The popular Paleo Diet is a dietary plan that is based on consuming food similar to what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago. It is also, known as the Caveman, Steak, or Stone Age diet. The food choices in this diet are limited to what humans hunt, fish, or gather such as meat, vegetables, and fish.
Advocates of this diet blame our modern way of eating, which is full of sugar, fat, and processed food for causing health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Being on this diet does not mean you have to go hunting, all you need to do is start eating as naturally as possible. You must opt for grass-fed meat, fruit and vegetables, and whole foods such as nuts and seeds.
Versions of paleo:
There are different types of Paleo namely; Primal Paleo, Normal Paleo, and Strict Paleo. All these types basically stick to meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fat and oil, yet there are subtle variations between them.
In this variation of paleo, you are allowed to eat white rice, dark chocolate, and maple syrup.
This variation allows for ghee butter, raw honey, and dark chocolate.
This one does not allow any of those food mentioned above, but it allows grass-fed butter.
What Science says about Paleo:
- an article that was published by the journal Australian Family Physician in Jan 2016, reviewed the clinical trials that explored the effect of Paleo on health markers, where they found that this Caveman diet (Paleo) may be linked to lower blood pressure, improved blood lipid levels, and weight loss. Yet they concluded that further research is needed (Australian Family Physician,2016)
- another study shows that researchers found that paleo led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic diseases(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,2015)
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
Benefits of Paleo Diet:
There are a few benefits of following the caveman diet:
- The Paleo eating plan is high in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium.
- It is low in carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium.
- the diet emphasizes sustainable, organic, grass-fed meat, and non-GMO foods (non-GMO means a product was produced without genetic engineering and its ingredients are not derived from GMOs)
- it helps you achieve most nutrient requirements by eating fruits and vegetables, like essential vitamins and minerals you need.
- the diet will help you better control your blood pressure
- It helps you cut processed food and sugar.
- It helps lower your risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
- the diet will help you lose weight
- It will help improve your glucose tolerance
What to Eat on the paleo Diet:
You will need to base your diet on wholesome and unprocessed foods:
What to Avoid on the paleo Diet:
- Grains: Includes bread and pasta, barley, etc.
- Legumes: beans, lentils, peanuts, and many more.
- Dairy products: especially low-fat dairy, where some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairies like butter and cheese.
- Refined sugar: soft drinks, fruit juices, pastries, ice cream, and many others.
- Highly processed foods: Everything labeled “low-fat” or “diet”
- this diet is popular because it solves many problems such as increasing cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and other diseases that have been linked to our modern diet, “where we replaced wholesome food with a high carbohydrate, low nutrient, high toxic chemical diet and we’ve gotten sick”(paleoplan.com)
- some people who adopted this way of eating have seen some great results such as weight loss, an increase in energy, less lethargy, and less bloating