Paleo vs. Vegan

A fiery debate flying around the internet these days is the “Paleo vs. Vegan” argument. Vegans (especially raw vegans) claim that meat and fat cause you to be overweight and unhealthy, while Paleo people insist that it is sugar and carbs that make you fat and unhealthy. These two diets/lifestyles seem to be drastically different from one another, but what hardly anyone seems to be addressing is one incredibly important similarity: both diets preach the importance of eliminating processed foods from their diets.

In the video below, the incredibly popular Youtuber called Freelee the Banana Girl discusses childhood obesity. Although I don’t agree with a few of her points (namely, that you should be eating nearly your weight in fruit per day, and that animal meat is horrible for you), she does have many good points about the causes of childhood obesity and obesity in general. Most children these days are raised to think that processed junk is “food,” while not even being able to recognize actual food (like fruits and vegetables).

Even though raw vegans say that a high-carb diet is the key to health and weight-loss, I’m sure most of them would agree that carbs in the form of highly-processed sugar, like candy bars, is not what they have in mind.

Likewise, people following the Paleo movement will agree that, although they say that fat is extremely beneficial, that fat in the form of highly-processed garbage, like a Big Mac or french fries cooked in vegetable oil, is not the kind of fat anyone should be eating, either.

Instead of these two groups of food-enthusiasts arguing over the internet about whose diet is better, they really should be uniting in promoting the importance of vegetables and fruit, and strengthening the fight against processed foods and the packaged-food industry. That’s who the real enemy is.

What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear your opinions…

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5 thoughts on “Paleo vs. Vegan

  1. I had been flexitarian for years, never quite able to get over to the vegan side of things due to my love of cheese and half & half in my coffee. I ate very minimal meat – always fish or low fat poultry. Red meat once a year because I craved it, but then I’d be sick (turns out that was most likely the dyes they use to make the meat stay red).

    I ate. all.the.time. Was hungry.all.the.time. Was constantly thinking about my next meal, where I was going to eat, scoping out restaurant menus before we went out to eat (still have to do that while I’m on the Whole30). And I took supplements. Had to. You can’t get everything your body needs from just plants. (Even the vegans know this).

    Switching to Paleo, even if I don’t stay here, has been a huge eye opener. Like you write above – the messages, at their heart, are the same – STOP POISONING YOUR BODY. Eat Real Food. Get as close to the source as you can. Know what is in your food and where it comes from.

    A lot of vegetarian and vegan philosophy comes from treatment of animals. The same philosophy applies to Paleoistas. They don’t want you eating the slaughterhouse cow either. They want you going to the farm, seeing how the animals are treated.

    People need to stop looking at just the surface before disagreeing with others. Get educated. Dig into what the other side is saying. Listen. There’s often a lot more common ground than people give credit for.

    Great post Taylor.

    • YES. Excellent points. I was hesitant to address the lack of nutrients for vegans, just because I didn’t want to have to go dig up research to cite…but I guess it is becoming more common knowledge. One thing that frustrates me about this YouTuber (Freelee the Banana Girl), is that she backs her arguments for being vegan with the fact that it will help people get “skinny,” and she doesn’t address health at all (let alone the ability to retain muscle mass as a high-carb vegan). I’m guilty of watching over a dozen of her videos out of sheer curiosity…and her message is always the same: vegan=skinny.

      I think most people in our country would agree that the treatment of animals in factory farms is cruel and horrible, yet they keep buying it because it’s the cheapest meat available. I would love for the pasture-raised, grass-fed, organic meat industry to grow and eventually put the factory farms out of business, or force them to change their business practices to a more humane level. Hopefully as the Paleo movement grows, more people will become aware of the possibility of change within the industry, instead of conforming to the industry standard.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  2. I don’t know a lot around Paleo at the moment, but if I was to choose between a Paleo and Vegan diet I would be heading straight to Paleo. There is no better way to get nutrients (iron etc) from meat that eating the meat directly. And, like you mentioned everyone is looking towards the same goal at the end of the day!

    • Meat does have many nutrients that are not available in a plant-based diet! Plus…meat is delicious 🙂

      Eating more veggies and good stuff while reducing processed “foods” will be beneficial to anybody, regardless of how you label your diet.

      In a nutshell: The Paleo Diet is essentially just eating real food: vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, and nuts…and it cuts out all the bad/questionable things: processed sugar, grains, gluten, dairy, and legumes. Grains and legumes are known gut irritants, and can cause what’s called “leaky gut syndrome,” which can lead to further health problems. This lifestyle is about nourishing and healing the body (it has been shown to reduce symptoms and cure many Auto-Immune diseases like MS…food is pretty powerful stuff!).

  3. Pingback: Paleo not for weight loss | mebeatingme

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