What is the Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet has been trending since quite a while now but, what exactly is it? If you find yourself wondering that, then you’ve landed yourself in the correct place. Paleo Diet or the Cavemen Diet is based on the idea that most of the health conditions like Obesity, heart diseases etc are caused due to our sedentary lifestyle and modern diets. In order to tackle these health conditions the paleo diet advocates that one must only eat those foods that human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. So, the basic idea is that you can eat only what we could hunt or gather way back in the day- meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds.
In the Paleo Diet, you won’t be concentrating on carefully portioning or counting your calories (like in the Ketogenic Diet) but your major concern would be on eating the right kind of foods instead. So, you better bid a sweet goodbye to your sugar, fat and processed foods. The diet also requires you to exercise regularly while following a strict diet comprised only of foods that can be hunted and gathered. Several studies have shown that the Paleo Diet leads to improved health and weight loss by eliminating high-fat and processed foods.
Paleo Diet Meal Plan
As it’s impossible to know exactly what our human ancestors ate in different parts of the world, researchers believe their diets consisted of whole foods. This should be accepted as a general guideline and you can change it up a little bit according to your own personal preferences and needs.
Food Items that are to be eaten
–Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, and others.
–Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
–Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
–Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
–Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
–Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
–Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
–Healthy fats and oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and others.
–Salt and spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
For hydration, water should be your go-to beverage. Additionally, you can also indulge in Tea ( Green Tea is the best) and Coffee as both of them are high in antioxidants.
Paleo Diet Snacks
-A piece of fruit
-A handful of nuts
-Apple slices with some almond butter
-A bowl of berries along with some coconut cream
Food Items that are to be Avoided
A general guideline is that if it looks like it was made in the factory, don’t eat it!
–Sugar and high–fructose corn syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream, and many others.
–Grains: Includes bread and pasta, wheat, rye, barley, etc.
–Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
–Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairies like butter and cheese).
–Some vegetable oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and others.
–Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
–Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
–Highly processed foods: Everything labeled “diet” or “low-fat” or that has many additives. Includes artificial meal replacements.
Paleo Diet Criticisms
Many researchers have found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. Still, many scientists believe that they do not yet have enough evidence to make any strong claims about the paleo diet’s long-term health benefits. I would personally suggest you do your research before jumping on the bandwagon. It’s very important to know what would work for your body instead of blindly following other people. Consult your physician before starting the Paleo Diet.