Maybe it’s curiosity or the drive to have a healthier body, you definitely will want to know the facts behind the Paleo or Caveman diet before attempting to try it. What does a Paleo diet follow? What makes it so different from other diet plans? Why should we follow the Caveman’s diet?
These modern days need modern ways of losing weight and keeping our bodies healthy- or so we thought. For the past few years, a certain diet that uses and follows the diet of our Stone Age ancestors has been making waves. Not only does this diet defy the norms of other diet plans, but it also claims better results. This is the Paleo diet or the Caveman diet.
The Paleolithic, Paleo or Caveman diet idea came about in 1975 through a book written by Walter Voegtlin. Several other experts in the medical field followed, but Paleo became well known as it is now through the efforts and introduction of Loren Cordain, a popular nutrition and exercise expert, in 2002. Although there are claims that the Paleolithic diet is not as effective as the media portrays it to be, experts and tests say otherwise.
The main idea of the diet is to eat like a caveman, which means more meat from wild and/or grass-fed animals and wild fruits and vegetables. It eliminates carbohydrate-rich, agriculturally produced and processed foods from this type of hunter-gatherer diet. Evolution as we know it takes time, and the evolution of our diet for the past years was sped up by agriculture and processing of food. But this evolution has proven too fast for our body’s natural components to cope with. However, this belief is also a topic of discussion amongst weight loss and low-carb diet experts, with some believing that the human body has successfully adapted to the change in the diet.
The Paleo diet includes more meat than any other diet known. This is because our cavemen ancestors hunted wild beasts, fowls, and fishes more than they foraged for edible plants. The plants that were included in the stone age diet were gathered when the chances of a hunt being successful were reduced. The food enjoyed by our ancestors was packed full of protein, healthy fats, natural antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.
As mentioned above, meat is given great importance and is the main food for the diet. We have associated meat with weight gain. But the Paleo diet says otherwise. Meat, especially unprocessed lean meat, is packed full of protein and healthy fats. Protein rivals the energy produced by carbohydrates and can be just as filling as carbs. We also know carbohydrate-rich foods to produce glucose, affecting the sugar level in the body, which is why those with 1 or 2 type diabetes need to carefully monitor how much of these foods they eat. Grass-fed meat produces healthy fats that can keep the heart and body healthy. Therefore, the risk of someone developing high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases whilst enjoying this diet is reduced.
The Paleo diet also gets rid of dairy, grains, legumes and any other foods produced through agriculture. What’s left are organic and wild fruits, nuts, and vegetables. This is also good news for vegetarians since the Paleo diet plan offers foods they can consume. Most of these are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients essential to keep the body functioning well. Enjoying these natural and fresh plant-based foods is also one reason why people choose the Paleo diet over other types of fad diets we see advertised regularly. Others plant their own vegetables not only to keep up with these diets principles but also allow them to enjoy fresh produce whilst also saving money.
With this type of diet, people lose weight. Why? Mainly because the food in the Paleo diet is more filling and satiates the body’s hunger better. With the Paleo diet, a person is in control of how much they want to eat. And since the food is heavy on the tummy, eating too much will not be an option. Soon the body gets accustomed to the diet and cravings for carbohydrates and sweets become less. The body will burn the fats and have leaner stronger muscles and organs.
But in terms of taste, Paleo diet meals are not bland as you will see when you take a look through any Paleo or Caveman diet book that includes recipes. The Paleo diet also includes herbs, oils, natural ingredients, and even cocoa, the healthiest form of chocolate. These herbs are usually fresh or dried and can be planted at home, just like other vegetables. They usually make oils such as olive, almond, and coconut oil through pressing, the most natural way. Chocolate with high amounts of cocoa is allowed on approved Paleo diet, as long as it is eaten in moderation, so we need not deprive a sweet tooth.
As much as we want to assure you that you will not encounter any problems with the Caveman diet, there are still a few you might come across.
First is the physical change your body will go through. The body will have to adjust to the lack of carbohydrates and sweets being consumed. Though the body’s energy levels will be sustained by the protein eaten, the body may crave and revert to its old habits. The solution to this situation is discipline and determination.
Another change is time, effort, and money. Let’s face the fact that modern living is fast-paced and fast food and ready to cook foods seem more ideal, not to mention cheaper. Organic and fresh foods are often more expensive, causing people to opt for frozen, canned, processed or farmed foods. The change may not be easy for some because of the constraints that their budget places on them. They will find that when it comes to buying Paleo foods, their options are quite limited.
If you have a family or are usually into social occasions, the Paleo diet may be difficult. Introducing the diet to adults is hard enough, imagine how it will introduce it to your kids. Kids who enjoy burgers, sweets, and pasta will whine and will be reluctant at first to make the changes.
Before deciding to go all Paleo, consider all the advantages over the disadvantages that the diet has to offer. You should also look for facts and opinions that experts say relating to the Paleo or Caveman diet. Although it may take some time for your body to withdraw and eliminate all the carbohydrate, sweet and salty junk food you crave for, you will find your “sacrifices” pay off with a healthier body. Patience, discipline, determination, and keeping it faithful to the diet is your key to enjoying a successful Paleo diet.