Caveman-diet

A Basic Overview Of The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is being hailed as the healthiest diet in the world because it is based on the diet that humans are genetically adapted to. In other words, it dates back to the caveman age and is loosely based on what our ancestors ate, so if you can’t hunt and gather it, generally you can’t include it in your diet.

In this day and age our diets can become clogged with trans fats, sugar and processed foods which can be the cause of many problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, so ridding yourself of these things can have some great health benefits.

The Paleo diet may help you to:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Lose weight
  • Eliminate acne
  • Have more energy
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Increase your libido
  • Improve your mental outlook
  • Reduce allergies

Although there are slight variations to the diet, generally they all follow the same rule of thumb, so if you want to try and achieve some of the results above, here’s a basic overview of what you’ll need to eat:

  • Lean grass produced meats – they help you to feel full between meals and they help support strong muscles and healthy bones.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables – they are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have been known to reduce the risk of developing some diseases including cancer and diabetes.
  • Omega-3 fats – they are commonly found in fatty fish and can drastically reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and obesity.
  • Nuts and seeds – they contain cancer fighting vitamins and antioxidants (especially walnuts and almonds).
  • Eggs – they are one of the most nutritious foods on earth, loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality protein and good fats.
  • Healthy oils including olive, coconut, flaxseed and canola – they have been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and obesity.

Of course there are certain foods you’ll need to avoid as well:

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined sugar
  • Dairy
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Peanuts
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Alcohol

If this sounds like a diet you could see yourself sticking to, do some thorough research before you try it.  There are a huge number of books about the Paleo diet that will explain in great detail what you can and can’t eat, you’ll need to plan out your meals each week and like any other diet you’ll also need to include some exercise into your regime.

As with any diet, there are those who believe in the Paleo whole heartedly and there are those who condemn it (mostly because it’s not technically a balanced diet when you cut out so many foods).  Only time will tell if this diet will work for you, but why not give it a try for thirty days?  If by the end of it you don’t feel more energised, you haven’t lost weight and you’re still sleeping terribly then it’s probably not the diet for you.

Image via activ8athleticism.com

What Is The Paleo Diet?

The palaeolithic diet is something that I first heard about on blogs and on my Instagram feed. Everyone was raving about this diet that’s been around for centuries, which quite literally means you eat like a caveman. You’re looking to eat foods which are primarily raw, no cooking involved for the most part, and almost certainly nothing with added preservatives. This diet has skyrocketed over the last few years, and has been dubbed as an easy way to lose weight, since it’s a complete change of lifestyle.

What you can eat

Otherwise known as the ‘caveman diet’, paleo relies on a few major food groups to take in all the nutrients you need. Stock up on a variety of fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and fish. While the diet focuses on raw eating, it does allow eating cooked meat and fish products every once in a while.

What you can’t eat

Bid adieu to snacks with refined sugars and any processed foods you can think of. These are harmful to the body, and you will notice a significant drop in weight loss when they’re cut out completely from your diet. Dairy is also another no-go since lactose isn’t well tolerated by many people. Lactose can cause bloating, indigestion and terrible stomachaches for many people so it’s best to stay away from it if you’re already feeling any of these symptoms. Almond milk is a great alternative for anyone looking to wean themselves off of milk altogether. Grains and beans are also not accepted in the paleo diet, since they are not a gluten-free alternative and don’t promote a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits

There are many benefits if you choose to adapt the palaeolithic diet as part of your everyday lifestyle. Not only does it help shed any additional weight loss from processed foods, but it promotes stable blood sugar, reduces allergies, acts as an anti-inflammatory, contributes to clear skin and balances out energy throughout the day. This diet is ideal for anyone suffering with coeliac disease, since it promotes a gluten-free lifestyle.

Problems

You would have to be quite serious about changing your entire lifestyle to suit this diet, since there is absolutely no room for sweets, chocolates and dairy. If you’re just starting out and want to adapt a healthier eating plan, use the paleo pyramid as a guide. It will be harder to cut sweets out altogether, and rather think of it as a gradual process by first eliminating just a few sugary treats. This will reduce the chance of snacking on fatty foods in the future.

Would you incorporate the palaeolithic diet into your lifestyle?

Image via Nerd Fitness

By Felicia Sapountzis

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