Updated July 2020.
There's likely no diet more popular or more contentious than the Paleo diet. This caveman-inspired regimen instructs people to eat only what our Paleolithic ancestors ate: meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables while strenuously avoiding dairy, legumes, and processed foods of any kind.
The thinking behind the diet is that supposedly our digestive systems haven't evolved since the Paleolithic era and thus we should mimic the diet during that time as closely as possible. This justification has since been largely discredited. Scientists point out that since that time, humans have evolved in many ways, including the ability to properly digest dairy.
But just because the science behind the diet isn't totally valid, is the diet bad for you? Many nutritionists say no. Generally, since the main tenets of the diet include lean meats and plenty of fruits and veggies, eating more of these foods is actually good for you. Nutritionists also say the avoidance of processed foods is another healthy objective that can shed unnecessary calories.
That said, avoiding calcium-rich dairy or vitamin-packed legumes may not be beneficial for you in the long run. The best diets are varied ones and it's important to make sure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.
Final verdict? Don't trust any extreme diet that tells you to cut out major food groups that are shown to be beneficial to your health. Instead, do your research and follow a balanced diet that works for you and your family.
Need help creating that diet? Speak with a nutritionist on Amwell now.