What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is eating similar to what our ansestors ate thousands of years ago. This includes wholesome foods like meats, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Notice that bread and gains is not included because back in the day they did not have bread, they where hunters and gatherers. Cereals, pastas, and breads are not included in this diet.
Tens of thousands years ago humans ate what they could find in the wild and what they hunted. This diet had everything that their bodies needed to thrive. It wasn't until much later that grains and agriculture where introduced. Since it's introduction health has been on a decline and average body fat has increased.
Why no grains?
The idea is that our body's never really adjusted to this dramatic change in our diet. Instead of continuing this diet that humans have been eating for thousands and thousands of years we became dependent on grains. The paleo diet attempts to fix this and get people back to eating how you should be.
So what happens inside out body when we eat these grains and carbs? There is a whole process in place to handle processing carbs. Grains are carbohydrates. When we eat carbs they get turned into glucose (a type of sugar) and this glucose is used by the body for energy. The problem starts when we don't use all the glucose, any glucose that isn't used gets stored in the form of fat.
Gluten is found in many grains such as rye, wheat, and barley. I'm sure you noticed all the "gluten free" signs that seem to be posted everywhere. This is because it recently came to attention that many people are actually gluten-intolerant.
Those people that are gluten-intolerant and continue to consume gluten could develop health problems down the road. A few of the health problems that could surface include dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux,
Lectins are actually a natural toxin that are found within grains to defend against consumption. They can actually prevent the gastrointestinal tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear.
So just because we are going to avoid eating carbs, does not make all carbs bad for you. Carbs that occur naturally like the carbs that come from veggies and fruit are good for you and you will be eating these. Some veggies, like potatoes, have more carbs than other veggies.
What about energy?
But don't we need carbs for energy?! You actually don't when your body doesn't have carbs to use for energy it will actually start to convert fat into energy! This is the main reason why people choose to lose weight and burn fat with the Ketosis diet! Less carbs means less glucose which means more fat will be burned for energy.
Related: What is the Ketogenic Diet
Yes! I think this is one of the best things that comes out of the paleo diet! The paleo diet is almost completely sugar free. You will get some sugar from eating fruit but that's about it. Sugar has many health risks and it's one of the main things that it making you store extra body fat.
Related: How to Cut Sugar from Your Diet
Dairy in another food group that people on the paleo diet try to stay away from. Milk was only consumed during infancy and our bodies are not designed to consume large amounts of dairy.
What food can I eat on the Paleo diet?
Since we've covered everything that you cant eat, you might be wondering what foods are actually ok to eat on this diet! So here is the general summary of foods that you can eat while on the paleo diet:
- Meat: they meat that is recommended is grass-fed, not grain fed
- Poultry: turkey, chicken, duck, etc.
- Nuts and Seeds
Now that you have an idea of the foods that should be making up your diet, lets talk about how much you should be eating. Every meal should have a good source of protein and some veggies. This is as basic as it gets. If you are still finding it hard to get full or feeling hungry then try to eat some foods that are higher in fat like avocados or nuts.
If you are following the paleo diet but you just don't feel like you are losing weight then check your fruit and nut consumption. You might have to dial these two back a little bit since fruit does have sugar and nuts are high in calories.