Despite its name, the Paleo diet is a specific nutrition strategy, not a diet. Which foods are permitted? And what are the benefits and disadvantages? Find out here.
The Paleo diet is often described as “stone age nutrition”. This is because it is based on nutrition methods from the Paleolithic era. The only foods allowed are those that already existed at this time.
In the Helsana Coach app, you can find lots of recipes suitable for the Paleo diet. Simply filter for “Paleo” under the special diet section. For example, you can try our colourful vegetable stir-fry or strawberry and spinach salad.
Junk food and other heavily processed foods aren’t an option. This reduces the number of empty calories – calories that don’t provide real benefits to your body.
People on the Paleo diet don’t need to count calories or go hungry, as restrictions are based on food groups rather than calories.
The Paleo diet is filling, which means it can prevent you from becoming overweight. This type of nutrition can also help patients with type 2 diabetes improve their blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Choosing the Paleo diet means significantly changing your eating habits – something that takes time and can be difficult to implement. High-quality meat, vegetables and fruit are also expensive.
The Paleo diet contains a lot of protein-rich foods. Over a longer period of time, high protein consumption can lead to health problems such as gout, kidney stones and arteriosclerosis.
Hunters and gatherers had a very active lifestyle, which means they burned a lot of calories. This was reflected in their diet. However, if you work in an office and spend most of your day sitting down, you’ll burn far fewer calories – which means you don’t need to consume so many either.
The high level of meat consumption in the Paleo diet is also not ideal. It’s better to ensure that you’re eating enough vegetables and nuts, or to include whole grains from time to time, even if they’re not on the “permitted” list. This approach is more environmentally sustainable and ensures you’re getting all the nutrients you need.
Our health consultation advisors are happy to help you. We can offer you information and tips on balanced nutrition and controlling your weight
The Paleo diet isn’t actually a diet. The term describes a particular nutrition strategy that is usually implemented over the long term.
If you choose to follow Paleo nutrition, you’ll get most of your sugar from fruit and vegetables, and your meals will no longer be accompanied by carbohydrates. However, this type of nutrition won’t automatically lead to weight loss. For that, you need to achieve a calorie deficit. Regular exercise should therefore be part of your plan – after all, it also offers additional health benefits.
Eliane Wyss (medical assistant, nutrition coach) works as a Health Consultation Advisor at Helsana. She is committed to providing health advice to our customers. Eliane provided the editorial team with advice and input for this article.