The Paleo Diet



The Paleo Diet is a version of a low-carb, high protein diet that emphasizes eating like a hunter-gatherer. It is the current low-carb, high protein flavor of the month. I like this diet/lifestyle and support many of its principles, but there are a few things I disagree with. I'll discuss both the pros and cons in detail.

Why is it called the Paleo Diet?

This diet/lifestyle has a funny name, but its based on the eating habits of hunter-gatherers of the paleolithic era of our early ancestors.





Why eat like a hunter-gatherer?

The thinking behind the Paleo Diet is our ancestors consumed fresh meats and vegetables as a staple of their diets. The didn't have access to or produced many of the foods we now consume that are so harmful (yet taste so good) to us. Things like sugar, dairy, legumes (beans and peanuts), and grains are all mass produced today, taste good, and cheap, but do us no favors to our overall health and increase obesity.

The Paleo Diet emphasizes eating like a hunter-gatherer. It is theorized that these people ate a lot of animal meat, fish, chicken, and vegetables. Basically, low-carb, high protein foods, with a low glycemic index. The Paleo Diet is not rocket science and really nothing we havn't heard and seen before. Further, it ASSUMES that this was a healthy diet and our ancestors weren't obese and facing high rates of heart disease and diabetes like many people today.

Pros

  • The Paleo Diet is a fantastic version of a low-carb, high protein diet.

  • It encourages low glycemic index foods which practically guarantees weight loss/control.

  • Meat eaters love it.

  • Its easy to follow, when in doubt just eat protein.

  • It works! I lost 20lbs. eating mainly chicken breasts and vegetables.

    Cons

  • Can be boring not eating processed carbs.

  • Discourages eating peanuts and peanut-based foods (legumes).

  • It requires more cooking and thus more time commitment.



    Comprehesive list of Paleo foods to eat and avoid

    Good Foods

  • Lean meats like sirloin, lean hamburger, veal, flank steak, lean pork, chicken, or turkey.

  • Most fish are acceptable, especially tuna, salmon, cod, bass, shellfish like crab, lobster, clams, oysters, scallops, and shrimp,

  • All fruits are good, but don't overconsume due to the natural sugars which can spike blood sugar.

  • All vegetables are good.

  • Nuts, including almonds, pine nuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Always try to eat unsalted nuts.

    Bad Foods

  • Dairy. Any dairy food is processed and should be avoided. This includes cheese, butter, milk, yogurt, and creamer.

  • Grains like wheat, barley, rice, oats, corn, and rye are all prohibited. This includes pizza, pasta, tortillas, pita bread, wild rice, and rice cakes.

  • Legumes. This lifestyle discourages eating all kinds of beans (including peanuts and peanut butter) because they need to be cooked to be edible. I personally think this part of the diet is a little extreme and enjoy the taste of beans and the protein they provide. A little beans won't hurt.

  • Starchy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and potato products like chips or french fries.

  • Sugars like candy are, or course, prohibited. Including sugary drinks.

  • Salty foods like processed meats, cheese, salami, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, salty nuts, and deli meats.

    Final thoughts on the Paleo Lifestyle...

    ...I think its a great low-carb diet/lifestyle that will, without a doubt, help you lose weight and keep it off. Its great because you don't have to follow a schedule or plan, just eat the right foods and thats it! And when in doubt, eat protein and stay away from carbs.




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