The basic foundation of the Paleo Diet is simply that we should consider to make our meals like they were back in the days the really old days of the caveman. So what did the cavemen have on their food table? They didn’t know anything about farming or preserving foods so everything made of flour, wheat, artificial preservatives wasn’t part of their diet. In truth, they ate everything they could get their hands on found in nature. That means for example:
- Nuts, roots
- Leafy greens, vegetables, fruits
So basically everything that grew without human intervention. Now this is complete opposite to what we find in our daily meal consumption today. It’s almost 80% grain dependent, breads, rice, corn, potatoes – none of these wouldn’t be available today in vast amounts thanks to the agricultural revolution. We couldn’t imagine our lives without these ingredients anymore.
So this is how far we’ve evolved…
Today’s man :
- Sleep deprived
- Healthy overall
The Paleo Diet basically eliminates refined sugar, carbohydrates and dairy from our daily eating. So if we’re consuming less and less sugar and carbohydrates, our body goes into a state called ‘ketogenesis’ which means that it starts to build energy from fat cells found in our body, instead of carbohydrates.
Don’t worry that doesn’t mean that your body will burn fat until there’s no energy left, you will still get energy from natural carbohydrate resources like vegetables and fruit in as much as they aren’t processed in any way.
While most of the foods in stores is already processed and wrong for paleo dieting, what’s left for me to eat?
- Nuts – Good for snacks(replace chips and candies for example). But high in calories, so don’t consume in large portions
- Eggs – Especially Omega-3 enriched eggs
- Oils – All the natural oils – olive, coconut, avocado
- Fruits – To satisfy your sweet-cravings. But can be high in calories so avoid eating a lot while losing weight
- Fish – Try and find natural wild fish, not raised in farms
- Fowl – Duck, hen, turkey, chicken..
- Meat – If possible try to buy meat of grass-fed animals, since grain causes same issues in animals as in humans
What foods are eliminated?
The foods that are eliminated in a Paleo diet are the ones that provide our bodies with very little nutrition (especially for the amount of energy they contain), and that are difficult to digest and have the ability to stimulate inflammation or mess around with important hormones.
Generally, a Paleo diet excludes:
- grains and pseudograins
- legumes (legumes with edible pods like green beans are fine)
- dairy (especially pasteurized industrially-produced)
- refined and processed foods (including refined seed oils like canola oil and safflower oil, refined sugars, and chemical additives and preservatives)
Bottom line :
The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.