I've been thinking a lot about my diet recently, and I'm getting a little worried that being fully Paleo maybe isn't the healthiest choice I can make. After speaking to several health experts recently, and reading up on the latest government recommendations, I've started to get really worried about how healthy my Paleo diet really is. Despite my blog being all about the Paleo diet, it's only fair that I'm honest with you and share my concerns and fears.
I'm concerned that I'm not getting enough calcium, fibre or carbohydrates. I've also started to get really worried about how much more fat I've been consuming, especially when compared to what the government recommend. I'm suspecting I'm eating way too much fat, and probably more meat and eggs than I should as well. I've read several times this week that it's dangerous to eat more than one egg a day, especially if you eat the yolk. Something has got to change…
In fact, I'm considering if Paleo is a healthy choice altogether. I've been pondering whether there are a lot of very healthy, nutritious foods that I'm excluding from my diet by continuing to be Paleo. I'm going to initially work on reintroducing the following foods, in the hope I start to feel even more healthy, before committing to a really healthy low fat diet for a month. Here are the seven foods I'm going to start eating again, starting today. I'll be reporting back on my progress and would love to hear your thoughts on the new additions to my modified paleo diet.
With my new found concerns about cholesterol and eating high fat, the first, and most obvious decision for me to make was to swap coconut nut oil and grass fed ghee for heart healthy margarine. I'm going to try to find an organic margarine, and make sure I choose a brand that is heart healthy. This was a hard decision to make, but I'm becoming convinced a very healthy one – as margarine is much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which means I’m much less likely to get heart disease. Carrots drenched in margarine doesn't sound as appealing as butter, but I'll just have to get used to it for the good of my health.
Have you seen the saturated fat content of butter, lard, ghee and coconut oil? I’m going to throw away my olive oil and swap it with healthy vegetable oil. This should also help keep my cholesterol levels low as it's low in saturated fat. Also it's vegetable oil, so will help me get towards my five a day.
I've also been reading a lot about how badly meat clogs up your arteries and is really hard to digest, so I'm planning to start with meatless Monday's and reduce my meat consumption dramatically. I’ve decided to replace my organic, grass fed ground beef with healthy vegan Quorn mince. It’s made from rehydrated mycoprotein extracted from the fungus ‘Fusarium Venenatum.’ I'm not really sure what that is, but Quorn is really low in fat and has no unhealthy animal fats, so it is obviously very healthy. I've also discovered that Quorn make healthy, meat free bacon slices and chicken fillets too. So really, I'm not even going to notice I've gone meat free.
I've been having very little dairy in my paleo diet – and despite my recent body scan showing I have an excellent bone density, I clearly must be highly deficient in calcium. I've just bought my first bottle of soy milk, so I'll be making sure I drink a lot of this each day, as well as skim milk to give my calcium levels a big boost. I must be honest, I opened the bottle and it did not smell good, but if I add some hot chocolate to it, it should hopefully take away the taste.
Whole grain cereal
There are so many revolutionary new whole grain cereals out there now, compared to when I started eating Paleo. I've even found a special range specifically designed to promote heart health, which makes me question if I'm right to continue to start the day with a high fat meal? These technologically advanced cereals do seem to be an easy way to start the day, providing lots of healthy carbohydrates for energy. The one I'm looking forward to trying the most is Kellogg’s Special K Multi Grain – it contains FOUR different types of healthy grains and is almost fat free. I’ll make sure I have it with soy or skim milk.
Coca Cola Zero
Pretty much all I've been drinking for the last few years has been water and tea. I've hear it's bad to omit variety which has been concerning me. I haven’t had a can of Coca Cola in so long because I'd convinced myself it was unhealthy, but they now make a version with no sugar at all. Who knows what it is sweetened with, but I can’t wait to try one again. The people in the TV adverts always look positively glowing with health and I'm quite keen to have some of what they're having. It’s got no sugar, so it must be healthy, as we all know how bad sugar is for us.
Low Fat Snack Bars
In case I do get hungry between meals (which I'm sure I won’t, as all of the carbohydrates I’ll be eating with provide me with lots of energy) I’ll make an effort to reach for a low fat snack bar rather than a cholesterol-loaded hard boiled egg, home made jerky, or a handful of nuts as I have been doing. There are so many different flavours these days, and a lot of them are healthy whole grain. Some even are fruit flavoured, which will help me get to my five a day.
Since I've made this decision I've realised a lot of these foods don't need to be kept in the fridge and don't seem to go off – so this is going to make life so much easier for me – another benefit to adapting my diet.
Are there any healthy non Paleo foods that you are going to add back to your diet? Let me know what you've added back and why in the comments below.