A Quick Guide to the Paleo Diet: A Fad or How You Should be Eating?

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A Quick Guide to the Paleo Diet: A Fad or How You Should be Eating?

Everybody’s talking about The Paleo Diet. Celebrities ranging from Jack Osborne to Uma Thurman, Jessica Biel to Aaron Rodgers, and Kobe Bryant to Matthew McConaughey reportedly follow the diet, and they have the bodies to show for it.

So what is exactly is the Paleo Diet? And how can you reap the benefits of “eating like a caveman?”

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet was founded by Dr. Loren Cordain and is based on the idea of nutrition basics. There’s no calorie counting, points, or low fat prepackaged foods. The concept is based on taking things back to basics, when the average human diet consisted of whole, nutrient dense foods that “cavemen” would have access to.

If you think about it, the idea makes sense. Tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors wouldn’t have had access to Pop Tarts, Cheetos or margaritas, and would have eaten meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds without all the added sugar, antibiotics, hormones and other potentially dangerous additives that have crept into our food.

Sure, Cavemen didn’t live forever, but obesity wasn’t an epidemic in their society. According to proponents, the Paleo Diet is an approach for a more healthy nutritional balance that can result in weight loss success.

How Do You Eat Paleo?

Adopting the Paleo Diet requires eating mostly natural, wholesome ingredients, and involves eliminating processed foods, including refined grains, dairy, salt, and legumes. A common rule of thumb for those eating Paleo is to focus on only buying fresh, unprocessed ingredients. If it comes in a box or a bag with a long nutritional label on the back, chances are, it isn’t within the Paleo spectrum.

Include:

  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

Avoid:

  • Grains (wheat, rye, barley, etc.)
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils

What kind of results will I see?

The list of Paleo success stories is a long one, and while everyone is different, the health benefits of a higher protein, lower carbohydrate, higher fiber, higher healthy fat, potassium, vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant diet is undeniable.

Dr. Cordain has done numerous research studies on the benefits of the Paleo Diet and the results are impressive.

However, it’s important to note that in order to see the dramatic weight loss and health improvements outlined in his conclusions, the participants need to follow the dietary recommendations closely and religiously. Because of the restrictive nature of the diet, that might be a challenge for some people.

Where can I get more information?

There are a plethora of sites out there with information on the Paleo Diet, but three that are touted as experts in the subject matter are:

Revolutionary Solutions to a Modern LifeThe Paleo DietWhole 30

 


Have you been following the Paleo diet? What has it done for you?


 Additional image: Blogger

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Nicole Kurz
Nicole Kurz
Nicole is a 30-something fitness and health writer who has successfully lost enough weight that two people can fit in her old pants. She races triathlons, rides bikes, is obsessed with health and wellness, isn’t afraid of the “boy weight section” at the gym. When she’s not blowing your mind with health news on Article Cats, she’s probably laughing at an inappropriate joke somewhere while drinking a cup of the strongest black coffee you can find.