Okay, first, let's set the record straight here. It's never the PEOPLE on the Paleo diet that I hate, it's definitely the diet/lifestyle itself. Everyone I've known that has tried or wanted to try the Paleo diet had good intentions. They want to improve their health, lose weight, and have more discipline in what they eat. Those are all GREAT goals to set for oneself! However, this diet is NOT the way to go about accomplishing health, weight loss, or discipline of any kind. In fact, it hurts the body more than it helps.
There do happen to be three things I DO like about the Paleo diet, so for the sake of fair argument, I will list them now:
1. It emphasizes eating a large amount of vegetables, which really is vital to good health.
2. It eliminates dairy products. Let's face it, our bodies have a really hard time digesting dairy, and for a good reason. Is it natural to go up to a cow, goat, sheep, or other mammal and nurse from its udders? I think not.
3. It avoids processed foods. I admit, I have processed (plant-based) foods from time to time, and some of them aren't bad for you. Still, all that salt, processed sugar, and pure fat won't make anything better.
Alright. Now let's get down to the nitty gritty.
10 things I hate about the paleo diet:
1. Villainizing carbohydrates. A HUGE part of the diet industry in our modern age is telling people that carbs make people fat. Yet people can go on a diet of nothing but potatoes for a month or more (yes, it's been done) and actually LOSE weight. If you go to Wikipedia and search "Staple foods" you will see that most of the world is fed on mainly carbs such as grains, corn, and beans. They would starve without them! Yet the western world, who eat more animal products than ever, are heavier and more unhealthy than the people who follow traditional grain-staple diets, such as the traditional Chinese diet which is based on rice and/or potatoes. Carbs are now the staple of my own diet and I've lost over 30 pounds. Still aren't convinced? Watch "Fighting Big Fat Lies With Fad-Free Truth" by Doctor John McDougall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHKxLTH_R5w
2. Restriction of natural sugars. I agree that processed sugar is unnatural, bad for digestion, and causes tooth decay. I avoid it as much as possible. However, the paleo diet suggests that fruit is good to eat only in small portions or not at all. They say that sugar in anything causes weight gain. If you eat cake every day and gain weight, it's the combination of the sugar with animal fat in the butter, milk, or eggs that gives your body too much energy that is must store! 50% carbs/sugar+ 50% fat= added body fat. But when eating a cake, people taste the sweetness of the sugar, not the other ingredients, so that it what they blame. The natural sugars in fruit are WORLDS different than processed sugar. Fruit holds a lot of water, live enzymes, and sugars that boost energy and actually flush out fat and toxins! Plus, when you eat a whole, unprocessed fruit, the fiber helps keep your blood sugar from spiking. I know without a doubt that including a piece of fruit with your meals can aid in healthy weight loss. I eat two to three fruits per day. Ever since I switched to a whole-food plant-based diet, my weight loss took off and my clothes are always getting baggier. Need more info on this? Look up Freelee, the Banana Girl on YouTube. She used to be 40 pounds heavier and had a drug problem, but now she's 100% clean, lean, and feeling better than ever!
3. Oil/fat overload. Saturated fat and trans fat are the kinds of fat responsible for weight gain. Trans fat is found in an animal's body fat, so naturally, eating the meat, milk, or eggs or anything else from an animal will have this kind of fat present, no matter how "lean" the label claims it to be. Saturated fat is also in animal products and is present in all types of cooking oil, especially coconut oil, which everyone is hailing as the healthiest ingredient on the planet. The Paleo diet really emphasises the use of "natural fats" including animal fat (trans fat) and plant fat (saturated fat). In truth, (and I know this from years of fighting with my weight) THE FAT YOU EAT IS THE FAT YOU WEAR. All fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables contain some fat, but usually in very small amounts. This is all we need to consume! For more information on this, watch Doctor Michael Greger's video "Does Coconut Oil Clog Arteries?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZzuPAD0_F8
4. Cholesterol (and a LOT of it). The paleo diet uses this plate visual as a dietary goal:
5. Cruelty toward animals. This one goes without saying. The Paleo diet is all about increasing our animal product intake to make up for the lack we feel for giving up the necessary carbohydrate energy from grains and legumes. For example, here is what a Paleo food pyramid looks like:
In simpler times, people killed and ate animals because they had nothing else for long periods of time, such as during harsh winters or famines. Also, they killed the animals themselves, one at a time, and didn't rely on factories to do it for them. In our modern reality, we are blessed enough to be able to choose whatever foods we want to eat without worry of not having enough. At the grocery store, there are plenty of foods made from fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes to choose from, and they're even cheaper than the meat, dairy, and eggs. Why should more animals have to suffer and die if we don't need them, and their products are making us more unhealthy?
This is a very powerful video exposing the cruelty of the animal product industry: "The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear" by Gary Yourofsky. Remember, WHAT we eat is a personal choice, but WHOM we eat is not.
6. Misinformation about food in the "paleolithic era."Let's be honest, it's a bit hypocritical that those on the diet are not killing/foraging their own food as people would have done in the Paleolithic era. For example, real paleo people would have never eaten ghee, bacon, cow beef, or any fattened up domestic animal. They wouldn't even have had access to olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
Also, archeologists most often shake their heads at any mention of the Paleo diet in that grains have been found multiple times between the teeth of paleolithic skeletons.
Here is what Doctor John McDougall has to say about the Paleo diet and human history:
7. Still high risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. I am no doctor, so I will let real doctors address this one. I would highly suggest watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives." Also, read the book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, or watch his lecture on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOEeTJY5zCM
9. It is completely unrealistic to our modern circumstances and way of life. Grocery-wise, it's far more expensive than any other diet I've heard of. Also, it causes constipation and fatigue after just a short time on the diet. Most people who start the Paleo diet either quit it completely later on or continue it through the week with a few "cheat days" here and there. This is because the human body cannot fully sustain itself on this way of eating. Here is an example of a family who tried the paleo diet for four weeks and regretted it after. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_KAJPOOYN4
10. It is just another way for the diet industry to make more money. Isn't it strange that so many people promoting low carb, high fat, high protein diets are either overweight themselves or end up that way later on? Honestly, I have never found that to be true on a whole food, plant-based diet. I myself am still overweight, but I am also new to the lifestyle and am getting closer to my healthy weight every day without even exercising! (That's just because I'm lazy, but exercise is still very important).
Here is an example Doctor John McDougall gives about fad diets and those who make big money from it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N-Gaw3KIag
So what is the ultimate answer to health? Yes, change your diet, but do it the right way. Cut out ALL animal products, meaning all meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin, etc. Eat the whole foods that come from the earth, meaning all kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.
I truly hope that no one is offended after reading my thoughts on this. My aim is not to hurt feelings, but to help people take control of their health. I hope that this information can help someone else. Take care of yourselves, everyone! <3