What is Paleo Diet and How to Get Started

History of Paleo Diet

The history of Paleo diet travels way back to the stone-age generations. During the Paleolithic period, the diet came into existence the natural way; with no agriculture, the cavemen, living as hunters and gathers had to depend on flesh, and wild fruits, nuts, and seeds. In simple terms, the diet is presumed to have been the nutrition approach in old generations when the cavemen still existed. Also called the cave-man diet or the Stone-Age diet, Paleo diet is composed of foods that were naturally hunted/gathered by the Paleolithic.

Despite being practiced by the stone-age people, the idea of Paleo Diet was brought to the public’s attention back in 1975 when a gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin wrote a book discussing the subject. Melvin Konner and Stanley Boyd edited the book, entitled the Paleo Diet, in 1985. In 2002, Loren Cordan commercialized the Paleo Diet book. And just like that, the subject of paleo diet became not only familiar to the public but also an essential trend of diet. In fact, in 2012, the Paleo diet was among the latest trends in diets; the nutrition based market is filled with a ton of books discussing this approach. Moreover, in 2013, the Paleo Diet was Google’s most searched nutritional trend for dealing with weight loss. Apparently, the popularity of the Paleo diet can be accredited to the rapidly increasing number of people dealing with drawbacks from the modern diet.

The history and popularity aside, what is this Paleo Diet?

Paleo Diet is a health-minded nutritional approach that expects people to eat food products that correspond to the genes; eating the way our bodies are biologically designed to eat.

The diet is quite flexible; it can help you lose weight build muscle and get into your desired shape while eating until you’re full. You don’t have to eat less food when taking the Paleo Diet. Besides, counting calories is not necessary.

Well, too much have changed since the Stone Age generation. Agricultural revolution has evolved over decades to establish the modern diet that entails refined foods including sugar, alcohol, trans fats and grain products. However, despite the changes in the diet, our genes are still the same as the cavemen’s genes were. Notably, arguing from the ancestry of human beings, our bodies are designed to stay strong, lean, and energetic by consuming nutritional products that correspond to our genes.

However, the introduction of farming brought about the dependence on grain products like bread, rice, pasta, corn and so on. Since the human body never adjusted entirely to grains and its finished products, the results is a generation dying from a ton of preventable diseases such as obesity, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, acne, Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, among others.

Getting started

Well, getting started with Paleo diet will require you utilize foods high in fat, moderate in animal proteins and little to moderate carbs. Basic elements of a Paleo diet include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.

The Paleo Diet Food PyramidLean Proteins

Lean proteins enhance muscle strength and promote healthy bones and active immune function. Eat good amounts of animal protein including pork, eggs, poultry, pasture and grass raised meat(red meat), animal organs and wild caught fish.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables enrich the body with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. Notably, scientific research implies these organic compounds decrease the chances of development of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and cancer.

Healthy Fats 

Consume saturated fats like coconut oil and butter (including clarified butter). Healthy fats from coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, fish oil and grass-fed oil are essential elements of the diet. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are efficient to use in salads; drizzled over food drizzled over food but not for cooking.

Do not over exercise! Conduct your training sessions only a few times a week and keep them short and intense. If you feel tired, take some rest.

Ensure that your night sleep lasts for at least 8 hours and challenge yourself to wake up without an alarm

Which foods should you exclude from Paleo Diet?

To implement the Paleo diet, you will have to sacrifice and let go some of your best grain-made meals like candy, rice, pasta, cereals and so on.

Exclude grains, dairy, alcohol, starches, legumes and all processed foods and sugars (including packaged sweets, soft drink, juices) from your diet. Our bodies find it very difficult to digest these foods. Grains contain anti-nutrients gluten, lectins, and phytates. Unfortunately, our bodies weren’t designed to digest anti-nutrients. Lectins bind to insulin receptors and human intestinal lining causing leptin resistance. Phytates make minerals bio-unavailable; they overpower the healthy vitamins and minerals in the body and render them useless. Also, gluten is a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most of the world’s population is gluten-intolerant. By consuming foods containing gluten, people who are gluten intolerant develop a dismal array of medical conditions like reproductive problems, dermatitis, acid reflux, joint pain among others.

 

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