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Losing weight, improving health or enhancing your physical performance can be very challenging for a beginner. The wealth of knowledge on online resources can increase your confusion and make you less informed than before.

There are some diets and exercises that are fads or trends and do not help you achieve your desired results. To succeed in changing your diet to improve your health or to lose weight, it is crucial to learn as much as you can about the diet.

The paleo diet has become one of the most popular diets of recent times. However, most people do not truly understand what it means or what it entails. This comprehensive article will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not to adopt the paleo diet.

What is the Paleo Diet?
Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet basically comprises of the consumption of foods that occur naturally. The popular tag associated with the diet is, “If Fred Flintstone did not eat it, neither should you! ” The diet advocates for foods that Homo sapiens ate during the Paleolithic period as the only source of nutrients, which can include a variety of vegetables, fruit, and meat among other food products.

The prehistoric diet focuses on foods that were eaten by hunters and gatherers as well as occurring naturally in the wild. This means that the adoption of foods after the Neolithic period are not permissible for adherents of this diet. The paleo diet is a very popular food lifestyle especially due to the rise of anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) sentiment and a focus on healthier lifestyles.

Is there any scientific reasoning behind the Paleo Diet?
On paper, it seems that the paleo diet is the perfect diet for healthy living so it is important to consider whether there is a scientific basis for using this diet. From the recent studies on the primal diet, there is some scientific proof that the paleo diet has some very positive effects on the body.

One of the studies has found that the paleo diet can improve your metabolism. Specifically, the paleo diet improves how lipids and starches are broken down in the body. Another research study has found that the diet is effective for heart patients by reducing the cholesterol in the body and can actually be better than most heart-healthy diets.

Some studies show a cautious link between the paleo diet and the prevention of some stomach cancers.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

· Higher Energy Levels
The primal diet affects how your body breaks down fats and carbs. It improves your metabolism meaning that your body can break down nutrients in a more effective way therefore increasing your energy levels.

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Users of this diet have found that they felt much more energetic after adhering to the diet for only a short period.

· Improves Satiation
The diet incorporates a large amount of meat protein but limits the cereals and grains in the diet. The food products permissible in the caveman diet take a longer time to break down so that you feel full for longer periods.

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Feeling full also means that you eat less and therefore gain less weight.

· Reduced Calorie Intake
The paleo diet generally has a very low calorie intake, as it does not include any processed or sugary foods. The low amount of calories means that you do not have to count the amount of calories anxiously every time you have something to eat.

For active people, this is an added feature as the diet is both high energy and low calorie.

· Heart Healthy
This diet is very good for your heart. It concentrates on grains and meat so that there is very little intake of carbs and sugars. This means that the cholesterol levels are much lower in this diet and is therefore perfect for your heart.

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Cholesterol affects the heart by narrowing the arteries and causing a lot of pressure on your heart. Interestingly, despite containing food products that are typically high in cholesterol such as eggs, the diet is much healthier than most recommended diets.

· Gluten-free and Dairy-free
This diet does not recommend cereals, processed foods, dairy products, or other types of oil. The paleo diet is perfect for an individual who has an intolerance to dairy products such as milk and cheese or has lived a gluten-free lifestyle. For those with celiac disease, this diet can also be beneficial.

You can minimize the amount of products that may cause you some discomfort. This is also a great lifestyle choice if you are on a weight loss program.

· Paleo as a lifestyle
Most paleo enthusiasts state that the paleo diet is applicable to other parts of your life. Instead of just concentrating on the diet, you extend the caveman lifestyle to your own. This means that you should sleep more often, avoid social media, limit the use of technology, and physical activity.

All these factors improve your health and fitness.

· Health Benefits
The primal diet has positive health impacts on individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases.

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The natural and limited diet has proven to alleviate some of the distress that these individuals suffer and therefore help them to maintain normal lives.

Possible Setbacks of the Paleo Diet
Some critics state that the paleo diet does not have as many benefits as its supporters propose. Others claim that just because these ancient ancestors did not suffer from the high rates of chronic illness we face now; it does not mean that the paleo diet is responsible. The possible negatives of the paleo diet include:

· It is very strict. This diet can only be effective if all the diet requirements are met. You must have the discipline to avoid processed foods such as chips and cookies.

· It contains some high value produce and can be expensive to maintain. All the meat, vegetable, and fruit produce must be fresh and naturally farmed in order to fulfill the criteria for the paleo diet. This is costly for most people.

· Most of us cannot hunt or even gather. Some hardcore proposers of the diet suggest that human beings should forage for food in the wild and eat what they get.

· Our current biology is different from our ancient ancestors so that the paleo diet may not benefit us in the same way as it did for them.

What to Eat

1. Meat and Eggs

Animal products were one of the major sources of food for the hunters and gatherers. It is preferable to stick to fresh animal products rather than frozen foods or processed meats. This means that no spiced sausages, beef jerky, ham, bacon, and any types of canned meats.

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You should stick to fresh beef, chicken, lamb, and pork among others. Eggs are also a staple in the paleo diet and contribute to your protein intake for the day. In addition, try to focus on foods that are both natural and organic to maintain the concept of the paleo diet.

2. Veggies

Vegetables are highly recommendable for this diet. Veggies such as kale, cauliflower, asparagus, squash, onions, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and plantains among others. However, these veggies have to be prepared through natural methods such as steaming or grilling.

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You should definitely add more starchy vegetables if you want to increase the amount of carbs in the body. Remember that this diet only advocates for foods that occur naturally without any human contribution.

3. Nuts and Seeds

The paleo diet permits the consumption of any type of nuts and seeds. Seeds can include chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds. Nuts can include almonds, cashew nuts, and hazelnuts among others.

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The best part is that these nuts and seeds contain healthy fiber and fats that are suitable for your body. Yet again, this consists of the gatherer aspect of the paleo diet. Nuts contain a high fat content but also increase satiety and reduce hunger.

4. Herbs and Spices

Eating a prehistoric diet does not mean that you should eat flavorless or boring types of foods. You can spice up your foods with several best herbs and spices. Wild herbs are acceptable for this diet, as they already existed in the past. This means you can use rosemary, garlic, cumin, coriander seeds, thyme, basil, black pepper, and bay leaves among other herbs.

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Salt is also acceptable in this diet. It is preferable that you opt for fresh herbs and spices that you can prepare yourself. These spices will make your food more interesting and appealing especially if you are introducing the diet to children.

5. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are also good for the primal diet. Some of the healthy fats include avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and coconut oil among others.

These fats and oils are good for the body as they contain nutrients such as vitamins and fatty acids.

6. Fruits

Fruits of all types are included in the paleo diet and include avocados, pear, mangoes, berries, bananas, pineapples, and apples among many others. These fruits contain vitamins and healthy sugars that are easy to break down for energy.

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Some of these fruits also have added benefits such as the avocado having mono-saturated fats that enhance the good type of cholesterol.

What to Avoid
This list essentially includes any foods that did not exist in the Paleolithic era. They include:

1. Legumes

These are products such as lentils, beans, peanuts, chipeas, soybeans and tamarind.

These products were only available from the Neolithic period therefore making them unsuitable for the caveman diet.

2. Grains

Food items such as wheat, rice, cornmeal, and oats are all examples of cereal grains. Regardless of whether these cereals are whole grains or refined grains, they are completely unacceptable in the paleo diet.

This also means that any other food products made from these grains is banned. No bread, pasta, cookies, or cakes are allowed for this diet.

3. Trans Fats and Processed oils
This includes sunflower oil, corn oil and safflower oil among others. These oils have undergone some form of processing that includes additives and other chemicals therefore making it unsuitable for the paleo diet.

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On the other hand, trans fats are found in most processed food items and are very unhealthy.

4. Condiments and Artificial Sweeteners
Condiments such as mayonnaise and mustard should be avoided in the paleo diet as they are not naturally occurring foods.

In addition, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are not permissible in order to adhere to the primal diet.

Who can use the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is universal so that there are no restrictions as to who can adopt it. However, it is recommendable for individuals who want to lose weight naturally or have autoimmune diseases.

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The paleo diet is also a good option for people who want to live a gluten free and dairy free lifestyle while avoiding processed foods. It is not recommendable for pregnant or lactating mothers, as it does not include some important nutrients for growth. It may also be unsuitable for people with special medical conditions and medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I drink on the paleo diet?
Yes. You can occasionally cheat this strict diet with a glass of wine. Wine has great natural chemicals that are good for the body and can offer cleansing properties.

2. Is this diet recommended for athletes?
While this diet is not restricted to a certain group of people, athletes may have a difficult time, as they need more carbs in their diets due to intense physical activity.

The paleo diet clearly has some significance amongst food trends in terms of what it offers clients. It is highly nutritional and avoids the chemicals that are in processed foods. Try out the paleo diet and experience these advantages firsthand.

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1 Comment

    • Unknown -

    • November 18, 2019 at 11:42 am

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