The paleo diet is growing in popularity, but what is it really? It has been called the “Caveman’s Diet,” or the “Ancestral Diet,” and the “Hunter-Gatherer Diet.” Many believe that it is just another fad diet that will blow through in a few years like Atkins, South Beach and the Zone Diet. However, there is an increasing amount of literature that highlights the benefits of the paleo diet such as improving blood sugar, reducing the risk and severity of type 2 diabetes, decreasing cancer risks, and improving cardiovascular health and autoimmune conditions. With the amount of benefits that many are seeing with the paleo dietary approach, we find ourselves asking the question of what is Paleo?
The Paleolithic diet takes us back to our primal selves. It consists of real food, meaning nothing processed, packaged, or refined. It is a diet that mimics our ancestors before the industrialization of food. This means that there are no processed grains like flour and pastas. The paleo diet also emphasizes balance. Creating a dietary balance means watching portion sizes for your body’s composition and daily activity levels while including a wide variety of vegetables and low glycemic fruits. There is a moderate portion of daily protein.
There is not a one-size fits all paleo dietary prescription. It is important to take the paleo guidelines and create a dietary approach that works for you and your lifestyle.
Servings – Women- 3-8 ounces for meals; Men- 6-10 ounces for meals; Nuts & Seeds- about a handful.
Beef, chicken, game meats, pork, fish, shellfish, nuts and seeds.
Servings – Do not limit, eat until full.
Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes.
Servings – Women- ½-1 cup in meals; Men- 1-1 ½ cup in meals.
Peas, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squash, yams, pumpkin.
Servings – For large fruits- ½ cup equals 1 serving. Berries- ¼ – ½ cup equals a serving.
Apples, avocados, berries, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons, limes, mangos, pineapples, plantains, plums, tangerines.
Fats & Oils
Servings – 2-4 tablespoons per day.
Avocado oil, Ghee, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil.
By embracing a paleo lifestyle many have had improved health status. Proper blood sugar is maintained due to the low glycemic nature of the paleo diet. Cutting out the refined grains and processed foods decreases inflammation throughout the body. Limiting dairy decreases mucus production and improves autoimmune conditions. The high fiber and variety of vegetables improves digestion and intestinal health. The paleo diet has also been shown to increase athletic performance, increase energy, and improve skin health. Weight loss is a natural side effect of embracing the whole foods paleo diet.
Interested in a Paleo Diet and learning how it can help you, call today and setup a free initial consultation with our board-certified holistic nutritionist.