The Paleo Diet – Should You Be Eating and Living like your Stone Age Ancestors?

The Paleo Diet, which basically involves eating the same foods our Stone Age ancestors supposedly ate (i.e. fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and nuts), is now one of the most popular diet and nutrition lifestyles around.

But what does the Paleo Diet really entails – and are you aware of the health benefits and risks of “going Paleo”?

We lay down the rules of the Paleo Diet and the effects this Stone Age lifestyle have on our health.

What is the Paleo diet?

While the Paleo lifestyle has been around since our ancestors’ era, its popularity started to pick up in the modern world in 2002 when Loren Cordain, Ph.D., brought this to light in his book, The Paleo Diet.

By living on the same foods that our cavemen ancestors supposedly ate back in the day, Cordain stated that we are “putting our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well-being”.

However, Dr Cordain further explained that it is impossible to consume the exact foods our Stone Age ancestors ate in a bid to see improvements in our health and well-being – the meat that they hunted were generally quite lean and contained more healthy omega-3s compared to our modern day animals, while many of the plants that thrived back then have since gone extinct. To make the Paleo diet a way of life, all we need to do is to emulate the fare people of the stone ages ate using everyday food available at supermarkets today.

What makes up the Paleo diet?

During the stone ages, there were no processed foods or refined sugars and grains. Thus, anything that comes packaged in a box, jar or bag should be crossed off the Paleo diet menu.

Robb Wolf, a former research biochemist, paleo expert and author of The Paleo Solution, explained that this means the food you eat should not contain grains, dairy, added salt or legumes (peanuts, beans, lentils and soybeans). While potatoes are generally not allowed, Wolff says that they can be eaten sparingly as long as you make the effort to burn off those extra calories through exercise.

Alcohol and honey should be crossed off the list, although red wine tends to be the closest Paleo drink and honey is a preferred sweetener compared to table sugar.

Check out the list below for a list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Paleo diet:

paleo diet

(Photo credit: elite24healthclub)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the health benefits and risks of the Paleo diet? More on this on the next page.

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