What to eat and what to avoid in this caveman’s diet?

Raw vegetables

The paleo diet, as the name suggests, is a diet believed to be that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors of the Paleolithic period (about 2.5 million years ago) and composed mainly of pre-agricultural foods (such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, lean meats, fish and seeds, etc) and strictly limiting foods (such as dairy products, grains, potatoes, salt and refined sugar) which did not exist before the development of agricultural practices.

Simply put, the Paleo Diet allows you to only take in the foods humans ate when they first arrived and walked the planet. Their diet varied depending on availability and location. The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. Let’s discuss it in detail:

What is a paleo diet?

  • While it’s not possible to know exactly what human ancestors ate in different parts of the world, researchers believe their diets consisted of whole foods. This diet is inspired by what was eaten by people during the Paleolithic period.

  • During this time, humans did not follow any fixed diet and ate whatever they could find or were available to them. By following a whole food diet and leading a physically active lifestyle, hunter-gatherers likely had much lower rates of lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and various heart diseases.

  • In fact, several studies suggest that this diet can lead to significant weight loss (not counting calories) and major health improvements. This diet eliminates high fat and processed foods that have little or no nutritional value. These foods are high in calories, which leads to weight gain.

  • The Paleo diet focuses primarily on consuming fruits and vegetables rich in healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which help your cravings subside and keep you full for longer. This successively keeps the extra calories at the corner and avoids the likelihood of unnecessary weight gain.

Benefits of a paleo diet:

  • The paleo diet includes fruits and vegetables, we can derive many nutritional benefits from this diet. Additionally, while there is no set diet cycle to follow, you can eat the foods that are allowed and avoid those that are not.

  • The Paleo Diet primarily focuses on cutting out processed and sugary foods, which helps you regulate your calories and control your weight. The plant nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds have many anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Apart from that, it eliminates the risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and vital signs. However, there is no data to back up the claims, but given that a paleo diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods, studies suggest that it is a healthy diet.

Foods to eat:

As noted above, the Paleo diet places restrictions on processed, high-fat foods. Here are some key foods to eat on a paleo diet:

  • Vegetables like broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, etc.

  • Fruits like avocados, apples, oranges, strawberries, pears and more.

  • Nuts and seeds.

  • Avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and others

  • Lean meat like beef, chicken, lamb, turkey, pork and others.

  • Seafood like salmon, shrimp, trout, etc.

Foods to Avoid:

Unlike the above diet, the foods mentioned below should be avoided if you want to follow a paleo diet:

  • Sweet foods and drinks

  • Dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter

  • Legumes, such as beans, peanuts, and peas

  • Cereals like rice, wheat, rye and barley

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Processed foods

Limits of a paleo diet:

  • It remains to be seen whether the paleo diet is good for you or not. We have discussed a set of foods to eat and to avoid, depending on your intake, it can prove to be good or bad for your body.

  • It is expensive because it emphasizes organic food and good quality meat which can be very expensive. Other than that, it can be a difficult alternative for vegans and vegetarians, especially since it excludes beans.

Mindful eating is the first step towards conscious living. Go ahead!!

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