4 Parallels between Paleo and Vegan diets
How we choose to nourish ourselves is an intensely personal act, our food choices are expressions of our beliefs, culture, religion or societal norms and more often than not are classified or labelled based on dietary patterns.
In a food culture more subjective to trends than ever before Paleo and Vegan diets tend to be the most prevalent and controversial, both having a ground swell of passionate devotees who are willing to defend their dietary choices with proclaimed expertise and religious zeal.
There are books, documentaries, films and social media all announcing the healing effects for both diets – generally the message is emotionally charged and contains over-simplified and often cherry-picked research used to strengthen their argument or support personal testimonials. This considered both approaches include mainly wholefoods which does lend itself to being more healing, as integrative medicine Doctor Mark Hyman says “If you look at the science, there are a lot of evidence for both. Paleo and Vegan diets are not, in many respects, mutually exclusive”. Let's look at these 4 parallels between the Paleo and Vegan diets.
It’s a lifestyle more than a diet – From the way you choose to move your body to the way you see the world, embracing either of these dietary approaches ensures you embrace the holistic lifestyle each entails. This could include the functional exercises prescribed by Paleo mimicking similar movements to those made by our ancestors or the yin and yang principles embraced by macrobiotic vegans.
Plant-based diets is where it’s at – If both Paleo and Vegans were to represent their diet on a plate similar to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating both would predominantly contain vegetables and plant-based wholefoods. Although Paleo is often portrayed in the media as a high fat, high protein, carnivorous diet modern paleo is definitely based around land and sea vegetables.
Sustainability and the environment are important – Vegans typically have a moral conviction towards animal rights, climate change and human health, including factory farming, animal testing and the use of land resources for animal farming. Although Paleo consume animal products they demand organically raised, grass-fed meat treated and processed humanely and emphasise consuming nose-to-tail and minimal wastage.
Both avoid sugar, dairy and processed foods – Now when I say this I am referring to conscious vegans – not the potato chips for lunch kind. Both diets express their concerns about consuming these types of foods due to their detrimental impacts on our wellbeing, health and environment.
It is important to understand that what works for one individual doesn’t necessarily work for another as we are all biochemically different. How we choose to nourish ourselves is a personal portrayal of our beliefs and shouldn’t be subjected to disparagement because as we just established perhaps our definition of health isn’t as different as it seems.