Paleo diet is known as caveman diet.Well, that was the initial belief any way.Have you ever wondered what life was like way before the invention of modern technology? When you look at all the mouth watering processed foods available in today’s market, you can’t help but wonder how our ancestors did cope. How did the ladies ever get over heartbreaks without ice-cream or a bag of chips with a chilled bottle of soda and a good old soap opera? It is an idea to be wondered at but don’t wonder too much. The Paleo diet is here not just to aid weight loss but to give you a clear feel of the early days.
The Paleo diet is known as the caveman diet because it is supposedly based on the eating habits of those who lived during the Paleolithic era (the era before the development of agriculture). It has earned its many aliases such as; the primal diet, the stone-age diet, and the hunter-gatherer diet. This means that the Paleo diet consists of foods that can be hunted, fished, or gathered. Such foods include;
- Meat: beef, chicken, pork, turkey, and lamb
- Sea food: shrimp, salmon, trout, among others
- Veggies: onions, tomatoes, peppers, kale, broccoli, carrot, lettuce, spinach, etc.
- Fruits: berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) oranges, banana, avocado, apples, etc.
- Plant based oils: olive oil, grape seed oil, walnut oil and coconut oil
- Nuts: macadamia nuts, hazel nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts, almond nuts, etc.
Rather than focus on counting calories, Paleo diet is focused on restricting or eliminating processed foods. This inadvertently results in reduced calorie intake and ultimately weight loss. It is best to go with organic foods when and if possible to avoid exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides.
Cutting processed foods do not just aid weight loss but extends life span. A lot of health problem may be avoided by cutting out processed foods from diet. The highest consumption of sodium comes from processed food and could lead to health problems including thyroid malfunction.
The Paleo diet is not just all about the food but also the physical activity involved. It is quite agreeable that the cave men had to go out and get their food; their means of transport being their legs. With no machines or tools, they must have exerted their bodies before getting their meal. That is good workout, conscious or not.
In as much as this plan does not involve calorie counting, it will do you good to stay clear of the high carb meals and engage in more physical activities. Here are a few foods you should totally avoid:
- Dairy products: milk, yoghurt, cheese, etc
- Trans fat: cheese, macaroni, French fries, etc
- Legumes: soy milk, tofu, peanut, peanut butter, beans, etc
- Grains: oats, wheat, rice, cereal, bread, pasta, etc
- Sugar: cake, honey, syrup, candy, etc
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed or canned foods
- Salty foods: crackers, soy sauce, chips, etc
BENEFITS OF THE PALEO DIET:
- Weight loss
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts immune system
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Reduces risk of diabetes
- Increased insulin sensitivity
LOOP HOLES IN THE PALEO DIET:
This diet may be a bit far-fetched though because there is no ‘scientifically proven’ correct diet. The foods that are supposedly allowed on the Paleo diet are simply speculated foods. Most plants or animals that the cavemen ate are probably extinct by now. Furthermore the Paleo diet does not encourage balanced meals and might be lacking vital nutrients. Legumes (one out of the many forbidden foods of the Paleo diet), is quite nutritious and may lower the chances of heart and kidney problems.
The Paleo diet might prove to be difficult to follow considering that eating something as simple as salad could become a chore. You spend precious time eliminating processed or canned toppings and looking for organic substitutes. At the end of the day, the product of your labor may not even be palatable. It’s just not a long term project.
This diet does not take vegetarians into account. It may prove extremely difficult for a vegetarian to keep up with this diet especially because it excludes beans.Like with every other diet or meal plan ensure to stay hydrated at all times and do consult with your doctor at every turn.
Photo: Workout,play hard