The Paleo Diet, which has been the most-searched diet plan for years and has been at the center of several success stories from across the world, is unquestionably a vital topic to bring up in any conversation about health and wellbeing.
But before we get into how to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, let’s take a trip down memory lane to a time when the only things that mattered were getting from one place to another, stuffing one’s face, and keeping one’s loved ones safe. That’s right; you could have lived like this between 10,000 and 20,000 ago—caveman culture, the Stone Age, Paleolithic era. We are also known as the “Stone Age” or “Bronze Age” in common parlance.
What is the Paleo Diet?
While mapping out a Paleo Diet chart for someone without knowing their health status or goals would be silly, here is a simple way to chart out your paleo diet based on your personal goals and convenience. The Paleo Diet is split into a pyramid of 3 categories.
Veggies (non-starchy), herbs and spices, berries, and fruits are the first preference; add lots of color to your diet in the form of various fruits and veggies. Make a simple salad with little sugar or salt to your taste preferences, and enjoy.
The second category is healthy fats. This could include avocados, and all types of nuts and seeds (in bold) are great. Extra virgin oils do just well too!
The third category is protein. If you’re into animal protein, you should know to know where it comes from. Try and stay away from factory-farmed animals as much as possible.
Salads and cold-pressed juices are your best friends. Have vegetable soups full of variety.
The term “Paleo” is an abbreviation for “Paleolithic,” which is another name for the period in which Neanderthals lived. A key principle of the paleo diet is focusing on eating the same way our caveman forebears did.
Those who advocate for the paleo diet point to the lack of processed foods as the primary reason this eating pattern is so effective in boosting health and fitness.
There are several names for this eating plan, but the most common are “Stone Age,” “caveman,” or “hunter-gatherer” diet.
When to begin the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet may be understood as a minimal intake of processed foods. Those who subscribe to the paleo diet believe, and they’re probably right, that our ancestors survived on a diet of fresh, unprocessed foods like meat, fish, and vegetables. That is to say, back in the Stone Age, our forebears relied only on the food they could gather or kill for themselves.
The paleo diet has several variations, from the very severe to the moderately relaxed, unlike more rigid diets like the ketogenic diet. No one knows what precisely cavemen ate, so several variations of the paleo diet have likely arisen. The paleo diet you choose will rely on your assumptions about what cavemen ate and your own beliefs and priorities regarding food and health.
The first step in adopting a paleo lifestyle is establishing your diet strictness and settling on the foods you’ll consume and those you won’t.
Different groups of paleolithic people flourished on different diets due to differences in climate, availability of food, and other factors.
Some people followed a high-carb diet heavy on vegetables, while others ate a low-carb diet heavy on meat.
Remember that this is only a suggestion and not a hard and fast rule. This is flexible and can be molded to fit your specific requirements and tastes.
An overview is as follows
Include these foods in your diet: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats, and oils. The following should be avoided at all costs: processed foods, sugary beverages, grains, dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine, and trans fats.
Avoiding These Foods While on the Paleo Diet
Stay away from these dishes:
- Products including soda, fruit juice, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream, and many more are loaded with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
- Wheat, rye, barley, spelled, and pasta is all examples of grains.
- Included in the category of “legumes” are beans, lentils, and many other edible seeds.
- Dairy: Stay away from low-fat dairy products (but full-fat dairy products like butter and cheese are allowed in specific paleo diet plans).
- Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, maize oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, and others are all examples of vegetable oils.
- Margarine and other processed foods are rich sources of trans fats. They are often known as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium are all examples of artificial sweeteners. Replace sugar with a natural sweetener.
- Foods that have been heavily processed include anything that has been deemed “diet,” “low-fat,” or includes a long list of ingredients, including synthetic alternatives to real food.
- A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t consume anything if it seems to have been mass-produced.
List of Paleo Diet Foods
The term “paleo” describes a broad range of foods. Despite being an essential nutrient, fat has been unfairly stigmatized. Omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats are excellent supplements to our diet. Consuming a lot of fat is a key component of the paleo diet.
Many types of healthful fats are allowed on the paleo diet, including
- Avocados: One to three hundred calories may be found in a whole avocado.
- One ounce of almonds has 162 calories.
- The 185 calories in a single serving of walnuts
- Coconut oil 100gms 862 calories
- Olive oil100 GM has 884 calories.
Additionally, the paleo diet includes items like
- Lean pork, beef, and chicken cuts, such as grass-fed, organic, or free-range options.
- Meat from wild animals such as bison, deer, and quail.
- Scrambled or free-range eggs, not more than a few each week.
- Seafood and other fish
- Various types of fruit, such as strawberries, apples, mangoes, and figs.
- Pumpkins, peppers, and onions are examples of non-starchy vegetables.
What to expect if you give the Paleo diet a shot?
There is no denying the many advantages of the paleo diet.
- The paleo diet is not just low in processed foods but also high in anti-inflammatory foods, including fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, and nuts.
- Eliminating processed foods and sugar may help lower the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and even certain forms of cancer.
- Like hunters, the diet emphasizes physical activity. Regular physical activity is crucial to good health since it aids weight management.
Scientific research strongly backs up this way of living. Thirteen individuals with type 2 diabetes participated in a study comparing the effects of the paleo diet to a diabetic diet (2).
Consuming foods consistent with the paleo diet was associated with a decrease in body weight and waist circumference in this short research. The paleo diet has been shown to aid in short-term weight loss, according to a review published in 2017. The researchers concluded that this was the case because of their implemented caloric restriction (3).
Positive findings have also been found in studies investigating the effects of the paleo diet on insulin resistance.
That humans adapted to dietary changes so quickly is a complex topic, and the paleo diet has been criticized for oversimplifying the topic. More research on the history of the human diet is required.
Considering regional, climatic, and gastronomic factors in diet planning is essential. Thus, these variables, together with the agricultural revolution, would have influenced the development of dietary requirements throughout time.
Early humans may have consumed wild grains as long as 30,000 years before cultivation. Genetic analysis shows us that evolutionary shifts occurred before and after the Paleolithic period. Alterations to one’s diet may affect other factors, such as the number of genes involved in the digestion of dietary carbohydrates.
Preparing and organizing your meals for the Paleo diet
Much preparation and meal preparation is necessary for the paleo diet to be followed for an extended time, especially if you adhere to a rigorous diet. Jumping onto a paleo diet without any preparation might quickly lead to failure (forgetting your lunch at the office? good luck finding anything that fits the paleo diet in the immediate area).
Cooking in bulk is one of the most efficient methods to prepare for the paleo diet. Successful shoppers often stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables and meat, fish, and shellfish in bulk and store them in the freezer.
Sheet-pan meals are a simple solution for paleo meal preparation. Easy lunches and dinners may be prepared in advance by cooking meat and roasted vegetables in bulk on sheet pans and then dividing them into individual servings.
Slicing up some fruits and vegetables to have on hand in the fridge may also be helpful for quick and easy snacking. Breakfasts like overnight oats, chia puddings, and egg casseroles may be made in bulk and stored in the fridge for convenient access if you follow a less stringent diet.
A Paleo Menu Plan for a Week
It would be pointless to create a diet plan for someone else without knowing their health history and lifestyle preferences. Therefore I’ve devised a straightforward method for organizing your paleo diet around these factors. In reality, there is a three-tiered pyramid to the Paleo Diet.
Non-starchy vegetables, spices, fruits, and herbs provide the primary foundation. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to give your diet a splash of color. The good news is that you can acquire as many of them as you want. Create a basic salad with as much or as little sugar and salt as your palate like, then savor it.
Second, there are “good fats,” which are generally accepted as safe. Some examples of this category are avocados and the nuts and seeds indicated by boldface.
Proteins make up the third group. Knowing the origin of your meat is essential if you’re into animal protein. Keep your distance from animals raised in confinement as much as you can.
You should eat plenty of salads and drink cold-pressed juices. Vegetable soup is a great way to mix things up. Occasionally, a bowl of rice is also appropriate.
Wrapping It Up
It’s reasonable to state that everyone has a unique physical constitution. A Paleo diet ideal for one person may not be optimal for another. In today’s market, you may find numerous great and efficient diet fads, like the paleo diet. Getting advice from professionals is essential before making major changes to one’s way of life.