Most fitness enthusiasts would likely be familiar with the Paleo diet, but not many would have tried it. However, this scenario is changing as many people are now getting on-board the primal eating method. Those of you who have no idea what this ancient diet is, it’s what our ancient ancestors ate to survive. With time, our food eating habits and preferences have evolved, but not for the better. The focus today is more on taste than nutrition. Our current food pattern has more of packaged and processed items. According to Paleo proponents, the modern-day man should rethink what and how he eats, to have a healthier, stronger, fitter and leaner self.
The word “Paleo” indicates Paleolithic people who had arguably the best eating habits. Their food was enriched with fiber, protein, unsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. There was very little sodium and saturated fat.
The Paleo diet focuses a lot on meat consumption. This meat-eating protocol comprises not just the flesh but the whole animal instead. In other words, bone marrow, organs, cartilage, etc. are also part of the food. The other items include animal items such as honey or eggs, fruits and vegetables, seeds and raw nuts, and added fats such as avocado, coconut oil, ghee and butter.
Grains are not part of this diet. Grains (including whole grains), processed foods, and richly processed oils (for instance, soybean and canola oil) are excluded from the diet. Dairy and legumes too aren’t on-board. However, some diets may allow dairy items; these are Paleo diet flavors that have evolved with time.
Most people may argue why resort to the diets of hunter-gatherer people when there are so many sophisticated healthy diet choices. The thing is 21st century humans and their bodies are still best programmed for such prehistoric diets compared to any modern diet patterns or the ones that came about after the Paleolithic phase. People who are stuck eating grains, legumes and cheese are at the highest risks of becoming obese, developing heart problems and diabetes.
Benefits of Going Paleo
• Weight Loss
The potential to lose weight is probably the most common reason why people take up this diet. The diet makes it easier for the body to eliminate excess fat and become leaner naturally. Dietary carbohydrates, such as grains, and fructose result in too much body fat or obesity, and also many related health problems. In addition, no levels of exercise can make up for the damage caused by wrong eating habits. Excessive grains and fructose will program the body to acquire fat and stay so for long. Depriving the body of carbohydrates is equivalent to letting the body eliminate all the fat, irrespective of how your workout schedule has been planned.
It would be foolish if you thought the Paleo diet was all about losing weight and looking good from the outside. Among the several health benefits, the diet also potentially helps mitigate cancer, along with several other major diseases. As aforementioned, the diet helps limit carbohydrate intake and focuses on saturated fat consumption. As a result, the cells in your body get attuned to live on fat instead of glucose; cancer cells cannot survive on fat.
The Paleo diet has more anti-inflammatory items than any other health or weight loss diet. Also, when on this diet, you are consuming more foods containing phytonutrients and antioxidants that are often in the news for their anti-cancer traits, and also their ability to improve heart health.
Unlike other diets, the Paleo diet hasn’t been as rigid and has made way for new food items to take seat. This is because there isn’t comprehensive information yet about our great ancestors and what they ate. The exploration is still on and with every new discovery about our ancestors’ living style and eating habits, you may see a few more food items joining the Paleo diet assortment. Also, our ancestors did not eat anything and everything and they could have missed out on a lot of other edibles. This means some variants of the Paleo diet may consist of food that the Paleolithic people may not have eaten, and which doesn’t make the particular food item unhealthy.