The Paleolithic Era may have been 2 million years ago, but eating like our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors is very much in style today. A grain-free, high-meat, whole food diet is known as the Paleo Diet, Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet or just Paleo. The strictest Paleo advocates stick to only pre-agrarian foods – no grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol or sugar. In an ideal world, the meat in Paleo would all come from wild animals that forage for plants. For practical purposes, grass-fed meat animals are acceptable. Fish is also a staple.
Harvard Medical School recently released a list of foods to avoid in order to lead a heart healthy lifestyle. That list of foods closely resembles the list of avoided foods in Paleo. Recent research has also revealed that Paleo seems to be the optimum way to eat if you want to lower your blood pressure, lose weight, reduce acne and markers of inflammation as well as increase athletic performance.
Is Paleo right for you? Many people can experience benefits from going Paleo or at least partially so. Below are six of the major facets of Paleo that you may want to consider.
Avoiding Processed Foods – Whole fruits and vegetables are one of the tenants of Paleo and almost all medical professionals support this. Processed foods lose their nutritional content and have added, unhealthy content.
Importance of Exercise – Paleo also encourages exercise. One cannot simply exercise to be healthy and one cannot simply eat good food to be healthy. There needs to be a balance of both whether you are Paleo or not.
Salt Balance – Processed foods contain a ton of salt. Eliminating them is an easy way to engage in a low-sodium diet. Whole foods boast more potassium. Low-sodium and high-potassium is a good combination for cardiovascular health and is easy with Paleo.
Good Fats – Not all fats are bad and good fats are part of a balanced diet. Paleo replaces hydrogenated vegetable oils with olive oil, coconut oil and flaxseed oil. Avocados are also an excellent source of good fat.
Cooking at Home – The Paleo guidelines make it very hard to eat out. It forces advocates to cook at home and know exactly what they are eating. This is good advice for anyone dieting.
No Calorie Counting – Our ancestors didn’t count calories and neither do people who engage in Paleo. Instead of counting calories and trying to cut them, try looking at nutrient density instead and aim for a balanced diet.
The team at Mediplan Diet Services will create a personalized health program fit you, your lifestyle and your goals. Contact us today to learn more!