The paleo diet is based on the diets that existed in human civilizations that existed before agriculture took place. It differs from other dietary plans in its substitution of animal-derived foods for those provided by plants and animals. Its main components are meat, fish and shellfish, cereals and roots.
What is Paleo Diet?
A paleo diet usually contains lean meats, dairy products, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These food items are the ones that humans derived from animals and that provide the nutrients needed by the body. Other names for this diet are hunter-gatherer diet, caveman diet and paleo diet. Different studies have indicated that people who follow this diet have higher energy levels, lower LDL cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. They also have lower incidences of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, skinless chicken, low fat steaks and salmon are a part of paleo diet. Lean cuts of pork, goat, beef and fish should also be included. These should be organic and free from antibiotics, hormones, growth hormones, pesticides and chemicals. Processed meats such as processed poultry and eggs should also be excluded.
The Paleo diet does not include any processed or refined sugars, salts or oils. All forms of these are discouraged because they are believed to contribute to unhealthy weight gain and other health problems. This is because saturated fat, salt and sugar are all concentrated sources of calories.
Natural foods are always better for your health than artificial ones. This is another reason why the paleo diet is so effective. The foods that are eaten and the way they are eaten contribute to your overall health and are very different from diets that are based on artificial products and processed foods. In addition to eating whole foods, a paleo diet will also require you to avoid many chemicals and processed foods. There are many that are highly refined and contain lots of unnatural ingredients and additives.
A very important part of the paleo diet is eating breakfast in the morning. Many people skip it or are too busy to sit down and eat a proper breakfast. However, if you want to burn fat and build lean muscle, then you must eat breakfast everyday. This includes eating several types of fresh natural foods like fruits, vegetables and seeds and drinking fresh juice throughout the day.
One type of food that is very important on this diet plan is fruit. You must eat at least five to six servings of fruit per day. Grains are also important to include because they contain nutrients that help speed up your metabolism. Whole grains like barley and wheat can be used in breads and pastas that are on this diet plan. Other foods that are important on this diet plan are fresh vegetables and nuts.
Legumes are also good sources of fiber and protein. There are many legumes on this plan including brown and green beans. If you are not a big fan of beans, then you can add nuts and other healthy diets supplements that are made from whole grains as well. As for vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower are both excellent choices and will help you lose weight. However, try to stay away from starchy vegetables like potatoes as they will make your blood sugar levels go haywire and end up creating more fat stores instead of burning off fat.
In terms of fruit, paleo diet includes raw fruits. Eating apples, bananas, pineapple and other unprocessed fruits are considered acceptable on this diet. Eating carrots, celery sticks, beets, peaches and other similar fruits are not really allowed because they are filled with sugars and processed foods. It will be better to eat fresh fruits because they are much healthier than those packed in plastic with preservatives.
Another aspect of paleo diet that you should consider is the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits that you should include in your meals. Studies show that it has been found out that having low saturated fats will help speed up your weight loss process. The reason behind this is because saturated fats will increase the risks of stroke and heart disease. On the other hand, vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower are rich in anti-oxidants and will promote good health benefits such as better cardiovascular functions and lower blood pressure.
Another aspect of paleo eating plan that should be remembered is that when you are having enough fiber in your food, it will reduce your insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is the basis of diabetes and obesity. When the sensitivity of the insulin is low, your body will store fat for later use instead of making use of the energy it provides. The initial studies showed that there will be an improved metabolic efficiency and reduced fat stores if you adopt the paleo diet. This will then result in a faster weight loss process.
Paleo Diet Foods
The Paleo diet is quickly becoming the most popular form of dieting in the US. The name itself tells you all about it: it’s a diet that consists of all natural foods. Its dietitians and designers claim that it’s the diet that our ancient ancestors actually ate, and the same foods that we can eat today if only we make some minor changes. Sounds good, right? The problem is that this is simply not true. Contrary to what many of its advocates believe, the diet of our distant relatives wasn’t just about losing weight; it was also about maintaining health and fitness.
Paleo Diet Food List
The Paleo diet consists of mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and meats. The foods are lean, with a small amount of poultry and small to moderate amounts of fish and dairy. Think wild game such as deer, moose, rabbit, and elk. Also include seafood, which has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently thanks to the seafood boom in Asia. Some Paleo practitioners even recommend eating roots, herbs, and other offal instead of meats and dairy. For carbohydrates, you eat mostly starchy vegetables, and small amounts of fruit and nuts.
The Paleo diet isn’t against cooking. You may eat raw or semi-raw dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. However, you’re better off replacing these processed cheeses and yogurts with the natural, unprocessed varieties, such as coconut milk and almond milk. You’ll also want to stay away from any foods that have been processed with hydrogenated oils or other additives. This includes processed sugar and processed flour, which are common elements of most “traditional” diets.
The Paleo diet does not prohibit or limit consumption of saturated fat. Saturated fat is particularly harmful to the heart, which is why this diet is so important for those at risk for cardiovascular disease. So although it’s not advised to replace meat with coconut milk and eggs, you should definitely eliminate unhealthy saturated fats from your diet. Eating unsaturated fats is just as important for paleo eating as it is for others.
Paleo eating also stresses the importance of high fiber foods. Fiber is known to regulate digestion and reduce cholesterol levels. High fiber foods include nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes (especially beans). There are many delicious vegetarian recipes that are gluten free, but feel really great if cooked with coconut oil, butter or eggs. Be careful not to get too comfortable in your avocado and try substituting some of the high-fiber elements for butter or other high fat substitutes. This way, you can avoid the chemicals and added sugar often found in vegetable oils and refined sugars.
Paleo Diet Meal Plan
Many Paleo meals include meat, vegetables, and fruit, but there are several varieties of Paleo food that are better sources of protein. Some good examples of these are nuts (such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts), fresh fish, sweet potatoes, and root vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. All these foods contain healthy proteins that can improve muscle development, which will lead to a stronger immune system. For the best amino acid sources, experiment with nuts and seeds to find the ones that you like the most.
Lean meats and low-fat dairy products are essential to Paleo eating, but it is important to make sure that you don’t overdo it in the sense that you are eating too much. You should try to eat about one or two lean meats for every 100 grams of overall body weight you have. When you cook with butter or too much oil, Paleo foods become bland and boring. However, by replacing saturated fats with healthy natural oils like olive and coconut oil, you can enjoy delicious Paleo meals that still keep you fit and healthy.
By maintaining your intake of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in Paleo style, you can easily stick to the diet for the long haul. While it may not be easy to give up your favorite fruits and vegetables, doing so for a short period of time is definitely doable. Soon, you will find that you have developed a taste for healthy, low fat, low sodium foods and you will never want to go back to unhealthy fatty food again!