Do you think this is the latest fashion diet? It is not so.
The paleolithic diet, also called paleodieta or cave diet, is the name given to a contemporary human diet that would like to propose a hypothetical type of diet that would have characterized the human populations that lived in the period preceding the introduction of agriculture, which took place about 10,000 years ago.
The premise behind “eating paleo” is that the current Western diet is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. Paleo diet proponents claim, eating this way can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
It follows that proper nutrition should be based on foods that were available before the development of agriculture, that is, eating “real food” and not subjected to industrial treatments, giving priority to grass-fed meats, free-range poultry , freshly caught fish, preferably organic vegetables and fruit.
The pros of paleo are that it focuses on increasing intake of whole foods, fruits and vegetables, healthy proteins and healthy fats and decreasing consumption of processed foods, sugar and salt.
For those looking to eat more well-rounded diet, these “guidelines” sound familiar and altogether healthy.
However, the paleo diet also advocates cutting out grains, dairy and legumes, and this has caused controversy among scientists. These foods, despite what paleo advocates claim, are healthful and can also be good sources of vitamins and minerals.
What to eat:
- meat proteins (preferably grass-fed or organic meat. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat)
- Game (pheasant, partridge, wild boar, roe deer, deer, …)
- preferably free-range poultry, reared in freedom
- preferably caught and small fish, seafood
- offal (liver, heart, brain, tongue, kidneys, tripe, bone marrow)
- eggs (chicken, quail, duck, goose, ostrich)
- seasonal fruit and vegetables, preferably organic
- edible mushrooms
- tubers (sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips)
- healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocado oil, cow tallow
- fresh and dried herbs
Foods to avoid:
- Cereals (all, including whole and organic ones)
- Pseudo cereals (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, chia seeds)
- Legumes (including soy, peanuts, tamarind)
- Sugars (including those contained in soft drinks)
- Dairy product
- Hydrogenated fats, margarine, seed oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, rice oil, canola oil, safflower oil.
How to structure a Paleo meal?
Paleo is often criticized for being high-protein due to the elimination of cereals, in fact, carbohydrates derived from vegetables and fruit are favored in this diet.
The Paleo diet is a predominantly plant-based diet, you eat until you are full, and don’t count calories.
A dish generally consists of two thirds or more of plant foods (raw or cooked vegetables, or both) and one third of foods of animal origin. Finally, to complete the meal, add healthy fats from avocado, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, olives or some walnuts or almonds.
Eating meat provides vital nutrients that usually are not as bioavailable from plant sources. High quality ingredients are preferred, so organic vegetables and fruit as well as grass-fed and pasture-raised cattle, fish caught and eggs from “happy” hens free to scratch around the field.
The variety of foods consumed is very important since from many different foods you can take advantage of different nutrients and it is easier to obtain nutrient synergy.
Processed foods are eliminated, giving priority to quality foods, providing the body with an anti-inflammatory, effective for good psychophysical health.
The paleo diet is an interesting approach to nutrition because it remembers that “Naturalia non sunt turpia” which means “What is natural, is not dirty”.
The paleo diet can bring an improvement in body composition and blood tests, without suffering from hunger. The approach must be scientific and not fanatic.
Do you feel comfortable with this dietary approach and do the health parameters listed above improve? Continue with the paleo diet.
Would you never give up on pasta, milk and legumes? You can live well over 100 years, healthy and eating them.