The Paleolithic diet is surprisingly popular because of the fact that it only allows for eating natural and non-processed foods.
With all of the new diets that people have come up with today, one is bound to think that they have heard everything.
But an example of a diet that people rarely speak about is the Paleolithic diet. Just as the name implies, those who adhere to the diet eat only foods which are supposed to have been available to people during the Paleolithic diet, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat.
Read on to learn more information about the Paleolithic diet.
What does the Paleolithic diet aim to achieve?
Those who eat according to the Paleolithic diet want to eat in a way that is similar to that of the way early humans ate during the Paleolithic era.
This means that people only eat foods which are natural and which are presumed to have existed back then. There are many people who think that the way our bodies are designed does not match what we eat now after the dawn of farming.
This is known as the discordance hypothesis. People who adhere to this diet believe that if a caveman was unable to eat it, then modern men should not eat it either.
With the rise of farming, people began to eat dairy and grains, to the point where today, these foods play a huge role in what we eat every day.
Since this change in the human diet occurred both late during evolution and at such a fast pace, the human body was not able to adapt to it.
Therefore, this is believed to be the reason why there are so many instances of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease all around the world.
People who are on the Paleolithic diet may choose it so that they can lose weight or continue being at a healthy weight, or so that they can have help planning their meals.
Some people who have chosen to eat according to a Paleolithic diet have shown to have positive health benefits such as more weight loss, better glucose tolerance, better control of their blood pressure, lower triglyceride, and better management of their appetite.
As with any new diet, it is important to consult with a nutritionist or doctor to see if your body is able to keep up with the diet, and what possible risks the diet may pose to your health.
Examples of foods for the Paleolithic diet
There is no one specific ‘Paleolithic diet.’ But people who eat according to this diet eat lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats, fish, and oils.
- For example, for breakfast, you may choose to eat a fruit salad, which consists of grapes, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
- For lunch, you may have broiled salmon and salad consisting of lemon juice dressing, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes.
- And finally, for dinner, you can eat beef sirloin, broccoli, and salad.
- If you also would like to eat snacks throughout the day, it is recommended to eat fruits such as oranges, apples, or vegetables such as celery sticks.
- It is also important for adherents of this diet to drink plenty of water and remain physically active.
Overall, it is important to avoid the following foods: grains, potatoes, salt, legumes, dairy products, refined sugar, and highly processed foods.
Some people worry that this diet does not allow for obtaining the proper nutritional benefits such as fiber, certain vitamins, protein, and calcium, all of which are found in legumes, grains, and dairy products.
There are also some people who will find that the paleo diet is too expensive for them, since organic foods do tend to be more expensive than processed and unhealthy foods.
There are some questions regarding whether or not people should eat grains, due to the fact that some studies have shown that people are supposed to have eaten wild grains in their diet even 30,000 years ago, which is a long time before farming has been introduced.
Also, the digestive abilities of modern humans is different from the digestive abilities of Paleolithic humans, so whether or not the Paleolithic diet is actually good for modern humans is potentially up for debate.
Upon first glance, the paleo diet can seem to be very healthy, and arguably the foods involved are very good for your health and have many benefits.
Regardless of which diet you choose to follow, it is important to include many fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet, because of all the health benefits they offer.
However, again, before making any drastic changes in your diet, it is important to consult with your doctor because there may be some unknown health risks that may cause a certain diet to not be good for your body type.
History of the Paleolithic Diet
This diet, which is often referred to as a fad, has been referred to since the 1970s. People who have proposed that diets with similar concepts to the paleo diet are healthier have suggested this since even the late 1800s.
Some writers such as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Dr. Emmet Densmore have stated that the primitive diet is much healthier for us than the modern diet which consists of starchy and grain-based foods.
The diet was popularized in the book The Paleo Diet, which was written in 2002 by Loren Cordain. Sometimes, the Paleolithic diet is referred to as the paleo diet, the caveman diet, or the stone-age diet.
The paleo diet has been considered to be one of the latest trends in dieting back in 2012, and many books have been written about it. It was considered to be one of the most sought-after weight loss methods, according to the amount of Google searches conducted about the diet back in 2013.
This diet, along with many other fad diets, has been popularized because of its appeal to nature and because its adherents believe that the food industry controls how the benefits of such a diet have not become known to the public.
Possible Health Problems and Benefits
As with all new diets, there can be potential health benefits and problems that can occur. Everyone’s body is different and reacts to things in different ways.
Generally, the concept that processed foods, too much sugar, and too much salt are bad for your health are popularly discussed by even those who do not adhere to any type of diet.
There are some potential health risks that the Paleolithic diet poses, however. Since the diet encourages eating plenty of fish, it is possible to ingest toxins, and the risk of doing so is increased.
It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies in important nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, folate, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. As a result, this could lead to poorer bone health.
Some of the side effects that this diet can cause are headaches, diarrhea, and overall bodily weakness.
The United Kingdom Association of Dieticians has considered the paleo diet to be one of the top view worst celebrity diets to follow back in 2015 because of the fact that it does not allow for people to eat certain foods that do not have good substitutions. This, as a result, can cause one to have poorer health.
There are also some issues with this diet, as scientists state that Paleolithic humans did not follow any particular diet, and ate anything and everything they possibly could.
They did this in order to ensure that they would survive. Also, since Paleolithic humans did not live in one place, they may have all eaten different foods because of the different climates and environments they lived in.
There even may have been people during this era who ate foods such as beans and grains which are typically banned from the modern Paleolithic diet.
Of course, the paleo diet has its benefits. One of the most obvious is the fact that it does not allow for eating any processed foods, which have been proven time and time again to be bad for one’s health. Doing so can help people to reduce their blood pressure and regulate their blood sugar.
Also, studies have been conducted to show that people who had type 2 diabetes were shown to have better glycemic control and less cardiovascular risks when they followed a paleo diet.
There was another study which showed that following a paleo diet can reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease, but more studies need to be conducted before this becomes fact.
Once again, if you wish to follow this diet, make sure that you consult a doctor or nutritionist. There are plenty of guides all over the internet to help guide you in planning meals and foods to eat in accordance with the diet.
Also, make sure to consult a doctor on how to substitute for the vitamins and minerals that you will not be provided with when eating according to the paleo diet.
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