The Paleo diet is one that is based on what people 10,000 to 2 billion years ago ate, according to the Mayo Clinic website. It included foods that were eaten before the time of farming. It consists of such foods as fish, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. These are the foods which could be found by the hunters and gatherers. It eliminates such foods as dairy, legumes and grains–foods that became common as farming became more in vogue. A strong argument in favor of the Paleo diet is that it is more in line with that was considered healthy back then, and it is more in line with what the body is used to eating. It is all of the food that we eat today that is harmful to our bodies. It was never in line with what the body was used to eating, anyway. The theory behind it is that once farming happened, man’s diet changed radically, and humankind started eating dairy, legumes and grains. As a result, dangerous diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases became the disorders we know today as being very common.
Why Should We Follow a Paleo Diet?
1. This diet helps you get your weight under control. Indeed, obesity is a common problem today. Childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970s. This has led to an increased prevalence in diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the Donors Choose website. Over time, man has become more sedentary and less active, and prone to eat junk food. One thing the Paleo diet does is help us think about eating more healthily and losing the excess pounds.
2. It helps you plan your meals. With the Paleo diet, you must put a meal plan in place, if you are to be successful on the diet. Indeed, buying the foods and preparing them to eat for the three meals a day is a must if the diet is to be adhered to. If for breakfast, for instance, you plan on eating broiled salmon and cantaloupe, it works better if you broil the salmon and cut the cantaloupe in advance. When the time comes, all you have to do is get it out of the refrigerator and prepare to eat your already prepared lunch. Planning what you will eat in advance cuts down the likelihood that you will return to the unhealthy foods you ate prior to the diet.
What to Eat on the Paleo Diet:
–Seafood, such as fresh fish full of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been documented to be very healthy for the body.
–Lean Meats, such as wild game or grass-fed animals
Foods to Avoid:
–Grains, especially wheat oats and barley
–Legumes, beans lentils, peanuts and peas.
–Dairy foods, including milk, yogurt, and sour cream.
–Any highly processed foods that you may find in a supermarket. It’s best to buy vegetables from your local farmer’s market, and your meat from a butcher, instead of a grocery store.
How to Plan Meals for Your Day: A Sample Menu
For breakfast, while on the Paleo diet, you may want to try broiled salmon and cantaloupe. For lunch, you can go for broiled lean pork loin and salad, which can be a mix of romaine, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds, and lemon juice dressing. You want desert? Avoid the sweets altogether, and try some strawberries. Then for dinner, you can have beef sirloin tip roast, steamed broccoli salad, which can be a mix of greens, avocados, onions, cucumber, lemon juice dressing, strawberries or cherries for dessert. If you’re wondering about snacks on this diet, the answer is “yes!” You can have celery sticks, as well as fresh fruit and an assortment of nuts on this diet. If you like carrot sticks, you are welcome to enjoy those too, you just cannot have the creamy dips you’re accustomed to, for most of them contain dairy, which you are forbidden to eat on this diet.
Dr. Loren Cordain, the originator of the diet, suggests some additional foods you can have on this diet. For breakfast, for example, he says that you can make an omelet, if that’s what you like. You should make it a healthy one, however. For instance, you can include sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms and broccoli–all examples of a healthy mix of vegetables, combined with olive oil. Also, you can add omega 3 eggs and diced turkey or chicken breasts. The missing ingredient is milk and butter here, for they are on the dairy list.
For dinner, he suggests a spaghetti squash with roasted beets and greens. Also, you can include asparagus, broccoli and spinach, for these are healthy vegetables that can be steamed rapidly. Salmon, halibut and other fresh fish fillets grill well with vegetables, olive oil and garlic.
What the Research Says
Research indicates several benefits certainly accompany this way of eating. For instance, people who have been placed on this diet have seen their glucose intolerance levels go up, their blood pressure go down, as did their bad cholesterol numbers. In fact, the Paleo diet has been found to be better for humans than its American Heart Association’s Healthy Heart diet. This was proven by a study in which subjects were placed on the Heart Healthy diet for a period of 4 months, then on the Paleo for an additional four months. In this study Paleo was found to be more effective.
Moreover, in a study cited by the Paleo Leap website also confirms that the Paleo diet is a powerful and effective way of eating. Thirty-six men and women, whose average age was 54, were tested in the study, which lasted a total of two weeks. They were placed on various kinds of vegetables, eggs, and nuts. They excluded refined fats, salt, sugars, and dairy products from their diets. The subjects all showed a loss in weight.
Before any radical diet change, it’s always best to consult with your physician. But if he agrees, Paleo is worth a try, if nothing else. The wild game may cost a little more, and not being able to eat dairy may be an inconvenience, especially if you like cheese and butter on foods. However, studies have shown that, if you suffer from dietary illnesses such as diabetes and high cholesterol, this lifestyle represents a change in the right direction. Give this way of life a try today. See if your blood sugar and blood pressure numbers come down.