Vitamins And Supplements You Should Take When Following The Paleo Diet

When it comes to dieting, there are a number of different options to choose from. Some diet plans focus on limiting carbohydrates, like the keto diet or the South Beach diet. Other plans simply focus on balancing healthier foods and creating a daily calorie deficit. One popular diet plan that is often used by individuals to achieve weight loss goals is the paleo diet. The Mayo Clinic explains that the paleo diet focuses on consuming only foods that would have been readily available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The paleo diet is also commonly referred to as the paleolithic diet, hunter-gatherer diet, stone age diet, or the caveman diet.

The diet plan includes eating fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, wild game or lean meats, fish, eggs, and naturally occurring oils. Things not allowed on the paleo diet include any type of processed or refined foods like cookies or cakes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, dairy, grains, legumes, or added salt or sugar (via Mayo Clinic). Like many other diet plans, there are variations of the paleo diet with modifications to make allowances for special circumstances. Healthline explains that some modifications like grass-fed butter or gluten-free grains have been added to provide a fuller diet plan.

But what are the benefits and risks of eating like a caveman?

Benefits and risks of eating Paleo

The paleo diet focuses on eating natural, whole foods that were sought after for their accessibility and seasonal presence. Unlike foods produced by farming, foods on the paleo diet tend to be healthier as they are not processed or refined (via Mayo Clinic). In addition, there is a higher potential for calorie deficit as both dairy and grains are eliminated from paleo eating plans. Some of the benefits of eating like a caveman can include weight loss and improved heart health, Healthline explains. Additional benefits from the paleo diet can be an improved control over the body's glucose production, better cholesterol levels, and improved blood pressure, according to Forbes.

While most paleo plans frown upon the inclusion of white potatoes, some variations include consuming sweet potatoes or winter squashes. Though the paleo diet is not one that is designed as a lowered carbohydrate meal plan, the limited starchy vegetables approved for paleo eating make it an indirect low-carb diet, according to Men's Health. However, while the paleo diet can be great for helping you to get better control of your weight and overall health, there is some concern regarding the diet's deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals.

Supplements to focus on

One of the primary concerns when it comes to deficiencies created by the paleo diet comes from the removal of dairy products. According to Men's Health, without dairy, the paleo diet creates an increased risk for having too little calcium and vitamin D. Another concern is that without grains, the paleo diet can create a deficiency in fiber, leading to constipation (via Men's Health). Centrum explains that the Paolo diet can also lead to lowered B vitamins in the body, which are typically obtained when individuals eat grains like rice.

For those who are looking to adopt the paleo diet plan, you may want to consider adding some vitamins and supplements to help your body receive the right nutrients. Centrum suggests adding calcium and vitamin D supplements to your diet to help replace nutrients no longer obtained from eating dairy products like milk and cheese. Additionally, B vitamins, like B-1 are recommended to help the body process carbohydrates and fats.

Nutrascience labs suggests incorporating prebiotics as well, to help with digestion and gut health as many foods with naturally occurring probiotics and prebiotics are not permitted while on the paleo diet plan.

Before starting any supplement regimen, it's important to discuss them with your doctor first.