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The Essence of the Paleo Diet

Updated on March 26, 2014
Image courtesy of dollen
Image courtesy of dollen | Source

If you’ve been researching new trends in diets and health, then you’ve probably come across the Paleo Diet, a new and exciting method to lose weight, gain energy and increase overall health. The Paleo Diet takes a look back at how humans used to live, when early man was fit and strong from living off the land as hunter gatherers. It wasn’t until agriculture came around, about 10,000 years ago, that we started producing grains at all. Then, in the last 50 years we began processing away the healthy elements of those grains. We started adding preservatives, chemicals, and high fructose corn syrup, and immediately began gaining weight and becoming obese. The Paleo Diet takes us back our early roots as a species, focusing on foods that come from the land and nature without all the processed, manufactured chemicals.

Cutting grains is at the heart of the Paleo Diet, and anything produced from wheat or corn is not allowed. This means that all crackers, breads and pastries are strictly prohibited, and even recipes that include grains as part of the breading or stuffing should be avoided. Our ancestors also did not process cheese, so there is no cheese allowed in the Paleo Diet, although different sources vary on the acceptance of Dairy in general. In general, minimal, infrequent use of Dairy is allowed, but large quantities should be avoided when possible. Refined sugars, another huge element in many modern foods, are also eliminated from the Paleo Diet.

So what does that leave to eat? The Paleo Diet centers itself on foods derived from nature. Meats, poultry and fish are wonderful options. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are great choices, and vegetables and fruits are highly recommended and should be eaten as much as possible to gain nutrients and antioxidant benefits. Any combination of these basic, natural elements are used to make up meals, and the possibilities are endless.

The Paleo Diet works because when you switch to eating real foods, your body can metabolize them more efficiently. Without all the preservatives, chemicals and processed elements, your body is left with foods that are whole, natural and simple to digest. It can get through the process faster and more efficiently, meaning you burn off the food you take in better. The nutrients contained in the foods also help your metabolism speed up. When you give your body the right mix of nutrients, it can work harder with less effort, leaving you feeling more energized in the process.

In addition to fueling your body correctly, you can’t really overeat with the foods that are on the Paleo list. They are all fiber and nutrient rich, full of the good stuff that makes you feel satisfied fast. You don't have to count calories because foods like vegetables and fruits are virtually impossible to eat in quantities that would overextend your diet and cause you to gain weight. When you eat the right kinds of foods, you can eat virtually whatever and whenever you want and still remain healthy.

This is the true benefit for the Paleo Diet. It is a way to live healthfully and naturally, avoiding those foods which cause you to gain weight and lose energy by slowing your digestion and metabolism. Choosing only natural, unprocessed foods will increase overall health and wellness, and leave you with more energy and vibrancy, without counting calories or stressing about portions. The Paleo Diet is a great choice for people looking to lose weight or people looking to feel more vibrant and healthy. Follow our ancestors back through time and eat in a way that primitive man evolved to eat, back when the entire population was fit, healthy and naturally vibrant.

If you're saying to yourself, "I'm not really a chef... I'm not sure how to prepare my meals the Paleo way." Don't worry, there are plenty of available resources. You could go out to your local bookstore and pick up a book, or you could find something online. I recommend you take a further look into The Paleo Recipe Book by Sébastien Noël. To get a better understanding of what it offers, I recommend you check out this Paleo Recipe Book review.

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