What is "Paleo Diet”?
There’s sudden interest about an eating regimen called the “Paleo Diet” or “caveman diet.” A lot of athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by it because they say it helped them lose weight and tone the body.
But the Paleolithic Diet, or simply Paleo, is not one of those fad new diets. In fact, it’s called the “old new diet” because it’s patterned after the eating habits of our ancestors.
Eating Paleo focuses on consuming food the way our ancestors did, before the era of modern day agriculture. That means anything from the “hunter-gatherer” era meat, fish, vegetables and seeds. Anything processed – like grains in rice and pasta, for example – are not included.
Researchers say our bodies, like our caveman ancestors, were built to eat meat and vegetables. When people learned to farm, they started eating food bread, rice and pasta. Our bodies never adjusted properly to its components, and these processed food - many of which contain gluten – have been linked to increasing risks of many modern-day diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
So the goal of the Paleo Diet is to shift back to the eating habits that our genetics are designed for – making us healthier and fitter, and opening up our bodies to its full potential.
What can you eat in the Paleo Diet?
Anything that naturally grows and roams the earth! Grass-fed meat like beef and pork will be your main source of protein and energy. Seafood, fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits are also part of the diet.
Some good fats from eggs, avocados and nuts are recommended in small quantities. Good oils from olive, walnut, macadamia and coconut are also included.
Anything processed should not be part of the diet – like cereal grains, rice, bread and pasta. Legumes, potatoes and dairy are also not included. Of course, it’s a no-brainer that other artificially processed sugar and junk food should be eliminated.
Some find Paleo difficult or even intimidating because of the restrictions in the diet. But the key is not to focus on what CANNOT be eaten and instead look at the many food items that CAN be included in the diet (Like bacon! Bacon is Paleo!)
And as with any other diet, Paleo’s effects are not overnight. Combined with regular exercise and an open mind, the Paleo Diet can help you shift to a healthier lifestyle and reach your fitness and weight loss goals. It is a diet that has stood the test of time, even dating back to our ancestors, and that should be enough reason to believe that it works.