The Caveman Diet: Exactly What Is The Paleo Diet?

The Caveman Diet: Exactly What Is The Paleo Diet?

Posted 09.14.2009 in Articles by Jess

Modern lifestyles don't leave much time for chasing prey or foraging for fruits and vegetables, but our bodies are biologically designed for the nutrition of our cavemen ancestors. That is the premise behind the Paleolithic or “Paleo” diet - if a caveman didn't eat it a modern human shouldn't either.

It’s a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that were consumed during the Paleolithic era – the period about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. More commonly it refers to the actual ancestral human diet. The real premise behind this diet is that humans were genetically designed to eat a certain way and our bodies still haven’t evolved to include grains and other foods that came along with the development of agriculture.

The contemporary Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts. It excludes foods like grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

The benefits to the Paleo diet are significant if done properly. People who are on the diet have claimed they have more energy, which leads to better athletic performance. It is claimed to reduce acne, it contributes to weight loss and it reduces the risk to many modern age health problems. Some of these include lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

The criticisms of the Paleo diet stem from the fact that cavemen lived a shorter lifespan than us, alluding to the fact that their lifestyle wasn’t adequate. But in response to that, people pro-Paleo diet rebuttal with the fact that cavemen had other elements that don’t apply to today’s people. In today’s day we have medicine and technology to deter against the risks that cavemen faced. Another criticism is that this diet can be pricey. The produce section and meat counter are after all among the priciest corners of the grocery store. While it can be expensive, it may be worth it to put in the extra bucks to be healthy. Also, by shunning dairy and grains, you’re at risk of missing out on a lot of nutrients. If not followed carefully, you may also quickly increase your risk for heart problems by eating too much lean meat.

Staying away from grains may seem like a hard thing to do but there are plenty of dishes and easy recipes that are Paleo friendly. Try steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, grilled chicken salad, or an omelet for breakfast. For a snack try apples dipped in almond butter or a few nuts. If you’re looking for in depth recipes, all you have to do is go online. Try Mark’s Daily Apple for 100 free primal recipes or you can buy his cookbook on Amazon. There’s also Everyday Paleo with easy to follow recipes, helpful pictures, and interesting combinations. If you click on FOOD in the navigation bar, the meals are broken down into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s so easy a caveman could do it! If those didn’t do it for you, try Easy Caveman Cookbook. It’s $2.99 but definitely worth the quick and easy Paleo meal options.

If you’re looking to eat healthy, feel better and even lose weight, the Paleo diet is for you. Even if you’re not ready to fully commit, why not try out slow and see how you like it? Or give yourself one day out of the week where you don’t eat according to the Paleo diet. It’s worth the shot for someone who’s serious about getting healthy. The ingredients in Paleo recipes are easy to live by and aren’t your typical “rabbit food” diet options.  


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Posts: 1
Cholesterol Impact
Reply #1 on : Mon October 15, 2012, 10:46:54
What is the cholesterol impact of the diet? I feel with eating lots of meat and foods high in salt would result in a higher level of cholesterol. Is this a concern with this diet?

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