foods.
If fresh is not available, from a local butcher for instance, then a general rule of thumb is – if it looks like it came from a factory, don’t touch it. Avoiding processed food is generally a good idea in any case, but it is an essential part of the Paleo Diet.
So this is not a fad diet but, is it right for us today?
Eating natural foods with no chemicals or additives is a great idea and certainly doesn’t qualify as a fad diet.
* Emphasizes whole foods, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats.
* Paleo-style eating has been extremely effective for improving several chronic diseases.
* This diet has made us more aware of how unhealthy a lot of our 21st-century food is.
* Strictly following a list of “good” and “bad” foods tends to be problematic for most people.
The Paleo Diet is a more ‘back-to-basics’ type of diet than most others, and it can promote a healthier way of eating that is much more natural than we are accustomed to in the 21st century.
While some people may struggle if they eliminate dairy, such as milk, they adapt the diet to make it more palatable, so to speak. So, is the Paleo Diet a fad diet? Absolutely not. it is just a healthier adaptation of the things we are already accustomed to.
Give it a try, you might be surprised at how much you like it.
- M. (2020, August 25). Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Cave Man And Lose Weight?. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182.
- Designed By Nature. Built By Science.. (n.d.). The Paleo Diet®. https://thepaleodiet.com/.