The Paleo Diet: a new and trendy food regimen
Also called the Paleolithic diet, hunter-gatherer diet, caveman diet or even Stone Age diet, the paleo diet doesn’t require big sacrifices in terms of giving up food. However, this diet can be hard to achieve in our era of canned goods, fried foods and sugary drinks.
It seems ironic that in order to lose weight, this trendy diet is taking us back to the caveman era. But, this new regimen is said to help us maintain a healthy and balanced diet in a natural way.
Approaching the caveman diet
As primitive as it might sound, the Paleolithic man had more natural eating habits than us. Their nutrition wasn’t a product of planning, but rather from adaptation; hunting-gathering and fishing were their only nourishment sources.
Curiously, this behavior could have led to a habit of only ingesting the calories they needed. That’s why it’s believed that the paleo diet can help us to get in great shape without having to deprive ourselves.
We can infer that obesity has two origins: the emergence of farming practices and the incorporation of chemicals during food production. If we eliminate everything related to these practices we will be eating as our early ancestors did.
What is the paleo diet like?
Simply said, the paleo diet consists of basing our diet on vegetables, tubers (except potatoes), fruits and meats. These were the only products that early man had access to. In this sense, the base of the diet is pretty simple.
Contrary to today’s natural diets, this regimen rejects the idea of adding different types of beans, legumes or any other alternative source of proteins. On top of that, it places the meat (lean, fresh and grass-fed meat) at the center of the diet. Hormone-fed chicken is not allowed.
It’s also necessary to ingest a natural type of oil. In general, extra virgin olive oil is the best option, since it adds the fatty acids needed for muscular growth. Mixed nuts also contribute to healthy fatty acids.
Which products didn’t the caveman eat?
Both sugar and salt weren’t included in our diets until recent times. The Paleolithic man didn’t have access to these products because they were yet to learn how to extract them. Complex cereals, processed beans, canned goods, and sugary sodas didn’t exist either.
Dairy, potatoes, and alcohol are also restricted in this diet. Everything that’s processed, contains chemicals or gluten is absolutely forbidden for those who religiously follow this food plan. Not only is the quantity important but also the quality of the chosen products.
How to eat allowed products?
The meats must be eaten in the most natural way. The idea is to eat wild game and grass-fed meat. The same applies to fish. Chicken and eggs should be bought from cage-free farms that do not use hormones.
Also important to this diet are fruits and vegetables. You can eat them in large quantities and without major restrictions. You can also freely eat mixed nuts, spices, and fresh herbs.
On top of this, you can eat tubers but in lesser amounts, as an excellent dietary complement. Tubers can be consumed periodically, the same as other types of roots. The goal of this diet is to have a simple but balanced diet that will allow you to maintain your ideal weight.
The Paleo diet has its critics
Everything we have presented so far seems very healthy, natural and even logical. Nevertheless, this diet has its critics and it leaves us with certain doubts. Those who advocate this diet are yet to prove how it’s useful in weight loss. Also, as of today, there are not enough studies proving the effectiveness of this method.
Another issue is there isn’t an exact way of knowing how our early ancestors fed themselves. The animals, vegetables, fruits, and other elements could have been different from the ones in our current ecosystem.
Can our bodies respond well to this Paleolithic food regimen? This may be one of the obstacles that this diet faces. In the end, this is a suggestion that you can try and decide if it works for you.