Is Whey Protein Powder Recommended on Primal or Paleo Diets?

Both the paleo diet and primal blueprint have been touted as dietary tools for losing weight and keeping it off. While the diets are similar in many areas, there are some stark differences, mainly surrounding the consumption of dairy products, like whey protein powder. So, where exactly does whey fit into these diets? 

You may likely be more familiar with the popular paleo diet. It emphasizes eating like our cave-dwelling ancestors, a feat that’s rather impossible actually. For one, we can only really guess as to what their diets were—hunted game animals, and foraging for fruits, leaves, etc in the wild. But all of those foods—from the animals to the fruits—have been bred for flavor, color, and size over the millennia. In other words, even the stripped down paleo diet is filled with foods our ancestors might not recognize.

Still, it’s the concept paleo eaters are after—eating pre-agriculture, which means so refined grains, sugars, fats, even limiting salts. The focus instead is on non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meat, but no dairy. After all, dairy is one of the oldest agricultural products. Cave people weren’t chasing down pregnant cows or camels for their milk.

The primal blueprint, conceived of by former endurance athlete Mark Sisson, is rather similar to the paleo diet. But the primal blueprint allows, let’s just say, for a little coloring, or rather, eating, outside the lines. Where primal differs from paleo is that it does allow dairy products, like yogurt, kefir, and even whey protein powder. It also allows for potatoes, rice, and quinoa, which while used as a grain, is technically a seed. Primal eaters can also enjoy red wine and chocolate, two additions surely to make the primal diet much more beloved, if not enduring.

So if you’re looking to these diets, especially this time of year when temptations abound, the primal diet may be the way to go. Not just so you can indulge in wine and chocolate, but so you have more options—healthy ones at that.

Dairy products like whey protein powder have been shown to aid in achieving weight loss goals. It can also be a helpful tool in converting fat into muscle in conjunction with a workout plan.

image: Lord Jim

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