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The paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet, and in the ’70s as the stone age diet has become a really popular diet within recent years.
Many people swear by it, and others claim that it’s a fad diet that will lose popularity within 5 years.
I’m going to break this diet down and then you can make your own decision about if it’s right or wrong for you.
The diet is based on the idea that cavemen living tens of thousands of years ago were healthier and in better shape then us today because of their diet choices.
Whereas now we are stressed out, overweight, and unhappy. So who is to blame? They say its agriculture.
Farming has only been around for the last few thousand years, and before the agricultural revolution, we were purely hunters and gathers.
Many believe that we have not evolved to eat the majority of the food we’re eating today especially processed food and grains.
Paleo dieters claim that most people are gluten intolerant and gluten is found in grains.
Also, they say that lectins are natural toxins that exist within grains to defend against consumption! So say bye bye to bread, pasta, and all other wheat-based products.
Basically, if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither could you. The theory is that by eating like our prehistoric ancestors,
we’ll be leaner and less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
The rules of the paleo diet are as follows:
The diet is high in animal protein. Meat, eggs, organs, and fish are all encouraged. Pasture raised and grass-fed sources are preferred,
and if you don’t have access to these sources it is recommended that you choose lean meats.
You must eliminate all processed food.
Certain variations of the paleo diet allow potatoes and sweet potatoes. I think incorporating some sweet potatoes would be a really good idea if you’re very active because you’ll need the extra carbs for energy.
One thing that its really big on is vegetables especially green ones. You can have as many as you want in every meal.
Low in fruits too, and when you eat fruit choose a low sugar option like berries.
Low in nuts Eliminate all sugar.
Aside from butter, you have eliminated all other dairies No calorie counting nor portion control is necessary.
Which means that you can’t have margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil.
The paleo diet is a lot more fond of using olive oil and avocado oil but doesn’t want you cooking with these oils.
Cut out all grains and legumes from your diet
Can this diet work with helping you get healthier and lose weight, absolutely? I am not on the paleo diet,
and I have mixed feelings on it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it can definitely work for many people.
Some people are gluten intolerant (granted a lot fewer people are gluten intolerant than all the gluten-free hype wants you to believe ) but if you are actually gluten intolerant this diet can be a life savior.
Eliminating processed foods, dairy, and sugar out of your diet, alone can cause drastic changes in your health and weight.
You’ll definitely lose weight on any low carb diet and there is no denying this is a very low carb diet.
In fact, this aside from dairy products this diet is almost identical to the Atkins diet. Even though starchy carbs are packed full of phytonutrients they are also very calorie dense and are your bodies preferred source of energy.
So by eliminating most carbohydrates, your body will have to become more efficient at using fat for energy.
As you can see weight loss and fat loss is definitely possible with this plan. And it’s been proven that losing weight
and fat will improve your health and immunity to diseases. However, that does not make this diet plan any better than any other
What makes any diet plan better than another is highly dependent on the person doing the diet.
If you can’t stick to the plan over the long term then it is going to be ineffective. Also, each individuals ancestors diets are different.
So if you come from people that have evolved a lot more on grains beans and nuts then you probably won’t do well on this diet.
On the other hand, if your ancestors didn’t have much grains and legumes then you’ll probably do well on this diet.
The only way to know is to try it out. Anyone that tells you that there is a definitive diet plan for every single person is not considering the variability of peoples digestive abilities. You may do really well on one diet, and I won’t.
One of the biggest things that irritate me about this plan is that it claims that you don’t have to restrict calories on the plan.
In that case, I guess carbohydrates do not count as calories. Also, there is no way to know exactly what cavemen ate,
but when we analyze the teeth of ancient people we find plenty of grains disproving the fact that our ancestors never ate grains.
Another flaw with this plan is saying that human beings haven’t evolved since cavemen. This is just plan untrue.
Our digestive system evolves all the time. We have entirely new products that our body has evolved to.
All the vegetables in our grocery stores have been selectively bred to yield the most nutritious produce for human consumption.
Fruits have been selectively bred for generations to produce sweeter better tasting fruit.
This diet should be called the farmer’s diet and not the paleo diet because the majority of real paleo food is not available today and has been replaced with a farmed alternative.
Before farming all adults used to be lactose intolerant, but with a relatively recent mutation, a lot of us are now able to digest dairy products.
The ability to digest starch has evolved over time as well thanks to copies of a gene known as amy1.
Nowadays most of us can digest starch just fine.
Also to try to match a paleolithic person diet is near impossible because they were eating wild lean animals.
We, on the other hand, will most likely have a plate of fattened up farmed animals. And they would also eat the organs and bone marrow, which I highly doubt are included in most paleo meals.