The Paleo Diet ditches highly refined and processed foods, in favour of more whole, fresh foods. This, in turn, increases phytochemical, vitamin, mineral and fiber intake.

A new study published by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a Paleolithic Diet verses a high-fiber, low-fat diet significantly reduced more weight in post-menopausal women. Other studies have found that the Paleolithic way of eating shows more promise than a high-fiber, low-fat diet with glucose control for Type 2 diabetes.

The Paleo Diet excludes dairy, grains, legumes and, dare I say, chocolate and beer. The theory behind these exclusions stems from a focus on eating food only availability during the Paleolithic period. Excluded foods such as dairy, grains and legumes still are considered healthy with no strong research findings to show otherwise. If you kept these foods in your diet, try to eat them in their most natural state (such as whole grains).

The bottom line is that the Paleo Diet has a lot of upsides, but remember that everything can be good for you in moderation. Quinoa, a vitamin-rich grain, is still a power food in moderation, as is dark chocolate. Happiness lies in finding that balance by listening to your body’s cues.

Valerie Pampuch, Gundersen Health System