Living Paleo and Grain Free- Is it Right for You?

What is the Paleo Diet?Print

The Paleo Diet promotes a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period. It encourages the consumption of organic fruits and vege- tables, grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds, while eliminating foods such as legumes, grains, dairy, potatoes, salt, refined sugar, and other processed foods.

What is Grain Free?

A key component of the Paleo Diet involves eliminating grain products in the diet. This includes all grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and corn in addition to the traditional gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.

You may have heard of people going gluten free, but some people are taking this to a new level by going entirely grain free. What are the perceived benefits?

Is it Right For You?
Advocates of the Paleo Lifestyle and Grain Free Diet feel it may enhance their health. As with any diet, there are pros and cons.

Pros
• Encourages the consumption of many nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds
• Discourages the intake of salt and sugar
• Limits foods you are likely to overindulge in (e.g., chips,
brownies, cookies, etc.)

Cons
• Completely eliminates entire food groups such as grains and dairy, which each provide their own unique nutrients and benefits
• Can be more expensive and labor intensive
• May be more challenging to follow if vegetarian, especially with the exclusion of beans and dairy
Things To Consider If You Go Grain Free
• Convenience – You may need to spend more time planning out your meals and snacks and preparing ingredients or meals. Many grain-based foods are easy to grab on-the-go and need very little to no preparation.
• Nutrients – Whole grains and legumes provide a variety of nutrients, including the B vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber. In addition, it may be a challenge to include enough calcium and Vitamin D in your daily diet without the use of a supplement due to the restriction of dairy. Consulting with a Registered Dietitian may help to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
• Family – Are you cooking for yourself, or feeding a family? If feeding a family, it may be a challenge to find enough variety in available foods to satisfy the whole household.
• Availability – Access to wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, or organic fruits and vegetables is required, and could be an opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with a local food grocer.
Balance Lives offers a nutrition shelf-edge labeling program, which makes it easy for you to quickly identify healthy choices regardless of what diet you follow. When you’re in our store, be on the lookout for our nutrition tags!

Please Note: This information is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace advice from your doctor or
health care provider. For individual recommendations, please consult with a doctor or registered dietitian.

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