It is a confusing time to be alive, especially when it comes to the amount of information and especially misinformation, which is available to us. Every website, trainer, friend or family member has an opinion or advice and it is easy to get caught up in the noise surrounding the Paleo movement.
Let’s set the record straight.
Myth 1: The Paleo diet is just another ‘Low Carbohydrate diet’.
Nope. The Paleo diet is not typically defined as a “low carb diet”. In fact, healthy unprocessed complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, winter squash and fruit are recommended. This is especially relevant to those who lead an active lifestyle and require the carbohydrates as fuel.
Myth 2: Giving up dairy in the Paleo diet means I will not get enough calcium.
Wrong. There are many sources of calcium, which are not from dairy. In fact, in order to consume enough calcium from milk you would have to consume 3 cups of milk per day. Other types of food, which have high levels of calcium include Leafy greens, tinned fish (including the soft fish bone) and nuts. (1)
Did you know that getting 10-15 minutes of direct sunshine 3 times per week is also very important for calcium absorption? Your body receives Vitamin D from the sun, which in turn helps the body absorb the calcium. (2)
Try this Salad for a Calcium kick!
Myth 3:The Paleo diet is all about the Protein, which is bad for your kidneys.
Firstly this could not be further from the truth. The Paleo diet actually advocates for an extremely high vegetable diet (around 60-70%). If you can picture the traditional food pyramid, the Paleo food pyramid has the base consisting of vegetables.
Secondly, various studies have been completed on this topic. The majority of these studies have proven that in fact protein will not damage your kidneys and the only time to restrict protein intake is when you suffer from kidney disease. (3, 4)
Myth 4: Eating too many eggs means my cholesterol will be raised.
This is perhaps the worst dietary myth of all. Ask any parent or grandparent about eating eggs and you will most likely get the reply that you should limit them as they cause high cholesterol. For many years eggs were put into the list of ‘foods to limit’. How wrong we were.
Eggs are perhaps one the healthiest, unprocessed fat and protein combinations around. In addition they are also very affordable and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even an on the run snack. Eggs can be eaten every day AND in abundance. (5) Research has shown that in most cases eating up to 3 eggs per day can actually improve your good cholesterol (HDL) and your bad cholesterol (LDL) will stay the same or change from being small dense LDL particles to large LDL particles. All in all this means a decreased risk of heart disease. (6, 7)
Myth 5: The Paleo diet is expensive to follow.
The Paleo diet may be expensive to follow if we compare it to many convenience foods which are on the market, but buying a frozen pizza or burger from a fast food joint cannot be compared to fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and grass fed beef.
Remember you get what you pay for: Making the change to Paleo can mean that your grocery bill feels a lot higher than it used to be – but your doctors bill now and when you are older will be MUCH less!
Paying more now for incredible unprocessed fresh food means that your energy levels will increase, your mood will be better, you will perform better at work due to cognitive improvements and clarity of thought and your risk of the diseases of lifestyle will be far less.
You might even save money when you are no longer buying sugary soda, bags of unnecessary snacks and unhealthy sweet treats.
Myth 6: I have to give up all my favorite foods; including bread, pancakes and waffles.
Not true. The beauty of being part of the Paleo community is that there are endless resources for making Paleo friendly bread, waffles, cakes and pancakes just to name a few! The existing Paleo community has already done all the hard work in creating and testing the hundreds of recipes available out there.
There are many healthy alternatives to the grains; flours and sugars used in traditional high carb and high sugar foods, which we love to eat.
Try these delicious Paleo Almond flour recipes.
Myth 7: I will have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food.
Well the only change is you might actually have to use your kitchen instead of buying takeaways. Many meals can be made in advance and in bulk and frozen to use when time is scarce. Healthy Paleo meals do not have to be complicated and challenging and there are many meals which simply call for popping a tray in the oven and letting the oven do all the hard work.
Deciding to improve your health is the first step of the journey, putting these Paleo principles into practice can at first be confusing and difficult. If you are having trouble getting started or need a bit more help with the change in lifestyle we are here to help!