April 17, 2024

Most people would agree that the modern diet is harmful to society. A rise in processed, calorically-dense, low-nutrient food has led to an obesity epidemic and chronic diseases. Could returning to our hunting-and-gathering ancestors’ diet be the answer to our problems?

This is the basis of the “paleo” diet (also known as the caveman’s diet, the paleolithic, the hunter-gatherer, or the stone-age-diet). The fitness trend began in the 1970s, but it has recently resurfaced. Many health professionals, athletes and researchers promote this fitness trend as the healthiest way to maximize fitness while reducing chronic disease risk. The Paleo Diet, just like Atkins or other low-carbohydrate diets, has been criticized because of its focus on nutrition restrictions and lack of suitability for general consumers.

Paleo Diet: What Is It and Why is it Popular?

Paleo is a diet based on the foods that humans may have eaten in the Paleolithic Era. Paleolithic Era is roughly between 2.5 million and 10,000 years old.

The modern paleo diet includes fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and lean meats. In the past, people were able to get these foods by hunting and gathering. This does not include foods that were more common after small-scale agriculture began around 10,000 years ago. Included in this group are grains, legumes, and dairy products.

Other names for a paleo diet include Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and cave man diet.

Improved Health

The paleo diet emphasizes increased protein and fibre intake and reduced carbohydrate intake. The paleo diet aims to reduce certain fats like Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and trans fats while increasing the intake of monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids.

This also promises to increase the amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals in your diet. You can also get a better balance between potassium and sodium.

Food to eat

  • Meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Nuts, seeds and other nuts
  • Healthy fats and oils
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

Avoid These Foods

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Potatoes
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • High-fructose Corn Syrup
  • Trans fats
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed food

Paleo diets can make you feel more full and help you lose weight. It is because the diet is high in fiber and lean proteins. The traditional diet allows cheat meals to be consumed at first. You can eat what you want at three “open” meals per week.

What is the best way to eat a caveman diet?

Only you and your healthcare team can answer this question. The paleo diet is based on the same principles as most healthy eating programs: unprocessed, whole foods including fruits and vegetables. InsideTracker provides you with vital information that can help you optimize and manage your health. Check out the InsideTracker plans that are right for you.

Considerations

Dietary Restriction

It is unlikely that a vegan or vegetarian could follow the Paleo diet. Paleo diets emphasize meat, eggs, and seafood. Vegetarian sources of protein, such as legumes, are not approved.

Spending

It can be expensive to buy large quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables and meat. Be prepared to spend more on groceries and to spend time preparing the food at home.

Consider Exercise

You must consider how many calories you consume and use to lose weight. You may lose weight even if you don’t exercise if you eat paleo food. If you consume the same amount of calories, you’ll need to increase activity to lose weight.

If you want to lose weight and tone up, it’s best to exercise while on the paleo-style diet.

Bottom line

Paleo may help you maintain a healthy body weight or lose weight. The diet may also have beneficial health effects. There are no long-term studies on the potential benefits and risks of this diet.

By eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise, you may be able achieve similar health benefits. As part of a healthy eating plan, eat plenty of fruits and veggies.

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