The acclaimed Paleo diet, based on the healthy lifestyle our caveman ancestors followed is proving an increasingly effective alternative to unhealthy western eating habits. Here we present the five key things to do to benefit from the Paleo lifestyle quickly and effectively. Enjoy the read! Cheers to a great way of living!
The Paleo lifestyle should embrace the basics rather than centering on the shopping experience itself. Following an inflexible regime can make the experience overly complicated and unnecessarily confusing, quite apart from adding hugely to our monthly food bill.
Instead, we should rather focus on acquiring the right local foods in season from a farmer’s market while enjoying a balance of organic protein served with healthy portions of vegetables, and all topped up with a good measure of healthy fats. Obvious traps to avoid are genetically modified (GMO) food products – these are all too common in our food markets these days – as well as refined and processed foods.
This is essentially what the Paleo diet Lifestyle is all about, and the approach announced by the man who led us back to caveman dietary ways, Dr. Loren Cardain, Ph.D. Millions of healthier people around the world have discovered that following this simple back-to-eating-basics really works, and should be easy enough to adopt.
Following the Paleo Lifestyle diligently over a decent period – two years for example – should lead to improved levels of blood triglycerides. Other health benefits accruing include lower blood pressure, vanishing autoimmune disease symptoms and reduction, if not the elimination of allergies. The ‘cherry on top’ is the reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, a priceless prize indeed.
The modern Paleo Lifestyle incorporates foods mirroring the selection available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors during their pre-agricultural existence. Adhering to the fundamentals of the hunter-gatherer diet will lead us to better health, lessen the risk of chronic disease developing, and help us lose weight. Let us review the seven pillars of the Paleo diet:
We should aim to more than double the 15% average protein content of our typical western diets. Modern Paleo/Caveman diets encourage regular consumption of meat, seafood, and other animal products.
We should focus on non-starchy fruits and vegetables over grains, to achieve the dietary fiber levels vital for good health.
We must aim to focus on unprocessed fresh foods when eating Paleo foods, which naturally contain up to 10 times more potassium over sodium levels.
Meats, fish, and grains all produce higher acid levels. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables helps produce more alkaline in our digestive system.
This may be stating the obvious, but concentrating on fresh fruit and vegetables (non-starchy types) provides up to 45% of your daily calorie needs.
It is all down to the types of fat rather than the amount we absorb that leads to increased cholesterol readings. Stick with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats when preparing any Paleo recipes, with a balanced intake of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
Always choose grass-fed meats over the grain-fed equivalent because this helps us avoid genetically modified food for humans.
As with any eating program, the Paleolithic Lifestyle Diet promotes many food types while excluding others. This is not rocket science, and quite soon stocking up with these food types will become routine:
If you want to make good with this diet, you will need to procure the best ingredients from tried and trusted sources, so finding and maintaining reliable suppliers is important. If you plan to shop at your local supermarket, try to focus on the fresh produce counters for your meats, fish, poultry, fruit, and vegetables. Avoid the pre-packaged, frozen, and processed food aisles at all costs. Fresh need not necessarily increase your food budget if you are a smart shopper.
Every food store runs specials and these can include top quality foods too. Weigh up the extra cost of premium quality over false savings realized from buying budget food. Buying and eating cheaper foods could end up costing you dearly in terms of health issues down the track. While loading up your shopping cart, consider that buying cheaper, low-quality foods could mean increasing your intake of artificial ingredients, chemicals, and pesticides.
The additional cost of following the Paleo shopping list should not be overly burdensome. Sure, organic fruit and vegetables may cost a little more, but sticking to what is on your Paleo food list means you will be cutting out a lot of expensive low-quality foods too.
There are arguments for and against on both sides of the “grain fence”. Paleo supporters are convinced that grains and refined sugar are harmful. Paleo dieters exclude grains from their menu on the basis that our cave-dwelling ancestors during the Paleolithic era never ate them, and we should not do so either if we want to share their healthy lifestyle.
Our systems are not well disposed to a grain diet in any form, which makes digesting this both pointless and potentially even hazardous. Just consider the after-effects of fried chips and doughy bread, and most will confess that however, filling they may seem, these are not ideal foods as they load weight in unwanted places. HEALTH ADVISORY: continuing with such diets can definitely lead to health issues over time.
Our cavemen-ancestors were not concerned about dietary issues; they were in basic survival mode. Modern living seems to have come unstuck when it comes to grain consumption, particularly refined grains. There is a world of difference between having some natural whole grains in your diet, and eating white bread regularly as so many of us do. The problem is the excess of flour in so many foods. This is causing many health issues, ranging from obesity to diabetes and even cardiac problems.
The word “diet” suggests taking in less food and weight loss. So where does the Paleo Lifestyle enter the debate? What we really need to do is to change our mindset. Stop thinking in terms of what you cannot eat. This is what makes dieting the traditional way too difficult because it uses deprivation as the main driver.
Adhering to the Paleo or Caveman Lifestyle is fundamental. It follows the caveman diet, which worked so well for our predecessors before we became modern humanoids. What worked for them should work well for us too, but somewhere along the way we got side-tracked with our modern culinary trends.
Getting back to fundamentals, our Palaeolithic ancestors had no shops where they could buy unhealthy processed foods with sell-by-dates because they were busy going off. Instead, they ate ‘catch of the day’ protein, which as good as you can get. They supplemented this with fresh fruit and nuts plucked from growing plants and trees. There was no possibility of decay because they hunted and gathered on demand.
Our Paleo ancestors were also incredibly fit and active. To maximise the benefits of this lifestyle, we need to adhere to this by exercising responsibly, cutting back on alcohol, and stopping smoking completely. You may never look back once you start receiving the benefits the Paleo lifestyle beings. Chances are you will soon be encouraging your friends to ‘sign up’ too. Welcome to a healthier you as we join you on your journey.