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Paleo isn’t without its pros: You’re cutting out a ton of processed foodsand the higher protein-to-carb ratio can leave you satisfied with smaller portions, helping with weight loss. But, says Young, “it’s totally not sustainable. Whenever you cut out entire food groups, you’re not going to be able to live with it for a long time.” Plus, she points out, paleo advocates also restrict a lot of healthy plant-based proteins including beans and legumes, some whole grains, and low-fat dairy—all foods that have been shown to help with weight loss.
Ultimately, Young says, paleo dieting can be a good way to jumpstart a more whole-foods approach to your diet and eliminate processed junk food and sugar. Just don’t go caveman crazy. It’s okay—more than that, good for you—to have beans, legumes, whole grains, starches, and some low-fat dairy in your diet.
But even paleo devotees who do achieve the loincloth-ready bodies of their dreams may have other side effects to contend with. For instance:5 CRAZY SIDE EFFECTS OF THE PALEO DIET YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT