How does the caveman diet work? Just as important, what is the basis behind it and how exactly does it help you to lose weight. And if you decide to use it, are there any risks? The following answers these questions and more. After reading, you should hopefully have a better idea about the diet and be able to decide if it is right for you.
Basis of the Caveman Diet
The Caveman Diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet, is a diet that is intended to mimic the way our ancestors ate more than 10,000 years ago. During this time, humans were a hunter and gatherer society. This meant that nourishment came from things that they could kill and from the vegetation that grew in the wild. And since fire had not been mastered, foods were eaten raw. It is these basis in which guidelines of the diet are based. The result of this is that any method of food production developed after this period is forbidden.
The overall development of the diet is based on the basic premise that by eating in this way, you are eating in the manner in which your body was designed to eat. As such, it is believed that when this diet is adopted, you will alleviate diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Food Sources of the Diet
The only carbohydrates allowed on the diet are fruits and non-starchy vegetables. So berries, apples, leafy vegetables, and the like are staple foods of this diet
As for the types of meat, lean is preferred since animals during that period roam free and, as such, were more lean. There are some version of the diet where meats high in fat are acceptable. Regardless of which is followed the majority of the calories come from this nutrition source.
Also, even though fire had not been mastered during this period of time, the diet does allow cooking of meat. However, some versions of the diet insist that the foods be as close as possible to raw, including the meats.
As for the fats in the diet, they are supplied primarily from the meats.
Foods not allowed on the Diet
Another guiding principal of the diet is that anything that involves technology can not be used. So any type of processed foods, including sugar, is not allowed. That means just about all types of foods normally eaten in today's society are not part of the diet.
And since domestication of milk producing animals had not been established, dairy products of any kind are not allowed on the diet.
Also, because agriculture did not exist, grains can not be eaten. Because of this, staple foods such as rice, wheat and corn is not part of the diet. And even though wild grains existed, no means of storing what could have been gathered was available, since pottery to hold them had not been invented. As such, even wild grains are not permitted.
Since one of the criteria of the diet is the food be raw, beans are also not part of the meals, since they must be cooked.
Risks of the Diet
Critics of the diet point out several drawbacks to it. First, since dairy products are not allowed, there is a lack of calcium in the diet. This could lead to such disease as osteoporosis.
Also, since starchy vegetables are forbidden, you may end up feeling tired and fatigued, since much of your energy comes from carbohydrates.
Lastly, because some versions of the diets permits the eating of meats high in fat, your risk for heart disease, hypertension and some cancers also goes up.
In closing, if you have not guessed by now, the Caveman Diet is a type of low-carbohydrate weigh loss plan. However, proponents of this plan argue that it is not like the other low-carb diets, since their diet is based on the foods eaten by humanities ancestors dating back thousands of years.
Regardless of whichever side you end up on, hopefully you at least now have a better understanding of how the Caveman Diet works and more importantly, whether it is right for you.