The Paleo Diet
I consider this diet so important that I’ve given it its own section. In fact it’s more like a way of life than a diet. All my research and reading has led me to believe that the healthiest way to live is by following what’s known as the Paleo Diet. It is also known as the Paleolithic Diet, the caveman diet, the Stone Age diet and the hunter-gatherer diet.
It represents a good way to lose weight and live healthier as it is a complete nutritional plan based on what is believed that humans ate during the Paleolithic era, a period of about 2.5 million years that ended around 10,000 years ago when man developed agriculture. It is based on the ancient diet of wild plants and animals that we humans consumed at that point in our history.
Thankfully, the Paleolithic diet does not require you to go out and kill a woolly mammoth for food. The contemporary version of this diet consists mostly of grass-fed pasture raised meats, fruit, fish, vegetables, nuts and roots. It excludes legumes, dairy products, refined sugar and processed oils. It represents not just a diet but a change in lifestyle that can help you get healthy and stay that way.
What the Paleo diet is really about is eating natural foods for better health and a better physique. It is based on the idea that for more than two million years, we humans subsisted on the foods found in nature, such as vegetables, fish, wild fruits, eggs, meat and nuts. It’s a diet that’s high in animal fat and proteins and low in carbohydrates
The Paleolithic diet was popularized by the gastroenterologist, Walter L. Voegtlin. It has been adopted and promoted by a number of authors and researchers. The basis of Paleolithic nutrition is the idea that human genetics have not changed much since the dawn of agriculture. This suggests that the best diet for our health and well-being is one that resembles what our ancestors used to eat, a Paleo diet.
Supporters of the Paleo diet believe that if we stay with a traditional diet similar to those of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, we will be healthier and more resistant to disease. There have been a number of studies of the Paleolithic diet that have shown some positive health outcomes but nothing compares with trying it out for yourself for 30 days to see how you feel.
A hunter-gatherer diet or Paleo diet has a high level of protein. It includes a lot of meat, seafood and poultry and these foods are super nutrient dense if they have been grass-fed. Cows that feed on a grass-based diet produce significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as compared to grain-fed animals, while producing fewer trans fats and saturated fats.
Anyone Can Lose Weight
There is a good deal of evidence that people on high energy-density diets are more likely to over eat and are at a greater risk for gaining weight. On the other hand, low caloric density diets such as the Paleo diet, provide a greater feeling of satisfaction at the same energy intake and can help even overweight individuals lose weight without calorie restrictions.
The vitamin and mineral content of the Paleo diet is very high, especially when compared to a normal diet. Fish and seafood are a particularly rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients, such as copper, selenium, iron, zinc and iodine that are critical for brain function and development. Another great source of these nutrients are thyroid gland, bone marrow and other organs.
The staples of the Paleo diet — the meats, seafood and fruits — are more nutrient dense then grains, vegetable oils, refined sugar and dairy products. This means the vitamin and mineral content of the diet is very high compared with a standard diet.
The Paleo Diet Food List
The Paleo diet actually has a food pyramid with lean meats and fish at the bottom – or the foundation – followed by fruits, veggies and then berries and, at the top, nuts. While other foods are permitted it teaches that we should avoid dairy products, grains, legumes, starches, processed foods and processed sugars.
More than anything else, you should favor raw and unprocessed foods over anything else. The Paleo diet requires you to eat only lean meat and mix up your vegetables. It teaches that the broader the color spectrum in your vegetable dishes, the better and more nutritious they will be, and the better you will start feeling after committing to this lifestyle.
Following is a list of the foods used in most Paleo diet recipes…
Any type of animal meat including animal fats
All kinds of fish
Salads, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, avocados, cucumbers. Limit intake of nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants)
In moderation – Almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts.
When Getting Started
When you begin on the Paleo diet or lifestyle, you may feel that you’re a bit limited in terms of what you can eat. That is wrong! You’ll find you can eat almost anything except for processed foods or foods with added grains or wheat.