The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet gets a lot of publicity. It is also called the cave man diet. Not well liked by some nutritionists, the Paleo Diet, or Cavemanpaleo diet Diet, is popular with others.

Nutrition is an inexact science, in my opinion. If you listen to all there is out there you would never be able to implement it all. If you to eat massive amounts of dark green vegetables, like kale, spinach and collard greens, and add to that all the super foods, you would already be full. Then add all the grain advised by other nutritionists, and continue through the food groups, you would not possibly be able to consume the quantities needed to bring the results their testing shows.

Some experts say all we need to do is eat like our Stone Age ancestors to be healthy. The Caveman diet, or (Paleolithic) or Paleo Diet, is based on eating plants, wild animals and other foods eaten 10,000 years ago.

Paleo Diet

I am not convinced of the accuracy of science in predicting what was eaten or available 10,000 years ago. One thing I am sure of is the Paleo Diet did not include genetically modified food. Anything we can do to exclude those foods from our diet, the better.

How is the Paleo Diet Related to Weight Loss?

Why turn back the hands of time and eat the Paleo Diet? The premise is that our bodies are genetically programmed to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors.

Proponents claim the Paleo Diet is a biologically appropriate diet that suits us best, with the proper balance of nutrients to promote health and reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. Those who do not support the Paleo Diet, point to the fact that cavemen died younger than we do.

Paleo Diet or Caveman Diet: What Supporters Say

The Paleo diet is a very healthy diet, says Loren Cordain, PhD, Colorado State University professor and author of The Paleo Diet.

“Clinical trials have shown that the Paleo Diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” Cordain says.

Supporters of this nutritional approach argue that today’s typical Western diet is responsible for the epidemic levels of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

The Paleo diet or caveman diet is not without controversy. Some experts maintain that humans have adapted to a broader diet including whole grains, dairy, and legumes. Others question a diet that has does not evolve with other scientific discoveries.

And even though grains and dairy seem healthful, Cordain says our “genome has not really adapted to these foods, which can cause inflammation at the cellular level and promote disease.”

The Paleo Diet (Cavemen Diet): What You Can Eat

The diet is based on the foods that could be hunted, fished, and gathered during the Paleolithic era. According to archeologists, that includes meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruits, and berries. The paleolithic diet is impossible to mimic because wild game is not readily available. Most of us live in cities and depend on plant food is cultivated far from where we live rather than plants collected from the wilds. We buy meats are that are from domesticated animals and seldom have access, if ever, to wild meat.

At best, you can eat a modified version of the original diet that’s gluten-free and includes lean meat, organ meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. It’s a wide variety of foods. The Paleo Diet as promoted does not include any dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes, processed oils, and any foods that were grown after agriculture started.

The Paleo diet encourages you to skip salt and any drinks other than water, coconut water, or organic green tea. The Paleo diet allows raw honey or coconut palm sugar, as sweeteners, but only in limited quantities.

As with any concept there are always people who decide to take it up a notch and as a result you will find versions of the Paleo Diet that encourage fasting, eating raw foods, and eliminating nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant).

Some Paleo Diet sites will allow a little flexibility, like adding some processed oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive and flaxseed oil, while others do not allow oils from these sources declaring enough oil comes from natural sources such as vegetables, fish and meats consumed.

Many of the Paleo Diet supporters suggest eating organic plant foods, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed meats because they’re closer to the nutritional quality of the foods of our ancestors.

My Experience with the Paleo Diet

While I don’t adhere to this diet completely, I seldom eat grains and have found a lot of merit in avoiding gluten. I believe that is a personal thing. Gluten may not bother all people, but it is becoming evident that a lot of people can benefit from not eating gluten.

Move toward a healthy body.