What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleolithic diet, caveman diet, or Paleo diet is a popular diet founded on the premise that our ancestors had a healthier diet and had better health than modern humans. Before the advent of agriculture, people were hunter-gatherers who subsisted on a diet of meats, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables rather than the refined sugars, dairy, grains, salt, and processed foods that are today's common foods. The theory behind the Paleo diet is that the human body has not yet adapted to grainbased nourishment, which leads to many of the diseases plaguing contemporary society. Cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and even infertility can all be linked back to these modern diet changes because human beings are genetically hardwired to eat the hunter-gatherer diet that was followed for about 99.5 percent of human history. Studies have also shown that human brain function and physical ability peaked just before the agricultural revolution. Why did our diet shift so dramatically? The simple answer is that human beings grouped together for support and companionship, which led to settling in one area rather than roaming around in search of food. This static lifestyle was conducive to agriculture and animal husbandry. Cereal grains and legumes became a convenient source of calories, and people stopped moving their bodies to forage and hunt for survival. This combination of inactivity and diet change has created an increasingly fat society that is actually malnourished due to a lack of nutrients in its food. Following the Paleo diet can address this nutrient deficit, and can be a huge step toward feeling and looking better.
What Do You Eat on the Paleo Diet?
We do not know definitively what our Paleo forbearers ate on a daily basis, and many foods they did consume are no longer available today because of evolution and extinction. The idea of the Paleo diet is to mimic the perceived caveman diet using modern food equivalents, refraining from anything that a caveman would not have been able to find. This means eliminating all processed foods, grains, legumes, processed sugars, processed oils, and dairy because these items came about after the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Since these “forbidden foods” make up the bulk of the standard American diet (SAD), many people are left wondering what exactly is on the Paleo menu. Paleo-friendly foods include meats, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, nuts, tubers, and seeds. If you choose to follow a Paleo diet, you will be eating the freshest, healthiest, most nutrient-packed foods you can find, and cooking them in ways that do not add fats and calories to the finished dishes. These choices mirror what every medical professional and nutritionist has been recommending for years to produce vibrant, good health.