While I was reading something, I came across this one type of diet known as the “Paleo diet”. Have you heard about it? If not, don’t worry. This article is a basic introduction to the paleo diet and other essential related information. What is it? What are its health benefits? And is it actually something different or its just the healthy eating?
What is a Paleo diet?
The idea behind the Paleo diet is that we try to follow you try to follow what humans ate during the Paleolithic era, which began about 2.5 million years ago. Your diet will include all the kinds of food that our ancestors might have hunted, fished, and gathered, and avoid foods that weren’t common until farming began. Not only you have to follow them in their diet plan but keep yourself active every day like they used to keep themselves.
Although it’s impossible for us to know exactly what our ancestors ate in different parts of the world, researchers believe that their diets consisted mainly of whole foods. Other names for a paleo diet include Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet, and caveman diet
What to eat in a Paleo diet?
A paleo diet simply includes all that could be easily obtained by hunting and gathering like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil. This adds up to a diet that’s high in protein and fiber, contains an average amount of fat, and is low in carbs. Some of the paleo foods are:
- Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken, and others
- Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc.
- Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables: Peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnipetc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, 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.
What not to eat?
A paleo diet does not allow to include foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include processed foods and ingredients, dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, trans fats. The diet also restricts salt, so it may help you cut down on sodium. Avoid these foods and ingredients:
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.
- Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
- Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy 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.
What are the health benefits of paleo diet?
It is quite acceptable that the hunter-gatherers presumably had much lower rates of current lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease and the reason for it is believed to be their whole food-based diet and leading physically active lives. We all would agree to the fact that the rise of chronic diseases in todays world is a result of the current Western diet. Eating Paleo diet can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
What does science says about Paleo diet?
Several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (without calorie counting) and major improvements in health. The authors of a 2017 review noted that the paleo diet helped reduce weight in the short term but concluded that this result is due to caloric restriction, or consuming fewer calories. Overall, the research suggests that the paleo diet may help people lose weight initially but that other diets that reduce calorie intake may be just as effective. Also, there is a debate among a certain group of scientists because the Paleo diet cutting out grains, dairy, and legumes which are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
My take on Paleo diet:
As much as I loved knowing about this new type of diet or you can say the new term, I cannot say this is something new. Eating healthy, less processed foods and artificial sweeteners is something which is being told to us everyday. We have been told to include higher portions of fruits and salads in our daily diet. It is as simple as cutting modern foods from our diets and eat simple food. That’s it. Off course, I am in no way denying the benefits of eating healthy and would encourage you all reduce junk in your food. It is just a fancy name to something we already knew.
Anyways, I hope you like knowing about this diet and will follow a healthy lifestyle. There is this website I came across solely dedicated to paleo living. You can check this out and find some meal plans also. This is no way a promotion, this is something that I found while researching. Let me know your feedback in the comments or here about this article.
Happy healthy living 🙂