10 Common Paleo Myths Busted
Lots of myths are floating around about Paleo. Even though eating Paleo is likely the healthiest diet on earth, people simply aren’t used to eating that way. Balking at good nutrition may seem silly, but like anything new and different, it takes time to become fully accepted. These ten myths reflect the most unknown principles of Paleo cooking and eating.
I won’t get important nutrients eating Paleo.
Paleo kicks the hinge off every other nutritional program for one reason: nutritional sufficiency. Paleo foods naturally hold deep nutrition, which is what people’s bodies crave. One of the main reasons for the pandemic of suffering in the modern world is that so many folks are nutrient-deficient. Paleo is the perfect remedy for this situation because it floods the body with vitamins, minerals, and essential fats. As the good stuff floods in, toxins flood out.
Start redefining your idea of healthy eating. Grains, dairy, and beans are more damaging than rewarding and don’t add the value you need to your nutritional bank. Think about evolution when determining what you should and shouldn’t be eating. You can find more nutrition in grass-fed meats, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruit than anywhere else.
Without dairy, I won’t get enough calcium.
Yes, you need calcium to form healthy bones and teeth. However, you’re not locked into getting it from a cow. In fact, most people who consume dairy end up inflamed due to toxins and hormones given to the animals that produce the products. On the contrary, other sources of calcium (such as the following) work really well in the body and cause no inflammation whatsoever.
Collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens
Bok choy and cabbage
Seaweed such as kelp and dulse
Canned fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines (with bones is always better)
Nuts (almonds, cashews, chestnuts, Brazil nuts)
You always have bone broths to fall back on, which are loaded with all vitamins and minerals — including calcium.
Saturated fat?! I’ll develop heart disease.
A meta-analysis published in February 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pooled data from 21 unique studies that included almost 350,000 people, tracked for an average of 14 years. It concluded that no relationship exists between the intake of saturated fat and the incidence of heart disease or stroke.
If you want to prevent heart disease, don’t consume cheap, tasteless vegetable oils like soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and margarines or the packaged, processed foods made with them. Stick with Paleo-approved fats and oils, and you’ll not only prevent heart disease but also get healthier with every bite.
I can never drink again.
In a perfect world, no one drinks because alcohol is toxic to the liver, but as far as Paleo adherence goes, this category is one where you have to call the shots. You choose your shade of Paleo; if an occasional drink works in your program, it’s all yours.
If you fall into these groups, you should avoid alcohol:
Need a healing phase: If you have a condition that needs to be healed (such as autoimmune or digestive issues), give your body a chance to heal without all the toxins. Alcohol will worsen any condition that leaves your cells toxic.
Need to lose some pounds: Your liver can’t help you with fat burning if it’s detoxing alcohol. Additionally, alcohol provides a lot of empty calories; much like sugar, it’s void of nutrients your body needs to be healthy.
Tackling a 30-Day Reset: If you’re undergoing a Paleo cleanse, alcohol is definitely off the menu for that period.
Stick with potato vodka, dry wines, rum, sparkling wine, and tequila. Stay away from grain-based alcohol like beer, bourbon, gin, and grain-based vodka, which will make you feel like you swallowed a bowling ball and are the worst gut wreckers out there. When you get a mixed drink, mind the sugars. Avoid juices, sodas, and tonic waters. Use soda water as the mixer and stick a lime in it to manage your body’s insulin response.
Paleo food is weird.
Some of the Paleo-approved organ meats and bone broths may seem weird, but they’re just new and different. Bone broth and organ meats have been used as medicine for longer than anyone alive has been on this earth. When you eat them, you’ll heal. Period. Most of the United States is in a pandemic of human suffering because of illness that the right diet could address; that seems stranger than eating liver and onions does.
As far as the rest of the Paleo menu, lean meats, seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit, healthy fats, and nuts and seeds aren’t out of the box. It’s sad that processed, refined, sugary, packaged foods have become the common, everyday foods while back-to-nature-foods seem like crazy town.
The food in a Paleo diet is too expensive.
If you’re used to buying nutritionally void, supersized junk, then yes, Paleo will cost a little more. Just remember in the long run you’ll end up spending less on medical care if you stick with the healthy stuff.
Here are five doable ways to cleave some cash off the bill:
Make informed produce choices. Read up on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 (fruits and veggies most and least contaminated by pesticides, respectively). You can use this information to decide what produce is okay to buy conventional.
Buy local. The produce usually costs less at farmers’ markets and local farms.
Split a cow. Go in on a cow with friends or family members through a farm meat share program. It’s a great way to get high-quality meats at a lower cost.
Buy in bulk. The big-box retailers are coming out with more high-quality foods. Bring home extra when you see a good deal.
Stock up on sales. Buy the best cuts of meat you can find on sale and stock ’em up.
It’s just too hard to change eating habits.
Look at it this way: Yes, eating Paleo is definitely harder than pulling up to a drive-through window and ordering a fast food meal. But eating Paleo isn’t harder than dealing with a life-threatening condition or harder than watching someone you love heal from a chronic illness. It’s not harder than the pain so many feel every day with their aches, pains, digestive discomforts, and exhaustion.
A great way to make Paleo life a little simpler is to order food from a Paleo food home delivery company like Living Paleo Foods. Services like this one scrutinize every single ingredient to make sure you get the best Paleo foods delivered right to your door.
Paleo diets have too much protein.
Protein toxicity is a real issue caused by the amount of protein in your diet and your ratio of protein to the carbs and fats in your diet. Eating too much protein can put stress on your kidneys and liver because they struggle to convert the protein into a useful form of energy.
Paleo is not a high-protein diet. Eating a variety of proteins as a part of a well-balanced diet will keep you within a healthy range of protein. Nowhere in a well-planned Paleo diet do you find a recommendation to eat tons of protein all day; it’s simply not the Paleo way.
Meat is the most basic prehistoric food, and if you eat it in balance with your other macronutrients (carbohydrate and fat) and eyeball a decent potion size, your body can handle it just fine. A healthy Paleo protein serving size is about the size of the palm of your hand, or 3 to 4 ounces for women and 5 to 6 ounces for men.
I can’t eat all those eggs without increasing my cholesterol!
There is an assumption that if you eat cholesterol, you raise your blood levels of cholesterol. But that misconception just isn’t accurate. In fact, the B vitamin choline found in eggs actually acts as a transporter of cholesterol, keeping it from entering the bloodstream.
Unless you have an autoimmune issue that eggs may aggravate, you have no reason to limit your consumption of eggs; in fact, they provide you with better health and immunity than any daily supplement. One egg has 13 essential nutrients, all in the yolk. What’s important, though, is buying organic, pasture-raised eggs. Studies show that commercially raised eggs are higher in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Farmers’ markets are a great option to get pasture-raised eggs.
Paleo is just another low-carb diet.
Paleo is naturally lower in carbohydrates, as nutrient-dense foods often are by nature. Paleo focuses on nutrient density, balance, and food quality as well as discovering how to gain an awareness of how food affects your body. The focus isn’t and never has been on carbohydrates.