What Does a Paleo Diet Consist Of? – Finding Out The Secret
Our ancestors obviously didn't have many of the food choices we now possess. When we want to take a snack, we've got a plethora of options ranging from sweets to chips. For our meals, we can whip up a dish, opt for fast food or head to the nearest restaurant.
Given the variety of options these days, we are stuffing a lot of unhealthy food into our bodies. Today, we consume a lot of processed foods that it has reflected in our ever-increasing sizes. In order to lose weight and lead healthier lives, several diet options have been thrown out the window. The most recent of which is The Paleo Diet.
What Is the Paleo Diet?
The paleolithic diet or the caveman diet is basically a diet based on what human beings of long ago used to consume. Food options they had include meat, nuts and berries. Excluded from the diet are options that they wouldn't have had access to like dairy. Basically, if cavemen didn't eat it, you shouldn't either.
Proponents of The Paleo Diet believe that humans from about 10,000 years ago had evolved nutritional needs based on the food that was available to them. They also argue that modern humans are best adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors as our metabolism hasn't been able to adapt to handle the food available since the advent of agriculture. As a result, humans of today have metabolisms that can't adapt to eating grain, legumes and dairy and most particularly high-calorie processed foods.
Those in support of The Paleo Diet believe that this inability to adjust is what's causing numerous health issues such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. They believe that with a paleolithic diet, humans can have a longer, healthier and more active life.
Walter Voegtlin, a gastroenterologist, suggested the idea of a caveman diet way back in the 1970s. Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Kooner developed the idea further, but it was popularized by Loren Cordain in his best-selling book, The Paleo Diet in 2002. Cordan also trademarked the term Paelo Diet.
The popularity of the diet led it to be the most searched-for weight-loss method on Google.
What Does the Paleo Diet Require?
In the most basic sense, a Paleo Diet requires a menu rich in meat and plants such as leafy greens and fruit. Also included in the diet are fish and poultry.
Here is a more closer look at what the diet requires:
- A lot of protein and meat
Advocates claim that protein constituted 19 to 35% of the calories in hunter-gatherer diets. Meaning, the staple foods that should be in your menu include meat, seafood and other animal products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US national public health institute, recommends that we get 10 to 35% of calories from protein. Proponents of the Paleo Diet recommend food with moderate to higher fat intake that is dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. They also added that food rich in trans fats and omega-6 fats should be avoided.
- A lot less carbohydrates
This basically means that your diet should consist of non-starchy vegetables and fruits. The consumption of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables will provide 35 to 45% of daily calories and will be the main source of carbohydrates. The acceptable macronutrient distribution range for carbohydrates is 45 to 65% of total calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
A lot of our modern-day diet gets carbohydrates from dairy products and grains, but these are not included in a Paleolithic Diet.
But if there are items you just can't live without like pancakes, there are paleo-friendly options like the Paleo Pancake and Waffle Mix which is both low carb and gluten free. If you still long for pizza, you can get the Paleo Pizza Crust Mix. Basically, you have endless options. Now that the diet is gaining traction, more products will pop up promoting the paleo lifestyle.
What Should Be Avoided in the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is basically us going back to the basics. The Agricultural Revolution brought in food dosed with growth-stimulating hormones, antibiotics and toxins. But the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle had none of that as they weren't equipped with tools to cultivate crops nor did they take care of cows. As a result, their diet was free from grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol and other processed or refined foods such as corn, white potatoes and peanuts.
All that said, these are the list of foods that shouldn't be part of the Paleo Diet:
- dairy products
- grains – includes wheat, rye, canary seed and barley
- legumes – examples include beans and peanuts
- processed oils
- refined sugar
Where Can You Find Recipes for Paleo Meals?
While our ancestors probably didn't dress their meals as stylishly as we do, we modern humans want to make our food tasty and interesting. And rather than just eat meals, we also crave desserts. But given that a lot of food items aren't allowed in a Paleo Diet, is there a way to still enjoy eating but adhere to the diet plan? With The Paleo Recipe Book, sure you can. It features 372 recipes which include quick and simple meals, an 8-week meal plan and even paleo desserts. Through this book, you will find recipes that show a paleo diet isn't exactly as restricting as it sounds – in fact, it can be a whole lot of fun too!
Of course, with the advent of the internet, it's the other source of paleo recipes that wouldn't require you to break the bank; a simple search on Google will lead you to many blogs and sites focusing on The Paleo Diet. In addition, you can also browse Pinterest for paleo-specific boards.
Who Have Found Success with the Paleo Diet?
One of the reasons The Paleo Diet has received widespread recognition is that a few celebrities have endorsed it. From the world of Hollywood to the sporting scene, famous people have shown the world that the diet works. But just about who have advocated for this diet trend? Here's a small sample:
- Jack Osbourne – son of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne; he turned to The Paleo Diet when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system and has no known cure. When speaking to ABC News, Osbourne said “At its core, I look at MS as inflammation, so I try and eliminate foods that cause inflammation: dairy, gluten and grains.”
- Grant Hill – former NBA player who last played for the Los Angeles Clippers and now works as an analyst and host; Hill retired when he was 40-years old and the secret to his 19-year NBA career was that he was an advocate of The Paleo Diet. Hill had suffered from a number of injuries but saw a re-emergence of sorts in his later years in the league and he knows that it had a lot to do with eating.
- Jessica Biel – actress notable for playing Mary Camden in the family-drama series 7th Heaven; she's already a fa of CrossFit and adds a green Paleo Diet to her regime. According to Biel in an interview with CrossFit Zone, “It just leans you down and slims you up and takes that little layer of fat, skin and water-weight right off your body.”
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers quarterback; a winner of the Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers told ESPN that he purchased a copy of The Paleo Diet on his road trip to the biggest event in Football in Dallas.
- Kobe Bryant – star of the Los Angeles Lakers; he may not be young anymore, but Bryant keeps up with the young stars of the NBA by focusing on a diet that limits carbs and eliminates sugar and processed foods. He says, “I feel like I can run all day long.”
A lot of celebrities from the streets of Hollywood to the locker rooms of various sports have shown that The Paleo Diet can and will work if you just dedicate yourself to it. While it may turn off some people for the many number of delicious items it cuts out from its menu, there are always recipes you can follow to make adhering to the diet a more fun process.