The Paleo diet is a time-tested and proven way to get back to basics and eat like our ancestors did. Why would you want to do that? Think about it… our ancestors were much healthier than we are. There were no health epidemics like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. They ate much differently than we do today, as they didn’t have a plethora of processed foods pushed at them each and everyday.
Understanding the Paleo Diet
Designed to mirror the diet that hunters and gatherers would have had many years ago, the paleo diet has been shown to dramatically help with weight loss and improve overall health. We, as humans, didn’t used to eat all the sugars, processed foods and artificial ingredients that we do today.
Dependent upon where they lived, they were normally either a hunter or gatherer. Hunters ate mostly meat and gatherers ate mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.
Eating on a Paleo Diet
One of the good things about this diet is that there’s rarely ever a need to count calories or track exactly what you eat each day. There’s no hardfast rule about what you can eat, either. The basics are just guidelines to give you a starting point and you can change and adapt that to your needs and preferences.
Generally speaking, it’s a low-carb diet since most people using this diet primarily eat meat with a little bit of vegetables or fruit. Skip the buns for your burgers, skip the wheat and rice and other high-carb, processed foods.
General Rule of Thumb(s)
Sticking to the paleo dietary guidelines isn’t hard at all. There are tons of foods and varieties of things to choose from. This isn’t a diet where you’re stuck eating the same thing over and over and constantly deprive yourself.
The following are some staples to stack up on:
Fish and seafood, preferably wild-caught caught if possible
Other meats like chicken, beef and turkey
Eggs, seeds and nuts
Variety of vegetables
Variety of fruit
Variety of your favorite herbs
Healthy fats, lard, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
You want to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. That includes, but is not limited to sodas (even diet), pastries, ice cream and other foods typically referred to as junk food. But it’s not just junk food that this diet tries to eliminate. You also want to cut out bread, pasta and other grains. Most dairy products should be cut also, except for a little real butter from time to time. Skip any margarine, as well as vegetable oil. And stay away from low-fat and diet products.
Allow a Treat Once in a While
If you try to completely cut yourself off from everything that you enjoy, you’re going to fail. It’s all too common. People mess up on their diet then throw in the towel. While you don’t want to pig out on junk food, pastas, etc… there are plenty of treats that you can enjoy from time to time guilt-free.
Red wine is one of them. A little red wine can actually offer a variety of health benefits. Dark chocolate is another. If you’re going to treat yourself to some chocolate, make sure it’s made up of at least 70 percent cocoa.
Popular Paleo Drinks
Water. Water. And more water. Most of the time, you want to be drinking water. But many people often enjoy coffee (preferably black) and tea. With tea, green tea is your best choice as it gives you the most antioxidants and other nutrients.