Everything You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet and How It Works
How Paleo Works as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
Paleo is one of the biggest buzzwords in health and fitness. But, the Paleo diet is more than just a passing trend. This diet has literally been around since the Stone Age.
Recently the Paleo diet has blown up and become a kind of health meme. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about what the Paleo diet is really all about. However, once you separate fact from fiction you will see that the Paleo diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
Where Did the Paleo Diet Come From?
The phrase “Paleo” comes from the word Paleolithic, which is the scientific name for the period of time commonly referred to as the Stone Age. That is why the diet is also sometimes called the Caveman Diet, the Paleolithic Diet, or the Stone Age Diet.
The basic principle behind the Paleo diet is that the healthiest foods for us to eat are the foods that were available to our Stone Age ancestors. Our bodies evolved to eat a specific type of diet.
After the Paleolithic era humans began to rapidly invent technologies that changed the way we eat. These technologies not only include modern food processes, but they also include things like mills which were used to create flour for making bread.
But, our bodies have not evolved as fast as out food technology. Our bodies still are designed for a Stone Age era diet.
The modern Paleo diet was first suggested by Walter Voegtlin, a Gastroenterologist, in a 1975 book called The Stone Age Diet. American scientist Loren Cordain is the pioneer of the current Paleo trend with series of books and academic articles.
What Foods Do You Eat on the Paleo Diet?
What foods were our Stone Age ancestors eating? The good news is that the Paleo diet food list is diverse and plentiful. There is no shortage of incredible foods that will help you lose weight, feel better, and increase muscle mass. Paleo is focused on two primary principles:
- Eating a nutritionally balanced diet
- Low carb intake
Paleo foods include:
- Unprocessed vegetables
- Unprocessed fruits
Many of the modern health problems humans suffer from have their roots in unhealthy eating. Things like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity come from eating processed foods and eating too many carbohydrates.
The Paleo diet is about avoiding processed foods and high carbohydrate foods as much as possible. On the Paleo diet you get the carbs you need not from breads or dairy, but from raw fruits and vegetables. These foods are easier for our bodies to process and keep us healthier.
On the Paleo diet is important to avoid foods like:
- Processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup
- Most dairy
- Vegetable oils
- Trans fats
The Link Between Paleo and a Healthy Lifestyle
The Paleo diet isn’t really a diet. It is a lifestyle. The idea is that you will feel better, look better, and be better if you are eating in a healthy, sustainable way. When you are on the Paleo diet you will notice you eat smaller portions, but you feel more satisfied. That is because you are eating nutritionally dense foods.
Processed foods often trigger us to overindulge and lack all of the nutrients we need. Eating too many carbohydrates overwhelms our body’s natural processes. At first, our bodies turn the extra carbs into sugar and then into fat. Eventually, if you eat too many carbs for too long your body stops being able to process the carbs correctly and you develop type 2 diabetes.
Paleo is essentially a clean eating diet. You only eat foods that are easy for your body to digest and use. Your body is able to use everything you are eating. There is less waste inside your body. Because the foods you are consuming are not processed or are only minimally processed, there is also less of an impact on the environment.
The reason the Paleo diet is so popular isn’t because of celebrities or marketing. The Paleo diet is so popular because it works. It is based on sound scientific principles and it is the only diet that has actually stood the test of time.