By definition, the Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic Diet is a nutritional plan which is based on the presumed diet of our ancestors living in the Paleolithic period. While the Paleo diet is based on ancient origins, it came into popular attention in the mid 1970’s due to a book created by Walter Voegtlin called The Stone Age diet. According to him, mimicking the diet of the ancients will bring about certain health benefits to modern man in such a way that it will give us a leaner and more fit body because of the high protein, low carbohydrate intake of foods.
Such claims are still debated nowadays by doctors and health professionals. Even so, since the reintroduction of this diet plan, it has been deemed by many as one efficient solution in attaining a healthier life.
What’s in a Name?
You may also have heard of the Paleo diet popularly referred to as: the caveman diet, hunter-gatherer diet, and of course, the Stone Age diet. During this era, humans relied more on hunting and scavenging to get food, that’s why most of their diet consists of fish, meat, vegetables, nuts, and other wild plants.
What is the Paleo diet ideal?
The main idea of the Paleo diet plan is to consume foods that are edible in their natural state or if it does need to be cooked, it should be at least prepared in the simplest way possible. This practice is patterned by the lifestyle of our ancestors who lived through acts of hunting, fishing and gathering of edible plants. The convenience of cooking was not available at that time. One of the things I really like about this diet is that when I’m considering a particular food, I just basically need to ask myself a common sense question. If I were living in the Stone age would this food be available to me?
It’s interesting to ponder that even though the people of that day did not have the technology or the same bounty of food that we enjoy today, that they literally were able to supply their bodies with more natural foods and nutrients in every meat that they ate.
Foods Included In Paleo Diet:
Here are the primary foods to be included in The Paleo diet plan:
1. Meat – any kind of meat as long as it’s lean. Paleo dieters prefer seafood to be the prime meat source as they are easy to acquire and some can be eaten even in their raw state. Aside from typical meats, the Paleo diet also encourages the consumption of organ meats like liver and kidneys because they have low fat content and high in protein. Meat is an important food in the diet plan as this is the main source of protein and humans should have a high protein diet which helps to build up muscles in the body and provide us enough energy to sustain our everyday activities.
2. Raw vegetables – of course vegetables will never be left out in this diet, but the main idea is you have to eat it raw or as close to raw as possible. Cooking is good, but it is not recommended because during the cooking process the vitamins and nutritional value of the food might be “cooked away”, leaving you with a food that has little or no nutritional value. Whenever possible, vegetables should be eaten as is so that you will get more of the vitamins and nutritional benefits which is good for your body.
3. Nuts – some nuts are also a part of the Paleo diet meal plan as they can be a good source of fiber and protein and less in fat. The types of nuts allowed in the caveman diet are Brazilian nuts, almonds, walnuts and macadamia nuts. However, peanuts and cashews are not recommended because they have a higher fat content.
4. Fruits – fruits should also be considered in the Stone Age diet as they have all the good stuff and none of the bad. Aside from the vitamins in minerals, most fruits contain fiber which makes us feel full and antioxidants, which cleans and detoxify our body of the bad elements.
Points To Consider:
While there are many obvious benefits you can get from practicing the Paleo Diet, there are also some points to consider before entering into this diet plan.
1. Paleo Diet is a low-carb diet. It relies more in sustaining the body with the energy derived from the protein in foods being eaten.
2. It focuses only on certain food groups, choosing the simple foods to be eaten and prepared.
3. The carbohydrates needed in our body can only be supplied from the select food source to maintain the goal of decreasing carbohydrate intake to have improvement in health and even longevity in life.
Note: It is recommended to consult a health professional or a dietician before moving into the caveman diet practice. Seek their advice so that you will learn to uncover the secrets of achieving a healthier well being through the Paleo diet.
The Paleo diet is a diet practice patterned from the caveman way of eating. If you want to live healthy and have a more positive outlook in life, you might as well change your eating habits and eat the way our ancestors did.