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Body of Knowledge Episode 1 - Pros and cons of paleo


More and more of us are eating like cavepeople thanks to the growing popularity of the paleo diet.

But is there any evidence that the diet, which is based on the types of food eaten by our Paleolithic ancestors, is good for our health?

From weight loss to its anti-inflammatory properties, the benefits claimed by proponents of the paleo diet are many - but do they stack up scientifically?

One person with some of the answers is nutrition researcher Dr Angela Genoni from ECU's School of Medical and Health Sciences.

She says that while the research into the health impacts of the paleo diet are limited, her own studies and those of others are starting to shed light on some the pros and cons of eating like a caveman.

Pros

  • Lower intake of processed food -  Most processed food contains ingredients that are excluded from the paleo diet.
  • Increased vegetable consumption -  By cutting out food groups like dairy and grains and nuts, people on the paleo diet need to increase consumption of other food groups like vegetables to make up the difference.

Cons

  • Compliance -  A number of studies have found that most people struggle to maintain the paleo diet long term.
  • Gut health -  The paleo diet excludes whole grains and legumes which are a major source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a dietary fibre that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Visit the Bachelor of Health Science course page for more information about studying Nutrition at Edith Cowan University.

Body of Knowledge is Edith Cowan University’s research podcast. Each month it examines a hot topic or burning question through the lens of science.

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