People in search of a healthy eating plan may be overwhelmed by the number of choices for meal plans out there. The Paleo diet or caveman diet takes its inspiration from the human ancestral environment itself, at least according to our hypotheses about that time period. Humans in the ancestral environment obviously didn’t eat modern processed foods, but they may not have eaten any of the foods that we now associate with an agricultural lifestyle. Dairy products, bread, and grain products are agricultural in nature. To a large extent, this diet is about going back to our roots, so to speak.
This diet incorporates a number of different dietary principles. There has been a substantial amount of debate over the years on whether or not people should reducing their intake of fats or carbohydrates. The debate gets even more complicated when people ask the question of whether or not it’s a simple matter of eating healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates and avoiding their unhealthy counterparts. Paleo comes out strictly on the side of the debate that favors fats over carbohydrates, although it does tend to emphasize monounsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
The Paleo diet places a strict emphasis on eating the lean cuts of meat. Overall, this diet is very low in carbohydrates. People eating the typical Western diet will get most of their carbohydrates from bread products and sweetened beverages. On the Paleo diet, most of your carbohydrates will come from fruits and vegetables, which are generally low in calories and thus contain comparatively few carbohydrates. In a nutshell, people on the Paleo can consume meat, fruits, vegetables, and certain nuts, oils, and spices. Dairy products and grain products are off the menu.
There is a substantial amount of ongoing discussion about the overall benefits of the Paleo diet, but there are certainly characteristics that may well promote health in their own right. For one thing, people will find themselves consuming very few unhealthy processed foods while on the Paleo diet, and processed foods can be full of unhealthy and untested food additives. Many nutritionists and dieticians agree that refined sugar is unhealthy, and people will find themselves eating virtually zero teaspoons of refined sugar while on this diet. While many other low-carbohydrate diets tend to be too high in unhealthy fats, the Paleo places a special emphasis on the fats of nuts and seeds, which many dieticians and nutritionists do recommend in moderation. While the underlying science of the Paleo diet is constantly under investigation, many of its fundamental principles seem to be based on sound nutritional theory.
Many people starting Paleo may find it hard to maintain at first. For some people, it may constitute a tremendous dietary change. People may find themselves cooking more often in order to prepare tasty Paleo recipes. Still, the growing popularity of the Paleo diet should help make the transition easier for people interested in trying to improve their health.