Dynamic Choices » Family Wellness

The Science Behind A Paleo Diet

Are you finding it confusing to decide which type of diet is the best way to eat?  Low fat.  Low carb.  Paleo, Atkins, Eat for your blood type……….  The list of options seems to grow by the month and it often results in more confusion and a sense of overwhelm.  Many people simply throw up their hands in despair.   No two people are the same and it is only by listening to your own body that you will determine what works best for you.  No matter what anyone tells you, if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it.  However, in my experience, we sometimes fool ourselves into believing that a certain way of eating works for us when, if we were honest, we would know that it doesn’t.  I simply do not do well if I consume any quantity of grains.  I push back against the idea now and then and decide that a little piece or two of rice toast can’t possibly be that bad.  Well, it is.  My joints begin to hurt and I am reminded, yet again, that a grain free diet is what my body is asking for and I don’t really like the idea.  I often speak to parents who say their kids are doing pretty well on the diet they are eating until I ask about any symptoms they might have.  We then discover that, well, they do have a little diarrhea, a few patches of eczema, they wet their bed most nights although they are 10 and their ability to concentrate at school is a problem.  Because the thought of making a change in their diet feels difficult, many parents minimize their child’s symptoms and simply carry on feeding them what they are asking for.  Change is difficult for us all.

One of the things that helps me stay on track is to read the compelling science behind a particular way of eating.  There is increasing evidence that a way of eating that follows the principles of the Paleo diet works well for most of us.  It is, in fact, the diets that are high in refined carbohydrates that result in wide blood sugar fluctuations that are the cause for many of our ailments.  Even for children, a diet that focuses primarily on high fibre vegetables and fruits with some nuts and healthy, grass fed meat, is the best way to eat.  It is the large amount of sugar, including fructose, that is the cause of the obesity epidemic we are now seeing in our children.  Kids can usually tolerate some healthy, organic, gluten free, high fibre carbs such a quinoa and steel cut oats unless they have a severely leaking gut.  If a gluten and dairy free diet along with lots of healthy meats, nuts, and veggies, doesn’t improve your child’s symptoms. the removal of all grains is usually the next thing to try.

The link below is a resource that offers many different scientific articles on the benefits of the Paleo diet.  Perhaps one of these will help you to decide if this way of eating is worth a try.