September 9th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Is the Paleo diet healthy?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Courtney L. from Pittsburgh:

I am obese and have been working on losing weight for three years. I have been working with nutritionists and personal trainers instead of fad dieting. On the Web, I stumbled upon the Paleolithic (Paleo) diet. Is this lifestyle change beneficial despite the promotion of saturated fats and cholesterol?

Expert answer

Hi, Courtney. I applaud you for staying away from fad diets in an attempt to lose weight. Most fad diets are simply not sustainable long term, which leads to weight regain, and their impact on overall health has not been established.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the Paleo diet falls into the fad diet category.

While there are many different versions of the diet with slightly different rules, the general principle of the diet involves eating foods that can be hunted and fished (meat, seafood - grass-fed, wild and organic are encouraged) or gathered (eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables and herbs).

Dairy, legumes, salt, grains, refined sugar, processed oils, potatoes (including sweet potatoes) and alcohol are excluded from the diet.

Basically, this is a high-protein, relatively low-carb diet. The positive aspects of this diet are that it eliminates processed foods, a major source of added sugar, salt and fat in the American diet.

The diet also eliminates sugar and refined grains, both of which contribute to obesity and diabetes and can lead to increases in dangerous belly fat, which has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

In addition, the diet encourages a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts (except peanuts, which are legumes) and seeds, all of which are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

The cons are:

1. The diet eliminates dairy, an affordable and widely available source of bone-building calcium (and vitamin D when dairy foods are fortified) and protein (yes, calcium can be obtained from greens and other foods, but it is more challenging to consume adequate amounts.)

2. The diet eliminates all grains, including whole grains, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and heart healthy fiber, and foods such as beans, peanuts and sweet potatoes, all of which have numerous health-promoting qualities.

3. The diet is high in animal protein, which could lead to an excess intake of saturated fat, resulting in elevated cholesterol levels, an increased risk of heart disease and increased risk of certain types of cancer.

4. Finally, the diet can be expensive (grass-fed, organic meats and eggs are more expensive) and inconvenient due to the limitation of food choices, both of which make this diet less practical for the average person long term.

Overall, I would steer clear of the Paleo diet, but we can take away something from our ancestors by eating foods closer to their natural state (less processed), which are more nutrient-dense and digested more slowly by the body. In most cases, they lead to better hunger control, more stable blood sugar levels and weight loss if calories are reduced and exercise is increased (as it sounds like they are in your case).

Got a question for our experts? Submit it here and make sure to follow Dr. Melina Jampolis on Twitter.

soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. kristin

    Kind of a moot point because everyone here already agrees, but my fiance and I have been on paleo but with some dairy for a long time and we both lost all our belly fat and no longer feel that craving for sugar after every meal. I also recently had a routine blood panel done and my LDL is down 30 points (it wasn't high before, but now it's 70) and my HDL is in the ideal range. My triglycerides are also really low, and everything else is "normal." However, most of our protein comes from fish including a lot of salmon, and poultry. We try not to eat too much steak.

    On a broader note, my fiance is also a young physician (early 30s) and confirms that in med school students are still being fed (no pun intended) the same old misguided lines about the food pyramid, whole grains etc. However, having read the evidence – and by that I mean journal articles on students – and really just thought about this critically, he agrees that there is no nutritional benefit to any kind of grains or beans that one can't find in fruits, veggies, and animal proteins. This is just indisputable fact. Fruits and many veggies are extremely high in fiber.

    The doctor who wrote this article obviously has a direct financial interest in disproving the benefits of paleo. Frankly, I also am surprised that CNN would tap her for this Q&A. What a dud. You can see how she is obviously grasping at straws, too, in her note that paleo is too expensive (which it is not, necessarily). If they use her again after this that just entirely discredits CNN's health section.

    September 11, 2011 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paulwisc

      You obviously have a direct emotional interest in proving the benefits of paleo. Your need to accuse the doctor here of financial interest based on no facts whatsoever shows that your thinking is not rational on the subject.

      Good that you've benefited from the diet, but get back to us in a couple of years. You'll probably need another fad diet by then while the doctor will still be a doctor.

      September 12, 2011 at 03:22 | Report abuse |
    • Hannah

      Couldn't agree more. Since discovering that I have diabetes, this way of eating has changed everything. No sugar, caffeine, or cola cravings, plenty of fiber (if you catch my drift), and tons of energy that I never had so that I enjoy exercising. Bye bye belly fat. I stick with eggs, chicken, turkey, some fish (not really my thing), and nut butters (yummy) for protein. Then lots of veggies (raw and steamed), sour berries, other fruits, and a daily fruit smoothie that contains a liquid multiple vitamin to round things out. Never felt better.

      September 12, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • la

      Right on – I have been following the Primal Blueprint and have never felt better in my life. People who have been following this lifestyle for years have shown lower cholesterol, zero instances of acid reflux, bloating, skin irritations, allergies, and even a lessening to complete absence of prior mental health conditions. When I read the part that listed the diet being too expensive I wanted to laugh out loud.

      There is a reason that the majority of obese, unhealthy people reside from low income families. Because all the cheap foods are over-processed crap. The SAD (Standard American Diet) is killing us all.

      September 12, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Lute Nikoley

      Why would anyone in their right mind go to CNN and their pharma and agri stooges for any kind of diet information?

      September 13, 2011 at 02:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      I'll agree speculations r.e. Dr. Jampolis' motivation are without foundation. OTOH, years before "Paleo" became popular, there was Dr. James Braly, M.D., whose "Dangerous Grains" (Avery 2002) should give pause to those who might otherwise give blanket recommendation to grain and dairy. Myself, I eat red meat maybe once a year in moderation. Otherwise my animal protein comes from fish and fowl.

      September 24, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • teresa


      October 17, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse |
  2. John

    There is much more to the life style change represented by this supposed fad diet than the good doctor is willing to admit. In my opinion her thinking is out of date and she has no first had expeience with the program. If you are serious about outside change than follow the ideas of paleo eating. Make it simple to start and simply eliminate ALL sugar from your diet for the next 120 days. Do this faithfully and you will see and feel a change. This one simple step can be the beginning of profound outward changes. Try it for yourself and see if it isn't true.

    September 11, 2011 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • la

      After experimenting with this way of life for just 4 days I had the most intense, splitting headaches. I realized I was going through sugar and carb withdrawal. What kind of healthy food gives a person withdrawal when going through it?

      After day 4 I felt fantastic and haven't looked back. I have more energy and the pounds are coming off with no exercise which I will be incorporating next.

      This information would certainly put a strain on the stock reports of Nabisco and Kraft.

      September 12, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • modern age person

      Then why not cut out refined sugars instead of fad? Dont even have to call it a diet then.

      February 14, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Hey Kristin:

    Nice post! And I agree with you 100%. There is just too much research to ignore the benefits of an ancestral type diet. Much of which goes against conventional thinking......"med school education....is a kin to shooting a fire hose down your throat" Dr Doug McGuff."

    September 11, 2011 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. David


    September 11, 2011 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. David

    Is a Doctors Advice Healthy? That should be the real question.

    September 11, 2011 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Gina

    With so many effective weight loss programs echoing the same basic idea, I'm surprised at this physician's advice. I began a low carb program January 1st of this year, and have lost just over 40 lbs. My cholesterol dropped from 216 to 173, and my triglycerides cut themselves in half.

    We've been sold a bill of goods for far too long with regard to grains. Think about it–what would happen in this country if everyone began eating this way? Companies like Pillsbury, Quaker, General Mills, Kellogs, along with the grain growers would go under. I can't help but believe that when this research first began to surface in the 70's, the groups with a financial stake in how we eat began hiring some serious lobbyists. That food pyramid with 13 servings of grains at the bottom was always a farce.

    September 11, 2011 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob-of-Indy

      When this low fat "fad" started in the late 60s / early 70s, it was a bunch of fat people sitting around wondering how they could eat more food. Carbs and protien each have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9. Eat less fat; eat more food! Then the animal rights folks got on board. Less fat means fewer animals killed. Eat less fat! Then the government got involved. Be healthy; eat less fat! From there, America got fat. I guess the plan worked.

      Here's a quote from one of the low carb books... How do you fatten cattle? Feed them sweetened corn and soy. How do you fatten Americans? Feed them bagels, cereal, and pasta (sweetened grains) and tell them its "healthy".

      September 13, 2011 at 01:34 | Report abuse |
  7. Ty

    wow "Doc"...sounds like a bunch of excuses to me. I know countless people on this diet who have had MAJOR success, including myself, and not only do we look better but FEEL better.

    My guess is you are afraid to take a leap...lets just stay conventional, and keep doing the same S*#t that doesnt work...

    The food pyramid is a joke..Join the reveloution and give Paleo a shot for yourself. I PROMISE you will not be dissapointed.

    September 11, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lourdes

    Totally agreeing with you Kristin. I've been on Paleo Diet with having the occasional yogurt and I feel great. My last doctor visit was awesome and my doctor was pleased with the significant improvement in my numbers. My stomach doesn't feel yucky and acidic anymore. I find that when I do stray and eat grains, I feel awful. People say Paleo is expensive but there are sooo many people that spend tons of money on junk food.

    September 11, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Eric

    http://Www.marksdailyapple.com look at all the success stories on this type of diet. Also remember that diet is a lifestyle, not something you do to loose weight and then return to your previous normal.

    September 12, 2011 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anna Johnson

      I love Mark's Daily Apple. Always inspiring and motivating ... and a good reminder of why I choose to eat the way I do. Great recommend. Hopefully Courtney will take Mark's advice over Dr. Melina's!

      September 12, 2011 at 00:28 | Report abuse |
  10. Anna Johnson

    I have my BSN from Johns Hopkins and can attest that the medical field does NOT learn about nor promote what actually works. Look at our country: fat, unhealthy, and depressed. Unfortunately, many doctors and nurses are also overweight and unhealthy. My husband and I eat mostly paleo because we feel better all around when we do. An added bonus is keeping a trimmer waist line. But even if it didn't affect our weight, we have more energy and feel better when we fill our plates with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats. And YES, we eat fat. Look at our "low fat" nation and what has happened over the past 20 years ... more and more weight gain! The author of this article most likely never took a nutrition course (can you believe that basic nutrition is not even a required course in medical school) ... and even if she did, it would have simply spread the "lies" about whole grains being healthy for us. Some basic research on one's own, however, will reveal that fruits and vegetables provide everything that grains do ... in much more concentrated amounts. I highly recommend reading "The Paleo Diet" ... it's a quick read and will change your life.

    September 12, 2011 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob-of-Indy

      Whenever my Dr tells me that I need to eat more carbs to "be healthy", I tell her that my ancestors survived the last ice age by eating critters. All the folks in Europe who had to eat carbs scurried down to what is today Itally and Greece. I don't have any of those in my linage. Just Poles, Slavs, Norse, and Celts. Critter eaters.

      September 13, 2011 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
  11. rcr4624

    Here is the diet that works for me. If you follow this diet you will be successful. EAT LESS MOVE MORE! It always works.

    September 12, 2011 at 06:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob-of-Indy

      Wow! I bet your advice to Alcoholics is "Don't drink" and your advice to Smokers is "Stop lighting them". Ahhh, the simple life.

      September 13, 2011 at 01:41 | Report abuse |
  12. katheryn kenyon

    I've been eating a paleo diet for years. it really works. I look around at all these people that stuff themselves with sugar. Terrible. i don't even like sugar anymore. Sugar is the poison.

    September 12, 2011 at 07:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terrry


      October 2, 2011 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Posted on Give that 50 Billion to build and safeguard our Southern Border. Build the damn wall! We will save that much on not hoisung illegals and spending more taxes on law enforcment to deport illegals and incarcerate criminals, only to have them come back in over and over again!!this just inTHE CARTEL HAVE SEIZED 80 MILES OF Park Land in Arizona and our Federal Government does nothing but tale local law to post signs NOT TO HAVE AMERICAN CITIZENS GO ON AMERICAN LAND! They are giving our Sovereign land to the Drug Cartel! This used to be hiking/ATV fun land I am shocked and apalled and no biased other news stations are reporting it!

      March 4, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
  13. Ron

    Larry and Josh you are not 100% correct either. Many cavemen were killed young from animals, falls but also starvation, poor nutrition. We know this by studies done on their bones. This is why modern man is so much taller than cavemen were. Everything to do with vitamins, nutrition. Cavemen could have benefited greatly from potaotes, dairy, whole grains. There was very little cancer, heart problems, over weight people just a 100 years ago. Why go back 20,000 years? Get out of your caves. Do some real research and balance nature with science. I beleive in some parts to the Paleo diet, but not 100%. Have some dairy, baked potato's, beans, and healty whole grains other than wheat. You read the other side of the story before you draw conclusions. The cave man diet can be perfected with the benefits of science.

    September 11, 2011 at 09:22 | Report abuse |


    Yes Ron, you are wrong. If you remove infant mortality numbers, early man lived much longer than 18, but that's not the core point of your post, is it. You imply, that along with the diet, adherents should follow a caveman's life as well. That's simply asinine. I follow the diet, I'm typing on a computer, and they're not incongruous. This isn't historical reenactment, this is about finding modern foods that cause allergies and other problems in this otherwise modern life.

    September 12, 2011 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 3 Wheel Bikes For Adults

    My guess is that most diets will work to some degree but after quitting the diet you tend to gain back the pounds you lost and sometimes more.

    I think that exercise is key to dropping and keeping off weight. As we get older most of us tend to stop exercising or reduce the amount of exercise we get and that aids in the detoriation of our mental, as well as physical, processes.

    For anyone who wants to gets outdoors and have some fun while getting great exercise as well check out these fun tricycles at http://tricylcesforadults.com.

    September 12, 2011 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shane

      Exercise will make you fit, but that does not always coincide with health. Food will dictate your health, for the most part. It is what fuels every system in your body and essentially becomes part of you. Skinny or "fit" are not the same as healthy. That's why this country is so confused on how to become healthy.

      September 14, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  15. 3 Wheel Bikes For Adults

    Sorry the proper link is http://tricyclesforadultsreviews.com

    September 12, 2011 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. dom625

    The people posting here touting the benefits of this diet are forgetting one thing. The human population is far, far greater today than it was in caveman times. We cannot adequately feed six billion plus people by hunting and foraging. Agriculture has provided us with the means to feed many people and has enabled the population boom of the past two centuries. It is not feasible for the majority of the world to eat like this.

    September 12, 2011 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      Not everyone can afford to drive a car, does that mean I should stop driving?

      September 12, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
    • Amie

      Exactly my point when I tell people to stop touting the benefits of eating Primal/Paleo... we need to just keep quiet about it, more meat for us. Let the carb-addicted get their diseases and die off.

      September 13, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • Caz

      May I just say about 2 years ago I followed a diet similar to Paleo and lost 2 stone. I did it to combat ulcerative colitis, and I did not want to go down the steroid route. I lived my life joined to the loo.The diet combined with a herbs and a loving caring outlook, sorted it for me. I stupidly, when I was better went straight back on my 'usual' diet which I ate for 18 months and came down with all sorts of grinding joints and may have to have an op for my hip. I am back on the 'diet' and while I have on occasions a gluten free porridge, and a small glass of wine (not together) I am trying hard to keep to it. You are right when you say it can cost a bit more and its not for everyone, someone might say I would rather be 'a bit ill' and eat what I want. Well I was a lot ill, and when you are in that state you will try everything. The weight loss was just a side effect of cutting grains (which used to my main food) and I actually dont wish to get too slim ( doesn't suit when you are past a certain age)) Not being a great cook I used to wrack my brains as to what I could eat, but with the cookbooks its a bit easier. I am hoping apart from the cracking joints the high cholestrol will also come down. I did eat a few too many eggs last time, because I could not think of anything else to eat. However today for lunch I ate lettuce, sprouted seeds, a couple of raspberries, chicken and a little goat cheese drizzled with linseed (culinary) and lemon. It was lovely. We can't impose our dietry beliefs on others, but if it appears to work, who would not want everyone who is ill to benefit also. Peace.

      November 8, 2011 at 08:12 | Report abuse |
  17. Aaron

    Dom – overpopulation is different problem entirely. The argument "everyone can't eat this way so nobody should" makes no sense to me. Why should I compromise my health because of what 6 billion other people do?

    September 12, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dom625

      You should eat how you like. I'm not saying that no one should do it. However, there are people posting that *everyone* should eat this way. I was simply pointing out that this is not doable for most people.

      September 12, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
  18. Bryan

    I am not sure this article has been linked here but it is a nice response the the Jampolis anti-paleo advice.


    September 12, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. aseafish

    It always makes me smile when anyone, credentialed or not, says that eating natural, organic food is detremental because of all the processed foods that are left out. Grains and dairy products are far from necessary for survival, nor are they necessary to thrive. A quick look at a milk carton in the dairy case these days is telling. The list of processed ingredients goes on and on; gone are the days of fresh dairy.

    September 12, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. KarenJ

    I've been following this diet since last October and I've lost 20 lbs, and my stomach has never been flatter. I don't eat more protein than I was eating before. You still have to observe reasonable portion sizes. Most of my protein comes from eggs, chicken, fish, beans, nuts and occasionally lean meat. I fill that in with fruits and vegetables. I was eating a traditional low calorie, low fat, diet and couldn't lost weight no matter what I did. If people can eat that way and still lose weight, more power to them, but to completely dismiss a reasonable way of eating as a "fad" is going a bit too far. The fact is that no one ever has known and still doesn't know how to eat for optimal health. Avoiding foods your body doesn't need anyway doesn't seem like it should cause a problem for anyone.

    September 12, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Vic Cherikoff

    The real point here is fact. Here in Australia we have the world's longest living culture, the Aborigines and their prehistory reveals some startling facts. Wild foods were so much more nutritionally dense than our contemporary foods. Government backed research shows high levels of fat and water soluble antioxidants in our wild fruits and herbs. Anti-cancer activity, anti-inflammatory and immune boosting activity is significant. Bioavailability is also high because of micro-sugars and lipoproteins.

    To then put a realistic twist to this academic information, a product called Kakadu Complex has been available for some years and it is based on 11 wild foods and 15 other global 'super foods'. The testimonials and clinical studies are impressive. Blood sugar response controlled. Blood pressure normalized. Arthritic conditions eg gout, controlled. Chronic fatigue gone. Coeliac disease symptoms alleviated. Anti-inflammatory markers in the blood – minimized. The list goes on.

    It is becoming well accepted in knowledgeable circles that around 90% or illnesses have a nutritional basis yet were absent in cultures such as the Australian Aborigines. They are becoming more prevalent today because of our poor quality (by comparison) foods. Our fruits and vegetables are high in sucrose and nutritionally dilute. High fat meats and I won't mention processed foods. We should not be eating potatoes, beans or grains at all because of their anti-nutritional components and toxins yet we need to because we have contracted the number of foods available to us to 1/10th the number of foods available to Aborigines in the tropical north of Australia in traditional times.

    The Paleo diet can be a basis for good nutrition as in prehistoric times protein intake was much higher than we eat today but supplementation is needed with wild foods for the phytonutrients lacking in modern produce.

    September 12, 2011 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. De

    The day this article came out, I attempted to post a response to no avail. Perhaps my response was way too long (longer than the article itself). I'm no scientist, but I'll tend to believe someone who tells me what's what and can cite the research to back it up. As such, Robb Wolf's book "The Paleo Solution" has made more sense than ANYTHING I've tried before. I'm also not one for beleiving testimonials, unless the person is standing in front of me and has first-hand experience in the matter.

    Regardless of what the Dr. says in her article, I wholeheartedly disagree. Let's say I didn't read Robb Wolfe's book... I would STILL disagree, going strictly by what Paleo has done for friends, my wife, and me.

    I think "Courtney L. from Pittsburgh", and all of us, would have been better served by a debate-style article from two or more TRUE experts. I'd recommend Loren Cordain, Ph.D. and Robb Wolfe to provide the counterpoint. I think they would tear people such as Dr. Jampolis apart.

    September 12, 2011 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Rachelle

    Find the book "Wheat Belly" it provides some interesting information about how the wheat we grow has changed in the last 50-100 years and why it's no good for our consumption any longer - causing spikes in blood sugar and all the bad things that go along with that, as well as a variety of other potential maladies and annoying side effects.


    September 13, 2011 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Travis

    I wasn't aware that eating naturally occurring foods and avoiding processed junk is considered a fad diet.

    The problem with many doctors is that they're clueless. They rely on what they were taught in medical school 30 or 40 years ago. Much of the nutritional advice from that long ago is now obsolete. Even current medical schools are teaching outdated information to students who will be the doctors of tomorrow.

    It's time people realized that wheat is not doing them any favors.

    September 13, 2011 at 07:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Dave

    Paleo raised my cholesterol way out of normal range. Be careful with this diet.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amie

      Dave – what part of your cholesterol? And have you read anything lately about how the whole cholesterol thing is a lie? Please do some research about the cholesterol myth and how it's been blown wide open by current studies. And if you're on statins, get off them before they damage you beyond repair. Give this way of eating another chance – you need to be on it for at least six months to see your lipids do wonderful things. My HDL is much higher on this lifestyle, LDL in normal ranges, and triglycerides dropping with every test.

      September 13, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan Schell from PA

      The only way for your cholesterol to get out of control is to missuse the Paleo diet and turn it into an Adkins diet. If your protein is coming strictly from red meat... well, what did you expect? Go eat some chicken. What types of portions were you eating? 100% steak? Ever consider trying a 25% protein / 75% vegetable distribution?

      September 19, 2011 at 01:26 | Report abuse |
  26. Sgirl

    This nutritionist is so misinformed it's not even funny 😦

    September 13, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Ashley

    the doctor is incorrect on two points and should do more precise research: a) eating paleo does NOT exclude peanuts or sweet potatoes, in fact sweet potatoes are a good source of nutrient/carb-dense carbs particularly beneficial post-workouts to naturally replenish expended carbohydrates. b) the increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol, while I do not deny this is a risk, is not central to paleo itself but is a factor on any nutrition regimine which contains alot of red meat. paleo, however, does not just center around beef, and bacon. there are other protein sources it encourages just as often, such as chicken, pork, and seafoods that are low in mercury and high in omega-3. additionally, it is recommended that those who eat a paleo lifestyle – not a "diet" as you like to refer to it – also take maintenance doses of fish oil to offset any increased risk of high cholesterol and other supplements as needed, but a large portion of the natural, non-processed foods paleo encourages are very nutrient-dense as it is. paleo is a way of eating as a lifestyle, not a fad diet, which focuses on elilminating processed foods, sugars, and unnecessary grains which are irritants. this coming from someone who had serious chronic stomach problems for almost 2 years, and in my 4 months of a paleo lifestyle have had zero.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mark Reeves

    As to the overwhelming consensus of the comments above: Ditto.

    September 14, 2011 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Rise Up

    Would you rather spend more on medical bills and medication or spend more on healthy food. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and problems with heart burn at night. I switched to a paleo diet and all my problems went away on top of losing 20lbs. I would highly recommend a paleo diet and joining a crossfit gym.

    September 15, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jonathan Schell from PA

    I started the Crossfit workout regiment and Paleo diet on August 5th, 2011. I am 6'2, weighted 278lbs and had 44 inch waist when I began. Today is September 19th, 2011. I now weigh 251lbs and have a 38 inch waist. My acid reflux is gone and my ungodly levels (50+ times a day) of "process gas" have all but been completely eliminated. I eat what I want (within the Paleo concept), when I want and just about as much as I want.

    I'm about to go see my doctor for a checkup and get some blood work done to see what the direct medical impact has been, but from my perspective, eating Paleo is a sustainable (and delicious) way of life and not a "fad" diet.

    September 19, 2011 at 01:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Chris

    You're "working on" losing weight but you've been obese for 3 years? Hate to be harsh, but you need to understand that the only reason you're still obese is because of your unhealthy habits, namely: eating more calories than you expend. While natural foods are important, the key to losing weight will be setting up a caloric "deficit". If you're obese, cut your intake on food and up your exercise until you're losing about 2 pounds a week. Once you're down to "overweight" levels, slow this to 1 pound a week until you're in a healthy range. I'm not a doctor, just some suggestions that work.

    September 19, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Chef Rick

    Dear Courtney (who posed the original question 'Is a Paleo Diet healthy?'),
    I hope you are encouraged by all this feedback and choose to ignore Dr. Jampoli's advice! Do your own research, read Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution, Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastrysky or Dangerous Grains by James Braly M.D. I also highly recommend for your particular situation Dr. Jack Kruse's website (just Google his name) and read all about Leptin resistance which is most likely blocking your weight loss. You will be very surprised at his recommendations and he is a very Paleo oriented neurosurgeon! Follow his Leptin "prescription" for sixty days and then pure Paleo meals ala Robb Wolf et al. Good luck! Chef Rick

    September 20, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Rob

    Is paleo a "fad" diet. In some ways but so is really any other system that doesn't allow people to eat whatever they want whenever they want with whatever proportion size they want.

    The reality is pretty simple – you either eat properly – or you don't. If you don't you likely will end up fat, unhealthy, and won't look good naked...

    Dairy? No real good reason to consume much dairy (I eat cheese but you gotta watch the calories)
    Grains? What most people consume that says "Whole Grains" are not really "whole grains" they are still highly processed.

    If you want to eat grains there are some choices but they usually aren't found easily at the supermarket.

    So stick to Lean Protein, Veggies, some fruit, nuts, healthy oils and forgo the garbage and processed foods – eat 5 small meals a day – and get some exercise...

    Just doing that will do wonders for your health and how you look when the clothes come off and the real you is standing in front of the mirror.

    September 22, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. K'leen

    The Paleo diet is downright dangerous because it completely ignores one major fact...those humans spent sometimes as many as three days, long distance running after the meat they ate...therefore ...meat was a rare thing in the daily diet and they...like primates who share over 95% of our DNA would have lived primarily on raw gathered food as their primary diet.. .They did not get up off the couch and reach into the fridge so they could eat it three times a day every day....unless you intend to live like a Paleo...don't pretend to be eating like a Paleo.

    September 26, 2011 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • beastwork

      But that's the thing. You don't have to over indulge on the meat. The USDA food pyramid suggests that you have a serving of protein with every meal. If you believe this to be true, you can tailor your personal Paleo diet in the same manner. If you believe that you shouldn't eat meat at all, you can completely eliminate it. People get focused on nit picking the individual aspects of the diet and don't understand the key goal. The key goal is to get people to stop eating processed foods made in laboratories.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse |
  35. Jules

    Actually, sweet potatoes are a staple among many who follow the Paleo diet. Some of us eat high-quality dairy as well; it's a highly individualized lifestyle. It appears this "expert" hasn't done their homework. I'd also like to know what is in whole grains that can't be found in a more nutrient-dense food...

    October 13, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. teresa


    October 17, 2011 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Net

      Wanting to lose weight, I went all aaturnl only fruits, veggies, meats, rice (brown), and occasional cheese and drink only water. I do allow myself salt if I want though I never seem to need much if any and I do allow myself salad dressing w/my salads, though I dip the tip of the fork tines into the dressing before taking a bite, instead of pouring it over the top of the salad. I actually have gotten to the point I can eat a salad w/o dressing at all, but I don't feel I have to, so If I want to have dressing, darn it, I have it! lolI make a lot of home made soups, and fried rice (not fried, more of a rice, meat, and veggie mix) and lots of meats, veggies, and FRUIT! Mmmmm.(though not canned syrup and all ) Once I hit my goal weight in about 5 pounds I am thinking of allowing myself a splurge day though not an all you can eat buffet, but one day a week, to allow myself maybe bread, or spaghetti, or etc since I have NO food allergies that I know of, I feel I can do this though after being free from all junk for so long I wonder if my body will rebel against it once I try to re-introduce some it has been MONTHS since I've had any grains other than rice, or sugars, or ANY chocolate!!! lol It will be interesting to find out.

      March 3, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
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    January 25, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Blair

    You really need to go back to school. And disclose your agenda. Do you know anything about cholesterol? And what about this: "whole grains, which are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and heart healthy fiber..." And what vitamins and minerals are those? A big, beautiful salad contains double the nutritional value and none of the empty calories. You're a fake doc. A quack.

    January 26, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
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