Are There Any Long Term Side Effects of a Paleo Diet?
Besides living longer and feeling better?
I really want to give a 100% definitive answer to this question, but I don’t think that would be fair.
Long-Term Clinical Trials
They don’t exist.
Not for Paleo. Not yet, anyway.
But then again, there are no real long-term clinical trials of a typical diet filled with processed junk food.
My point is that it’s actually incredibly hard to run long-term studies on any type of diet. Most “studies” are simply observations of large groups of people, and those observations don’t really prove or disprove any potential side effects.
The Non-Scientific Side Effects
If we’re not relying solely on science, then my tongue-in-cheek answer would be that the only known side effects are looking and feeling much better, having a lot more energy, and curing many illnesses.
One of the reasons, though, that I wouldn’t completely rule out any side effects is because even a Paleo diet differs from one person to another. Just like one vegetarian might eat only on ramen noodles and pizza while another might eat only fruits and vegetables.
If you’re eating a super-clean, completely pastured and organic, low-sugar version of Paleo, then that will be different from eating foods that are packaged and sold as “Paleo.”
In the end, we do have over 2 million years of observational data that tells us that Paleo diets didn’t seem to have many side effects, and I think that’s a pretty good place to start.