Much has been said (both good and bad) about The Paleo Diet. Despite what many of its critics believe, the world’s foremost expert and founder of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain, Ph.D., says it is in fact “the world’s healthiest diet,” that it is based on wholesome and natural sources of nutrition, and is ripe with health benefits. Just what is The Paleo Diet, and how can it benefit your life?
What is The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo, or Paleolithic Diet, is based on the types of food consumed by Paleolithic man, which is why some call it “the caveman diet.” Because our hunter-gatherers ancestors lived before the agricultural revolution, their diets consisted mainly of meat, fruits, and vegetables; advocates of The Paleo Diet hold this as evidence that these are the types of food humans have a physiological predisposition to consume.
Which Foods are Included in The Paleo Diet?
Based on the foods that were available to early man, Paleo dieters stick to high-quality meat products (typically grass-fed and free range), fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils (such as coconut, olive, flaxseed, and avocado).
Which Foods are to be Avoided?
If you wanted to keep it simple, anything not on the approved list is inherently meant to be avoided, but the main categories include grains, legumes (including peanuts), dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, and refined vegetable oils (such as vegetable and canola).
What are the Benefits of The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet shuns processed and empty-calorie foods, encouraging consumption of those which are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and have low-glycemic indices. For this reason, Paleo dieters inevitably report sweeping improvements in health, including lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, blood pressure-stabilization, as well as improved digestive function. The Paleo Diet has also been reported to treat ailments and diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, insomnia, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and gout, as well as improve overall energy.
One of the most notable aspects of The Paleo Diet is the incredible variety of food available to eat. Perhaps the most difficult part of any diet is the psychological toll of feeling restricted, which often leads to boredom with eating, which inevitably leads to diet failure (and probably a binge-session to make up for the deprivation). The Paleo Diet is not about restriction; it is the choice to reward yourself with quality, satiating food that not only tastes great, but provides the fuel your body requires for optimal performance. Eating Paleo is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle…and it’s a pretty tasty lifestyle. Let’s EAT!