Also known as the caveman diet, the Paleo diet can and should be thought of as more of a lifestyle than anything else. Dating back to the Paleolithic period of more than 10,000 years ago, the theory is that we should return to eating the way early hunters and gatherers once did. But what does that involve exactly? Here are a few things to consider before you take the Paleo plunge.
What you can eat:
- Lean meat, such as chicken, turkey, pork, lean meat, and buffalo.
- Non-starchy vegetables, including lettuce, artichokes, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli
- Fresh fruits
- Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, walnuts – NO peanuts allowed
- Plant-based oils, such as olive, grapeseed, and coconut
What you can’t eat:
- Grains, such as oats, wheat, barley, pasta, and bagels
- Starchy vegetables, including potatoes and corn
- High-fat meats, such as ground meat, hot dogs, ribs, salami, and bologna
- Sugary foods and drinks, such as candy, cookies, honey, jam, soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks
- Legumes and beans, such as soy milk, tofu, hummus (chickpeas), and black beans
- Salty foods, such as crackers, pretzels, pickles, and chips
- Processed foods – this applies to anything that’s frozen or packaged
- Weight loss is common while on the Paleo diet
- You’ll be eating cleaner since you’ll be eliminating additives, preservatives and chemicals from your diet.
- You’ll experience less hunger in between your meals due to the higher intake of protein.
- The Paleo diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, low glycemic carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants but low in added sugar, trans fat, salt, and high glycemic carbohydrates. Plus, it’s gluten free.
- Tends to be more on the expensive side.
- Difficult for vegetarians since many of them rely on beans for protein.
- Excluding dairy from your diet may not be great for your bones.
- You can’t eat grains, which are a great source of energy.
- You might need to see your doctor about finding suitable supplements to avoid a nutrient imbalance.
- Strict diets like the Paleo diet can be difficult to maintain over a long period of time due to the lack of variety.
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