So many weight loss plans are nothing more than fads and hold on to your seats folks because the most dangerous of the lot is one that many swear by – Paleo.
A recent study conducted at the University of Southern California shows that a Paleo diet is as hazardous as smoking.
The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic era (over 15,000 years ago) humans – hence it’s also called the caveman diet.
Those following the diet consume fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
While Paleo has a lot of healthy food groups like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, not to mention olive oil, it also involves eating way too much meat.
According to a review in U.S. News & World Report, it has about 38 percent of a day's calories coming from protein whereas the recent study defines a “high-protein” diet as deriving a mere 20 percent or more of daily calories from protein.
The study examined more than 6,000 participants aged 50 and older over a period of 18 years.
“Popular diets in many cases have high proteins and low sugars. They may make you lose some weight, but that's not a good diet to increase life span,” it says.
The researchers suspected the diet’s link with cancer and conducted a test that showed mice fed a high-protein diet had greater concentrations of a particular growth hormone in their blood that seemed to encourage tumor growth when they were injected with skin cancer cells.
"When you have a lot of protein, these growth factors go up, and we've shown that they help normal cells become cancer-like cells, and then they help the cells grow," says the study.
The study apart, it is the diet of our human ancestors. Thousands of years ago, their lifestyles greatly differed from ours so there is hardly any merit in the notion that the same eating habits will benefit us.