The paleo diet is a lifestyle, not a regular weight loss diet. First of all, it is suitable for those who do not want to count calories – the ratio of BJU to paleo resembles a ketone diet. In other words, weight loss is observed by restricting carbohydrates.
Since the paleo diet prohibits the use of cereals and even pseudo-cereals (admitting buckwheat and quinoa rather as exceptions), the ratio of carbohydrates in such a diet shifts to fiber. This, in turn, is suitable for those looking to lower their cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
// What is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet is a diet that involves the abandonment of modern industrial food and the transition to foods that people ate in ancient times. The name refers to the Paleolithic period, which lasted 2.5 million years and ended about 15 thousand years ago.
The authors of the diet argue that for 50 thousand years, the human body has practically not changed – in contrast to the diet. The “caveman” diet allows for the consumption of fish, poultry and meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and nuts.
Cereals (especially wheat flour and flour products), legumes (including lentils and soybeans), sugar, milk, dairy products and processed vegetable oils are completely excluded. In addition, sweets and convenience foods are banned.
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The Paleo Diet – Who Is It Suitable For?
Although the paleo diet is suitable for most people, it is most often followed by male athletes – especially when doing functional and crossfit training. The reason lies in the fact that paleo does not limit the calorie content of the diet and allows the use of meat products in any quantities.
Because it is a protein diet, the paleo diet is ideal for those looking to gain muscle mass. In addition, while reducing the caloric content of the diet, paleo is a carbohydrate-free diet – and is suitable for those who want to lose weight without losing muscle.
Why is the paleo diet good for you?
As vegetarians avoid animal products, paleo adherents avoid starch, sugar, lactose, and various processed foods. While the diet is in many ways similar to keto, there are a number of fundamental differences – for example, the ban on high-protein soy foods.
Most of the products have changed a lot in the last hundred years, let alone 15,000 years ago. Food allergens not known in antiquity have become widespread – gluten, lactose and casein. Each of these substances carries health risks, although their presence in the diet is not necessary for metabolism.
// Benefits of paleo:
- Normalizes blood insulin levels
- Helps Fight Obesity
- May improve the quality of the skin
- Minimizes food allergies
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Judging by archaeological research, the diet of the caveman mainly consisted of animal products – about 60-80% of calories came from proteins and fat, and carbohydrates accounted for no more than 20-40%.
It should be noted that such a ratio of BJU for paleo is rather a general recommendation, and not a rule – there is no clear scientific justification for the above figures.
For weight loss on paleo, it is recommended to reduce the daily calorie intake by about 15-20%.
The criticism of the paleo diet is based primarily on the consumption of meat products, which can negatively affect the levels of cholesterol and ammonia in the blood. Also, eating meat increases the risk of cancer. In addition, the rules of the diet impose a number of restrictions on a person – for example, it is extremely difficult to choose a dish suitable for the requirements of the diet in a regular restaurant or in a student canteen.
Cons of paleo:
- Risk of high cholesterol and cancer
- Clouding of consciousness when refusing carbohydrates
- Possible lack of fiber and digestive difficulties
- Difficulty choosing ready-made food
Paleo diet: food list
We talked in detail about the permitted and prohibited foods on the paleo earlier. In this material, we only summarize the information. First of all, the diet allows for the use of any meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs and seafood. However, it is required to completely abandon meat semi-finished products (canned food, sausages, sausages, crab sticks).
Although the diet permits vegetables (including tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, various peppers, cabbage, sweet potatoes), it is important to remember that legumes (beans, peas, peanuts) are prohibited. Plain potatoes are allowed, but in moderation. Paleo accepts fresh fruit, but also recommends small amounts.
// Allowed Products:
- Meat, fish and eggs
- Vegetables, roots and mushrooms
- Fats, nuts and seeds
- Fruit (in moderation)
- Spices and herbs
- Coffee Tea
Superfood is a food that is extremely rich in beneficial nutrients. The paleo diet allows for most of them – from spirulina (a source of protein and iodine) to chia seeds (a source of unique soluble fiber). The use of wild rose, hawthorn, goji and other berries is also allowed.
Note that the controversial aspect of paleo is the use of buckwheat. Although buckwheat is not a cereal, but the seeds of a buckwheat flower, modern buckwheat is most often fried before it goes on sale. It is allowed to use green buckwheat, but only in small quantities.
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The paleo diet prohibits the use of any grain products and even brown rice. You should forget about corn, wheat and rye in all their forms (bread, pasta, baked goods). Opinions differ on white rice. Most often, it is recommended to skip it altogether, but sometimes it is allowed to eat it in small quantities, since peeled rice is just a pure carbohydrate.
Milk and all derived products in the form of butter, cheese, cottage cheese and yoghurt are also prohibited. Given that most of the protein isolates are made from whey, they are also banned. Among other things, egg protein is also banned – it belongs to the category of highly processed foods and contains chemical sweeteners.
What is forbidden on paleo:
- Artificial ingredients (sweeteners, flavor enhancers)
- Industrial juices, soda, convenience foods and fast food
- Refined oils
- Starch vegetables
- Any grains and legumes (including soy and peanuts)
- Milk products
The paleo diet is a diet that avoids industrial foods. Like vegetarianism, it is more correct to view paleo as a lifestyle rather than a diet to lose weight or improve health. At the same time, the complete elimination of alcohol, gluten, lactose and simple carbohydrates from the diet can definitely be beneficial.
- The Paleo Diet: Brilliantly Simple or Simply Wrong ?, source
- Origins and evolution of the Western diet, source
- High-sugar diets, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, source
- Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic) -type diet in type 2 diabetes, source
Date of the last update of the material – November 29, 2019