What is the Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet is about minimizing industrialized modern foods and switching to traditional foods. The name of the diet refers to the Paleolithic period, which lasted 2.5 million years and ended 15 thousand years ago.(2)

The “caveman” diet allows for the consumption of fish, poultry and meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and nuts. Excludes grains, flour and flour products, legumes, sugar, milk, dairy products and processed vegetable oils.

Modern eating habits

About 70% of the calories a modern urban dweller gets is simple carbohydrates, processed grains, and refined vegetable oils.(one)… It is these nutrients that make up bread and pasta, baked goods, sugary drinks and convenience foods.

The diet that seems so familiar to us is almost entirely composed of foods created by food technologists over the past hundred years. Increasingly, experts come to the conclusion that this is precisely the reason for gaining excess weight and deteriorating health.

Fast food

Edible sugar, which is now ubiquitous, was considered a delicacy a hundred years ago and was only available to the rich. Fast technology for producing cheese from milk fat has existed for 50 years – before that, cheese was expensive and no one would have thought of making a pizza out of it.

The first household refrigerators appeared in the United States in the 1930s, and microwaves in the 1960s. Hundreds of generations of people before that time could not even dream of storing food at home for months and then preparing (in fact, defrosting) it in just a few minutes.

Diet benefits

Paleo Diet Scientists Believe Avoiding Dairy, Grains, and Sugar for Health Benefits(one)… Firstly, many people are lactose intolerant, and secondly, more and more people are becoming sensitive to gluten.

In addition, recent scientific studies confidently link sugar consumption not only with the development of obesity, but also with an increased risk of cancer (primarily esophageal cancer), grade II diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.(3)

The main rules of the paliodiet

Unlike many other diets, the Pali diet does not impose serious restrictions on either the amount of food consumed or the way it is prepared. Meat, fish and vegetables admissible in the diet, you can either cook, stew or fry – it does not matter.

The use of organic and bio-products, meat of grass-fed animals, a complete rejection of potatoes, rice and other fruits of modern agriculture, although recommended by some researchers of the Paleolithic diet, is not clearly regulated.

Paliodiet: Nutrient Ratio in Nutrition

Judging by archaeological research, the caveman’s diet mainly consisted of animal products – more than 60-70% of calories came from meat and fat, and carbohydrates accounted for no more than 20-40%. Basically, the paliodiet is a low-carb diet.(2)

It is important to note that the consumption of vegetables in the traditional diet was clearly tied to the seasons and geography of residence. Most of the sweet fruits were available only in tropical regions, and the inhabitants of the territories of Europe and Eurasia practically did not know them.

Should you follow this diet?

Despite the fact that the exclusion from the diet of flour and dairy products, “industrial” food and sugar in all forms at first glance seems unfeasibly difficult, in reality it is not. In fact, figure-conscious people are already avoiding these foods.

You won’t find a single nutritionist who claims that sugar, gluten, and processed foods are good for human health. In addition, there are more and more opinions that modern food is the true cause of many diseases.

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The consumption of large amounts of food atypical for humans can cause not only food allergies (lactose intolerance, gluten, and so on), but many diseases. The Paleo diet is about returning to traditional eating habits.

Scientific sources:

  1. Origins and evolution of the Western diet, source
  2. High-sugar diets, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, source
 
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