Many of you have probably heard about a popular diet known as the Paleo Diet. As a chiropractor in Naperville some of the most commonly asked questions I receive are about nutrition, more specifically diets. The most popular diet for most of our patients at Victory Rehab is the Paleo diet. It is important to take a completely non biased view and discuss all the pros and cons of this diet to determine whether it is right for you. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Paleo diet, here is the rundown.
Followers of the Paleolithic Diet—commonly referred to as the Paleo Diet, the Caveman Diet and Stone Age Diet—adopt an eating plan intended to mimic what hunters and gatherers ate in the Paleolithic period more than 10,000 ago, before the advent of agriculture: whole fruits and vegetables, fish, grass-fed livestock, fungi, roots and nuts. The diet prohibits grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar and all processed foods. The basic premise of the Paleo eating plan—that we should be eating more “real” foods—is easy to support. Having many active patients at Victory Rehab we have seen first hand how popular a diet this has become.
Of course, it is impossible to perfectly mimic a caveman diet—after all, not many of us hunt our own wild game, eat only wildly grown organic foods or grass-fed meats, catch our own fish or spend the entire day running around in search of food especially in the western suburbs like Naperville. The reality is that, in our current food environment, many people would have a hard time completely eliminating the huge amount of widely available processed food items for the long haul.
At first glance, however, the Paleo Diet looks pretty healthy. Who can argue with eating a wholesome diet of foods that you not only know the location of where they were grown or raised but can also understand every word on the ingredient list? In fact, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish and nuts looks remarkably similar to a Mediterranean diet, which a considerable amount of research has identified as among the healthiest diets in the world.
The problem comes with other aspects of the Paleo diet; specifically, an absence of grains and dairy products, and the emphasis on meat. After all, studies have demonstrated the benefits of whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy. And we know that too much red meat is linked to heart disease. Due to the lack of dairy products, calcium and vitamin D intake can be particularly low on this eating plan, which can be harmful to bone health. The diet also tends to be very low in carbohydrates, which could contribute to suboptimal performance for athletes. However, it is worth nothing that a Paleo eating plan can be adapted to avoid nutrient deficiencies or support an active lifestyle, but the average person will likely struggle.
To become one of the best Naperville Chiropractic offices it is important for the physicians at Victory Rehab to look at the bigger picture when treating our patients. If one puzzle piece is missing it can lead to a chronic exacerbation of a problem. If you are having chronic aches and pains, live in the Naperville area, and think nutritional counseling may be of some benefit to you. CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Naperville chiropractors.