The new rage in eating is to eat like cavemen did, and it’s called the paleo diet because it includes the food that was available to us for most of our evolution during the paleolithic era, starting about 2.5 million years ago. Basically, it’s all about eating lots of lean protein and fruits and vegetables.
Paleo diet lifestyle offers 15 rules of the Paleo diet:
- The Paleo diet should be high in fat,moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
- Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats likecoconut oil and butter or clarified butter.Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
- Eat generous amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form of stocks and broths.
- Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
- Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berriesas well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problem or are trying to lose weight faster.
- Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter or clarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
- Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive oil and avocado oil are fine, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over prepared food.
- Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. At the grocery store, visit only the meat, fish and produce sections.
- Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without, read this article and consider raw, full-fat and/or fermented dairy.
- Eat when you’re hungry and don’t stress if you skip a meal or even two. You don’t have to eat three square meals a day, do what feels most natural.
- Eliminate most sources of external stress in your life as possible and sleep the most you can. Try to wakeup without an alarm and to go to bed when it’s dark.
- Don’t over-exercise, keep your training sessions short and intense and do them only a few times per week. Take some extra time off if you feel tired. Consider short and intense sprinting sessions instead of very long cardio sessions.
- Consider supplementing with vitamin D and probiotics. Levels of magnesium, iodine and vitamin K2 should also be optimized. Iodine can be obtained from seaweeds. You probably don’t need a multivitamin or other supplements.
- Play in the sun, have fun, laugh, smile, relax, discover, travel, learn and enjoy life like a daring adventure!
So, what are the benefits? First off, since it’s high in protein and low in carbs, you should see some weight loss. According to paleodiet.com, studies have shown high-protein, low-glycemic load diets to be more effective than low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets in promoting weight loss and keeping it off. They also discuss some of the secondary benefits -The carbohydrates (unlimited fruits and veggies) in the Paleo Diet are of a low-glycemic index, meaning that they cause slow and limited rises in your blood sugar and insulin levels. Excessive insulin and blood sugar levels are known to promote a cluster of diseases called the Metabolic Syndrome (obesity, hypertension, undesirable blood cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, Type 2 diabetes and gout). The high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fat content of the Paleo Diet will also help to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome.
Because of the unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies permitted on the Paleo Diet, your body will be slightly alkaline – meaning that diseases and disease symptoms of acid/base imbalance (osteoporosis, kidney stones, hypertension, stroke, asthma, insomnia, motion sickness, inner ear ringing, and exercise-induced asthma) will improve.
The high soluble-fiber content of the Paleo Diet will improve most diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and the high omega-3 fat content will improve most of the “itis” or inflammatory diseases.
From what I am reading, it sounds like a pretty good meal plan for people who are not vegetarians. I would definitely check out paleodietlifestyle.com and thepaleodiet.com for additional information on it.