Paleo Diet Critics – Do They Have a Point?


Like any other eating plan or ‘diet’, the Paleo eating plan certainly has its fair share of critics, especially recently. As someone who follows the plan, and does advocate that others at least give it a try, I feel like I have to address some of the biggest of those criticisms. However, I want to do so in a rational manner rather than just railing that I am right and those criticizing my choice are wrong. So I am going to take several what are actually fairly valid critical observations and offer a sensible retort:

There Was No One ‘Paleo’ Diet

One of the Paleo diets biggest critics, author Micheal Pollan has said that anyone who claims to really know what Paleolithic man at is ‘blowing smoke’. And he is absolutely right. For a start geographical differences would have made a huge difference to the food stuffs available to the ‘cavemen’.

However not only has archaeology and sheer common sense given us some big clues but so have the far more recent diets of peoples who, until they were introduced to industrialized foods maintained some very healthy diets without ever knowing they were doing so.

For example, traditionally Australian Aborigines have followed a diet that consists almost completely of  self-caught meats and local plants, both of which vary according to whether the person lived in lush subtropical coastal areas or the harsher desert in the center of the country.

There are also those who say that a real Paleo diet is impossible to follow as many of the recourse that the caveman had are no longer around. And again, this is true. None of us are going to go out every day and hunt our own dinner or forage the bushes for berries. The best we can hope for is to approximate as best we can, opting for organically grown veggies and meats and avoiding the foods that were completely man’s invention instead of Mother Nature’s.

The Paleo Diet is Too Hard and Too Expensive

You bet its hard!  If you have grown up in a fast food, processed food, throw dinner in the microwave culture, as most of us have changing all of that in such a radical way is hard. To follow the Paleo diet you have to cook – really cook – and you have to change the way you shop. It is a big commitment, as there is no doubt that, for example, buying grass fed beef will be more expensive because organic farmers do not relieve the big government subsidies that the large ‘corporate’ farmers do so have no choice but to price their wares higher.

Learning to be ‘clever’ with the ingredients you use to prepare meals helps negate some of those extra costs though. For example, remember the $3 you used to spend on a big bag of chips? $3 should get you a good amount of kale instead, which you can cook both as a great side dish for dinner and as kale chips if you are really missing those packaged chips (which you probably are)

In the end the Paleo diet is no magic bullet and there are no guarantees. You can still overeat on Paleo and it may not solve all of your health problems. However, from my own experience I can say that you will feel better and eating will become fun again instead of just a chore, which does make giving the whole idea a shot well worth the effort.

Jennifer Smith is nutrition trainer and beauty blogger who has a special interest in paleo diet, healthy lifestyle and short haircuts (visit my site

Jennifer Smith
I have been interested in alternative health and optimum diet for years now, since I was in my teens. As a woman also fascinated by fashion and hair health (visit my site I began researching various diets a few years ago and happened upon the concept of Paleo eating. Personally since beginning the plan, which allows for no processed foods, I feel much better in myself. Many people do think however that Paleo is boring and too restrictive so I write about the interesting and tasty side of paleo eating as well as all of the positive benefits it offers for your overall body, hair, skin and nails.