Have you heard of the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo or “Caveman” Diet mimics the hunter-gatherer eating patterns of our ancient ancestors, who lived primarily on meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. As humankind developed agriculture-based societies, we started to purposely grow and mass produce foods like grains and corn. But what if our bodies were never meant to function on a diet of processed grains and carbohydrates?
The Paleo Diet movement assumes exactly that: Our bodies were not, in fact, made to eat like we do today. And they might work a lot better if we returned to our roots.
Paleo eating removes processed grains from your diet and replaces them with foods that people would have eaten before the agriculture and industrialized era. Simply put, the diet focuses on foods that we can hunt, sneak out of nests, or find growing in the wild, such as:
- Poultry (Chicken, Turkey)
- Meat (Beef, Bison, Venison): Grass-fed, not grain-fed
- Wild fish and seafood: Mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
- Natural oils: Olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
- Vegetables, leafy greens
- Fruits: Have natural sugar, but these should be limited if your goal is to lose weight
- Sweet potatoes, yams: Good source of natural carbohydrates that can help to replenish your glycogen levels after a workout
Foods to Avoid
To keep it simple, just don’t eat anything that you can’t kill with a spear or tear off a mountain-side. Paleo eaters should skip:
- Bread and cereals
- Corn-based products
- Tortillas and pizzas
- Processed sugar
- Fast food
Notably, the Paleo diet will drastically reduces your sugar intake. This is a good thing because eating a bunch of sugar creates an energy spikes in the body, followed by an energy crash. If the sugar we consume isn’t used immediately, it turns into fat, lining our thighs and settling in for the long haul.
In fact, many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed when we eliminate these foods from our diets. Carbs can continue to serve a small purpose in our eating, but they’re not essential, and we can get them from natural sources like vegetables, sweet potatoes and fruit.
Results: Lose Weight Without Counting Calories
As a paleo-eater, you won’t really need to keep track of what you’re eating or obsess about how many grams of a particular nutrient you are consuming. Our bodies are actually designed to function on a much lower intake of carbs than the traditional Food Pyramid would suggest. When we avoid carbs, our bodies thank us by working to burn off stored fat for energy.
Combined with an active lifestyle, the Paleo Diet can help you lose weight, gain energy and avoid a whole host of preventable diseases.
Is your body looking for a change? If so, the Paleo Diet is definitely worth a try.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer for NorthWest living in the Los Angeles area. As a health enthusiast, it’s a priority for her to learn everything about a certain diet before trying it herself. Have you tried the Paleo diet? Share your comments below!
Keep Reading: “How to Be a Caveman: The Paleo Diet Uncovered.”
Photo 2 Courtesy of Pixabay.