What Is the Paleo Diet?

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., "Ask Brierley: Should I try the Paleo Diet?," May/June 2012

Our nutrition expert reviews the pros and cons of the trendy Paleo diet plan.

"I love and agree with all these comments - a lot of leafy green veggies are an excellent source of both vitamin D and calcium. The writer obviously has a uneducated and bias idea of what the Paleo diet is. To me its also a lifestyle...

I love and agree with all these comments - a lot of leafy green veggies are an excellent source of both vitamin D and calcium. The writer obviously has a uneducated and bias idea of what the Paleo diet is. To me its also a lifestyle that has afforded me to be in the best shape of my life. I love it and never feel like I'm going "without".


12/31/2015 - 2:31pm

"Why are Paleo followers so defensive?"

--It's not defensiveness. It's frustration with the constant stream of misinformation about the Paleo diet, and nutrition in general.


04/27/2015 - 7:19am

why are all paleo followers always so defensive?


05/08/2014 - 2:33pm

I also agree with the previous posters. I wanted to add that diets high in grain consumption may inhibit absorption of calcium (and other minerals) due to phytates present in grains and legumes. Our recommended calcium intakes are related to our consumption of grains. When grains and legumes are removed from the diet, calcium requirements may be lower.


06/03/2013 - 3:10pm

Sounds like the writer did not research enough on the nutrition found in the vegetables and meats on Paleo. Not only have I heard lots of praise from others who do it: dieters and weight lifters alike, but even as a runner I've had nutrition coaches recommend it


06/03/2013 - 10:43am

This is a really bad article about Paleo designed to dissuade any further research or attempt to follow it. I love your recipes but this is really dissapointing. I switched to Paleo earlier this year and I have lost weight, feel better, have more energy and for the first time in my entire life my cholesterol is in the normal range and the HDL/LDL ratio is now a good ratio. It proves that change in diet can affect genetic cholesterol in a positive way. I wish you would have written about it in a more positive light. I did work with my doctor before starting the diet and she is 100% supportive. I will be eating Paleo for the rest of my life and I love it.


06/03/2013 - 10:11am

Actually, the Paleo diet has helped a lot of people lose weight just because Americans are so used to eating SO much wheat all day. They tend to be empty calories, even whole grains.
I actually challenge anyone reading this to try not eating wheat for one week - I lost two pounds when I did this, but the more valuable part was realizing just how much of the American diet IS wheat, just because it's cheap and filling.

Also, I think that saying it is not nutritionally balanced is incorrect. You can get just as much carbs and more from fruit (which you end up eating a lot of.)

Also, for people who are interested in the dairy aspect, there is a large sub-population of the paleo/primal diet who do eat dairy.


06/03/2013 - 10:11am

I concur.

Vitamin D is easily obtained from spending time in the sun without sunscreen. Also fish (especially wild-caught and fatty) is high in Vitamin D. Besides, dairy only has this vitamin because it is FORTIFIED. I'd rather take a supplement.

Secondly, Paleo does not recommend reduced fat. Saturated fat is in fact a highlight of the diet. The key is to eat grass fed animals and coconut oil. Paleo diets are much higher in fat than that recommended by the food guide (mine is around 50% fat).

Third, carbohydrates are FAR lower than that recommended by the food guide. For most individuals, hitting 50% or more calories from simple carbohydrates is common. This increases the likelihood of diabetes and other insulin-related issues. By eating fruits and vegetables it is quite easy to obtain the carbohydrates needed (and I'm an athlete).

Finally, magnesium-rich foods are easy to find. I am always above my RDA without supplementation.


05/01/2013 - 5:27pm

I'm sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong in your assessment of Paleo.. it is completely balanced with everything you need. Calcium rich foods can be found everywhere.


03/21/2013 - 7:55pm

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