Among the many diets that periodically grab headline space and the imaginations of health bloggers, is the Vegan Paleo Diet. So what is this diet – is it something designed to help lose weight, improve health and wellness, or is it just a fad that’s here today gone tomorrow?
The vegan paleo diet refers to diet that places emphasis on eating the way that our Paleolithic ancestors conceivably would have eaten. By Paleolithic, we mean pre-agrarian so there would be no agricultural produce that could be included in this diet: no dairy products but also no grain and no processing and certainly no preservatives and additives.
There seems to be some controversy regarding the Vegan Paleo Diet
According to some this is a contradiction in terms. Our ancestors may have eaten stuff that grew wild; i.e. not cultivated.
This is surely good considering that our ancestors were a lot healthier than us and had none of the “lifestyle diseases” that we have.
But it is also most likely that our ancestors were not vegetarian per se. History has consistently pointed to humans being omnivorous rather than anything else.
There is also the practical difficulty in following both a Paleolithic diet and a vegan diet concurrently. Most of the protein in a vegan diet will typically come from grains but if this is barred then getting adequate protein becomes problematic.
What does a Vegan Paleo Diet consist of?
Based on the modern understanding that humans today eat too much meat and it is mostly meat that is reared on a potent cocktail of antibiotics, growth hormones and other chemicals and that we don’t really need meat nutritionally speaking, the Vegan Paleo Diet eschews meat and eggs and dairy products.
It includes nuts, veggies (preferably raw) and fruit. Some tubers such as sweet potatoes and some plant oils can be included as well. Certainly this sounds like some healthy things to include in the diet.
Possible shortcomings of the Vegan Paleo Diet
There is the obvious problem of nutritional deficiencies resulting from a diet that appears as restricted as this one. After all we have evolved a considerable amount since our Paleolithic ancestors and have been settled, agrarian societies for millennia.
The other thing to keep in mind is that not only did our Paleolithic ancestors eat in a certain way, they also had a very active lifestyle; far more so than ours today. So it wasn’t only their diet but their activity levels that we should be emulating if we are looking to get as fit as them.