What is the Paleo diet plan? I have been hearing a lot about this diet and wanted to see if it is something that would fit my lifestyle.
OK, so what is the paleo diet exactly? Basically, the Paleo diet is like turning back the clock, way back, as in back to the caveman days 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era. The main principle is that you eat food that our ancestors did before we started to move from hunting and gathering to settling, domesticating animals and processing our food.
It seems the belief is that our bodies are not supposed to be able to properly digest and metabolize these unnatural foods. That if we get back to a more natural state, so will our bodies.
There are a number of foods that are on the OK to eat list:
- Protein like meat and seafood to compromise of 19% to 35% of the diet
- This is higher than the standard recommended amount of 10% – 35%
- Carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables to compromise about 35% to 45% of the diet
- This is lower than the standard recommended amount of 45% to 65% of your total calories
- Some common non-starchy vegetables are amaranth, artichoke and artichoke hearts, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Tomato, Eggplant and greens like collard, spinach, kale, lettuce and romaine
- Fats mainly from omega-3 fats as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- The Paleo diet is higher in fat than is typically recommended and mainly comes from animal fat, butter, extra virgin olive oil, raw coconut oil, and avocados
Foods excluded from the Paleo diet include:
- Refined sugar
- Dairy products
On this diet, you will be mainly eating lean protein and vegetables for your meals. If you are an eggs and bacon kind of person, you will be fully satisfied with your morning meal options.
Is the paleo diet good for you?
For those with celiac or are trying to go gluten-free, the Paleo diet could be a great option as wheat is not allowed on the diet. Some people also believe that making this type of diet change can help control diseases like Crohn’s disease and other stomach conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, leaky gut, ulcers and more.
Because of the high protein and content of the diet, it may be easier to stick with calorie counting. So, if you’re looking to shed pounds through a diet, it may be easier to do if you are feeling full and satisfied.
If you are mainly sedentary, the high protein content could be too much. Thinking back to our ancestors 10,000 years ago, they had a lot more naturally active lifestyle than we do. That let them utilize the protein for the energy they needed to hunt and gather. In today’s age, if you have a desk job and don’t tend to workout….you may not need all that energy. And if you don’t, those calories could end up causing weight gain.
If you are thinking about taking the plunge and trying the diet, one thing to note is that a Paleo diet more like a Paleo lifestyle change. It’s not meant to be something you adopt for a month and go back to your regular eating habits. In order to maintain the changes you see from the diet, it is recommended that you adopt the diet as your regular day-to-day eating habits.
While this diet is not quite up my alley due to the large amounts of animal protein required, I am taking a few elements away from the Paleo diet. Fewer carbohydrates (especially from sources like wheat) and processed like refined sugars and salt.