Table of Contents
What is the Paleo diet?
The Paleo diet is based on what your very early ancestors ate. Yes, it is based on the diet of cavemen who were muscled, lean and mean meat-eating machines! They did not know how to grow grains, such as rice, wheat, oats, millet, corn, barley, and rye. Going Paleo is essentially eating a high-protein and low-carb diet because cavemen completely left out grains and processed food. Paleolithic or the stone age man ate 99% fruits, nuts, legumes, root vegetables and only 1% whole grains. Modern day man eats only 23% fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, 18% artificial or refined sugars, and 59% refined grains.
Paleo is returning to the basics
Today, we are tempted with fast foods sold everywhere by modern food manufacturing companies. These foods cause allergies and autoimmune disorders in our body and it is for this reason we need to detox by going back to the basics. Essentially, the Paleo diet is an elimination diet that provides holistically healthy living by recommending whole, nutrient-dense foods.
The diet works with our human genetics, instead of against it.
What foods to eat and what to avoid in a paleo diet?
Hard-core Paleo followers claim it is not really a diet because you can eat till you feel full but stick to certain food groups. A paleo dieter starts to crave for only healthy foods. But if you cannot live without rice, bread and pasta, then this diet will not work for you. Paleo diet plans also recommend removing processed foods and dairy. So you are left with only things that occur naturally and organically raised or available at farmer’s markets.
Below is a list of food groups you would focus on if you were on a typical Paleo diet:
- Meat: Grass-fed not grain-fed, (and choose lean red meat).
- Fowl: Chicken, duck, hen and turkey (white meat has less fat than red meat).
- Fish: Wild fish not farmed fish, (it may have mercury and other toxins).
- Eggs: Omega-3 enriched eggs, preferably.
- Vegetables: Eat plenty of vegetables like carrots, onions, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and avocados, (but do not deep-fry).
- Omegas: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and flaxseed oil are rich in omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids.
- Fruits: Pick seasonal fruits to consume natural fructose instead of refined sugar. But watch how much fruits you eat if you want to lose weight.
- Nuts: High-calorie nuts and seeds make good snacks, (but do not over-do it).
- Some Carbs: Tubers like carrots, pumpkin, squash, yams and other root vegetables are okay.
Foods to Avoid:
- Cereal grains
- Processed food
- Table salt
- Refined sugar
- Refined vegetable oils
- Legumes (including peanuts)
What are the best quality paleo diet foods?
There are different paleo diets because they get modified a lot. But an orthodox paleo diet has only organic foods: Organic fruits, plenty of steamed organic veggies, free-range chicken, omega-3 enriched or cage-free eggs, and grass-fed red meat, etc. Organic is more expensive than the other foods in your grocery store, so you might spend more if you start a paleo diet.
Is there a better way to invest in your health?
Yes, a great way to go organic is to grow food yourself. Nothing beats fresh and pesticide-free whole foods, but not everyone has a farm or even a garden. If you can’t grow your own food, buy organic food from your local market or gourmet grocer. Plus you save more buying locally grown produce, including eggs, seasonal fruits, and vegetables.