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 (1,577 Responses)
  1. air conditioner repair

    I really like this post. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629


    May 30, 2021 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Signature Window Washing

    I am really happy to say it's an interesting post to read . I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629


    May 30, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ellicott City air conditioning services

    I really like this post. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629


    May 30, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Food Truck Repair Shop Near Me


    May 30, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Dale Juliusson

    Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There's a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Many thanks


    May 30, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Truck Repair Shop Near Me

    Can I just say what a comfort to discover an individual who truly understands what they're talking about on the web. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people have to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.


    May 30, 2021 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Trevor Blaskovich



    May 30, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Stickman Supreme Warriors Hack

    Action mobile games are the greatest form of phone action game, and we all understand that. But what if you're stuck on a particular level and can't obtain enough resources to successfully pass it? Therefore if you would like to hack your absolute favorite game and acquire endless resources, you have to try our free cheats that generate limitless coins, diamonds, or whatever resource you need in the game! Once you use our web-based cheats for your preferred action game, nobody will ever beat your high scores ever again. Act right now, use our hack and enjoy your favorite action game with no limits!


    May 30, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Sprinter Van Wrap Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Alignment Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ceramic blow bars

    Manganese steel, additionally called Hadfield steel or mangalloy, is a steel alloy having 12-14 manganese. Distinguished for its high effect toughness as well as resistance to abrasion in its hard state, the steel is typically referred to as the ultimate job setting steel.


    May 31, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mercedes Winnebago Sprinter Repair


    May 31, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jacqueline Fizer



    May 31, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sprinter Van Alignment Shop


    May 31, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ford Van Repair

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own site now 😉


    May 31, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Satellite Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rv Paint


    June 1, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Van Repair

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 1, 2021 at 03:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. ball mill liners

    Chrome layering looks an awful lot like things made from stainless steel But which material is better? Discover the benefits and drawbacks of each.


    June 1, 2021 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv parts and repair near me


    June 1, 2021 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rv Wrap Shop Near Me


    June 1, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Keri Detwiler

    After examine a few of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I actually like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will probably be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my site as properly and let me know what you think.


    June 1, 2021 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv collision repair


    June 1, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. orange cz


    June 1, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Radon

    thanks for sharing!


    June 2, 2021 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. trailer repair shops near me


    June 2, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Janett Point

    Good web site you've got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 2, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. offers vehicle buying and towing service

    However, there is a time for every part to bid "adieu". For this, you'll
    want to do is make a call and schedule an appointment.
    Are you in a dire want of money? You probably have any old or junk automotive that is not
    in use or utterly rubbish, then it's time to contact the
    perfect Junk Car Buyer In Overland Park for getting Cash for automobiles.

    Hassle-free course of and the whole lot will just really feel like an icing on the cake.

    Having a previous automobile, RV, bus or any other car is actually
    a big thing for several people. The joy of shopping for a brand new automobile or any vehicle is indescribable.
    Potential patrons additionally need to do is simply set
    a date, location, and time and there you're; the staff
    of consultants will arrive at your place with free towing providers
    . If yes, then sell your old and discarded
    automobile to one of the best Junk Car Buyer in Overland Park and nearby areas.

    Do you wish to make some fast cash?

    June 2, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Ram High Top Van Repair


    June 2, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Shaneka Santoni


    June 2, 2021 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. steel line pipe size

    Also called carbon steel, this material is among one of the most common choices you'll locate for bearings The 52100 bearing steel is a high carbon, reduced alloy steel which contains chromium. These functions make chrome steel a excellent choice for a lot of basic applications seeking thin section bearings.


    June 2, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Carina Powel


    June 2, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. read this

    Hello! I've been reading your web site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!


    June 2, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 출장안마

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 2, 2021 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. great post to read

    I like the helpful information you supply on your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at again right here regularly. I'm fairly sure I will learn a lot of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the following!


    June 3, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 출장 마사지

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 3, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 출장안마

    There's certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I really like all the points you have made.


    June 3, 2021 at 02:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Turbo Actuator Repair

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely believed you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 3, 2021 at 04:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Blinds Orange County

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!


    June 3, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 2005 Dodge Sprinter 2500 A/C Heater Controls Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Steel pile pipe size

    Various kinds of stainless steel are developed depending on the amount of nickel and also chromium in the alloy. Chrome, brief for chromium,


    June 3, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv solar installation los angeles


    June 3, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. tadalafil liquid

    best research tadalafil tadalafil alcohol tadalafil cost

    June 3, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Digital Marketing Firms


    June 3, 2021 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sprinter Broken Flex Pipe Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. solar panels orange county


    June 3, 2021 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. body work shop near me


    June 3, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. custom rv services


    June 3, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. upholstery orange county


    June 3, 2021 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Leave a Reply to 먹튀검증


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.