The Paleo Diet, aka the Caveman Diet, has been getting a lot of attention recently. Basically, this diet advises that you return to the basics of a “natural” human diet, meaning that you should eat everything a hunter-gatherer would. Fresh fruits, vegetables, all types of meat, and plant-based oils are allowed. All processed foods, including grains, dairy, alcohol, and sugar, are forbidden. A few other foods that a caveman could have conceivably found and devoured without cultivating them, like beans and honey, are also forbidden.
The biggest advantage of the Paleo Diet is that it forces you to give up processed foods, which are packed with preservatives and unhealthy additives. Another advantage is that because you aren’t allowed grains, you will have to fill up on meat and veggies. This means you get plenty of protein, so it can be a good diet for people who want to build lean muscle. It also means that you get plenty of healthy, natural fiber. And finally, because the Paleo Diet allows fruit, it satisfies your sweet tooth in a healthy way.
Many dietitians are wary of the Paleo Diet because it cuts out dairy and grains, which are two very important food groups. You may not get enough calcium if you cut out dairy, and you will have to be extra careful to eat enough roughage to fully replace grains as your source of dietary fiber. One final downside is that because this diet doesn’t include beans, it won’t provide enough protein for vegetarians.