The Paleo diet is based on the fact that the genes that we have today were formed over a million years ago, a time often described as the caveman era. The diet’s goal is to replace the modern diet with one that is just as healthy and nutritious and ultimately, better for us.
Plants were first cultivated, and wheat first farmed around ten centuries ago, and it is believed that our bodies do not get much from these food sources as we have not adapted sufficiently to do so. For the human body to adapt to a completely different metabolism and physiology takes a lot longer than 10,000 years, with the result that we are just not adapted sufficiently to eat grains, legumes and dairy products. Many people who follow this type of diet are indeed prone to problems with the digestive system.
There are various advantages to the Paleo diet, although it may seem extreme to some since it excludes many different foods. Protein is good for weight loss and most meals under this diet do contain a lot of protein. In fact, most people can potentially lose as much as 15 pounds without any additional exercise, if they follow a high protein diet for six months. Of course, if you follow this diet and take regular exercise as well, the Paleo diet really can be effective for anyone wanting to lose weight.
Paleo Diet Guidelines
Cave dwellers basically comsumed fruits, vegetables and meat and the Paleo diet is designed around this premise. The diet excludes any foods that come in boxes or cans, as well as any processd foods, although it does allow leaner cuts of meat, as well as so-called organ meats, such as liver and tongue. A maximum of six eggs per week are allowed, although the diet excludes other dairy products as cavemen obviously did not have access to them. Although it excludes a lot of foods, it is possible to eat a balanced diet and come up with some meals that are tasty and interesting.
Nuts are allowed, even encouraged with the Paleo diet, and they are good for lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and as a source of healthy fats. Nuts are also high in calories and if you are choosing the Paleo method specifically to lose weight, you should limit your consumption of nuts.
The basic premise of the diet is that you should avoid foods that cavemen certainly would not have eaten. In addition to processed foods, this includes soda and foods containing sugar, syrup or other sweeteners. As mentioned previously, dairy products are not allowed as part of the diet, nor are such foods as pancakes, bread, pasta, rolls and cookies.