What is the Paleo Diet?

What Is The Paleo Diet?

If you are a keen follower of health and fitness trends, you may have stumbled across this latest health craze, so what is the Paleo diet? The Paleo diet, also referred to as the caveman or stone-age diet focuses on foods that were thought to have been available to Paleolithic humans between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before the emergence of agriculture and industry, humans were hunter-gatherers by nature. This included: picking berries from bushes, digging up tubers, chasing mammals until they were exhausted, scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that had been killed by larger predators and learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, bows and arrows and nets.

It is believed to be one of the healthiest nutritional approaches around, that helps you stay strong, lean and energetic. Did you know that research in biochemistry, biology, dermatology and ophthalmology all suggest that the modern Western diet, full of refined foods, sugar and trans fats is the main cause of problematic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease and cancer?

The Paleo diet has a healthy ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats, lowers the body’s glycaemic load, increases nutrient and vitamin consumption and contains an optimal balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Let’s took a look at the foods commonly found in a typical Paleo diet.

What Is The Paleo Diet?

Fruits and Vegetables

Including fruits and vegetables in your diet has many health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Lean Proteins

Muscles, bones, skin and blood are all made up of protein and your body uses proteins that you eat to rebuild and repair itself after a heavy workout. Eating plenty of protein can also help you to lose weight as it makes you feel fuller for longer, resulting in less overall calorie consumption throughout the day.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats derived from nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, fish oil and grass fed meat are another key focus of the paleo diet. Studies have shown that a diet rich in Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats can drastically reduce the chances of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

One thing you should be wary of when following the paleo diet is the difference in the type and amounts of fat found in grain fed animals, compared to that found in grass fed or wild meats. Characteristically wild meat is very lean and contains only small amounts of saturated fat, while possessing vast amounts of healthy omega-3 fats such as DHA and EPA. If you can afford it, free range meat is far superior to conventional grain fed meats.

Foods To Avoid On The Paleo Diet

Below is a list of foods you should avoid when following the Paleo diet:

  • Grains
  • Starches
  • Processed Food and Sugars
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol

Health Benefits Of The Paleo Diet

Here are some of the health benefits of the Paleo diet:

  • More efficient workouts
  • Stable blood sugar – important for those with diabetes
  • Fat loss
  • Reduced allergies
  • Balanced energy throughout the day
  • It is an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Clear skin and better teeth
  • Improved sleep patterns