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The paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet, and in the 70’s as the stone age diet has become a really popular diet within recent years. Many people swear by it, and others claim that it’s a fad diet that will lose popularity within 5 years. I’m going to break this diet down and then you can make your own decision about if it’s right or wrong for you.
The diet is based on the idea that cavemen living tens of thousands of years ago were healthier and in better shape then us today because of their diet choices. Proponents of the paleo diet believe that the average HomoSapien back then was tall, muscular, agile, athletic, and incredibly versatile. Whereas now we are stressed out, over weight, and unhappy. So who is to blame? They say its agriculture. Farming has only been around for the last few thousand years, and before the agricultural revolution we were purely hunters and gathers. Many believe that we have not evolved to eat the majority of the food we’re eating today especially processed food and grains. Paleo dieters claim that most people are gluten intolerant and gluten is found in grains. Also they say that lectins are natural toxins that exist within grains to defend against consumption! So say bye bye to bread, pasta, and all other wheat based products.
Basically if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither could you. The theory is that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors, we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
The rules of the paleo diet are as follows:
The diet is high in animal protein. Meat, eggs, organs, and fish are all encouraged. Pasture raised and grass-fed sources are preferred, and if you don’t have access to these sources it is recommended that you choose lean meats.
You must eliminate all processed food.
The plan is low in carbohydrates and does not allow grains and legumes. This means no rice, wheat, rye, barley, oats, and beans. Certain variations of the paleo diet allow potatoes and sweet potatoes. I think incorporating some sweet potatoes would be a really good idea if you’re very active because you’ll need the extra carbs for energy.
One thing that its really big on is vegetables especially green ones. You can have as many as you want in every meal.
Low in fruits too, and when you eat fruit choose a low sugar option like berries.
Low in nuts
Eliminate all sugar.
Aside from butter you have eliminate all other dairy
No calorie counting nor portion control is necessary.
You are allowed large amounts of saturated fat like butter, lard, and coconut oil, and you’re encouraged to stay away from vegetable oils and hydrogenated oils. Which means that you can’t have margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.
The paleo diet is a lot more fond of using olive oil and avocado oil, but doesn’t want you cooking with these oils.
Cut out all grains and legumes from your diet
Can this diet work with helping you get healthier and lose weight, absolutely. I am not on the paleo diet, and I have mixed feelings on it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can definitely work for many people. Some people are gluten intolerant (granted a lot less people are gluten intolerant than all the gluten free hype wants you to believe) but if you are actually gluten intolerant this diet can be a life savior. Eliminating processed foods, dairy, and sugar out of your diet, alone can cause drastic changes in your health and weight. You’ll definitely lose weight on any low carb diet and there is no denying this is a very low carb diet. In fact this aside from dairy products this diet is almost identical to the Atkins diet. Even though starchy carbs are packed full of phytonutrients they are also very calorie dense, and are your bodies preferred source of energy. So by eliminating most carbohydrates your body will have to become more efficient at using fat for energy. As you can see weight loss and fat loss is definitely possible with this plan. And its been proven that losing weight and fat will improve your health and immunity to diseases. However, that does not make this diet plan any better than any other
What makes any diet plan better than another is highly dependent on the person doing the diet. If you can’t stick to the plan over a long term then it is going to be ineffective.