If you meet someone in a bar and they tell you they're on the "caveman diet" you can be sure it's not a joke. After all, even Matthew McConaughey claims to follow it and he doesn't seem to be wrong about anything!
A paleo diet is a very appropriate feeding plan if you live in a forest behind the distant mountains. It's almost like playing cowboys or being part of a survival team in a forest.
Paleo diet is based on foods similar to those that would have been eaten in the Paleolithic era, which dates back approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years. That is hunting and fishing, plus all the vegetables that nature offers us, here and now. Paleo contains fish, lean beef, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Outside the rules
A paleo diet limits the foods that began to be common when agriculture emerged nearly 10,000 years ago. Forbidden are dairy products, legumes and cereals.
The big picture
The goal of a paleo diet is to return to a way of feeding that is closer to that of early humans (aka hunter-gatherers).
The discordance hypothesis
The reasoning behind the diet is that the human body is genetically incompatible with the modern food that emerged from the emergence of agriculture, an idea known as the "discordance hypothesis".
Agriculture changed what people ate and established dairy, cereal and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This change is believed by some studies to be a contributing factor to the current prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
How to prepare the paleo diet
Recommendations vary among commercial pale diets, and some diet plans have stricter guidelines than others. In general, paleo-diets follow these guidelines.
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meat, in particular from pasture-fed animals or game
- Olive oil or nut oil
- Cereals, such as wheat, oats and barley
- Legumes: beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas
- Dairy products
- Refined Sugar
- Highly processed foods in general
A day in life under Paleo Diet
- Breakfast. Grilled salmon and cantaloupe.
- Lunch. Roast lean pork loin and salad (romaine lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, nuts and lemon juice dressing).
- Dinner. Baked lean beef tenderloin, steamed broccoli, salad (mixed greens, tomato, avocado, onions, almonds, and lemon juice dressing), and strawberries for dessert
- Snacks. Oranges, carrot sticks, or celery sticks
- Increased weight loss
- Better glucose tolerance
- Better blood pressure control
- Triglyceride reduction
- Better appetite management
Paleo-diet is rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts, the elements of a healthy diet. However, it lacks whole grains and legumes, which are a good source of fiber, vitamins and other nutrients.
As usual, before implementing any radical changes into your diet make sure to consult the relevant specialist.
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