Paleo Diet Basics: Thinking About a Healthy Meal Plan?

Have you ever heard of the “Paleo Diet”? This diet, also known as the “Caveman Diet”, has been causing some stir in the health world recently. It follows a very simple meal planning principle: eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Humans have always been considered herbivores. This fact has been proven by research done on the human digestive tract and teeth. Why is this important to know that humans have always been herbivores? Current diets promote consumption of vegetarian foods and discourage meat consumption, but this is very erroneous. Meats have been an important part of the human diet since the first Australopithecus Africanus came into existence. The primary question still has yet to be answered: how does the Paleo diet benefit its users? Let’s talk about some of the facts.

Other than eating simply what our Paleolithic ancestors ate, the Paleo diet suggests a few changes to our diets. First, it suggests that we avoid any processed foods including grains, rice, and wheat along with legumes, dairy, and bad fats. Since average diets typically lack fiber, the Paleo diet suggests that we eat extensive amounts of fruit and vegetables. Lack of fiber and sedentary lifestyle choices are causing many digestive problems. The Paleo diet aims to restore your digestive system back to a healthy state. However, the only way to do this is by being strict about your diet. This increased load of fiber also plans to replace those saturated fats that cause indigestion and bloating. Imagine your body as a car engine: If you put unleaded fuel (low-fiber, saturated fats, etc.) into it, you’re engine is not going run efficiently; it’s going to need tune-ups. However, if you put premium fuel (natural vegetables and fruits) into it, you can expect a clean running engine. It’s as simple as that. Okay, so a lot of diets promote eating high-fiber – how does the Paleo diet differ?

The Paleo diet advocates eating protein, healthy fats, and taking in lower amounts of carbohydrates. Comparable diets do not follow this regiment. A diet that promotes eating fats? Shocking. I thought fat was taboo. Having some fat is important for survival, but you want to make sure you check with a physician to see your healthy range of fat. Some other alleged benefits of the Paleo diets have been:

Less nutrition-related disease
Less “tune-ups” or doctor visits
Clearer and prettier skin

These are just some of the things we’ve heard back from some of the people who have tried this diet. The results could be different for you.

As a Paleo dieter myself, I can tell you that the hardest part of the diet is the same as other diets: self-control. The Paleo diet promotes eating bland foods. As a person who loves flavorful and fattening foods, I had extreme difficulty avoiding the foods I wasn’t supposed to eat. My advice to you is to take it step-by-step. Don’t try to go cold turkey or limit yourself from everything that you enjoy. If you try to do it this way, you will be sure to cheat the diet. Also, it’s very important to research other diets. Make sure that you find a diet that matches what your body needs. Set realistic goals, stay focused, and remember that you’re doing this for yourself.

Editor’s note: This diet can be beneficial for many, especially for those who have to follow a gluten-free diet. By choice, habit, and personal health, I have chosen a different approach to weight loss which goes more along the ideas of the slow carb diet, but I have actually made it into my own plan with personal tweaks. My brother and sister-in-law, however, have had great weight loss success with the Paleo Diet and are big believers in it. My belief is that any diet will “work” for you if it will fit into your life as a real way of life and not just a short lived attempt to lose weight.

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A Healthy Eater

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