There have always been fad diets. From Atkins to the grapefruit diet, people will try anything to lose a few pounds.

But that’s not what the Paleo diet is about. Paleo, also called the Caveman diet or referred to as clean eating, was developed in the 70’s by Colorado State University professor Loren Cordain and is more a philosophy than a diet. The underlying concept is simple: Humans should eat what the human body was genetically adapted to eat.

Pretty much, we should eat what our ancient ancestors ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and nuts.

Doesn’t sound too bad so far, right? It’s not.

But you have to be willing to make some sacrifices. The two major ones people struggle with the most are the elimination of cereal grains and dairy. This means no more milk, yogurt, cheese, cereal, bread, pasta, or granola. Other things not included in the Paleo diet are legumes (such as peanuts and soy), refined sugars, potatoes, processed foods, salt, and refined vegetable oils.

Paleo Diet Concepts

There are three main concepts that underlie the Paleo diet and the way the first humans ate. Remember, the first humans were hunter-gathers for years before they started farming and raising animals. For that time period, they survived on wild plants and animals, things that grew and lived on their own in a natural environment.

There are three facts underlying early human diets. They are:

  1. Animal foods were the main source of calories.
  2. Cereal grains were not eaten regularly.
  3. There was no dairy consumption.

At the root of the Paleo diet theory is the idea if we eat only those things our bodies had while evolving, it will be healthier and easier to digest.

And it looks as though that’s true.

The Paleo diet has been shown to have significant health benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease and Type II diabetes. It can help you naturally lose weight and keep it off. It prevents many degenerative diseases and can lower the symptoms of auto-immune disorders.

Another aspect of the Paleo diet is you’re eating clean. By taking in only those items allowed, you’re eliminating additives, preservatives, and chemicals from your diet, which means you’re no longer poisoning your body or putting in things it can’t process. Clean eaters also gain an anti-inflammatory benefit from key nutrients.

So How Do You Do It?

On the surface, clean eating may sound boring with no salt, no sugars, and no grains. But there are ways to make Paleo foods taste fantastic. With a variety of herbs and some key ingredients, you can make dishes that melt in your mouth and make your taste buds sing.

If you’re looking for some great Paleo recipes, check out the following sites:

Paleo Isn’t for Everybody

Nothing is right for everybody, including the Paleo diet. It’s extremely low in carbs, which are a good source of energy, and calcium, which is needed for bones to remain strong. It also offers limited choices and is much more time intensive than the traditional American diet.

Even if Paleo isn’t right for you, it does have good underlying concepts that can be added into any healthy diet. Increasing the variety of fruits and vegetables is always a bonus, as is cutting the additives, preservatives, and processed sugar from foods.


Do you eat clean? What wold be the most difficult food item for you to give up?

Additional Image: ltenney1225/Flickr



Molly Carter
Molly Carter
Molly is a freelance writer who talks about everything and anything from addiction, to sex. to skinning a deer. You can find her at, or Facebook.