The popularity of Paleo, often referred to as the “caveman” diet, is gaining in popularity. It is also referred to as the Stone Age diet or hunter-gatherer diet, and the theory behind it is that your nutritional intake should be based on consuming plants and wild animals, just like what cavemen are presumed to have eaten during the Paleolithic Period. Based on several clinical trials, Paleo diet is shown as effective in lowering the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The American Dietetic Association also agrees that Paleo diet has a lot of great aspects; however, some people can’t sustain this type of nutrition due to lack of variety, cost, and nutrient inadequacies.
What you can eat
There are no special pills or starvation techniques involved in the Paleo diet. All you have to do is eat similar foods our Paleolithic ancestors ate long ago. Here are several foods that you could eat with Paleo diet and those that you need to stay away from:
✓ Grass-produced meats — poultry, turkey, steak, pork, beef, buffalo, bacon, veal, bison, rabbit, goat, goose, kangaroo, wild boar, ostrich, quail, elk and emu
✓ Fish and seafoods — crab, oysters, salmon, bass, halibut, tilapia, tuna, mackerel, clams, lobsters, scallops, mussels, squid and shrimp
✓ Vegetables — asparagus, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, celery, Brussel sprouts, parsley and artichoke hearts
✓ Fruits — apple, avocado, raspberries, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, grapes, lemon, tangerine, oranges, plums, peaches, lime, papaya and strawberries
✓ Nuts and seeds — almonds, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nut, walnut abd sunflower seeds
✓ Healthy oils — avocado oil, macadamia oil, , olive oil, canola oil and coconut oil
NOT TO EAT
✖ Dairy — butter, cheese, powdered milk, cream cheese, nonfat dairy creamer, skim milk, yogurt, pudding, ice cream and low fat milk
✖ Soft drinks — all kinds of soft drinks, since these have high fructose corn syrup and sugar content
✖ Fruit juices — are also high in sugar so try to stay away from them. Examples are apple juice, grape juice, orange juice, strawberry juice, star fruit juice and mango juice
✖ Grains — cereals, bread, toast, sandwiches, crackers, English muffins, oatmeal, corn, wheat, pancakes, pasta, lasagna and hash browns
✖ Legumes — black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans, red beans, green beans, white beans, chick peas, snow peas, peanuts, peanut butter, lentils, miso, tofu, soybeans, and all soybean products and derivatives
✖ Fatty meats — spam, hot dogs and other processed meats
✖ Salty foods — French fries, ketchup
✖ Alcohol — Beer, whiskey, tequila, rum, vodka, and other alcoholic mixes
✖ Sweets — sugar, candy bars
- Lose weight – Paleo diet helps your body to lose weight naturally since the stored fat in your body is being converted into energy. With Paleo diet, you are consuming foods that have a high-nutrient density without the bad calories. You also tend to lose food sensitivities and you feel more satiated because of all the healthy fats you’re consuming.
- Increase energy levels – Several studies show that following this diet will increase your energy since you’re eating foods that are low in carbohydrates but high in fat, which provide more sustained and lasting energy.
- Sharpen the mind – By following the Paleo diet, you are getting a well balanced meal from natural sources. It gives you more energy without having to resort to caffeinated beverages or energy drinks. It also allows you to eat until you feel full, or eat whenever you’re hungry, so you don’t risk running low on energy when you need it.
- Detox your system – Paleo helps you detoxify your body, so you lose the unwanted substances in your food like MSG, gluten, refined sugar and caffeine. Ingesting more antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber from the fruit and vegetables you’ll be eating will help your body to purge out toxins.
- Helps you sleep better – by cutting out the chemicals and additives in your diet, you tend to sleep better. This is because of the serotonin in the brain, which releases the signal that it’s time to sleep, is not overridden by these chemicals.
- Leaner muscles – Because this diet plan relies heavily on consuming meat, a healthy amounts of proteins are then used to feed your muscles. This helps you have a leaner physique and better muscle development, (with the help of a little exercise.)
- Reduce your risk of diseases – this diet allows you to eat more anti-inflammatory foods and less foods that causes inflammation. You’re also eating more foods that have antioxidants and phytonutrients, which are known to ward off diseases such as cancers and heart ailments. Naturally avoiding fast food and junk foods also help in improving your overall nutrition.
David Novak’s byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline. To visit his other stories on Healthline, visithttp://www.healthline.com/.