While the primal lifestyle is becoming more well-known, the truth is: most people still don’t understand what it is. Whether it’s your best friend giving you a cupcake, your co-worker ordering you a pizza, or a guy trying to buy you a beer at the bar… telling people that you’re primal often leads to confusion.
Here are 3 common responses to the words “I’m primal” that, despite good intentions, are ultimately wrong.
Misconception #1: “Oh, so you’re on the Atkins diet.”
Explanation: No. The Atkins diet is focused around losing weight fast by eliminating all types of carbohydrates including bread and sometimes even fruits and vegetables. Being primal, on the other hand, is focused on health. We don’t eat grains because they are hard to digest and contain several anti-nutrients including: lectins, gluten, and phytates. We don’t eat refined sugars because they promote fat storage, spur insulin resistance, and arguably fuel cancer cells. We don’t eat processed foods because they contain chemicals that we can’t pronounce. Personally I didn’t become primal to lose weight; I became primal to be healthy.
Misconception #2: “Yeah… my cousin is gluten-free too.”
Explanation: Think of the relationship between being primal and being gluten-free as being similar to the relationship between a square and a rectangle. Yes, a square is technically a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. Similarly, being primal by default makes you gluten-free… but being gluten-free does not make you primal. People who are gluten-free only avoid grains containing gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. However they often eat other grains such as corn, oats, and rice. People who are primal avoid all types of grains, even if they are technically “gluten-free.”
Misconception #3: “You only eat meat?”
Explanation: Yes, we eat a diet consisting mainly of meat. But it’s also a diet full of vegetables, healthy fats, fruit, and nuts. We also occasionally eat foods such as dairy, sweet potatoes, and dark chocolate. But this doesn’t mean you can never eat a cookie, have some pancakes, or taste a cocktail again… it just means you have to be creative about it 🙂