While I always like to focus on the positive side of paleo, there are some foods you will have to eliminate when going paleo. Eliminating these harmful foods from your everyday diet will benefit you, inside and outside, and will also leave you with much more energy and vibrancy!
Try giving up these foods for a solid 30 days and see how you feel, then, enjoy them in moderation when your 30 days is up-you will actually begin to realize why you gave them up in the first place!
Grains and gluten: One of the most common errors of our views on nutrition today is the idea that grains are needed in one’s diet. Grains, even if they are whole grains, are nothing but harmful to your gut. You see, grains contain inflammatory lectins that irritate the gut. These lectins scrape at the walls of our intestine and destroy the villi of our gut, causing indigestion, as well as leaky gut in the long run. Leaky gut is a condition where, since the lectins have destroyed the villi in the gut, food particles are able to seep through the walls of the gut and leak out into your blood stream, causing a malabsorption of vitamins and minerals. Yikes! And what’s shocking is that, if you have been eating grains and gluten for quite a while, you most likely have some case of leaky gut…yikes! Eliminating grains such as rice, pasta, bread, flours, corn, cereals etc. is highly recommended, and by eliminating grain and wheat products, you are also eliminating gluten from your diet: double win!
Legumes: Legumes (beans, peas, tofu, soybean products, lentils, and peanuts) have the same gut-irritating properties that grains do. You know the “beans, beans, good for the heart” song? Well, the reason we have that type of reaction to beans is because they are difficult and hard for the stomach to digest, resulting in, well, you know.
Conventional Dairy: Or as Dr. Josh Axe likes to call it “scary dairy,” which it really is! These are the milk and other dairy products you see at your grocery store, and come from cows injected with growth hormones and antibiotics. If the cow eats it or is injected with it, those chemicals and hormones most likely will end up in your milk. Another problem with conventional dairy, even organic dairy products, is the fact that it is highly pasteurized, killing all of the probiotics and enzymes originally found in raw milk. So when people say “you need dairy for vitamin D, and calcium for strong bones,” you most likely are not receiving those things from your conventional dairy because of pasteurization.
Refined Sugar: No shocker here. Refined sugar, commonly known as “white sugar” or sometimes just “sugar” on food labels, is basically pure sugar that has been bleached and refined, hence its white color. Sugar is found in soda, candy, junk foods, bread, etc….it’s everywhere! Refined sugars offer no nutrients and are just a source of empty carbohydrates that are digested quickly in the body, providing a spark of energy at first, but leaves you tired and craving more shortly after consumption.
Artificial sweeteners: Zero-calorie sweeteners such as Splenda, Equal, saccharin, aspartame, etc. are called “artificial sweeteners” for a reason- they are not found in nature; they are made by man, in a factory. If you think diet sodas and “sugar-free” foods are helping your diet, think again. Those products contain one of these artificial sweeteners and can have serious health concerns. They are hard on the body, as well as the metabolism because of the fact that they are basically toxins. While you may be eating less calories when you drink diet soda in place of regular, or use Splenda in your coffee, are you willing to risk your overall health?
Unapproved oils: Soybean, cottonseed, canola, corn, peanut, canola, and vegetable oils are among the most commonly used oils because they are cheap and flavorless. The reason that these oils are cheap to buy is because they are cheap to make. They usually come from GMO sources and are highly refined and heated, resulting in a lack of nutrients, and a high content of Omega-6. A too high ratio of Omega-6 in the body causes inflammation and can result in chronic diseases. These oils are usually dubbed as “healthy” because they lack saturated fats, also known as “the bad, artery clogging fats” by the USDA. We know that healthy saturated fats (grass-fed meats and butter, coconut products, etc.) are healthy sources of fats that are good for the metabolism and DO NOT cause heart disease.
Preservatives and processed “foods”: Chips, candy, frozen foods, you get the idea. Full of preservatives and made in a factory, these “foods” are not really food. Read the labels of everything you eat-if you cannot recognize an ingredient, neither will your body.
Low-fat this, fat free that…: The reputation that fats get from the USDA is sad: fats are not the reason for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, the foods on this list are. When a food is low or non-fat, think “crazy chemical storm.” These types of food require much more processing to derive it from fat, and more processing equals more chemicals, sugar, and preservatives, and less nutrients. Ditch your low-fat frozen meals and fat-free yogurts and JUST EAT REAL FOOD.