Tag Archives: Nutrient density

The Paleo Diet Digest

The Paleo DietIt seems that every week we learn about a new diet promising to melt the pounds away and do amazing things for our energy level. Each diet brand makes big promises. And we all know someone who adopted a new diet just weeks ago and already swears by it. Maybe you read a news article that claims it is also the best, but a TV show you trust said it will kill you.

How do you know what’s right? How to you choose the best diet?

Well, obviously we have a bias—the name of our website is ThePaleoDiet.com after all. But we’re also not promising any tricks: no quick weight loss solutions, and we’ll never ask you to buy fancy products to fool your body. In fact, if you want to “buy” The Paleo Diet, just go to your local fresh farmer’s market.

We support and promote The Paleo Diet because it is based entirely on science. And all that science can be summed up in one simple premise: The human body evolved over a million years to function optimally on the foods that were available to it at the time. While some of those foods are no longer available, eating as close to our evolutionary diet as possible will keep us healthy, energetic, and strong.

That’s the basic premise of The Paleo Diet, and why we believe it is the best. Following this diet means using the fuel our bodies are designed to use, instead of eating less healthy alternatives and then compensating with supplements or repairing the damage through modern medicine.

If you want to learn more, below are a few links to articles on our website that explain what The Paleo Diet is, and then take a deeper dive into the science supporting the health benefits of eating like our Paleolithic ancestors!


— The Paleo Diet Team

Foods in a Healthy Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet: Designed by Nature, Built by Science

By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.

We just explained, in simple terms, the science supporting the Paleo Diet. For a closer look at that research, and to also learn why The Paleo Diet can help you avoid the many diseases of the metabolic syndrome, check out this great new article by Paleo Diet editor Mark J. Smith.

Getting Started | The Paleo Diet

What Is the Paleo Diet?

By The Paleo Diet Team

For a great overview of The Paleo Diet in just one page, check out our premise page, written by the editorial team.

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet?

What to Eat on the Paleo Diet

By Paul Vandyken

Want to eat foods closer to what our paleolithic ancestors ate? Here’s a quick and easy infographic you can print out and put on your refrigerator to help you choose what you should and shouldn’t eat.

Improve nutrient density by eliminating non-paleo foods graph

Eliminating Non-Paleo Foods Improves Nutrient Density

By Loren Cordain, Ph.D. and Trevor Connor, M.S.

It’s a common myth that by eliminating processed grains The Paleo Diet is low in critical nutrients. In fact, it’s the opposite. This article explains why The Paleo Diet is naturally high in essential nutrients, even when compared to what’s considered a healthy Mediterranean Diet. 

Top Reasons Why You Should Go Paleo

Top Reasons Why You Should Go Paleo

By Jane Dizon

This simple but powerful infographic by Jane Dizon covers, in clear terms, some of the key reasons why you should consider trying The Paleo Diet.

Bill Nye's myths

Bill Nye – The Science Guy?

By Trevor Connor, M.S.

On his popular Netflix show, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” addressed the Paleo Diet—and he didn’t give it a very positive review. He explained why he felt it is not a healthy diet. However, as Paleo Diet writer Trevor Connor points out in this article, Bill Nye—yes, the Science Guy—didn’t understand the science. When his arguments are confronted with the real science, a very different story is told.

Debunking the Biggest Myths

Debunking the Biggest Myths About the Paleo Diet

By Jane Dizon

Because The Paleo Diet is based on science, it is always evolving, as new research is conducted. So, we’re always excited to read new findings, even when they contradict what we’ve been saying. However, there have been several common arguments against The Paleo Diet which are based on myth. This infographic by Jane Dizon covers some of the biggest myths.


More Coming Throughout December and January!

We have many more articles on the website that explain the basics of The Paleo Diet, how to begin the diet, tips for eating healthier and losing weight, and most importantly, how it will benefit your health. With all of this content, plus hundreds of delicious recipes, sometimes it can be challenging to find just the article you are looking for.

So, over the next month, we will continue to publish digests like this one in which our editorial team selects some of our favorite articles, along with some simple, fundamental pieces.

If you enjoyed this digest, keep checking our website every few days—there are more to come.

As always, our team appreciates your support for The Paleo Diet. We look forward to and encourage your feedback on our website and Facebook

Thank you,
The Paleo Diet Team

Foods in a Healthy Paleo DietUnless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you will likely have heard of The Paleo Diet®, Paleolithic nutrition, or the huntergatherer diet to describe a way of eating that mimics the diet of our ancestral past.  

The basic argument for following this way of eating is that, for the majority of humanity’s time on this earth, this is how we ate, and it subsequently shaped our geneticsThis is particularly the case in terms of how we, as humans, respond to the foods we eat, to the prevention of disease, and the vitality of our species.  

While there has been a massive change in the food supplystarting with the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, then, the advent of dairy farming 5,000 years ago, and the more recent industrial revolutionour genetic makeup has not kept pace with these accelerated changes in our food supply. While humans do adapt, as in the case of some recent genetic mutations such as the adult lactase persistence (ALP) gene, these changes take place extremely slowly, resulting in an incongruence between our physiology and the foods eaten on a typical modern diet in the Western world. 

While this argument holds considerable weight, there are thoseparticularly in the field of epigenetics (the study of heritable phenotype changes that do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence)that argue humans can genetically adapt relatively quickly to the addition of new foods into our food supply. While adaptation could occur in a number of ways, the most likely adaptation would be an improvement in the tolerance to dietary anti-nutrients such as gluten, a dietary lectin, or glyco-protein that is resistant to the proteolytic enzymes in our gut that can cause short-term inflammation or, more concerningauto-immune responses if it finds its way into the blood stream.  

The foods that constitute a modern Paleo Diet contain few of these problematic dietary lectins and other anti-nutrients. And, while some individuals may adapt to tolerate these anti-nutrients, there is no benefit to their consumption. Consequently, reducing or eliminating their consumption makes physiological sense 

A far less likely adaptation, however, would be the ability to tolerate a decrease in the consumption of essential vitamins and mineralsThe more nutrient-dense a food is, the less we need to eat to get our daily nutrient requirementsThis, in turn, reduces the likelihood of unnecessary caloric over-consumptionSo, the assessment of nutrient density of a diet is a very useful way to assess the viability of a particular dietary plan.  

Individuals and organizations looking to criticize The Paleo Diet typically state that eliminating certain food types (grains, legumes, starchy tubers, and dairy) would lead to nutrient deficiencies. This is an ignorant position to take given that it is so easy to assess the nutrient density of any diet. In the early 1990’s, when we first recommended the Paleo Diet to help auto-immune patients by eliminating high lectin-containing foods, we asked this same question. We wanted to be sure that doing so did not lead to any nutrient deficiencies. Not only did we discover that this did not occur, we also learned that following the Paleo Diet improved the nutrient content of the most deficient vitamins and minerals in a typical Western diet.  

We have created a table of the nutrient density for the twelve most common mineral and vitamin insufficiency in the U.S. diet. This table can be used to analyze any diet for its nutrient density; and we have compared The Paleo Diet to both an American Heart Association recommended diet and the Mediterranean diet. The Paleo Diet was significantly more nutrient dense than the other two diets. So, when anyone attempts to criticize The Paleo Diet for creating nutrient deficiencies, you can be assured that they are wrong. 

A high glycemic load is another problem with many foods commonly consumed in the United States and other western countriesThis abnormally elevates blood sugar levels. The increased consumption of these types of foods has led to a problematic physiological state termed metabolic syndrome in which insulin sensitivity worsens, leading to chronically elevated insulin levels. Poor dietary habits have now caused this syndrome in as much as a third of U.S. adults. The syndrome consists of a multitude of conditions that, together, increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes. They include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. The low glycemic load and high fiber intake of the foods consumed on The Paleo Diet prevent and even reverse this increasingly problematic health issue.

Critics of The Paleo Diet also like to claim there is little research supporting these recommendations. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dr. Cordain referenced over 900 sources in writing his book, The Paleo Answer, with only a handful not coming from peer-reviewed journal articles. These references combine research that supports the benefits of consuming foods included on The Paleo Diet, as well as the negative consequences of foods not on The Paleo Diet. And as the research continues to grow in volume, we share significant papers at the website. Further, as the popularity of the diet has grown, more and more experimental studies have now been conducted to examine the effects of adopting a Paleolithic way of eating. We stay up to date with these studies and keep a list that you can access to follow this research.

If you want to learn more, the articles and information at our website provide a resource for you to discover why following The Paleo Diet will help you to control your blood sugar levels, avoid the conditions comprising metabolic syndrome, provide foods that are very nutrient-dense, help to avoid caloric over-consumption, and decrease the anti-nutrient load that can lead to inflammation and potential auto-immune conditions. We can confidently state that no other way of eating can do this better than The Paleo Diet   

The Paleo Diet Team is here to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle; we invite you to interact with us via our website or social media platforms to help answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, here’s a good place to start. 

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