Paleo diets(also called caveman, stone age or Paleolithic diets), are dietary plans that emphasize eating foods like those eaten by our ancestors in the Paleolithic era- about 2.5 million to 10 thousand years ago.
The foods available to early humans were procured through hunting and gathering-and mainly consisted of fish and meat, fruits and vegetables and assorted nuts and seeds. Advances in technology today have enabled us to have access to other foods such as dairy, grains and processed or refined foods, which are not easily digestible .The Paleo diets recommend eating foods which give our bodies long-lasting and efficient energy that also assists us to burn fat. These diets are ideal for metabolism, digestion, regulation of blood sugar and better sleep. The diets generally include fish, lean meats, vegetables and fruits
Objective and method
Dr.Loren Cordain, nutrition expert and Paleo diet movement founder asserts that by eating a similar diet to that of our ancestors we will be leaner and also unlikely to develop such conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other health complications that afflict us today. He recommends that we eat meat, eggs and seafood. This is the kind of diet that is better suited to our bodies. Good vegetarian protein sources such as legumes are prohibited.
Farming altered what humans ate and incorporated grains, legumes and dairy as staples of our diets. Our bodies did not properly adapt to this change in diet(which occurred relatively rapidly).This resulted in increased susceptibility to diabetes, obesity and heart disease-all of which have become endemic in today’s world.
Paleo diets do not involve counting of calories, and the lean meat and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits are guaranteed to fill you up. In the initial stages it is permitted to cheat-which means you can eat whatever you want thrice a week. Dr.Cordain refers to these meals as ‘open meals’. However, you can set yourself a challenge and have only one ‘open meal’ every week. He also recommends combining a Paleo diet with exercise in order to maintain body weight loss and overall health.
The Paleo diets include a wide selection of meats, eggs, fish, poultry, vegetables and colorful fruits, avocado and coconut oils, olive oil, grass fed meat and butter and seeds and nuts.
Foods to avoid
If you are on a Paleo diet, you are required to keep off pasteurized dairy, all grains, refined sugar, soy, legumes, alcohol and all highly processed foods.
There are a number of studies on aspects of Paleo diets which have found that eating a diet rich in plant-based foods and lean protein can control your blood sugar levels, make you feel fuller and assist you to lose weight. Eliminating processed foods and salt means Paleo diets are ideal for people suffering from high blood pressure. Various researchers, nutritionists, doctors and biochemists are beginning to appreciate the benefits of eating like our ancestors. People who are following Paleo diets are realizing notable improvement in their energy levels, body composition and overall health. Other benefits include acne control and reduction in body inflammation. Further, there is increased evidence that people who eat this way are minimizing their chances of developing serious diseases that are associated with the modern diets.