Is the paleo diet right for humans today? Nowadays, people are more concerned about their health and not only weight loss. Many diets and food programs are on the rise, all claiming to be the best and effective.
A good diet will stand the test of time as many come and vanish after a while. On the contrary, the Paleolithic diet is here to stay.
What Is Paleo Diet?
Paleo diet is also known as the Stone Age diet, caveman diet, Paleolithic diet, or hunter-gatherer diet. The diet imitates foods that were eaten by our ancestors approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
To be precise, this diet contains food that came from hunting and gathering. The diet includes fish, seeds, nuts, veggies, and lean meat.
The purpose of this diet is to get back to the foods eaten by early people. The diet was discovered in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin, who proposed that eating like an early man would make today’s man healthier. This supports the discordance hypothesis, which argued that humans aren’t matched with the diet that came through farming practices.
Farming introduced foods like grains, legumes, and dairy products to the existing Stone Age diet. According to the hypothesis, this new diet was harmful to the body, leading to obesity, heart ailments, and diabetes. Therefore, a paleo diet is a clean diet without chemicals, and you are likely to increase iron levels from red meat, and the chances of weight loss are high.
Also, if consumed in large quantities, protein and saturated fats can lead to heart disease and some types of cancer. The carbohydrate allowed in the paleo diet is too little to provide the required energy. The diet doesn’t favor vegetarians because it excludes beans.
What to Eat While on the Paleo Diet
The Paleolithic people ate what was available in their regions according to the season. This means some ate food with high carbs while others with low carbs. So, just like present humans, the early man had different food guidelines.
Below are the things you should eat while on the paleo diet.
Paleo diet accepts meat, so you don’t have to worry about proteins. However, you should eat meat from animals fed on grass only.
Avoid meat from animals fed on grains, as that will mean you have consumed them indirectly. Ensure to include liver and kidney in your meal. It’s also recommended to consume poultry, duck, and turkey raised in a free-range system.
2. Fruits and Seeds
Fruits are always present in other diets, and paleo is no exemption. This is because they are sources of natural sugar, which is good for the body. Others like berries have antioxidants properties.
However, if you want to lose weight, avoid excess consumption of fruits or take those with low sugar levels. Paleo diet encourages consumption of seeds and nuts though in moderation. However, avoid nuts if you are after weight loss.
3. Seafood and Fish
Seafood and fish are a great source of protein but ensure you consume those obtained from the lakes or seas. Avoid those kept in fishponds as they feed on substances that contain chemicals. Examples are; salmon, shrimp, shellfish, trout, etcetera.
Vegetables are a great source of nutrients that are essential for the body. It’s hard to get a diet without veggies, and paleo is no exception.
Thus, for the paleo diet, take caution on how you prepare them. Hence, avoid deep frying your veggies to maintain the nutrients and prevent lots of oil consumption. Examples of vegetables are; carrots, kale, onions, pepper, broccoli, among others.
5. Natural Fats and Oils
Interestingly, the paleo diet encourages fats and oils, but they insist on those gotten from natural extracts. However, the Paleolithic diet discourages fats from processed foods. Examples of good oils are avocado oil, fish oil, coconut oil, and olive oil.
6. Salt and Spices
Salt contains properties that are essential for body functioning. Additionally, as well as spices, salt adds good taste to food. Examples are Sea salt, turmeric, garlic, and etcetera.
What You Should Avoid
This diet doesn’t exclude all carbs as people perceive, but it checks the intake amount and type. For instance, it allows the consumption of sweet potatoes.
However, avoid cereals and grains, legumes, dairy products, fruit juices and soda, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils like sunflower and grapeseed oils, and packaged snacks.
Many people are going paleo way, which is a sign that people are concerned with their health. It is also necessary to stick to a diet without cheating to get the best results.
On top of the cave man’s diet, exercises and physical activities help the body too. Moreover, prepare your budget in advance, as this diet may be expensive.