Education, Nutrition
The premise of the paleolithic (paleo) diet is simple: Eat only foods that existed during the hunter-gatherer era. That means grass-fed meats and wild fish, fruits and vegetables, and nuts & seeds (including their healthy oils), while excluding all dairy, legumes, and grains. And while that seems simple enough, the paleo diet seems to plagues by a few myths. Let's unpack some common stereotypes:
  • MYTH: The paleo diet means you only eat meat—and lots of it.
TRUTH: Not necessarily. Although paleo certainly emphasizes low-carb, high-protein foods, some adherents focus on nonstarchy, green, leafy vegetables and try to reduce or even eliminate meat (yes, paleo veganism is a thing). One protein-rich, paleo-friendly plant option: hemp seed, which—though it’s not a complete protein—does contain more protein by weight than grass-fed beef. TRY: Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts.
  • MYTH: The paleo diet isn’t healthy.
TRUTH: On the contrary--recent studies point to Western reliance on starchy carbs and sugar, not fat and protein, as the primary culprit behind chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. In addition to meat’s benefits, paleo eaters tout easy-to-make (or buy) bone broth for its purported gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory properties. And of course, overwhelming research lauds plant foods for optimal health. TRY: Bonafide or Bam Broth Bone Broths.
  • MYTH: The paleo diet is expensive.
TRUTH: If you slap nothing but bacon-wrapped beef fillets on your plate, then yes, the costs will add up. But before humans hunted animals, they subsisted on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds—typically the lowest cost-per-calorie foods on the planet. Make those the centerpiece of an affordable and nutritious paleo diet, and occasionally incorporate lean, grass-fed meats.  TRY: Shopping our organic produce sales. You can find great deals every week on your favorite organic fruits and veggies.
  • MYTH: The paleo diet is boring.
TRUTH: Hardly! With nearly the entire plant and meat world at their disposal, paleo enthusiasts enjoy delightfully inventive dishes and versatile condiments. And when the sugar comes from fruit, dates, coconut, or maple, you can have your chocolate and eat it, too. TRY: PaleoChef Sauces to dress up your entrees or Pure7 Chocolate when you're looking for something sweet.
  • MYTH: The paleo diet is only for CrossFit fanatics.
TRUTH: It’s true that you’ll find paleo products hawked at gyms and competitions. But according to Nutrition Business Journal, the typical paleo eater isn’t a hulky male CrossFitter, but rather a middle-aged, affluent woman trying to boost athletic performance, lose weight, or combat a health problem. For both camps, paleo-friendly bars offer clean on-the-go, energy. TRY: JonesBar, RX Bar, Phive Bar, or Soul Sprout Bars.
  • MYTH: The paleo diet is environmentally irresponsible.
TRUTH: The paleo movement evangelizes a return to humane, regenerative food and land practices. “Hooves on the ground are essential to grassland health,” says Sarah Gleason of the Savory Institute, a grassland restoration nonprofit. “Properly managed livestock that mimic large, wild herds help restore the land and sequester carbon.”  TRY: Grass-fed, pastured meat and eggs, and wild, sustainably-caught fish. ALSO CONSIDER: Jerky or meat-based snacks made with ethically sourced ingredients. All in all, the paleo diet can be solid nutritional choice--especially if you're looking to eat a clean diet without additives, preservatives, or chemicals. Need more inspiration? Here are 10 Back to Basics Paleo Recipes. Special thanks to Delicious Living for helping us put together this article.