As a certified Primal Health Coach and paleo advocate for almost 5 years, I live and breathe the paleo world. That being said, I have my concerns.
There’s one question I see asked over and over again that I believe completely misses the mark of what the paleo movement should be about…
Is _____ paleo compliant?
That’s not the point.
It’s not about strict rules and rigid guidelines. There are many shades of paleo and many definitions. People who start the paleo diet are often confused because there isn’t a consensus on a variety of foods (such as dairy, white potatoes, coffee, etc.). When it comes to diet, many like rigid rules. They want to know what to eat and what not to eat. Unfortunately, biology is a lot more complicated than that.
The reason there’s so much confusion is that the paleo diet is only a concept and isn’t about whether a caveman physically ate something or not. Taking a look at what our ancestors ate provides us instruction on what to eat, it’s not a definitive script. It points us in the right direction as to what is likely to contribute positively to our health and what is likely to be harmful. However, we are all unique individuals with unique biology.
For instance, healthy fats contribute positively to most people’s diets but some individuals have a hard time tolerating them. Dairy can be a great addition for many people but it also wreaks havoc on the health of others. What works for one person might not work for another. We are all different and we should all have our own paleo template to eat by.
Often times people focus so much on the details that they miss the bigger picture. The question shouldn’t be, Is _____ paleo compliant? It should be…
Will _____ contribute to my optimal health?
If it doesn’t contribute to your optimal health, it should be consumed sparingly. The nitpicking and rules get in the way of people achieving their health goals.