A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, nuts, and seeds.
These foods in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. Other names of this diet are Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet.
The purpose of this food is to return to a way of eating that’s more like what early humans ate. Generally, the diet’s thought is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the present diet that began with farming manners, an idea known as the discordance system.
Especially farming improved what people ate and practised dairy, grains and legumes as extra staples in the human diet. Generally, the hypothesis outpaced the body’s ability to adapt. As a result of this mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.
Benefits of paleo diet
You might choose to follow this diet because you:
- Want to lose weight or manage a healthy weight
- Want help planning meals
All about a paleo diet
Tips vary among popular paleo diets, and some diet plans have stricter guidelines than others. In general, paleo diets follow these guidelines.
What to eat
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
- Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
- Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
What to avoid
- Grains, such as wheat, oats and barley
- Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
- Dairy products
- Refined sugar
- Highly processed foods in overall
A typical day’s menu
Here’s a look at what you might eat during a typical day following a paleo diet:
- Breakfast. Broiled salmon and cantaloupe.
- Lunch. Broiled lean pork loin and salad (romaine, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts and lemon juice dressing).
- Dinner. Lean beef sirloin tip roast, steamed broccoli, salad (mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds and lemon juice dressing), and strawberries for dessert.
- Snacks. An orange, carrot sticks or celery sticks.
The diet also indicates drinking water and being physically active every day.
A number of randomized clinical trials have analysed the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these tests suggest that this diet may provide some advantages when matched with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:
- More weight loss
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Better blood pressure control
- Lower triglycerides
- Better appetite management
However, longer tests with large groups of people randomly named to different diets are needed to understand the long-term, overall health benefits and possible risks of this diet. The typical paleo diet, however, puts most at risk for deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, which are critical to bone health. At the same time, saturated fat and protein can be consumed far above recommended levels, increasing the risk of kidney and heart disease and certain cancers
Questions or concerns about the paleo diet include both food selection and the underlying hypothesis.
Dietary concerns and paleo diet
A paleo diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, and nuts, such as all elements of a healthy diet.
For the most part, the main difference between the paleo diet and other healthy diets is the lack of whole grains and legumes, which are supposedly good sources of fibre, vitamins and other nutrients. Also, absent from the diet are dairy products, which are good sources of protein and calcium.
These foods not only are recognised as healthy but also are generally more affordable and convenient than such foods as wild game, grass-fed animals and nuts. Above all for some people, a paleo diet may be too expensive.
Questions about the paleo diet hypothesis
As a result of researchers have claimed that the underlying hypothesis of the paleo diet may oversimplify the story of how humans adjusted to changes in diet. Thoughts for a more complex understanding of the development of human nutritional needs include the following:
- Modifications in a diet based on geography, climate and food availability not only the transition to farming but also would have shaped the evolution of nutritional needs.
- Archaeological research has demonstrated that early human diets may have included wild grains in ancient age, well before the introduction of farming.
- Genetic research has shown that important evolutionary changes continued after the Paleolithic era, including diet-related changes, such as an increase in the number of genes related to the breakdown of dietary starches.
The bottom line
A paleo diet may help you lose weight or maintain your weight. It may also have other helpful health effects. However, there are no long-term clinical studies about the benefits and possible risks of the diet.