Paleo Diet Rules
The Paleo diet is all about improving the quality of your modern diet. It is based on the theory that today’s genes are actually the result of life conditions that were formed more than a million years ago in our evolution -- the era of the caveman.
Before we dig into paleo diet rules, let's review the idea behind this diet that many claim to find very healthy.
Eat Like a Caveman on the Paleolithic Diet
The cavemen that lived before the agricultural age were, in many ways, extremely fit and athletic people. They were hunters and gatherers forced to walk for long distances in search for large game animals, fruits, berries, and nuts. Once food became scarce in one area, they relocated in order to find better provisions somewhere else.
The Paleolithic diet or Paleo diet is probably the oldest diet around. The Paleolithic Era (period in history known as the Stone Age) ended about 20,000 years ago.
But farming and the cultivation of plants like wheat did not exist until about 10,000 years. And because genes take hundreds of thousands of years to adapt a person’s metabolism and physiology to different lifestyles, we can confidently say that our bodies and DNA are still catching up to properly digest these food sources (eating grains, legumes and dairy products). This is why so many people have had so many digestive issues with the typical diet of today’s society. Or even though you may be eating a "healthy" diet but still might feel uncomfortable because you're most likely eating foods that weren’t available during the Paleolithic Era.
The Paleo diet is based around what the cavemen typically ate: fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. This means staying away from processed foods.
In a nutshell, the Paleo diet teaches you that if it comes in a box, don’t eat it.
The Paleolithic diet calls for eliminating all packaged and processed foods. These types of foods include believe or not all wheat and cereal grains, bagels, breads, pastry, donuts, cookies, crackers, etc.. All of these kinds of foods were not available during the days of the caveman.
Since the caveman did not eat dairy products, the Paleolithic diet also eliminates foods like milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc. However, that does not mean that you are out of food options. Cavemen ate a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, they ate a lot of animal protein.
So What are the Rules of Paleo Diet?
Although our caveman ancestors had no idea what boxed process food was (thankfully), there are many good foods found in the nature that the Paleo diet is based around.
1. Lean Meat
The main key to the Paleo diet is eating lean cuts of meat and seafood. You can also eat some kinds of organ meats like liver and tongues.
it's important stress one more time that he meat cavemen ate consisted of lean cuts. Also, the animals that they ate were obviously not pumped with a diet of hormones.
On the Paleo diet, it is equally important to consume meats that come from animals that were grass and pasture fed.
Lean cuts of meat include chuck steak, London broil, lean pork, pork chops, pork loin, flank steak, top sirloin steak and lean beef. And all of the visible fat must be removed. You can even eat extra-lean hamburgers as long as they contain no more than 7 percent fat. You can also eat poultry like chicken breast, game-hem breast, and turkey breast. In addition as we mentioned above you can eat some types of organ meats like beef, lamb, pork, and chicken livers and beef, lamb, and pork tongues.
Although the cavemen did not indulge themselves in a diet of dairy products, they did eat eggs.
However, you should limit yourself to six eggs a week.
Nuts can also be enjoyed while following the Paleo diet. They are great sources of monounsaturated fats which are the “good” kinds of fats. Nuts help to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and are also credited with reducing the risk of some cancers like breast cancer.
However, if you are following the Paleo diet in order to loose weight, you should limit the amount of nuts that you eat at least at the beginning. Because nuts also contain calories. But as you stay on this diet, your metabolism will increase, which means that you can eat more nuts later on.
4. Fresh Produce
Cavemen had access to fresh produce: fruits and vegetables, and mostly consumed them in their raw state.
Whole foods in fact help to eliminate many toxins accumulated over the years due to poor eating habits.
Are There Any Off-limit Foods in Paleo Diet That Don't Come in A Box?
While a great guideline for the foods to stay away from is that if it comes in a box, don’t eat it, however there are other off-limit foods --and some of them are natural-- in the Paleo diet that do not “come in a box.”
As you might guess, the cavemen did not have soda machines in their caves, so sugary drinks like soda are off limits. Actually, sugar is off limits entirely. That includes syrups and sweeteners too.
Actually grains are not consumed on the Paleo diet either. So all food products that are made with grains are off limits as well including pancakes, cookies, pasta, rolls, etc.
Last but not least because the cavemen did not eat dairy foods like butter, cheese, cream, etc., they are also off limits, as well as milk of any kind, yogurt and ice cream.
Health Benefits of Going on a Paleo Diet
The Paleolithic diet gives your body a chance to absorb nutrients more effectively. You are able to give your body a more balanced array of vitamins and minerals. Plus, filling your diet with fresh plants and lean meat slows your body’s digestive process down. This accomplishes two things. One, a slow digestive process maintains the blood sugar level. Plus, a slower digestive process means that your appetite is regulated; you stay fuller longer, decreasing the amount that you eat and more importantly, how much you over eat.
Also because the Paleo diet is naturally low in carbohydrates, it has a low caloric count. Low carbohydrates have also been proven to decrease the risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease. Another benefit is that the diet is naturally high in fiber. There are many benefits to fiber, some of which include lowering the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease. Fiber also is a key component for weight loss.
The Paleo diet has a large athlete following because of its high protein content. When choosing which vegetables to eat, you should look for root vegetables, however make sure to stay away from potatoes and sweet potatoes. One reason these foods are healthy for you is because they are free of additives, which are proven to be harmful to your health.
Also, for people who suffer from allergies, the Paleo diet is naturally allergen free. Many foods that are manufactured by humans contain gluten and casein, which are two common causes of allergies. The Paleo diet, however, does not contain these ingredients and therefore can help people lead an allergy free life.
Lastly, because the Paleo diet is based on foods that were consumed before the agricultural revolution, they do not contain additives such as sugar and salt, saturated fats, trans fats, or hydrogenated oils, all of which can lead to heart disease and other major health problems. By choosing to follow the Paleo diet, you might actually be bettering your chance of a healthy, disease-free life.
Although the Paleo diet limits many typical food choices, there are plenty of benefits to following this diet. It is mainly made up of high-protein meals. Research shows that if the average person eats a high-protein diet for six months, they could loose between ten to fifteen pounds. That’s without increasing physical activity. You could loose even more weight if you increased your physical activity, making the Paleo diet a great choice for anyone who wants to loose weight or who just wants to become overall healthier.
However before making radical changes in your diet you should consult with your doctor your on your general health condition and the reasons why you would be starting to eat like a caveman...