The Paleo Diet – Is It Really Right For You?

The Paleo Diet – Is It Really Right For You?

paleo-insightThe Paleo diet also commonly known as the caveman diet, stone age diet and primal diet is what everyone has been chanting about these days and goes by this simple question: what does a caveman eat?

The Paleo Diet has received much attention in a recent couple of years. But with so many diet plans to choose from, it is hard to decide as to which one will be right for you. If you are looking forward to doing the Paleo diet but are not sure if it is really worth it, this article will help you determine and find out if going Paleo is really right for you or not.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is the modern diet plan based on the food products that were once the foundation of the Paleolithic man’s nutrition. The diet is very simple to follow and the main goal is to help an individual live a healthy lifestyle including only the foods that would have been available to a caveman or during the Paleolithic era. The overall effect of the Paleo diet is a more mental and healthier state of living than weight loss driven. Taking into consideration your today’s eating habits, weight loss may in the cards, however, not the main goal of this ancient diet plan.

Today’s Paleo plans consist of different food groups such as fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, poultry, vegetables, healthy oils, fruits and etc. In a nutshell, it consists of all those food groups that can be fished, hunted and easily collected by a caveman in the ancient times. Consequently, dairy products, refined sugar, grains legumes, oils, processed foods, and potatoes are excluded from the diet plan.

What you cannot eat on the Paleo Diet?

The food sources/ products listed below clearly belong to the ‘no, no’ list of the Paleo diet:

  • Refined sugars
  • Dairy products
  • Processed chicken/ meat
  • Any food product that has added preservative, additives and food coloring in it
  • Energy drinks
  • Grains and legumes
  • Unnatural slated food.

Once you take a look at the list, you realize that is surely a lot to cut out, but in reality, some of the things mentioned above should not be in your daily diet in the first place and you just know why.

Is It Really Worth It?

Rich in nutrients and free from any added preservatives and chemicals, research has shown that these natural food products surely contribute to a healthy lifestyle. While the intention of most people going Paleo is to lose weight. It will be interesting for you to know that all of the medical and health experts recommend you the same food groups for a healthy living and weight control that the ancient caveman survived on hundred years ago.
However, where there is good, there is also some criticism regarding the Paleo diet. Some of the experts believe the many benefits, which we will discuss later in this section, are unproven. To believe that Paleolithic men did not eat any legumes or grains is only a speculation. The evidence for excluding grains and dairy legumes while going Paleo is not so strong yet.

Though keep in mind that one of the many reasons that brought the Paleolithic period to an end was the beginning of agriculture, which is what drastically alters our everyday diet as eat things like potatoes, grains, and dairy products every day.

However, foods like this have been there for hundreds and thousands of years, and without the ability to properly cook or process them, any of them can be harmful to consume. Fast forward the thousand years and here you are today consuming processed refined foods along with added things like sugar and salt for a good taste.

What makes the Paleo Diet better and healthy?

The caveman diet is considered to be a much healthier diet that our bodies are in desperate need of. That is, over many years and centuries ago, the caveman survived on foods like seafood, fruits, vegetables, and plants etc., which our bodies got used to. Today when all of that changed to eating potatoes, grains, and dairy products, people’s bodies were less bale t process these food types, leading to a range of health issues. So you can clearly see why going Paleo is at bad at all, in fact, worth a try to achieve a healthy lifestyle!

One of the many noticeable results of going Paleo is a loss of the extra fat in your body. The omission of refined and processed food products replaced by natural food products will automatically boost your metabolism. People who are following Paleo diet lose weight faster than those starving themselves deliberately or following other diet plans.

Along with boosting weight loss, this natural diet consists of foods that are recognized for their support in maintaining balanced blood pressure and cholesterol levels in healthy individuals, while increasing your energy levels, something that your body cannot achieve when you consume refined sugars. It is also said that Paleo diet can fight allergens, insomnia, cardiovascular diseases, bad cholesterol, obesity and relieves diabetes and irritated bowel syndrome. Moreover, the distinct health benefit of going Paleo includes a stronger immune system, thus eliminating any health risks that are widespread today. Reduced allergy symptoms is a huge benefit of Paleo diet along with reducing high blood pressure, joint pain, depression and even the risk of cancers as many studies suggested.

Our bodies have not naturally evolved to process all the added chemicals and preservatives’ that can be commonly found in many food products today. There are several reasons that make Paleo Diet worth a try. Cutting out these harmful food sources will undoubtedly assist you in weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

Is the Paleo Diet safe?

It seems a little ironic when people question the safety of Paleo diet while happily consuming refine sugars, hydrogenated oils and modified starches that have contributed to many health issues today. And yet, find the illusion of safety in the ancient Paleolithic diet plan. The Paleo Diet is entirely based on a natural and healthy balanced diet. Sure you would view any diet that calls for extreme actions or restricts any food group, such as fats or carbohydrates. The diet appears to have worked in a good way for everyone to date and no ill effects have been reported using the Paleo diet.

Paleo diet is not a weight-loss diet, but with the food chains associated, your body will be able to digest properly contributing to natural weight loss if you are overweight. With all the health benefits and facts mentioned above, are you still asking if the Paleo Diet is really right for you? Perhaps your best answer will be to try it yourself and then find out. Once you will find out how light and energetic you have started to feel, and how naturally you are losing weight, you will know why and get your answer. If you notice your skin conditions, digestive problems and pains going better, you will be left asking yourself why you did not try the Paleo diet before!

So what will your answer be now, try the Primal Power Paleo Recipes.

What Is The Paleo Diet?

eating-paleo-styleThe Paleo diet, which is also commonly referred to as hunter-gatherer and caveman diet has recently gained the popularity and goes with the underlying question; what would a caveman eat? Recipes for the paleo diet essentially runs on the same food which our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to consume that are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood and meat. The diet helps to reduce the body glycemic load and contains a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids. This diet also aims to increase vitamin and consumption of nutrients and gives an optimal balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

According to the recent researches, the Paleo diet is the only nutritional approach that works with your genetics and helps you to maintain lean, muscular and energetic figure. It is considered a healthiest way to eat as compared to our modern diet, which are full Trans fats, sugar and refined foods that cause degenerative diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression, Alzheimer and heart diseases.

Building a Healthy Paleo Diet

Paleo diet is not a temporary diet plan that has to be followed for a few days; rather it is a complete lifestyle just it was of our ancestors. You have to stick to this lifestyle and follow the plan religiously. Here is the list of things you can eat and the things you cannot eat on the Paleo Diet:

Eat

  • Grass-fed Meats
  • Fish
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy Oils (walnut, olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado, macadamia)

Don’t Eat

  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Refined Sugar
  • Salt
  • Processed Foods
  • Potatoes
  • Refined Vegetable Oils

If you wish to Go Paleo, you will be consuming lots of fresh lean fish and meats, fruits and vegetables and healthier fats. Let us discuss each to understand the potential benefits it brings to your body.

1. Lean Proteins
Proteins found in lean meats and fish helps build healthy bones, strong muscles and support optimal immune function of the body. It also makes you feel fuller and satisfied during meals and therefore curbs the hunger.

2. Vegetables and Fruits
These foods are naturally enriched with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Vegetables and Fruits help to generally decrease the likelihood of developing diseases like cancer, diabetes and neurological decline.

3. Healthier Fats
Fats found naturally in nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil are rich in Omega-3 and Monounsaturated fat that dramatically reduce the chances of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cognitive decline.

We have been deviated from our ancestors’ diet because we have begun to consume the meat of animals that are fed on modern grain as compared to the fats found in grass fed or wild meat of fowl and fish. The studies show that wild meat is remarkably lean and have low amounts of saturated fats and it supplies a significant amount of Omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA.

Give up on Modern Food

If you are on the Paleo diet, it means that anything that our ancestors do not consume should be avoided. It majorly includes all the food stuff that comes in a box, jar or bag and that means you cannot possibly have dairy products, grains, salt or legumes including peanuts, lentils, soybeans and beans. Potatoes are also outlawed on the diet, but some dieticians feel it is okay to consume sparingly as long as you earn them through exercise. Although alcohol and honey are also a big no for the people on Paleo diet, but honey is preferred over table sugars and artificial sweeteners. Al kinds of snacks, sweets and sodas are strictly forbidden on this diet.

How to make the Paleo Diet a part of your lifestyle

  • You can make an easy omelet for breakfast. To make an omelet, first sauté peppers, mushrooms, onions and broccoli in olive oil and then add eggs that are rich in omega-3. You can finally add diced chicken breast piece or turkey.
  • To prepare Paleo lunch is comparatively easy. All you have to do is make a huge bowl of salad for an entire week. You can mix spinach, radishes, greens, cucumbers, carrots, bell-peppers, almonds, walnuts, avocados and sliced pears and apples. You can store this salad in a large sealed container. To prepare a single serving from the large batch, each morning, take the salad and add in meat or seafood of your choice. You have wide choice of meat and fish to choose from. You can add any of the following; ground beef, beef slices, chicken, turkey, ground bison, pork, shrimp, tuna or salmon.
  • You can try spaghetti squash over pasta for dinners. You can top your spaghetti’s with Marianna, Pesto and meatballs. For pork dishes, you can roast beets and the greens as a side dish. Other vegetables like broccoli, spinach and asparagus can be steamed and served quickly. You can also have fish grilled along with cut veggies wrapped in foil and sprinkled with olive oil and garlic.
  • For deserts, you can consume berries and other succulent fruits. For easy to prepare snacks, you can use and consume pre-cut carrots and celery sticks, raw nuts and sliced fruits.

Health benefits of Paleo Diet

Paleo diet has delivered many potential health benefits since with this diet we are able to remove all the foods that are harmful for our health such as legumes, dairy, grains and replace them with foods which are enriched with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There have been numerous studies and researches conducted on the health benefits of Paleo diet and it has been deduced that observing Paleo lifestyle, not only helps to reduce weight but also improve blood lipids and reduced pain from autoimmunity. The following are the health benefits of Paleo lifestyle:

  • Stable blood sugar
  • Burns fat
  • Reduced allergies
  • Clear skin
  • Better teeth
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Gives the body the balanced energy throughout the day

The Downside of Paleo Diet

Paleo diet as discussed above is not a temporary diet plan, but a lifestyle that needs discipline to follow it religiously. There have been many criticisms against this kind of diet since people argue that fresh foods are pricier than the processed and canned foods readily available in the market. Also, there are other negative outcome of following this diet plan as it requires constant effort to find the fresh source of food supply and results in a shortfall of important nutrients. This diet also results in lower intake of Calcium and Vitamin D which are essential for the functioning of the body. Also, according to the FDA this diet is not recommended because it advocates higher amount of fat and protein.

Although this diet has many potential benefits but no one can follow this kind of lifestyle on a 100% level. The nutritionist, therefore argue that most people show significant improvement in health and the general well being when they complied with 85% to the Paleo lifestyle and left 15% room for the foods which are restricted in this diet. So in order to stay in the course you can consume other foods under the allotted cheated portion of the diet.

Should we eat like our caveman ancestors?

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According to a survey established by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, around 600 million people are obese around the world. This means around 1/3 of the world’s population is fat, sick, and struggling with their health – more than before. A vast amount of money is spent by individuals globally for health care and diet products.

We are all aware that being overweight is not only a cosmetic issue; it greatly increases the risk of health problems. As our body mass index rises, the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, allergies, reproductive problems, arthritis, and even cancer also increases. Of course, many factors contribute to these health problems but changes in our diet are considered as the most important factor.

The modern processed foods and beverages that we consume on a regular basis are high in sugar, refined flour, and vegetable oil. 90 % of the foods eaten by Americans consist of that from restaurants, fast foods, and ready-to-eat meals from the grocery store. The food that we ingest is also less nutritious and data shows that the composition of essential nutrients such as zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, copper, etc. in our food has fallen by 19% to 28%.

The diseases that we are facing nowadays were virtually unknown a few generations ago. What can be the reason for this? Why were our ancestors healthier than us? The answer to this lies in your next meal. Our ancestors didn’t recognize things like breakfast cereals, artificially flavored/colored yogurts, mc Donald’s, and even macaroni and cheese. They worked to find and consume a variety of foods that were in as natural state as possible. This means as raw, clean, and fresh as you can find. Thus, the premise of “Paleo diet” is formed.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet also known as the caveman’s diet is based on the idea that humans were hunters and gatherers over 3 million years ago – long before the agricultural revolution was introduced and grains, dairy products, and processed food became a staple of our life. Experts believe that since our genetic makeup is similar to our ancestors, we should also eat things that are similar to the caveman’s. The “Paleo Diet” consists of foods that can be hunted, gathered, or fished. This includes eating fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, shellfish, roots, and berries. The diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy, salt, and sugar. Anything that is refined or has to be extensively cooked is to be avoided when taking part in the Paleo diet. Our ancestors did, however, have a shorter lifespan due to infections, exposures and being eaten by predators but they were much healthier and stronger than we are today.

Facts about our modern diet

1. The boost in sugar consumption: According to data, an individual is consuming more than 500 calories of sugar per day. This is way more than we are equipped to handle. Large amounts of sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart diseases and even cancer.

2. Increase in intake of sodas and fruit juice: Of all the sugar-sourced foods present in our diet, sugary drinks are the main culprit with fruit juices being the second. Our ancestors relied on fresh water, fruits and vegetables. However, in our modern diet, we often opt for fruit juices and soda beverages rather than eating the foods in it’s as is condition. taking sugar in liquid form can be particularly harmful and studies have claimed that our brain does register liquid sugar calories the same way as it does the calories from solid foods. This increases the calorie intake and the risk of obesity.

3. Processed vegetable oils: The traditional fats such as butter, coconut oil, and lard have long been forgotten in favor of processed vegetable oil. The hydrogenated oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids increase the risk of heart diseases and inflammation.

4. Soybean Oil: The oil accounts for 65% of the annual oil consumption in the USA. The high consumption of soybean oil has been linked to cancer, degenerative diseases, asthma, heart problems, and many others. However, many people are not aware that they are consuming soybean oil since it is commonly added in processed foods due to its cheap cost. To avoid the intake of soybean oil, we should stay away from processed foods and opt for natural and fresh products.

5. Wheat: Wheat – a major part of our western diet is found in almost everything from bread, pasta, pizza, pastries, cookies, etc. however, wheat is not as healthy as it used to be. The modern wheat that was introduced in 1960 contains less nutritious than it used to and is particularly harmful to celiac patients and those with gluten sensitivity.

6. Lack of eggs: Eggs are considered the most nutritious food on the planet. They are high in cholesterol but they don’t raise the bad cholesterol in the body. However, many people have cut back on the highly nutritious food from eating approximately 375 eggs per year to 250.

7. Fast foods: Sadly, this is not a surprise as many of our meals are either store bought or from the local fast food joints. This has not only doubled the risk of obesity in adults but has troubled in youngsters which in result lead to several diseases.

Our modern society has blessed us in many ways. Technological advancements have made our lives more comfortable than beyond the dreams of our ancestors. However, our health is at more risk than theirs. We spend our days consuming large quantities of easily accessible, non-nutritious, refined foods while sitting on the sofa watching TV or in our car and wonder why we are getting fatter and fatter every day.

We should all make individual choices to combat the modern day diet and diseases that we are all suffering from. The Paleo diet does not only tell us about the foods that we should be eating but also reminding us about how we are born to live. We are meant to eat natural foods and thrive on an active lifestyle. Instead of going to Burger King for your next meal or eating donuts for snacks, try eating an apple or preparing a home-cooked meal made from natural, organic products. Just imagine how healthy we would be if we eliminate sugar and processed foods from our dietary intake. With diseases such as obesity, heart problems, and diabetes being out of control, maybe it is high time to go back to the basics and look at our roots. Healthy eating!

The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

paleo-fitness-routineYou might have heard about the Paleo Diet, you might be one of the many who even tried it. The ‘caveman eating’ trend is everywhere today. Paleo diet is all about eating like the cavemen or our ancestors did.

The main concept is that the human bodies evolved on a diet that is completely different from today’s eating habits. Therefore doing the Paleo diet will make you healthier, stronger, leaner ad fitter. With so many benefits from fat loss to clearer skin and more energy, the Paleo diet sure is attractive.

But what really is it all about? And is it worth trying? What are its pros and cons?

Why Paleo?

According to Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo diet, food over the years has evolved more rapidly than our bodies got time to get used to them and digest them adequately. The result: increased the risk of chronic diseases and cellular inflammation.

The ancient people definitely had better eating habits than us today. In general, they were consuming more:

  • Proteins
  • Fibres
  • Unsaturated fat
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

And less saturated fat and sodium.

However, the Paleolithic men still suffered from infectious diseases, parasites, and even atherosclerosis, thus, even the ancient people were not models of pristine health.

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet includes:

  • Animals –fish, meat etc.
  • Animal products –eggs, honey
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seed

By now you have probably gathered the main idea of the Paleo diet and that clearly does not match our current twenty-first-century lifestyle and diet. As a result, our wellbeing and health suffer.

The Paleo diet is also found to make the following revolutionary assumptions:

  • Paleolithic men were healthy and robust and lived long lives.
  • When Paleolithic men shifted to agriculture, they started becoming sicker, spindlier and shorter.
  • Modern bunter-gathers are strong and healthy and their health declines once they switch to the today’s eating habits.

How does the Paleo diet work?

The die is entirely based upon the caveman eating habits, which means that if you are thinking of going Paleo, you should not consume refined sugars, grains, legumes and dairy products and say hello to fish, seafood, meat, poultry, vegetables, and fruits. What you will at and how much you will eat depends on what your goals are when going Paleo.

The Paleo eating style sure has a lot of benefits and good qualities as it emphasizes on lean proteins, whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Incorporating these food groups into your diet will be a huge improvement and your one step to a healthier lifestyle.

However the diet also has some flaws as the evidence of excluding grains and legumes and diary is not strong. Plus strictly following a diet of good and bad food does not work for many people today. Even more, being long term with Paleo diet is tough. Sure people can go for weeks or months, maybe even a year, but not more than that and that too without being consistent you will not be able to make progress in your health.

The Pros

1. Eliminates processed/junk foods: The modern American diet is filled with junk foods. It is no wonder that the majority of the population is suffering from obesity as the majority of the food consist of refining sugars and ingredient you would not even know about. Fast/junk/ processed food has become a daily staple for many of us and vegetables and fruits are sadly lacking. Gong Paleo will eliminate the processed and junk food from your diet ad get you back to the real, neutral and healthy food that your bodies require.

2. Stresses on the importance of raw and non-GMO foods: Our agriculture system today is clearly not what it used to be before. With toxic pesticides on produce and hormones in animal feeds, the food today is genetically modified to meet the rising demands of the population. Thus, no doubt that the quality of food is compromised in between. The Paleo diet mainly emphasises on the foods that are grown organically and locally, animals raised on grass and foods that have not been genetically modified. Going Paleo is like going back to the good old eating habits.

3. Weight loss: Not one of the main goal of the Paleo diet but surely can be achieved in the process. Going Paleo eliminates all kinds of food that contains excess or bad fat and encourages you to eat more healthy food such as fruits and vegetables. With the junk food out of the way, you can easily lose weight and get back into shape with the Paleo diet.

The Cons

1. Lower carb consumption: As fitness enthusiasts, athletes and bodybuilder, we will require more carbohydrates than a normal person. Carbs serve as fuels to our bodies and mind and with the Paleo diet, it is almost impossible to get all the carbs you will need from only eating vegetables. Thus, the athletes and bodybuilders tend to adopt a modified version of the Paleo diet that includes rice and potatoes to meet the carbohydrates requirement of their bodies.

2. Restrictive: The Paleo diet is strict which can be hard to follow by most people. With the Paleo diet you will eliminate a few food groups that are a part of your daily diet and for many people, these food groups such as grains and legumes have no reason to be thrown out.

3. Inconsistency: Going Paleo is hard and like all other diets are unsustainable. Anyone can put off those extra pounds by cutting out the bad food products for a short term. But how long will you keep doing the Paleo diet? Are ready to say goodbye to pizza forever? To cheese or cake? There might be a few out there willing to give these up, but for most, that is just not possible and realistic.

Healthy weight, good healthy, these are just short term goals that most people want to achieve in life.

Conclusion

We do not live in caves anymore; we live in the twenty-first century surrounded by plenty of food to choose from that the cavemen could have ever dreamt of. If you wish to go Paleo, it is fairly a healthy diet, but only for a shorter period of time till the food cravings hit you badly. What you can g is, take the good from the Paleo diet and add moderate amounts of grains, legumes, and low dairy to enjoy a healthy diet and adopt a healthier lifestyle which is more realistic and sustainable.

Instead of signing up to the strict diet plan of Paleo, think of the small healthy changes you can make to your diet. Going Paleo is not harmful, or hard. Making small changes first to your diet can do much better to your health and happiness in the long run. You follow the Paleo diet with a little modification, jut stick with the basics and follow what works best for your body ad lifestyle. Always follow something that is maintainable, if you cannot only eat vegetables and fruits, do not do it. Focus on the staples of the Paleo diet but also consume potatoes, rice, and dairy from time to time.