Celebrity chefs adhere to it, fitness fanatics swear by it, mothers with young children dabble in it, instagram enthusiasts swoon over it- it has become a popular lifestyle, more than simply a diet, a community of like-minded people who have enjoyed wonderful results by abiding by the nutritional guidelines that the Paelo diet offers.
The Paleo Diet mimics the types of foods every single person on the planet ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution. These foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. They may help to promote good health and do not contain huge amounts of refined sugars and grains, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates and processed foods that may frequently cause weight gain and numerous other health problems.
The Paleo Diet is based upon the type of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate; a high-protein, high-fruit and vegetable diet with moderate to higher amounts of fat.
The industrial revolution changed the way that humans eat significantly. The trend towards wheat, grains and legumes dramatically shifted the diet away from the hunter-gatherer way of eating and not necessarily for the better. Over the last century, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes have escalated.
High carbohydrate and low fat diets often leave people hungry and void of nutrients. The paleo diet concentrates on proteins and healthy omega-3 and monounsaturated fats. Protein increases your metabolism, speeding weight loss and also has a much greater satiety value so it can help to reduce appetite and cravings. The energy your body gets from fat, protein and some glucose from low GI carbs is released slowly and evenly throughout the day. As a result, blood sugar levels can stay stable and people are less likely to experience energy drops.
The Paleo diet consists of real, unprocessed whole foods so you automatically eliminate a whole range of preservatives, hidden sugars, sodium, additives, colouring and artificial flavourings found in packaged foods. Creative recipes have adapted standard western meals to fit the guidelines that the paleo diet suggests. This means that things such as potato chips can be swapped with baked sweet potato wedges, pizza crusts or cooked rice can be made with cauliflower, baked treats can be made using free-range eggs, almond meal and honey and breakfasts can be enjoyed with gluten-free, grain-free toast, eggs, fresh leafy greens and sauerkraut.
People following the Paleo diet have stated to be experiencing many of the below benefits:
– Increased and more stable energy levels
– Improved sleep
– Clearer skin and healthier looking hair
– Mental clarity
– Improved mood and attitude
– Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties
– Less or no bloating, decreased gas
– Sustained weight loss
– Muscle growth; increased fitness
– Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
– Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being
– Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
– Improved lipid profiles
– Healthier gut flora
– Better absorption of nutrients from food
– Reduced allergies
– Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma
Foods to enjoy:
– All vegetables
– All fruit
– Meat and eggs (grass fed/pasture raised)
– Game Meats
– Organ Meats
– Eggs – from chickens, ducks, emu, quail, etc.
– Fish and shellfish
– Sea vegetables- kombu, wakame, other seaweeds, algaes
– Coconut Products: Coconut milk, Coconut manna/butter, Coconut vinegar, Coconut aminos, Coconut sugar, Coconut nectar
– Enjoy in moderation:
– Alcohol (all kinds)
– Sweeteners – Raw honey, stevia, coconut sap, grade B maple syrup
In today’s world we are largely deskbound, consuming packaged, processed foods, living with chronic stress, and not getting enough sleep – all of which can make us sick, fat and depressed. To achieve optimal health, the Paleo lifestyle shifts the focus to whole, unprocessed foods, active living, better sleep and decreased stress.