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Paleo Dieting – What's It All About?

Paleo Dieting – What's It All About?

  • Admin
  • Jun 19, 2019

Paleo dieting has been around in some form since the mid-1970s, but it's seen a sharp rise in popularity in recent years. You might have heard it referred to by a range of names, from "hunter-gatherer eating", to "the caveman diet", or even simply as "Paleo". Whatever you call it, the basic premise is simple: eat like your ancestors did for a healthier body.

A Paleo diet is one that revolves around meats, fruits, nuts and other non-processed foods. A truly strict approach to Paleo dieting might cut out legumes and starches such as potatoes too, as these wouldn't have been available to our Paleolithic ancestors. More relaxed versions of the Paleo diet do, however, allow for the occasional "taboo" food (a splash of milk, perhaps, or other dairy products) when necessary.

You may be wondering why so many people take up what seems like quite an extreme diet! The reason is simple: there are dozens of health benefits associated with eating a Paleo diet, and these are not just limited to weight loss.

Advantages of a Paleo Diet

One of the core beliefs which underpins Paleo dieting is that our bodies aren't always able to cope with large amounts of modern, heavily-processed foods. By sticking to vegetables, grass-fed meats, fruit, nuts and other minimally processed foods, dieters stand to reduce the levels of additives, pesticides and chemicals in their bodies.

Followers of a Paleo diet also report other benefits, which range from an increase in energy levels to a boost in mood – results which many attribute to the reduction in their intake of sugars and starches.

And that's not to mention that following a Paleo diet will – for most people – represent a shift away from junk food to some very beneficial sources of nutrition. Nuts and seeds, for example, are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, while red meat is rich in iron. While the main goal of a Paleo diet might be to reduce carbs and sugar, an increase in other essential nutrients is a hugely positive side-effect.

What to Eat on a Paleo Diet

Many people are intimidated by the long list of exclusions that come with a Paleo diet – and this is an entirely reasonable thing to worry about! When beans, grains, cereals and dairy are all off the table, what can you actually eat?

It's true that eating a good range of foods while Paleo dieting can take time and effort, but there's certainly no shortage of Paleo-friendly foods to experiment with.

Most dieters build their main meals around animal proteins such as eggs, chicken, grass-fed beef, and lamb. Supplement these with organ meats such as liver and heart for more variety. Similarly, common green vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and kale can be livened up with other cooking vegetables such as bok choy and beet greens.

For breakfast consider eggs, salmon, ham, and vegetables instead of milk and cereal. And when it comes to snacks a big bag of trail mix, olives or dried fruit is a great choice. Don't neglect more exotic options, though! Seaweed-based snacks, jerky, and vegetable crisps are all paleo-friendly snack options too.

Final Thoughts…

A paleo diet is quite an extreme one for some people, especially if adhered to strictly. As such, Paleo isn't right for everyone. While it certainly does have its health benefits, it might also be inconvenient if you don't have the time or resources to plan a varied and rounded Paleo diet.

Luckily, Paleo isn't a strict regimen – many dieters see benefits even when applying only some of the underlying principles. If a full-on Paleo diet isn't for you, you can still benefit from Paleo eating by cutting down on processed foods, and reducing your intake of starches and sugars.

You might, for example, want to make the shift to grass-fed meats, or start eating one Paleo meal a day. Remember: you're not a caveperson… but eating like one every now and then could have some benefits for your health!

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