Is the Paleo Diet Really Healthy?

In a world of fad diets, detoxes and cleanses, it's hard not to find info on the Paleo Diet popping up everywhere. But what really is the Paleo Diet? And what is all the hype about? As a naturopathic doctor, nutrition is extremely important to me, not only for maintaining health, but for preventing illness and I make it a point to discuss nutrition with my patients at every visit. You really are what you eat and I just want to make sure my patients and my readers are getting the best information out there. 

Lobster is Delicious AND Nutritious!

I was always taught growing up in Florida that lobster was a rich and fat-filled delicacy, only reserved for VERY special occasions. Since I moved to Maine, otherwise known as lobsterville, I have decided to revisit the nutritional analysis of this treat I was once cautious about. As it turns out, it is quite a healthy source of protein, vitamin E, B12, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper and zinc. It is actually low in saturated fat but because it is almost pure protein, it does carry a cholesterol punch (though it is less than a serving of chicken or turkey).

MMMMmmm...sea bugs. 

MMMMmmm...sea bugs. 

Fun facts about lobsters:

  • Lobsters are arthropods, which means they are technically insects, though most people prefer not to think of them that way
  • Lobsters can supposedly live to be up to 100 years old
  • Lobsters are thought to be scavengers, but in fact research shows they like to eat live food  
  • The sweetest meat typically comes from soft-shelled lobsters in the summer months (lobsters that have just molted and have yet to grow into their shell)

 

 

So, next time maybe I won't feel so guilty! Again, everything in moderation and considering the amount of butter most people eat with their lobster, it may not be the best thing to have on a regular basis. That being said, it is good to know that there is actual nutritional value to those beloved sea bugs.  Here's a quick summary of what lobster nutrition can do for you:

  • Vitamin E - one of the most common antioxidants in the body, this vitamin can help reduce risks of heart disease, cataracts, cancer and balance your general immune system health all by helping to rid the body of free radicals
  • Phosphorous  - this mineral is used in every cell in the body, but is especially important for proper bone health 
  • Potassium  - is an electrolyte, meaning it helps provide the proper ionic balance both inside and outside the cells for proper cell function
  • Copper  - this mineral is essential for proper brain and nerve function as well as skin integrity and genetic expression
  • Zinc  - works with copper to balance enzymatic processes and genetic expression
  • Selenium  - essential for optimal thyroid health and general antioxidant functions
  • B12  - the most complex vitamin in the human body, B12 is used for just about everything from helping protect the brain and nerves from depression and Alzheimer's disease, to helping reduce risk of heart disease and anemias 

For me, my guilty lobster pleasure is the lobster roll from Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery, ME and I go there every year for my birthday. I'm not a cake person, so this is my chosen birthday treat. I have tasted many a lobster roll in my life in and around New England, and this one, for me, takes the cake...literally. What's your favorite lobster dish?