Friday, March 22, 2013

Common Misconceptions About Paleo

Not once, but twice this week I was asked "Isn't Paleo just like Atkins?" Which made me realize that I needed to clear up this and some other common misconceptions people have about Paleo.

Is Paleo the same as Atkins?
After I was asked this, I did some research online and found out that A LOT of people think this, and I remembered that I used to kind of think this too!

Here are the similarities:
Both Atkins and Paleo suggest diets that are low in carbs and high in fat/moderate protein.

And here are all of the differences:
-Atkins has a certain number of carbs (in grams) that you should not surpass each day.
-Paleo encourages increasing the intake of whole foods that nourish your body and eliminating the intake of foods that do not. The number of grams of carbs varies depending on your specific needs.
-Atkins allows (and in some cases, encourages) the intake of meal replacement bars, shakes, etc.
-Paleo is strictly non-processed whole foods.
-Paleo does allow carbs just not those from grains or legumes.
-Atkins is a "diet" meaning it is typically geared toward weight loss
-Paleo is modeled after the average paleolithic man's "diet" and is meant for prolonged (life long) practice for overall health improvement--not weight loss.

Note: I've never done Atkins and I've spent the last few days researching and gathering info to gain an understanding of what it is. If any of my Atkins info is off, please let me know! I will fix it.

Is Paleo a No Carb Diet?
There are different kinds of carbs and paleo simply urges you to eliminate the BAD ones and keep the GOOD ones. 

Is Paleo a Raw Food Only Diet?
Not at all!
Who wants to eat bacon raw?? Well if you do, no judgements here...but I like it crispy!

Isn't it Just a New Untested Fad Diet?
No way.

The Paleo diet originally became popular in the 1970's by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin.
It has taken an awful long time to hit the mainstream, but with the help of Loren Cordain's book The Paleo Diet (released in October 2005) it finally began gaining the attention it deserved. 
Now there are even groups of researchers and medical professionals forming to research the use of Paleo not only to treat but cure disease!

Paleo is Too Strict and Expensive!
Stop! wait! no! That's the whole point of this blog you guys! I'm on a college budget and a college schedule and I'm making it work! And it's not even that hard!
As for it being "strict", I can understand that view coming from someone who relies mainly on pasta, bread, tortillas, and cereal. (I was doing that less than two months ago). Those are our staple foods as college students. What the heck will we eat without them??
To that I say, you will discover it as you try it. For my first week I was stumbling blindly into the grocery store grabbing bags of green stuff and handfuls of meat I didn't even know how to cook.
Here's a few things I recently discovered:
-Hearts of romain lettuce...It's bread! Put some tuna on there! Put some egg salad on there! Put anything on there, man! It won't fill you up like the bread so you'll end up eating more of the best part of the sandwich...the stuff in between the slices!
-Cauliflower tortillas?!?! I haven't actually tried this yet, but when I do I will post the recipe. Someone just told me the other day that you can cook it up and flatten it and it tastes just like a tortilla.
-Spaghetti Squash! I had never even heard of this before starting Paleo. It's a $2 squash (depending on the store) that you pop in the oven for a few minutes, and when you pull it out and cut it open...THE INSIDE IS SPAGHETTI. Try it. I dare you.

Well I hope you found that a little helpful!
I'm about to go make some salmon-salad. Its like tuna-salad but AWESOME.

Be well!

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